When I started looking into getting a 29er, I heard from people "so-so has a 29", you can e-mail him or check out his blog". After going back through months of archived blogs just to find 2 or 3 lines that said basically "got my 29 and it feels great", I decided I would put a little more detail into my blogs.
I knew I wanted to upgrade my bike, not so much to a 29" but the v-brakes I had weren't slowing down my "massive" body quick enough. With the cost of upgrading to disc at least half of what my bike originally cost, I knew a new ride was needed. One of my favorite sites, MTBR.com has a whole forum dedicated to 29" bikes. Reading through there had me convinced that a 29 would be better for me considering my height.
Trying to find one to test ride local was kinda hard, lots of 29ers, not many in a xl frame. I finally hooked up with Fattirewilly from Charlottsville, VA. Thanks again Will. I just wanted to make sure that the 29 didn't feel totally off to me. I've heard some people ride them and totally hate them. It did feel odd, but it was something I could get used to. Ordered the new Gary Fisher Paragon in early January.
It came in earlier than expected, of course the weather couldn't be worse for riding. Fresh snow on the ground with temps above freezing to make for sloppy conditions.
My initial impression riding around the yard. "What did I do, this thing feels like crap". I thought if I bobbed my head I was gonna endo, and my knees felt like they were going to bounce off of my chest on the upstroke. A stem change (from the factory 7 degree to my old 25) and numerous saddle height adjustments later, it felt good. It felt real good. With the higher end components this thing was actually lighter than my old Trek. Despite the large tires, popping the front up is a breeze.
I'll will post an initial trail report after I get her on some dirt. Next weekends looking more promising weather wise.