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  1. #1
    irascible lummox
    Reputation: slowideclyde's Avatar
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    slack headtubes and proper trail on 29ers?

    I need to talk to Sherwood, but I'm still planning on buying a Capitan. I'm pretty sure Sherwood will probably build a Capitan with a ht slack enough to suit my tastes, but I'm still a little nervous going the custom route. I'd have a much better idea of how a particular ht angle would feel with 26" wheels, but I just don't have enough saddle time on 29ers, so I'm looking for any opinions on 29ers with slacker headtubes, like the Leviathon (70 for xl I believe), or any others. Do Leviathons feel slow or floppy at all with, from what I've seen, the slackest ht of any 29er? I realize the Capitan and Leviathon are different bikes, so what works on the Leviathon might or might not work so well on the Capitan, but ease my anxiety anyway. I really like the 69 degree ht on my 5 Spot and am thinking about changing the Capitan ht from 71.5 to 70.5 or possibly 70.
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  2. #2
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    Reputation: Cloxxki's Avatar
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    If 26 vs. 29, the forks share the same offset figure (they often do, although they shouldn't), indeed you'll want your HTA a bit, ~1║, steeper for the 29"er. This makes the front center a bit shorter, so if you can, a bit more toptube and shorter stem might not hurt.
    You could also consider using a longer fork than the El Capitan was designed around. Say, if it was designed for a 100mm fork, get a 125mm unit (Maverick, White Brothers BW 1.3 '06) and the angles will both slacken about one degree. This does shorten the seated cockpit a little bit.

    Hope this helps,

    J
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  3. #3
    irascible lummox
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    tried that before without much success

    I've tried 4" forks on a couple of frames designed for 3" forks and a 5" fork on a Salty that was designed for a 4" fork. Neither really worked out, mainly because the front end got kind of floppy and was prone to lifting on climbs. I'll just have to talk to Sherwood and see what he says. Mainly, I was wondering how Leviathon riders felt the bike handled with a slack ht. I will be using a Maverick DUC on the Capitan, so I guess I could remove the travel spacers if I want to, although I hope I won't want to.
    My dad went to whatever the heck awaits us after we die and all I got was this stupid plant and a head full of misery.

  4. #4
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    Interesting...

    but the HA on the Lev is 70d (80mm fork) and the prelim HA on 'Moth is 71d for the 5" travel 29er. Couple that with the low rake (offset??) of the WB forks and it makes for an interesting discussion.
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  5. #5
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    The WB thru-axles fork have 3mm more offset by specification, that makes up for already half a degree in head tube angle (quickening it up)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowideclyde
    I need to talk to Sherwood, but I'm still planning on buying a Capitan. I'm pretty sure Sherwood will probably build a Capitan with a ht slack enough to suit my tastes, but I'm still a little nervous going the custom route. I'd have a much better idea of how a particular ht angle would feel with 26" wheels, but I just don't have enough saddle time on 29ers, so I'm looking for any opinions on 29ers with slacker headtubes, like the Leviathon (70 for xl I believe), or any others. Do Leviathons feel slow or floppy at all with, from what I've seen, the slackest ht of any 29er? I realize the Capitan and Leviathon are different bikes, so what works on the Leviathon might or might not work so well on the Capitan, but ease my anxiety anyway. I really like the 69 degree ht on my 5 Spot and am thinking about changing the Capitan ht from 71.5 to 70.5 or possibly 70.
    Go for it.

    I'm running a 70 degree HTA on my custom Ti frame and a WB 1.0 Air 20mm TA fork with a 41mm offset. I think it's fantastic.

    I like it a lot more than the 71.5 degree HTA on my Sugar 293.

    If you like the 69 degree HTA on the 5 spot then I strongly encourage you to go with a slacker HTA option.

    geo29

  7. #7
    This place needs an enema
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    Not quite

    but the HA on the Lev is 70d (80mm fork) and the prelim HA on 'Moth is 71d for the 5" travel 29er. Couple that with the low rake (offset??) of the WB forks and it makes for an interesting discussion.
    HTA on the Lev with 80mm fork is 71.
    HTA on the Lev with 100mm fork is 70.
    Reason being that racers typically want a faster handling bike and just enough travel (80mm) to take the edge off, which the steeper head angle gives them. Non-racers typically don't want a twitchy bike, or anything close to it, so they should/do run a 100mm.

    That's the theory anyway. In reality, of the 20 Leviathan's running around this valley, 18 are run at 100mm. The two that are set at 80 are owned by non-racers. Several that are at 100mm are owned by racers. Every one of these people took out one of my (or Lenore's) Leviathan's for a test ride, set at 80 or 100 (and often both) and 18 of the 20 chose the 100mm travel.

    HTA on the Behemoth with the 130mm fork is 71.
    HTA on the Behemoth with the 150mm fork is 69.5.
    Folks who run it with the 130 will probably ride up at least some hills, and as such will want a tighter front end. Folks who run it with 150mm are probably more concerned with how it performs going downhill, so they probably won't mind a little slower steering.

    Kapish?

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 07-14-2005 at 11:26 PM.

  8. #8
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    terrian dependant too...

    Like others, I much prefer the 70d ht on my RX 29", (100mm Reba), but I ride on loose scratchy ledgy terrian here in GJ CO. I'd prefer a slightly steeper HA for less technical twisty woodsy alpine riding however. Back in the "kids" wheel days I really liked my U-turn Psylo for this - worth the extra 1/4-lb in fork weight for this feature IMO.

    My first 29"er which I still ride, was spec'd with a 72d HA, which I now I think is too twitchy here. A 100mm 1.0 WB mostly fixed this.

    My 2 cents.

    Cheers, Dave

  9. #9
    meh....
    Reputation: Monte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowideclyde
    I will be using a Maverick DUC on the Capitan, so I guess I could remove the travel spacers if I want to, although I hope I won't want to.
    I know it's an old post, but how would you run the duc on a Capitan without the spacers? They are bottom out spacers and they don't change the extended length of the fork, they only keep the tire from hitting the crown.

    Monte

  10. #10
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    Just resurrecting this thread. It is a good discussion, but the original question was never answered.

    What is the proper trail (or range of trail) for a 29er.

    Rigid?
    Hardtail?
    Short travel FS? (asylum, Levaithan)
    Long travel FS 29er such as El Cap or Behemoth?

    Any framebuilders with opinions?

    Walt?

    DWF?

    Is 90mm too much?

  11. #11
    PeT
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    Not a frame builder, but...

    ...I've got an opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    What is the proper trail (or range of trail) for a 29er.
    I think the "slow handling/less flickable" label that has been hung on 29rs is because a number of early bikes were built with inappropriately large trail. The trail of the bike should be the same for 29ers as they are for 26ers -- and since the fork rake has stayed the same on 29er suspension forks, that means a steeper HTA on a 29er frame.


    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Rigid?
    65 mm of trail. Of course, your mileage will vary, but that's what I had mine built to (72 HTA, 50 mm rake). It's lightening quick, but I don't find it skittery at all.

    I chose riding rigid with 65 mm of trail before I chose a 29er, simply because I hated the handling of bikes with large and ever changing trail numbers. However, I do believe that the bigger wheel handles the lower trail number better, keeping the bike stable at speed and as it handles trail chatter better it has even less of the theoretical instability that a short trail might suggest. If you have had any experience with cyclocross rigs, you have already experienced a "low" trail off-road machine. That experience is what convinced me to try it with full fledged fat tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Hardtail?
    Short travel FS? (asylum, Levaithan)
    Long travel FS 29er such as El Cap or Behemoth?
    Until someone builds a suspension fork that doesn't lead to a change of trail during compression I'm out of the market, so I won't forward an opinion here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Is 90mm too much?
    In my opinon -- absolutely. I wouldn't enjoy riding such a lumbering beast on anything resembling a singletrack.

  12. #12
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    PeT makes some great points that are well thought out and heavily experimented with.

    I don't disagree with him, I just have very different preferences.

    My Behemoth and my single speed both share a trail number of 90+. Both by request, and by design. Why? Well, many reasons, but in general because it suits where and how I ride.

    Keep in mind that the Behemoth is a 5" x 5" (ever changing trail number) travel bike, while the SS is full rigid (never changing trail number).

    My Leviathan has a trail number in the high 80's, and to me it's difficult to get used to how fast (quick, nimble, insert your favorite adjective here) it handles every time I jump on it. Lumbering beast? Ha! Try singletrack scalpel.

    My point is not to call into question anyone's preferences, merely to point out that trail (and it's effect on the handling of your bike) is a preference, not an absolute.

    My preferences tend toward the higher end. Anyone that owns a Leviathan, Behemoth, El Cap, Asylum, Racer-X, etc... and likes the way it handles would fall into this group as well.

    MC

  13. #13
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    PeT, 72┬║/50mm, man you like it quick!
    I wish suspension forks came in 50mm so most XC riders could suffice with 71┬║ as "always".

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