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Well, it has been a long time coming and in fact is not finished yet..

I am lucky enough to have a Nicolai dealer close at hand and when the boys started talking about a Whistler trip I figured it was time to upgrade the Knolly DT.

Given that the DT was my All Mountain bike I don't mind pedaling a heavy bike around, I do think I have lost some weight going to the Ion 18. That is quite impressive since I have increased the front travel my 33mm and rear by 38mm.

I originally spec'd a Fox Float 180 but was unable to get hold of one (the distributor told me they had put one aside). So... along to Rock Shox I went. I managed to get hold of some carbon 35 bars and direct mount stem...

Differences vs old bike

Climbing
The Ion climbs very well. Yes it is still a big bike. I have mine set at 8" and it would be no problem for me to keep up with the boys on a trail ride. The bike feels very solid and controlled rather than plush or mushy.

Jumping
Seems very neutral, maybe not quite as flickable but since I have only ridden it the once, probably a bit early to tell. My bigger issue with jumping is that the bike feels stable at high speed and therefore I am overjumping the flowy style jumps.

Cornering
Night and day difference, lower bottom bracket and more neutral handling make it an awesome handling bike in the corners. It feels like a smaller travel bike in terms of trail feel with the benefit of the extra suspension when needed.

Descending
Everything just feels like you have a far larger margin for error (overjumping jumps aside)

Overall
There is nothing that this bike does worse than the Knolly and most things that it does much better. I am very happy with how it turned out. The front end stiffness is outstanding, due to the dual crown fork and stiff head tube.

Spec
My Hadley hubs have not arrived so have used my old front wheel and a borrowed blingy gold on gold I9 on the rear.









 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not sure about 29er wheels, maybe 650B.

I am very happy with how the colours worked out. Reminds me of a nice looking AC29er I have seen recently. ;-)


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Great to see the Green Goblin built up...

You went great on it for the first shake down ride, stoked for you.... Will be a Whistler ripper for sure... Roll on September...

The green looks better in the flesh than the photos show....
 

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Congrats, super bike.

650b should work on the back I should think? You might need to limit the travel a bit. Definately worth checking out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the comments. I'm very happy how it turned out. So far am also happy that I went for the Boxxer over the Fox. Time will tell.
 

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Very nice. I'm so tempted to get one but since I got the ac29 I've gone all Xc jeyboy. Maybe now the shoulders mended I should get back on a big bike. Course, even on a big bike I won't be entertaining drops like that! I'd get dizzy just looking over the edge!
 

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dipper, surly you would hit that bad boy on your big bike, here is hoping...

I have not been on my AC29er for some time, been on the Monster Truck trying to get ready for Whistler....

Momentus. May well whip a 180mm single crown back on the ION 18 post Whistler ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dipper - will try to get a pic of some other jumps / drops this weekend.

Whafe - not sure about the 180, the Boxxer is only 300 grams heavier so not really a bit deal.


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Not sure about 29er wheels, maybe 650B.
That's what I plan for my new Helius AM once the new Fox fork is out - in August.

Not sure it would fit the new Nobby Nic or Hans Damf in the rear, may have to settle to 2.25". And would need to lower the shock by a few mm, and keep it in 152mm travel.

Or, maybe, will just ride moto style with larger wheel in front.
 
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