Gunnar / Ionic
I've narrowed my search for a new 29er frame down to Gunnar and Ionic.
Do any of you have any input you'd like to make about these two brands to help me decide?
I'm interested to hear about all aspects. Ride quality, paint finish etc. Even if you don't have a 29er but have some experience relevant to all models, that'd be great.
I heard something about fork crown / downtube clearence somewhere, but can't find it anywhere now.
All thoughts are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I have two older Gunnar 29ers - - one Rockhound and one Ruffian. The paint seems soft as it chips pretty easily. Both were "Color of the Month" frames, so I think that means they are the upscale waterford paint with clearcoat. They still chip. The Rockhound was briefly owned by a guy who works for an auto restoration facility (Velonaught here I think -- I sold it to him and then we traded frames a year or so later, bringing the Gunnar back to me). Anyhoo, he did some magic with the paint and it is much better now (both harder to chip and much more shiny). I think my frames are 2004/2005 models. A Reba will NOT CLEAR either downtube, but they would with a spacer from Ventana (I run rigid, so it does not matter to me).
The bikes ride very nice. They are not harsh at all and feel comfortable compared to other steel frames (A Zion and a Niner Sir 9 29er and a Teasdale 26er steel frame).
As a side note, the Niner rode very well and accelerated "faster".
I also do not have much tire clearance on my Gunnars. I usually run a thin rear tire, so this is not an issue. A Kenda Karma 1.9, Small Block 8 1.9, and a Stans Crow fits fine. Any 2.0 or larger will not fit the older frames.
The new Gunnars have resolved both the clearance problem in the rear and the Reba clearance problems, so if you are buying a new frame, you should be OK. I also owned a 2007 Rockhound 29er and while the Reba would not clear, the stays were mich wider.
Pretty sure that turn-around is much faster than a custom frame and the color of the month options are pretty nice too.
Thanks for the reply.
Most of my research before posting was around the Gunnar. I assumed from their site that Ionic was similar, but since have learned from searches here that may not be the case. I am settling pretty well on the Gunnar. I heard that the paint issues revolved around a water supply problem in 2004, so it's interesting you had a 2004 frame.
Good to hear that the clearence issues are resolved. I wonder how people are finding the paint now.
I just had a thought. I assume the Reba clears now because Gunnar uses a new head tube junction with a gusset, but I could be wrong on the clearance. You may want to check with Gunnar to be sure because I do not want to lead you down the wrong path.
Another option related to Ionic and similar in price is the Wily - - only similar because Wily has a sale posted on their website of $900. Both are made by Dean and reading the Wily website, one gets the impression the frames are in stock ready to go.
Finally, in the same price one could get a Curtlo, but the wait here can be long at times and if you want a frame now (or in the next four to six months even), Curtlo is not an option.
I have a new rockhound and the Reba works great, will post pics later.
I demoed the Ruffian for a few laps. Nice bike and frame. However, I didn't think it was anything special. Compared to the other steel frames (Surly, Vassago, etc.) , I really didn't think it was worth the price, IMO.
p nut, thanks for the reply.
RB, thanks to you aswell. I'd be interested in what you think of the robustness of the paint. Very much looking forward to those pics.