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  1. #1
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    Rigid steel 27.5 build options

    I've been riding almost exclusively rigid SS bikes for the past 10 years now, and I think it may have finally sunk into my thick skull that stepping up in wheel size might not be a bad idea. I've been way out of the new tech loop for the past 6 years (since my first kid was born), and feel like I know nothing about all this newfangled stuff out there.

    Here's what I'm used to: longer top tube, shorter chain stays. 80 mm sus corrected fork (429 A-C Vicious) for about 70 deg head angle. Mavic 829 UST rims & Scwalbe Fat Albert rear, Conti Mtn King front.

    How does that setup translate to 27.5? I've heard all kinds of things about how fork trail is different on 27.5s, so head angle should be more slack, etc, etc. Anyone here make the switch and have advice/suggestions?

    What frames should I consider? Which 27.5 rims/tires are good tubeless options?

    The only thing I'm sure of right now is whatever I get will have Hadley hubs!
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  2. #2
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    Shot in the dark: soma b-side. Kona Explosif might work too.

  3. #3
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    Soma B-side is the only thing that comes to mind. but i know nothing of 27.5, other than its not for me.

    any reason why your not considering a 29er? IMO it's better at everything, and you have a lot more options.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BENKD29 View Post
    Soma B-side is the only thing that comes to mind. but i know nothing of 27.5, other than its not for me.

    any reason why your not considering a 29er? IMO it's better at everything, and you have a lot more options.
    A couple of reasons I'm not interested in a 29er. First, the trails I ride are tight, twisty, and technical. I test rode a Specialized HT 29er there a few years ago, and while I mostly liked it, it felt very slow and 'not snappy' compared to what I was used to. If I rode it for a while, would I get used to it and maybe even like it? Maybe, who knows? But based on my first impression, it didn't seem to be the ride I was looking for. I did like how it rolled over EVERYTHING, but felt that didn't make up for the lack of quickness I had on it. That's the real reason I want to try a 27.5 - trying to get the best of both worlds. I tend to like short chainstays on my rigid bike, since I'm always pulling the front end up over obstacles. That seems hard to get on a 29er. I'm also short, which further limits my 29er options.

    I've been eyeing the Soma B-Side, and it certainly is priced right. I've been riding Reynolds 853 for so long, though, I'm wondering what going back to regular Cro-Mo will feel like....
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  5. #5
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    Yeah I hear ya. If you get on a 29er frame that's a smidge too big, slam the seat down low you'll often find your weight too far forward, makes it hard to loft over stuff. I don't think it's precisely cs length -- look at the numbers, your cs length on 650b frames is gonna be longer than on some 29er frames -- it's the whole package, to me I think the thing is getting your weight distribution right, especially if you like your hta a smidge slack, want to be "in" the bike as opposed to hanging out over the front wheel. Jones is pretty much about it, although the Kona Unit is getting close. The Canfield concept is really cool, but you'd need a monster of a fork to go rigid, and good luck finding one with the kind of offset you need (ie forget about it).

    You can mess around with asymmetrical wheel sizes, that's been my project down in the lab, came up with a 69er that works, although I'll admit, it nets out to 27.5 doesn't it. 29 rear, 29+ front seems less eccentric and could make say a Karate Monkey frame work for ya.

    But, I totally see why you are looking at 650b; among other things you're right, you will never get the offset right on a rigid, steel 29er unless you invest in a Jones frame. (Now, if you can live with alloy, the trek superfly ss nails it. Ride it before you rule out 29 altogether.)

    On-One makes a nice 650b frame for cheap (I'm on the 26 version and love it) but it won't be easy rigging that for rigid SS. It has ISIG tabs which gives you a decent option for tensioning the chain fwiw. We'd have to talk about forks. I dunno for rigid ss I don't think you can beat the Bside if you don't mind the price. Soma makes a fine fork and their 465mm fork should hit the spot precisely, those numbers look perfect. 82mm trail... dude. Buy it.

    In terms of wheels, Pacenti is giving his rims away, ~$60 per for well reviewed gear from somebody who knows a thing or two about 650b. I built up some 31's, really nice although coulda got away with 28. YMMV, you might or might not want rims that light. BHS hubs, boom.
    Last edited by TampaDave; 12-30-2015 at 05:59 AM.

  6. #6
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    If you're not mad about 27.5+, you might like the Jamis Dragonslayer. I know I'd like it. Not rigid, and not sure if there are any nice forks on the market for it, that aren't 29/29+.

    Advocate Cycles makes one too.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  7. #7
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    Soma... and the 2015 models have belt drive options. Bike weighs 25 lbs even on my LBS scale with NO carbon!

    Rigid steel 27.5 build options-14464224118991.jpg

    Rigid steel 27.5 build options-14444074073510.jpg

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    Enjoy!

  8. #8
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    Pipedream Sirius

    Much like the Soma. Adjustable stays but with superior Reynolds 853 tubing.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    Pipedream Sirius

    Much like the Soma. Adjustable stays but with superior Reynolds 853 tubing.
    Looks sweet - although it looks like it's a 26er that's 27.5 compatible. I've emailed Pipedream to see how geometry changes, and what tires I can fit. I worry about the BB being too high...
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  10. #10
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    I have one and run a 120 mm Revelation on it.

    Tire clearance for 27.5 tires is a non issue.

    What height BB do you like to have? Quite possibly the BB might be high for you, but I don't feel it is a problem for me. What size fork do you plan to run?

    I modified the Pipedream to run a belt drive and I can honestly say this is probably the most fun bike out of the 4 that I have.

    Well the Knolly is just as fun, but I ride it on a completely different type of trail.

    Aslo, you seem to know the feel of Reynolds 853 - why settle?
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  11. #11
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    You could also try a Cotic.

    I know Trailflo bikes in PA trailflo bikes sells them
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  12. #12
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    I'd like to stick with the 853 for sure. Although the Pipedream only has 853 main tubes, and not seat/chain stays, so it's probably a little harsher ride. But it's also cheaper - $650ish US vs. a lot more for a full 853/True Temper OX frame made in the US.

    I'm riding a BB drop of about 40mm now, so I'd be looking for something in the 55-60mm range ideally. I've never felt comfortable on high BB bikes.

    Not sure on fork length yet. Pipedream recommends 480 A-C on their webpage, but I don't know if that's based on 26" wheels or 27.5" wheels. I asked that question in my email to them as well.

    Good to hear about the tires!
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  13. #13
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    anyone that states 853 is superior to tange prestige (old or new) is just plain eeegnorant

    but maybe you prefer really stiff steel...then why not just get alu frame?

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