I was always surprised how, after riding my 24x3 muni for months, when I went out on the 29-er, climbing hills seemed easier.
I would have thought the opposite would be true as the munis smaller wheel should give a leverage advantage.
- nimbus muni, 24x3 with Halo Contra 3" tyre and 150mm cranks
- nimbus 29-er, with Kenda Klaw 29x2.1 tyre and 150mm cranks
Recently I upgraded to a KH 29-er-
- KH29, with WTB Stout 29x2.3 tyre and 150/125 dual cranks set to 150mm
Having previously tried a Big Apple tyre on the nimbus and found it dreadful in terms of road crown and, expecting to have to endure a period of acclimatisation with the new WTB tyre, I was pleasently surprised that it rode well straight out of the box- very stable and solid with no having to mess about altering tyre pressure etc.
Maybe the aluminium frame and more solid hub (my previous nimbus 29 is very old, with very narrow uneyletted rim) contributed to the impressive ride, but, certainly, the tyre worked very well.
However, after a few rides I started to notice that hill climbing was really taking it out of me, especially the final hills at the end of a ride- sometimes I
was having to dismount and walk a bit, which rarely happened on the 24x3 or my old 29-er.
I started to suspect that it must be the heavier tyre- especially on steep hills where the effort of overcoming the rotational mass on each push of the cranks seems to take it’s toll.
So, a couple of days ago I switched the smalle Kenda Klaw onto the KH29- the couple of rides I’ve had seem to bear it out as hill climbing seems much easier.
The ride on flats seems a little less stable and more ‘twitchy’, but not massively so and, I suspect, will improve over a few rides as I get used to the tyre.
Any other 29-er riders prefer smaller tyres? If so, how small do you go?
(Years back I did try a normal, narrow, 700c bike tyre on the 29-er and, though it made the unicycle appealingly light, riding on it was not good and I found myself being thrown off by going over small pebbles etc).
Also, is it fair to assume that, if a hill causes problems with a 29-er with a WTB Stout type tyre, that a Coker, with it’s more massive tyre, will be difficult to ride up?