My KH Freeride 29″ Project kicked off last week with the arrival of the 2009 Freeride rim and 2009 Moment Hub.

The KH 29″ is my second most ridden unicycle off road – first is the 36″. The 29’er is such a crazy light unicycle, so nimble and zippy. The only thing it lacks off road is the feeling of stability and great big air volume of the 24″ unicycle with the 3.0″ tire. To get around that I’d been running larger 29″ tires like the Panaracer Rampage 2.35 and Racing Ralph 2.4 which certainly helped but the new 47mm Freeride rim for the 29″ rim sounded like the missing piece.

I collected the custom Freeride 29″ wheel build today from Kaos Custom Bikes in Melbourne (Andrew the store owner is a GREAT wheelsmith). Yippee!

Kris Holm Freeride 29" Wheel
Kris Holm Freeride 29″ Wheel

We were both impressed with the weight of the wheel compared to the standard 29 wheel and both a little concerned that the spoke holes in the freeride rim appeared to be drilled at an unusual angle, placing uneven stress on both the nipples and the rim as the spokes tried to pull the nipple in a straight line to the hub. While it shouldn’t significantly effect the reliability of the wheel over time, it does limit the amount of tension that can be put into the wheel.

Spoke Hole Angle
Spoke Hole Angle

No worries though, the main thing to do with a new wheel is to get it on and go riding. Fit and center the rim tape over the rim drillouts and wow yeah, the Magura brakes need to be moved out to accommodate the wider rim! (Even though Magura state the toeing in the pads isn’t necessary I still do¬† – not much though, < 0.5mm)

I don’t have the Stout tire that KH favors so opted to use a tire I already had, the Racing Ralph. The wider rim certainly gives the tire and 29er a meaner, more purpose built off road disposition.

Kris Holm Freeride 29er
Kris Holm Freeride 29er

With the night falling I only had time for a quick initial ride. The first impression was of increased stability, similar to what I feel on the KH24 with the 3.0 tire – not as much, but definitely more than the standard 29er rim. Nice.

I’m really looking forward to getting out on the trails on the Freeride 29er and doing some back to back comparisons of the new rim vs the standard rim.

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