What's up with the new Salsa "Dos Niner"?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    The Top Cap Guy
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    What's up with the new Salsa "Dos Niner"?

    Just got a new 2005 Salsa catalog and they have a Scandium Softail 29er frame in there now??? Anyone heard about this before? Here are the pics from the catalog I have...





    Anyone, anyone???

    Later
    FF
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  2. #2
    Witty McWitterson
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    Yup. It's there allright. Full scandium pivotless softtail. Do a search, it seems to be pretty 'hot' right now. Rumors have been floating for a while about it actually.
    Just a regular guy.

  3. #3
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    4.1lb/1860g for the 18" size??? Then it only adds some 300g to a similar Fisher frame, the XL should be just around 2000g. I dig that bike, thanks for the bruchure pics Fred, we only had some Eurobike frame pics before.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  4. #4
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    Just 1 inch ????

    Ya know, you can get about 2" of travel out of a $100 thudbuster. I hope this isn't an expensive frame????? What's the point????

  5. #5
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    I guess, a Thudbuster doesn't help much in the traction department when you're hammering up a climb standing. Also, the Thud's linkage is more likely to develop play.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Freddy
    Anyone, anyone???

    Later
    FF
    If I squint hard enough, it looks like a 24.4" ETT on the XL/22"?? Do-able..yes indeed....

    FF, I'll be on Broadway the first week of Nov.

  7. #7
    The Top Cap Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29inch
    FF, I'll be on Broadway the first week of Nov.
    I've moved - shoot me a email before you come so I can make sure you have my #!

    Later
    FF
    "If I'm leading, I'm bleeding."

  8. #8
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    Man that looks interesting. What is the effective top tube length fo their biggest size? Does anyone know what a ball park price might be?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29inch
    If I squint hard enough, it looks like a 24.4" ETT on the XL/22"?? Do-able..yes indeed....

    FF, I'll be on Broadway the first week of Nov.
    Guess it is 24.4...sorry

  10. #10
    34N 118W
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    Vegas ride report

    so far this was the ONLY bike I test rode in 2 days of demo'ing whatever the hell I pleased. I gotta say I was not thoroughly impressed.. Maybe it was all the hype, maybe it was the crappy Winwood 29" fork that was spec'd on the demo bikes. The rear shock gets an inch of pivotless travel, and the rear triangle was probably smooth but I was too thrown off by that $%[email protected] fork IMO. Sorry this isn't a raving review, it was also my first decent test ride on a 29"er.

    later
    HW

  11. #11
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    winwood

    I gotta say, guys, I've ridden the winwood quite a bit and I've ridden the .8 and two flavors of zokes quite a bit also, and while the Winwood is not my favorite of them all, but it's not my least favorite, either. Maybe these weren't set up right for you, whatever, but I don't see how the fork can ruin the ride of the bike!!? Even with full lockout, it still rides at least as well as a KM fork. My point is, I know the fork, we just want a review of how the bike rides, please.

  12. #12
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    Pricey

    Their Juan Solo SS frame 26", sells for about $700, and it's not Scandium. My cheasy source indicated somwhere around $1100 for the frame...way to much. D
    GET Bret Weir, I said.

  13. #13
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    Will probably pass on it myself

    A Jones One 29er picture existed on my computer for many weeks till that picture of the Salsa was posted here. I have given serious, serious thought to buying one assuming all the reports were good. Now, I hear from Shiggy that the clearance in the rear is not near what intially reported. And, it maybe as high as $1100.

    So, it's now between a steel/Ti hardtail or a Lenz Leviathan. Hmmmm... I wish I could have both!

  14. #14
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    Too bad about the tire clearance ...

    although it seems to be a common problem (though not universal) on softtails. That'd be a deal-killer for me: no mud clearance!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganClydesdale
    Their Juan Solo SS frame 26", sells for about $700, and it's not Scandium. My cheasy source indicated somwhere around $1100 for the frame...way to much. D
    Actually the Juan Solo frame is Scandium, as is the Dos Niner.
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  16. #16
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    price of dos niner

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckc1971
    A Jones One 29er picture existed on my computer for many weeks till that picture of the Salsa was posted here. I have given serious, serious thought to buying one assuming all the reports were good. Now, I hear from Shiggy that the clearance in the rear is not near what intially reported. And, it maybe as high as $1100.

    So, it's now between a steel/Ti hardtail or a Lenz Leviathan. Hmmmm... I wish I could have both!
    So, if Salsa's scandium hardtail retails at about $650, and their f/s @ $1000 with a sid, I'm guessing between $8-900 for the dos niner. Can someone provide us the answer??? IMO, mud clearance or not, that's a lot cheaper than a Leviathon. I am also considering both, but I think fit is going to be a more important criteria. The Lenz sounds great, but I'm a bit stuck on the slackish HA and shortish TT, not to mention potentially double the $$$.

  17. #17
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    Good point ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    I guess, a Thudbuster doesn't help much in the traction department when you're hammering up a climb standing. Also, the Thud's linkage is more likely to develop play.
    I thought that climbers WANTED hardtails to eliminate pedal bob. Isn't that what the "holy grail" brain shock is all about????

    I"m not dissing the concept. I think it's kinda cool. But something tells me this sexy new concept is going to come up big in the $$$ department.

    If not, darn it would be a nice mate for a thudbuster provided that shock has some SERIOUS dampening.

  18. #18
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    Some climbers never see trails that as for FS to reach the top. Some FS riders never see trails that are worth even trying on a hardtail. Some riders blow away others regardless of bike design.
    I'm intrigued in softtails as an alternative to Jones' fully compliant design, and similars. Can't imagine it comparing to a full FS bike when the terrain forces me to go rear suspension.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  19. #19
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    Not really a "sexy new concept"

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    I"m not dissing the concept. I think it's kinda cool. But something tells me this sexy new concept is going to come up big in the $$$ department.
    Softails (pivotless rear suspension) have been around for a loooooong time. Decades. Nothing new about them. Is that what you're calling a sexy new concept?

    Never heard of the Moots YBB? The first steel ones were made way back in the 80's.

    They have their place. Sure, it's only plus or minus an inch of travel. But for distance riding, that inch takes the edge off. You have to pretty much ride them like a hardtail, but they're just a touch, uh, softer.

    I rode a (baby wheel) YBB as my main bike for six seasons, up 'til last Fall. It's gone now. I wouldn't ever bother with a softail again. But partially that's because my steel bigwheel hardtail rides very similarly to a softail 26" bike. I have to ride it like a hardtail, but it's just a little softer (because of the way the wheel rolls).

    YMMV.
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  20. #20
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    I thought you were supposed to hop ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Some climbers never see trails that as for FS to reach the top. Some FS riders never see trails that are worth even trying on a hardtail. Some riders blow away others regardless of bike design.
    I'm intrigued in softtails as an alternative to Jones' fully compliant design, and similars. Can't imagine it comparing to a full FS bike when the terrain forces me to go rear suspension.
    I thought you were supposed to start hopping once the terrain gets too bumpy (rooty) to maintain traction. I can't do it myself. But thats what I see the guys doing in the videos.

    If the frame is cheap, I think they'll have some takers. Getting a frame with a little flex in the back sounds appealing. And Honestly as a Clydesdale, I think it would help on wear and tear on the bike to have that 1" travel in the back (in terms of wear and tear).

    But I people who covet full suspension will skip this entirely. And hardtailers will skip it if it's too expensive.

  21. #21
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    Positive review

    Chris at Speedgoat's Outdoor Demo quotes (from their website)...


    NEW SALSA 29'ER SOFT-TAIL
    Getting down to business here, it's time to talk 29'ers. I tend to be turning up my nose to "normal" 26"-wheeled bikes entirely these days, and I can only figure that this is because:

    A) I'm getting old and cranky, and I like what I like and everyone else is just wrong.

    B) 29'ers really do just kick ass.

    So I made every effort to ride 29'ers today, and got some time on the Lenzsport with the new 100mm White Brothers fork (that's the fork I use myself on my personal bike, but the Lenz headtube felt way slack), a Karate Monkey (just can't keep away from that frame), and this new soft-tail 29'er from Salsa. I have to say the new Salsa 29'er was absolutely perfect for the terrain out here, and I can't wait to try one at home in the Southwest PA trails. This was definitely the bike of the day for me. It handled amazingly well, and those steep chutes of loose sand and wild roller-coaster climbs were no problem for the Dos. I wish I could have ridden this bike all day. It's that good.

  22. #22
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    Sounds like Chris can isolate a frame's performance from the fork's very well, first positive report on the Salsa so far. Curiously he, too, reports the headtube on the Lenz is slack, and he even has an Asylum project running at work.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  23. #23
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    "Can't imagine it comparing to a full FS bike when the terrain forces me to go rear suspension."

    This isn't in Holland is it? ;-)

    I find the Lenz TT length perrty good for me, but the head angle is much slacker than I would like. Anyway, for now I an sticking to a hardtail.

    P::..

  24. #24
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    ... and if we just ... Dos Niner

    Just got back from Interbike. I spent a little time on the dos Niner and felt that it performed admirably. I rode it on Monday. Talked to another well versed 29er rider on Tues. and he said he hated it. I don't know if the damper was all mucked up by Tues. or what but I know that it was much smoother than either one of my hardtails. I would much prefer the BW.8 on the front, but the frame (20") fit me pretty well. I currently have a KM and a Scal, and would love to add this steed to my quiver. I am from the midwest and the softail had just enough suspension to make me happy. Medium frame weighs less than 4 lbs. and I like the geometry. I rode the Lenz too. Great all-around bike. Makes me want to get rid of my $2500 baby wheel duallie!

  25. #25
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    Salsa point of view

    Hi. My name is Mike "Kid" Riemer and I'm the Marketing guy for Salsa. I just want to be upfront about that so no one comes up with a "well of course he's gonna like it" response later.

    The Dos Niner is a new frame for us for 2005. Obviously, you've seen photos of it and such. It is a Scandium frame, pivotless softtail design. The frame uses our proprietary rear "Relish" shock and provides one inch of rear travel. The rear shock is air adjustable, with non-adjustable oil damping. Adjustable damping in a shock yielding 1" of travel is simply unrealistic and in our opinion, unneccesary.

    Why one inch of travel? As Team BFD mentioned above, that inch of travel takes the edge off. That's particularily true with the bigger 700c (29'er) wheels.

    Here's what we know: different folks are gonna have different opinions. Mike Curiak knocked it but wasn't willing to tell us at the Dirt Demo. Chris from Speedgoat loved it. Most of the folks at Dirt Demo seemed quite pleased with the ride. The Dos Niner was definitely the bike garnering most of the attention at our outdoor booth.

    I was a bit skeptical before I got to spend some time on a prototype. I thought the bike wouldn't handle well in tight singletrack. I thought it wouldn't turn well. Thought it would feel long, etc.

    My rides on the prototype made a few things clear:

    -There is crazy traction on the Dos Niner. The back end hooks up incredibly well.
    -An inch of travel with the big wheels really does smooth out a lot of the roots and rocks on the trail.
    -You definitely can turn over a bigger gear while riding the bigger hoops.
    -The bike never felt long, or unwieldy in the singletrack.

    There are places and riders for which we see the Dos Niner as an ideal bike. MSRP for the frame is around $1100. The frames should be available in January.

    There's more I could say as well, but my Interbike-induced headcold is taking a toll on my brain at this very moment.

    Thanks for taking an interest in the Dos Niner. It is a fun bike.

    Remember to support your local bike shop.
    -Kid

  26. #26
    indigosky
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    Kid... your opinion on the Winwood on the front...

    Kid:

    The other "sticking" point people brought up was the Winwood fork. The reviews on the boards have been mixed, and I've noticed in the Dos Niner ads (the top of this post) the Winwood is present, but in the indoor Interbike shots the Dos Niner sported a Marz fork. Any thoughts?

  27. #27
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    Kid,

    How about making a wider rim than the Salsa Delgado for 29ers? I love my Delgados, but wider is better when it comes to off road 700c wheels.

  28. #28
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    Regarding the Winwood forks: We used them on the Dos Niner at our Outdoor Demo booth in order to help out the Winwood brand with visibility of their product. We will definitely pass on the feedback we received at the Demo to Winwood.

    Keep in mind, Salsa is selling the Dos Niner as a frame and rear shock. The Dos Niner in our booth at the show used a Marzocchi. A dealer can build up a Dos Niner any way they choose: Winwood, Marz, White Bros, R.S. Reba if they can get their hands on one, you name it.

    Regarding a wider 29'er hoop than the Delgado X. I will pass that information on directly to our engineer as we are working on new hoops at present, including a disc only 700c/29'er rim.

    Thanks folks.

  29. #29
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    Huh?

    Hey Kid-

    Thanks for bringing a 29"er to market. I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned that here yet, but I think we all agree that more is better, as it lends legitimacy to the movement and will ultimately lead to more choices in tires, rims, forks, etc...

    I agree with a lot of your comments, especially about softtails taking the edge off 'just enough' to make things comfy.

    In theory anyway. I think the Dos Niner would probably make a great softtail, IF THE REAR END ACTUALLY MOVED. When I first threw a leg over it, I thought, "Something must be wrong--this thing isn't moving". So, after having gone less than 100 yards from your booth, I turned around and had Josh Yablon adjust the psi. He did so quickly and without compaint, and I headed out on the demo loop with my friend Rick, who was also on a Dos Niner. On the short climb we both commented that, despite exaggerated bouncing on the saddle, there was little noticable movement coming from the rear end on either bike. To be clear, when I say little I mean less than 2mm of movement in the shock.

    At the time, I chalked it up to the fact that bikes had already been ridden hard in the desert dirt and dust for two days, and likely without any maintenance.

    Rick and I dropped in and did the short singletrack descent, then rolled back into the expo area. We agreed that the rear end felt very harsh, pretty much identical to an aluminum hardtail, and left it at that.

    When we got back to your booth we were asked what we thought, and while I don't remember my exact words, I said something similar to what I just wrote above--that it was probably due to the dirt and grit and two days of pounding, but I didn't feel anything but harsh. Rick nodded in agreement. No one offered any explanation, so we left.

    I agree with one of your initial comments above--that different people are going to have different opinions. I heard a lot of different people's takes on this bike, and to be very honest 75+% of them were identical to mine--they thought it was harsh, period. The others thought that it was just so-so in the ride department, but severely limited by the tire clearance issue.

    One thing I didn't point out in my mini-review (due to space constraints) was that I thought the bike had a balanced feel to it. I expected it to feel short (based on published tt length) but I was comfortable on the bike straight out of the box.

    Also, I did mention in my mini-review that I wasn't ready to write it off yet--that I wanted another ride. I have a very small shop here in GJ that sells exclusively 29" bikes and accoutrements, and the Dos would fill a huge void for my customers that want more than an HT but can't afford an FS. In short, I WANT the bike to work, but I gotta call a spade a spade.

    Hope that clears things up.

    MC

  30. #30
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    Mike,

    I'm very interested in your feedback on the Dos Niner and would like to ask a couple of questions regarding the methodology of the feedback. What I am trying to get a feel for is how objective your methods for the feedback are. When you are talking about the Harshness of the ride are you taking into account the fact that you currently ride a Ti Moots YBB? The YBB uses springs and elastomers for absobtion vs. the air shock of the Dos Niner. Immediately the YBB is going to be a more active suspension system as a result of this. Also, I'm wondering if you have taken into account the frame materials. For example, I own a Moots RigorMootis, prior to this I owned a Kona Kula. The Moots is noticeably more compliant than the aluminum hardtail ever was. I had the opportunity to ride a Moots YBB while in Vegas and noticed that it was extremely active. I attribute that to it being sprung to light for my weight. However, at the time I was very suprised by the activeness. I noticed bobbing on every pedal stroke, but the bike rode extremely well on climbing and was noticeably more plush on downhills. Every suspended bike that I rode at DD, I felt was setup terrible, because they weren't tuned for me. It would take a whole lot of time and several longer rides to tune a suspended bike to anyone. I know the Salsa guys changed the air pressure in the shock for you, but was it still to much? I hope this doesn't come off as an attack on you, because it is not. It just helps consumers and the rest of us on the board know your ideas. Thanks for any insight that you can provide.

  31. #31
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    I forgot to add!

    It would be interesting to see if there is anyone out there that has ridden an aluminum and ti version of John Castellano's frame design. So if anyone has, please enlighten us with a comparison of the two. I have not ridden one, but my hypothesis would be that it is the most active softail out there. Those beautifully machined plates of Ti and Aluminum have got to flex more than any round or manipulated stay around. However I could be proven wrong, and that is why it is a hypothesis. Thanks again for any insight anyone can provide.

  32. #32
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    Kid, great to have you on here and take in our comments. Unfortunately I am based in Europe and had to miss out on all the 29"Internbike action.
    I'm on the market for a more-than-hardtail bike, and already have Fishers and KM hardtails which I love (especially the KM). I'm a huge Salsa fan.
    Still, the pictures of the tire clearance alone would be enough for me to shy away from the Dos Niner. A bike made to be comfortable that only allows 2.1" on clean courses, and 1" of travel, that hardly seems worth it to me. Please do convince me otherwise, I must admit I've never ridden a softtail my size. Is offering just 10mm of extra tire clearance (I just remember the vertical seatstay clearance pics) going to such an engineering nightmare?
    If after more than a century of offroad biking it all will prove to be about having things in proportions, don't be too amazed if 2.2-2.3" tires will become the standard for dry 29" riding.
    I take Mike's reservations on the shock action seriously. Perhaps the shock's smoothness and the chaintays' flex don't need some adjustment? Or do you think Mike never had the psi dropped enough to take advantage of the sock?
    I don't know you're prior 29" experience, but if a 29"has "decent" traction, it's a bad 29" bike. The expectations for a 29" softtail are really high, and if you meet them, you have a truely unique product, especially at €1100.

    Softtails specialists out there, how much of the 1" travel should the frame use on an average XC ride? 90%? 50%? Or even bottom a few times per ride? A few mm's of travel as Mike and Rick experienced seem like not much with 25mm's available.

    Looking forward to your thoughts.
    Oh, I must add that the graphics on the Dos Niner are way cool, if it were "just" a Scandium hardtail (less for us tech weenies to have reservations on), I'd have difficulty resisting is as a replacement of my Fisher. My wide MotoAce bars would go nicely with it.

    Thanks for Salsa's support of the 29" movement, you guys rock!

    Happy trails,

    J
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  33. #33
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    Dos Niner Feeback

    Folks, this is Kid from Salsa again..

    Mike C - Undoubtably there was too much air in the shock you were riding. Chuck here weighs a whopping 154lbs soaking wet and he rode with 25psi in the rear shock this weekend at got full travel. He also had someone ride behind him to check the shocks action. If you are interested in trying out the Dos Niner again on your home turf I'll be happy to arrange that. No hard feelings if I seemed a little torqued at your review, but we did receive a heck of a lot of very positive feedback about the bike at Dirt Demo.


    Regarding Clearance - Yes, it is a bit tight on the seat stays, but we have not experienced any jam ups yet riding the bike. People may say it is unrealistic to avoid big mud rides where jams the frame, but they should also consider the consequences of riding in that kind of crap. The buyer knows their riding habits and trail conditions and will have to determine what will or won't be a problem for them. Personally, I got tired of riding in big slop a few years ago. It just isn't fun for me anymore and trashes the trails.

    Price - It makes me nervous to bring it up in this format because people might misinterpret the reasons for it, but the pricing for the Dos Niner with Relish shock is actually lower than I mentioned in a previous post. The new MSRP around $1050 is based on a revised look at tooling costs and the positive feedback from Interbike. I was just given that pricing update today.

    Cloxxki - My personal feeling regarding how often someone should run through their travel:
    On an average XC ride, I think the rider should run through their travel at least 4 times. If they don't, they are not getting the full benefit of the suspension travel. I believe that regardless of whether they have 25mm of travel or 100mm of travel.

    Thanks again for the interest in the Dos Niner. And for letting me talk bikes with you all. Enjoy your night.

    -Kid

  34. #34
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    Hey Kid

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss the bike from a manufacturers stand point. I know we all appreciate you getting involved with the board, and know if you take the suggestions you get here for any improvements, you will get a loyal following. If you need a professional 29er "Wrecking Crew" - these are the folks

  35. #35
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    Kid -

    I have nothing to really add about the new Salsa Dos Niner. I am excited that new frames are coming to the market.

    My comment is that I very much appreciate your willingness to come onto the forum and discuss both the positives and negatives of your new frame design. I believe that this shows Salsa (and Soma and Walt and Wily and Ritchey) is actually committed to making a bike for people that actually RIDE BIKES and that is admirable in my book!

    I have purchased a fork from Wily, am in the process of purchasing a frame from Walt, and I will buy one of the Salsa frames sometime in '05 because of the backing that you all have put into the 29"er movement and the effort you all have put into taking our feedback.

    I do not smoke, drink (much), golf (much) or do drugs - I work, hang out w/ my wife and ride bikes with friends. Thanks for working at making the biking portion more enjoyable!

    Lance

  36. #36

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    Hi Mike,

    Hows it going I don't think I have seen you sense the 2000 Chequamagon were I raced the 29er for the first time. Do you know when the Dos Niner will be avalible? I am leaving in two weeks to CA for the winter and would like to get one. Can Genes shop get them?


    Thanks

    Jeff Roy

  37. #37
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    Kid

    Mike

    Yes, I'd like to ride the bike again, especially on my home turf. I have (and love) a 29" Moots softtail that gets demo'ed by others more often than it gets ridden by me. It is very rarely in the garage for long before someone else shows up to borrow it. Everyone that rides it loves it, until they find out the price. Despite the price I've sold two of them this summer, and I think that number would easily jump sky-high if they were more affordable. Seems like that's where the Dos comes in, provided that the ride quality is there.

    MC

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    377

    What's up Jeff?

    Quote Originally Posted by s29er
    Hi Mike,

    Hows it going I don't think I have seen you sense the 2000 Chequamagon were I raced the 29er for the first time. Do you know when the Dos Niner will be avalible? I am leaving in two weeks to CA for the winter and would like to get one. Can Genes shop get them?


    Thanks

    Jeff Roy
    Hi Jeff,
    Welcome to the forum. You were riding the first 29er I've ever seen over four years ago! I haven't ridden anything BUT 29ers for the last three, but you were waaaay ahead of your time, even though I am still riding the same tire you probably were!
    J. Richards once had an article about you and your machine, that really got me thinking...since then, it has been smoooth rollin...Thanks! Geno's shop will be able to get the Dos Niner, but unless he's on a very special list, it won't be for a while. Good luck,
    Nate H.

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