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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

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    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-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

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    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

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