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  1. #1
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    Looking for a fun hardtail frame

    I could really use on what frame I should be looking for to buy. Going to be doing a bit of a budget build so the max for my frame is about $400 but don't mind used. I am looking for something that is fun on pump tracks, dirt jumps and for dicking around and sessioning stuff but comfortable enough to ride for a few hours/ shorter XC races (like 25-30 miles). I was thinking a true 27.5 (not plus) but I would be open to 26. I am thing 65-67 HA, short as possible chainstays, short as possible seat tube while still being able to get proper leg position and able to fit at least 170mm dropper. I am 6'2" 200lb.

    Some I was thinking about where the Dartmoor Primal 27.5 or Hornet or NS Bikes Clash or Surge Evo. I am worried that the 424mm reach with the Clash and the 409 in the Surge Evo would be too short for me to be comfortable. But I like the short chainstays on the NS Bikes (415 and 411 vs 420 or 425 on the Dartmoors).
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (town/workout/gravel)

  2. #2
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    Ive been on the hunt for the same type of frame as you, and I happen to be about the same size as you as well...

    I've settled on the Chromag Stylus, Wideangle, or the Kona Explosif as my top contenders. I was looking for short stays, a low seat tube, and the longest reach I can get. I've never had a real trail bike shorter than 480mm reach, so I dont want to get down to the size of some of the NS or Dartmoor bikes. I think I want something 450-460mm reach to keep it more compact for jumping or pump track but not be a drastic change from my trail bike.

    The Chromag stylus I think is the bike designed for what you are talking about, except is has a pretty slack head angle, and may not be the best for XC races. In the M/L size it has the lowest seat tube and stand over, and the longest reach or any bike in this category. I think the Kona Explosif actually fits your criteria better, as it is a little more XC geo, with a 120mm fork and a less slack head tube.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frkan View Post
    Ive been on the hunt for the same type of frame as you, and I happen to be about the same size as you as well...

    I've settled on the Chromag Stylus, Wideangle, or the Kona Explosif as my top contenders. I was looking for short stays, a low seat tube, and the longest reach I can get. I've never had a real trail bike shorter than 480mm reach, so I dont want to get down to the size of some of the NS or Dartmoor bikes. I think I want something 450-460mm reach to keep it more compact for jumping or pump track but not be a drastic change from my trail bike.

    The Chromag stylus I think is the bike designed for what you are talking about, except is has a pretty slack head angle, and may not be the best for XC races. In the M/L size it has the lowest seat tube and stand over, and the longest reach or any bike in this category. I think the Kona Explosif actually fits your criteria better, as it is a little more XC geo, with a 120mm fork and a less slack head tube.
    My current 150/140 full sus is at 450mm reach and it feels pretty comfy to me. It is a bit older though 2011 Niner WFO9. The XC racing is kind of the least of my worries to be honest. It is more just there is one I may do for fun. I mean I don't think this bike is going to be a great race bike since for one thing I am going to be building a freakcoaster (replacing the 11t with a spacer for easy fakies). Also I will say I have heard that the Hornet feels a lot longer then the 450mm of reach indicates.

    The Explosif is interesting. They don't make it anymore apparently but I am sure I could find one used. Steel + sliding dropouts is pretty awesome.
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (town/workout/gravel)

  4. #4
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    I have an Octane One Prone 29 frame that I built. Very awesome! They also have a 27.5" version too. It matches up to what you are looking for in a frame. It doesn't break the bank either. The 27.5" version is more aggressive and the 29er is very pedal friendly. The 29er frame was designed for a 130mm fork and the 27.5" frame was meant for 140-150mm forks.

    29er version: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod155477

    27.5" version: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod155476
    Trek Emonda | Transition Sentinel

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    65-67 HA, short as possible chainstays, short as possible seat tube while still being able to get proper leg position and able to fit at least 170mm dropper. I am 6'2" 200lb.

    I am worried that the 424mm reach with the Clash and the 409 in the Surge Evo would be too short for me to be comfortable. But I like the short chainstays on the NS Bikes (415 and 411 vs 420 or 425 on the Dartmoors).
    IMO you're mixing up variables. You're tall enough where that can be a problem- there's plenty of frames that are great in a medium and goofy in an XL.

    Like, the chainstays. A 425mm stay can feel ponderously short if it's paired with a short reach and relaxed seat angle, or like a touring bike if the front triangle is super progressive.

    Similar deal with head angle; it interacts with a couple other variables and conflates steering behavior and front-center.

    It's much easier to just say 'if it has less than a ~1170mm wheelbase it's probably not right for hilly singletrack." I bet that rule would work out nice for you. Maybe?

    For me (i'm a 6'3 homebrew framebuilder), anything with <450mm reach is obviously wrong for technical singletrack. ~475 is my happy place, but it can be an inch longer/shorter depending on the design and application. (reach alone isn't a super great measurement, but let's not go there) That's the problem for us tall folks; these crazy long reach bikes... a lot of them are just what the little people have been riding for years, but scaled up for us. There's a lot of bikes that fit your parameters that kinda suck, and imo there's nothing good in the 26'er market for tall people. There's nothing inherently wrong with 26, but tall riders were totally under-served in that era.

    I think getting a proper frame is gonna influence your 170mm dropper requirement, too. Admittedly, my knee can't tolerate a 170 dropper, but with a sufficiently long front-center 150 seems somewhat excessive too. Interested to hear your impressions, at 6'2 most frames will accommodate a 170.

    ...that's my opinion. Hopefully it's helpful. I like the nukeproof scout a lot, and i see 26/650b as a way to adjust BB height, at the expense of tire choices. 26 is dead. I haven't messed around with cad to verify any of my assertions, but i could if asked.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  6. #6
    cmg
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    Commencal Meta AM HT, lm around your size/weight, l went with an L, put a 150mm Yari on the front plus a 170mm Dropper (which is currently being returned ) and l love this thing, trail/pumptrack or stuffing around on the way to work its just fun, mine is 27+ and lm lm thinking about a 29 wheelset too for longer rides
    always mad and usually drunk......

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    IMO you're mixing up variables. You're tall enough where that can be a problem- there's plenty of frames that are great in a medium and goofy in an XL.

    Like, the chainstays. A 425mm stay can feel ponderously short if it's paired with a short reach and relaxed seat angle, or like a touring bike if the front triangle is super progressive.

    Similar deal with head angle; it interacts with a couple other variables and conflates steering behavior and front-center.

    It's much easier to just say 'if it has less than a ~1170mm wheelbase it's probably not right for hilly singletrack." I bet that rule would work out nice for you. Maybe?

    For me (i'm a 6'3 homebrew framebuilder), anything with <450mm reach is obviously wrong for technical singletrack. ~475 is my happy place, but it can be an inch longer/shorter depending on the design and application. (reach alone isn't a super great measurement, but let's not go there) That's the problem for us tall folks; these crazy long reach bikes... a lot of them are just what the little people have been riding for years, but scaled up for us. There's a lot of bikes that fit your parameters that kinda suck, and imo there's nothing good in the 26'er market for tall people. There's nothing inherently wrong with 26, but tall riders were totally under-served in that era.

    I think getting a proper frame is gonna influence your 170mm dropper requirement, too. Admittedly, my knee can't tolerate a 170 dropper, but with a sufficiently long front-center 150 seems somewhat excessive too. Interested to hear your impressions, at 6'2 most frames will accommodate a 170.

    ...that's my opinion. Hopefully it's helpful. I like the nukeproof scout a lot, and i see 26/650b as a way to adjust BB height, at the expense of tire choices. 26 is dead. I haven't messed around with cad to verify any of my assertions, but i could if asked.
    What I am looking for is something between my MTB and my 20in BMX which would normally be a dirt jump bike but those are not really rideable for any distance so I am looking for something between a dj and an enduro hardtail. I want the short chainstays to make it easier to manual and to keep the overall length of the bike short. I probably am looking at the head angle to much though. It just seems when you go to a steeper angle then around 67ish the frame goes towards a less beefy XC frame or a pretty old frame. As far as wheelbase, I would like to keep it short cause the longer it is the slower it is to rotate making stuff like a hop 180 harder.

    I am more willing to give up the XC ability of the bike then the playfulness/trickability/flickability. I could always take the WFO9 on the XC race if the hardtail doesn't pedal better.
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (town/workout/gravel)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    I have an Octane One Prone 29 frame that I built. Very awesome! They also have a 27.5" version too. It matches up to what you are looking for in a frame. It doesn't break the bank either. The 27.5" version is more aggressive and the 29er is very pedal friendly. The 29er frame was designed for a 130mm fork and the 27.5" frame was meant for 140-150mm forks.

    29er version: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod155477

    27.5" version: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod155476

    The 27.5in version was one I had written down to consider.
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (town/workout/gravel)

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