650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

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mikehowarth
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650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:25 pm

Hi all

Aren't rainy days great at convincing yourself you need a new bike ;-)

I've been riding a Singular Rooster for the last few years and been really happy with it as a speculative purchase, unfortunately, my wrists and hands are becoming increasingly whingy on long multi-day trips and with plans to return to the Alps again this summer I could do with some more squish on a bike.

Whilst I could stick a suspension fork on the Rooster, I wouldn't mind something with updated geometry and is a bit more trail focussed.

Current tick list is:
- Steel Hardtail
- 120/140mm Front Suspension
- 650B+
- Dropper Post Compatible
- Boost Hub spacing (142 preferably)
- Good size internal frame space

Bike's I've currently got on my radar:
- Kona Big Honzo St
- Cotic Solaris Max
- Surly Karate Monkey
- Salsa Timberjack

Anything else I should be looking at?

Cheers

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sean_iow
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by sean_iow » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:41 pm

Isn't the Salsa Timberjack aluminium? I assume when you say boost 142 you mean 148?

If non-boost 142 is ok how about a Pipedream Sirius 4G? They only have small and medium in stock so depends on how tall you are. I've not ridden one but Pipedream usually get good reviews.

Edit, That's just a frame as well so you'd have to build it/get someone to build it.
Last edited by sean_iow on Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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atk
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by atk » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:42 pm

What are Pace and Stanton up to these days?

mikehowarth
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:46 pm

Yes Sean - I stand correct Timberjack is Alu and I mean't 148 spacing (thats ideal rather than a deal breaker)

I'll take a look at the Pipedream - not even considered that.

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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:58 pm

hey Andy!

Yep Stanton Sherpa could be a good shout.

Pace stuff looked pretty spendy when I looked.

Got to admit I'm leaning toward the Solaris Max at the minute

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atk
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by atk » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:08 pm

I didn't look at prices, I've still not properly adjusted from AUD to GBP, everything seems cheap and expensive at the same time :lol:

There are a few bits in the Pace outlet, mostly small/medium frames, but one ex-demo large: https://pacecycles.com/collections/pace ... -ex-demo-1

Hope you're doing well!

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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by johnnystorm » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:47 pm

How about a Marin Pine Mountain?
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htrider
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by htrider » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:15 pm

Cotic Solaris Max seems good value compared to surly's these days and they are a good bunch to deal with.
Ragley's piglet does 650 x 2.6 which is plus-ish

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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:22 pm

Yep agreed! I’ve ridden a few Surlys over the years so a KM would be more of the same.

I rode one of the early Solaris frames and really liked it.

Thanks for the options so far, plenty to mull over.

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gairym
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by gairym » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:58 am

Here's my two cents.....I live in the Alps (so do plenty of long, tech, rocky, switchbacky descending) AND I have a Rooster (3" tyres, rigid) and a Solaris (29er, 2.4" tyres, HT 120mm travel + dropper post) as well as riding with my brother-in-law who (on my recommendation) bought a Solaris Max (B+) this year so feel fairly confident comparing the three, here goes.....

The Rooster is a monster truck. This is good and bad in all the obvious ways. It simply powers over trail features that the other two bikes have to be ridden over/around. It's long so less nimble on the switchbacks and much less chuck-about-able than true 'trail bikes' but I bloody love it for out here!

The Solaris (29er) is a single-track joy. Comfy enough for long days in the saddle and then if one desires to hoon simply whack the seat down and go for it.

The Max, predictably, is something in between. Pretty much exactly in the middle of the two bikes above. Shorter wheelbase than the Rooster so more agile but without as much rolling comfort. Smaller wheels than the 29er but fatter so comfy but feels a bit bloated compared to the lively, faster (2.4) 29er wheels I ride.

In short I would choose either of my bikes over the Max as I think that, on any given ride, one OR the other option has greater benefits than the middle-ground but that's just me (and I can choose on the day).

If it were me I'd keep the Rooster and rent a bouncy bike to play in the Alps with as getting a whole new bike simply to move a few tiny increments away from where you are already would be hard to justify imho.

But then again a new bike is a new bike and if you fancy it go for it :-bd
Last edited by gairym on Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

boxelder
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by boxelder » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:20 am

The original Solaris Max (non longshot) is ace, if you can find one. I have that and a MK2 Solaris. The Pace 29er frames, like the older Solaris, won't take a 3" tyre. The ride feel difference between steel and modern Al, on 3" tyres, is tricky to judge. Treat yourself to a Shand - you're worth it.

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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:06 am

Thanks for that Gairy always interesting to hear first hand experience of bikes I'm talking about.

Let it be said I bloody love the Rooster, for all the reasons you mention and for the majority of the riding I do it is absolutely perfect - I've found the plus format has worked really well for me coming from riding fat bikes and 29ers it just seems to work, except for carrying those big wheels around in bike bags :lol:

Having spent years riding rigid bikes, I'm beginning to notice issues with my hands and wrists after big multi day trips, so much so that I was struggling to even pick up shopping bags from the car several weeks after the Grand Traversee Haute Provence - that's despite riding with Ergons and decent gel mitts :o

As you rightly point out, I guess ideally I'm looking for something in the middle of what I'm riding now, something a bit more chuckable at trail centres whilst I'm chasing my mates, but something which I can also point at things like the Trans Verdon VTT, Adriatic Crest and other long distance mountain bike trails in Europe.

Of course the Rooster is perfectly capable of being pointed at any of these, but ultimately the question comes down to comfort.

I guess where I'm at is whether I do the same as you and pick up a Solaris for the bits the Rooster doesn't do so well, or look to move the Rooster on and go down to one bike and run a couple of wheelsets and go for something like the Solaris Max.

mikehowarth
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:58 am

Of course I could just get a 100m suspension fork and dropper for the Rooster and have done :-bd

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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by Leerowe76 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:52 am

And heres me goin in the rigid direction after finding a stockist with a large framed brother big bro in clay :lol: bit more bike packing specific and a rather good deal with an XT build with Hunt wheels :-bd should be landing this week :YMPRAY:
Living on dreams and custard creams :-bd

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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by Leerowe76 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:53 am

mikehowarth wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:58 am
Of course I could just get a 100m suspension fork and dropper for the Rooster and have done :-bd
defo the cheapest option especially if you enjoy riding the bike
Living on dreams and custard creams :-bd

mikehowarth
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by mikehowarth » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:25 am

I'm still a firm advoate of rigid, just for the some of the trips I've got planned it I could certainly do with a bit more squish.

Feel free to give me a shout once you get your bikepacking bicycle up and running - always up for a night out in the hills.

Alexinthepeaks
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Re: 650B+ Steel Hardtail - thoughts?

Post by Alexinthepeaks » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:44 pm

I have the Pace RC627, run with 2.8 tyres for bike packing.
Massive front triangle, perfect for a custom Alpkit frame bag.
Fantastic climber and descender....
Did me well on the BB200 and ill be taking on the HT550

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