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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:12 am 
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I don't frequent this side of the forum very often. Just haven't been into MTB as much. The last MTB that I owned was back in high school, so a very long time ago. But I was thinking about possibly getting a bike and using it as a way to mix up my riding/training. I have had the chance to go to the LBS and try a few bikes: Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 1, Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29, Trek Superfly AL Elite...etc. My budget is right around the $2500 mark.

After my test rides, I am questioning about whether I want to go with aluminum for a HT MTB. I love aluminum on my road bikes, however there I don't worry about the fatigue of the material as much since I ride on smooth roads and don't do any off roading with them. Also aluminum is fairly comfortable for my road bike with my wheel/tires/saddle setup. But I am concerned about this for a XC bike. I don't want to feel like I am getting beat up all day on the trail. Would like to have a bit more comfort, especially since it is going to be a HT.

So I come to you guys for advice. Out of the bikes I tried, I liked the C-Dalle Flash Alloy the best. However, I didn't find it to be "perfect." A few other bikes I am consider but have not test ridden are the Yeti Bigtop 29, Salsa Mamasita or a Niner (Air 9 or MCR9) or a Voodoo frame?

The other option I have thought, is going with a frame Chinese Titanium 29er (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/705853/ ... -Tube.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) for roughly $900 for the frame or a Chinese Carbon 29er frame (~$400-500 for frame) and building it up myself with parts I have specifically picked out. Something along the lines of Stans ZTR Arch 29er wheels, Cannondale Lefty 29er fork or Fox 32 Float 29, Avid BB7 brakes, SRAM x9/x7 hybrid mix.

So any thoughts regarding what might be the best route to go from those of you with a lot of experience in this realm? I know many of you have been where I am now and might have advice recommending what you would do if you could do it over again.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:15 am 
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Btw, here are some pics of the Chinese Ti 29er frame from another forum:

Image

Image

Image

I think frame weight in a 19'' is around 1500g and uses 3AL/2.5V titanium.


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Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:15 am 


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:55 am 
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All of the aluminum bikes you're looking at are nice. I have a Voodoo cross bike and a Salsa hardtail. Both are scandium, both are nice. You can always put on a USE or Syntace carbon seatpost that's designed to flex if you feel beat up on your aluminum frame.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:10 am 
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Lots of good options there. Heaps of good cheap Aluminum frames, especially if you're buying in the USA.

If appearance is a big issue to you, Ti really makes a lot of sense for an MTB because it is durable with all the scratching etc. Give it a brush and it looks fantastic again. Great it you're the kind of person who wants to keep the bike for a long time.

But with that said, if carbon is in your list of options, it really is hard to beat. The Chinese carbon 29ers can really be pretty good. There's some pretty helpful posts about them on MTBR (amongst a lot of garbage unfortunately). Something like the Planet X Dirty Harry would also be great provided it fits your setup and usage requirements. Great value for money and basically you're getting the Chinese carbon 29er with potentially much better after sales support and probably an easier, more transparent ordering process. Might be worth an extra 40%-ish over the factory direct option to you, might not be?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:51 pm 
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I think a very important thing to consider is geometry. I have also just finished a new MTB built and have seriously considered going 29er but ended up at 26 (again) for a number of reasons. My LBS however said that not all manufacturers have done their homework concerning frame geometry in the 29er. He highly recommended Niners because of their well thought-out geometry.

So I think as soon as you have found a frame manufacturer that fits you, it's about the cost/weight ratio whether to go carbon or aluminum. Given your budget limit it might make sense to look at a good wheel set first and then decide on the frame material.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Thanks for the help guys. I am still trying to sort out the frame material as that seems an important part that I need to consider (if I want to go aluminum vs. carbon vs. Ti vs. steel). My gut reaction is either carbon or Ti at the moment based on weight savings and comfort on the trails.

@J.v.S. you made a great point regarding the geometry. I don't have much experience with 29ers, so difficult to tell what my preferred geometry is at the moment. Partly the reason I have a lower budget so that I can get my first bike and see how I enjoy it and progress from there. Probably won't know what I like or dislike until after being on the frame for several months to a year (will share riding time with road biking).

@jooo, yes I have looked at the Planet X Dirt Harry as well as their On-One Carbon Racer 29er and On-One Lurcher Carbon. Trying to keep the frame price well under $1000, hopefully closer to $600-750 range. So that narrows the list a bit.

I guess my initial plan was to build up the 29er to around 10kg (22lbs). Not sure how easy that will be with my budget.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:26 am 
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Location: Covington, WA
29ers seem to have head angles from 69 to 73 degrees. that spec alone means alot of variation in handling.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:04 am 
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Ti will be heavier than a good quality aluminium frame......and forget the (metal) fatigue stuff as well, modern frames don't have any early failure issues unless they are badly designed/welded.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:03 pm 
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I wouldn't bother with Ti unless you absolutely have to have it. Maybe you want custom geometry or paint/graphics. Even then that wouldn't make sense because it's your first bike, you don't even know what you want yet. A modern aluminum/scandium frame will have a nice ride and they're cheap. They're not built like a Klein from the 80's anymore. Ride one for a year and then you'll know what you need with your next bike.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:50 am 
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Thanks guys for the advice. I will keep looking and see if I can come up with something.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:33 pm 
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I was tempted to get a carbon Stumpjumper, but the SJ Evo was just too good of a deal to pass up. If you go with an aluminum hard tail, you could try a Syntace post that is supposed to flex a bit. I believe Niner offers something similar.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:48 am 
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Have you considered chinese carbon hardtail? Mtbr has a 100+ page thread on them, and most have had great success.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:15 pm
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53x12 wrote:
I don't frequent this side of the forum very often. Just haven't been into MTB as much. The last MTB that I owned was back in high school, so a very long time ago. But I was thinking about possibly getting a bike and using it as a way to mix up my riding/training. I have had the chance to go to the LBS and try a few bikes: Cannondale Flash Alloy 29er 1, Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29, Trek Superfly AL Elite...etc. My budget is right around the $2500 mark.

After my test rides, I am questioning about whether I want to go with aluminum for a HT MTB. I love aluminum on my road bikes, however there I don't worry about the fatigue of the material as much since I ride on smooth roads and don't do any off roading with them. Also aluminum is fairly comfortable for my road bike with my wheel/tires/saddle setup. But I am concerned about this for a XC bike. I don't want to feel like I am getting beat up all day on the trail. Would like to have a bit more comfort, especially since it is going to be a HT.

So I come to you guys for advice. Out of the bikes I tried, I liked the C-Dalle Flash Alloy the best. However, I didn't find it to be "perfect." A few other bikes I am consider but have not test ridden are the Yeti Bigtop 29, Salsa Mamasita or a Niner (Air 9 or MCR9) or a Voodoo frame?

The other option I have thought, is going with a frame Chinese Titanium 29er (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/705853/ ... -Tube.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) for roughly $900 for the frame or a Chinese Carbon 29er frame (~$400-500 for frame) and building it up myself with parts I have specifically picked out. Something along the lines of Stans ZTR Arch 29er wheels, Cannondale Lefty 29er fork or Fox 32 Float 29, Avid BB7 brakes, SRAM x9/x7 hybrid mix.

So any thoughts regarding what might be the best route to go from those of you with a lot of experience in this realm? I know many of you have been where I am now and might have advice recommending what you would do if you could do it over again.


If you are racing non-technical courses that don't have many switchbacks then the 29 hard tail should be faster- otherwise, the 26 is more nimble. 29'er full suspension is probably a weight penalty unless you are doing a mix of free ride and XC.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:39 am 
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if i was to buy a 29 er hartail at the moment this is waht i would buy :
http://www.santacruzmtb.com/highball/

i have a 29 superfly elite at the moment and i am really happy with it but im affraid its only a mather of time before i crash or land hard enough to make the carbon go carboom, hope im wrong but im not quite convinced that mountainbiking and carbon are ment for eachother, mind you i always thought my klein in the mid 90 would dent after rocks flung against the down tube (-:

back on the subject, santa cruz has and always had there stuff together, made very nice aluminum frames and the price is pretty, awesome, custom paint project is wicked to, i had my mind set on purple with orange decals..(-:


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Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:39 am 


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