KM vs. Fisher Ride Report / arrgh! help me decide Fisher vs. Custom!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    KM vs. Fisher Ride Report / arrgh! help me decide Fisher vs. Custom!

    OK, I'm about to pull the trigger on a custom frame, but I need some help with my final decision.

    I'd written off the Rig as an option because of my fit and handling concerns with Fisher geometry. But I'd never actually ridden a Fisher 29"er, and since the Rig is going to be such a rippin' good deal I thought I'd better test ride one just to make sure I'm really making the right decision. Plus the comparison would give me insight into how I want to design my Vulture.

    Unfortunately I don't have an LBS that stocks the "real" Fisher 29"ers, just the Dual Sport models. But according to the Fisher website, the Montare and Rig have identical geometry. Now I know that's not actually, because I measured the BB height on the Montare and it's a good inch lower than the Rig's going to be, but some quick checks with the measuring tape tell me it's otherwise pretty close. Now I can't do this test with "real" 29" tires since the Montare's got 700x42s on it ... but since my Karate Monkey is currently outfitted with the same size tires for commuting, I bought it into the LBS with me so I could test both bikes back-to-back at least using similar-sized tires.

    So after a 40 minute test ride, mostly urban with some hills and some dirt involved, here are my observations:

    • Fit: Although the Fisher's TT length and clockpit length are nominally 0.5" longer than what I'm used to with the KM, it wasn't really noticeable. I'm sure on a long ride it would matter, but I easily take care of that by dropping the stem from 70mm to 60mm without adverse consequences. (Also standover is no problem, even for me at 5'7" on the small Fisher: in fact, I had to run the seatpost a tad low to avoid exceeding maximum extension!) It sure is one thing to stare at geometry charts, getting worked up about a small discrepancy on one little measurement, and quite another to get on the bike and ride it. Bottom line: This bike can be set up to fit me just as well as my KM, no problem. Of course a custom bike will fit me even better, but of course the question is will it fit me $1000 better?
    • Handling: This is where it gets interesting. Yes, the Fisher had slower handling and the KM was noticeably quicker, as expected. But the difference was less than I expected: the Fisher did not feel choppered-out or handle like the yacht that I'd built up in my mind. In fact, I'd say it's as quick as the 26" bikes I've owned. Sure, the KM is quicker and is easier to flick around on tight singletrack, but both are pretty easy to hip-steer. To be honest, I don't ride tight singletrack any more often than I do long rides on forest roads and desert doubletrack where the "slower" GF could actually be an asset. Like many riders, I can only afford to own one "real" mountain bike, and that bike needs to be a compromise that works reasonably well in all the conditions I ride in. Bottom line: I think either bike would handle just fine on almost all of the trails I ride. I like the KM's quickness, but even if I go custom I'll probably aim for handling somewhere in between the two bikes.
    • Ride: One one level, hard to judge: the Fisher had a Manitou South fork but a rigid seatpost, whereas my KM has a rigid fork and a Thudbuster. I will say that despite a lot of movement on the part of that South fork, it did less to absorb bumps at the front end than my Thud does at the back end. Beyond that, my concern is of course with the aluminum frame. I know aluminum frame designs have come a long way in the last 4-5 years, but I have bad memories of my last aluminum bike, a '00 Rockhopper with a beer can sized downtube that transmitted every little vibration from the rear wheel straight up into the handlebars. I didn't seem to sense pavement/gravel/dirt irregularities coming into the handlebars on this ride, but there was a noticeable buzzing feeling at the bars from the tread of the Mythos XC Slick tires themselves. I used this same tire on my KM for commuting last month, and remember it being pretty buzzy on that bike too. Whether it was as strong as on the Fisher, I can't recall. Bottom line: Not sure. Will have to re-mount the Mythos on my KM and see whether the steel dampens the tire's vibrations more than the Fisher. How does everyone else feel about the ride of their Fisher hardtails?
    • 29" wheels: Despite the differences, both bikes rolled over stuff way better than any 26"er and demonstrated the low-speed stability that I love about 29"ers. Just confirmed once again that 29" is the way to go.


    OK, so there's your ride report. If you've managed to read this far, please help me overcome an obstacle in my decision making. Basically it comes down to money. The $2k or so it will cost me to build up a custom bike is about double what it would take to get me into a Rig. If I'm honest with myself, the reasons I'm buying a bike right now are that (1) I need a second mountain frame so I can dedicate the KM to fulltime commuting and stop swapping parts, (2) I'm tired of horizontal dropouts with discs and need an EBB, and (3) I want a higher bottom bracket, especially important now that I'm switching from rigid to front suspension. Unlike a lot of custom buyers, geometry hasn't been my major reason for looking at that route. The Rig does satisfy those 3 must-haves that I just listed. Sure, custom fit would be nice, lighter weight steel would be nice, and a fancy paintjob would be fantastic, but they are not why I'm doing this. Those are not must-haves -- although they are definitely nice-to-haves, no question. It's going to be a big financial stretch for me to go custom, and the Rig's cost is a whole lot easier to swallow. The custom route adds some nice extras, including potentially longer frame life, but I'm having a hard time deciding whether those things are worth the additional grand to me. As nice as those things are, a recent car theft reminds me that anything can disappear and there's something to be said for not owning too many expensive things -- especially things that are easily stolen.

    At least at this moment I'm really torn on what to do. Ultimately, I think the deciding factor is going to be whether I can live with an aluminum frame or not. Have modern aluminum frames, with their butted and carefully chosen tubing, evolved to the point where they dampen vibrations almost as well as steel, as road bike makers would have us believe? And on a mountain bike how much does it even matter? Also, how's Fisher's track record as far as frame reliability is concerned?

    So where am I? What questions am I here to ask the forum? Sorry, I'm really not sure. This time I don't think I'm asking for technical advice, but help in making what's really an emotional decision. I guess since I'm kinda stuck, I thought I'd just share my thoughts and see what comments people have. Thanks for your patience in reading this, and in any insights you can give.

  2. #2
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Here is my take....

    I'd say, given your situation, to go for the Rig. You will not be in the poor house, and you will have a reasonably good bike, with the potential for resale if, and when you decide to go custom. As far as the ride characteristics, I am a steel believer myself, but given the advancements in aluminum frame technology, I don't think it will ride as badly as your old Rockhopper did. It certainly won't have that special steel feel that you would get with a custom, but then again, it will be less money. Warranty from Trek has been pretty good, so if you should break it, it shouldn't be a problem to get it replaced. I have seen instances of Fisher 29er breakage on this forum.

    I'm sure others will also chime in to say that something like a WaltWorks frame should be considered here. Perhaps you could pull a "Cloxxki", and get the rig frame and fork sold to finance a custom steel jobbie? Just a thought.
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  3. #3
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    I think you need to buy the Rig and sell that Monkey to me for cheap in order to fund the Rig. Just kidding. I'm eager to give the Rig a spin myself when they're available.

  4. #4
    Nat
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    Get.

    The.

    Rig.

  5. #5
    The Duuude, man...
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    I must concur.

    I did actually read the WHOLE post, Cloxx Jr.

    From what you've said, the Rig is the clear choice. I would only augment what you've said with the addition of a Suspension Post on the Rig, then you're golden. If at any point therefafter you change you mind, and think you want custom, get a Walt Works, and you'll STILL be much cheaper than your self-professed $2k projected custom cost...said another way, go Rig like you mean it, and the Cloxxki/swap method if later you want more.

    I'm asking myself if I want to keep waiting for this mythical beast called a RIG or fold and get another KM. I think I've got the "money handcuffs" on - it's going to be a RIG, the wait be damned...
    FS: Everything

  6. #6
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    I should add ... cost estimates

    Rig: $1000 for the bike, plus $80 for ENO 20t cog. Total cost for me is about $1100.

    Custom: $1025 for the frame, plus parts I don't already have or can't swipe from my KM: suspension fork, King headset, UN-72 BB, fairly light front wheel, set of Avid discs. Total cost for me is about $1950 with the Reba, about $2100 with the BW.


    Thanks for all the advice so far guys ... please keep it coming. Just wanted to add the above, in case anyone was wondering where I got my numbers.

  7. #7
    paintbucket
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    Apples to Oranges

    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    Rig: $1000 for the bike, plus $80 for ENO 20t cog. Total cost for me is about $1100.

    Custom: $1025 for the frame, plus parts I don't already have or can't swipe from my KM: suspension fork, King headset, UN-72 BB, fairly light front wheel, set of Avid discs. Total cost for me is about $1950 with the Reba, about $2100 with the BW.


    Thanks for all the advice so far guys ... please keep it coming. Just wanted to add the above, in case anyone was wondering where I got my numbers.
    Seems to me you can knock a lot off that custom price. So you're really not looking at comparable bikes here. What if you could get everything you want in a custom ride for $1500? What would you do then?
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  8. #8
    mcd
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    tough call, but big cash difference...

    You could always pull a cloxxi and get the rig then sell the frame and misc parts and order the custom frame, and have a whole bike for just a bit more than the rig price.. I must also recommend walt...I have been on my waltworks since june and the only complaint is that now he has build kits online, at a lot of different price points... The only downside with going custom is that you might have to compromise on the components, which you will then need to upgrade later...on second thought, maybe thats not too bad a compromise...
    disclaimer: i (NO LONGER) live with my mom...

  9. #9
    Squalor
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    Get the Rig...

    If you hate it..flip the frame and buy whatever you want.

    What will you have lost....nothing, and you will have gotten some nice parts for a great deal.

    Remember with a custom frame (or any large purchase for that matter) the pursuit is sometimes more exciting than the final product.

    I have an IF 29"er that gets passed up 9 rides out of 10 for my Monkey.

    Whatever you get, you will dig it

    Good Luck -

    LP

  10. #10
    bike geek
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    Custom Waltworks

    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    OK, I'm about to pull the trigger on a custom frame, but I need some help with my final decision.
    Ok, I admit, I couldn't read your whole post, I'll get back to it tomorrow when I have more time. But to tie this in with your $600 question the other day, you've gotta go Waltworks. Period. I didn't respond to your $600 post because it seemed you'd already ordered a Vulture so making this suggestion would have been worthless.

    4 months ago, before I was sure I even would like big wheels, I was looking for a cheap way in. I thought about the Monkey, but didn't want the weight, and I wanted sexier tubing. I thought about the Rig, or it's geared equivalent, but I didn't want aluminum, plus the wait was indefinite. Soma was nowhere in sight, and Voodoo was $700+ for the frame. So it didn't take long before custom became my only option. And this was before I even knew whether I'd like it or not. You already know you do. It's time to step up into the league of bespoke steel bicycle frames. That's where I am now, and am happy with the decision.

    This is where you are: You'll buy the Rig out of trying to justify you really didn't "need" to spend more than $1,000 on a new 29er, find out you truly don't like, or are not happy riding, an aluminum hardtail, and begin rationalizing upgrading to a custom steel frame (since there aren't many production ones at this point). So skip buying the Rig and go straight to custom steel. You'll be happier in the end, and spend less all in. The additional for custom up front now isn't THAT much more...

    You said Vulture couldn't get White Bros shocks for less than retail. May I suggest contacting Walt and find out what he can do, since he now offers the BW.8 as an option with his frames. I know for a fact he's offering them WELL below $600 with the purchase of a frame. And his frames are only $650 (for now) including a single color powdercoat. I do cartwheels everytime I get on the bike he built me (yeah I know, it does look kind of silly). It is phenomenal. I love it.

    Please just do yourself a favor, save yourself a serious case of upgraditis later on, and order a Waltworks. I'm sure many people will be happy with their Rigs once they come in, but to me, it sounds like it may not be the perfect choice for you. (Although I know others, who have read your whole post, say go Rig, so perhaps I missed something, I admit).

    (Sorry if it seems like I'm aggressively ranting at you. I'm not. I'm just trying to make a strong point right before I go off to bed.)

    Brian

  11. #11
    The Duuude, man...
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam
    So skip buying the Rig and go straight to custom steel. You'll be happier in the end, and spend less all in. The additional for custom up front now isn't THAT much more...

    Although I know others, who have read your whole post, say go Rig, so perhaps I missed something, I admit.
    I would read it closely, he's listed his requirements, and a RIG hits it perfectly. Adding a susy seatpost to the RIG would catagorically nail it, given his contraints..

    A couple things I note here. There is no way you will spend less by going straight to custom. Walt's dirt cheap option is $1390, featuring rigid fork, V brakes. The RIG comes with the Reba, discs, nice wheels & cranks, and the balance of parts that are similar to Walts in value. At 999 retail for the RIG w/Reba, it's tough to beat. Also, that $80 cog you're talking about (not you TJ) sounds a little exsessive.

    You want cheap and custom, do the Cloxx method, let me recap: RIG 999, WW 650, sell RIG frame for 400, have custom WW w/Reba, discs, etc for 1250. Compate that REBA and DISC equiped Walt Works Wonder Bike to a W's entry kit w/rigid of 1390.

    All that being said, I think Walts price on his Pimpin' Single Speed Kit are nearly unbeatable...with King Single Speed hubs, daaaang, that's ScHWeet, I'm so tempted right now I can't beleive it..that's a deal unlike you're going to find anywhere. Where's my credit card, dammit!! Leviathan anyone?? J/K, of course!

    I also understand upgrade-itis. In fact, they should re-name it jenkins-itis, so that's something to get real with yourself about...but going the Rig/WW both route would satisfy some of that, i reckon..
    FS: Everything

  12. #12
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    WaltWorks option ...

    OK, let's look at what a WaltWorks would cost me. In my head I've had a hard time considering going with any custom builder besides Vulture, out of Oregon loyalty and because of all the friends he's built great bikes for. But if I did go with WaltWorks (who is also a good choice, especially with all the fantastic contributions he's made to this forum, here's how it would break out:

    An EBB singlespeed frame w/ disc mounts would cost $780 based on Walt's frame options page. I'm not exactly sure of the deals Walt can arrange on parts, but I know it's pretty good: Let's say $500 for the BW fork, or $400 for the Reba; $100 for a King headset; $20 for the BB; $120 for Avid discs; still $150 for a front wheel. That's still $1570-1670, depending on fork, still several hundred dollars more than the Rig.

    The mention of the $80 freewheel brings up another point where the Rig could be even cheaper for me. If I keep the rear wheel that comes with the Rig, that freewheel is non-negotiable, because all lesser freewheels are worthless for someone like me who rides in mud a lot and doesn't like to spend tons of time messing around with his bike. BUT I'm a cassette guy -- and actually, the estimates I've come up with for Vulture or Walt assume I keep using my existing rear wheel. That would be a valid option with the Rig too, which means I could sell the Rig's Bonty Race rear wheel for an easy $100 (very conservative estimate). So purposes of making this a really fair comparison in terms of parts, my net cost for the Rig is $900 or less. OK, and let's make the comparison fair in terms of front shocks, and look at Reba vs. Reba:

    I'm still not absolutely saying the Rig is the definite way to go for me, but $900 for Rig vs. $1570 for Walt vs. $1950 for Vulture is pretty dramatic. Then there's the Walt/Rig option, which I have yet to calculate exactly but would fall somewhere in between. The upgrade-itis discussion is an interesting one (and Brian don't worry, I didn't take your post as ranting at all). On the one hand, I could indeed flip the Rig pretty easily if it doesn't work out, but on the other hand I'm sure it would cost me some money and lots of hassle. Still not sure, but I think I could be getting closer to a final decision. Thanks for all the advice so far.

  13. #13
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    I read it all, thought it was fair. Now my HUGE breakfast is gone. I now understand what you have to endure with me.

    Suppose you manage to get a Rig by March 1. You ride it, and form a real opinion on geometry where you there's room for improvement. Even if it's not in dreamspec yet, at least you'll have 2 bikes. Try the Thudbuster on the Rig as well, especially if you can't live without it on the KM for offroad riding anymore. If you find yourself attached to the Rig, troubled to part with it, great! If you feel it has some nice traits (like the tall BB), but just not feels like dreambike matrial enough, talk to Walt or a confrère asap, now that the Rig frame still has most of it's value.
    Supposing the wait on Rigs will at some point be over, at least when you buy it, your chances are 50/50. Might be just fine, might want to upgrade further, but in the latter case, upgrading the frame would only have to cost ~$400 more than the Rig frame sells for. And, won't your LBS give you a break on the Rig, slightly under MSRP?
    Sounds to me like you don't really like the off-the-shelve idea of a big-brand bike, but the sheat Rig deal, with it offering all things you "need" and even want, along with a geometry that doesn't even sukk, just hard to ignore. You WANT a custom bike, but have trouble justifying it.
    Not sure what to really recommend, but getting a Rig (supposing it's not the eternal tease) to learn from, and see if you even still want a custom, sounds like a smart way to spend the money. Some good shopping, over the course of years, will allow you to upgrade the lesser Bontrager parts for minimal cost. If the Rig is near, at least you'll be riding. If the parts on it appeal to you, you'd be almost stealing from own wallet not to get it. Later offering the Rig frame for sale is actually a good deed, someone will love you for it, as he'll want to build this way bling SS ride around it. It's bound to be a really light EBB frame, in your size.

    Sorry if this doesn't help a bit. I'm glad I have other commuter bikes (CroSS-Check and ugly old 28/26" bike) to not have to abuse the KM for commuting. The KM suits me so well, I don't care much what it weighs anymore,, and coming from me, that says a lot. I WANT a custom Walt, but I just have not found justification at all. Heavy (for me) parts are on my KM, and the wallet hurts. I need to find me a cheap, economical, reliable car to get me on decent trails and to races, or I'll be a farmlands biker forever.

    Rig or Walt, get a bike.

    OT : I was wondering how a 71º HTA bike could feel quick to a shorter rider. I think your secret is that you were not afraid to try a shorter-than-normal stem. My Fisher is not too much of a truck either, I run a pretty short-for-me 90mm on it.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  14. #14
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    Another look

    [QUOTE=GlowBoy] I'm still not absolutely saying the Rig is the definite way to go for me, but $900 for Rig vs. $1570 for Walt vs. $1950 for Vulture is pretty dramatic. Then there's the Walt/Rig option, which I have yet to calculate exactly but would fall somewhere in between. The upgrade-itis discussion is an interesting one (and Brian don't worry, I didn't take your post as ranting at all). On the one hand, I could indeed flip the Rig pretty easily if it doesn't work out, but on the other hand I'm sure it would cost me some money and lots of hassle. /QUOTE]

    Ok I've read you entire post this morning (last thing I do before bed, and the first thing I do when I wake up, sounds like a sickness to me ). The only thing I would say different than what I did in my first post, is that I do believe the Rig is a pure profit machine for someone willing to part it out. Nate has done the math here quite conservatively once before, and it's almost a no-brainer. So what that means for you is, for a little bit of time and hassle, you order both a Rig and a Walt, knowing that you'll be selling off most of the Rig and only keeping what you need to build the Walt. Sounds ridiculous? Look at it this way:

    Frame gets you anywhere between $200-400, say $300 to pick a number. I'd give you $200 for the wheelset, but I think they could easily fetch $250. So you're already at $500, probably more. Now you have the fork decision. Either keep the Reba, or sell it for $400 and get the BW.8 from Walt (for less than the $500 you guessed). If you sell the Reba, you've nearly recouped all your costs and you're still left with a crankset, Avid mechanical brakes/levers, bar/saddle/seatpost/stem, and tires to build your Walt with, for essentially nothing. Or if Bontrager bits aren't your game, sell them off too and take advantage of Walt's component pricing that comes with a frame purchase to pick what you want.

    Time is another variable. Walt's leadtime is running longer now than a few months ago, but I suppose your Rig could take that long too, so either way you're looking at a wait.

    This is just the way I think about things. Some may think it's too complicated of a way to build your dream machine, but it gets me more for less (the American way right?), and it's a game that I love playing.

    You won't go wrong either way.

  15. #15
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    Rig it is!

    The more I think about this, the more the Rig makes sense. I'm pretty sure I can make it work for me, and if I can't I can sell all or part of it and come out at least even.

    New plan is to order a Rig within the next few days so I get one of the first ones (last I heard was late Feb. for delivery, though who really knows). I am going to have to call Vulture and cancel, which will be embarrassing, but fortunately I haven't filled out the order form or put down a deposit yet. When the Rig comes, ride it for a few weeks on a variety of trails, emphasizing tight singletrack since that will be its weakness, and see how it works for me. At the same time I'll evaluate the Reba and see if I like the ride, and decide whether its mega-adjustability is a curse or a blessing, and see how much I like the "blowoff" feature.

    At that point if I'm happy I can just keep the whole package, be done with it and just ride. Or if I like the bike but not the fork, I can sell the Reba and get the BW -- which I'll have to pay retail for, but the cost of going this route will still be pretty reasonable. On the other hand, if the bike just doesn't work for me, I can sell the frame and whatever parts I don't need (which may or may not include the Reba), then initiate the custom process. Even if I end up on that path it there will have been little or no extra monetary cost, just more hassle and probably a great learning experience to go with it.

    My only concern left with the Rig is that on the Montare I had to pull the seatpost up to maximum extension, even for my short legs. I just need to do some calculations to make sure a Thudbuster is long enough overall that I can use it on this frame. Can anyone verify that Fisher's nominal sizing (15.5", etc.) is the actual length from BB to the top of the seattube?

    Many thanks to everyone who took the time to read through my lengthy post, and took even more time to give all of these thoughtful responses. It really did help me through my thought process, and I think I've come to a good decision that I can live with.

    - Dan

  16. #16
    Nat
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    Woo hoo! Now get in line...

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    not to throw a monkey wrench but..

    What is waltworks turn around versus rig. The rig was promised in December what is the latest expected date versus custom..

    Thxs

    -jv

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    Latest quote...

    Quote Originally Posted by jvossman
    What is waltworks turn around versus rig.

    -jv
    I just put my deposit down on a Waltworks road frame/fork and was quoted 12-14 weeks...biz is good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    OT : I was wondering how a 71? HTA bike could feel quick to a shorter rider. I think your secret is that you were not afraid to try a shorter-than-normal stem. My Fisher is not too much of a truck either, I run a pretty short-for-me 90mm on it.
    Cloxxki: I know the head angle of my size KM wouldn't seem to indicate quick handling, but it's felt that way to me since day one. The 71d head angle is the same as my previous bikes (or maybe not -- I'd been running 2.4"ish front tires on my 26"ers, so maybe I'd gotten used to the slacker head angle caused by that), and the wheelbase was slightly longer, so is it just the short stem combined with extra rake in the fork?

    Or, another possible explanation I came up with after my first ride on the KM was that it was actually because of the big wheels. Think about it this way: you don't steer a bike by turning the handlebars, you do it by leaning the bike in such a way that leverages the gyroscope that is your front wheel into a new plane, pulling the rest of the bike with it. With 29" there's even more gyroscopic effect, and the whole thing happens much faster. I don't know if that really makes sense from a physics standpoint, but it's a hypothesis anyway.

  20. #20
    Recovering couch patato
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    71º is totally common for 26", hard to find something else. 38mm, same thing. For 29" 71º IMO also SHOULD be fine with 71º, but the rake would have to be greater. Enter the 43mm KM fork (aren't they geniuses?). Reba 38mm, WB (yet) 38mm, etc.
    WB are looking into it. when they come with a 43 or 45mm rake suspension fork, that may just be as you call "the holy grail". Would also lighten up the handling on existing slightly sluggish bikes.
    You can always get a nice custom steel fork with extra rake or even a bit less axle/crown.

    Perhaps the 29" riding style just works well for you, or you mastered it. What makes it quick for me is that I can yank the bars as hard as I like, and find grip to back it up. So different from constently correcting lines, looking for grip.

    I hope you'll have luck being an S, to get an early Rig.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  21. #21
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    Karate Monkey woes

    I still can't get over the fact that guys like Cloxxi, Nathan, and now lanpope with the I.F. 29er saying they like the KM over the other stuff they own or have owned.

    THAT is my major stumbling block with the KM/RIG/Waltworks quandry.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  22. #22
    The Duuude, man...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    I still can't get over the fact that guys like Cloxxi, Nathan, and now lanpope with the I.F. 29er saying they like the KM over the other stuff they own or have owned.

    THAT is my major stumbling block with the KM/RIG/Waltworks quandry.
    It is THAT good.

    To me, it's not that it's a BETTER product (than a Lenz/Aslym/Moots/Walt/Whatever)...it's more like it's that favorite old worn pair of jeans you keep reaching for, while your new Lucky Brand jeans just sit there in the drawer....

    As I no longer have a KM, I miss it, and know I'll have one again some day...just as soon as MichClyd sells it back to me...David?
    FS: Everything

  23. #23
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    I'm going with the Waltworks

    That was weird, I just read much of most of these post on this thread and relived my last few months all over. I just went down this path and found the KM eliminated quickly due to geometry, It's tall with a short top tude and I need the opposite. Wow, the Rig fits me great, on paper anyway, but it's aluminum. At 255# and aluminum SS does not seem like a long term keeper to me. Also the Rig has Bontrager hubs which lasted me all of 500 miles on another bike before they started to grind and howl and had to be replaced.

    I started looking at custom builders and settled on a Waltworks EBB SS 29r. custom fit, fine steel frame, not too heavy, but sturdy. I get to pick all the parts and most will be through Walt at great prices. This one won't be cheap, all high zoot, solid performing parts, but I should have a bike that will last me until I'm too old to SS. Then I can convert it to a 1X9 real easy. To be honest though, if money was a big factor or I was quite a bit lighter I'd have opted for the Rig, it seems like a great deal.

    Ironically, I'm paying for a significant portion of the Waltworks bike by selling derailleurs on ebay..........who ever said geary parts were useless.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  24. #24
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    Old Jeans Indeed

    Well put NCJ01 - the KM is like your favorite old pair of jeans. So many special things about that bike and the ride quality - just can't part with it. After the Walt comes in, in a few weeks, we'll see then. D
    GET Bret Weir, I said.

  25. #25
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    Update!

    Been out of town for the last few days, but while I've been gone I've been pondering all this, putting together all the thoughts from this thread with the great feedback from my Reba vs. WB thread. Although it felt good at first, the Rig decision just wasn't sitting right with me. Here's what it comes down to.

    Although the Rig is a fantastic, unbelievable, and incredibly tempting value, the parts aren't quite what I want. Especially the fork, which I almost certainly would upgrade to a WB, the more I think about it. And Mattman's probs with Bontrager hubs reminded me of the problems I've had with Ritchey hubs in the rain and crud that I ride in, and that's something I neither want to have to fuss with nor pay to service or upgrade. And ideally I'd like 185mm rotors for quick-swapping with my other bike.

    In other words, tamjam had some good points about upgrade-itis, and like Cloxxki said the custom route is really what I want, just had a hard time justifying it. But if I'm set on the WB fork anyway, the gap between a custom Rig and a Fisher Rig narrows to a few hundred bucks, and I could easily see spending a bit more on various parts -- and suddenly being in the price range of a custom steel frame but being stuck with aluminum. I also reminded myself even if aluminum frames have improved, steel is still going to be smoother and with my injuries ride ride quality is very important (that's why I'm going with suspension in the first place).

    Soooo ... sorry to inflict whiplash on all of you, but I've changed my mind. I'm getting a Vulture after all. I know Walt's price is a bit better, and I have tons of respect for Walt's work. But I really like the idea of buying from a local builder generally, and from Vulture specifically. Yesterday I visited the Vulture's nest, took measurements, filled out forms and made my deposit. Frame should be ready in a month or so (and the paint job will be very cool). I'll keep you updated.

  26. #26
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    I'm getting a Vulture after all. Frame should be ready in a month or so (and the paint job will be very cool).
    No wayyyy!!!!!! Very cool. Congratulations, and post pics ASAP.

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