The second ride today, before the snow came in…almost. I headed to a familiar jaunt, the banana belt of Ned we call it. Sunny over there, snowing and windy near my house.
I put the Fox F29 100mm fork from the 69er on the bike last night. The frame was made “suspension adjusted” so that I could switch back and forth. Good in theory, but I don’t plan on doing it that much. I mostly like riding withOUT a suspension fork but I think I’m in the minority so I’ll need to build future bikes this way. It definitely makes for some weird angles on a 29er. The head tube is really high to account for the increased length of the suspension fork, especially a 100mm fork, and that makes the headtube really short. This makes it really tight to fit the top tube and downtube in there. The frame here has a 105mm head tube (4.2″ long) so the top tube and downtube touch making mitering and welding a PITA. A frame made for a rigid fork can be much shorter in the front so that this doesn’t happen.
The top tube is also very sloped on this bike, at least to what I’m used to…same reason, different effect from the same cause. But i do have fun with this fork. It’s got more offset than the normal Fox Float’s because it’s made specifically for Trek/Fisher’s G2 geometry that have slacker head tube angles. The bike above has a 70 deg head tube angle and 79mm of trail. More than some would prefer but i really like it on the descents.
For the 2nd “real” ride on trail with a mix of tight rocky and smooth singletrack, 4WD roads, and dirt roads…i really like how it turned out! It climbs much better than my 69er, but the trade off is that it doesn’t corner as well (carve), and it doesn’t have that whippy feel where you can pick up your front wheel and place it anywhere. Wheelies and wheel-drops are more difficult but that is pretty standard for the difference between a 29er and 26er. I can’t imagine getting the chainstays any shorter than they are on this bike without bending the seat tube or doing other very labor intensive things…but others do it successfully! These are 17.5″ long and the front derailleur is already very close to the tire.