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  1. #1
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    We the people ... Long-travel AM Hardtail...?

    Hey guys, seems there's been a lot of these threads lately so I'll try to keep this fairly short. Looking to get a long-travel hardtail to go with my Nomad. Would be mostly trail ridden on a wide variety of trails, thrown in a little DJ perhaps, and once I get off my ass and start building, some pump track action. Thinking on running it set-up with 150-120mm RS Revelation and likely with a height adjust seatpost...

    Bikes that are currently on my short list:
    Cotic BFe
    Ragley probably Blue Pig or BP X, but that could be decided later...
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Maybe Evil Sovereign...Bit pricier.

    Other bikes considered but kind of filtered out for whatever reason; Dialled Alpine, NS Surge, On-One 456 or Summer Season, Transition TransAM, Chromag Stylus.

    I realize certain bikes might be better suited toward certain styles, but what are your opinions on these bikes and how they would suit what I wanna do?

    Any input for or against any bikes on my shortlist or otherwise is appreciated. I've got an idea of what I want, but maybe somebody will point out something I've over looked and nudge me in the right direction.

    Thanks,
    Scott D.
    '08 SC Nomad w/ DHX-C 5.0 & Lyrik U-turn

    Planet Bike - East Brunswick, NJ - http://planetbikenj.com/

  2. #2
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    I have a Ragley Blue Pig and I think it would not be very capable dirt jump and pump track bike, it has too long rear end. At least I prefer more flickable feeling bike when riding that kind of stuff, but then again I'm riding BMX when dirt jumping.

    As a trail bike the Blue Pig is very good.

  3. #3
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    A Nomad is certainly a very hardcore machine certainly great at trails and very aggressive AM even light FR/DH. The thing is many of the bikes you mention are in the HT category of the machine you already have.

    I would seriously consider a really flick-able manual-able smaller framed HT, with a short chain stay and really low top tube that could manual and DJ really well, then put a 120-150mm fork on it to slacken it out for FR style riding but keep the DJ capability, maybe like a Giant STP or something.

    What's the point of buying something like a Nomad front end but with a HT back end?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew242
    I would seriously consider a really flick-able manual-able smaller framed HT, with a short chain stay and really low top tube that could manual and DJ really well, then put a 120-150mm fork on it to slacken it out for FR style riding but keep the DJ capability, maybe like a Giant STP or something.
    I kinda agree with this, I have a Gary Fisher PHD, awesome DJ geometry, and FR strong can run a 160mm fork no problem.
    I use it at Ray's MTB Park and it's perfect.
    One problem though is if you plan to use it as a trail bike (think 20+ mile ride) you may need a super long seatpost to get proper leg extension.
    Also, for example on my PHD the seat tube angle can get kinda slack as the seat goes up.
    If you can get an on the fly adjustable seatpost to work that may be the best solution.

  5. #5
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    Alright, I definitely feel where you guys are coming from, and I kind of agree, but I probably shouldn't even have bothered mentioning DJ because it will be such a small, perhaps non-existent part of my riding. If I was looking towards more DJ, I'd be leaning towards something like an SC Jackal or like you said, an STP. Primary use for the bike would definitely be trail rides, and eventually some pump track. I suppose it could even be considered as a back-up to the Nomad, which is probably why I was looking at similarly capable bikes. Just something to take out and beat up on some trails when I wanna ride a HT or maybe I don't need something quite as burly as a Nomad...

    So lets forget I mentioned DJ, lets say 80% trail riding, eventually like 20% pump track. And maybe if I get really into the pump track and find myself jumping more down the road, I could possibly get something more capable. I just want I sweet trail hardtail that will take some abuse and that would be capable around a pump track, as I realize anything HT would be better then my Nomad.

    Thanks again,
    Scott D.
    '08 SC Nomad w/ DHX-C 5.0 & Lyrik U-turn

    Planet Bike - East Brunswick, NJ - http://planetbikenj.com/

  6. #6
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    BFe or Sovereign... shorter chainstay being the only difference that would make them stand out from the others in any way for your use.

  7. #7
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    I own an Evil Sov- love it. It has been one of the best decisions to get one. But I feel that could be true for a Transition TransAm as well as some of the other steel HTs out there. I prefer steel and missed the way it rides when i went to full squishy. I have thought a couple of times about getting a 29r HT like the Paradox but the Evil just really shines for me.

    Good all day in the saddle, up and down, really good down really really good...and I am still running it with Manitou Nixons. Looking to upgrade those soon. Seems like the RS Revelations are a good choice to keep weight down.

    Anyways, you hit one point right on the head- get an adjustable seatpost, it makes life a lot easier on hard tails. I have one and can not fathom ever not owning one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbaSS
    BFe or Sovereign... shorter chainstay being the only difference that would make them stand out from the others in any way for your use.
    welll...the ragley front end geometry is pretty out there. Even my small is a long, big feeling bike, and I don't think it is because of the chainstays...

  9. #9
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    Their shorter chainstays would be slightly better (but still not ideal bikes) for DJ and pump track no?

  10. #10
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    BTW I run my dropouts at the longest setting- keeps the front end down on the climbs and more stable on the way down. Much smoother.

    With the dropouts all the way in, TO ME, it felt real twitchy (best description for me) and really hard to keep the front wheel connected on climbs.

  11. #11
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    dont count out a jamis komodo. (just the frame) you can run a 150mm on it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojojojoaf
    With the dropouts all the way in, TO ME, it felt real twitchy (best description for me) and really hard to keep the front wheel connected on climbs.
    True but if you wanted to hit a pump track or DJ for a day you could slam it forward and have at it. Then just slide it back for the trails.

  13. #13
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    If you can find one...the venerable Sinister Ridge still rules the all-mountain hard tail roost.

    Check FTW indusries as well-Frank is still making great hard tails.

  14. #14
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    Scotty878,
    You are getting a variety of responses since thats the nature of all-mountain, especially when you add pumptracks and DJ's to the mix

    I'll say this: 2-3 years ago I built up a pretty sweet curtlo custom all-mountain hardtail. The geometry is similar to a chromag samurai or a transition transam. I've ridden the hell out of it since then...really fun bike. Recently I found a great deal on a Canfield bros Yelli-screamy 29'er with a pimp AM build. As much as I like the curtlo, the AM 29'er is definitely my bike of choice these days for "hardtail" rides. So I'd definitely consider the yelli screamy and banshee paradox (very similiar geometry).

    For context, I'm generally using these bikes for fire road climbs to steep PNW technical XC descents, pumpy/flowy AM trails, and intermediate skills-park jump lines. Generally 1k' to 5k' up/down.

  15. #15
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    Maybe I am just a big old *****, but I really can't tell the difference between 1/4 and 1/2 in change in chainstay length. And I have had several jump and trail bikes with "adjustable" rear wheel positions.

    Edit: Jeez, I can' t even write "d00sh" on here???

  16. #16
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    if you are just doing trail with maybe a bit of pumptrack thrown in most any frame such as an on one 456 with a fork that can adjust down to 100mm should fit the bill.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotu
    I really can't tell the difference between 1/4 and 1/2 in change in chainstay length.
    I'm the opposite - I find a 1/4 change in chainstay to be a HUGE difference. I'm on a TransAm, had it since they were first released, and I love it. 16.7" stays seem a nice balance between fun and stable, and the lowish BB is just awesomely fun.

    I'd definitely go steel, it's just nicer. The extra heft of the TransAm is nice too, since whenever I break a fully (which is more often than it should be), the TransAm still works perfectly. It also works equally well geared or singlespeed, which is what I'm currently running.
    Issaquah & Seattle real estate agent. Buy or sell a home with me and I donate $500 to Evergreen MTB Alliance
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  18. #18
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    Thanks everyone for the continued input...Regarding some of the post:

    With regard to chainstay length, the BFe and Sovereign are probably front runners because of it, and I definitely like the sliding dropouts on the Sovereign. But with the Evil, I've heard the top tube feels pretty short, and I don't want it super short, as again, it will be primarily a trail bike. Also, it's a little more money then I really want to spend and I heard of some problems with quality, although I think that relates more to the Revolt than anything else. And Evil is supposed to be revived and coming back into things but they haven't updated their site since 2009. There's not even a page on the Sovereign with some solid info...

    SuperbMan - Thought about a Ridge, but like you said, if I could find one...Availability and a little of the price are what are keeping me away from that...

    FM - I was thinking I wanted to stick to 26" for now, because I was thinking getting some sort of 29er down the road, but then that makes me go back to thinking, "well if I'd get a 29er for the trails, why not go with something more pump track/DJ friendly right now?" But I want something trail capable in the mean time...

    ...It's driving me mad. As much as I love getting a new bike, I hate deciding!

    I guess maybe I have to start thinking long term and how I'm going to fill my quiver as I go. Although, I am getting ever closer to saying screw it and pulling the trigger on the BFe...We'll see.
    '08 SC Nomad w/ DHX-C 5.0 & Lyrik U-turn

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  19. #19
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    I know you said you filtered them out but If you need a small, transition is blowing out trans ams for around 330. i have a summer season with a lyrik on it. currently it's setup single speed but when I had gears on it it was a very capable trail slayer. Not sure If I'm liking the single speed summer season, I'm gonna try a bigger cogg, if that doesn't work than it's going back to 1x9. Good luck on your search, so many choices out there it's always hard to decide. Just buy one build it and ride the hell out of it. those BFes do look sweet though.


  20. #20
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    If ya don't know already the Blue pig x can run horizontal dropouts, since you mentioned you like that..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty878
    So lets forget I mentioned DJ, lets say 80% trail riding, eventually like 20% pump track. And maybe if I get really into the pump track and find myself jumping more down the road, I could possibly get something more capable. I just want I sweet trail hardtail that will take some abuse and that would be capable around a pump track, as I realize anything HT would be better then my Nomad.
    Oh, in that case I was having a look at a Identiti AKA, supposed to be tough and light, or a lizard maybe?

  22. #22
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    How about this?

    I built up this bike a while back for less aggressive trails that are more XC oriented with a few tech sections thrown in. It's built specifically for trails close to my house that I frequent and find my 6in bike way overkill for...The bike works great, and I dig its handling:



    Here's the specs (it's a 15.5):

    http://www.biketropolis.com/ixxocart..._1-249-57.html

    It's a premium build overall, I am considering parting it out since I ended up building a rigid SS 29er, and haven't even looked at this bike since. The 29er does everything I had planned for this bike, and I still have my 6in 26er (RMB Slayer) for the tech/rough trails that I hit on the weekends.

    I'm not hot to get rid of it, but if you're interested in the frame, maybe the fork, let me know. I may offload some of it to a good home.
    Check my pulse...

  23. #23
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    I picked up an '06 Santa Cruz Chameleon last summer and, true to its name, it has proven to be a versatile as hell bike, especially with a travel-adjustable fork (110-140 32 Talas) and a few stem swaps - 70mm for days where I'll be climbing a lot, 50mm for days when I just get to go downhill. Setup with an SLX double crankset and FD and X0/X9 shifters, it's a very capable trail bike that definitely likes to jump stairs and ledges I find around town as well. It doesn't have ISCG tabs, but I've used BB mount dual-ring chainguides before, which is nice for bombing, but I'm not using one at the moment.

    That generation of Chameleon, before the current one, is a little more fun, IMO. It has a little bit more of a play bike feel than the current one, which is designed to take bigger forks and has a one degree steeper head angle (68 at 140mm travel on the new one, 67 on the old one). Plus, the old one doesn't have an eccentric BB, which seems like a pain if you're not going to be running single speed.

  24. #24
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    Yeah, I know the older chameleon is more of a play bike and not so much with the newer one, which is one of the reasons I haven't just gotten one of them yet, as I can get a new frame for decently cheap.

    And monstertiki, I know I'd probably be happy with whatever I got, so it's getting really close to me saying screw it and just picking one...
    '08 SC Nomad w/ DHX-C 5.0 & Lyrik U-turn

    Planet Bike - East Brunswick, NJ - http://planetbikenj.com/

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