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  1. #1
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    Tall guy doing dream bike build - NINER OR SANTA CRUZ?

    I've decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and build a true dream 29er hardtail and need some advice. I have narrowed my choice to either the Niner Air 9 RDO or the Santa Cruz Highball carbon. Both are around the same price but my real question is sizing. Im 6'6" 200lbs and ride pure XC. The Highball is available in an XXL frame with a: 25.9 TopTube ---22.5 seat tube---45.5 wheelbase and 32.5 standover height. The Niner only comes in an XL but has 25.2 Top tube---21.0 seattube---44.6 wheelbase and 32.4 standover height. As you can see the dimensions are very similar except for the extra 1.5" of seat tube length on the Highball. Will a slightly higher seatpost height on the Niner basically equal the 2 bikes out from a ride standpoint? Which bike would you all go with?? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtheant View Post
    Which bike would you all go with?? Thanks.
    Which frame dimensions most closely match what you have been riding or fit you best?

    More arms or more legs? Both? Shorter or longer torso?

    Do you want a bike with snappier handling or are you okay with more flowy turns and maneuvers?

    Stack and reach as well as seating position in relation to the crank might be more critical than TT or ST lengths.

    If you are truly wanting to do a dream bike build, you might consider a pro fitting to determine which frame suits you and your proportions best.
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  3. #3
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    The real question should be: do you want to have to take your cranks off to change a cable on your dream bike? (or are you willing to pay somebody to do it for you)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtheant View Post
    I've decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and build a true dream 29er hardtail and need some advice. I have narrowed my choice to either the Niner Air 9 RDO or the Santa Cruz Highball carbon. Both are around the same price but my real question is sizing. Im 6'6" 200lbs and ride pure XC. The Highball is available in an XXL frame with a: 25.9 TopTube ---22.5 seat tube---45.5 wheelbase and 32.5 standover height. The Niner only comes in an XL but has 25.2 Top tube---21.0 seattube---44.6 wheelbase and 32.4 standover height. As you can see the dimensions are very similar except for the extra 1.5" of seat tube length on the Highball. Will a slightly higher seatpost height on the Niner basically equal the 2 bikes out from a ride standpoint? Which bike would you all go with?? Thanks.
    I would expand your "dream bike" list to include some more that are really devoted to building a frame big enough for the 6'6" crowd. Be it custom or off the shelf. Quiring, Ventana El Padrino, Specialized Carve, Trek Superfly, Zinn, etc... . They all do 6'6" right.

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    Sent you a PM

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    I'd look at custom too. May have to consider non-carbon frames, but someone like quiring can build you a titanium frame. You'll get custom geometry, and the frame will probably last longer.

  7. #7
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    I have a buddy who is 6-8, 275 lbs, who absolutely loves his highball. I own a Tallboy, and I would say if it fits, you can't go wrong with Santa cruz
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  8. #8
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    IMHO a Dream bike is custom, pure and simple, especially at your height. For the cost of either of those two frames you're already really close to custom pricing anyways, why not get the ultimate dream bike and fit and get it it Ti so it lasts. At your height, like Bruce said, don't limit your choices, get something that fits properly - sounds like you're looking more towards XC and at your height I wouldn't want a TT under 25.5" or a ST under 22".
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  9. #9
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    Tall guy doing dream bike build - NINER OR SANTA CRUZ?

    The 0.7" difference in top tube length is not insignificant.
    Not to me anyway. It could make a real difference in how the bike fits you.
    --Reamer

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  10. #10
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    Go wood: BADASH 29er - Renovo Hardwood Bicycles
    I've been wanting to try one of these since I first saw them, even though I am a FS type.

    Tall guy doing dream bike build - NINER OR SANTA CRUZ?-st%2520cluster%2520int%2520routing-45.jpg
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  11. #11
    TR
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    Take Niner off the list.
    25.2 ETT is what I ride a 6'2".

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtheant View Post
    Which bike would you all go with?? Thanks.
    Frankly, neither.

    If you're spending $2000 on a frame, you can afford a custom frame, made to measure for you, the colour of your choosing, fixtures, fittings and geometry that you get to pick.

    $2000 could have you a Curtlo, Triton or Stickel (or one of a whole bunch of others) and change to spare.

    Way better than some far eastern carbon.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Frankly, neither.

    If you're spending $2000 on a frame, you can afford a custom frame, made to measure for you, the colour of your choosing, fixtures, fittings and geometry that you get to pick.

    $2000 could have you a Curtlo, Triton or Stickel (or one of a whole bunch of others) and change to spare.

    Way better than some far eastern carbon.
    Well unless he particularly WANTS Far Eastern carbon of course.

  14. #14
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    I have decided to pick up a Santa Cruz Highball in XXL 2012 on sale from Comp Cyclist. Kinda hard to beat $999 for a carbon frame from Santa Cruz. Looking forward to building and riding it!

  15. #15
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    Tall guy doing dream bike build - NINER OR SANTA CRUZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by imtheant View Post
    I have decided to pick up a Santa Cruz Highball in XXL 2012 on sale from Comp Cyclist. Kinda hard to beat $999 for a carbon frame from Santa Cruz. Looking forward to building and riding it!
    Nice.
    I'm sure you'll love it.....
    --Reamer

    SC Tallboy LTc
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  16. #16
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    Should be a great ride, post pics as you get it built up.

  17. #17
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    Glad to hear you weren't swayed by the calls to go custom. There is no way custom Ti or Steel can compete with Carbon on weight, stiffness, and strength IMO. Take a ighat what people are using at the highest level in everything from Road to DH. Those who say otherwise are just living in the past in my humble opinion. I get the appeal of something one-off which fits perfectly and is unique and friggen sexy, but at your height you should have no problem fitting a production XXL, as I'm sure you've found out.

  18. #18
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    I'm 6'8" and 270, neither of these bikes were even remotely close to fitting me. Do yourself a favor, go custom...Steel rides amazingly well for bigger guys. Retrotec would be my recommendation.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenity Now View Post
    Glad to hear you weren't swayed by the calls to go custom. There is no way custom Ti or Steel can compete with Carbon on weight, stiffness, and strength IMO. Take a ighat what people are using at the highest level in everything from Road to DH. Those who say otherwise are just living in the past in my humble opinion. I get the appeal of something one-off which fits perfectly and is unique and friggen sexy, but at your height you should have no problem fitting a production XXL, as I'm sure you've found out.
    Those aren't the only things that matter. It's all about the ride and each material has it's unique characteristics.
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  20. #20
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    Congrats. I just got the last part for my 2012 XL highball build. Excited.
    I think the XXL will work nicely for you.

  21. #21
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    Actually, I am going to spring for the 2013 Highball instead of the 2012 as it has the 12 x 142 dropouts and I love the green and matte color scheme. Will post pics soon!

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