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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

Any Nicolai peeps got an ION16 27.5 in your quiver...

Very keen to hear your thoughts.

Working through the task of what to get bike wise next.....

Thanks
 

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No. But I've just ordered this ;) you might be interested. Depends how brave you are. I've done a lot of testing recently of a Mondraker XR Fwd Geometry that I borrowed and adapted to this geo but its the 26'..Its a long story how I came to it and why not the 27.5..
I am totally addicted to the front end steering feel and grip, it has me giggling like a loonatic everytime I go out on it, Ive been alternating between that and the 29 trying to figure stuff out whats great whats less so.

My experiments show the 26 to be as quick as my 29 descending and in this setup it is as stable even when hitting obstacles but more easily deflected off line, however the wheelbase keeps it controllable...

Closest thing I can describe the feel is imagine riding it is like watching an old school Impreza WRC car, as long as the front is pointing in the right direction don't worry about anything else :)

The grip is as good as my 29, I feel the front has even more but the steering feel, oh, <eyes go dreamy> it's like having your brain hard wired to the front contact patch...which could account for the impression of grip.

Climbing is great (its so long) although it doesn't pedal anywhere near as well as my 29. Essentially it's a different solution to offer to what an AM 29 offers, stability at speed and oodles of grip with a very natural (to me) position. If you've ridden motorbikes it feels completely normal.

It's a pity Mondraker have bottled it this year and made all of them shorter relative to ST and compromised the design to appeal to more people, I presume due to limited acceptance of the models and difficulty of estimating production numbers for an Asian made frame.

Chris Porter, owner of Mojo a Suspension in the UK has had two made now once he found out a Nicolai did custom, ironically as a result of the Ion15 project...but Chris is very extreme and has taken the concept to the max with very much a DH focus and über slack HA.

It probably doesn't help Whafe but something to think about, I've taken the plunge in a similar way to my ion15, much experimentation with geo before committing..in many ways the Ion29 has enabled me to get more skills at higher speeds with a safety net, I kinda want to turn off the electronics now and see if I can still keep control ;-)

I'm 99% certain that with this bike I'll have the descending speed and stability of my 29 but with a bike that is more active in the air, faster to turn (due to only 10mm stem, even with 66deg HA steering is instant with so little handlebar movement needed) and to pick up (side to side due to lower gyroscopic effect of smaller wheel/tyre). It won't pedal as efficiently or smooth out the small ripples quite as well I'm sure but as mentioned, I'm addicted to the front end.

Forward Geo makes no sense on a 29 as the stabiity is derived in a different way it would make an unweildy beast but since 27.5 is so close in diameter to 26" it does make sense, well to me anyway, I've been chatting to a Journo I know who has been long term testing the Mondraker Foxy 27.5 in XL he feels t feels more cohesive than the 26" due to the slightly smoother feel of the 27.5s.

Going to go with team colours for this one...wk 24...
Ion 16 FG.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks very interesting indeed, long wheel base, fast and stable, nice and slack... What does it climb like?

Mmmmm, food for thought


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Well it climbs excellently and again belies its head angle, as the front centre is so long. That's the measurement to focus on, the Chainstays are short as, 431mm on 27.5 wheels but the front centre is 798mm/ RC 431mm Compare that to my Ion29 at FC 737mm/ RC 449mm. Wheelbase of ion is 1187mm.

As such you just don't get wheel lift on the steep stuff. As I said response feels instant as the stem is so short, not sure what you run on your triple clamp but Moto triple clamps have little if any 'stem'.

The 26" I've been using is longer than my 29 at 1200mm but I can't y as I've noticed any issues even on 180 switchback climbs and descents. The overall width is shorter as the wheels are smaller obviously, the 27.5 is about the same as my 29 end to end with the smaller wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The stem on my Dorado's on the Monster Truck is short as... Am used to almost no stem...

Mmmm, what would I change on the ION16 27.5.... Would for sure run a super short stem... Am used to that....

Just wondering if it might be to much bike.......... Mmmmmm
 

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Too much bike? Well I can't answer that but if that's a thought then might I suggest 29 is still the right wheel size. I think I said this last time, what do you want it for?

My ONLY reason for using the smaller wheel is to be able to use the forward geometry and 10mm stem, I think I need the longer travel to compensate for the wheel size. I have done quite a lot of messing around with the fwd geometry concept on a 29 platform but the numbers just don't make sense with a FS. It's ok with a hardtail but you don't have the compromises of the rear wheel path and chainstays to deal with. In fact it just doesn't make sense, the stability and rollover is already there because of the wheels...

The Ion15 at 145mm travel and 150/160mm front is a fantastic trail bike that I've used for DH tracks and everything in between, it's a genuine do it all bike as I've said before.

This one is much more of an AM focused Shredder and I would say the 16 is too in reality. Happiest when flat out will cover ground ok and climb well. A bike tester friend of mine described the differences beautifully he said "on a date a with a 27.5", not as chatty as 26" and doesn't have the legs of the 29 but still nice."

Perhaps the AC 27.5 would be a better fit if you have a desire for the smaller wheel size but I wouldn't be sucked in by the koolaid. 27.5 is very close to 26" not only in actual diameter but in ride feel according to my objective riding buddies, just a teeny bit smoother over small/mid size obstacles. I think you have to ask yourself why you went 29 in the first place and what qualities about that you like, what you don't, only then can you decide what compromise to make.

Ultimately the 27.5 is only 25mm bigger diameter than 26" in total (559 vs 584) so 12mm radius. The 29" is near on 40mm bigger than a 27.5 (584 vs 622) so nearly twice as big a difference in terms of rollover ability in comparison.

For me I believe in the bike for the job the Ion15 is more versatile than any other bike in the range in my opinion. The Ion would do what your monster Truck and your AC do without a doubt, it covers ground efficiently, handles brilliantly, descends like its on rails, it is just a fantastic all round bike, which is what I wanted. A normal rider on the 15 will be faster than the same rider on an equivalent tweener wheel in almost any terrain I would wager, who would have more fun would depend on what they like in a bike.

What is the stem on your a Dorado? If it's 30mm or similar, running 10mm makes a big difference in response and how much bar movement translates into wheel movement.
 

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Hi Karve, yes. That bike came about as a result of the publicity of the Ion29 I built I understand..a friend of mine mentioned it and Nicolai's willingness to do custom FS.
Chris Porter of Mojo has some very focused ideas on what works for him and he agreed with the Forward Geometry Concept developed by Ceser Rojo and Fabien Barel. But he couldn't get his interpretation in a production frame.
He found out about Nicolai and they built that for him. It is much longer in the TT than even a long Forward Geometry bike but his idea was also to make the chainstays long too..
He has subsequently had a second one built that has even longer TT and Chainstays. Chris wants to go as fast as possible on super steep terrain.

I want to keep the short chainstays but increase the front centre to use the 10mm stem as I find the steering so accurate and responsive and the feeling from the front tyre so good. This bike I propose is lengthened by 50mm in the TT compared to my Ion29.
So my bike is a cross between the Mondraker Dune and Foxy bikes, changed to suit my size but also preference for a long TT anyway, also it is lower, slightly slacker with a steeper ST than the Dune and of course it's a Nicolai.




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Whafe what is the stem on the Monster Truck, even most MTB triple clamp stems aren't that short?


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Have 220 miles on the Ion 16 650b..

Had an AC 650b before.
IMO Ion climbs better,descends better and is a lot stiffer than my old AC..

I am running a 50mm stem but think maybe a 40 would be nicer.
160mm Pikes and Monarch Plus rear shock work amazing together.
29lbs for a complete bike with 150mm reverb running a heavy set of Hope hoops and Hans Dampf 2.35 Trail star up front and a Conti Trail King out back..
 

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I am running mine on the slack and low position.It has quite a long wheelbase aswell,This seems to make it very stable at high speeds.

The bb is at -15mm,The Pikes run high in the travel so no pedal strike issues.

Will be getting a set of wider rims soon,and hope to lighten the wheelset up by a few hundred grams
 

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My Ion 16 650b should be delivered sometime this week (15). But no sign of it yet. My wife is getting annoyed with the big pile of bike bits on the kitchen table!
 
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