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  1. #1
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    Help me pick a hardtail

    Hi All,

    Looking to get off my 2017 Giant Anthem X 29er and get back on a hardtail. I ride quite a bit, probably 6-8 hours a week. As much as I enjoy turning a wrench, I would like to get back to basics with a hardtail- while also challenging myself more and getting a better workout.

    I'm in FL and ride trails like Santos, Alafia, Balm Boyette- and lots of lesser known trails in my home town. I also like to venture up to north GA to get some actual mountains in. I stick to singletrack stuff, and while I love technical trails, I rarely air it out or ride very aggressively.

    I'm looking for a trail 29er, as I believe it will suit my riding style and preferred trail type. I am 5'11 190lbs.

    Can you all offer me advice on some of the models I'm looking at, or guide to me something else? I would like to stay around $2000 or under. I have a preference for Fox suspension, but this preference is not really rooted in anything. I'm sticking to aluminum frames for right now.

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Niner-Air-...LX-Jenson-Bike

    https://www.backcountry.com/santa-cr...R0YWlsLWJpa2Vz

    https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timber...ck_nx_eagle_29

  2. #2
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    SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
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    there are a lot of options tbh with travels from 120-160mm. Ive included 27.5+ as the wheel + tyre height are kinda the same
    a few that came into my mind are:
    giant fathom
    nukeproof scout
    commencal meta ht am
    ns eccentric
    trek roscoe
    diamondback syncr
    santa cruz chameleon
    ragley bigwig
    orange crush
    marin san quentin
    and so on... most bike companies will offer trail hardtails as they are getting increasingly popular

  4. #4
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    add TREK SLASH and KONA HONZO to the list

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the quick responses. How would you rank the Rhythm 34, Rekon, and Sektor? I'm fine with my current SLX spec, and am not loyal to either of the S's so whether the bike is NX or SLX makes no difference to me.

  6. #6
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    Honzo or Rootdown


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    NTX
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    I recently bought a 19 Roscoe 8. I have really enjoyed it. It is a 27.5+ but could easily convert to 29.
    Help me pick a hardtail-6b7f3194-89d8-4c94-9959-f89a5b9282f0.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by buz100 View Post
    Thank you all for the quick responses. How would you rank the Rhythm 34, Rekon, and Sektor? I'm fine with my current SLX spec, and am not loyal to either of the S's so whether the bike is NX or SLX makes no difference to me.
    Rhythm 34 is easily the best of the bunch. While it's an OEM fork, and meant to be budget-friendly, Fox accidentally made it really good and proceeded to copy the design for their higher-end forks.

    The Recon is decent. I have one and it works, but it's not as good as the fox IMHO. I have no experience with the Sektor. It's a newer product from rockshocks if I recall correctly.

    In terms of your options for bikes, I'd look for the most budget-friendly ones, and test drive those. Many of these designs seem to be very similar and I doubt you'll see a huge difference in performance between any of your choices. It's going to come down to comfort, package, and price. Comfort can only be assessed when you sit on the bike and take it for a ride. The good news is you sort of can't really go wrong as they are all great options.

  9. #9
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    Transition Throttle (27.5") and Vanquish (29"), both in carbon fibres:
    https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_Throttle.cfm
    https://www.transitionbikes.com/bikes_vanquish.cfm

    The Rootdown is made by Chromag, you can see all their bikes here:
    Chromag Bikes - Chromag Bikes

    There is also the Sunn Plus S1 made in 6069 aluminium.

    I had 2 MTB in 6061 aluminium and both had cracks due to metal fatigue after 1-2 years despite use mostly on asphalt. Since I did 8.5 years (so far) with a carbon frame and it's as new. The UTS (ultimate tensile strength) of carbon fibres is 3.5-4.9 GPa vs 415 MPa for 6069 and 290 MPa for 6061.

    If you like to be at ease downhill aim for a slack head tube angle. Your 2017 Giant Anthem X 29er had a 71.5 which is uncomfortable.

  10. #10
    high pivot witchcraft
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    I'd go with a Honzo or basically anything Chromag. Maybe a Rootdown, a Truelove Primer, a Surface Ti or, if you want to get really sassy, a Doctahawk. Of course, I am assuming that your budget is not something that can't be blown when you find true love staring back at you. And that you were just kidding around about the aluminum frame thing

    Here's my Honzo...

    Help me pick a hardtail-fullsizeoutput_b9.jpg

  11. #11
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    If you want slack I suggest you consider a RSD Middlechild. It comes with 27.5+ tires, but you can either swap them or build a frame as a 29er like I did. It rides very well as a 29er. I had a Honzo before and I am really liking the slacker head angle (64.5) of the Middlechild compared to 68 on the Honzo.

    RSD are releasing a 29er specific frame later this year if you are in no rush.

    Steel version
    http://rsdbikes.com/portfolio/middlechild-cr-mo/

    Titanium
    http://rsdbikes.com/portfolio/middlechild-titanium/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose5 View Post
    I had 2 MTB in 6061 aluminium and both had cracks due to metal fatigue after 1-2 years despite use mostly on asphalt.
    I don't mean to be overly contrarian but this is really odd. The fatigue life of aluminum is such that in theory an aluminum frame should be fine for decades of normal use. Failures after 1-2 years suggests manufacturing defects not metal fatigue.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    I don't mean to be overly contrarian but this is really odd. The fatigue life of aluminum is such that in theory an aluminum frame should be fine for decades of normal use. Failures after 1-2 years suggests manufacturing defects not metal fatigue.
    You're right, but there are a variety of potential causes for any frame failure. Over heating a weld, poor design/engineering, materials/tooling that was out of spec, improper usage/installation/maintenance/etc. It's frequently a bad weld though.

    There's a lot of things that can cause frame failure. The fact that it was 6061 aluminum had nothing to do with it. I've broken 4 frames, only 1 was aluminum the rest were steel.

    To be fair though I've only owned 1 aluminum frame for more than 6 months and it broke. I've owned many steel frames for years so that's why I've had a higher failure rate with steel.
    SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  14. #14
    Na
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    Best bike for the price! Just came back in stock.

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...AaAm2PEALw_wcB

  15. #15
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    my mondraker vantage lasted 3 years. Both seatstays have cracked welds up against the seattube, i swapped frame out with a bird zero am but imagine the vantage can be welded back up no problem.

    i'm a heavy rider and regularly hit drops to flat or drops to braking bumps, had to take a toll at one point.

    Bird launched a 29 version of the zero am this year, might be worth looking into. a bit more AM than the vantage was. the 2015 vantage geometry was really good all rounder, longer like the bird but with a steeper head angle.

  16. #16
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    Check out the Marin San Quentin. Absolute brawler of a bike, and cheap too.

  17. #17
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    Esker Hayduke.

  18. #18
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    Steel is real -

    NS Eccentric - brilliant under the radar frame here in the US. but available to get at most any shop via BTI. Inexpensive at approx $550 for the frame. Bike flat out rides great due to geo and tange eccentric steel tubing. It can dance, brawl, cruise etc...

    RSD Middlechild was my second pick when i built up my NS. Was pre-order only when i built my NS. I'm still kicking around the idea of buying the frame and moving everything over. Just don't know it would get me anything over my NS.

  19. #19
    C__Corax
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    Chromag rootdown

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I'd go with a Honzo or basically anything Chromag. Maybe a Rootdown, a Truelove Primer, a Surface Ti or, if you want to get really sassy, a Doctahawk. Of course, I am assuming that your budget is not something that can't be blown when you find true love staring back at you. And that you were just kidding around about the aluminum frame thing

    Here's my Honzo...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    mike... what model and year Honzo is that?

    I need some more pics of that bike rack. DIY??

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    Steel is real -

    NS Eccentric - brilliant under the radar frame here in the US. but available to get at most any shop via BTI. Inexpensive at approx $550 for the frame. Bike flat out rides great due to geo and tange eccentric steel tubing. It can dance, brawl, cruise etc...

    RSD Middlechild was my second pick when i built up my NS. Was pre-order only when i built my NS. I'm still kicking around the idea of buying the frame and moving everything over. Just don't know it would get me anything over my NS.
    I love my Karate Monkey but I would love both of these as well.

  22. #22
    fear this
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    The 2020 Norco Fluid hardtail looks very good and isn't going to break the bank either.

    https://www.norco.com/bikes/2020/mou...um/fluid-ht-3/
    Norco Torrent FS
    Devinci Ollie
    Commencal Meta HT AM chromoly

  23. #23
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    For FL and north GA, I dont know if Id reach for a 160mm super slack hardtail. Something a bit more moderate that can take 27.5x2.8 might be cool if you ride trails with sugar sand.

    As a 2nd or 3rd bike, 65 HTA long travel might be fun though.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    For FL and north GA, I dont know if Id reach for a 160mm super slack hardtail. Something a bit more moderate that can take 27.5x2.8 might be cool if you ride trails with sugar sand.

    As a 2nd or 3rd bike, 65 HTA long travel might be fun though.

    I feel the honzo is good but also a new fuse. I especially like the adjustable wheelbase for single speed conversions. 66.5 hta. 29er. Frame only option

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    I feel the honzo is good but also a new fuse. I especially like the adjustable wheelbase for single speed conversions. 66.5 hta. 29er. Frame only option
    Yeah, honzo looks like a contender. I wasnt cautioning so much about slack HTA as I was the slack HTA + long travel fork. 160mm HT is overkill on most N GA trails.

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