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Need advice on a hardtail build

Old 03-12-22, 07:31 PM
  #1  
Cdmccorm
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Need advice on a hardtail build

So I have a spare fork, mechanical Bb7ís, and a 1x12 sram nx group set. Looking to buy a used frame and build up a hardtail for both touring and trail riding.
Iíve always wanted a SC Chameleon (longtime Bronson rider) but Iím starting to think I can get pretty much he same frame for cheaper if buying a different brand. Buying used doesnít net you the lifetime warranty on SC bikes either.
I know Salsa sells some hardtail frames, and would probably be a good bet for touring. Does anyone have any recommendations or experience riding a variety of hardtails? Iíd love to know what you think!

thanks
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Old 03-12-22, 10:13 PM
  #2  
rosefarts
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Do you mean touring or bike packing?

Kona has some good options.

Canfield has the aluminum Yelli Screamy and the steel Nimble 9. The N9 has adjustable dropouts. Both are very nice.

I think all the aluminum hardtails from the big 3 are dated geometry basic aluminum jobs. Not bad bikes at all but are really for beginner XC riders.
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Old 03-13-22, 11:24 AM
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If you have time, Hardtail Party channel on youtube. He posts very often about a huge number of boutique bikes so keep focused on what you are likely to buy, don't let him lead you down the rabbit hole of what's perfect for $3000/frame after a year waiting list. I recall he liked the new Fuse and Roscoe.

Also, supply chain bla bla, keep focused on what you can buy now if you want to ride now, the brand is less important than that.

The style of front suspension trail hard tails for the last couple years has gotten a bit more heavy-duty trail, and for bikepacking you might actually go back a couple years to when hard tails were the last to grow droppers and plus tires were more popular. I think the prior Timberjack (which I have) and Stache would have been better than the 21+ Timberack and Roscoe, for instance. Surly, a few years ago, divided up their MTB models into touring and trail, and then killed off half the touring models (Troll, ECR, Pugs) leaving the Ogre and lower-spec Bridge Club.

There's a phenomenon I first noticed a few years ago when shopping for old tandems - when Trek and Cannondale entered the market with decent tandems the boutique manufacturers like Santana and Burley quickly fell on hard times, but then Trek and Cannondale couldn't sell enough at their desired price point and took a loss, leaving the market full of discounts and undermining the smaller companies even further. I think that happened with bike packing.
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Old 03-13-22, 07:00 PM
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My Salsa Timberjack Ti is a great hardtail that would work quite nicely for a bikepacking adventure. They even made their own bag (or had one made) that fits the frame perfectly and a bottle cage underneath the downtube. I personally haven't done any bikepacking on mine as I have other bikes but I would do it at some point.
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Old 03-14-22, 10:44 AM
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Aren't you going to need boost wheels? If so, is your fork tapered? This might determine your options. Maybe I'm too old school to answer. Look at Pipedream Cycles for a nice steel frame.
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Old 03-14-22, 02:25 PM
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Nice question.

I'll go.

You didn't mention wheels.

In my view, the wheels are pretty much the first part of the bicycle. In your place I would pick a frame around the wheels and tires you want to use primarily.

​​​​​​Tire clearance issues are a limiting thing with frames. Also the drivetrain needs clarification if it's boost 148 you'll need a boost 148 frame.

Another thing that can cloud things are the chainring size the frame can accommodate.

If your bike is mostly for trail riding, a 1x set up with a low climbing gear chainring will be no problem, say anything from 28 to 32 or 34t. But if you want to road tour on the bike a lot of late mountain bike won't fit a larger chainring!

Also frames vary in their ability to properly bear a load for bike camping. Wheels too.

But if it's just for day trail rides, the field is wide open.

I think aluminum frames are a great option when paired with some good tires in the wider range. Get the right rims for the width you want.

Start with the wheels. Money spent there is going to be worth it.
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Old 03-15-22, 01:18 PM
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and considerations. Wheels are 27.5 boost.
Iím going to keep looking and narrowed my search based on the wheels and type of riding Iíd like to do.
Iíll keep trolling offerup/CL/fb for frames. Iíll upload an update and photos if I get there!
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Old 03-15-22, 01:42 PM
  #8  
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You didn't mention a budget, but it sounds like you are looking for used based on your last update. That comes down to patience and how long you can wait for something right.

If looking for new, cotic still has some frames in stock from their last shipment. https://www.cotic.co.uk/

Personally, I'd watch a few of hard tail party's YouTube videos to narrow down options. This mostly applies to new though.

Last edited by katsup; 03-16-22 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 03-16-22, 11:41 AM
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Hope your luck is better than mine has been so far. I've been looking on CL for a FS frame with tapered head tube for a month, and the only ones I've seen are > $2,500.
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Old 03-21-22, 06:19 PM
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Might want to consider frame angles here. Many newer models are sporting really steep s/t angles which are fine if all you're doing is riding up steep trails and then descending with your seatpost slammed.
Not so great for touring as those designs shift a lot of your weight onto your hands.

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Old 03-22-22, 08:29 AM
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My wife went from 2009 Santa Cruz Superlite (bike stolen) to the latest FS geometry with 29" wheels and 1 X 12 cassette, and it transformed her riding from OK to much better or all off road terrain. This may or may not apply to others.
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