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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finished building my Zion 29er this week and took it out for the first ride on Saturday on T100 her in Phoenix. The ride was pretty remarkable. The bike felt like nothing could get in its way. I plowed through stuff that would normally throw me off my line. It seemed like the tires (Nevegal 2.2's) just gobbled up everything in their path. It was a really incredible ride. I felt like a little kid learning to ride again. The ride experience felt out of this world. I can't say enough. In fact, my friends got tired of hearing about it every time we stopped.

The traction that I got in the corners and on the climbs was unbelievable because I was pushing harder than ever on corners and climbs and couldn't get the tires to break loose. In fact, I took some corners at such high speeds that I thought for sure I would slide out and the tires just stuck. The bike really felt like it was on rails.

Speaking of speed, I think that was the real eye opener. The speed at which I could attack ruts and obstacles really blew me away. My buddies thought I was trying to ditch them until I explained that I couldn't help it. The more I pushed the speed up the funner it got.

In fact, the only complaint I had was when I would lose the speed/momentum. The lack of instant acceleration is very noticeable. I learned real quick that keeping your momentum is a must. If you slow down too much, you just can't "giddy up and go" like on a 26er. Not really a problem, just something I have to learn and adjust to. I also remembered that the gearing is much taller on a 29er.

I am so excited about the bike that I'm pretty close to parting out my SC Nomad out so I can start building an Intense Racer X, Spider 29 or a RIP9.

Just in case your curious, here's my build list

Zion Small - White
Cane Creek Headset
Reba Race with Poploc
XT hubs with Salsa Delgado-X rims (laced by me)
XT cranks with BB
XT cassette 12-34
XT Front and Rear Derailleurs
Dura-Ace Chain
Eggbeater pedals
SRAM Rocket shifters
Avid Mechanical Disc Brakes
Avid Levers
Easton Carbon bar
ODI Lock on grips
Ritchey seatpost and stem
Kenda Nevegal 2.2's with superlite tubes

The whole package weighs 27.6 pounds.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Congrats on a wonderful choice, and daring to differ! That Zion is sounding like one awesome deal. I like how you built it, many parts I also use or would like to have.
Of course you started out of the grippiest tires 29" has ever seen. Also not the lightest ones, although I don't know what you were used to previously.
To get the ride more earthy, you try a faster rolling rear tire (Maxxis Ignitor is many a rider's favorite) and a slightly less grippy front, lots of choices that also save a bit of weight.
With your standard cranks, you may have to be conscious about shifting back into corners. When I started out on 29"ers, I was älways"in too tall a gear, which hurt me when I'd get off line or lazy. Figuring out the momentum game does wonders for your riding though, so getting to "grips" with the Nevegals ain't too bad :)

Enjoy the ride, and keep pestering the friends :)

Happy trails,

J
 

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Always Learning
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palmermtb said:
It seemed like the tires (Nevegal 2.2's) just gobbled up everything in their path......In fact, the only complaint I had was when I would lose the speed/momentum. The lack of instant acceleration is very noticeable. I learned real quick that keeping your momentum is a must. If you slow down too much, you just can't "giddy up and go" like on a 26er.
Mainly due to those Nevegals. Great tires, but they don't allow one to coast and speed is scrubbed pretty quickly by the tires if you stop turning the cranks. At least you could consider having a 2nd rear tire to swap between the Nevegal. Maybe a Nano for the rear.

Or....

Get an entire 2nd set of tires with less rolling resistance and compare the ride to the Nevegals.(Ignitors, Nanoraptors, Karma's, etc...) Your friends might get even more tired of you with some different rubber.:D

BB
 

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BruceBrown said:
Mainly due to those Nevegals. Great tires, but they don't allow one to coast and speed is scrubbed pretty quickly by the tires if you stop turning the cranks. At least you could consider having a 2nd rear tire to swap between the Nevegal. Maybe a Nano for the rear.

Or....

Get an entire 2nd set of tires with less rolling resistance and compare the ride to the Nevegals.(Ignitors, Nanoraptors, Karma's, etc...) Your friends might get even more tired of you with some different rubber.:D

BB
Second Bruce's comment here - I'd say a large part of the lack of acceleration you're feeling is down to relatively hefty and slow rolling tyres. I'd been using a Nevegal/Ignitor combo for a few weeks which was great for traction, upon switching to Bonty XR rear and Ignitor front it felt like the afterburners were on - sure traction wasn't as good, but you can't have everything...

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for the input guys. I agree that a faster rolling tire would help significantly. However, I don't really want to give up the unbelievable traction that I'm getting. The tires grip unlike any other tire I've ever used and it really inspires me to ride harder and faster.
I talked to a local 29er expert this morning and he suggested that I reduce the weight of the wheel and tire combo by first going with a tubeless setup. He estimated that I should be able to shave at least a pound overall there. If I still need to go lighter I should go with the CK hubs like I planned. I think he's right. I'll try the tubeless setup first then the hubs.

What do you guys think?
 

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Reviewer/Tester
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I'm not sure about anyone else, but I value that incredible grip of the Nevegals over the faster rolling of a less grippy tire.

For me, the Nevegals have transformed my 29'er riding. Ever since fitting these tires front and back to my bikes, I have just forgotten what sliding and washing out in corners feels like.

They hang on ! :thumbsup:

The grip and traction is everything... :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


R.
 

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conjoinicorned
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I'm not sure about anyone else, but I value that incredible grip of the Nevegals over the faster rolling of a less grippy tire.
For me, the Nevegals have transformed my 29'er riding. Ever since fitting these tires front and back to my bikes, I have just forgotten what sliding and washing out in corners feels like.
They hang on !
The grip and traction is everything...
i'm with you rainman, i'd prefer grip to rolling resistance (or weight) any day. i'm on rampages right now, it's nice to be able to corner as fast as the 29er will allow...
 
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