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  1. #1
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Thought I'd kick this one off and tell the story of my next Nicolai.

    I've been riding my Ion15 now for a good while and when out with a journo friend who bought my previous AC custom 29 we got talking geo.

    He already knew I had put together the Ion15 with Nicolai and the story, he had helped to increase the publicity, he had passed on to another friend who runs Mojo, the UK Fox service guys, what Nicolai had done for me, but more generally, which was news to them anyway, it's clear that a unique selling point for Nicolai isn't well known, certainly in the UK.
    Chris at mojo is big on pushing the limits of design and was sold on forward geometry as a concept, having preciously created FrankenDune, with the rear of a Summum and custom length shocks, bushes and angle sets to try and create the geometry he was after. This new knowledge spurred him to engage Nicolai.
    You may have seen some pictures of the bike(s) he has now had made by Nicolai, each one more extreme in geometry terms with a focus on outright downhill speed..

    I expressed interest in the concept with my friend, I knew of it but had never seen nor ridden one, Mondraker not being a brand on my radar for various reasons, but Fabien Barel had a big hand in it and Cesar Rojo too, both of whom I respect and whose work I had come into contact with through other people in the industry.
    Forward Geometry made sense to me, I come from moto's originally and each of my mountain bikes has got longer, I'm not so tall at 1.78m but I always look at a large as being the right ETT but I nearly always want a med ST.
    Now my friend had an early 26" Proto Foxy in the shed, he'd stopped riding it when he bought the AC29 off me, I asked if I could borrow it for testing purposes...

    After some messing around with it to get the riding position about the same as my Ion 29 I took it out. First impression sitting on it, I can see everything, axle/wheel, but it feels pretty normal after a moto. Second impression, gee the wheels are small, it feels like a toy!

    I start to ride it around the car park, third impression, scary fast steering, what's the HA? (Well 67 it turns out, you can get away with it a bit steeper again due to length, which also helps with not wandering on climbs) surely this won't work for me, I don't like twitchy...
    Out on the trail now...so Mondraker sell the concept for its climbing ability and stability, these are things I have on my ion29 in spades, plus better pedalling so what's the big deal...

    front end feel, grip, confidence, the ability to naturally weight the front, the speed of steering response is incredible AND stability <said fast, in a high, excited voice as though 5mins after a quadruple espesso!>
    I love it, I absolutely LOVE the front end, in fact I'm totally addicted to it! As long as long as the front is pointing in the right direction everything else will follow, it makes me feel like a total hooligan, permanently in attack mode, Scandinavian flicks into corners, chin up, eyes wired onto the apex...
    Now it may not be the most relaxed state to be in on the trails but but I just feel totally connected to the front when riding it. There is loads of room to move around on the bike too.
    Yes it does climb well due to its overall length (The TT is an XL in normal sizing, it's a M), wheels accepted when compared to my 29, it's stable, more so than a comparable 26" bike but with faster steering.

    There are definitely things I wanted to change in terms of sizing, it was a little small for me as I have the saddle way back, and the wheels were a shock after my Ion, I've got used to smashing the trail to pieces on that with so much forgiveness, but I am so sold on the concept, it's a total hooligan of a bike soon much fun, basically because of the front.
    I'm not convinced its faster than the Ion and it's definitely harder work but incredibly rewarding.

    Such a shame just as more people get the concept that Mondraker appear to have backed out of pushing full fat Fwd Geo and gone with 30mm stems rather than near zero possibly for wider acceptance. For me they are marketing the wrong positives of this design, or rather the ones that are less appealing to a lot of riders.

    It's never going to work in a 29 format, and why would you do it really, it's a different answer to the same question, delivered in a different way, very much horses for courses, but I did try on paper before settling for 650b as the right compromise.
    I'm still totally stoked on the Ion 29 and as one bike for all it's the king, it climbs, pedals and descends equally well..but as I have just taken delivery of an Argon TB...

    For me, I HAD to have a bike with this set up but with my tweaks and German build quality, I've never charged into corners with such a feeling of confidence before...the downside I is when you do overlook it, you over cook it big time and it's not pretty!

    So here is the resulting geometry, it's longer than a very long thing, this is an XXL by normal sizing. The wheelbase is 35mm longer than my 29..

    It's tight at the back the same as an Ion 16 in terms of chainstay length with the same leverage ratio etc, optimised around 1x, there seemed no need to mess with the ST angle.
    It was important to get a nice low ST to take advantage of the new Vecnum dropper post, so I plan to run a 170mm drop, I did consider the 200mm but dropping the ST to 420mm would have messed up the aesthetics and taken the Chainstays and shock out of alignment with the top tube. I had asked specifically to make sure we aligned these so it's pleasing on (my) eye.

    The optimum trail setting is high and low is more for descending in crazy steeps/alps territory. I was going to make it a bit steeper in the HA but in high at 66.2 that's fine especially with a zero stem and 800mm bar.

    Roll on wk 24...

    Colour will be raw (again) with some extra love highlights and custom decals..
    Build kit will be
    Frame: Ion 16 FG
    Fork: 2015 Fox 36 160mm
    Headset: Hope integrated
    Shock: CCDB air.
    Seatpost: Vecnum Moveloc
    Wheels: Chris King Hubs/derby Carbon 40mm rims 32h/DT SuperComp
    Stem: OnOff Stoic 10mm
    Bar: Enve DH 800mm /Renthal FatBar
    Grips: ESI Race
    Drivetrain: Sram XX1
    Guide: MRP AM carbon guide
    Saddle: SDG/Saevid S1.2
    Tyres: Conti TrailKing 2.4 Fr/2.2 R
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-image.jpg  

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-image.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    Interesting project this.

    look forward to hearing about the ride

  3. #3
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    wow, that's some funky geo specs
    i sure would like to take that for a test spin^^

  4. #4
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    I can't quite decide whether to add 5mm to the ETT. Need to know if the ETT and reach are 5mm longer in high mode or if it's just reach.
    I hope to pick it up in June so if you're in the vicinity maybe you could😄
    The fly in the ointment could be Fox 36 availability...


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  5. #5
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    Hmmm, my june is jam packed...

    as an alternative I can recommend the XFusion Metric, the smoked chrome version suits raw very nicely

  6. #6
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    Pilot, interesting write-up and project. Nice build generally, but why not BOS suspension?

  7. #7
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    loamranger, I've been thinking about that recently. Still the most sublime feeling fork I have ever used bar none, although the 2012 36 I used recently came close with the non linear airspring.

    I've certainly not ruled it out. Deville, possibly with a Kirk rear.
    There is still the nagging element of spares/support, not so much from the fork as I understand seals/bushes are the same as used on the Fox 34 and its easy to do? My original Devilles are 3 years old now on the Helius AM my friend still has. Never been serviced, still just fine!

    The rear is more of a concern if there's a problem.
    Its looking like an Avalanche Float-x may be a possibility but I couldn't then fit a Deville could I, purely based on looks!

    Hmm watch this space...for the extra 5mm and what suspension she ends up with!

    I need to make sure I can get the CK XD driver too....
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  8. #8
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    id hold onto the 29er…… just in case
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

    flash bikes for flash gits

  9. #9
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    To late Dipper. Fully. committed now!


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  10. #10
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    When are you getting delivery?

  11. #11
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Due wk24 loamranger. 5wks. I'll try and get out to pick it up again. I think they are kinda curious now this is the 3rd frame with forward geo.
    I have revised the geo slightly to 660mm ETT and 485mm/490mm reach.



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  12. #12
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    So roughly a large size equivalent to the 2015 Mondraker Carbon 650b (reach 500, TT 650). I guess you are around 6 ft 1in? Looking forward to seeing this bike.

  13. #13
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Loamranger. I am 5'11"😊 the new Mondraker carbon (and the rest of the range) is based around a 30mm stem now. They have shortened their bikes, I assume to make them more mass market appeal (certainly pretty rare in the UK until massive discounting this year of the 26" 2013s although the frame was almost the price of a Nicolai). All sizes (ST) are 20mm shorter than 2013.
    I have done my beta testing on a 2013 med which had 645mm ETT and 480mm reach. I needed more seated room in the TT but the reach was almost spot on, The 5mm Low/10mm High difference in reach on the Ion is to allow for me preferring a wider bar with 2deg more sweep than the test mule had (Renthal Fatbar Vs Easton/Enve DH 800mm )
    The change from Mondraker is a pity in my view, although this geometry is clearly not for everyone. Myself I love the look/feel from the cockpit but I can see how it could feel too different and also how different riding styles could struggle with it. Their mission is to sell bikes at the end of the day and much respect and kudos to them for making this leap, I for one am very grateful!
    If it was my company I would have kept seat tubes lower across the range in the larger sizes to allow more flexibility in stem selection, especially now we have 150, 170 and 200mm dropper posts.

    Final drawing attached.




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  14. #14
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Final decision on colour made. A big dilemma for me. I like the welding so much, I like to see it, but I also like to see some colour an since this will be such a long beast I figured breaking it up visually could be good. I'm also a bit of a weight weenie so it's hard for me to go with powder coat. My favourite colours are blue and green.
    Anyway I went with gates team scheme in the end, I do like the look of it. Going to get some graphics sorted out with Hoshi/Holger to suit the model.
    You've seen these before I'm sure but I took one look and loved it.




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  15. #15
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Great choice pilot, same as my monster truck, it is a great colour combo


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  16. #16
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    For reference
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalkhd1399792298.236808.jpg  

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalkhd1399792314.040977.jpg  

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  17. #17
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Nice.
    Can't decide on graphics yet. I do like the yellow/red/white on Compression stay too.

    Final dilemma is white or black fork!


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  18. #18
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Black fork all the way.......


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  19. #19
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Linky to UK Mojo head Honcho and racer/crazy man Chris Porters rather more extreme version of what I'm waiting for. his has 20mm+ longer chainstays and 40mm longer ETT!
    http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/ar...er-bike-41048/



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    Last edited by the_pilot; 05-17-2014 at 01:31 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Aghhh Fox 36 will be out after delivery, BOS are still shaky on parts service, PIke is a known entity, cheaper, even with an Avy cartridge and lighter and user serviceable but does it look as cool!!


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  21. #21
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    Pike plus Avy sounds good or BOS Idylle SC air cut to 160.

    Do you mind speculating on what length TT and reach you think would be right for a 6ft 3ins rider running a 10mm stem?

  22. #22
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Hey Loamranger, I'd be scared of the weight of the Idylle! Deville is heavier than either Pike or Fox 36 now.
    I contacted Jungle to ask about support and they were very positive allegedly having spares/service in place mid June...I will see..

    What are you riding now is the question and does it feel right.
    661mm sounds massive but with the 10mm stem it's only 15mm longer than my 29 was and the same riding position as my current HT with a 70mm stem. I had the saddle set back on my 29 but the reach out the saddle was perfect.
    My HT is a classic case of what Porter tries to explain, I wanted a Large for the TT but the ST was just too long to run a good length dropper and I wasn't going custom for the HT (wish I had now though!)

    The reach is naturally longer but only because of how it's measured. The actual reach to bars is the same but the feel of the bike and feeling of room, plus handling of course, quite different.
    Given the typical size ranges, I'd guess you are on a Large now.
    I have short legs for my size but I'm effectively building 620mm ETT L frame + 50mm stem. So adding 40mm to the ETT.
    I would take what ETT you are riding add the stem length you use, taking into account saddle position (base it on a centred saddle rail so if set back or forward add or subtract how far) and considering what bars you use and their position (rotated forward or back) as 9deg sweep can have a 25mm adjustment range fore/aft.
    Then you have the ETT

    Sounds complicated but my example is
    My ETT was 605mm
    My saddle was set back 10mm,
    my bars rotated forward adding 5mm
    50mm stem.
    Total of 670mm.
    Account for 10mm stem leaving 660mm ETT but with scope for adjustment on+/-15mm in the saddle and +/-15mm in the bars.

    So if I had to take a punt for you without knowing what you are on now I'd say about the same as Chris Porter 690mm ETT.
    At that I probably would lengthen the chainstays slightly, maybe to 440mm to centralise the riding position.
    Would give about a 1285mm wheelbase at 65.5 HA.




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  23. #23
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    LR: On the Idylle SC it's not 650b is it? I see from other posts you've used it with a 2.3 with 'enough' clearance but I'd rather not be compromised on tyre choice. Typically I'd run a 2.4 TK or similar on the front.


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  24. #24
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    Hey thanks, food for thought.

    My current ride is an XL frame which is 642 TT, 462 R, 518 ST. Stem is 65. I need to check the saddle position but I think it is pushed back probably 15mm or so? Bars probably zero? So that would mean a TT of 712. I believe I'm taller than CP (he's 6ft 1in?), so does that sound about right to you? For comparison the Dune in XL has a TT of 665. So the ball park could be 700 plus or minus 10mm?

    My Idylles clear 650b 2.3 Magic Mary's as do the Devilles.. Running 26 inch 2.4 TK's on the back which is the highest tyre I could find....there is about a 10mm difference in radius.

  25. #25
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Based on what you have said yes I'd agree, 710-715mm ETT. Chris is 6'1", 1.85m I think he says. I think his TT may be 700mm on this MKII. His first was a touch shorter.

    You then you have scope for front rear. Adjustment via saddle and bars with a reach of 535mm or so.

    As mention Mondraker have shortened everything by 20mm this year the old Large was 670mm ETT. So their XL would have been 685mm.
    Given I'm happy at 661mm with 10mm stem and so close to Mondraker XL and I'm 3inches shorter than Chris an clearly much shorter than you I don't think the numbers are crazy. Chris says he could go longer than the current 700mm.
    If I was you I'd give Chris a call, he's approachable, have a chat about his experience. If you are in UK you may even be able to visit and get to try his for size, but I don't think you'd be far wrong based on what you've sati and my experience to date.

    How does a MM 2.3 compare to other big tyres? Pretty spiky so quite high I guess?
    The Idylle is probably overkill for me though at 75kg if be carrying an extra 600g-700g over a Pike or Fox 36 or 500g over a Deville...

    I wrote to Jungle, they tell me everything in place, spares and servicing mid June...I may ask again nearer that time.




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  26. #26
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    Thanks.

    650b MM is about the same diameter as the HD I was running before. MM gives more grip and still rolls well. Works well with the TK at the back but might be worth trying the Rock Razor as an alternative rear tyre?

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    I'm quit intrigued by the whole "FWD geometry" thinking. On paper, a lot makes sense. Few questions jumps to mind though: How does it effect being able to lift the front wheel (and manual)? Has to be harder right? - also for slower stuff, or not ragging at the absoult edge, how does it feel compared to "normal" setup? Slow? Twitchy? none of the above?

  28. #28
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Hi Daniel,

    Lifting the front, yes a bit more difficult and requires more technique/adjustment in set up so a slightly higher front end but DH bikes have a similar front centre due to 62-63deg head angles and those boys lift the front easily enough (they are better than me though) it's one reason I have kept the rear short compared to Chris Porter and similar to the Mondraker's. But I'm crap at manuals and got used to it quickly, you can basically be more aggressive without fear of overdoing it, but it's also why it's so good at climbing.
    How does it feel at slower speeds? It's fine, wouldn't describe it as twitch at all but very responsive, anything but twitchy however the steering response is so direct it's initially a shock and your brain says it must be twitchy but you quickly learn it's definitely not.
    I wouldn't say it feels slow but it definitely wants you to go faster, at least that's what it says to me when I ride it (I mean the geometry by 'it') and the fact you always want to ride it like you stole it could lead to you feeling that going slowly is a bit dull. Only talking trundling along a fire road or section of pedally Singletrack here tho I assume as opposed to techy slow in steep or rooty/rocky/tight stuff where in my opinion it just feels responsive.


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  29. #29
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    Thanks for the quick reply the_Pilot - your comments make a lot of sense. I find myself lusting for a longer travel bike, that'll inspire confidence for bigger stuff, but also something that would work for longer/slower/techier XC rides. I've never really tried anything as low, slack, and long like the Mondrakers or your Nicolai... but the numbers and theory make sense, it's just so darn hard to get a demo, or even a sitting on something similar where I live. Closes thing; I was looking at the v2 Banshee spitfire. I would normally go for a small (I'm usually between small and medium size) for "flickabilty", but lately I've been thinking of a size medium, with a 10-30mm stem... Besides the longer TT and shorter stems, is there anything "special" about the Fwd geometry that other manufactures aren't doing or can't do?

  30. #30
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Nothing other manufacturers can't do.
    Longer front centre/TT
    Much shorter stem
    Steep seat tube
    Sometimes lower
    It doesn't need to be as slack in the HA
    The main issue is public acceptance and access/past experience.
    It's not for everyone I don't think, it depends a little on your riding style how much you like it.
    It was trying it that converted me..



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  31. #31
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    the_pilot, where the bike pr0n from Nicolai's welding/machine shop at?

  32. #32
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Ah. I got progress update today...slight delay due to Marcel going on holiday! So final geometry check this week, final welding and finishing next week, ship to Hoshi for custom decals w/c 16th June.

    My problem at the moment is still forks/wheels/seatpost.

    Sensible me says Pike/keep my CCDBa ( both available now)
    Subliminal desires balancing performance/looks/maintenance suggest Fox 36/Float X Avy, available early July..
    Bespoke boutique option is BOS Deville & Kirk but Kirk is on backorder..

    Then I'm waiting on carbon rims from Ray at Derby (early-mid July)

    So I may have to do something interim for fork or shock or both and wheels!

    Wheel options are build my Chris Kings into a Syntace W35/Flow EX Then rebuild when Derby's arrive.
    OR
    Buy Syntace W35 wheelset (very light hubs) and then build Derby's onto them and do something else with my King hubs (it's about a 150g saving with Syntace but more expensive choice)
    Pike is lightest fork and easily serviced. Fox is stiffest (marginally according to my sources but they tell me it's an awesome fork) so allegedly great, 70g more than Pike and more expensive to buy and service.
    BOS is most expensive, heaviest has sublime damping but questionable (according to Internet not in my experience) reliability and worst support but is open bath and (theoretically) requires less maintenance than either of the others is easy to do yourself and sexy as hell and the only one is white..( bike is Team Gates Blue)
    So as you can see I am totally decided!
    At least I know the colour..
    I could put an open bath avy damper in the Pike too I guess...aghhh

    Ideally I'll wait and get the fox, still not sure about what to do with wheels..

    Also I wanted to use a Vecnum Moveloc 170 or 200mm seatpost but they have also been delayed until end July!



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    Last edited by the_pilot; 06-05-2014 at 09:34 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Hey, at least all your choices sound good. Syntace/Derbys sound amazing. Or take a look at IBIS wheels...similar rim design to Derby. By all accounts Avy cartridges are very good and they make a big difference to the Pike according to a report I read in the Knolly Forum.

  34. #34
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    This may sound overly simplified but couldn't someone have "forward" geometry by just ordering a size up from their normal (ie get large if you take a medium) and then putting a really short stem on?

    I am currently trying something similar on my Helius AC 2013. I slackened off the head angle with a Works Headset to 65 degrees and fitted a 35mm stem. I find the Helius is quite a long top tube/reach for a large so the short stem makes it feel just right. The offset headset has also lengthened the wheelbase and made the seat angle steeper. It now climbs better and descends incredibly for a 150/160mm bike.

  35. #35
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Scarlet, kind of yes, but we are talking orders of magnitude here. A 10mm stem is actually 6mm effective so near 70% shorter than a 35, imagine what it feels like to go from a 90mm to a 30mm. But the big problem is seat tube too.
    An XL bike is still 20-30mm shorter than the TT geometry on my bike but I couldn't even stand over it let alone fit a dropper seatpost!
    So in principle your right but just buying a bigger frame doesn't always work, it can but it depends on your shape!

    I can't describe how much difference going to a zero stem makes to how the bike steers and how you weight the front compared to even a 35mm. It's night and day!
    As I mention it may not be for everyone but it's a game changer for me.




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  36. #36
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Odds are on BOS today...a certain je ne said quoi about the damping..



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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Odds are on BOS today...a certain je ne said quoi about the damping..



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    BOS both ends, then?

  38. #38
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    I think so. Thinking Kirk & Deville.


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  39. #39
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    My head says put the new 36 on it but my heart...agh, it's with the little guy doing his own thing you know...


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Scarlet, kind of yes, but we are talking orders of magnitude here. A 10mm stem is actually 6mm effective so near 70% shorter than a 35, imagine what it feels like to go from a 90mm to a 30mm. But the big problem is seat tube too.
    An XL bike is still 20-30mm shorter than the TT geometry on my bike but I couldn't even stand over it let alone fit a dropper seatpost!
    So in principle your right but just buying a bigger frame doesn't always work, it can but it depends on your shape!

    I can't describe how much difference going to a zero stem makes to how the bike steers and how you weight the front compared to even a 35mm. It's night and day!
    As I mention it may not be for everyone but it's a game changer for me.



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    I know what you mean, before my Helius I was forever trying to find a large with a long enough reach/top tube. If you went up a size you ended up with something that looked like a farmyard gate just to get the right reach.

    One of the reasons I love my Nicolai is it's individualism. Add to that custom geometry and you get a very individual bike....fantastic.

    I get the forward geometry, I would much rather mess about with geometry than wheel size as the benefits will be much more noticeable.

  41. #41
    "Its All Good"
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    My heart says go Bos at both ends also.

    Something absolutely yummy with Bos kit.....


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  42. #42
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Deville 160mm 650b non TRC purchased...kirk next..


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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Deville 160mm 650b non TRC purchased...kirk next..


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    nice

  44. #44
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    I'm a bit twitch Loamranger...it's new, unridden, but removed from a YT wicked..so I may not get support from BOS if it goes wrong! However it was a bargain so I have a mini war chest in case of a problem...
    In some ways I wish it was ridden as problems tend to surface early.



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  45. #45
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    Pilot, any news on the Vecnum Moveloc?

  46. #46
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    No. Probably the most frustrating part! Had original communication saying May 23rd. Then nothing. I kept watching the shop then suddenly it says end July. They were supposed to let me know. Don't know if they sold out over night or there was a supply problem.
    So I have to use something interim 😔
    Marcel at Nicolainsays it is good once you get used to increments (4) very smooth, easy to assemble and service, No play.

    The benefit is I can determine if I can use a 200mm or only the 170mm with certainty.

    I also have a Kirk ordered now 😳
    Derby rims too but on backorder.
    Probably end of July too so interim wheels also needed!


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  47. #47
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    Amazing spec. Look forward to your review.

  48. #48
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Ooh update.
    Derby rims shipped, good.
    Kirk delayed due to distributer problems. Bad
    Frame painted, good.
    Chainstays not anodised, bad.
    Frame delayed by 3 Wks overall as CS to be anodised. It then needs to go to Hoshi or custom Decals, then to me...
    It will be worth it and I should have almost everything..
    Might be missing the Moveloc
    Some pics pre and post paint. It doesn't look the length of the forth bridge in the pics...
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1403216014.980418.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1403216025.531349.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1403216182.732572.jpg


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    Last edited by the_pilot; 06-21-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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  49. #49
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    Pilot

    Re: Wide rims like Derby

    There is a current debate on whether or not very wide rims, like Derby's, are a good thing or not. There have been discussions in the MTBR Wheel and Tyre Forum and in Pink Bike about this, with conflicting advice. Some who have tried wide have gone back to normal. Increased rolling resistance was the problem mentioned. Others have said they get loads more grip and wouldn't look back. Not having had first hand exerience of very wide rims myself, I was wondering what your take was on the subject.

  50. #50
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Hmm, well I have experience of wide rims having used Chris Holm 47mm Speedway 70mm, 80mm and Salsa Gordo 35mm. There is undeniably a balance in width/feel and tyre choice makes a big difference.
    Like for like off-road it's proven a wider and softer foot print rolls better as it forms to the terrain but you can go too low if the carcass isn't supportive which also can cause grip and squirm issues. It's a bit like suspension, some effort is required to find the best balance.
    I don't think anyone can deny the grip improvement but it can be overdone with sticky tyres, I've killed myself on a fatty before with sticky tyres.
    It changes the profile of tyres rather than makes them much wider and not all tyres respond well to that in terms of feel which may account for some of the variance in opinion as well as the basic different tyres etc.
    The widest rim I had on a rear with a 'normal' tyre was the 47 but I mainly used the 35mm ext. Gordo which was fantastic with a WTB Weir Wolf 2.5 LT so I'd describe that as a kind of aggressive Small Block 8.

    I'll report back on my experience with the Derby's I've been looking at the Hutchinson tyres but the likes of a rock razer and a Magic Mary could be good. I don't usually have much luck with Schwalbe tho, sidewalls...
    I like Maxxis tyres so perhaps an Ikon rear with a HRIi or Minion front,
    Never tried but heard good things about Conti Black chilli..TK with something fast on the back??


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  51. #51
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    The round profile of the TK might work well with the wider rims.

  52. #52
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    So slightly ahead of schedule, frame assembled now and ready to be shipped to Hoshi for custom decals..NOW you can tell it's XXL long and S low, I CAN NOT WAIT to build it and shred this thing on some trails in finale Ligure in...3wks

    Just need the Derby rims to come out of customs!
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1403701075.222850.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1403701055.617361.jpg


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    Last edited by the_pilot; 06-25-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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  53. #53
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    Pilot,

    The short seat tube helps exaggerate the length of the front triangle, very long and very low look, nice. Should look amazing when it's finished.

    No news from Moveloc...sent a e-mail, still no reply yet.

  54. #54
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Agree on Moveloc, same for me.

    New availability date end July on shop..


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  55. #55
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    I am currently experiencing the mother of all tyre quandries...
    Any suggestions firstly for a trouble free trip to a finale ligure, suggestions are schwalbe rock razer super gravity rear and Michelin wild rock r2 magic gum front, cor Conti MK rear 2.2 and Tk front 2.4. Or hutchinson cobra/couger.

    Then for normal use where my weight weenie self can take over a bit more...well I dunno frankly, always used Maxxis, minions, ardents, HR's, recently had a basis with Hans Dampf but as usual suffered punctures with poor sidewall strength (always seems to happen every time I try a schwalbe)
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  56. #56
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    SG version of Magic Mary front, 2.2 Conti TK rear or Rock Razor rear.

    What hubs and spokes are you using with the Derby's?

  57. #57
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Chris king hubs, Sapim cx rays.


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  58. #58
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    Yo, have good experience with HD in SG version, run the MM in SG on my DH bike as well....

  59. #59
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    Think I will go Rock Razer rear in SG, give schwalbe another chance and either MM front SG or the Michelin for the Finale trip...will add weight but that beats punctures!
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  60. #60
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    Nearly there now..a few more parts arriving.

    CK hub now has XD driver fitted and 142x12 axle + I serviced it.

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1324.jpg

    Derby rims arrived, splendidly wide..

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1330.jpg

    Need to build the wheels now..

    Saddle is here
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1302.jpg

    Frame has had custom Decals added by Holger at WhyEx.

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1333.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1334.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1335.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1336.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-img_1337.jpg

    Frame will be with me next week.

    Devilles are here
    Name:  IMG_1254.PNG
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    I am waiting on Renthal Carbon Fatbar 780mm, they are not available just yet..and of course the Moveloc, but I will 'borrow' my Reverb from the Argon.

    Still waiting for a Kirk, but CCDBa will do the duty in the meantime and I need some pedals. Might try the new Superstar Delta...
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  61. #61
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    Chromag Scarabs are nice pedals.

  62. #62
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    Just spotted this copy which was originally published in April

    Spotted at Sea Otter: Intense Tracer 275 & Forward Geometry | Enduro Mountainbike Magazine

  63. #63
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    It belongs to a Journo friend of mine. He was looking at a Nic but the offer to build it and see it happen was too good to turn down. It's not quite as long in the TT as he would have preferred ideally but It was the longest TT they had and close enough. He loves it. he's been a FwdGeo evangelist (within the limits of his job of course) for a long time now.



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  64. #64
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Pedals on the way too now..wheels being built as I type 😊Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1404567746.509047.jpg

    I want to try and find a SRAM and a Mavic sticker too...


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  65. #65
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    I did a not even attached to the bike test of my new Devilles. Lack of stiction is amazing even after my Pikes and so smooth through the stroke. Hope they have the same feel on the bike, no reason why not of course as Devilles and I have history but it's been a few years...


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    Last edited by the_pilot; 07-07-2014 at 09:22 AM.
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  66. #66
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    Hi, looking forward to seeing this build completed. Should be a real weapon. Did I read earlier on in the post that you've got an ion 15 aswell? I'm torn between ordering the 16 650b or the 15. I emailed nicolai but there are no demo bikes in the uk so it looka like being a blind purchase.
    What are your thoughts?

  67. #67
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    Frame is in da house, well Dippers house having a headset fitted, 3.59kg with all the bolts and axle. Nae too bad considering its an xxl with paint and in line with my spreadsheet Some minor scuffing to a tiny bit of headtube paint in transit (due to it being so long) but not noticable

    Build will commence Thursday I hope.
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  68. #68
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    philblue, I did have an Ion15, I worked with Nicolai on the design, see the thread.

    Whafe has it now and is in love with it...me I always have itchy feet for the next project so decided to do this one next...

    If you are torn maybe you should ride all three FG Ion16, Ion16 and Ion15.

    Dipper is pretty good about letting people demo his bikes so if you can get yourself to Glentress he may be able to oblige with a test ride
    [email protected]
    There are also a number of 16 owners around who I am sure would be willing to help out of you are willing to travel.
    I certainly don't mind people trying mine. I need to pay a visit to Rich as he also wants a shot on the FG 27.5.

    I loved my 15, Richard is still in love with his as is Whafe etc. its a stellar bike.
    I've never ridden the 650b or any 650b yet!
    THere is a thread by pimpmessiah (Sadly no longer with us) on his journey to originally going to get the 650b but after trying the Ion15 (despite being an unbeliever) he couldnt believe how good it was so switched to that model.

    If you want to try mine get in touch, you have Dippers email above.
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  69. #69
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Philblue
    Have you ridden any AM 29?

    I'd say the key difference is in the forgiveness of the 29(15) it just let's you get away with so much which in turn gives you such confidence.
    I'd also say if I had only one bike that would be it. It can be built light enough to pedal all day, pedals really well and covers ground easily up up hill and down dale and smashes the descents. I (personally) wouldn't have a 'normal' Ion16 27.5.
    The only reason this one has 27.5 wheels is I couldn't make the FG geometry work in a full suss with 29 wheels. And they kinda do the same thing in different ways.
    However I'm certain the 29 will pedal better.
    The Ion15 really does handle like a 26 with added stability/rollover and ground covering ability. It is a bit less 'playful'(just as manoeuvrable) due to those attributes i.e. because it is so forgiving of mistakes and terrain. So unless you feel the need to pop off everything and manual everywhere (it does all of those things) then for most mortals it's fab.




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  70. #70
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    Just read the ion15 thread. Sounds like a great bike, nice work. It'd be great to be able to test the difference between them. I rode a intense carbine 29 recently and really liked the way it rode other than having not enough reach and I'm not after another vpp bike. It will be my only bike so it needs to do everything well. I'm riding a santa cruz blur tr at the minute which great fun but not enough travel at times. Picking a new bike is a minefield of options which gets bigger every year. Ha. Not sure I'd be brave enough to order a forward geometry frame though.

  71. #71
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    pilot,

    Ion 15 29er was an amazing project....tempted to try get one of these. How far could you push the TT of the XL (640 as stock)?

  72. #72
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    Loamranger, my brother in law has a 635mm ETT L Shinobi he now runs with a 10mm, he crashed it at BPW on its first outing, not because he overlooked it, but because he went from 45mm to 10mm and it steered so fast (it as bought large, short stem, west forward) now has v short stem seat normal/back although he'd prefer a touch more reach.
    I think balancing the head angle and the length is key. The concern for me was i it would become too stable with the 29 because of the wheels but I'm not so sure now. The chainstays aren't a problem as they are only 9mm longer than the 27.5. I think you could add 40mm without any worry especially if you had light wheels and you kept the 67.5 HA., maybe longer, the wheelbase would be similar to mine now and CPs is 40mm longer than mine which he's happy with.
    I must confess tho I'd rather have a tame frame builder and build a hardtail out of scaffold tubes to test the geo on the 29 first. Don't forget I tested the Ion29 geo out with a flexible bike first and did similar with a Mondraker I borrowed for this one so kinda prototyped.
    However..
    based on broinlaws experience, without ūber light carbon wheels on it and seeing how it turns, I have a hard time thinking that 680-690mm ETT would be a problem with a 68 HA and short 10 or 20mm stem It could be just a bit too sanitising though and getting it stopped into corners could be tough!
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  73. #73
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    pilot

    Thanks for your thoughts on the Ion 15 29er with longer TT, definately considering this option. I see BOS are introducing the Dizzy 29er fork, pity it's 32 mm stantion and 100/120mm travel only. That leaves the Pike as the only option for this bike I suppose?Not sure if Avy do a cartidge for the 29er Pike yet?

  74. #74
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    Yes Avy do, to answer my own question. 160 Pike with Avy cartridge...that would be the way to go then?

  75. #75
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Yes. One of Dippers Nicolai friends has a 160mm Avy Pike on his bike, maybe mail for some feedback but pretty sure it would be good.


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  76. #76
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Bits to finish..need to fit the chain guide but bolts too long so need to get some new ones. Temporary bars, temporary shock, temporary seatpost, but apart from that it is built and I'm über pleased with it.
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405068762.476462.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405068779.443773.jpg

    I'll do a take losts of pictures and load them up thing soon when I have more time!


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  77. #77
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    Looks awesome!! Where you taking it for the christening? Interested to hear what you think of the rims once you've spent some time on it.

  78. #78
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Some pre build stuff
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405086546.996895.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405086561.746930.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405086602.148746.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405086622.801950.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405086643.935790.jpg



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  79. #79
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    More pics after a clean. Second ride today, dust yesterday, rain and grit today! I like it alot, which is good!

    I am looking forward to the Kirk, although the Ion16 27.5 seems more progressive than the 15 at the back and needs less spacers in the CCDBa, still feels a bit dead even if it is very effective. Weight is ok at 30.5lbs. it will be 29.5lbs when the new parts arrive and 28.5lbs when it hasn't got 2kg worth of tyres on it!

    Its deceptively fast, It felt very easy today, no drama, bike wanted to go faster, lots of confidence in the front, turns out I wasn't slow at all. Front is easier to lift than expected given the length too.
    Its also strangely easy to get round 180 uphill switchbacks due to the fact that at 90deg bar turn there is still lots of room between the bar end near to you and you, it remains in front so to speak, you can turn around in your own wheelbase without too much trouble!

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-01.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-02.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-03.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-04.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-05.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-06.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-07.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-08.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-09.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-10.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-11.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-12.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-13.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-14.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-15.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-16.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-17.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-18.jpg

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-nicolai-ion-16-fg-19.jpg
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  80. #80
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    Stunning ride - but your bikes usually are...

  81. #81
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    pilot, congrats...the bike is amazing.

    Tyres look really fat on those 40mm Derby's....not much seat stay clearance according to the photos but plenty with the BOS?

    Is the stem a lot higher than conventional stems?

  82. #82
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    Cheers, seems plenty of clearance on the seat stay in the flesh. No touching so far on rides.
    Plenty of front clearance with the rockr2 and BOS.
    The zero is higher, it has a 25mm rise in effect I think I'll have to check, hence needing less spacers. You have to be careful cutting the steerer too. Best to cut a bit, ride, decide if it's right and take more if necessary.
    You can use headset shims to fine tune the insertion.
    I'm stoked with how it looks, I'd like some stickers on the drive side chainstay but needs. To be the right ones, I'll keep looking...
    Taking it to Finale Ligure at the weekend for some uplift & plummet action with a bit of pedalling thrown in.
    I'll probably lob an old tyre section on the DT and tape up the Chainstays for the trip, it has a date with a studio when I get back.
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  83. #83
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    Looks amazing!

    I'm starting to think they sent me 26" Bos Forks as I have barely any clearance with a 2.35 Magic Mary on the front. The Box states they are 27.5 forks though. Any other way to tell as there seems to be nothing on the forks themselves.
    Cheers.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalla View Post
    Looks amazing!

    I'm starting to think they sent me 26" Bos Forks as I have barely any clearance with a 2.35 Magic Mary on the front. The Box states they are 27.5 forks though. Any other way to tell as there seems to be nothing on the forks themselves.
    Cheers.
    Hear you go Nalia, sounds like 26 inch:

    Axle to crown length :
    26'' : 545mm
    27.5'' : 555mm
    Total offset :
    26'' : 37mm
    27.5'' : 41mm

    Pilot, is it being published?

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    Hear you go Nalia, sounds like 26 inch:


    Pilot, is it being published?

    I assume so, its a Journo from Future I know who contacted me. He published the piece with the Ion15 and there is a group in there pretty passionate about FG. His colleague is the the guy with the Intense FG custom.
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  86. #86
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Back from Finale. Apart from a couple of things coming a bit loose (shock bolt, rear
    Mech bolt) the bike worked amazingly well.
    Fantastic feeling from the front. Devilles every bit as good as I remember, fit, forget and revel in how good they are.
    CCDBa worked great out back too.
    A few pedal srikes,
    Inevitable in rocky terrain but nothing to worry me, mostly rider error.
    Climbs brilliantly. Did I mention how amazing the front is. I would also say I could have gone longer I think without worrying but after 3 days shuttling, I never gave the size one single thought so It's spot on for me.
    Wheels were superb, really stiff.
    It's very very good, especially in fast technical terrain and really tight steep hairpins were no problem.
    Aces
    A friend was with me on his FR still doing the business even if it's a bit old skool.
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405944885.741697.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405944915.409059.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1405944954.595404.jpg


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  87. #87
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    Glad the Italy trip went well, bike looks stunning. Dam I love those BOS forks.... Great to hear the rims went well.....

    Go the forward geo.....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  88. #88
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    Pilot, sounds fun. Got to try this FG stuff and those wheels. I used to have a black FR just like your friends...still a good bike.

    Are you still intending to fit a Kirk...if you do it would be interesting to hear how it compares with the DBa. I've got a DBa and changed it for a Stoy....prefer the Stoy, better control, stability.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by loamranger View Post

    Are you still intending to fit a Kirk...if you do it would be interesting to hear how it compares with the DBa. I've got a DBa and changed it for a Stoy....prefer the Stoy, better control, stability.
    Did you fit a Stoy Air? I'm looking forward to how it compares too, yes waiting for the Kirk now, it's on the way I'm now told.
    The CCDBa is undoubtedly good and controlled. I had added spacers as per the Nicolai set up session but increased LSC to control pedalling a little better and backed off the rebound to try and provide more pop and it made a difference to feel, but its still not as I remember either my Stoy Coil or vip'r. I hope I'm not disappointed.
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  90. #90
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    I've got a coil. Not sure there was ever an air version?

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    I've got a coil. Not sure there was ever an air version?
    It's called "Void"

  92. #92
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    What Raschaa said. I had the Stoy coil, nothing I've had before or since has hugged the ground like that shock on my Helius AM, amazing grip yet it still felt lively. Not the best pedalling in the world but by no means the worst.

    Vipr felt good but not the same grip level as the Stoy, but close enough for a 600+g weight saving!
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  93. #93
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    ah yes, forgot about the void.

    Looking forward to the new SC based on this


    First Look: Introducing the 2015 BOS Idylle FCV 37 Fork - bturman - Mountain Biking Videos - Vital MTB

  94. #94
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    Yay, no have the Kirk, only had one ride so far, feels like a good balance between it and the front, pedalling platform is good, damping is very effective i.e. one click does alot, seems efficient with its travel, all the things I'd hoped.

    Should get the Fatbar carbon next week to complete the build all except for the seat post which now appears delayed until Sept! (I've had a slightly grumpy email exchange with Vecnum, basically they have massively underestimated demand and both production runs have sold out immediately. Perhaps they should concentrate on seatposts and not convertible helmets!)

    Pics to follow when I have bars...looks alot like it does already thogu I suspect, you wont see the 350g difference in pictures ;-)
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  95. #95
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    pilot, Kirk sounds good...I found the improved balance with my Stoy when I switched. Pity about the seatpost but sounds like a good product and worth the wait.

    Do the tyres get really much fatter with those 40mm Derby's? Do you have any measurements?

  96. #96
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    Loamranger, not much bigger but much more square, I can do some measuring if you want? One or both?
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  97. #97
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    Pilot

    Would like to know dia. and width of your front Michelin tyre, if possible to compare with my 650b Flow/Magic Mary set-up. Clearance is tight under my BOS SC's since they are 26in forks originally.

    How do you find the Michelin's?

  98. #98
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Michelin is 61mm wide at knob edge and 700mm dia.
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  99. #99
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    It's good so far. Hard, rocky, loose rock, hard pack conditions. A lot like a HRII in design. Good edge bite, feels sticky and confidence inspiring although geo probably helps. It's very square on the rim.
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  100. #100
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    Hi, what ETT did you end up with...

    i'm 5' 11 - my arms are 630mm and my torso 680cm and in 762mm

    am getting a Helius TB and at present am thinking 620mm top tube and 35mm stem...

  101. #101
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    p.s that's a custom helius tb

  102. #102
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Hi fatwheeled. As it's fwd geometry my ETT is 665mm max. 661mm min. I could've gone a touch longer I think without worry but it's good. At 5'11" with those dimensions we are almost exactly the same.

    Personally I like longer and then adjust with bars/saddle (a lot of range in a riser bar)
    With a 35mm stem I'd be speccing at least 635mm now for a middle saddle position.
    BUT that's me. You can always use a shorter stem (10mm/20mm/30mm) or move saddle forward but if it was too short no one likes using a longer stem😉
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  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Michelin is 61mm wide at knob edge and 700mm dia.
    Pilot

    Thanks. I'll check the width of the MM's I have to compare. I know the dia. is 705mm.

  104. #104
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    Agree, am in conversation with Marcel and may nudge it longer...

    cheers

  105. #105
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    you got a zero length stem?

  106. #106
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Fateheeled. Yes. Zero(10mm but actually about 7mm effective) I have my 10mm ride bars rotated slightly forward, the sweep/rise suits me there.
    I love the front end feel of forward and in steep stuff it's confidence inspiring qualities are unrivalled (IMHO of course &#128515
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  107. #107
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    Hey Pilot,
    Man that bike looks fab. Great write up.
    So you're loving the Schwalbe MM and RR on the Derby rim? I am liking a 650B front (currently the Conti 2.4 RQ) on my Large AM (in a 26" Deville, like Loamranger) and am seriously considering the Derby 40mm rim for my final front wheel. I like the idea a lot.
    Of course I'll be trying RQ and MM - I'll not be trying a RR on the front, even though I heard Brendog can ride like that!
    enjoy it mate

  108. #108
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Mud fish, Michelin Wildrock'r2 on the front for me.
    I like the RockRazer. Don't seem to get on with HD type tyres, always seem to destroy Schwalbe sidewalls but the SG casing seems better if heavy.
    My day to day tyre will be Hutchinsons I think, Couger/cobra.
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  109. #109
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    Thanks Pilot,
    you've tried the Derby 40mm rim with the Rock Razor then? But not the Muddy Mary? Those rims are tempting, but BIG(wide). Plainly it's altering the tyre shape from the designer's intention. For example Schwalbe recommend rims up to 29C (29 inner width) for their 2.4 (60mm) tyres. Of course they'l likely not have even tested on a 40mm/34mm inner mm rim
    You're loving them though, right? Just doing my research as with delivery they are not cheap ;-)
    The 2.4 Rubber Queen might be worth testing too. I'd likely either use that or Magic Mary. I agree that SG seems better/ stiffer, but also quite weighty.
    best
    n

  110. #110
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    Very interesting read the_pilot.
    Really want to try out a fwd geo bike.

    Riding a 29er at the moment, so interested in the 2015 mondraker crafty.
    Tutta la gamma Mondraker 2015 con i prezzi - MtbCult.it

    Looks to be a 29er version of the foxy.
    Whats your take on it? Why did you think 27.5 was more suited to the fwd geo?

  111. #111
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Yamaha46, my moto hero btw...

    There is no quick or simple answer, fwd geo, for me (Mondraker major on other factors it seems) in principle, is addressing some of the 'issues' for smaller wheels, that a 29 addresses automatically, that being stability, with a side order of climbing. The 29 delivers stability through the wheels first, the BB height relative to the axles/CofG, and length. The stability, through the wheel gyroscopics, and added trail, creates certain characteristics, like requiring more effort to pick the bike up out of a corner and drop it in, without designer intervention. Hence designers trying to shorten them, and reduce trail to keep manoeuvrability and add wide bar short stem.
    This doesn't address the fundamental point that the wheels are heavier, further from the centre of rotation making them more stable through gyroscopic effect. Also makes them much more stable in the air, which depending on your point of view is either very good or very bad!
    Fwd geo with a smaller wheel allows you to get the stability of the wheelbase in terms of straightline at speed but retain the pickup/drop in speed as the gyroscopics of the wheels are lower, also more manoeuvrable in the air. You also don't need such a slack head angle with fwd geo as the stability is augmented by the wheelbase and the Zero stem speeds steering up. Although these aspects also apply to a 29.

    The length of a fwd geo 29 would be less of an issue to a really big guy with lots if muscle I think, but even with carbon wheels I can tell the difference picking up my fwd geo Ion Vs my not massively long (not short as it has a 66.5HA) Ion 29 at my weight/height. And particularly in the air.

    It's not a simple or black/white answer because of these many factors, it depends a lot on what you want from the bike, where you ride it etc.
    but just because you can turn the bars quickly doesn't mean a bike becomes 'flickable' 'year cannae change the laws of physics Jim' as Scotty used to say. I used to have a 72dwg HA, long chainstay 29er and it was still stable at speed and In the air.

    So fwd geo for me was about the steering feel, to get that, with the TT length I wanted coupled with my weight/size I felt 29 would be too long/too stable and smash everything on the trail in a straight line but be a handful in a lot of ways at the speeds it would be capable, kinda like a hugely powerful front wheel drive car maybe!

    If you're big I think less of an issue. My broinlaw has gone fwd/29 on his slightly too big 29 and loves it but at XL it's still shorter than my Ion. Also depends whether fwd geo to you is a 30mm stem or zero. To me zero is a world away from a 30mm in feel/response.
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  112. #112
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    That makes sense, thanks for the detailed reply.
    Learning a lot here.

    Would like to go with the zero stem.
    The only thing is the higher bar height. Normally have mine low. But most riders seam to have spacers under the zero stem.
    Is there anything about the fwd geo that means you would prefer the bar higher than on a standard geo bike?

  113. #113
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Ref. bar height not really, it has a 30mm approx effective rise with the stem. I only have a 7mm spacer under mine because my fork was cut, I was trying it first, and you have to be precise with the fork cut/insertion. It's not a problem tho. Perhaps, like me these people are using a low rise bar or maybe higher rise bar.
    My Fwd Geo is very close to where my 29 was in height. It's longer travel by 10mm but similar axle to crown. I have it a little lower than my 29 was. I had 10mm under my 29 stem (Easton 35) so 25mm rise bar and 150mm fork.
    160mm fork, zero stem with steerer cut tight/slammed and 10mm rise bar would be about the same, maybe a touch higher. I prefer it to be a little lower than my saddle but that was tough with the 29. It's largely irrelevant out of the saddle descending tho but would matter climbing.

    Whar size, length TT were you looking at? So you have a bike you are comfortable on now in terms of overall length saddle to bar or more importantly crank axle to handlebar/ effective reach.
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  114. #114
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    I think i'd be looking at a size large foxy as that has 660 TT.
    I'm about 5'10"/5'11" height.

    Currently running a 75mm stem as a compromise. Shorter is to short a reach. Longer is unstable. Hence wanting longer reach to run a shorter stem.
    590 current TT + 75 = 665.
    So the zero stem on the large foxy would be about the same bar to saddle.
    I would go longer as I like the reach but then the seat tube is to long for a dropper.

  115. #115
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Ah yes the seat tube. One of the other key reasons I didn't go Mondraker (apart from wanting to change a few other parts of geo,
    I kinda wanted a Foxy/Dune hybrid but longer, lower(BB and ST), slacker ) I wanted to use a minimum 150mm dropper but as you may have read I'm waiting for a 170mm to 200mm. a 18.5 ST is pushing it for me let alone bigger.
    They had shortened everything for 2014 and optimised around the 30mm stem it seemed. The L was about right for me in 26" but ST still too tall. I wanted longer than 660mm but shorter than 470mm ST, 510mm was way too big.
    Anyways. At your height, it will be pretty much spot on I think. Mine's 10mm longer in high but that's easily dialled in if you want it by using a higher rise bar and rotating it forward to get the right rise/sweep. About 40mm overall adjustment in reach with different rise/sweep/rotation.
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  116. #116
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    My two Fwd Geo Bikes

    Mondraker Dune and Hand made hardtail
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-20140826_161422.jpg  

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-20140826_161651.jpg  

    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-20140826_161824.jpg  


  117. #117
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    Awesome.

    Is it the same geometry as the dune?

  118. #118
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    Is about the same....the main difference is that the hard tail is slacker...64° head angle with 140 fork....it has a 150 fork...so it must be slacker

  119. #119
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Probably about the same with sag, FS won't change much.


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  120. #120
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    A few mini updates/pics. Lovin it..
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995565.417786.jpg
    WMB article last month

    Basque Country riding in Sept.
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995614.740551.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995644.796141.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995666.980911.jpgOrdered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995687.984049.jpg

    Just gratuitous bike pic Finale Freeride in Oct.😊
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995770.747611.jpg
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995788.797636.jpg

    And just because
    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418995818.870833.jpg





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  121. #121
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    the_pilot,

    First off, nicely done!

    I'm curious to know your thoughts now that you've had some more time on the bike. From the geometry/design choices that you made, have you discovered anything that wasn't obvious at first? Or is there anything that you would change?

  122. #122
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Well. Firstly love it. Nothing that wasn't obvious has come to mind ref. the frame.
    Such wide wheels are tyre sensitive I've found. A rounded profile is preferable. Not essential but for my riding style easier.
    Also with the big tyres and wheel the front is not as low with a 10mm stem as I'd now like. However I also discovered I could go, and in fact liked, longer!!! I have my bars rotated forward more.! I could lower it a touch but don't want to cut the steerer any more!
    However this means I would like a little more reach, not seated length, a fact I was already after but bottled going longer still in ETT as I was also wary of the seat tube angle.
    All of the above has proved to be unfounded fear.
    So a 30mm stem is going on to increase the reach and lower the front, The seat is going forward to increase the seat tube angle/shorten/maintain the seated length..
    I could also have gone slacker I think without detriment but it's not necessary for me. The bike is waaaay faster than me.
    Impressions are its so confidence inspiring on steep stuff and difficult terrain, it's fine to get round tight alpine hairpins, just slightly different technique.
    It does beg to be ridden hard and the front to be loaded, you can generate some serious cornering speed.
    It climbs brilliantly!
    It is low. I've switched to high for some terrain, but not often and it's always sorted my problem. 90% of riding it's no problem at all.
    It's not a bike for riding around point to point without some 'interest' the Ion 15 is a better 'one' bike if you want xc long rides too.
    That's not to say you can't do that but it's more exciting if the terrain leans toward sawtooth.
    So what would I change, not much of anything, that I havent been able to do but I could bake it into the frame geo so maybe..
    I could make the seat tube steeper to get the extra reach (76=+20mm) without going longer in the top tube. if anything to keep the front low (it's length and low seat tube mean the front doesn't need to be high to give confident descending, you can stay central and lower cofg rather than lean back and thus maintain traction/control) I could keep the 30mm stem and shorten the ETT by maybe 15mm, slacken the head angle to 64 deg.
    Also perhaps lengthen the chain stays by 10mm to 442mm to centralise the weight distribution more with the relative movement back of the BB when standing for cornering and climbing.
    I may or may not already have a drawing to that spec in front of me from Marcel
    But the reality is, it's great as is and I don't need to change anything, but I am a serial experimenter.
    My friend who runs the Nicolai Bikes Facebook page, Matt Letch (Formerly of Singletrack Magazine) now has a copy of my bike but with 64deg HA, he says it's mad, insane and brilliant for ripping anything with a decent gradient but can be a bit boring if you're just riding it around flat stuff ...but if you ride it with a wild eyed grin and forget the brakes it's (insert swear word) mental




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  123. #123
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    Thanks for such a detailed analysis of the geometry and setup. There is always room for tweaks here and there. I'm a serial experimenter as well so I totally understand - depending on how I like my Foxy, I'm thinking about giving this a try next.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Well. Firstly love it. Nothing that wasn't obvious has come to mind red the frame.
    Such wide wheels are tyre sensitive I've found. A rounded profile is preferable. Not essential but for my riding style easier.
    Also with the big tyres and wheel the front is not as low with a 10mm stem as I'd like. However I also discovered I could go, and in fact liked, longer!!! I have my bars rotated forward.! I could lower it a touch but don't want to cut the steerer any more!
    However this means I would like a little more reach, not seated length, a fact I was already after but bottled going longer still in ETT as I was also wary of the seat tube angle.
    All of the above has proved to be unfounded fear.
    So a 30mm stem is going on to increase the reach and lower the front, The seat is going forward to increase the seat tube angle/shorten/maintain the seated length..
    I could also have gone slacker I think without detriment but it's not necessary for me. The bike is waaaay faster than me.
    Impressions are its so confidence inspiring on steep stuff and difficult terrain, it's fine to get round tight alpine hairpins, just slightly different technique.
    It does beg to be ridden hard and the front to be loaded, you can generate some serious cornering speed.
    It climbs brilliantly!
    It is low. I've switched to high for some terrain, but not often and it's always sorted my problem. 90% of riding it's no problem at all.
    It's not a bike for riding around point to point without some 'interest' the Ion 15 is a better 'one' bike if you want xc long rides too.
    That's not to say you can't do that but it's more exciting if the terrain leans toward sawtooth.
    So what would I change, not much of anything, that I havent been able to do but I could bake it into the frame geo so maybe..
    I could make the seat tube steeper to get the extra reach (76=+20mm) without going longer in the top tube. if anything to keep the front low (it's length and low seat tube mean the front doesn't need to be high to give confident descending, you can stay central and lower cofg rather than lean back) I could keep the 30mm stem and shorten the ETT by maybe 15mm, slacken the head angle to 64 deg.
    Also perhaps lengthen the chain stays by 10mm to 442mm to centralise the weight distribution more with the relative movement back of the BB when standing for cornering and climbing.
    I may or may not already have a drawing to that spec in front of me from Marcel
    But the reality is, it's great as is and I don't need to change anything, but I am a serial experimenter.
    My friend who runs the Nicolai Bikes Facebook page, Matt Letch (Formerly of Singletrack Magazine) now has a copy of my bike but with 64deg HA, he says it's mad, insane and brilliant for ripping anything with a decent gradient but can be a bit boring if you're just riding it around flat stuff ...but if you ride it with a wild eyed grin and forget the brakes it's (insert swear word) mental

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  124. #124
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Foxy is a great bike. I couldn't get it long enough without the seat tube getting too big to fit my 200mm dropper post nor slack enough but a ride on one followed by borrowing it started this journey for me.
    I also prefer the more immediate start of the stroke on the Ion setup and wanted more travel for the Alps.
    As an everyday bike the Foxy rocks.



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  125. #125
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    pilot, nice analysis. It was down to you and CP that I started thinking about FWG in the first place, thanks. I took the easier route and bought a Dune and I am not regretting it.

  126. #126
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    Ordered: Ion 16 Fwd Geo Custom

    Loamranger yes CP also makes interesting discussion, had a few exchanges with him...he's a bit more extreme than me but we aren't far off I don't think. CP has come back a bit after his experiments.
    I like the Dune too. Same problem for me, for the length (tho longer than everything else) ST just too tall for my shortarse legs with a big dropper post.
    I rode one in Spain this year and really liked it.
    I don't think fwd geo is for everyone but I think you know really quickly if you try one if it is



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  127. #127
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    Guys, Pilot,
    any thoughts on the Mojo Nicolai Geometron, seems like Porter has gone even further on forward geometry with this pretty radical design.
    I started a new thread in case anyones got any thoughts
    MOJO SUSPENSION ::: Mojo Nicolai GeoMetron
    Mojo and Nicolai team up to offer a unique new suspension bike - MBR

  128. #128
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    Further? His extreme long version is very close to mine in length, bar head angle (it does add 40ish mm admittedly and 10mm CS) ..
    Head angle slacker and seat tube inherently steeper.
    I think the head angle is too slack for me. I said that. Marcel at Nicolai also finds it extreme for the flatter trail riding. Having said that they also felt that about my slacker Ion15 which I certainly didn't, so don't knock it 'till youve tried it probably rings true here...
    I think mine could go to 64 and I'd be ok with it but I've never found the limits of 65.5. It's not enough of a draw to make a new frame (yet) or buy a new fork (can't fit an angleset coz my steerer is too short to take an external lower cup!) Matts is 64deg and he loves it but he's in Hebden, which is all steep. But i'd give 64 a go..
    On the ST, that's both to gain reach without an even longer TT and counteract the 63deg head angle for climbing in addition to 445mm chainstays (13mm longer than std)
    I do have my saddle forward (15mm) such that the SA is close (76.5deg approx) as now I've added a 30mm stem and dropped the front by 35mm. My reach is longer, which I wanted, but I needed to shorten the ETT. I'm cool with the shorter stays.
    I don't need even the SA with my steeper HA and so far have felt no need for the Slacker HA!
    All in all, I applaud where Chris has gone. You can try it to see if it's for you. Obviously the suspension pivot position and everything is tied into the Fox suspension e.g sag is set to make the SA around 75 when climbing and pivot point changed to max out anti squat in the climbing gear with rates tuned to the shock too. So set up right it will be great and the opportunity to do that at BPW, with the servicing etc, I think its a great way to go with a performance bike.

    However, I dont like the name etc...i think it could be more classy.. Also not my choice of running gear, although I do like the idea of the new 36 as its lighter than a Deville.

    Now I have the 200mm dropper, tyres that work with my 40mm rims, longer reach, lower front, not much I'm not happy with. I will put a short shock for 140mm rear UK use but that's it. If I get bored I might try a 1.5 angleset and stump up for a new fork but I doubt it...
    I fancy trying a 26" rear wheel first


    Edited for errors and revised measurements!


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    Last edited by the_pilot; 04-05-2015 at 03:16 PM.
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  129. #129
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    Hey Pilot,
    thanks for the comprehensive reply
    I think I might try it and if i do I'll post.
    it'll be a little while though. maybe a carpark test if I make it to Wales sooner.

    thanks mate

    neil
    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    I think the head angle is too slack for me. I said that. Marcel at Nicolai also finds it extreme for the flatter trail riding. Having said that they also felt that about my slacker Ion15 which I certainly didn't, so don't knock it 'till youve tried it probably rings true here...

  130. #130
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    Update: Well I was in Hebden the t'other week and I tried Matt's bike which is the same as mine in geo but slacker...confession time; Whilst I still don't need the slacker head angle per se for my riding, I have to admit I did like the way it steered, it had a slightly damped feel to it at slower speeds, (some impact of different tyres but not huge)so I've ordered a works headset for mine and because I'm building my wife a bike I have the opportunity to sort the fork situation out with a longer steerer.

    It was also obvious in Hebden why Matt loves it so much, it was just in it's element.

    I didn't ride it at high speed so can't comment if it slows the whole thing down too much but thats a risk I am happy to take and I doubt it.

    Mudfish, you're welcome to a bash on mine if you want, not sure where you're based?
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  132. #132
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    Hey Santi, that is excellent. I read your thread. As the person who originally did the work on the Ion15, I understand your comment of 'boat' I don't completely agree as the feeling is one of indestructible it steam rollers the trail, which is what some want but others less so. You are obviously less so. I also could not agree more that fwd geometry is great. As mentioned here I think it could be too much for a 29, but the Mondraker Crafty is interesting.
    I have discussed a similar 26/27.5 design with Marcel but am happy with the 27. Version I have now I think ...
    I have a very tall friend who is looking for a bike to fit him, he is 196cm and would need 690mm ETT and a good reach, of perhaps 515mm. He also wants higher front but not too long a bike.
    I think this could work well for him, 27.5 to keep the rear short but 29 to keep the front high without too tall HT and roll well, without the need to have too slack a HA with the increased trail of the 29, again helping to keep the bike shorter.
    I think I will study your drawing.
    One other way is to move the ST angle to 76 or 77deg to increase reach but not the ETT.

    Thanks for posting, it's always good to hear how such projects turn out..



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  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pilot View Post
    Hey Santi, that is excellent. I read your thread. As the person who originally paid the work in the Ion15, I understand your comment of 'boat' I don't completely agree as the feeling is one of indestructible, which is what some want but others less so. You are obviously less so. I also could not agree more for fed geometry. As mentioned here I think it could be too much for a 29, but the Mondraker Crafty is interesting.
    I have discussed a similar 26/27.5 design with Marcel but am happy with the 27. Version I have now I think...
    I have a very tall friend who is looking for a bike to fit him, he is 196cm and would need 690mm ETT and a good reach, of perhaps 515mm. He also wants higher front but not too long a bike.
    I think this could work well for him, 27.5 to keep the rear short but 29 to keep the front high without too tall HT and roll well, without the need to have too slack a HA with the increased trail of the 29, again helping to keep the bike shorter.
    I think I will study your drawing.
    One other way is to move the ST angle to 76 or 77deg to increase reach but not the ETT.

    Thanks for posting, it's always good to hear how such projects turn out..



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  134. #134
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    I hope that came across ok, even though I made some spelling errors!
    In summary, fwd geometry is great and I really like your design. I will discuss this with Marcel with a 76deg SA and 690 mm top tube I think



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  135. #135
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    Great thread and fantastic bike SANTI-AGO, it might just be the perfect replacement for my AC 29er

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    Interestingly if you drop out the front in my Ion16 for a 29, obviously ignoring small axle to crown differences, essentially you have the same geometry within mm, just 29 front.
    My friend is open to the idea anyway...


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  137. #137
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    Very demanding test this weekend in Asturias, Spain
    I can not be happier with the performance of the Ion FG 29 / 27.5
    sensational











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    Santi-Ago

    Really like this project. What led you to the idea of 29/27.5?

    How tall are you and what stem length are you using?

    Cheers.

  139. #139
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    Thanks Pilot and Santi-Ago...food for thought

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    Looks like a 20mm stem. At 661mm ETT I'll guess 5'11" or around 180cm


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    Last edited by the_pilot; 05-27-2015 at 05:50 AM. Reason: stem length guess mod!
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  141. #141
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    Looks like I will be doing a project based on the 27.5/29 concept for my very tall friend, he very much likes the idea/benefits for a tall person.

    I think perhaps a little less travel at the front and rear.
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  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    Santi-Ago

    Really like this project. What led you to the idea of 29/27.5?

    How tall are you and what stem length are you using?

    Cheers.
    the stem is 10 mm for my 1.85 cms
    The reason for the chosen configuration was willing to seek a more agile and responsive back than my previous ION 15
    For it had no choice but to shorten the pods and in that case the only solution was to reduce wheel dialmetro
    On the other hand did not want to give up the benefits they offered me my front / fork wheel 29..mejor obsaculos step, trust etc
    Finally I saw this post and having consulted with some users Mondraker about your experience with the FG, they left me no doubt.
    My new bike would be a combination of 29 and 27.5 FG trying to measures and were not overly radical angles.
    I think the result could not have been better. I'm excited about the behavior of the bike.

  143. #143
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    Great news, Pilot. I'll watch with interest...any cheaper if you order two?


    Cheers

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by SANTI-AGO View Post
    Very demanding test this weekend in Asturias, Spain
    I can not be happier with the performance of the Ion FG 29 / 27.5
    sensational











    Very nice, How are you finding the CCDB Air??

  145. #145
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    I am in the process of ordering an ion16. Sorry to derail but is a wire transfer the only form of payment available state side ? Thanks!

  146. #146
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    Hi v0n if ordering direct that is the only way from anywhere not just the states.

    There is a distributer/dealer in the U.S. now that you can use too.


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  147. #147
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    Cool. Just wanted to confirm before I wired it. Now comes the wait!

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