I was the guy who was going to ride a 29er for life. I loved the fast rolling, big wheeled, big rollover capability they provide. I had been going on almost 10 years and three 29” bikes to this point. I was sure 29ers were just as nimble, just as fun, and there was nothing you could do to convince me otherwise. After all, it’s the pilot and not the plane, right? The old trusty 29er was getting tired and maybe a little outdated technology speaking. It was time to start looking at buying a new ride. Granted, I’m not the guy who buys a new bike every year or two but every four to five isn’t unreasonable.
I started shopping around for new bikes. At first I was looking at another new 29er exclusively. In the last few years, I have consistently been riding bigger, steeper, faster, tighter lines with ‘the boys’. Sure, these guys were younger, more brazen, and less breakable than me but I had always relied on my years of riding to keep me near the front of the pack and upright. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum as they say. During the months long process of looking at new bikes, I fortunately/unfortunately took some big falls on some steeper terrain. A few broken helmets later, my unshakable beliefs and ideas started to come into question.
Which leads me to where I stand today J
I had the chance to throw a leg over a few 27.5” bikes as well as test ride a Santa Cruz Bronson. As much as I wanted to believe I could hang and go just as hard as anyone else on the old wagon wheels, there was definitely something undeniable about the snappiness and lower center of gravity a 27.5” bike provided over a 29er. After long deliberations and some waffling, it was settled. The 29er guy for life was buying a 27.5” bike. I settled on the Santa Cruz Bronson in green. Throw in shorter chain stays, longer travel, slacker head angle, updated geometry, and some of latest and greatest suspension available and I was ready to get my Enduro on!
The team at Unreal treated me like gold and helped me get the bike built out exactly how I wanted it. They answered every question I had (and there were lots). Over the period of a few months since buying the bike, they helped me get it dialed in just right. Six months and endless rides later, I can easily say this bike does everything I need and is super fun to ride. I spend about as much time climbing as I do going downhill. So, any bike I would buy had to climb well. The little I may have sacrificed on the climbs with 27.5” wheels has been made up fivefold on the downhill. While my Bronson isn’t a 20 pound cross country rig or a monster DH sled, this bike really splits the difference well and lands right in that sweet spot.
I also have to say that the experience, technical knowledge, and personal touch you get with Unreal Cycles also lands right in the sweet spot!