Carbon hard tail
Would like to buy a carbon 29er hard tail. Currently have a FS bike but want the hard tail as a change of pace. Are there any 29ers that are "less stiff". I know that the design is more race oriented and therefore stiff frames, however are there any that are more compliant and easier on the body?
IMO while CF provides some level of high frequency damping, vertical compliance comes almost entirely from your tires, saddle, and seatpost. One bike that seems to realize that and provide a build for it is the Air 9 with XT kit. It already comes with perhaps the most comfy XC saddle, their CF post, and high volume tires. It'll likely be my next purchase anyway.
Santa Cruz TBc
+1 on the Air9. I ride an Air9 RDO.
The Scott Scale has some compliance designed in the seat stays. A used 2012 Expert would also have a dual air Reba.
Canyon's Grand Canyon CF SLX has compliance designed in. Hard to get in the US.
BMC has a similar frame.
Cannondale has one.
The Chinese carbon HongFu FM056 has reviews saying it has compliance.
The Stumpy Carbon HT and the BMC carbon HT (TE01 and 02) are both quite comfy. The BMC is a bit stiffer torsionally if you are a heavier rider although the 2014 Stumpy is beefed up a bit in that regard without sacrificing compliance...so I was told.
While tires and contact points do make a big difference in ride quality do not overlook what the frame can do. There is a difference between carbon chassis, ride wise, depending on the intent or engineering expertise of the company having it built.
I put a Syntace P6 Highflex Carbon on my S-Works Stump Jumper Carbon 29 XTR (1x10) to make it comfy. Also run the AKA Geax 2.2" tires tubeless around 25 psi. Changed to a shorter riser Thomson Elite X4 stem to give a slightly more up right riding position. Weight is right at 20lbs.
I also have a Niner Air 9 Carbon Single Speed with same tires, seat post and stem. Ride is comparable to S-Works HT above.
Serious carbon bikes are designed to be race bikes. Race bikes are not designed with comfort being a primary goal. There are some aspects of the material that keep the rattle down, but race bikes are designed to be stiff. That stiffness provides the best platform to transmit the power from your body, through the drive-train, down to the dirt or tarmac.
If you want a flexy frame, my experience with titanium would suggest that you look at titanium rather than carbon. Lynskey is what I have experience with. I thought the Ridgeline29 was a really great frame for a mix of comfort / raciness. I do not have it anymore and kind of regret it. ???
- The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.
I have a Santa Cruz Highball C, they are designed to be compliant in all the right ways. Coming from a full suspension bike i was surprised at how comfortable it is even on a full-day ride, and it climbs like nothing else.
I have a carbon "race" frame that rides smoother than a Lynskey Ti frame I also own. It is not just the material, it is how it is used. Right? A conversation with a industry suspension engineer said it well in regards to the latest carbon frames from leading companies...they are, he said, "becoming a finely tuned chassis."
Originally Posted by OmaHaq
Too stiff a frame is not faster unless you are in a parking lot crit. You need to keep the wheels on the ground and tracking well to go fast. As always, moderation in all things.
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