We've had a whizz round the pits and, just as in Lourdes last year, 29ers are making all the headlines. Kona and Pivot have both taken the plunge with new approaches to the 29" wheel problem. Take a look at both bikes below:
Connor Fearon's 29" Kona Operator
This is Connor Fearon's new Kona Operator 29er and it's a simply stunning bit of carbon machinery. Details are pretty sketchy at the moment but we do know that the bike can be switched between 27 and 29 inch wheels thanks to the flip chip joining the linkage and the seat stays, and by swapping out the fork lowers. It's a pretty neat solution and we reckon interchangeable 29/27.5 inch bikes could become the new normal going forwards.
Other things to notice are the new Boxxer, the chunky linkage and, of course, the big wheels looking right at home.
Eddie Masters' 29" Pivot Firebird
Pivot have gone aluminium for their rig, hoping to keep costs down before committing fully to big wheels. The linkage has also been redesigned and the rear of the shock now sits more in the frame of the bike rather than floating in the front triangle, apparently it's also better optimised for coil shocks. Clearly a lot of work has gone into this redesign as opposed to the more jokey mule we saw in Fort William last year.