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  1. #1
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    which 26" steel frame to purchase ?

    okay, here's the story, i have a 29" HT, 26" FS, and my first "real" bike, a 26" alum. HT. The 26" HT has been upgraded over the years and currently sports a pretty good drivetrain and fork, wheels, etc. I've recently started riding the 26" HT again, after the "newness" of the other two bikes has worn off, i forgot how much fun that bike was. I am thinking of picking up a steel frame for that bike, moving all the good components over and seeing how much better a steel frame rides compared to the alum. one. I would like it to stay basically the same, 4" XC type frame, which frames should i start looking at, any and all suggestions appreciated

  2. #2
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    Steel HT or FS? What's your budget? Custom made in USA steel frame ranging from $700-1500, and too many good ones to list. I own a few. If you are looking for used frame, then I like Ibis Mojo.

  3. #3
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    Sorry for the confusion, looking for a steel HT frame. I would like to try and stick to a US made frame(would be nice mate to my Cannondale), but from what I've looked at, it's going to be tuff to overlook the On One frames. I would like to keep this simple, try and keep the frame close to $500.00

  4. #4
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    On one definitely a good buy, and would fit the "fun" ride too.

    There are some different ride characteristic (all things equal) between the materials, that said, I don't think the difference is noticeable when you switch in general but ride that for a few months and switch back to oversize tube alu, you can feel the harshness of the OS alu.

  5. #5
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    Sometimes I'll try to convince myself that there's no big ride feel difference between material, and aluminum makes such good engineering sense: light, cheap, available, etc. Then I ride one for a while, then hop on a steel bike, and it's like a mini-revelation: so springy and fun, much more lively than a typical too stiff, dead feeling aluminum frame.

    A used Gunnar would be in your price range: Rockhounds typically go for ~$400, maybe less for a 26er. Soma, Voodoo, Surly, Salsa, etc are all good Taiwanese options.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    Sometimes I'll try to convince myself that there's no big ride feel difference between material, and aluminum makes such good engineering sense: light, cheap, available, etc. Then I ride one for a while, then hop on a steel bike, and it's like a mini-revelation: so springy and fun, much more lively than a typical too stiff, dead feeling aluminum frame.

    A used Gunnar would be in your price range: Rockhounds typically go for ~$400, maybe less for a 26er. Soma, Voodoo, Surly, Salsa, etc are all good Taiwanese options.
    Never having ridden anything but aluminum, I'm looking forward to feeling the difference I hope steel offers. My 26 HT is a Fisher Wahoo and my 29er is a Fisher X-cal which seems exceptionally stiff, more so than the Wahoo. I'm thinking steel won't give me that teeth rattling ride I'm used to.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolaralph View Post
    Never having ridden anything but aluminum, I'm looking forward to feeling the difference I hope steel offers. My 26 HT is a Fisher Wahoo and my 29er is a Fisher X-cal which seems exceptionally stiff, more so than the Wahoo. I'm thinking steel won't give me that teeth rattling ride I'm used to.
    You'd be surprised how little the forgiveness steel and ti would offer you, after all it's a HT, even Softtail would give you a rattling ride, it's all relative I guess. I do agree with seat_boy about springy and lively feel of steel and ti V.S. OS alu. That said, I had a F1000 Cannondale HT that's gotta be one of the stiffest and harshest frame I've ridden.

    Just imagine how you'd disagree when people say 29er HT offer very smooth ride, I think it's better than 26 but it's no FS

  8. #8
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    Sorry, misquote

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    You'd be surprised how little the forgiveness steel and ti would offer you, after all it's a HT, even Softtail would give you a rattling ride, it's all relative I guess. I do agree with seat_boy about springy and lively feel of steel and ti V.S. OS alu. That said, I had a F1000 Cannondale HT that's gotta be one of the stiffest and harshest frame I've ridden.

    Just imagine how you'd disagree when people say 29er HT offer very smooth ride, I think it's better than 26 but it's no FS
    Well said, maybe smooth isn't the correct term for what steel will offer vs. OS alum, but I hope the differences will be worthwhile. I guess I've reached a point in my riding where I'm looking for something different, After reading a lot of rave reviews of steel frames I hope they offer what I'm looking for. I appreciate all the input and am looking forward to more, thanks everyone

  10. #10
    rebmem rbtm
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    Had a look at Cotic frames?
    Cotic BFe Bike: http://www.cotic.co.uk/product/BFe
    Cotic BFe Frame: https://www.cotic.co.uk/order/framebuilder/BFe/
    The 329 price for the frame includes VAT, purchases outside the UK & EU would be 20% less.

  11. #11
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    which 26" steel frame to purchase ?

    It isn't American but the On-One Inbred is awesome. I just built one up and love it. I'm running mine single speed.

  12. #12
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    "and seeing how much better it rides,,,,,,than"

    The steel (4130) versus alum (various) ride difference in ride, because of fab material choice will be very,very minor. Your tire choice and inflation much more substantial. If you want to "build" for fun a 26 steel, it is completely understandable. Much like long range rifle range shooting, much of the fun is dialing in the rifle and load.
    The frame design,engineering, butting,tapering,wall thickness', joint and weld quality,etc. will have Much more to do with "difference in ride" than if it is steel or alum. from your end user perspective and that is out of your control. Your butt (nor mine) would not know the difference between a well engineered and fabricated steel or alum. frame on road or off. Any difference you Think you feel beyond tire,wheel,psi difference is differences in design/engineering/fab practice and not the material.

    For your build I suggest you find an exact frame design/engineer/fab you like rather than steel or alum. Beware, it is much easier to over build,design,fab and build a tank than it is to engineer,design fab for best of all efficient.

  13. #13
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    Another vote for an On-One Inbred. I'm riding mine rigid singlespeed with 2.4" ghetto tubeless and I'm absolutely loving it! And I always have the option of throwing gears and a suspension fork on it later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemhed View Post
    Another vote for an On-One Inbred. I'm riding mine rigid singlespeed with 2.4" ghetto tubeless and I'm absolutely loving it! And I always have the option of throwing gears and a suspension fork on it later.
    good to know they will take 2.4" tires, which ones are you using, and what wheelset ?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolaralph View Post
    good to know they will take 2.4" tires, which ones are you using, and what wheelset ?
    WTB Moto Raptors, which may be discontinued now, and a no name wheelset purchased off Craigslist for cheap, that has now been on 2 of my bikes and I will ride until I destroy them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
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  16. #16
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    I've owned nice steel and comparable (price wise) scandium. The scandium frames blow away steel. Get a lighter, stiffer frame and let your tires and seatpost provide a bit of suspension.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    I've owned nice steel and comparable (price wise) scandium. The scandium frames blow away steel. Get a lighter, stiffer frame and let your tires and seatpost provide a bit of suspension.
    Interesting, I've always lumped scandium in with alum as far as ride characteristics, the only scandium I can think of are a few Kona or Niner frames, worth considering though

  18. #18
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    which 26" steel frame to purchase ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lolaralph View Post
    Interesting, I've always lumped scandium in with alum as far as ride characteristics, the only scandium I can think of are a few Kona or Niner frames, worth considering though
    As always, it is HOW the material is used that matters more than WHICH material.

    Steel, aluminum/scandium, ti, carbon can all be used to produce a frame with the same basic ride quality. There will be other differences: weight and durability being the main two.
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  19. #19
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    It is aluminum. It has traces of scandium mixed in.
    Yes, Kona, Salsa, Rocky Mtn, Voodoo, Rock Lobster all had scandium frames years ago. It's not so popular now. I still ride a 26" Salsa Moto Rapido. It's nice. Not as nice as carbon but way better than steel.

  20. #20
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    If you can spring for it. Get a Soulcraft! Beautiful frames! Steel hardtails are so much fun to ride!

  21. #21
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    Another Inbred guy here. Love it! Absolutely can't beat the value;at $180 ($226 w shipping from the UK), they are practically giving them away. Lots of other good frames out there these days. If money were no object, I'd be all about a Gunnar.

    Re steel vs. alum. I can only speak from personal experience, but I find the steel much more comfortable than my old alum hardtail. Not in a - wow! just like suspension! - sort of way, but more in a subtle less buzzy, less "beat up" after the ride sort of way. And its not the tires or the seatpost - same on both since I swapped them over from the old bike when I built up the Inbred. Maybe the difference is the frame design - the Inbred is longish in the chainstays. But whatever - I'm sold on steel.
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  22. #22
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    I asked the very same question myself earlier this year. I had On-One Inbred, Cotic Soul/BFe, Transition TransAM, Production Privee Shan, couple of Chromags and NS bikes Surge on the line.

    Inbread has a huge tire clearance on 26" size. My friend drives it with 47mm rims and 2,4 X-King tires with no problem. With rigid steel fork it takes just about anything.

    I ended up building a bike from NS surge and now I'm happily bouncing around with 150 mm coil Sektor and single speed setup, and I love it. It doesn't have possibility for tapered fork but it hasn't been an issue. I go with 10 mm thru-axle rear and 15 mm in front.

    Probably those other frames I mentioned are all fine but sometimes you just have to go with intuition Product Privee especially looks fantastic but it's bit on an expensive side like is TransAM.

  23. #23
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    A used Gunnar would be in your price range: Rockhounds typically go for ~$400, maybe less for a 26er. How about 27 .
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  24. #24
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    Jamis Dragon . Yes its made it taiwan, but when it comes to bikes, thats not a bad thing. Reynolds 853 main tubes and 4130 rear triangle. Its a great frame.

  25. #25
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    I like the dragon idea, I just don't see many for sale. I'm not sure if Jamis sells them as,a frame set

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