Help, I need a new Steel frame, maybe Ti- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help, I need a new Steel frame, maybe Ti

    I'm in the market for a new Steel or Ti 29er frame in XL? My price range is up to $1,500 max, preferably in the $600 - $1,200 range. I ride mostly hard pack, flowy, rooty, single track with lots of switch backs, not a whole lot of rock or huge bombing hills. I plan to use my White Bros Rock Solid carbon forks (80mm).

    I love the Walt Works frames, but need something relatively quick, so not sure Custom will work for me. Frames I currently have my eye on, in no particular order are -

    Salsa El Mariachi
    Vassago Jabberwocky
    Singular Swift
    Q-Ball
    On-One Inbred Ti
    Lynskey (no xl SL's currently in stock)

    Would love to hear some opinions on any of the above or even suggestions on some others.

    Thanks for any help.
    anything Steel

  2. #2
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    I think they are all good choices, but you did say gears or not. I'm assuming SS mainly because of the frames you've listed.

    I would personally choose the Swift.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding
    I think they are all good choices, but you did say gears or not. I'm assuming SS mainly because of the frames you've listed.

    I would personally choose the Swift.
    Yes, should have mentioned SS. Also, would prefer to get away from EBB, but woud still consider it.
    anything Steel

  4. #4
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    El Mar gives you lots of options. Unless you plan on owning the bike for A LONG time (ie.2000 GT Avalanche) stay away from Ti, as it appears you like to get new bikes & have a budget that doesn't really allow u too look much at Ti unless you go Bike's Direct & sell the specs/fork & run rigid. MTB's & SS are evolving much faster than road bikes, IMO Ti is a risky game for maintaining its value with MTBs, especially w/ an EBB. Just my 2-cents & I am sure others will disagree.

  5. #5
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    I would seriously look at the OSBikes Blackbuck, there is a drop of M, L and XL frames on its way according to this thread

    I bought one in Nov 2008 purely to try out the geometry as I was designing and building custom 29ers at that point and wondered if Mark Slate (of WTB Phoenix fame) was on to some thing.

    Well he was and the BB is my only mountain bike and has been for a while as it rides amazingly, fits perfectly (for me, the 1st gen frames were one size only!) and looks nice to boot. The EBB has caused zero issues even in sloppy UK winters with no maintenance and I only adjust it when changing gear ratios...3 times so far! (32:20 > 32:18 > 32:20 )

    Guitar Ted did a great test on fork geometry with the BB as it can be used with the BB fork (short and long rake) or more regular suspension or rigid forks. With the BB fork it handles amazingly well in the tight stuff but can still be ridden all day with out having to fight it to stay in a straight line.

    Frames I think are about $550, forks another $50 but confirm with Mark.

    I have no affiliation to OSBikes, I just know what I like.

    SSP
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
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    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  6. #6
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    Well, I think the Jabberwocky is a great choice. Disclaimer: I own one. I had a hard time choosing between the Jabber and the QBall. I got a little better deal on the Jabber, which is why I went with it. Someday, I'd like to get a QBall frame, as I don't know of a single person that regretted purchasing one.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input so far. I'm adding the Carver 99er ti and Niner Sir9 to the mix of frames I am considering. Additional input or opinions welcomed.

    The list is helpful as well for others considering framesets

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=669873
    anything Steel

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlespeedpunk
    I would seriously look at the OSBikes Blackbuck, there is a drop of M, L and XL frames on its way according to this thread

    I bought one in Nov 2008 purely to try out the geometry as I was designing and building custom 29ers at that point and wondered if Mark Slate (of WTB Phoenix fame) was on to some thing.

    Well he was and the BB is my only mountain bike and has been for a while as it rides amazingly, fits perfectly (for me, the 1st gen frames were one size only!) and looks nice to boot. The EBB has caused zero issues even in sloppy UK winters with no maintenance and I only adjust it when changing gear ratios...3 times so far! (32:20 > 32:18 > 32:20 )

    Guitar Ted did a great test on fork geometry with the BB as it can be used with the BB fork (short and long rake) or more regular suspension or rigid forks. With the BB fork it handles amazingly well in the tight stuff but can still be ridden all day with out having to fight it to stay in a straight line.

    Frames I think are about $550, forks another $50 but confirm with Mark.

    I have no affiliation to OSBikes, I just know what I like.

    SSP
    X2!!! i love mine. I will buy the new one when it is avail...

    Q

  9. #9
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    moots

  10. #10
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Spot Rocker $1400 True Temper steel, made in Colorado.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  11. #11
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    What sort of handling qualities are you looking for? I ride a Bandersnatch,(same geometry as the Jabberwocky). If you are looking for a very quick handling bike you might look elsewhere. I feel the Vassago is a very stable bike, nothing knocks it off course, easy to ride when tired, front wheel is very planted in corners, front wheel stays on the ground during climbs. However, I find it a little difficult to get around very tight switchbacks, and it takes a little more effort to loft the front wheel over obstacles than other bikes I've ridden. Also, the paint is very soft.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel29er
    Thanks for the input so far. I'm adding the Carver 99er ti and Niner Sir9 to the mix of frames I am considering. Additional input or opinions welcomed.

    The list is helpful as well for others considering framesets

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=669873
    The Carver is a great Ti bike. I have had one for about 4 months and it just "feels right!" Running 650B SS and 100mm Velvet RL. It rides like a dream.

  13. #13
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    Bi:stickel

    I don't own one, but I have been reading a lot of good things about Bi:stickel.
    It's custom steel at $1500.
    Worth a look anyway.
    this space left intentionally blank

  14. #14
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    I own SIR 9

    I'll own til I break it and probably have it welded when I do ( maybe it won't be main bike though ). Sir 9 reinforcement gussets(?) on seat tube and downtube need to be oiled so they don't creak. They are only welded along the sides, not the concave part. I am not sold on EBB. My next bike will be a Carbon Zaskar 26" with retrofit EBB. But I think horizontal dropouts are the way to go. Titanium is only bought a few times in a life so get one! I probably never can afford it. Good Luck!

  15. #15
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    +1 on the Jabberwocky- however, like others, I need to put in a disclaimer- I own one. I rode a Rig before that, and like the Jabber a lot better. Of course, if I had the loots, I'd probably shoot for the Singular- those frames are gorgeous (and reports are great for riding, though I have no first-hand experience). I'd also like to try a ti SS sometime. The Salsa also looks sweet as does the Linksey. I got a great deal on my Jabber, which was a big part of why I went that way.

    Another note on the Jabber. I had heard a bit about the "slow handling" before I bought and was a little worried about it. I found my Rig to be almost twitchy in tight switchbacks. I run a G2 Fox Fork (80mm) up front on the Jabber and it doesn't feel slow at all to me. Very stable, incredibly fun bike. I'm on the front range of Colorado, so I have plenty of tight, techy switchbacks and I have no issues with the steering (at least, no issues that are due to the handling of the bike ).

    (love the Bones icon, btw)

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the suggestions, still can't make up my mind. Looks like Carver is out of SS XL's so I would have to go custom and unfortunately can't wait that long. I really like the geo of the Vassago. The One One Ti is sweet and built by Lynskey, The Swift is very sweet as well..decisions decisions.
    anything Steel

  17. #17
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    If I didn't have a price restriction, I'd definitely try the On One or the Swift. I love my Jabber, but if you can afford either of the others, I think the worst case scenario is buy, ride, and if you don't like it, sell and get a Jabber (and you'd have money left over). Having said that, I don't think my Jabber is any "less" of a bike, but the lines and the construction on the Singular are just gorgeous and Ti is, well Ti. Of course there are geometry differences, but I've found you can't know what works for you until you ride it.

    FWIW, I am 5'9" and typically ride a medium/ 17" bike. I rode a M Rig as my first SS (and first 29er), but I ride a Small in the Jabberwocky. It has a super long top tube and the stretched out geometry is fantastic, but I highly recommend sizing more by length/ reach than any other measurement.

  18. #18
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    I really like the design of the Inbred Ti. I love that they kept the track ends (what some refer to as "horizontal drops". I trust track ends over ebb or sliders, which is one of the main reasons I went with the Jabber. Rear brake adjustments may need to be made occasionally (after cog, ring, chain changes), but it hasn't been bad at all on my Jabber or the wife's Inbred (steel).

  19. #19
    Kam
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    for $1500, i think the only ti is maybe a new on-one, a or a used lynksey or maybe another boutique ti bike.

    if you want a new steel frame fast, seven and i.f. can get you a frame fast, but it will be close to $2000. soulcrafts (i own one, and it is the BEST bike i have ever owned, and i have owned many!) are about 2 months waiting, and they run $2000 too.

    i would give brendan a call and see how long it would take you to get a john henry. i think th mrsp is about $1000 and he make's 'em quick!!! call the path bike shop in tustin, ca, they had a large john henry there on clearance for under $800 or sumthin', talk to brian blair, aka donkey here on mtbr.

    also, russ denny in so cal is cranking out frames pretty quick, and he is a great builder...

    the black buck is a great frame, if the geo works for you, then is is a GREAT deal!!! it is probably the only eBB (split shell/pinch bolt ebb) frame i'd ever buy!
    "forget kings...forget hadleys......they all have crap engagement. just run your bike fixed gear." - FoShizzle

  20. #20
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    On-one sells their last XL lynskeys for us$800 now

  21. #21
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    If you want to stay away form EBBs this would be the one's I'd consider (cheapest to highest)
    2011 Kona Unit - think their around $500 for frameset
    El Mariachi - $570
    Siren John Henry - start at $1250
    By:Stickel - start at $1500 (may have a little more wait time with Steve at the moment)

    BTW- I owned a OS Blackbuck for a short period, the split shell EBB is the only EBB I'd ever consider owning again.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

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