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Hardtail Frame

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
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20,178
Canaderp
Over the next year or so I might look at getting a hardtail bike built up, as dragging my heavy ass enderpo bike out for trails around here that are all flow, no roots and whatnot is overkill.

What are some good frames out there? I'd still like some aggressive geometry, but doesn't have to be anything stupid.

I'm a fatass, so nothing too flexy. Have never owned a steel bike before, though.

Would probably run slightly plus sized tires, maybe? I don't know, would they be bouncy? Like 2.6 minions?

Budget friendly would also be great.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,831
20,692
Sleazattle
[SPAM]
I've been dragging my feet but I have a Chromage Primer frame I will be selling. Love the bike, would recommend. I am only getting rid of it as I decided to go from a steel to ti model.

[/SPAM]

I love the geometry of the Chromag although a lot of people will say that a 160mm fork is too big, not necessarily wrong. I just set up my fork to be pretty stiff, generally only use 130mm of travel during normal trail use but use all the travel when landing larger drops.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
24,245
15,076
where the trails are
I've owned a GG Pedalhead and a Chromag Stylus, both very similar, both with 150-160 fork. I don't really have any buff trails that I ride, so both were short-lived. That said there is a few Chromags on PB, and a sweet On-One Ti Vandal for what seems like a good deal.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,024
20,178
Canaderp
@Westy what size frame and how tall are you?

I guess that's one other question, do full suspension geometry numbers translate over to hardtails? Haven't owned a hard tail in forever, fat bike excluded.

Would probably also run a 150mm fork, perhaps a Lyric or Fox 36. I don't want a noodle - running a Zeb for a few seasons now has been awesome in this regards.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,265
Yakistan
I'm a firm believer in my Mullet Honeymaker. It's the best riding hardtail I've ever owned.

It's hard for me to recommend a different hardtail when I know that nothing will compare to the Mulley glory.

I tried it at 150mm but ended up dialing it down to 140mm and am finding it is moar betterer.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
6,926
5,892
I like the opposite of what boostindoubles likes, hahaha.
Short stays suck, as does aluminium for hardtail.
I'm also a shorter travel fork person, last one was mulleted 120mm with a 62.5deg HA, it was fun and was tolerable in XC stuff but for what I did was a bit slack.

HA should be a touch slacker on a HT compared a dually as you lose a degree or more at sag. STA probably doesn't need to be quite as steep as the back end doesn't compress on climbs, mine was 77 before I mulleted it and for me that was too steep.

Ragley have good numbers for the money but the back ends are a little shorter than I'd like, but at the price I'd run one.

I have pretty much only had 66deg or slacker HTs from about 2004 onwards, God they sucked till ~2010.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,265
Yakistan
Honestly I'm with you on aluminum hardtails. I was firmly against owning one ever again. Then I rode the Honeymaker and I had to forget everything I knew. If I hadn't test driven one back to back with my Throttle theres no way I would have gone that route.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,831
20,692
Sleazattle
@Westy what size frame and how tall are you?

I guess that's one other question, do full suspension geometry numbers translate over to hardtails? Haven't owned a hard tail in forever, fat bike excluded.

Would probably also run a 150mm fork, perhaps a Lyric or Fox 36. I don't want a noodle - running a Zeb for a few seasons now has been awesome in this regards.

I am a little shy of 5'11" and ride a large Primer/Rootdown. They are long bikes and I am very much on the shorter end of the fitting for that size. But it works really well for me and I even run a 50mm stem. There are people that will probably advise the exact opposite but I like a longer reach on a hardtail compared to a FS. I literally spent the whole winter switching back and forth between my Chromag and RSD Middlechild. The RSD has a reach that is 22mm shorter than the Chromag. The beauty of an aggressive hardtail with a longer travel fork is that it lets you ride a lot farther forward on the bike letting the fork take a lot more of the abuse. Of course all suspension movement causes the HA to steepen and the wheelbase to shorten so you really need to run a very supportive setup. The longer wheelbase makes for a more stable ride making it much easier to maintain a line as the rear wheel is getting bounced around. I like short chainstays, but on the RSD I had to slide the rear dropouts as far back as they could go to try and get a little more stability out of it. That being said I still prefer the longer Chromag even for smoother rolling XC trails.

Of course your riding style has a lot to do with it. The only way I know how to solve problems is with speed. If you like to wheelie drop off of things vs hucking them, a shorter bike will better suit you.

You probably aren't going to be charging chunk as fast on a hardtail to really need a stiffer fork, not to mention it doesn't make much sense to have a precise front end on a bike where the ass end is getting bounced off the line.

I wouldn't worry about frame ride quality that much, my experience is that the rear wheel build is more important. Wide shallow rim, flexy spokes like CXrays, 2.6" tire. I tried using a cushcore to get away with running lower pressure but at the end of the day it felt like riding a fork with a bunch of spacers, wallowy and still harsh. Bike handled and rode better just running a few PSI higher than I would on a FS bike.

I really got bitten by the hardtail bug last year and probably went 6 months without riding my FS until yesterday. Holy shit does it make you a better rider. I felt like a god and PRd some techy trails I've ridden hundreds of times and didn't feel like I was pushing things at all.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
6,926
5,892
Honestly I'm with you on aluminum hardtails. I was firmly against owning one ever again. Then I rode the Honeymaker and I had to forget everything I knew. If I hadn't test driven one back to back with my Throttle theres no way I would have gone that route.
Yeah I did have one that had fairly flat, curved seat stays, it was tolerable and I have had Cr-Mo bikes that rode worse than it but a decent Cr-Mo frame is pretty damn nice.

I am still pretty tempted to get a Blue Pig, they are a 650b frame that is based around a 150-160mm fork.
Make it 29" up front with a 130mm fork and it would be wicked, 44mm HT, decent geo, nice cable routing options, post mount brake and it's cheap.
425mm back end is the only downside.
1683019996914.png
 

FlipSide

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,400
843
I was in the same situation as you. Being super overbiked with a 180/165 enduro monster at mellower trail centers sucked (a bit), so I built a Kona Honzo ESD from the frame up with a 150mm Lyrik Last year. I love the long and slack front end with the short chainstay.

I really love this thing and it complements very well the big bike. Almost everything is more fun on a hardtail: Climbs, jumps, mellower trails, moderately steep and spicy sections, etc. It is mainly the fast trails, casing jumps and gnarly shit with big compressions that suck on a hardtail.

I would advise going for a proper long and slack aggressive hardtail. They still climb very well and work well on steep stuff. Basically, I'd say the challenge related to the lack of suspension is fun, but it's just enough challenge. Go for all the other advantages of modern aggressive geometry. For example, if you consider a Kona, don't even look at the regular Honzo and go straight for the ESD.

Also, consider inserts. I tried with and without CushCore F/R. I will start the next season with only an insert in the rear tire, to see how it goes.
 
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Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,831
20,692
Sleazattle
Worth noting that it took me several weeks to get used to a hardtail after having not ridden one for decades. Good chance you may not like it the first few times out. It is easy to get lazy and ride all stiff on a FS. It takes time to learn to keep your body loose to absorb the bumps, or even better predict and pump through them.
 
Worth noting that it took me several weeks to get used to a hardtail after having not ridden one for decades. Good chance you may not like it the first few times out. It is easy to get lazy and ride all stiff on a FS. It takes time to learn to keep your body loose to absorb the bumps, or even better predict and pump through them.
Not clear to me that my left knee, which lacks cartilage, would get along too well with that, not that I wouldn't try.
 

mykel

closer to Periwinkle
Apr 19, 2013
5,202
3,946
sw ontario canada
1683574376009.png


It might be fake cause there seems to be a lack of superfluous pivots..:think:
Also available in Ti if your feeling flush.
It is Stupidboost thou...
 

FlipSide

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,400
843
That Knolly is indeed quite an interesting option for people already owning a full-susp with StupidBoost spacing. Cross-compatibility between bikes in the fleet is nice.
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
6,926
5,892
View attachment 193564

It might be fake cause there seems to be a lack of superfluous pivots..:think:
Also available in Ti if your feeling flush.
It is Stupidboost thou...
This is my fav factoid about zooperdooperbostbrah- Increased tire and heel clearance are two of the claimed benefits of Super Boost spacing- Pivot Cycles
So if you put supperdupper boost cranks on a boost frame does the world implode?
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,024
20,178
Canaderp
Has anyone ridden or checked out a Norco Torrent in steel or aluminum?

They have a sale going on right now...


I'm an idiot when it comes to geometry..I've had Banshee bikes for so long that I haven't really looked at different numbers.

I'm 5'8.

Banshee Titan - medium frame - I have a 50mm stem on it (maybe its 40mm...)
Reach - 445mm
Effective top tube - 598mm
Wheelbase - 1234mm
Stack - 634mm
Headtube - 120mm

Norco Torrent Steel - medium frame
Reach - 450mm
Effective top tube - 609mm
Wheelbase - 1203mm
Stack - 637mm
Headtube - 105mm


So if I'm not wrong, the cockpit of the bikes would feel similar if I ran a slightly smaller stem? Though the headtube length on the Norco is a lot smaller, will that make it feel...longer?

Wheelbase on the Norco is also based on it measured with 29" wheels front and back. I'd probably run it with mixed wheels, to match the Banshee. That way I could in theory have one set with heavy duty tires and the other would have some EXO's or something similar, for riding around here (no rox).
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,831
20,692
Sleazattle
Has anyone ridden or checked out a Norco Torrent in steel or aluminum?

They have a sale going on right now...


I'm an idiot when it comes to geometry..I've had Banshee bikes for so long that I haven't really looked at different numbers.

I'm 5'8.

Banshee Titan - medium frame - I have a 50mm stem on it (maybe its 40mm...)
Reach - 445mm
Effective top tube - 598mm
Wheelbase - 1234mm
Stack - 634mm
Headtube - 120mm

Norco Torrent Steel - medium frame
Reach - 450mm
Effective top tube - 609mm
Wheelbase - 1203mm
Stack - 637mm
Headtube - 105mm


So if I'm not wrong, the cockpit of the bikes would feel similar if I ran a slightly smaller stem? Though the headtube length on the Norco is a lot smaller, will that make it feel...longer?

Wheelbase on the Norco is also based on it measured with 29" wheels front and back. I'd probably run it with mixed wheels, to match the Banshee. That way I could in theory have one set with heavy duty tires and the other would have some EXO's or something similar, for riding around here (no rox).

Rear wheel is very important on a hardtail. I've messed around with different wheel sizes and a 29" wheel with a 2.6" tire with a compliant shallow rim makes a huge difference.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,277
13,548
Has anyone ridden or checked out a Norco Torrent in steel or aluminum?

They have a sale going on right now...


I'm an idiot when it comes to geometry..I've had Banshee bikes for so long that I haven't really looked at different numbers.

I'm 5'8.

Banshee Titan - medium frame - I have a 50mm stem on it (maybe its 40mm...)
Reach - 445mm
Effective top tube - 598mm
Wheelbase - 1234mm
Stack - 634mm
Headtube - 120mm

Norco Torrent Steel - medium frame
Reach - 450mm
Effective top tube - 609mm
Wheelbase - 1203mm
Stack - 637mm
Headtube - 105mm


So if I'm not wrong, the cockpit of the bikes would feel similar if I ran a slightly smaller stem? Though the headtube length on the Norco is a lot smaller, will that make it feel...longer?

Wheelbase on the Norco is also based on it measured with 29" wheels front and back. I'd probably run it with mixed wheels, to match the Banshee. That way I could in theory have one set with heavy duty tires and the other would have some EXO's or something similar, for riding around here (no rox).
Do you know if those are sagged numbers on the Norco? As it will shorten/steepen slightly when sagged.

Looks pretty close to me as the stack is pretty much the same.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,024
20,178
Canaderp
Rear wheel is very important on a hardtail. I've messed around with different wheel sizes and a 29" wheel with a 2.6" tire with a compliant shallow rim makes a huge difference.
Would that really matter if the trails aren't very technical?

Around here the trails are pretty smooth for the most part. There really are no rocks and even the roots are generally pretty small - some places don't have many rooty sections either.

And being honest with myself, I doubt I'll ever take a hard tail on a bike trip, over the Banshee Titan that I have.

I mean based on the riding around here, I should probably actually be looking at a more XC oriented frame. But screw that. :D

Do you know if those are sagged numbers on the Norco? As it will shorten/steepen slightly when sagged.

Looks pretty close to me as the stack is pretty much the same.
They don't mention anything about measurements with a rider on it or sagged, so I assume its from the static numbers.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,277
13,548
Would that really matter if the trails aren't very technical?

Around here the trails are pretty smooth for the most part. There really are no rocks and even the roots are generally pretty small - some places don't have many rooty sections either.

And being honest with myself, I doubt I'll ever take a hard tail on a bike trip, over the Banshee Titan that I have.

I mean based on the riding around here, I should probably actually be looking at a more XC oriented frame. But screw that. :D



They don't mention anything about measurements with a rider on it or sagged, so I assume its from the static numbers.
An extra 10mm spacer under the stem and I'd think you'd be pretty dang happy if your Banshee is fitting you well.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,831
20,692
Sleazattle
Would that really matter if the trails aren't very technical?

Around here the trails are pretty smooth for the most part. There really are no rocks and even the roots are generally pretty small - some places don't have many rooty sections either.

And being honest with myself, I doubt I'll ever take a hard tail on a bike trip, over the Banshee Titan that I have.

I mean based on the riding around here, I should probably actually be looking at a more XC oriented frame. But screw that. :D



They don't mention anything about measurements with a rider on it or sagged, so I assume its from the static numbers.
I think you will be surprised how well an aggressive hardtail can handle technical trails. That being said the whole ride quality thing is primarily important on the smooth less technical trails where you will be in the saddle.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,024
20,178
Canaderp
So for the aluminum vs steel debate, does being a heavy fatass have any play in the decision of material?

I did some more sleuthing and have come up with this table.

Kona Honzo is another interesting one, as noted by @FlipSide . Just no frame only option, it seems.

The RSD frames are also intriguing, especially that RS-291 one - but its heavier than the rest.

Chromag Rootdown is another, though a little more than I want to spend I guess. Unsure of sizing either; the medium frame matches closest to my Banshee Titan frame?

Commencal is priced nicely now, but its aluminum. And some reviews say right out that its harsh. Sizing is also off?

FrameReachEffective Top TubeWheelbaseStackHeadtubeHT AngleChain Stay Length Frame Cost WeightNotes
Banshee Titan (m)4455981234634120n/a452 n/a 8.7lbs
Norco Torrent (m - steel)450609120363710564420 $ 879.00?Headset included
Commencal Meta HT (m - alum)425604120264312064432 $ 750.004.6lbs
RSD Middlechild (m - alum)4486251193-120561911064.1415-430 $ 939.005.5lbs
RSD Middlechild (m - steel)4486251193-120561911064.1415-430 $ 949.006.6lbs
RSD RS-291 (m - steel)4546251225-124063810063420-435 $ 1,000.007.6lbsKinda heavy?
Kona Honzo ESD (m - steel)465605121663410063417 ? ?No frame only option?
Chromag Rootdown (m/l - steel)463622122363910864420 $ 1,050.00?
Chromag Rootdown (m - steel)44660312026309564420 $ 1,050.006.5lbs
Ragley Big Wig (m - steel)455632122565910563.5435 $ 1,000.00?
Banshee Enigma (m - alum)450611119962212063.5418 $ 1,600.004.6lbsToo expensive

Marin also has a steel hard tail. But I simply didn't list it because its ugly AF.
:s
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,831
20,692
Sleazattle
So for the aluminum vs steel debate, does being a heavy fatass have any play in the decision of material?

I did some more sleuthing and have come up with this table.

Kona Honzo is another interesting one, as noted by @FlipSide . Just no frame only option, it seems.

The RSD frames are also intriguing, especially that RS-291 one - but its heavier than the rest.

Chromag Rootdown is another, though a little more than I want to spend I guess. Unsure of sizing either; the medium frame matches closest to my Banshee Titan frame?

Commencal is priced nicely now, but its aluminum. And some reviews say right out that its harsh. Sizing is also off?

FrameReachEffective Top TubeWheelbaseStackHeadtubeHT AngleChain Stay Length Frame Cost WeightNotes
Banshee Titan (m)4455981234634120n/a452 n/a 8.7lbs
Norco Torrent (m - steel)450609120363710564420 $ 879.00?Headset included
Commencal Meta HT (m - alum)425604120264312064432 $ 750.004.6lbs
RSD Middlechild (m - alum)4486251193-120561911064.1415-430 $ 939.005.5lbs
RSD Middlechild (m - steel)4486251193-120561911064.1415-430 $ 949.006.6lbs
RSD RS-291 (m - steel)4546251225-124063810063420-435 $ 1,000.007.6lbsKinda heavy?
Kona Honzo ESD (m - steel)465605121663410063417 ? ?No frame only option?
Chromag Rootdown (m/l - steel)463622122363910864420 $ 1,050.00?
Chromag Rootdown (m - steel)44660312026309564420 $ 1,050.006.5lbs
Ragley Big Wig (m - steel)455632122565910563.5435 $ 1,000.00?
Banshee Enigma (m - alum)450611119962212063.5418 $ 1,600.004.6lbsToo expensive

Marin also has a steel hard tail. But I simply didn't list it because its ugly AF.
:s
Too bad you aren't a little taller as I would give you a deal on a size large Primer.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
5,910
7,461
SADL
Have you looked at the Middlechild's numbers? The 291 is probably to aggressive for tamer trails.
I would only ride a steel hardtail.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,921
5,827
UK
Waaay overthinking this.
Honestly. I don't think I've ever read so much BS in one page on a ridemonkey thread ever before
What you can do on any decent hardtail is entirely down to the rider.
Just get something you can afford that fits to your preference and isn't likely to break for the riding you're going to be doing with it. From the remit "flow trails" and "budget friendly" a £300 Scout frame off CRC would do the job handsomely.

and No. don't put a fucking plus tyre on the back. Stand the fuck up and use your legs.
 
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canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,024
20,178
Canaderp
Waaay overthinking this.
Honestly. I don't think I've ever read so much BS in one page on a ridemonkey thread ever before
What you can do on any decent hardtail is entirely down to the rider.
Just get something you can afford that fits to your preference and isn't likely to break for the riding you're going to be doing with it. From the remit "flow trails" and "budget friendly" a £300 Scout frame off CRC would do the job handsomely.

and No. don't put a fucking plus tyre on the back. Stand the fuck up and use your legs.
If any bike would do and I didn't care about it, I'd buy a complete bike. I'm spending my hard earned pesos here, it has to have correct ratio of artisanal craftsmanship and wankery.

Plus Id rsther buy something once, rather than wing it and end up buying another fram because im an impatient idiot.

Then again, Alex from RSD is selling a black 291 M, cheap... On PB.
Just sent him a message... if he is selling it $550 without tax and I can pick it up, it might be worth the gamble.