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  1. #1
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    Steel frame bikes?

    I have cannondale Sl4 29er right now and really love that bike but curious on steel frame bikes. I checked out Jamis Dragon Sport 29er and looks pretty sweet. Unfortunately i have nothing but problems with my cannondale and tired of spending money on fixing it every other week. Any feed back would be awesome.

  2. #2
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    Yes please

    You'll get a hundred diff. opinions about ride quality, but for me it's more about aesthetics and durability...

    I love those skinny tubes. Aluminum hardtails just look generic to me, I don't know why. I don't have anything against a nicely hydroformed aluminum FS rig, but a hardtail should be steel, IMO...

    Have a friend with a Dragon 26er and it is a beautiful bike. Popular too, those should have a good resale value, I'd think...

  3. #3
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    Thanks bro...Yeah the 2013 Dragon 29er looks sweet and in my budget! Think msrp is $1250 and won't break the bank for the Desert trail riding i do. I good plus is the LBS i want to buy from has lifetime maintenance and adjustments. Never ridden Steel frame but mostly positive feedback from reviews i've been reading and research

  4. #4
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    The difference in feel is gonna depend on your weight and riding style as well as the materials and design of the frame. A Gunnar rockhound29 or a Niner MCR is made of higher-priced thinner-walled tubes, while something like a surly KMonkey is thicker, heavier CroMoly. Generally, the lighter the frame the greater the flex, although thats not always true. Where and how the frame flexes is the art of steel frame construction and also the draw of custom frames from skilled builders.

    I have an older KMonkey and it is a great, quick frame.

    I would recommend looking at frames, finding the geo you want and then watching ebay and swapping out your components. That lbs dragon sounds like a good deal too!

  5. #5
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    Depends on the ride your looking for, when I started most frames were cromoly and then went to aluminum and personally I like aluminum better. More power to rear tire and way less flex. Being a larger rider my frame used to flex allot when climbing or mashing the pedals, I like the stiffer feel of aluminum over cromo.We had rim brakes back then to so flexing could realy slow you down as it would make your brakes rub, with disk thats pretty much gone but the flex is still there none the less. Like the other poster said you will have 100 diffrent reason why they are good and bad, just adding my 2 cents. Sorry to hear your troubles with the CDale I have a Deltav 1000 still going strong, purchased new in 1993.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
    KHS Flagstaff 29er FS
    Neon Bow Trials Bike
    Norco Fluid 9.2 29er FS
    Norco BIGFOOT FATTY

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone! I mostly trail ride in the southern cali deserts and just love it...My first two bikes were basic entry level (TREK 6500) and (Giant yukon) 26ers and beat the hell out those bikes. Took 3 year break and bought my first 29er and fell in love. My budget under $1500 and figure to get great specs for the price. My LBS currently carries KHS and Jamis and the lifetime adjustments really catches my eye and wallet lol. KHS has some really nice 29er hardtails and that Dragon 29er sport really nice too. So many bikes so little time

  7. #7
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    I just finished building up a dragon 29 sport from craiglist/ebay for cheap. Total rigid with a salsa fork. I like the flex a steel frame offers, its not a significant amount but enough to know its not an aluminum.

  8. #8
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    I want to keep my Cannondale and fix it up for one of my boys....The classic steel hard tail is something i've always wanted! Can't beat the $1250 price tag...hopefully i can get a bit of a discount too

  9. #9
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    The heavier/taller you are, the more that steel's beloved flex can impact results...especially in high-torque SS situations.

    Materials and builders vary but if you're a big dude, but sure you're rocking a burlier tube set.
    Professional Amateur. Disagree? Submit your grievances here.

  10. #10
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    6'1 230....Big husky Clyde here dropped 25 pounds since Jan 1st so on to something.

  11. #11
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    I love my Karate Monkey, P-35 rims with purgatory 2.4's, nice.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky View Post

    I love those skinny tubes.

    Probably one of my favorite things about steel bikes.

  13. #13
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    Steel frame bikes?

    Built up a rigid Salsa El Mariachi a year ago (2x10) and it is my go to bike. Have an Ibis Mojo SL in the stable too, but 9 times out of 10 I take the El Mar out over the Mojo. Maybe it's the steel frame, maybe it's the 29er wheels, maybe just the simplicity of a rigid bike. Whatever it is, it works for me...

  14. #14
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    I love steel. Very nice ride, and you should go ss, it would not give you any problem.

  15. #15
    g3h6o3
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    For me, steel is about comfort, durability and ease of repair if anything happens.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  16. #16
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    Depends on the ride your looking for, when I started most frames were cromoly and then went to aluminum and personally I like aluminum better. More power to rear tire and way less flex. Being a larger rider my frame used to flex allot when climbing or mashing the pedals, I like the stiffer feel of aluminum over cromo.We had rim brakes back then to so flexing could realy slow you down as it would make your brakes rub, with disk thats pretty much gone but the flex is still there none the less. Like the other poster said you will have 100 diffrent reason why they are good and bad, just adding my 2 cents. Sorry to hear your troubles with the CDale I have a Deltav 1000 still going strong, purchased new in 1993.
    Have you tried a modern high end steel or ti bike? I think you will be pleasantly surprised!
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  17. #17
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Steel and ti have soul. Aluminum and carbon bikes, not so much.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by plantdude View Post
    Built up a rigid Salsa El Mariachi a year ago (2x10) and it is my go to bike. Have an Ibis Mojo SL in the stable too, but 9 times out of 10 I take the El Mar out over the Mojo. Maybe it's the steel frame, maybe it's the 29er wheels, maybe just the simplicity of a rigid bike. Whatever it is, it works for me...

    Have you tried SS yet? Whole new world!

  19. #19
    Geaux ride!
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    I love my Dragon. Good ride and solidly built, I'll never have to worry about sudden failure or dents. Still kicking myself for not getting the somewhat lighter team frame tho.
    -'08 Jamis Dragon Comp
    "Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary…that's what gets you" - Jeremy Clarkson

  20. #20
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    Bryan, also check out the Salsa El Mar 3... it's in your price range and a great bike. I bought one for my wife last year and it's a great bike for the money. You may also like the Surly Karate Monkey.
    I've been riding Aluminum framed bikes since the mid-90's. I've never had an issue with any of them... they have been great. But I have a steel framed bike (Krampus) on order and I can't wait. I've ridden a few modern steel framed bikes lately and I love the feedback & forgiveness on a harsh trail.

  21. #21
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    once you go ss you'll never go back.

  22. #22
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    Really loving my 2 recent steel HT builds. Looks and feels so much nicer than aluminum to me. 1x10 26er and a SS 29er. I didn't have the cash to go 1x10 on the 29er so I decided to go SS to get it off the workstand while I saved up $$. It didn't take long for me to decide to stick with the single. So much fun.
    Mostly a rigid SS, sometimes a geared HT

  23. #23
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    El Mariachi 3 looks like a really nice bike for the price! Thanks everyone....my brother pouring Specialized dust in my ears (CARVE, STUMPJUMPER) but out of my price range. I've always rode aluminum too so i want some change!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I love my Karate Monkey, P-35 rims with purgatory 2.4's, nice.
    Karate monkey looks awesome! So do you ride everywhere? noticed no suspension fork but the reviews for this bike really good.

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