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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Rockshox are bringing out a 160mm 29er fork this year with 571mm a2c.
    Do tell more.
    konahonzo

  2. #52
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    Can't? I don't know more. Other than I have been told by multiple industry sources.
    Nicolai specifically asked if I wanted this frame deigned to accommodate a new 571 A2C 160mm fork from a manufacturer....Then two other sources one designer included, who have dealings with RS said the same thing but separately. However no news of timing or any further detail.

    So the frame will be designed o take it. Although I doubt I will fit it due to weight, unless everyone says its amazing!
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  3. #53
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    There is a review of the new Enduro 29 SE. It has 155mm of travel and 430 mm long chainstays, which in my opinion is very impressive. I can't post a link so you will have to specialized forum to see the review.

  4. #54
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    It is kind of impressive but the seat tube is shaped like a banana! Nicolai don't bend tubes! Even the alloy Spesh are hinged in the middle to create clearance to the seat tube.
    The video shows they tried to make a 26" bike with 29" wheels which is not what we are trying to do here. The Specialized is shorter, higher and steeper so it will change direction in tight corners quicker maybe but stability will not be as high.

    The axle path may not be usual for a Horst link either to try and avoid hitting the seat tube. It is also designed for a front mech so will it take a 2.4/2.5 tyre.

    We could have got 150mm if we had increased ST offset more or made the seat tube steeper bi that creates other compromises.
    The relative rider position, with CS that short so rear centre vs front centre will compromise climbing, you are much further over the back of the bike, realistically speaking, this aids 'playfulness' but makes or a
    More wandery less capable technical climber.

    This was always meant to be an all round bike that can take on big days but descend brilliantly. So fast, steep, sweeping terrain. Ironically like in Finale, which is the race experience I based the inputs to this design! No crazy tight nadgery terrain there. At least no like here in the UK..
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  5. #55
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    Interestingly now the geo has been reinstated I had a look at the Spesh Enduro. The 'corrected' difference for HA and ETT is only about 3mm overall in wheelbase, despite the short rear.

    I had concerns about the weight bias being too far back (if it had super short CS) on the Ion when climbing casuing it to wander and leading to a compromised riding position. With a 430mm rear but approx 1180mm overall length the front centre on the Spesh is, relatively, very long; playful it will be, easy to manual too, no doubt. However the riders position on the bike will be similar to a slack long travel 26" bike (something they were trying to achieve) in my experience this setup is compromised for climbing, particularly technical climbing. easy to very easy to manual also means hard to keep down when the ascent gets tough.

    One of the great things about a 29 is its climbing ability as well as stability in corners and descending. It was important with this Ion to try to design it so it still climbs very well even though it is slack (up to 0.5-1deg slacker than the Enduro)

    The effective SA on the Spesh is also steep at 75deg. (actual 69deg) something else I am not sure about based on my experience, as discussed earlier in the thread. We could have got more travel, or shortened the CS if we had gone down that route with the Ion, similarly if we had specced a smaller rear tyre.

    The one thing we couldn't do was create a Cannonadle Raven/V stylee bananaesque seat tube to fit it all in AND have a super short CS. Not what Nicolai do for sound engineering reasons. Those reasons apply less to carbon, but that's a whole different story.

    So an interesting announcement. Not 'revolutionary' since we have had similar, if not the same, bikes here for nearly 4 years now but then again we don't have a multi million marketing budget ;-)

    What I do know is when we put together this Ion design concept we weren't trying to create bike that felt like a 26" bike with big wheels. We were trying to create an all round, all mountain 29er that climbs well, descends amazingly, is long, low and very very fast and stable downhill on all kinds of terrain...29ers are not stable purely because of the gyroscopic effect of big wheels ;-)

    When they are finished....we will know if we succeeded ;-)
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  6. #56
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    @the_pilot: What, if anything, have Nicolai said about the "Ion 29er" in being able to have it equipped with a Pinion P1.18 gearbox? "Yes"; "... with some compromises" (> CS length), "No chance!"?

  7. #57
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    Nothing at all. I haven't asked! It's not a model in their range and they are having to produce special parts and machining programs for it already. It has been completely driven, and the suspension/pivot points designed, around 1x10 or 1x11 for efficiency and weight. I have only ever asked for that as the main use is for Enduro and All Mountain in the true sense (it has to go up as well as down). I didn't want any compromises. I already ride 1x10 without any problems.
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Nothing at all. I haven't asked! It's not a model in their range and they are having to produce special parts and machining programs for it already. It has been completely driven, and the suspension/pivot points designed, around 1x10 or 1x11 for efficiency and weight. I have only ever asked for that as the main use is for Enduro and All Mountain in the true sense (it has to go up as well as down). I didn't want any compromises. I already ride 1x10 without any problems.
    Fair enough. Come the day my poor wallet has enough shrapnel... I'll bend Nicolai's ear.

  9. #59
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    ah, so the predicted 160mm 29er RS fork has materialised And BOS will be doing a 29er fork too.

    I think I will be staying with the 150mm Fox for now for the Ion. I like RS forks but they will be half price next year ;-) It'll be interesting to see what BOS do, still my favourite damping/feel of any fork I've tried.

    The Ion29s are due to begin production on the 12th so very soon now. I'm expecting more pictures from Nicolai as production begins.

    Have been experimenting with HA with the 150 Fox forks, steepened my current Helius to 66.9deg static with the 150mm and 30% sag. It's very very good every day, more nimble in the tight stuff, still super stable. I reckon 67deg is spot on for the HA on the Ion with the ETK able to drop it back to 66.5deg.

    The Reverb stealth with an easy remove connector is also welcome, the Ion being stealth routing.

    Can't wait now...
    Last edited by the_pilot; 04-15-2013 at 01:04 PM.
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  10. #60
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    This thread has got me thinking of a half-arsed 650B Ion 15.

    Same geo as the Helius AC 650, but with the Ion linkage. I have not tried it, but the numbers say the Ion linkage is a winner.
    Check my Site

  11. #61
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    You want full fat Warp ;-) no point messing with the skinny latte :-)
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    You want full fat Warp ;-) no point messing with the skinny latte :-)
    Don't know, man... there are trails here where my Kiddie Wheeled AC and my 720mm bars barely get through the trees.
    Check my Site

  13. #63
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    haha, My 800mm Eastons might be a problem then, the wheels would be fine.
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  14. #64
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    In other news, apart from the Fox 34 29 150mm (Which I have currently( and the recently announced RS Pike, I know of another Manufacturer who can provide a 150mm 29er fork, with....36mm stantions and either carbon or aluminium lowers, tapered steerer and custom damping....I am in discussion with them at the moment. It is not publicly available yet but has been in development for over 1year after it was suggested to them last year.

    I will provide more information when they respond to some of my questions
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  15. #65
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    Wow,
    You guys have really thought this though. Wonder if you considered an eccentric BB? That would allow a fair bit off BB tuning in case of pedal strike on certain tracks. The payoff is the super low BB being possible when the ground tilts down. I know, complexity/reliability/weight. Hmm.
    Also wondering how stiff those RS 29 forks are, heard some complain the 34/29 is a bit noodly.
    N

  16. #66
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    I need to punch myself I think, I'm even adding up the weight of the Ion if I used a Manitou Dorado Pro, like young Whafe has on his AM. It has the right Axle to Crown measurement, but does run a touch long really at 175mm travel, and comes in at 2.9kg. Which is 700g heavier than the Fox and 1kg heavier than the RS Pike. I'll believe the Pike weight when someone weighs one mind. It would move the Ion to an estimated 30lb, which might be a touch heavy really for what I want..ticks all the stiffness/travel boxes though!
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  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    In other news, apart from the Fox 34 29 150mm (Which I have currently( and the recently announced RS Pike, I know of another Manufacturer who can provide a 150mm 29er fork, with....36mm stantions and either carbon or aluminium lowers, tapered steerer and custom damping....I am in discussion with them at the moment. It is not publicly available yet but has been in development for over 1year after it was suggested to them last year.

    I will provide more information when they respond to some of my questions
    It's DT Swiss, isn't it?

  18. #68
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    Nope German-A. I do have concerns over parts availability in the event of failure and also outright cost. Waiting to see what they come back with..

    The Pike is also a 150mm 29 fork not 160mm as it turns out. Sea Otter may turn up others you never know.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Nope German-A. I do have concerns over parts availability in the event of failure and also outright cost. Waiting to see what they come back with...
    German-German vs. Swiss-German... same, same! Wonder if they have an ETA on it?

  20. #70
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    Staying with the Fox 34...Going to use a CCDB air at the back...Production started this week eek!
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  21. #71
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    Frame production has started.
    The design of the machining work and detail around the swingarm is complete and fabrication has begun.

    The Ion29 swing arm has a different angle and length to the normal Ion to allow for the tyre clearance of the big wheels and suck up a 2.4/2.5 in the rear.

    I'll post production pictures as they come through, but maybe keep a few back for a big flourish at the end.

    The plan is to visit Nicolai, pick up the frames and meet the guys who have made this project happen in early June.

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-img_0232.jpg
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  22. #72
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    dont like the look of yours. looks a bit off
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  23. #73
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    Pilot, you lucky sod, what a great project

    neil

  24. #74
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    Looks great guys, smoking hawt... Stay with the 150 or 160 mm, the Dorado was a fill in until the single crown forks arrived.... Be happy and dam annoyed at the same time if in fact BOS come witha 29er long travel, I pleaded with them to build one when I built the Monster Truck....

    Exciting to see this coming together.....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  25. #75
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    The BOS fork is xc, 80-120mm...sooo last year ;-0
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  26. #76
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    A little update:
    The custom swingarm designs in the pictures above have now been completed and this week has seen the preparation of the fixtures for the new BB design. They are now complete and machining of the new BB design is due to take place today, pictures to follow later.
    Once complete, the rest of the week will see tube selection and preparation for the fabrication of the mainframes. There are no special tubes or fixtures required for the mainframe as all the tubes/fixtures are used on various other models. It's a custom mix for this model because of the fork and angles and the stresses they induce but nothing complicated. So in theory the hard part will be finished this week.

    4 weeks to go...

    Here is a link to a video of Marcel, who has done much of the mechanical detail design on this project, out with the AC29 and an AC650b. It will be interesting for me, and the guys at Nicolai, to test this new Ion alongside these on their home trails...well that's my plan anyway :-)

    NICOLAI Maschinenbau GmbH
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  27. #77
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    A couple of pictures of the completed BB here. quite a few hours of machining to get to this. Looks great to my sad engineering eyes

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-image-2.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-image-3.jpg

    The front triangle is next.
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  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    A couple of pictures of the completed BB here. quite a few hours of machining to get to this. Looks great to my sad engineering eyes
    p0rn... pure p0rn...
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  29. #79
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    The frames have been fabricated now and checked prior to final weld seams being added. Hopefully some pictures to follow....
    I see some of the big manufactureres now showing longer travel, slack(er) than their previous offerings, 29s.

    I can't wait to build and ride this now..17th June....Lübbrechtsen...
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  30. #80
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    Dang that BB is a beautiful piece of kit...

    Looking forward to seeing this finished, then can hopefully order one.... Bring it...

    Stronger 150 mm forks, good to go hard now.... Could retire the Dorado Pro
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  31. #81
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    Frames on the test bench for geo & QC before final seam welds...wheels not models own

    Down tube & top tube diameters looking 'built for the job' could be an optical illusion of the raw finish. I'm still holding out for sub 3.3kg :-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-image.jpg  

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-image.jpg  

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  32. #82
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    I've not added any build specs for this yet but here is the plan.

    Forks: Initially Fox F34 Float 29 150mm but when the Pike is available (July 7th allegedly) it will replace the Fox. Mainly due to the weight difference. The Fox will most likely then get an Avy damper kit and get used on another bike.

    Headset will be a Hope E2 integral

    Shock: is a CCDB air LV to try and make best use of the linkage, also the reason for the Pike as the lighter pike offsets the heavier CCDBair compared to my current Fox RP23/F34 combo.

    Wheels: my trusty Enve Carbon AMs on CK hubs with CXRAY spokes.

    Drivetrain will be a mix at the moment. I do like Shimano kit but am tempted by XX1. i dont like the cost of such a disposable part as the mech but also the possible availability in the event of failure added to the fact CK aren't doing an XX1 free hub yet until testing is complete so sticking with my XX 11-36 cassette, which is lighter, and XT clutch with xtr shifter 1x10. Used with an XX1 170mm crank and 28T/30T chainring running and MRP micro guide but with only the top guide and taco bash.
    If XX1 gets to X0/X9 as suggested so more availability and lower cost mech maybe I'll change unless Shimano respond.
    What I run with is good and very light so little reason to change except for a lower gear.

    Seatpost will be a 150mm Reverb stealth but again not available yet so std Reverb for now.

    Saddle is my trusty Saevid 1.2 carbon at 76g ;-)

    Bars and stem are Easton 35 - 50mm stem with 800mm carbon bar.

    I think that's about it. So I won't be able to finish the final spec until mid July but it'll still be good until then :-)
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  33. #83
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    So latest news is fabrication both of the frames is fully complete. They have also been aligned. The last thing left to do is the preparation of the bearing surfaces, BB, seat tube and head tube. All still on schedule. I only I could get Sram to speed up availability of the 150mm stealth post..

    Only one dilemma left now. Graphics..almost decided.
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  34. #84
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    got my reverb stealth 150 here : ROCKSHOX 2013 REVERB STEALTH 150mm 31.6mm 430mm (Collier Gauche Matchmaker) + Kit de Purge - ALLTRICKS
    Can't wait to see the pictures of your bike the_pilot !
    Never enough singletracks !

  35. #85
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    Frames are now finished! Unfortunately for me I have had to delay my trip to Nicolai HQ from next week to mid July due to commitments at home. It could work out ok as we are waiting for the 150mm RS Pike to break ground here in the UK (and specifically in 51mm offset form) and also the 2014 150mm reverb with connectamajig. I'm not too fussed about the latter but its already on order..
    All the other parts are here now, CCDBair, MRP micro etc..Whatever happens with the forks I will be picking up the frames and testing at Nicolai in mid July. Not waiting any longer..

    Whilst a shame it would be nice to test it back to back over there in final form rather than interim.

    Despite the flood of new longer travel 29ers arriving on the scene in the last few months none quite offer what this Ion does, which. is great for both me and Nicolai I believe.
    Most are shorter travel than the Ion29, run shorter top tubes for their frame size/ST length (this is most definitely a 50mm or shorter stem and wide bar bike, one has too short a chain stay in my opinion to make it (Not sure I thought I'd ever say that about a29er) most aren't slack enough for me. The Ion has a suspension curve designed to work in the gnarr and provide great traction, but we also have a raised pivot in this Ion and it is optimised for a smaller 29er front ring between 28t-32t to give good initial pedalling response and compliance in the travel.
    Added to that all the features added to the new Ion16 are present, PM rear brake, 44/56 ZS head tube for a lower front, stealth routing, 142x12 axle, bigger bearing pivot and seals and the ETK.
    All in all, I'm sure it's going to be a great all round bike and a stunning descender....especially if I can bring it in under 29lbs :-) sorry for the wait guys..
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  36. #86
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    We are all waiting for this bike with intense anticipation.

    It is going to be a very refined weapon...... Quite some development from the AC 29er, then the AM 29er now Phils ION15 Custom, whole lotta yeah ha...

    Bring it on
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  37. #87
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    So the weight is in!

    Here are some pictures...50g more than my best case scenario so stoked about that.
    RS Pikes are on order and their theoretical weight offsets the CCDBair so estimated weight is still below 29lbs, maybe below 28.5lbs who can say! Really hoping they arrive before the time to pick up the frame.
    Very happy about the weight and how it looks. All the back looks very chunky compared to my current AC even the top and downtubes. It is a bike more intended for that but the fact the weight is so close makes it great.

    Nicolai also fabricated a third Ion 16 L (Ion29) for evaluation by them..here is some initial feedback from a couple of weeks riding from Marcel Lauxtermann, who is the mechanical engineer on the project but also races Enduro and does some testing.

    "I am riding the bike for about two weeks now and i have to say that bike is f***king fast.
    Never ridden such a fast bike no matter if its on single trails, roots or rocks.
    It is a size large (I am 195cm) with a 620mm TT and a 450mm reach. Running it with a 40mm stem (liking it with a long reach and a more upright position on the uphills). It is a big ship but it maneuvers pretty well through tight corners.
    Because of its long wheelbase it is pretty stable on longer jumps. On smaller jumps with short takeoffs it is difficult to judge the speed and to find the right timing but i got used to it already.
    The grip is amazing and you can maintain speed through corners pretty easy.


    I am trying to work out the right Decal scheme now...I'll maybe post some of my ideas..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-image-1.jpg  

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-image-2.jpg  

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  38. #88
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    No comments on the weight! I am surprised...maybe I shouldn't be... Is it only me that's excited now..no thoughts on Nicolai testing...
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  39. #89
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    Just a word ....
    Stunning !!!

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    Kind words Cyril, We wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for the work Whafe and you did in the first place with Nicolai, definitely an inspiration.
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  41. #91
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    ;-)

    You inspire me also my new bike is order and he have quite the same plateform !

    I will make a new post quickly to introduce it ;-)

  42. #92
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    it looks stunning! the linkage, bb area, post mount rear, ion machining on the tt/st brace, eccentric angle adjuster etc. it's easily the most detailed and complete looking nicolai i've set eyes on.

    first time ive gone with a raw frame but im glad i did. would have been criminal to cover it in paint!

    cant wait
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  43. #93
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    @Cyril_88 have you come back to 29er or staying with 650b??
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  44. #94
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    I smell sex n candy.......

    Looks Hawt pilot, yeah ha... It does look so refined... Am super stoked to see this whole project near completion.... The work has been awesome.....

    To have the ability to build a bike with these capabilities for around 28 lbs, got to be really pleased.....

    My raw Nicolai frame was very very cool in the flesh.... Got to have at lease one raw Nicolai frame in life, it is a must have
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  45. #95
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    650b ;-)

  46. #96
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    Only 2 weeks to go now. Just waiting a couple of parts, particularly the Pikes. All the graphics have been custom made by Hoshi and delivered to Nicolai. Marcel has been testing the Ion29 he has and has given more feedback. Just makes me want it sooner.

    There is a distinct possibility of a picturefest when it arrives!
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  47. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Marcel has been testing the Ion29 he has and has given more feedback.
    ... and he said? :P

  48. #98
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    @StanleyJ, in no particular order here are some mini reviews, copyright @MarcelLauxterman at Nicolai!

    To put it into context they are also comparing the Ion29 with a proto 650b Ion that is the same dimensions (ETT), ST although not geometry, as the 29, in Enduro races to see which has more advantages, for them I should stress.

    For me that isn't too scientific as its down to the rider preferences, style, different tracks etc and of course what you want the bike for...just Enduro racing or also for all day riding etc...but its interesting nevertheless.

    Also interesting, if you're me anyway, is I am going to use the 46mm offset Pike now as I did lots of comparisons on the geometry, specifically focussed on trail and mechanical trail calculations between the 26" Ion16 and the Ion29 as specced for me (605mm ETT) The trail figures are within 1mm of each other at their respective HAs. So 66/65deg for the Ion16 26" and 67/66.5deg for the Ion29, the BB height is almost identical (29 has more drop) and the wheelbase is also also near identical...who'd have thought....I never made reference to the original Ion16 26" geo when we worked this 29er version up, coincidence that a key element in steering handling is so close based on my experience/preferences.

    So, to mini/short term initial ride impressions from Lubbrechtsen...

    "I am riding the bike for about two weeks now and i have to say that bike is f***king fast.
    Never ridden such a fast bike no matter if its on single trails, roots or rocks.
    It is a big ship but it maneuvers pretty well through tight corners. Because of its long wheelbase it is pretty stable on longer jumps. On smaller jumps with short takeoffs it is more difficult to judge the speed and to find the right timing but i got used to it already.
    The grip is amazing and you can maintain speed through corners pretty easy."

    "It is definitely the fastest bike i have ever ridden on local trails.
    On fast pedally stages it is so much faster than the 26" bikes i rode in
    the past it is unbelievable. Even in steep rocky terrain i had no
    problems at all.
    The bearings are still as good as new. The Pike and the XX1 parts are
    flawless as well."

    Had a couple of problems with the chain recently. That you don't need a
    chainguide with this system (XX1) is a marketing myth.
    We tried it a couple of weeks but the chain kept falling off the
    chainring. Even in the most unspectacular situations (like riding down a
    set of stairs).
    I am running an upper chainguide from E13 now and it solved the problem.


    I think its fair to say he likes it, and from the descriptions it's just what I wanted it to be. Lets hope so...
    Aka chainline...

  49. #99
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    Ok, last post before actually picking up the frames from Nicolai on Wednesday.
    The forks are here, as is everything else for the build. The AC has been stripped ready for the roooooaaaaad trip!

    And of course I have weighed everything..not quite as light as I had hoped. The tyres are a bit heavier, the chain device is a bit heavier, (Feedback is its needed) CCDBair is heavier than my previous RP23, although I have kept the RP for long distance stuff, cassette a bit heavier, Reverb a bit heavier....but should be under 30lb anyway with no compromises in any way, everything is very tough. Roll on Wednesday...

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-slide1.jpg
    Aka chainline...

  50. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Ok, last post before actually picking up the frames from Nicolai on Wednesday.
    The forks are here, as is everything else for the build. The AC has been stripped ready for the roooooaaaaad trip!

    And of course I have weighed everything..not quite as light as I had hoped. The tyres are a bit heavier, the chain device is a bit heavier, (Feedback is its needed) CCDBair is heavier than my previous RP23, although I have kept the RP for long distance stuff, cassette a bit heavier, Reverb a bit heavier....but should be under 30lb anyway with no compromises in any way, everything is very tough. Roll on Wednesday...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Damnit chainline... that's just giving me the most serious case of new-bike/n+1 itch I've had in a long long time...

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