Anyone built a commuter using the Nashbar aluminum mtb frame?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone built a commuter using the Nashbar aluminum mtb frame?

    Very tempted to get one and swap parts from my cro-moly Raleigh commuter bike over to a nice and light black frame. Just waiting for Nashbar to have one of its sales or discounts. Right now it's $99. While I'm waiting and thinking about getting it, can anyone persuade or dissuade me. Is it a worthy frame for commuting? I'm reading reviews that praise its quality for a bike with such a low price, though $99 isn't low enough for me.

    If I get a size 14 frame and put in a Nashbar rigid steel fork that is corrected for 100mm suspension, will it look or ride weird? I don't want the front to be too high.

    Anyone have pics of this Nashbar mtn frame? I'm already having ideas for this build!

  2. #2
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    Sounds like your decision is made

    I've never seen one of those, but I have the 'X' cyclocross frame from Nashbar, and I have no complaints. Same price point (pun intended) at $99, and also aluminum. It's been a very solid bike that's gone through 3 different builds now. Welds and fit/finish are great.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    Very tempted to get one and swap parts from my cro-moly Raleigh commuter bike over to a nice and light black frame. Just waiting for Nashbar to have one of its sales or discounts. Right now it's $99. While I'm waiting and thinking about getting it, can anyone persuade or dissuade me. Is it a worthy frame for commuting? I'm reading reviews that praise its quality for a bike with such a low price, though $99 isn't low enough for me.

    If I get a size 14 frame and put in a Nashbar rigid steel fork that is corrected for 100mm suspension, will it look or ride weird? I don't want the front to be too high.

    Anyone have pics of this Nashbar mtn frame? I'm already having ideas for this build!
    Do yourself a HUGE favor and buy the Sette Reken frame for the same money at Price Point. I built a commuter/urban bike from the Nashbar frame and the Nashbar mtb fork. What a disaster. I bought the 20in based on my experiences from my other bikes. When I got it, the seat tube was probably a 20in with the front end of a 16 tacked onto it. The short frame, combined with the too long Nashbar fork made for a bike that was treacherous to ride. I wrote off that frame to a loss and ordered the Sette Reken which is a phenominal frame even if it were 3 times the price. It's actually not too bad with the Nashbar fork but the fork is going to be replaced very soon. I've also put 650b wheels on the Reken. After about 500 miles, I absolutely love it.

    As for the Nashbar frame... Couldn't sell it, nobody wanted it, sat in my basement for 6 months. Nobody would even trade me some beer for it. I finally had enough parts laying around to consider building it up to haul around with me on my race car trailer to autocross events. It's almost done now besides needing a chain and SS tensioner. I did find a cheap Redline Cross fork for it that seems to be a good match for the frame. When I ride it with that fork I'll try to post up again about how it handles. Can't be any worse, that's for sure.

    As far as quality, it's not too bad. Finish is ok, welds aren't too bad. It's surprisingly light weight. But, the Sette is all of these things too but far better. Again, order the Sette. You'll be glad you did.
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    BTW, it will look wierd as hell! Tonight after work I'll post pictures of mine after it was built up. That will firmly convince you to not buy it.

    And, if you're that cheap were you're not willing to spend $100 on a frame, you will get what you deserve. Trust me. I learned this lesson myself with this Nashbar frame.
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  5. #5
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    That was a convincingly awesome review. I would never buy one of those now.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GChambers View Post
    BTW, it will look wierd as hell! Tonight after work I'll post pictures of mine after it was built up. That will firmly convince you to not buy it.

    And, if you're that cheap were you're not willing to spend $100 on a frame, you will get what you deserve. Trust me. I learned this lesson myself with this Nashbar frame.
    +1

    There are lots of other places you can save a couple bucks when you're building a bike. Not sure if the frame is where you wanna try to save your money.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    That was a convincingly awesome review. I would never buy one of those now.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the reviews and comments, guys! I didn't mean to sound like I'm willing to cheap out on a frame. Based on what I've read about the Nashbar MTB frame, it sounds like it's a good bang for the buck, and the fact that NB sometimes have their crazy sales or 20% discounts, I figured I can save a bit more money.

    Yes, I've read somewhere (maybe here on mtbr) about the sizing issue with this frame. People have said that it's a size too small. I talked to a NB rep via the online help thing they have on their site and asked if they have a pic of a size 14. The only pic they have is what's on the site, which he said is a medium. I just don't want the 14 frame to look all weird as small frames tend to look. You know, my current commuter is a 16 frame (Center of BB to top of seat tube) and fits me well. I may go for another 16 frame then. Maybe the 14 will be too small.

    I did look at the Rekon, but I don't think you can put a rear rack. The graphics is what kinda turns me off a bit. Normally I don't mind graphics, but I saw someone with a NB X build here where the frame is all black with ano green highlights (headset, seat clamp), and that's excatly how I want my bike to look since I have some lime green parts on my current commuter.

    Rocky Mountain Ebay story has the RM Whistler 10 frame for probably a bit cheaper, but it uses 700c wheels. I basically want to swap parts from my current bike to this new build and don't want to buy a new wheelset.

    Here's a pic of my commuter:


    Love this bike. Think I even got the magic gear set-up! But I'm really digging for a stealth look! Lighter bike. And also I prefer a bike with 1 1/8 headset. That's one reason I like the NB frame. No logos and it will go well with green parts!
    Last edited by djork; 02-16-2012 at 05:22 PM.

  8. #8
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    Here are some pics. First is the Nashbar built up with 26x1.25 slicks and the Nashbar fork. Second is the Sette in the same configuration. Third is the Sette with the 650b wheels. Last is the Nashbar with the very short Redline Cyclocross fork.

    If you still buy the Nashbar frame and fork, just remember you've been warned. It's an awful combination, not just for how it looks but how it handles. The handling is terrible.

    If you do this, you're going to end up with something far worse than that first pic. And, if I'm honest, the Nashbar fork is as much of a problem as the frame.

    BTW, sorry about the crappy iPhone pics. Yes, they suck.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone built a commuter using the Nashbar aluminum mtb frame?-nashbar.jpg  

    Anyone built a commuter using the Nashbar aluminum mtb frame?-sette-26.jpg  

    Anyone built a commuter using the Nashbar aluminum mtb frame?-reken-650b.jpg  

    Anyone built a commuter using the Nashbar aluminum mtb frame?-nashbar-ss.jpg  

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  9. #9
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    BTW, that Nashbar fork works great with a 29in wheel.
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  10. #10
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    Wow, that NB fork looks pretty long, and you're right, it looks like a 29 wheel will fit it perfectly.

    I don't see much difference between the NB and Rekon set-up. Both frames look almost identical in shape. I'm looking at the front end of both bikes as closely as I can, and I can't see any difference!

    I'm looking at the Rekon on PP's page and the Rekon does look nice. But it looks like there are no supports for a rear rack. That may be a deal breaker for me.

    The Rocky Mountain Whistler is very promising, but I dunno if I want to spend more money on a new wheelset--not that I really need to spend money on a new commuter bike :P seeing that I have one already and liking it very much. Ahhh, the stealth look...lighter...must resist!

    You selling the NB or short cyclo fork? Both 1 1/8 steerer tube?
    Last edited by djork; 02-16-2012 at 09:42 PM.

  11. #11
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    As GChambers said, go with the Sette frame....it's the same price and better. If your not looking for something like right NOW, wait until it goes down to $79 and then get one. Price Point is forever having sales....so chances are it'll be even more "on sale" than it is now.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    Wow, that NB fork looks pretty long, and you're right, it looks like a 29 wheel will fit it perfectly.

    I don't see much difference between the NB and Rekon set-up. Both frames look almost identical in shape. I'm looking at the front end of both bikes as closely as I can, and I can't see any difference!

    I'm looking at the Rekon on PP's page and the Rekon does look nice. But it looks like there are no supports for a rear rack. That may be a deal breaker for me.

    The Rocky Mountain Whistler is very promising, but I dunno if I want to spend more money on a new wheelset--not that I really need to spend money on a new commuter bike :P seeing that I have one already and liking it very much. Ahhh, the stealth look...lighter...must resist!

    You selling the NB or short cyclo fork? Both 1 1/8 steerer tube?
    Believe me, there's a huge difference between the two frames. You can't see it in the pics. The Sette is FAR better. Unfortunately that Sette frame was on sale for $70 about 2 weeks ago. I don't see it going on sale again for a while.

    I'm not selling either the frame or fork now. Besides, they wouldn't fit you. It's a 20in frame. I just spent $70 on the wheels and another $50 on all the other parts to build it up. I need it for a pit bike for when I go racing. I did weigh it on my floor scale and surprisingly it's only 19lbs right now without the chain and SS tensioner. The bike is a lot lighter than I thought it would be. Still, don't buy it!

    If you looked around I bet you could find a rack that will work with the Reken frame.
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  13. #13
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    FWIW, Nashbar is running a 15% off sale this weekend. I probably don't need to tell anybody here because once you own a bike you magically start getting the Nashbar emails - it just happens.

    I owned a Nashbar AL-1 for a year / 1500 miles and it was a great bike for the price. I sold it for what I paid for it. That doesn't help you much since Nashbar products seem to be hit or miss. Some are exceptionally deals, some are pure junk.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    That doesn't help you much since Nashbar products seem to be hit or miss. Some are exceptionally deals, some are pure junk.
    Troof.

    I have noticed that the Sette stuff from Price Point has much better and more consistent quality for about the same value.
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  15. #15
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    I bought the Nashbar frame about a year ago when my old commuter frame was creaking badly, and moved all other parts over to the new frame. I think I paid around $70, with whatever discount was available at the time. My impressions out of the box were that the Nashbar frame seemed reasonably light, the welds looked good, the faced surfaces were nice, and the paint was beautiful. As a bonus, it came with a bag of assorted small parts to accommodate brake and shifting choices. I built the bike up as as single speed using a chain tensioner (34x14). The geometry of the 16 inch model is just right for me, with the rigid fork from my previous bike having an AC length of approximately 400 mm.

    I've ridden the bike daily over the past year, and I love it. It has been everywhere, including a trip up over Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (from town). The only blemish in the frame is a result of me knocking it over onto a wood stove, which didn't even get through the tough paint. At least two of my kids want me to build them bikes using one of those black "stealth" frames, too.

    I don't know anything about the Sette frame mentioned above, but I do notice that it comes with a seatpost clamp, which the Nashbar frame does not. I might check that frame out for future build, but I am very happy with everything about the Nashbar frame for now.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkebird View Post
    I bought the Nashbar frame about a year ago when my old commuter frame was creaking badly, and moved all other parts over to the new frame. I think I paid around $70, with whatever discount was available at the time. My impressions out of the box were that the Nashbar frame seemed reasonably light, the welds looked good, the faced surfaces were nice, and the paint was beautiful. As a bonus, it came with a bag of assorted small parts to accommodate brake and shifting choices. I built the bike up as as single speed using a chain tensioner (34x14). The geometry of the 16 inch model is just right for me, with the rigid fork from my previous bike having an AC length of approximately 400 mm.

    I've ridden the bike daily over the past year, and I love it. It has been everywhere, including a trip up over Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (from town). The only blemish in the frame is a result of me knocking it over onto a wood stove, which didn't even get through the tough paint. At least two of my kids want me to build them bikes using one of those black "stealth" frames, too.

    I don't know anything about the Sette frame mentioned above, but I do notice that it comes with a seatpost clamp, which the Nashbar frame does not. I might check that frame out for future build, but I am very happy with everything about the Nashbar frame for now.
    Thanks for sharing! Been browsing Ebay and CL lately to satisfy my infatuation with a new build. There is an Ebay seller selling non-branded black Kinesis frames, which look to be very nice. The price isn't though at around $200.It's a bit much for something that's more a "want" at the moment. The main reason I want a new commuter frame is that lately I've been fancying something lighter, so aluminum frame is what I'm looking at. Plus, I prefer something with a 1 1/8 head tube. I admit, these are trivial reasons. My current commuter is cro-moly with a 1" threaded headset. I love this bike, and its 16 frame fits me well and all the attachments are where I need them. But as I said, I want something lighter and perhaps newer. I guess the bike isn't all that heavy and a steel rigid is a better material for commuting. I'm gonna keep an eye out for the right frame for my next build. Patience.

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    After finally riding the bike on the shorter cross fork, it's better than with the original Nashbar fork but not by much. It will work for my intended purpose, which is dragging it around with my race car and using it as a pit bike but it's not good for much else.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    Normally I don't mind graphics, but I saw someone with a NB X build here where the frame is all black with ano green highlights (headset, seat clamp), and that's excatly how I want my bike to look since I have some lime green parts on my current commuter.
    IMHO, buying on "looks" is never a good idea, esp. if you are going bargain basement shopping.

    If you are concerned with weight, get some skinner tires or ride more often.

    If your concern really is looks, then strip your frame down, sand, and rattle can it, or go ghetto and wrap it in electrical tape.

    IMHO, I don't see the point in buying one low end bike to replace another one.
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    Another update.

    After getting this thing together, it still sucks. The frame is just too short length wise for it's height. I have a 6deg stem and flat bars and I feel like I'm sitting way to high even though my seat is too low and my legs are cramped. I think I'd need a 20deg stem and riser bars to come close to being comfortable with the seat at the current height and then I'd still be cramped. Even though the geometry checks out with Nashbar as a 20in frame, there's just no way. Fortunately, for what I'm going to use it for it will get me by.
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  20. #20
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    Uh-oh! Scored an awesome deal on a set of 29er SS wheelset plus some extras--I mean a steal! I got my eyes set on a C-dale Bad Boy! I could probably sell off some of the stock parts and get myself a discount! I do wanna make it an SS and can swap out parts from my current SS commuter.

    Skank's got a point, no point in replacing a cheap bike with another cheap frame (taking your guys' word on it!). I'm not all about looks, but it makes it more fun. Not saying I got money to throw at bling, but I think that's the fun of building a bike or customizing one. I'll never rattle-can paint a bike or go uber ghetto with electricians tape, haha! Never heard that before. I've seen bad paint jobs not to even think about trying it!

    I'm still on the fence though on a new commuter. I guess if I do decide to get one, better go with bigger tires, 700c or 29er.

  21. #21
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    My first bike was a Nashbar MTB. I had drooled over the catalog for many months while working low-pay retail jobs. It was a long time ago (I'm old as dirt) and it had bio-pace chain rings, a U brake under the chainstays, and thumbshifters. I rode the crap out of it but it was a disaster as far as how it worked and reliability. I was always tweaking something as the parts would not stay tuned. I ended up replacing nearly everything BUT the frame over the course of about 5 years - BB was crap, handlebars, headset, wheels, etc. Finally I had enough and bought a Cannondale delta V700 in '93 with the air/oil headshok. I still have that bike. While owning it nearly 20 years I have also replace a lot of things, that bike stayed tuned incredibly long between thrashes. I never regretted paying a bit more (well a lot more actually) for a very good frame.

    ps. I used to buy nearly everything Nasbar brand, shorts, gloves, bottle cages, etc. However I did notice that most of the stuff was crap and would fall apart. The name brand stuff I did buy typically way out performed generic. I was reminded of this recently when finding an old set of Performance brand gloves where the "leather" palms had just fell apart.

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  23. #23
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    So your blog post relates to this thread how?

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    Anyone built commuter using nashbar aluminum mtb frame?
    Yes, blog article is regarding my inexpensive bike build using Nashbar frame for commuting

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    You could have written a sentence or two about that in your post before dropping the link. The way you did it, it looks like you were just fishing for traffic to your website.

    Quote Originally Posted by biketourings View Post
    Anyone built commuter using nashbar aluminum mtb frame?
    Yes, blog article is regarding my inexpensive bike build using Nashbar frame for commuting

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    You could have written a sentence or two about that in your post before dropping the link. The way you did it, it looks like you were just fishing for traffic to your website.
    Still looks that way to be honest.
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    Hey brother, I just returned from a ride on that bike in photo which is what the blog article is about. I love it, it's not for sale and I just like sharing information about it as appropriate. Thanks for the suggestion though, I will make a point by taking you up on your suggestion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkebird View Post
    I bought the Nashbar frame about a year ago when my old commuter frame was creaking badly, and moved all other parts over to the new frame. I think I paid around $70, with whatever discount was available at the time. My impressions out of the box were that the Nashbar frame seemed reasonably light, the welds looked good, the faced surfaces were nice, and the paint was beautiful. As a bonus, it came with a bag of assorted small parts to accommodate brake and shifting choices. I built the bike up as as single speed using a chain tensioner (34x14). The geometry of the 16 inch model is just right for me, with the rigid fork from my previous bike having an AC length of approximately 400 mm.

    I've ridden the bike daily over the past year, and I love it. It has been everywhere, including a trip up over Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (from town). The only blemish in the frame is a result of me knocking it over onto a wood stove, which didn't even get through the tough paint. At least two of my kids want me to build them bikes using one of those black "stealth" frames, too.

    I don't know anything about the Sette frame mentioned above, but I do notice that it comes with a seatpost clamp, which the Nashbar frame does not. I might check that frame out for future build, but I am very happy with everything about the Nashbar frame for now.
    I'm on the fence about purchasing the Nashbar 26" frame, I find my 18" Kona Steely frame much too long, and judging by comparing the two's sizing charts, I think the 18" Nashbar seems promising.

    I'm 5'8, and i have an extremely short torso. Would the 18" be a good choice for me?
    Thanks.

  29. #29
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    "Last is the Nashbar with the very short Redline Cyclocross fork."

    So is this the fork I want for my 93 Gary Fisher Tassajara? I'm looking for something that does not drastically alter my bikes geometry, but is sturdier for trail riding.

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Size:  29.0 KBSeeing how this thread helped me figure out my affairs to this point, I figured I would contribute with my Nashbar build....in progress. Currently missing a headset so disregard the rake. I will be replacing the 105 cranks with cx cranks with smaller chainrings.

    Currently installed 105 cranks are 108 width, 172.5 arm length with about 1/8" space between crank and bb. I could file off the square edge of the crank end if I wanted to and create more room if I was keeping the crankset. 53tooth ring is 1/16" away from chainstay. Not cool.

    Frame came in with 130 rear spacing which was what I was expecting.
    I contacted Nashbar beforehand regarding the rear spacing confusion and they said the 135mm spacing applies to the carbon frame and the 130mm spacing is on the aluminum frame.

    Will be installing Avid Ultimate vee brakes with travel agents and on the look out for fat ass all purpose tires

    other picture is my bikepacking concept bike

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