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  1. #1
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    Most Fun and Flickable 29er?

    What are your opinions in regards to the most fun and flickable 29er.

    Examples? Pics?

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    Hardtail or FS?

    I've been having a good time flicking my Nimble 9 around..

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    Honzo!

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    Banshee paradox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstews View Post
    Hardtail or FS?

    I've been having a good time flicking my Nimble 9 around..
    I was thinking more Hardtail, but open to opinions on FS as well.

    Also, I have a question. How much of an effect does the chainstay length actually have on the overall "flickability" or "26ER feel" if you will?

    What about the weight of the bike. I saw a video of a guy that seemed to be throwing around a Charge Cooker 29ER quite easily and that bike is ~30.00lbs.

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    Most Fun and Flickable 29er?

    Mine weighs in around 30 and have no problem throwing it around. Dropper post and flick away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by For Waukee View Post
    I was thinking more Hardtail, but open to opinions on FS as well.

    Also, I have a question. How much of an effect does the chainstay length actually have on the overall "flickability" or "26ER feel" if you will?

    What about the weight of the bike. I saw a video of a guy that seemed to be throwing around a Charge Cooker 29ER quite easily and that bike is ~30.00lbs.
    A lot I think. My Karate Monkey had 16.9" stays and was plenty fun and flickable, in fact I think they had that one nailed right at the beginning. There are a lot of fun flickable FS bikes as well, but realize if they start to get slack they are not going to be super flickable, they'll be more relaxed and steer slower, etc. Just like a 26er all mountain or DH bike compared to a 26er XC bike, an all mountain 29er is going to be more sluggish than a 29er XC bike. What you want is for it to remain maneuverable enough that it excels at the things you want it to excel at. To that extent, for an all-mountain bike, I waited to get a 29er FS bike until they could make something with the chainstay length I thought would be acceptable. I'm loving the bike right now, but again, it's more sluggish than a 29er XC bike, so realize that there is always give and take.

    The Karate Monkey was really fun with a rigid fork, because the steering was so precise and you could "push it" into turns much harder. It's hard to describe, but the flex with ANY suspension fork gives you a lot less steering precision and control, although it gives you more control in other ways obviously. Going around switchbacks you could really whip it around due to the low front end and rigid fork. I'd still take suspension over the rigid fork for fatigue and obstacles, but it's fun to ride the rigid every once and a while for it's benefits.

    I really like that new Kona Process 111, cool idea with shorter travel but still slack with shortish stays. That would be fun for a lot of places that don't call for a ton of travel, but again, not as nimble as an XC bike of course.

    Weight is not a huge issue to me unless it's significantly more than 32lbs or so. Everyone is different here, but I've been training and getting stronger for the last few years, which has helped dramatically. If you are used to single speeding or can ride like a single speeder, you can often outclimb anyone that's not at that level of fitness. I'm riding a heavy snowbike at times and busting out the climbs just fine with a standing-technique. It's like riding a single speed and you always have to remember SS guys climb your hills just fine with only one gear, so you can darn sure do it on an easier gear than them without having to go into the "easiest" combo. This just means that it's not the weight of the bike so much, it's your conditioning and strength.
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    Forgive me for not being in tune with the terms, but what exactly does 'slack' mean? Also, thanks for the detailed response.

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    Very happy with how my Banshee Paradox flicks *IF* you can get the seat low enough to get it out of the way. If I slam the seat without a dropper post, it's perfect. With the dropper post slammed (Kindshock Supernatural 125 mm), the seat is still just a bit too high. IMHO, seat tube should be 2" shorter on the Paradox if you want to run a dropper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by For Waukee View Post
    Forgive me for not being in tune with the terms, but what exactly does 'slack' mean?
    Usually this refers to the geometry of the bike, most notably the head angle although seat tube angles vary a fair bit too. The head tube angle is what most people focus on though. For 29 ers I'd say anything under about 69 degrees is fairly slack.

    As far as the original question goes my vote, like a lot of the others, would be for an all mountain hardtail like a Honzo in terms of being flickable.

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    OS Bikes Blackbuck Gen1 with the 435mm forks. Crazy responsive handling, even with the longer / less rake Salsa Cromoto Grande forks it is more responsive than most small wheeled bikes

    Mark Slate nails it again....I would expect nothing less from the designer of the WTB Phoenix!
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    I know the list so far has leaned towards HT, but the Transition Covert is a super flickable FS. I never thought I'd own a 29er that is so playful.
    Uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay. Um Can you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about uuhhh, things. Uhh... the things.

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    I will probably get blasted for my opinion on this, but i think the short chain stay "flickable" buzz is kinda silly.

    I surf on a 10' longboard. It has huge advantages over short boards when it comes to catching waves, but being a longboard it is *supposed* to surf like an aircraft carrier. Thing is, when i position my self correctly and carve hard i can cut back no problem. I kick spray and lip bash like a shortboarder as long as my technique and set up are correct. I get all the wave hog advantages and really have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    When i got my 29 it felt the same way. Some of the very advantages i love about my bike involve the longer wheel base and stability of the thing. A longer chain stay and LESS flickability actually helps on steep climbs and fast descents. The faster i go the better the bike handles. When i find my self on trail sections that your flickable bikes excel at, it comes down to proper technique, set up, and weight distribution. I have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    Not hating on anyone for personal preference, outside of races the best rider is the one having the most fun after all... but i think to much weight is being placed on how well a bike performs at under 10mph. There are people who will seek out bikes with this style of geometry because of threads like this without understanding why and what they are giving up.

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    Most Fun and Flickable 29er?

    The most fun I've had on a 29er was a Tallboy LTc demo with enve wheels. Popped off everything! It's a big bike, with relatively long chainstays, but it didn't matter. That thing was great fun. I was completely sold.

    If I could afford it obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I will probably get blasted for my opinion on this, but i think the short chain stay "flickable" buzz is kinda silly.

    I surf on a 10' longboard. It has huge advantages over short boards when it comes to catching waves, but being a longboard it is *supposed* to surf like an aircraft carrier. Thing is, when i position my self correctly and carve hard i can cut back no problem. I kick spray and lip bash like a shortboarder as long as my technique and set up are correct. I get all the wave hog advantages and really have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    When i got my 29 it felt the same way. Some of the very advantages i love about my bike involve the longer wheel base and stability of the thing. A longer chain stay and LESS flickability actually helps on steep climbs and fast descents. The faster i go the better the bike handles. When i find my self on trail sections that your flickable bikes excel at, it comes down to proper technique, set up, and weight distribution. I have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    Not hating on anyone for personal preference, outside of races the best rider is the one having the most fun after all... but i think to much weight is being placed on how well a bike performs at under 10mph. There are people who will seek out bikes with this style of geometry because of threads like this without understanding why and what they are giving up.
    With you 100% on this. I mean, I'm not the best rider and don't have the most experience riding different bikes, but your explanation just makes total sense to me. Just based on research, I feel that what you lose in stability and climbing strength with shorter 'stays and wheelbase is harder to make up with proper technique then that of longer 'stays and wheelbase.

    With long 'stays, sure you're sacrificing a bit of maneuverability, but proper technique and conditioning can make that up in the long run.

    What about headtube angle? how much does it have to do with the steering and control of the bike? Would anyone say that it is more/less important than chainstay length and wheelbase?

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    I dunno, I think my Banshee Prime is very fun, but if I flick it I find it hurts my finger, maybe the alu is too hard to make it a nice flickable bike
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    You ask a good question. Many fellas these days really like their short stayed/slack front bikes (eg, Paradox, Nimble 9, Honzo, etc), but after briefly owning a Nimble 9, I really didn't care for it. Yes, the short stays made it very easy to loft the front wheel, but I didn't get along with the slack front end when the front wheel was on the ground, which was most of the time. It just handled in a very dull manner. So for me, the head angle has more importance than the rear chainstays (and of course, these are both part of the overall package, rider position, etc etc)

    I think two good candidates have already been mentioned:

    - Karate Monkey: still relatively short stays, but a steeper head angle. I've had one of these in the past, and will probably get one again in the future

    - OS Blackbuck: the short fork makes this very, very responsive.

    I currently have a Blackbuck. One idea I have kicking around is to combine the Blackbuck fork with the KM frame...

    Quote Originally Posted by For Waukee View Post
    What about headtube angle? how much does it have to do with the steering and control of the bike? Would anyone say that it is more/less important than chainstay length and wheelbase?

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    Sorry If this is getting a little off topic, but would you guys consider a XC 29er (of course!) with 17.72 chainstays, 43.34 wheelbase, 24.61 TT, and 72 degree HT to be more on the short and "twitchy" side or long and stable side?

    By reading all of these detailed and intelligent responses I can tell you guys on here really know your stuff and just want to get your opinions.

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    Those look like pretty typical numbers for a size Large XC bike. In my experience, that's more stable than twitchy. But, my trails are largely flattish and twisty, not fast downhills with lots of chunk. For people who ride that kind of thing, they will probably cry, "too steep!"

    One more thing: when you're looking at head angle, you also need to think about the fork rake. These two numbers combine to give you trail, which has a big influence on how the bike steers. Most 29er forks have standardized around a narrow range of rakes (45mm, give or take), but there are a few outliers (Trek/Gary Fisher G2 and the Blackbuck mentioned above, both have more rake = less trail= quicker handling for a given head angle)

    I made some trail comparisons at the bottom of this bike review.

    Quote Originally Posted by For Waukee View Post
    Sorry If this is getting a little off topic, but would you guys consider a XC 29er (of course!) with 17.72 chainstays, 43.34 wheelbase, 24.61 TT, and 72 degree HT to be more on the short and "twitchy" side or long and stable side?

    By reading all of these detailed and intelligent responses I can tell you guys on here really know your stuff and just want to get your opinions.

  20. #20
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    There's some good thoughts (and some effort at actual experimentation) on chain stay length here: All-Mountain or ?Just-Mountain? and other related numbers. » 44 Bikes

    Chainstay length certainly plays a role in a bikes handling, as does headtube angle, and a number of other synergistic factors, that's why we're discussing them. One thing I think is sometimes overlooked is what sort of terrain you ride (as Seat_boy mentioned) and what you want you bike to do on that terrain.

    @seat_boy, got the N9 built up, by the way. Loving it sofar! Thanks again.

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    I just switched from a Niner Rip to a Yeti SB95C and I feel like I am on a 26" bike as far as being flickable and getting air. The Niner did not air out like this Yeti! Hands down the most predictable and best pedaling 5" travel bike around.

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    Nimble9 or the Yelli screamy

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    Most fun and flickable? Any frame sized down one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I will probably get blasted for my opinion on this, but i think the short chain stay "flickable" buzz is kinda silly.

    I surf on a 10' longboard. It has huge advantages over short boards when it comes to catching waves, but being a longboard it is *supposed* to surf like an aircraft carrier. Thing is, when i position my self correctly and carve hard i can cut back no problem. I kick spray and lip bash like a shortboarder as long as my technique and set up are correct. I get all the wave hog advantages and really have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    When i got my 29 it felt the same way. Some of the very advantages i love about my bike involve the longer wheel base and stability of the thing. A longer chain stay and LESS flickability actually helps on steep climbs and fast descents. The faster i go the better the bike handles. When i find my self on trail sections that your flickable bikes excel at, it comes down to proper technique, set up, and weight distribution. I have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    Not hating on anyone for personal preference, outside of races the best rider is the one having the most fun after all... but i think to much weight is being placed on how well a bike performs at under 10mph. There are people who will seek out bikes with this style of geometry because of threads like this without understanding why and what they are giving up.
    Longboards don't surf like short boards. They can do some of the same moves, but are slower. You only get used to doing things in slow motion. Your analogy supports flickable (at least for people who have ridden short and long boards)
    Also not sure why you think flickable is only done at slow speeds?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by illnacord View Post
    Most fun and flickable? Any frame sized down one.
    +1

    At 6'2, I generally ride medium sized frames with slack head angles. Medium to keep the wheelbase in check and a slack head angle to keep it stable. YMMV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geolover View Post
    +1

    At 6'2, I generally ride medium sized frames with slack head angles. Medium to keep the wheelbase in check and a slack head angle to keep it stable. YMMV.
    I sized down to a small on my Kona Honzo... and it has super short 16.3" chainstays...

    I am actually finding it to be too far on the "flickable" end of the spectrum.
    Yes it manuals and wheelies super easy, easier than most 26" bikes I've owned. And it makes quick work of switchbacks and schralping corners. However at higher speeds on rocky terrain, it gets knocked off line easier, rides rough, and generally feels skittish.

    I do love the Honzo, just not for high speed rocky stuff!

    I never had these issues with my yelli screamy, which had similar reach/TT length, but .4" longer chainstays. The Honzo has sliders so I think the fix is just to move the drop-outs back a bit. And CERTAINLY not an issue on my banshee prime.

    So far my experience is that short stays and wheelbase add some playfulness back into the mix, but there can also be too much of a good thing.

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    So sick of this "flick able" term. Who started this nonsense anyway? I get what it means but it just sounds like marketing jargon. Each bike will handle slightly different. Test some out and determine which you like.

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    I'll second this. Also don't see why people want 29ers to handle like 26ers, it's like having a Porsche and a Jeep and expecting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brodon View Post
    So sick of this "flick able" term. Who started this nonsense anyway? I get what it means but it just sounds like marketing jargon. Each bike will handle slightly different. Test some out and determine which you like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    So far my experience is that short stays and wheelbase add some playfulness back into the mix, but there can also be too much of a good thing.
    Exactly, otherwise we'd all be on Unicycles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    I never had these issues with my yelli screamy...
    This is because the Yelli Screamy is rad.

    PS - I rode the full suspension version of the Honzo a few weeks ago. Initial review: I would like to ride it again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geolover View Post
    This is because the Yelli Screamy is rad.

    PS - I rode the full suspension version of the Honzo a few weeks ago. Initial review: I would like to ride it again.
    tell me more...do you mean the Satori?

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    Re: Most Fun and Flickable 29er?

    Not the Satori...the Process 111. (thread jack complete)

    http://www.konaworld.com/process_111.cfm

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    I know what you're going through (I think). I rode 26" GT hard tails since 1995. I was soooo concerned about making the switch to 29" and FS. I didn't want to lose that feeling of being on my BMX bike (circa 1983)... I guess that's the "flickable" thing. I ended up on an XL Cannondale Scalpel 29er Carbon 1. I was blown away at the ride - WAY more fun than I expected it to be. Oh, I knew it'd be faster on the descents, more planted on roots, etc. I was surprised at how much better it climbed. But I was really blown away at just how fun it is to ride. It is absolutely as much tossable, flickable - whatever cool mtb term ya wanna use - as any of my 26" bike. I've never had had more fun riding.

    Edit note: I was also surprised at how easy the transition was. After 25+ years on hard tails, I raced the day after picking up the Scalpel... and podiumed
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by geolover View Post
    Not the Satori...the Process 111. (thread jack complete)

    KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | ENDURO | PROCESS 111

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    Just built a devinci atlas with a 140 fork. Very similar geo to 111. Bike is looking like it is exactly how I'd hope it to be (couple rides). Tremendously playful. Can't tell what the wheel size is until leaning into a corner and then feeling massive traction. Reminds me of one of the most playful bikes I've ever ridden, commencal meta 6 sized down. Can't really power through (pedal) heavy chunk, but I did not really expect that. Definitely looking as fun as the Yeli Screamy, but with added benefit of 4" travel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I will probably get blasted for my opinion on this, but i think the short chain stay "flickable" buzz is kinda silly.

    I surf on a 10' longboard. It has huge advantages over short boards when it comes to catching waves, but being a longboard it is *supposed* to surf like an aircraft carrier. Thing is, when i position my self correctly and carve hard i can cut back no problem. I kick spray and lip bash like a shortboarder as long as my technique and set up are correct. I get all the wave hog advantages and really have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    When i got my 29 it felt the same way. Some of the very advantages i love about my bike involve the longer wheel base and stability of the thing. A longer chain stay and LESS flickability actually helps on steep climbs and fast descents. The faster i go the better the bike handles. When i find my self on trail sections that your flickable bikes excel at, it comes down to proper technique, set up, and weight distribution. I have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    Not hating on anyone for personal preference, outside of races the best rider is the one having the most fun after all... but i think to much weight is being placed on how well a bike performs at under 10mph. There are people who will seek out bikes with this style of geometry because of threads like this without understanding why and what they are giving up.
    I would have to differ in relating the two. I snowboard on a what could be described as a long board (a 169) because I like the stability at speed but when I get in the bumps and have to carve I'm at a disadvantage when I have to quickly swing that big ***** around in a tight space. It's doable though and I have demoed shorter boards and while they were better in the bumps, they were too fidgety at speed.

    My Nimble 9 SS has 16.2 stays and a G2 fork. It is extremely flickable on tight switchbacks and narrow singletrack compared to my former frames (Dambala and SIR9). It's also the most confident descender I have owned due to it's slack head tube and Canfield's DH geometry. When I stand and mash on steep climbs the rear wheel is right under me which means my weight is right over the rear wheel, leading to better traction when the trail surface is sketchy. Riding it is definitely the most fun I've had on a MTB on any terrain.

    To each their own though. Ride what you like and what works for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by For Waukee View Post
    Sorry If this is getting a little off topic, but would you guys consider a XC 29er (of course!) with 17.72 chainstays, 43.34 wheelbase, 24.61 TT, and 72 degree HT to be more on the short and "twitchy" side or long and stable side?

    By reading all of these detailed and intelligent responses I can tell you guys on here really know your stuff and just want to get your opinions.
    Only if I was towing a trailer. Sounds like an endo machine to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I will probably get blasted for my opinion on this, but i think the short chain stay "flickable" buzz is kinda silly.

    I surf on a 10' longboard. It has huge advantages over short boards when it comes to catching waves, but being a longboard it is *supposed* to surf like an aircraft carrier. Thing is, when i position my self correctly and carve hard i can cut back no problem. I kick spray and lip bash like a shortboarder as long as my technique and set up are correct. I get all the wave hog advantages and really have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    When i got my 29 it felt the same way. Some of the very advantages i love about my bike involve the longer wheel base and stability of the thing. A longer chain stay and LESS flickability actually helps on steep climbs and fast descents. The faster i go the better the bike handles. When i find my self on trail sections that your flickable bikes excel at, it comes down to proper technique, set up, and weight distribution. I have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.

    Not hating on anyone for personal preference, outside of races the best rider is the one having the most fun after all... but i think to much weight is being placed on how well a bike performs at under 10mph. There are people who will seek out bikes with this style of geometry because of threads like this without understanding why and what they are giving up.
    Agree. Id rather muscle a long bike through the jumps and turns then trust my life on a short bike through high speed chunk.. The process 111 looks good though lean down to take advantage of the long top tube in the high speed. sit up a little straight to tale advatage of the short stays in the low speed...

    need to see first hand though
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    I own a Kona Process and yes it is very flickable and still very stable at high speeds. I describe it as a 29er 4x bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    Just built a devinci atlas with a 140 fork. Very similar geo to 111. Bike is looking like it is exactly how I'd hope it to be (couple rides). Tremendously playful. Can't tell what the wheel size is until leaning into a corner and then feeling massive traction. Reminds me of one of the most playful bikes I've ever ridden, commencal meta 6 sized down. Can't really power through (pedal) heavy chunk, but I did not really expect that. Definitely looking as fun as the Yeli Screamy, but with added benefit of 4" travel.
    Yes but your talking about an Ultra-light XC race bike " the scalpel ".
    I have that exact bike and can relate, spot on Geo.

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    I just purchased a Yeti SB95 to replace my Intense Tracer 29. I never did feel quite comfortable / confident in tight rocky steep sections with the longer w.b. and or geometry of the Intense. I am really digging the SB now after only one 12+ - mile ride last week. It does feel closer to handling like a 26er and it's overall just more responsive. Also the large Yeti is around 1/2 an inch smaller in all areas than the Intense. When the rain lets up I will get some quality seat time to really get to know the SB.

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    I believe experience and "active" technique have a lot to do with "flick ability"

  42. #42
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    Canfield Brothers Nimble 9 is very "flick-able" IMHO. Made me a believer in terms of the whole short CS concept.

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    If you put a shorter stem and shorter bars on any bike, in my opinion that makes it "flickable".

  44. #44
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    Re: Most Fun and Flickable 29er?

    Quote Originally Posted by matty.d. View Post
    If you put a shorter stem and shorter bars on any bike, in my opinion that makes it "flickable".
    Would have to disagree. 50mm stem on a frame with an 18" CS will not handle as good as say a 75-85mm stem on a frame with 16.25" CS.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I will probably get blasted for my opinion on this, but i think the short chain stay "flickable" buzz is kinda silly.

    I surf on a 10' longboard. It has huge advantages over short boards when it comes to catching waves, but being a longboard it is *supposed* to surf like an aircraft carrier. Thing is, when i position my self correctly and carve hard i can cut back no problem. I kick spray and lip bash like a shortboarder as long as my technique and set up are correct. I get all the wave hog advantages and really have not felt limited in maneuverability since i got the feel for it.
    I know this quote is from last year but had to comment. No f'in way a longboard is even close to short board performance...this coming from a guy who has mostly ridden shortboards but also own high performance longboards and has been surfing for 35 years. The weight of a high performance longboard far exceeds any shortboard and that is just the beginning of the differences. If that is not enough to tell, you only ride waves and don't actually surf them.

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    [QUOTE=cycljunkie;11288626]Would have to disagree. 50mm stem on a frame with an 18" CS will not handle as good as say a 75-85mm stem on a frame with 16.25" CS.



    Agree, but if you have a bike already and want to change the way it feels without getting a new bike stem and bars change it a lot.

  47. #47
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    [QUOTE=matty.d.;11288652]
    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie View Post
    Would have to disagree. 50mm stem on a frame with an 18" CS will not handle as good as say a 75-85mm stem on a frame with 16.25" CS.



    Agree, but if you have a bike already and want to change the way it feels without getting a new bike stem and bars change it a lot.
    You are correct but I don't think changing your bar/stem setup will have as big of an impact as switching to a short CS frame. I've owned many 29er frames (too many) and my current frame (Nimble 9) has 16.25" CS's. This was my first "short CS" bike. I noticed the benefit of having short CS's right from the "get go". Made me a true believer! Just my $0.02 and your mileage may vary.

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    [QUOTE=cycljunkie;11288673]
    Quote Originally Posted by matty.d. View Post

    You are correct but I don't think changing your bar/stem setup will have as big of an impact as switching to a short CS frame. I've owned many 29er frames (too many) and my current frame (Nimble 9) has 16.25" CS's. This was my first "short CS" bike. I noticed the benefit of having short CS's right from the "get go". Made me a true believer! Just my $0.02 and your mileage may vary.

    Yeah your probly right I've never road a short CS bike although I've broken a CS ☺

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    FS but---Salsa big mama. rides like a 26r methinks










    b
    I'm afraid of heights so a 26'r fits me to a T.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by For Waukee View Post
    I was thinking more Hardtail, but open to opinions on FS as well.

    Also, I have a question. How much of an effect does the chainstay length actually have on the overall "flickability" or "26ER feel" if you will?

    What about the weight of the bike. I saw a video of a guy that seemed to be throwing around a Charge Cooker 29ER quite easily and that bike is ~30.00lbs.
    I'm new to MTBR but not to Mountain Biking. I think weight, frame material, suspension, chainstay and AtoA length all play into flixability. A light weight, carbon frame with stiff suspension, short chainstay and AtoA is much more flixable than a longer plusher, aluminum bike.

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