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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long do I have to keep riding this damn thing before I can say I don't like it and go back to riding my chameleon?

I've ridden it around the neighborhood for hours, on the 100yard Single track in the park near my house with the doggy and now on two trail rides. I switched to lighter tires and that helped, but it just seems so damn sluggish. It does roll along on smooth trail nicely, but that doesn't out weight the sluggishness it exhibits turning and accelerating. Yeah, it rolls over obstacles nicely for being a 2.1 tire, but not noticeably better then my 26" bike with fat tires and a long fork. I was talking to a guy at Turner a couple weeks ago before I left the shop who said he really didn't like any of the current crop of hardtails, of course he digs his Sultan, but I don't have the cash and I'm not buying another 29er without getting a fair bit of trail time in on it first.

Hummpphhh.

No pics cause the toddler got a hold of the memory card and now it won't read.


Oh yeah, gears suck.


Edit: Forgot specs.

Voodoo Dambala 19"
WB Magic 110
Set up 1x9 with a fairly burly parts spec, and I'm not going to lighten it and sacrifice durability for handling. It was just under 31 pounds with 2.25 Kenda Nevegals, Now I am running 2.1 Small block 8s. They are subsantially lighter. I like the way they roll, plus the bigger tires rubbed the frame under heavy loads.
 

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It may feel sluggish because of your HTA with that long travel fork. If you can lower you axle to crown height by reducing the travel it will get substantially quicker. I have found that 29ers feel sluggish with a suspension fork in general. After remounting my rigid fork I won't go back to suspension. The physics of a 29er require more rider input in the handling department. It's not everyone's cup of tea. I think you are giving it a fair shot so don't feel bad about saying you don't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It this point, I can't run it rigid, I am whittling the herd down to one MTB and my shoulders just can't take a rigid bike as my only ride. I held off selling the Chameleon in the event that I didn't like the Voodoo.

It was my understanding that this bike was designed around a 100mm fork?
 

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Give it a few more rides - steer it more with your hips, and if you don't like it, you've got a great and very versatile 26er to switch back to in that Chameleon.
 

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If you didn't like it the moment you road it you never will! I suggest you sell the bike to me for approx $250.00!!

But yeah, seriously it will feel sluggish with a longer travel fork on it. + big wheels aren't for everyone.
 

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centerridgerider said:
If you didn't like it the moment you road it you never will! I suggest you sell the bike to me for approx $250.00!!

But yeah, seriously it will feel sluggish with a longer travel fork on it. + big wheels aren't for everyone.
He has a point though. The Dambala is designed around a 100mm RS fork, and the 110mm WB has the same a-c as the 100mm Reba. His fork travel isn't the problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
centerridgerider said:
If you didn't like it the moment you road it you never will! I suggest you sell the bike to me for approx $250.00!!

But yeah, seriously it will feel sluggish with a longer travel fork on it. + big wheels aren't for everyone.
I'm going to do a longer ride this weekend and if I still don't like it, look for a great deal on most of a bike.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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The HTA should be plenty steep, even if the bikes was built around 80mm.

Try wider handlebar, and steer pro/actively rather than passively. A 26incher in a straigth line is being kept from turning either way. In right hand turns, you stop resisting it to go right.
With 29", you actively point it where you want it to go. Call it semi truck, call it tractor. Steering effort does not equal pedaling effort. Your reward is that you´ll better hold your line in fast corners, to just name one. Stability making for a fast and fluent line rather than a wandering slow one.
Are the bars low enough?
 

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Same boat. Except I gave my Inbred two years. I did enjoy the bike and it fits me well. I could never make it handle properly. I have been advised that the bike wasn't designed for the Reba fork I've been using (both at 80 and 100mm). Mine is unstable at high speed and the front washes in turns no matter how you weight it.

I think 29 does work well and a sorted one excels in certain areas.

For me, on our AZ trails, a 5-inch trailbike with 26-inch wheels does the trick.
d
 

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dwnhlldav said:
How long do I have to keep riding this damn thing before I can say I don't like it and go back to riding my chameleon?

I've ridden it around the neighborhood for hours, on the 100yard Single track in the park near my house with the doggy and now on two trail rides. I switched to lighter tires and that helped, but it just seems so damn sluggish. It does roll along on smooth trail nicely, but that doesn't out weight the sluggishness it exhibits turning and accelerating. Yeah, it rolls over obstacles nicely for being a 2.1 tire, but not noticeably better then my 26" bike with fat tires and a long fork. I was talking to a guy at Turner a couple weeks ago before I left the shop who said he really didn't like any of the current crop of hardtails, of course he digs his Sultan, but I don't have the cash and I'm not buying another 29er without getting a fair bit of trail time in on it first.

Hummpphhh.

No pics cause the toddler got a hold of the memory card and now it won't read.

Oh yeah, gears suck.

Edit: Forgot specs.

Voodoo Dambala 19"
WB Magic 110
Set up 1x9 with a fairly burly parts spec, and I'm not going to lighten it and sacrifice durability for handling. It was just under 31 pounds with 2.25 Kenda Nevegals, Now I am running 2.1 Small block 8s. They are subsantially lighter. I like the way they roll, plus the bigger tires rubbed the frame under heavy loads.
31 lbs sounds really bulky. How heavy are your wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
bobbotron said:
Is it a newer dambala frame that's built around 100mm rebas, or the older frame, that's built for 80mm rebas?

I'd say give it a few more rides.
Brand spankin new 08 model.

And to the next poster I have titec hell bent XC bars, not as wide as the Eastons on my 26inch bike, but not narrow either.

I guess my real question, is it this bike I don't like, or 29inch wheels? Either way, depending on how the weekend goes, I'll be going back to 26inch bikes, I just don't have the money to keep experimenting right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
7daysaweek said:
31 lbs sounds really bulky. How heavy are your wheels?
Didn't weight them. But I am using an FSA DH bottom bracket, a DH crank and the greatest pedal ever produced, Shimano 646s. There is a fair bit of weight there. Thompson Post and Stem, FSA Pig DH Pro Headset, XT rear derailleur, decent Sram cassette and chain, Used a deore shifter. Avid BB5 brakes with 185mm rotors.

6 bolt rotor XT Hubs laced to Halo Freedom Disc rims.

Again, maybe it's the wheels but I'm not going to go weight weenie and risk having a wheelset that will blow up on me.
 

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At 31 lbs, your 29er probably has super heavy wheels that will make the whole bike feel like you are riding in sand all the time. I suspect you will never enjoy a 29er like this and frankly I wouldn't either.

Most people jump on the steering, but I bet it is the big heavy wheels that make it feel sluggish. Steering may not be quick, but it should not be a huge problem either.
 

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I got a new wheelset for my Raleigh xxix (singlespeed), and it has made a substantial difference. The stock wheelset was very heavy, and you can really feel the difference with the lighter set (hope pro 2 on stan's flows). That said, 29ers do feel different, and I'd hesitate to spend $700 on a bike you are not sure you like.

FWIW, I still have a 26er, a 5.5 inch travel bike. I like them both, I just like them for different reasons. My 26er I like best on rough, technical trails. The 29er, since it is rigid, I take on everything else. The strange thing is I keep wanting to take the rigid ss 29er on more technical stuff. My other bike is sitting around a lot.
 

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I don't know about xt hubs... but I know that hubs make a world of difference. More so than lightweight rims. Hubs can be expensive to experiment with though. See if a friend is running some 29er disc wheels with a really good set of smooth rolling hubs and try them out. Hubs that roll forever will make it feel like a brand new bike.

If nothing else... it sounds like it's taken all the fun out of it... sell it to someone that will like it and upgrade the Chameleon. ;)
 

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dwnhlldav said:
How long do I have to keep riding this damn thing before I can say I don't like it and go back to riding my chameleon?

Set up 1x9 with a fairly burly parts spec, and I'm not going to lighten it and sacrifice durability for handling. It was just under 31 pounds with 2.25 Kenda Nevegals, Now I am running 2.1 Small block 8s. They are subsantially lighter. I like the way they roll, plus the bigger tires rubbed the frame under heavy loads.
Gee, 31 lbs. with a failry burly parts spec and the bike "feels" sluggish? Imagine that....:eek:

Nothing against durability, but the snap, crackly and pop of a 29"er to rid one of sluggish feelings kicks in with a lighter (yet durable) wheelset and tires.

I'm sub 26 pounds on my full suspension, sub 25 on my softail, and sub 24 on my HT rigid 29"ers with no sacrifice in durability for handling. And I've ridden two of those bikes at 31 lbs. as well before I saw the "light". There is no comparison between the "heavy sluggish" version I had them built up as and the lighter versions with get up and go to them.:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 
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