Emily Batty is a big wheeler

038443c4.jpg photo from RoadBikeReview.com forums

Emily Batty rides for Subaru-Trek mtn bike team…she’s Canadian, 23, and is 5’2”. At the risk of sidetracking myself, she is also so painfully beautiful to look at…..but the point is that she rides a 29er. Sure, sure…there’s still a lot of controversy as to whether 29ers offer a real advantage, but the fact is that a lot pro riders are moving to the big wheel. It’s also been generally assumed that big wheels suited taller riders better. Yet Emily has a choice between full-suspension 26er and hard tail 29er, and she picks 29er almost every time. I’m sure that riding style has a lot to do with what a rider will prefer, but now I’m curious. If petite, gorgeous Emily is woman enough for 29er, then so AM I. I’m 5’3” and Emily would be looking up into my eyes if we went to dinner together, unless she wore heels, which is totally cool by me and I’m sure she’d look wonderful in……DAMMNIT, where was I? Oh, yeah, talking about bikes…..

I’d like to ride 29er mtb now that I feel confident in my offroad handling skills again. In the past I’ve frankly sucked at offroad riding, but in this season’s cyclocross races I inexplicably held an advantage on the technical sections. Sure, some of it had to do with sussing out my brakes and that Redline Conquest frame is a dream, but somehow things just clicked. I haven’t owned a mtb in years, my last one being a ‘99 Fisher Ziggarat which had “Genesis” geometry designed by Gary Fisher. Gary, an early evangelist for 29ers, updated and adapted Genesis to match the 29” wheels on the Trek Superfly bikes, the same model ridden by Batty. One aspect of the Superfly Genesis geometry is that it uses custom-offset forks to reduce steering trail and quicken the handling of the supposedly sluggish 29er wheels. Mighty curious, I am.

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