Here’s a bike that we would actually say is long overdue.
Photos: Alutech /x-finte Jörg Wohlfromm
We’ve been sold on 29ers for years and it was only a matter of time before they came to the downhill market. Lenz produced a bike that could be fitted with 27.5 or 29 inch wheels, and we’ve seen prototypes from Intense and KHS, but its Alutech that were the first to take the plunge and produce one commercially that was designed solely for 29 inch wheels. Meet the Sennes DH 29.
You know what? We don’t think it even looks that unusual. But there’s more than the 29er gimmick to this bike. At a claimed 32lbs it’s a featherweight and it’s got a pretty radical geometry sheet too. Here’s some key figures:
- Head angle – 62°
- BB Height – 356mm
- Reach – 458mm (medium)
- Wheel base – 1269mm (medium)
- Chainstay – 445mm
With modern downhill bikes becoming more ‘bike-parky’ faster rolling wheels can only be a good thing. Especially now 29ers have proven themselves tough enough to tackle the gnar thanks to the EWS.
We wouldn’t say this is perfect though. For a start look at how tight the wheel is to the bridge of the fork. That’s going to clog up faster than London at rush hour in muddy conditions. You may remember Neko Mulally had to mill out his Fox 40 arch to fit in a wagon wheel with enough clearance.
Also, could 62 degrees be a bit too slack? That’s a good degree slacker than most production downhill bikes – and you would normally run a 29er a bit steeper than a 650b. Intense could only use 180mm of travel on the 2951 otherwise the wheel would contact the frame, we wonder if the slacker head angle had to be used to fit the thing in!
Jürgen Schlender, CEO of Alutech, said: “We have been 29 fans we created the Tofane 29 four years ago. After the first test runs we said we wanted it bigger so here is the Sennes DH 29.
“In two weeks time we will be tkaing our testers to compare it to the 27.5 bike. We will see how many seconds faster the 29 inch is against the 27.5
“Some people have asked me if the 29 version could be used with 27.5 inch wheels…no way, sorry. It is made perfectly for big wheels.”
The Alutech Sennes DH 29 will be going on sale in a few days and we’ll update you with prices when we get them.