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  1. #1
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    New bike? Advice please!

    Okay, advice please on a new bike?

    I have had a couple of rides on a 29er and they have confirmed what I have read. A 29er seems to be the best bike for me considering what I enjoy riding the most and probably 90% of what I ride Ė flowing single track and decent kms on fireroad.

    Iím thinking a hardtail, 100mm fork and 1 x 10. Seems to strike a balance between relative simplicity and decent rideability for me! Agree?

    Iíd also love to build a bike up. I have some fitness goals to achieve to buy each component so how fast I build it is up to my discipline levels!! Is it worth it considering the extra cost?

    Lastly, what frame? Steel or alu? I like the look of the On-One Scandal and the reviews are all good.

    Any advice or comments greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I built up an On One Scandal 29 with the slotted dropouts last winter and have been riding it ever since as a SS. I purchased mine through Unreal cycles with a Reba 100mm fork. I've been riding since the mid 1980's and have owned lots of bikes. This is definitely one of the funnest bikes I've owned. It's very light and not harsh riding at all - although I am standing probably 50% of the time and run high volume tires with low pressure. The bike I was on previously was steel and I honestly can't feel any difference in comfort between the steel or aluminum. The scandal is just a couple pounds lighter. I think you'll be very happy with one.

  3. #3
    fan of maple syrup
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    I'm building up something very similar myself sometime this year (29er 1 x 9), and am considering the following frame options, in case it is of any use/interest to you:
    - Niner EMD9 (Niner's cheapest frame offering I think, a basic alloy as opposed to their Scandium or steel stuff. I've ridden a SIR9 several times and loved it as a hardtail, and I beleive it has almost identical geo)
    - Titanium frame from XCAD in China (these guys basically will weld up anything you spec them to do - they even do complete knock-offs of other designs, and cost very little. I would be tempted to get them to build me up a Dos Niner style soft-tail)
    - Carbon frame from one of many chinese/taiwanese manufacturers (mentioned in this thread: Chinese Carbon 29er)

    My gut feeling is to go bold and try one of the cheapo chinese/taiwanese jobs. Worst case scenario, it breaks underneath me while flying down a hill, injuring me. But I've broken brand name frames before so I really can't believe the odds are greater. Either way - if it breaks, I'll either warranty it if I can, or just chuck the components on something else.

    As for steel vs Alu: some can tell the difference while riding. I cannot. From what I've read, titanium lasts a long time. But personally I think any frame material will last longer than my interest in owning the bike.

    Good luck with your decision.

  4. #4
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    Building up a bike is a lot of fun. You can tailor the bike to your weight, riding style and personalise it to make it unique. And, if you're anything like every other human on the planet, if you buy a bike off the shelf you'll just end up upgading bits slowly over time, eventually negating any savings you may have made in the first place.

    The advantage to buying a bike and upgrading it is that you have a functional bike to ride whilst you build it up and improve it. And you end up with a lot of spares, in my case eventually enough spares to rebuild the original bike (which I then started upgrading again and I'm nearly able to rebuild again. So the circle of life continues...).

    But I say build it up!

  5. #5
    Hud
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    Having just completed a scandium hardtail to compliment my steelie, I feel like I can finally give an informed opinion on the Great Debate rather than just trotting out the overused "Steel is Real" line.

    My SIR9 was originally set up with a steel Niner fork and I loved it in that format. However my long term plan was to have two 29ers. One SS Rigid, one 9 speed with 100mm of suspension up front. So the SIR9 is now set up as the latter.
    The scandium Salsa Selma with carbon seatstays and carbon fork is my SS/rigid. I figured with the carbon bits on each end I'd be keeping as much forgiveness in the ride as possible while enjoying the light weight and snappy pedalling of alloy.

    Light and snappy the alloy is, but even this frame/fork is harsh. My hands hurt a lot of the time on the Selma where I had no issues with the SIR9 with a steel fork. I think the harshness is as much to do with stiff headtube area as the carbon fork.
    Rear end comfort is compromised too but I can live with that as it pedals very well, really stomps the climbs.

    A few hours ago I organised to get some prices on a Manitou Minute for the Selma! I know that with a suspension fork on that bike I'm going to love it. It's a shame but I'm not loving it at the moment. It will be a great formula for a singlespeed bike.

    The Selma really does pedal better than the SIR9 and the steering may be a touch sharper, but... Jossa there is no question in my mind if I was weighing everything up like you are, and doing the riding you do. Go for a steel frame with a 100mm fork up front.
    It's a no brainer. So there is a truth in what they say, steel is real.
    Last edited by Hud; 01-05-2011 at 08:37 PM.
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  6. #6
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    Off the shelf bikes are definitely better value and there are some really good 29ers out there now. But building up a bike means it is exactly what you want from the start. I've built all of my bikes from the frame up. More expensive definitely but at the time I was building them what I wanted wasn't available off the shelf. Now my bikes all look mainstream but I've had them for a while...

    What about a Singular Swift? A great riding frame that comes with a steel fork so you could leave the suspension fork to the last purchase, helping spread the cost a bit. Sam now has an Australian importer too: Larry's Custom Cycles in Melbourne.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jossa
    A 29er seems to be the best bike for me considering what I enjoy riding the most and probably 90% of what I ride Ė flowing single track and decent kms on fireroad.

    Iím thinking a hardtail, 100mm fork and 1 x 10. Seems to strike a balance between relative simplicity and decent rideability for me! Agree?
    If you like to stand and hammer the climbs a hardtail can't be beat, especially if your regular ride is at most a couple of hours or so. If you prefer to cruise the climbs and bomb the descents, or your regular ride is 40+ km or so I'd suggest a dually.

    Quote Originally Posted by jossa
    Iíd also love to build a bike up. I have some fitness goals to achieve to buy each component so how fast I build it is up to my discipline levels!! Is it worth it considering the extra cost?
    It is likely to be cheaper (and it's certainly easier) to buy a top-of-the-range built-up bike so you won't feel the need to upgrade it, but that may not satisfy your need for self-expression and personal ownership.

    Quote Originally Posted by jossa
    Lastly, what frame? Steel or alu? I like the look of the On-One Scandal and the reviews are all good.:
    As you're not going full rigid I'd go Al and save some weight, but geometry and sizing are more important so if the steel frame fits better then get that.

  8. #8
    I like to ride my bicycle
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    I used to ride a 26er hardtail which I slowly upgraded and eventually swapped everything over to a Jamis Exile steel frame. I could definitely feel the difference, the steel had a real thrum about it.

    My main bike now is a Cog Bikes 29er rigid singlespeed. The frame is crafted from Columbus Zona lightweight steel, the fork is a Pro Carbon. I love this bike to bits and ride it everywhere Hud rides his and have no trouble with harshness. No doubt it doesn't soak up bumps like a suspenion fork'd bike would, but it suits me just fine. I guess what I look for in a bike has changed over the last few years - I'm now less interested in going flat out downhill (XC downhill that is), more interested in nailing a climb or a technical section.

    You've got the wheel size right, anyway! You won't go wrong with a 29er hardtail. I wonder if 1x10 would compromise your chainline too much, in biggest and smallest cogs - even more than a 1x9. I'd settle for 1x9 myself.
    French car fan? Head straight to www.aussiefrogs.com

  9. #9
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    Thanks to all for your detailed and informed thoughts!! Very much appreciated!!

    Iíve been down the beach for a few days so havenít been able to log on. I checked out some of the trails around Red Hill on foot today (as the weather wasnít ideal for the beach!!) and the area looks good.

    Iíll have a good read now and try and put the pieces together!!! I've got a couple of months to make my mind up about the frame and then a few months to build up before Spring. 90% sure I want to build up!

    Are there any biased recommendations on a steel frame? I have seen a few VooDoo Soukri online and like the look of them!

    Thanks again everyone!

  10. #10
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    Hey jossa, i have the voodoo dambala which is the previous model to the soukri its a great bike angles suit me perfectly. it is however the most flexable bike i have ever owned. the front end is like a noodle, but i still love it. they are selling them out on velogear for 395 aus now. and 50 for a steel fork.

  11. #11
    Hud
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    Niner MCR9 gets my biased vote . About $1200 RRP in Aus. Reynolds 853 tubeset.
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hud
    Niner MCR9 gets my biased vote . About $1200 RRP in Aus. Reynolds 853 tubeset.
    +1 to this or Salsa El Mariachi which I think are retailing now around $799 but willing to be corrected on that. Looking at these two myself.

  13. #13
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    As with Hud, I'm biased towards the Niner steel frames (SIR9 or MCR9). They are a bit pricey but the geometry and compliance are spot on. I know the On One Scandal has been mentioned in this thread but the On - One Inbred 29er is also worthy of consideration. It's got the same geometry as the Scandal and it sells for about 125 UK pounds (shipping will be extra). Other options available locally in steel are the Singular Swift, Surly Karate Monkey and the Salsa El Mariachi. It can be a lot of fun to spec your own bike - it will almost certainly cost more than an off the shelf model but if you use some of the well known internet suppliers, you'll pick up some very reasonably priced parts. Happy shopping.
    Last edited by Chromo; 01-09-2011 at 09:19 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jossa
    Are there any biased recommendations on a steel frame?
    A rigid 29er singlespeed with custom steel frame built up using parts from small boutique suppliers?

    You did ask for a biased recommendation didn't you?

    If you must go steel I'm biased towards the old Reynolds 853 butted tubesets.

    Edit: Another biased viewpoint: the whole point of steel these days, IMHO, is for custom builds, as almost anyone can make you up a custom frame, and do it well, in steel.

  15. #15
    100% recycled
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    Scandal for $322USD (shipping is $90 I think) I do not see how it can compare to the Niner that is three times more expensive.

    You could wait for On one carbon 29er - $920USD.

  16. #16
    fan of maple syrup
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    You could wait for On one carbon 29er - $920USD.
    ...or one of these, which comes from either the same factory, or the one down the road (depending on who is telling the story it seems), at a fraction of the cost:
    http://www.axman.com.tw/product-deta...s_id=37&page=2
    http://www.gotobike.com.cn/gs_detail...&previd=500027

    Either way, they look mighty similar. In a thread on the 29er forum some pics of them all lined up show plagiarism in its beauty.

  17. #17
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    It is definitely a decision between the Scandal ($400ish) and the El Mariachi ($795).

    ......or wait and try my luck at getting a Spearfish later in the year. Full suss but looks great!!!!


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