Nashbar 29er SS ... where to go next?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Nashbar 29er SS ... where to go next?

    I bought a Nashbar 29er SS (the orange one) in April of this year and have been riding it to death. I hadnít been on a bike since I was a kid and this has been so much fun, oh boy.

    Wanting to upgrade to something lighter etc etc, but still full rigid, 29er SS Iíve plowed into the murky, trend-riddled, markety and highly subjective world of MTB!! Jeez you guys, Iím up nights worrying about bike geos, steering trail and everything else. Now I see why most people on this forum own 3+ bikes!

    I got on an El Mar 2014 SS a few weeks ago - compared to the Nashbar it has more precise steering, was less playful in general, and didnít roll over stuff as well/felt harsher.
    Next I tried a Niner SIR9 2012 - compared to the Nashbar it felt very nimble, similar compliance of ride, light as anything, slightly less playful, slower on the descents.

    What Iím scratching my head about is the ride - the Nashbar rolls over the bumps better than these two bikes, better than the SIR9 and much better than the El Mar.

    I did a little back-of-the-envelope trigonometry and discovered that comparing two bikes, one with a long wheelbase and short stays (1100mm/430mm) and the Nashbar (1046mm/460mm), thereís 2.5mm more travel on the BB of the short-stay bike when the REAR wheel rolls over a 40mm bump. Thatís almost 10% more Ďbumpí than the long-stay bike! Of course the BB travel is LESS when the FRONT wheel goes over the bump on the short-stay bike (14% actually) , keeping the universe in check.

    So with shorts stays, less bump up front, more on the rear. Is the net effect then zero in terms of Ďbumpinessí? 60% of your weight is on the rear of the bike, coupled with the fact that arms move and flex more than legs, makes me think that short stays/long wheelbases make for bikes that roll less well over stuff. And isnít rolling over stuff where itís at?

    Can anyone weigh-in with some experience before I go crazy!?
    Last edited by Bouyo; 09-02-2018 at 07:00 PM.

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    If your arms are moving and flexing more than your legs, you should bend your knees and relax your legs a little more. Also, when you roll over a "bump" (lets call it a 4" log, for instance) you'll either lighten up the front wheel or lift it, but either way, as you've already pointed out, most of you weight is on the back wheel. So why aren't you taking some weight off the back wheel when it gets to the bump? Again, this will require some dynamics from your legs. And yes, I know if you're on a rigid SS you probably don't have a dropper on it. That's ok. I don't have a dropper on any of my bikes either. You can still do this. While your math about the bottom bracket needing to move more with short stays will hold up, it really shouldn't matter in the long run. Your legs should be able to bend enough to get you over anything you can ride/bunny hop over without becoming a trials expert.

    As far as advice on places to look for another frame, it sounds like you might like a Soma Juice.

  3. #3
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    If you think the 460mm long stays on your Nashbar smooth out bumps, take a look at a Jones LWB. They're around 19"/484mm. Combine with the big plus tires, and you can roll over stuff to your heart's content.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
    RIGID, not "ridged" or "ridgid"
    PEDAL, not "peddle." Unless you're selling stuff

  4. #4
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    You may want good rollover and some playfulness. You can use tires to help with the rollover. Wide rims and 2.6 or wider tires could get you where you want to be on a used Stache 5 ridged.

  5. #5
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    Eb1888 thatís a really good point about going with a fatter tire on the rear to off-set some of that short-stay bump.

    Iíve stumbled across the Jones bike geo and the long stays seem very appealing. Thereís a lot on those bikes that I donít (think) I want though - too low BB for my trails, hardly any trail in the steering and quite heavy overall. I wish I could demo one ...

    Cotharyus I think you make an interesting point about knee bending for bumps, but I guess you could apply that to any bike. I was talking about more of a rock garden/tree root city which is where over-all ride compliance and roll-over ability is noticable on a rigid and itís not just a case of absorbing one bump in isolation.

  6. #6
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bouyo View Post
    Cotharyus I think you make an interesting point about knee bending for bumps, but I guess you could apply that to any bike. I was talking about more of a rock garden/tree root city which is where over-all ride compliance and roll-over ability is noticable on a rigid and itís not just a case of absorbing one bump in isolation.
    That's where the actual compliance of the frame is going to make a big difference too. On a steel frame the frame can be designed to flex some without cause material fatigue on the frame. And yes, again, the longer the chainstays/seatstays the more compliance you can technically get out of them. That said, I ride rock gardens a lot on my Soma set up SS, but do have a suspension fork on mine. Still, I'm very active on the bike in rocks, and it works very well, while I've seen other people on similar geo bikes not be able to work through some of these areas without hanging up because they don't let their knees bend and/or unweight the bike. Sometimes in certain places, you literally have to bunny hop the bike in the middle of a rock garden because the front and rear wheel are hitting rocks at the same time.

    I would point out one downside to the longer rear center if you go that route. Sometimes a longer rear center on a bike means a longer wheelbase than you'd normally have for whatever size you're on. Since I ride XL and XXL bikes, it means I'm frequently dealing with a wheelbase greater than 48" - many times, trail features such as log-overs are built by people with shorter wheelbase bikes, and they take a big log, put a little log on either side of it, and they're fine because they have wheels on logs the whole time, while with a longer wheelbase, you end up with your chain ring on the big log and both wheels hanging out past the little logs that the other guys bikes are resting on at that point. It's another case where you're going to have to work harder - pick the front up, pick the back up, put the front down then let the back down - so you can keep the chain ring on an arc over the log. I find this to be the case on roughly 1/3 of the log rides in my area.

  7. #7
    Professional Crastinator
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    I think the El Mar and the SIR9 you demo'd have since seen some evolution that the Nashbar bike has already benefitted from, namely head tube angle. Those older bikes were pretty steep in front.

    I have a Canfield Nimble9 with a rigid fork. I think it's awesome - if not a tad stiff; but I solved that with some 2.4/2.5" tires. I would be hard-pressed to recommend something else. It has the right HA, BB height, CS length...
    The prior bike was a 2007 Niner MCR9 (same geo as the SIR that year), which was a really good bike, but that steep head tube made steep descents kind of uncomfortable. The N9 goes much easier.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  8. #8
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    Hi Fleas, yeah, Iíve looked up the geos on those older examples (El Mar SS they donít even make anymore) and youíre right - the Nashbarís HA is slacker which gives a little more trail. I could see that just eyeballing it sat up against the older SIR9.

    Iíve been looking at a Vassago Verhauen and like the geo numbers there, but I should definitely check out the Nimble9. I just want a bomb proof SS thatís very playful and good for super tight, twisty, rocky, rooty trails that I ride all the time. The Nashbar works, itís just 30lb and with cheap components. I have to say actually that for $320 delivered to my door itís a ridiculous amount of bike and has been a great gateway drug into SS.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bouyo View Post
    Eb1888 thatís a really good point about going with a fatter tire on the rear to off-set some of that short-stay bump.

    Iíve stumbled across the Jones bike geo and the long stays seem very appealing. Thereís a lot on those bikes that I donít (think) I want though - too low BB for my trails, hardly any trail in the steering and quite heavy overall. I wish I could demo one ...

    .
    Call around to the shops listed as Jones dealers, and see if anyone has one you can demo. Even a privately-owned one. I did that. And now have a new 'dingle' speed Karate Monkey. Costs less, too.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

  10. #10
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    delete
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Call around to the shops listed as Jones dealers, and see if anyone has one you can demo. Even a privately-owned one. I did that. And now have a new 'dingle' speed Karate Monkey. Costs less, too.
    I just found a Jones dealer down the road! Time to see if theyíve ever actually had a bike go through their store though ...

    My LBS mentioned the Monkey as a go-to SS. I checked it out online - not convinced by the dropouts/tensioning system and the price seemed high for what you actually got as a whole. Obviously you like it though - have you had slippage issues with those track ends? I run a 32/18 setup atm and crank pretty hard and stripped threads on tug nut style tensioners.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bouyo View Post
    I just found a Jones dealer down the road! Time to see if theyíve ever actually had a bike go through their store though ...

    My LBS mentioned the Monkey as a go-to SS. I checked it out online - not convinced by the dropouts/tensioning system and the price seemed high for what you actually got as a whole. Obviously you like it though - have you had slippage issues with those track ends? I run a 32/18 setup atm and crank pretty hard and stripped threads on tug nut style tensioners.

    No problems, but I've only had it a few of months. And it's set up 32 x21 ATM.I was going to suggest All City Log Lady dedicated SS. Or their electric Queen and use a conversion kit. Much higher quality. And a friend of mine loved theirs. (No, not women specific, they also have bikes called the Macho Man and Nature Boy and Mr Pink. The Log Lady is 27.5", though. It's a race setup.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
    2013 CAADX 105
    2012 Pinarello Quattro
    2002 Zurich LeMond

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