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  1. #1
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    Help me build a 650b steel hardtail for about $1900 please

    I've been reading and looking and reading and basically have come to only this.... I want to build up a 650b hardtail, preferably steel, and with the ability to run singlespeed or geared. I am really interested in the Soma B-Side but man are they tough to find in my size (16.5""). I ride on the more aggressive side of trail riding but may want to race it as well, most likely more endurance stuff. That said, I probably prefer a fork choice that offers a little more travel at the expense of a slacker headtube angle. Guess that's about it. I have about $1900 to spend on the build so I realize I will have to buy some stuff used to get a nice build at that price point. Love to get some help from those of you who have been down this road already since 650b is so new to me. I am open to buying a 26" that is a for sure conversion (like the Ala Carte).

    All that said, if you had such dreams and $1900 in your pocket, what would you do? Let the suggestions fly and thanks in advance.

    Scott
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  2. #2
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    Subscribing.

  3. #3
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    $2000, no problem. $1900? Not sure if it can be done.

  4. #4
    The White Jeff W
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    Lots of options in aluminum. Hard to come up with any low budget options in steel. The Transition Trans Am is steel and SS capable but $650 frame only/$2200 new with a relatively low end build. With used & closeout parts it might be do-able on you budget.

    I'd also take a look at the Santa Cruz Chameleon. Its aluminum but has an eccentric bottom bracket for your SS request and can be had for $350 bucks

    Santa Cruz Bicycles
    No moss...

  5. #5
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    You can buy the B-side direct from Soma, or have your local shop order it through Merry Sales:

    Soma B-Side v.2 650b (27.5") MTB Frame

  6. #6
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    I really like the B-side and think its probably between that (if I can find a 16.5") or the Jamis Dragon (with a tensioner, yuck) or maybe a Salsa Ala Carte. The Chameleon is a great bike and I loved the one I owned but it has such a different ride feel than steel does. I'm sure I can "stretch" to $2k if needed and I do plan on buying lots of parts used so I get a better build. Forks have me confused though. Lots of options and I've always loved Fox so I tend to lean that way. Thing is, I don't know if I should buy a 100mm 29'r fork or a 120mm 26'r (or maybe a 100mm 26'r as Soma suggests)
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  7. #7
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    I'd get the 120mm 26er Fox fork... will fit up to 2.3 & some 2.35 tires, prices will be better, and you can always shim it down to 100mm if you want to.

  8. #8
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    I don't have one, but I like the Pipedream Sirius R853. Sliding dropouts, tapered headtube and Reynolds 853 for between $600-$700 US. It's at the top of my 'wish list' for now.

    Here's the link: Reynolds 853 Hardtail | Rohloff Speedhub Frame

    There's a guy who frequents this forum who has one. Hopefully he'll chime in w/more thoughts & details. I thought he started a thread for hardtail 27.5 bikes but I can't seem to find it...

    Edit: Zerort is the dude. Check out the thread "All Round HT Frame"

    Sorry for dropping your name Zerort. As soon as the funds arrive, I'm probably going to be contacting you though...
    Last edited by KCOgar; 06-24-2013 at 08:09 AM. Reason: Found the guy...

  9. #9
    USB Rep'n
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    that Pipedream does look beautiful! Hoping to see more of that but may just give them a shout. Looks like $600 US plus about 4% tariff. Not bad!

    For the frames I've listed above, looks like the specs are close on all other than the Jamis which seems to size larger and have a slacked HT to begin with. I know its impossible to size me on a frame on an internet forum but humor me a little with this question....I was sure I would be on a 16.5" Soma B-Side but the 18.5" might not be a huge stretch for me, especially with a shorter stem which I like for handling reasons. Compared to my current Santa Cruz Blur XC (med), what do you guys and ladies think?


    HT angle : both at 71 degrees
    ST angle: both at 73 degrees
    chainstays: SC 16.9", Soma 16.8"
    Wheelbase: SC 42.4", Soma (18.5" model) 42.3"
    TT: SC 23", Soma (18.5") Effective 23.6, actual 22.6
    Standover (this is the big one I worry about) SC 29.2", Soma 31 (the 16.5 Soma is 30)

    Soooo, does it seem like I might be able to make the 18.5" Soma work? FWIW, I tend to run a fair amount of post on the SC now.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  10. #10
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    I think I just saw a Soma on ebay recently. It's a 17", but the 1/2 in shouldn't matter.
    Soma B Side 650B Steel Frame Orange 17" Med Six Fifty B Singlespeed or Geared | eBay

    I think the thread being referred to with the Pipe Dream is this one.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b-27-5/who...0b-855896.html

    I myself have a Binachi MUSS that is a conversion. I've been told my LBS that it's a "Awesome Build, it turned out really well. Sometimes they just don't turn out quite right." True story. It's written on the receipt after I had them tune it up.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b-27-5/pos...on-829979.html
    No fuss with the MUSS

  11. #11
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    LOVE the Bianchi man! I race a Bianchi Sempre on the road and have eally come to love their bikes. I saw that Soma as well jus wasn't sure if the horizontal dropouts were going to be difficult to deal (I could throw a spot tensioner on I suppose, just worried about slippage using a quick release and don't want to bolt on). I was also a little leery of the non-replaceable derailer hanger. I know its steel so I should be able to bend it back but its a little concerning. Wonder what other B-Side owners (of that frame think).
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  12. #12
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    Thanks, rode it for a while as a 26er, just got better as a Ber! When I built the wheelset I also was leery about QR in the horizontal dropouts so I went with the solid axle. I think it also deters thieves a little more and the MUSS is also my city speeder. No worries or problems, but I've also not had a flat in the middle of a loop in the woods either. Knock on wood.
    I agree that the deraileur hanger has a bit of that after thought look to it, but I'm more concerned about the aluminum replaceable hangers. I'm a steel guy.
    I had an additional thought that you should consider the X-Fusion forks. The price point is better than Fox and I seen a few fan-boy posts concerning the Velvet. I'm thinking, unfortunately not in the near future cause kids cost money, that I'd like to get one of those and B up my RM Blizzard. Whatever you decide, enjoy the ride!
    No fuss with the MUSS

  13. #13
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    Amen to that, I have 4 and another coming along soon (kids, not bikes). Funny you mention the Blizzard since I thought about that as well.

    FWIW, I did get an email from Soma today saying the Analog would fit a 650b wheel and the only issue might be the BB drop. Seems like the lower BB on the 26 would get offset by the bigger wheels basically raising the BB height, no?
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  14. #14
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    I spent about that on mine

    Help me build a 650b steel hardtail for about 00 please-img_20130404_072840.jpg
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 730
    2013 Pipedream Sirius R853 - 650b Belt Drive

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte View Post
    Amen to that, I have 4 and another coming along soon (kids, not bikes). Funny you mention the Blizzard since I thought about that as well.

    FWIW, I did get an email from Soma today saying the Analog would fit a 650b wheel and the only issue might be the BB drop. Seems like the lower BB on the 26 would get offset by the bigger wheels basically raising the BB height, no?
    Whoa, 5 kids? that's almost a bunch. The one thing about the Blizzard is that I'm limited on the rear tire size. the Quasi-moto 2.0 fits, might be able to get up to a small nobbed 2.2 if I'm lucky. Personally, I like the raised BB on the MUSS, clearance is not bad thing.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  16. #16
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    Pipedream Scion R853 Hardtail Ride Review - Singapore MTB - Just Ride Lah!

    Good article on the frame and the feel of steel. Note the Sirius has the tapered head tube and sliders for 650b whereas the Scion has the straight headtube.
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 730
    2013 Pipedream Sirius R853 - 650b Belt Drive

  17. #17
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    Kona Explosif?

  18. #18
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    Thanks guys. Yeah, 5 kids...why didn't someone stop me?? Truth is they are all a blessing in a huge way so its all good. Crazy, but good.

    Talked to the Pipedream guys and I love a lot about that bike but in the end I wound up grabbing an Ala Carte (yeah, the sexy green one!). Building it as a SS to start and with a little heavier wheel since I tend to be a little tougher on wheels when running SS since I plow through stuff for momentum that I might pick through with gears. Anyway, its basically some carbon bits for things like bars and post, RF Dues cranks, Stans Flow EX/X9 wheels with Schwalbe rubber, and a Fox F32 100mm RLC up front. All said and done, I'll wind up spending about $1650 total (and that includes an X9 1x9 setup that I won't be using initially). I'm pretty stoked about it since it offers so much versatility and came in under budget! Also think it'll be a great trail bike since the 27.5 wheels will give me additional BB clearance.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  19. #19
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    Post as you go along, I'm curious to see the Ala Carte.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  20. #20
    USB Rep'n
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    definitely!
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  21. #21
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    Soul Cycles.....Done
    One Gear Under God

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum Ti View Post
    Soul Cycles.....Done
    Hmmm...maybe I'm missing something, but does Soul make a 650b frame? I didn't see it on their site.

    If so, I guess this is an option if you like EBBs.
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 730
    2013 Pipedream Sirius R853 - 650b Belt Drive

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    I'd get the 120mm 26er Fox fork... will fit up to 2.3 & some 2.35 tires, prices will be better, and you can always shim it down to 100mm if you want to.
    How do you know it can up to 2.3 or 2.35 tires? What brands? I'm running 2.10 now just to be safe, but would like to increase the size. Thanks in advance!
    2010 Fuel EX9: Eat Paleo, Feel Great!
    Dirt is Natural, Pavement is Un-natural, Stay Dirty My Friends!

  24. #24
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    I have a Fox Float RLC 100mm 26'r on mine and clear a Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35. Thing is, the HD is one of the, no, it IS, the biggest 2.35 I've ever seen in person. Its bigger than some of the old Maxxis 2.50 DH tires I ran when I was doing gravity stuff. If it can fit the HD, I doubt you'll have issue with any other 2.3-2.35 tire.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  25. #25
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    Some pics of the Ala Carte as a 650b trail boss...I wasn't sure if this was going to be awesome or just a yawn and have to admit, I am absolutely thrilled with the bike and the 650b thing. Building on the 26" platform took away all of the things I didn't like on the 29's )mainly that the bike just felt too big). The bike feels and handles like my 26" bikes but definitely rolls faster and more confidently on the rough stuff. As you can see, I built it as a trail bike for now (100mm travel with 2.35 Hans Dampf in front and 2.25 Nobby Nic in back). The large volume tubeless at low pressure and steel frame give a very compliant feel. Its not suspension but feels almost as comfortable. I'm so stoked to be back on one gear too. I missed the simplicity of that. So far, I'm a believer for sure!

    pre dirt


    and more at home...
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

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