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  1. #1
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    Best AM-hardtail?

    I'm looking for an HT frame that can take a beating, but still be good for regular XC. I don't think I'll be jumping very much with it, but maybe some drops. I need it to pedal well and not be really heavy. I want it to be able to take a 130mm fork.

    The frames I'm looking at right now:
    Specialized rockhopper pro disc All mountain (complete bike)
    Orange p7
    On one 456
    Cotic Soul
    Pace RC303


    Which would you recommend?

  2. #2
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon

  3. #3
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    One with rear suspension.

  4. #4
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    On one 456(cheap and heavy)
    Cotic Soul(dearer but lighter)
    those 2 would be fine(does the P7 take a 130 fork?). Or the new Cove Handjob.

    Personally I'd avoid an alloy frame like the RC303 if you do long XC rides. I also have a Cove Stiffee and while it's a great bike it doesn't half batter you soft. Steel is far comfier.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepanov
    I'm looking for an HT frame that can take a beating, but still be good for regular XC. I don't think I'll be jumping very much with it, but maybe some drops. I need it to pedal well and not be really heavy. I want it to be able to take a 130mm fork.

    The frames I'm looking at right now:
    Specialized rockhopper pro disc All mountain (complete bike)
    Orange p7
    On one 456
    Cotic Soul
    Pace RC303


    Which would you recommend?
    How tall are you?
    Banned

  6. #6
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    I'm about 6.3

  7. #7
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    On-One 456
    Cove Handjob

    In that order...bonus on the Chameleon- if the SS bug ever hits, you dont need to buy a new frame

  8. #8
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    I second the SC chameleon

  9. #9
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    yeah, the sc chameleon looks real nice! I have to look into that one. Is there anyone here that has a chameleon who can give a little review?

  10. #10
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    Yep- I have had 3. Started out with a 2001, set up for what was considered all-mountain at the time, 100mm fork, disk brakes, shroter stem (90mm) riser bars. Loved it- it was light-ish (about 27-28lbs) strong, and fast. When the 2003-4 models came out with the beefier gusseting, I decided to pick one up, and set it up for more burly duty- Z1 FR, bash/chainguide combo, Sun singletrack wheels. Still no pig at about 31lbs, but I never doubted that frame under me. I did, however, decide I needed a longer TT, so I sold that one (medium) and bought my current large. Right now, its set up SS with a RS Recon set to 120mm (I cut the spacer to give me 120 because I think that is the best height for all-around on a lizard) with a 65mm stem, low-rise Azonic bars, Avid disks, and RS Atlas cranks. When the mood strikes me, I have a Pike that I can throw on there for burlier action, but in SS mode with the recon, it comes in around 23-24lbs. With the Pike and gears, its about 29-30lbs which makes for a great all-day-any-condition hardtail that I can drop the front to 100mm for climbs, 140mm for descents, and 120 for hammering away in the PA hillsides. This is a frame you can set up any way that suits you, because at 210lbs, I have NEVER questioned it under me (took the med DJ'ing and park riding occasionally, and am not afraid of drops to tranny) plus at about 4.5 lbs, you can easily put together a 25lb XC bike as well. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

  11. #11
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    I like my 456. Steel, snappy, and great value. Maybe a little heavier than most, but that's extra durability. Like most people say, the adjustable fork is a great option, makes the bike extremely versatile. Shares riding time with my Nomad.

    Chameleons are sick too, never had one, but always wanted one.
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  12. #12
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    Chameleon

    Besides from what everyone else said, if you get sick of it, it has a good resale.

    I'm happy with mine.

  13. #13
    tl1
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    I don't know what is best but...

    ...the Surly Instigator is a very fun trail bike. It's steel so it rides very well, it's fairly inexpensive, has room for 2.5" tires (actually bigger), has "xc-ish" type geometry that climbs well and is generally just a blast to ride.
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  14. #14
    JMH
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    Kona Cowan

    Sliding dropouts if you want to go SS, burly frame that easily takes a 140mm fork (I run a PIKE on mine). Not particularly expensive.

    Selling mine, but can't say much until I post in the classifieds...

    JMH
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  15. #15
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    I have the rockhopper pro all mountain and am loving it. for 1000 bucks its a pretty good set up. Frame seems pretty solid and ive had no problems at all with it. The pedals definately need to be changed though, they are pretty slick. i'd try them all and see what works for you. keep on truckin'

  16. #16
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    Nemesis Project !!!!!
    ..... check out the Secret Agent frame !







    www.NemesisProject.com
    Follow me on Instagram for up to date build pics -Brad4130
    Nem-Pro store
    Nem-Pro Blog

  17. #17
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    Banshee Scirocco

    A lot of the recommendations (Nemesis, Cowan) are really more DJ/ Street rigs. The Chameleon, Inbred 456, and another the Banshee Scirocco are all good recommendations for an AM HT. The Banshee is realy light, but super strong. Not too $$$ either.

  18. #18
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    Yep- the Nemisis is a sweet street/dj/park bike, but the geo really wont agree with you for an all-day-all-mountain kind of ride. If you are looking for a trail bike, DJ/street bikes aren't really the direction you will want.

  19. #19
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    Cotic Soul


  20. #20
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    Man, this is turning out to be a really tough decision. I really appreciate all the advice you guys have given me. The list I'm looking at right now is:

    Banshee scirocco
    SC Chameleon
    Orange Crush
    Cove Stiffee

    These bikes seem pretty similar, of course they aren't exactly the same, but they all seem to have followers who really like them. Maybe I can't go wrong with either of them? Should I just pick the one that has the best price and I think looks the best?
    If I want to use it for long all day XC rides, as well as maybe a little jumping, not like DJ or anything, just real small jumps, and some rouger trails, is there one of these bikes that would NOT fit for that description?

  21. #21
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    What about an On One 29er with a 2x9 bash ring setup with a 4" travel Rock Shox REBA. I have a Kona Unit 2-9 setup like that, and it rolls over stuff pretty well. It is worth a look.

  22. #22
    I can't weld
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    Planet X Jack Flash

    I picked up a used 2003 model on Ebay for $200 including Thompson seatpost and CK headset. This is the year that had the fancy hydroformed Easton RAD tubing. This thing is overbuilt everywhere, from the square profile rear triangle tubing to the extra thick headtube reinforcement. It's still only weights a little over 4#. I added discs and a SID to make a bulletproof XC racer - needed it since I'm ~220# in full gear. I've got about 800 miles on it this season and it is extremely solid. The new Reba is at the shop now getting the steerer trimmed to size and starnut placed. Can't wait for the ride this weekend.

    PricePoint has new ones marked down to $299. Read their description: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/138...lash-Frame.htm

    Here's mine in the driveway and on the Womble Trail:



  23. #23
    Don't skid
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    I asked a similar question a few days ago. I had a p2 I was trying to AM with. It rocekd on the DH but I couldn't climb with it for sh!t, basically I can't get the seat post high enough. So since then I have thrown my Pike on my On-One Inbred and am loving it. I went for the first real trail ride with it today. There was a rock in the trial and I went to bunny hop it. Boy I tell you coming off a 38 lb 6" AM with platforms and going to a 30 lb hardtail with clipless, that thing flew. Anyway what I am trying to say is the On-One Inbred 456 will be the frame I'll be rockin as soon as I break this standard Inbred (if I can). Steel is real .
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

  24. #24
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    i love my Gt avalanche 1.0, i would recommend you try one out, dont ride a 3 or a 2 they arent the same.

  25. #25
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    how about an orange evo4 ????
    ive set mine up with revelations and a mix of light but strong bits and i dont think i will buy another bike!!! nice and agile on singletrack , good at going up hills too!!!





    going to get another paint job done though !!!!!

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