Ride Report: Fullerton Loop, with a Special Guest Appearance!

MtnBikeRiders.com set up a last minute ride at the Fullerton Loop. Priscilla, Moe, I as well as our friend Anthony decided to get a quick ride in for Father’s Day Weekend. I normally send out a weekly ride invite and one fella said that he’ll try to make it. Well what do you know, the dude actually got up early enough and made it…Vince Rodarte of KHS Bicycles. That’s right, my weight loss nemesis and friend, was able to join our ride today. It’s not all too often he gets to come along, so this was a definite treat for us.

Shown in order, Ryan, Lance, Moe, Priscilla, Anthony and some random stranger on the right side.

Vince rode his old skool KHS Single Speed. This machine was actually the motivation for my Sette Reken single speed build project (right behind the KHS). What made today a unique ride was the fact that 3 of us, Vince, Moe and I, were all riding single. Another thing that made this day a bit more sweet was the amount of KHS Bikes we had on the ride. Moe had his Solo One, Anthony was riding the AM2000 that we built, Vince was on his KHS, and well…me, I had a KHS fork, that should count!

Here’s the Three Single Speeding Amigos…

We’re always trying to have fun when we ride. As always, I try to document our adventures…enjoy the video!

One 29er advantage

I’ve owned two 29er bikes and so far, I have not really bought the whole “29er inches is overall better” idea. However, I can say that there is one noticeable advantage on owning a hardtail 29er versus owning a hardtail 26er: comfort.

KHS Team Alite

I posted before that I’m pretty much new to riding a hardtail, I’ve ridden full suspension bikes most of the time.

Since my current Full Suspension bike weighs about 34lbs, I recently built a 23.5lb hardtail racing machine that would allow me to try to keep up with my friends. Riding this bike really made me miss my 6 inches of rear suspension.

KHS Solo One

I came across a deal that I couldn’t pass up on a KHS Solo One 29er, this bike is a singlespeed and it is fully rigid. I rode the bike 3 times with this setup, but my wrists and shoulders couldn’t take the pounding so I installed a modified (100mm instead of the 80mm) RockShox Reba Fork. After a couple of rides, I’ve noticed something… I didn’t miss my full suspension bike!!! Per the recommendation of Jeremy, I’ve been riding with the minimum tire pressure recommended. I can honestly say that the big wheels are super cushy and riding with this setup has been totally fun. I no longer worry about picking the ‘perfect’ line, and if there are ruts or bumps, the front suspension along with the 29er wheels really mute the shock to my body that I experience with my Alite. If you are a hardtail lover, I think that you will benefit from riding a 29er.

Quick Survey… 29ers at your LBS?

I recently went out to four nearby Local Bike Shops (LBS) to check out the 29er scene. I was particularly interested in what manufacturers the LBS carried and if the LBS carried 29ers from those manufacturers.

Specialized FSR 29

My realization? 29ers have definitely come a long way in a short period of time. Every shop I went to had at least one 29er on their sales floor. This probably would not have been the case just a year ago. The popularity of 29ers has caught the attention of many big name manufacturers and because of this many of them have added their own 29er for their lineup.

The first shop I visited is a high end bike shop. They carry smaller bike brands like Salsa & Felt. At this shop 29ers were very commonplace and the sales people were very familiar with 29ers. They consistently recommended them for mountain biking to many of their customers. I came away pretty stoked because the 29ers were holding their own at the shop.

The next shop I visited was significantly larger. It had a ton of bikes from different manufacturers and 29ers were still well represented there. The 29ers they had were by Redline and Specialized. Only a short year ago this shop wasn’t even carrying any 29ers. Why? Because they didn’t carry Redline bikes and Specialized was still dragging its feet in coming out with their 29ers. Now Specialized got on board and added a hard tail plus a full suspension 29er to their lineup. The shop, likewise, did the same to their sales floor. Redline had a strong showing here multiple Mono 9’s, Monocogs & Monocog Flights.

The 3rd shop on my list was a Trek/Gary Fisher dealer. I knew this bike shop would be filled with 29ers but I was surprised when I walked in and only a few 29ers were on their sales floor. I inquired about this and was told that their supply couldn’t keep up with the demand for 29ers and the 29ers were flying off the floor as soon as they were built!

Moe & his KHS Solo-One

The last bike shop I visited is a little shop that I’ve been frequenting off and on for the last few months. For mountain bikes they carry Santa Cruz, KHS, Cannondale and Trek. Although half of those manufacturers carry 29ers the LBS had only one 29er on the floor, a lonesome KHS Solo-One (not kidding… a “solo” “one”). I was a little bummed that this shop didn’t have more 29ers especially from KHS who has wholeheartedly supported the 29er movement with rigid, hardtail and recently full suspension 29ers. When I inquired as to why they stocked only one 29er the owner mentioned that he had not ridden a 29er yet. Ahhh… I get it now. In my opinion you really can’t realize the benefits of the 29er unless you’ve had some seat time. His reasoning for carrying the Solo-One is that if any of his customers were interested in trying a 29er the cost would not be prohibitive to get onto one. Valid point.

So, are 29ers coming around? In my neck of the woods I would have to answer with a resounding “yes?. All of the LBS’s I visited carried at least one 29er and many of them had 29ers from different manufacturers. For some of these LBS’s the 29ers were a strong part of their bottom line. Music to my ears!

What about for you? Have you started to see more 29ers out on the trails and in your LBS?

KHS Solo One First impression, CHSP Ride Report

The MtnBikeRiders.com Crew and friends taking in the vista.

Most of the MtnBikeRiders.com crew headed up to Chino Hills State Park for an early morning Saturday ride.

RL, Moe and Arnie (Officially being pimped)

We also had a few friends and Arnie, a loyal MtnBikeRiders.com reader ride along with us. CHSP is not my one of my favorite rides, the uphills are not really worth the downhills, but it is certainly nice to ride another trail other than the Loop.

Me, at Four Corners… Trying not to vomit.

RL was riding his singlespeed full suspension bike, so I had to take my newly acquired KHS Solo One to the ride. At the beginning, I wasn’t so sure if that was a wise choice, I’ve ridden that trail before and some of the uphills are ass kickers.

Jason and Melissa (Happy B-day!)

When RL mentioned that he felt he was faster riding a SS, I thought to myself, yeah right… Funny thing is, as we were riding up Telegraph, RL and I were at the front of the group.

The group resting up a bit.

Did I feel ‘faster’? Well, yeah, I did… Our thinking is that since we don’t have a granny gear to fall back, we have no choice but to grunt up some of the uphills.

At this point, I love riding singlespeed, it is the rigid part that I had a little issue with. The rigid fork does wonders for going uphill, it is going downhill that it really punishes your upper body, mainly your wrists and hands. I think RL and I did very well riding our Singlespeeds, we didn’t puke and we walked the bikes very few times. Heck, we dropped a couple of riders going uphill and they had 27 speeds!

The group riding uphill

Many thanks to all the riders: RL, Priscilla, Jeremy, Khoa, Melissa, Jason, Tim and Arnie. Mountain Biking is awesome, but riding with your buddies is the best!

29 inches, single and fully rigid

No, this is not the title of a porno or my singles ad… It’s my new steed!!

I’m always looking for something different and challenging, the KHS Solo One 29er seems to fit the bill. I will post my about my experience soon!