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  1. #1
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Thought I'd kick this one off and tell the story of my next Nicolai.

    I've been riding my Ion15 now for a good while and when out with a journo friend who bought my previous AC custom 29 we got talking geo.

    He already knew I had put together the Ion15 with Nicolai and the story, he had helped to increase the publicity, he had passed on to another friend who runs Mojo, the UK Fox service guys, what Nicolai had done for me, but more generally, which was news to them anyway, it's clear that a unique selling point for Nicolai isn't well known, certainly in the UK.
    Chris at mojo is big on pushing the limits of design and was sold on forward geometry as a concept, having preciously created FrankenDune, with the rear of a Summum and custom length shocks, bushes and angle sets to try and create the geometry he was after. This new knowledge spurred him to engage Nicolai.
    You may have seen some pictures of the bike(s) he has now had made by Nicolai, each one more extreme in geometry terms with a focus on outright downhill speed..

    I expressed interest in the concept with my friend, I knew of it but had never seen nor ridden one, Mondraker not being a brand on my radar for various reasons, but Fabien Barel had a big hand in it and Cesar Rojo too, both of whom I respect and whose work I had come into contact with through other people in the industry.
    Forward Geometry made sense to me, I come from moto's originally and each of my mountain bikes has got longer, I'm not so tall at 1.78m but I always look at a large as being the right ETT but I nearly always want a med ST.
    Now my friend had an early 26" Proto Foxy in the shed, he'd stopped riding it when he bought the AC29 off me, I asked if I could borrow it for testing purposes...

    After some messing around with it to get the riding position about the same as my Ion 29 I took it out. First impression sitting on it, I can see everything, axle/wheel, but it feels pretty normal after a moto. Second impression, gee the wheels are small, it feels like a toy!

    I start to ride it around the car park, third impression, scary fast steering, what's the HA? (Well 67 it turns out, you can get away with it a bit steeper again due to length, which also helps with not wandering on climbs) surely this won't work for me, I don't like twitchy...
    Out on the trail now...so Mondraker sell the concept for its climbing ability and stability, these are things I have on my ion29 in spades, plus better pedalling so what's the big deal...

    front end feel, grip, confidence, the ability to naturally weight the front, the speed of steering response is incredible AND stability
    I love it, I absolutely LOVE the front end, in fact I'm totally addicted to it! As long as long as the front is pointing in the right direction everything else will follow, it makes me feel like a total hooligan, permanently in attack mode, Scandinavian flicks into corners, chin up, eyes wired onto the apex...
    Now it may not be the most relaxed state to be in on the trails but but I just feel totally connected to the front when riding it. There is loads of room to move around on the bike too.
    Yes it does climb well due to its overall length (The TT is an XL in normal sizing, it's a M), wheels accepted when compared to my 29, it's stable, more so than a comparable 26" bike but with faster steering.

    There are definitely things I wanted to change in terms of sizing, it was a little small for me as I have the saddle way back, and the wheels were a shock after my Ion, I've got used to smashing the trail to pieces on that with so much forgiveness, but I am so sold on the concept, it's a total hooligan of a bike soon much fun, basically because of the front.
    I'm not convinced its faster than the Ion and it's definitely harder work but incredibly rewarding.

    Such a shame just as more people get the concept that Mondraker appear to have backed out of pushing full fat Fwd Geo and gone with 30mm stems rather than near zero possibly for wider acceptance. For me they are marketing the wrong positives of this design, or rather the ones that are less appealing to a lot of riders.

    It's never going to work in a 29 format, and why would you do it really, it's a different answer to the same question, delivered in a different way, very much horses for courses, but I did try on paper before settling for 650b as the right compromise.
    I'm still totally stoked on the Ion 29 and as one bike for all it's the king, it climbs, pedals and descends equally well..but as I have just taken delivery of an Argon TB...

    For me, I HAD to have a bike with this set up but with my tweaks and German build quality, I've never charged into corners with such a feeling of confidence before...the downside I is when you do overlook it, you over cook it big time and it's not pretty!

    So here is the resulting geometry, it's longer than a very long thing, this is an XXL by normal sizing. The wheelbase is 35mm longer than my 29..

    It's tight at the back the same as an Ion 16 in terms of chainstay length with the same leverage ratio etc, optimised around 1x, there seemed no need to mess with the ST angle.
    It was important to get a nice low ST to take advantage of the new Vecnum dropper post, so I plan to run a 170mm drop, I did consider the 200mm but dropping the ST to 420mm would have messed up the aesthetics and taken the Chainstays and shock out of alignment with the top tube. I had asked specifically to make sure we aligned these so it's pleasing on (my) eye.

    The optimum trail setting is high and low is more for descending in crazy steeps/alps territory. I was going to make it a bit steeper in the HA but in high at 66.2 that's fine especially with a zero stem and 800mm bar.

    Roll on wk 24...

    Colour will be raw (again) with some extra love highlights and custom decals..
    Build kit will be
    Frame: Ion 16 FG
    Fork: 2015 Fox 36 160mm
    Headset: Hope integrated
    Shock: CCDB air.
    Seatpost: Vecnum Moveloc
    Wheels: Chris King Hubs/derby Carbon 40mm rims 32h/DT SuperComp
    Stem: OnOff Stoic 10mm
    Bar: Enve DH 800mm /Renthal FatBar
    Grips: ESI Race
    Drivetrain: Sram XX1
    Guide: MRP AM carbon guide
    Saddle: SDG/Saevid S1.2
    Tyres: Conti TrailKing 2.4 Fr/2.2 R
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-image.jpg  

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-image.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    Interesting project this.

    look forward to hearing about the ride

  3. #3
    yet another stupid german
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    wow, that's some funky geo specs
    i sure would like to take that for a test spin^^

  4. #4
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    I can't quite decide whether to add 5mm to the ETT. Need to know if the ETT and reach are 5mm longer in high mode or if it's just reach.
    I hope to pick it up in June so if you're in the vicinity maybe you could😄
    The fly in the ointment could be Fox 36 availability...


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  5. #5
    yet another stupid german
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    Hmmm, my june is jam packed...

    as an alternative I can recommend the XFusion Metric, the smoked chrome version suits raw very nicely

  6. #6
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    Pilot, interesting write-up and project. Nice build generally, but why not BOS suspension?

  7. #7
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    loamranger, I've been thinking about that recently. Still the most sublime feeling fork I have ever used bar none, although the 2012 36 I used recently came close with the non linear airspring.

    I've certainly not ruled it out. Deville, possibly with a Kirk rear.
    There is still the nagging element of spares/support, not so much from the fork as I understand seals/bushes are the same as used on the Fox 34 and its easy to do? My original Devilles are 3 years old now on the Helius AM my friend still has. Never been serviced, still just fine!

    The rear is more of a concern if there's a problem.
    Its looking like an Avalanche Float-x may be a possibility but I couldn't then fit a Deville could I, purely based on looks!

    Hmm watch this space...for the extra 5mm and what suspension she ends up with!

    I need to make sure I can get the CK XD driver too....
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  8. #8
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    id hold onto the 29er…… just in case
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

    flash bikes for flash gits

  9. #9
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    To late Dipper. Fully. committed now!


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  10. #10
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    When are you getting delivery?

  11. #11
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Due wk24 loamranger. 5wks. I'll try and get out to pick it up again. I think they are kinda curious now this is the 3rd frame with forward geo.
    I have revised the geo slightly to 660mm ETT and 485mm/490mm reach.



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  12. #12
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    So roughly a large size equivalent to the 2015 Mondraker Carbon 650b (reach 500, TT 650). I guess you are around 6 ft 1in? Looking forward to seeing this bike.

  13. #13
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Loamranger. I am 5'11"😊 the new Mondraker carbon (and the rest of the range) is based around a 30mm stem now. They have shortened their bikes, I assume to make them more mass market appeal (certainly pretty rare in the UK until massive discounting this year of the 26" 2013s although the frame was almost the price of a Nicolai). All sizes (ST) are 20mm shorter than 2013.
    I have done my beta testing on a 2013 med which had 645mm ETT and 480mm reach. I needed more seated room in the TT but the reach was almost spot on, The 5mm Low/10mm High difference in reach on the Ion is to allow for me preferring a wider bar with 2deg more sweep than the test mule had (Renthal Fatbar Vs Easton/Enve DH 800mm )
    The change from Mondraker is a pity in my view, although this geometry is clearly not for everyone. Myself I love the look/feel from the cockpit but I can see how it could feel too different and also how different riding styles could struggle with it. Their mission is to sell bikes at the end of the day and much respect and kudos to them for making this leap, I for one am very grateful!
    If it was my company I would have kept seat tubes lower across the range in the larger sizes to allow more flexibility in stem selection, especially now we have 150, 170 and 200mm dropper posts.

    Final drawing attached.




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  14. #14
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Final decision on colour made. A big dilemma for me. I like the welding so much, I like to see it, but I also like to see some colour an since this will be such a long beast I figured breaking it up visually could be good. I'm also a bit of a weight weenie so it's hard for me to go with powder coat. My favourite colours are blue and green.
    Anyway I went with gates team scheme in the end, I do like the look of it. Going to get some graphics sorted out with Hoshi/Holger to suit the model.
    You've seen these before I'm sure but I took one look and loved it.




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  15. #15
    "Its All Good"
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Great choice pilot, same as my monster truck, it is a great colour combo


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  16. #16
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    For reference
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalkhd1399792298.236808.jpg  

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalkhd1399792314.040977.jpg  

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

  17. #17
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Nice.
    Can't decide on graphics yet. I do like the yellow/red/white on Compression stay too.

    Final dilemma is white or black fork!


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  18. #18
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Black fork all the way.......


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  19. #19
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Linky to UK Mojo head Honcho and racer/crazy man Chris Porters rather more extreme version of what I'm waiting for. his has 20mm+ longer chainstays and 40mm longer ETT!
    http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/ar...er-bike-41048/



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    Last edited by the_pilot; 05-17-2014 at 01:31 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Aghhh Fox 36 will be out after delivery, BOS are still shaky on parts service, PIke is a known entity, cheaper, even with an Avy cartridge and lighter and user serviceable but does it look as cool!!


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  21. #21
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    Pike plus Avy sounds good or BOS Idylle SC air cut to 160.

    Do you mind speculating on what length TT and reach you think would be right for a 6ft 3ins rider running a 10mm stem?

  22. #22
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Hey Loamranger, I'd be scared of the weight of the Idylle! Deville is heavier than either Pike or Fox 36 now.
    I contacted Jungle to ask about support and they were very positive allegedly having spares/service in place mid June...I will see..

    What are you riding now is the question and does it feel right.
    661mm sounds massive but with the 10mm stem it's only 15mm longer than my 29 was and the same riding position as my current HT with a 70mm stem. I had the saddle set back on my 29 but the reach out the saddle was perfect.
    My HT is a classic case of what Porter tries to explain, I wanted a Large for the TT but the ST was just too long to run a good length dropper and I wasn't going custom for the HT (wish I had now though!)

    The reach is naturally longer but only because of how it's measured. The actual reach to bars is the same but the feel of the bike and feeling of room, plus handling of course, quite different.
    Given the typical size ranges, I'd guess you are on a Large now.
    I have short legs for my size but I'm effectively building 620mm ETT L frame + 50mm stem. So adding 40mm to the ETT.
    I would take what ETT you are riding add the stem length you use, taking into account saddle position (base it on a centred saddle rail so if set back or forward add or subtract how far) and considering what bars you use and their position (rotated forward or back) as 9deg sweep can have a 25mm adjustment range fore/aft.
    Then you have the ETT

    Sounds complicated but my example is
    My ETT was 605mm
    My saddle was set back 10mm,
    my bars rotated forward adding 5mm
    50mm stem.
    Total of 670mm.
    Account for 10mm stem leaving 660mm ETT but with scope for adjustment on+/-15mm in the saddle and +/-15mm in the bars.

    So if I had to take a punt for you without knowing what you are on now I'd say about the same as Chris Porter 690mm ETT.
    At that I probably would lengthen the chainstays slightly, maybe to 440mm to centralise the riding position.
    Would give about a 1285mm wheelbase at 65.5 HA.




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  23. #23
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    LR: On the Idylle SC it's not 650b is it? I see from other posts you've used it with a 2.3 with 'enough' clearance but I'd rather not be compromised on tyre choice. Typically I'd run a 2.4 TK or similar on the front.


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  24. #24
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    Hey thanks, food for thought.

    My current ride is an XL frame which is 642 TT, 462 R, 518 ST. Stem is 65. I need to check the saddle position but I think it is pushed back probably 15mm or so? Bars probably zero? So that would mean a TT of 712. I believe I'm taller than CP (he's 6ft 1in?), so does that sound about right to you? For comparison the Dune in XL has a TT of 665. So the ball park could be 700 plus or minus 10mm?

    My Idylles clear 650b 2.3 Magic Mary's as do the Devilles.. Running 26 inch 2.4 TK's on the back which is the highest tyre I could find....there is about a 10mm difference in radius.

  25. #25
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Based on what you have said yes I'd agree, 710-715mm ETT. Chris is 6'1", 1.85m I think he says. I think his TT may be 700mm on this MKII. His first was a touch shorter.

    You then you have scope for front rear. Adjustment via saddle and bars with a reach of 535mm or so.

    As mention Mondraker have shortened everything by 20mm this year the old Large was 670mm ETT. So their XL would have been 685mm.
    Given I'm happy at 661mm with 10mm stem and so close to Mondraker XL and I'm 3inches shorter than Chris an clearly much shorter than you I don't think the numbers are crazy. Chris says he could go longer than the current 700mm.
    If I was you I'd give Chris a call, he's approachable, have a chat about his experience. If you are in UK you may even be able to visit and get to try his for size, but I don't think you'd be far wrong based on what you've sati and my experience to date.

    How does a MM 2.3 compare to other big tyres? Pretty spiky so quite high I guess?
    The Idylle is probably overkill for me though at 75kg if be carrying an extra 600g-700g over a Pike or Fox 36 or 500g over a Deville...

    I wrote to Jungle, they tell me everything in place, spares and servicing mid June...I may ask again nearer that time.




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