26er Status Report Part Two

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?

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Rocky Mountain Hammer

In The Simpsons’ 6th season, a new student arrives in Lisa’s class. Lisa is head and shoulders above her classmates – head, shoulders, arms, waist, and legs above Ralph Wiggum – but Allison (voiced by Winona Ryder) proves to be as smart, if not smarter than Lisa. And she’s younger too, having skipped a grade.

Lisa Simpson

At one point, Lisa accepts her new fate as second best, and imagines herself in The Second Best Band in America with Art Garfunkel, Jim Messina, and John Oates, performing their #2 Hit “Born to Runner Up.”

Which brings us to the perennial second steel bike in Rocky’s lineup, the Rocky Mountain Hammer. It wasn’t always second in the lineup – it was sometimes lower – but it was always behind the Blizzard. But this certainly doesn’t make it any less of a bike.

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New bike – finished

Astrix Solo

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;

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underachieving since 1996