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  1. #1
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    SS Trends, Fads (now and future)

    hey all,
    i've been a long time forum member and used to post a lot before they reset the database pre-2004. been riding a custom steel IF Deluxe 26er SS since 1999/2000 and it has seen me through many 24 hour races and most recently SSWC09 in Durango.

    anyhow, after being at Durango and seeing all the bike porn... i am contemplating building up a new SS and perhaps moving away from V-brakes, 26" wheels, chain drive, steel etc?!?! i have never been on a 29er, disc brakes or anything else other than steel when it comes to dirt. i guess i am one of those retro grouches . while i don't have an unlimited budget, when i invest in new bikes... i tend to go for it.... with the idea of getting ~10+ years out of it.

    so.... this crowd tends to be opinionated and up to speed on the latest fads and trends with bikes. i was wondering if folks could share their opinions or experiences with some of the following things i am considering in shopping for a new SS ride...

    * carbon mtn frame - i have a carbon road frame and love it. obviously the SSWC09 winners and many of the top finishers were on carbon SSers. is carbon here to stay in the mtn bike scene? is it durable enough to last 10+ years on my local Tahoe trails? FYI, i am 5'9"/140lbs and more of a finesse rider vs a boulder smasher/big air guy.

    * 29er vs 26er vs 96er - for my 5'9" frame i couldn't imagine riding some of the descents and rock gardens at SSWC09 on a 29er, but then again... i have never thrown my leg over one. does a 29er/96er really help alleviate the 'over-the-bars' feeling on steep rocky descents? do you loose that much in 'flickability' with the larger wheels? are the larger wheels really that slow to get up to speed? with my size and body weight and fitness level, i am climber. typically i can hang with some of the best climbers in town. but i SUCK at descending and really techy stuff. i am just trying to figure out if a 29er/96er could help in that department.

    * disc brakes - um yeah.... i rode a section of SSWC09 with my buddy's hydraulic disc brake bike... that definitely would help to inspire more confidence on techy downhills. i checked with IF to see if disc tabs could be welded onto my current frame. i got a $1100 quote since i would need a new rear triangle and paint. so not really worth it when a new frame is ~$1700 and i could sell my old one....

    * belt drive - saw quite a few at SSWC09. they LOOK cool, but it sounds tricky to get dialed in. i am DEFINITELY a low bike maintanence type of person.... so i am inclined to give this a few more years to mature. or should i?!?

    * interbike - anything new coming out of there that will change the SS world forever?

    overall, i am not into gimmicks. i like my bikes light, simple and fast. i am definitely considering racing a bunch of SS endurance events next year like the series from (http://www.globalbiorhythmevents.com/). i definitely don't like spending all my time wrenching.... so again, simple proven technology is best for me.


    enough rambling on my part. any thoughts and comments would be appreciated. i know most of what i have asked has been covered before and i should "search" the forum. i have read several threads... but figured it could be useful to start a new thread with all these considerations in one thread? (or not.... HA!). anyhoo, happy trails!

    -OHC

    ps. if anyone cares... on my short list IF Steel/Ti Deluxe (29er, 96er, 26er), GF Superfly SS, Specialized S-Works Carbon SS, and a Ibis Tranny.....

  2. #2
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    You should also check out the Niner One9. It is a great SS that can and will last for years.
    I cant wait for someone to ride and report on the Spec. S-Works carbon SS, it looks fast and light.
    Pedal Dammit!

  3. #3
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    My 2 pennies:

    Disc brakes: Don't let people scare you away from Avid BB7s. People who have problems with them don't know how to properly adjust them.

    29" wheels: Don't listen to any of the paranoid arguments against them. They're not weaker, they don't affect your ability to ride switchbacks, they don't accelerate more slowly and you won't wake in the night with one standing over your bed with a kitchen knife.

    Don't listen to the techno geeks regurgitating what some magazine article said. Decide for yourself. Ride one, then ride is two more times. If you hate it, get a new bike with 26" wheels.

    And don't let your indecision trick you into going with some "compromise" between 26" and 29", like 650s or a 69er.

  4. #4
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    All this 'trend' stuff....

    Call me a luddite, but I don't see anything wrong with a steel frame, a good set of cantis (or V brakes if you must), one or two gears tied together with a chain that has bushings, and whatever size wheels fit the bike.

    Avid mech discs are great, but a hassle if you don't like to tinker. 26 vs 29 has been covered in such gory detail everywhere that it isn't necessary to delve into... ride what you like, where you like. If that means you end up with 2 bikes, even better!

    On the list of things I just plain don't trust: suspension forks, carbon fiber, multi-speed chains, integrated headsets, asymmetrical axles, low spoke count wheels, and tubeless tires.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    My 2 pennies:

    Disc brakes: Don't let people scare you away from Avid BB7s. People who have problems with them don't know how to properly adjust them.

    29" wheels: Don't listen to any of the paranoid arguments against them. They're not weaker, they don't affect your ability to ride switchbacks, they don't accelerate more slowly and you won't wake in the night with one standing over your bed with a kitchen knife.

    Don't listen to the techno geeks regurgitating what some magazine article said. Decide for yourself. Ride one, then ride is two more times. If you hate it, get a new bike with 26" wheels.

    And don't let your indecision trick you into going with some "compromise" between 26" and 29", like 650s or a 69er.
    I agree with everything here and would like to add that for a 10 year bike, I would go with steel again and stay away from carbon, aluminum, and scandium because in my opinion, those materiels are not 10 year materiels.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  6. #6
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    frame geometry affects how a bike handles on steep sketchy drops.
    longer cstays coupled w/ steeper more precise head angle will give you a completely different feel. it just so happens 29ers have these traits but a 26er will also feel incredibly stable w/ 17+ stays.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  7. #7
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    I'd say only look at AL and Steel if your going for 10 years.

    yeah, honestly the 29" wheels do help on steep techy sections (especially ones with slacker HTAs) , but like said above demo or borrow from someone (don't just take my word for it). At 5'9" 29er's are no problem for you.

    I agree with Avid BB7's. Strong, Cheap, they may take some adjustment on occasion (but it's easy and quick when needed), very reliable.

    It's a lot cheaper to change up gearing when needed on chain driven bikes.

    Try a good quality rigid fork too.

    Then Ride and Enjoy the quietness (depending on what hubs you roll)!
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  8. #8
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    Don't let the D-town scene bum you out. Half the people at SSWC09 were industry insiders on their way to Interbike. Think of it as a SS-Specific Dirt Demo.

    Disc brakes rock.
    Good suspension forks rock.
    Fat tires rock.
    Riding a 10-year old converted frame instead of spending $2000 to fit in rocks.

    $500 will get you a good suspension fork, front avid BBDB, new front wheel and some 2.3's

    The next trend? Not SS Cyclocross. I'm getting ready to build one up, and that means it's at least 2 generations behind what's trendy.

    Maybe SS-Segways
    Last edited by forkboy; 09-24-2009 at 12:49 PM.

  9. #9
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    Carbon? Absolutely. Scares some folks, but you know already it is strong and fatigue resistant. My 2009 SS Superfly is my first SS, and it is getting all the fun lately. Fall on a pointy rock or roots, might have an issue, but I drop 3+ feet on mine with no issues.

    I ride a geared 2008 Fly too. Guess what my new FS will be.

    BTW - crashed my geared Fly 3 weeks ago - zero damage to the bike - broke my right leg (it is not carbon, dammit).

    Also - think about Elixir R or CR - amazing, fade free (they do hoot some, though).

    I use the 80 mm G2 Fox fork - will get up the nerve to try a Switchblade G2 one of these days.

    Everything I ride is 29er - I woke one night to find my 26er HT standing over me with a knife ...

  10. #10
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    Go rent / borrow a 29'er... you'll love it. I picked up a Raleigh XXIX a few months back. I rode it exclusively all summer leaving my Moots Rigormootis 26" geared bike at home. I don't have to tell you that the Moots didn't sit because it sucks - the 29'er was just more fun. I like the ride so much I just picked up my SS Lynskey Ridgeline and rode it for the first time last night. Fun, fun, fun.

    Carbon bikes - I'm a big fan. I'm obviously currently riding Ti but I have no reservations riding with carbon (currently have carbon forks & bars). I rode an older carbon frame from Giant that I beat the bunnies out of and it never whimpered. I broke off a set of aluminum bars but never had problems with the frame. Its ultimate demise was a goofy failure on an urban ride that resulted from a loose brake pad (my fault). The pad worked its way loose, grabbed hard on a stop, twisted down into the spokes and proceeded to rip the epoxied on brake boss right off of the seat stay. Bad day. The frame was 9 years of rigid riding on it at that point and had plenty of life left in it.

    Ti frame - if you're looking for a long lasting maintenance free frame you may want to consider Ti. Its a little pricey but you said you go for it when you finally decide to buy something so maybe its a good fit. There are several great handbuilt 29er suppliers out there. The Ridgeline is a great value compared to competition at similar quality IMO.

    Disc brakes. I'm riding hydraulics currently but I really like the simplicity of the BB7's. If you install and adjust them properly they don't require much tinkering to keep them dialed. After figuring out the correct way to set them up I could get them rolling from scratch build in 5-10 minutes. A minor adjustment was just a couple and was rare. I don't do my own hydraulic work... makes me seriously consider moving back to BB7s.

    Belt drive - might be a little early to jump on that bandwagon.

  11. #11
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    I agree 100% about the Avid BB7's.
    I'm at 6 foot 300lbs and that's what I chose to put on my Heckler when I built it up. Super simple and plenty of power.

    As far as the frame goes. What's that they say "steel is real"?
    There's a reason it's said. I good custom frame maker will get you what you want in a frame.
    The type of ride you want from the bike. You could have IF change your drop outs if you wanted right?
    Could you do that to a carbon frame? I don't think so.
    A good crash on a steel bike might dent the frame, but a carbon frame would be done.
    And if you get a carbon frame your steel frame will be standing over you with a kitchen knife while you're sleeping.

    If you run dics's make sure the frame keeps the rear disc tab lined up with the wheel when the chain is tensioned.
    It’s a pain to have to remove and re-adjust the rear caliper every time the rear wheel is removed, for, say a flat on the side of the trail. This is easy to do with the new sliding drop outs or a EBB.

    As for a belt drive I don't have any experience with them. But if you have a frame built to run a belt you can still use a chain. I don't know if you could vice versa.

    For 29er's, ride some and see if you like them.
    next time

    [QUOTE=spazzy] Might as well sell your bikes, E-riding is much more productive.

  12. #12
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    What if I told you I went from a Foes FXR, (Read more expensive than most custom frames) full suspension bike, to an $899 msrp steel 29 ss, and have more fun than I ever had? What if I told you, I also had a Specialized Enduro, A Cannondale F29, A Fisher Hifi 26, and 29, and by far the most fun I have had, is on the Redline Monocog Flight, a Singlespeed 29 steel frame? To answer, or comment on your short list and carbon, I would stay away from the carbon frames. Having worked at a bike shop as a mechanic, that happens to sell that specific model, I can tell you, the risk is real. Not everyone has trouble with them, but to each their own. I doubt a carbon frame will last 10 years. I suggest a Ti. or steel.. from the maker of your choice. I rest easy knowing my cheap bike is warrantied forever, at half the cost of your original frame. Its not bling, but it is fun, simple, and dependable.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  13. #13
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    I've currently got a 29er and a 26er SS, one with V and one with discs. I really like them both. The 29er is my "nice" bike, but they're both great. I realize that's really not much help. I guess my vote would go for keeping your current bike, and getting a 29er, but I would certainly test ride some 29ers first like most have suggested.

    Disc brakes are great, especially in the wet. I don't ride my Vs when it's raining out or when there's snow on the ground if I can help it. I'm not sure who is going to "scare you" out of BB7s, most people that use them absolutely love them, but they'll never be as light or weatherproof as good hydros. I don't think any braking system has a supreme edge as far as setup/maintenance ease. I tinker with my V brakes way more often than I tinker with my hydros, and bleeding isn't really any big deal, especially with current offerings.

    Belts don't have enough pros to outweigh their cons and give me a reason to switch. Sure, no lubing, no mess and no noise are probably great. Extremely sensitive setup, slipping and snapping, cost, frame selection (must have a broken dropout), gear selection and everything that goes along with that sounds like too much of a pain. I read one comparison that said it best, if we were all riding belts, and chains were the new hot thing, people would jumping on board the new thing that never slipped, was easy to setup, easily repaired on the trail and allowed easy gear changes with adding or removing links. Belts don't sound so great when you look at it that way (for me).
    Last edited by ShadowsCast; 09-24-2009 at 08:43 PM.

  14. #14
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    hey all,

    some great comments and thoughts here.... keep 'em coming.

    just to clarify or elaborate on my initial post. seeing the bike porn at SSWC09 isn't the reason i am thinking (again) about a new ride. obviously i've been loosely following the bike industry and been thinking about a new bike/frame for awhile. having enjoyed the SSWC09 course, i am definitely getting the bug to race again so that is why i am thinking about what kind of bike i want to ride/race for next season. in case anyone cares, ALL i have for a mtn bike is my IF SS.... i live full time in N. Tahoe, and typically ride with some fast geared riders. so this isn't a quiver mtn bike, but really my only mtn bike (plus a road bike and a fun fixie for tooling around town!)

    before i sprung the 'big $$$' for my IF, i rode on old rigid Stumpjumper with a Singulator and had a ton of fun with that. however in the mid-90s i used to race on a Fat City Yo Eddy, so my heart is definitely into New England Steel.... since i actively work in the outdoor industry (i am a telemark freeride coach), i have many contacts in the bike industry so i am pretty sure i can get most everything at a discount. in fact, while at SSWC09.... several folks gave me their business cards and told me to call them with what i need. obviously these things are reciprocal... but it is good to have friends in the right places

    anyhow, one thing i hadn't thought much about is my frame geometry.... colker1 touched upon this and i was giving that a lot of thought on my trail run this afternoon....

    i am on (and have been for many years) 'East Coast' geometry... designed for muddy, twisty, rooty, wet rocks and logs in the backwoods of New England. these days i am finding myself on either fast swoopy, dusty dry single track littered with ball bearing rocks.... or rocky granite boulder mine fields. i am guessing slacker angles and a longer wheel base would make a difference there. my buddy looked pretty comfortable in all the techy stuff on the Durango course with his Santa Cruz Chameleon. i have no idea what the geo is on that frame, but my guess is more 'West Coast' than mine.

    at this point, i am thinking 'West Coast' steel (or maybe Ti) 29er w/ maybe some Avid BB7s brakes and definitely a normal chain. gotta make some calls next week and find some bikes to test out....

    again keep more thoughts coming....

    thanks,
    OHC

    ps. just wanted to add, i never made it to mini bike show on Thurs. i was too busy having fun riding the Ridge and racing the brewing thunder storms. so i never got to see some of that bling....

  15. #15
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    I have BB7s and like them a lot. Honestly, if I didn't live in mud eight months a year, I might have stuck with my 89 Rockhopper as my only ride. That being said, I do live in mud, so I have a 26" Monocog with 650b wheels. In the last two years I've had several different bikes and have had a 29er, 26", a 650bx26" and the current bike. I think figuring out what sort of geometry suits your riding style is a good first step and I do like big wheels. My advice is that you try and pick up a cheaper 29er and see how you like the bike, then drop the money once you've figured out what you like. Check out the McClung threads for pure retro goodness.

  16. #16
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    I'm 5'7" and ride a 29'er (KM) on New England singletrack. I didn't think a 29'er would work for me at my size riding the tight, twisty, techy stuff that is the norm out here.
    I was wrong. Works great.
    The only reason I would stay with a 26" wheel bike and rim brakes if I were you is if you had some really good wheelsets that you wanted to continue using, and you typically ride in dry conditions.
    I'd rather a Ti bike than a carbon if I was spending the money.

  17. #17
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    OHC, change for a nickel?
    see any snow up high yet?

    for a '10 year' bike, forget about the gimmicky carpet fibre frames. Go with steel or Ti from a reputable builder, leave IF at the top of your list.

    Yes on Discs, hydraulics rock. Mechanicals are ok, but still a small maint issue w/ cables, they bind, feel old over time. Hydraulics, always smoove action.

    Belt drive? another gimmick, stick with 8speed or 1/8" track/bmx chains.

    Wheel size, yeah, you'll probably dig the 29er platform. Demo, just like you do w/ new snow toys. East vs West geometry? A rock garden is a rock garden no matter where on the planet it is, same with hopping logs, switchbacks are just tight east coast singletrack without the trees... Only you know how you like to ride, demo a variety, then chat w/ whoever is gonna build your frame and relay your experiences, likes, dislike of each ride. The builder should be able to dissect the numbers and build you your Goldilock's frame, juusssst right.

    another thing to consider, EBB, sliders or track ends? pros and cons for each...

  18. #18
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    OHC - I'll take change for a nickel too when you are done with Tomi.

    Agree with most of the suggestions here... if you are keen on the 10 yr life (sounds like you buy bikes like me, lots and lots of miles out of a frame before getting a new one) seriously consider a Ti frame. I love my 26in Dean Colonel (had it for two years now), my personal opinion is the welds, finishing etc are on par with IF for the most part. If I were buying a new ss today, I would have a hard time going 26. I recently test rode a few 29er hard tails (geared) looking for a 40th bday gift for my wife, ended up with an Orbea Lanza (Al) and it took a LOT of will power to not walk out with two bikes I expected to feel really weird on the 29er, but man, it felt great. I'm 5'8", 150 for reference.

  19. #19
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    I remember you!

    Been along time... for some reason i want to say you're up in Truckee, right?


    Borrow a 29er (preferrably latest generation) first, for at least a week or two of good riding and figure if it something you'd enjoy. And make your decision on wheel size.

    Disc brakes are your friend and don't be afraid of hydro's...the lates and greatest are very easy to set up, easier in fact than bb7s and you'll save about 1 lb if you go with hydro's in the 400 gram per brake range. You can find the Avid Elixr R for only a few bucks more than the bb7.

    If you are thinking ebb or the sliding drops, I'd go sliding drops.

    For what it's worth, I've kind of gone backwards, my preference now is a dedicated geared frame with a nice tensioner. No extra weight from the ebb or sliders, no messing with seat height ever. Easy swap to gears if I wanted to...and the weight of a tensioner is minimal.

    Lastly, imo, if you do decide on a 29er, your biggest investment in the first build should be focused around a light and strong wheelset.
    Happy new year..Stuff $: Eno 29wheel (non disc), Yakima, 2 steelheads, with towers for Volvo luggage rails.

  20. #20
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    Did you buy the Lanza at VV?

    The white one? That bike was a sweet deal for the package and price.....

    I should have my Alma in the next week or two.
    Happy new year..Stuff $: Eno 29wheel (non disc), Yakima, 2 steelheads, with towers for Volvo luggage rails.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger___
    The white one? That bike was a sweet deal for the package and price.....

    I should have my Alma in the next week or two.

    Yep rode really nice, I preferred it to the Felt Elite actually. And, I like the spec better on the Orbea. BION, I threw them both on a scale fully built and they were within one once of each other! The base Lanza frame must be nice and light. I'm secretly hoping my wife hates it and I've jokingly told VV to act like asses and refuse return... hello new 9er for me Looking forward to seeing your Alma! Someday I'd like a Carbon pep talk from you, I'm still leery, but man, those almas are sweet.

    <end thread hijack>

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger___
    Been along time... for some reason i want to say you're up in Truckee, right?
    yup... still in Truckee. and it has been a long time. been spending lots of time on the road bike instead of dirt. but i've been having a ton of fun getting back on dirt the last 4-5 weeks ore so... leading up to SSWC09.

    good advice on the Avids. fortunately i know a test engineer over at Sram/Avid/Rock Shox/Truvativ.... so that definitely could work well in my favor. although i am not sure about having to run prototypes . Ha!

    anyhoo, i think you're in Auburn.... right? been getting up to Tahoe to ride much?

  23. #23
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    1) Steel or Titanium for a 10 year bike.

    2) Yes to disc brakes

    3) Pick whatever size wheel you want. I don't like 29'er on the rear. I like shorter chainstays, and I LOVE 650b wheels on the front. I ride North East rocks, roots, super tight twisty trails. And I have ridden a few 29'ers, cheap steel to expensive titanium. They are solidly planted to the ground, but I prefer my tires to get some playful airtime. I also like to sprint out of corners, so the lighter 26" on the rear is my choice. I have no experience yet with 650b on the rear.

    4) Chain. Belts aren't there yet,,,,if ever.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomimcmillar
    OHC, change for a nickel?
    see any snow up high yet?
    ha! yup i have change....

    no snow yet, especially with this record setting high pressure on us this weekend.... but hopefully we'll see the white stuff fly soon.

    btw, good advice.... i think i am leaning towards sliders, cause i have heard about creaking EBBs? what are cons on sliders?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by onehotchili
    .... i think i am leaning towards sliders, cause i have heard about creaking EBBs? what are cons on sliders?

    If you do a search you'll find a few religous war threads discussing EBB vs Sliders. I run sliders on my colonel, love them. Zero issues with slipping, which is the predominant 'con' some people raise. After I have the two main slider cage bolts tightened down on each side, I tighten the set screws and their keeper nuts down, basically locking the system from slipping. I ordered a set of the Ti bolts from Paragon direct (Paragon supplies many of the frame builders with sliders), they have deeper hex heads than the stock bolts that shipped.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by onehotchili
    ha! yup i have change....

    no snow yet, especially with this record setting high pressure on us this weekend.... but hopefully we'll see the white stuff fly soon.

    btw, good advice.... i think i am leaning towards sliders, cause i have heard about creaking EBBs? what are cons on sliders?

    depends how anal you are about bike setup....change cog or ring w/ an EBB, and theoretically you should also adjust the saddle relative to the new spindle location. Or, just tell yourself that the human body is an amazing thing and will qwikly adapt to the new pedaling spot.

    Change a ring or a cog w/ sliders or track ends and you end up altering the wheelbase of the bike, effective chainstay length will lengthen or shorten. Again, it's amazing how well and how quickly you adapt to the new geometry and feel of the bike.

    Both are minor issues in the big picture, but some folks take it pretty seriously. Personally, I run both, a Jabber w/ track ends and an El Mariachi w/ EBB...never had issues w/ a creaking EBB, when does make noise, it's just telling me to tighten her up, six of one, half dozen of the other.

    might be out your way when March rolls around...

  27. #27
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    Yep, still in Auburn..

    not as many Tahoe/Truckee trips as I'd like this year, was up back in August, hoping to get up there in October too...weather still permitting. I'm ready for a bit of cool weather.
    Happy new year..Stuff $: Eno 29wheel (non disc), Yakima, 2 steelheads, with towers for Volvo luggage rails.

  28. #28
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    I have nothing against sliders, just wanted to add that I have no problems with EBB either.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    I agree with everything here and would like to add that for a 10 year bike, I would go with steel again and stay away from carbon, aluminum, and scandium because in my opinion, those materiels are not 10 year materiels.
    As someone that has a 15 year old aluminum hardtail and a 16 year old carbon hardtail still in service, I'd argue that point.

    To the OP, you're really covering too much territory in a single thread. Each individual point you've mentioned has been discussed/argued to death on these forums. You did catch my attention with your title "SS Trends" though. It just seems that something as simple as SS shouldn't be subjected to trends, but I guess it is.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  30. #30
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    hey all,

    a quick update.... been exchanging emails w/ Steve Potts in Marin, and will most likely be paying him a visit next month to talk shop, get measured up, and put a deposit down. definitely a lot of $$$ for a frame, but given my tendency towards "lifetime" frames.... i don't think i can go wrong with one of his Ti beauties. yeah it will be a bit of a wait, but it will give me time to get the $$$ together.

    again thanks for all the input....

  31. #31
    Beware the Blackbuck!
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    After all that's in this thread, are you going with 26 or 29?!

  32. #32
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    there are absolutely no issues with BB7's if set up correctly from the start. I only adjust them for pad wear occasionally and they havent been off the bike in over 3 years. They are super reliable and hands down the most trouble free brake i have ever used.
    As for frame material, carbon is fine, and doesnt have a shelf life so it is very much a 10 year bike. I'd ride one and i have in the past, but i think i'd go ti if given the choice.
    As far as 29 vs 26, there are benefits to both. I really think my 26er was better through the tight twisty singletrack, and it was just flat out more nimble. However, i do think my 29er climbs and decends better, and feels more stable in the high speed corners.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by onehotchili
    hey all,
    a quick update.... been exchanging emails w/ Steve Potts in Marin, and will most likely be paying him a visit next month to talk shop, get measured up, and put a deposit down. definitely a lot of $$$ for a frame, but given my tendency towards "lifetime" frames.... i don't think i can go wrong with one of his Ti beauties. yeah it will be a bit of a wait, but it will give me time to get the $$$ together.
    again thanks for all the input....
    What did you decide on wheel size?
    And, I don't recall front suspension being discussed. Are you going Rigid or Front Suspension?
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville
    What did you decide on wheel size?
    And, I don't recall front suspension being discussed. Are you going Rigid or Front Suspension?
    sorry about omitting what i am hoping to go with ....

    i am leaning towards 29er w/ front suspension, disc brakes, normal chain drive etc. but obviously i will look to Steve to help me figure out what he thinks will work best for ME. i think an advantage of going w/ someone "local" to me... is that he'll be familiar with the trails i like to ride.... either way, should be a fun project.

  35. #35
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    I have an old heckler that i put a disc brake on, and it is amazing. It works so much better than my old v-brakes. Also Carbon can be a awesome material for bikes depending on the quality of the carbon. If the bike is well made, then it should last until you bash it against rocks. Also carbon is great for cross-country type riding, where there is not a big risk of dropping it against rocks, or off cliffs and whatnot. The important thing though is that disc brakes are the greatest invention since the bicycle.

  36. #36
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    Another big benefit of BB7 discs is you can repair almost any problem with them at any LBS anywhere. No special fluids, hoses, fittings, or levers. Unless the caliper itself falls apart on you, you can make it work again.

    Saving 1 pound going with light hydraulics is misleading. If you're going to spend the money going with hydros light enough, then you can spend the money making your BB7s as light. If you do light cables/housing, light brake levers, titanium hardware, and, if you're adventurous, a little tuning of the caliper itself, you get down to about 400g per wheel with everything.

    Tuned BB7's?

  37. #37
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    ooh, aah, Steve Potts Ti 29er.

    You won't regret it.

    Another vote for hydro discs. I ran BB7's on both the geared fully and the SS, they were great; now run only hydros, never mess with them.

    They stop better.

    More control, more power, less weight, less fiddlin'--i.e. none whatsoever-- as the pads wear out. Still feel like new 3 years later, never bled any of 'em, even after replacing pads.

    Formula's my number one choice, hayes, shimano, magura and hope are all great. I found Avids to be a tad too grabby and a little squawky when wet, but lots of people love 'em. YMMV, etc.

    Kind of doesn't matter: even if you start with BB7's, they really are so much better than rim brakes, and you'll have the disc wheels and tabs if you want to try something else.
    "I think it's cool how the best line is also usually the most beautiful line" --Kurt F, Tamarancho, Safety Meeting

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1

    And don't let your indecision trick you into going with some "compromise" between 26" and 29", like 650s or a 69er.
    I'd say that is a very opinionated statement. If a 650b or 69er is a better fit for him and his riding style there is no "compromise".

  39. #39
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    pink OURY grips

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumonky
    I'd say that is a very opinionated statement. If a 650b or 69er is a better fit for him and his riding style there is no "compromise".
    I have opinions and IMO... the on-the-trail difference between 26" and 29" wheels will go unnoticed in 1 out of 5 riders. It's certainly not worth all the arguing and insults I see at times.

    So, in my very opinionated opinion , the difference and advantages between 26" and 650B or in 650s and 29" wheels is even smaller... so small that your average rider will probably never notice.

    I just cannot imagine someone going from 26" to 29" and then saying "Oh, that's too much change" so they go with a 650B and go "Ahhhh... just right!"

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    I have opinions and IMO... the on-the-trail difference between 26" and 29" wheels will go unnoticed in 1 out of 5 riders. It's certainly not worth all the arguing and insults I see at times.

    So, in my very opinionated opinion , the difference and advantages between 26" and 650B or in 650s and 29" wheels is even smaller... so small that your average rider will probably never notice.

    I just cannot imagine someone going from 26" to 29" and then saying "Oh, that's too much change" so they go with a 650B and go "Ahhhh... just right!"
    Agreed.

    Without getting into the ridicule that is happening in the “650b ill Conceived Idea” thread, the entire concept is irrelevant to physics, etc. It comes down to 1) riding style and preference and 2) whatever the market will support (in lieu of plenty of ideas have been brought forth over the years and failed while others have succeeded – irrelevant to the fact of fads or not).

    I suppose I am biased towards 650b since I do feel a difference from 26 and not wanting to go up to 29. My local trail is flat, tight, and twisty with an assortment of small obstacles and I just see advantages to staying smaller (or slightly above 26). But again, rider preference as I do know others who are riding 29 at our trail as well.

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