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Best used disc brake 26 mtb from the golden era for the money?

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Best used disc brake 26 mtb from the golden era for the money?

Old 07-01-20, 06:54 PM
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Best used disc brake 26 mtb from the golden era for the money?

I have saved up around $1200 and looking for a once-upon-a-time high end 26 mountain bike (hard tail), probably made somewhere around 2005-2015, that most people considered obsolete nowadays. What brands or models should I be looking at? I ride mostly old steel 26 mountain bikes for commute but I want to upgrade to this thing called disc brakes for the snowy winter.
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Old 07-01-20, 09:28 PM
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Lol, golden era, I feel old
actually that's the era introducing full suspension to the masses and pretty much killed the high end steel hardtails. I think there are better choices for frames with disc brakes from around Y2k to 2005. I like Independent Fabrication frames from that "golden" era...
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Old 07-01-20, 10:30 PM
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Ha! Yeah, I sort of agree with qclabrat
I'd call "late '90's" the golden era, if there was such an era that could be attached to mountain bikes...& that's only because I still rock a hard tail '97 Trek that does everything I ask of it. (And gets an annoying amount of street cred every time I take it to the mountain bike park.)

There is a world of rigids that happened in the early '80's Then a world of hardtails. After that was full suspension happened. Then, after a fashion, the evolutionary tree branched & we now have "downhill" & "gravel bike"

You mention you plan to ride in snow. Anything that can take a studded snow tire & has a reasonably decent front shock (with a lock out) to soak up & keep traction on the frozen & lumpy chunks of days worth of thaw, slush, refreeze is what you'd want.

I'm not a fan of full suspension for winter ice riding. You'd need to set the rear into lock-out anyway to keep the bike from absorbing every pedal stroke...& being able to bear down smoothly & consistantly matters in those conditions. There is just no chance you'd need it during a 9 mile per hour, mostly flat, city ride in the days after a snow storm. High speed, rough down hill & jumps that the rear suspension is good for, just isn't a thing for winter city commutes.

Budget a fair bit for snow tires. They'll probably cost more than you think they should, & you'd be right. They cost a lot more than they should.

Be on the look out for standard 1&⅛ headsets. That is by far the most common & most likely to be able to swap into a disc suspension fork. The rear brake is mostly irrelavent.

The field of candidates is just too huge to make a specific recommendation beyond what to look out for. A hardtail with disc brake suspension fork & 1&1⅛ headset and clearance for ~2inch tire really is about it.

Is this what you plan to ride?
20200115_140437 by Richard Mozzarella, on Flickr

What to avoid may be a more productive question.

Last edited by base2; 07-01-20 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 07-02-20, 10:55 AM
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Maybe an early Pugsley might be a good choice for commuting in the snow. You can run discs and there will be plenty of tire clearance.

John
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Old 07-02-20, 06:38 PM
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I meant the golden era of 26 inch wheels mountain bike with disc brakes. Personally, I donīt really need front suspension so a hard frame regardless of material and weight work fine for my purpose. Having tried disc brakes before in the snow, I really like the stopping power since none of my road bikes have them. I donīt have the money but I really like the Moot aesthetics. Just a solid bike with disc brakes that I can use for the next 10 years. It seems like most 26 mtb frames with disc brake mounts tend to be newer, perhaps newer than 2005? What do you guys personally dream about if you have to dig through the past and pick out a 26 mtb with disc brakes and nothing else fancy?


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Old 07-02-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
I donīt have the money but I really like the Moot aesthetics. Just a solid bike with disc brakes that I can use for the next 10 years. It seems like most 26 mtb frames with disc brake mounts tend to be newer, perhaps newer than 2005? What do you guys personally dream about if you have to dig through the past and pick out a 26 mtb with disc brakes and nothing else fancy?


That MOOTS is spot-on!

I get the feeling you are more in the Novara or CO-OP brand end of the spectrum. Simple, reasonably well equiped, no frills, quality bikes. The usual assortment of 3x9 Deore components & under $2-$300 used & in good condition.

I would look there. I've never heard anything negative & they don't have the brand caché to command exceedingly high prices. My spouse has one, (I bought it as an anniversary present) & I see them regularly at the mountain bike parks.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/searc...ovara&sort=rel
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Old 07-02-20, 09:39 PM
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A YBB would be way up my list. Unfortunately, I will never open my wallet that much. I enjoy the steel bikes I have, and as I get older I’m not pushing it much.

John
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Old 07-03-20, 10:16 AM
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I have three formerly 26" disc frame mountain bikes converted to 650B. The first one, a Ibis Mojo Ti from the late 90s that I sent off to be converted to IS disc mount. Tested out a 650b wheel set with 650 x 47 tires which fit comfortably. Then a 650b converted a steel Breezer frame that's also a 26er from 2011 or 2012 that I got for cheap. And lastly, I sent off another Ibis 26er aluminum frame recently to get repainted and while I was at it, added IS disc mounts to the frame. They all work well for commuting, light mountain biking or gravel/bikepacking rigs. No need to discard an older 26er frame for being "outdated"/
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Old 07-03-20, 04:48 PM
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Jamis made/makes steel frame 26er.

But it hard to find anything cheap these days.

John
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Old 07-03-20, 06:16 PM
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Hard to find now, but before covid you could get Moots 26r at your price point. The pandemic has really driven prices up in the secondary market
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Old 07-03-20, 06:21 PM
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Actually this one sold recerecently.
I'd keep a look out, there's lots of YBBs out there, just need to be patient
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F392819665152
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Old 07-08-20, 11:21 PM
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I was checking ebay for older 3x9 mtb groupsets and came up with like 4 results with mostly shifter parts with other oddities. It seems like most people riding MTB abandoned the groupset idea a long time ago unlike road cyclists. Those 22 small chainring crankset (for Deore and up) for 9sp are now no where to be found. Someone mentioned in one of my earlier threads that component sales now happen mainly through facebook and cragislist but I donīt see that. I really like the idea of having front suspension disc brake and pad brake for the rear so will toy with that. Do you guys have any recommendation for a quality 26 inch fork with lockout feature that takes 26 wheel with disc brake? What brands and models are good?
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Old 07-08-20, 11:27 PM
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I am surprised you donīt use front fender for snow? I hate ice and salt water splashing everywhere.

Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Lol, golden era, I feel old
actually that's the era introducing full suspension to the masses and pretty much killed the high end steel hardtails. I think there are better choices for frames with disc brakes from around Y2k to 2005. I like Independent Fabrication frames from that "golden" era...
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Old 07-08-20, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
I have saved up around $1200 and looking for a once-upon-a-time high end 26 mountain bike (hard tail), probably made somewhere around 2005-2015, that most people considered obsolete nowadays. What brands or models should I be looking at? I ride mostly old steel 26 mountain bikes for commute but I want to upgrade to this thing called disc brakes for the snowy winter.
Obeast

In the late '90s, Jamis began making the Dragon mountain bike in Reynolds 853 steel with very good components. In the ~1999-2004 vintage, prices can be down to a couple $hundred when they do pop up. More-recent vintages can get very pricey. As for bang-for-buck, I'd put them on the list as being a darned good example. Made up through 2015MY.

From the Jamis 2004 catalog (p. 19, PDF file):
.
.
Nothing says you’re serious about XC performance than a quality hardtail, and the Dragon is one of the best factory-built examples you’ll find. Reynolds 853 steel main tubes and double-tapered chrome-moly stays give you the rugged front-end stiffness you need for pedaling efficiency and precision cornering, with the suppleness of steel’s signature ride. We kit it out with a full Shimano XTR drivetrain, and multi-adjustable Fox F80RLT fork with lockout. We even include up-spec Mavic CrossMax Disc SL UST wheels and Hutchinson tubeless Python tires, with Time’s ATAC Classic pedals. All you need is a number plate.

Frame: Reynolds 853 seamless air-hardened cromo main tubes, double tapered cromo stays, Jamis lost wax dropouts
Fork:Fox F80RLT, Terra Logic inertia valve technology, 80mm travel
Wheels: Mavic CrossMax Disc SL, Maxtal SUP rims, FTS sealed cartridge hubs, Zicral spokes Tires:Hutchinson Python Kevlar, 26 x 2.0”, Tubeless
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR rear & front derailleurs, XTR 27-speed Dual Control shifters, XTR 2-piece hollowtech crankset
Brakeset: Shimano XTR disc brakes with XTR Dual Control levers
Cockpit: TruVativ Team flatbar, Team stem, XR double clamp seatpost, Fi:zi’k Gobi saddle
Sizes:13”, 15”, 17”, 19”, 21”
Color:Radium Blue/Gloss Black
Weight:22.50 lbs.
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Old 07-10-20, 08:59 AM
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Were thru axles around during that time? If so I would recommend for disc brakes. After owning a thru axle frame, I wouldn't run discs without. I think this is one of the biggest breakthroughs.

FWIW you can get a Honzo frame for $575 or a Pole Taival for $750. Honzo is on the shorter end, Pole is very long.

I ride a rigid Jones bike and I think that would also be an awesome option for your needs!!!!!
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Old 07-10-20, 01:38 PM
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I would probably look for a used s-works alloy 26er hardtail, and putting the best components I could afford on it.
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