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  1. #1
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Longest head tube in a xc type bike.

    Who makes an xc type fs bike with a tall head tube? Don't need a lot of travel, 100 or 120mm will be fine.
    I saw a geo chart for K2 Base 3.0 showing a 200 mm head tube but can't find much info about the bikes. Anything else out there? tia

  2. #2
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    How tall are you? What size bike are you looking for? Why do you need an extra-long headtube?
    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    Using a nicer sealed bearing headset vs a $10 set is like throwing a frisbee vs a dodgeball.

  3. #3
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Head tube length is not very indicative of the stack height on MTBs due to headtube angles and axle-to-crown fork length variation driven by fork travel and especially wheel size. (Obviously, 29er fork > 650b fork > 26" fork.) These 3 things vary far more than road bikes, which you can tell a lot about based on HT and eTT length.

    The biggest MTB I have seen in person was a 6'6" guy riding a 23" Trek Superfly 100. It was a massive bike, but it fit him. I'm only 6'0" for reference. Looking at Trek's site, I now see that bike has a 14.5cm head tube.

    Anyway, I agree with Grimlock. I think you could be chasing a ghost. Have you been to a shop and ridden 21" - 23" bikes?

  4. #4
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Kona, in the mid-90s.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I had Litesapeed build me a custom Pisgah with a 160 head tube. With an uncut 80mm Fox fork, I'm left with 1" of spacers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I'm only about 6'2" but have long legs for my height. I use uncut steer tubes on my road bikes and the head tubes are 220mm on both bikes.
    I had 2 hardtail mtbs and they both had long head tubes but that was long ago.

    I rode a 1998 K2 for 9 years or so until the frame broke, then I bought a cheap KHS. I have about 60mm of spacers under the stem and it could be even higher to be more comfortable. The steer tube is about 270mm.

    I think Specialized had a 180mm head tube on the Epic in 2011 but I never got a chance to ride one.
    Last edited by big john; 10-31-12 at 09:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    How about using 3" riser bars?
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  9. #9
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    How about using 3" riser bars?
    It's crossed my mind. The KHS needs some new parts and I was thinking of a new bike instead of spending money on the old one which doesn't fit quite like I like.

  10. #10
    B A N N E D
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  11. #11
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    The pic of your bike does help. I would not use a steerer extender on a MTB. (I wouldn't on any bike, but especially a MTB which will be crashed by nature.) A +35 stem doesn't help much when the stem is super short like that.

    I would say that you're far enough outside of the bell curve that really you have only two options:

    - increase flexibility
    always a good thing, for bicycling and general well-being, but it takes a lot of work.

    - have a custom frame built
    unfortunately, there aren't any FS custom frames that are affordable, that I've ever heard of. tsunami is making hardtail 29ers starting at $800, but I'm guessing you won't want to give up the shock. and some custom jobs end up a nightmare...

  12. #12
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I agree on the extender, too scary. The stem is actually 100mm, hard to tell in that pic.
    The flexibility isn't going to improve, had enough back issues already.
    I thought about a custom steel hardtail but I do love the rear shock.

    I know the trend is short head tubes and the stupid frames just get longer when you go from large to x large. I demoed a Rize 120 and I thought it was a great bike except the bars were too low and it's more of a hassle with the Lefty. I was on an XL and later I found the Large has the same head tube.

    I guess I'll try to find a K2 Base 3.0 to sit on and see if the 200mm head tube does what I think it should. Don't mind switching parts if the frame and rear suspension can last a while.

    I really haven't looked into 29ers.

  13. #13
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    btw thanks for the thoughts and understanding. I've had trouble fitting road bikes for years until I figured out the geometry I like. Most people don't believe everyone can't just grab a bike off the shelf.

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