Posts Tagged ‘29er’

Titus Cycles is having a contest where you submit a 30 second video link showing why you think you would be a good global brand ambassador. Here is my submission:

Check the criteria on the site if you want to read about what this contest was about:



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This week is Tire Review Week. For our second review, we have the ITS System 29 Cross Country Tire:

ITS Intense Tire Systems system 29er

Intense Tire Systems gave me a set of their moderately new System 29 tires to test out. These are 29’er cross country tires that come in at 2.25″, and weigh about 700g a piece. (Site says 698g) Their bulbous size, and moderately low tread are interesting, but how did they hold up?

First of all, the weight was noticable coming from a pair of weight weenie 2.0″ race tires, but luckily the center tread is slightly curved to lower rolling resistance. This profile being about 3mm high off of the carcass makes it a bit difficult to handle in poorly groomed terrain or mud, but does great on grass, road, and hardpack dirt. They are most definitely a cross country riding tire. I would like to compare them to Continental’s X King 29er Tire, or Schwalbe‘s Racing Ralph TL-Ready 29r Tire, but with the lack of major knob height.

The tires did hold air well, and even worked well as a tubeless system, but were probably the most difficult tire I have ever had to mount. I broke four tire levers attempting to get them off my Bontrager 29’er rim, and once removed (due to a major tubeless burp), I was not willing to attempt to put them back on. Even my LBS took twenty or so minutes to install them the first time on my wheels. Very, very frustrating… If you believe your rims have a history of being difficult to mount tires on, avoid these.

I put about 350 miles on the tires before removing them, and the center tread had reduced down to about 1.7mm in height. What does this mean? They’re one, maybe two season tires. You’ll get a year out of them if you are lucky.

Fortunately, they retail for about $33, or around half of what you will pay for one of the big boys’ tires! Is the low cost worth the one year? Sure.

The bulbous size of the tire makes for a very comfortable ride, but also does not feel as responsive as smaller tires do. I’m not sure this is either a good or bad thing, but it is another thing to consider when looking for what you want to buy. They also slip around in snow, and want to ‘float’ on top of it, and avoid finding friction.

I will have to say that they are very resistant to cuts or flats. I had one freak accident pinch-burp that left me stranded, but nothing else in the entire year I used them.  I was impressed with this attribute, and associate it with the strong rubber density compound used on the side knobs and carcass.

All in all, it is an interesting and low-cost 29’er tire with a few neat gimmicks. ITS hopefully will put out a few more 29’er tires or maybe the same in different widths to please more customers!

Overall Rating: 2.5/4 Stars


Low rolling resistance

Great on groomed trails

Flat resistant


Possibly too wide for a XC tire?

Low Tread height

You can buy the ITS System 29 Cross Country Tire here:

Universal Cycle


Company Product Info:


System 29

System 29’s huge air volume makes it an excellent trail tyre, capable of tackling gnarly terrain with total confidence. The tread pattern provides low rolling resistance and plenty of hook up.

SIZE 2.25

PART#: ITXC-29-225

WEIGHT: 698 Grams

Folding Bead: By using a lightweight & Felxible bead we are able to reduce the weight of the tyres. They are also Easer to Handle and Store.

C3 Compund: Intense”s proprietary Cross Country Compound, provides excellent traction and durability.

SinglePly: 1 Ply Casing refers to layers of reinforcing fabric in a tyre. 1 ply tyres are constructed with a single fabric layer for fast rolling and lightweight tyres.

LSG: Low Specific Gravity rubber compound is used to reduce the weight of the tyre casing.


Part 1 – Torelli Arezzo Open Tubular Tire

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I’ve sold off my Dawes road bike to a buddy of mine who has been looking for one since spring. I haven’t ridden it very much since the addition of the cyclocross bike, and I can understand where the cross bike has filled in the place of a true multipurpose drop-barred bike. It will have a good home, and I got some more space to pile more useless stuff in it’s place~

I have also reviewed and added my GF Cobia to the My Bikes section.

2009 Gary Fisher Cobia

Gary Fisher Cobia

  • Frame – Platinum Series 6066 butted & hydroformed aluminum, cold-forged dropouts, G2 29″ Geometry
  • Fork – Fox F80RL 29, 80mm travel, custom G2 Geometry 51mm offset crown, air spring, external rebound & lockout
  • Bottle Cages – 1x Bontrager Race Lite Cage, White
  • Headset – Cane Creek 1-1/8″ threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
  • Stem – Selcof 80mm 10 degree
  • Handlebar – Selcof Flat Bar 580mm 3 degree bend
  • Brake Levers – Avid FR-5 Brake Levers
  • Shifters – SRAM X5 Trigger Front/Rear
  • Bar GripsAll City BMX Star Grips
  • Cables/Housing – Clarks Pre-Lubricated Cables / White Housing
  • Brakes – Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brakes – 180 Front / 160 Rear
  • WheelsShimano M475 hubs, Bontrager Ranger disc 29″ rims, 32h
  • Skewers – Random Skewers
  • Tires – Bontrager XDX 29×2.1 Front / Intense System 29’er 29×2.25 Rear
  • Bottom Bracket – Shimano Octalink (Generic)
  • Cranks – Shimano FC-M442-8-S, 44s/32s/22s, Octalink
  • Front Derailleur – SRAM X9 FD
  • Chain – Wipperman x9 Stainless
  • Saddle – Bontrager Race MTN – White
  • Seatpost – Control Tech One – 400mm x 27.2mm
  • Seatpost Clamp – Generic Bontrager
  • Pedals – Shimano PD-M520 White
  • Cassette SRAM PG950 11-34T
  • Rear Derailleur – SRAM x5 Long Cage

The Gary Fisher Cobia is a wonderfully complicated and sweet bike. The pricepoint of it in 2009 was just a hair over $1000, and came with parts that were fairly matched to that price. Subsequently, I have upgraded the entire cockpit, the brakeset, and suspension fork. These changes were mostly for aesthetics or on a whim, but I believe they were for the best. My bike now has a near complete Silver and White aesthetic to it, all the way down the the pedals and stem. The Avid BB7 upgrade from the BB5’s were influenced by a deal from a friend on a brand new set, and the front fork was an offer that I could not resist; well… that and it was white.

I’m 167cm tall, with a 76cm inseam, and this is a 15.5″ frame. I chose this size, due to the fact that everything I read was that a smaller wheelbase was better for a 29″ bike. I was right; I still have issues on sharp switchbacks or turns, and SUDDEN changes in elevation; whether it be up or down. These issues are things that over the year of ownership, I have learned to find little ways to make up for the size of the bike, and geometry. Rarely ever does it slow me down enough to where I think about it.

What does bother me about this bike is the chainsuck. I have read and heard from other 29″ GF hardtail owners that they get unavoidable chainsuck issues just like me. Heck, I even clean my entire drivetrain after every single ride, and I still have issues. Whether it be from middle ring to granny ring, or vice-versa, I get the chain stuck between the chainstay and the middle chainring…. maybe…. one out of every seven times. It has eaten into the driveside chainstay, and I’m sure as hell that Trek will say it is just human/operator error. When they design a bike with less than 4mm of clearance from the chainstay to chainring, something is wrong. I know they needed lots of clearance very close to the crankset due to the larger wheel, and the opportunity and availability to use a big tire, but this is ridiculous. Seriously.

This bike has been a great beginner’s foray into mountain biking. It can handle just about anything you throw at it, except drops/jumps. If you have the nerves, you can keep up with your 26″ dual suspension friends, or even the 29″ DS’ers; that is if you have the legs…  The Cobia has taken me places that I have never expected to go on any kind of bike, and I like that.

Final Words? GO TUBELESS.

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Today’s post is an interview with a LBS in Buckhannon, WV: Fat Tire Cycle with owner Gene Wells.

Gene Wells is well… a swell guy (see what I did there?) He is active in many aspects of his community as a business person should, but you can also tell he cares about everything he does. He can also kick most of the people in town’s butt in speed and distance on a bike, yet he chooses not to. (sometimes!)

(I’ll let you know before this interview gets through that he is my main mechanic, I was sponsored by him during my tenure as President of the Cycling Club/Team at West Virginia Wesleyan College with the standard collegiate store discount. I have also purchased a pretty sweet rig from him, my ’09 Gary Fisher Cobia. All in all, we have a pretty good relationship by means of business and also friendship.)

With that out-of-the-way, let’s get to the Q&A!

1.) First of all, tell us about your history, how did you get into cycling?

Well, I got into cycling in 1972. I was doing a lot of cross-country racing, and touring in the area around Pleasantville, Pennsylvania. I remember getting my first road bike in that town in 1973. (more…)

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