For the last two weeks I have decided to ride the KH29 2005 with 150 cranks on our weekly mUni rides instead of the KH24. For the past two weeks we rode in the Ben-Shemen woods. There are some techinical singles there but it is more flowy than my usual riding ground. Here are my impresions.
I would not do drops of more than 40 cms on it. I only weigh 62kg but I feel the potential for snakebites on drops over 30-40cms.
Forget about pecking up technical sections. I really miss this!
The momentum for rolling over stuff is great! So much fun!
The speed is awesome!
Watch out for the tire forlding over.
The Kenda Klaw needs higher air pressure so the bumps are felt more.
All in all it is fun taking it out and a reall change of pace. The riding style is quite different to the KH24 and it is almost like learning something new. I would not use it on more advanced trails but technical stuff can surely be dome on it!
I rode mine for three hours yesterday, gotta love the lightweight and rollover. I’m running the RR 2.4, so I hear ya about that tire fold, esp on side hills. I was running 16-17psi, bumped to 18-19psi and the foldover improved without making the ride too harsh.
The KH 29 is my XC machine, double track and mild SS, saving the Surly 26er for muni and rougher conditions; mud and crud
Cross Country Vs Technical
Up till now I only used my KH29 for road riding and cross country on 4X4 roads. Never on technical singles with drops and obstacles. I must say that it handles the obstacles really well. I have the tire filled with about 30 PSI in order to reduce forldover. It makes for a less cushy ride though. Also the volume is so small that it can still snakebite the innertube when doing midsize (over 30 to 40cm.) drops.
move to a bigger tire, I moved from Kenda 2.1" to WTB Stout 2.3" (30 PSI) and it’s so good as I can use lower pressure !!! Now I just got a large KH rim 47mm instead of 38, the same WTB take bigger volume on the new rim, just need to ride and love it
Designed for more than easy XC
I have moved to the same set-up as Bouin-bouin and enjoyed my KH29 a lot more since then.
The biggest difference was when I moved from the 38mm to the 47mm rim. With the thin rim, I did not use to do anything very technical with it as it felt fragile and unstable. With the 47mm, a different story really.
It has to be steep with “large” drops (>1m) before I consider using my 24" instead of my 29" now (no 26" unfortunately!). Quite happy doing drops up to 1m with the 29", and not had any flat yet as a result of a drop. Anything beyond that starts scaring me - even on a 24"… I think steepness is more of a differentiator for me to decide wether to take the 24 or the 29 (unless it is smooth, then the brake cancels the steepness out).
Another advantage of the 29" is pedal clearance. Where I ride, there are plenty of rocks of all shapes and narrow trails. The 24" is a bit of a pain as my pedals hit the rocks quite often.
I agree about the steepness, I switch to the 26er if it gets steep and nasty. Pedal strike is nothing on a 29er, esp compared to a 24".
If you want the muni feel, get that wider KH rim and a fatty tire. I’ve done a bunch of tire testing and posted my results on the review forum. My fav is the RR 2.4 with a Nokian 26" DH tube. I’m 200lbs and I can run 18psi and get a nice balance of feel and comfort without bottoming out. I do get some side hill folding, not terrrible, but if I went to 20psi it would go away; I like feel better
Sometimes it’s hard to choose which uni to take to the trails, so lately I bring both and decide when I get there.