Kinesis FF29 revisted

I seem to have a nice routine. Road race Friday evening and then, mountain biking on Sunday. This is great as I usually spend Saturdays wondering what I’ll ride on my day off. The only problem is that my legs hurt if ever the hills get tough.

Last week I took Will for his first race and he won it. This Friday we went to the Hove Park Crits where it was my turn to win and join the rest of my buddies as Third Cat riders. That was the plan. The weather forecast was dire which would be great for me. I rode over as the race was so short I’d need to be well warmed up. The weather let me down and it was dry and warm albeit windy. I did my best, spent too long near the front and went off half a lap too soon and only managed 6th. Better luck next week.

Today I wanted to enjoy the good weather and dry trails. I also wanted another blast on the Kinesis FF29 to see how it would handle some tight single track. I went to Whiteways where there is a testing single track loop that I’ve ridden on the Whyte 29CS, Whyte 829 and Scott Scale 29ers. There’s enough been written about those bikes for all to realise that they are awesome so the FF29 would have to do well to better them.

I knew that the FF29 was fast as I’d already had a few rides. I also knew that it handled like a race bike and was a very quick turner. There are plenty of good single track ups and downs in Whiteways but the best stuff is fairly flat. There are loads of trails where the only thing that can hold you back is your technique (and bike). What better place to test a quick handling 29er? I’m getting used to the FF29 now. Previously I’d felt that its 26” wheel characteristics didn’t necessarily inspire confidence but now that I’m used to it I reckon that I was quicker through all those flat trails than either of the Whytes or Scott (as I said in my first review the FF29 will make you King of Stanmer – Jimbo confirmed this when he came back faster on every trail over there). On the down hills I’d rather be on the slacker Whyte or Scott despite the 120mm fork but I am splitting hairs here and its only because I’ve had the opportunity to ride so many of these bikes that I can make such a comment. Hopefully my Lime Green FF29 will be here this week. I think that the down hill handling is actually more down to the fact that the medium is a tad small for me. I’m sure that with a bit more tweaking I can overcome that.

I have said that the FF29 is fast – its is. Today I had my fastest mountain bike ride ever.  I don’t know why it is so quick but it is. I have replaced the tyres with a Maxxis Ikon on the back and a Conti X-King on the front. The rear wheel is one of my BOR wheels so is very light but other than that the spec is fairly basic so something that Dom has done with the design or the Kinesium tubing is propelling me along. As I said earlier I won’t claim the credit as my legs are tired.

Here’s the ride on Strava. If you like Strava and are fed up with your phone battery running down or inaccurate information you can upgrade to a Garmin Edge 200 with a £30 trade in on your old computer.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. So – if you had to choose between the FF29, Scott, Whyte or Giant XTC Composite (don’t think you have ridden that?) which would yo go for??

    1. Hi, That’s a difficult one but they all measure up differently so that helps. Previously I’d ridden so many different bikes that I wasn’t sure what the right size was for me. Initially I would have gone for the Whyte as it is more trail oriented. I’ve played with both medium and large Scotts and I’m probably between the two, which they don’t do. So that brings up the FF29 which is my current bike. The medium is perfect and it climbs better than anything else I’ve ridden. I must confess to not realising quite how much impact geometry would have on climbing, we always talk about geometry in the context of trail feel and down hill. The FF29 feels steep and very quick steering and I have a love hate relationship with it because of that (climbing is my passion despite constantly practicing my DH technique). Our demo Whyte 29C arrives w/c 3rd Sept so I’ll be able to do a back to back with the FF29. I’m looking forward to that as I’ve not ridden a Whyte for more than just a ride round the block for a month or two. The Scott is a great compromise as you’d think it a racy bike but the head angle is nicely relaxed at 69, unusual for a Euro brand. I guy tried the Whyte 729 and Scott demo back to back several times and bought the Scott. I can guide you but trying is the main thing. Go to your local shop or visit us once the 2013 demos have arrived. I rode in on the FF29 today and came back loving it, last ride I crashed and hated it!

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