I harp on and on about 29ers and with good reason. So this week I got Scott to lend us a Scale 29er Pro in medium for Will to try. I couldn’t bear the thought of him turning up for his first race on his Kinesis and getting blown out the back simply because he had the wrong bike, despite all his training. Will, needless to say, is now a convert saying that it is so fast and so easy to take the racing line over roots.
I was of the opinion that I’d never ride 26 inch again and as for long travel: round here? No chance. Well on Saturday I had to ride a Whyte 146 to try to find a knocking noise for a customer. I felt that he deserved my best effort so I changed into my kit and headed up over Cissbury late in the afternoon. 26 inch wheels and 6 inches of travel and yet it just flew up hill. This bike was amazing. Of course it is lighter than most rider’s hard tails at just over 25lbs. At no time did I feel that it was a long travel trail, even free ride bike. It was as good as anything that I’ve ridden even without any Chamonix like downhill to test it on. Whilst quite normal human beings might buy an X5 or Range Rover just to drive into town (how crazy is that?) buying a 146 is not such a crazy idea. It may be a long travel bike but it’ll perform XC functions as well as or even better than an average hard tail and all the while you’ll be tempted to try stuff you never thought you could. Your skills will just get better and better. The South Downs might not be Les Portes du Soleil but the 146 will set you up to ride there and to totally rip at any UK trail centre. If I could retire to the Alps now the 146 would be the bike that I’d take. As for the bike noise, it was silent and efficient like a stealth bomber.
Today, however, it was back to a hard tail, my turn on the Scott Scale 29er Pro. My riding buddies are both on strict training programs. One is preparing for a marathon and the other for some incredible time trial P.B.s. I was told 3 to 4 hours at not more than 130 bpm. I led them over to the top end of Whiteways to show them the singletrack, that way we could have a long easy ride with the minimum of climbing. I was surprised at how dry the trails were and Whiteways never ceases to amaze me. An easy ride is not some thing that I am used to but given the company, the amazing single track and the mild weather I was a happy man (and tired at the end). Here’s the ride.
No product reviews this time, just riding.
I’ve had a damn good week back on the bike!
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