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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have a ride report of the Hei Hei DL 29? I did a search and not much came up. I have found a few articles on the internet but wanted to hear from others as well.

One (seemingly random) question: does the rear shock come with air spacers installed, so there is some room to make the shock more linear if desired? My terrain is typically not super rugged and I also don't hit real hard, so I like more linear rear suspension so i can use more travel.
 

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The idea of the XC Hei Hei turned into a Trailbike w/ 140mm of travel front and back, that is the perfect bike for where I live.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
About two weeks after posting this I had a chance to rent a 2016 Hei Hei DL for 2+ hours at Copper Harbor, Michigan. I have been there a few times so I am familiar with the trails, and I also had my Titus Motolite (26er, 140f/130r) for back to back comparison.

The small bump compliance really blew me away! The rear suspension was so smooth. I realize I am comparing a 29er vs. a 26er and am taking that into account. On bigger hits I could feel it ramp up at the end of the travel compared to the Titus, but it was not objectionable. And that was mostly after I lowered the shock pressure a bit.

In the big ring (36t) there was a fair bit of pedal bob when I stood up and hammered. In the small ring (24t) it was minimal. However, there was a bit of pedal feedback in the small ring on chattery trails. A 32t or 30t single ring would probably be the happy middle ground.

It climbed very well and I set my second best time up Stairway to Heaven, even on tired legs. The pedal bob was not noticeable when seated.

The handling was a great combination of stable versus playful. My Titus felt pretty twitchy in comparison, and not really in a good way. One thing I did not notice about the Hei Hei, until I rode my Titus for a few miles afterwards, is that I never got knocked off line on the Kona. I was able to flow through a some rocky areas much easier.

I was very impressed with the Hei Hei an have since ordered a 2017 Hei Hei DL (the carbon 29er). Kona was out of size large, but is expected to have them in any day now!
 

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About two weeks after posting this I had a chance to rent a 2016 Hei Hei DL for 2+ hours at Copper Harbor, Michigan
I was very impressed with the Hei Hei an have since ordered a 2017 Hei Hei DL (the carbon 29er). Kona was out of size large, but is expected to have them in any day now!
What did you order, X/C or Trail?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Trail. The green one.

I stopped in at the shop yesterday and was told that the bike has been shipped from Kona! They are expecting it on or about Wednesday.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have the bike now and have six rides on it. To be clear, the bike is a 2017 Hei Hei DL; the green 29er.

The bike is even better than I expected! It really seems to blend the best of trail bikes and race bikes. It's fast when pedaling and smooth in the rough. My third ride was at a trail that blends handling, short, punchy climbs; and some choppy roots (Maybury, if anyone from southeast Michigan is reading). Each lap takes me about 30 minutes. The first lap was three seconds off my best time and two laps was a PR by almost 1.5 minutes. I did not buy the bike for racing, but it seems to fly!

The suspension did not seem to need any break in period and was immediately super smooth. Small bumps, sharp bumps, big(ish) bumps...everything was smooth. The rear suspension has less pedal bob than I experienced with the test ride of the 2016 and is entirely acceptable even with the compression lever wide open. It does move some and I flip the lever for extended pavement, but not bad.

The frame is stiff and the handling tight. It's taking a little time for me to acclimate to modern trail bike geometry over the more traditional geometry I am used to, but I am getting the hang of it. The wide bar and steeper seat tube are the main points that really feel different.

Overall I am very happy with it and am liking it more with each ride. I am afraid my faithful, custom, fillet brazed hard tail 29er may see quite a few less miles.
 

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Yes this is a dope riding bike. The bonus is 27.5+ 2.8 fit in the rear and a full 3.0 fits in the front. Shhh don't tell kona. But the bike does ride well.
 

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Any concern about longevity of the pivotless flexing seat stays, particularly in the aluminium frames? Giant Stance hasn't had a great record


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Any concern about longevity of the pivotless flexing seat stays, particularly in the aluminium frames? Giant Stance hasn't had a great record
As long as it's designed well, the stays should last a long time. I have an 2001 Ibis Ripley, back when it was an aluminum soft tail. I put 20,000+ miles on it with no problems. I spoke to John Castellano, the designer, a few years ago and he had not heard of any stays breaking. So aluminum does not necessarily mean fragile, but aluminum does not have a great fatigue life if it flexes too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes this is a dope riding bike. The bonus is 27.5+ 2.8 fit in the rear and a full 3.0 fits in the front. Shhh don't tell kona. But the bike does ride well.
Pictures or more info? What tire and rim are you using on the back?
 

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Polk: nice bike, been thinking about getting one.

How much space do you have in the rear for tire clearence? Trying to fiqure out how wide a rim/tire combo I could run in the rear.

Thanks
 

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I've got this frame waiting for me at my local shop, just got a few more parts to wait on til I can build it.

I'm also building a Big Honzo along with a pair of Ibis 741 rimmed wheels (35mm internal width). I'll try those wheels on the Hei Hei when I get everything finished. Didn't know they would fit with a 2.8" tire.


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Discussion Starter #16
Polk: nice bike, been thinking about getting one.

How much space do you have in the rear for tire clearence? Trying to fiqure out how wide a rim/tire combo I could run in the rear.

Thanks
With a Bontrager 29-2 2.2" tire (I managed to get a 1" long cut from some junk near a RR track in the original Ikon on the third or fourth ride) there is 8-9mm of clearance on the side knobs as quickly measured with a steel ruler. The Bontrager is the same or slightly wider than the Ikon. I can't see a problem with 2.35"-2.4" tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As requested quite a while ago, here's some pictures. Better late than never...

The first picture is on its maiden voyage on the Potawatomi trail in southeast Michigan, and the other two are right after building it, before the first ride.
 

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As long as it's designed well, the stays should last a long time. I have an 2001 Ibis Ripley, back when it was an aluminum soft tail. I put 20,000+ miles on it with no problems. I spoke to John Castellano, the designer, a few years ago and he had not heard of any stays breaking. So aluminum does not necessarily mean fragile, but aluminum does not have a great fatigue life if it flexes too much.
The new Scott Spark uses the same design and their carbon models have aluminium rear triangles so they must be pretty confident it won't fatigue.
 

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B+ on 2017 Kona Hei Hei DL 29 Carbon

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As far as B+ converting this bike!

I've had Arc 40 and Whisky 50 rims, with Trailblazer 2.8, Maxxis Ikon/Rekon, many of the "not quite 3.0) 27.5+ tires clear the rear okay. 2-3mm. NOT for sticky mud conditions.

Lowered my bb by 7mm, slacked the head angle a tiny bit (running 3.0 up front). I like the bike either way, 29 or the NOT-Kona-approved B+
 
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