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Old 2011-05-08, 03:09 PM   #8
mark williamson
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cambridge, UK
Age: 36
Posts: 878
I'll weigh in since I have a 29er and a 36er and I use them both, though they're Nimbus not KH.

Originally Posted by headcamguy View Post
1. I also am a shorter person at about 5" 6". Will my short legs (30" inseam) prevent me from riding the KH36?
I do OK with that inseam on a UDC 36 (different frame, but still...) and I have to squeeze a T7 handlebar in there. If you want a T7 or any other goop that takes up space between seat and frame, you'll maybe want to double-check the measurements still fit for you. I understand the newer handlebars don't take as much vertical space.

2. I tend to ride offroad, which is why I am leaning towards the KH29. Has anyone had experience with the KH36 offroad? Is it durable enough?
Depends on the kind of offroad you do; can't see it being any trouble at all for zooming down fire roads and paths. Lots of people take their 36ers successfully offroad. Doing jumping or drops is more difficult for a big wheel to withstand but also very possible in moderation, plenty of people hop around on their Cokers, just be sensible.

3. I don't anticipate doing great distances (mostly offroad or around town). Maybe 25 - 40 miles a day (and this would be rare). Can the KH29 handle this?
You can certainly go that far on a 29er - you can even go quite fast on one. Shorter cranks (within reason) help, maybe you should look at some double-holed ones. But distances are more pleasant and relaxed to ride on a 36 IMO. OTOH, a 29er feels supremely nippy and agile compared to a 36, it's much easier to break into an idle or dodge about.

4. Can the KH29 fully replace my KH24 as my MUni?
This is outside my experience but the really technical offroad / natural trials riders seem to want wheels smaller than 29". If you just like to tank along trails then the 29er might actually take over for you - you can still roll over stuff and hop things on a 29er but it's much faster in a straight line, you sacrifice some durability and bounce in return.

5. And my most important question. What would you guess the average comfortable speed of both the KH29 and KH36?
When I'm on my 29er and not particularly hurrying I think I cruise at 8-9mph these days, though when I was riding more regularly I probably was a few mph faster. I used to be able to ride reasonably confidently up to 15mph but that involves spinning very fast, so I needed a smooth surface and even then only did it for a short distance.

On my 36er I think I cruise maybe 2-3mph faster than the 29er. I've hit 17mph, which you'll notice isn't much faster as a top speed - not sure I'd *want* faster than that anyhow! But even at approximately the same speed, on a long straight road it feels smoother and easier to cruise along on the 36. The 29" feels twitchy and tiring in comparison. But the 36 gets a lot more stressful than the 29er when I don't have the luxury of plenty of space to ride in though, e.g. in town.

I'm glad to have both; 29 is a good all-purpose tool, but I wouldn't want to miss blasting on the 36er when it's appropriate.

Generally I think it's fair to say that 29ers are more flexible - you can more easily ride a wider range of things. But you can often manage the same stuff on a 36 using more skill and there's nothing like the feel of a big wheel when it really comes into its own.
Dave: Just a question. What use is a unicyle with no seat? And no pedals!
Mark: To answer a question with a question: What use is a skateboard?
Dave: Skateboards have wheels.
Mark: My wheel has a wheel!

Last edited by mark williamson; 2011-05-08 at 03:14 PM.
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