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  1. #1
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    steel or aluminum hardtail?

    ive been looking for a good hardtail in the $1000-$1400 range. the two i am most interested in are the jamis dakota xc and the giant xtc 2. i was wondering if i should go with the steel jamis, for i have heard that steel is a good choice for a hardtail. also if you have any other suggestions that would be great.

  2. #2
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    Forget the dakota for $1400 get the Dragon.
    the dakota is 631 where as the dragon is 853.

    Now if $1400 is the budget for the frame only i'd go with the Indy Fab Steel Delux
    www.ifbikes.com
    Gunner makes nice frames too.
    You can get a Dragon on jenson for $659 bucks then buy an Xt build kit and have a superb bike.
    t
    MtbPhreek

  3. #3
    DiL
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    Weight is less of an issue with hardtails, so using steel is easier to get away with. There is no substitute for a good steel frame, but I've really gotten used to aluminum. Aluminum resists rust. Steel flexes where aluminum cracks. There are pros and cons to each. I think in the end, your best bet is to use whichever you like to ride more.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  4. #4
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    XT build 599
    http://pricepoint.com/product684.html

    Xt complete build 740 (btw jenson can probably beat these prices but you have to call
    http://pricepoint.com/product690.html
    740+659=1390 boom right in your budget awesome bike!
    MtbPhreek

  5. #5
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    Oh and steel is way cooler than aluminum will ever be.
    MtbPhreek

  6. #6
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Good steel is a more supple ride, longer lasting (with proper care ie: Frame Saver) and a much better value with minimal weight penalty.

  7. #7
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    If you can fit on a 16.5" frame there is (was?) a Scapin OTO on eBay. Buy it and then build up with the XT kits listed above. That is what I did and it is great!! Nothing beats a good steel ride. My Scapin hardtail weighs more than 5 pounds less than my Trek Fuel 90 weighed. A HUGE difference in handling and so much better riding.

    If the frame is no longer on eBay you might check with matt@redlanterncycles.com to see if it is still available. He is the Scapin importer and it was his listing for a new leftover '02 frame. He can send along pic's etc., if he still has. Good luck!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member roadrage's Avatar
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    I've had both aluminum and steel hardtails(actually own a Jamis Dakota XC currently). Great bike, and recommend it highly. I also really like the Kona aluminum bikes too though. The Dragon frame may be cool as oanother poster has mentioned if you can get that fairly cheap and build. Hard to go wrong with Jamis. Don't know too much about the Giant, but it seems to be a decent value as well. My friend has one and likes it, but is considering a full suspension now.

  9. #9
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Check out the Gunnar Rockhound. Awesome bike.

  10. #10
    Part of the furniture math2p14's Avatar
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    Alluminum doesnt snap just like that. meaning that it doesnt snap that easily. Kids that jump xc frames made a huge reputation for snapped alloy frames here in the UK. I have both steel and allu hard tails and i like them both.
    Where the skid marks stop...the tree begins....:D:D:D:D:D

  11. #11
    Chi
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    I know a guy with a Trek 8000 that's more than 10 years old and it's still strong. It's aluminum. If I had that budget for a HT, I'd go with a Trek 8000/8500, coz I love the geometry, and their new ZR9000 aluminum sounds so cool.

  12. #12
    Eleventy Billion Posts schnell's Avatar
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    Steel is real

    Check out:
    - Kona Explosif
    - Gunnar Rockhound
    - Independent Fab Steel Deluxe
    - DEAN Private
    - Jericho Payback

    The Explosif frame is priced very well ($450, I believe) and it has that beautiful Kona handling and feel.

    I still feel like a sell out for getting rid of mine and getting a scandium frame
    There are two kinds of people in this world I can't stand. People that are
    intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.

  13. #13
    Senior Member diamondback's Avatar
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    at that price a full susp with lockouts is possible

  14. #14
    Eleventy Billion Posts schnell's Avatar
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    Sure it is, but why would you want that?
    There are two kinds of people in this world I can't stand. People that are
    intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.

  15. #15
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by diamondback
    at that price a full susp with lockouts is possible
    A fully for 450?...not the greatest bike though. There is a big diff in quality between a 450 ht frame and a 450 dually frame.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    I've beaten the PISS out of aluminum bikes. But as they say, Steel is real
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  17. #17
    Eleventy Billion Posts schnell's Avatar
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    Beating the piss out of it isn't the point. Steel offers a much more compliant ride than aluminum.
    There are two kinds of people in this world I can't stand. People that are
    intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.

  18. #18
    Senior Member roadrage's Avatar
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    Yeah, but less stiff. it depends on what you are looking for.

  19. #19
    DiL
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    I still say don't let anyone tell you which is better. Its something you should decide for yourself by riding the two. Neither is bad, and both have their advantages.
    Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  20. #20
    Chi
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    Steel is heavy, aluminum is lighter. There is very little research being done on how light you can go with a Chromoly frame, but there are more than 20 different alloys for aluminum which claim they're lighter/stronger/better than anything else. Go figure.

    I know a couple of really old aluminum frames and I have yet to see failure on either one.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Chi
    Steel is heavy, aluminum is lighter.
    A pound of feathers is lighter than a pound of lead?

    My steel jamis frame is lighter than an aluminum wal-mart frame.
    My steel jamis frame is lighter than an epic.
    My steel jamis frame is not lighter than my 2003 M4 stumpy ht.

    Weight is relative to material and fabrication.
    MtbPhreek

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    A fully for 450?...not the greatest bike though. There is a big diff in quality between a 450 ht frame and a 450 dually frame.
    I'd say about 5 pounds inthe frame alone

    I have a CAAD4 and owned a DB Axis Team before that. The Axis felt great and would now be perfect for a trail bike. The CAAD4 is super quick but a bumpy ride.
    alas the Axis is now cracked and now I have no trail bike

    I'd go with a Steel or Ti Hardtail

    On-one.co.uk sells a Ti Inbred HT frame for around 800 an their steel Inbred is very reasonable at 225.
    But if you can afford the Independant Fabrications go for that .

    Steel is real, but aluminium would be the choice for a light XC racer.
    An ounce off the wheels is worth 3 off the frame

  23. #23
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    I ride both alum ans steel bikes, not much difference in the ride to be honest. I would go for aluminium, just be sure the bike is backed by a good warranty just in case.

  24. #24
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    thanks for all the advice guys, it was all very informative. at this point im seriously considering going with a specialized stumpjumper. its a little bit out of my budget, but im hoping mom and dad can help me out a little. if anyone has any views they could share on the stumpjumper that would be great.

  25. #25
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Toninator

    My steel jamis frame is lighter than an epic.
    That's not quite fair to the Epic-we're comparing HT to FS (with baggage) here. You do make a valid point that others have mentioned as well-steel is not necessarily heavier than aluminum.
    But be nice to the Epic, it's not it's fault it needs to slim down.

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