Had my first pop on a 29'er today, kindly loaned by Strada (an astute financial move on their account, I should say). A hard-tail, big beast Trek. There are legends of how comfortable and stable they are, and how they "roll well", and were tremendous fun.
Weeeeeeeeeell. Comfortable is perhaps over egging it. One has grown accustomed to modest yet hard working rear-suspension allowing terrible line choice, "Turning a mistake into a possibility", as the lovely Mr Cooksley says. It also stops the rear of the bike kicking you up the bottom when you barrel over a bump. I am prepared to go along with the forgiving a rubbish line bit to a certain extent, but my bum was thoroughly kicked going over the stuttery bumps on the Quarry Trail at Ashton Court. It does seem to go whizzy fast though. And it was fun and very stable and nimble and other good words. And I didn't fall off and the Ghost Dog that apparently roams the woods at night didn't get me, and I was brave despite the owl sound effects.
It was dark, mind, which distorts things a wee bit, especially as I have still not replaced my poor lost head torch. Just bar mounted fellows, however bright, are not the same.
"You've always been a thorn in their side. But to me you're a shining light. You arrive and the night is alive. Yeah, you are a shining light."
This is no longer true. Use your lanyard sisters. Never leave a torch unlit on your helmet in the dusky woods without one.