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Slow Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a tall (6'5") 26" rider and seriously looking at a 29er, RIP 9, for my "XC" bike. I am a little concerned about the 29er head angles. They seem steep for tech riding (downhill in rocks). They do not seem to be very "all mountain" which is what I want. A 29er to hot rod and not so nervous in steep stuff and tech.

I understand a 26" equiv head angle is 1 degree less so the 71.5 is really like a 70.5 angle on a 26". My Trance has a 70 HA.

In tech I want to keep my hands behind the axel to help keep the front from wanting to pivot and thus sending you over. The taller tire will minimize the tendency to stall and pivot, but how much? For example what I know is my Coiler with a 66 HA and 6" fork and my Trance with a 70 HA and 4" fork. Both have 70mm stems.

Anyone got any insights you can share about 29er bike handling in comparison to the kinds of 26" bikes I know.
 

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Jacob 34:19
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You seem to be asking for two different things. XC and All Mountain very different animals. If "XC" to "Trail" is what you're looking for, the RIP with a 100 or 120mm fork should suit you fine. If you're looking more for "All Mountain" you might look towards Niner's WFO or one of the Lenz rides.

Mikesee, Padre, and others have posted quite a bit about longish travel 29ers. Keep in mind, real tires and longer travel forks for such a thing are just coming to market.

As for the OTB thing, I wouldn't worry too much about HTA in that regard. It's more a factor of BB height compared to axle height that makes the 29ers more difficult to face plant. In general, most 29ers run longish top tubes anyway so shorter stems are pretty common.

Good luck.
 

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Try the DW Sultan

120mm of travel and a 70.5 HA. I put 12 miles on one at a demo and pulled no punches as far as technical riding goes and it worked great, and by your math it would act like it had a 69 deg HA:thumbsup:
 

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Vaginatarian
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my 08 rip with the new Reba 120 has a HA of just 70 degrees, which I find Ideal. I earlier had a WB130 and it noticably slowed the steering / handling

maybe the Reba with Uturn would do it for you or if you dont mind fiddling, you can add spacers and lower the 120 to 100 or 80
I might also add that the 20mm maxle makes a huge difference in handling the rough stuff
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Well, it is a bit more complex than just a head angle deal.

You've got head angle, you've got fork offset, you've got bigger wheels with more gyroscopic effect, and the thing will roll over stuff better to begin with.

Generally speaking, you don't have to have as slack a head angle to achieve the downhill stability with a 29"er as you do with a 26"er, but that is a generalization.

They are really pretty different beasts, so making any sort of web based call on it is rather dicey. Test rides are where it is at, if you can get one, then you will know for yourself.
 

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Have you demo'd one yet? You won't really understand until you ride one. I didn't.

I would consider 100mm of travel on a 29er all mountain, just because of what I was able to ride. The big wheels. The..... big wheels.

Try em'. You won't be thinking head angles. you'll be thinking "Oh shoot, this is amazing! I can't believe I just rode over that!"

cranK
 

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dan0 said:
my 08 rip with the new Reba 120 has a HA of just 70 degrees, which I find Ideal. I earlier had a WB130 and it noticably slowed the steering / handling

maybe the Reba with Uturn would do it for you or if you dont mind fiddling, you can add spacers and lower the 120 to 100 or 80
I might also add that the 20mm maxle makes a huge difference in handling the rough stuff
*Squeezing an OT Q* Dan - did you get the HA with your 130/RIP combo??
 

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Okie, dokie, guess I'm one of the most qualified to answer here since I rode a Trance before the RIP9 - which BTW was an excellent bike, just not a 29er, which was the main reason I switched + I got a 3/4" longer ETT.

Compared to the Trance, the RIP9 is a 29er version of it almost IMHO. When I built up the RIP9 I expected it'd feel quite a bit different with the 29er wheels, different geo and all - it didn't! When I first hopped on it I felt right at home, no "learning curve" for me. Only the RIP9 was more stable, especially in slow turns and don't lets start about when you point it DH :eekster: I had a few "Oh ****" moments that really shouldn't have been.

Anyways for more insight into what I thought check out the initial report. Hope this helps some, oh and that was with a 100mm, old school reba with the 38mm offset, throw on one of the nice 120mm TA forks with 46mm offset and definitely even more confidence - I have a Minute 120 but not a lot of time yet and back on the Reba for now till I get the fix kit from Manitou.

Norman, also check out my blog for more ride reports on the RIP9 from this summers Colorado trip.
 

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I rode a buddy's Rip9 with a WB 130 fork, and found it to be incredibly fun and capable through tech terrain. I ride a lot of downhill/freeride on a bike with a 66 degree head angle and 180mm fork, and ride/race XC on a quick-steering Spider 29er with a 72 degree head angle, so I've got plenty of experience on both ends of the spectrum. The Rip with a longer fork was awesome- light enough to be quick on the uphills yet solid enough to hit all the trail drops without thinking twice. A 120mm Reba with a thru axle would give you similar solid performance.

More than the head angle, what you'll miss in going to a 29er is shorter chainstays. The Rip isn't bad in that department, but it is noticeable going from a 26er to a 29er with stays that are a half to three quarters of an inch longer. Definitely worth the trade-off, though.
 

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NormanPCN said:
In tech I want to keep my hands behind the axel to help keep the front from wanting to pivot and thus sending you over. The taller tire will minimize the tendency to stall and pivot, but how much? For example what I know is my Coiler with a 66 HA and 6" fork and my Trance with a 70 HA and 4" fork. Both have 70mm stems.
How tech is your riding?

Do you want a 29er to ride downhill like your Trance, or your Coiler? Most 29ers will handle closer to the former, with a tad more stability thrown into the mix. I went from a Flux to a Sultan (with a WB 135 fork) and even tho the HTAs were pretty close between the two, the Sultan def felt more stable. It was not as flickable or quick as the Flux, tho.

But if you want something as stable as your Coiler with it's 66 deg HTA (and designed specifically for going fast downhill) You are going to have a tougher time finding something like that in a 29er (at this point in time--tho a couple of long travel 29ers do exist). I've had 3 29ers, but will still take my 6" travel bike over any of them for going fast downhill, esp through rocks and chunk. YMMV.
 

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Vaginatarian
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bonesetter2004 said:
*Squeezing an OT Q* Dan - did you get the HA with your 130/RIP combo??
no, unfortunately, but it looks like 1 - 1 1/4 degree change from 100 to 120, but thats not accounting for the offset. I only kept the 130 for a month or so. for my style of riding it wasnt good (agressive xc and all mtn) the tight & twisty was a chore
 

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Slow Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Random Drivel said:
Do you want a 29er to ride downhill like your Trance, or your Coiler?
No I don't want something as stable as the Coiler. I want something a little better than the Trance. A guess "trail" bike is a better description, not all mountain.

In 26" these bikes have 69 to 68 degree head angles, which equates to 70 to 69 degrees for 29er all else being equal, which of course it is not, and thus my question.
 

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I'm nearly 6'5" and ride a 4in travel Ventana El Cap with a 71.5 head angle. My Fox 120 slackens the angle slightly, but I've never had to hold back on technical terrain. (This year Ventana and Turner are using 70.5 head angles.) Still, I made the switch from a 26er to a 29er two years ago and haven't looked back. My 26er was a Nomad that I took to ski resorts and used for all around trail riding. It was a great bike, but I looked and felt like a monster on that thing. My twenty-niner fits so much better, which makes me more confident riding in all conditions.

As noted, the twenty-nine inch wheel definately helps smooth out most trail chatter and gets over large obstacles with less effort than the 26er. At your size, the twenty-niner is a no brainer. The only place where a smaller wheel still has application in my life, is at a skatepark or terrain park.
 

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Slow Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jbogner said:
More than the head angle, what you'll miss in going to a 29er is shorter chainstays.
I was able to test ride a RIP at the CORBA fat tire fest, but unfortunately only fire road was available. I did like the longer chain stays. It helps keep the front end tracking on steep uphill climbs. Us tall folk tend to transfer more weight back/front on up/down inclines due to our higher CG.
 

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Slow Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Guitar Ted said:
They are really pretty different beasts, so making any sort of web based call on it is rather dicey. Test rides are where it is at, if you can get one, then you will know for yourself.
I would not be asking if something was available to ride, and I live in the Los Angeles area. Same place Niner is based. Bikes are just not on the floor, and ready to go, and a parking lot is worthless.

I was able to ride a XL '09 RIP 9 at the CORBA fat tire fest but alas, only fire roads were available. I felt the bike climbed like a billy goat and tracked straight up the really steep stuff. The longer CS on the 29er helps there for a high CG type person. Not the best rear tire braking traction (long CS hurts here) but the bike did have what I consider a longish stem and I was not used to riding the bike.
 

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Slow Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LyNx said:
Anyways for more insight into what I thought check out the initial report. Hope this helps some, oh and that was with a 100mm, old school reba with the 38mm offset, throw on one of the nice 120mm TA forks with 46mm offset and definitely even more confidence
Thanks Lynx for the report. Great to read about someone my size that has owned both bikes.

That 38mm offset REBA is great if you want slower steering. Increasing offset, shortens trails and thus quickens steering. A 120 on your RIP will slacken it (and increase trail), the '09 needs a 120 for the same HA as yours with a 100.
 
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