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  1. #101
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    @Stanleyj It's been giving me new bike itch for 8months!
    Aka chainline...

  2. #102
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    I've been running my XX1 without a chainguide and even on the roughest trails I know I have had no problems... you won't be needing that guide Pilot as XX1 is brilliant*

    * When its new; I've no idea what it will be like when its been through the wringer.

  3. #103
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    Guys, XX1 does sound fab, but if you're less wealthy and perhaps just need the front security - perhaps try this TT [Thick Thin] chainring from BETD Goldtec - Goldtec TT Ring : Mountain bikes and componets by BETD Goldtec £43.99 ($66.86,€51.91)
    I am waiting for the 32 and I'll be running one on the AM with 11-36 Shimano gears. Saint Shifter (love it), and XTR + mech (Saint Mech doesn't really like the 36, with that short cage the chain gets a bit tight.)

  4. #104
    steep fast and loose :)
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    Never dropped a chain on my xx1 neither. Super quiet too.

  5. #105
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    Well, 3 days with the guys at Nicolai's factory, fantastic hospitality, really dedicated, enthusiastic, passionate people. I've had a great experience...and of course the Ion29 is finished...only just got into the house so pics and write up will have to wait at least a little while, but suffice to say its great! And their local trails are pretty dam gnarly!
    Aka chainline...

  6. #106
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    The eagle has landed..everything I'd hoped., rides brilliantly. Overriding initial sensation from the first ride in the gnarr of the Deister Forest...feels very stiff and light with fantastic grip and superb suspension feel, front and rear.
    Aka chainline...

  7. #107
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    Full write up to follow. Here is the full bike out front of the Nicolai workshops just before the first ride...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190327.jpg  

    Aka chainline...

  8. #108
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    That looks badass. Congrats!

  9. #109
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    Cheers..That is in 'low' so 66.5deg, 333mm BB height
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190412.jpg  

    Aka chainline...

  10. #110
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    Nice build...the raw and blue bits are sharp!! Looks like you have the RS Pike...would be interested in your thoughts on the fork on the ION...looking to put one on my ION16.

    All the best on your new steed. Ride, enjoy, and ride some more!!

    Cheers,
    "I Like the Cut of His Jib"

  11. #111
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    Wowser!

  12. #112
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    Very nice !!! I love it !!! ;-)

  13. #113
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    That is one neat looking 29" full-susser.

    But did anyone expect something else? I doubt so...

  14. #114
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    I need one of those in anodised Electric Blue... So is "Ion 29" the official name then, assuming Nicolai add this beastie to their range of bike?

  15. #115
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    @StanleyJ on the name I don't know, it's what I wanted it called. The Nicolai name for drawings was Ion16-L I liked Ion29, its not like it will be made in other suspension travels.

    I don't know if they will definitely add it to their standard line up, it depends a bit on the interest this thread, and wider publicity I will try to generate, through magazine articles and other threads I will post in the 29 forum here and on other outlets creates. I spoke to Marcel and Vincent about it before I left. However, as of now you can order one and they will make it for you, that I know, we have done the hard work. And it was Soooooo worth it!

    @jjkit first impressions of the Pike are very much like the reviews. I would liken it to a BOS deville but stiffer. Feels really good. Only time will tell on reliability, but in my experience RS forks have been reliable, especially solo air.
    Aka chainline...

  16. #116
    "Its All Good"
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    Wow. Yumminess indeed
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  17. #117
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    So, Dipper and I both have our bikes now and are getting into setting them up. I thought I would add my initial ride impressions/review here and some tempting photo's of the bike, describe what I'm trying to achieve and then create a different thread dedicated to the riding and evolution of the bike (Bikes if others get ordered. I hope so cos its pretty great).

    My big impression in Germany was how stiff this thing was. i thought some of that could have been due to the fork being too hard and understanding the new linkage curve and shock. No, its just damn stiff!

    The drivetrain has been faultless so I won't dwell on that at all as have the wheels/tyres. The big things I (and Dipper) am grappling with are the fork (new Pike) rear shock CCDBair and how they work with this frame.

    Well it is undeniably bloody stiff. I think this is a combination of the shorter back end, slightly stronger tubing, 44/56 headtube, gussetting and seriously chunky BB area. I also have the 35 series bar stem and this adds to that feeling. Interesting when 'honking' out of the saddle on this bike its the first time I've noticed any flex in these drainpipe bars! I think that in itself is an indication of the frame rigidity. This translates to a very direct feel on the trail.

    The goal of increasing agility with this bike has really worked. It is just the right balance of fast side to side but with impeccable stability that I was after. Helped of course by a low BB and that stiffness. It really belies its slack head angle. Its a bit shorter than my previous AC as well as lower with a longer front centre. I'm also really pleased the plan to use a 150mm stealth post designed so the seat is slammed when dropped has worked. I love having the saddle completely out of the way.

    It pedals and climbs really well for me, I have left it in the low setting and have had no pedal strike problems (so far) with the 333mm BB 66.5 HA, I am running 170mm cranks though and am conscious of technique wih a BB this low. It can be raised along with the HA steepened of course.

    Getting out the saddle and pedal hard coming out of a corner you can really feel the back stiffen up and drive, a combination of frame stiffness, and optimized suspension setup around the single ring with a slightly raised lower pivot point. Bob has been minimal even with this CCDBair

    I think I should mention this rear shock. I went for a CCDBair on Marcels recommendation.It has a slightly less progressive curve compared to a std Ion 16 and lower leverage ratio, I knew the damping could be tuned to manage this at the end stroke but never gave the air can itself any further thought when ordering beyond thining a std can would also be a good thing as the linkage is less progressive.

    Damper settings were based on the extensive testing done by Nicolai on the 16. These turned out, on first impression, to be largely good, albeit slightly counter intuitive if others were to be believed. I needed to tweak the LSC up to prevent to much bob but other than that I just rode it, set at 28% sag.

    I have been getting about 70-80% travel. with my Helius I was always trying to prevent blowing through, I seem to have the opposite here! The rear feels very very firm.

    Up front, the Pike, again feels very stiff. I initially I had it way too hard and for some reason it was only giving 140mm travel unloaded. A few emails back and forth to Sram and some fiddling fixed that. but I still had it too hard based on the listed pressures. I've backed off, but I still think its too firm, again getting 70% travel or so on trails I would expect to get nearer to 90% on, I clearly need to back off more pressure. They sit up nicely so far, but I guess they would. (We shall see when the pressure is off so to speak!) but they still track very well indeed.

    After a couple of rides I still felt the back was just too hard especially over successive, big square edged hits. As well as the front. Having backed off the HSC and HSR on the CCDBair, despite there being very little on, It still feel its too hard.

    Much discussion with Dipper later after his thrashing with the CCDBair and some research, I have concluded the std highflow air can is just too small for this linkage. I was clearly wrong abut the std can. I think I do need to use the same XV rear can as Nicolai did in their tests. The curve may not be quite 'as' progressive but it still is clearly too progressive for the small volume can. The plan is to fit an XV can and tune back with volume spacers if appropriate (Which it will be based on the experience gained to date) and then add HSC and HSR to suit. I think this will resolve the too hard feeling at the back. I'm pretty sure it needs to be somewhere between the XV can and the std can.

    On the front. the plan is to back off the pressure and if it becomes too soft to bump up progression using the token spacers, its plenty tuneable.
    A full day of suspension testing is in the works.

    Overall, whilst not perfect yet, it has huge potential, I really like its direct feel now and its composure and accuracy will only get better with better tracking suspension. It already has really good grip and you can just smash it down stuff. I love its agility/stability balance and am super happy how it feels in the low setting. I really like how it launches out of corners. I don't think an XV can will change that as its partly a function of the design not just the shock and I am confident we can tune the pedaling to be a good balance with the LSC/LSR and volume spacers.

    The build quality is fantastic as you would expect with lots of great details, as is clearly the case with the 16 too, as well as the legendary welding. I am sure you can see that in the pics.


    So huge thanks to Nicolai. Also big thans to Hoshi who made the decals a reality. Not cheap but they look great and are unique. A pity it took me 3 hours to fit them! The bike It will find its way into some magazines and hopefully inspire some others to get into this great bike brand, maybe with the 29, maybe the 650, maybe 26, but they will all be damn happy with their purchase.. In the meantime I'll start uploading pictures, I make no apologies for the gratuitous pictures! Stoked with this bike...more ride impressions after the testing...
    Last edited by the_pilot; 08-05-2013 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Spelling!
    Aka chainline...

  18. #118
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    Pictures of the factory entrance, design office, assembly room and lovely cnc parts drawers (which are so deep you wouldn't believe and full of shiny things!)
    Courtyard
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190249.jpg

    Ion29 in front of some famous doors, well to us
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190250.jpg

    The entrance
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190254.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190255.jpg

    Assembly rooms
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190256.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190257.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190258.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190260.jpg

    Special Machine shop..
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190261.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190262.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190263.jpg

    Industrial bannister made from chainstays...
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190264.jpg

    Design
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190267.jpg

    Sales
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190268.jpg

    Factory machines build...

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190270.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190272.jpg

    Deepest drawers full of shiny parts ever
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190274.jpg

    Design office

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190275.jpg
    Aka chainline...

  19. #119
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    Volker, service guru
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190276.jpg

    Marcel checking out the ride
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190277.jpg

    Car park test
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190278.jpg

    Quick discussion
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190280.jpg

    Machine shop and raw material
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190281.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190282.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190284.jpg

    Tubes & fabricated parts
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190286.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190289.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190290.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190291.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190292.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190293.jpg

    Custom full suss tandam, yes!
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190295.jpg

    Welding and fab
    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190296.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190297.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190299.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190302.jpg
    Aka chainline...

  20. #120
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    Fabbed parts, heat treatment and alignment/checking.

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190310.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190311.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190314.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190316.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190318.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190319.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190320.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190321.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190325.jpg
    Aka chainline...

  21. #121
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    Not many companies where the back of the office, outside photo studio is a nice place to relax and chat for employees...great working atmosphere at Nicolai.

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190304.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190306.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190309.jpg
    Aka chainline...

  22. #122
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    And of course the bike..

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190327.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190328.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190329.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190330.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190331.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190333.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190334.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190335.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190336.jpg

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    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190338.jpg

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    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190347.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190348.jpg



    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190349.jpg

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    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190351.jpg

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    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190356.jpg

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    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190358.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190359.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190362.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190363.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190365.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190367.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190368.jpg

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190370.jpg
    Aka chainline...

  23. #123
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    Problems with uploads!
    Last edited by the_pilot; 08-29-2013 at 02:59 PM.
    Aka chainline...

  24. #124
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    finally, one of my favourites, don't ask me why, cos I don't know!

    Ion15 29 Uncut - Idea, Design, Manufacture to trail  - words & pictures-p7190444.jpg

    That's all, I've many more memories, and now feel an even deeper affection for the brand and the people who work there. It was fantastic to meet the people that made this happen from the computer screen all the way through the tube cutting, mitering, cnc machining, welding fabrication and finishing and to sense their passion for the work and products. That really came through for me the passion for the products.

    Now its time to get the suspension dialed, turn up the speed dial to 11 and affix the permanent grin Ion29 baby...
    Aka chainline...

  25. #125
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    That was ace

  26. #126
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    ace indeed
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

    flash bikes for flash gits

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    .
    So, why am I not seeing the Photo's???

  28. #128
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    Hey Simplemind. I don't know what's going on. I couldn't post any photo's yesterday and all of the photo's seem to have disappeared. They were uploaded from the computer not linked so I don't get it!

    I can upload the photo's they just don't show. They were all here!
    Aka chainline...

  29. #129
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    It appears all my photos have gone! really can't explain why.

    Tried to upload them again. They attach to the post but no joy in display.
    Aka chainline...

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    It appears all my photos have gone! really can't explain why.

    Tried to upload them again. They attach to the post but no joy in display.
    That sucks man. Would have loved to see that beast
    Nicolai Helius AFR frame size L for sale.

  31. #131
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    I was wondering Pilot (and also disappointed not to see them).

  32. #132
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    I think I saw the bike at the Eurobike 2013 Nicolai booth, is that possible?











    Last edited by zonoskar; 08-29-2013 at 12:54 PM.

  33. #133
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    Hi Zonoskar,

    It's not my bike, but it was announced it will be a production bike at Eurobike. It's very close to the bike I developed with Dipper/Nicolai. The production bike is a little steeper than mine with slightly shorter chain stays and steeper seat tube. Both of which we discounted for all sorts of reasons documented in this thread...

    I'll try and upload these photos again!
    Aka chainline...

  34. #134
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    Still wish they would do a Icon20 with a 29er. Looks they they set doing the tweener size now.

  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Hi Zonoskar,

    It's not my bike, but it was announced it will be a production bike at Eurobike. It's very close to the bike I developed with Dipper/Nicolai. The production bike is a little steeper than mine with slightly shorter chain stays and steeper seat tube. Both of which we discounted for all sorts of reasons documented in this thread...

    I'll try and upload these photos again!
    What are the numerical differences then? The production bike has:

    Head angle: 67.5° (high)/67° (low)
    Seat angle: 75° (high)/74.5° (low)
    Chainstay: 440mm

    And what's with the fork offset being a non-G2 46mm? Noticed this in the prototype drawings that are no longer visible here. With a 51mm offset fork, the head angle would want to be ~0.7° slacker to get the same trail (98mm).

  36. #136
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    Ah, final changes I didn't get to sort out..
    My angles are below so the Production bike is 0.5deg steeper head angle , just under 10mm shorter chainstay, 0.5deg steeper Seat tube, 5mm shorter TT.

    Mine
    Head Angle 67 High/66.5 Low
    Seat Angle 74.5 High/74 Low
    Chainstay 450mm

    In reality I believe the CS is slightly longer than 440mm on the production bike. Marcel had 440mm stays and felt with a slack head angle was almost too easy to manual/flip up.

    Finally I decided to use a 46mm Offset fork with the Pike, this works really really well. This decision was made after alot of calcs which concluded the Ion16 and Ion29 had trail within 1mm of each other and in fact were very very close on wheelbase too due to the 1deg slacker angle of the Ion16.

    The decision to change the production bikes was based on the main market being Germany and the Germans preferring a steeper/shorter bike due to their trails being wooded and very tight in general with little flow.

    Us English and the French particularly apparently like it slack and long! I have no evidence for American tastes!

    I would not want a seat tube any steeper. I prefer my Ion in Low, its fantastic all round and I can really tell even the 0.5 deg steeper Seat Tube compared to 74 in pedalling and climbing, too much of a tri position on the bike. So I am very glad I discounted the steeper tube, similarly with the chainstay, mine manuals great and turns great too particularly in Low but climbs really well. Dipper has been setting PB's on the climbs on his. AS discussed previously I believe it is possible to make the Chain stays too short relative to the overall length (so the riders relative position on the bike) at which point you compromise other aspects of riding like the climbing, for me 450mm is spot on with a low BB (both BBs are low on the Ion but obviously 333mm is LOW. with 170mm cranks I have had no pedal strike problems though.

    Its why when I see the likes of the BMC/Specialized Seat angles and Chainstay I know I would not like those bikes as an allrounder. For standing up descending fun, no doubt, although I suspect its incremental as they are also steeper, but there is more to riding than that and a lot of it involves pedaling with Enduro style riding as they are finding out in the World Series :-)
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  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post

    Its why when I see the likes of the BMC/Specialized Seat angles and Chainstay I know I would not like those bikes as an allrounder. For standing up descending fun, no doubt, although I suspect its incremental as they are also steeper, but there is more to riding than that and a lot of it involves pedaling with Enduro style riding as they are finding out in the World Series :-)
    Not sure this makes sense. What other bikes should we make longer? The seat angle of the spec is 75 degrees, like your bike, but it's also not so rear-happy that it manuals just because you sat on the bike, those assertions seem a little ridiculous. The 29er wheels and forces normally encountered help to negate that (weight located further from the center of mass). The idea of the enduro was to insert 29" wheels into an all-mountain bike whilst changing as little as possible with the geometry, despite the massive design considerations (as an example, the seat-tube curves sideways a bit). It was not to take a 29er trail-bike and give it more travel. Sure, you can ride it all day, I've done numerous times by now, but it's also not a 4" travel 29er either (not sure why those need 18" stays either though). I've done everything from full-on resort DHing whilst flying over doubles to level rolling trails, and everything in between. No problems there, the bike does what it intended. I'm pretty sure they did their homework here and it wasn't just cobbled together. Although I wouldn't argue about 435mm stays, 440 gets to be needlessly long. I can't think of why I'd want the rear end longer. 29ers are inherently more stable, so you don't need the stability like the old 1st and 2nd generation DH bikes that came with 457-470mm chainstays, which was probably just accepted due to full suspension geometry problems.

    The Specialized is shorter, higher
    Ok, 5mm higher BB height. Steeper than 67 it may not be for 2014, given the pike IS higher than the old 150 fox, despite a lower axle-to-crown for a given amount of travel.
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  38. #138
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    Jayem,

    my bike has a 74deg seat angle NOT a 75. i rejected proposal to go to 75 to get even more travel as there is a big difference in feel even between 74 and 74.5 deg.
    My bike is also 66.3 deg head angle with the Pike.

    I didn't say they were rubbish. The designer himself of the Specialised
    said they wanted to build a 26" bike with 29" wheels for the rollover. They wanted the 'fun' of a 26" bike, easier to manual and pop. He said is not a great climber, but wasn't built for that, winch up and plummet down...I have no problem with that. I have had two custom 29ers with chain stays that short and almost the same relative seating position and you need to be over the front to climb steep stuff, no choice, (its physics) running a longer stem helps. I also don't like the tri seating position, pedalling is less comfortable...for me. For others that may be a compromise worth making, that was my point.

    I can tell a big difference between the 66.3/74 and the 66.8/74.5 settings on the bike, the latter feeling noticeably taller and direction changes from big lean angles are slower. In tighter tech, its a good compromise, but I much prefer the low setting on fast rougher trails....for me, I also prefer the pedalling on the low setting, as expected from my previous experiences. The high is good, I just prefer low.

    I have tried to be really careful and come at this from my perspective as this bike design was based on my experiences and preferences over 4 years of having custom 29ers and racing in events like Trans Provence and the SuperEnduro series in Italy so I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve for my riding.

    The bike needed to take 2.4 Ardent/2.5 minion on a 30mm wide rim and have room to spar to shed British mud without a problem? As discussed in this thread it was another key consideration for this bike when deciding on rear CS length. We Could have made the CSs shorter easily but that brout its own compromises, its all a balance and not not just a function of travel. An example is I ride all year in the UK in some pretty disgusting conditions, the kind that build up inches of mud over the rear swing arm...many companies do not consider the conditions we contend with here in the UK, its been a longtime complaint of riders here.
    Aka chainline...

  39. #139
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    Well, if your're riding with 150-160mm you have to be over the front no matter what, it's physics. The Nicolai (the bike you promote) has about the same seat angle, your one-off is slightly different. It's not a "winch up" bike, as you claim, although I guess we could make the claim the ion is as nimble as a Mack truck, with those chainstays and 66 HA. Course that would be a little ridiculous, like the winch claim.

    Sounds like England is like Alaska...lots of mud and rain. Yep, there's gobs of clearance back there on the enduro
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    Jayem, I think we are going to have to agree to disagree! To say any one individual geometry component defines a bike would be simplifying too much. But one thing is for sure, I had a different goal in designing the Ion than Spesh did (If the video presented bu Specialized is to be believed anyway) with the Enduro. The fact we came up with a different answer should not be a surprise. do I feel like my bike handles like a Mack truck no.have I had a Carbon S Works Enduro, yes. Did Nico vouillioz feel that way when rocking a 63 HA on his trail bike in an Enduro race probably not with his riding style, no.
    This isn't a my bike is better than your bike thread. it's the documentation of a journey I, and a few others went on, to get a bike built that works for us, just how we wanted it based on our experience. You clearly have a different view to which you are entitled.
    Aka chainline...

  41. #141
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    i'd like to try shorter chain stays to see what like but ive no complaints about the agility of the ion15 with 450mm c/stays. its better than many 26ers ive ridden. most of that is down to the low bb.

    the seat tube angle is a potential issue for me. like phil im riding mine in low all the time. id like to run it in high for more xc based stuff as it gives a more sat on rather than sat in riding position. however the seat angle is a bit too steep. it takes too much load off the hamstrings and puts my knees too far over the pedals for my liking. would be ok with a layback post but thats not an option with the reverb. even in low im running my saddle pretty far back on the rails.

    i'm off out on a long run today and am going to try the high position again. ive a 72km enduro race in a couple of weeks and ideally id run it in high for that but i suspect it'll take too much out of the quads. we'll see
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  42. #142
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    well after 3.5 hours with in high position all i can say is, im fine and the world didnt end! feels slightly odd at first after running in low for so long but after a while i forgot about it. it possibly is a slightly better option for xc as the position feels more 'racy' but really i doubt it makes any difference to speed or endurance. the st angle in high is definitely right on my comfort limit as i have the saddle all the way back in the rails. the biggest change is in handling and agility with the 7mm rise in bb height.
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    yay the pictures are back...

    An update..had some fantastic rides on it so far. So have quite a few others and most have been blow away by it.

    There will be a Custom bikes feature in WhatMountainBike in January, Issue 157. featuring the bike and the story. We haven't done the photo shoot yet, but we did do a non scientific, old fashioned test...We took a trip to BikeParkWales where the TechEditor who is a pretty handy rider joined us for a day..we did a few trails, me following him on the Ion, I was very happy as I was keeping up, not used to that, he is a much quicker rider than I...then we swopped bikes and took the Ion for the rest of the day. I managed to follow him for about 30yrds before he was out of sight...hmmm. At the bottom of the trail, his huge grin gave it away...the test conclusion was it's a bike and he really liked it..the ease with which he was able to wheelie it and throw it about was a real surprise and the corner entry and exit speed was pretty much like nothing else. :-)

    For me, its great, I like it in low the most, high is more XC and good for tighter tech, but not measurably so. The biggest advantage to high is raising the BB where technical climbing is required. You can really tell the difference in height of the bike even though its only 7-8mm. You can tell the steering angle change too, is does speed the steering up but stability, at the speeds I travel is not noticeably different. The feel changes from a more body oriented turn in and pick up to one driven from the bars.

    So..Its now a production bike as you have all sen with subtle difference to mine and Dippers, mainly due to target market..

    and now the 2.5 minion AND high roller 2 are available...whaaaaaaa
    Aka chainline...

  44. #144
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    Not sure if I mentioned this before... if the DE production bike has 10mm shorter stays at the expense of not being able to fit quite as fat rubber... I noticed the rear OLD is still 135mm (as in 142mm X12) coupled with a 73mm BB. Could one get the best of both worlds using a 83mm BB and 150mm OLD (as in 157mm X12)? Plus the DH single-ring cranks will be available in lengths less than 170mm so the low BB would be less of an issue. Q-factor wouldn't be as good though...

  45. #145
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    I think that would get you even fatter rubber Stanly! but it's the length/mud clearance/ST clearance that's the issue.

    I don't think the DE version has quite 440mm stays, marvel suggested they were a touch longer, but they have revised some welded parts to allow a bit more room. Much comes from the fact they went to 75deg SA. That was too mic for me, too steep for an all day bike. 74 is optimum in my eyes, 74.5 I can live with. This has shown itself to be the case in use, for me anyway and I think Dipper agrees.
    I honestly think where we have the chainstays on this version is the right compromise for overall ability, up and down.
    Aka chainline...

  46. #146
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    Stanleyj I Was exchanging emails with Marcel at Nicolai recently and discussing rear chain stays. i was proposing a way to shorten the stays but keep tyre/mud clearance. it turns out thats just what they have done. The production swingarm main pivot arms have been revised to bring the stays further 'under' so to speak. This has allowed a 7mm reduction in length whilst retaining tyre clearance. The new stays come in at a hair over 440mm now.

    I won't be retrofitting as I'm happy as is, with it being a bit slacker and longer relative to frame size. The balance is about right for me.

    Production bike looks damn good now. I'd have no hesitation in recommending it. It needs more publicity....

    There will be a feature on custom bikes in WhatMountainBike issue 157 in Jan with the Ion29 in there...hopefully a bit more good publicity for our German friends..
    Aka chainline...

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Stanleyj I Was exchanging emails with Marcel at Nicolai recently and discussing rear chain stays. i was proposing a way to shorten the stays but keep tyre/mud clearance. it turns out thats just what they have done. The production swingarm main pivot arms have been revised to bring the stays further 'under' so to speak. This has allowed a 7mm reduction in length whilst retaining tyre clearance. The new stays come in at a hair over 440mm now.

    I won't be retrofitting as I'm happy as is, with it being a bit slacker and longer relative to frame size. The balance is about right for me.

    Production bike looks damn good now. I'd have no hesitation in recommending it. It needs more publicity....

    There will be a feature on custom bikes in WhatMountainBike issue 157 in Jan with the Ion29 in there...hopefully a bit more good publicity for our German friends..
    Hehehe. Having a serious bouncy-both-ends long-travel 29er itch that needs scratching and keep coming back to the ION15... dagnammit!

    Though I think I'll have to be greedy, have my cake and eat it with a tight German back-end (CS length) with a slack English front (head angle)... *boom boom*

    Also can't quite figure out why the geo- adjust chip on the ION15 changes by 0.5deg, where as on the ION16 (26er and 650b) change by 1deg? Eye-balling it from photos... the eccentricnesseses(!) looks the same...

  48. #148
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    Hey Stanleyj, I agree if I was ordering now, I would Kick the head angle back out to 66.5 OR why not just NOT go custom, save the cash and fit a 160mm Pike which brings the angles back to 66.5/67 anyway (like mine and its just right) BUT also crucially for me brings the seat angle to 74/74.5 the same as mine. My reservation with production is I prefer the slightly slacker seat angle for pedalling reasons. It only lifts the BB by 2.7mm so basically all good for ripping in Low.
    Aka chainline...

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Hey Stanleyj, I agree if I was ordering now, I would Kick the head angle back out to 66.5 OR why not just NOT go custom, save the cash and fit a 160mm Pike which brings the angles back to 66.5/67 anyway (like mine and its just right) BUT also crucially for me brings the seat angle to 74/74.5 the same as mine. My reservation with production is I prefer the slightly slacker seat angle for pedalling reasons. It only lifts the BB by 2.7mm so basically all good for ripping in Low.
    A cursory Googling does indeed show that a Pike 160mm 29er is available... serves me right for always looking on the SRAM website where it still lists the 29er Pike as 140mm & 150mm only. A 160mm travel 29er just sounds dangerous...ly good.

  50. #150
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    I couldn't get one when designing, building and they are still hard to get hold of, Jan I think we are told now in UK.

    You can change the air shaft on the 150mm to 160mm and back again. Vie asked dipper to get me a 160mm air shaft but mine is more set up for the 150mm. Basically the production bike is crying out for the 160mm!
    Aka chainline...

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