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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm My on-going ramblings about my Santa Cruz Nickel!

    So I got a quick 12 miler in yesterday morning just to test my Nickel.

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/83955437'></iframe>



    Just wanted to share my initial thoughts on this bike:

    I love the way the bike rides, it climbs very well, descends better than the VPP blurs (and similar) in my opinion as the travel seems to be more bottomless and confidence inspiring to me. I like the BB height, as on my other bikes I am used to pedal and crank strikes which didn't seem to happen on the Nickel.

    I managed to build the bike up pretty light at just over 27lbs, it'll be a little heavier when I get my Reverb that's been on order for a while, but it will be a good trade off having to stop far less!

    I thought long and hard about the wheels, tyres and brakes and couldn't be more pleased with the results of fitting the Hope Hoops Pro 2 Evo SP/ Stans Crest wheels with Schwalbe RoRo rear and NoNi front with the Stans Tubeless kit. I also went for Formula R1 brakes and I'm astounded at how well the bike stops and grips, especially having giving the bike a quick shake down a few weeks ago using Panaracer CG tyres (yuck) and the Avid CR's off my Orange.



    Also I seem to have found a sweet spot on the forks, running slightly less air in than I should according to Fox, and only 3 clicks on the Terralogic knob, seems to have struck a great compromise so that the fork is still fully active, yet climbs really nicely too, especially when I turn the Talas knob and go down to 120mm travel for the steeper climbs.

    The XT 10 speed Dynasis seems to be working very well, baring in mind I am more used to SS in recent years, I have found the transition between bikes pretty easy.

    All in all I'm really pleased with my decision to go with the Nickel over the Blur LTc I test rode at the same time.
    Last edited by Just J; 05-30-2011 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Giving the thread a more relevant title...

  2. #2
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    Nice write up. Sounds like you are really enjoying the Nickel so far. Hope you have the time to post a follow up after you have a little more time.

  3. #3
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    Thanks

    I really do like the bike a lot, hoping that it will become my main ride so I'll definitely update this thread with more thoughts soon...

  4. #4
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    Just experimenting with the RP23 shock at the moment, I ran it with Pro Pedal on dialled to 2 on Saturday which felt really nice everywhere, just flick and forget kind of thing. I must admit though this bike doesn't bob or wallow at all, pro pedal or not. So far impressed!

    Should be receiving my Reverb seat post for it this/next week which should make the ride even more fun!

  5. #5
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    Nice looking Nickel! I've been eyeing one of those but just need to find one local to test ride. I'm curious to see a follow up after a couple months of riding.

  6. #6
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    Yeah no problem, I'll keep posting updates as I ride...


  7. #7
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    This thread makes my eye twitch.

    My Nickel was delivered to my mom yesterday in Illinois.........I'm in Sweden and won't even SEE it until July......

  8. #8
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    So over the weekend I took the Nickel out for a longer ride over the North York Moors:

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/85498287'></iframe>

    What became apparent really quickly was the following:

    1) I need my Reverb, my SDG post with shim was spinning round on the climbs and also slipping down all the time, so much so it pretty much ruined the ride seeing as it was made up mainly of going up long, nasty hills! The Reverb should be here this week but what I'd say to anyone is don't run a Nickel (or any bike) with a shimmed out post!

    2) Shock setup is imperative on this bike as it is on any FS bike. I am still trying hard to find the sweet spot for me, I think I'm about 90% there. I don't for one minute think that this is anything to do with the bike itself, more to do with the fact I've ridden almost solely rigid for the past 4-5 years or so having made the move from FS way back then! I also think that not checking the air levels front and rear did me no favours, as having checked them tonight they were down 10-15psi which didn't help at all!

    3) I think I need a longer stem, I decided to go with a 70mm one on this build despite all my other bikes being 100mm with similarly long top tubes. I think this was peer pressure more than anything as people were telling me to give it a go. It just goes to show that all those years in the saddle are enough for me to be able to make my own mind up!

    4) I need to persevere, I have spent so long on hard tails (and will continue to do so!) that FS feels kind of alien to me at the moment. Don't get me wrong though, I am still mightily impressed with my Nickel, however, I think I need to address these issue which are simply my own setup issues before the next ride!


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J

    2) Shock setup is imperative on this bike as it is on any FS bike. I am still trying hard to find the sweet spot for me, I think I'm about 90% there. I don't for one minute think that this is anything to do with the bike itself, more to do with the fact I've ridden almost solely rigid for the past 4-5 years or so having made the move from FS way back then! I also think that not checking the air levels front and rear did me no favours, as having checked them tonight they were down 10-15psi which didn't help at all!
    Curious to know your weight and rear shock pressure. What is/was your "complaint" with the rear?

    I have read that running the pressure a bit higher than the setup guide suggests is closer to the sweet spot. Have you found this to be true?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbigisbudgood
    Curious to know your weight and rear shock pressure. What is/was your "complaint" with the rear?

    I have read that running the pressure a bit higher than the setup guide suggests is closer to the sweet spot. Have you found this to be true?
    I am 226lbs running 205psi in the shock now however when I checked the shock earlier it only had 190psi in.

    The SC website suggests that I should run between 195-215psi so 205 sounds about right to me.

    I'm going to try running this amount again on the next ride, but I'll make sure I experiment with pressures too. I don't really want to try higher pressures at the moment as I fear it will make things too hard out back, but we'll see and I may try running +/- 5 psi if need be.

    My complaint is pretty hard to put my finger on really, the bike was a bit over active on the road climbs after the first 3 hours, bobbing more than it was the week prior but that was obviously down to the shock not being set at the correct pressure. Any FS bike will bob without enough air in the shock, so this is no slight on the Nickel.

    I've now got the sag about right as far as I can see, so I'm sure once I have the other issues (seat post, stem) sorted everything should be back to normal.

  11. #11
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    I think I'm about there when it comes to the shock side of things, I went out for a spin round my local loop last night and ended up being 2.5 mins than I was on the same route using my 29r SS when I went out on Sunday, the bike felt good, not as spritely up the shorter hills as my SS but certainly better than it did on Saturday.

    Although very different in feel to a well setup hard tail, one thing I have found is that the bike is VERY efficient, I would say in equal measures to the VPP but with the added benefit of being more active over the rough stuff in my opinion. I have been experimenting with the Pro Pedal setting on my RP23 and have found that I can't really tell much difference, telling me that there is no real need in having the Pro Pedal engaged.

    I think I'm also going to persevere with the stem, at 70mm I don't think it's too short, in fact having a shorter stem does make the steering very quick and ultra fun.

    I've now been informed that the Reverb won't be here until next week now, but I can live with that, I guess!

    It's hard going from HT to FS but the benefits will become more apparent as I get used to this very cool bike!

  12. #12
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    Dalby SIngletrack with Brian Lopes

    Yup the bike is definitely dialled (well apart from the gears that need fettling!) and it's just as well as I won a Facebook competition to ride with Brian Lopes in Dalby Forest!

    Here are some pics and the route below:

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/87027325'></iframe>



    Yup I had to follow the purple route!



    Brian talking to the group about his bikes, career, other riders etc.



    Reminiscing about the late, great Jason McCroy - RIP JMC

    What a nice guy Brian is, totally down to earth and really friendly.

    I could feel him breathing down my neck during the first part of the ride as it pushed me to ride the Nickel harder than I have done until today! What a rush!

    Here's the bike parked next to my very dusty GTI having had some fun getting both pretty sideways around Dalby Forest!


  13. #13
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    Don't forget when you put your shock pump on the shock it will always show a lower PSI than what you put in it before because the pump hose needs to fill with air (I find it consistently shows about 10-15 psi lower than what I put it at). Sweet looking Nickel though. I came very close to getting one, but opted for the Butcher instead.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the tip Uncle, I had forgotten about that, since my last FS bike was a few years back

    Glad you like it, hows the Butcher?...

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    I've said it before, but that bike is really, really nice.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBY View Post
    I've said it before, but that bike is really, really nice.
    Thank you DBY!

  18. #18
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    Finished setup report

    Hi guys, I'm not sure if many people are really interested, but this thread might help people out if they, like I was, are deciding whether or not to buy a Nickel.

    On Saturday I finished setting up the Nickel, which involved me and a friend cutting the Reverb's hose down and routing it properly and also spending some time on the gears, removing excess chain and fettling etc.

    So on Sunday morning I got up bright and early and headed back over to Dalby Forest to do the red route again but this time in full.

    I was there last week as you can read above, but only managed to do part of it. The last time I did the whole thing was about a month ago when I took my Orange P7 and had an absolute blast in the scorching sun. Yesterday's weather was completely at odds with last time though as it was wet and drizzly but what better way than to put the Nickel through it's paces?!

    Here are the ride details:

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/88694478'></iframe>

    I thought it might be useful for me to give a full appraisal of my setup starting with:

    The frame - I've found my sweet spot on the Nickel and I'm sticking to it, running the shock fairly firm but still fully active, I didn't touch the ProPedal lever until the final 5 miles of tarmac at the end of the ride when the miserable weather started getting to us!

    The forks, again I'm not using the platform on the forks, makes me think that I should buy some 2012 Float 140's in July when they become available. But the forks run so well without using the Terralogic, I can;t really see how a full suspension bike would benefit from having it. I never reduced the travel once yesterday, the fork has a 140/110mm Talas setting, the lower setting helps on very steep climbs but it is hard to adjust whilst riding and again convinces me that I will be buying some Floats pretty soon!

    I noticed that the forks are getting better as time goes by, I was using all the travel yesterday without noticing any bottoming out, which is just how I like things. The small bump compliance is also excellent, all in all pretty perfect with just a few more features than needed!

    The gears were really good yesterday and coped well with the mud although the front mech is a PITA to adjust as the suspension design gets in the way so things weren't quite as crisp as they should be up front until I started playing around with the tension whilst riding.

    The brakes - WOW the brakes! I've not used a better set of brakes than the Formula R1's. I can't really add more other than - BEST BRAKES EVER! LOL

    Reverb - Again, I don't know how I've lived so long without a dropper post, the only time I had to stop yesterday was to wait for my friend, the Reverb adds so much fun to your ride, just being able to fine tune seat height on the go.

    SDG Ti-Fly Saddle, surprisingly comfortable although I am still experimenting with the angles trying to find that elusive sweet spot...

    Wheels and tyres - Although the Rocket Ron on the back much prefers the dry dusty conditions, they are still stellar performers in the wet, the Nobby Nic on the front was pure class though, offering confidence on the numerous rocks littering the Dalby singletrack! The wheels seem really stiff and ultra fast, again just what I was looking for. The wheels are Hope Hoops with Pro 2 Evo SP hubs mated to Stans Crest rims, I'm running tubeless and can highly recommend that you give it a go if you haven't already...

    Bars - Race Face Sixc, Grips - RF sniper, Stem - RF Turbine 70mm. - Make such a lovely cockpit for me, just the right side of wide and coupled with the long top tube make things pretty perfect for any type of riding.

    The bike really is uncompromised whatever you throw at it, it loves going down hill as much as it does going up which is exactly what I was looking for from my new bike. I know when I've hit a setup on the head when I'm riding my bike thinking that I should probably sell my others as I can't see me riding them as much! I won't be selling the others as I still really enjoy riding them too, but I'm pretty stoked to be able to say that the Nickel is exactly what I was looking for when I was considering what to buy next!

    Here she is, resting on the Dalby Red Route, just about a mile away from where last week's WC race was held...


    Nickel on Dalby Forest Red Route by J5BWS, on Flickr
    Last edited by Just J; 05-30-2011 at 10:28 AM.

  19. #19
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    Very nice to see another North East SC rider. I'm based in Stockton on Tees and ride a Heckler.

    I might start giving that garmin software a go as well.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsponsored View Post
    Very nice to see another North East SC rider. I'm based in Stockton on Tees and ride a Heckler.

    I might start giving that garmin software a go as well.

    www.bikeandbivi.co.uk
    Hi

    I'm in Ingleby Barwick so it's a small world! Where do you usually ride?...

  21. #21
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    Well, I find your posts very informative and really appreciate you taking the time to post. It sounds like you are really enjoying the Nickel. Your posts have helped me settle on the Nickel as my next bike. I just have to get the wife on board with it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSquirrel View Post
    Well, I find your posts very informative and really appreciate you taking the time to post. It sounds like you are really enjoying the Nickel. Your posts have helped me settle on the Nickel as my next bike. I just have to get the wife on board with it.
    Thanks Madd - really glad I could help!

    Try telling the wife that you'll only need the one bike and the Nickel is THE ONE!

  23. #23
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    Yeah, but I plan to have some parts left over from my old bike so I can build a dj bike.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    Hi

    I'm in Ingleby Barwick so it's a small world! Where do you usually ride?...
    Normally ride out in the Dales from Reeth, Hamsterley or the Lakes.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsponsored View Post
    Normally ride out in the Dales from Reeth, Hamsterley or the Lakes.
    Guisborough Woods, NY Moors, Dalby for me, I haven't ridden Hamsterley for a while but will get it in this summer along with Glentress and Kirroughtree...

  26. #26
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    Yeah keep these post coming! I am trying to decide betwen a superlight and a nickel (as you saw in my thread) so this is quite interesting.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy View Post
    Yeah keep these post coming! I am trying to decide betwen a superlight and a nickel (as you saw in my thread) so this is quite interesting.
    Thanks Wolfboy, I'd say if your riding involves a bit of everything then there will be few bikes as capable as the Nickel, but if XC is just your bag then maybe look at the Superlight, however I wouldn't bet against the Nickel being a better climber than the SL but you are looking at a much more burly type of frame.

    Not much else to report this week other than unfortunately when I took the bike out last week my brand new SDG saddle developed a large crack so I returned it back to CRC and bought this Selle Italia SLR XC which is very comfortable and only 160g!


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    I'll be out riding tomorrow though and tomorrow is a Nickel day!

  28. #28
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    Only had time for a few miles out this morning but I made them count!

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/90215589'></iframe>

    The bike feels excellent, nothing I'd change on it really apart from possibly a XO groupset (not that I really need it as the XT is pretty faultless!) and the forks as previously discussed. But for now it is just a case of riding it, getting used to it and riding it harder! I love this thing and it loves me! LOL

    Seriously though, it really is an awesome climber, today I cleared climbs mainly in the middle and big ring that in the past have seen me calling for Granny without a second thought!


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

  29. #29
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    I'm beginning to know this bike!

    Took it out again this morning and what struck me is that I am really getting to know the bike, yes I've ridden it on all my longer (over 5 miles) rides over the past few weeks, but it's beginning to feel part of me if that makes sense?!

    The Reverb helps massively, allowing me to drop the seat quickly and being able to get right off the back of the bike on downhills etc. I am flowing over things that I didn't think really possible for me anyway, it just feels great, I can't really gush much more to be honest!

    Changes this week are pretty simple, I bought the white Race Face SixC bar instead of the orange one I had which now resides on my Orange funnily enough! It was the last piece in the puzzle really, the orange details stuck out like a sore thumb against the monochromaticness of my "Stormtrooperesque" Nickel!

    Here's the ride:

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/91527558'></iframe>

    Here's an obligatory pic!


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    Here's another!


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    and here's is a calf that I thought was pretty damn cool too!


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

  30. #30
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    Nice bike and you'll like the wide bars now with the 70mm stem - NO need to go to a 100mm stem when using wider bars (that's the whole key to maintaining body position with a shorter stem).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 06-11-2011 at 02:58 PM.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Nice bike and you'll like the wide bars now with the 70mm stem - NO need to go to a 100mm stem when using wider bars (that's the whole key to maintaining body position with a shorter stem).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Thanks G Man!

    I'm finding that I quickly got used to the shorter stem again and love the way the bike turns so quickly with it!

  32. #32
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    .........man that is one seriously nice looking bike!!

    err, i noticed your Dalby red route,... you took a wrong turn somewhere lol
    the `full` red route is much more entertaining and highly recommended!!
    cheers

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/44662817'></iframe>
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEY HEY ITS HENDO View Post
    .........man that is one seriously nice looking bike!!

    err, i noticed your Dalby red route,... you took a wrong turn somewhere lol
    the `full` red route is much more entertaining and highly recommended!!
    cheers

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/44662817'></iframe>
    Thanks Hendo!

    LOL yeah you're right, the weather was miserable and my mate wanted to go home by the wrong turn incident! Anyway, 99.9% of the people reading wouldn't have known if it wasn't for your pesky self!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEY HEY ITS HENDO View Post
    .........man that is one seriously nice looking bike!!

    err, i noticed your Dalby red route,... you took a wrong turn somewhere lol
    the `full` red route is much more entertaining and highly recommended!!
    cheers
    >[/URL]
    That was a seriously impressive time too! Next time I go to Dalby I'm going to use it as a training partner route on the Garmin and I doubt that I will beat it!

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    So I am thinking about getting one of these and your posts are helping me a bit. Im looking for a 4.5-5" travel bike and plan on running my 130mm Minute 3 fork Ive got (love it). I ride rocks, roots, ups and down and lots of mud (Mid Atlantic/ New England) trails so a great pedaling up and great descending are a must. Being a single pivot, Im worried about a couple of things. How crucial is the ProPedal on this frame? When does it bob? Also, how is the braking/ brake jack when going a bumpy or rocky downhill section? Does the rear suspension freeze up at all? My other choice is an Intense Spider 2 or a Yeti ASR5

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    I've owned both, the Nickel and the ASR-5, both with the same 140mm FOX Float fork.

    The only point the Yeti is really ahead is bare frameweight.

    Both are single pivots, but the ASR-5 boobs a little bit less with closed pro pedal which could be a little advantage on fireroad uphills.


    The rear suspension of the Nickel is plusher, it absorbs small bumps better. A saver feeling in fast, rocky downhills.
    The grip in technical uphill sections is better because of the very sensitive APP which glues the tire to the ground.


    My personal conclusion:

    Nickel: Mini AllMountain/Enduro, the better downhiller and better in technical sections (up and down).
    ASR-5: Maxi travel XC-bike, lighter, probably better climber on easy tracks.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmhills View Post
    So I am thinking about getting one of these and your posts are helping me a bit. Im looking for a 4.5-5" travel bike and plan on running my 130mm Minute 3 fork Ive got (love it). I ride rocks, roots, ups and down and lots of mud (Mid Atlantic/ New England) trails so a great pedaling up and great descending are a must. Being a single pivot, Im worried about a couple of things. How crucial is the ProPedal on this frame? When does it bob? Also, how is the braking/ brake jack when going a bumpy or rocky downhill section? Does the rear suspension freeze up at all? My other choice is an Intense Spider 2 or a Yeti ASR5
    Hi

    One of my other choices was the Intense Spider 2, I couldn't get a test ride of one but I did ride the Blur LTc which was as close to the bike as I could get, I think my reasons for choosing the Nickel are above but basically it's all down to the Nickel being plusher ride on the bumps, with the suspension working better on small to large bumps, yet just as good (if not better!) a climber.

    I don't use my propedal, I am 225lbs yet the bike doesn't bob enough to warrant using it, in fact the BLur LTc in my opinion was more reliant on the PP being on. I've not noticed any brake jack and I doubt you will either.

    I'd recommend a test ride but if you can't get one, I'd say just do it!

  38. #38
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    Another testament to the Nickel being such a good all rounder!

    I was interested when I found this yesterday, first I saw this pic with Steve Peat hooning around on his Nickel in the pits at the Luapang race over the weekend, so I Googled to see if the Nickel was being used for racing and this is what I found.



    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/sea-ott...ic-gracia.html

    If you watch the video you will see Cedric speaking about the Nickel at the Sea Otter and how he almost went with it for the downhill run, he also references how well the bikes pedal...


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    Great thread

    Great thread, great photos, great bike.

  40. #40
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    Thanks mp007, glad you like it!

  41. #41
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    Spot the updates...

    So it's been a while since I've posted on this thread but that's mainly because I've been out riding my Nickel, but I felt like today was a good day to update it as there have been a couple of new additions...

    ... Can you see what the main addition is?


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    Any ideas?...


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    What about now?...


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    Yup that's right they're 2012 Fox Factory Float 140 RLCs, I wanted a tapered head tube and I hadn't been using the Talas settings on my other fork so thought now was the time to buy! They feel great out the box but I'll be able to report back after the weekend.

    The other addition is the Fizik Gobi XM Saddle with Krium Rails, I swapped the Selle because it wore through on the first ride, but this saddle feels ultra comfortable.


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

    By swapping the forks out the bike is weighing almost 0.5lbs lighter than previously which is pretty cool. I'm still loving the bike, more so by the ride, can't wait to post some more info up soon...

  42. #42
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    Just J, I have been lurking for the past couple months and just wanted to say thanks for your posts. You actually influenced my decision to go with the Nickel. My frame just arrived this week and had a quick question for you. Did you plug the holes in the swingarm to prevent mud and water getting in there? Pardon my ignorance but this is my first SC and my first bike build. Thanks.

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    Nickel and Butcher have the same holes at the rear of the swingarm, so I would like to answer.

    I think the holes should be kept open to give water and condensate water a chance to come out and dry again after washing your bike.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red141 View Post
    Just J, I have been lurking for the past couple months and just wanted to say thanks for your posts. You actually influenced my decision to go with the Nickel. My frame just arrived this week and had a quick question for you. Did you plug the holes in the swingarm to prevent mud and water getting in there? Pardon my ignorance but this is my first SC and my first bike build. Thanks.
    Hi Red

    Glad I could help you make your decision, you will not regret it!

    I haven't blocked the holes or even thought about it, I would just leave them as they are

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    I have a Butcher with a very similar swingarm bolt design. I did not plug it either, but I found I needed to put some locktite on the bolt when torquing it because every few rides or so the bolt got a little loose and a slight amount of play developed.

    Congratulations on the new bike! And I wholeheartedly agree with Red's comment. Thank you so much Just J for your posts. They're awesome and your bike looks absolutely b*tchin'! If my schooling goes according to plan in the next couple of years and I end up on the other side of the pond at LSE, I will need to have a ride with you!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclepudding View Post
    I have a Butcher with a very similar swingarm bolt design. I did not plug it either, but I found I needed to put some locktite on the bolt when torquing it because every few rides or so the bolt got a little loose and a slight amount of play developed.

    Congratulations on the new bike! And I wholeheartedly agree with Red's comment. Thank you so much Just J for your posts. They're awesome and your bike looks absolutely b*tchin'! If my schooling goes according to plan in the next couple of years and I end up on the other side of the pond at LSE, I will need to have a ride with you!
    Sounds good to me!

  47. #47
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    I managed to get a ride round all the best bits that Dalby Red Route has to offer today so I had chance to put the new fork through it's paces! It felt great, very much in keeping with how the Talas felt however a little bit stiffer down to the tapered steerer. I know I need to spend some time setting it up though, the compression can be adjusted to within an inch of it's life, so it might be a couple of rides until I have things exactly where I need them.

    Here's the route:

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/99111694'></iframe>

    And a couple of pics...


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

  48. #48
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    Just J

    been a lurker for a while now, first post today but i'm seriously impressed with the Nickel build
    Hoping to demo one early next month up in the Cairngorms ;-)

    was looking at Zesty's, Trek Ex8's, Trances and another Spesh ( riding a SJ120) but i'm really liking the whole solidity / low faff factor of the SC , plus everybody seems to be pushing bigger bikes these days, 150-160mm that are overkill for 95% of the rides in east coast scotland

    was thinking a black Nickel frame with silver hope bits and revelation dual airs (110-140mm)
    reverb post, XT shifting and Hope V2 brakes


    how you finding tubeless ? do the tyres burp any air when at low pressure or rounding the berms at trail centres ??

    cheers
    D

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmock View Post
    Just J

    been a lurker for a while now, first post today but i'm seriously impressed with the Nickel build
    Hoping to demo one early next month up in the Cairngorms ;-)

    was looking at Zesty's, Trek Ex8's, Trances and another Spesh ( riding a SJ120) but i'm really liking the whole solidity / low faff factor of the SC , plus everybody seems to be pushing bigger bikes these days, 150-160mm that are overkill for 95% of the rides in east coast scotland

    was thinking a black Nickel frame with silver hope bits and revelation dual airs (110-140mm)
    reverb post, XT shifting and Hope V2 brakes


    how you finding tubeless ? do the tyres burp any air when at low pressure or rounding the berms at trail centres ??

    cheers
    D
    Hi Emmock and welcome to MTBR!

    I agree, most of the new trail bikes are overkill to 95% of the riding that we do, certainly in the UK, this is one reason why the Nickel appealed to me in particular, it's a solid frame made to do everything with just the right amount of travel. I think you'll love it when you get that test ride sorted, well after the rain dries up anyway!

    The build you've been thinking about sounds really nice, my one bit of advice would be that 110mm travel on my Talas fork felt so low that I never used it, hence swapping for the Float 140's so give that some consideration maybe.

    Regarding the tyres, I don't have a problem however the lowest pressure I would really run is around 35psi as I like a fast rolling tyre. The Hope/Crest/Schwalbe combination is a great all rounder worth considering.

    I'd say to anyone considering a Nickel that you should go for it, I personally reckon it's the best bike I've ridden and I've had 18 in recent years!

  50. #50
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    Just J - Thanks for a great thread. I'm thinking of Nickel or Orange5 and have a test ride on both this weekend at Llandegla North Wales.

    I tested a medium Nickel around Hope and I thought it felt a little cramped (I'm around 5'9) so will be trying the Large

    Should be interesting how the two compare.
    cheers

  51. #51
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    Thanks Nibby!

    Yup definitely give the large a go, it feels just right for me although I am 6ft, it's the smallest of my bikes but feels perfect for it.

    Obviously being an Orange fan myself I did try the Five, but it wasn't what I was looking for, it was a bit laid back for my liking and the suspension wasn't as efficient either, but you, along with many others might like it that way! Either way please let us know how your test ride goes

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    Cheers.

    I hired an Orange 5 for a few days in Glentress last month, first time on a full sus after not riding for a few years but always had hardtails in the past.

    I then tested the medium Nickel a few weeks ago and thought it was great, excellent at climbing and the same over some loose rocky technical terrain. I did the same loop the week before on a hardtail and had to walk the bike up a section that the Nickel popped up without fuss.

    I'm going to be riding mostly UK trails centers and some routes around the Peaks etc so thought either the Nickel or Orange would do me for the type of riding I will be doing.

    I'm looking forward to a back to back test this weekend. Although I hope the fitness holds up to a double black!!

    First out is the Nickel.

    I will keep you posted

    all the best

  53. #53
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    Sounds like you are going to have an awesome weekend! Enjoy and speak soon!

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by nibby View Post
    Cheers.

    I hired an Orange 5 for a few days in Glentress last month, first time on a full sus after not riding for a few years but always had hardtails in the past.

    I then tested the medium Nickel a few weeks ago and thought it was great, excellent at climbing and the same over some loose rocky technical terrain. I did the same loop the week before on a hardtail and had to walk the bike up a section that the Nickel popped up without fuss.

    I'm going to be riding mostly UK trails centers and some routes around the Peaks etc so thought either the Nickel or Orange would do me for the type of riding I will be doing.

    I'm looking forward to a back to back test this weekend. Although I hope the fitness holds up to a double black!!

    First out is the Nickel.

    I will keep you posted

    all the best
    Nibby

    i'd be interested in how that goes
    i test rode a 5 at laggan and both times came away lukewarm, down hilling was really confident and it felt like you could attack anything
    BUT on the flat / rises and uphill it was an utter pig

    no matter how i set the shock or used the pp it just didn't climb well

    i don't know of any other bike that sparks as much debate as the 5.

    off to the highlands this week to test the Nickel ...canna wait

  55. #55
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    Emmock,
    lets compare notes next week. I thought the same as you about the 5 going down hill, very confidence inspiring. The problem is that I did not have anything to compare it against and even though I've since tested the Nickel it was a few weeks later and in very different conditions, although what impressed me the most was the uphill sections. It went up things very easy.

    I'm interested to see how both shape up on the same route.

    Cheers

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    Nibby
    will do !
    Rothiemurchis is a great shakedown for an all rounder, plenty of different terrain for the riding, dh and uphill

    will post up midweek hopefully

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    Sounds just the job.

    I was at Innerleithen a few weeks ago. The red onto black route was excellent, way better than Glentress IMO - I was on the 5 then and it excelled on the DH sections.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Cheers

  58. #58
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    I'm looking forward to taking the Nickel to GT and Kirroughtree in the next few weeks, the Nickel pedals and climbs so well that I rarely choose to ride my other bikes now be it on road, trail or other, sadly for them as they're both really good bikes in their own rights!

    I wanted to like the Five, but I personally didn't get what is said in all the hype about the bikes. Really looking forward to hearing both of your thoughts after you've ridden the Nickel again.

    I'm planning on some upgrades again, I've order some carbon levers for the Formulas along with 2-peice rotors, the reach and adjustment bits, also trying to decide between going full XTR or XO. Then I will be able to say that this bike is finished, should also get below 27lbs too!

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    If you get a chance then the red-graded (with a bit of black thrown in) Innerleithen XC Route is awsome and only a few miles from GT.

    If I go for the Nickel I'm toying with a custom build. Have you tried the Shimano XT M785 brakes? wondering how they compare with the Formulas. Good brakes are really important for me.

  60. #60
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    I've not ridden the new XT brakes however they are getting great reviews, but the Formula R1's are the best brake I've tried so far. They are a little expensive though and they are pretty difficult to align but other than that they have you're eyes popping out your skull when you squeeze them! I have the Hope X2 Ltd Ed brakes on the P7 and they are really nice too though ultimately not as powerful.

  61. #61
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    How did you guys get on? I'm keen to find out what your thoughts are...

    I had a blast around Hamsterley Forest in Durham this morning, the Nickel never fails to amaze me at how it can limb like no other bike I've ridden and there was a lot of climbing today! It was mainly fire road trails, gravel etc but there was one particularly technical steep bit that I really don't think I would have made on any other machine. Man I love this bike, can you tell?!!...

    On another note the new forks are bedding in nicely and I've not had to adjust the gears since I initially set them up. All is good!

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/102715678'></iframe>

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    Just J-

    Quick question for you. How is the Reverb holding up on your Nickel. My bike is set up similarly to yours, and I'm giving a lot of thought to getting a Reverb or i950. Worried about reliability for the cash, but I think the increase in ride quality might be worth it.

  63. #63
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    It's prove faultless over the past few months, I cut the hose down and bled it in order to route it under the shock mounts when I got it. There's no play in it to speak of and the seals seem to be holding up.

    I have a friend who had a problem with the one he has on his NomadC, the seals went on his second ride, but RS repaired it.

    I don't think there are many problems with the later 2011 models (like mine) so fingers crossed I wont have any issues and neither will you if you go ahead and buy one...

    In regard to KS, I've been trying to find one of the i7 posts for my Orange with the 27.2mm post but they're sold out until later in August...

  64. #64
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    great looking bike. Be interested to see someones comparison between vpp and app

  65. #65
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    Hi jbrowne, thank you!

    If I remember rightly at the beginning of the thread I should of compared it to the Blur LTc I tried out, I personally prefer APP as the Nickel feels much more active and to me, plusher. It pedals at least as well as VPP and is simpler to boot. If you have any specific questions please just ask as I have owned a couple of VPP bikes (Uzzi VPX, Spider, Tracer) too...

  66. #66
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    I like your ride - the GTi, that is Ok the bike too.
    "It looks flexy"

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    Back from a back to back test with the Nickel and 5

    Bad start. I wanted to try the Large Nickel as I had previously tested the medium and wanted to see the difference as I first thought the medium felt a little cramped.

    I turned up but the large was away for the weekend!! Looks like on of the staff had taken it and all they had was the medium! The guy told me he thought I was a medium anyway and the large would be too big

    So I took the medium Nickel out around the local black route.

    This thing climbs like a mountain goat traction was amazing. No front wheel lift just plodded up all the climbs without fuss. In fact I went past a few other riders who were going uphill and you would have thought I was going down!! Very impressive.

    It was the same for the downhill, very confidence inspiring and felt like I could really throw the bike around if needed. The longer I went the better it got. In fact I was getting stronger and faster towards the end but was then back at the start point so time for a coffee and cake while they prepped the Orange

    The 5 was a size 18 so felt a looked bigger than the Nickel. Again they didnt have the size 17 which might have been the better size.

    Always good when someone is trying to sell a bike for them not to have the two bikes the customer wanted to try in the first place

    The Orange felt good but not as good as the SC. It did not climb as well or as fast as the Nickel and on some steep stuff the front wanted to pop up, did not stay planted like the SC.

    What did surprise me was downhill over rocky terrain. I thought the 5 was going to excel at this point and looked forward to it doing so. It was good but again not as good as the SC. The Nickel felt smoother and the suspension worked better on the rocky terrain, less travel but just felt better.

    I'm glad I tried both back to back. If I had never tried the SC and only the 5 I would have been pleased with it but after trying both there is no contest.

    Now because I havent tried a large Nickel Ive still got this niggling that I should try it to make sure aarrrgghhhhh

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay View Post
    I like your ride - the GTi, that is Ok the bike too.
    Thanks! Had it 2 1/2 years now and can't see my selling it anytime soon

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibby View Post


    Back from a back to back test with the Nickel and 5

    Bad start. I wanted to try the Large Nickel as I had previously tested the medium and wanted to see the difference as I first thought the medium felt a little cramped.

    I turned up but the large was away for the weekend!! Looks like on of the staff had taken it and all they had was the medium! The guy told me he thought I was a medium anyway and the large would be too big

    So I took the medium Nickel out around the local black route.

    This thing climbs like a mountain goat traction was amazing. No front wheel lift just plodded up all the climbs without fuss. In fact I went past a few other riders who were going uphill and you would have thought I was going down!! Very impressive.

    It was the same for the downhill, very confidence inspiring and felt like I could really throw the bike around if needed. The longer I went the better it got. In fact I was getting stronger and faster towards the end but was then back at the start point so time for a coffee and cake while they prepped the Orange

    The 5 was a size 18 so felt a looked bigger than the Nickel. Again they didnt have the size 17 which might have been the better size.

    Always good when someone is trying to sell a bike for them not to have the two bikes the customer wanted to try in the first place

    The Orange felt good but not as good as the SC. It did not climb as well or as fast as the Nickel and on some steep stuff the front wanted to pop up, did not stay planted like the SC.

    What did surprise me was downhill over rocky terrain. I thought the 5 was going to excel at this point and looked forward to it doing so. It was good but again not as good as the SC. The Nickel felt smoother and the suspension worked better on the rocky terrain, less travel but just felt better.

    I'm glad I tried both back to back. If I had never tried the SC and only the 5 I would have been pleased with it but after trying both there is no contest.

    Now because I havent tried a large Nickel Ive still got this niggling that I should try it to make sure aarrrgghhhhh
    Nibby,

    Thanks for the report back, that's really good that you preferred the Nickel, I knew you would!

    I would say that at 5'9" the Medium would probably be better suited to you as the large's seat tube is pretty long. What size stem did the demo ride have?

  70. #70
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    It's a great bike, really pleased I tested both.

    I think I am probably a medium. Not sure what sized stem it had though? The Orange felt a little stretched with the SC really felt I could throw it around.

    Just need to decide if I'm going to go with the R XC build or do a custom build.

  71. #71
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    Good stuff! Go full custom and be sure to post some pics up when you do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    Hi jbrowne, thank you!

    If I remember rightly at the beginning of the thread I should of compared it to the Blur LTc I tried out, I personally prefer APP as the Nickel feels much more active and to me, plusher. It pedals at least as well as VPP and is simpler to boot. If you have any specific questions please just ask as I have owned a couple of VPP bikes (Uzzi VPX, Spider, Tracer) too...
    Just curiosity really. My nomad is my first VPP bike and the first thing I noticed when I rode it was how well it still worked under brakes. Mostly had single pivots and 4 bars before it though!
    Justin

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrowne View Post
    Just curiosity really. My nomad is my first VPP bike and the first thing I noticed when I rode it was how well it still worked under brakes. Mostly had single pivots and 4 bars before it though!
    Justin
    The APP's downhill braking performance is on par with VPP, I think SC have definitely come up trumps with the APP design

  74. #74
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    Nibby / just J
    holiday was a bit of a disaster since my young lad broke his arm in 2 places, spent 3 days in hospital with him and was so tired after getting out didn't have the energy to ride anymore

    but the comments are encouraging, if the nickel descends as well as or better than the 5 then im in for a treat as i loved the descents on the 5 !!!

    should be up again next month so not long to wait

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmock View Post
    Nibby / just J
    holiday was a bit of a disaster since my young lad broke his arm in 2 places, spent 3 days in hospital with him and was so tired after getting out didn't have the energy to ride anymore

    but the comments are encouraging, if the nickel descends as well as or better than the 5 then im in for a treat as i loved the descents on the 5 !!!

    should be up again next month so not long to wait
    Sorry to hear about your little lad, hope he gets well soon.

    I'm SURE the Nickel won't disappoint when you give it a go on the descents...

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    Emmock, sorry to hear about your boy. Hope he heals and is back on the bike quickly.

    As for the Nickel going down. Well I was also surprised. I was expecting to like the 5 better going down but just kept wishing I was back on the SC. The suspension felt better, less vibration and floated over the rocky sections better even though the 5 had longer front suspension the Nickel just worked really really well.

    Look forward to hearing what you think.

    Best of luck.

  77. #77
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    cheers guys

    hopefully ill be back up avie in a few weeks to get that demo ;-)

  78. #78
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    Sweet bike, I picked up a butcher in May and it's so dope.

  79. #79
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    Thanks Mr. Bubbles!

  80. #80
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    Quick update -

    I've just ordered this for the Nickel:

    Full XTR Trail Groupset 2x10 (38/26T front 11-36 Rear) with Shadow Plus Rear Mech.

    180mm front and rear 2 piece Formula R1 Rotors

    Formula R1 Carbon Levers

    2012 Fox Racing Shox Factory RP23 with Adaptive Damping (Custom Tuned from Mojo)

    That should all be with me in September so be sure of a big update then!

    I'll also be running a Nobby Nic on the back rather than the Rocket Ron over the wet winter months...

  81. #81
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    Im thinking about a Nickel frame over a year now.
    Currently riding an Liteville 301 with a lot of fine detail i`ll be missing a little bit on the Nickel.
    But i have owned a Heckler which was my "most fun to ride" bike.
    And gladly reading this thread from the first time, i get more and more to the Nickel.
    One
    Just J i have a favor to ask you. Please could you put on a bottle mount and a large bottle if you have on at hand?
    And please post more about your Nickel to make my mouth water

  82. #82
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    Hi Playbike!

    I have often looked at the liteville with great interest, I've not had chance to try one or even see one out on the trails or anywhere for that matter! They look great though!

    The Nickel is pure fun to ride everywhere, they almost make uphills fun to and I'm glad that my thread has helped you get interested in the frames as I can't recommend them high enough!

    I will ask a friend to lend me his bottle cage and bottle over the weekend and post some images up, I've been an avid user of Camelbaks for years now so don't even own a cage!

    I'll post some more info/reports back soon, it's a bit wet over here in the UK at the moment so I'm not sure when I'll be out next but I hope for sun on Sunday!

  83. #83
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    f'ing double post

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    I can help.......

    Mine is a medium. I cannot fit a "full size" bottle in the cage. In fact, the bottle in the image actually interferes with the PP lever on the shock. A smaller mouthed bottle would work fine. Obviously, a full size would fit in the mount on the bottom of the down tube......yuk.

    I apologize for the crappy iPhone pic.

    edit.....I should say that this bottle was filled with sports drink. I was on a 6 hour bender. I am normally a strictly camelback user. This is not normal for me, to have a bottle cage.


  85. #85
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    thanks for Your help.
    I have seen medium sized with bottle cage but never an large!
    Normally i also use a camelbak but this year i never used it.
    I`m looking forward to my maiden voyage

    By the way; i have read about a chain tensioner for the Nickel.
    Do you thing it`s necessary?

  86. #86
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    I personally haven't lost a chain on mine yet but that's not really surprising as I'm running 3x10 XT, when I go over to 2x10 XTR I will be using Shimano's new XTR Shadow Plus rear derailiuer which should stop any potential chain loss too...

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by playbike View Post
    Please could you put on a bottle mount and a large bottle if you have on at hand?
    if you turn your shock upside down, a large 0.75l bottle will fit.

  88. #88
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    So I took the Nickel out for a ride this morning with all the good intentions of stretching it's and my own legs as I didn't get out for a proper ride last weekend!

    I was speaking to Mojo last week, who are the Fox importers over here in the UK, I was talking to them about the 2012 RP23 shock with the adaptive damping pro pedal and I mentioned that I don't use the Pro Pedal on my own shock. They suggested that I should try running less PSI in the shock and experiment with the Pro Pedal setting. So today I ran approximately 5psi less in the shock and put the PP lever setting to"2".

    I found the shock to actually be smoother and still bob free, it worked and it worked well, the bike really did respond like a hard tail, in fact the added traction meant it climbed better than any hard tail I've tried. Climbing was again a pleasure and the shock remained fully active everywhere so was still lovely and plush. I think a previous misconception I had was that I was cheating if I used the PP, or that the frame must have been inefficient if I had to use it. Well I've proven that not to be the case and now I'm starting to think that PP will only help my riding rather than acting like a crutch. I'll keep on experimenting with the setting though and I will report back as unfortunately I had to cut today's ride short and only managed 10.5 miles out on the trails...

    ... After a bit of a rocky decent I heard something metallic coming from the front wheel. My initial thought was that the spokes had come loose as this happened a few back around Dalby Forest. So I wasn't risking anything and decided to pedal back for home. On later inspection it seems like all the spokes are nice and taught, however there is definitely something metallic in there, so it looks like I'm going to have to take the tubeless tyre and rim strips off and have a closer look. I'll report back on that later in the week...

    What else is there to report? Hmm nothing really, the bike is still impressing everywhere, I love the bottom bracket height as I am able to clear felled logs etc with ease, it's still looking lovely despite not being washed for a few weeks oh and I swapped the pedals out with some Crank Brother Candy 3's which are the loveliest pedals I've ever seen, easy to get clipped in and out and are nice and light without going to silly egg beaters!

    Here're a couple of dirty pics for ya!


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr


    Untitled by J5BWS, on Flickr

  89. #89
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    Nice bike. Glad you're enjoying it.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by El-Jefe View Post
    Nice bike. Glad you're enjoying it.
    Thanks El-Jefe and I'm glad that your first post was on my thread! Welcome to MTBR!

  91. #91
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    Great bike and review. Really has peaked my interest in the Nickel.

  92. #92
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    Thanks w8liftr!

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by w8liftr View Post
    Great bike and review. Really has peaked my interest in the Nickel.
    Doooo ittttt!!!!!

    You won't regret it!
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  94. #94
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    So we've checked the spokes and they're all nice and tight so that got us scratching our heads a little bit so having taken the tyre and the rim strips off we found that the bridge that spans between the join on the rim had become loose and was rattling around inside the rim.

    The wheels are going back to Hope tomorrow so I'm hoping that they will replace the pair. I'm not sure whether to stick with Crest or got to Flows or maybe Mavic XC717's instead?...

  95. #95
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    Some updates...

    Hope got back to me and are confident that they have been able to repair my wheels so I'll hopefully have these back for the weekend when I'm planning on going over to Dalby Forest again. I have mixed feelings about this as I really like the wheels, they're the lightest yet strong wheels I've tried so far, however part of me has lost a bit of confidence in the rims but I am assured they will be fine...

    I sold my Soul Cycles Dillinger 29r SS yesterday (as it wasn't getting ridden very much at all and I figured it might be nice to free up some space in the garage for maybe another bike at some point!) so I decided to treat myself to some Five-Ten Karver shoes and DMR Vault flat pedals to try and re-learn some of the mad skillz that I may have lost since going to Crank Brother's clip less pedals! We'll see how that goes but I've always fancied a pair of Five-Tens, wow I'm turning into my wife, next thing I know she'll be scouring the internet for bike parts!

  96. #96
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    LOL, funny how that works. You buy "pretty" bike parts and suddenly she is interested in what you are doing and does not ask about the price.

  97. #97
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    "I'm planning on going over to Dalby Forest again"
    nice!
    you gonna do the "full" red route??
    dont miss section 31-32, or the last two sections 36 and 37
    they`re the best bits!!...., honest!!

    ................. youtube link->
    Dalby Forest Red Route the final run in. Gate 37/38 to the car park. - YouTube
    Last edited by HEY HEY ITS HENDO; 08-25-2011 at 05:14 PM.
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  98. #98
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    That's definitely one of my favourite parts of Dalby too, the plan for tomorrow was to do the full route, however I remembered that it's my wedding anniversary so it'll have to wait until next week now!

    My wheels should be with me today, along with the 5-10's and pedals so I guess Sunday morning will be a local shake down of them!...

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibby View Post
    It's a great bike, really pleased I tested both.

    I think I am probably a medium. Not sure what sized stem it had though? The Orange felt a little stretched with the SC really felt I could throw it around.

    Just need to decide if I'm going to go with the R XC build or do a custom build.
    Hi Nibby,

    If you're still not sure about the large and the medium, well I'm 5'9 and I got a medium
    Nickel Rxc last month and it's a great fit for me.

    this is my 1st post btw ...

    JR

  100. #100
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    Welcome to the gang JR!

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