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  1. #1
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    Long Travel 29 HT

    Hey guys. Looking for recommendations for a Long Travel Hardtail 29er w 27.5 + option. Iím Currently on a XXL Tallboy LTc and looking to possibly replace it with a long Travel 29er Hardtail. I Ride rocky north east (PA) single track, small jumps and drops. Greens and blues at the bike park a few times a year. But also like a good 25+ mile cross county ride every now and then. Iím a Clyde at 6í4ish and 270#. I have been eyeing up the Cromag Rootdown and also the GG pedalhead. Would love some feedback on these models or any other suggestions that you may have. Thanks in advance for your time. - Matt

  2. #2
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    Well the first thing is that you need to define what you believe is "long travel"? Long travel 29er hardtail market is something that is probably still pretty new with all the changes that have been happening, plus as long as the bike handles Boost hubs you should be good for running standard 29er tires (e.g. up to a true 2.4") and 27.5+ tires (up to about 2.6" depending).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Well the first thing is that you need to define what you believe is "long travel"? Long travel 29er hardtail market is something that is probably still pretty new with all the changes that have been happening, plus as long as the bike handles Boost hubs you should be good for running standard 29er tires (e.g. up to a true 2.4") and 27.5+ tires (up to about 2.6" depending).
    I would say no less then 140mm. Preferably 150mm-160mm

  4. #4
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    Since 160mm FS 29er's are still a new thing....don't think you will find a HT at that travel.
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  5. #5
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    160mm seems to be a lot of travel up front for a frame with no travel in the rear.

  6. #6
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    Chromag
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  7. #7
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    Chromag Rootdown...150-160mm.

    Check this out!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=4s&v=Drf7mtIfCjw

  8. #8
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    Loving my Rootdown B.A.

    Highly recommend if you don't mind heavy hardtails.

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  10. #10
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    I think you may be better off looking for a bike with the slack geo that you want rather than just suspension travel. Once that 160mm fork is using alot of it's travel that bike is going to get steep and squirrley. 140mm is probably a sweet spot for this type of bike IMO. I would look at that Rootdown, the Honzo, the Pedalhead.

    This is worth a read
    http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/...rk-859365.html

    Also, don't crosspost (all mountain)
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  11. #11
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    Ragley BigWig

    There is a 2016 and two 2017 BigWigs in my riding circle... we all run them with 140 forks and absolutely love 'em!
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tims5377 View Post
    I think you may be better off looking for a bike with the slack geo that you want rather than just suspension travel. Once that 160mm fork is using alot of it's travel that bike is going to get steep and squirrley. 140mm is probably a sweet spot for this type of bike IMO. I would look at that Rootdown, the Honzo, the Pedalhead.

    This is worth a read
    http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/...rk-859365.html

    Also, don't crosspost (all mountain)
    I run/ran my '17 Honzo ST @ 140mm. I believe 130 or 140 is best for that frame, 120mm isn't enough for that geometry.....in my opinion.

    The only problem I have is the disconnect between what the front is doing and how the rear is responding. I really don't know having 150mm+ is worthwhile on a hardtail unless you're really aiming for a gravity bike. I believe the front end will be a bit too high getting over 150mm in the front....which will effect handling and climbing.

    The thing I do not like about the Chromag Rootdown, and it was a big contributing factor why I went with the Honzo was the BB92 bottom bracket. I really prefer threaded. That and the Honzo was $200 cheaper...and when I bought mine, it was in the amazing phosphate grey and orange!

    Additionally, there is nothing in this video that can't be done on a 140mm Hanzo. Actually it looks like a pretty ideal environment for the Honzo.

    I say try a 140mm first since there is clearly more availability...the Honzo, the Santa Cruz Chameleon (though one may be turned off by the geometry #'s) are options that are readily available to see if it works....but to just drop the coin out of the box may turn into a project that ends up for sale or parted out pretty quickly.
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  13. #13
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    Canfield EPO or Nimble 9.

    2017 EPO on sale for $799- hard to beat for a carbon frame.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Canfield EPO or Nimble 9.

    2017 EPO on sale for $799- hard to beat for a carbon frame.
    I don't think you're wrong there. It wasn't on the radar for me...though I know existed.
    I got the Honzo specifically to be able to run singlespeed....which the N9 does, but if you have no intention to run SS...the EPO is a better option, and I would run it at 140mm for sure.
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  15. #15
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    FWIW, EPO is non-Boost out back.

    Or there might be one in my cart!

    Not wanting a Boost debate. I've just got them laying around, and no more 142 rear wheels in the house...
    Whining is not a strategy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tims5377 View Post
    I think you may be better off looking for a bike with the slack geo that you want rather than just suspension travel. Once that 160mm fork is using alot of it's travel that bike is going to get steep and squirrley. 140mm is probably a sweet spot for this type of bike IMO. I would look at that Rootdown, the Honzo, the Pedalhead.

    This is worth a read
    http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/...rk-859365.html

    Also, don't crosspost (all mountain)
    Great info. Thanks.
    Sorry about the cross post, wasnít sure where this topic best fit.

    The more I look read about the GG Pedalhead , the more Iím intrigued. On paper it looks like it may check off most of the boxes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by M320 View Post
    Great info. Thanks.
    Sorry about the cross post, wasnít sure where this topic best fit.

    The more I look read about the GG Pedalhead , the more Iím intrigued. On paper it looks like it may check off most of the boxes.
    Yea its sick. I am going to be buying a Smash as soon as I sell my current bike. My dream is to have a Pedalhead at 140mm as well.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    FWIW, EPO is non-Boost out back.

    Or there might be one in my cart!

    Not wanting a Boost debate. I've just got them laying around, and no more 142 rear wheels in the house...
    I was going to say something about that, and your argument is 100% valid. All my MTBs are Boost now, and the 12x142s that I had were relaced to CX wheels.

    Being all in with compatibility is important if I have to part swap....even for a ride.


    That said, the $1100-$1200 price tag for a GG Pedalhead isn't justifiable to me when the prices for the Honzo ST and the Nimble 9 are what they are right now. I mean, I understand what it means to buy American made and semi-custom color options. The Nimble 9 has that, and Boost at $599. If 140mm worked, the cost difference sets up the difference for a pretty significant fork or wheel upgrade.

    But if 150mm is the target, options are there, but they're limited.
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  19. #19
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    My 1st gen Honzo has had a 160mm fork in it for the past 3 years -- wouldn't have it any other way. I'm 6'2", 200#.

    My other bike is a Guerrilla Gravity Pistola (Trail Pistol with 130mm rear travel). Running a 160mm in this bike as well, albeit with a +1 degree AngelSet to bring the HA back to around 66.5. I'm sold on GG as a company; I wouldn't hesitate to snag a Pedalhead but love my Honzo so much I don't feel a need to get a new hardtail.

    The Rootdown looks amazing but IIRC the HA starts out way slack (less than 66 degrees I think?) My early Honzo's HA was 68 degrees so slacking it a couple degrees by popping in a long fork works. I might worry about choppering the Rootdown with a uber-long fork. But as others have mentioned, 140mm probably provides all the travel needed in a HT.
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  20. #20
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    Long Travel 29 HT

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I think 140mm will work.

    I really like the look of the Kona ST. I didnít consider it for a few reason. Itís Listed at 120mm travel ( I get that a 140mm is being used, warranty?)
    Also a 68deg HA is definitely a no go for me. Need more along the 65-66 for my style of riding. Last is the sliding drop outs. I Really have no experience with them and could be completely wrong but I would think that the more parts going on back there, the greater chance to break it. Even more so at my size. I have yet to see a sliding dropout rear at the Bike Park.

    The nimble 9 I donít really care for the look (I know that is a stupid argument in some ways). It also has sliding drop outs

    Main Reasons for considering the GG

    65.5 deg HA
    Normal through axle rear
    Will fit a 29er 2.6 tire. (Only one I have seen so far)
    Designed for 140mm fork
    Build looks fat guy friendly
    Made in USA
    Threaded Bottom Bracket.

  21. #21
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    There isn't anything wrong with sliding drop outs.
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  22. #22
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    Long Travel 29 HT



    Been riding this Nukeproof scout 290 for a few weeks. Frame is cheap, boosted, threaded, HA is 65 degrees unsagged ( ~66.5 sagged ) with the 130mm yari

    Not so compliant, but it was meant to be a fun / cheap second bike to play with

    I wanted to try something like a GG or Hightower LT geometry wise for a while in my area to help inform my next FS frame in a year or so

  23. #23
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    I'm a hard tail fan... but i will never own a hard tail that has over 130mm of travel again. The forward rotation of a long fork makes the bike change personalities dramatically through out it's suspension curve. The extra 30mm of travel or so isn't worth it as the geo shifts are so detrimental that it works against you. You owe it to yourself to try out one of the 120-130mm travel 29r hard tails that are on the market (EPO, Honzo, Chameleon). Those bikes are more capable then they should be and will ride terrain more sketchy then anyone with an age over 35 will be able to tolerate without getting the crap beat out of them.

    For reference, I ride a 120mm travel hard tail in chunky socal terrain and hammer the hell out of it. I have owned long travel hard tails in the past, I will not own one in the future after riding a capable mid travel 29r hardtail. Demo these bikes, I would put good money on the fact that you'll find the 120-130mm travel bikes feel better.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by M320 View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I think 140mm will work.

    I really like the look of the Kona ST. I didnít consider it for a few reason. Itís Listed at 120mm travel ( I get that a 140mm is being used, warranty?)
    Also a 68deg HA is definitely a no go for me. Need more along the 65-66 for my style of riding. Last is the sliding drop outs. I Really have no experience with them and could be completely wrong but I would think that the more parts going on back there, the greater chance to break it. Even more so at my size. I have yet to see a sliding dropout rear at the Bike Park.

    The nimble 9 I donít really care for the look (I know that is a stupid argument in some ways). It also has sliding drop outs

    Main Reasons for considering the GG

    65.5 deg HA
    Normal through axle rear
    Will fit a 29er 2.6 tire. (Only one I have seen so far)
    Designed for 140mm fork
    Build looks fat guy friendly
    Made in USA
    Threaded Bottom Bracket.
    I think everything you're evaluating is valid. I can only say that the sliding dropouts are very strong. I'd say they're equal or stronger than the sliding dropouts on my old Misfit as far as the hardware used.

    What's interesting is that the Kona website only lists 120mm, but JensonUSA lists both the ST and Titanium to be compatible with 120-140mm forks. I'm running mine at 120mm, but if I had to guess, the HTA is probably 67 or just slightly under, I don't think you can achieve 65.5 without an angleset.
    Kona Honzo Frame 2018 | Jenson USA

    They're not made in the USA, but they are a USA company with a Lifetime warranty.

    One thing I will say about having the slider dropouts is that you can fine tune your chainstay length to have the desired "pop" that fits you. My opinion is that Kona's sliders are very easy to live with and setup. I can't say the same with many other brands.. I think the reason you don't see sliding dropouts is that there isn't a ton of bikes in that segment built with them. However I'm sure you've seen hundreds of BMX with track dropouts, and they're plenty strong, and I would actually bet that the thru-axle only makes it strong by creating a bridge across the hub.

    In the end though, you do have very specific requirements, and it appears you have found the frame that checks all the boxes, and I don't believe you'll be unhappy with the GG....that may be your best bet.
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    The Nordest Bardino has my interest. Designed around a 140mm to 170mm fork. 27.5 x 3.0 or 29 x 2.5 tires. Steel or Titanium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    The Nordest Bardino has my interest. Designed around a 140mm to 170mm fork. 27.5 x 3.0 or 29 x 2.5 tires. Steel or Titanium.
    I just read about that today. I donít know anything about them. Seems like a newer company. Numbers on paper and build look solid. Anyone have any experience with them ?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by M320 View Post
    I just read about that today. I donít know anything about them. Seems like a newer company. Numbers on paper and build look solid. Anyone have any experience with them ?
    I don't know that much about the company, but this article is intriguing!

    2500Ä for a complete Bardino M2 with a Fox 36 Performance fork, an SLX 1◊11 group, and Thomson covert dropper??

    https://www.bikerumor.com/2017/04/27...il-trail-bike/
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by minimusprime View Post
    I'm a hard tail fan... but i will never own a hard tail that has over 130mm of travel again. The forward rotation of a long fork makes the bike change personalities dramatically through out it's suspension curve. The extra 30mm of travel or so isn't worth it as the geo shifts are so detrimental that it works against you. You owe it to yourself to try out one of the 120-130mm travel 29r hard tails that are on the market (EPO, Honzo, Chameleon). Those bikes are more capable then they should be and will ride terrain more sketchy then anyone with an age over 35 will be able to tolerate without getting the crap beat out of them.

    For reference, I ride a 120mm travel hard tail in chunky socal terrain and hammer the hell out of it. I have owned long travel hard tails in the past, I will not own one in the future after riding a capable mid travel 29r hardtail. Demo these bikes, I would put good money on the fact that you'll find the 120-130mm travel bikes feel better.
    I don't know that putting an age cutoff for anything these days is a worthwhile statement. I'm nearly 40 and riding just as strong. I'm riding smarter..yes, but I currently own a Honzo ST, and ran it at 130mm but prefer it at 140mm. 140mm...especially on the front still feels like "mid travel" with newer geometries. 6yrs ago, with those crumby geometries, 140mm was a lot of work to deal with on a 29er. Now...not so much. Actually 120mm feels like it ramps up far too fast for my taste. When I am up to speed, I want to be constantly sitting in the midstroke to take advantage of both the positive and negative travel.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubdryver View Post
    I don't know that much about the company, but this article is intriguing!

    2500Ä for a complete Bardino M2 with a Fox 36 Performance fork, an SLX 1◊11 group, and Thomson covert dropper??

    https://www.bikerumor.com/2017/04/27...il-trail-bike/
    This bike looks like it checks off almost everything Iím looking for (except for the shipping cost to USA). All the numbers are almost exactly what I was originally looking for. That Ti frame is sweet. I sent them a email. Thanks for the info.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubdryver View Post
    I don't know that putting an age cutoff for anything these days is a worthwhile statement. I'm nearly 40 and riding just as strong. I'm riding smarter..yes, but I currently own a Honzo ST, and ran it at 130mm but prefer it at 140mm. 140mm...especially on the front still feels like "mid travel" with newer geometries. 6yrs ago, with those crumby geometries, 140mm was a lot of work to deal with on a 29er. Now...not so much. Actually 120mm feels like it ramps up far too fast for my taste. When I am up to speed, I want to be constantly sitting in the midstroke to take advantage of both the positive and negative travel.
    I agree.

  31. #31
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    Been digging my Rootdown BA with boost on new 36 160.


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubdryver View Post
    I don't know that putting an age cutoff for anything these days is a worthwhile statement. I'm nearly 40 and riding just as strong. I'm riding smarter..yes, but I currently own a Honzo ST, and ran it at 130mm but prefer it at 140mm. 140mm...especially on the front still feels like "mid travel" with newer geometries. 6yrs ago, with those crumby geometries, 140mm was a lot of work to deal with on a 29er. Now...not so much. Actually 120mm feels like it ramps up far too fast for my taste. When I am up to speed, I want to be constantly sitting in the midstroke to take advantage of both the positive and negative travel.
    There is never an age cutoff but rather an age when things like backs, knees and old injuries stop you from riding a hard tail the same way I,you,we do when we are kids. I do ride faster then I ever have before at age 40 but my back starts to fall apart after 30 miles and 5k of climbing on a hard tail. Doable? for sure... but time makes fools of us all and there are very few people in my riding crew that can ride as hard for as long at age 40 as they did at age 25.

    Faster? Yeah, most likely, all of us are faster over a set period of time. Riding harder on a hard tail then my younger days? Not a chance. Modern hard tails allow these style of bikes to go places that only FS bikes played previously. It's an awesome time to be a mountain biker, I just wish i had the vertebre I did 20 years ago... then I'd really be able to break myself off on one of these bikes.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by minimusprime View Post
    There is never an age cutoff but rather an age when things like backs, knees and old injuries stop you from riding a hard tail the same way I,you,we do when we are kids. I do ride faster then I ever have before at age 40 but my back starts to fall apart after 30 miles and 5k of climbing on a hard tail. Doable? for sure... but time makes fools of us all and there are very few people in my riding crew that can ride as hard for as long at age 40 as they did at age 25.

    Faster? Yeah, most likely, all of us are faster over a set period of time. Riding harder on a hard tail then my younger days? Not a chance. Modern hard tails allow these style of bikes to go places that only FS bikes played previously. It's an awesome time to be a mountain biker, I just wish i had the vertebre I did 20 years ago... then I'd really be able to break myself off on one of these bikes.
    Whippersnapper. I completed my first 100 mile mountain bike race at 47. That was 16 years ago. The next year I was 48 & did it on a singlespeed with a 120mm fork, which was considered "long travel" 15 years ago. (Kinda like 160mm is considered today.)

    Trust me, you aren't even in your mountain biking prime yet.

    160mm isn't too much travel on a hardtail these days. Certainly not with today's slack 66 degree head angles. At 64 I still ride quite a bit and can say that throughout fork travel, head angle changes don't affect handling enough to take much notice because the periods of HA change are so brief. It's not like my fork bottoms out and stays in its sacked position for a long period. Or that I'm ever turning so sharp when my fork exhausts its travel that the change in HA effects my ability to control my bike.

    I'll take a long travel hardtail any day. No wait, make it every day.
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  34. #34
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    I love my Rootdown with 150mm up front.
    As many others have said, 140-160mm on a slacker hardtail is a solid and fun combo.
    Iím not quite as, um, ďseasonedĒ as Sparty, but at 46 Iím not new to all this.
    As far as the BB92, itís not my first choice, but with thread-together options like Wheels Mfg and Hope creaking isnít an issue.

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  35. #35
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    For those who have not seen my posts in other forums. I did want to update the page. I ended up with a ďdreamĒ build Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead. Still may have considered the Nordest Bardino had it not been for the 10 week + order time and shipping cost, but 3 rides and new set of tires so far and Iím really enjoying it. I Will post a full review in a few weeks once I have more time to get things dialed in. Thanks everyone for all the recommendations and feedback.




  36. #36
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    Way nice!
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    The Nordest Bardino has my interest. Designed around a 140mm to 170mm fork. 27.5 x 3.0 or 29 x 2.5 tires. Steel or Titanium.
    140mm
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Long Travel 29 HT-20180526_083104.jpg  

    Long Travel 29 HT-20180525_115822.jpg  

    Long Travel 29 HT-20180522_073116.jpg  


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