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Where are all the 26" race hardtails?

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Where are all the 26" race hardtails?

Old 09-26-16, 09:37 AM
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lightning60
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Where are all the 26" race hardtails?

It seems with the migration to 29" then 27.5" that there should be a surplus of 26" bikes out there. Ebay/Craigslist don't seem to have much selection. I don't care about having the same wheel size as the flavor of the month, where can I find these 'dinosaurs' at?
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Old 09-26-16, 11:32 AM
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29ers have been around for years, so the first migration happened ~10 years ago.
A "26in race hardtail" are going to be ~20 years old, at this point most have been converted to other purposes etc.

There are a moderate number up on craigslists so they're around, but since they're old, they probably aren't what you're looking for.

The current migration is full-suspension 26 to 27.5. But depending on your area, even those may not be cheap.
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Old 09-28-16, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lightning60 View Post
It seems with the migration to 29" then 27.5" that there should be a surplus of 26" bikes out there. Ebay/Craigslist don't seem to have much selection. I don't care about having the same wheel size as the flavor of the month, where can I find these 'dinosaurs' at?
You'll have to hot tub time machine back to the early 90's.
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Old 09-28-16, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by C Law View Post
You'll have to hot tub time machine back to the early 90's.
Not that long ago, you only need to go back to 2009/10 and 26" was still the main standard, but if your looking for a 26" race bike 2nd had, you missed the boat, as it had sailed by 2014
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Old 10-01-16, 03:24 PM
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I put a rigid fork on mine, a 29er wheelset, 32mm tires and turned it into a gravel bike.
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Old 10-01-16, 03:58 PM
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Unless you want a specific bike frame and geo, there are plenty of 20-30yr old vintage MTBs on CL.
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Old 10-01-16, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Not that long ago, you only need to go back to 2009/10 and 26" was still the main standard, but if your looking for a 26" race bike 2nd had, you missed the boat, as it had sailed by 2014
Trek had already dropped the 26er hardtails entirely by 2010, and the other manufacturers were doing the same. Specialized was down to 26ers for the lower budget hardtails.

Basically, if it has disc brakes it's probably a 29er, since disc brakes gained popularity around the same time as 26er hardtails went out of style. The full-suspension bikes hung around much longer (29ers are too big, blah, blah...)
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Old 10-01-16, 04:47 PM
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I picked up a 26er Specialized Hardrock last Summer for $100. You can find them, you just need to be one of those guys that checks Craigslist two or three times each day.
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Old 10-01-16, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TwinOaks View Post
I picked up a 26er Specialized Hardrock last Summer for $100. You can find them, you just need to be one of those guys that checks Craigslist two or three times each day.
I picked up two of those this summer. Nice riders and versatile. For 20.00 you can convert them or mod them.

My favorite hardtail is this '84 Univega Alpina Uno with tight road-like geometry and outfitted with nice parts and those gorgeous Ukai wheels with gleaming high flange hubs. Very light and quick on wooded single tracks.

[IMG][/IMG]

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Old 10-01-16, 07:24 PM
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Ain't nobody wanna race XC on a Hardrock.
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Old 10-01-16, 07:33 PM
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Kona kept putting out good 26er HTs for a long time. Keep an eye out for a Kula, for instance, 26er 'til 2013.

Seems like Jamis had race ready 26ers 'til just recently, too.
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Old 10-01-16, 08:38 PM
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Speaking as someone who's done hobby racing (though not with bikes), obsolete equipment heads for the back of the garage in pretty short order. Nobody wants it, but owners are embarrassed by the sunk cost and can't let it go for the steep loss they are going to take. Though you might find compatible spare parts forever, finding race-level spare parts will become difficult, and new ones will not appear. Rebuild kits disappear out of the stores and mechanics "forget" how they work.

On the bike side, I've actually been told at a shop that my 12yo fork was too old to work on. Try looking for a 9-speed XTR RD. Race level tires weigh half a pound less and have grippier compounds and softer casings, and when they sell out there probably won't be any more.
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Old 10-02-16, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Basically, if it has disc brakes it's probably a 29er, since disc brakes gained popularity around the same time as 26er hardtails went out of style. The full-suspension bikes hung around much longer (29ers are too big, blah, blah...)
Are you sure, disc were around back in 1993/4, and were standard by the very early '00's, 29ers didn't become mainstream till about 2010ish, 26" maybe dead, but it's not been dead that long
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Old 10-02-16, 09:58 AM
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Another option is to get a current 27.5" XC bike and replace the wheels with 26". Say if the bike comes stock with 27.5 x 2.1", you could run it with 26 x 2.4" and you'd only drop the BB by about a quarter inch.
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Old 10-02-16, 12:46 PM
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I barely pay attention to mtb racing, but it seems like the European pros were using 26" much later than anyone in the U.S. There are some busy trails south of here at Raystown lake, and the 26ers you see there look really old
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Old 10-02-16, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Ain't nobody wanna race XC on a Hardrock.
Yeah, I think they were just entry level hard tail bikes. I'm not good enough to race, I just want to ride some trails. It's been good enough for that.
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Old 10-02-16, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Unless you want a specific bike frame and geo, there are plenty of 20-30yr old vintage MTBs on CL.
Key word that you seem to have missed:

"race"

20-30yr old vintage MTBS = not competitive.
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Old 10-03-16, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pauley L View Post
Key word that you seem to have missed:

"race"

20-30yr old vintage MTBS = not competitive.
On many XC courses, a nice 1996 race bike won't be much of a drawback at all.

An 86 though, oh boy, that would be something.
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Old 10-03-16, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Are you sure, disc were around back in 1993/4, and were standard by the very early '00's, 29ers didn't become mainstream till about 2010ish, 26" maybe dead, but it's not been dead that long
Trek had entirely dropped 26 hardtails by 2010. Specialized only hung around for the lower priced Hardrock models.

You're looking at the mid 2000s as a crossover point.

However I just saw a really nice Yeti ACR 26 hardtails on my local Craigslist, so there are a few around.
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Old 10-04-16, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
On many XC courses, a nice 1996 race bike won't be much of a drawback at all.

An 86 though, oh boy, that would be something.
23 lbs , steel frame, nothing exotic at all, except the fork has some ti-bits and an aluminum steerer -- (plus an Arlo Englund cartridge conversion kit)


I wont be touching anything on this one, as enough time has gone by that its now a personal "museum piece" of sorts

---- but I have day dreamed about outfitting it with a current 1x11 setup and a more contemporary cockpit setup and having some fun with it --- but, like a vintage muscle car, - it only has the original cherry condition paint on it the one time

--- I do have a Marin Team issue from the same time frame that is pretty distressed looking that I could do that with though -- similar geometry --


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