Long Travel Steel Frames- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Long Travel Steel Frames

    I searched online for quite a while with little results and I searched on MTBR with little results. There is a thread on the DH forum where someone asks a similar question with only a few hits and little info.

    So I thought I would try here.

    If anyone knows of current production steel frames (6 to 8 inches travel plus) could you post info about them please?

    Photos of cool out of production or one-off steel long travel stuff might be helpful too. DH or AM.

    With the technology of steel these days it seems like it would be possible to build competitive steel frames. KTM gets away with it in spades.

    I've found Brooklyn Machine Works, DarkCycles and Do-Ber-Mann but is there anything else?

    Then there is this bike that I can't find anything on other than a picture. Anybody have any info on it? I assume it's steel because it has skinny tubes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Long Travel Steel Frames-hood_mussel_race_1.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Try On One bikes. I want one but have issues regarding US shipping and (more importantly....wife aproval).

    On-One Summer Season Steel Hardtail Frame 2011 199.99

  3. #3
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    You are looking for 6-8" FS or HT? I believe everyone uses aluminum because it can be made stiffer and lighter. Steel is popular for HTs because it flexes. A burly 8" steel FS DH bike would probably feel sloppy and is the exact opposite direction you want to go. Stout can make you a custom steel HT or even FS (I think).
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  4. #4
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    Never really went into proper production but this one's mine. Draco Vigilante.


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    K9 industries makes a dh frame with a steel front triangle. Risse racing says that they do as well, although I haven't seen any of their bikes for years now. SWD (short white dude) racing makes or used to, steel full suspension bikes, with an emphasis on dh bikes.

  6. #6
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    I guess the picture wasn't enough so I need to clarify. Absolutely not interested in hard tails

    That K9 rocks. Smart guys.

  7. #7
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    I will ask. Why are you interested in a steel FS bike? I am just interested.

    I am a big fan of steel hardtails because they can be built to flex in the right ways (I have two). I am not seeing the benefit of a steel FS though.

  8. #8
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    They can be built plenty stiff and light- my Draco weighs about 11.5lb for what is effectively a size large frame, with shock and steel spring. Nothing earth shattering but not especially heavy either. It's one of the stiffer bikes I've ridden, it's easy to repair should it break, and it's quiet.

  9. #9
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    The reason I'm looking at steel is because I'm considering building frames to specifications that are not available at this point and I believe that it's possible to design a steel frame without compromise. Maybe even better. The slight dampening quality might be of benefit too but not like with a rigid frame.

    I have modified a 6061 rear triangle on one bike to suit and gone through the heat treating process and am going to do the same to another frame but would like to build a full frame to incorporate more ideas. Swing arm and seat struts are pretty small and a local shop can do the heat treating. I haven't yet found anyone to do big stuff. It gets all messed up with quenching but I was able to straighten the small stuff with some effort.

    I checked into 7005 but it's hard to get frame parts in that material and nothing is made in the US anymore. The stuff from Taiwan is apparently not very consistent either, and expensive if you need machining stock.

    So I am considering steel and doing research. The suspension design of the K9 is very close to what I was considering and was surprised to see it. Carbon fiber would be the best of all but that's for the big boys.
    Last edited by modifier; 12-29-2011 at 12:25 PM.

  10. #10
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    Interesting. Thanks for the info. I will keep following this thread to learn more.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    The reason I'm looking at steel is because I'm considering building frames to specifications that are not available at this point and I believe that it's possible to design a steel frame without compromise.

    I have modified a 6061 rear triangle on one bike to suit and gone through the heat treating

    I
    Carbon fiber would be the best of all but that's for the big boys.
    If you want to iterate on suspension design, steel is easy to work with, from the fabrication side anyway. The new steels will self harden and behave pretty nice. Machining steel takes more work than machining aluminum.

    I wouldn't say it is possible to design anything without compromise. The only things that are designed without compromise, are the things which never get made.

    If you are working on your own, like in your garage, it's relatively simple to work with Carbon Fiber. If you are worried about something breaking you can just overbuild it.

    This guy welded up some steel front triangles for himself. Homemade Bikes: Big Bird’s Bikes

    This is a dirt jump company wwho are also making a long travel bike. Our World Renowned Bicycle Frame Products - Dobermann Bikes

  12. #12
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    Cotic are releasing a 150mm travel steel single pivot frame next year.

    Sadly all there is to go on is a couple of blurry teaser shots. Should be ace though, Cotic steel frames are usually ace.

    Cotic Rocket 150mm full-susser first look + video Bike Magic

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    That Xprezo is pretty cool too. And a weight of 10lbs with shock. That's pretty comparable to aluminum.

    I've been reading what I can find on the K9. I really like what he's doing. Expensive though and I haven't been able to find weights, but with the AL rearend and the hightech steel he uses it should be pretty light. I'm curious about that steel. I don't know if there is anything comparable to it in the US.

    Xpezo's site doesn't say much but after looking at the pictures and finding a bit of info it's a steel rear triangle and an AL front triangle. Plus it's just a single pivot suspension. I thought there was something going on with that aluminum "linkage" but it just ties things together and I'm not sure why it is even there. Oh well.

    Xprezo Furax. Bad name in my opinion. Maybe it sounds better if you are French Canadian.
    Last edited by modifier; 12-31-2011 at 08:50 AM.

  15. #15
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    Xprezo frames are AL front triangles and cromoly rears. Xprezo follows the Balfa tradition in that regard (since it is one or two former Balfa guys at Xprezo it is easy to understand why).

  16. #16
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    Xprezo now has a dealer in the USA! Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester, VT

  17. #17
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    I had Curtlo build me this six inch frame seven years ago. At the time I couldn't find a frame with a slack HA, steep SA, low BB, and long TT.

    I'd still be riding it as the numbers are what this year's frames now have, but I hit a dirtbike at speed and the front triangle was destroyed.

    I had Ventana build me a new front triangle that was only two oz lighter.
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    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpbikes View Post
    Xprezo now has a dealer in the USA! Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester, VT
    Awesome! I think they were also a Balfa dealer back in the day.

  19. #19
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    Again, not a production bike (at this time) but inspiration perhaps?



    Superco Silencer
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I had Curtlo build me this six inch frame seven years ago. At the time I couldn't find a frame with a slack HA, steep SA, low BB, and long TT.

    I'd still be riding it as the numbers are what this year's frames now have, but I hit a dirtbike at speed and the front triangle was destroyed.

    I had Ventana build me a new front triangle that was only two oz lighter.
    So what did the bike come in at for weight?

    Progressive thinking on your part

  21. #21
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    Yeah that Superco pic is already on my hard drive. Some cool stuff going on.

    I really like it when people isolate the drive train. My Jedi was an introduction to having an upper pulley. It's nice when pedaling does absolutely nothing to the suspension.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Again, not a production bike (at this time) but inspiration perhaps?
    It is a production frame, all you have to do is ask Doc (really) nicely.

    Beautiful machine still.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    It is a production frame, all you have to do is ask Doc (really) nicely.

    Beautiful machine still.
    Touche. However, I can't afford a Charger from him I'll probably have to wait a bit longer.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  24. #24
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    MMcG

    ya, Doon was a Balfa dealer. Actually has a Balfa,used for sale. I'm the Xprezo rep for New England. Green Mountain is our first dealer in the US and his love and passion for the Balfa's are what inspired him to come aboard.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpbikes View Post
    ya, Doon was a Balfa dealer. Actually has a Balfa,used for sale. I'm the Xprezo rep for New England. Green Mountain is our first dealer in the US and his love and passion for the Balfa's are what inspired him to come aboard.
    Yah Doon! That's him!

    I just sent you a PM - hope you have a chance to follow up with a reply either via PM or even better via email.

    Cheers,

    Mark

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