* Changed out the rear tire (thanks DT)
* Removed the fancy 18t Boone Ti cog (thanks for the loaner, DT)
* Added new slightly less fancy 20t Surly cog (thanks DT)
* Changed out my flat handlebars for a new Titec/Jones H-bar (thanks DT). (Note: If Titec woudn't have had such a crappy totally-Flash-based site, I would have linked directly to their product page. But alas...)
* Changed out the old brake cables for new. (F* you buddy, this was all me!)
I gotta say, after only one ride, I'm loving the new H-bars. Although they make me feel kinda like I'm driving a bus when I'm sitting high atop the Monkey's 29" wheels and XL-sized frame
I took the bike out for a quick shakedown spin around my ~9 mile neighborhood trail. I'm not sure if it was because of the new bars, or just the difference in the ride of the 29er vs. the 26er I've been riding a lot lately, but the ride definitely felt more smooth. Almost like I was running suspension. I really like the hand position on the new H-bars, too. The swept-back placement felt very natural. The 20t cog made a huge difference as well. I made all of the climbs with relative ease (with the 18t cog, it was a struggle). Spinning on the flats/downhills was expected, but was no worse than the spinning I do on my 26er. And to be honest, I need all the help I can get on climbs. So I'll deal with the spinning.
I may pick up another set of the H-bars for my 26er. Anybody doing another team buy anytime soon ;)