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  1. #1
    Front Range Cyclist
    Reputation: juansevo's Avatar
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    Nov 2005

    Hardtail Lovers: What are your dream features in an AM/Trail frame?

    So most of my time on plus bikes has been on hardtail. First a prototype of the Singular Rooster (which sadly never came to be, it was sweet) and then it was an early Sonder Transmitter frame I set up 27.5 plus front/26+ rear (early pre-production version didn't fit 2.8").

    Debating a custom frame and thinking, what would be a dream frame spec for a nice Trail Orientated hardtail? For me I'm thinking:

    -420mm long chain stays
    -130 to 140mm fork spec
    -Fit 2.8" in the rear
    -T47 bottom bracket
    -Good Standover
    -2 bottle mounts
    -Superboost spacing
    -66 degree head angle
    -73.5" seat angle
    -Steel or titanium
    -Stealth routing for dropper
    -Seattube that accepts a 34.9 post
    -Drop in bearing headset. Tapered of course!

    What are your thoughts? What would you want on a custom hardtail?
    In the immortal words of Socrates..."I drank what?"
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  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chestont's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    That's a pretty good starting template. Maybe a touch steeper seat tube angle. I'd also add a short and straight seat tube for long dropper posts and maybe sliding/modular dropouts for different standards and the ability to run singlespeed.

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  3. #3
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    Reputation: targnik's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Ooh, there it is!!Hardtail Lovers: What are your dream features in an AM/Trail frame?-img_20170930_172218.jpg

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  4. #4
    Anytime. Anywhere.
    Reputation: Travis Bickle's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    There is now way I would spend the money on a custom hardtail. That said, I love them and while I didn't get all the features, this came close enough.

    Moxie Enduro Hardtail | 27.5/27.5+/29er Compatible

    Head tube is not tapered, but at least it's short. Other than that it's the dog's bollocks.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  5. #5
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
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    Sep 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo View Post
    For me I'm thinking:

    -130 to 140mm fork spec sure
    -Fit 2.8" in the rear sure, more is better, but i'd rather not ass around with yolks. I'd shoot for 2.6". Cheaper and easier to design around. Better tire options, and BB height plays nice with 2.3-2.5 when you wanna run burly rubber.
    -T47 bottom bracket i like it, but the chasing tool is rare and prohibitively expensive, so BSA for me. I prefer 24mm cranks anyway.
    -Good Standover
    -2 bottle mounts naturally. you can stick the ST bottle right above the DT to fit them better.
    -Superboost spacing i'd rather have sliding drops, and short stays +sliders+superboost might be too much stuff in that space. Dunno. Superboost makes sense if you're hampering yourself with plus tires, i guess.

    -66 degree head angle if you think of this in terms of front-center and steering behavior it will uncouple 2 different handling qualities. HTA doesn't mean much in isolation.
    -73.5" seat angle should be determined by desired stem length and reach. Then the saddle needs to be wherever it does so you reach the bars.
    -420mm long chain stays chainstays are the last thing i worry about; they need to be whatever length to manage the bike's weight distribution. I'm partial to paragon sliders

    my current frame is 66ha/73.5sa/430cs (adjustable, though). So i like your plans.

    -Steel or titanium it's hard for me to justify the cost of Ti. It's not a road bike where you can put 50k miles on it, roads define the conditions, and a pound is noticeable. Cost no object...
    -Stealth routing for dropper i'd rather not have holes in steel tubes by the cranks, personally.
    -Seattube that accepts a 34.9 post
    -Drop in bearing headset. Tapered of course! why??? no benefits for either, and drawbacks compared to a straight 1.5" press fit. A loose headset doesn't destroy the frame, and you can fit an offset cups to tweak head angle. Also, there are sweet machined 1.5 head tubes, not so much for tapered... and tapered are annoying to miter.

    What are your thoughts? What would you want on a custom hardtail?
    My opinions inline. Feel free to disagree!

    I'm riding my 4th custom hardtail (i build them in the garage). Even from a custom builder they're pretty cheap, really. About the same as an aluminum FS frame.
    Last edited by scottzg; 1 Week Ago at 08:21 PM.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  6. #6
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    May 2016

  7. #7
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    Jan 2004
    Ohhh the pain. my 26" hardtail just died (fork broke and its just old). Having said that, the features that I love are the responsiveness, a 140 - 150 fork, slack angles, dropper and that magic feeling for wanting to hit any feature and just get airborne. I am a big believer in steel, and the smaller wheel size for the quickness, responsiveness. Not sure how plus tires affect it, but for ride comfort, I like smaller seattubes as less is transmitted to ones arse. Also, I have ridden 29rs, and while I like them for overall straight ahead speed, they take away from the fun of challenging yourself on trail features as well. So while it counters general thinking, for am ht fun, I don't want 29 or even a full plus sized bike. I would think a 2.4-2.6 may be the magic width.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2005
    I would stick with regular boost; its kind f of a gamble to commit to super boost at this point. I don't want to derail the discussion but 12 x 148 on a hard tail is ideal. Or maybe a frame with replaceable dropouts so you can swap out 148 or 157 x 12.
    2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
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