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  1. #1
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    Reputation: KONA_in_SB's Avatar
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    Convince me to go 29

    Hi all.
    I am considering getting another new bike. I ride DH and dirtjumps and such but my fiance is getting into riding more and more and more I find myself on Saturdays riding with her instead of doing shuttle runs with my buddies. The problem is the my 6in trail bike is way overkill for the riding we do together and my DJ hardtail is hardly a XC machine. Thus you can see my need for a new bike (I always like finding an excuse for a new bike ).
    I know somewhat what I want and what I want it to do. I know I want a steel frame HT and will porbably run a 100m fork. The riding will mainly be long rides on fireroads, commuting around town and training road rides for DH season (maybe some tame single track spinkled in). I am consider a 29'er. I am also considering a single speed, but we'll see about that. Looks will be important for this bike, I love the long clean lines of a steel frame (one of the reason I want to go SS) the problem is I don't know much about steel hardtails.
    I remember years ago when I first started riding my friend had a Voodoo Wanga. I am considering one of those but I also saw they make a 29er called the Dambala. Anyone have any experince with these?
    My concern about going 29 is the wheel strength. I wieght 250 and am pretty hard on my components, although I won't be riding super aggresive on this bike, but I do love to bomb decesnts. So what are some of the strong mtb 29in wheelsets out there? Are 29in wheels really that much weaker than 26in?
    Please, any other frame ideas are welcome, I will be biulding this bike up myself so I am not too interested in a full build.
    Sorry about the long post and thanks for any replies in advance.
    -Wil.
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

  2. #2
    (was) Big in Japan
    Reputation: TheSingleGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KONA_in_SB
    Hi all.

    Sorry about the long post and thanks for any replies in advance.
    -Wil.
    A test ride will convince you better than we ever could. As for your Qs, a few searches will answer all your questions, and a few more you didn't even know you wanted to ask.

    Enjoy the ride and post pics!

    Chris

    ps - I want a Dambala too! I love the removable canti thingos...very clean.
    Ride.

  3. #3
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    A couple of recommendos...

    Wheels=36 spokes.

    Frames= Surly Karate Monkey and On One Inbred are worth a look (IMO).

  4. #4
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    How about a Kona Unit 2-9, and a set of Ryhno lite wheels, that should be stong enough. And pretty affordable too.

  5. #5
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    Not many board regulars have ridden Dambalas, but those who have ridden them have really enjoyed the ride and handling, and they're a tad lighter than most steel 29" hardtails. One regular poster (search the archives) had problems with the sliding dropouts, saying they were fussy and easily bent in a crash.

    Nater has some good suggestions too ... if you're willing to deal with horizontal dropouts (whose problems for geared use are largely solved if you get the Monkey Nuts) the Karate Monkey is a fantastic value, with quicker, livelier handling than some of the other production 29"ers. Sure its weight is in the high 5s, but if you're 250 pounds that's appropriate for your build anyway. The On-One is also worth a look, and should be a bit lighter with a better dropout situation for not much more money.

    What wheels do you currently find strong enough for your XC use on a 26"er? Chances are a 29" wheelset can be built up plenty strong enough for your needs. There are lots of Clydesdales on this board who have no problems. And by the way, forget about production wheelsets -- there are very few of them in the 29" world and custom wheels tend to be as good or a better value. To be really bomber, I'd look at something with 36 straight gauge spokes, preferably laced to beefier, wider rims like the Rhyno Lites or maybe even the massive Kris Holm 29" unicycle rims. If you're looking for a reputable builder, scroll down the forum for Mikesee's wheelbuilding ad.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  6. #6
    Who turned out the lights
    Reputation: Francis Buxton's Avatar
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    I'm gonna ask a question here:

    Why do you want a 100mm fork? You say that your riding on this bike will be mostly fire roads, roads, and tame singletrack. Hardly a warrants a 100mm fork on a 29er. If that's what you want, by all means do it, but the 100mm fork puts the front end of the bike up higher (i.e. - handlebars). A 29er with an 80mm fork (w/ lockout) will feel a lot like a 26" bike with a 100mm fork.

    Also, many of the "production" steel hardtail frames out there (Surly, On-One, Voodoo, etc.) are designed around 80mm forks, so putting a 100mm on it will slacken your headtube angle by 1deg, slowing your steering a bit (which may work out well for bombing down hills).

    This may put you into the realm of a custom frame, but it would also make sure you get exactly what you want.

    Just something to consider. If it were me, I'd get a rigid fork (built suspension corrected for 80mm sussy) and an ebb w/ derailleur hanger. Get a Chris King headset, and put lower bearing races on both the rigid and sussy forks, so all you have to do is unhook your disk brake caliper and stem from one and attach to the other, and you've gone from sussy singletrack explorer to rigid road/cyclocross machine in 5 minutes. You can run singlespeed or gears, depending on what suits your fancy (singlespeed on the road sucks, believe me).

    But you're not me, and I'm not you, so my decisions wouldn't necessarily be yours. Just some ideas.

  7. #7
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    Go 29. You don't need convincing or you wouldn’t be here. Do it and you'll never look back!

    jyo

  8. #8
    Recovering couch patato
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    I'm with Francis. If you're a DH crack riding XC with the fiancé (way to spend a saturday!), stick to a bike that's as pure as possible. If you take a downhill bit at your own pace, the rigid fork will at least make it interesting for you, and a good upper body workout too. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And it's true. Rigid bikes teach you so much about the trail that rolls under your tires, where grip is generated, etc. Pure.
    Considering you ride DH, you must have some muscle among that 250lb, the Surly Karate Monkey is you bike. Use the stock rigid fork. On-One Inbred29 with rigid fork same story, just more practical dropouts and beefier, quicker handling fork.
    100mm may seem like kids bikes to you, but really, with a rigid fork some serious riding can be done, and as it's no competition, you enjoy it in a different way.
    If you do DH races on sundays, riding singlespeed on saturdays may not be the smartest. Not just the legs will be beat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KONA_in_SB
    Please, any other frame ideas are welcome, I will be biulding this bike up myself so I am not too interested in a full build.
    Sorry about the long post and thanks for any replies in advance.
    -Wil.
    Surly. The Monkey is strong, cheap, and can be converted to almost any task.

    It sounds ideal for you.

    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  10. #10
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    Thanks for you advice guys.
    For the guy who asked why 100mm fork? No reason really, that seems to be the XC standard these days, I am used to riding 6+ though so even 4 in seems small to me. So basically I was just throwing a number out there. I might even go rigid.

    Someone asked what wheels I currently use for XC. I have a set of 36h Mavic D521 laced to Stealth hubs, i.e. Downhill wheels. Like I said I tend to abuse parts so I go for strength. But I am thinking I won't be abusing this bike that much. RynoLite's are a no-no in the DH/FR world but agian I don't think I wil be leaving the ground much on this bike so they might work. I don't want to build up a tank.

    I checked out the Karate Monkey but can't find the webpage for On-One. Can someone give me a link. Also if i do run a suspension fork, are they just standard mtb forks or are they 29in specific.

    Also someone buy my P2 so I can get a frame .
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

  11. #11
    AOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by KONA_in_SB
    Also if i do run a suspension fork, are they just standard mtb forks or are they 29in specific.
    They are 29er specific.

    Rock Shox Reba 29er that can be set to 80 or 100mm.

    White Bros makes both 80, 100, and 130mm 29er forks.

    Both the Maverick DUC32 and SC32 can be converted for 29er use (just add a spacer).

    Marzocchi makes a 29er marathon, but most on this board think it sucks (I have never ridden one, so I have no opinion).

    I think that's about it... I'm sure someone will chime in if I missed any.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KONA_in_SB
    I checked out the Karate Monkey but can't find the webpage for On-One. Can someone give me a link.
    http://www.on-one.co.uk/
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  13. #13
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    Single speeding is great but..

    I have a hard time slowing down enough to keep pace with my girlfriend on my SS. Unless your fiance rides a SS, you might want to get a bike with gears.

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