Just a quick update/review of my Open bike that I love talking about so much. Seriously, it's one of the best bikes I've ever ridden. The true test came when I rode some pretty technical single track up in Sandy, OR over the Thanksgiving break. I was mostly interested in how a 72º head tube angle would perform on tight, twisty and somewhat rocky trails. Well, it shined in that respect and then some.
The light and stiff frame and fork combo, mated with a light and stiff pair of wheels, finished off with a set of light and stiff parts makes for… you guessed it, a light and stiff bike. Point and shoot down the trail, stand up and stomp on the pedals, this bike just flies in either direction.
What surprised me most about a bike so light, it obviously can climb like a beast, but I've been descending way faster than I ever was on my full-suspension Epic. Maybe it's the stiff front end, steep head angle or grippy Schwalbe tires, but for whatever reason I feel I can throw this bike into any corner with complete control.
I was really excited about the popularity of 29ers in the last few years, having ridden my first one two summers ago. Starting out with a hardtail, then a full-suspension 29er, and back to a hardtail again I can solidly say I'm most comfortable on a hardtail. Looking at 26" bikes nowadays they seem strange and kid-like to me. It'll be interesting to see how the whole 650b size catches on.