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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I'm starting to think about a '14 El Mar. I like the combo of a short rear end but still something reasonably quick up front--I think that would work well for my local trails (twisty, not a lot of downhills) Of course, the KM is similar, but I'm still recovering from the horrors of track ends + discs on my Krampus.

    I tried an AM type bike and really didn't like it for my style of riding. If you can, try to demo this type of geometry before you commit.
    It appears you did that with a longer stem, and I have no idea what bar length you used. It still may be the bike is not for you, but I noticed all the difference in the world when my move to slack, low and shorter chain stays included shorter stem and wider bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan GSR View Post
    if you dont get the ROS 9 (or similar), you're gonna make a big mistake
    short rear , slack front is where it is at
    A little time getting used to short stems and wide bars made all the difference for me. My Covert is more of a granddaddy for modern geometry, by park bike has it, same for the Honzo. Short stems and wider bars really made a big difference.

  2. #27
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    I've always ridden with a really long stem 100-120, XC style. The short stem and slacked headtube will be a big change for me in a hardtail. How do you hunker down and grind on the flats with a bike like this? That was part of my frustration with my FS Camber. I rode a few miles on road to get to a trail and felt like I was riding a cruiser and I couldn't put my head down and go.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprocket47 View Post
    I've always ridden with a really long stem 100-120, XC style. The short stem and slacked headtube will be a big change for me in a hardtail. How do you hunker down and grind on the flats with a bike like this? That was part of my frustration with my FS Camber. I rode a few miles on road to get to a trail and felt like I was riding a cruiser and I couldn't put my head down and go.
    I just don't put any thought to it at all. I just bend my elbows when I want to cut the wind, and notice I have less or no more problems with numb hands and sore neck for added bonus. It seems like this bike style gets the "attack position" with ease. Maybe my bikes with this style stem and bar are just designed right for me or my old for mountain biking age.

    This no way means I'm saying this is right for you. You should delay gratification and try all sorts of bikes to know what's right for you. Go fund some demo days at trail heads or places that rent late model bikes for a great way to know what might be right.

  4. #29
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    Love me some El Mar!

  5. #30
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    Nimble 9...such a SMOOTH and fun riding frame. I miss mine. Only sold it to feed my carbon frame addiction but I will have another N9 in time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  6. #31
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    Steel 29er recommend

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcraw View Post
    Chrome Nimble 9

    Attachment 908290
    Gorgeous...

  7. #32
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    Kona Honzo, I'm biased though
    Steel 29er recommend-img_0296_zpse773bfd8.jpg
    Steel 29er recommend-img_0298_zps498a9efe.jpg
    Steel 29er recommend-img_0308_zps5abd75ca.jpg
    Steel 29er recommend-img_0314_zps64f68bbc.jpg

  8. #33
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    Steel 29er recommend

    If your big complaint about the Camber is that it rode like a tank, I'd be a little worried about an AM hardtail giving you the same feeling. They tend to be built up heavy (frame and components) and designed slack.

    A more XC-oriented steel 29er will be more nimble and the frame will weigh less.

    My favorite steel 29er is still the SIR9. The EBB creaking issues have been worked out, if installed properly.

    That said, the SIR9 (at least the older version, as I haven't ridden the 2013 redesign) was a bit too compliant for some bigger guys.

    For bigger fellas, I'd recommend the kona unit. It gets lots of love from owners, has a dialed geometry, and is priced right. I ride the 2013 version and love it. It's definitely stiffer than the pre-2014 SIR9 but still has that steel-is-real ride quality. Hope my 2 cents helps.

  9. #34
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    Jamis Dragon Sport. I have mine down to 27lbs. Doesnt feel like a tank any longer. Only because I have swapped out everything except for the frame and fork.


  10. #35
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    A 26-29lb ht with 4" of travel and 29" wheels you intend to shred real trails is not a tank.. Its a stable, ride anything vehicle.. Steel is a lifestyle , folks who ride steel like the compliance and sturdy feel. My steel road and mtb bikes are fairly light (20/25lb), Ive ridden lighter aluminum and carbon and they always felt sketchy /whippy for my 200lb long frame. Fwiw felt the same when I was 180.

    that said, 4 mountain biking a little upper body strength training in the winter does a lot of good for epic riding in the spring /summer / fall. Of course that's where steel really shines, on those longer rides when you are more comfortable on a slightly heavier bike and don't want to go home!

  11. #36
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    Steel 29er recommend

    Check out the Vassago VerHauen. Nice riding steel frame that can be run with 100-120mm fork. Frame is made in the USA too.

  12. #37
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  13. #38
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spillway View Post
    If your big complaint about the Camber is that it rode like a tank, I'd be a little worried about an AM hardtail giving you the same feeling. They tend to be built up heavy (frame and components) and designed slack.
    have your owned a nimble 9 or similar?
    i found the my experience to be very different
    i used to own a MCR which has the same geometry as your SIR
    i found the MCR to be a tiny bit better at low speed (<5mph)
    but at high speed it wasn't stable
    i got a nimble 9 after the MCR
    MUCH better handling, gave me way more confidence, and i could carry much more speed in the corners

  15. #40
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    I am on a custom Quiring steel frame now but also had the newer version 2013 Niner SIR 9 and it was definitely stiffer than the older version MCR which I also owned. Very nice steel frame for the money. The opportunity for the custom was too hard to pass up for me but I would have been very happy on the SIR. In fact I have thought about building another one up as a second bike just because.

  16. #41
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    Steel 29er recommend-sam-honey-badger-10-1-1-.jpgSpot Brand Honey Badger XL, Coming from a Ti Merlin Newsboy was not sure what to expect but the Animal leg stays and the compliance for this frame is awesome , Mine has a MRP 490 mm Carbon rigid fork and will some other upgrades got my weight down to 21.9 lbs , Granted it's a Single speed but if you need gears they are available but the Gates Belt system is Fabulous for me and seldom ride my Klien Attitude gear bike.
    Nice Spot Rocker frame on Fee bay for 499.00 in XL. RIGHT NOW

  17. #42
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    One vote for Kona Unit. I built one up into a 2x9 a while back. I love it so much I bought another, complete Unit that my shop had leftover. Coming from a Dos Niner, the Kona feels snappier and easier to maneuver, IMO.

  18. #43
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    Chromag surface

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