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  1. #1
    Rod
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    Looking for guidance on my next SS

    So I sold my last SS. It was a Redline Monocog like so many of us started with. I really enjoyed the bike, but I didn't like the super long chainstays that made it hard to wheelie. I'm looking for something with relatively old school geometry with short stays for tame XC riding. My Spearfish has a 69.3 and I don't like it as much as my quicker bikes.

    I would like to keep the budget around 1k, but I can go higher.

    What do you suggest? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Karate Monkey would probably be perfect for you. The Kona Unit would also be a good choice in that price range.

  3. #3
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    I second the Karate Monkey SS; it has very short chain stays for a 29er at 423 mm. The Kona Unit comes as a 27.5+ bike, so you'd need new wheels to stay a 29er, and it has long chain stays (442 mm). It does have a steeper head tube (70* vs 69*) though, so may be more in line with your old skool preferences.

    The Vassago JabberWocky is worth a look, though it may blow too much of your budget as a $600 frame. Plus $170 for the matching fork. Also, it's out of stock, and has longer CS than the KM. You know what, forget I mentioned it
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  4. #4
    Rod
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    I forgot to mention I prefer to buy a used SS. I can't break these steel frames at my weight.

    I'll take a look at those frames. Thank you both.

  5. #5
    Rod
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    JabberWocky is sold out. 17 in chainstays look great too combined with 70 degree head angle. That's a little shorter than my 29 XTC. Karate Monkey looks like a good fit and I was really considering one. I've already almost bought it once, but I'm not sure what turns me off about it. Maybe it's the color or bikepacking tabs everywhere.

  6. #6
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    The Karate Monkey comes as a complete SS bike with 29Ē wheels. I owned a Surly disc trucker for a long time, and it was a solid, well built bicycle. I donít think you could go wrong with a KM...

    https://surlybikes.com/bikes/karate_monkey_ss
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  7. #7
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    Iím extremely biased, but...... Karate Monkeyyyyy! I canít imagine life without mine. I loved it rigid, in your price range. I have since added a yari. Iím running mine 27.5+, but many seem to prefer 29.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    JabberWocky is sold out. 17 in chainstays look great too combined with 70 degree head angle. That's a little shorter than my 29 XTC. Karate Monkey looks like a good fit and I was really considering one. I've already almost bought it once, but I'm not sure what turns me off about it. Maybe it's the color or bikepacking tabs everywhere.
    Have you ridden one?

    If you're looking at used then I'd think you'd have to pick from what's available locally.
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  9. #9
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    Good suggestions above. Here are mine:

    If I were looking for an old school-ish geo, XC SS (non-race), I would get an All City Log Lady. Ticks so many boxes for me. Short chainstays (415mm), 70.5 deg HTA, track ends, no bottle bosses on every single piece of tubing, awesome paint job, clearance for 27.5 x 2.8", BSA BB. If you can find a used one, I'd get it.



    Second suggestion is a 2nd gen Niner Sir 9. Love this bike.

  10. #10
    Rod
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    Went to Pisgah for the last week and got to try a Karate Monkey. He had the back wheel pretty far out, but I'm not sold on it. Ugh, the purple. The large frame fit well though. My ride was short, but his wasn't nimble. It was more like a monster truck.

  11. #11
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    You want nimble, then look for a Nimble 9! There's only large and xlarge left at Canfield, if you need medium maybe you can find a used one somewhere.

    Also look at RSD, they come with gears but can be ran SS with the adjustable dropouts.

    https://www.rsdbikes.com/portfolio/v1-sergeant-al6061/

    https://www.rsdbikes.com/portfolio/middlechild-cr-mo/
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  12. #12
    Rod
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    The 6 pound frame turns me off. I would love to have an older one when they were more xc.

    I think I'm going to keep saving, be patient, and find a vassago or a kona raijin and hopefully I adjust to the geometry of the raijin. I know they're mile munchers in the Nue series.

    Until then, you'll find me in the death of XC SS thread.

    Looking for guidance on my next SS-simpsons.jpeg
    Last edited by Rod; 07-23-2018 at 06:39 PM.

  13. #13
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    Along with everyone who's suggested the Karate Monkey, I will also suggest the same. You can slide the dropouts all the way forward, can be ran as a 27.5 - 27.5+ - 29er and even 29+ can mount all the racks needed for adventure biking if desired and it is very capable of taking on just about anything you throw at it. Give it another shot, maybe someone local to you has one you can give a proper try

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  14. #14
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    I'm biased as hell, but if you're more drawn to the XC geometry, find an old Homegrown. they can be built as a 27.5 without too much trouble (2000 and 2001 only due to disc brake mounts). My '01 frame was still new in the box in '14 and weighed in at a whopping 2.9 lbs with the integrated headset.
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  15. #15
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I'm biased as hell, but if you're more drawn to the XC geometry, find an old Homegrown. they can be built as a 27.5 without too much trouble (2000 and 2001 only due to disc brake mounts). My '01 frame was still new in the box in '14 and weighed in at a whopping 2.9 lbs with the integrated headset.
    Best friend had a homegrown and I loved throwing that light weight frame around. It was an incredible handling little bike. The downfall is it was flexy geared. I can't image it SS.

    I may just need to get more ride time on the Monkey considering all the suggestions. I will pick something up in the off season when everyone wants a new rig.

    Any love for the newer superfly SS or did they miss the mark?

  16. #16
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    The Superfly SS I rode was an absolute riot, but above my price point at the time.

    Iím currently on a converted Salsa Timberjack, and itís a pretty good blend of XC and Trail geometry. With the right rigid fork and a 29er wheelset, itíd be a ripper for sure...
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sage of the Sage View Post
    The Superfly SS I rode was an absolute riot, but above my price point at the time.

    Iím currently on a converted Salsa Timberjack, and itís a pretty good blend of XC and Trail geometry. With the right rigid fork and a 29er wheelset, itíd be a ripper for sure...
    Nice bro, that's another good one, also fits anything from 27.5 - 29+

    OP have you tried looking for a used Salsa El Mariachi?

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  18. #18
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    Look for a used 29er on the second hand market. Cielo, Raleigh XXIX, Bianchi, Santa Cruz, type in Steel 29er or Gary Fisher Team Single Speed 29er etc. Frameset $500 and less, even parts can be had for 300, wheelset 300, you're at 1000-1100 for quality. Something someone else paid thousands for.
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  19. #19
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vto2.0 View Post
    Nice bro, that's another good one, also fits anything from 27.5 - 29+

    OP have you tried looking for a used Salsa El Mariachi?

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    I haven't but someone just sent me a pm about the newer models. I'm going to go look now for one. I know those are out there.

  20. #20
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by metrotuned View Post
    Look for a used 29er on the second hand market. Cielo, Raleigh XXIX, Bianchi, Santa Cruz, type in Steel 29er or Gary Fisher Team Single Speed 29er etc. Frameset $500 and less, even parts can be had for 300, wheelset 300, you're at 1000-1100 for quality. Something someone else paid thousands for.
    I like the way you think and that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I already have a set of Stan's wheels and a friend has a set of SS specific wheels that I can get for 100 bucks. I really just need a quality frame and fork.

    Same friend sent me a Fisher SS at 19 lbs for 1,500, but it was a medium. I'll find something.

    Everyone will be unloading their bikes in a couple months and then it'll be a buyer's market if I don't find something before then.

  21. #21
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    someone was selling two older Jabberwockys near me for $500 each. nice components and all. one had a suspension fork and the other had a While Bros. carbon fork. everything on them was "dated" but it was quality stuff that worked just fine for everyone just a few years ago.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    someone was selling two older Jabberwockys near me for $500 each. nice components and all. one had a suspension fork and the other had a While Bros. carbon fork. everything on them was "dated" but it was quality stuff that worked just fine for everyone just a few years ago.
    Still for sale? Where are these bikes located?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Still for sale? Where are these bikes located?
    that was a while back. older steel SS bikes constantly pop up on Austin Craigslist, if you want to go look.

  24. #24
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    someone was selling two older Jabberwockys near me for $500 each. nice components and all. one had a suspension fork and the other had a While Bros. carbon fork. everything on them was "dated" but it was quality stuff that worked just fine for everyone just a few years ago.
    Good lookin' out Mack. I will check into that. There's an el mar on ebay, but i don't want carbon rims. Too many horror stories for me, but call me a luddite. That's why I hang out here.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Good lookin' out Mack. I will check into that. There's an el mar on ebay, but i don't want carbon rims. Too many horror stories for me, but call me a luddite. That's why I hang out here.
    Are you looking for something more like this???

    Looking for guidance on my next SS-15f25e0d-8ac1-4dbb-9a08-5d963d6b623f.jpg
    Salsa Timberjack SS
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Good lookin' out Mack. I will check into that. There's an el mar on ebay, but i don't want carbon rims. Too many horror stories for me, but call me a luddite. That's why I hang out here.
    The white El Mar on ebay? I've been ogling that one. The price looks quite good for what you get. And didn't you say you have a set of wheels? Or could get some from a friend? I'd think hard about that El Mar. Sell the carbon wheels for a little bit if you want to. It would make the bike an even better deal.

  27. #27
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by akindofbrian View Post
    The white El Mar on ebay? I've been ogling that one. The price looks quite good for what you get. And didn't you say you have a set of wheels? Or could get some from a friend? I'd think hard about that El Mar. Sell the carbon wheels for a little bit if you want to. It would make the bike an even better deal.
    You're right, it's the white one. I love the old school paint. I didn't think about selling the wheels and making some $$ back, good thinking! Now I need to figure out what fork is on it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    The 6 pound frame turns me off. I would love to have an older one when they were more xc.

    I think I'm going to keep saving, be patient, and find a vassago or a kona raijin and hopefully I adjust to the geometry of the raijin. I know they're mile munchers in the Nue series.

    Until then, you'll find me in the death of XC SS thread.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just an fyi the new Jabberwocky is also a 6lb frame. Most steel frames are in the 5lb range and the lightest ones are only about 4.5lbs, so what's an extra pound anyway?

    Have you considered a surly krampus?

  29. #29
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychler View Post
    Just an fyi the new Jabberwocky is also a 6lb frame. Most steel frames are in the 5lb range and the lightest ones are only about 4.5lbs, so what's an extra pound anyway?

    Have you considered a surly krampus?
    You're right, what's an extra 400 grams in the frame. I don't race much anymore anyways. You're the second person to recommend the Krampus. The guy who also owned the Karate Monkey, in Pisgah, suggested the Krampus too. I'll check into it. I did more reading and the el Mar. is also around 5.5 or 6lbs in my size.

  30. #30
    Rod
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    Figured I would update this thread. I didnt plan on getting a carbon bike but I picked this up a few months ago.

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  31. #31
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    Do you have any thoughts? This bike is on my list of "maybes" as we get closer to spring in the frozen north. Currently have a Bianchi Rita and a Tomac Flint 29er set up SS, but looking to update to some thru-axles and plastic bikes have an appeal for light yet strong.

  32. #32
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    Interesting. So you won't ride carbon rims, but you'll ride a carbon frame?

    After my first full season on carbon rims, I doubt that I'll ride aluminum again. However, all of my frames are still metal (though I have no concerns regarding strength, I just haven't ponied up yet).

  33. #33
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by northy185 View Post
    Do you have any thoughts? This bike is on my list of "maybes" as we get closer to spring in the frozen north. Currently have a Bianchi Rita and a Tomac Flint 29er set up SS, but looking to update to some thru-axles and plastic bikes have an appeal for light yet strong.
    It's definitely in the light and strong category. If you bought an xtc 3, it costs roughly the same as frame only and you could sell all the parts to recoup cash. It has a lifetime warranty on the frame, but I'm not sure how they define lifetime. My guess is my bike is around 20 -22 pounds without anything stupid light. It can run 3.0 front and rear in 29 if that's your thing.

    I haven't gotten to ride it on the trail, but it doesn't flex on the road commute. I still need to switch a few more parts out and get the rear brake bled and I will get some big miles on it.
    Last edited by Rod; 02-18-2019 at 08:25 PM.

  34. #34
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    Interesting. So you won't ride carbon rims, but you'll ride a carbon frame?

    After my first full season on carbon rims, I doubt that I'll ride aluminum again. However, all of my frames are still metal (though I have no concerns regarding strength, I just haven't ponied up yet).
    I feel that way about carbon rims and I doubt I'll pony up soon. I don't ride nice trails. I live in a national forest where there are roots, rocks, and more of the above on trails designed for hikers. All it takes is some rain and me doing 20 mph at the bottom of a short steep downhill to destroy a carbon rim on a square edge rock. These trails are built on the fall lines and they move a lot of sediment. This is my commute home so I cannot complain. On the trails about 5 miles away I would have no issues on carbon rims. The soil doesn't move and things are predictable. Have you seen the chinese vs enve rim video?

  35. #35
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by northy185 View Post
    Do you have any thoughts? This bike is on my list of "maybes" as we get closer to spring in the frozen north. Currently have a Bianchi Rita and a Tomac Flint 29er set up SS, but looking to update to some thru-axles and plastic bikes have an appeal for light yet strong.
    I finally got to take this bike out. It did great. No reservations recommending it. I did 19 miles on my home trails in SS mode. I also have a previous version of the xtc so i felt right at home. My seatpost moved just a little but ill apply carbon paste to secure everything. Now i just need to tweak it a little.

    I should also mention i installed an older crank instead of xx1. I had enough room for a sheet of paper between my frame and 34 tooth ring. Clearance issues are no longer a problem. Im sure a boost crank would work too.

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  36. #36
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    Specialized Crave is a great buy too. They're always online. I've ridden one for the past few years and it's rock solid.
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  37. #37
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    The Crave has a cult like following; seems most who ride them, love them. They pop up locally from time to time in that $7-800 price range.

    I like the Specialized Chisel; I know a few guys that ride them and rave. I wish it had a way to tension the chain organically, since I'm in the "not a chain tensioner" camp.

  38. #38
    Rod
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    I saw a crave in my months of searching but i wanted to avoid ebb and aluminum. Im glad you love it. I have a lot of mud unfortunately.

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    Last edited by Rod; 03-04-2019 at 07:47 PM.

  39. #39
    edt
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    Nice bike dude.


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  40. #40
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by edt View Post
    Nice bike dude.


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    Thanks! I like your ride too. Is that a whiskey fork? I was on a rigid 29er ss until this one. I definitely want another rigid for the winter and smoother trails. I saw carl decker used a whiskey that he had painted to match the bike.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Thanks! I like your ride too. Is that a whiskey fork? I was on a rigid 29er ss until this one. I definitely want another rigid for the winter and smoother trails. I saw carl decker used a whiskey that he had painted to match the bike.

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    Itís a Tandell carbon fork. Iíve had it for 11 months, 975 or so miles.
    Sadly, no fancy paint job, just matte black.


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  42. #42
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by edt View Post
    Itís a Tandell carbon fork. Iíve had it for 11 months, 975 or so miles.
    Sadly, no fancy paint job, just matte black.


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    Thanks, ill check it out. Mine would be matt e black too. I dont have the knowledge to paint carbon or sponsorship funding.

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