I took the Jamis Dragon 29 out on my usual Thursday Night Training â€œRaceâ€ last week. The loation for this weekly event sweetly offers some very tight, some very technical and some very fastâ€¦and some very secretâ€¦trails. I ride here at least once per week, and like to bring new bikes and friends visiting from out of town here to test man and machine.
I had some anxiety about how I would be able to handle the bike in this tight network of trails. I already knew that the bigger wheels and longer wheelbase made this bike handle a bit differentlyâ€¦more slowlyâ€¦than what Iâ€™m used to.
Before I go on, let me spout some numbers and measurements on the 17â€ Jamis Dragon 29:
- effective top tube: 23.23â€
- head/seat angles: 72/73.5
- chainstay: 17.72â€
- wheelbase: 41.77â€
- bottom bracket height: 12.20â€
- Jamis is saying the bike weights 28lbs, but I havenâ€™t put it on the scale yet
As I suspected, the first lap on Thursday saw me dodging some trees and other obstacles that I would otherwise have easily avoided. Thatâ€™s not to say this bike handles poorly. It just handles differently that what Iâ€™m used to. Therefore, I adjusted my reaction time to obstacles and things went more smoothly.
Of course, that is until I noticed what felt like my chain dropping a few times. But my chain wasnâ€™t dropping. It seems like the freehub wasnâ€™t engaging properlyâ€¦it was slipping at random times. Very disconcerting, and I havenâ€™t looked at it yet to figure out if thatâ€™s the actual problem. But thankfully it happened mostly on my pre-lap, and only once on my â€˜raceâ€™ laps.
Other than that, I was able to get my front wheelâ€¦and the rest of the bikeâ€¦up and over the many logs lying across the trails. And, as you know, the big wheels rolled nicely through and over a lot of the rocky sections of trail.
Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s me being in better shape than last year, or the new bikeâ€¦or both, but I definitely felt faster on Thursday. Of course not nearly as fast as all the people in front of me. But still faster than normal.
More time in the saddle will tell.
My next post will include a laundry list of parts included on the bike, possibly a report from a mountain bike duathalon I might do, and maybe even a photo.