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  1. #1
    steep fast and loose :)
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    Nicolai 29ers -v- 26ers

    in anticipation of my AC29er, for those in the know

    looking forward to back to back reports of the 29er -vs- your old 26er[s]....

    whats the biggest differences you've noticed ?

  2. #2
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    I plan on doing just that for my own curiosity. I'm going to do a couple local loops. Ones a 30 mile xc route with a bit of road, ones a 15mile proper MTb route inc a 4 mile rocky descent and some killer climbs. Bikes will be as similar as Possible in spec. Both @ 30lb. I'll time them to see if it makes any difference.
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  3. #3
    steep fast and loose :)
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    LESS interested in timings - more interested in capability / ability differences

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    for me wide range of use.

    If you compare the same travel, the 29er climb better (more grip, less wheeling and more stability) and better in descent, more stable and more capability in technical open terrain and more grip on corner very intresting in devers

    the negative point is less manoevrability in slow technical narrow turns

  5. #5
    steep fast and loose :)
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    i noticed massive performance increase in technical climbs and corner grip is simply incredible.

    dipper had suggested to get it over further and whereas a 26er would wash out, the 29er simply continued to track and grip !

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks View Post
    LESS interested in timings - more interested in capability / ability differences
    i already know it's capability's and the differences(as do you, having had the 29er for a week). Now i want to see what difference it really makes and the only way to do that is to time it. anything else is just speculation. see the 29er forum if you want speculation. there's loads o it on there!
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  7. #7
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    Grip in corners is overrated and unnecessary anyway. I have far more fun when everything is getting a little sideways.

  8. #8
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    I keep telling you boys..although it won't change how much you debate it..

    Geometry, geometry, geometry...

    Stability= relative centre of gravity to wheel axles as well as boy position...benefits and downsides with both wheels sizes depending what you want AND wheel base/chain stays...29 longer in both..as stated directly relates to manouverability...

    Less wheeling..wheelbase and HA, longer an steeper on the 29er, you can get stability with longer wheelbase and steerer head angle or vice versa, shorter slacker, depends what you want to do, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Grip...tyre footprint is the same...it's called physics guys...not new bike placebo syndrome...different shape and thus heavily influenced by the type and design of tyre you're using as to how a longer thinner or shorter wider footprint acts and on what part of the trail...like for like you may get more grip in a corner from more side knobbles contact on 29er (depending on tyre design as I said) but correspondingly you will have less grip braking (potentially)

    If you designed a 26er with a longer chain stay/wheelbase and tighter head angle you could achieve very similar traits to the 29er

    Something not mentioned is wheel stiffness, you can't build a wheel as stiff on a 29er. 29ers would benefit from 135mm dish less spacing on the front and 150mm hubs on the back to help here.this has a direct impact on cornering performance and reaction to obstacles..but it's not apparent in all conditions.

    Depends a lot on where you ride. Riding both kinds on the same loop is not really relevant..the conditions you describe with the geo of the AC29er logically would lead that to be a good choice, but taking it into a tight switchbacky, steep alpine forest trail wouldn't be a good comparison either.

    The xc loop at Cwmcarn has lots of flowy but tight/very sharp corners again, not quite as good on a longer bike.

    They are both good, I rode a 29er exclusively for 2 years before they were 'in vogue' so am ver much NOT another anti, and if Nicolai would have built one would probably be on one now, but basically it depends on what and how you ride.

    They require different techniques too so unless you change that as well, if you ride both the same way, it will also not be a sensible comparison...

    Ok, I'm ready :-)
    Last edited by the_pilot; 12-02-2011 at 04:26 AM.
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  9. #9
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    blah,blah,blah,physics,blah,blah,blah,science,blah ,blah,blah

    sorry missed your point in amoungst all the 'blah,blah,blah'ing'!

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  10. #10
    gmk
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    interesting posting the_pilot
    Last edited by gmk; 01-04-2012 at 01:48 PM.

    "Show your bike some love and it will show the love back."
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    the most important vehicle is a 29er bicycle

  11. #11
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    In a good or bad way gmk ;-)

    I was very interested in your other post as am currently debating, with Dipper, a similar bike to Cyril, but as stated less rear travel, with a desire to keep it fairly light. I will be running two different wheel size bikes, my xc bike 20lb RC with lefty and then a 29er AM Enduro bike. I want it specifically to be able to climb pretty well as well as descend well on European Enduro events, though a number I do have sharp switchbacks.

    I found on my 29 techy climbs were easier in some ways in that you do just push over stuff but sometimes, particularly in places like the peak district in the uk, the poorer very slow speed manoeuvrability can get you stuck where's a very light very manuverable bike with plush suspension you can pick lines more easily when in trouble.

    I did really like the stability at high speeds and I had huge grip but then again I had a 3.8 front tyre and a 2.6 rear :-) so it would be hard not too :-)

    I could really do with a ride on Cyril's!! My plan was for slightly shorter stays at 453, which is where Cyril appears to be heading but with 120mm or 130mm of travel, coupled to 140mm front with 36 stantion, 20mm bolt through forks for stiffness (German-A) I was hoping to do that without the seat tube modifications to keep weight down, but from your answers that might not be possible, tho I think 130mm travel is my max requirement.

    I'm looking for similar capability at the back to my AM but to pedal a little better on 70km plus days so I want it to feel like a 140mm-150mm travel 26er minimum, tho preferably like 160. I imagine 130mm 29er would be close to that.

    I'm not unhappy with my current AM 26", I would, having ridden it for some time now like a longer TT to run my short stem but I don't really want a longer seat tube so, having come from 29er back to the 26 AM I thought I might try and combine the good bits of both!
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  12. #12
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    in a good way!

    "Show your bike some love and it will show the love back."
    Eric, niner bikes

    the most important vehicle is a 29er bicycle

  13. #13
    steep fast and loose :)
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    pilot - have you ridden the base model AC29er yet ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    I could really do with a ride on Cyril's!!
    I you come in south of France you can try my AM and my Prime ;-)

    If you want a bike more like a 140mm/150mm, 120mm rear and 140mm front is very good, so in this configuration you will be limited in very important slope very technical the 26 is better because the less rolling of the 26 inch wheel give better control and the 29 inch wheel roll over only on the edge of the rocks and the bike take more speed so it's more difficult to controle, so for the rest no problem to compare to a 26 160mm.

  15. #15
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    Tlr no I haven't. Sorting that out, I've ridden quite a few 29ers tho, and I know I need a bike that's a really good descender but can climb pretty well. My current AM comes pretty close to be honest and I'm sure I could live with just a longer TT with it, but I did really like my previous 29ers.
    The terrain I have locally would not do it justice for what I want it for anyway. it needs to shine on the Enduro races I do which are South of France and Italy, very much like the terrain Cyril was riding. They tend not to be very slow technical but fast and pretty varied with all the timed sections DH. Although switchbacks are a feature.

    How do you find switchbacks on yours Cyril.

    Hence the reason for asking how it compares to a 160 26" bike.

    A lot of the guys on the Italian SuperEnduro series use 140mm 26ers to keep weight down for the 1500-2000m of climbing but they are better riders than me and can get away with less travel. A bike that flatters me and forgives me is always good ;-)
    Last edited by the_pilot; 01-06-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Cyril, where are you in the South of France, I'm tempted to find a cheap flight and visit!
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  17. #17
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    I'd imagine the 29er will be a bit slower on the real tight switchbacks but will definitely be faster and easier on the body everywhere else. Seeing as switchbacks are the slowest part of any track on any bike I wouldn't worry about them too much. Better to have a faster bike on the other 95% of the track I reckon

    I also say that based on my bog standard 120/120 Ac with steeper HA than cyrils. I'd still bet on it up against a 160mm AM in the rough any day of the week. And everywhere else other than jumps, drops and real hairpins for that matter!
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  18. #18
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    And Dipper you're experience, and Whafes, Whafe has had a similar bike history to me, but does more jumping, effects my thinking.

    Norco Shinobi, Banshee Prime, Transition bandit29 are all moving to closer geometry to that of Cyrils/Whafes although because they use hydroformed tubes and bent seat tubes, or in the case of the Norco a modified axle path on the four bar, they can get away with a shorter stay and still use big tyres. This is the Ion style mod we see on Cyril and Whafes bikes, The Shinobi has a 553 stay although 120mm of rear travel.

    I do love my air though, but 'fast flowy' air rather than 'big' air and without tricks, air you get cos your're going fast rather than just because its fun;-).
    My Jones was great t that and I think a 140 29 will be good at that too...
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  19. #19
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    That type of air is not an issue but I wouldn't be doing some of the stuff I've seen pics of whafe doing on his! Mind you, probably wouldn't do that on a full on dh'er either!
    Last edited by dipper; 01-06-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Cyril, where are you in the South of France, I'm tempted to find a cheap flight and visit!
    I'm in Toulon near Hyeres les palmier (there is an airport) or it's close Marseille too.

    I think you can do the following geometry :

    TT: 610mm
    ST: 470mm
    HA: 67.5 or 68 (fox34 553mm)
    SA: 74 or 74.5
    CS: 452mm
    BB height: -30mm
    stroke: 130mm

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipper View Post
    I plan on doing just that for my own curiosity. I'm going to do a couple local loops. Ones a 30 mile xc route with a bit of road, ones a 15mile proper MTb route inc a 4 mile rocky descent and some killer climbs. Bikes will be as similar as Possible in spec. Both @ 30lb. I'll time them to see if it makes any difference.
    Hi, did you ever do this? Perhaps it was posted elsewhere? I'm interested.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantrumizer View Post
    Hi, did you ever do this? Perhaps it was posted elsewhere? I'm interested.
    Erm..no! I still plan on doing this but can't see it being done properly for a couple of months yet. Sorry
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipper View Post
    Erm..no! I still plan on doing this but can't see it being done properly for a couple of months yet. Sorry
    I shall wait patiently.

  24. #24
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    While I wait patiently, I'm really struggling to find out the difference in weight between an AC and AC 29 frames. The Nicolai website and catalogue don't have the info. I've read a few threads here and it's mostly guesswork or estimates. Any ideas? Thanks!

  25. #25
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    drop pilot a PM. he's got more figures than you could shake a stick at!

    im sure its on the nicolai.net site but its not 100% accurate if i remember. think the BB height is off. i'll have a look
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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