- Aggro/fun hardtail as remedy to big bike that's too capable? Stanton/new BFE?
think you’re thinking on the right lines!
Stif morf is excellent for this kind of thing as is the orange p7 having ridden both.
New bfE looks great.
The stantons are even lovelier in the flesh but pricier as are the chromags. Theres an onza that gets good reviews.
Bird zeros are supposed to be great but a harsher ride than the steel frames mentionedPosted 6 months agoDrPMember
I made a similar move… went from a (26er) Meta 5, to a Chromag Rootdown and Pikes (140mm).
I’ve recently ‘done’ the Luftkappe mod for the Pikes. This thing is amazing.. rides fantastically, really involving and rewarding to ride, and is quicker and feels more comfrotable than the FS it replaced.
I’m so impressed by the pikes with the luftkappe mod – really I am!
So I ride a Chromag, but TBH, I’m sure all the bikes listed above would be brilliant.
Viva La Hardtail!!
DrPPosted 6 months agoBigmantrialsSubscriber
Depending on wheel size, if I was going for a 27.5 it would be the Stif Morf, if they did a 29er version i would have been all over it!
I stuck with a 29er and went for a Production Privee Shan GT, I have been very impressed with how it has performed so far, its not light, my build is coming in at around 30lbs but that isn’t why I bought it, having much more fun on this than I was on my FS 29er I had before.Posted 6 months agokraken2345Member
Never had a steel hardtail but have ridden a few. The older ones are far more flexy and comfortable but iirc everything has to conform to some newer standards which took a lot of that away. I’ve seen others says older cotic souls were far better/more forgiving than the the current crop for this reason. Think it’s a lot closer between steel and alu now than it used to be.Posted 6 months agochiefgrooveguruMember
New BFe, Bird Zero AM, Stif Morf, Stanton Switchback, all seem great options.
The Zero AM is quite a lot lighter being aluminium but I wouldn’t say it was particularly harsh. One thing I do like about it (contrary to my preconceptions) is that it rides so well with a 150mm fork. I’ve ridden it with 130, 140 and now 150mm and the extra travel keeps the front end so much calmer and generally pointing the right way, whilst the back end goes wild.
The Switchback and BFe are very similar to each other in geometry except the BFe is longer reach and shorter seat tube. Zero AM similar sizing to the BFe but lower BB and steeper head angle. New BFe looks bloody awesome and I’d be happy with going slacker and less low slung – and I think it’s the lightest of the long-forked steel options.Posted 6 months ago
My slash 29 is so effective it’s sucking the fun out of more normal riding to be honest. Don’t get me wrong its amazing, but I have to drive 2-3 hours to go somewhere where you need it’s capability, it just rides through everything else!
I used to have a 26″ 456c with revelations on which I found great fun and regularly picked it over my big rig at the time and loved keeping up with my mates on endure bikes- but far too stiff, tiring , assuming things have now moved on and a plus-tyres steel HT is a much nicer thing to ride!
I don’t race enduro much any more, but think when I do that the hardtail class may be a good laugh!
So thinking Slackline, switchback or the new BFE…
Anyone done similar? – Any other bikes I should consider?Posted 6 months agoGotamaMember
I am in almost the same boat. I have a full sus which is amazing but it would be happier being based in South Wales or the Alps. As such I bought the new Chameleon as a frame, built up with the plus wheels. It’s great fun, the plus in the rear gives a remarkable amount of cushion and they’re a hoot in my loamy rooty terrain although you do need decent rubber; something from Maxxis, none of the whispy light stuff. The Chameleon is not quite as aggro as those suggested above so why am I mentioning it…because it also works really well for those rides where you don’t want to smash everything at mach 10 unlike the Swarf before it which demanded the same riding approach as my Nicolai. The 67 degree head angle isn’t steep but it just feels really lively, in a good way. So a little off tack, but my tuppence worth.
That said if you’re replacing the full sus entirely then my money would be heading to BTR for their Ranger. Or Chromag but the high bottom bracket and focus towards long travel fork has always put me off a bit.Posted 6 months agoScienceofficerMember
I’m sitting sqaurely in this same territory these days.
Long travel 29er mega competent bike that utterly ruins all my local trails. The only time it sees local trails is when the ground gets mega hard in a deep dry summer, or a deep frozen winter.
I have had a 2souls Quarterhorse and more recently a Last Fastforward that sees virtually all my local riding for the reasons of reward and involvement that DrP cites above. The hardtail probably sees 85% of my total riding time.
I’m pretty sure any of the bikes listed above will see you right.Posted 6 months agochakapingSubscriber
Whats the consensus on plus tyres, I think i like the idea of a stif-ish sidewall 2.8 on a wide rim for a hardtail…. never ridden one though?
I have had a few rides on my Solaris on plus now. It’s brilliant fun in the mostly-dry loam and the tyres are fine for trail riding.
I will almost certainly go back to 29in once the woods are all sloppy again, but my plus wheels will definitely get a lot of use.
Maybe try to get a go on one? Cotic are doing demos everywhere all the time.Posted 6 months agojamesftsMember
Another vote for Nukeproof Scout, sensible geo, super capable for the money. Currently setup with 160mm Pikes, do intend to drop them to 140mm with an angleset but rides surprisingly well even with the longer fork.
Good choice if you don’t want to get too spendy, I think I picked up my frame with some bits for less than £200.Posted 6 months ago
FWIW I rode the plus version of the Solaris on a demo and it’s a super fun bike. Fast too, right up to the point when I folded the tyre in a corner so hard the rim dug into the trail and flipped me. I remember seeing the bike flying over my head and landing in a hedge about 15 feet away.
Luckily I got away with just a dead leg for the afternoon. Tyre had pine needles inside it when we got back to the demo van! Tyre stiffness and pressure is crucial I think!
So, from my point of view there’s plusses and minuses! Reckon the sonder transmitter looks like a hoot though! Mate has a plus charge cooker which he really rates and seems to go downhill fast.Posted 6 months agoHob NobMember
As my 29er trail bike which I used for everything, including racing DH, was still dumbing down my local (and majority of riding in reality) I also wanted an HT to make more normal riding a bit more engaging.
Mine was a toss up between a Solaris & Sherpa. I really wanted a Sherpa Ti, but couldn’t justify the price tag really..
Didn’t want anything too extreme, I wanted it to be fun and engaging to ride, so discounted the latest generation of super long, mega slack stuff, as thats about as much fun as being punched in the face going and riding 50-75km of bridleways as some base winter miles, on something like that.
Ended up with a Solaris & it’s been great – lot of fun to ride, even on the tame stuff I would just avoid on the other bike. Really pleased I decided to buy one. It’s not an outright XC bike, nor is it an HT version of what I already have. Luckily, it does exactly what I wanted it to.
It would never replace my FS, but it’s just as much, yet in a totally different way 🙂Posted 6 months agomrsiSubscriber
I’ve had most of the above over the years, 2 BFes, mk1 and mk2 switchbacks, had a transition. Trans am for a bit, a Solaris and a few obligatory on ones. Now on a current gen slackline (but waiting on a Kingdom Vendetta having been swung by their recent silly intro pricing)
The geometry on the stantons is great, they are on the short side these days but something about them just works. Of all those, the current slackline is the only frame with appreciable steel ‘spring’ in it, which seems to be hard to achieve while meeting the newer CEN test requirements. Coming straight from a switchback there’s a noticeable bit of extra give to it.
There’s a Stanton owners group on Facebook that’s worth looking at for second hand frames etc given the recent hike in price.Posted 6 months agotheraggyoneMember
I had a banshee spitfire , i now only own two hardtails a dartmoor hornet 4x for the bike park/bmx track and a carbon cube reaction for xc duties, i dont miss full suss at all.
I have just ordered myself an onza jackpot frame though i cant wait to get this bad boy built up . Slowly accumulating a sick pile of partsPosted 6 months agomindmap3Member
Cost differential between Switchback and BFe though….
True, but the Stanton is full Reynolds tubing, whereas the BFe has one.
I had an older 26 BFe and I’m in the minority because I didn’t like it; it was a nice looking bike but not that nice to ride (too stiff, harsh and dead feeling).
For me the hidden gem in the Stanton range is the new Slackline. It’s very very pretty, has a lovely springy, forgiving ridevthat puts my Mk II Switchback Ti to shame and it climbs way better than a Switchback but is still great fun on the descents; it’s a bloody good trail bike.
My Switchback is ace fun though, it’s particularly good at mucking about. It does encourage me too much sometimes and gets me into trouble (I’ve crashed a lot on it recently pushing my luck).Posted 6 months agokirky72Member
I’ve found some of the so called aggro had tails to be a bit meh, had a NP scout and Bird Zero, whilst fast enough, angles all stack up etc the stuff I felt like going down just felt far too harsh at the back end, way too stiff at times and felt hammered after every ride.
Got a Vendetta frame to replace the scout and doubt il ever have the need to try any other hardtail. The thing just works. Set up with chunky tyres 2.8/2.6 150 pikes it’s still nimble and good for long xc type rides but eats up the good fun sections in a safer more comfortable way when needed. I’ve only pulled the full suss out for hand full of rides like Snowdon and around the lakes. The vendetta still may have been okay but would have been stretching the riders skill limits.Posted 6 months agomalv173Member
Hopefully my Bird Zero AM will prove to be the bike you are after (although you’ll have to get your own!). It’s slowly being built, and will be replacing a now rather rusty On-One 456 Evo2. Took some thinking to move back to alu from steel, but from what I’ve read it should be pretty sweet!
It’s a bloody gorgeous looking frame. I’ve got 2.35 Hans Dampfs on it, and there’s plenty of room left, so I’m sure if you wanted more comfort out of the bike bigger tyres should sort that.Posted 6 months ago
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