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  1. #26
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    Yes, I saw that, but I don't buy into the mystique of steel. Aluminum or not, the Yelli is currently my favorite bike.

  2. #27
    FM
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    The Yelli is great, I loved mine for the 2 summers I had it. What's not to like about 1+lb lighter! And it has short stays. And it rides great even though it's aluminum, not too stiff.

    The Honzo is a bit heavier, quieter, lower, slacker, shorter back end. All subtle differences. Splitting hairs.

    for a 29'er hardtail, I'd skip anything with chainstays much over 16.5. Only because there are so many great options with shorter stays and it really does make a huge difference.

  3. #28
    Pick a wheel size...
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    I have AL bikes and I have steel bikes. For HT riding, my preference is steel. I am in no way diminishing the Yelli Screamy's awesomeness; I lusted for this bike for quite some time but I believe I will be happier long term with a more compliant steel frame.

    I may poke Chromag and see what the timeline looks like for a frame, but I'm pretty confident I'm gonna demo a Honzo when my LBS gets one in stock and then go from there.

    Honzo #1
    TA29 a close #2
    #3 - everything else.

    'Preciate everyone's input...I'll keep this thread updated as I move forward.

  4. #29
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    I rode all the bike's/frame's you mention,
    I own the N9, TM29, Yelli and few other 29er HT frames.
    If I want to ride all day desert trip I will go with the TM29 (best AM frame).
    If I want few hours fun or soal ride anywhere (SS or geared, rigid or sus') the N9 is the way.
    If I want to keep with DH guy's, and have a real real fun I will go with the Yelli.
    I tried the Honzo, I don't know why but it's not my cup of tee... maybe not enough time on it.
    For my tast the Nimble is the best frame ever.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which Long-Travel 29er Hard Tail?-img_2845_web.jpg  

    Which Long-Travel 29er Hard Tail?-img_6742_web.jpg  

    Which Long-Travel 29er Hard Tail?-img_5360_web.jpg  

    Which Long-Travel 29er Hard Tail?-img_2550-large-.jpg  

    Last edited by esku; 02-11-2013 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by esku View Post
    TM29 (best AM frame).
    If you're into 17"+ chainstay lengths then sure, best AM frame indeed.

    I never really bothered with the TransAM 29 when I was shopping for a 29er frame last winter, mainly because I wasn't really stoked by my TransAM 26er after that new bike feeling has worn off for me in the year of ownership I had with it before the seat tube developed a crack. Plus Transition's cockpit size tends to run super tight and cramped. Started with a 50mm stem and ended being comfortable with a 80mm on it.

    If I was building again this year, (and money would be no object to spend on a hardtail frame), I would love a first generation Chromag Surface (before they went with the modular dropout system that's coming out in production run #2 this spring). There's something about it that appeals to me, clean lines, good frame geometry, best tubing from all the bikes mentioned (Reynolds vs your basic 4130 cromoly tubesets) massive tire clearance, and you could build it fully decked out with Chromag bits as well. Overall, I love Chromag's company philosophy and what they represent, but want to know why I didn't get one last spring? I just couldn't stomach the $1500 for one, I was pretty close to buying one though and even was on the waiting list and they wanted my monies, I'm just not on that level yet to be spending $1500 on a hardtail frame. But that price is mostly due to being welded by Chris DeKerf as mentioned, but for me, that was the last deciding factor really as I couldn't care less if it was welded in BC, I would gladly pay $800 on the same frame that's welded in the same factory in Taiwan where Chromag does their other 'budget' frames.

    For me it really came down to $ like I mentioned, where I blew over my budget on the fork and got real lucky liking the Kona Honzo where $ was saved. For the price of a Chromag Surface, I bought a brand new Kona Honzo (lifetime warranty was an added bonus too after my Transition debacle), along with a brand new Fox Float 34 FIT RLC in coveted black for $899, and had $100 left over for a headset and a Chromag QR clamp.

    The upcoming Chromag Rootdown looks good, but the 24.4" ETT isn't going to cut it for tall people like myself, especially after falling in love with my Honzo's fit and 26" ETT, there's something about it that makes me smile every time I throw my leg over it and go for a ride.

    Another dream frame of mine is the 2Souls QH, a little cheaper than the Chromag Surface, but even heavier than the Kona Honzo, a true Alpine-style riding frame. Look it up and see if you'll like it, it's a small German company, built in house from custom Reynolds tubing, and they are super friendly and easy to get answers from. After I gave up on the Chromag Surface, I found out about these guys, at the time, the 2Souls Slim-Jim frame was offered for around $1K which was easier to stomach than $1,5K but again due to sizing reasons, I gave up on waiting for the XXL to be produced. Their XL was too similar to my previous TransAM 26er which was way too small. Luckily no XXL (similar to the 20" Long Honzo) has been still produced (because I would be mighty tempted to buy) and I have a feeling it will never happen anyway since they are a super small company, no massive interest in XXL, and they have other projects to get going with like their 650b frame.

    So what frame would I buy if something happened to my beloved 2012 Honzo? I would I be on a Kona Honzo again without even thinking twice about it. As much as I love my 2012 blue frameset, the 2013 retro raw gold finish with orange decals has really grown on me as well, paired with a white Fox 34 Float, some Renthal Fatbars, you'd have a killer looking All-Mountain hardtail that sports the shortest CS lengths, awesome dialed geo, and is just a hoot to ride!!!!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bareiss View Post
    Yes, I saw that, but I don't buy into the mystique of steel. Aluminum or not, the Yelli is currently my favorite bike.
    I chose a Nimble over the Yelli just because of the sliders giving the ability to run it SS wihtout a tensioner. Starting to think about selling some other frames and picking up an old stock Yelli to have one of each. You cannot overemphasize how much fun these short chainstay bikes are, whether you're riding big drops or carving tight singletrack.
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  7. #32
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    I recently purchased a 2012 Honzo frame and built it up single speed. I couldn't be happier. It climbs extremely well for what's considered a more downhill oriented bike. So well, in fact, that I haven't touched my XC hardtail since I built the Honzo up.

    The low bottom bracket isn't an issue. I'm more mindful of where my pedals are in rocky sections, but I haven't had any problems with hitting rocks. The low bb and steep seat angle are what makes this bike climb so well. No front end wandering on steep climbs at all.

    And of course it flat out rips downhill, as you'd expect. I have no doubt the Yelli Screamy is every bit the awesome bike people say it is, but If I had to do it over again I'd get the Honzo in a second.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by i.a.n. View Post
    I recently purchased a 2012 Honzo frame and built it up single speed. I couldn't be happier. It climbs extremely well for what's considered a more downhill oriented bike. So well, in fact, that I haven't touched my XC hardtail since I built the Honzo up.

    The low bottom bracket isn't an issue. I'm more mindful of where my pedals are in rocky sections, but I haven't had any problems with hitting rocks. The low bb and steep seat angle are what makes this bike climb so well. No front end wandering on steep climbs at all.

    And of course it flat out rips downhill, as you'd expect. I have no doubt the Yelli Screamy is every bit the awesome bike people say it is, but If I had to do it over again I'd get the Honzo in a second.
    I get that same kind of behavior out of my Nimble 9, you stand up and it goes up. I didn't expect that but it seems to want to climb - at least as long as I can turn the pedals. That's a new experience for me with a 29er. Neither the Spot or Salsa I rode acted that way, with the difference being the short chainstays and slack head angle - and it's gotta be the difference that makes the difference.
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  9. #34
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    The ability to test ride the Honzo should put it above the others.

  10. #35
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    Seen the Zealous Division?

    Chainstays don't get any shorter than that!

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshM View Post
    The ability to test ride the Honzo should put it above the others.
    i agree. Hurry up and test ride it so you can take it off your list....

  12. #37
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    To the OP, I've been considering the same bikes. But, right now, my favorite choices are the 2souls mentioned by eurospec (not easy to get in the US), and RSD cycles which is a new company but frames will be available in a couple of months last I heard.

    Both those choices use Reynolds 853. If you want steel, why not get the tastiest steel?

    Other choices I considered were Ragley and On One.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which Long-Travel 29er Hard Tail?-rsd-triumph.jpg  


  13. #38
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    Another Gen2 N9 owner here. I put a 140mm fork on it and absolutely love the bike.

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