Lots of good info and I agree with almost everything that’s been suggested, especially from Finnspin.
Although I have never ridden a 32", I mostly ride my KH29+ and my 36" off road.
As Canoeheadted stated, the 29" with a plus tire comes pretty close to a 32" (mine is about 30.5" with the DHR 29x3" and 31" with the Crus 29x3.25").
As Finn stated, the primary thing to consider is the tire selection: for 29+ you have a LOT of great tires to choose from (although some are pretty pricey at $50-125). Presently on the 32 the selection is limited and the market is small.
On the other hand, I really love riding my 36" for XC and the Nightrider 36x2.25" tire works amazingly well off road but it is not a downhill machine.
So I would strongly consider the 29+. If the limited tire selection is ok, then the 32" should also be a great choice. The more extreme downhill you want to do, the more the 29 would be a better choice, both as there are better tires and as it’s more wieldly on the steeps. (I love my 29+ for true Downhill).
Go ride with Ben and try some different stuff out!
While the Schlumpf is an incredible piece of machinery and opens up some new dimensions, be aware that this is a whole different animal!!
Be aware that riding a Schlumpf off road requires a much much much higher skill and fitness level.
I bought a Schlumpf a few months ago with the goal of riding high-speed downhill in bike parks as I ride a lot of 29+ and 36" off road. While it has been fun, it is more challenging than I expected and incredibly physically taxing! Also, the added weight is a major disadvantage for muni and downhill. You mentioned jumping and hucking and the Schlumpf is totally the wrong choice for that.
Even though we’ve never met, seems like we have been on the same page for quite a while now (I bought my KH29+ the same time as you yours and we both love them).
So what tire will you be riding on your 36? As I mentioned above I continue to be amazed how great the Nightrider Lite is off-road even though it’s obvious that in major mud there are no knobs.
I’ve considered the VeeTire 32x2.25" tire but decided it wouldn’t bring so many advantages (slightly narrower and seems to be less volume than the Nightrider) and would be way worse on the road and at present I don’t want to have a second wheelset or switch tires frequently, and the Nightrider is perfect for the road and pretty darn good off-road.
I don’t ride my 36" on true downhills (I use the 29+ for that), but for my local muni rides I almost always choose my 36 over the 29" unless I absolutely need the extra traction for mud or snow.
So enjoy the 36" on the trails! The 36" is totally a blast and the added momentum really adds a new dimension to rides (banks and berms a awesome!) as well as down-up trail sections where you can maintain speed. After you get a little experince, I recommend trying 125-130mm cranks, as just so much fun.
I’m definitely leaning towards a 29. When you say 29+ that’s in reference to the larger tires? The KH29 with dual hole 150/127 cranks might just be the ticket.
The schlumpf is about 3lbs right and a normal hub around 1lb, so you’re gaining 2lbs of weight? That does seem a bit much. I loved riding the 36, and I always imagined I’d eventually upgrade to a lighter weight disc brake version. So that might still be in my future.
From my experience if you have some skills and determination, then learing to shift and mount in high gear is not so significant and mostly just a matter of practice.
But learing to deal with the play in high gear is a major gamechanger. My local 3 hour off-road ride on my 36 with 125mm cranks is “normal” for me, with 36/100mm cranks the same tour is then more strenuous but kind of like adding 10% effort both on muscles and cardio (i.e. I hardly relax at all in the 3 hours b/c of the short cranks). But riding the G29 in high gear with 137mm cranks totally kills me even after 2 hours!! I get so tired that I can’t even mount any more in high gear (although I could easily at the beginning of the tour). With lots of training I think I could adapt, but I think it is lots and lots of training…
If you mount in low gear, then shift up, then ride, then shift down, then dismount…then you are committing yourself to learning how to shift. The ability to mount in high gear, IMHO, is not a necessary requirement for Schlumpf ownership.
MUCFreerider, too funny about the same page. I’ve thought the same.
I’ll be keeping the standard Nightrider on there.
It’s such a treat to ride that I don’t even really notice the heavy tire and it is quite grippy.
If something ever came out that had a little more aggressive tread then maybe I might splurge on that.
For cranks I’m a 127mm fan for both my wheels. !50mm just feels too clunky for anything other than sustained super steep climbing.
I’m debating bringing my cranks to a local machinist to add a third set of holes to my Spirits.
I think I’d shoot for 100mm but 110mm might fit the bill too.
Setonix… If you won’t sell it then just lend me your Hachet.
Hear me out.
I’ll provide her with a great home to stay at.
She’ll have my full attention through the winter.
You can come visit her anytime.
Her name would be “Molly” while she’s here.
…and I’ll buy her plane ticket.
i have a hatchet and love it too bits, i have it on quax 170 cranks which bend out so the pedals are slightly wider and have not hit my leg on the tyre even once.im tall and weight 100kg and i find it solid and planted,im not the greatest of riders and new to riding off road but just love being on it.i have a nimbus muni 26 which is on a maxxis hookworm which i should swap over to a knobbly so i have something to compare it to really but im sold on my hatchet and well pleased i built one.
I think my hatchet is afraid of flying. I will let Molly have her winter sleep in the shed, at least until it starts snowing. It has been 12º Celsius here in December, one of the hottest Decembers in NL, but hopefully there will be a few days snow in the coming months.
What tire size did you go with on your hatchet? I’m 6’ 150lbs, I’d love to try one of those fat tires one day.
I’m leaning towards the KH29, and if I end up needing a fat tire muni one day, transition the KH29 to a guni and have something like the hatchet. 2 uni’s is still better than 1 mountain bike even if I’m trying to be more minimalist lol. That guni might make up for my lack of a 36er for longer flat stuff too. Just some thoughts. Not making any purchases yet. I’m swamped at work for the next 3 weeks at least while we’re on a full quarantine in our kennels, 60 hours, sleeping here, no muni with me.
If you’re wanting to be minimalist, then one KH frame with 2 wheelsets is a pretty good combo. I have exactly that: the KH29 with a fixed wheelset and a second Schlumpf wheelset. Even though I have the older 3rd generation Schlumpf (not guranteed for disc brakes), I can switch out my wheel one-to-one without even adjusting the brakes (could change as the ISIS crank may creep with use on the Schlumpf). Today I switched the cranks (127/150 from fixed to Schlumpf and 117/137 from Schlumpf to fixed) and also brake pad fit perfect. For comparision, switching out the wheel is faster and easier than switching a tire, and only requires loosening 4 bolts, pulling the wheel and tightening back up.
In speed the 29 with the Schlumpf is similar to a 36, but is of course rides and handles different as the momentum of the 36 wheel makes it more stable, but the 29 is more maneuverable, but in general comparable.
Picked up a new KH29 and couldn’t be happier. That tire rolls like a dream. I had a little trouble dialing in the tire pressure (I’m not used to high volume tires) but once I got it and chopped down the seatpost enough so I don’t get bucked on hard terrain, man… it’s a beast. I’m flying up berms and steep jumps like it’s nothing. When I get really comfortable I will switch it to the 125mm holes and see how that goes, loving the speed but if I can go even faster… haha. I forgot how garbage my goofy foot hops are so that needs some work, but I’ve got plenty of places to practice. Here at work it’s like a muni playground.
I wasn’t too sure about these stock pedals, I seemed to lose traction a lot but I think it was more my seatpost length than anything. I could always replace the pins with set screws and get some more bite, I always rode with some big platform DMR vault pedals that are insanely grippy so it might just be something new to learn.
Thanks everyone for all the help and advice. Glad to be back riding and enjoying every second of it.