In part one of my 26er status report, I picked five random bike companies and looked at their current lineups to see if they still made a decent bike with 26″ wheels.
I only found one company making 26″ wheel bike that wasn’t a DH bike or dirt jumper. And it was a 26+ bike – sort of a fat bike, but not quite – which is a pretty specialized type of bike. There were no bikes with 26 x 2.0″ tires on them for general trail riding.
2001 Schwinn Homegrown Comp
But, we’re not done yet. You may not be able to buy a new 26″ bike, but can you instead upgrade your current 26″ bike? Just about every mountain biker wants to upgrade, so what can we buy to trick out our Schwinn Homegrown hardtail?
This post is a little late, but here finally is my finished Astrix Solo. We’ve got the Stan’s rims on Chris King hubs, a Marzocchi Corsa Supperleggera with 100mm travel, and a ton of tasty Chromag gear. The last piece of the puzzle was a set of Shimano Deore brakes, which are not all that sexy, but they work fine.
I only rode it a couple times before our “summer” went to hell here, but I came away with some very strong impressions of what its ride is going to be.
So let’s talk about it;
I haven’t talked about anything new in the world of bikes for some time, so, let’s talk cranks, because I’ve realized they’ve gone through some interesting changes recently.
1996 Shimano XTR group
The Gold Standard in cranks has almost always been Shimano’s XTR. There might be lighter, or cheaper options than XTR, but historically, XTR has given buyers the best compromise of weight, performance, and price.
And generally, they’ve been the best looking too – but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.
I’m about to indulge in some heavy bike snobbery, but before I do, I’m going to tell you why it’s not snobbery.
Being a bike snob means that you’re only interested in, or only like, certain bikes. High-end, handbuilt bikes of course.
A bike snob would look at a $700 mountain bike and think “trash,” because they know that the only bikes out there worth their salt are made by Artisans. You know, guys that wear hats that only cover the back of their head, and only got one weld done on your frame today because they just weren’t feelin’ it man – between their $8 hand-pressed coffees and $12 artisan sandwiches made from old world grains and organic free-range ham – and you just gotta feel it, you know?
I’m going to make fun of a couple bikes here, but it’s not snobbery. Not entirely anyway. It’s more about usability and building a bike that makes sense.
These two bikes just don’t make sense;