Dos Niner or custom steel?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    rider
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    Dos Niner or custom steel?

    So I'm just about to pull the trigger on a custom steel frame (geared) and I see the Dos Niner is now available. Assuming I can get the Dos Niner for $750.99 and the custom steel is around the same, what do you pick? Too early in production to sink the cash into the Salsa? If I go custom it's going to get ordered this week so I won't have the time to wait out the conclusion on the Dos.

    A little history... I want a "racier" frame. I'm thinking about parking the 26" wheels for a couple of races. My Asylum's built a little heavy for racing becasue it's my trail/play bike. The Dos Niner angles are a little steeper therefore might fill the bill for a faster bike. I'd build the custom steel the same.

  2. #2
    giddy up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamSwami.com
    So I'm just about to pull the trigger on a custom steel frame (geared) and I see the Dos Niner is now available. Assuming I can get the Dos Niner for $750.99 and the custom steel is around the same, what do you pick? Too early in production to sink the cash into the Salsa? If I go custom it's going to get ordered this week so I won't have the time to wait out the conclusion on the Dos.

    A little history... I want a "racier" frame. I'm thinking about parking the 26" wheels for a couple of races. My Asylum's built a little heavy for racing becasue it's my trail/play bike. The Dos Niner angles are a little steeper therefore might fill the bill for a faster bike. I'd build the custom steel the same.
    If it's going to primarily be a race bike I say go with the salsa. If you can get it for 750 that's a steal! If it sucks you can always sell it on here for a little less and then go custom.

    Again, that advice is only in regards to a race bike.

    If you want a do it all bike I'd go with a custom steel hardtail.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  3. #3
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    for $750, Walt can build you a sweet frame set up the way you want it.

    For me, that would be the best way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    If it's going to primarily be a race bike I say go with the salsa. If you can get it for 750 that's a steal! If it sucks you can always sell it on here for a little less and then go custom.

    Again, that advice is only in regards to a race bike.

    If you want a do it all bike I'd go with a custom steel hardtail.

    B

  4. #4
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
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    can't beat custom

    Walt's frames start at $700. and he makes each one for the individual buyer. that is worth a ton of points on the "i love how my bike rides" meter.

    i trust Salsa as a company, and i am happy they are on board with frames. though i have never really understood the "soft tail" idea on any bike. why add the expense, weight and maintenance of a shock for so little in return? get a custom steel frame built for you and your riding style/needs and you won't need anything else!

    i am starting my process with Walt right now...
    Spinning and Grinning...

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Custom steel. No question for me.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
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    It would be nice to support Salsa

    It would be nice to support Salsa and the bike is light for a softtail but I figgin' LOVE my steel bike. Plus with the softail design you get the chain tension compressing the suspension right at the point where your weight compresses the suspension and you could get some bobbing while pedalling. I guess for me it would be harder if the salsa was a regular hardtail with "hi-tech" tubing. As it is it seems like custom steel is the best way to go. <-note, this is an opinion only...
    Last edited by Fastskiguy; 02-03-2005 at 07:03 PM. Reason: just sounded really stupid before

  7. #7
    rider
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    I was leaning towards the custom steel to begin with. I've been planning on going that way for a couple of weeks. I've reached out to Walt and Curtlo. They're both in the same price range. Walt gave me a lot of valuable input and it's obvious that his dedication and knowledge makes him a desirable builder and has also made his wait list pretty long. I wish I could wait it out but I'm flawed with impatience. I want to race this bike and time is running out (my procrastination to blame). A good reason for my consideration of the Salsa was the tight geometry and the instant gratification of getting the frame quickly, 3-5 days and it's mine. As far as softails go, I own an Ibis Ripley and it's a superb riding/handling bike even though it's a 26. I do like the softail concept in general, Ive never felt a loss of climbing power, the extra weight and maintenance is minimal, but then again, I am talking about the Ibis (which is probably the best execution of a softail ever), not the unproven Salsa.

    Anyone want to talk me into the Salsa? The Dos Niner thought is still in my head but custom steel is in the lead. I'm thinking more and more about the "custom steel love factor".

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    I was going to mention the time factor since no one else had. To me its a no brainer if time isn't in the equation: custom all the way. But if it is, that makes the Salsa much more desireable. Given your timeframe I agree with donkey. Get the Salsa now and if it doesn't work out sell it and go for steel.

    Another consideration is fit obviously. I'm lucky in that production frames have always been a good fit for me. I'm average for my height I guess. So I don't feel the need to go custom. You've got the numbers on the Salsa, so the question is, do they work for you?
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  9. #9
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    Well how about....

    Lighter (probably), has suspension, can get it quicker, no more expensive, it'll never rust, and it supports a company trying to get something going in the 29" universe. Having a steel bike this is difficult for me but with steel you have hundred year old technology, it'll take awhile to get, resale might be not so great (custom geometry for you but not for anybody else, right?), it could rust, no suspension, and it'll probably be heavier (mine is 4.5#'s).

    Hey just trying to help

  10. #10
    Recovering couch patato
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    Custom was there when we (our pioneers) started riding bikes, and will still be here when the 29" fad passes. Way cool, gotta have one some day, but in your position I'd be all over the Salsa. Actually considering it for my XC racing. In many ways, the Dos Niner makes sense to me.

    -Normally least important to me, but these graphics are so cool they make it my first point
    -Indeed, probably a bit lighter than an affordable steel frame
    -I can only imagine how custom steel must ride compared to my halleluya-rated cheapass Surly, and I've never ridden a proper softtail my size, but the Salsa has got to be more comfortable at high speed while offering that little bit of extra traction when you need it.
    -That price...short delivery...almost too good to be true.
    -Yes, we need an affordable scandium geared race hardtail. But that doesn't make a softtail a bad plan for now, not at all, at least to me.
    Wow, imagine I could swap all the parts on my Fisher to a Dos Niner before the next weekend...gotta take a second job :-(

    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  11. #11
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    dos noner question

    My opinion, for what it is worth: Custom steel.

    My question: are the dos 9er's chainstays made of aluminum? If they are, I think the long term durability of the bike is greatly diminished. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aluminum does not like to go through lots of bending stress without fatiguing and eventually breaking.

  12. #12
    rider
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    Jason (Salsa) was kind enought to send me frame specs. At 6' I'd look at the 20" frame as spec'd below:

    ST 20" c-t
    TT 23.5" c-c, 24.4" horizontal
    ST 73
    HT 72
    Chainstay 17.9"
    Wheelbase 43.6"
    Standover 33.3"


    thought son the spec? Are these chainstays a bit long? I do know enought to say that the 72 degree head angle should make for a quicker handling bike.

    Regarding wait time for my steel frame option, I was told that Curtlo's turnaround was 4-6 weeks but probably not for long maybe more like 6-8 weeks (with my procrastination).

  13. #13
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamSwami.com
    ... Are these chainstays a bit long?...
    Should be fine. Less problem with front derailleur clearance. Better tire clearance. Little climbing traction loss if the rest of the bike is balanced well.
    mtbtires.com
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  14. #14
    giddy up!
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    Remember that 4-6 weeks on the Curtlo may only be an estimate:-)

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  15. #15
    mvi
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    Salsa!

    Unless you can get some nice light tubing on the custom steel (853?) , my choice would be the Salsa. Really I would like them both.
    Who really needs custom sizing? Custom angles and custom BB drop yes, but most people don,t need custom seizing IMHO.
    I never broke a Aluminum frame by the way , while I did break steel road frames.

  16. #16
    Witty McWitterson
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    As much as I love steel(I've got a custom Hunter), I'd probably go with the Salsa on this one. Why? Availability is essentailly now. It's lighter. It'll handle jsut fine w/o the custom factor. If you don't like it, it'll have better resale potenial since it's a 'brand' name. Sounds like for your needs (racing) its a bit more suited. You've got teh Asylum already for banging about, get this for speed.
    Just a regular guy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Custom was there when we (our pioneers) started riding bikes, and will still be here when the 29" fad passes.

    This was funny reading this post from a few years ago. I don't think 29" is a fad anymore.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldy88
    This was funny reading this post from a few years ago. I don't think 29" is a fad anymore.
    I totally agree. I was getting ready to start budgeting to get a custom steel SS frame built, but at point I've narrowed by choices down to the

    1.dos niner (with the trickstuff excentriker) (4 lbs)
    2. vassago optimus ti. (3.5 lbs)

    Granted the vassago is pricy-er, but I would love to have sliding dropouts.

  19. #19
    illuminator82
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    watch out for this...
    the dos niner's are FLEXY...
    been riding a fisher mt tam 29er since 02. and owned a dos for 3 months. did NOT like it; flexed all over the place..sold the dos and got the new specy 29er stumpy, which is not as stiff as the new fisher G2 niner(disliked how it handled, too twitchy- this coming from a guy who likes fishers), but stiff nonetheless, in the right areas- ie bottom bracket and rear triangle...
    go steel, get it built right for your weight and uses, and make sure you request what you want...
    try both and see what you like..
    ride what you like but just ride...

  20. #20
    Master of the Face Plant
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    A note on the Dos. At first I thought mine was Flexy as well. I put on a nice stiff wheelset and that solved the flexy problem. I owned a mid level steel frame and it was beating me up pretty bad. The Dos takes the edge off just enough for me. My current stable includes the Dos, Turner Flux, 05 Prophet, 05 stumpy hardtail. I think with 29 inch wheels any noticable flex is amplified if you have flexy wheels. I actually like the steering on the Dos better than my Flux.

  21. #21
    Go make a difference
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    I think it's great that someone pulled this from the dusty shelves!

    Brooke~ are you a lightweight or Clyde? I'm 200 lbs (just down from 210 this month ) and my Dos does not flex that much, that I notice. There is some flex when I'm out of the saddle on a long fireroad climb, and it's somewhere in the rear end on my left downstroke and is evident by a slight rub on my brake rotor.

    Note on wheels: I'm running DT Swiss Onyx on Salsa Delgado's and another set is 340's on Delgados. I've had NO issue with them and have been railing these wheels for over a year now. This weekend at the Granny Gear race in Conyers, I tweaked the rear wheel a bit about 4 miles into my last 8 mile lap. If you've ever ridden Conyers, you know the last 4 miles is a lot of exposed granite. While I held back a bit and didn't completely rail the turns and launch some jumps while bombing the bumpy granite, the wheel held and I was able to finish the lap (holding onto our place in the standings).

    I'd be interested to see which way the OP went on his purchase. I have a Walt and a Salsa and love 'em both but the Dos is more fun to ride, mainly b/c I don't get beat up as badly on the longer rides AND it's easier to jump

    Great job Salsa on both frame and rims! I appreciate the work you're doing!
    Charles Myrick
    33North Adventures | Owner
    Bike | Climb | Hike | Paddle
    New trips: Tibet & Bosnia!

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