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  1. #1
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    Tomac Diplomat vs. the world?

    Hey all, I am looking to get into a 120-140mm travel FS 29er. I have ridden a stumpy expert which felt great, but I don't actually want to buy one. Don't want to deal with the brain or the bad wheelsets that come on the big S Stumpy's.

    I have been looking at the Tomac Diplomat and rode one and it seemed good too. Bit of a different feel. The framesets on those can be had for $1000 brand new.

    There are some new frames coming out but most are about twice the price. I am looking to have the build complete for less than $2800. I currently have 300 into a MArx 44 Micro Ti fork, and 250 into the Sun Ringle Charger Expert wheelset, so far so good.

    Sadly there isn't a lot of other Demo bikes available in the area at this time of year to check out.

    Anything really wrong with the Tomac Diplomat besides being a little heavy? I was interested in the Transition Bandit 29er but the top tube length is even shorter which I am not used to. Want to be able to climb as well as descend.

    I ride in New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe) and will be riding more in CO on the western slope(Durango, Cortez(wouldn't want to run into Johnny on something other than a Tomac), Paonia, etc.) when it dries out. I am about 5'10.5" at 190 lbs loaded. I mostly trail ride, but looking to get into all mountain and easy downhill stuff.


    What other bikes am I missing? I should be looking at the HorseThief, but don't know when I would get to ride one. Rip9 would be great but getting into the smaller travel. Go after a Stumpy comp and suck it up and buy a better wheelset?

    Anyway, thanks for the input.

  2. #2
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    The Diplomat has a steep head angle by modern 29er AM trailbike thinking. I have a Bandit 29 on pre-order and thought long and hard about the XL having an ETT length being 9/10 tenths of an inch shorter than my current ride. Then I realized the the shorter top tube was needed to keep the wheelbase from getting crazy long due to the nice slack head tube angle. You can compensate for the shorter TT by running wider bars, most are suggesting in the 730-760mm range. This is in line with current AM 29er trailbike evolution. It is ancient history in the 26er world

    From my own experience I know that a slacker front end coupled with wider bars equals more confidence on the downs. Having the Hopey steering damper and a GD seatpost does not hurt either.

    My current ride sits at 69.5 degrees HTA and I have slowly gone up to 685mm bars from crazy short ones back in the day. The new build will have the shorter TT, one degree slacker HTA and I will start out at 760 bar width.
    Last edited by 29erchico; 12-16-2011 at 02:57 PM.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  3. #3
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    I really do more trail riding than super gnarly stuff right now. I think the head angle is a smidge slacker than my Monocog 29er right now. I may get the Diplomat because it's such a good deal, then try to demo stuff next year and move the parts if fall in love with anything.

    Just really unsure if I like the short top tube thing yet. Maybe it will grow on me. I wonder if there is a more common bike that might be demoable with a similar setup like that. Specialized Enduro?

    You think the Bandit will be more playful and better handling than the newer Stumpy 29ers?

  4. #4
    JDM
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    I see stumpy frames on ebay pretty often.

  5. #5
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    don't get one with the brain, so that problem is solved and

    what is so "junk" about the dtswiss 520 wheelset that the stumpy comes with?

    i bought mine used for $1350. i beat on it like a red head step child.

  6. #6
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    Me like me Diplomat

    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    I really do more trail riding than super gnarly stuff right now. I think the head angle is a smidge slacker than my Monocog 29er right now. I may get the Diplomat because it's such a good deal, then try to demo stuff next year and move the parts if fall in love with anything.

    Just really unsure if I like the short top tube thing yet. Maybe it will grow on me. I wonder if there is a more common bike that might be demoable with a similar setup like that. Specialized Enduro?

    You think the Bandit will be more playful and better handling than the newer Stumpy 29ers?
    I have been on a Diplomat since the first ones shipped this past spring. I really dig mine. Came off a StumpJumper 29 FSR, which I really grew to dislike. But I'm not on the bandwagon with folks who think a bike has to have a super slack head tube to descend well. In fact, I found the Stump to be way too sluggish steering. I had to adjust my timing to ride that thing and it actually took a while. And even then, it never felt natural. Always felt like driving an American sedan built in the 70s.

    I rode the StumpJumper for one season then totally appreciated the Tomac's quicker and more responsive handling. I adapted back to riding something that wasn't sluggish instantly, felt right at home from the first ride.

    I live and ride in central CO. Lots of rubble and steeps.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    You think the Bandit will be more playful and better handling than the newer Stumpy 29ers?
    Yes, for several different reasons.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  8. #8
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    So I pulled the trigger on a Medium Diplomat frame.

    Build out is as follows:
    Medium Tomac Diplomat, Black
    Truvativ Noir 9 Speed Cranks
    9 Speed SLX E-Type Front Der
    XT 10 Speed chain, cassette, rear der, shifters
    XT Brakes with Ice Tec 160mm rotors
    Marzochi 44 Micro Ti 140mm Fork
    Sun Ringle Charger Experts 15mm
    Sunline V1 711mm handlebars
    Sunline V1 90mm Stem
    Thompson Elite Layback seatpost
    WTB Rocket V Team Saddle


    Excited to get this going. Any thoughts on the build? It look a while to decide on the Noir Cranks with 9 speed front mech. They look hot and already have the 22T Granny. Don't like the 24T on the XT Cranks. Plan is to take off the big ring and throw a bash on it and probably a 34 or 36T middle.

    Build Price should come in around 2800-$2900 100% complete.
    Last edited by warimono; 02-15-2012 at 02:18 PM.

  9. #9
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    Diplomat es muy bueno

    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    So I pulled the trigger on a Medium Diplomat frame.

    Build out is as follows:
    ...
    You're going to dig the Diplo. Should be pretty cool with a 140 fork, front is steep enough that it should still handle pretty nimbly.

    You just skipping out on having brakes to save a little money?

    The new XT stuff comes with a 24T granny? That's too bad for us big wheel types who like low gears. I don't know if the 9speed rings work with 10speed chains... as long as you know that works it's probably fine...
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  10. #10
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    Haha, fixed. Got XT brakes with 160mm Ice Tec Rotors.

    As I understand it 9 speed rings work fine with 10 speed chains, but you still need a 9 speed front Der.

    Yeah, With a lot of Northern New Mexico and Durango + other western slope CO, sucks that it was so hard to get small rings.

  11. #11
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    Rabble rabble rabble

    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    ...Yeah, With a lot of Northern New Mexico and Durango + other western slope CO, sucks that it was so hard to get small rings.
    It's discrimination! Shimano and SRAM are trying to jam 2x10s and race gearing down our throats!

    I used to be able to live happily with a 22T granny and 12-34 9spd cassette. Then an evil bike shop owner revealed to me that I could have a 12-36 9spd cassette. Like a FOOL I took it and started using it. Now I'm older and fatter and couldn't imagine living without at least that low of a gear. Damnit.

    So, the 10spd cassette you're going with has a 36, but Shimano thinks it's OK to mate that with a 24?

    Blasphemy.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  12. #12
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    Sorry I'm so late to the game on this! I'm in western New Mexico (Gallup) and have ridden the western slopes in CO often.

    I'm 5'8" on a Medium Diplo (white) I really like the bike. I also agree that the slack HA thing is a bit over wrought. (But I've only been on a couple pretty slack bikes though)

    I think you'll like your purchase! The Diplo is just an all around good bike. So much so that others in the area seem to be getting on the bandwagon. A buddy is getting one this year and he already has 3+ other bikes, all top of the line, including a 140mm Tomac Snyper. So obviously there's something good about it!

    And I'd think twice about dropping the big ring...I use mine alot.

  13. #13
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    I ride a rigid single speed right now, but I don't see needing more than 34-11 or 36-11T on a mountain bike. I don't bomb down hills super fast. On all the Demo rides I have done they either didn't have a big ring or they did and I didn't touch them.

    Hopefully it will be slack enough for the stuff I want to start riding. If the 140mm doesn't work out I will put some spacers in and bump it down.

  14. #14
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    You should be fine with a the 10speed chain on the 9 speed ring, where you might see problems is with front shifting (if you have a 2x10 front shifter) The indexing is off from a 3x10/3x9 shifter so you will have to adjust your limiter screws accordingly. The tooth profiles for both 10 speed and 9 speed are so close to being the same that any chain or tooth wear would make there nearly identical.

    If you are considering a 22T over a 24T (odd if you can push a 34-11) as a granny, Go with a 34T or 36T. If you decide the 22T is too low and would rather have the 24T, go with a 36T or 38T. My SRAM XO crankset came with a 38/24 2x10 and it works pretty good and offers a pretty good spread of gear ratios, but more importantly the chainring diameters follow the swing of the derailleur so you get clean shifts.

    Good luck with the Diplomat....I was looking for a Flint29 for a long time and just gave up :/
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  15. #15
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    I think the 9 speed and 10 speed shifters are the same and have the same cable pul, the difference is the derailleur cage size and lever ratio is a smidge off.

    I hope this is right. Did a ton of research and that was the best I could come up with. We shal see in a couple weeks.

    I really need the 22T ring and 36T out back for climbing and I think a 34T ring and 11T out back will be plenty fast enough on the downs. I can always mix it up later if that doesn't work out. My comparison is the Stumpy FSR's are coming with 22/33T cranks and a 11-36T cassette and it seemed fine.

    Joel Smith couldn't hook you up with the Flint?

    gcavy1, I have been meaning to head out that way. How is the riding out there compared to ABQ foothills, Cedro and Otero, Sandias, white mesa, etc?

  16. #16
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    So the bike is built up and seems great so far. Still dialing in the suspension though.
    Couple of issues I had were the main pivot squak that is addresses on the Tomac website. I made the modification to the bolt and regreased then reassembled which seemed to address that.

    I have two main questions that I need some help with.

    1. The bike seems to blow through the rear travel very easily. I am at or under the reccomended sag and just puttering around the streat hopping off curbs and the like I go through damn near all of the travel. Ont he trail fairly small humps that I hop off seem to bottom it. Is that just how this bike is, or is there a way to get the rear end to be a bit more progressive without over airing the shock?

    2. I had some issues with the NOIR crank with using a blackspire super pro 34T middle ring. first the ring bolts were not long enough for the thick blackspire ring and the BBG bashguard which does not have machined lips. Second issue was if I left the bashguard and the bing ring off the bolts would go through but the blackspire ring was too fat to work well anyway. With the 2x9 dérailleur and no bash the chain would shoot off the outside of the middle ring. Also with the chain on the small ring and the smallest rear cog the thick middle ring would try to pick up the chain with the shift pins.

    I went back to the stock 32T middle and it works with the bash(ring bolts barely have enough bite but it should be ok) and all is well but I would like that little bit more top end from a 34 or 36T front.
    Is this normal?

    What would be good/light 34T middle ring (4x104mm) with the same thickness profile as the NOIR ring?

  17. #17
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    what shock pressure are you using?

    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    ...I have two main questions that I need some help with.

    1. The bike seems to blow through the rear travel very easily. I am at or under the reccomended sag and just puttering around the streat hopping off curbs and the like I go through damn near all of the travel. Ont he trail fairly small humps that I hop off seem to bottom it. Is that just how this bike is, or is there a way to get the rear end to be a bit more progressive without over airing the shock?

    2. ... ring bolts were not long enough for the thick blackspire ring and the BBG bashguard...
    Mine does not blow through rear travel, it is pretty active in the first 2/3 or so of the shock stroke, but then gets progressive at the top. Do they still ship with an RP23, and if so what pressure do you run and what do you weigh? I'm a 200 lb 6-footer. Can't remember exactly what my shock pressure is but I can check.

    Does yours bottom all the way out and knock the travel indicator off the piston or just go all the way down?

    As for the chainring issue, can't help you there. I've never been a bashguard guy. I like having a normal 22-32-44 triple. My 44 is a plenty effective bashguard. It's missing teeth where you'd expect, but pedals just fine. Once you get those 4-8 teeth knocked clean off so that you don't need to worry about them needing to be bent back straight you're good to go. But that's just me.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  18. #18
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    When I pound around the street I still have about 5 or 6mm left behind the o-ring. On the trails the o-ring was all the way at the back, maybe 1 or 2 mm left, but it had not popped off the shock shaft.

    Maybe it's not actually bottoming? I am pretty new to full sus bikes sadly enough.

    It is a very different kind of ride than the rigid SS. I my ballance sucks while sitting over obstacles, getting more pedal strikes climbing chunk since im not used to the BB height changing etc etc. Still getting used to it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    When I pound around the street I still have about 5 or 6mm left behind the o-ring. On the trails the o-ring was all the way at the back, maybe 1 or 2 mm left, but it had not popped off the shock shaft.

    Maybe it's not actually bottoming? I am pretty new to full sus bikes sadly enough.

    It is a very different kind of ride than the rigid SS. I my ballance sucks while sitting over obstacles, getting more pedal strikes climbing chunk since im not used to the BB height changing etc etc. Still getting used to it.
    If you can just bounce your weight on it and shove it that far down you really probably need more air. What is your riding weight (like, with hydration pack) and the pressure you're running. I'll check mine out when I'm at home. I'll post it later.

    Sag is really only a guideline. Ultimately you need to have enough air in there to pretty much guarantee that you won't bottom it out or you can damage the shock. Dorking around in the street I can't make mine get very close to the bottom, maybe 8-10 mm. It's when I'm doing a g-out corner that I really dig into the travel.

    EDIT: if you are getting pedal strikes it could be more evidence that you need a little more air.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  20. #20
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    That could be. I am not positive of my riding weight, but I am about 183lbs nekkid. probably 195ish geared up. I think I am around 155-165psi right now.

    For that weight the Tomac guide says I should be at 145psi. When I sit on the bike my sag is only about 25%.

    I will get some more data tonight as well.

    Not sure if altitude matters on these shocks. I live at about a mile high.

  21. #21
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    So I got home and pounded around a bit. Confirmed shock pressure at 155ish and sag was about 14mm. Was able to bottom the shock hopping off a curb.

    I upped the pressure to 165ish and sag was around 13.6mm, still able to bottom the shock off curbs.

    I upped the pressure to 190 and sag was closer to 12.5mm and was just barely not able to bottom the shock off the same curbs. Ride did start to feel more harsh over bumps.

    I confirmed that the shock was indeed bottoming by taking all the pressure out and seeing how far down the o-ring went. With all the air out there was about 3mm on the shaft behind the o-ring.

    Might there be something wrong with my RP23's damping circuit? Should I contact Joel and see what he thinks?

  22. #22
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    190 at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    ...I confirmed that the shock was indeed bottoming by taking all the pressure out and seeing how far down the o-ring went. With all the air out there was about 3mm on the shaft behind the o-ring.

    Might there be something wrong with my RP23's damping circuit? Should I contact Joel and see what he thinks?
    I didn't have time to actually put a shock pump on mine before I left for work this morning, but I had paint-sticked "200" on it. I can't say for absolutely sure what pressure it's been running lately, but I am quite certain that it's in the neighborhood of 200. I'm sporting rider weight of 200-220, so I'm just a smidge bigger than you. But I wouldn't guess you'd be wanting to go any lower than 190.

    If you have access to Joel, sure, give him a jingle.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  23. #23
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    Thanks Tom. I shot him an email and he had been responsive before. I wonder why their shock setup guide is so far off. I believe we have a high volume air can, I wonder if his other bikes have a low volume can using less pressure and they just didn't take that into account on the guide.

    Little worried about my sag being pretty minimal compared to the reccomendation. It's on the 25% end of things instead of the 35%.

    It only has 4 rides on it so maybe I need to give the shock and pivots more time to break in.

  24. #24
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    That's the reason i haven't pulled the trigger on a diplomat. Liked the geometry but had a look at the suspension curves and Diplomat looks to push much deeper in to it's travel than other 29er Fs of similar travel. Can be a good thing on the trail . I've owned a few bikes where it was impossible to get full travel and so felt like less travel than on paper.
    Be interested to see if they have got it just right with the diplomat so you use most of the travel most of the time and the odd bottom out is no big deal. Be ideal if you get to use a deep midstroke on rough terrain with out getting too much pedal bob on climbing.

  25. #25
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    If this is really how this shock/suspension setup is I may just throw in a volume spaer to get it a bit more progressive and call it good. I was mostly trying to figure out if this is really how it was supposed to behave.

    It feels good on the trail except for trying to climb up chunky stuff I feel like I get a lot of pedal strikes because of how it sags before I really push into or up something. A lot of this are just things I need to learn how to deal with coming from a rigid bike.

    The frame itself is very sexy, seems to have pretty good build quality fit and finish. Didn't have any fit problems building up the bike so no worries there.

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