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  1. #1
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    Steel Hardtail for FR?

    Does anyone here know of a steel hardtail that is designed around light freeride use? I'd like to be able to run a Sherman Firefly up front and run 2.3-2.5 inch tires. I'm not a "hucker" by anymeans, but the trails I ride tend to be very technical with alot of steeps and few 2-3 foot drops. There seems to be a void in the steel frame market for this type of bike. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Stand back
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    me too!

    Quote Originally Posted by MainelyKona
    Does anyone here know of a steel hardtail that is designed around light freeride use? I'd like to be able to run a Sherman Firefly up front and run 2.3-2.5 inch tires. I'm not a "hucker" by anymeans, but the trails I ride tend to be very technical with alot of steeps and few 2-3 foot drops. There seems to be a void in the steel frame market for this type of bike. Thanks for your help!
    I'm looking for pretty much the same thing, with the same fork to be mounted on it. I've been thinking Azonic Steelhead, but haven't seen too many builds on them, not sure how they ride w/ 5" forks. I'd still like to be able to ride it uphill...
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  3. #3
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    Surly Instigator. Best value and probably indestructable. Here

  4. #4
    hands up who wants to die
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    The Steelhead is nice, if you aren't too tall and don't mind the weight. They are dirt cheap (i bought mine for $100 used; they can be had for $200 new). They are like 8 lbs. My friend has one with a Vanilla fork, a Rohloff and a Nokian 3" in back; I'm running mine with a Z.1, but I haven't had much trail time on it yet.
    There are more options than you think.
    For nicer frames - look at Peyto cycles, the Evil Sovereign (I have one on order), the Dekerf (Implant I think), also the DMR Switchback from Britain (not too much info on these, but I considered one: they LOOK nice and relatively cheap and not too heavy). I think these 4 frames are all roughly in the 5 lb range. Light & tough!
    Also, other custom manufacturers besides Peyto can make you one, if you want to drop the big $$$ - check out Sycip.

    good luck - steel hardtails are the soul of MTBing. With a 5 or 6" fork, you can ride anything around!

    -rob

  5. #5
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    the major mfrs will never make this particular type of frame you're seeking. the reason is that they're busy pushing FS rigs or Alu hardtails on folks who ride the stuff you're talking about.

    sure, the Surly Instigator and some of those other clunky 6 pound frames would work, but they're not what you need, are way chunkier and less climb-friendly than what you're seeking.

    what you need is something like this, and the best way to get it is through a custom steel frame builder. prices will run from $650 upward. this one's a Curtlo. I'm starting a business in '05 that will focus on similar frames designed for 5" travel forks.
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  6. #6
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    I beg to differ...

    I think the instigator is a great bike, and can be built up under 30 lbs and climbs great. You can run up to 5-6 inches of fork and still rely on fairly cinsistent steering (obviously more fork means more difficult uphill. Also, the instigators can usually be had for around 190-200 used.

  7. #7
    There's no app for this.
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    DeKerf makes one

    for the north shore in Vancouver. their site is being redesigned here.

    here's the 2001 site page, it's 853 steel designed for a 5" fork. Jim


  8. #8
    aka Willy Vanilly
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    Here's my .243. I don't use it to anywhere near its potential but it is a lot of fun to goof around on.
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  9. #9
    hands up who wants to die
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    Gonzo - do you more info on you potential company/project? I'd like to hear about it.

    Are we talking custom here, or multiple production frame designs? Stock or custom tubesets?

    I've heard that one of the problems with manufacturing a tougher, high-end steel AM/FR frame is that the stock tubes available from Deda, Reynolds, TT, etc are all either superlight--type (for XC or road) or else 4130-style. This is why we have so many cheap 6-7 lb steel frames in this class: straight guage 4130.
    I'm not sure what Dekerf or Peyto use, but I know that Evil had to have custom tubes manufactured for them, which I believe is hard to do, as well as a tough thing to deal with from the standpoint of actually getting a product to market.

    any insight would be appreciated.

    thanks
    -rob in NY

  10. #10
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    Nice .243 !!!

    I like the kooks of that .243 a lot. Can you get enough seat height to actually be able to pedal that thing? I have a 29" inseam so that's usually not a big problem for me but some of the frames I've been checking out aren't much bigger than BMX bikes!

  11. #11
    Shreddin the Cul de Sac
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    Found it!

    It's cheap too - $160:

    http://unrealcycles.com/items/khs-rigidone.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by MainelyKona
    Does anyone here know of a steel hardtail that is designed around light freeride use? I'd like to be able to run a Sherman Firefly up front and run 2.3-2.5 inch tires. I'm not a "hucker" by anymeans, but the trails I ride tend to be very technical with alot of steeps and few 2-3 foot drops. There seems to be a void in the steel frame market for this type of bike. Thanks for your help!
    keep moving

  12. #12
    DOH!
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    Balfa Minuteman. I love mine.

    Also the new Evil Sovereign or DOC. Planet X Pitbull, too. Many, many more.

    Gonzo: The guy's not talking about XC racing, he said freeride. Steel HT's in the 5-6lb range are excellent rigs for heavy and/or abusive-aggressive riders that like the benefits of a simple, do-it-all rig that doesn't flinch in the rough/steep stuff. I'd rather pedal an extra pound of Reynolds 853 up a hill with the knowledge that neither I nor my frame will be spit out at the bottom in pieces.

    Evil Sovereign Link


    Evil DOC Link


    Planet X Pitbull Link

  13. #13
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    Another BC beauty:

    Chromag Samurai or Trl would fit the bill perfectly.

  14. #14
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    agreed. there are some choices that aren't too bad in this niche, but not many. at least not if you don't want an absolute tank of a bike. that cromag was one i came close to going for as well. the evil frame looks pretty good, too. i went with the peyto, after destroying my curtlo. (*very* similar build to yours, but was designed aroung a 100mm Duke SL fork) i ran it with a 130mm Z-1 and ripped the front end of the frame off. the frame is slightly less than a pound heavier than the curtlo was.

    i think i recall you having had yours built around the taller fork though, yeah? BTW, aren't you working on your own frame thing now? how's that going so far?

    i'd not have any problem going for another curtlo, but i'm so happy with the peyto right now........ feels even better than the curtlo did. and not that i'm a huge guy, or a giant hucker, but after my frame breakage experiment, i'm a fan off nice headtube gussets!

    this one i got a deal on - it was a demo frame of his. i paid about half his regular price. not custom to me, but it was *exactly* what i was looking for. it's cleared for any single crown fork, and double up to 7". i could probably go bigger if i chose, but it'd really screw up the trail handling, IMO.

    rock shox pike 140mm on it here, same A-C as the Z-1 it replaced, and it feels better. we'll see how the long term durability is now that SRAM has taken over.
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  15. #15
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    That Peyto is really nice - man you got a great deal on that one!!

    But holy moly you have to run a lot of exposed seatpost on it - are you worried about that at all?

    How much does your bike weigh in at?

  16. #16
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTRider
    That Peyto is really nice - man you got a great deal on that one!!

    But holy moly you have to run a lot of exposed seatpost on it - are you worried about that at all?

    How much does your bike weigh in at?
    nah, not really. i've run longer on other bikes, though this one has a slacker seat angle than any other bike i've had. insertion wise, it's all the way down past the seattube/toptube junction by nearly an inch. i'm not really worried.

    28# as pictured there. when i through on the toptube/stem pads, 2.7" DH tires, and extra chain tensioner for those lift days, it goes up to the 33# range. not bad, for what it is. i could throw even more money at it to go lighter, or even heavier/beefier as needed. i'm *very* happy with the frame. wonderful ride, versatility, and aesthetics all together.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    nah, not really. i've run longer on other bikes, though this one has a slacker seat angle than any other bike i've had. insertion wise, it's all the way down past the seattube/toptube junction by nearly an inch. i'm not really worried.

    28# as pictured there. when i through on the toptube/stem pads, 2.7" DH tires, and extra chain tensioner for those lift days, it goes up to the 33# range. not bad, for what it is. i could throw even more money at it to go lighter, or even heavier/beefier as needed. i'm *very* happy with the frame. wonderful ride, versatility, and aesthetics all together.
    Very versatile too! I got an email reply from the Guys at Chromag - their Samurai is nice - but pricey - probably justified but still - youch!

    For that price on the Samurai - I think I'd rather go with the likes of Steve Stickel or someone to build me up something completely custom.

    Man you really did find a diamond in the rough in that Peyto!! I'm jealous!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprung Shoulders
    Gonzo: The guy's not talking about XC racing, he said freeride. Steel HT's in the 5-6lb range are excellent rigs for heavy and/or abusive-aggressive riders that like the benefits of a simple, do-it-all rig that doesn't flinch in the rough/steep stuff. I'd rather pedal an extra pound of Reynolds 853 up a hill with the knowledge that neither I nor my frame will be spit out at the bottom in pieces.
    first, why are you being such an arse? did you read his first post? he said "light freeride and technical XC." try re-reading, you might see what I'm talking about.

    second, the frame I posted a picture of has done plenty of FR things. here's an example:
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  19. #19
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    copyrights are irrelevant in hardtail frames. nothing to patent or copyright, it's all been done before.

    I'm doing a base model urban/playbike HT with a 15" seat tube, 23.25" top tube, 69deg HA, and probably 16" or 16.25" chainstays.

    I'm doing custom HTs also.

    base model will have fixed geometry and tube selection, True Temper Verus HT throughout.

    custom HTs will use any of the major steel tube makers, but NOT True Temper S3, which is race tubing for lightweight leg shavers.

    I talked to Dave Weagle at Interbike 2003 about the Sovereign and the custom tube selection. He got Reynolds to do some custom shapes and butting lengths, which isn't too hard to do if you order in batches of, say, 100 tubesets. Lots of great thought behind the Sovereign. Dave's ideas for the bike are very similar to mine for my base model, he's just got a big head start in terms of making the bike... and mine won't look like the Sovereign. it looks a lot more like the Arrow DSS.

    my workshop is undergoing major overhaul right now, should be brazing by mid-January.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpet
    Gonzo - do you more info on you potential company/project? I'd like to hear about it.

    Are we talking custom here, or multiple production frame designs? Stock or custom tubesets?

    I've heard that one of the problems with manufacturing a tougher, high-end steel AM/FR frame is that the stock tubes available from Deda, Reynolds, TT, etc are all either superlight--type (for XC or road) or else 4130-style. This is why we have so many cheap 6-7 lb steel frames in this class: straight guage 4130.
    I'm not sure what Dekerf or Peyto use, but I know that Evil had to have custom tubes manufactured for them, which I believe is hard to do, as well as a tough thing to deal with from the standpoint of actually getting a product to market.

    any insight would be appreciated.

    thanks
    -rob in NY
    Last edited by gonzostrike; 12-24-2004 at 09:24 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    copyrights are irrelevant in hardtail frames. nothing to patent or copyright, it's all been done before.

    I'm doing a base model urban/playbike HT with a 15" seat tube, 23.25" top tube, 69deg HA, and probably 16" or 16.25" chainstays.

    I'm doing custom HTs also.

    base model will have fixed geometry and tube selection, True Temper Verus HT throughout.

    custom HTs will use any of the major steel tube makers, but NOT True Temper S3, which is race tubing for lightweight leg shavers.
    Gonzo - those are pretty short stays on the base model - so I take it this model is dfeinitely geared more towards urban/street/skatepark type applications vs. the trail - is this a fair assumption?

    When will we be able to see some prototype photos? Who'll be doing the painting/powdercoating?

    What would be a guestimate on turnaround time for a custom HT that is something similar to your stock frame, but say with slightly longer chainstays (16.5 to 16.9 or so?)?

    And will pricing on your stock frame come in and around the price of a DOC from Evil bikes? What's the ballpark again for a custom steel trailbike hardtail that can accommodate a Vanilla 130 up front - something similar to the Curtlo you are currently riding lets say as an example?

    Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!

    Mark

  21. #21
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    Hi Mark,

    yep the short chainstays are for urban and also because the bike's going to be 24" rear wheel specific. I'll run 24s on front and rear, but those who want to rake it out can run a 26" front.

    the price might not be as low as the DOC, because Evil have scale on their side. they're not doing it one at a time like me. haven't set the price yet.

    custom will be like the green/white (same bike, re-coated green) Curtlo HT in general design, yes... additional gusset features and some larger diameter tubes will be possible. also focusing on EBB SS frames for 5" forks.

    custom will be about $700 or so, maybe less... $650 seems to be the standard with some a bit less (Peyto, Teesdale, True North). most everyone else is going at $850 and up.

    Powdercoating of Montana will do my base coating. They did the green sparkle re-coat of the Curtlo. Will sell bare frames to those who want custom coatings (i.e. Derrick at Vulture; Joe Bell; Spectrum).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burpee
    Vee-specific.... does anyone else still use rim grabbers for FR?
    People who really know what happened aren't talking. And the people who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up.
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  23. #23
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    As someone mentioned in my other thread maybe a DMR Switchback would fit the bill for this type of trail/light freeride application in steel

    Or

    perhaps the way to go is with a Waltworks frame or something to the equivalent.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by etal
    Another BC beauty:

    Chromag Samurai or Trl would fit the bill perfectly.
    I contacted Chromag, and found out their frames are ~$1100cdn, not in everybody's budget.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc
    I contacted Chromag, and found out their frames are ~$1100cdn, not in everybody's budget.
    Quality does not come cheap, that is about the same price as the dekerf ($1400cdn if I recall). Both are hand made in BC and hence the steep price.

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