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  1. #1
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    Would you buy a Nicolai hardtail or opt for something made of Titanium?

    I done the testing and know that I definitely want a hardtail in the garage but the issue is whether the Argon FR, which is the obvious choice in the Nicolai range, is the right choice versus something like a Ragley Ti or other similarly Ti tubed bike. The Argon is perfect in terms of geometry but it's pricey for an aluminium hardtail, i.e. the same as a comparable Ti framed bike. I don't have a problem with that so much but I'm curious to know from those of you that have ridden Ti hardtails whether they are something a little more special by virtue of their material. They will naturally feel very different of course.

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't buy a Nicolai hardtail, they are pricey, and aluminum hardtails are just too stiff, the Argon's chain/seat stays seem Very stiff so it'll probably ride pretty harsch. This is only speculating though since I've never ridden one.

    I can recommend Cotic Soul/BFe as a super cool hardtail.

  3. #3
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    i have a Cove Hummer and a Ti456.............go figure................

  4. #4
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    The Cotic BFe feels very much like the Argon in terms of ride and stiffness/harshness, whereas the Soul does feel more 'springy' but then it also changes gear of its own accord as well.

  5. #5
    steep fast and loose :)
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    cove hummer. just do it. unless you can find a lynskey built ti456 of course. fox float 15mm bt 140 rlc's on the front - stunning trail centre bike

  6. #6
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    What about the Ragley Ti, which is basiclly a 456 and similarly built by Lynksey.

  7. #7
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    Stand over on the Hummer is no existent and pretty compact in sizing, it soaks trail buzz really well but the back end also flex's and kicks like a wild horse

    If you US side, there seems to be plenty of Custom builders working with titanium

  8. #8
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    Well, the decision between the two options is quite fundamental:
    A friend has the Argon FR and that thing is as stiff as possible. You'll feel everything that the trail has to offer. He raves about it! And, to my opinion it is the most beautiful aluminum hardtail there is.
    Ti frames are known to be the exact opposite of that - some call it flexy. Or comfortable. Of course, Ti looks stunning and has a reputation of being indestructible.

  9. #9
    steep fast and loose :)
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    omg - another load of BS without experience on here.

    huimmers are certainly not flexy. if anything the ti456 is more compliant.

    the ragley has a silly head angle for normal trail use.##
    the ti456 is the one - it is sublime..... an absoultely stunning trail centre ride - seriously.....


    meet you at glentress sometime if you want a demo.

    i also hear that CRC are selling Lynskey Ridgelines off - they are worth a look too

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    omg - another load of BS without experience on here.

    You should put that disclaimer before everything your write

    The Hummer ive been riding for the last 3 years I have absolutely no problem in saying the back end flexes and kicks

  11. #11
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    TLR - certainly value your opinion on this as I know you've got/had both the Hummer and the Ti456.

    CRC currently have 09 Hummers for £1050 but they are 17" only and that does look a little compact for someone just under 6ft. How tall are you and what size do you ride? The reports I've read of the Hummers is that they are definitely not flexy; actually quite the opposite for a Ti frame.

    I've seen a few people on Ti456s and they do look sublime but it's finding one that is the tricky part.

    Not sure of the geometry of the Ragley either; it does look almost comically slack.

  12. #12
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    If I were to get a hardtail, I would through some cash at it and get a custom Argon FR 29er with gates belt drive!

    much like this
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  13. #13
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    I have an Argon FR that I predominantly use for blasts around the woods and winter riding. At the moment it is my main ride as the CC is stripped and about to be sold (AC has arrived with Dipper!) and the AFR is my other bike.

    There is no doubt that compared to my previous hardtail, a Cotic Soda, that the Ti was more comfortable, but the geometry of the FR is WAY better IMO, just spot on (for me). I went for it because in less than 2 yrs I had written off in one way or another a carbon hardtail, a Ti hardtail and another alu HT. I was convinced by the fit and finish of the Nic and knew it stood a good chance of being strong enough given I'd cracked/snapped two of my previous HT's. With a 140mm fork it is spot on.

    Price aside (you can't compare it in anyway to pretty much any other mass market alu HT for reasons we all should know) as you'd expect the quality is excellent and it is a great bike, but I would say that if comfort is your number one consideration and you want a HT, go Ti as the Argon can be harsh as Hell. That said, you can compensate a bit for that with some pretty big volume tyres in there. Having said that, of course the pretty extreme rigidity of that back end makes for a very direct ride, and coupled with the relatively short back end makes a bike that is very responsive, nippy on the trails and a lot of fun to ride.

  14. #14
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    I already have a very stiff aluminum hardtail, but if it ever needs replacing, the Argon FR is one of the top candidates.

    ... but if I get old and rich, I'll go and talk to Darren Crisp about a stronger than average Ti bike ...

  15. #15
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    but then it also changes gear of its own accord as well.
    Wtf were you doing to it??? That smells suspiciously like a gear set up issue to me. Surely you'd have to move the BB sideways a mahoosive amount to get it to autoshift at the back.

    The new Soul is stiffer than the old one, which is stiffer than my Soda, and although I'm jeyboylycraweeniefaggot weight, I've never had a problem.

    BFe is indeed stiff (did 6 hours solid in the Slurrey Hills on it on Sunday, and boy did I know about it by the end), but compared to a mates Chameleon, it's not so brutally harsh

    At the end of the day though, YM,YV..

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Edwards
    Surely you'd have to move the BB sideways a mahoosive amount to get it to autoshift at the back.
    Just a slightly compliant rear triangle and a rider with some weight and/or power

  17. #17
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    Jon - it might well be a gear set up issue but it is a problem I have always had with hardtails. The fact that I notice it only when climbing out of the saddle is what makes me suspect it's a flex issue, but again, a little tinkering needed before I draw any real conclusions.

    BTW had an amazing weekend in the Alps - PPDS on Saturday and all day ripping down La Flegere in Chamonix on Sunday. Cham riding is just the best I've ever tasted and th Nic with CCDB was just sublime.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpuk
    You should put that disclaimer before everything your write

    The Hummer ive been riding for the last 3 years I have absolutely no problem in saying the back end flexes and kicks

    wpuk - i'd send it back to silverfish then - it's obviously damaged at the chainstay where you've had insane chainsuck and that's what's giving you the flex FFS............

    hummers DO NOT FLEX............repeat..........DO NOT FLEX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    they are specifically designed to NOT FLEX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    fukkn h3ll man ?????????????????

    geetee - fwiw, a 19" would be best - i'm 6' tall riding an 18" hummer but the tt is too short on the 18".
    whereas the ti456 is an 18" and it's perfect with a 50mm thomson stem............beautiful set-up and ride.

  19. #19
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    ok, ti frames don't flex
    ah, hummers don't flex
    hm, someone doesn't flex here, maybe me

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    wpuk - i'd send it back to silverfish then - it's obviously damaged at the chainstay where you've had insane chainsuck and that's what's giving you the flex FFS............

    hummers DO NOT FLEX............repeat..........DO NOT FLEX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    they are specifically designed to NOT FLEX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    fukkn h3ll man ?????????????????
    Calm down pettle i get the message you've read loads of reviews that have stated they don't flex

    Mine does flex and there is nothing wrong with the integrity of the rear triangle

  21. #21
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    The question I am asking is evil sovereign or a argon fr

  22. #22
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    Regarding frame materials. You can build an aluminum frame that is flexy, and a Ti frame that is not. Easy to engineer it either way.

    For me, I would totally go the custom route. Ideally a builder who can work Reynolds 953 Steel, then polish it. Ti is so purple ano...doh, I guess purple is finally back in fashion, so maybe go Ti?

    My triathlon bike is Ti. But that is because I mostly hate road bikes, and want something I can sell in 10yrs for exactly what I bought it for.
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  23. #23
    steep fast and loose :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpuk
    Calm down pettle i get the message you've read loads of reviews that have stated they don't flex

    Mine does flex and there is nothing wrong with the integrity of the rear triangle

    no - i've ridden mine extensively over the last 4 years and it has NO NOTICEABLE flex whatsoever, as per it's design............................... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ??????????????????

    lets see yours - have you a pic ? perhaps you best look for a snapped rear stay.........

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    Sure no probs, you've accused me of being a bullshiter and a lyer, so what ill do ill pander to the lovely one child upbringing you've got and post a picture for you (/sarcasm)

    FWIW, i have no problems accepting the fact that when you ride your hummer it doesnt flex, when i ride mine it most definitely does, the OP has already stated he values your opinion (which i have no problems with but it doesnt make you correct), he'd be better off taking you up on your offer and having a ride out to form his own opinion

    If he's closer to Exmouth way he can come have a blast out on mine, although he'd have to bring a set of wheel/tyres as i have it set up for commuting

    Edit: Just because you state its "purposely" designed not to flex also doesn't make it true

  25. #25
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    It has happened that I don't notice things about my bikes

    Then, someone else puts his hands on it and...

    - your headset is loose
    - hey, tighten that front quick release
    - Yup, we'll tighten those Octalink cranks too...

  26. #26
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    Unfortunately I am niether near Exmouth nor Glentress, much as I would like to be and much as I would like to take up your kind offers.

    Wpuk, I don;t think TLR meant to come over the way he did; he's an engineer, probably quite a good one (given that he can afford the bikes he does) and therefore likely to be very bright and very 'mechanically' minded. I imagine he's very good at 'processing data' and then drawing conclusions which he would see as holding true in all situations. Which is logical. One of the things that egineering types tend to do is assume that their concusions, empirically reached, must therefore hold true for everyone. But as you've stated, you don't experience the Hummer the same way and you're more comfortable with there being some ambiguity in the data.
    TLR, you're probably a sensor/thinker whereas Wpuk, you might be either an intuitor/feeler or an intuitor/thinker; most likely the later.

    Anyway, enough MBTI. TLR probably won't give much credence to that model anyway ;o)

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    he's an engineer, probably quite a good one (given that he can afford the bikes he does) and therefore likely to be very bright and very 'mechanically' minded. I imagine he's very good at 'processing data' and then drawing conclusions which he would see as holding true in all situations.
    Please do us all a favour and edit this bit out before he comes and reads it!

    Anyway, never mind Ti, IIRC carbon is the new super material and isn't TLR about to showcase us his new '6 inch sublimely damped trail muncher' (or some such other BS)?

    So come on, where is then???

  28. #28
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    @ WPUK : the flex is probably extended from the wheels / tyres as opposed to the frame.....
    CEN testing on the Hummer showns a massive fatigue life as a consequence of the over-built frame structure......something Cove insisted upon from their original Sandvik designs........

    @ nicolai - CF frame option no more - production problems extended delivery so i'm now re-considering an Helius AC........again.........

  29. #29
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    I'd say the ti456 is a little cracker, nic HT is a bit of a waste.
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  30. #30
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    @ geetee : the ti456 wins the debate, as follows :

    it's got relatively conventional proven geometry for a hardcore hardtail, but........

    it has a slightly lower slung BB height as well as being corrected for 150mm forks, so 140mm forks work stunningly well [a2c permitting of course].

    it has a slightly longer than usual top tube which permits a very short stem for the same stand-over. this combined with a nice 140mm fork means the steering input is electric and right on the nmoney, but the balance between the wheels due to the longer TT gives a better spread of weight than the all over the front Hummer.

    it has a compliance that the hummer cannot match either - it rides and soaks trail buzz nicely, but the difference is marginal.

    the new hummers have a revised chainstay which relieves the inherent designs chain-suck.....and rejoice say all of us !

    in terms of real world feel, the difference is down to the top tube length........i prefer the short stem long fork option of the ti456. it's more instant.

    the ti456's lower bb height rails trail centre berms harder, really letting the bike carve in, but the shortwer stem balances the weight transfer so the spread is more even - not loading up the front like the hummer.....

    i love my hummer, but i also love my ti456.....unfortunately, the hummer busted it's stay, so is now singlespeeded.........

    it's a great position to have both - great bikes each of them - but for me, the ti456 has been better thought out, is designed in the UK for UK riders and UK riding and is / was the next generation on from the hummer.

    i know Cove looked long and hard at the ti456 on their revised hummer for 2009 / 2010 but for me it was playing catch-up.

    are new lynskey built ti456's no longer available ?

    bear in mind all this is subjective, but I maintain my stance that hummers aren't meant to flex, don't flex and the frames are pretty tough riding bits of kit - i associate WPUK's flex to tyres and wheels.......

  31. #31
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    New here, but had an Argon Fr but now ride a Lynskey 456 Ti and Tracer vpp.

    Argon FR is very stiff and feels indestructible, the geometry though is brilliant for thrashing st but it is brutal for rides longer than a couple of hours.

    Now ride 456Ti. Awesome and faultless. A zillion times more comfortable than the Argon FR and the geometry is just as good for st riding. I have nothing negative to say about this bike, I've had mine 18 months, I'm not bored with it and love it every time I go out.

    No brainer get the 456Ti and stick a Fox 140mm fork on it.


    Currently waiting for a Helius AC to arrive to go with the 456Ti - not replace it.

  32. #32
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    On One are getting more Ti456s in but they will not be built by Lynskey, rather by Van Nicholas. Not sure what that means in terms of quality etc. I spoke to someone there are it sounded as though they were on work experience. Not the most confidence inspiring conversation in the world.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    On One are getting more Ti456s in but they will not be built by Lynskey, rather by Van Nicholas. Not sure what that means in terms of quality etc. I spoke to someone there are it sounded as though they were on work experience. Not the most confidence inspiring conversation in the world.
    Van Nicholas? never heard of them...i would probably pass and ask Lynskey to make you an AM hardtail direct if you want Ti. I had a Ti 456, LOVED IT, and now have a custom AM hardtail from Lynskey and LOVE IT MORE

  34. #34
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    Van Nicholas is an old enough name... but I was not aware that they actually do their own welding. Do they?

    One of the strong riders in my area has a Van Nicholas cyclocross bike that he has also used on trails.

  35. #35
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    As geetee72 has already suggested, the Ragley Ti is designed by the guy who designed the original On-One Ti456 (Brant Richards). I've had a wee shottie of a Ti and the alloy mmmbop, which both felt fine... if a little big for me. The bikes I tested are owned by the same guy, and he swears the Ti is sweeter... but it is built lighter so it should. I'd like a longer test before I bought as I think I'm between the sizes available

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepimpmessiah
    As geetee72 has already suggested, the Ragley Ti is designed by the guy who designed the original On-One Ti456 (Brant Richards). I've had a wee shottie of a Ti and the alloy mmmbop, which both felt fine... if a little big for me. The bikes I tested are owned by the same guy, and he swears the Ti is sweeter... but it is built lighter so it should. I'd like a longer test before I bought as I think I'm between the sizes available
    yep, ragley great option from Brant. Only thing i dont like, to include not liking about the Ti 456, is that it is not SS friendly - my only complaint as I prefer to run single or dinglespeeds nowadays

  37. #37
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    the ragley is too slack at the front for general trail riding.
    good idea for super steeps / shutttling / ht downhill.
    it loses out as theres no iscg tabs - i wish brant had considered those............

  38. #38
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    Go with a Jones HT, very compliant, pretty much nill trail buzz..... And fockin sexy as...
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  39. #39
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    Chromag FTW! Just received some custom handy work from those guys...


    I do love the Nic's though and quite liked my BMXTB, but that's a different kind of hardtail...

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    the ragley is too slack at the front for general trail riding.
    good idea for super steeps / shutttling / ht downhill.
    it loses out as theres no iscg tabs - i wish brant had considered those............
    Exactly the same was said of the 456 when it first came out, there is more to a design than head angle. A slack HA can be hustled along fine with a bit of extra effort, but worth it for the doonhall and daft stuff stability. Iscg and ss dropouts would be nice... so go custom.

  41. #41
    steep fast and loose :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepimpmessiah
    Exactly the same was said of the 456 when it first came out, there is more to a design than head angle. A slack HA can be hustled along fine with a bit of extra effort, but worth it for the doonhall and daft stuff stability. Iscg and ss dropouts would be nice... so go custom.
    hence why i mentioned previously :

    it has a slightly longer than usual top tube which permits a very short stem for the same stand-over. this combined with a nice 140mm fork means the steering input is electric and right on the nmoney, but the balance between the wheels due to the longer TT gives a better spread of weight than the all over the front Hummer.

    in terms of real world feel, the difference is down to the top tube length........i prefer the short stem long fork option of the ti456. it's more instant.

    the ti456's lower bb height rails trail centre berms harder, really letting the bike carve in, but the shorter stem balances the weight transfer so the spread is more even - not loading up the front like the hummer.....

  42. #42
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    TLR... all I was getting at is don't dismiss the Ragley purely for the head angle... there is much more to the geometry of a bike than a degree or so of head angle... as you well know and have so eloquently posted.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    the ragley is too slack at the front for general trail riding.
    good idea for super steeps / shutttling / ht downhill.
    it loses out as theres no iscg tabs - i wish brant had considered those............
    I didn't realised you'd ridden one.

    I don't really think ISCG tabs are essential for "general trail riding" either.

    It's a 68mm shell, so not a hardship getting a guide on there.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    the ti456's lower bb height rails trail centre berms harder, really letting the bike carve in, but the shorter stem balances the weight transfer so the spread is more even - not loading up the front like the hummer.....[/i]
    btw - 456 has a 3 to 4mm higher BB for the same fork length compared to a Ragley.

  45. #45
    steep fast and loose :)
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    i rode a ragley at glentress recently [1st week in may].
    it was happier on some of the steep off-piste sections rather than the singletrack in comparison to my ti456.
    of course there are variations in feel due to fork choice, tyre choice, etc........
    neither is a bad bike but i need a bike that's suited to my local riding 95% of the time and my few weeks of trail centre riding every 6 months or so. i simply don't use the hardtail for super steeps or downhill, therefore remain happy with the ti456's geometry.
    the ti456 ride is almost impossible to quantify from numbers however. as a whole, it's just sublime. fork choice and tyre choice [and pressure] will make more of a difference than a couple of degrees of geometry tweak in my experience.
    however, i've had the pleasure of the ti456 for 18months or so, and it's had 3 pairs of forks and numerous tyre swaps to optimise the settings for my preference.
    it now runs on 2010 32 float 15mm bt's which run lots of sag and quicker rebound than normal as well as a 50mm stem and 711mm bars. the front end works fast, and everything else blends beautifully......but set up and preference is a fickle business and as such reviews are pretty much worthless...........
    the best thing to do geetee is get a test ride on familiar trails or take a leap of faith.......but titanium is satisfying as it's titanium and that's about as basic as it is........
    it can be built tight and stiff or built to flex to high heaven.........

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    i rode a ragley at glentress recently [1st week in may].
    it was happier on some of the steep off-piste sections rather than the singletrack in comparison to my ti456.
    I would certainly agree that the Ragley geometry shines more in extreeeem situations (dude).

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    Brant - do you have a 'batphone' that blink red whenever one of your brands is referenced in a forum

    Good to have your input here. Feel free to sell me the idea of a Ragley Ti (or should I get one of the new OnOne Ti456s that are being built by Van Nicholas?)

  48. #48
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    i talked myself into taking the ti456 out today - as i remember [as i've ben on the AM all spring & summer]...............it's brilliant,

    it does need fat tyres however, but the lithe 32 floats are just so good, with max feedback and next to no weight - it makes me realise why the am is a trail devestator - numbs the trail..............the ti456 is just sublime ............... organic perhaps ?

  49. #49
    steep fast and loose :)
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    geetee - go buy either A ti456 or a raGLEY TI - YOU'LL BE DELIGHTed with either..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    i talked myself into taking the ti456 out today - as i remember [as i've ben on the AM all spring & summer]...............it's brilliant,

    it does need fat tyres however, but the lithe 32 floats are just so good, with max feedback and next to no weight - it makes me realise why the am is a trail devestator - numbs the trail..............the ti456 is just sublime ............... organic perhaps ?


    TLR, you do a good line in BS, I'll give you that.

  51. #51
    steep fast and loose :)
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    nick-o-lai - you're not bitter or judgemental are you............... ?

  52. #52
    steep fast and loose :)
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    i see nothing wrong in my post - the original post asked about the benefit / feel of titanium.............i'm simply using my experiences to provide a positive response to the original question............ quoting geetee's original post :

    but I'm curious to know from those of you that have ridden Ti hardtails whether they are something a little more special by virtue of their material. They will naturally feel very different of course.

    the fact that you try to de-rail my input to the original post suggests my comments above.................
    i may be wrong, but i doubt it.................

    regards..............

  53. #53
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    Alright, BS is a bit harsh. Just plain old cobblers will do!

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    The hypocrisy on this page is epic

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    OK so I tested an Argon FR yesterday and it was pretty much as everyone here as said and I really did enjoy it.

    It is very direct and oddly felt a lot more like I was imagining a hardtail would feel before I got on a Cotic Soul. The Soul almost feels like it has 50mm of suspension travel compared to the Argon, which indeed it may well have given how much flext there seems to be.

    The Argon propelled me up some of the steepest and rootiest climbs in the area, none of which I've ever been able to climb before, something I would put down to the power transfer of the Argon.

    On smooth flowing trails the Argon picked up massive speed and it was easier to pump than the Soul for some reason. It's balance DH was fantastic, quick and very manoeuvrable but not snappish. It never wanted to tuck under on steeper turns and the back end was quite easy to get drifting without snapping out suddenly.

    On doing a bit of research it would end up costing about the same as a Ragley Ti, as I would want to go with a custom colour (would have to be British Racing Green metallic, with white graphics to replace the Ion, which has now sadly but necessarily, been sold to a new owner and very nice chap who should be popping up here at some point), and a shorter seat tube. The medium is just about long enough in the TT but even so the ST is still to tall and I would prefer to get the seat even further out of the way.

    Not sure though of how to go about testing a Ragley Ti so I may just end up ordering the Nic.

    TLR any ideas?

  56. #56
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    geetee - be very very careful.

    the soul is know to have flex issues.............

    as mentioned previously, the hummer is stiff with very little flex.............
    the ti456 has a more compliant ride but no discernible flex..........

    i would recommed you get a test ride of the hummer, ti456 or ragley ti. it is imperitive you at least get a demo of one of them with a good fork and fat tyres [i run 2010 float 32 rlc 15mm bt's].

    the ti456 is a cracker however - it will be different tothe argon.............if you want an argon, you'd be better off with a cove stiffee.................same idea done the canadian way - overly stiff, monstrously direct, uncomfortable for proper trail centre distance work [thinking in excess of 25km fast]........

    the beautyu of ti is the inherent comfort...........it does exist............you just have to match it to the geometry that suits...............

    i could not recommend a alloy frame in preference to a titanium frame...............sorry................

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    Have been in touch with Brant and he's going to sort out a test ride of the Ragley Ti.

  58. #58
    steep fast and loose :)
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    brilliant - props to brant for going to the bother - it's that level of CS that seems missing elsewhere !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    the soul is know to have flex issues.............
    Really. Because I've never experienced any or heard of any personally. But then I've only had mine for a couple of years

    So what are they exactly?

    Is this some more of your 'noodly' soda garbage?

    Bet if you can't flex yer hummer then you'd not any issues on a Soul...
    Getting older... One day at a time.

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    Metalheart I think this is all an issue of relativity/semantics. I wouldn't have said that the Soul had any 'flex issues' and to honest, having rideen the Argon, I would still only say that the Soul is relatively 'flexy'. The flex is not what would call an 'issue' if by issue you mean a serious problem for anyone riding it.

    The Soul does have a lot of give but this only became apparent to me in contrast to the Argon, which gives less than Ebeneezer Scrooge. I can get the gears to 'chunter' under power and occassionally they try to slip (though I'd be exagerating if I claimed they actually changed). On the Argon the degree of power transfer is incredible and the acceleration is vastly better than the Soul; but the Argon has the ability to snap your ankles over rough ground/jumps if you're not careful.

    As I said, all relative and not what I would call an issue but certainly what I would call material.

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    Did you do a long test ride? Longer rides on really stiff Al. Frames can truly kill lower backs...

    I am (for once) totally with Tlr here, Al. Alloys are too stiff to be enjoyable for trailriding.

    If you have the choice I can't see any reason not to go Ti. But what do I know, just another e-rider in the crowd...

  62. #62
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    metalheart knows i'm a ti fetishist...........
    i've had all the hardcore hardtails starting with mikes kobe ti onwards.......
    there really is no justification for it other than it's more compliant than alloy............

    seriously, if you want an argon, buy a cove stiffee and pocket the difference........

    not many lower backs would thank you for that choice if you're really into riding distance / trail centre long runs / etc however..............

    however, i really look forward to your ride review of the ragley ti...............

    i enjoyed it on the steeps, but it didn't pin the singletrack like the ti456, but again, it's fork and tyre dependant also..................

  63. #63
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    metalheart knows when i'm a talking out my arse...........
    There, fixed that for you

    gt:
    As I said, all relative and not what I would call an issue but certainly what I would call material.
    which was my point. talking about known flex issues associated with a steel frame is about as informed as talking about harsh aluminium ones (or indeed the known ti flex issues...). It was bollocks and I called it
    Getting older... One day at a time.

  64. #64
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    Back to the OP: as TLR knows, I'd have a ti bike in a shot (if I had that much disposable income that is....). I changed from a very rigid cannondale M2000 to a Kona Explosif back-in0the-day and only a brief dalliance with Klein Attitude, its been steel HT's since (for above lack of disposable income reasons).
    Getting older... One day at a time.

  65. #65
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    Funk me its turned into singletrackworld!! quick lets all wank over mint sauce!! http://www.urbandictionary.com/defin...ngletrackworld

  66. #66
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    almost all ti frames have some flex, which is what makes them feel better than most aluminum frames. i have an 18" 456ti frame and it is a very nice bike. it has some flex in the stays as running 2.4 big bettys on the rear will cause some tire rub on the chainstays under power. it is a very smooth ride though. only flaw in it's design and more so on the ragley as i see it is not enough slope in the top tube. i wish it had a little more standover and i also think that with a lower top tube and shorter seatstays correspondingly it would stiffen up the rear just a bit. not a huge issue, still the best ti frame i've ridden or owned.

    great bike though and one of the best off the shelf ti frames as far as quality, design and value. if money is no object i'd order a custom lynskey based on the 456's geometry with a few personal changes like the ones i mentioned. if i was going to go with an aluminum hardtail it would have to be a 29er. that's where i personally see the advantages of 29 vs. 26, on a hardtail.

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    the other cheaper option is a good steel hardtail. lots of them out there. 456, chromag, evil, transition trans am. nice thing about going steel is they are relatively cheap, ride close in feel to ti and it gives you an easy cheap way to try out geometry. 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of ti and they really do ride nicely. i'd take a steel frame over most aluminum frames out there for am type hardtail riding. i started with a 456 summer session before i went with the 456ti. it helped make the ti decision for me and i sold the summer session for close to what i paid for it

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    So what do we think of this?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2010-one-456-t...item1e5cdbc5c2

    Bought in Jan of this year and is purported to be a Lynskey made frame, rather than a Van Nic.

  69. #69
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    looks pretty good of a deal does that bad boy......


    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972
    So what do we think of this?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2010-one-456-t...item1e5cdbc5c2

    Bought in Jan of this year and is purported to be a Lynskey made frame, rather than a Van Nic.
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  70. #70
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    i'm 6' tall running an 18" ti456 on a 50mm stem, fwiw.

  71. #71
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    it's spelt lynskey btw also - ask the seller to email pics of the seat-tube.......it should have a sticker like this if lynskey fabricated :


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    Thanks TLR, that's very helpful.

  73. #73
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    that looks like the lynskey model. you can almost make out the sticker in the one pic. it has the newer brake brace on the stays. i never realized on-one went with van nicholas for the new ti frames.

  74. #74
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    The move to Van Nic has only just happened and the next batch of frames they get in August will be the first made by them.

    Test rode the Ragley Ti last night. Bike set up as follows;

    50mm stem; 745mm Sunline V1 low rise bars (my own); RS Revelation with Maxle (150mm); SLX cranks, XTR gears, Nuke Proof hubs on Ringle something or other rims; Continental tyres of some variety, the ones with the triangular shaped tread.

    I know this will infuriate many of you, but I think TLR might be right about his assessment. Overall it is an incredible machine but I wonder whether a lot of that is down to the material and construction rather than the geometry.

    I found it a harder bike to hustle along than say the Cotic Soul I've been using recently; you have to really man handle the bike and use a lot of 'body English' to get it round corners. But you really notice how much more alive the bike is once you've got some speed and it's ability to carry that speed over rooty sections (no rocks really down here) is incredible.

    It is not a bike for the average trail rider I don't think. That's not to be rude about the average trail rider (no one here is average any right? ) it's just that unless you're really flying along, the bike can feel a bit lethargic. But once you're up to speed, boy it is amazing.

    But getting back to that comment about material and construction, this is where I wonder if it's not where most of the bikes qualities come from. There were two things that I was immediately struck by.

    The first is just how light the thing was; i think in the region of 24lbs. Having ridden a 32lb bike for the last god knows how long, I thought the Cotic Soul, which is 27lbs, would feel like a similar paradigm shift, but strangely it didn't. It seems that the difference between 24lbs and 27lbs is much greater than between 27lbs and 32lbs. Counter intuitive I know but it's how it felt last night. The bike just picked up speed so quickly (the brakes were Hayes Strokers and were shockingly bad compared to my Formula The Ones so it didn't shed speed so well!) and climbed like a mountain goat.

    And that's the second quality I was mesmerised by; the bike was as stiff in its power transfer as the Nic Argon had been but without feeling like a jack hamer all the time. It had a wonderful ability to soak up buzz and chatter, but still be supremely stiff where and when you need it.

    On one particular trail in our area, you trend down the side of a hill on an off camber track, with little jinks that you can pump out of every 10m or so. On the Ragley, when you pressed into the berm of these jinks, the bike was super stiff in the apex, and then it was as if the energy generated by this action was being stored and then released to fire you forward with more speed. It was an amazing feeling and not one that the Cotic Soul can replicate.

    My bigger bug bear though is with the sizing. The 18" is right in the top tube length for me, but way too tall in the seat tube. I had to run the saddle right down on its rails in order to get it low enough to ride fast DH comfortably and even then it wasn't perfect. it made it hard to get your weight back and down on steeper sections so that I ended up with the saddle infront of my chest almost.

    The 16" would likely feel much better and the TT is still 23" (the 18's is 23.5") so that may be a better size, but this I think is surprising; I wonder why Brant didn't make the ST shorter on the medium and make the small sub 23" in the TT.

    So overall, not sure I would buy the 18" but if the 16" felt good then I would be seriously tempted. It is an incredible machine and an aggressive rider can compensate for the laziness of the handling at more normal trail speeds. It's also not what I would call a pretty bike; while the cosntruction is obviously first rate and the method of fabrication balances the best of oversize Alu stiffness and power transfer, with thin wall steel compliance, the shape and finishing of the frame is a little agricultural.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakeyakey
    Funk me its turned into singletrackworld!! quick lets all wank over mint sauce!! http://www.urbandictionary.com/defin...ngletrackworld
    *chuckles*

  76. #76
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    good asssessment - indeed the feel of ti comes alive at speed.
    why anyone should be shocked by the accuracy of my input / comments is beyond me however, considering the amount of [e]saddle time i have
    you still need to try the ti456....similar to the ragley but less 'lazy' and more intuitive / snappy in the turn .

    however, i now hope the decision to go ti has been made now you've tasted the titanium nectar..............

  77. #77
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    I have a Argon that i really enjoy, wonderful handling but I will say a little to stiff if you are not heavy (240 plus gear)



    This thing is super strong, i have no fear of breaking it (my other "go-to" bike is a superfly that I'm scar of breaking all the time)


    The bike is getting all "Mangosize" (headset, bottom bracket, hubs, fork)


    I'm going to experiment using a Maverick DUC32 and see what happens.
    Last edited by patineto; 02-28-2013 at 11:11 PM.

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