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Kill My Quiver MTB

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Old 02-20-18, 03:58 PM
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Kill My Quiver MTB

I bought a “real” modern mountain bike last year and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s become my preferred ride on days I don’t take kiddo to daycare. But it’s basically useless for anything but riding on a trail because it cannot take a rack at all nor a frame bag of any useful size. If I want to stop for groceries I’m limited to my backpack and if I want to take kiddo to daycare in his seat I must take my cross commuter, which takes the standard rack for his kid seat. That cross commuter is becoming less fun lately. It’s got a really high stand over and it’s probably a size too big and I’ve never felt that secure with the drop bar handling and braking when I’ve got the kid seat or trailer.

So here’s where I’m headed. I want...
  • a modern, capable hardtail MTB,
  • with hydraulic brakes
  • big wheels, and tubeless rims
  • prefer 1x drivetrain,
  • either plus tires with a rigid fork or 120mm air fork,
  • somewhat raked out, long ETT and short stem and wide bars,
  • dropper, or at least cable routing for one...
  • that will take a standard rack (or disk variant)

This actually seems like it’s kind of a hard ask. Looking among the Big Four, the Trek x-caliber and Roscoe will do it. Nothing from Cannondale or Specialized or Giant seems to have rack bosses at this level per their website photos. Marin Pine Mountain 1 or Bobcat Trail look plausible. Salsa Timberjack rules itself out with a proprietary rack arrangement. I could strip down my current bike and build up a B-Side or Karate Monkey. On One is rumored to have a new Inbred coming. Any other ideas?
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Old 02-20-18, 04:13 PM
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Surly ECR or Krampus?
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Old 02-20-18, 05:50 PM
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Or Karate Monkey. Note gen1,2 Krampii (Green, Ops=black) do not have rack bosses, but the 2017 Gen3 (red) does.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:00 PM
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While it's not crucial, my current trail bike is a 27.5 not plus, and I like it. I think I'd be happy with slightly bigger or fatter tires, but I wasn't really considering the 29+ bikes. I don't have any surface conditions that are really that challenging, and I ride a medium frame, so it's unwieldy.

I'm not seeing the need to pay the premium for an ECR over a KM frame. If KM frames came without forks I'd be shopping that too.

There are quite a number of cool looking and affordable bikes that fit all the criteria except the rack mount, which is required. It's kind of frustrating.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:19 PM
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Kona Unit X seems to check all those boxes.

KONA BIKES | MTB | MTB HARDTAIL | Unit X
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Old 02-21-18, 09:38 AM
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Hey check that out, I hadn't seen that before! $1299 vs Krampus at $1499, chief difference appears to be 27.5x2.8 vs 29x3, and Reynolds 520 Cromoly vs 4130 Cromoly (presumably the Reynolds is better?)
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Old 02-21-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I bought a ďrealĒ modern mountain bike last year and Iíve really enjoyed it. Itís become my preferred ride on days I donít take kiddo to daycare. But itís basically useless for anything but riding on a trail because it cannot take a rack at all nor a frame bag of any useful size. If I want to stop for groceries Iím limited to my backpack and if I want to take kiddo to daycare in his seat I must take my cross commuter, which takes the standard rack for his kid seat. That cross commuter is becoming less fun lately. Itís got a really high stand over and itís probably a size too big and Iíve never felt that secure with the drop bar handling and braking when Iíve got the kid seat or trailer.

So hereís where Iím headed. I want...
  • a modern, capable hardtail MTB,
  • with hydraulic brakes
  • big wheels, and tubeless rims
  • prefer 1x drivetrain,
  • either plus tires with a rigid fork or 120mm air fork,
  • somewhat raked out, long ETT and short stem and wide bars,
  • dropper, or at least cable routing for one...
  • that will take a standard rack (or disk variant)

This actually seems like itís kind of a hard ask. Looking among the Big Four, the Trek x-caliber and Roscoe will do it. Nothing from Cannondale or Specialized or Giant seems to have rack bosses at this level per their website photos. Marin Pine Mountain 1 or Bobcat Trail look plausible. Salsa Timberjack rules itself out with a proprietary rack arrangement. I could strip down my current bike and build up a B-Side or Karate Monkey. On One is rumored to have a new Inbred coming. Any other ideas?
I'm going to go into grouchy Grandpa mode here but this has been a problem for years and years. Mountain bike originally were "adventure bikes" made for doing all the things that adventure bikes do now with all the rack attachments you needed. Then they went to race bikes which are mostly useless for adventures.

That said, there are ways of adapting modern hardtails without rack mounts. One way is to use Tubus rack adapters which are much more solid than p-clips. I use them on this bike

IMG_1736 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Here's close up of the mount

image by Stuart Black, on Flickr

This bike doesn't have discs but the mount works well enough above the disc tab on other bikes. You will probably need a rack with adjustable legs to keep it from being too high, however.

Another way to do it is to get a frame that can be modified. I purchased a Dean hardtail a year ago and they added rack mounts to the frame for a modest fee (about $40 per mount). This is how it looks

DSCN0372 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The process was quick and easy since I live close to Dean. The frame is a 2000 to 2002 frame and, yes, it's a 26" but that's not a problem in my opinion. You may be able to find a 27.5 or 29er although they are far more expensive on Fleabay. Mine cost me $800 and it will last me for, roughly, ever. It's worth looking into at least.
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Old 02-21-18, 05:21 PM
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Sounds like simply changing to a flat bar might be sufficient for the cross bike.

A bob trailer might be the solution for the utility runs on the mountain bike:

https://www.amazon.com/BOB-Yak-Plus-...70_&dpSrc=srch

https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Ibex-Plus...70_&dpSrc=srch
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Old 02-22-18, 01:04 AM
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The Jamis Dragonslayer looks to fit your requirements.
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Old 02-22-18, 01:16 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts, everyone.

I don't resent the FS bike for not having rack mounts. How would that work? It is what it's supposed to be. I wouldn't call it a racing bike by any means but it's definitely made for mountain biking as a drive-to-trailhead activity. That's valid, it certainly seems a lot more fun to me than driving to the trailhead with a horse trailer or a rifle. I have a lot of trails between home and work where I can really enjoy it. It's so, SO much better to ride than the 2002-vintage cheapie I used to own. I don't want to lose that by swinging too far in the other direction.

The Tubus P-clamps seem to be intended for the upper stays and not the dropouts. Kiddo is 40lb and growing, his 1yo brother is going to be even bigger when he reaches that age. So I definitely want to bolt the lower strut of the rack right to the frame.

A different rack is also not in the cards, I now have four of these EX-1 racks (my commuter, wife's bike, the tandem, sister's bike) and two Copilot kid seats and it's just great to snap the seats in and out so easily, and I can still use standard panniers. I will likely be using this system for at least another three years until the twins outgrow it.

As for updating the cross bike, I'm sure it's obvious that I'm manufacturing excuses to get rid of it.
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Old 02-22-18, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
The Jamis Dragonslayer looks to fit your requirements.
The spec looks right. It doesn't seem to have eyelets on the dropouts. I can't figure out why it has eyelets 1/4 way up the seat stay. It's not the only one I've seen like this, the KM has a set there too in addition to the normal place
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Old 02-22-18, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone.

I don't resent the FS bike for not having rack mounts. How would that work? It is what it's supposed to be. I wouldn't call it a racing bike by any means but it's definitely made for mountain biking as a drive-to-trailhead activity. That's valid, it certainly seems a lot more fun to me than driving to the trailhead with a horse trailer or a rifle. I have a lot of trails between home and work where I can really enjoy it. It's so, SO much better to ride than the 2002-vintage cheapie I used to own. I don't want to lose that by swinging too far in the other direction.
I resent mountain bikes...especially hardtails...not having rack mounts for a number of reasons. Yes, the bikes are often driven to trailheads but that doesn't mean that you are just going to go for a loop around the bike park. These are...or were originally...bicycles for adventuring. Doing 3 or 4 loops around a trail system is a waste of the bicycle's abilities.

I once heard a guy talking about how he went for a long ride that just beat him up. It was 12 miles. I've done 50 mile rides over two 11,000 foot passes here in Colorado, 65 mile out and backs over the same pass and even centuries on mountain bikes. I've done 300 mile off-road tours with a mountain bike on jeep roads. These aren't rides that are that easy to do with a bike that can't carry stuff. The single day rides usually involve needing clothing for warm weather, cool weather, cold weather and rain (or possibly snow) as well as some rudimentary survival gear in case something goes sideways. A Camelbak just don't cut it.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
The Tubus P-clamps seem to be intended for the upper stays and not the dropouts. Kiddo is 40lb and growing, his 1yo brother is going to be even bigger when he reaches that age. So I definitely want to bolt the lower strut of the rack right to the frame.
The Tubus clamps are way stronger than p-clamps. They are beefy bits of steel that don't bend easily. They may not be capable of carrying the load a Tubus Cargo can (that's 40 kg or 88 lb for the metrically challenged) but it will certainly carry 20 to 40 lb in an off-road setting.

From your statement, I'm assuming that you are carrying the kid on in a child seat. I wouldn't feel safe with suggesting the Tubus clamps for a child seat...I think they would work but still...but any mountain bike without mounts isn't going to work for that anyway. Personally, I'd carry them in a trailer and then leave the trailer at daycare.
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Old 02-22-18, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
The spec looks right. It doesn't seem to have eyelets on the dropouts. I can't figure out why it has eyelets 1/4 way up the seat stay. It's not the only one I've seen like this, the KM has a set there too in addition to the normal place
Are there racks designed so that the lower stays would bolt there?
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Old 02-22-18, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
The spec looks right. It doesn't seem to have eyelets on the dropouts. I can't figure out why it has eyelets 1/4 way up the seat stay. It's not the only one I've seen like this, the KM has a set there too in addition to the normal place
My guess would be due to the sliding dropouts.
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Old 02-22-18, 02:09 PM
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I just want to note, I like the phrase "Kill my quiver". As a card-carrying cheapskate, I often SMH at all the "N+1" fever around here. A catchy phrase like "Kill my quiver" (KMQ?) might help quell the rampant consumerism.
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Old 02-22-18, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I just want to note, I like the phrase "Kill my quiver". As a card-carrying cheapskate, I often SMH at all the "N+1" fever around here. A catchy phrase like "Kill my quiver" (KMQ?) might help quell the rampant consumerism.
That rampant consumerism just helps to keep nice, durable used bikes cheap on the 2nd hand market
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Old 02-23-18, 11:11 AM
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Amen brother! I live to take advantage of the poor financial choices of others!
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Old 02-23-18, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I just want to note, I like the phrase "Kill my quiver". As a card-carrying cheapskate, I often SMH at all the "N+1" fever around here. A catchy phrase like "Kill my quiver" (KMQ?) might help quell the rampant consumerism.
Me too in a way. I started out in 2004 with a used Hardrock steel diamond framed MTB. The guy I bought it from said I could do most anything with it, and he's been right for the most part. Most of the limitations are still in the engine for most of what I do with it, and I've experienced enough aggravation dealing with cars while riding to want to spend a lot more to get a somewhat better version of what I already have.
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Old 03-02-18, 01:48 PM
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Just an update. To recap, I’m looking for a fully featured, $1000-ish MTB that will work with Copilot kid seats and their included Blackburn EX-1rack, and also with a Chariot trailer.

The rack comes in a standard version that can mount to the dropouts, and won’t clear a traditional seatstay disk mount; and a disk version that replaces the QR skewer, and therefore won’t work with a thru axle. The trailer hitch goes under the QR nut. There is an alternate hitch (discontinued) that clamps on the chainstay, and in case of thru axle there’s Robert Axle Project.

Marin Pine Mountain, Trek Roscoe and X Caliber are looking like the strongest contenders. Both of these have chainstay brakes, and traditional double eyelets. They also both have Boost 141 QR hubs though I think they’d be ok if they had thru axles. The Marins are a slam dunk for fitment. I still need to find out if the Chariot hitch will work on the Treks. They have hoods on the dropouts but the hoods look roomy.

Karate Monkey would require a QR rear hub for the disk rack, and the hooded dropouts block the hitch. The complete bike comes w a thru axle that can be addressed w a Robert Axle but that would block the rack mount. In other words I could do the trailer or the rack but not both.

B Side would work w the disk rack but has problems with the hitch due to its fancy sliding dropouts. So do the Kona and Jamis mentioned above.
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Old 03-02-18, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
While it's not crucial, my current trail bike is a 27.5 { snip **

There are quite a number of cool looking and affordable bikes that fit all the criteria except the rack mount, which is required. It's kind of frustrating.
It doesn't meet all your requirements--triple drivetrain for one, cheesy elastomer fork for another--but my 27.5" Giant Talon was cheap and has rack and full fender mounts in the rear. On the front I use P-clips on the sliders for the lower fender mounts. The size large fits about like my 56cm roadies.



Pre-built front dyno wheel was about $80 from bike24.de 27.5" x 2" Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Evolution street tires ride nice and are remarkably light, but retain the Marathon's trademark puncture resistance. Oh, and it HAS hydros.

EDIT: BTW, no special "disc" rack required. That's a standard Bontrager Back Rack in the large (700C) size. Those fenders you also have to get at bike24.de since they don't sell that size (65mm) in the US. Since I took that pic, I bought a second set and modified the rear one to use on the front for the "longboard" effect. Clears the ground now by about 2". Nice dry feet in the wet.

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Old 03-02-18, 07:38 PM
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When I get up to the sort of bike that has a nice fork and dropper routing, that’s when the standard mounts mostly disappear. Since I’ve found a few candidates with dealers nearby, I’m not feeling too bad about it.
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Old 03-03-18, 04:10 PM
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I tried the hitch at the Trek dealership today. It works! Like they designed the dropout with clearance in mind. Thank you Trek.

However they only had two X-Calibers in stock. The red 2017 M they had on sale fits but it had a coil fork and a pretty narrow bar / long stem and felt old fashioned. The 2018 was L and looked, well, boring. They claim sold out on Roscoes til May.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:49 AM
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To my list I could now add the REI Co-Op DRT 2.1. It suits all my needs. It has a full SLX build, even the hubs! And a full complement of rack mounts.

Unfortunately I find it stunningly ugly. Weird frame tube curves and baby-poo colored.
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Old 03-31-18, 07:42 PM
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I can cross the Krampus off my list, or at least the factory build. I went to see one today and the rack doesn’t clear the 29x3 tire. It miiiight on the 27.5+ bikes with 2.8 tires.

Also, I found a photo of a rack mounted on those higher mounts. No way it would work with the kid seat, heel strike would be constant.
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Old 04-06-18, 12:44 PM
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Salsa Timberjack has come back on the radar, strongly. I had taken at face value their claim that their Alternator rack was proprietary to their Alternator dropouts, but at best that's an overstatement. Their rack mounts onto the upper pivot of the dropouts in exactly the same way a regular rack would, so obviously a regular one could go there. It takes some spreading but no more than the tandem did. With the "boost QR" on the lower models it has no trouble with the trailer hitch. There's an available version of the Alternator dropouts that has a fender eye, should I want that. I'd have taken the $999 29er model, the component spec is close enough. The things I might eventually want to replace are the same on both bikes, and for now, the 29er wheelset might have been better for commuting. But I like the orange frame so much better.

Stacking discounts at REI are going to make the price $920 net (although much of the money doesn't come back until dividend time and can only be spent at REI).
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