Despite the many views purporting that 29″ers are not going to make a good down hill oriented rig, (And I have held that view myself), there are some who are willing to push the envelope of what is possible with the wagon wheels. Of course, it isn’t as easy as one might think. Frame design has to be very carefully engineered to keep the wheel base, bottom bracket, handle bar height, and chain stay lengths within reason. Not only that, but there needs to be components to match, such as tires, rims, and forks.
These things have kept most 29″er down hill rig dreams just that: Dreams. However; with the advent of longer travel 29″ers, the component manufacturers have started to address the needs of this sort of rig in a way that now makes a 29″er down hill rig even more feasible than ever before. That is not to say it hasn’t been done before. No, there are already 29 inch wheeled down hill rigs out. WaltWorks design comes to mind. However; a new design that is currently being tested is now probably the most promising design with big wheels yet. That is from the mind and hands of Devin Lenz and his LenzSport Bikes company. Check out this rig………
Here are some hard numbers on this proto:
* 175mm travel on both ends.
* 14.25″ BB height.
* 65.5* HTA.
* 17.25″ CS.
* 6 speed, 13-28 cassette.
* 38.5# as pictured.
So far the feedback has been very positive, but there are still some challenges ahead. If things get sorted on this front, it may well be the “final frontier” for 29″er bikes and will certainly be a surprise to those who for years said “it can’t be done”. Interesting times for big wheeled fans, to be sure!