Which frame would you choose? GT Peace or Kona Unit- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which frame would you choose? GT Peace or Kona Unit

    Okay, I would like to hear some opinions. I am going to be building up a new 29er single speed. I am trying to pick between 2 frames. The two choices are a 2010 GT Peace or the 2011 Kona Unit. I will be building from the frame up so I don't care about what parts come on the complete bikes. I currently ride a 26" version of the peace and like the fit/feel of the frame so I am sure I would like the 29" frame also. I can get both frames for about the same cost so that is not an issue. Are there any reasons to choose the Unit over the Peace?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wu501
    Okay, I would like to hear some opinions. I am going to be building up a new 29er single speed. I am trying to pick between 2 frames. The two choices are a 2010 GT Peace or the 2011 Kona Unit. I will be building from the frame up so I don't care about what parts come on the complete bikes. I currently ride a 26" version of the peace and like the fit/feel of the frame so I am sure I would like the 29" frame also. I can get both frames for about the same cost so that is not an issue. Are there any reasons to choose the Unit over the Peace?
    Yes... Unit has sliding dopouts versus the EBB (eccentric bottom bracket) I will
    ALWAYS choose sliders for good reasons.

    1. No annoying squeaking/squalling/creaking (most of them creak like hell)
    2. No change in saddle for and aft with adjustment in chain tension.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  3. #3
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    I have an '09 Peace 9r SS. It does NOT have an EBB, it has the sliding dropouts. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the 2010 Peace 9r SS also has sliding dropouts. I can't give an opinion on the Unit, but the Peace is a pretty good frame for the price.

  4. #4
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    They are probably very similar frames. Compare the geometry of each to your current frame. I am a fan of sliding dropouts, and not really a fan of EBB's, for the reasons others have listed. I have a 2009 Kona, which I think is similar or the same as the 2011 (aside from paint color). It's a nice frame; I think when discussing basic steel frames at a similar price point there are not huge differences between brands. The sliding dropouts are easy to use and the geometry works for me. I would happily buy it again if I had to.

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    ^^The Peace hasn't had an ebb since 2008.The 2009 and 2010 models have track ends.

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    Like I said I already have a 26" Peace and I know the frame is solid because of the riding I have done. I guess I was just seeing if anybody has ridden both and preferred the Unit.

  7. #7
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    I don't see a whole lot of difference in most basic steel frames. I don't even know if a more expensive steel frame (Under 1k) would ride/feel any better to me.

  8. #8
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    I rode a Peace when looking for my last bike, and it felt heavy, but that was only on roads. I ended up buying the Unit. I got a 2009 which cracked and was replaced twice before they upgraded me to the 2010 Unit with the stronger slider setup. Happy enough now.
    I see hills.

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  9. #9
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    Ummm......tough call, the Kona has cable stops and a deraileur dropout is available so you can run gears or ss. The Peace in my opinion has great geometry and cool looks.

    I own both a Peace and a Unit, If I had to pick one it would be the Kona. If the Gt is rasta or tri-colour blue it would be really close, but I prefer the Kona's sliders over Gt's trackends.

  10. #10
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    I only have a 26" Peace and will agree that it is fairly heavy. However, I have heard of quite a few Kona's cracking in the past. Perhaps the newer version is a little stronger but I am still a bit of a track ends fan so I would still consider the GT. My biggest issue with mine has simply become weight as I have contracted weight weenieness over the past couple of months.

  11. #11
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    thanks for the replies guys. I will probably build up the Peace frame as I know the abuse I have put my 26" version through and it hasn't failed me. The Peace frame isn't actually heavy. The stock fork and wheels are the big weight problems. Since I will be building from frame up, the bike will weigh quite a bit less than the way they come from the factory.

  12. #12
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    Another Peace vote here.

  13. #13
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    I love my Peace. On top of XC riding I also ride it dirt jumping and in the skate park, peace gets my vote.

  14. #14
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    I have the "Rasta" Peace...I use a chain tensioner for now...I bought it originally for the paint, (converted to SS before bringing it home from LBS) but I like the option to put gears on it if I choose. Your making a good choice with the GT. Note: the dropouts on the GT are called "Breezer dropouts" not track ends FYI (just sayin).
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

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    I ordered a Kona Unit because I needed the larger geometry for my 6'5" height.

    Should arrive by mid January.

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    I prefer the gt as the kona looks a bit fragile.

  17. #17
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    I've been looking at getting my first 29er for a while. Did countless hours of research and reading on entry level bikes. The Kona's seem to be pretty well liked, and although they've had some frame cracking, the company stands behind them. Had my eye on a used Unit on craigslist last month for $500obo, although I'm glad I held off! I made the jump on a 2010 GT Peace off of Nashbar.com. They were on clearance for $399 and then had a coupon code for an additional 11% off... Couldn't pass it up for that price, plus I'm a sucker for white bikes. Shipped out yesterday... They had been on my short list of possible bikes when they were for sale for $599, so for $369 shipped, I had to go for it!

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    Reno - That's an awesome price. Looks like they're back up to $499.

  19. #19
    meh... whatever
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    my .02 is on the side of the unit. imho better ride quality, especially rigid.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    Yes... Unit has sliding dopouts versus the EBB (eccentric bottom bracket) I will
    ALWAYS choose sliders for good reasons.

    1. No annoying squeaking/squalling/creaking (most of them creak like hell)
    2. No change in saddle for and aft with adjustment in chain tension.
    This like saying all cars are bad because you bought a Yugo. Don't paint with such a broad brush. You obviously don't know a good EBB from a bad one. Both exist.

    --sParty
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    This like saying all cars are bad because you bought a Yugo. Don't paint with such a broad brush. You obviously don't know a good EBB from a bad one. Both exist.

    --sParty
    Shirley, you can't be serious...?

    He said "most of them creak like hell" I concur, everyone I know who has one has had problems at one time or another. Maybe there are good ones out there but not that I have ever seen.

    And what's wrong with my Yugo...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie whiskey
    Shirley, you can't be serious...?

    He said "most of them creak like hell" I concur, everyone I know who has one has had problems at one time or another. Maybe there are good ones out there but not that I have ever seen.

    And what's wrong with my Yugo...
    He said "ALWAYS choose sliders..."

    The split shell aka pinch bolt EBB was the first and is still by far the best. Other styles hit the market... they are inferior. Every one of them have tried to offer a reason to depart from the split shell standard: cheaper construction, proprietary design, etc. but most often fail. These have given the split shell EBB a bad name as people lump all EBBs together. Too bad. It's like judging all bicycles by the ones you buy at Walmart.

    I will defend the split shell EBB against those who lump all EBBs together the same way you might defend a "real" bicycle against those who judge all bikes by the ones sold at cheap commodity stores.

    --sParty

    P.S. How does Moose know that most EBBs creak like hell? Has he ridden with most EBB owners? He's judging by what he's heard, and he's only heard from those with complaints. Ask him if he's heard a complaint from a split shell EBB owner. That is assuming Moose knows the difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenoRacing
    I've been looking at getting my first 29er for a while. Did countless hours of research and reading on entry level bikes. The Kona's seem to be pretty well liked, and although they've had some frame cracking, the company stands behind them. Had my eye on a used Unit on craigslist last month for $500obo, although I'm glad I held off! I made the jump on a 2010 GT Peace off of Nashbar.com. They were on clearance for $399 and then had a coupon code for an additional 11% off... Couldn't pass it up for that price, plus I'm a sucker for white bikes. Shipped out yesterday... They had been on my short list of possible bikes when they were for sale for $599, so for $369 shipped, I had to go for it!
    I got one of these also on sale for $399 and additional 11% off. It came yesterday and I built it up last night. It looks very nice! Can't wait to ride it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    This like saying all cars are bad because you bought a Yugo. Don't paint with such a broad brush. You obviously don't know a good EBB from a bad one. Both exist.

    --sParty
    You are painting a broad stroke assuming I don't know the difference between ebb's. For the record I've owned several non dept. store bikes with ebb's. I can tell you this.. I would rather adjust paragon style sliders anyday against any ebb... I like the low maintenance of paragon sliders too.. no removing/cleaning/ or alignment issues. No tricks with thread anti-seize paste etc. Whatever flips your eggs man... It's not that important..

    Here is some proof.. not that you need it..your mind was made up.




    Yes that's me. Bike: 09 Gary Fisher Rig and for the record "I" will always choose sliders based on my experience.
    Last edited by mo0se; 01-06-2011 at 01:06 PM.
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  25. #25
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    I think he's "eyeing" you sparty! You better push him away with your cane! haha j/k

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie whiskey
    I think he's "eyeing" you sparty! You better push him away with your cane! haha j/k
    It's all in good humor..
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

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    lol...you guys killed my thread with your ebb bull ****. Neither frame I was talking about has a EBB!!!! I already made my choice anyway but feel free to carry on

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by wu501
    lol...you guys killed my thread with your ebb bull ****. Neither frame I was talking about has a EBB!!!! I already made my choice anyway but feel free to carry on
    You'll learn quick around here, in order for a thread to survive it must get hijacked.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    You are painting a broad stroke assuming I don't know the difference between ebb's. For the record I've owned several non dept. store bikes with ebb's. I can tell you this.. I would rather adjust paragon style sliders anyday against any ebb... I like the low maintenance of paragon sliders too.. no removing/cleaning/ or alignment issues. No tricks with thread anti-seize paste etc. Whatever flips your eggs man... It's not that important..

    Here is some proof.. not that you need it..your mind was made up.

    {pix}


    Yes that's me. Bike: 09 Gary Fisher Rig and for the record "I" will always choose sliders based on my experience.
    I don't know what kind of EBB your Rig has in it, but I'll bet it isn't a split shell EBB.

    Speaking of minds made up... have you ever owned a bike with a split shell EBB? I have not owned a bike with sliders but I'd happily own one, despite seeing cracked frames and hearing stories of alignment challenges plus their relative uglyness. In fact sliders would be my third tensioning system choice behind a split shell EBB and swinging dropouts. With sliders, once again, there are good ones and bad ones. But I'll do my research before maligning them all.

    Let's each make our own decisions about what we like without feeling like we need to kick sand in our brother's eyes for his choices. Yes, I did take offense at your earlier comment which included all EBBs. Sorry I took a swing back at you.

    --sParty
    Last edited by Sparticus; 01-06-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie whiskey
    I think he's "eyeing" you sparty! You better push him away with your cane! haha j/k
    I'd rather ride bikes with Moose than argue with him on an internt forum.

    --sParty

    P.S. It's not a cane, it's a walker.
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  31. #31
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    Having had a Unit, I'd choose the Peace. My overall impression of the Unit was... heavy. And too small (not really the Unit's fault, but you get what pay for with advice on the internet)

    And having owned both, I'd take most EBBs over most sliders. I'd especially like to try a split shell EBB some day (although I had no complaints about the set screw Phil Wood unit on my Singular). Sliders slips, and IME, are a pain to adjust--six bolts to move your wheel, and you still have to get the alignment right.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Reno - That's an awesome price. Looks like they're back up to $499.
    Just got the Nashbar mailer today and saw that it was back down to $399. Just checked the site and sure enough, $399. Extra 10% off using SINGLE10. I'm tempted to pick one up, just because...

  33. #33
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    Peace only goes up to 20". Kona Unit has a 22" model with a 25.5" top tube length and 6.3" head tube length.

    Kona Unit was the only steel SS 29er hardtail I could find under $1,000 ($849) that would fit a 6'5" rider.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I'd rather ride bikes with Moose than argue with him on an internt forum.

    --sParty

    P.S. It's not a cane, it's a walker.

    And is that bike shorts you have on or is it just the Depends sticking out?

    For the sake of staying on topic, I have seen a lot (and I mean a lot) of broken Kona Unit frames down at the LBS. It makes me a little leary of them.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by wu501
    lol...you guys killed my thread with your ebb bull ****. Neither frame I was talking about has a EBB!!!! I already made my choice anyway but feel free to carry on
    I thought the peace had an ebb?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippinveedub
    I thought the peace had an ebb?
    Quote Originally Posted by wu501
    ^^The Peace hasn't had an ebb since 2008.The 2009 and 2010 models have track ends.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I'd rather ride bikes with Moose than argue with him on an internt forum.

    --sParty

    P.S. It's not a cane, it's a walker.
    It's all in good fun.. my e-skin is thick and durable.
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  38. #38
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    I figured I'd follow up...
    Bike came in the mail today! Faster than I had expected, seeing as I just paid for it Sunday. So, put me on the list of people who have had positive Nashbar experiences. Bike was really easy to put together(30 minutes), and arrived perfect aside from a small scuff on the fork dropout. Looks like it took a little hit and about 1/4" x 1/4" chuck of paint flaked off. The dropout was just slightly bent, but not bad enough that a little pry with a hammer couldn't fix. I've already been out and put a few mile on it(all on-road) and I'm loving it. Tore through some snow and hit some little jumps in the park, and it's a champ! It weighs in at just under 28lbs as you see it here. Only immediate changes are that I ordered some different size Surly cogs to give me some options, a Selle Italia XR saddle might go on if the WTB isn't comfy for me, and some new SPD pedals will be going on.

    It was a little tough to find information on the GT Peace when I was shopping around, so hopefully this info can help others. It's a size Medium for reference. The last picture shows the true color, a nice pearly white!




  39. #39
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    ^^thanks for the pics reno. I just placed an order for one earlier today. I like my 26" Peace so much that I figured I should go with it again in the 29" variety I am only using the stock frame..and maybe the fork. The stock stuff holds up okay but I am going for a lighter build. Nice to see some pics of the color. It is exactly what I was hoping for.

  40. #40
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    Another vote for Peace!
    Santa Cruz Tallboy & Bullit
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  41. #41
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    Love my 2011 Kona Unit 2-9, rarely ride my FS anymore. It's tough, handles awesome, love the steel ride. Biggest changes I made were Bontrager Duster SS wheels, Ergon Biocork grips, and Brooks saddle.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  42. #42
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    congrats on your new bike, RenoRacing, its a beauty!

    it is hard to tell from the pics...
    looks like that is a cassette-ready rear hub?
    or is it ss specific?
    are there any cable stops?
    (yeah, i know this is ss forum but just in case a person wanted to add gears down the road)

    thanx & enjoy that gt...

  43. #43
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    ^^I can answer the questions you asked.

    The hub is ss specific and there are no cable stops on the frame.

  44. #44
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    Holy crap, that is a nice bike for $400! That one must have snuck by me. Let us know how she rides... BTW, what's the approx. weight?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenoRacing
    It weighs in at just under 28lbs as you see it here.

    quoted from Reno's post.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIFECYCLE
    I prefer the gt as the kona looks a bit fragile.
    If you can't tell by my pics I'm a clyde @ 240 I rest easy knowing the 2011 Unit has a lifetime warrranty. The geo changes for 11 are nice. I am not easy on any bike.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie whiskey
    Holy crap, that is a nice bike for $400! That one must have snuck by me. Let us know how she rides... BTW, what's the approx. weight?
    Dixie...if you have to ask... Congrats to the op on the new ride.. Enjoy!!
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    Dixie...if you have to ask... Congrats to the op on the new ride.. Enjoy!!
    I got lost in the EBB debate, found the answer when I went back and re-read. And yeah, I am a {partial} weight weenie. Willy Weenie & the Chocolate Factory has a nice ring to it... Maybe I'll have to change names again.

  49. #49
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    You guys are killing me, I've been eyeing the peace for ever. I have no real reason to get it but I want a 29er so bad. Anyone have a large? How big is it? I'm 6' 3" with a 34" jean inseam and feel like theres a chance the large would be too small.

  50. #50
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    ^^I think you would be fine on the large. You can always change to a longer stem and even go with a set-back seat post. It is a steal for 399.00, even with the stock heavy parts. I am about 190 pounds and I have beat the crap out of my 26" peace (same frame, just smaller) and the frame has not shown any sign of weakness.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie whiskey
    Holy crap, that is a nice bike for $400! That one must have snuck by me. Let us know how she rides... BTW, what's the approx. weight?
    I got one just like it. Pretty sweet ride for under $400 shipped to my door. I have a question, though. How do I adjust the chain tension? Do I loosen the axle bolts, then adjust the tensioners? Is there a certain procedure? I'm new to horizontal dropouts

  52. #52
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    Loosen axle nuts, if there are tugnuts on there, use that to tension (not too tight). Make sure the wheel is centered (I use the chain/seat stays to eyeball it), then retighten. If you don't have tugnuts, a towel between the tire and seat tube works too.

  53. #53
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    I would love to pick one of these up from Nashbar while they still have med avail....anyone want to share a coupon code with me and help a brother out??? (I found the 10% off one...anyting better out there?)

  54. #54
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    poorboy006...
    you already have the 10% code but you're going to roll the bones & hold out for 20 or 25% off & hope your size lasts til then?
    just a word to the wise...
    i tried it myself & i lost. my size sold out before the deal i wanted came around.
    i noticed the peace 9er back when nashbar had an 11% coupon & also free shipping at the beginning of the month but was greedy & figured i could do better. i was wrong
    that bike for under $400 shipped is a good deal & now i am sorry to have missed out. i'm not broken up over it, something else always comes along but who knows when.
    good luck, hope you do better than i did!

  55. #55
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    poorboy006- buy it now with the 10% code. I can almost guarantee you will not beat that price. The bike will go back up to 500 and you wont save any more $$. Or as mentioned above, your size will run out and you will have to wait for another deal if one comes up.

  56. #56
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    I don't even see them on the site anymore
    sorry I was on jenson
    Last edited by csteven71; 01-14-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  57. #57
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    Interesting that on Nashbar the GT Peace 9r 2010 models are cheaper than the 2009 models!

  58. #58
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    Well, I should have taken your advise sooner because I missed out....A good friend of mine has a peace bike in green and I was actually looking to go from an aluminum rigid 29 to a steal frame. The peace bike was to be my ticket plus I love GTs. I think my next option will be to pick up a Peace 9r SS frame and paint it myself.

  59. #59
    Way
    Way is offline
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    The Peace is a great SS bike for the $$, solid and smooth feeling. I also got my 2009 from Nashbar when they had sale. I REALLY wanted the matt green frame but they did not have my size, small, at the time so I ended up with the blue. Nice but not the cool, ecological hippy green! Maybe in the future I'll repaint mine. I did have an issue with a bent fork dropout (probably bent when someone dropped the box) that my lbs fixed.

    I did, however, still like the handling of my Monocog better.

    But then I bought the Ragley Carnegie handlebars and have been trying them out on my Monocog and Peace 9r. These bars really help the handling of both bikes but I was surprised with the difference on the Peace. I've always felt that the Peace with the stock fork and bars felt a bit twitchy, but with the Carnegie bars the handling became stable and predictable. Now I'm debating if I like the Peace better than the Monocog! (though I can still lift the front wheel easier on the MC). IMO these bars are a great upgrade for Peace owners, but YMMV with using alt bars.
    Last edited by Way; 01-17-2011 at 08:29 AM.

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