So this weekend I went out, test road the 2 bikes I have been looking at for the last 5 months, and put down a few bucks to hold the last in stock Specialized RockHopper 29er!
I’m super excited about this bike for many reasons. The biggest reasons are; saving on gas, getting in shape without having to run, and getting back to something I used love. Before I got my license I road my bike everywhere! I had a single speed redline BMX bike. Tough to pedal uphill, tough to maintain downhill speed gain, super uncomfortable to pedal sitting down, and not great for going long distances. The furthest I remember riding in one day was 20 miles each way to the “mountain bike” trails and riding probably something like 7-8 miles of trails. A few of my friends made the ride on bmx bikes but most of them were on mountain bikes. The bmx bike handled the trails ok but not great. The mountain bike I will soon own is going to be pretty good on all but the tightest trails and will also handle nicely on long rides. I’m hoping the bigger wheels will make each mile a little easier than on a 20″-26″ bike. When I took it out to test ride it I only got to do a couple laps around the shop but I could tell the bike was definitely for me. The brakes are super responsive, the riding position was very comfortable, the ability to lock the front forks while riding seems convenient, and it felt pretty solid on the gravel/grass area I rode on. I definitely plan on doing some long distance rides with this bike, hopefully frequently, so the front fork lockout feature will be a wonderful thing! Also with this bike, I intend to tow around my kayak on a trailer system either from WIKE trailers or I’ll build something similar. The biggest advantage to this will be not having to carry my kayak a mile or two down to launch at this one spot I really like. What I currently do is drop my kayak in about 2 miles away and paddle over. That wastes a lot of time that I could spend either fishing there, paddling around looking at the wildlife(this spot is the quietest area with the most to look at), or biking through all the scenery. I think being able to ride my bike and then go kayaking will be great on those longer distance rides. If nothing else it will serve as a secure area to hold my camping gear, clothing, spare parts, etc. I’m absolutely a beginner when it comes to long distance riding so any advice will be greatly appreciated. As far as spare parts and tool kit, I’m planning on taking these items; two spare tires(probably going tubeless right away), a few chain links, 2 cables, a few spokes, hand pump, spoke wrench, chain tool, a few various wrenches for fixing on the road, and of course, duct tape. I’ll have my new bike within a month, hopefully sooner though, so check back to see what I think of the bike once I get to ride it for a few miles. Also check back for the trailer idea, I will probably end up building my own to save some money but who knows. If anyone have any input on trailers or distance riding, I’d love to hear from you, shoot me an email Sean.Dziedzic@gmail.com.