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  1. #1
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    Most nimble 29er

    Which trail bikes are known for being nimble? In particular How does the norco sight rate?

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    The new Ibis Ripley v4.

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    Maybe you should start by defining what nimble means to YOU

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    Canfield Nimble 9 has the most nimble name.

    And I'd say it's pretty nimble, but it'a a HT.
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  5. #5
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    "nimble" is subjective. What do you mean by that?

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    I'm after your opinions, not a philosophical exercise

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    Specialized Stumpjumper ST feels very nimble to me.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoaD009 View Post
    The new Ibis Ripley v4.
    I’ll second this. Nimble and controlled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    Maybe you should start by defining what nimble means to YOU
    I'll try. Has short chainstays, for quicker slow-speed maneuverability (in theory anyway). And the tradeoff is it loses stability at higher speeds.

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    Expressing your perspective is not a philosophical exercise, it's clarifying the question so we are on the same page.

    I feel like a lot of the modern bikes have super long front ends, slack head angles, and low bottom brackets for stability at high speed, so they don't have the kind of "nimble" you're looking for. I rider a Karate Monkey because it's the opposite of that, but still has short chainstays. A Nimble 9 or Trek Stache might fit the bill.

    "Hardtail or full suspension?" is the important question.

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    Santa Cruz V10 XXL

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    Downnimble bikes are the best.

  14. #14
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    I agree a more detailed explanation of what qualities you value in a bike would be helpful.

    Kind of a tough question when referencing a 160/140 bike. AM/enduro bikes are designed to be stable at speed. Longer wheelbase, slacker HTA, lower offset fork, etc. There's a trade off.

    IMO a bikes ability to be "nimble" comes from geometry not wheel size.

    I'd look for bikes with a slightly steeper HTA and short chainstays which adds some instability and makes for a more nimble feeling.
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  15. #15
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    I suppose the XC oriented short travel 29ers would be nimble, such as the Blur, SB100, those sorts of bikes. It also sounds as though the new Ripley V4 was designed with that in mind.
    A quick look at the Norco sight, with 130mm of rear travel doesn't strike me as a bike designed to be, primarily, nimble. But, it might be quite nimble FOR a 130mm travel bike.
    Here's where you have to define what you are looking for. It's not just a philosophical exercise at all.

  16. #16
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    My 429SL is very nimble, it's nimble because the wheels and tires are light and the HTA is steep. This means I can whip it back and forth like crazy in tight terrain and I can pop off all sorts of little stuff that you wouldn't normally think could give you "air". I find the wheels and tires to contribute greatly or have the biggest difference. Compared to my specialized enduro 29er, which had significantly shorter chainstays and slacker HTA, the enduro was a dog comparatively. It was ok for an enduro bike, but it was not comparatively nimble. The wheels and tires were so much heavier and accelerated like I was dragging bricks. Harder to get up to speed for a little obstacle, even though the bike would handle the obstacle better. At high speed medium radius turns were hard, because the gyroscopic force would want to make the bike keep going in a straight line. The 429SL does that too, but not as bad, because the wheels are lighter. To solve this problem, I use a 27.5" bike for aggressive trail/enduro/DH riding. Even though I can still feel it, it's orders of magnitude less and far easier to rip that bike through the tight stuff than a 29er of the same build.

    People put way too much emphasis on short chainstays, reach, slack angles, etc. Sure, these can help make for a comfortable ride, but I passed people like they were standing still on the XC race last weekend during the 1000'+ descents (there were several), being able to "insert" my bike into a pass on a whim, brake-check and whip the bike back to avoid an obstacle, etc. Nimble means quick handling, and it allows me to do these things. If I'm "endoing" on a 29er, it's not the bike, it's me, because a 29er already avoids wheel-catchers and endos magnitudes better, so they don't have to be slacked out to ridiculous 63° HTAs.
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    In the interest of removing philosophy and anything useful I'll go ahead and give the Norco Sight a nimbleness rating of 4

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    a nimbleness rating of 4
    but how do you reach this nimbleness rating? What measurements do you factor in? How do you weight those measurements to reach your index value? what is the scale? your rating is useless unless it can be applied to other bikes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    In the interest of removing philosophy and anything useful I'll go ahead and give the Norco Sight a nimbleness rating of 4
    ...and anything useful....I like it! It's perfect for this series.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    In the interest of removing philosophy and anything useful I'll go ahead and give the Norco Sight a nimbleness rating of 4
    That's good, but I would have went a nimbleness rating of Elevated.

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    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Just switched from a 2012 26 inch SC to a 3028 29 Norco Optic, and pleasantly surprised how "nimble" the wagon wheeler handles (110-120mm travel)
    The Quebeco-Flandrien in B.C....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    That's good, but I would have went a nimbleness rating of Elevated.

    I'm sorry but you chart violates both the "useful" criteria (descriptions and relative nimbleness displayed clearly ) and the "philosophy" criteria ( Fat Bike)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pirati View Post
    Just switched from a 2012 26 inch SC to a 3028 29 Norco Optic, and pleasantly surprised how "nimble" the wagon wheeler handles (110-120mm travel)

    Most nimble 29er-back_to_the_future_a_l.jpg

  24. #24
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    There really aren't any "bad" trail bikes from the major players and a lot of it comes down to how comfortable and confident you, as a rider, feel on the bike.

    Terrain, rider experience, riding style as well as design etc all play a part in "nimbleness".

    For example, I ride a Trek FEX and one of my regular riding buddies rides a Specialized Stumpy Evo. On our own bikes we're pretty much equal on ripping the same trails. If we switch bikes and re-ride the same trail neither of us feels as confident.

    I find his 4-bar Speccy to feel a bit dead and slow in the rear suspension, he finds my FEX to be too active.

    Neither bike is not "nimble". It that we both have different expectations of want we want from a bike and therefore we set them up differently.

    If you're in the market for a new bike then test ride as many models as you can and make sure the suspension is set up properly for you.

  25. #25
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    Ask Maes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale-Calgary View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes ! It's the most revolutionary thing: has these new 26 inch wheels, 3x7 gears, the latest non-suspensioned suspension, the most up to date slack STA and steep HTA, the latest revolutionary short reach, futureproofed V-brakes and has all these light components. They say it's a thing of the future...
    The Quebeco-Flandrien in B.C....

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  27. #27
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    Great Scott!
    That's heavy.

  28. #28
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    Devinci Atlas
    44" wheel base
    16.9 chain stays
    68.5 head angle

    Nimble, poppy and is a very fun ride.

    Most nimble 29er-bike.jpg

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    My 429SL is very nimble, it's nimble because the wheels and tires are light and the HTA is steep. This means I can whip it back and forth like crazy in tight terrain and I can pop off all sorts of little stuff that you wouldn't normally think could give you "air". I find the wheels and tires to contribute greatly or have the biggest difference. Compared to my specialized enduro 29er, which had significantly shorter chainstays and slacker HTA, the enduro was a dog comparatively. It was ok for an enduro bike, but it was not comparatively nimble. The wheels and tires were so much heavier and accelerated like I was dragging bricks. Harder to get up to speed for a little obstacle, even though the bike would handle the obstacle better. At high speed medium radius turns were hard, because the gyroscopic force would want to make the bike keep going in a straight line. The 429SL does that too, but not as bad, because the wheels are lighter. To solve this problem, I use a 27.5" bike for aggressive trail/enduro/DH riding. Even though I can still feel it, it's orders of magnitude less and far easier to rip that bike through the tight stuff than a 29er of the same build.



    People put way too much emphasis on short chainstays, reach, slack angles, etc. Sure, these can help make for a comfortable ride, but I passed people like they were standing still on the XC race last weekend during the 1000'+ descents (there were several), being able to "insert" my bike into a pass on a whim, brake-check and whip the bike back to avoid an obstacle, etc. Nimble means quick handling, and it allows me to do these things. If I'm "endoing" on a 29er, it's not the bike, it's me, because a 29er already avoids wheel-catchers and endos magnitudes better, so they don't have to be slacked out to ridiculous 63° HTAs.
    Amen. Thanks for posting this. I'll add a short wheel base also part of the equation of a nimble bike.

    Wheelbase Distance between the center lines of the vehicle's front and rear axles. Inside Turning Radius Radius of the smallest circle around which the vehicle can turn. Curb to Curb Turning Radius Radius of the smallest circle inside of which the vehicle's tires can turn

    A higher role center is the reason a 29er is more resistant to endo's and looping out than other [smaller] wheel sizes. It means, for a given bottom bracket height, by virtue of the lager 29er wheel, the axle is farther above the bottom bracket, giving it a lower center of gravity.

    Lighter wheels have lower gyroscopic effects than heavier - hence they're easier to change the speed and direction of.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by In2falling View Post
    Devinci Atlas
    44" wheel base
    16.9 chain stays
    68.5 head angle

    Nimble, poppy and is a very fun ride.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wish they still made the Atlas!

  31. #31
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    No offense but that's a pretty vague question. My Jet 9 is pretty damn nimble for as a XC setup. My Stache with slammed chain stays and a Fox 120mm Rhythm 34 is especially nimble as a trail bike.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    My 429SL is very nimble, it's nimble because the wheels and tires are light and the HTA is steep. This means I can whip it back and forth like crazy in tight terrain and I can pop off all sorts of little stuff that you wouldn't normally think could give you "air". I find the wheels and tires to contribute greatly or have the biggest difference. Compared to my specialized enduro 29er, which had significantly shorter chainstays and slacker HTA, the enduro was a dog comparatively. It was ok for an enduro bike, but it was not comparatively nimble. The wheels and tires were so much heavier and accelerated like I was dragging bricks. Harder to get up to speed for a little obstacle, even though the bike would handle the obstacle better. At high speed medium radius turns were hard, because the gyroscopic force would want to make the bike keep going in a straight line. The 429SL does that too, but not as bad, because the wheels are lighter. To solve this problem, I use a 27.5" bike for aggressive trail/enduro/DH riding. Even though I can still feel it, it's orders of magnitude less and far easier to rip that bike through the tight stuff than a 29er of the same build.

    People put way too much emphasis on short chainstays, reach, slack angles, etc. Sure, these can help make for a comfortable ride, but I passed people like they were standing still on the XC race last weekend during the 1000'+ descents (there were several), being able to "insert" my bike into a pass on a whim, brake-check and whip the bike back to avoid an obstacle, etc. Nimble means quick handling, and it allows me to do these things. If I'm "endoing" on a 29er, it's not the bike, it's me, because a 29er already avoids wheel-catchers and endos magnitudes better, so they don't have to be slacked out to ridiculous 63° HTAs.
    Another Amen. I run light wheels with 2.2 tires as well as a componentworks 2 degree headset to get a steeper 71ish head angle. I need all the help I can get pedalling and getting up the hills due to lack of fitness. However going throught tight technical signal track and descents I'm able to put distance on most.

  33. #33
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    When I think of a bike as being nimble and poppy, I think of how I used to ride any bike, and get sad. Now I just try not to get hurt. You want nimble and poppy...get a Tallboy, 5010, or pretty much any short travel, non- enduro trail bike with the words "nimble" and "poppy" in the description.

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