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  1. #1
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    Steel 26er hardtail frame?

    Now that the bugs are worked out of my custom Giant Revel, its going to be fit with rear brakes and given to the wife. I'll be building a new MTB from scratch and need opinions on a frame to start with.

    This is what I'm sure I want but other than that I'm clueless...

    -Steel
    -26er
    -Hardtail

  2. #2
    the catalan connection
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    What´s the budget?
    If I was in the market for one of these I would be looking at the Richey. Almost for sure. Check it out
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steel 26er hardtail frame?-p-team_frame2012.jpg  

    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  3. #3
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    What's up, Keith? There's a bunch of threads here: Beginner's Corner that tackle your questions and provide lots of directions and instructions.

    Give it a whirl. I think you will find the answers you are looking for there.

  4. #4
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    Why steel if the goal is a weight weenie build? You have to get spendy on a steel frame to get light.
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  5. #5
    the catalan connection
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    Girlonbike: You're right. I didn't think about it before answering either. Sorry
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  6. #6
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Don't be. You were being helpful and I'm a big vintage Ritchey fan so your post was perfect to me.

    I just think that to learn the most and get the most out of these forums, if you are clueless, the beginning forum is the best place to start along with a visit to your local bike shop. There's what...thousands of 26" steel hardtails out there going back to the mid 90's? To narrow it down to even a half dozen is hard and the best route to go is through education.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Don't be. You were being helpful and I'm a big vintage Ritchey fan so your post was perfect to me.

    I just think that to learn the most and get the most out of these forums, if you are clueless, the beginning forum is the best place to start along with a visit to your local bike shop. There's what...thousands of 26" steel hardtails out there going back to the mid 90's? To narrow it down to even a half dozen is hard and the best route to go is through education.
    Thanks and sorry if this has been regurgitated over and over. Half is search engine retardation and half is laziness. The LBS said a Salsa or Surly were the way to go. After researching these, I was rethinking aluminum for the price. I don't want aluminum because eventually it will fracture from stress, whereas steel can flex to a degree an infinite number of times. I'm actually leaning towards aluminum now because I can get a lighter frame for half the price. I was also thinking that money was best spent on wheels/tires rather than frame, but the problem I've found with cheap aluminum frames like Nashbar is that they don't have zero stack tapered head tubes. Isn't this going to leave the frame at a defecit as technology moves forward?

  8. #8
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    Good decision, steel frames aren't that indestructible, and they rust unless you live in a desert environment or are diligent about the maintenance when they get wet.

    Cheap aluminium frames tend to be heavier than they should and ride like a jackhammer. The cheap alloy frames will be in the 4.1-4.5 pound range. A large alloy hardtail frame with a good tubeset can be 3.6-3.7 pounds. Something like a scandium alloy tubeset will be around 3.2-3.4 pounds and have ride qualities like steel.

    Kinesis Decade Virsa II Frame | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com (steel 2600gms)

    Kinesis Maxlight XC Pro 3 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com (alloy 1520gms)
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  9. #9
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    Pipedream from the UK. Reynolds 853. You can run it 26" or 27.5". I just put one together. 23 lbs and rides soooo smooth. Steel all the way.Steel 26er hardtail frame?-img_20130404_0728401.jpg
    Last edited by Zerort; 04-10-2013 at 05:41 AM.
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  10. #10
    Rod
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    This is taboo since I'm posting in weight weenies, but I would still consider getting a steel frame. I owned one and it last and lasted. I beat on it until I sold it. If I was going with a 26 hardtail that's the route I would take unless it was a pure race bike. There are some very light ones, which are spendy, but something to consider would be a Jamis dragon at around 4.8-5 lbs for a large. If your budget is low a jamis dakota xc was also made in steel for one year, but it wasn't 853.

    You know a good aluminum frame would be around 2 lbs lighter, but I'm a fan of steel. It's more durable, less harsh, and mine lasted 6 years through a lot of use on trails it wasn't designed to be ridden on. If I had only one bike, it had to be a hardtail, and I wanted it to last, I think steel is the way to go. If that is not your criteria, move on. There are better options.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  11. #11
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    Carbon is stronger than you think and you're not a hard rider either.

    I would get something like this:

    26er MTB&Mountain bike&carbon bicycle frames&full carbon bicycle parts | eBay
    You can get them with tapered steerers too.

    It won't last forever and you can't get out your welder to fix it but these ebay carbons are great fun for the price.

    Don't settle for aluminium, it has no romance at all. It's just boring.

    Edit: spelling
    Last edited by maxforce; 04-16-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  12. #12
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    Look for an old Gunnar. I have a 26 and 29er, Picked each one up for about $250. Very Happy with them. 853 is really nice stuff.

  13. #13
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    You can tray Soma or Surly... both prices are pretty decent. I have a Troll which is about 1 lb heavier, but I like the options for touring....
    Analog | SOMA Fabrications
    Troll | Bikes | Surly Bikes

  14. #14
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    I just bought my first carbon bike. It BLOWS away everything else I've ridden. It seems like anyone that tries carbon says that. Get a carbon bike from a brand with a good warranty. There's nothing magical about steel.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    I just bought my first carbon bike. It BLOWS away everything else I've ridden. It seems like anyone that tries carbon says that. Get a carbon bike from a brand with a good warranty. There's nothing magical about steel.
    I don't have a carbon bike (yet). Are you saying it's smoother than steel? Do you own both?

    Can you add a little more information about your carbon experiences?
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 730
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  16. #16
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    I've owned and/or ridden steel, aluminum, scandium, ti (briefly) and carbon. Carbon can be manipulated more than the other materials to alter the way the bike rides. It's lighter, more comfortable yet stiffer ... it really is everything you read about it. I'd take scandium over steel and carbon over scandium any day. I bet Rocky will say the same thing.
    But depending on where you live it might be hard to find a new 26" carbon hardtail. I'd look for a Flash or Scott.

  17. #17
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    I wasn't going to muddy the water any further, but yes, when I bought a Rocky Vertex RSL carbon hardtail frame in the fall of 2008 it promptly took over the top spot in my bike collection, bumping a scandium hardtail which had bumped both a Reynolds 853 hardtail and an Easton Ultralite aluminium tubeset hardtail. Zero resonance from tire buzz or rough trail surface, super stiff so there was no disc brake rub while cornering like the steel hardtail exhibited, and every bit of pedal effort gets turned into forward motion, it is almost telepathic in handling response. The 19.5 pound carbon hardtail was my favourite bike to ride up until I bought a carbon FS bike. I matched up the carbon hardtail frame with a Magura Durin 100 fork, which has the best small bump compliance of any 100mm fork I've ridden, and the bike was a dream to ride. Still is on less technical trails. But not all carbon frames are created the same, just as with differing tubesets. The cheap and simple carbon frame layups can be as harsh as a straight guage aluminium or steel tubeset, so you want a carbon frame that has some thought put into the carbon design.

    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    I've owned and/or ridden steel, aluminum, scandium, ti (briefly) and carbon. Carbon can be manipulated more than the other materials to alter the way the bike rides. It's lighter, more comfortable yet stiffer ... it really is everything you read about it. I'd take scandium over steel and carbon over scandium any day. I bet Rocky will say the same thing.
    But depending on where you live it might be hard to find a new 26" carbon hardtail. I'd look for a Flash or Scott.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  18. #18
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    An old thread but hasn't had any action for awhile so the hijack i'm about to commit isn't as bad.

    I'm new to mntn. biking and have already been bitten by the build it myself bug. I want to build a rigid. I'm trying to figure out all the differences in frame materials. I don't care all that much about weight I just want the bike to be solid. These Chinese frames are interesting because of the cost.

    Finally, my question, what if your 270lbs and as graceful as a walrus? Whats the best frame material?

  19. #19
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    First off, you're in weight weenies which means weight matters (weight of the bike that is).

    26er/27.5/29er?

    XC,AM or just around the neighborhood?

    Build yourself will cost you more. Buying used you will get a better bike for the price and you can upgrade as you go.

    Best deal I see out there on a 26er is this Voodoo Sobo built for $600. That frame is a crazy lite frame with geometry for sweet hill climbing and technical trail riding. Upgrade as you go.

  20. #20
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by What&son View Post
    What´s the budget?
    If I was in the market for one of these I would be looking at the Richey. Almost for sure. Check it out
    Really, 3.6# for a 19/Large: Ritchie P-Team?

    I may need to replace my broken steel hardtail 26er.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFist View Post
    An old thread but hasn't had any action for awhile so the hijack i'm about to commit isn't as bad.

    I'm new to mntn. biking and have already been bitten by the build it myself bug. I want to build a rigid. I'm trying to figure out all the differences in frame materials. I don't care all that much about weight I just want the bike to be solid. These Chinese frames are interesting because of the cost.

    Finally, my question, what if your 270lbs and as graceful as a walrus? Whats the best frame material?
    Budget: $470 Soma Fab

    The Ritchie P-Team's $1100.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    This is taboo since I'm posting in weight weenies, but I would still consider getting a steel frame. I owned one and it last and lasted. I beat on it until I sold it. If I was going with a 26 hardtail that's the route I would take unless it was a pure race bike. There are some very light ones, which are spendy, but something to consider would be a Jamis dragon at around 4.8-5 lbs for a large. If your budget is low a jamis dakota xc was also made in steel for one year, but it wasn't 853.

    You know a good aluminum frame would be around 2 lbs lighter, but I'm a fan of steel. It's more durable, less harsh, and mine lasted 6 years through a lot of use on trails it wasn't designed to be ridden on. If I had only one bike, it had to be a hardtail, and I wanted it to last, I think steel is the way to go. If that is not your criteria, move on. There are better options.
    A "good" aluminum frame will be 1/2# lighter but will last as a fraction of years of a "good" light XC race steel hardtail 26er

    Aluminum's wonderful for full suspension.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

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