It's interesting how certain bikes we ride get more attention than others...I guess it has to do with the details, color, component choices, graphics (or lack there of), and maybe even the way it makes you sit. I bring this up because I have recently been riding my 2008 XXIX around the streets of Seattle and on my commute. Out of all the bikes I ride (1978 Professional, Prestige, & One Way), this XXIX has gotten the most looks and comments. I thought it was just people ogling me, but as soon as I heard, “Wow, that's a cool looking bike – what kind is it?” I knew it was all about the bike and not my looks. Which is cool, because I think it's a pretty good looking bike as well.
I thought the XXIX would be a totally fun urban assault bike that would take the wear and tear of a long commute and also be a fun machine to navigate through the city---hopping curbs, popping wheelies, dropping down small flights of stairs, etc. The XXIX is always my first choice for the mountains, and after tons of miles on trails, I figured if its that much fun on dirt, then it must also be a blast on pavement.
I took a stock 2008 XXIX, which runs about $770, slapped on some Vittoria Randonneur Cross 700x38c, swapped out the 33 tooth chain ring with a 44, put a Surly 18 tooth cog on the rear, brightened the bars with starry big cheese grips, rattle-canned the front fork white, and took the decals off. The result---one of the most fun and stylish urban bikes I have ridden in years. Plus, I can ride it in the mountains anytime just by swapping the tires and the gear. Oh...and that's a super rad Twin Six water bottle sitting in the cage.
An ubber-fun urban/mountain bike that gets more whistles than I do!