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  1. #1
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    Cheap steel frames?

    I am looking for a cheap hardtail. Preferably steel for 29" wheels. Also, anyone know any cheap custom builders?
    There was a similar thread on ti frames a few weeks ago, but I need something cheaper.

  2. #2
    enjoying the kool-aid
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    You need to quantify what cheap is to you.

    You can look into

    Soma (inexpensive but not custom)
    Gunnar ( alittle more $$ but possible custom)
    Waterford (more $$, same guys as Gunnar but custom)
    Independent Fabrications ($$$$ but nice guys who used to make Fat Chance)
    There are many many more custom steel builders.

    What is cheap to you? $500 for the frame? $750? $200?

  3. #3
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    Less than $500.
    Recent searching has turned up:
    Redline Monocog 29er $250
    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $429
    Surly Karate Monkey $430
    Voodoo Dambala 29" $410

    Salsa Ala Carte 26" $500
    Soma Groove 26" $320

    I would like something with decent steel, but the cheapest 853 frame I have seen is $750. Salsa Ala Carte has true temper ox plat but is 26".

  4. #4
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    Nashbar has an 853 steel frame for a great price ($400 before discounts). It takes 26" wheels though. Check it out.
    If you can't go fast with a $500 bike, a $5000 bike won't help you.

  5. #5
    enjoying the kool-aid
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    Less than $500.
    Recent searching has turned up:
    Redline Monocog 29er $250
    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $429
    Surly Karate Monkey $430
    Voodoo Dambala 29" $410

    Salsa Ala Carte 26" $500
    Soma Groove 26" $320

    I would like something with decent steel, but the cheapest 853 frame I have seen is $750. Salsa Ala Carte has true temper ox plat but is 26".

    From your list I would recommend the Soma in a heartbeat. I have their 4one5 frame made from 531 and it rides great! I don't know anything about the Voodoo but I'd recommend the Soma over the Redline, Zion, and Surly.... I think the steel and geometry is better...more compliant. The new Soma's are Tange Prestige steel, but you may be able to find a 2005 Juice in 531.

    If you want to spend more than check out the Salsa El Mariachi frame and fork MSRP $930 in True Temper OX

    http://www.salsacycles.com/frames_06ElMariachi.html

  6. #6
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    If you decide to go 26 inch I also recommend the Nashbar 853 frame-especially if its on sale or if they have a 20% off coupon.I paid $235 after discount/on sale about a month ago and I am stunned by the paint and workmanship for the price.I have not built it up yet so unable to comment further.

  7. #7
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    add on-one & kona to your list.

    figure out whichever one will fit you best!
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $350
    Surly Karate Monkey $430

    Nashbar Signature 853 $400 (26")
    Salsa Ala Carte 26" $500 (26")
    Soma Groove 26" $320 (26")
    Jamis Dragon $660

    on-one is 250 pounds plus 160 shipping to Australia. A poor exchange rate means this is way too expensive

    kona unit or explosif?
    I can only find the unit on Konas site ($500) but they wont ship it to me as there are distributors in Australia. If I get it here, it most likely wont be as a frame, and I will pay through the nose.

    As for fit, I am aiming for the largest size and hoping it will work.

    Is there $100 (40%) difference between the Juice and Zion?
    Last edited by afie; 08-29-2006 at 03:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    The Monocog 29er 853 will be available later this fall. Under $500 for frame and fork.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    In an effort to reduce component costs I have been looking at singlespeed. But with singlespeed comes problems with track dropouts, rear disc brakes, quick releases etc. The Q Ball may solve these problems. I will research tomorrow.

    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $350
    Surly Karate Monkey $430
    Q ball $430
    Monocog 29er 853 <$500

  12. #12
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    try Kelly bikes. They are having a going out of business closeout sale.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    In an effort to reduce component costs I have been looking at singlespeed. But with singlespeed comes problems with track dropouts, rear disc brakes, quick releases etc. The Q Ball may solve these problems. I will research tomorrow.

    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $350
    Surly Karate Monkey $430
    Q ball $430
    Monocog 29er 853 <$500
    Any SS frame with an EBB or sliding dropouts has no issue using disc brakes or QRs.

    I do not see the Q-Ball design as being in the categories above. Still basically a track tip with a disc mount.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Any SS frame with an EBB or sliding dropouts has no issue using disc brakes or QRs.

    I do not see the Q-Ball design as being in the categories above. Still basically a track tip with a disc mount.
    Reading the singlespeed faq, it seemed that with track dropouts if you change your cog you then have to adjust the discs. I am probably not interested in a flip flop hub and would leave the cog once set up, but I would like the ability to change thing easily or go to a geared system. Can you set up gears on a ebb bike?

    The faq also states that a quick release may not be strong enough with track dropouts, though on Harris Brown it says that shimano qr's should be okay.

    Kelly does not have any frames in my size left, and I didnt think he had any cheap Ro Shom Bo's anyway.

  15. #15
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    Reading the singlespeed faq, it seemed that with track dropouts if you change your cog you then have to adjust the discs. I am probably not interested in a flip flop hub and would leave the cog once set up, but I would like the ability to change thing easily or go to a geared system. Can you set up gears on a ebb bike?

    The faq also states that a quick release may not be strong enough with track dropouts, though on Harris Brown it says that shimano qr's should be okay.

    Kelly does not have any frames in my size left, and I didnt think he had any cheap Ro Shom Bo's anyway.
    Hi Afie!

    Sure you can run gears on an EBB bike (as long as it has a derailleur hanger, and you have a cassette rear hub). I have a Zion 853 and, while not being as "cool" as other brands, it gets the job done and fairly well I might add. I personally love the EBB setup, there are alternatives, but I prefer EBB.

    Cheers,
    Cris
    Last edited by crisillo; 10-13-2006 at 11:07 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $350
    Surly Karate Monkey $430


    Is there $100 (40%) difference between the Juice and Zion?

    Alfie,
    Would you be will to share where you are seeing the Juice for that price? I have always seen it over 400. I am looking at it myself. I am not sure if I can help with your question about the price difference but I can mention a few things. I have never seen a Soma in person but everyone that has one raves about the paint. I have seen a Zion and while I great functional frame, its no looker by any means. So if appearance matters to you, maybe the Juice would be worth the extra cash. Also one thing to be aware of, the Juice has dropout spacing halfway between road and mountain and is supposed to be able to take either a road a mountain wheel. One more reason I want one but this may or may not be a benefit to you.

    Cheers
    Chris

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDtofer
    Would you be will to share where you are seeing the Juice for that price?

    Also one thing to be aware of, the Juice has dropout spacing halfway between road and mountain and is supposed to be able to take either a road a mountain wheel.
    http://www.fullcycles.com/product_in...roducts_id/527

    Already have a roadie, so no need for road compatible dropouts.

  18. #18
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    http://www.fullcycles.com/product_in...roducts_id/527

    Already have a roadie, so no need for road compatible dropouts.
    I suggest you call them, they might be able to offer you an even better deal over the phone.

    Try to talk to Will or Gary, they will hook you up

    Cheers,
    Cris

  19. #19
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    I finally chose the SIR9 from ninerbikes.com (actually I got it from bike29.com) which is 853 with an EBB and $799. I was looking at the cheaper frames but when I realizes how much I was spending on componentry I figured the bike was becoming unbalanced. Waiting for it to arrive. By using the SRAM X.9 build kit from pricepoint.com I was easily able to keep the bike under budget.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    I suggest you call them, they might be able to offer you an even better deal over the phone.

    Try to talk to Will or Gary, they will hook you up

    Cheers,
    Cris
    They also have the On-One Inbred 29er for $350

    Zion 737 $250
    Soma Juice 29Er $350
    On-One Inbred 29er $350
    Surly Karate Monkey $430
    Q ball $430
    Monocog 29er 853 <$500

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug
    I finally chose the SIR9 from ninerbikes.com (actually I got it from bike29.com) which is 853 with an EBB and $799. I was looking at the cheaper frames but when I realizes how much I was spending on componentry I figured the bike was becoming unbalanced. Waiting for it to arrive. By using the SRAM X.9 build kit from pricepoint.com I was easily able to keep the bike under budget.
    I am thinking of going singlespeed to save a little bit more on components that I can then spend on the frame.

  22. #22
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    I'm running a Soma Juice 3x9 with standard Shimano QR hubs & skewers and have had no troble with the track drop outs. If I was to go 1x1 on this frame, would recommend a bolt on rear axle becaus of the chain tension and torque of a singlespeed. I am switching over to XT m756 discs with XT skewers and Avid BB7s and I don't anticipate any issues. I never had a problem with my Santa Cruz Chameleon and LX skewers either. Just avoid cheap skewers with horizonal drops.
    - Scott

    =============================================
    I love the smell of Lemon Pledge in the morning...

  23. #23
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    Spec?

    had to log in and forgotten your login, so, pink headed pig, what is the full spec of your build - thinking soma juice, but there's too much choice in components.

    wheels is a tough choice....

    shimano SLX or sram x9/x7, or mix, or xt

    fork, rigid, but which

    stem/bar/seatpost - bontrager, nice traditional choice for rigid??

    tyres....

    even frame - whats the niner like?

  24. #24
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    I'd vote for the Soma - my Soma Groove has been retasked as a hardtail SS and it's a fantastic ride.

    Very good quality for the price.

    JMJ

  25. #25
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    I've got the Soma Juice, Groove & 4one5 single and I would agree that the Groove gets my vote. Here's my latest Groove...

    - Scott

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    I love the smell of Lemon Pledge in the morning...

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