2015 Ridley Blast 29er
As part of the ongoing experiment to experience the different effects of bike size, the Ridley Blast 29er was built. 29er are big bikes but that does not mean you need to be a big person to enjoy it. With the correct gearing, you will not feel the mass of the bike and once it starts rolling, it moves really fast thanks to the big wheels. However, it is not as nifty as a 26er and once you learn to manage the bike, I think most people will not move back to a 26er. This build took almost 3 months to complete because I adopted a no compromise approach. It could have turned out differently with disc brakes, suspension fork, etc but I stuck to the plan to keep it simple, effective and efficient.
Notice the seat is slightly lower than the handlbar. This is due to the long fork in front that needs to accommodate the 29" wheel.
The higher handlebar means a more upright riding position which is more comfortable for most people. The stance of the bike is rather intimidating. A small frame with big wheels makes all the difference. The sloping top tube provides some space between crotch and bike when you get off. Even with a small size frame like this, one should be careful when getting off for the sake of the family jewels.
The matt black theme was carried through to the cockpit area also.
Good old V-brakes. They are easy to adjust, service and they always make you stop.
See the length of the fork? A rigid fork was chosen over a suspension fork because I wanted to keep the weight down. Besides, with the bigger wheels, there is a certain amount of comfort that comes with it.
Seats are important because they are the only contact point between your butt and bike. This is one of the most comfortable seat that cost less than $20. So, its a little heavy compared to some titanium or magnesiumm models but on a long ride, you will appreciate comfort over weight.
The sloping top tube provides some space between crotch and bike when you get off. Even with a small size frame like this, one should be careful when getting off for the sake of the family jewels.
A short stem was necessary to compensate for the long top tube.
Shimano Zee cranks are awesome. They are not expensive and they do the job. The 36 teeth is just nice for a bike like this.
A 10-speed rear gearing also from Shimano Zee series keeps the transmission simple and effective. There are more than enough gears to go from fast to uphill.
Shimano Zee cranks were designed for downhill usage. The simplicity of a single crank system far outweighs the traditional 2 or 3 front chainring system. Unless the bike is a true-blue touring bike whereby you never know what the terrain holds, a single chainring crank is probably the best way to go. Here in Singapore, the hills and trails are being mowed down for 'development' and all that's left are the park connectors. Its unlikely you need a granny gear to cycle along the PCN.