2SoulCycles Quarterhorse - Initial Impressions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    May 2004

    2SoulCycles Quarterhorse - Initial Impressions

    I've had quite a few people asking me about this frame / build after posting it here on MTBR. I've had a chance to log maybe 50 miles on her since building it up in November, not a ton of time but with holidays and tons of rain that's about all I could manage. Here are some initial thoughts of the bike, how it rides and thoughts / changes I would make. This bike will be compared against my previous hardtails which consist of a Nimble 9, Yelli, Chromag Rootdown and a Honzo.

    (Will post better pictures I promise!)

    2SoulCycles Quarterhorse - Initial Impressions-10847843_747387992006636_6373273538599583317_n.jpg

    Build up:

    This build ended up being a mix of new parts and parts I had laying around. Not a super high budget build but extremely solid.

    Frame: XL Quarterhorse Frame:
    Fork: Fox Float 34 150 CTD
    Wheels: American Classic AM 29er wheels
    Drivetrain: Mainly mix of XT Cranks / SRAM X01 Driveline.
    Brakes: Shimano XT
    Stem / Bars: Race Face SIXC Bars and 50mm Truvativ Stem
    Post: KS LEV
    Tires: Maxxis Ardent 2.4 Rear / Conti Mountain King 2.4 Front
    Weight: 29.5LBs.

    Bike went together flawlessly, no issues with the build at all. Everything fit with no real adjustments needed.

    There are a few pieces of gear that I considered buying something new for but had them around the shop so just decided to roll with it. Those are the dropper, wheels and fork. More on that in a bit.

    Terrain Ridden on:

    I've ridden this rig on a few of the local trails around here (Santa Cruz) which result in long climbs, high speed flowy sections of trails, jumps, gaps, drops, lots of roots, small rock and chunk and some bigger sections of chunk that are difficult to ride but short sections of maybe 100 yards in length or less.

    Overall I spent the most time on higher speed sections that have lots of jumps and lots of small chunk that is fairly loose. Not the most technical of riding, but I find these trails to be a good test for a hardtail.


    Right off the bat the first thing I noticed is the fit with a 50mm stem was damn near perfect. The XL is a bigger frame, but at 6'2" with monkey arms I felt that the fit would be better than the L. I might drop the stem down a bit to the 40-45 range just to test.


    Normal fire road / easy trails the QH climbs like any other HT. Super acceleration and just shoots up hills. Nothing quite like a HT for easy climbs that's for sure!

    Technical / chunky climbs took a little bit of getting used to, which I expected. I'm coming from an I9 wheelset and 140mm fork on my last set up, so instant engagement and a little lower front end made short work of this. On the QH the AC's had a bit of dead spot in the pedal which took some getting used to again and the taller front end due to the 150 fork left the front to wander a little bit. Once I got used to that, the QH really handled going up steps, roots and loose climbs well. The QH has a bit more rearward posture than I'm used to so weighting the front end a little more has a large impact.

    Even taking some getting used to I'd rate the QH as a very good climber, easily equal to anything out there in other HT.


    This is where the bread and butter of this bike will live. I'm not a huge jumper even though I'll take what I can hit on the trail, I am a huge fan of chunk, and higher speed chunk is some of my favorite type of riding.

    First run through a smallish rock garden of about 20 yards long with lots of squarish edges was fairly eye opening. In this type of terrain, frames like the Yelli, N9 and the Chromag really made you aware you were on a HT. To put it blunt, it was rough. On the QH it was still rough, but seemed a lot more controlled and less jarring than usual.

    Next section we normally hit is a steepish, long descent of a few hundred yards filled with off camber roots, loose rocks and set rocks in the trail. This descent is normally what I use to test how well a bike will handle a line, as it's just loose and sketchy though super fun. On my past HT's they wandered on this section just due to the rear skipping over stuff so fast you felt the rear was never in contact with the ground. On the QH I was pleasantly surprised on how well it held it's line, while you won't forget you're on a HT, it feels like the rear of the bike does a good job of dampening some chatter out of the ride.

    Jumps and Drops:

    On these trails there are ample opportunities to get air and drops. I hit everything I normally do, 5-6' gaps, 3' drops, and plenty of normal jumps. So nothing big, everything at fast speed, and nothing really to a flat except for one or two small drops. I instantly fell in love with the QH in these sections, this is a bike that can out jump my meager skills. Landings are composed, the bike feels solid (no twisting / flex noticed) and is just really good in the air.

    Overall impressions:

    First thing I'm doing is lowering the fork from 150 to 140, that should really address the wandering feel while climbing. The American Classic wheels are bombproof, extremely stiff and are quite light, but have mediocre engagement after spending years on Chris Kings and I9's you really notice it. Past those two minor quibbles which have nothing to do with the QH itself I was extremely impressed.

    The QH is comparable to my previous favorite bike which was the Chromag, except that it is much more forgiving, uses a much nicer tubeset and builds up lighter (if that is important to you). The QH is a hardtail, yet out of all the HT's I've ridden it is by far the best at dampening trail chatter as well as being heads and shoulders above the others in jumping / features. I think this comes just from the riding position you're in as well as the overall geometry of the bike.

    Quality of the frame is second to none, welds are done very well, the rear sliders are stout and easy to use.

    If you are looking for a AM style 29'er hardtail you would be doing yourself a disservice by not considering the QH.

    2SoulCycles Quarterhorse - Initial Impressions-img_0753.jpg

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: eurospek's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Pretty sure this is the heaviest frame of them all as well from your past quiver. With the Honzo being close second lol.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: monty797's Avatar
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    May 2004
    They all built up about the same weight 29.5 to 31 lbs between all the builds. Though the lower weight on this build is probably coming from the American Classic wheels more than anything as they are a good bit lighter than the other wheels I normally run.

    I honestly didn't think to weigh the frame, which I probably should have done. My normal HT weight comes in around 30lbs, I just accept that and don't weigh them normally lol.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MMcG's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Nice write-up - what's that reddish/orange-ish single speed in the background?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: monty797's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG View Post
    Nice write-up - what's that reddish/orange-ish single speed in the background?

    Its an old Gary Fisher Ferrous I built up for my wife as a pump track bike. It's a small 15" frame built up with random assortment of stuff.

  6. #6
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    May 2004
    I ended up picking it up here on the forum from Nitrousjunky. Was a used frame that was in AMAZING condition.

  7. #7
    WNC Native
    Reputation: nitrousjunky's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Good to hear your enjoying it!

    BTW- That frame with 12x142 axle, BB, seatpost clamp, and complete headset (including crown race) came in at 7.12lbs by my scale.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

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