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long travel wagon wheelers

July 24, 2018, 10:56 a.m.
Posts: 9198
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Posted by: earleb

Posted by: JBV

jezley h christ, moar on that bike. much more. i hope you have no intentions of painting it.  

unless you have tubes in those tires though you may be taking a big risk. Conti's are not compatible with hookless rims and the WAO guys have experienced it and mentioned it explicitly. 

but nevermind that, what a stunner, must know more.

It will likely get some rattle can paint. That or I need to spend a couple hundred hours properly filing and sanding my fillet brazing smooth and clean. As they say "grinder and paint make me the welder I ain't". This is only my fourth frame and still lots of improvement needed in my brazing. 

The details. 
NPC144

63ha. 

75.5sa. 

465mm reach. 

440mm chainstays. 

1260mm wheelbase. 

327mm bb height. 

160mm fork. 144mm rear travel. 

Suspension is progressive with a LR from 3.05 to 1.78. 

Shock is a Super Deluxe 230x65.

Running tubes with the Conti's and WAO rims.

I designed it with high anti-squat so it will climb well without needing any help from the compression switch on the shock. With the low bb I'll likely use the middle setting on the shock for technical climbing just to keep it higher in travel, but the first climb up No Quarter says it didn't needed it for any reason other than pedal strikes. 

What more do you want to know?

Enter drool emoticon here...that is an awesome frame. Can't wait to see it when it's all done!

July 24, 2018, 11:48 a.m.
Posts: 112
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: grambo

Beauty of a bike dude! I like the numbers too, low n slack. Did you go with a shorter offset fork?

The regular 51mm offset on the fork. I am not sold that there are any real benefits to the shorter offset.

July 25, 2018, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 629
Joined: March 25, 2011

Posted by: Taz123

My new steed - 2018 Evolve Alpha 29er - 160mm/150mm DVO suspension, Eagle and shy of 30#.

That looks really nice, 2600 bones Canadian with a Topaz shock. How does it ride?  And the newest 42 offset Diamond....that won't creak....oh man does my Fox creak on my sentinel :-)


 Last edited by: awesterner on July 25, 2018, 8:32 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
July 26, 2018, 8:25 a.m.
Posts: 290
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Overall it is a ton of fun. I am struggling a bit with getting the DVO stuff dialed in properly, but that's my issue with suspension knowledge - and the fact that the Diamond in particular is a tuners wet dream.

Coming off an aluminum 140/120 travel bike, this thing is fun all around. Roughly 3lbs lighter, more travel and very stiff (point and shoot style). And given my Clydesdale status, that stiffness is appreciated.

The only issues I've had thus far - the pivot bolts need to be slathered in Loctite and tightened evenly on each side (i.e. don't tighten one side, and then start the other - spread the torque). Also the cable run for the seat post is mediocre. I'm running a 9.8 Fall Line, and the cable doesn't seem to fully release sometimes (cable friction due to lots of bends) , so the post sometimes moves around. I've had to keep the cable super loose and try to stretch it. It seems to be getting better with each ride, so hopefully cable-stretch will take care of it. Next step is to swap out the stock jagwire cable housing for something different.

I've had about 6 rides thus far (including a Fiver), and I feel like I'm getting closer each ride. I'm considering a visit to Arthur at Suspension Therapy though. The bike climbs well (even with the topaz "open"), and comes into its own on the descent. I actually feel like I can throw it around tight berms/turns easier than my previous bike (yes I have done a back-to-back), so geometry seems on-point even with the longer wheelbase - or the new bike stoke is skewing my brain.

I'm coming off of Fox, so a quiet bike (lack of creaking) is certainly a nice change.

July 26, 2018, 9:46 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Also the cable run for the seat post is mediocre. I'm running a 9.8 Fall Line, and the cable doesn't seem to fully release sometimes (cable friction due to lots of bends) , so the post sometimes moves around. I've had to keep the cable super loose and try to stretch it. It seems to be getting better with each ride, so hopefully cable-stretch will take care of it. Next step is to swap out the stock jagwire cable housing for something different.

Try a "Brake Reset" on your 9.8 seatpost if you haven't already. Press and hold the lever all the way open for 10-12 seconds then release. No need to move the seatpost while doing so. This should resolve the issue of it slipping down. If that doesn't work check the FAQ and call them. Their customer service is very good.

July 26, 2018, 2:12 p.m.
Posts: 290
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Posted by: stephen-park

Try a "Brake Reset" on your 9.8 seatpost if you haven't already. Press and hold the lever all the way open for 10-12 seconds then release. No need to move the seatpost while doing so. This should resolve the issue of it slipping down. If that doesn't work check the FAQ and call them. Their customer service is very good.

I've done all three of their resets on the website (lever, cable, bottom of the post). Last ride was 90% perfect. So hopefully cable stretch sorts out.

I have heard good things about their customer service, so I won't hesitate to call if it keeps up.

July 26, 2018, 10:54 p.m.
Posts: 1011
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: JBV

who has them, who likes them, who's demo'd them and is thinking about getting one. which do you like and why. what are the drawbacks even for those you like.

...

Demo'd a Hightower LT (150mm, 150mm) at Cypress today.

Not spent much time on 29ers, so there was a learning curve there. Overall, impressed. As a bike in general, the High Tower is just really well executed. Suspension and geo we're dialled. Reach, BB height, head and seat angles felt close to perfect. Whoever came up with that BB height deserves a chocolate donut with rainbow sprinkles. Santa Cruz knows how to make a bike. Interested now to try a Nomad and a Bronson.

I was surprised how normal the 29" wheels felt (to my usual 160mm 27.5). Just an easy bike to ride. Up, down, fast, jumping loose, whatever. Like all 29ers, pedalling over stuff was so smooth and just too easy.

On the negative, steep straight roll downs the tire buzzed my shorts. Not really a huge deal and could be gotten used to I suppose.

Turns into steep roll-ins, however were a spot of trouble. I bailed and jumped a couple of times after getting tangled up, something I normally never have happen. Steep tech confidence of smaller wheels alone would probably be enough to keep me from switching to a wagon wheeler.

Funny enough, this bike has got me excited about the regular High Tower. More towards the XC/trail end of the spectrum for steamrollering over the rough and eating up the miles, and less for steep and tech.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on July 26, 2018, 10:56 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
July 27, 2018, 10:14 a.m.
Posts: 9198
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Posted by: Hepcat

Posted by: JBV

who has them, who likes them, who's demo'd them and is thinking about getting one. which do you like and why. what are the drawbacks even for those you like.

...

Demo'd a Hightower LT (150mm, 150mm) at Cypress today.

Not spent much time on 29ers, so there was a learning curve there. Overall, impressed. As a bike in general, the High Tower is just really well executed. Suspension and geo we're dialled. Reach, BB height, head and seat angles felt close to perfect. Whoever came up with that BB height deserves a chocolate donut with rainbow sprinkles. Santa Cruz knows how to make a bike. Interested now to try a Nomad and a Bronson.

I was surprised how normal the 29" wheels felt (to my usual 160mm 27.5). Just an easy bike to ride. Up, down, fast, jumping loose, whatever. Like all 29ers, pedalling over stuff was so smooth and just too easy.

On the negative, steep straight roll downs the tire buzzed my shorts. Not really a huge deal and could be gotten used to I suppose.

Turns into steep roll-ins, however were a spot of trouble. I bailed and jumped a couple of times after getting tangled up, something I normally never have happen. Steep tech confidence of smaller wheels alone would probably be enough to keep me from switching to a wagon wheeler.

Funny enough, this bike has got me excited about the regular High Tower. More towards the XC/trail end of the spectrum for steamrollering over the rough and eating up the miles, and less for steep and tech.

Funny, I find I like the bigger wheels for steeps and tech as I feel they make it easier...but I am a tall dude who feels like the big wheels finally make it so bikes fit me properly and I am not a bear on a little circus bike...haha. I feel the bigger wheels do not get hung up in the tech as much and make steeper roll-downs more manageable. Maybe try a 29er that is more enduro/AM and less trail oriented...that may help?

July 27, 2018, 11:56 a.m.
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Yeah, I'd say this is a technique thing. I used to buzz my ass on my tire but that's rare now as I've gotten used to not having to throw my weight so far back.

July 27, 2018, 12:52 p.m.
Posts: 14409
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Posted by: pedalhound

Posted by: Hepcat

Posted by: JBV

who has them, who likes them, who's demo'd them and is thinking about getting one. which do you like and why. what are the drawbacks even for those you like.

...

Demo'd a Hightower LT (150mm, 150mm) at Cypress today.

Not spent much time on 29ers, so there was a learning curve there. Overall, impressed. As a bike in general, the High Tower is just really well executed. Suspension and geo we're dialled. Reach, BB height, head and seat angles felt close to perfect. Whoever came up with that BB height deserves a chocolate donut with rainbow sprinkles. Santa Cruz knows how to make a bike. Interested now to try a Nomad and a Bronson.

I was surprised how normal the 29" wheels felt (to my usual 160mm 27.5). Just an easy bike to ride. Up, down, fast, jumping loose, whatever. Like all 29ers, pedalling over stuff was so smooth and just too easy.

On the negative, steep straight roll downs the tire buzzed my shorts. Not really a huge deal and could be gotten used to I suppose.

Turns into steep roll-ins, however were a spot of trouble. I bailed and jumped a couple of times after getting tangled up, something I normally never have happen. Steep tech confidence of smaller wheels alone would probably be enough to keep me from switching to a wagon wheeler.

Funny enough, this bike has got me excited about the regular High Tower. More towards the XC/trail end of the spectrum for steamrollering over the rough and eating up the miles, and less for steep and tech.

Funny, I find I like the bigger wheels for steeps and tech as I feel they make it easier...but I am a tall dude who feels like the big wheels finally make it so bikes fit me properly and I am not a bear on a little circus bike...haha. I feel the bigger wheels do not get hung up in the tech as much and make steeper roll-downs more manageable. Maybe try a 29er that is more enduro/AM and less trail oriented...that may help?

I found the same thing, 29" wheels on the yeti 5.5 did not wash out turning  into steep downhills and I found the bike good enough on dh's that i forgot about the dropper seat post

July 27, 2018, 4:03 p.m.
Posts: 1011
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: pedalhound

Funny, I find I like the bigger wheels for steeps and tech as I feel they make it easier...but I am a tall dude who feels like the big wheels finally make it so bikes fit me properly and I am not a bear on a little circus bike...haha. I feel the bigger wheels do not get hung up in the tech as much and make steeper roll-downs more manageable. Maybe try a 29er that is more enduro/AM and less trail oriented...that may help?

Ah, that makes perfect sense. Not all of us are so vertically endowed. At 5' 10" I thought to myself a few times during the ride (as one tends to do while sailing through the air) that I bet if I was taller I'd be getting the leverage I needed on the clutch moves.

None the less, I'd like to pick up a 29er. At my height I'd go with a shorter travel model for day to day riding, and keep my long travel small wheel bike for the scary stuff.

July 27, 2018, 7:05 p.m.
Posts: 2276
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

Buzzed my nuts on a 26" and do it once in a while with the 29er . it,s part of riding . An totally agree with the comments on 29 and tech and steepness , I find the bike more confidence inspiring .

July 27, 2018, 7:54 p.m.
Posts: 861
Joined: March 18, 2017

Posted by: craw

So the biggest bike on the shore is officially here. XL Pole Evolink 158. Reach: 535, Stack: 652, ESTA: 78, HTA: 64, WB: 1353, CS: 455. 34.5lbs as pictured, which isn't bad considering how much metal is there. So far I love the geo. It's definitely long but not at all hard to ride; it's affecting my timing and balance point a bit for manuals but nothing I won't adapt to. It feels like the right length for my center of gravity. I can get it around the Kirkford corners without issue.

Pole Evolink 158

Should've run a Purple Formula Selva up front for even more jokes about your big black Pole. 🙄

July 28, 2018, 7:19 a.m.
Posts: 201
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I had been wanting a 29er for a few years. I demo'd a bunch of bikes and remained intrigued, but never managed to settle on a wagon wheeler that checked all my boxes. So I bought a couple 275ers and rode those. Fast forward 5yrs and I stumbled across Guerrilla Gravity bikes. They look great. Have all the features I wanted and my 29er stoke was high so I pulled the trigger.

A couple blog posts about the build and why I picked the Smash:

https://vikapprovedblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/guerilla-gravity-smash-29er/

https://vikapprovedblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/guerrilla-gravity-smash-build/

3 months in I'm really happy I made the choice. This bike was fun from the first pedal stroke [unlike my 29er demos] and has exceeded all my expectations. I knew it would be a great a descender, but the climbing capabilities of the Smash are a nice surprise. I'm glad I took a chance on GG and finally got a big wheeler. It's been a blast to ride.

I'm working on a review, but I have been feeling lazy. I'll post a link here when I get 'er done. :)

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vikapproved/sets/72157691878835305

July 30, 2018, 7:25 p.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan. 3, 2018

I have a Kona Process 29 AL/DL. It climbs well and has good trail manners for such a capable bike. I use it at the bike park, and for rocky technical trail riding. It’s a bit more work than my Tallboy3 when climbing, but still very manageable. 

I think the geo and suspension kinematics are really key to how well it performs. I find that steep SA paired with short chainstays and long-ish reach really work for me. It’s also very quiet and composed on rough dh sections. It’s a bike that loves to go fast.


 Last edited by: vincentaedwards on July 30, 2018, 8:26 p.m., edited 1 time in total.

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