KH29 or Oregon


I used to have a KH29 some time ago and it was very fun but harder in technical terrain. I sold it when I had a geared KH26 built which was much more fun and versatile than the 29er. It still is my main uni for pretty much everything that involves mountains.

I also have an Oregon now and it is a very different beast that can be a lot of fun too. The tire and the disc brake can be awesome in snowy or muddy conditions and it eats up everything you throw at it. Getting the tire turned quickly can be pretty hard, though. The frame looks great but since my first one broke I am still a little skeptical about the overall strength.

It’s hard to recommend one over the other, I think they all have their place. Sometimes I think I should have kept the KH29. It was very nice as well…

But the geared KH26 is definitely my favorite ride and gets used more than the Oregon. So that’s what I’d suggest if you hadn’t mentioned you want to stay under a grand.
Getting the KH29 with a disc brake and an extra 26" wheel might be your best option when going ungeared.

I have a Stout. It’s an okay tire. I like the grip, but the side walls are pretty weak. It’s too easy to squish at the pressure I like for muni. You’re heavier than me, and you hop a lot, so I bet it would suck for you. You would probably want a downhill tire like a WTB Dissent.

I think you get used to riding what you ride, so any time you change wheel sizes there will be an adjustment period. Most of the people I ride with are on 29ers because it is a faster rolling wheel and it tends to be more comfortable.

Honestly, the Oregon is a specialty muni, few people would consider it an every day rider and fewer yet would use it for riding any sort of long distance. Though my son did a long ride in Colorado with Aspen Mike last summer; it just about killed him :roll_eyes:

KH 26 -

There were two frames made, on can take up to an Ardent 2.6", the other can take up to a Duro 3". The only way to know which one you’re buying is to measure the frame. I don’t know the specifics dimensions, maybe UDC could tell you… Otherwise all KH 26 are similar.

KH 29 -

The frame you want is the newest style, redesigned (2009?), you can tell this frame by the crown design. The improve frame crown has a continuous seat tube with two cross pieces welded to to the seat tube on either side.

The rim you want is the newer KH Free Ride, it is 47mm wide vs the older and narrower XC rim which is 42mm. The wider rim spreads the tire out more.

In terms of tires, the Dissent is probably the heaviest duty 29er tire made, but there is a big weight penalty (1500gm). A lighter tire like the Ardent (850gm) would probably be a fine choice even if you’re heavy than me; I’m 200# and run 16psi with an Ardent. More than likely, the tire that comes with the muni will be a throw away unless you get lucky. The Stout is an older style of tire, you can do better, I gave mine away; weak casing, low volume, heavy.

Here’s the deal breaker: It sounds like you are looking for a good deal on this muni, but the only good deals will be from resellers and they will likely be older munis with the weaker frames and the narrower rim, so your best bet is to buy from some one like UDC. If you choose to buy from UDC, then you can customize, and this is where it gets good: in the next month or so, UDC is getting in a new Nimbis disc hub that will work with the KH 29. You would need a custom wheel build and the D Brake adaptor, but they could help you out.

This set up would allow you to run any sized wheel up to the 29er Dissent, including fatter tires likes the 26 x 3" Duro; if you bought a second 26 " wheel set.

I ride my 29er most of the time, it’s the muni that stays in my car, it’s the muni that’s traveling with me to Oregon next week, it’s my baby :smiley:

I had read that the Stout is probably better suited for a lighter rider. I will get UDC on the phone Monday and see if I can make an order.

FWIW, this frame is shown on UDC UK as ‘Extra Clearance’, though it doesn’t specify in the description what that really means. On KH dot com, different clearances aren’t distinguished, with the max tyre width stated as 3" for the 26.

Do we think the KH29 frame will take a 26x3? Back on KH dot com, the max width is stated as 2.6", but that’s presumably for a 29" wheel, so maybe it’s the height that’s the limiter there, not the width.

I’m certainly going to build a 26er on the new Nimbus hub when it’s available, and the idea of doing it in a 29er frame and adding a 29 wheel later had occurred to me. If I knew the KH29 would take a 26x3 I’ll definitely be doing that. If not, I’ll either go for the 26 with extra clearance, because I want the 26x3 initially, or simply buy an Oracle. I’ll still build a 29er later, it’ll just cost a bit more to add the frame as well…

My KH 29 and 26 frams are the same width, ~85mm, I supposedly have the extra clearance 26" frame, but the biggest tire I have run is the Ardent 2.6. The 29" crown is taller than the 26".

I just measured my KH 26 frame and the crown is ~75 mm from the rim, I’m pretty sure the Duro 3" is at most 65mm tall, so 10mm clearance or more remaining, which should be fine for a Duro 3", though a Gazz 3" would not clear.

Josh at UDC would know.

I actually had a 26x3" Gazzaloddi in my KH26 frame for a while. It had very little clearance like 2mm or so but it did actually fit. I’m not sure if it was new, though, so maybe a brand new one wouldn’t fit. But in my opinion 2.4" can be enough even for extreme tech things. Saves a lot of weight too.

Interesting - I started with a KH29, then put a geared 26 wheel in it, and now I’m going back to the 29. A main reason was I couldn’t really ride with my kids with the geared wheel (torture to stay in low gear). But I’m also looking forward to the simplicity and lighter weight of the 29 wheel. Guess that just shows they’re all good!

Just got back from riding my 29e, back on longer cranks (150’s) for the first time in a couple months, felt akward for a feew minutes, then bamn it was like an old flame :smiley:

I like shorter cranks, but there’s nothing like a bit of torque to hely bang out a hill and it does help when riding over rough areas to prevent those “little bobbles” that can be so annoying.

My current mindset is to stay with the same crank length on all my munis, then I can simply pick the wheel/tire that matches my needs for the day and there’s no wierdness from having to adjust to a different ride feel.

Does anyone had a 26 x3"Duro handy for a measurement? How about measureing from the center of the spindle (axle) to the highest point on the tread, then widest point on the tread.

Got my KH29. It rides fine, not a big deal at all. I got it from the discount people who bought this and several more from UDC. It even has thier sticker on it inside the fork and the original packing slip from UDC. Long story short I saved $140 completly satisfied and can ride it fine.

Sounds great, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Hey, uniShark took the words right out of my mouth.:slight_smile:


Well, I think I’m ready for the Oregon. The KH 29 is fairly easy to ride now. I still enjoy short runs and seeing how large of obstacles I can ride over. It sounds like the Oregon is built for the type of rides I do.

I did get a Hans Dampf and Big Apple for the 29 and tried street some, but like really rough terrain. I am still terrible at distance and my hopping is not so great either. I just like plowing over stuff now.

Any comments or suggestions welcome.

BTW, the Hans is a much better tire for me…that Stout had too weak sidewalls.

A recent picture


I’ve been riding the Oregon all year as my everyday muni. My local trails are very rooty and the Oregan makes riding so much smoother and allows me to ride much longer.

I was thinking about selling it and getting a KH29 mostly because of the lighter weight. So last week I got together with the other local rider who has a KH29 and we swapped back and forth. I immeadiately noticed how light, nimble and responsive the KH was compared to the Oregon. It felt fast but also was not as comfortable of a ride and it felt a bit twitchy probably only because I was used to the fat Larry tire.

My friend who had never ridden the Oregon loved its comfortable, stable and smooth ride, he was sold pretty quick and I think has decided to order one. He liked the roundness of the Larry and how it cornered. He said he didn’t notice much of a weight difference like I did.

When I got back on the Oregon it was so much more comfortable and rode like a Caddilac. I think the wider hub makes a difference as well. I’m glad I tried both and I decided to just stick with the Oregon in stock form. If I did anything it would be to build another wheelset with a Surly Knard, geared while I’m dreaming:D.

I don’t consider the Oregon a specialty or a novelty, like Ben said you get used to whatever you ride. Having a lighter uni would be great but I’m sticking with what I’ve got. For me the Oregon is great for my rooty trails and especially living at the beach being able to do beach rides! :sunglasses:

But, all that said…If I had it to do all over right now I would get a KH29 with a Knard.

The Oregon is my only muni, unless you count my 36er/32er. I have two wheels for my Oregon, the original LM XC 26" x 65mm wide, mounted with an Ardent 2.4 during the dry season and a Larry 3.8 during the wet season. My daily driver wheel is a Nimbus Dominator 2 29" x 42mm mounted with a Hans Dampf 2.35

I can change wheels in a couple minutes (four bolts), so if I decide to do some mixed riding I bring two wheels and the Oregon, swap them in between rides.

Both wheels are set up with the same cranks (165/137) and rotors (200mm Shimano), so I don’t have to adjust anything when I swap wheels.

I’m waiting on the Surly Knard 29 x 3 which I hope will become my standard 29er tire, though I can’t realy fault the Hans Dampf, so the Knard will have to be some tire :slight_smile:

I’m thinking about building a custom wheel using the Velocity P35 rim, but I’m waiting on a 32 hole hub, hint, hint.

There are some great fat tire products coming down the pipeline including lighter rims, lighter tires, and some new tire designs. If you have an Oregon, then all fat tire products will fit, including the Knard. If you don’t have an Oregon, well, that’s too bad for you :stuck_out_tongue:

I have now been riding the Oregon for well over a year, no frame issues, no hub issues, no brake issues. Great product, thanks to UDC and Josh for making it happen!

The Oregon is a great uni. The KH 29 is a great uni too. The 2 wheels to be swapped is a good idea.

Brickman, noting your “terrible at distance and my hopping is not so great either.” comment brings up some points that haven’t fully been addressed in this thread.

The 26 x 3.8 setup is heavy and grips well- almost too well at times. It takes a lot of horsepower to push compared to the KH 29. I know the 29 Dissent has been trashed for pulling on off camber situations, but a 26 x 3.8 is far worse. I’ve run both the Larry and the Nate. They both have a mind of their own with the Nate being worse (it’s only the 27tpi version, but it’s not apples to oranges different, more a variety of apples different). I’ve ridden both the 29 x heavy setup and the 26 x 3.8 setup on the same course and found that the 26 x 3.8 does plow through things a bit more, but it has a tendency to track straight. Sometimes straight is not the direction you want to be going. I have even gone to longer cranks (160s) on the 26 setup vs any other wheel size. I run 150s on 24 x 3.0, 26 x 2.5, and 29 x 2.5.

That being said, the 26 x 3.8 setup is a lot of fun. I’ve found it to be slower than the 29 setup, but I’m trying to push the pace and catch bikes. If you’re looking to have a good time, both wheel sizes are a blast. I’ve found that the 29er tire selection is critical in bridging the gap between XC and all mountain riding. I too await the release of the Knard. One thing to keep in mind is that due to the outer diameter increase, it’s most likely going to be harder to push than the Hans Dampf even though it’s projected to be a good weight.

+1, if you are working to make a 29er go, then the Larry is gonna be an arse kicker cuz it is heavy, bulky, and not agile in the least. The fat tires do plow over things and smooth out the ride, but they also go straight, whether you want to or not :roll_eyes:

I only run the Larry for snow, super muddy conditions, and for grins. My son likes it, when he rides it’s his fav, but then he’s seventeen and full of it. I’m looking to lighten up my 26" fat tire by getting a lighter rim and tire this next year, but even dropping 500gm will not change the nature of a fat tire.

As to the Knard, yeah, it may not be as nimble as my HD, it has some big shoes to fill for sure.

Just for perspective, I have not ridden my Larry since Spring Break in Oregon where I rode really wet muddy terrain for a week. Whereas I ride the Hans Dampf every week, mud, water, rock, dirt, whatever. So for me, the Oregon allows more variety of wheel/tire combos without having to worry about clearance issues, all on a solid platform with disc brake.

Hello! I just thought I’d chime in as my Oregon is arriving tomorrow! And I am majorly excited. I have yet to see any UK people report purchasing one - I intend on making some kind of review :)… It’s been interesting following all the debates and pros and cons regarding the KH 29 or Oregon. I’ve been swinging back and forth between this two wheels… Finally settling on the US State of Oregon.

Thanks for all the info people have put forward as you all have helped me make this - life changing - decision.

Roll on tomorrow!