Yup, that is 29er. Yup, that is me (Seb Kemp) riding one. Yup, I fecking love that bike. No, I never thought I would ever type those words.
So at the moment I'm in Whistler helping the boys from Bike Magazine test a whole heap of 2010 bikes. As they have to reflect the current consumer demand, and Americans seem to love their wagon wheels, they have a whole bunch of silly wheeled bikes to test.
I'm not previously a fan of bikes that suffer from gigantism (check out this list of pertinent reasons) and if I have to be totally honest I've also never been a super fan of the VPP or SCB, so when I pulled this bike out of its box I wasn't super excited about it, but this bike is one of the greatest bikes I've ever ridden.
I'm not gonna turn this into an advert for 29ers...in fact I still stand by my previous stance that they are for a) losers, weirdos and saddos looking for something that is just different b) fast racers who have no skills c) old dudes who never had it, or ever got it d) every other 29er bike is built with hobby horse geometry.
However, I will say the work and time SCB spent ironing out a bike they never really wanted to make was time and money well spent. It climbs like I'm on steroids, descends as fast as I can make it, and leaves anyone who rides it with a huge s**t eating grin on their face. The geometry is a work of art. It's like sitting BETWEEN (not on) two geological gyroscopes that gorge upon the ground. It wont replace my current All-Marketing bike for really rugged riding but if I had more than tuppence to rub together I would buy one in a heartbeat and would probably ride it at least three or four times a week.
For a full review look out for a special issue of Bike Mag or track me down and let me gush about it for hours, if you can find which mental home I've been admitted to...