After nearly 6 months of non-trail riding I got out on real dirt this weekend. I can't describe how good that was. 'Seriously good' will have to do for the moment.

In the course of a few days Calgary got enough warm weather to make the glaciers retreat and suddenly... there was the ground. That green and brown stuff that makes riding mountain bikes a whole lot easier.

12.5hrs of riding over the last 4 days and amazingly all of it was outdoors. No trainer! The best part being that 8.5hrs of that riding was on this:


My 2011 Lynskey Ridgeline-29 SL. That's right it's a 29'er, it's a hardtail and its running singlespeed. I should have done this years ago. Why?

- Insanely fun
- Quiet
- Lightweight
- Uncomplicated
- Responsive
- Smooth
- Inherent shock absorption

Yesterday I was carving some dirt trail berms, twists and turns, and shaking my head from the impressive handling ability. Today I was carving the same trails even harder, and as I sit here I can't think of any time in the past where I've been able to carve trail as aggressively as this. I don't know if it's because of the 29'er wheels, the Maxxis Ikon 2.2's, the wider Easton EC70 685mm bar, the hardtail, or the Lynskey titanium craftsmanship and their geometry? No doubt it's a combination of all those factors. I asked Mike Viertel at Lynskey to sprinkle some magic go-faster dust on the frame before he shipped it... could that be it?

Moving from the subject of carving up the trail and on to trail ride quality... what's up with this 29'ers back end? It's a hardtail but it absorbs trail punishment like it has rear suspension. Freaky! More on that at a later date.

I haven't exposed any glaring flaws in my setup yet but it's still early days. I really need to get the rig out in some big technical downs and some tight technical climbing and then I'll know a lot more. Race of Spades would be perfect as a test platform but I suspect that's still a month away from being dry enough. I've got this video of my Race of Spades run on the FSR from last summer so I'll be able to generally figure out time-splits on both bikes. It's gonna be fun comparing the S-Works Stumpjumper FSR against the Lynskey 29'er.

26'er versus 29'er, full-suspension versus hardtail, gears versus singlespeed, carbon versus titanium, ohhhhhhhhhhh... can't you just taste the drama and intrigue.


John F said...


Bad news is that you could not watch any TV while you were out there....did you miss it? ;)

Shaun Taylor said...

Haha, so funny. I'm sure we'll get more snow so there will be plenty more opportunity.

CavemanGreg said...

awesome that you've made the jump to SS and 29er in a single bike. Nice looking rig. Ride the heck out of it!

Shaun Taylor said...

Cheers Greg, I'm just now catching up on what all the cool kids are doing. Gonna do a 24 on it at the end of this month and if my old man back holds up I'll be pretty happy.