with all this hoopla about the 29 inch wheel, i knew at some point i was gonna jump in the mix. so i am now after a big wheel bike. my search started simple, cheap frame, swipe some parts off other bikes.. get some wheels, check it out. then i started really thinking what i wanted this bike for, where it'll get ridden, what kinda ride im lookin for, and of course how much to spend. well i have sorta decided i want this to do everything; rip single track, access roads, gnarly trails, fast hauls, transportation, maybe some racks to tour with someday, how about single speed option.. well i want a lot. no doubt. can i achieve this all in one bike? the journey twists. so now i am really into this, but checkin the usual suspects has left me without any clean candidate. rack mounts are rare, steel is hit or miss on cost and weight, sliders also rare, and i just can't come to grips with an EBB for some reason. i want disc brakes. this sorta puts the rack at a problem, but i think i will head to the Old Man Mountain axle mount if i ever go that route. plus this complicates the rear wheel mounting at different chainstay lengths; sliders are best done here with the paragons. i want steel (or ti, but probably not). i am trying to decide if i want or need custom geometry or fit, cause it seems like my ideal bike is best gonna come from a custom builder. i have been pouring over all the 29 info out there, loved the monkey butt thread, the wolfhound pics, and the bcd one man dh revolution. so i started looking at specs, sizes, and geo.. i want to go rigid fork for starters, but will need to comply to suspension should i choose at some point. i would like it to be quick handling and responsive, but also churn out a long days ride.. maybe multiple days ride. a brief history: raced years of xc in the midwest as a junior, moved to montana for eight years churning out epic rides everywhere, started riding the 'freeride' movement and flat pedals, spent the last five years racing dh in the east and getting into dirt jumping and riding the terrain (skate) park at rays mtb in cleveland. bottom line: i can ride anything. i recently sold my dh bike and got into a nomad. i choose the nomad because the thought of getting a nervous handling (no matter how much travel) cross country bike just sounded like torture.. i love the nomad. so in looking at a 29er, i am ready to accept some fast handling and traditional aspects of a hardtail mountain bike, but is there any validity in progressive geometry (like the nomad) in the world of 29 inch wheeled bikes? im with Suspect Device and love riding on the edge of traction.. with speed. so this sort of blends into the current "EWR" thread. that question stems from my custom thoughts; i know the handling aspects of the 29er are still sorta in the infant stages (especially the suspension part), but my main question to you folk who have ridden the modern 29's in different variations of frame and forks, what are the most influential aspect of the handling? what is the 'dope' set up? have 2 cents toward what im looking for.. gimme 4 cents if you want. i love my nomad, and don't really have a desire to make a 29er handle like it or have similar geo, but more my inquiry stems from the rigid to suspension transition. i don't really want this thing to be too twitchy with a rigid fork, but yet if i throw on a suspension fork, i don't really want to rake it out a bunch either. I know that the rigid forks are indeed suspension corrected, but they are still taller, especially if you go 100 mm. To check this out, i made a model of a Surly Kararte Monkey in various states; stock fork, and an array of suspension forks. i included some screen shot pictures of this little said experiment. the suspension fork defiantly changes up the numbers, the pics i included here are with a rs reba 100 mm. now i know a new reba is supposedly coming out, but i couldn't find any data on it. i did it at a static height (uncompressed) and a sag of 20 mm. the 80 mm has less affect on the numbers, which is more suitable for my requirements. but, they still have an affect. check out the pics.. does a degree on the head angle change that much? how about a 1/2 inch change in trail? i know that my bb height is pretty high, not real sure why or if thats realistic (i used 29.375 as the od for the rubber, from Ted's monkey butt thread), but the rest of the measurements are pretty close to manufacture claims.. so i think its pretty accurate. i am interested in using the Willits W.O.W. fork, and want to start talking to builder in the next week or so.. willits being one of them. wow, so that got a little winded.. i would be appreciative of any input you monkeys wanna throw in. and in that regard, i have pretty good confidence with my model (if something isn't accurate i can figure it out and fix it), so if your interested i can model any bike and see how fork changes affect it.. just need the usual suspect dimensions. anyone have the new reba info?