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  1. #1
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    4" FS Frame recommendations for XC racing

    I'm looking to gather opinions on what you guys think a worthy 4" full-suspension frame is for XC racing and general riding/training.

    I do have some guidelines:

    * No proprietary forks or front hub arrangements - I have a nice set of XTR wheels and a SID WC that I'm not willing to give up.

    * I'm not sold on VPP. I had a Spider and really disliked it - too many creaks, and durability issues.

    * Weight is obviously an issue. I have lightweight parts but I don't want to start with a 6.5lb frame. I'd like the total bike to hover around 22~23lbs with a full XTR kit, carbon bits for the cockpit and the aforementioned SID.

    * Funds are not unlimited, so "unobtainium" frames are out. I'd like to keep the frame under $1K.

    * Dimensions that I'm shooting for are: 18~19" seat tube, 23.5" top tube, 70~70.5 degree head angle and a 73~73.5 degree seat angle. BB height around 12.5"

    You suggestions / opinions are appreciated!

  2. #2
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    Under $1000?

    I'm not sure what FS racing frame you will find for under $1000? On the balance of lower price/high performance I'd get either the ASR-SL Alloy or the AnthemX...I think both will be around $1600
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  3. #3
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    Price bump

    Okay, so frames are really more expensive since the last itme I shopped. Let's say a price bump of $400~500. Bringing the overall cost to $1500. I know a lot of people will mention the Yeti, it is noted.

    But what else do you guys have up your sleeves? It seems like all of the bike companies are applying to the theory that "more is better" and start most of their lines at 5" of travel and above....

  4. #4
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    Tricks?

    In 4"-not-too-expensive-land, I can think of these...

    BlurXC - Just plan on a bit of maintenance
    Turner Flux - Heard nothing but good things...never been on one tho.
    RacerX alloy - Great bike, but not as good as the Yeti for some wierd reason despite the fabled Horst link.
    Orbea Oiz Alloy - amazing bike with wonderful suspension, but the chain stays stick out too far for pronated me
    Els Truth - is a great endurance/trail bike but awfully expensive for an alloy 4"er.
    Devinci Moonracer - Recent thread on it here...I had never heard of the thing Price?
    Alloy Scalpel with std fork so you can use your wheels?
    Trek fuel - The new suspensions look pretty sweet. I didn't like the old ones at all.
    GT - They are trying to be hip and cool again...might be a bargain..suspension look wierd
    Fisher HI-Fi - a bit too much travel for me, but raceable
    Felt - More travel, heavier, but looks pretty cool.


    errr.... I'm sure there are others that you will hear about soon.
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  5. #5
    Metalheadbikerider
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    Kona

    Quote Originally Posted by skunkwerkscycles
    Okay, so frames are really more expensive since the last itme I shopped. Let's say a price bump of $400~500. Bringing the overall cost to $1500. I know a lot of people will mention the Yeti, it is noted.

    But what else do you guys have up your sleeves? It seems like all of the bike companies are applying to the theory that "more is better" and start most of their lines at 5" of travel and above....
    I ride and race the 2007 Kona King Supreme. It's a single pivot, so it is less active than 4 bar designs. It also requires less maintenance, and is pretty darn light as a scandium frame. If you can find one of those, it is worth checking out. Not sure about the 2009 line, but it may be worth checking out too.
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  6. #6
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    Superlight?

    How about an oldie but a goodie: Santa Cruz Superlight. Very low maintenance with the simple single pivot, relatively cheap, and a proven design that still works. You will benefit a Pro-pedal type shock though to keep it from bobbing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmurrn
    How about an oldie but a goodie: Santa Cruz Superlight. Very low maintenance with the simple single pivot, relatively cheap, and a proven design that still works. You will benefit a Pro-pedal type shock though to keep it from bobbing.
    +1 on the superlight, get a 08-09 model, i use it to race, ride, trail ride... if you don't like the vpp design and unobtanium frames, the superlight is the ticket for you.., climbs like a goat, handles great on the way down, light, proven design with little maintenance...

  8. #8
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    Supalite

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Superlight. I wish they offered a medium/large because the medium is a bit small in the head tube and top tube. And the large is a bit long in the top tube and headtube.

    I know, I'm a tweaker...I do like the idea of the single-pivot though. Any other other single-pivot suggestions?

  9. #9
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    Competitive cyclist has 2008 Turner Flux frames on closeout for $1199. Sounds like you'll need a medium from the 23.5" top tube length. I'm not saying the Flux is any better or worse than a Yeti AS-R or any other top end frame, but at $1199 it's a screaming deal, in my opinion. They have XS, S, and M in stock, according to their website.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by free-agent
    I ride and race the 2007 Kona King Supreme. It's a single pivot, so it is less active than 4 bar designs. It also requires less maintenance, and is pretty darn light as a scandium frame. If you can find one of those, it is worth checking out. Not sure about the 2009 line, but it may be worth checking out too.
    I second the Kona. I've had the same frame as noted above, except with Easton aluminum rather than Scandium, and I love it.

    For 08 and 09, its the Kona Hei Hei supreme - which dropped to 2.5" travel.
    http://www.konaworld.com/09_heiheisupreme_u.cfm I've seen Hei Hei frames sell for $800-1000 on eBay.

    For 08, Kona had the Four Supreme for 4" travel.
    http://www.konaworld.com/08_foursupreme_w.htm

    For 09, I don't think Kona had a 4" version (2.5" Hei Hei or 5" OneTwenty):
    http://www.konaworld.com/09_one20supreme_u.cfm

    Finally, Kona calls their design a 4-bar design (see link to 08 Four Supreme above).
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  11. #11
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    With all the specifics you have in mind, why don't you just get on the manufacturer's websites and download or print out the specs on their XC race frames? You have some very, very specific dimensions in mind and I don't think there are too many people out there who carry all this stuff around in their memory.

    If I were you, I'd look on the respective manufacturer websites for the frames for the Anthem, Epic, Top Fuel, Superlight, Racer X, Hi-Fi XC, and Spark. It sounds like you would be able to name all the companies for those frames. Most of them list the specifics of their bikes.

  12. #12
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    Kona

    Quote Originally Posted by millennium
    I second the Kona. I've had the same frame as noted above, except with Easton aluminum rather than Scandium, and I love it.

    For 08 and 09, its the Kona Hei Hei supreme - which dropped to 2.5" travel.
    http://www.konaworld.com/09_heiheisupreme_u.cfm I've seen Hei Hei frames sell for $800-1000 on eBay.

    For 08, Kona had the Four Supreme for 4" travel.
    http://www.konaworld.com/08_foursupreme_w.htm

    For 09, I don't think Kona had a 4" version (2.5" Hei Hei or 5" OneTwenty):
    http://www.konaworld.com/09_one20supreme_u.cfm

    Finally, Kona calls their design a 4-bar design (see link to 08 Four Supreme above).
    Thanks for the recommendations on the Konas - the specs seem pretty good for the '08's. I totally overlooked these. Now the real question will be if any are available.

  13. #13
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    Just testing the waters....

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback
    With all the specifics you have in mind, why don't you just get on the manufacturer's websites and download or print out the specs on their XC race frames? You have some very, very specific dimensions in mind and I don't think there are too many people out there who carry all this stuff around in their memory.

    If I were you, I'd look on the respective manufacturer websites for the frames for the Anthem, Epic, Top Fuel, Superlight, Racer X, Hi-Fi XC, and Spark. It sounds like you would be able to name all the companies for those frames. Most of them list the specifics of their bikes.
    Hi Gator -

    I have done this for some bikes and I'm not asking anyone to give me fit technician advice over the internet. It's just nice to solicit opinion from others to see what develops and what I have overlooked. It's a chat board, so I'm just looking to "chat" about options..... For example, earlier up Kona was mentioned. I didn't consider them at all. Thanks for your input.

  14. #14
    LMN
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    A couple of good suggestions here.

    Only one I am not wild about is the Kona. It doesn't have enough travel, if you are going to pack the weight and deal with flexiness of dually you might as well as get one with a decent amount of suspension. The modern shocks allow you to run a bit more travel.

    I am a big fan of the Norco Faze. Time test design that works really well. I have put close to 10 000km of hard riding on mine with no problems at all.

    Of course if you are really looking for a race bike go with a Hard Tail but as duallies go the Norco isn't bad.

  15. #15
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    Go with the Turner Flux. I just had the rear shock Pushed, It now pedals better and is plusher in the rough stuff. I have had mine down to 23.5 lbs. Like the other poster said it is a great deal at 1199.00.
    Ed

  16. #16
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    I'm very happy with my 2008 Rocky Mountain Element. It's the only FS I've ever ridden so I don't know how it compares with other bikes, but I do know it climbs awesome, has zero bob when the pro-pedal is engaged, makes me feel like a pro downhiller when pointed down and it looks like gold. Mine is a mostly stock 70 so it weighs over 25 lbs, which I sure notice on easy courses and the uphills compared to my 21 lb hardtail.

  17. #17
    No longer 26
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkwerkscycles
    Thanks for the recommendation on the Superlight. I wish they offered a medium/large because the medium is a bit small in the head tube and top tube. And the large is a bit long in the top tube and headtube.

    I know, I'm a tweaker...I do like the idea of the single-pivot though. Any other other single-pivot suggestions?
    You could try to find a Gary Fisher Race Day frame from 2007. They only made them the one year. Only 3" rear though. I think the 29er versions were found to be flexy for some and that rep got them discontinued. I either do not notice it or it does not bother me.

    I think the Superlight would be a great pick. My recommendation would be to go with the Large and adjust the stem and handlebar to meet your fit needs (shorter, reverse angle stem and/or, flat bar instead of riser, with sweep if you need reach adjustment).
    After riding a 29er now for a couple of years, I wish I would have went wtih the next size bigger frame in my 26" days than the next smaller that I usually did. I find that stability and ride confidence far outweighs "flickability" now that I have experience with both types of frames. And I love the single pivot of my Supercaliber as well so I think I would really like the Superlight if there were no 29ers.

    G
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  18. #18
    offroader
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    For under $1000 Racer-X hands down.

    edit: that can of worms picture is really gross.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CupOfJava
    For under $1000 Racer-X hands down.

    edit: that can of worms picture is really gross.
    Where are you seeing Racer-X frames for sub-$1K?

    David B.

  20. #20
    Metalheadbikerider
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    Got a local Kona dealer?

    Quote Originally Posted by skunkwerkscycles
    Thanks for the recommendations on the Konas - the specs seem pretty good for the '08's. I totally overlooked these. Now the real question will be if any are available.
    They may be able to get past year frames easier than you can. I got my '07 King Supreme frame on Ebay from a guy that didn't like the geometry. It was like new and I paid $700 with front der., shipped.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Only one I am not wild about is the Kona. It doesn't have enough travel, if you are going to pack the weight and deal with flexiness of dually you might as well as get one with a decent amount of suspension. The modern shocks allow you to run a bit more travel.
    i agree about the hei hei, i thought about getting one last year but decided that 2.5" of travel just wasn't worth it for the added weight of a FS bike. i ended up with a bmc fourstroke w/ 4" of travel since my shop also carried it. if kona would add another 1" or 1.5" i would prolly get a hei hei.

  22. #22
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    I'd go used, myself

    Flux, definitely. If the frame is less than 3 years old the warranty still applies. If you weigh less than 180 then a Nitrous might be worth a look.

    A used Epic might also be an option.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris
    I'm very happy with my 2008 Rocky Mountain Element. It's the only FS I've ever ridden so I don't know how it compares with other bikes, but I do know it climbs awesome, has zero bob when the pro-pedal is engaged, makes me feel like a pro downhiller when pointed down and it looks like gold. Mine is a mostly stock 70 so it weighs over 25 lbs, which I sure notice on easy courses and the uphills compared to my 21 lb hardtail.
    +1 on the Element. I have mine below 25lbs and can't imagine it getting much better. The shock location and the ease at which the propedal can be switched on and off while on the fly is an added bonus. Ebay is flooded with deals on 08's right now.

  24. #24
    Getaway Cycle Center
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    another vote for the RM Element. Does it all while handling like a hard tail, especailly with a rear lock out. I have a race but built for durability not so much weight and comes in at 26lbs,with reba race uturn, CK hubs and other stuff. Rides great with 85mm and at 115mm. Point and shoot handling down a hill, tight rear during climbing, and great single trac turning. I have a superlight which is great also but more so when I am out with friends. The element is just fast.

  25. #25
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    My race bike



    for your consideration, the Specialized Epic (with XT rims).

    But my new 2009 Stumpjumper is pretty good too, lighter then my last one.
    www.StudioDino.com
    The Ride: 2009 Specialized Stumpjumper / Roubaix

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