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  1. #1
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    San Andreas Thread - Ugly is Beautiful

    Ugly is Beautiful

    The San Andreas Classic - This is a tribute to the most versatile MTB frame on the market. It has only slightly changed over its 15 year existence (until the DNA). Oh - it be ugly - no need to beat that dead horse. It is "AM" and pedals like a VPP bike.

    It rides much like the Santa Cruz Heckler and other similar single pivot frames but is way more adjustable. You can set it up as a 4.5" travel slightly heavy XC machine (6.5" i-i shock) or 6" travel+ (7.5" i-i) with only changing the rear shock and mount locations. Head tube angle and seat tube angles are adjustable. You can run any travel fork from 3" to 6"+ and keep the same geometry by moving the shock mounts two bolts. The bear frame weighs 6.5lbs without rear shock. That's not too bad for 6" travel.

    So - please post your San Andreas pics and tips.

    Frame positives - Versatile, adjustable, NO CHAIN SUCK - EVER, no-bob pedaling without VPP or stable platform, time proven design, single pivot simplicity, high BB (Good for east cost), fairly light weight, clean cable routing, it's an eye catcher.

    Frame negatives - UGLY to some, brake jack, chain tug sensation when climbing in rough, the high BB may be disconcerting to some, bad for some bike transport racks

    ***************************
    I currently ride a 2000 Andreas - see pic. I had a 2003 and sold it for a VP-Free. The Free was too heavy for my riding. I also have a new 2005 Andreas Classic frame waiting in the wings for when I retire this one.

    Let's see more pics....
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  2. #2
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    In the intrest of being real, Here are some other issues SA.....
    1) Noise..lots of it! The frame acts like a drum, what would be a little creak on any other bike can be heard a 100 yards away with the SA....
    2) Those water bottle mounts on top of the frame!!!!! The frame has a 28 inch standover hight in the 6inch setting.......two words......nut sack. Look at the picture.....nuf said
    3) The sub frame is a weak point( the thing that holds the seatpost).....broke 3 of them in 2 years...SA replaced them, but it was a 2 week wait each time.
    4) The sheet al frame can( and will) be dented. Flat, thin al sheet = dents....
    5) Everyone will know when you crash! Because of the design of the SA, when you pack it in, It can sound like someone though a case of empty beer cans down a rock field......


    good pints..........cheap, you will almost never see another one on on the trail.
    Last edited by MUSTCLIME; 06-20-2006 at 11:40 AM.

  3. #3
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    cracked sub-frame mount.
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    Last edited by Guyechka; 06-20-2006 at 09:40 AM.

  4. #4
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    ok so how high is the bb in the 6in setting for 05/06? and how does it feel ?im 5ft 6in and wondering if it would be too much for me to ride on east coast trails.

  5. #5
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    It's up in around 14"+

    I'll measure tonight and let you know.

    No doubt the San Andreas has a very high BB in any setting.
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    Huh?

    Mine is a replacement for a 2004 model. With Pikes and a 5th coil, the BB comes in at 16.5". I suppose you could mess around with the head angle and drop the BB a little, but I don't think it's going to go below 14". Dude, add some bling gold wheels with whitewalls and cruise the blvd on your lowrider.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    Mine is a replacement for a 2004 model. With Pikes and a 5th coil, the BB comes in at 16.5". I suppose you could mess around with the head angle and drop the BB a little, but I don't think it's going to go below 14". Dude, add some bling gold wheels with whitewalls and cruise the blvd on your lowrider.
    WOW 16.5! how does it handle with a bb that high? i want one but thats probably too much for me at 5ft 6.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrumble69
    WOW 16.5! how does it handle with a bb that high? i want one but thats probably too much for me at 5ft 6.
    Well, with sag it's a little lower. Still, it can be a pain until you get used to being up so high. You would think it's very unstable, but it isn't too bad. You notice the height in a few situations, but that extra height pays off in other ways.

    The other thing is the super tight wheelbase. It's about two inches shorter than my HT. I mean, consider that the San An has 16" chainstays. It sits high and tight. I think the combination works for the bike. The only problem I have is that the TT is too short and I use a lay back seatpost. This puts my weight very far rearward. On climbs, the bike tends to wheelie out. A shorter rider wouldn't have this problem.

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    thanks for the info. any idea what the height is with 4.5in of travel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrumble69
    thanks for the info. any idea what the height is with 4.5in of travel?
    That's going to drop it down some, but it will still ride higher than your average 4.5" travel rig. I'll tell you that the standover on mine is 30". I guess it would also be a little lower on the 4.5" travel set up.

    You do realise that they use the exact same frame for both the small and big bike, right? They just switch out the sub frame (the thing that holds the seatpost and attaches to the main frame). So, unlike most frames that actually do have shorter standover with smaller sizes, the San An does not. It's one size fits all. They actually do a decent job of it, but I would still say that I am on the outer edge of having it fit properly. I'm just under 6'2". I would recommend the San An to someone between 5'6" and 6'. Even then, you should try to find one and ride it before ordering.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka

    The other thing is the super tight wheelbase. It's about two inches shorter than my HT. I mean, consider that the San An has 16" chainstays. It sits high and tight. I think the combination works for the bike.
    That's seems strange. I think the general rule is that with a higher BB you usually have a longer wheelbase. I'm not entirely sure why that is though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchanal
    That's seems strange. I think the general rule is that with a higher BB you usually have a longer wheelbase. I'm not entirely sure why that is though.
    Just measured it to make sure.

    San An wheelbase = 42"

    Kona Hoss Dee-lux wheelbase = 43.8"

    So just a little under two inches of difference.

    And I do understand why you would be under the impression that a high BB would mean a longer wheelbase. That would be one easy way to produce a more stable ride. However, there is nothing at all that makes sense about the San An. It's just a very weird bike with some slightly strange handling characteristics. That is, it handles differently but not poorly in comparison to "normal" bikes.

    Oh, and the BB height is listed at 16.75", but I think that would be with a 7" fork. I only have 5.5", so it's slightly lower.

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    Further to what Guyechka has said - the versatility of the San An can also be a big caveat in the wrong hands. You can make the bike rideable or an absolute nightmare.

    Take a look at that pic posted of the San with those monster Shivers (what, 7", 8"?). You know that bike will have a long wheelbase, yet the cockpit will still be tight and upright. If you like a cockpit like that then you can really have your cake and eat it, too. Now, imagine that same bike with a 1/2" sorter shock - longer wheelbase still. (actually, that freak of a San An does look kinda neat ..... but i'm sure it's just the wierdo in me speaking)

    I've had the BB height on mine range anywhere from 13 - 15.5" depending on what shock I was using, which position it was in (on the frame mounts) and what travel i've had my Nixon Elite set to ("115" - "145"). The longer the shock you use the less room you have to play around.

    My NRS is like a Ferrari. My San An is like a Caddy with a 427. Both fast, just different. Very very different.


    Guyechka - what is the difference between the sub-frames anyways? Length, height, both? Honestly, I don't even know which one I have. There are numbers stamped inside it, but I don't know if those mean anything that pertain to the size.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

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  14. #14
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    This san an is 15 1/4" to center of BB

    This is my current San Andreas and it rides at 15 1/4" ground to center of BB with a 7.25" i-i float (approx 5" rear travel) and a 5" travel Manitou Minute. Bike weighs 28.5 lbs with King wheelset and no discs. Discs put's it in closer to 30 lbs.

    The freak bike with the Shiver is not mine, not sure who's, but I posted it becuase it's a good example of the upper limits.

    The first pic is my current ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Further to what Guyechka has said - the versatility of the San An can also be a big caveat in the wrong hands. You can make the bike rideable or an absolute nightmare.

    Take a look at that pic posted of the San with those monster Shivers (what, 7", 8"?). You know that bike will have a long wheelbase, yet the cockpit will still be tight and upright. If you like a cockpit like that then you can really have your cake and eat it, too. Now, imagine that same bike with a 1/2" sorter shock - longer wheelbase still. (actually, that freak of a San An does look kinda neat ..... but i'm sure it's just the wierdo in me speaking)

    I've had the BB height on mine range anywhere from 13 - 15.5" depending on what shock I was using, which position it was in (on the frame mounts) and what travel i've had my Nixon Elite set to ("115" - "145"). The longer the shock you use the less room you have to play around.


    My NRS is like a Ferrari. My San An is like a Caddy with a 427. Both fast, just different. Very very different.


    Guyechka - what is the difference between the sub-frames anyways? Length, height, both? Honestly, I don't even know which one I have. There are numbers stamped inside it, but I don't know if those mean anything that pertain to the size.
    do you remember what shock and setup you used to get a 13in bb height? that combined with the short cs length sounds like it would be sweet(even 14.5 would probably be ok).i live in connecticut and the trails here have alot of rocks,roots, and logs so a high bb would probably be a good thing. but even with sag 15.5in and my height(5ft6)seems like it might be a little too much.
    what about the DNA i hear the geometry and sizing is a little different?

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    I have a SA Classic and a new DNA.
    I have had a Marz Jr-T, Monster T, Shiver, and a RS pike on the classic. The pic's show the current config's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MC9.5
    I have a SA Classic and a new DNA.
    I have had a Marz Jr-T, Monster T, Shiver, and a RS pike on the classic. The pic's show the current config's.
    sweet rides and nice lake pic! how do the two bikes ride compared to each other.

    im thinking of getting either a sa classic,dna or a fury(ive wanted a sa since the early 90s)i live in new england and im not sure what one to get for a all around trail bike.any suggestions?

    BTW i have 2 forks i can use a fox vanilla rlc and a manitou nixon comp

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrumble69
    sweet rides and nice lake pic! how do the two bikes ride compared to each other.

    im thinking of getting either a sa classic,dna or a fury(ive wanted a sa since the early 90s)i live in new england and im not sure what one to get for a all around trail bike.any suggestions?

    BTW i have 2 forks i can use a fox vanilla rlc and a manitou nixon comp

    If I didn't have the Classic, I would be using the DNA in the shorter travel mode for my AM/XC needs. Only because it has replacable drops and has clearance for a larger shock. Any 5" travel fork would suit the bike well. I also live in NE and use the Classic (with 6" travel) for XC without any problems. The bike as you see it (except for the rear wheel is now a Mavic 823) weighs 36lbs on the B-room scale. The DNA tips the scale around 40lbs as shown. I would love to add a Fury to the stable (and just might one of these days) but I am saving for the new MC Battery.

  19. #19
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    Sorry!!

    My bad, I just measured the BB height again. It's 16", not 16.5". I think they say it is supposed to be at 16.25" and mine is coming in a little under that. But the point is unchanged: the San An has a monster high BB.

    I think you guys who are getting 15" must be running it in slack mode.

  20. #20
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME
    In the intrest of being real, Here are some other issues SA.....
    1) Noise..lots of it! The frame acts like a drum, what would be a little creak on any other bike can be heard a 100 yards away with the SA....
    2) Those water bottle mounts on top of the frame!!!!! The frame has a 28 inch standover hight in the 6inch setting.......two words......nut sack. Look at the picture.....nuf said
    3) The sub frame is a weak point( the thing that holds the seatpost).....broke 3 of them in 2 years...SA replaced them, but it was a 2 week wait each time.
    4) The sheet al frame can( and will) be dented. Flat, thin al sheet = dents....
    5) Everyone will know when you crash! Because of the design of the SA, when you pack it in, It can sound like someone though a case of empty beer cans down a rock field......


    good pints..........cheap, you will almost never see another one on on the trail.

    You must work for another bike company !
    My San Andreas doesn't make a sound when riding and I ride in a very rocky desert.
    My bike doesn't sound like a case of empty beer cans, because I haven't crashed once since I started riding it. It has saved my ass numerouse times when my old Jamis XLT let me down in handling and reliability.
    The newer ones don't even have a water-bottle mount. Who needs one with a Camel Back anyways. Theres also the simple fact, that many of the new long travel designs have little or no standover clearance for the average rider's inseam anyways. My 05 San An has mega standover clearance, even with the 15.5 inch bottom bracket I have a lot more standover than with the POS 04 Dakar XLT I owned before.
    The high bottom bracket does take some getting used to, but once you do get used to it, a person can pedal over just about anything. Like someone said before; its weird but not in a bad way. If you ride a San An for awhile, then get on another bike, you are guaranteed to not like the new bike. For one thing, it'll seem like your wacking your pedals on everything.
    The tighter wheelbase also climbs up tight switch backs way better than the current generation of long wheelbase bikes. I've owned two longer wheelbase bikes; one 03 Stumpjumper FSR and the total POS 04 Jamis XLT. I didn't like either one on tight single track.
    I've put about 1100 miles on my 05 since I built it in Jan 06 and my seat mount hasn't broke yet, but I must admit it looks redesigned compared to the older bikes in the photos.
    The sheet metal will dent, but so do tubes on a standard frameset. Didn't your mommy and daddy teach you, to not break your toys? You know... like not throwing the bike on top of other bikes in the back of a pickup truck for instance. Or...not dropping it on the ground when you stop riding it. Or... not running into it, when parking in the garage for some examples.

    No bike is perfect, you can't set the sag where you want it on a virtual pivot bike for instance without severaly affecting the pedaling performance.
    People that know how to set up a bike, like to change the sag a bit depending on the riding of the day.
    Some of the San Andreas' competitors are way more money and perform much worse, I know , I've ridden them.
    Many of the San Andreas' competitors cost way more and aren't any better.


    Later, Eric
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

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    My take

    I had an early MC SA a 97 or 98 and although I loved the bike it was not the bike for me and was soon gone. As for it being noisy, yes it was, not a barrell of beer cans but it had a drumming noise to it that was irritating but liveable. My MC moho had the same drumming from a similar fuselage. you can call it ugly but I chose it because of its unique looks. I still admire them every time I see one.
    Ericmopar,I share your dislike for the Jamis. I had a dakar comp and never liked the horst link suspension. I occcasionally ride my friends Dakar expert with the faux bar and that is an improvement, still not the best. Now ride an ICT Ellsworth and a Single pivot Ellsworth and havent considered another new bike in a while, Tried a DW-link Hollow point at Pedros last year and loved the suspension, but non of the frames fit me. Like the looks of Santa Cruz, Nomad and the Yeti 575. Not sure they would be an upgrade.
    Not meant to be a dig but if you have not fallen since you got your SA, are you really pushing the envelope? jim

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrumble69
    do you remember what shock and setup you used to get a 13in bb height? that combined with the short cs length sounds like it would be sweet(even 14.5 would probably be ok).i live in connecticut and the trails here have alot of rocks,roots, and logs so a high bb would probably be a good thing. but even with sag 15.5in and my height(5ft6)seems like it might be a little too much.
    what about the DNA i hear the geometry and sizing is a little different?
    That was a 165 x 37 (6.5 x 1.5") shock producing 4.5" rwt, running the Nixon at the 115mm travel mode (585mm a2c). Can't remember what hole positions, but the HT was about 68-69*. There was still room go either way on the frame's shock mounts, so the HT angle could be increased or decreased.. Don't ask me what the wheelbase was with that set-up - I can't get that info right now.

    For sake of comparison, a 190 x 50 (7.5 x 2") shock with the Nixon at the 145mm travel setting produced the 15.5" BB height. Can you say nose bleed?!?!?!?

    Right now the frame and parts sit awaiting a new shock to be used, something that I can play around with more. The Cloud Nine I was using was horrible with the SA's 3:1 leverage ratio (I posted in Shocks about it). Once I get that it'll be "back to the drawing board" to see if it's something i'll keep/ride. Having the wrong shock on that bike is absolutely THE killer of it's potential.

    I tell you though - it was a strange feeling riding so ..... upright. The cockpit is tight, yet eerily comfortable. I'm hoping .....

    If you want lots of travel with this frame then you'll have to compromise your BB hieght and/or the geometry - there's no way around it.


    Agreed with other rider's about the SA's tendency to be noisy. I find it to be true and it's really hard to say that monocoque frame's aren't more noisy then traditional tube designs. More surface area to absorb impact of debris and amplify sound. It's been said of MANY monocoque designs over the years ..... because it's true. Beer can's down the side of a mountain? I think that anyone that knows what THAT sounds like needs to get a grip and not admit to knowing the sound. Shame for dropping your beer.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo2k
    I had an early MC SA a 97 or 98 and although I loved the bike it was not the bike for me and was soon gone. As for it being noisy, yes it was, not a barrell of beer cans but it had a drumming noise to it that was irritating but liveable. My MC moho had the same drumming from a similar fuselage. you can call it ugly but I chose it because of its unique looks. I still admire them every time I see one.
    Ericmopar,I share your dislike for the Jamis. I had a dakar comp and never liked the horst link suspension. I occcasionally ride my friends Dakar expert with the faux bar and that is an improvement, still not the best. Now ride an ICT Ellsworth and a Single pivot Ellsworth and havent considered another new bike in a while, Tried a DW-link Hollow point at Pedros last year and loved the suspension, but non of the frames fit me. Like the looks of Santa Cruz, Nomad and the Yeti 575. Not sure they would be an upgrade.
    Not meant to be a dig but if you have not fallen since you got your SA, are you really pushing the envelope? jim

    I can't vouch for the older San Ans, but mine which is a 05 or 06, I forget now what year, is not noisy at all. I ride in a lot of loose rock and sand here in southern Nevada and don't hear a peep out of the bike unless the front tire throws up a really big rock, like one thats 2 inches or larger and thats only about once or twice a ride I would guess.
    The potential noise from a monocoque frame was a concern that delayed me ordering one, while I thought about it for a couple of days.
    As far as pushing the envelope, I don't use more than 5 out of 6 inchs of travel, but the thing has a unique ability to straighten up after a crooked landing.
    Another way to put it is; I haven't crashed yet, but I'm riding the same stuff ( with more control ) as with the old POS Jamis XLT.
    In any case; the bike is one of the best on the market. I've ridden other bikes and the only two bikes that I would descibe as being " loved " by me are the new San An and a 2000 Stumpjumper FSR xc that I used to own.
    I got a chance to ride one of the newer Stumpjumper 120s, but it felt too mushy and out of control to me. I checked the sag, which was correct, and it had air front and rear so there was no spring rate issue, it just felt wrong to me.
    It also had a very low bottom bracket which isn't a good thing around Bootleg.
    My San An feels firm and sporty, more like an XC bike, but still sucks up mistakes or big dropins and rock gardens with ease. I have to admit though, that has a lot to do with the invention of SPV, which I have front and rear.
    Still; the SPV won't cure all ills, so the San An must have a good basic design.
    One of the local Santa Cruze dealers made a comment about monocoque frames being noisy, so I told him " I'm glad I didn't waste any money on a Nomad then ".
    You should have seen the look on his face. LOLs!
    Needless to say, he doesn't make comments about my bike any more.
    Actually I'm friends with those guys and would have bought something from them, but they just didn't have the kind of bike I was looking for.
    I was looking at some of the older San An photos and noticed that mine has a strong family resemblance, but I don't think any of the parts are interchangable. The seat mast and mounting locations all look beefed up some and moved a bit, compared to the older models.

    Later, Eric
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar
    One of the local Santa Cruze dealers made a comment about monocoque frames being noisy, so I told him " I'm glad I didn't waste any money on a Nomad then ".
    You should have seen the look on his face. LOLs!

    Later, Eric
    HHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAAAA!!!!!!!!! Oh crap that's hilarious!!!!!!!!! I wish I was there to see that!!!


    Eric, do you have a lot of trees/bushes where you ride? I ask because where I ride I frequent spots where my frame is being "painted" by the branches and that's when I notice the noise. On a "tube bike" it's a very faint sound, but with my SA I know there's contact. So does everyone else. Agreed that at other time's it's dead silent.

    Just a comparison note, really. Maybe SA did something to make the frame quieter with the newer models.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

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    I wish I could get my bike out to bootleg

    I get out there at least two weeks every year. I end up renting a bike in Vegas or Boulder. So far I have had a Fuel 80, A KHS 504, and a stumpy 100. I take the bikes for a week and generally ride Bootleg, Cottonwoods/Blue Diamond, and Cowboy trails. A lot different from the East Coast Rocks and roots i am used to. Might be moving out there if SO has her way, just dont know if I could get used to the 100+ heat and the lack of a tree canopy I am used to here. A couple of PICs show the extreme difference. Jim
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