Recommend me a new hardtail

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ChrisS
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Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

I currently own a XC hardtail (Merida Big Nine in carbon) but I'd like to change it for something a bit more trail friendly that's just going to be more fun to ride on steeper, technical trails. I don't own a full sus and unlikely to get one, so something slacker and rowdier but that will also do for bikepacking/ITT duties as well. 120mm or 130mm travel fork.

I'd like to buy a frame and build it myself because I've never done it before. I could cannibalise the Merida (there are some nice parts including decent wheels with Hope hubs, dropper, carbon bar) or just sell it whole and start from scratch. It has an XT 1-11 drive train, but I would prefer to get 1x12 on the new bike (assuming I can find parts in stock :???: ). Current fork is a 100mm Reba so would need to change that.

Budget would probably be around £2k, plus whatever I can get for the Merida if I sell it whole (I reckon it would cover the cost of a new fork). Or I could sell the frame and fork and swap the wheels over.

Frame material? Dunno. Part of me wants a steel frame, but the other half worries about lugging the extra 2.5kg of bike around. Maybe I won't care if it's fun and capable? Some frames that have caught by eye... Bombtrack Cale, Pipedream Sirius, Salsa Timberjack. Carbon Chameleon is lovely but stretches the budget too much. Any experiences of those bikes or other ideas welcome. Recommendations please! :-bd
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

New Stooge when they're available?
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Landslide
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Landslide »

[Engages "recommend what you already have" mode]

Cotic Solaris? I've found mine very good for bikepacking duties, and Trep is similarly enamoured with hers.
The longshot geo is very stable when chucking it down the local steeps. It seems pretty keen to stay planted on the trail, not a bike that pops off every little bump. Cotic claim 2.4kg for the frame, so it's not super heavy for steel (and bear in mind you'll not be lugging an extra 2.5kg around, you can knock off the weight of your existing frame!).

Existing Hope wheels, and 11s XT should sit very nicely, I'd have thought. They're pretty standard in terms of the components they'll take, so minimal fuss to swap over?
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faustus
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by faustus »

I think getting something in stock will be the main problem! I enquired about a chameleon AL frame a month ago and the 2022 model isn't expected until September at least (and will probably sell-out on pre-order). Other options:

On-one big dog or Scandal (not at current prices!)
Sonder signal (Ti or ST)
Kona Honzo DL
Orange clockwork
Stanton Sherpa or Switch9er
Canyon Stoic
Nukeproof Scout
Ragley Big Al
Stiff Squatch

Some are pretty slack and long travel (more than 130mm), and modern steel frames are pretty hefty
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FLV
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by FLV »

I have a carbon chameleon. I really like it, a lot.

It has a fairly small frame triangle, only one bottle cage on this inside, though there is one underneath too. If that matters.

It rides really well with 29x2.4 and 120mm suspension forks. Definitely a trail bike and very capable.
I use mine for backpacking too, it works fine there too.


Here's something I wrote to Shaf
FLV wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:06 pm
I now have a Carbon Chameleon. Its still light at 1750g (so Ti or slightly lighter may be comparable perhaps) in a large but certainly not Highball light. It clears 29x2.4 no problems on 28mm internal rims. I am told by the internet that its too stiff, but I do not find this to be an issue. It is not as stiff as the older highball, nor as stiff as a newest Karate Monkey.
I find with 2.4s I really like the ride quality. But, in the defence of the internet, it may feel different for my 97kg frame than for a 65kg race whippet.

For SS if that was a concern, the carbon is best limited to a 34t front ring. I have gears on it now but rode it SS in the dead of winter. The slidey dropouts are ok, but not on par with Salsa Alternators.

From what I have read, the Aluminium frame is also very very good. Well designed and nice to ride with a minor weight penalty of about 350g - 600g? weight source (https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes ... 29-review/) Its also HALF the price of a carbon one. Both are significantly cheaper than a highball and in my opinion more versatile.

There's lots of talk about materials and flex and ride quality and durability etc etc on't web. Its more about correct design for purpose in the chosen material for me.

With regard build quality, after a few frames in recent years with poorer quality of finish the Chameleon was refreshing. Everything as it should be. I haven't had it more than about 700km but so far I really like it.

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ssnowman
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ssnowman »

A few that piqued my interest when I was looking:

Esker Hayduke
Nordest Sardinha
Veloheld Iron
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:12 pm New Stooge when they're available?
Aren't they designed to be used with a rigid fork rather than suspension?
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

Landslide wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:16 pm [Engages "recommend what you already have" mode]

Cotic Solaris? I've found mine very good for bikepacking duties, and Trep is similarly enamoured with hers.
The longshot geo is very stable when chucking it down the local steeps. It seems pretty keen to stay planted on the trail, not a bike that pops off every little bump. Cotic claim 2.4kg for the frame, so it's not super heavy for steel (and bear in mind you'll not be lugging an extra 2.5kg around, you can knock off the weight of your existing frame!).

Existing Hope wheels, and 11s XT should sit very nicely, I'd have thought. They're pretty standard in terms of the components they'll take, so minimal fuss to swap over?
Yes good shout, not thought about the Solaris. I know *could* swap over the 1x11 drivetrain, I'd just like 1x12 :grin:
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

faustus wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:25 pm I think getting something in stock will be the main problem! I enquired about a chameleon AL frame a month ago and the 2022 model isn't expected until September at least (and will probably sell-out on pre-order). Other options:

On-one big dog or Scandal (not at current prices!)
Sonder signal (Ti or ST)
Kona Honzo DL
Orange clockwork
Stanton Sherpa or Switch9er
Canyon Stoic
Nukeproof Scout
Ragley Big Al
Stiff Squatch

Some are pretty slack and long travel (more than 130mm), and modern steel frames are pretty hefty
Stock issues, yep... But I'm not in a mega hurry (probably a good job). Lots of options to google there thanks!
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

ssnowman wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:43 pm A few that piqued my interest when I was looking:

Esker Hayduke
Nordest Sardinha
Veloheld Iron
All new names to me, thanks!
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jay91
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by jay91 »

I bought a second hand Stanton Sherpa frame last year .
I'm not that impressed with itnto be honest maybe is the cheap rockshox fork I put on it but it feels but heavy/dead good on the downs though
Should of just gone for a stooge :lol:

I thinking about trying a ridged fork
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voodoo_simon
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by voodoo_simon »

The new Planet X Titus titanium bikes look nice
redefined_cycles
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by redefined_cycles »

Pipedream would be my vote (if its the one Alpinum owns and loves)
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Dave Barter
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Dave Barter »

My Canyon Exceed CFR ticks your boxes but a little over budget. I bought it built up for £2.5k but sadly no frame only
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Alec
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Alec »

I have the pipedream sirius and have to say it's lovely.
I got it with their rigid fork as it is massively capable round a trail centre and I would assume for bikepacking aswell (I haven't used it in this role).
For 2k I'd get the frame and their rigid fork then a suspension fork as well (something a bit burlyer than a 32mm xc fork e.g. fox 34 new rs sid in 35mm) and keep the 11 speed.

The only disadvantage is the sizing, I am around 6,1 and right on the top limit as the seat tube is very short, I have a 200mm dropper plus 150-200mm of post out of the frame.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Aren't they designed to be used with a rigid fork rather than suspension?
They are built round a rigid fork but many people do fir sus' forks to them.
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:35 pm
Aren't they designed to be used with a rigid fork rather than suspension?
They are built round a rigid fork but many people do fir sus' forks to them.
Didn’t realise that thanks :-bd
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

Alec wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:14 pm I have the pipedream sirius and have to say it's lovely.
I got it with their rigid fork as it is massively capable round a trail centre and I would assume for bikepacking aswell (I haven't used it in this role).
For 2k I'd get the frame and their rigid fork then a suspension fork as well (something a bit burlyer than a 32mm xc fork e.g. fox 34 new rs sid in 35mm) and keep the 11 speed.

The only disadvantage is the sizing, I am around 6,1 and right on the top limit as the seat tube is very short, I have a 200mm dropper plus 150-200mm of post out of the frame.
That’s a decent plan… Funny that you find the sizing is a bit small when their sizes are longish, long and longer :lol: I’m 6ft exactly so sounds like I’d be on the biggest size.
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htrider
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by htrider »

I think the Cotic Solaris would be my choice had I not disappeared down the Jones rabbit hole. I nearly bought a first gen one but was put off by the lack of tyre clearance. The latest one addresses that as well as having more fun geo. Its probably too long for me but I suspect would be a hoot on a techy descent. Cotic seem a very good firm to deal with and the weight penalty over an ally frame will only be 300-500gs I guess.
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by restlessshawn »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:35 pm
Aren't they designed to be used with a rigid fork rather than suspension?
They are built round a rigid fork but many people do fir sus' forks to them.
Can you still buy straight steerer forks that will fit though
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

I'm fairy sure the new ones are tapered Shawn ... but could be wrong.
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by restlessshawn »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:54 am I'm fairy sure the new ones are tapered Shawn ... but could be wrong.
Nah ec34. I actually mailed them this week, Mk5 in August and scramblers next spring. Not an easy bike to actually buy!
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Nah ec34. I actually mailed them this week, Mk5 in August and scramblers next spring. Not an easy bike to actually buy!
Maybe an earlier incarnation? Joys of being a one man band I suppose. Only so much money to purchase with and a popular product. I know Andy did say he was hoping to get things returned to a place where there was excess stock that people could order on-line as 'normal'.
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ChrisS
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by ChrisS »

htrider wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:21 pm I think the Cotic Solaris would be my choice had I not disappeared down the Jones rabbit hole. I nearly bought a first gen one but was put off by the lack of tyre clearance. The latest one addresses that as well as having more fun geo. Its probably too long for me but I suspect would be a hoot on a techy descent. Cotic seem a very good firm to deal with and the weight penalty over an ally frame will only be 300-500gs I guess.
Cheers Phil, will be taking a close look at the Solaris.
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Re: Recommend me a new hardtail

Post by whitestone »

I've the Mk1 Solaris, possibly my favourite bike. With a modern suspension fork it's an absolute hoot. For the last few years it's had a rigid carbon fork fitted meaning that unladen it comes out at around 11kg even without going down the weight-weenie rabbit hole.

Cath's got a Stooge (Mk2 I think from the article Andy posted about how to tell them apart) that rides nicely as well but it's a bit heavier than the Solaris, I suppose having steel forks doesn't help.
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