It’s a monster. You go way faster than I can handle just now on quasi-tech XC trails and to confidentally carry the kind of speed that I can envision - and ocassionally reach - is going to take a lot of sack and a few dozen rides. While we’re only going 50% faster (at the most) than in 1:1 mode, it feels like three times the speed and is scary on rocks and shale. Right now my control at speeds above 10 MPH is pretty shaky. As mentioned elsewhere, it feels like a totally different sport and makes XC trails (normally pure drudgery on a regular Muni) a huge adventure.
More later, but this opens up a whole new range of riding and one hell of an exciting new technique (bombing XC trails in geared mode). Exactly what kind of terain one can handle in geared mode is still a big question mark to us.
I read John’s post over a couple times, and nowhere does he say it’s “harder”. Maybe you thought that was the implication, but I was there with him (and Don who also has one) and I think he’s just saying it will take some getting used to, just like anything new and different.
In geared mode, stability comes from carrying some speed, and the lowest geared speed is above what you normally go in 1:1 mode. Once you start winding the thing up you have to let the wheel roll, much as you do on a
36er, and at first this feels sketchy and totally different than regular Muni riding. Once you start leaning into it and really winding it up the Muni is far less responsive to pressure on the pedals - feels sort of like downhill skiing, where you gotta just go with the flow and the speed. It’s also more strenuous because you’re pushing against a gear, and I’m not in shape after a four month injury layoff. As I round back into shape I expect to get more adept at carrying the speed. Firetrails and groomed tracks are no problem at 10 or even 12 MPH, but bumpy and twisting single tracks are going to take some major learning and many rides to get over feeling like I am barely hanging on.
That’s super-cool that you’ve been enjoying the new hub. I want to get another one for a KH 24. I really enjoy doing muni, and sometimes the coker is just too difficult to get down the trails, or up the steep hills.
Maybe after our team wins RTL I’ll use the prize money to get one.
John’s description is spot on. I rode 2 different fire roads downhill over the past week with my KH29 geared up, and it’s intensely fun.
The first one was moderately steep–enough that I used my brake some. Everything was going well until I hit a patch of washboard bumps caused by water drainage across the trail. I tried to bail off the back as I’ve successfully done so many times with my ungeared 36er, skidding to a stop on my feet. But the speed was too much, so I ended up tucking and rolling instead.
The second was pretty gentile but about 5 miles long, mostly down with a couple short climbs, and I was chasing my wife on a 2x1 singlespeed mountain bike. The only sketchy part was one of the patches of mud that caused my wheel to slide sideways. Toward the end of the run, I actually started feeling pretty comfortable in the high gear. Super fun!