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Old 11-17-09, 11:20 AM   #1
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Which steel hardtail frame. Help me out!

UPDATE: I've got most of the bike finished, but I forgot to get cable housing yesterday. Doh. I'll get it and finish up tomorrow.

For right now, I had to cannibalize the Vagrants wheels, bars, stem and fork until I figure out what I'll need. The Pike and stem look pretty good so they will likely be staying. The pedals, bash, bars, saddle and wheels will not.


Frame with the rims it will be getting. Just need to get a blue set of Hope hubs after I decide on 2x9 or 2x6.



Well, it's about that time of year when I start thinking about building a new bike. I am going to need a bit of help though as most people I ride with have FS bikes and the shops don't have anything in stock that I want. I also haven't been riding long enough to be able to tell exactly how a bike will ride based on the geo.

I am going to keep the Vagrant, of course, but I need something for longer rides. The Vagrant beats the crap out of my back after the 1.5-2hour mark, once my legs are too tired to keep me standing. Was thinking about the TransAM, but not sure if it would be enough of a difference compared to the Vagrant. I will be riding singletrack in NE Ohio and PA mostly.

What I want...
-Steel Hardtail Frame/Disc brakes
-Room for 26x2.4 tires
-Comfortable enough to ride all day
-Slack enough but not too slack to carve and climb
-120-140mm fork?
-Tough enough to play in the rocks and not limit me

About me and my riding...I am 6' and 150 pounds. I like to pop off of rocks rather than roll through the smooth, faster line. I'm out there to see what I can ride over, not to see how fast I can go. I do like to carve the corners though.


SHORT(ER) VERSION: I want a steel hardtail frame for Ohio singletrack that is still fun to ride, but a bit more comfortable on long rides and better at climbing than the Vagrant.

Help me out here BF addicts. I know you have nothing better to do. Let the brainstorming begin!

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Old 11-17-09, 11:57 AM   #2
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What don't you like about the vagrant? Sounds like it what your looking for. If your back hurts at the 2hr mark it's time for a nice slack full suspension or maybe an exercise program to strengthen your posterior chain. If you just feel like building up a nice new hard tail just for the fun of please disregard my useless advice.

The hardtails I'm interested in are: Trans Am, Dialled Alpine, Evil Soverign, On One 456 and Sinister Ridge, just to name a few. Good luck.
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Old 11-17-09, 12:15 PM   #3
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What don't you like about the vagrant?
I love the Vagrant, which is why I'm keeping it, but it's as stiff as stiff can be. There is no flex in those stays whatsoever. I also had to drop my Pike down to 110-120mm to keep the front end from floating too much on climbs. The weight isn't bad at 31lbs, but would like the new bike to be 29lbs or so, just because. I also plan on doing 2-3 XC races next year.

I have been doing core exercises, and they help extend the ride, but I need something to take the edge off. I am also just wanting to build a new bike, so I can leave the Vagrant alone instead of making it more XC oriented . Have all the parts for the new bike except frame, fork, crank and brakes.

Would the TransAM be enough different?
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Old 11-17-09, 02:53 PM   #4
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The hardtails I'm interested in are: Trans Am, Dialled Alpine, Evil Soverign, On One 456 and Sinister Ridge, just to name a few. Good luck.
Yes. These are the usually suspects. All of them are great bikes. What I am trying to decide is if they will be different, or will it essentially just be like buying a second Vagrant. Thanks!

These rest of you must be tired of these types of threads.
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Old 11-17-09, 05:00 PM   #5
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Would the TransAM be enough different?
TransAM I think might fill the bill precisely for what you're looking for. Your Vagrant is way slack (One of it's most attractive features for my taste); the TA is 1 steeper at 68 - - with a fairly long fork (it's designed around a 140/160 with a 519mm AtoC). If you look at the stack and reach figures, the TA frame is not quite as compact, which would suit a more trail/XC-ish stance too.

You can still pull up all the Vagrant numbers on the Transition web site (a PDF of the original web pages) - - compare all the numbers side-to-side with the same size TransAM frame and you'll get a pretty good picture of how different it really should be.
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Old 11-17-09, 06:29 PM   #6
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TransAM I think might fill the bill precisely for what you're looking for. Your Vagrant is way slack (One of it's most attractive features for my taste); the TA is 1 steeper at 68 - - with a fairly long fork (it's designed around a 140/160 with a 519mm AtoC). If you look at the stack and reach figures, the TA frame is not quite as compact, which would suit a more trail/XC-ish stance too.

You can still pull up all the Vagrant numbers on the Transition web site (a PDF of the original web pages) - - compare all the numbers side-to-side with the same size TransAM frame and you'll get a pretty good picture of how different it really should be.
Thanks for the help. I do have all the geo figures printed out. In fact, I have the geos for tons of the hardtails I have looked at printed out and on the wall. My problem was knowing if 67 vs 68.5 HTA and 70 vs 72.5 STA would be a lot or not or if I would need something more like 70*HTA/74*STA. I have only ever ridden my Vagrant and my dad's HardRock XC, so I don't have anything to compare to. I need to ride some more bikes.

Sounds like the TA may do the trick. That Dialled Alpine looks awesome too, but I'm having trouble finding them for sale in the US.

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Old 11-18-09, 06:10 AM   #7
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TransAM.

Loooooving mine.

The Dialled Alpine is nice as well, but has a fair bit higher BB with the same fork height - seems like something you'd not want where you live. Hell, I live and ride somewhere with a ton of chunky rocks and roots, and prefer that shorter BB height.
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Old 11-18-09, 07:56 AM   #8
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Scrub: What size is yours...Med?
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Old 11-18-09, 08:09 AM   #9
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TransAM.

Loooooving mine.

The Dialled Alpine is nice as well, but has a fair bit higher BB with the same fork height - seems like something you'd not want where you live. Hell, I live and ride somewhere with a ton of chunky rocks and roots, and prefer that shorter BB height.
The BB height is really that different between the 2? I am seeing 12.6" on the TransAM with a 518 A-C and 12.76" on the Alpine, but not sure what A-C was used on the Alpine. Anyone know?
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Old 11-18-09, 08:11 AM   #10
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Scrub: What size is yours...Med?
Pretty sure he got a small. I'm going to need either a M or L.
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Old 11-18-09, 02:22 PM   #11
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The BB height is really that different between the 2? I am seeing 12.6" on the TransAM with a 518 A-C and 12.76" on the Alpine, but not sure what A-C was used on the Alpine. Anyone know?
I think the Alpine is that high with a 160mm fork. At least they used to be - that may have changed.

I guess it depends on what fork you plan to use - that will end up dictating the final geometry with whichever frame you pick.
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Old 11-18-09, 02:36 PM   #12
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aye scrub got a small. i got a med a while back, i love that bike sooooo much. big difference over the aluminum HT i used to have.
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Old 11-19-09, 07:48 AM   #13
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I was thinking about this last night. The TransAM should be fine. It being XC friendly enough will be dictated by how I build it rather than just the frame itself. Now I just need to decide if I should put my Pike on the TA and get a new fork for the Vagrant, or just buy a Revelation for the TA. Then comes the hard decision of orange, black or white
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Old 11-19-09, 10:32 AM   #14
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White is still the new white - - and a nice canvas for anything special you decide to do. Black only if you're going to do some custom gold foil Transition decals and use a lot of white componentry. Orange cries out for something special (maybe it's just me but I've seen too many orange Transitions lately) - - like a nice pearlescent overcoat. That would definitely sweeten it.




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Old 11-19-09, 10:46 AM   #15
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I'm all 'bout RAW!!

Pike the TrAm and Domain the Vagrant. Cheaper than a Revelation and it's a gr8 fork, man.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:34 AM   #16
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White is still the new white - - and a nice canvas for anything special you decide to do. Black only if you're going to do some custom gold foil Transition decals and use a lot of white componentry. Orange cries out for something special (maybe it's just me but I've seen too many orange Transitions lately) - - like a nice pearlescent overcoat. That would definitely sweeten it.

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Yeah. White might be nice. I have always wanted an orange bike, but they have been pretty common lately. I have lime green Spank Subrosas with Pro II hubs on the Vagrant, but I might move them over to the new bike as I also have a set of blue Spank Tweet Tweet rims in need of hubs. Thinking of building those with a Hope Pro II SS hub and running 1x6 on the Vagrant or 2x6 on the TA. Aghhhh! So many choices to make! I do have that TRANSITION decal file you sent me, so custom decals are an option.

Chelboed, domain on the Vagrant was my first thought. The thing is I don't even push the Pike to its limits, plus I'm only 150lbs. A domain would be a bit overkill for me and my riding. It is ideal for the frame though. I would also need U-turn for visits to Ray's and I'm not seeing it much cheaper than the Rev.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:47 AM   #17
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Be patient and you will see it cheap. I got mine for $180. Also...google:

"Domain Coil U-Turn"
"FS Domain Coil U-Turn"
"Sale Domain Coil U-Turn"

That's how I found the PIKE for $220 shipped from that Teton Gravity site.

If you're so light and don't push it all that much, maybe a Lyrik or a 36 Talas would be the way to go.
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Old 11-19-09, 12:38 PM   #18
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Be patient and you will see it cheap. I got mine for $180.

That's how I found the PIKE for $220 shipped from that Teton Gravity site.

If you're so light and don't push it all that much, maybe a Lyrik or a 36 Talas would be the way to go.

Those are your special prices though. Nobody else finds deals like that . $180 or even $220 would be way better than what I'm seeing. Would leave me some money to bling this thing out.
Thinking I'll stick with RS as I LOVE the Pike and Maxle.
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Old 11-19-09, 01:08 PM   #19
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I'll keep my eyes open for ya G
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Old 11-19-09, 01:49 PM   #20
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Appreciate it. I'll be looking too. Domains, Revs, Lyriks and Pikes should all fit the bill, I think. Which I choose will be based on the color and price I can get. There's no real rush, so I'll go for the best deal.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of my green wheels on a white TransAM with 2x9 and the blue wheels on the Vag run 1x6. It just makes more sense.
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Old 11-19-09, 02:23 PM   #21
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Welllllll then . . . you definitely need this bar/grip combo. Limited run, still in stock as of this moment.



http://www.sixsixone.com/Catalog_Sun...8-4eaf4b50432c

Imagine , too, a gold decal with doubled-up black/lime green drop-shadow

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Old 11-19-09, 02:50 PM   #22
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Welllllll then . . . you definitely need this bar/grip combo. Limited run, still in stock as of this moment.



http://www.sixsixone.com/Catalog_Sun...8-4eaf4b50432c

Imagine , too, a gold decal with doubled-up black/lime green drop-shadow

Not to trump Doug's sponsor, but I disagree.

Jenson is blowing out 31.8 hi/mid/low rise EA70 bars for $29.
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Old 11-19-09, 03:08 PM   #23
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Welllllll then . . . you definitely need this bar/grip combo. Limited run, still in stock as of this moment.



http://www.sixsixone.com/Catalog_Sun...8-4eaf4b50432c

Imagine , too, a gold decal with doubled-up black/lime green drop-shadow

That's pretty sick! I'm not sure I'm cool enough to pull that off. May do the green drop shadow though.

As far as bars go, I'm not sure. I'm likely going to use the 90mm Atlas AM stem from the Vagrant and possibly a 12 or 16 sweep Syntace bar. 9 back has always hurt my wrists. The Syntace is pretty pricey, so I may use something like that EA70 until I can sell a kidney.

EDIT - Degree symbol fixed. I'll never remember that, but thanks.

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Old 11-19-09, 03:14 PM   #24
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BTW, degree symbol (), just so's you know, is ASCII character <ALT> 0176.

I'm trying to get that little bugger memorized so I don't always have to refer to the character map.
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Old 11-20-09, 10:47 AM   #25
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Appreciate it. I'll be looking too. Domains, Revs, Lyriks and Pikes should all fit the bill, I think. Which I choose will be based on the color and price I can get. There's no real rush, so I'll go for the best deal.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of my green wheels on a white TransAM with 2x9 and the blue wheels on the Vag run 1x6. It just makes more sense.

Incidently...there's a nice Fox Float 140 RL on ebay right now for cheap...low mileage. No stairs, no drops...just XC.
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