Commencal Furious Freeride Mountain Bike Review – Crankworx Colorado 2008

September 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

One of my favorite things about mountain bike festivals is the opportunity to ride a variety of different bikes that I would normally only see in magazines. Enter Crankworx Colorado, 2008, Winter Park resort and the Commencal Furious. The nice gentlemen at the BTI booth had the entire Commencal lineup on hand for the shredding, thank you Preston and Mike. BTI, Bicycle Technologies International is a distributor based in Santa Fe New Mexico and they are the Commencal distributor here in the United States.

crankworx colorado commencal furious 300x225 Commencal Furious Freeride Mountain Bike Review – Crankworx Colorado 2008           Commencal, pronounced, Co-Men-Sal, is a mountain bike company born out of passion for the sport in the mountains of Andorra. Andorra is a mountainous region in southwestern Europe, located between Spain and France. The people of Andorra are reported to have the highest life expectancy of any other place in the world. This might have something to do with the seemingly endless recreational opportunities available there. Andorra is home to Commencal team rider and world champion mountain biker, Cedric Gracia. The Commencal Furious was designed with CG’s input to be his exclusive slopestyle and hucker bike. Having always been a fan of the rowdy Frenchman, this was the bike that I had to ride.  Read more

Big Wheel Revolution: The 29er

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

exotic 29er carbon fork 199x300 Big Wheel Revolution:  The 29erIn all reality the sport of Mountain Biking is still fairly young. After all the first bikes called mountain bikes were not out until around 20 years ago, and in the wide world of sports that makes this sport a bit of an upstart. However, this is actually a very good thing for mountain bikers. The reason is that because Mountain Biking is still such a young sport that people are still more than willing to experiment with different ideas in efforts to improve or change the sport. A great case in point is the emergence of the 29 inch wheel.

Up until recently almost everyone rode on the traditional 26 inch wheel. This makes a lot of sense when one takes a look at the geometry and physics behind bikes and riding. However people don’t use mountain bikes for just a ride down the road, mountain bikes are used by a large number of us for rough and tumble back country trials. This means that smaller wheels can slow a rider down and have more difficulty going over the large obstacles that are so often a part of the trails we enthusiasts ride.

Given the idea that we spend a lot of time on rough surfaces some people have brought around the idea of the 29 inch wheel. This process of changing out 26 inch wheels for 29 inch wheels is seriously gaining momentum and it is not beyond conception that not to long from now the 29 big wheel 300x300 Big Wheel Revolution:  The 29erinch wheel actually becomes more commonly used than the traditional 26 incher. While it is unlikely that the 26 inch wheel will go away entirely, the 29er or big wheel as some call it, is quickly becoming a staple to trails across the world.

Many people who first see the big 29er often ask the question of why? The nice thing about the big wheel revolution is that why is pretty easy to understand. Bigger wheels mean two things, increased speed and an easier time rolling over obstacles. This makes the bigger wheel ideal for both cross country and endurance riding where these factors are a huge consideration for most riders. However one problem does occur when you change wheel sizes.

Because the traditional size of the mountain bike wheel was 26 inches, most companies have designed their frames and forks for wheels of that size. This means that the geometry and physics of the bike are optimal when mounted on this size wheel. This governs things such as controlling the bike during turns, impact on the frame, and other things. When you mount a new size wheel on the frame you essentially change the physical basis the bike is designed on. This means that you have the potential of lack of control and frame damage among other things. Also some concern needs to be given to the rider themselves. While riding a bike that has only added three inches to the wheels may not seem a big deal, that is a large three inches.

In the end the big wheel revolution is happening as we speak, there is not really a lot that can stop it, nor should there be. While there are some tweaks that will need to be made over time for the 29er to officially become the wheel of choice, those tweaks are few and soon frames and other special items designed for 29 inch riders will start flooding the market place as this revolution continues to happen.