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  1. #1
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    Hardtail Lovers: What are your dream features in an AM/Trail frame?

    So most of my time on plus bikes has been on hardtail. First a prototype of the Singular Rooster (which sadly never came to be, it was sweet) and then it was an early Sonder Transmitter frame I set up 27.5 plus front/26+ rear (early pre-production version didn't fit 2.8").

    Debating a custom frame and thinking, what would be a dream frame spec for a nice Trail Orientated hardtail? For me I'm thinking:

    -420mm long chain stays
    -130 to 140mm fork spec
    -Fit 2.8" in the rear
    -T47 bottom bracket
    -Good Standover
    -2 bottle mounts
    -Superboost spacing
    -66 degree head angle
    -73.5" seat angle
    -Steel or titanium
    -Stealth routing for dropper
    -Seattube that accepts a 34.9 post
    -Drop in bearing headset. Tapered of course!

    What are your thoughts? What would you want on a custom hardtail?
    In the immortal words of Socrates..."I drank what?"

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  2. #2
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    That's a pretty good starting template. Maybe a touch steeper seat tube angle. I'd also add a short and straight seat tube for long dropper posts and maybe sliding/modular dropouts for different standards and the ability to run singlespeed.

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  3. #3
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    Ooh, there it is!!Hardtail Lovers: What are your dream features in an AM/Trail frame?-img_20170930_172218.jpg

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  4. #4
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    There is now way I would spend the money on a custom hardtail. That said, I love them and while I didn't get all the features, this came close enough.

    Moxie Enduro Hardtail | 27.5/27.5+/29er Compatible

    Head tube is not tapered, but at least it's short. Other than that it's the dog's bollocks.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo View Post
    For me I'm thinking:


    -130 to 140mm fork spec sure
    -Fit 2.8" in the rear sure, more is better, but i'd rather not ass around with yolks. I'd shoot for 2.6". Cheaper and easier to design around. Better tire options, and BB height plays nice with 2.3-2.5 when you wanna run burly rubber.
    -T47 bottom bracket i like it, but the chasing tool is rare and prohibitively expensive, so BSA for me. I prefer 24mm cranks anyway.
    -Good Standover
    -2 bottle mounts naturally. you can stick the ST bottle right above the DT to fit them better.
    -Superboost spacing i'd rather have sliding drops, and short stays +sliders+superboost might be too much stuff in that space. Dunno. Superboost makes sense if you're hampering yourself with plus tires, i guess.

    -66 degree head angle if you think of this in terms of front-center and steering behavior it will uncouple 2 different handling qualities. HTA doesn't mean much in isolation.
    -73.5" seat angle should be determined by desired stem length and reach. Then the saddle needs to be wherever it does so you reach the bars.
    -420mm long chain stays chainstays are the last thing i worry about; they need to be whatever length to manage the bike's weight distribution. I'm partial to paragon sliders

    my current frame is 66ha/73.5sa/430cs (adjustable, though). So i like your plans.

    -Steel or titanium it's hard for me to justify the cost of Ti. It's not a road bike where you can put 50k miles on it, roads define the conditions, and a pound is noticeable. Cost no object...
    -Stealth routing for dropper i'd rather not have holes in steel tubes by the cranks, personally.
    -Seattube that accepts a 34.9 post
    -Drop in bearing headset. Tapered of course! why??? no benefits for either, and drawbacks compared to a straight 1.5" press fit. A loose headset doesn't destroy the frame, and you can fit an offset cups to tweak head angle. Also, there are sweet machined 1.5 head tubes, not so much for tapered... and tapered are annoying to miter.

    What are your thoughts? What would you want on a custom hardtail?
    My opinions inline. Feel free to disagree!

    I'm riding my 4th custom hardtail (i build them in the garage). Even from a custom builder they're pretty cheap, really. About the same as an aluminum FS frame.
    Last edited by scottzg; 02-07-2018 at 08:21 PM.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Ohhh the pain. my 26" hardtail just died (fork broke and its just old). Having said that, the features that I love are the responsiveness, a 140 - 150 fork, slack angles, dropper and that magic feeling for wanting to hit any feature and just get airborne. I am a big believer in steel, and the smaller wheel size for the quickness, responsiveness. Not sure how plus tires affect it, but for ride comfort, I like smaller seattubes as less is transmitted to ones arse. Also, I have ridden 29rs, and while I like them for overall straight ahead speed, they take away from the fun of challenging yourself on trail features as well. So while it counters general thinking, for am ht fun, I don't want 29 or even a full plus sized bike. I would think a 2.4-2.6 may be the magic width.

  8. #8
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    I would stick with regular boost; its kind f of a gamble to commit to super boost at this point. I don't want to derail the discussion but 12 x 148 on a hard tail is ideal. Or maybe a frame with replaceable dropouts so you can swap out 148 or 157 x 12.
    2016 Santa Cruz Hightower 29er
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  9. #9
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    Freaking awesome.

  10. #10
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    i think this is pretty cool for the money

    https://www.orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/crush-s/2018


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    There is now way I would spend the money on a custom hardtail. That said, I love them and while I didn't get all the features, this came close enough.

    Moxie Enduro Hardtail | 27.5/27.5+/29er Compatible

    Head tube is not tapered, but at least it's short. Other than that it's the dog's bollocks.
    Funny thing is I was recently watching a video where Cy from Cotic talked about why he did different things on the Soul/Bfe/Solaris and why pretty much all of their bikes have a "straight" headtube. If I remember correctly, it had something to do with a conversation with the Reynolds steel people and that doing a steel tapered headtube actually made the steel less strong than if it was just a straight headtube (and something about welding the reynolds made it stronger still). Hence why he went with a ZS up top and then an EC on the bottom.

  12. #12
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    ^^^ ZS44/28.6 EC44/40 is the same as the Surly MTB's which are also steel, making it widely available long-term
    https://surlybikes.com/info_hole/faq...uck_karate_mon

  13. #13
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    Haha, Darth had the same idea. Just get a damn Karata Monkey and be done with it.

    BUT, if you want to do custom, I'll echo Scottzg comments other than disagreeing over the internal routing. Definitely keep it internal.

  14. #14
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Funny thing is I was recently watching a video where Cy from Cotic talked about why he did different things on the Soul/Bfe/Solaris and why pretty much all of their bikes have a "straight" headtube. If I remember correctly, it had something to do with a conversation with the Reynolds steel people and that doing a steel tapered headtube actually made the steel less strong than if it was just a straight headtube (and something about welding the reynolds made it stronger still). Hence why he went with a ZS up top and then an EC on the bottom.
    I will have to check that out.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  15. #15
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    Always was a big fan of Peter Verdone designs, so started contemplating have something custom made in that spirit. Spent some time designing it, then realized I was drawing a Pipedream Moxie. Went ahead and built a Longer size, Swamp Green frame.
    Best bike I ever had, heads and shoulders above anything else I ever tried.
    Climbs like a goat, goes down like a DH bike

  16. #16
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    Always was a big fan of Peter Verdone designs, so started contemplating have something custom made in that spirit. Spent some time designing it, then realized I was drawing a Pipedream Moxie. Went ahead and built a Longer size, Swamp Green frame.
    Best bike I ever had, heads and shoulders above anything else I ever tried.
    Climbs like a goat, goes down like a DH bike
    Photo?
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  17. #17
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    Worse photographer ever, but:

    Hardtail Lovers: What are your dream features in an AM/Trail frame?-ukt1jqe.jpg

  18. #18
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Super cool!
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  19. #19
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    Thanks

    Hardtail Lovers: What are your dream features in an AM/Trail frame?-r8jgg3y.jpg

    Still running the fork (29") at 130mm but with lower sag at 16% to keep the standard geometry. Waiting for the 140mm air shaft to arrive.

    3 rides so far, a short 15km one plus a 35km and the last one at 50km, 1200m of climbing.

  20. #20
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    I'm holding out for an affordable Superboost plus frame to swap my Pivot Switchblade wheel-sets on to. I'll likely just run the plus 3" set on it and strip parts off my Trance to build it up.
    2015 Giant Trance 3
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  21. #21
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    I like my '16 Whyte 905 so much that I'd probably base the geo on that. Slightly steeper seat tube angle, as at 73 now I have the saddle slammed all the way foward. I'd definitely go for a shorter seat tube as well, just because I'm short at 163cm and wouldn't mind a bit more standover.

    Rear tyre clearance would have to be enough for a proper 2.6. If it had sliding dropouts I'd go a bit slacker on the head angle as well, because by moving the rear wheel I'd be able to balance things out. Ability to go singlespeed would be a bonus.

    Maybe a fancy material like titanium?

  22. #22
    Barely in control
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    Carbon, but not light. Like 1500g for a size Large.
    68* hta
    120mm fork travel
    2.6 tire clearance
    Equal tire clearance at seat stay and chain stay (funny how some bikes are tight in one of these areas, wtf?)
    Boost 148 spacing.
    2x compatible, routing for side swing derailleur.
    2 bottle cages.
    Stainless steel guards near the bb for chain suck and on the inside of the chain stays so mud doesn't wear the carbon (I don't think anyone does this)
    68mm Shimano threaded bb
    Internal cable routing with external housing stops.
    Internal and external options for rear brake routing
    Extra cable run grommets in case I lose one

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