signsFor the last couple of years now, Guitar Ted and I would occasionally have this conversation regarding the future of and, in a bigger scope, 29″ers et al.  When 29er”s, once unique and new and exciting to a lot of people who found bigger wheels right up their alleys (and streets and trails and race courses all over the place), had become ‘just a mountain bike’, what then?  Would we as a website have a raison d’être?  Who would care anymore? Should we then become Or should we just shut of the lights and go home?

And in some ways we are there right now; that point in history where 29″ers are very common place.  If you looked at the frenetic pace in 2014 with most of the industry rushing towards all things 27.5″, you might conclude 29″ers have “jumped the shark” or, as one industry wag once said (who happens to love riding a RIP9 RDO, last we spoke), “29ers are dead…stick a fork in them”, or something like that.  Well Fonzie might have been a 29″er rider at heart…dunno…and the sharks may be circling as I write this, picking off the weak and poorly designed big wheeled bikes as well as the riders who bought the wrong bike for the wrong reasons…”Well, everyone else was buying them!”, but DEAD does not in any way describe 29″ers. I see them as a viable and exciting wheel size for the near, and likely, the far off future.

Consider the recent Enduro craze.  I think the format, as I understand it, is pretty cool, that being a course that demands an ‘all-round’ rider to take the checkered flag.  And in this new focus, which lends itself well to bigger travel bikes and a bit smaller wheel for packaging purposes, one would think that 29″ers are off the back.  But then we have something like the Specialized Enduro in the 29″ wheel size that continues to win over magazine editors, test monkeys, and average Joes all over the globe.  Look at the new variety of 29″ers that are slacker, shorter, and have less travel, like the Evil Bikes ‘The Following’…120mmR/130mmF, adjustable, well designed, and, if what I hear is true, amazingly fun to ride.  What 29″ers are really good at is doing more with less, and less travel can perk up a bike very nicely when it’s rolling on wagon wheels.

Is there a mad rush to 27.5″ racing hard tails?  I would be surprised to find out that is so and unless you are really short,  just climb smooth roads all day, OR your name rhymes with ‘Nino’, a carbon 29″er racing hard tail will be flat out amazing and will not beat you up or slow you down.

And we all know how well 29″ wheels work for the adventure/endurance set.  The king.

What I think we will see, and conversations with some industry folks seems to bear this out, is a slow swing back to refining 29er”s so they will do what they do best and have less of the drawbacks that they are known for.  As far as I know, the Santa Cruz Tall Boy was (and still may be) the best selling bike across that companies’ line of bikes, including all other models COMBINED.  Think Ibis is swimming in left-over Ripleys?  Not from what I hear.  The pendulum will always swing to the extreme ‘new thing’ as that is what drives the industry and frankly what makes sites like ours tic-toc.  But when the pendulum swings back to center, the 29″er will still be a big, tall, sweet spot for the majority of riders in a majority of conditions we actually ride in.  Not for every one, and not for everywhere, but the fat middle of the bell curve is 29″ tall and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

However, that said, the original question remains…”Where do WE, as in, go from here?”

Good question.

c_g and I are working all this out and likely you will see some new things on the site as the year progresses.  It is likely you will see some new wheel sizes, or at least tires sizes.  I am very excited about the new ‘+’ size movement.  Not only is 29+ a very interesting, if very niche, development, 27.5+ is going to be all over the place very soon and we will be happy to be a part of that.  The ability to run 29″ in a ‘normal’ tire size and 27+ in the wider tire size on the same bike has a ton of appeal and you will be seeing dedicated 27+ bikes as well.  This is going to be a big deal.  You can quote us.  Besides the Plus movement, will you see a full fat tire’d experience on the pages of  You can count on it.  And if granny gear decides to expand his cycling quiver with a gravel-adventure based bike, you just might hear about that too.  It’s a big world out there and we like riding on it.

All of us do not ride just to have more ‘stuff’ in our lives, although we at will continue to test and review products that come along so that the average Joe and Jill can make informed decisions on how to spend hard earned money.  You can count on more of the same in that regard…longer term evaluations and honest, open thoughts on what we like and do not like and why.  But really we ride because we love to ride; we love what it brings into our lives and the lives of others.  And we will be looking to bring a bit more adventure-based articles to the site.  I am more excited about that than any other thing, really.

We will be looking to add a new coat of paint to the site and push out some walls too to add some function and clarity to the reader’s experience. If there is anything you feel could benefit the site, feel free to drop us a note and we will check to see if it is technically possible to incorporate it.

I think that is about it, but stay tuned to this channel for 2015…you never know what may come along.

And if you have any suggestions, hit us with a comment or an email (in the Contact Us page).