Twenty Nine Inches has learned that the rumored XXIX+G “blinged out” spec model is to become a reality. We have been hearing of the pssibility of such a model being produced for almost a year now. The name we heard was the “Super Deluxe”, or “XXIX+G Deluxe”. The model will be based on Raleigh’s other 29″er hardtail models in terms of geometry. The bike is said to be spec’ed with a “bling” spec, including Mavic Cr29max wheels, X-0 componentry, and a frame made with Reynolds 853 pipes.

We are hearing that there will only be a very limited number of these rigs made, so stay tuned for further updates.

As far as the remaining models of 29″ers in Raleigh’s line up, we’re hearing that the XXIX+G will be back relatively unchanged, (perhaps some spec changes and color differences). The XXIX single speed will be changed significantly.

The XXIX has always been offered with the shorter axle to crown rigid steel fork as opposed to what other companies have been doing with their rigid fork 29″ers. Raleigh’s axle to crown measurement on the XXIX has been approximately 440mm versus others 465-470mm axle to crown forks. Now Raleigh plans to change the fork on the XXIX to reflect what other companies offer on their rigid fork 29″ers. As far as we are aware, no other geometry changes are in store for the XXIX.

Our take at Twenty Nine Inches on this development (if true) is mixed. We welcome a longer legged fork on the XXIX since in our experience, the previous short, beefy CroMoly legs on the XXIX fork were a bit too brutal. On the other hand we are wondering if the front end handling will be “helped” by including a longer offset on the new longer legged fork. One of the joys we experienced with the XXIX in ’07 was the snappy handling that the shorter axle to crown measurement, and resulting steeper head angle, imparted.

As far as the new “Deluxe” model, we are very curious about it. It promises to be a very nice steel frame, and well spec’ed. If it is as nice as it is rumored to be, we will not be surprised to see a price tag well north of 2G for such a rig. Especially considering the uptick in prices coming in 2009.

Stay tuned for more as we recieve word.