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first mt frame suggestions

Old 02-23-10, 01:01 AM
  #1  
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first mt frame suggestions

serious road cyclist looking to get into mt riding for fun and bike handling improvement. i will probably ride once or twice a week, XC/singletrack type stuff looks most enjoyable to me. so, i have some money i can go up or down a little in price, but i love to be on the super-cheap tip, and i'm starting to save up for a 4000dollar recumbent trike to have for tours with the wife. but here are the choices i've kind of narrowed it down to.

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bik/1608670381.html

https://www.pricepoint.com/detail/195...lloy-Frame.htm

surly 1x1 (or maybe karate monkey or pugsley.. geez they have too many cool frames)

i think i'm settles on 26 over 29 because there are more options for parts, and because i'm so used to 700c i kind of want a change just for the hell of it. what i'm looking for from all you is: are the surlys enough better to warrant the extra price. what i would really like to avoid is the following responses: "i have frame X and i like it. don't know anything about the others." and "what you want is stupid. buy this totally different style of bike instead." i'm trying to narrow down the choice based on comparative value.

thanks for any consideration and help.
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Old 02-23-10, 04:38 AM
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Well, have not had any of these frames or even any of the brands, so will just give you my take on them.

Surly is a brand owned and distributed by QBP, just a basic steel imported frame from asia at a good price point. I have a few friends that have built up Surlys and like them quite a bit. They seem to have quite a following these days.

Sette is Pricepoint's in house brand doing much the same thing but with an aluminum frame (and I believe now offer some carbon frames). I've read some decent things about them, they have their fans.

Gary Fisher is the Trek division pushing 29ers more than the others, and GF's take on geometry (Genesis/G2 or whatever they call it these days). X-Caliber is mid lineup I believe, but just another basic improted aluminum frame really, nothing all that special. Generally the most expensive of the three new. Huge fan base, have a few friends who ride some, they seem to like them fine.

I'd take the Surly because of the material alone, don't have any desire for an aluminum ht frame and wouldn't mind the weight penalty. The most interesting thing about any of these three would be in how you build the bike out...whatcha going to put on one of these frames?
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Old 04-10-10, 11:22 PM
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if i can bump this up, i'd like some more advice. bikinfool says go surly for the steel, which i normally relate to with road frames on schitty roads. i assumed since most mtbs you see are alum, even hardtails, that it was standard and accepted as superior. but if steel is worth the extra money, how about this option:

https://www.somafab.com/bside.html

i have an offer here to get the frame from $280, a good bit less than it usually goes for. obviously 650b puts to trash my claim that 29er wouldn't have as many parts options, ha. but i like trying experimental and "unique" things, on bike and off.

no reviews for the soma b-side that i've found anywhere. soma's reputation is about even to surly's, so for a couple hundred less, seems like maybe the way to go. what yinz say?
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Old 04-11-10, 05:56 AM
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I'm not sure why there are so few steel HT frames on the market. I think it's because most folks buying a HT are probably new riders buying in the $500ish price range and they've been programmed to think Aluminum is better because it's lighter (and having never riden before they don't know what to look for in a frame). I don't ride a HT but if I were getting one I'd have a preference for steel over AL.

Do you have components already and that's why you're looking at frames?
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Old 04-11-10, 09:35 AM
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well the steal certainly makes sense on trail for the same reasons it does on potholes. maybe most people figure they're not riding long enough to do joint/brain damage, so rattle the bones for a little stiffness and 1 lbs less (or just skip lunch before you ride or only fill your camelback half way). all right, then as awesome as the price is, and as much as a want to try an <$100 sette frame, i'll stay with steel for my hardtail and get the sette road frame later.

i don't have most of the parts. and since i have an insect-sized bank account, i know i should look at complete builds. but i like choosing everything in a setup, such as titec h-bars. also, the soma b-side doesn't come complete anywhere.

so surly 1x1 or soma b-side? comparable frame quality i think. surly is $100 more but has more options for wheels/tire (can switch from 26 to 650b to 29). b-side looks awesome and owners seem to love it just as much as 1x1 owners love theirs.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:53 AM
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(I feel like a bikesdirect pimp since I just made a similar suggestion on another thread)

How about going with a BikesDirect bike? If you end up not liking the frame you can ditch the frame on ebay, keep the components, then build up another frame of your choosing? Seems like a reasonable route for someone with an insect sized bank account. Of course you'll miss out on being able to spec out all the parts.
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Old 04-11-10, 01:29 PM
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I like your thinking on a frame that can work with a few wheel sizes. I've built 650b wheels for my newest Heckler, like them a lot. Don't see a concern with parts availability, though. Sure, 26ers and 29ers there's certainly more choice in tires and rims, but there's enough choice to start and it's growing; the 650b wheels work with quite a few 26er frames and forks in any case (and not often true for 29ers, especially forks).

ChrisF I think has it right about why a lot of people pass over steel, between the weight weenie thing and the pricepoint/material cost thing, which is a shame. I've also had some people express concern over corrosion. While I think aluminum is a marvelous choice for a full suspension frame, I don't see it being superior to steel in a hardtail. I haven't ridden an aluminum hardtail that compares to steel (supposedly there are some aluminum alloys that approach it, but haven't had the opportunity to try any of those). I grew up on steel frames, so I'm prejudiced somewhat.
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