Which 29er should I buy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which 29er should I buy?

    Hi!

    Ive been watching for several Weeks for now and now that Im going to buy a new Bike, I set up an account for posting my first thread here =).

    First some details about me in short;-).
    Im 27yrs old and live in Darmstadt, Germany. I dont have much practice in writing and speaking english so please be lenient toward me . Since some a**hole stole my beloved Crossbike (a Raleigh Sport 400 with 1,9" Schwalbe-Blackjack- TiresSchwalbe BlackJack - tires)) last summer, Im going to buy an new bike in the next couple of days/weeks. My ex-bike was nearly that what one could call a "29er", but actually it was a crossbike and since id like to have a more mtb-like bicycle, I think a 29er is the right choice for me.
    I already did a test drive with a nishiki X-29 at my local bike-dealer in order to find out which frame size would be best for me (Im 188cm tall and a 22"frame should be ok for me).

    As I heard, Nishiki hasnt been successful enough in the german market and so there wont be any 2005er or later models available in future :-(.
    The disadvantage of that: Its really hard to find a dealer that still has some 2004er BigFoots in Stock. But on the other hand - if you DO find someone who has the Bike of your choice, youll probably get it at an affordable price.

    And so heres my Problem: I cant decide which bike i should choose, perhaps you can help me with that ;-).
    Both bikes have nearly the same price. Last Year they were at about 1700 euros, now i could get them for about 1060-1100 Euros. Actually, thats a good deal i think.
    Now i have to decide whetehr to take the fully suspensioned
    BigFoot FS-29

    or the hardtail- version
    BigFoot Z-29 (this is a dutch website) which has some better components.

    One of the reasons why Id like to have a 29er: Its faster than a classic mtb. And thats also the reason why Im planning to upgrade it with a Shimano Tiagra or Ultegra racing- crankset. My former bike had a 26-(dont know)-48 crank but id like to have more than 48.
    Aditionally Id like to have the possibility to turn the bike into a road-compatible one with narrow tires (slick or semi-slick) through quickly replacing the wheelsystem.
    So whick one should I choose - the FS or the hardtail?
    I think FS is really much fun offroad and at least i can lock it out if I dont need it onroad.
    On the other hand the Hardtail by default has Magura disk brakes and a real cool wheelset. I guess that having disc brakes for example makes it easier to change wheels with different rim sizes.

    Unfortunately i didnt find any information regarding the weight of these two bikes :-/

    So what do you think about these?

  2. #2
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    Hey, welcome on here Lionel! You're like the 3rd or 4th person I know from Darmstadt, one of them a Belgian even. Is Darmstadt like the cycling capitol of germany?

    I'm personally no big fan of the Nishiki frames (just for geoemtry), but the FS actually looks very interesting to me. For rougher terrain, marathon, etc, it looks like it just might work. 125mm travel they say, well I'm not sure that's really true, but th design looks promising. There are some really good deals to be had on Bigfoot FS's, on the dealer's floors.

    Take into account that with 29" tires, so much comfort is added, that the NEED for rear suspension is much smaller than with cross tires or 26" mtb tires.

    For a really nice hardtail, look at Gary Fisher. They're distributed centrally for whole of Europe, so no difficulties with unwilling distributors that won't order you the bike you want. In my humble opinion, the Fisher X-Cal and Paragon hardtail not only look better, but are much better bikes than the Nishiki's. Better tires, superb fork (Rockshox Reba), good disc brakes, excellent rims, etc. with just a few minor upgrades, a very, very fine bike.

    Important to know is that the Nishiki-branded carbon forks are NOT as nice. I rode one, and know some riders that tried a lot of them for their work, and just no positive stories reach me. Nishiki's are great candidate for a rigid fork, I'm affriad.

    In terms of handling, the Fishers are already very marathon-FR-like, the Nishiki's ar even slower steering, surprisingly enough especially for the 22" size.
    The 2004 HPC Nishiki worldcup team exlusively raced the Bigfoot with really short rigid forks, to get the bikes to handle XC courses. Because the Nishiki [email protected] forks were not to their liking, and choppered the bikes out, for the very roughest courses they were forced to use 26" hardtail or FS's.
    If you're not always taking ultra-short turns at high speed, but prefer the wide-open trails such as in the Willingen Marathon, any Nishiki will be just fine I'm sure.

    With Fisher, you'd probably fit either the 19" L or the 22" XL, depending on your preference. probably 19" would be best, if you're legs are not too long for that to work.
    In my opinion the 2005 Fisher gives you 100% the 29" experience by offering a long top tube that allows the use of a short stem. They just feel like DH hardtails, but are also offroad hill-climb race machines, as they ride up walls. The reviews on MTBR are very clear about that. I'm not sure what they cost in Europe, but the prices really aren't bad at all, considering the very high end parts used.

    Not trying to talk you out of a Nishiki but...well, maybe I am. Search for "paragon", some very nice pictures and ride reports in this forum. They're just really good bikes that look stunning and they still have a distributor.

    That Z looks like a great deal, but isn't avalable in 22" anymore apparently. Also, the 85mm fork will totally chopper out the frame, let alone with the 105mm setting. Only nice when going downhill.

    Hope this helps, otherwise, sorry.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  3. #3
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    Hi Cloxxki!

    Thanks a lot for your detailed reply! Concerning the Fisher Paragon: I looked it up in the net and actually found some dealers taht have it in stock. It´s really a fine bike but perhaps comparing nishiki and fisher are somehow like comparing Hyundai and Mercedes. Sure, the paragon is a great 29er but it´s also nearly twice as expensive :-/. (nishiki Z-29/FS-29: 1069 Euro, Paragon: 1859Euro). But as I browsed around, I found the "X-Caliber 29" which is is not quite that expensive: 1449Euro. But as I read the Fact sheet i saw that its components are much cheaper.
    Its cool that it has a rock shoxx reba fork but compared to the Z-29, most the rest is rather poor:

    Some Examples:
    Price: nishiki Z-29: 1069 Euro Fisher X-Caliber: 1449,-
    Front derailleur: Z-29: Shimano XT / X-Calib: Shimano Deore
    Rear derailleur: Z-29: Shimano XTR / X-Calib: Sram X.7
    Wheels: Z-29: Linus BigFoot Comp /X-Calib: Bontrager Superstock 29"
    I don´t know much about the Z-29- Fork. but not like the X-29 or TR-29 it has at least a pneumatic suspension with adjustable rebound.

    The Fully has an XT/LX combination (rear/front deraill.). Ok, the brakes are nothing special but this colud be s.th I can upgrade later on and still spend less money than with the Fisher X-Caliber.

    After your posting its really not easy to decide but i still think that with the Z-29 or the FS-29 you get more bike for your money.

    By the way. Do you know the X-Caliber or have you heard about it? maybe it´s worth the much higher price though.

    Ciao, Franz

  4. #4
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    a picture is worth a thousand words

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    Spinning and Grinning...

  5. #5
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    Maybe you are right. My english is bad i know. Furthermore there seem to be some problems with several characters.

    Cloxxki:
    I just found another interesting thread and saw that you already wrote s.th about the 2004 Nishiki-Bikes:

    2004 Nishiki Bikes

    ...sounds interesting =)

    ciao, Franz

  6. #6
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    I wouldn't worry about it

    Many Americans would envy your English.

  7. #7
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    I have to admit, for a deal like that, and if it were there in my size, I'd probably get the FS-29, just "because". all the mistakes in their hardtail, transferred to an FS, could turn out to be very nice indeed.
    Biggest difference is really in the forks. A Nishiki fork is much like a lower-end Suntour (actually, some Nishiki pro racers preferred a Suntour over a Nishiki fork), and the Reba is simply top notch, worth $475 or 500.
    Of course you're now comparing the Nishiki's disount pricing with the Fisher's suggested retail. If you approach a shop with a 2005 X-Caliber in stock, you will get a 10-15% discount if you ask it nicely waving the full amount in cash bills.
    On paper the Nishiki's sme to have a high specification, but really it's often older model derailers and shifters, of which the price difference is pretty much neglegible.

    The X-Cal shares the same frame with the Paragon, from the highest level of aluminum Fisher uses. Improved for 2005, and getting good reports so far. Don't expect miracles from the the Nishiki tubing, it's a cheaper tubeset made to be stiff, stiff, stiff (but not faster).

    Solution : it's saturday. Make a trip around dealers, and testride both a Nishiki and a Fisher. Take notice that on the Nishiki, the lowest possible handlebar position is some 5cm higher, just compare the actual headtube lengths.

    Good luck!

    J
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  8. #8
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    Thank you fotu
    ____________________
    Toooo late now, ive just ordered my new Bike - its the Fullsuspension Nishiki Bigfoot. Sorry Cloxxki for ignoring all your warnings, but there are three aspetcs that made me decide that way:
    - the price was too alluring
    - I had a testdrive on the cheaper BigFoot K-29 (hardtail) and it was really fine
    - I read an article in a german bike-magazine that pointed out the differences between twentyniners, crossbikes and compared them with a classic 26" MTB
    The four bikes they tested were:
    MTB: Fusion Slash (2.349 Euro)
    29"-Fully: Gary Fisher Sugar 292 2.000 Euro (Hey, for that bike, thats a cool price though)
    29"-Hardtail: Nishiki Bigfoot X-29 (must be around 600Euro)
    28"-Cross: Red Bull Multicross (~1150Euro)

    They wrote quite positive about the Nishiki. In Comparison with the Sugar 929, the nishiki is a bit more agile but due to the hardtail-frame also a bit more bumpy. Well, since ive ordererd the full suspension version, this shouldnt be a problem for me.

    Unfortunately this Review is in german. But i saw in your Profile that youre dutch. Perhaps you can understand it a bit though since actually, there are some commonalities in german and dutch language

    You can download the review as a .pdf if you like. Heres the URL:
    Twentyniner und Crossrad contra Mountainbike: Vier Konzepte im Vergleichstest

    Perhaps ill upgrade that bike with a RockShoxx Reba later on.

    Ciao, Franz (having a guilty conscience now because of having bought the nishiki)

  9. #9
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    Viel Glueck !

    Wenn Du das Rad selbst gefahren hast und magst, kannst ruhig "koofen" !

    Pieter aus Holland

    (translation for the Anglos: "When you have ridden the bike and liked it, go for it! ")

  10. #10
    Axe
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    Blackjack?

    Quote Originally Posted by LionelCSG
    with 1,9" Schwalbe-Blackjack- Tires
    I LOVE BlackJack as a front tire on my Yeti (Run either Racing Ralph or Albert in the rear depending on the conditions)

    Anybody knows where to get a 28" BlackJack in U.S. ?

  11. #11
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    Hi Axe!

    I´m sorry that I can´t help you with your issue because I´m not living in the U.S.
    But the BlackJack was the tire that I had on my last bike.
    It's a nice tire though it also does have some weaknesses.

    The1.9" BlackJack is great for mixed conditions. It doesn´t have very much grip on grass or mud in example. But if you consider its really low rolling resistance, its quite acceptable though.
    Pros:
    -very low rolling resistance (especially when inflated to 5bar )
    -acceptable grip
    -affordable price

    Cons:
    - lower durability (soft rubber)
    - no good cornering characteristics on hard ground/ asphalt (on soft grond it's ok)
    - low puncture resistance (but thats not that bad since it increased my tire-patching skills very much )

    over all its a really nice tire for touring and XC-racing

  12. #12
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    Lionel, if you're ever near the Netherlands, I'd love to try your FS! It's a 22", right?
    My warning don't count for the FS, just for the hardtails. With a few minor upgrades, I'm sure you can make a really nice trailbike out of it. Also, I'd LOVE to hear about the travel the frame offers. 125mm claimed...that's a lot, would be cool if it were true. And does changing the travel setting change BB height/seat angle?

    If you have any tuning problems, let me know, I'm obviously quite obsesed by the idea of a good Nishiki :-)
    "My" FS-29 would get a 16 Syntace VRO cockpit to lower the bars, and probably the new Maxxis Ignitor tires.

    Have fun on the new bike!
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  13. #13
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    Yes, it has a 22"- Frame. A test ride would be no problem but unfortunately I dont have any plans to go to northern region of Europe for now. But nevertheless, I'll keep it in mind! Otherwise - should you ever come close to Frankfurt/Darmstadt, dont hesitate and pay me a visit .

    Concerning the upgrades, you mentioned the 16 Syntace VRO cockpit... Do you have any link with some pics and specs about it? I didnt really find any useful information yet.

    In your first reply you asked me whether Darmstadt would be some kind of cycling capitol. But I'm living here for just about one year now so I can't tell you really much about that. Before that, I lived in south-west germany, in Stuttgart. (though I didnt grow up there). There I liked the Landscape very much.
    Here are some pictures of Stuttgart that i took in september 2003:




  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LionelCSG
    Yes, it has a 22"- Frame. A test ride would be no problem but unfortunately I don�t have any plans to go to northern region of Europe for now. But nevertheless, I'll keep it in mind! Otherwise - should you ever come close to Frankfurt/Darmstadt, don�t hesitate and pay me a visit .

    Concerning the upgrades, you mentioned the 16� Syntace VRO cockpit... Do you have any link with some pics and specs about it? I didn�t really find any useful information yet.

    In your first reply you asked me whether Darmstadt would be some kind of cycling capitol. But I'm living here for just about one year now so I can't tell you really much about that. Before that, I lived in south-west germany, in Stuttgart. (though I didn�t grow up there). There I liked the Landscape very much.
    Here are some pictures of Stuttgart that i took in september 2003:




    WOW!!! THAT"S BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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