I've finally had a chance to get the 29er out on the dirt. I have to admit that I do in fact love this bike! I have one issue yet to resolve; rubber. I was on a super low, garage sale budget to get this bike built. I bought a pair of Geax Saguaro's because they were inexpensive and I like the tread pattern, which is not too aggressive yet not to light on the knobs - a perfect tread for Kansas City trails. I know they make a UST version they call the TNT, however I picked up a non-ust version from an individual for mere pennies...and it turns out that's all they were truly worth!. I went ahead and did the deed of setting these up tubeless anyway, just because I hate, absolutely hate running tubes. Tubes suck monkey-balls! I've gotten in three rides on dirt with these tires. All three rides resulted in punctures large enough that the Stans sealant did not work and even with a plug, my confidence in these tires was on the bottom side of comfortable. I do however recommend, as I've said a million times, that if you run tubeless tires, to get a plug kit. I've yet to have to install a tube on any occasion that I incurred a flat. Rather, I'd plug, add air and go. It's fast and usually lasts the remainder of the tires life, or at least until you can pull the tire in the comfort of your own garage and put in a patch.
At any rate, I am heading to BikeSource today to buy a pair of Specialized tires. I am racing the 29er this weekend and I'm not taking any chances. I have 100% confidence in Specialized tires, of which I run the heavier Armadillo Elite version, and have not had to bail on a ride due to a flat in three seasons. Lesson learned; when you find a piece of gear that works for you, don't skimp or change your game. Stick with what you know, from experience, works best for you.
|Plug installed during ride numro uno|