What started with a conversation on a bikehacking expedition about the merits of wider tyre width and L O W PSI became the simmerings of what would become this prototype Curve UpRock+ MTB.
If you've been living under a rock, this skit will bring you up to speed on 29+
I've been riding 29+ for a few years. It was love at first ride. I can only draw parallels from golf. In 1991 Calloway released the Big Bertha. The first oversized driver. The industry has never looked back though it has got to the point of ridiculousness. 29 x 3.0 tyres/tires are great, particularly on wider rims. Fast rolling, super grippy, and lower pressures allow for a level of traction that is just hella fun and will make all your favourite trails new again.
For this prototype the idea was 90% trail bike / 10% bike hacking rig / 200% ADVENTURE. You can read about the paint inspiration and execution here. An off-road rig that would get me around everything in Plenty Gorge / George and Norge that my singlespeed was stopping me from, and capable of tackling something like the recent Hunt 1000. Maybe even 2000.
If you have no idea about Plenty Gorge / George and Norge and the greatest mountain bike trails in Melbourne, I suggest you join the Strava club. Even Cadel will tell you he cut his teeth on Goat Track and did his very first race there.
This is my first taste of titanium and I think I'm beginning to understand what the fuss is about. My only experience prior was throwing a leg over a Merlin in Morzine. That bike felt like a wet noodle. This bike does not. The finish is amazing, and while rust was never a concern, the unprotected surfaces and sec will look beautiful for life.
The UpRock+ is based on Curve's current trail machine with the capacity to run a much larger tyre of 3.0 wide like the WTB Ranger. I've also dabbled with the Bontrager Chupacabra, Panaracer Fat B Nimble (would not recommend), Maxxis Chronicle and Minion DHF DHR II which covers a good chunk of the 29+ options currently on the market.
My previous experience of wider tyres was on the Trek Stache with a suspension fork and later rigid.
For this project I chose a Rock Shox PIKE in 120mm. It came supplied as a 140mm which has raised the front end a little more than originally planned but hoping to REDUCE that soon.
The SRAM GX Eagle is uh-may-zing. It works. It's quiet. Shifting is crisp. The range is ridiculous. It looks good. In no particular order. The dinner plate that is the 50t cog doesn't look so out of proportion with the 29+ wheels either.
I made a point of taking photos prior to the first and subsequent thrashings. It has already got a few character marks and changes in spec but more on that down the trail.
Can YOU get one? You'd have to ask Curve.
The SRAM Guide RSC brakes have a different feel to Shimano but I'd put them on par if not about XT. I really like the piston adjustment which actually works.
The wheels - DT Swiss 350's to Curve 50mm carbon hoops with WTB Ranger TCS LIGHT.
I've been riding the FUNN Mamba's for a year or so now and love the versality of having SPD and flats. Solid build, great quality, smooth bearings and only a little adjusting to occasional pedal strike if you don't allow for the wider body.
The giardia mount on the underside of the downtube is perfect for that third bidon on long range attempts from overnighters, to the IPWR and Race to the Rock.
Sliding dropouts allow versatility in tweaking the chainstay length from 44-48cm to suit your style and/or wheel size.
A staple on all my bikes now is the Skin Grows Back Plan B. The magnetic clasp is amazing and keeps everything snug in the rear. Fits a 29er tube, 25g CO2 cannister, inflator, multi-tool and a handful of Haribo Gold Bears. Tell Pretty Boy I sent you and ask how he got that nickname.
The only thing better than 400% is 500%. How can you go wrong. A cinch to install and adjust too.
Curve offer than own headset, bottom brackets and seat collars for the entire line up.