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  1. #1
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    Which frame - 2017 - Pivot Les, Niner Air 9, or Specialized Epic HT with tensioner

    As the title implies I am looking to buy a SS frame - or a frame that I can use SS.

    I currently run a Soma Juice 29er with a belt, but that frame (XL) was 6 lbs, 6oz. so I'm looking for a carbon frame.

    The Specialized is about 900 grams but cost $3,000. I would use a tensioner with it. Although the price is steep, this is my first choice due to the longer reach (L), and steeper seat tube/ slaker HT angle.

    The Pivot is $2,500 and has sliding drop outs. I've had a Pivot FS before and looking at the geometry of their bikes, they always seem short in the TT length. I do not know the weight of this frame.

    Niner is $2,000, plus about $140 for their own EBB. The frame is around 1,050 grams. I'm not sure how much the EBB weighs.

    I have no experience with EBB at all, and I am a bit worried as I have heard the BB shell area can crack, although according to Niner, the frame is made for this type of configuration. The geometry seems ok, but not what I prefer.

    Would like to know your take/ opinions however, PLEASE do not suggest a steel or Ti frame. I know all about steel and even make my own steel frames. This is strictly - What carbon frame?

    Thanks,
    by Silentfoe
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  2. #2
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    Since you are listing a variety of costs, as well as a variety of chain tensioning styles, it seems like your biggest priority is a light, carbon frame with geometry that you like. Is that fair?

    Going off that, it sounds like the Specialized is to your liking. For me though, I would prefer to have a specific SS frame rather than a tensioner, but maybe that is just me. Of course, going this route means you can pick ANY carbon mountain bike frame you want.

    Have you looked at the Giant XTC Advanced? The new ones have horizontal dropouts. There is a recent thread about the Giant v. Pivot, and the OP went Giant. Not sure exactly on the geo, but I think they tend to be closer to Specialized than Pivot.

    I've also heard from a few on here who love the Ibis Tranny. Carbon and slightly older school geo, could be worth checking out.

  3. #3
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    I just went through this process myself and looked at a bunch of different stuff. I believe I was the OP that Brian mentioned above. I originally wanted a dedicated carbon SS frame (no tensioner) but was open to lightweight alternatives, so at one point Ventana and Dean made it onto the list as well.

    The two frames that ended up at the top of my list were the Giant XTC Advanced and the Pivot LES and I started down that path in large part because they are both convertible between gears and SS as well as plus tires and skinnies. (They are the "one bike quiver" concept.). In the end the Giant XTC won due to price, local support, lifetime warranty, and very slightly better geometry for my tastes. The Pivot LES is said to have the superior dropout system, is maybe 1/2 lb lighter, and is a much better looking frame. There are also a couple of questionable design choices on the Giant XTC that I still have misgivings about.

    Prior to narrowing down to those two, the Niner and Ibis were on the list. The Niner got deleted pretty quickly because I don't like EBBs for a couple reasons, primarily that I'm really anal about my position. I also don't like the Niner geo. Ibis was close and has some potential design advantages for the right rider but lost out due to geometry.

    A couple of singlespeeder buddies/teammates also recently bought Giant XTC Advanced bikes in various configurations and we are all very happy with them so far. I did a relay race with a partner this weekend who was on his first long ride on the XTC single speed and he put a rigid fork on it. It did great and he had no complaints at the end of the day.

    Mine is still in the 27.5+ geared configuration and will get converted over to 29er SS as soon I get my new snappy carbon hoops ordered up. We have had some discussion in the XC racing forum about possibly sticking with plus tires for racing which I never thought I would consider but after riding them for a while I can see their merits. They're fun and will make a great travel setup for when I go ride tougher terrain at least.

  4. #4
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    Hey guys, thanks for the input!


    Quote Originally Posted by akindofbrian View Post
    Since you are listing a variety of costs, as well as a variety of chain tensioning styles, it seems like your biggest priority is a light, carbon frame with geometry that you like. Is that fair?
    Yes, that's fair to say.

    I don't really like the price of the Specialized, but price is not the deciding factor. It just seems silly to pay that much for a rigid frame. However, the geometry seems the longest for a size L compared to the other bikes and I do like longer bikes. My FS is a Norco Revolver size L with a 460mm reach, and I have a Pole Evolink size M with a 480 mm reach.

    I do like Giant bikes and have a new TCR disc road bike that I built as a frameset and it is just awesome. Their mountain bikes are way to short for me though according the the geo chart.

    For $2,500, the Pivot seems just too expensive for the the heaviest bike out of the three, so I am taking that off my list.

    I think I might go with the Specialized, but probably not at this time as a SS certainly is not a priority at this moment.
    by Silentfoe
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    I do like Giant bikes and have a new TCR disc road bike that I built as a frameset and it is just awesome. Their mountain bikes are way to short for me though according the the geo chart.

    For $2,500, the Pivot seems just too expensive for the the heaviest bike out of the three, so I am taking that off my list.
    I have a strong preference for a short TT and that is one of the main reasons I was looking at the Giant and the Pivot frames. They have very similar geometry including the TT, so if you don't like the Giant geo I am almost positive you won't like the Pivot either.

    If I were you I would take a serious look at the Ibis Tranny. It is a really nice frame, probably a good fit for you, and in these parts (NorCal) it is the SS platform of choice for many people.

  6. #6
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    Santa Cruz Highball?

    The CC Carbon frame is about 1800, and the reach on the XL is 450. Their sizing is a tad small, as it seems most people who normally ride L frames go one up in SC frames, as they have no small and go all the way up to XXL.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by akindofbrian View Post
    Santa Cruz Highball?

    The CC Carbon frame is about 1800, and the reach on the XL is 450. Their sizing is a tad small, as it seems most people who normally ride L frames go one up in SC frames, as they have no small and go all the way up to XXL.
    Interesting! Thanks for the option.
    by Silentfoe
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Interesting! Thanks for the option.
    No problem. The aluminum version of that frame is one I've been considering for myself, as it has SS compatible dropouts. You'd need to run a tensioner on the carbon version, though.

  9. #9
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    I'd consider fit over anything else. If the Epic HT is best fit, I'd go with that, regardless of anything else.

    For going SS, you can always get the highly rated Wheels Manufacturing EBB. It looks like the Epic has a PF30 shell.

    Eccentric Bottom Bracket for PF30 & 24mm (Shimano) Cranks - Black

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    I'd consider fit over anything else. If the Epic HT is best fit, I'd go with that, regardless of anything else.

    For going SS, you can always get the highly rated Wheels Manufacturing EBB. It looks like the Epic has a PF30 shell.

    Eccentric Bottom Bracket for PF30 & 24mm (Shimano) Cranks - Black
    Hey,
    Yes you are correct. For some reason I thought the Specialized was PF92. Good catch!
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  11. #11
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    Just ordered the Specialized Epic HT.

    Thanks everyone.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  12. #12
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    Awesome! Be sure to come back with pics when it's all built up.

  13. #13
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    The Niner eBB will creak in my experience. I have an Air9 Carbon and Alum One 9. I serviced the eBB myself using the video to a T and taken it to 3 different shops, one of them being a certified Niner dealer that only does custom bikes. The eBB creak came back within 3 miles of the ride and by mile 10 it was as loud as ever. Trust me save yourself the hassle. I cannot wait for my Trek Supersly SS to come in with dropouts. I go with the Pivot LES, that frame looks awesome but the Boost with all my other parts/hubs etc... is not appealing.
    1998 GT Palomar, 2009 Gary Fisher Paragon.

  14. #14
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    A friend of mine cracked his carbon niner 3 times (1 old version, 2 new versions) in about 2 months. The bike cracked in half behind the BB at the lower chainstays from pedaling.. Yes, no contact.

    In my opinion, garbage. The Giant is a nice bike but the dropout system isn't great. The adjuster cant be turned after a few rides because of dirt/mud accumulation. It's just a bad setup and not protected from the elements.

    The Pivot Les is by far the best design - but you will pay for it.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  15. #15
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    Here is the bare frame. Size LWhich frame - 2017  - Pivot Les, Niner Air 9, or Specialized Epic HT with tensioner-20170616_115109.jpg
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Here is the bare frame. Size LClick image for larger version. 

Name:	20170616_115109.jpg 
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    Sweet frame! Question. Did you contact specialized and ask if the frame could be used with the Wheels Manufacturing EBB? I know with my niner one9 the EBB has lips on each edge that when torqued down, put huge amounts of pressure on the bottom bracket shell. The niner carbon shell was designed to be used with an EBB so it can take the force exerted. I would hate for you to crack your frame if the shell wasnt designed to be used with an EBB. I was looking at getting a pivot but the Epic HT would be a good option if you can indeed use an EBB.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamplayr View Post
    Sweet frame! Question. Did you contact specialized and ask if the frame could be used with the Wheels Manufacturing EBB? I know with my niner one9 the EBB has lips on each edge that when torqued down, put huge amounts of pressure on the bottom bracket shell. The niner carbon shell was designed to be used with an EBB so it can take the force exerted. I would hate for you to crack your frame if the shell wasnt designed to be used with an EBB. I was looking at getting a pivot but the Epic HT would be a good option if you can indeed use an EBB.
    Due to the cost of this frame, it will serve dual purpose roles as a SS, and geared.

    To be extra cautious, I'll just run a tensioner.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post

    To be extra cautious, I'll just run a tensioner.
    Smart man.
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  19. #19
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    You might be able to do a magic gear. If you have a chain that's been "pre-stretched", you might be able to fit a 32x20 or 36x20 in there.

    This calculator isn't 100% accurate, but should give you an idea of what you might be able to fit. Keep a half-link on hand for when the chain stretches more.

    http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    As the title implies I am looking to buy a SS frame - or a frame that I can use SS.

    I currently run a Soma Juice 29er with a belt, but that frame (XL) was 6 lbs, 6oz. so I'm looking for a carbon frame.

    The Specialized is about 900 grams but cost $3,000. I would use a tensioner with it. Although the price is steep, this is my first choice due to the longer reach (L), and steeper seat tube/ slaker HT angle.

    The Pivot is $2,500 and has sliding drop outs. I've had a Pivot FS before and looking at the geometry of their bikes, they always seem short in the TT length. I do not know the weight of this frame.

    Niner is $2,000, plus about $140 for their own EBB. The frame is around 1,050 grams. I'm not sure how much the EBB weighs.

    I have no experience with EBB at all, and I am a bit worried as I have heard the BB shell area can crack, although according to Niner, the frame is made for this type of configuration. The geometry seems ok, but not what I prefer.

    Would like to know your take/ opinions however, PLEASE do not suggest a steel or Ti frame. I know all about steel and even make my own steel frames. This is strictly - What carbon frame?

    Thanks,
    Vassago
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  21. #21
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    Wow. Didn't know they started making Carbon bikes?

    Please read the last sentence of the quote again!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Wow. Didn't know they started making Carbon bikes?

    Please read the last sentence of the quote again!!
    I still would personally run Ti over carbon for a SS. I read the last sentence.
    and still gave my opinion. good luck in your search

    but to answer your question
    Pivot Les. I wouldn't run a EBB after seeing what happens when they get a little loose at the wrong time
    The current Niner is EBB and talking with the Rep here in AZ, they do not suggest running a EBB SS on the new frames

    Kind of like Trek has gone away with saying the Stache can be made SS. Yes, it still says in on their site. but the Flex is causing some problems. some have had the chain drop, other have not.
    Too Many .

  23. #23
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    Huh?
    So the rep knows more than the company itself, who states it "can" be run SS. Ok. Lol.

    This thread is about carbon frames. Not Ti, steel, wood, legos, or whatever else you can dream up.

    Also, you didn't bother reading much because I already said that I bought the Specialized.

    BTW, the Stache is a whole different design. Trek probably effed it up and that's why it flexes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post

    To be extra cautious, I'll just run a tensioner.
    FWIW, the SRAM or Shimano clutched derailleur that you'll be using on your geared setup makes a better tensioner than any of the current tensioners on the market. I use my XX1 derailleur on a carbon Highball. Running 32/20 or 32/19 and use the same chain for the SS and geared setups.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Huh?
    So the rep knows more than the company itself, who states it "can" be run SS. Ok. Lol.

    This thread is about carbon frames. Not Ti, steel, wood, legos, or whatever else you can dream up.

    Also, you didn't bother reading much because I already said that I bought the Specialized.

    BTW, the Stache is a whole different design. Trek probably effed it up and that's why it flexes.
    I have a stache. Even though Trek says it can be ran SS. Too many problems came up with it.
    The Niner can be ran SS, but the carbon is thinner on the new Air 9's


    side note. so maybe the wording can turn around positive.

    How did you like the belt system? I see very few of them around here but I like the design of it. how does it compare to gearing vs chain?
    Too Many .

  26. #26
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    The whole reason to go SS is for simplicity and direct drive. Once you use a tensioner system you throw that out the window. It's just another part to get smashed on a rock in my opinion and you lose the instant torque that SS bikes offer..

    Good luck with the frame though super nice looking and Specialized makes a great bike.
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  27. #27
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    This bike is absolutely the most regretted sale I ever made with many, many bikes. It was at 22lbs for large with dropper post when she left. The best HT I ever had, just couldn't fit a plus tire in back. The slider system was a great design and trouble free for me as I switched between geared and SS multiple times.




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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    I have a stache. Even though Trek says it can be ran SS. Too many problems came up with it.
    The Niner can be ran SS, but the carbon is thinner on the new Air 9's


    side note. so maybe the wording can turn around positive.

    How did you like the belt system? I see very few of them around here but I like the design of it. how does it compare to gearing vs chain?
    The belt drive is great. Super smooth and super quiet.

    It's expensive to change cogs though, and often you need to change belts too depending on the chainstay length.

    You need to run a steel, or titanium frame with a cut out, or you can run the Ibis tranny which is carbon. I've had all three.

    You might get a belt in the Stache, but I have no experience with that.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    The whole reason to go SS is for simplicity and direct drive. Once you use a tensioner system you throw that out the window. It's just another part to get smashed on a rock in my opinion and you lose the instant torque that SS bikes offer..

    Good luck with the frame though super nice looking and Specialized makes a great bike.
    Curious, how do you lose the instant torque? Chain ring still has a direct link to rear cog, and hence rear wheel. A tensioner only works on the bottom to feed the chain. It has no impact on the power you put down.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    The belt drive is great. Super smooth and super quiet.

    It's expensive to change cogs though, and often you need to change belts too depending on the chainstay length.

    You need to run a steel, or titanium frame with a cut out, or you can run the Ibis tranny which is carbon. I've had all three.

    You might get a belt in the Stache, but I have no experience with that.
    Interesting. Sounds like a neat setup but I change gears a lot. . The stache stays geared.
    I have a vassago mooseknuckle for my SS riding.



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    [QUOTE=MTB Pilot;13217371]This bike is absolutely the most regretted sale I ever made with many, many bikes. It was at 22lbs for large with dropper post when she left. The best HT I ever had, just couldn't fit a plus tire in back. The slider system was a great design and trouble free for me as I switched between geared and SS multiple times.

    [IMG]https://uploads.tapatalk

    Damn, 22 pounds with a dropper for a large frame and with what looks to be heavy pedals! I am really having a hard time not to go and build a Les for my everyday & endurance race SS. If I did build one I would build off the 2nd generation only for the tire clearance. Do you care to share your full build spec?

  32. #32
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    Which frame - 2017 - Pivot Les, Niner Air 9, or Specialized Epic HT with tensioner

    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post

    Damn, 22 pounds with a dropper for a large frame and with what looks to be heavy pedals! I am really having a hard time not to go and build a Les for my everyday & endurance race SS. If I did build one I would build off the 2nd generation only for the tire clearance. Do you care to share your full build spec?
    Rockshox Sid XX 120mm fork
    Light Bike 30mm carbon rims I laced to the stock Spline 1 DT Swiss hubs with Sapim race spokes
    Tires: Honey Badger front and Bontrager XR2 rear
    2014 model XTR cranks with Wolf Tooth 32t ring
    XT brakes with 160mm xt rotors
    Easton 40 or 50mm stem with Easton 740mm carbon bar and Ergon GE1 grips
    150mm KS Lev dropper post with Ergon SME3 saddle
    XTR pedals
    Wolf Tooth 18t alum ss sprocket with Shimano XT 11spd chain

    Think thats about it. That wheel set was really light, 1650 grams range. I ran a beefier set most of the time, but built those for racing and cause I enjoy building wheels. The frame was covered in Frameskins clear protection wrap. The Les was such a stellar rig, the bike just fest so fast and sporty like I was a kid again on my BMX bikes. Sad thing is, I took $3k for the bike after 2 months on fleabay because I wanted the cash for a motorcycle project.

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