Highball vs. Sette Razzo Carbon- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Highball vs. Sette Razzo Carbon

    As some have recently read, I have been blown away by the performance of the Sette Razzo so much so that I bought a second one for my son. It's a kick ass frame that is light, smooth and is a great value at $699.
    Well, just last week I was browsing Ebay and found a brand spanking new Highball freme for $1000. I couldnt' pass it up. I pulled the trigger and built it up as fast as I could. I've ridden the Highball three times now on my favorite trails and I've developed some opinions.

    The Highball is a rocket ship. It's superlight, stiff and has very little damping effect. The geometry is basically the same as the Sette so it handles just like the Sette. Nothing new there pretty standard geometry which is good. However the biggest difference comes in the feel of the ride. The HB is a really stiff riding bike. It' is made for going fast with maxiumum efficienty. The HB does have some give but it's negligible compared to the Sette. The feel of the ride is really importante to me as I rdie some pretty rocky trails. Mind you that I weigh 220 lbs soaking wet so I definitely have the ability to make any bike flex except for a AIR 9 Carbon. I don't think anyone can make that frame flex.

    For stiffness comparison, I've also ridden the AIR 9 RDO which is supposed to be less stiff than the standard AIR 9 Carbon. The RDO is tremendously stiffer thant the HB. That kind of stiffness is no fun in the rough stuff. The HB is not in that same stiffness category as the NIner's but it's close

    Besides extra stiffness, the HB also is a hafl pound lighter which I could definitley feel. The bike gets up and goes. I notice that I was riding one taller gear on the HB than with the Sette.

    Bottom line for me is that I like the HB but I love the Sette. I'm very fortunate to have scored a HB for $1000. If I had paid full price for the HB I couldn't justify the performance differences between it and the $699 Sette frame and would most likely be selling it as we speak. I prefer the comfortable ride that the Sette gives especially for the rocky SW trails that I ride. If I lived in Colorado, again, the HB would be perfect for those trails. I do like the extra half pound of weight loss that the HB brings.
    I'm not saying I'm going to sell the HB but I'm definitely keeping the Sette. I may build it up for my wife.

    In fact, if I want a more comfy ride I can take my sons bike out as it is setup exactly like mine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Highball vs. Sette Razzo Carbon-carbon-bikes.jpg  

    Last edited by palmermtb; 10-08-2012 at 06:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    That all may be true be but that HB is dead sexy!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    That all may be true be but that HB is dead sexy!!
    Thats probably the biggest reason I'm keeping it. It's like I finally got to date a super model but I found she's lame in bed. However she's so good looking that I keep her around to impress my friends. Well see how long that lasts. My ghetto girlfriend (Sette Razzo Carbon) is so much more fun but no so impressive to show off She's a bit of a Moped, if you know what I mean.

  4. #4
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    Thnx for sharing

    I'm saving money trying to buy less beer and coffee just to buy a Niner Air RDO or Air Carbon frame, coming from a Niner EMD frame I feel like that would be a good upgrade but I don't know yet, that's a lot of money

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevocastro View Post
    Thnx for sharing

    I'm saving money trying to buy less beer and coffee just to buy a Niner Air RDO or Air Carbon frame, coming from a Niner EMD frame I feel like that would be a good upgrade but I don't know yet, that's a lot of money
    I owned an EMD myself. It's a great bike.

    In my opinion you should save some money and buy the Sette frame. If you're not a "brand monger "like the rest of us, the Sette will be an awesome upgrade from your EMD. You won't regret it. I am really fond of the Sette. It's a good value, has a great riding feel and it has a 5 year warranty. BTW, I have no connection to Price Point whatsoever.

    I wanted to mention that I demo'd the Niner Air 9 RDO back in May for half a day on some really smooth trails in Fruita. The trails are in the Bookcliffs area. They are some fo the smoothest, flowyiest trails around. The RDO was so freaking stiff that it was really no fun for me. Some folks might like that kind of stiffness but not me. Two other friend of mine demo'd the bikes as well and we all had the same opinion. It's so stiff that it jars you on every little pebble. When I took the bike back to the Niner booth and told them that the bike was way too stiff for me. They told me the RDO was designed to be less stiff than the regular Air 9 Carbon. I couldn't believe a bike could be stiffer than the RDO.

    Anyway, some folks might like that kind of stiffness in a frame but it ain't for me.

  6. #6
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    It's interesting that for two bikes with such ( as you say ) similar geometries, you have two very different cockpit setups. I agree with you about the ride of the HB btw and I know nothing about the Sette.
    If I had a black light this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

  7. #7
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    Well, buying a Sette frame at 699 won't require me any money savings

    How would you compare EMD's geometry, climbing and weight to Sette's?

    Seriously considering it now

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    I recently built up the same HB and coming from my Superfly Elite 100-carbon (FS), found the HB to be too stiff over rooty trails....maybe the carbon wheels accentuated the issue.....I can't imagine a stiffer ride.
    Anyway, I have gone to aluminum wheels and feel it's a bit better more comfortable, but for the rough stuff I'll take my FS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reydin View Post
    It's interesting that for two bikes with such ( as you say ) similar geometries, you have two very different cockpit setups.
    It looks like the Sette might also have a longer travel fork. And the Flow rims are stiffer than Arches, so that could contribute to a less smooth ride as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reydin View Post
    It's interesting that for two bikes with such ( as you say ) similar geometries, you have two very different cockpit setups. I agree with you about the ride of the HB btw and I know nothing about the Sette.
    I sholuld explain a little about the two bikes in the pictures. The HB is mine, of course, The Sette is my son's. The set ups are identical except for the layback seatpost. My son is 5'6" with a longer torso so the bike fits him perfect with a straight post. I am 5'8" and am right in between a 17" and the 19" frame. I prefer a smaller frame so I just put a layback on my frames.

    The bike specs for both bikes is:
    Handlebar: Haven Carbon
    Thomson: 110mm
    Grips: Oury
    Shifters: XT 1x10
    Rear deraileur: XT 10 speed
    Cranks: Sram with single 28T spiderless ring
    BB: Chris King
    Post: Thomson
    Wheels: Stans with Crhis King hubs

    BTW, I decided to build up my other Sette for my wife. The great thing is that she is also 5'8" so I'll just build it up with the same cockpit as mine.

  11. #11
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    are you running any type of chainguide/chainkeeper? can't see one from the pics. thanks for the comparo, BTW!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    It looks like the Sette might also have a longer travel fork. And the Flow rims are stiffer than Arches, so that could contribute to a less smooth ride as well.
    The bike on the right is my son's bike when I had the Sette built up I had the Flows on there as well. At 220 lbs. I need the stiffness of the Flows. That's not a bad thought though. Maybe if I put the Arches on my HB it would help smooth it out.

    BTW, my son's bike has a longer 120mm Talas Terralogic to help him with the downhill stuff around here. All the parts that are on the HB were on my other Setter frame.

    The picture below is of the Sette 2-3 months ago with a different set of cranks and layback seatpost.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Highball vs. Sette Razzo Carbon-razzo1.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by minh View Post
    are you running any type of chainguide/chainkeeper? can't see one from the pics. thanks for the comparo, BTW!
    Nope, I found that that 28T chainring doesn't need one. If I ride with a 32 or 30 it can jump off. In fact, I rode Porc rim from Hazard county and never had the chain come off.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevocastro View Post
    Well, buying a Sette frame at 699 won't require me any money savings

    How would you compare EMD's geometry, climbing and weight to Sette's?

    Seriously considering it now
    In my opinion, the geometries are quite similar the differences are negligible. The most glaring difference to me is the standover height.

    See tabel below:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Highball vs. Sette Razzo Carbon-capture.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Nice bike. Too bad they don't make a SS version.

  16. #16
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    I almost ordered a Sette but the specs list 2.2 as max tire clearance. What's the real clearance on these frames?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip D View Post
    I almost ordered a Sette but the specs list 2.2 as max tire clearance. What's the real clearance on these frames?
    I've run a couple of 2.2 tires back there. Plenty of clearance. The most recent 2.2 tire is the new Forte Tsali. That tire has a really square profile and it has plenty of clearance. Ill try to post some pics soon.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Nice bike. Too bad they don't make a SS version.
    I ran the Sette as an SS before I put gears on it. I just used a standard SS chain tensioner turned upside down. It worked perfect on the flatter trails with a 30x17. I actually bought the Sette to be a dedicated full rigid SSer. I had a Niner carbon fork installed on it. The bike weighed 18.7 lbs at that point. The frame was so phenomenal that I decided to convert it to 1x10 to give me more versatility on the rocky trails here in Phoenix. I just couldn't crank a 30x17 up National trail. No matter how light it was. I thought of going to a 30x16 but then gave up.

  19. #19
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    Great write up. It is refreshing to see someone give an honest opinion about their bike purchase instead of the usual experience on this site which is :"my expensive bike rocks" thread.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmermtb View Post
    In my opinion, the geometries are quite similar the differences are negligible. The most glaring difference to me is the standover height.

    See tabel below:

    Thnx for the table

    Well I like the idea of having a stiffer ride, at least stiffer than the EMD that's why I considered Air 9 Carbon

    I haven't test any Air 9 Carbon since they're not very common down here

    Sette looks pretty good and it's a bargain at 699 but the funny thing is that after reading this thread I feel more atracted to Highball, rather than Air 9 Carbon which was my first choice.

    Highball carbon is about 1100gr, Sette should be about 1300gr right? Same as the Air 9 Carbon

  21. #21
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    What the heck was that?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmermtb View Post
    Thats probably the biggest reason I'm keeping it. It's like I finally got to date a super model but I found she's lame in bed. However she's so good looking that I keep her around to impress my friends. Well see how long that lasts. My ghetto girlfriend (Sette Razzo Carbon) is so much more fun but no so impressive to show off She's a bit of a Moped, if you know what I mean.
    That's an awesome analogy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmermtb View Post
    I ran the Sette as an SS before I put gears on it. I just used a standard SS chain tensioner turned upside down. It worked perfect on the flatter trails with a 30x17. I actually bought the Sette to be a dedicated full rigid SSer. I had a Niner carbon fork installed on it. The bike weighed 18.7 lbs at that point. The frame was so phenomenal that I decided to convert it to 1x10 to give me more versatility on the rocky trails here in Phoenix. I just couldn't crank a 30x17 up National trail. No matter how light it was. I thought of going to a 30x16 but then gave up.
    I like the idea of running it with one of those chainring mounted tensioners. How did it ride with the Niner fork on there? I'm not sure I would want to run another rigid bike without a fat front wheel, but I also don't really want a SS HT either. But a fairly compliant rigid SS would be fun.

    I have never ridden the Niner fork, but I have been riding an On-One carbon fork for over 4 years. Just feeling a little beat up these days.

  24. #24
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    Curious if you've swapped wheels between the Sette and the HB? If so did you have the same opinion then? Also curious what sort of wheels/tires did your test RDO have on it? Tubeless or not? Did you check the air pressure?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCMTB View Post
    That's an awesome analogy.
    Yes, indeed it is.

    Question for OP: would it be easy to remove the stickers/decals from the frame? Some would rather not advertise to their lbs that they have a mail order frame.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

  26. #26
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    I just finished setting up my Razzo with a Niner fork. I had an eXotic rigid carbon on my previous ride (an aluminum Razzo) and I really missed it. So, off came the Reba and on went the Niner RDO. I haven't had a chance to see how it does on rough stuff, but I'm hoping that the tubeless setup will ease things a bit. My test ride around the street and on the soccer field was very nice, though.

    By my measurements, I have 1/4" of clearance at the narrowest part of both the chain and seatstays with these 2.2 tires.

    Those copius decals are all under the clearcoat. Some people will put black tape on top, but why hide your Sette pride?

    And... not at 10 posts yet, so no pic. Grr...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by teoblar View Post
    I just finished setting up my Razzo with a Niner fork. I had an eXotic rigid carbon on my previous ride (an aluminum Razzo) and I really missed it. So, off came the Reba and on went the Niner RDO. I haven't had a chance to see how it does on rough stuff, but I'm hoping that the tubeless setup will ease things a bit. My test ride around the street and on the soccer field was very nice, though.

    By my measurements, I have 1/4" of clearance at the narrowest part of both the chain and seatstays with these 2.2 tires.

    Those copius decals are all under the clearcoat. Some people will put black tape on top, but why hide your Sette pride?

    And... not at 10 posts yet, so no pic. Grr...
    Keep in mind that riding a full rigid bike will make you a stronger and better rider. Don't give up on the full rigid too soon. My full rigid helped me become a better rider in just a couple of weeks.

    First, they help you pick better lines and become a smoother, flowy rider. That's because the bike makes avoid the rough obstacles so you end up pulling up and over stuff to smooth out the line. This works the same on uphill and downhill. On the downhills, there will be times where you will get tossed around and feel like you're out of control. That's normal and happens to all of us. Just hit the brakes and slow down. Once you regain control, hit it hard again.

    Full rigids help you corner better as well. Because you don't have the fork dive from the suspension fork you will be able to fell the tire grab and give when you're leaning it over. It's like I tell all my friends if you want to get better at riding buy a BMX bike and take it to the track. Well, I found that this is basically what you're doing when you build a full rigid.

    If you want to take full advantage of a full rigid convert it to a Single Speed. You're legs will be stronger than ever in a month. Of course, that's if you ride it at least 2-3 times per week.

    Full rigids aren't for everyone but if you stick with it you won't regret it.

    BTW, the Sette labels don't bother me at all. Like you said. I'm proud to be riding a quality, kick ass frame that I got for much less than the other brands.

    Enjoy.

    I'll be posting pics of a few tires and a 2.5 Ardent in the rear later today.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by teoblar View Post
    I just finished setting up my Razzo with a Niner fork. I had an eXotic rigid carbon on my previous ride (an aluminum Razzo) and I really missed it. So, off came the Reba and on went the Niner RDO. I haven't had a chance to see how it does on rough stuff, but I'm hoping that the tubeless setup will ease things a bit. My test ride around the street and on the soccer field was very nice, though.

    By my measurements, I have 1/4" of clearance at the narrowest part of both the chain and seatstays with these 2.2 tires.

    Those copius decals are all under the clearcoat. Some people will put black tape on top, but why hide your Sette pride?

    And... not at 10 posts yet, so no pic. Grr...
    You post count says 13! Post some picts please! And please go ride it hard and report on your findings. Interested in your thoughts on both the frame, as well as your comparison of your old rigid fork and the new Niner.

    I haven't really had any complaints about my On-One carbon fork. I do wonder if a Niner can really be seen as that much smooter to justify the more expensive price.

    P.S. What's it weigh?

  29. #29
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    Sorry. I wandered off to another part of the forums and passed 10. The eXotic fork on my aluminum Sette was fine, but it did chatter a lot on breaking. It was fun to watch it bounce around when I hit rought parts of a street. Not confidence inspiring, though. It has been raining since I finished putting the carbon Razzo together, but I will seek out some unfriendly terrain soon and report back.

    No scale in the house, but I will have it weighed the next time I pass the LBS.

    <a href="https://s1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc431/teoblar/?action=view&amp;current=RazzoFront.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc431/teoblar/RazzoFront.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    <a href="https://s1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc431/teoblar/?action=view&amp;current=RazzoFrontWheel.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc431/teoblar/RazzoFrontWheel.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

  30. #30
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    If we were supposed to guess I'd say 23.5 lb

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevocastro View Post
    If we were supposed to guess I'd say 23.5 lb
    If I were to guess I would say you were wrong.

    Interested to see what the LBS says.

    GREAT looking bike. I just wonder how it rides.

  32. #32
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    Re the stickers - no can do. I'm having my daughter design some custom stickers to apply over the "Sette". I'm perversely fond of the "Razzo" identity when you consider how it would be pronounced if you were Italian - i.e., "Ratso".
    I've been riding this bike for 5 months and I echo the positive comments made by others on climbing ability, handling, value etc. No real negatives. I'm buying another one for my daughter for her to race.
    I'm a big fan of direct-to-consumer bike options and do all my own mechanical work. I do wonder why a LBS might not want to offer to source "China Carbon" frames and custom builds for their customers. It would be an attractive service to those of us who seek value and see beyond the decal.

  33. #33
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    Sorry for the excessive delay. On the bathroom scale my Razzo with the Niner fork is coming in at 21.75lbs without pedals, tubeless. Obviously some weight could be shed in the brakes, crank and grips.

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