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  1. #1
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    looking for a hard tail

    hello, Im new to mtbr. I am looking for a hard tail. i would prefer a 27.5 but it seems that most performance hard tails are 29ers. Does anyone know if the cannondale trail series are good bikes. I was looking at the trail 2 29er. also, doe anyone know any other good hard tails. my max budget is $1400

  2. #2
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    Try the Giant Talon line- they all come in 27.5

    Talon 27.5 | Giant Bicycles | United States

  3. #3
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    Ride some different models and sizes. Giant tried pushing 27.5 last year but 29 in hardtails is generally a better performance option in a current bike with good geo. Like a Trek Superfly or Scott Scale. If you are very short things can be different.

  4. #4
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    i'm short(5'5") and am loving my giant talon. my height was definitely a hindrance to feeling comfortable on a 29er.

    key is to ride as many different models as you can and find what fits you.

  5. #5
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    Yeah,I also think Giant is good.
    However, you should visit more website to check what you really need.

  6. #6
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    Cannondales are good. There are many 27.5s out there. Check out Rocky Mountain Fusion.

  7. #7
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    Here's how I look at it.

    There are three things you should be looking at:
    1. Frame
    2. Components
    3. Wheels

    All frames are made by like three big factories in Taiwan and regardless of where you buy your bike, you'll get a halfway decent aluminum frame in your price range.

    Better components tend to be lighter but they all make the bike go and I doubt that will be a meaningful point of differentiation in this price range. It's worth reading up on forks and brakes. I'm not a fork guy but will say I like Shimano hydraulic brakes quite a bit, they work pretty durn well and I would tend to favor those.

    The wheels are key, and it's really hard to find good wheels in your size range. Consdiderations:
    a) Smaller wheels allow for a smaller frame and you're in the range where 27.5 should be a consideration. Bigger wheels roll better but a 29er is gonna feel like a monster truck to ya.
    b) I think the industry is moving in the direction of wider rims, but that's basically impossible to find in your price range.
    c) Generic no-name rims is just not the place to skimp imo. If you gotta get skinny rims, at least get some that are light or durable.

    I would suggest running down to the trek store, they put 27.5 wheels on the smaller frames, where it's necessary. You can compare the 29er and 27.5ers side by side. You might could score a superfly if they are on sale so look at them. Even the Xcal series is ok, I'm on Bontrager mustang rims, they are skinny but otherwise OK. Good components otherwise.

    The Specialized Rockhopper line is in your price range and likewise they come in 27.5. The Expert Evo has a 26mm internal rim width, which is better than average and deserves a very close look imo.

    Kona also has some nice bikes in your range.

    With regard to the c-dale,
    - Nice fork
    - Drive train is fine, although SRAM might be a tad better in this priceline there's nothing wrong at all with SLX/Deore
    - Shimano brakes!
    - I just don't know what I think about that wheelset. I mean, c'mon. For that money...

    Just for the sake of argument, you can get a 27.5 HT for ~$400 at Nashbar, and that could make you feel good about riding home on a generic wheelset.

    I dunno, I'd keep looking. I'd spend some quality time at the Trek and Specialized shops. See what kinda deal they can make you. If it was me, I'd be looking reeeeeeel close at that rockhopper.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the help. Im 5,9.5 and weigh 160 lbs btw. Il go check out some treks and specialized. some of my local shops carry those.

  9. #9
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    Also, ive noticed that most 29er hard tails only come with 100mm of travel in the fork. Are there any that you guys know of that come with more travel, or would i have to upgrade my bike in the future

  10. #10
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    Fork travel is not all equal.
    A 100mm Suntour XCT with one spring, plastic bushings and no rebound damping performs differently than a 32mm Reba or SID with bottomless tokens on the air side and a RCT3 compression damper with metal shims and a Rapid Recovery rebound damper in the other leg. One won't be much good beyond bike paths and the other, at your weight, could handle any terrain you wouldn't need a FS bike for. It gets to the point where you need a frame with rear compliance to handle the rocks/roots and longer rides not more front suspension.
    The Trek Stache comes with more travel.
    KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | TRAIL 29" HT | HONZO
    Airborne Goblin Evo.

  11. #11
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    I am about the same height and weight as you, and I have been riding "medium" 29er frame with a 100mm fork and it works fine for my terrain and riding style. central Texas is very craggy and most people are on full-suspension bikes with lots of travel (many are trading out their 29er Fs bikes for 650B FS bikes lately), but I manage just fine with a simpler bike. I rode a "small" frame for a while and it was just too cramped. I could ride a medium-type 650B bike as well and it might make a difference, or I might hate it. bottom line- wheel size is 99% personal choice. your size should not have any effect on wheel size because you are certainly tall enough for anything 29er.

    regarding forks, it is hard a design a 29er around a long-travel fork and still leave room for standover. The Diamonback Mason and some Chromag bikes come to mind if you want long-travel. if you want more travel in your fork rather than bigger wheels, a 650B bike might suit you better. someone mentioned Ghost the other day- the Kato hardtail seem to all have a 120mm fork and some good components for your budget, so see if your local REI has one of those to try out.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by camersieg View Post
    hello, Im new to mtbr. I am looking for a hard tail. i would prefer a 27.5 but it seems that most performance hard tails are 29ers. Does anyone know if the cannondale trail series are good bikes. I was looking at the trail 2 29er. also, doe anyone know any other good hard tails. my max budget is $1400
    I ride a Trail 3 (although 26'') but as far as the bike I'm very happy with it. I'm bias to Cannondale though
    2016 SC Heckler R build.

    Giggity!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by camersieg View Post
    Thanks for the help. Im 5,9.5 and weigh 160 lbs btw. Il go check out some treks and specialized. some of my local shops carry those.
    Oh it was another poster that's 5'5". Oh you should fit on a 29er just fine. It won't feel like a monster truck to you. You'll see trek is putting 27.5 on really teeny frames.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by camersieg View Post
    Also, ive noticed that most 29er hard tails only come with 100mm of travel in the fork. Are there any that you guys know of that come with more travel, or would i have to upgrade my bike in the future
    Most hardtails are designed for XC style use, and 100 mm works great there.
    You should NOT put a fork with radically different length on a bike. Going from 100 to 150 mm is a Bad Idea in most cases. It changes the whole geometry of the bike, and handling and durability go out of the window, not to speak about any warranties.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
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    If you're interested in good hardtails, do some research on steel HTs from UK. They have pretty knarlly conditions they ride on. A good quality steel frame helps soak up some of the trail chatter and hard impacts.

    A bike with great value is the On One 456. I think they have a 27.5" called the 45650B.
    650b Steel Hardtail | Planet X USA

    Price is based on what level components. Starting at $1200 and going to $2400. And you can buy just the frame for $290 and build your own bike.

    A great alternative (I have not ridden this bike personally but the specs look good) is the KONA Explosif. KONA BIKES | 2016 BIKES | ORIGINALS | Explosif

    I personally ride a Dialled Bikes Alpine. (Ok, I rode it up to 2 months ago when I swapped the frame to a Santa Cruz Blur LT). It's a long travel hardtail. Great All Mountain frame. But alas, it is a 26" (which I love btw)
    Just get out and ride!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by camersieg View Post
    Also, ive noticed that most 29er hard tails only come with 100mm of travel in the fork. Are there any that you guys know of that come with more travel, or would i have to upgrade my bike in the future
    If you do not want an XC bike check out hte Kona Honzo.

  17. #17
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    I would like a hard tail with a bit more travel than 100mm. I dont' want it to be too tough to climb hills, but still want enough suspension for when it gets rough

  18. #18
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    Too bad the Airborne Griffon isn't available yet. But you can check out the Airborne Goblin EVO which is a 29er with 120mm of travel. Spec'd very nicely for a bike thats $1300.

    Airborne Bicycles . Goblin EVO

  19. #19
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    Trail Bikes | On-One Bikes

    Bigger wheels don't need as much suspension travel to make things smoother.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Trail Bikes | On-One Bikes

    Bigger wheels don't need as much suspension travel to make things smoother.
    I'm so intrigued by these On-One bikes - Saw one at the trail last time and it look pretty solid. Do you own one? Thanks
    2016 SC Heckler R build.

    Giggity!

  21. #21
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    ... On-One bikes - ... Do you own one? Thanks
    Sorry. No. I just know that they are good value for money and people generally seem to be happy with them.
    The only On-One product that I've been using is singlespeed cogs, and they do exactly what they are supposed to.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I'm so intrigued by these On-One bikes - Saw one at the trail last time and it look pretty solid. Do you own one? Thanks
    So about 5 years ago, I test rode a Dialled Bikes Alpine. Basically a long travel steel hardtail from UK. I loved the bike. Was riding with a couple others that were on 6"x6" bikes in So. Cal. and pretty much beating them on the climb and hanging on their tails on the descent. I wanted one!

    I couldn't afford the Alpine frame so I got the Prince Albert. It's more of a "trail" hardtail made of 520 Reynolds steel rather than the 850 of the Alpine. So running about 125mm of travel vs 140mm. Awesome bike.

    So my buddies decided to go similar route. One bought the Alpine. The other bought the On-One 456. These were fun bikes. I think the current 456 Evo (2?) has improved on the original. I got a chance to build up a bike from frame up for another riding friend. And another friend built up a 45650b. Both very playful if you size for a bit of a tight cockpit.

    The On-One uses 4130 Chromoly. It's not quite a "springy" feeling as the 850 Reynolds. But it is pretty forgiving on bumps and hits.

    The Dialled Bikes have CNC machined rear drop-outs for an astoundingly accurate rear. And just has a little nicer "feel" to it. But at more than double the cost of the 456? I'm gonna say "yes." But would you be unhappy with the 456? "no."

    looking for a hard tail-3-british-steel.jpglooking for a hard tail-3-british-steel2.jpglooking for a hard tail-british-steel-beav.jpg

    BTW, I eventually swapped out my PA for an Alpine:
    looking for a hard tail-orange-alpine.jpg
    Just get out and ride!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002 View Post
    So about 5 years ago, I test rode a Dialled Bikes Alpine. Basically a long travel steel hardtail from UK. I loved the bike. Was riding with a couple others that were on 6"x6" bikes in So. Cal. and pretty much beating them on the climb and hanging on their tails on the descent. I wanted one!

    I couldn't afford the Alpine frame so I got the Prince Albert. It's more of a "trail" hardtail made of 520 Reynolds steel rather than the 850 of the Alpine. So running about 125mm of travel vs 140mm. Awesome bike.

    So my buddies decided to go similar route. One bought the Alpine. The other bought the On-One 456. These were fun bikes. I think the current 456 Evo (2?) has improved on the original. I got a chance to build up a bike from frame up for another riding friend. And another friend built up a 45650b. Both very playful if you size for a bit of a tight cockpit.

    The On-One uses 4130 Chromoly. It's not quite a "springy" feeling as the 850 Reynolds. But it is pretty forgiving on bumps and hits.

    The Dialled Bikes have CNC machined rear drop-outs for an astoundingly accurate rear. And just has a little nicer "feel" to it. But at more than double the cost of the 456? I'm gonna say "yes." But would you be unhappy with the 456? "no."

    Click image for larger version. 

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    BTW, I eventually swapped out my PA for an Alpine:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the feedback traffic and perttime - A few months from now I'll be shopping for a new bike, I'll keep my eye on one of these. They seem pretty solid.
    2016 SC Heckler R build.

    Giggity!

  24. #24
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    The 456 frame is on sale for $185 right now. I had one on the way except somebody stole it out from under me before it even got here (!) But. Even if I have to buy it twice, it's not a bad deal.

  25. #25
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    There's a number of small British companies with "hardcore hardtails" but I have not been paying attention recently. Did anyone mention Cotic?

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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