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Looking for a 29er "Adventure" Bike

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Looking for a 29er "Adventure" Bike

Old 12-31-20, 03:57 PM
  #1  
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Looking for a 29er "Adventure" Bike

I like my Giant Toughroad GX but I feel like the tire clearance in the frame is limiting for me. I would ideally like a rigid 29er that has a sporty "XC" feel to it, rigid fork, dropper post compatible, and either running a wide drop bar with a short stem (eg: Evil Chamois Hagar) or an alt bar (eg: Jones Bar).

If I go with the former, my idea would be finding a frame that can take all the parts from my Toughroad, which has QR wheels and a Deore XT crank with a 36t Oval ring. This might be hard as I don't know if there are any frame options available outside of touring-style frames. However, I would prefer to go this rout for the sake of maintaining as many parts as possible.

If this is not possible I was thinking of finding a hardtail "XC" frame and a rigid fork. My issue is that I would want something with a low-ish BB for MTB standards (~60mm drop) and I would want the bike to be able to fit a 36t Oval ring. In terms of tire clearance, I want the bike to clear 29 x 2.2 (and 27.5 x 2.4-2.6 would be nice). I really don't care about having mounting for mudguards/racks/etc.
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Old 12-31-20, 05:41 PM
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I don't usually do this, but there was a recent thread about gravel bikes with bigger tires. Although I take it you want upright bars, which might be a stretch
Why doesn't this exist?


I never liked the idea of a suspension corrected fork on a bike that was never going to get a suspension fork. So that's the main problem I have with converting a mtb
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Old 12-31-20, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I don't usually do this, but there was a recent thread about gravel bikes with bigger tires. Although I take it you want upright bars, which might be a stretch
Why doesn't this exist?
I actually want a drop-bar 29er bike, I just donít want to spend $3000 for something like a Salsa Cutthroat. I thought it would be more cost effective to find a well priced frame and fork, maybe something older from the past few years. I thought Iíd throw the idea out there but Iím guessing since itís very specific that I would ultimately end up paying a premium for it.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
I actually want a drop-bar 29er bike, I just donít want to spend $3000 for something like a Salsa Cutthroat. I thought it would be more cost effective to find a well priced frame and fork, maybe something older from the past few years. I thought Iíd throw the idea out there but Iím guessing since itís very specific that I would ultimately end up paying a premium for it.
I recommend that you check out the Path Less Pedaled youtube channel. Much gravel bike reviews, discussion, ride reports. Off the top of my head, I remember seeing a recent review of a sub $1000 gravel bike by Poseidon, and another one I can't remember. It might give you some options you don't know about.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:33 PM
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I actually watch quite a bit of him and the Alternative Cycling crew. I was really interested in the Redwood, however the geometry was a little too ďtuckedĒ in the front end. If it had a longer top tube and lower seat tube/stand over I think it would be a good fit for me.

Iím very tempted to go with a Salsa Journeyman flat bar since I can swap out everything from the Toughroad to it. I got the idea from a video on the Evil Chamois Hagar - which is I bike I like the idea of. The guy brought up the idea of taking a Flat bar Journeyman and adding drops to it, and since the tire clearance is similar it should work be fine.

I did want to see if I could find a frame with larger tire clearance though. I feel like I would have more 29 x 2.2 options available as opposed to limiting myself to 2.0/50mm. Plus more room for mud clearance
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Old 12-31-20, 09:54 PM
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The Journeyman frame (if you can find one) might be the most affordable option. There ae great options like Cutthroat, Bombtrack Beyond 1 and Open W.I,D.E. but it sounds like these may be out of your budget unless you find a used one.

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Old 01-01-21, 01:13 AM
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Mosso (Taiwan) has a few 60mm bbdrop qr 29er/27.5 mtb frames in carbon and various alu blends (frame weights). Chainstay around 430-425mm.
Had a quick look at prices; not bad for alu options or carbon.
Seems any of the alu frames with 'Pro' in the name are the lightest (triple-butted all tubes). Around 1300gm.

They also do one or two qr carbon-blade forks to suit 29er/27.5.

Trigon (Taiwan also) has a wider range of qr full-carbon mtb forks.

Frame + fork pricing should be pretty good.

Frame and fork geo online.

I do know the old fairly-light 3T Luteus fork (qr version) clears a 29x2.2" with a little over a cm on either side. Also takes a 27.5x2.6+.
Trying to get my hands on a secondhand one myself. Just missed out on a local, recently.

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Old 01-01-21, 05:47 PM
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possibly Kona Unit?

Drop bar Kona Unit SS . $599.00 frame ,fork and through axels. Link is there to give you an example. I believe it will except 2.8 x29"

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Old 01-01-21, 07:57 PM
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Have you looked into a Flaanimal yet?
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Old 01-02-21, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
I actually want a drop-bar 29er bike, I just donít want to spend $3000 for something like a Salsa Cutthroat. I thought it would be more cost effective to find a well priced frame and fork, maybe something older from the past few years. I thought Iíd throw the idea out there but Iím guessing since itís very specific that I would ultimately end up paying a premium for it.
Beyond 1, Bombtrack
Or Salsa Fargo?
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Old 01-02-21, 12:38 PM
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https://www.konaworld.com/sutra_ultd.cfm found this. Think if I save it could work out. Has the geo, tire clearance, and dropper post. Only changes I’d probably make would be the oval ring and wider drops if the ones that come with the bike aren’t as big.

Another option: https://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/a...ar/radar-x-pro. I’d have to add an external dropper.

I think my mindset is shifting to finding a fully featured bike at this point. Alternatively I could try my hands at a Chinese carbon fiber mtb frame set. Seems like plenty of those are available with qr frames and forks

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Old 01-02-21, 01:49 PM
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I've been the last two days shopping the same thing. The Kona Sutra ULTD was one consideration, my conversation with two different dealers didn't give me a lot of hope on that front. The Salsa Fargo is another that I was considering, but I just fired off an email to Milwaukee cycles, I started looking at them when I was considering a new cross bike. Their site is down, apparently they were upgrading and hit some snags. But high end steel like 853 and OX platinum framesets are sweet for not bad pricing, just don't have geometry charts to look st atm.
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Old 01-02-21, 03:05 PM
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Also found this: https://www.vandesselcycles.com/bike...el/straight-up. Says it fits a 29 x 2.1, Could run stock and change the bars to Alt bars.

Other Drop Bar options: https://www.vandesselcycles.com/bike...-tango-foxtrot, https://www.vandesselcycles.com/bike...untry-road-bob, https://www.vandesselcycles.com/bikes/gravel/day-ripper

I kept looking for more Chinese carbon frames and found this one also: https://trifoxbike.com/products/mft2...32088380309583. I think I might go for this as I can take my components from my Toughroad and use them on this frame.

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Old 01-04-21, 08:33 AM
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So I found something a lot more interesting to me. A Giant Roam which can fit a 40T ring, same 450mm chainstays as my Toughroad but with a 62mm BB drop, and it says it clears 55mm tires in the rear: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/roam-2-disc-2021

I'm thinking of replacing the fork with a rigid carbon "TOSEEK" which has the same A-to-C as the Suntour fork but with a reduced 39mm offset. Also clears a 2.4" tire: https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Carbon-R...r=592558262047
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Old 01-04-21, 08:13 PM
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I’m building a Salsa Fargo this winter as a 29+ bike. 2.8” rubber on 35mm rims. I’m doing a Mtb Shimano SLX 1x12 drivetrain with either Jones or Moloko bars.

wiating on the frame, wheels, and drivetrain components, due sometime in January, can’t wait!
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Old 01-06-21, 11:48 AM
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I'm building something similar (drop bar based) around the Rawland Cycles ULV. It's got clearance for 29x2.6 or 27.5 x 3.0 .... have the frame... just finishing getting the parts.

https://rawlandcycles.com/
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Old 01-08-21, 10:22 PM
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So update: I found a frame from a 2012 Kona Kahuna Deluxe being sold on bikeman.com. I also found a Carver XC 470 fork as well. Both quick release so i can use my existing wheels.





I ordered both and my plan now is to test if my 36t oval chainring will clear the stays. If not and I canít bump down to a 34t oval then I may return it. But for the price I think itís a good place for me to start. The only other thing Iím debating is whether I want this to replace my Toughroad GX or if I want this to be itís own bike. Iím leaning more towards making the 29er an alt-bar setup for price reasons (getting an integrated dropper lever with a road shifter might be too pricey at the moment)
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Old 01-09-21, 08:50 AM
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My reservation would be QR and discs. I expect OP is aware of this issue and has come to terms. Just posting for whomever comes across this in the future.
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Old 01-09-21, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
My reservation would be QR and discs. I expect OP is aware of this issue and has come to terms. Just posting for whomever comes across this in the future.
My current bike is quick release. I have 2 wheelsets that are QR. The reason why I went with a qr frame and fork was for compatibility with my current setup.
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Old 01-12-21, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
My reservation would be QR and discs. I expect OP is aware of this issue and has come to terms. Just posting for whomever comes across this in the future.
What's the issue?
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Old 01-12-21, 03:27 PM
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I think there are two concerns. First, when replacing a wheel, the QR does not offer as precise alignment as the thru axle. It's not unusual to have to readjust the caliper/disc clearance when reinstalling a wheel. I've experienced this. The other is more theoretical, apparently. The movement of the braking force, from the rim to closer to the hub, supposedly allows the wheel to "walk" out of an open bottom drop out. I won't pretend to understand this but it's said to be one of the reasons major manufacturers have moved to thru axles, at least on the front. Regardless of the legitimacy of the concerns, the bike world has moved on from QR/disc and there seems to be little reason to buy a new bike with that obsolete tech. Again, I've only experienced the first issue and folks would need to Google for an actual explanation of the second.
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Old 01-13-21, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
So update: I found a frame from a 2012 Kona Kahuna Deluxe being sold on bikeman.com. I also found a Carver XC 470 fork as well. Both quick release so i can use my existing wheels.
I ordered both and my plan now is to test if my 36t oval chainring will clear the stays. If not and I canít bump down to a 34t oval then I may return it. But for the price I think itís a good place for me to start. The only other thing Iím debating is whether I want this to replace my Toughroad GX or if I want this to be itís own bike. Iím leaning more towards making the 29er an alt-bar setup for price reasons (getting an integrated dropper lever with a road shifter might be too pricey at the moment)
Kahuna is a great choice I have a 2013 Kahuna with a rigid fork and it is awesome.

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Old 01-13-21, 09:33 PM
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So my frame and fork came in the other day and the first thing that I did was test the chain ring clearance and to my delight my 36 tooth oval chain ring cleared perfectly. I am still waiting on the actual headset bearings, so I shoved some shop towels in the head tube so it wouldnít scratch the fork. I did this to get an idea of what it will look like when fully assembled:









I did buy additional parts for this build such as a 60mm stem, Wolftooth red headset spacers and seatpost collar (I got the seatpost collar a month ago but I took it off my Syncír and put it on this build),and new compressionless Jagwire cables in red. For drivetrain I bought the Sensah SRX 1x11 groupset for cost reasons and I guess itíll be nice to see how it compares to the Shimano/SRAM shifters Iíve used in the past/present. Iím also going to run a PNW Coast suspension dropper post because, well thatís half the reason why Iím doing this build 😬.



I also wanted to Re-use as many parts as I could since I originally wanted this to replace my Toughroad GX frame. I took the 52cm PNW Coast bars off my Toughroad for this build, as well as the 700c wheels, relegating my Toughroad to 650b now. Iím also using TRP Spyre mech brakes that I used on a previous build so no hydraulic but I donít think thatíll be too much of a problem. I think this will pretty much turn into a utilitarian/drop bar 29er at this rate... until I could afford SRAM AXS lol.
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Old 01-14-21, 07:54 AM
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QUOTE=DarKris;21876983]So my frame and fork came in the other day and the first thing that I did was test the chain ring clearance and to my delight my 36 tooth oval chain ring cleared perfectly. I am still waiting on the actual headset bearings, so I shoved some shop towels in the head tube so it wouldn’t scratch the fork. I did this to get an idea of what it will look like when fully assembled:

I did buy additional parts for this build such as a 60mm stem, Wolftooth red headset spacers and seatpost collar (I got the seatpost collar a month ago but I took it off my Sync’r and put it on this build),and new compressionless Jagwire cables in red. For drivetrain I bought the Sensah SRX 1x11 groupset for cost reasons and I guess it’ll be nice to see how it compares to the Shimano/SRAM shifters I’ve used in the past/present. I’m also going to run a PNW Coast suspension dropper post because, well that’s half the reason why I’m doing this build 😬.

I also wanted to Re-use as many parts as I could since I originally wanted this to replace my Toughroad GX frame. I took the 52cm PNW Coast bars off my Toughroad for this build, as well as the 700c wheels, relegating my Toughroad to 650b now. I’m also using TRP Spyre mech brakes that I used on a previous build so no hydraulic but I don’t think that’ll be too much of a problem. I think this will pretty much turn into a utilitarian/drop bar 29er at this rate... until I could afford SRAM AXS lol.[/QUOTE]

Love seeing a messy garage! Great build.
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Old 01-14-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think there are two concerns. First, when replacing a wheel, the QR does not offer as precise alignment as the thru axle. It's not unusual to have to readjust the caliper/disc clearance when reinstalling a wheel. I've experienced this. The other is more theoretical, apparently. The movement of the braking force, from the rim to closer to the hub, supposedly allows the wheel to "walk" out of an open bottom drop out. I won't pretend to understand this but it's said to be one of the reasons major manufacturers have moved to thru axles, at least on the front. Regardless of the legitimacy of the concerns, the bike world has moved on from QR/disc and there seems to be little reason to buy a new bike with that obsolete tech. Again, I've only experienced the first issue and folks would need to Google for an actual explanation of the second.
I wouldn't buy a new bike with QR either given the opportunity. During COVID choices are a bit more limited however. I hve to re-adjust the brakes on my wife's bike every time I swap wheels.
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