My first ride on a 29er and iam elevated instantly it may only be 3 inches but it’s enough to make you feel you can just roll fast over whatever lies ahead. And it doesn’t disappoint it rolls , my particular ride was a commute to work along a cycle track with off road section well known to me and how fast I can achieve it on a 26 (er) . So this was a perfect test for me to see what all the fuss is about. Head down and I soon realise that the hill I just sat down all the way up is almost over and iam feeling good ,it does eat it up, I did loose traction a couple of times on the slippery stuff but this could be addressed with a more aggressive trail tyre. But on closer inspection I realised that there is minimal clearance between the rear tyre and the front mech,so if the maxxis ardent tyre was to be changed I think you would have to reduce the 2.25 size or I think you will have rubbing issues.that aside the sram x7 components all work well with the 10×2 set up being plenty to get you moving up hill or down, wide bars and a perfectly matched stem make for a comfy cockpit. Iam making good time and I spot a small track running beside the mundane track so I hit it at speed which is unusual for this part of the track, bumps and roots are eaten up by the larger wheels then iam faced with a fallen branch witch needs bunny hopping in my opinion I found it hard to lift the wheels off the ground to get airborne it’s alot of wheel to lift. I’ve made it to work and yes 10 minutes faster than my usual ride but I can’t decide if this is new toy enthusiasm or the bike alone. With capable suspension up front and good components this bike is certainly worth a ride ,if not only to satisfy your curiosity. The full sus version the bandit 29 would be a welcome ride softening up some of the bumps with 140mm rear suspension . Would I buy one? Iam not going to sit on the fence, I think so I could see myself enjoying fast rolling trail riding!
Thanks to Dartmoor cycles for the test ride.