High end steel frame SS choices- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    High end steel frame SS choices

    I'm a dedicated SS rider. I'm looking to add a high-end steel rig to my stable. I loved the smooth ride of my Sir9 but let's face it. It was kinda heavy and the GEO is to steep. The new one has great GEO but I don't like PF BB and don't wanna buy new boost wheels, especially since I prefer to use SS specific hubs.
    There are a lot of custom steel frames out, they look awesome and I don't mind spending money for quality craftsmanship.
    What do you guys think is a real nice high end steel frame for SS?
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  2. #2
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    I just went through the purchasing process. I ended up with a '17 Vassago Verhauen, see this thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/b...t-1058646.html

  3. #3
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    Waltworks

  4. #4
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    If you have the budget, custom steel would be my first choice.

    What size do you need? Kona Raijin Frame 2015 | Jenson USA This would be my second first choice.

    Edit: Vassago gets my vote for bang for the buck. I'm still a little sour that they don't make XL frames...
    Last edited by *OneSpeed*; 12-04-2017 at 06:50 AM.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  5. #5
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    Reeb.

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    I second Sklar! Sexiest frames around.

    But I have to ask... if you don't mind spending money, and want a good/light SS rig... why not go Ti? The Timberjack is cheaper than most custom steel, and will be lighter. It has alternator dropouts, which are hard/impossible to beat for running SS. Availability is limited, but if my timing is correct the second batch has got to drop in the very near future.

    TIMBERJACK TI FRAME | Salsa Cycles

  8. #8
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    Quiring

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    Waltworks
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  9. #9
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    Custom DeKerf based on your preferences. Gunnar or Spot worth consideration as well. Maybe Chromag? Do you have any preference for dropouts? That may narrow the responses.

    If I wanted to explore all possible configurations and wheel sizes I would go with Waltworks.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  10. #10
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    I'll second Reeb.

    I know they are a up and coming builder compared to some of the others here, but the geometry is really dialed and the construction is great. You don't get a lot of the options you have with others (rigid forks, internal routing, etc), but you also don't have the timeframe (most get their bikes well within 1-2 months). They have a really nice ride quality, especially if you are riding more aggressive/technical terrain.

    They can also run belt drive and are not boost. They will do custom builds for you if you ask, though.

    All that said, the geometry on their bikes is a bit aggressive, you can run a 120-140mm fork on it depending on what you ride, but compared to a lot of the other bikes I see posted here, the geometry is slack and aggressive. For me, riding it in NC, it's perfect, but if your trails are mostly smooth then you might look elsewhere.

    Coconino is always an option too, I've seen Steve's work several times and they are beautiful. You will have a wait, though.

  11. #11
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    Coconino!

  12. #12
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    If custom is an option, Sklar. He is doing some really interesting stuff. Not sure if Wolfhound is still around, but he was building some of the coolest bikes at the time.

    Off the shelf, I'd stick to Reeb or Chromag.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    If custom is an option, Sklar. He is doing some really interesting stuff. Not sure if Wolfhound is still around, but he was building some of the coolest bikes at the time.

    Off the shelf, I'd stick to Reeb or Chromag.
    Why would you suggest Chromag for a SS build? Would be different if they had something with a way to tension the chain, but they don't offer anything.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Why would you suggest Chromag for a SS build? Would be different if they had something with a way to tension the chain, but they don't offer anything.
    Well, I suggested them (can't type for old house man) because they're good bikes and I remembered them having an EBB, but you're right that the frames don't seems to be SS ready other than the dirt jumper. Still good bikes though, even if they require a tensioner... my bad.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  15. #15
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    Chromag offers track end style dropouts, you just have to ask.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    I second Sklar! Sexiest frames around.

    But I have to ask... if you don't mind spending money, and want a good/light SS rig... why not go Ti? The Timberjack is cheaper than most custom steel, and will be lighter. It has alternator dropouts, which are hard/impossible to beat for running SS. Availability is limited, but if my timing is correct the second batch has got to drop in the very near future.

    TIMBERJACK TI FRAME | Salsa Cycles
    I have a custom Ti SS, love it.
    I agree Sklar has hit it out of the park with curvy frames! They look dam good.
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  17. #17
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    They are only making Boost148. I'm stinking with 142x12 to get more life out of my SS specific hubs.
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  18. #18
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    Leaning toward them. Really beautiful frames
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  19. #19
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    I don't know to much about them but they look nice.
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  20. #20
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    What kind of geometry are you looking for?
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    Chromag offers track end style dropouts, you just have to ask.
    Did not know that. However at the "Custom" price of the frames you could select that on, I'd go true custom instead. Chromag makes great bikes though.


    If going custom steel, I'd go Sklar, Waltworks, Forty Four, or Oddity.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    I have a custom Ti SS, love it.
    I agree Sklar has hit it out of the park with curvy frames! They look dam good.
    So..... if you get a Sklar please post up an unhealthy amount of updates!

  23. #23
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    Funny you should ask. I consider my old SIR w/ 71* HTA a gravel bike geo. So that's why I'm getting a new steel frame with a 68-69HTA. I also consider 26mm inner width rims to be gravel bike specs too. Nothing less than i30mm on my SS bikes.
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  24. #24
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    All those are sweet frames. I'm looking forward to finding a builder. I've even though about a Stainless steel frame. Columbus XCR or Reynolds 953.
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  25. #25
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    Mmmm, stainless.....

    Those seem hard to come by, and when I find one it's too close to Ti prices and I start looking at Ti. I understand it's hard to work with, but I wish there were more stainless options/builders.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  26. #26
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    The sir 9 can take a 120mm fork and that would change the geometry. You can also get a cane creek adjustable headset. I would venture to guess the cane creek headset and a 120mm fork would bring the hta to around 68 or so. That setup with a 120mm pike would be lots of fun.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    The sir 9 can take a 120mm fork and that would change the geometry. You can also get a cane creek adjustable headset. I would venture to guess the cane creek headset and a 120mm fork would bring the hta to around 68 or so. That setup with a 120mm pike would be lots of fun.
    Thatís a good idea. I wish the new Sir9 wasnít PF BB and wasnít Boost148. But thatís the direction of all brands. Another reason to stay with custom builders
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Mmmm, stainless.....

    Those seem hard to come by, and when I find one it's too close to Ti prices and I start looking at Ti. I understand it's hard to work with, but I wish there were more stainless options/builders.
    I'd like to see some stainless options as well. I've seen a cross and road bikes by Eriksen that look really cool with the banner downtube graphic. I know a couple builders locally that have said that work with it. As I understand it is that the build requires more effort and good cutting tools which increases build time since it requires care and lowers profit, potentially. Since it's a tough job to begin with driven by a love of cycling and an artful nature, starving frame builders may think it's not something they want to pursue. I don't know that I've seen a mass produced stainless mtb option. Do you know of one? I see Ti versions of popular frames, but not a stainless. I'd like to see more builds, preferably of the mountain variety.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  29. #29
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    My vote is for Breadwinner bikes. Bad Otis or whichever model floats your boat. Complete custom delivered in a 13 week goal. Also prices are very reasonable for a custom built from.

    https://breadwinnercycles.com/product/bad-otis/#frame
    Yeti SB95C
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I don't know that I've seen a mass produced stainless mtb option. Do you know of one? I see Ti versions of popular frames, but not a stainless. I'd like to see more builds, preferably of the mountain variety.
    No, not off the top of my head. The Soma Triple Cross comes to mind, but that's a cross race bike, a pretty cross race bike.

    It's definitely a rare thing. I see more vintage road bike stuff on eBay, can't honestly remember the last stainless MTB I saw. To be fair though I haven't looked much, it's not really on my radar.

    With True Temper out of the game (it still pains me to say that), Reynolds (especially 853) seems to be the most common high end frame material. And for good reason, it's good stuff. 953 must be significantly harder to work with and more expensive(?) otherwise I feel like you would see it more.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    Funny you should ask. I consider my old SIR w/ 71* HTA a gravel bike geo. So that's why I'm getting a new steel frame with a 68-69HTA. I also consider 26mm inner width rims to be gravel bike specs too. Nothing less than i30mm on my SS bikes.
    Seems like Reeb is a good option for you, then. The Dikyelous has a 68 HTA. The geometry is a little shorter than other "aggressive" hardtails I've seen/ridden, but I think it balances out really well especially for SS. I run a slightly longer stem than I do on my longer bikes (Transition Smuggler, Patrol)

    I have mine with a belt drive, CK BB, XX1 cranks, KS Lev post, 780mm Dale's bars, 60mm FSA stem, 130mm Fox 34 Factory, and I-9 Trail 245 wheels. If I could do it over again, I'd do the Enduro 305 wheels over the Trail, but I'm not going to drop that much to change them out. The Trail rims are a bit lighter but I like the added volume running 30mm ID rims.

    I believe they can also run B+ up to 2.8, but I haven't tried so don't quote me on that.

    I ride in WNC, so we get everything from super steep to mellow, flow and gnarly. The bike handles it all really well, much to my surprise (this is my first HT in a long time). I can't say enough positive stuff about the bike. A lot of my PRs are on it, climbing and descending, over a lot of FS bikes I've owned/demoed since riding here.

  32. #32
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    If you are concerned about improving the weight from your Sir9, you may be disappointed. Mine weighed 4.6lbs. My custom with light tubes weighed just over 4lbs.

  33. #33
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    You may want to check 44 Bikes ‚Äď MADE TO SHRED‚ĄĘ Kris's bikes are top shelf!
    SIR 9 SS
    Fatboy

  34. #34
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    Good to hear. Reed sounds like an amazing bike company.
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  35. #35
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    I follow 44, very nice bikes and he even made a super boost 157 version although nobody makes a super boost single speed hub
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  36. #36
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    Great looking bikes. For some reason they seem to a gravel bike expert. Iíd also like to build up one of those too
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  37. #37
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    I love the look and Columbus tubing of the VerHauen but itís Boost 148 spacing only. Iím not sure how Surly and a few others have changeable options but I wish Vassago could be 142x12 I would buy immediately
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  38. #38
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    Reeb sells frames for $1600,great price! It would be nice to know the weights and types of steel pipes used?
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    I follow 44, very nice bikes and he even made a super boost 157 version although nobody makes a super boost single speed hub
    The only real benefit of single speed is the wider spacing of the spokes and the chain line. The chain line would be fine and the wheel would have the stiffness of a boost single speed.

  40. #40
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    Iím not sure of the flange spacing of the super boost geared hub but the single speed specific boost148 is significantly wider than geared boost148. Stronger more stable wheels are a good thing especially with wider rims and fat tires.
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  41. #41
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    The thread I post before my Ti SS build

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    Iím not sure of the flange spacing of the super boost geared hub but the single speed specific boost148 is significantly wider than geared boost148. Stronger more stable wheels are a good thing especially with wider rims and fat tires.
    Just FYI,

    SS 142 hubs have wider flange spacing than geared hubs too, and should result in equal (or nearly equal) spoke tension L and R. They build strong wheels, there is little or no advantage to choosing a boost SS frame over a 142mm frame/dropout. Bracing angle may or may not be better on a Boost hub depending on the manufacturer and where they put the flanges.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    Reeb sells frames for $1600,great price! It would be nice to know the weights and types of steel pipes used?
    Your best bet would be to call Reeb and ask. They are super helpful and will answer any questions you may have.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    I love the look and Columbus tubing of the VerHauen but itís Boost 148 spacing only. Iím not sure how Surly and a few others have changeable options but I wish Vassago could be 142x12 I would buy immediately
    You can run non boost wheels on the boost frames with a spacer kit. I know of a few riders that do just that. I have prior version of the Verhauen with OX Platinum tubing and 135 / 142 spacing and room for 29+ tires. Love the frame.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    I follow 44, very nice bikes and he even made a super boost 157 version although nobody makes a super boost single speed hub
    DT Swiss actually made a very small run of singlespeed 150/157 hubs many years ago. Massive flange spacing! Really not needed, but my custon Plus/fat frame is 157mm rear, so I picked one up last year. Not built up yet though.High end steel frame SS choices-img_3393.jpg

    And yeah, a 135/142 singlespeed hub has wide and even spacing and will build into a strong durable wheel. Also, I don't think I've actually seen a singlespeed boost hub yet.

  46. #46
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    Thatís massive. Iíve only seen Boost148 SS hubs online from ONYX. True 135/142 SS hubs make a nice dish-less wheel and SS 148 is overkill but why get a gear 148 thatís not as wide as the SS 135/142. It just seems regressive
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  47. #47
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    Iím leaning towards this frame, itís such a great deal and checks all the boxes except the Boost spacing. But since itís inexpensive I should just buy a Boost SS hub.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    The only real benefit of single speed is the wider spacing of the spokes and the chain line. The chain line would be fine and the wheel would have the stiffness of a boost single speed.
    FYI, there are a few '17 Verhauen's left, at closeout prices ~$800 (Uses the Ox Platinum tubing), they are 142mm and the headtube is a little steeper (69.5* w/ 120mm fork). I just picked one up, I plan on running it with a 490mm AC rigid fork and a 29+ front tire (2.25 rear) to slacken it out a little. My calculations say it will be 68.8* when I'm done. You could even use a little bit longer fork, but this is within the range you were looking.

    I think this just checked all of your boxes (except no curvy tubes).
    Plus the '17 is lighter than the '18.

    Link: 2017 VerHauen 29er/29+

  49. #49
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    High end steel frame SS choices-503c2f57-a7f1-4d15-8c97-a28a06e6c2ad.jpg


    Just picked up the 2018 VerHauen. The pics donít do the color justice.

    2018 Vassago VerHauen
    New Evol Fox Factory 34
    Sunrigle Duroc 40 with I9 hubs
    Sram GX Crank
    Brooks Cambrium carbon saddle
    Raceface next post
    Bontrager pro 90mm stem
    Bontrager carbon bars
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    Travail 2.6 tires (for now)
    26.3 lbs
    2016 Trek Project One Madone 9 with all SRAM Red 22 drivetrain and Bontrager Aeolus 3 wheels
    2016 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL -Absolute Black oval chainring
    2016 Vassago Verhauen IPA copper-Stans Arch, I9 hubs, X-fusion trace, Raceface next post, Renthal carbon bars, Bontrager seat/stem, Absolute Black oval chainring, Raceface cranks
    2015 Trek Stache 8 -back to stock

  50. #50
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    High end steel frame SS choices-unnamed.jpg
    2016 Trek Project One Madone 9 with all SRAM Red 22 drivetrain and Bontrager Aeolus 3 wheels
    2016 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL -Absolute Black oval chainring
    2016 Vassago Verhauen IPA copper-Stans Arch, I9 hubs, X-fusion trace, Raceface next post, Renthal carbon bars, Bontrager seat/stem, Absolute Black oval chainring, Raceface cranks
    2015 Trek Stache 8 -back to stock

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