Monday, July 21, 2008

When 29" isn't 29"...

It was reported yesterday on that Katie Compton was the first elite racer to win a national mountain bike title on a bike with 29" wheels. The next photo then described her wheels as 1.8" cyclocross tires. Even in the accompanying story, they couldn't be consistent in their description saying her bike "had brand-new 29-inch Edge aero wheels with 1.8 inch Dugast 'cross tires."

Okay, so what is it - a 29er or a 'cross bike? In my book, she might have ridden a frame designed to accept 29-inch wheels, but she wasn't riding 29-inch wheels. This may be splitting hairs, but a 1.8" tire is 45c (as noted in the photo of her wheels). An inflated 45c tire measures 710mm (according to my chart of wheel/tire diameters). The last time I checked, 710mm is the equivalent of 27.9-inches. Not even 28-inches and definitely not 29-inches. One of my main rides is a bike with 45c tires and no way I would consider it a 29er. It's a 'cross bike - or a monster cross bike as I like to call a 'cross bike that accepts 45c tires. What she rode to victory is a custom mountain bike designed for 700C x 45C tires. The article even states this bike mimics her cyclocross bike.

The article would have read much better if there was no mention of 29-inch and instead called it what it is - 700C. Katie Compton was the first elite racer to win a national mountain bike title on a bike with 700C wheels. But you read the article and decide for yourself.

(What's playing: Dolly Parton Jolene)


Jeff said...

That's People Magazine journalism. VN should know better.

Jeff said...

ps A lot of standard MTB frames that have disc mounts will accept 700c wheels - like the Mavic SpeedCity

blackmountaincycles said...

The diameter of a 700x23 wheel/tire is 670mm. The diameter of a 26" x 2.1 wheel/tire is 660mm (with no rider's weight compressing the tires). This makes it really easy to convert any (disc brake equipped) mountain bike to road duty. The simple wheel swap does not change any aspect of the bike's geometry.

mark said...

The bike is a 29er. Katie's framebuilder will easily fill you in on this detail.
If you know your 29er wheels you'll see a 29er is really a road rim diameter.
The rims Katie used are not 700c they are tubular rims which are most definitely not 700c. You should do your homework before you make a goofy statement.
WTB makes a 1.8 inch tire for 29ers so according to your logic this is not a 29er tire.
Would you be happier if she was riding 2.4inch tires instead to qualify as a 29er bike?

blackmountaincycles said...

Okay "mark." It appears you are a litle late to the party here, but it also appears you are somehow intimate with the bike and a little defensive about what I wrote. You should also really read what I wrote and you'll find out that I did write that "...frame designed to accept 29-inch wheels."

I also used words like "splitting hairs" and such. Yeah, okay, you got me with the tubular/700C thing, but when a 700C clincher rim fits in the same frame without brake adjustment as a tubular rim, I consider them the same "size." Splitting hairs.

Is a WTB 1.8 a 29er? I don't know. Do they market it as a 29x1.85 or do they market it as a 700x44? It WTB's book they don't call it a 29" tire.

And I don't care if she was riding on 1.8's or 2.4's. My beef wasn't with her, it was with how the story in VeloNews was written because even they couldn't be consistent between 29 and 700C - and yes, even they called it 700C).

So, maybe you also need to do your homework and actually read and understand before you make goofy comments.

Anonymous said...

WTB 29x 1.8

What a tool

blackmountaincycles said...

Boy, it sure is nice to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, "mark." Only took 6 days to find a reference to somewhere where a 44c Mutanoraptor was labeled as a 29" tires. Who cares? I still stand by by the fact that her tubular 45c tires aren't 29 inch.

And besides, why do you even care what I write? Really, what's your stake in whether it's a 29 inch or not? Your next "anonymous" post gets deleted.

Tool! That's classic.