Alternative to the Soul, with swappable dropouts

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  • Alternative to the Soul, with swappable dropouts
  • Have just demoed a niner, and (I think) decided against 29″ wheels – so I’m on the point of ordering a Soul.

    One thing though – I enjoyed the singlespeed Niner I tried, and I’m thinking singlespeed might be a nice option to have.

    Are there any frames out there what are very Soul-like in weight and usage, but offer the option of gears or singlespeed?

    There’s the Pipedream, but they seem to be out of stock…

    sebgt
    Member

    Decade Virsa, might be a bit heavier than a soul though

    Nice frame that, hadn’t come across it before.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Carbon 456… Fair bit lighter but very similiar in what it does, though with differences in how it does it. Ragging it around with the short fork in reminds me so much of my old Soul.

    richcc
    Member

    Some of P7s came with adjustable dropouts. Not sure if current version does

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Current P7 is a lot heavier than the Soul, though.

    broadbean
    Member

    Whyte 19 Trail – 631 rather than 853. Perhaps a bit heavier than a soul. Not sure whether you can get them frame only either.

    Carbon 456 doesn’t really do it for me, aesthetically…

    Haven’t loooked at Orange, must do so now.

    Pretty sure the Whyte can’t yet be had frame only.

    humanbean
    Member

    2010 kona explosif really digging mine

    they’re on sale here too
    je james

    Premier Icon mahowlett
    Subscriber

    Pace 104 xc – love mine, not swappable dropouts but slideable instead…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    honourablegeorge – Member

    Carbon 456 doesn’t really do it for me, aesthetically…

    Yeah, I think I failed the taste test on that. good bikes though

    messiah
    Member

    My Whyte 19 trail frame… medium.

    lamo
    Member

    I saw a cotic simple on ebay and in the description it said that it came with spare dropouts to run it geared! Same geometry as a soul i think….

    Whyte 19 looks pretty tidy, I get that.

    I think those P7’s and Pipedreams (and whatever else has those huge sliding dropouts), are all pretty heavy and not really much like a Soul, apart from the fact their steel and british. I think thats why lots of people recommend them, but in reality there not that similar.

    @lamo – Yeah, have mailed Cotic to ask if the sliding dropout thingy from my roadrat would fit a Simple frame.

    Meanwhile, I’m having a wobble about the blue loveliness that is the Genesis Alpitude. Too heavy, no singlespeed, too much bike, but look at it…..

    http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/frames/alpitude

    @davidtaylforth – The Pipedream is pretty close to the Soul in intent, it’s not a long travel bike – 100-130mm recommended (Soul is 100-140), both 853 steel, the Scion (Pipedream without the sliding drops) is . That said, I think the sliders add fairly significant weight, the Soul’s probably the more elegant bike.

    parkesie
    Member

    I might have a shiny new large green decade for sale soon

    saleem
    Member

    I’ve a Litespeed obed I’m selling.

    thepodge
    Member

    That kona looks very slack at the front.

    I have some chain tugs that have a gear hanger attached. No idea where i got them from but that could be another option. I suppose it depends how much faffing you want.

    norcbot
    Member

    What about the transition trans am. takes longer forks can take gears or single speed and comes in bright green to boot.

    Had looked at the TransAm – it’s over six pounds, to the Soul’s four and a bit. It’s too much a hardcore bike for my purposes.

    donks
    Member

    The decade versa is great and a fairly reasonable price too. Just one thing though if you do get one just wait for a few weeks as i have had two that have had to go back under warranty with split seat tubes, this they are addressing with a beefier tube for new models.

    There is no alternative to a soul.

    si-wilson
    Member

    I’ll prob get banned, but how about the Chumba HX2, if you are open to the idea of alu?

    It has an EBB rather than slidey drop outs though. 105 off if you use the voucher code ‘discount10’ on our website.

    lamo
    Member

    Ye, i liked the look of the genesis frames but new if i got one i would always wonder if i should have got a soul….got a soul and its all i could want in a steel hardtail

    I want to order something tomorrow, which probably rules out the Kinesis, then. No interest in the Chumba.

    I keep coming back to the Soul.

    messiah
    Member

    Whyte 19. The bottom bracket is a little higher but the headangle is a little slacker which works well. I like both, the Whyte edges it for me with better behavior for gnar, and the swivel dropouts are brilliant, as is the cable routing. Six months back I wrote something comparing my Whyte with a bling Soda… worth a search.
    what size you after?

    Large, probably – but a frame only.

    messiah
    Member

    I think that’s my problem with the medium Whyte I have for sale. At six foot I found the large too big when I tried it, but having bought the medium it was too small… such a shame. The soul is longer so the medium Soul worked for me… but I preferred the angles of the Whyte.

    I’m 6’1″, like a longish TT and shortish stem. What length stem on your Soul?

    messiah
    Member

    70mm on Soda and Whyte. But I’m now on a 50mm on an 18inch Mmmbop and loving it. Have you thought about a Blue Pig X? You might think 150mm is too much for a trail hardtail… but it is awesome (if you have the trails).

    See, I have a Spicy for that kind of lark, so the Soul/whatever would be for less hectic stuff (although I’d thrash it now and then, to keep it on it’s toes)

    messiah
    Member

    I thought that hence the Whyte last year… but it was not enough bike… and now I can thrash the Mmmbop in the way I do my Helius AM.

    Well, if the Soul isn’t enough bike, I’m sure I’ll manage to justify something in betwen the two…. 🙂

    si-wilson
    Member

    J E James had a few of the explosif frames on offer, look nice too.

    messiah
    Member

    Sounds like the Soul has given you an itch to scratch… hopefully it will work out for you. If I want a mincy XC machine I’ll take my rigid 1995 explosif singlespeed… and still ride the six foot drops 😉

    messiah
    Member

    Here is what I wrote a few months ago… sorry… lots of reading.

    I can now comment on this since I’ve tried both. I own a Whyte 19 Steel and have test ridden a Cotic Soda; both in Medium frame sizes with 120mm forks.

    The big difference is that with the Cotic you sit “in” the bike and with the Whyte you sit “on” it – what seem on the surface to be very similar bikes do have quite different personalities.

    There is a big difference between the bottom bracket height of the two with the Cotic having the lower by almost 20mm, which explains I think why I feel perched on the Whyte but ride in the Cotic. This gives the Cotic more stability and speed with a more racey feel to it, the Whyte however does not feel nervous which is usually what I find a high BB gives you. The reason for this is I believe the slacker head angle on the Whyte (67deg vs 69deg) which gives it great stability and stops it “stalling” when slammed into trail features, a trait I found occasionally with the Cotic.

    Seat angle (71deg) and chainstay lenght between the two was nearly identical (Whyte dropouts in the middle) so for climbing they are very similar, although for techy work the Cotic did ding a pedal more frequently due to the lower bottom bracket (natch), but it also felt a little more planted than the Whyte.

    For the rutted super sketchy gnar terrain I like they both performed well with the saddle dropped, but with different traits. The Cotic was harder to hold the line with and the front wanted to tuck under sending the back over, or that’s how it felt, like I had to get further back behind the saddle to keep control. I also had to take care with the pedals to prevent banging them, but it was all certainly fun and much better than old skool XC geometry.
    The Whyte feels more sketchy dropping in but once in the flow the bike feels planted and to me more manoeuvrable as I didn’t feel the need to be so far over the back. Neither of them is a plower like my big bike and they both needed plenty of input to keep them upright and going in the correct direction. When coming out of the gnar the Whyte was quicker to recover it’s composure and sprint to the next obstacle like a mini BMX. For berms and chucking into fast corners the Cotic felt quicker as long as the trails were smooth; I found the Cotic tended to get knocked off line easier and suffered the “stalling” I mentioned earlier when the trails were not smooth or there was deep mud.

    Note – I’m used to the Whyte and the Cotic was new to me so preferences will vary but I can say with certainty that both of these bikes are a hoot and either is great. Both are way better in the gnar and trails where I ride than traditional XC bikes.

    I’d love to try something that steals what I see as the best of both bikes: Drop the bottom bracket height on the Whyte a little or kick out the head angle a couple of degrees on the Cotic.

    Material issues – The Cotic which was Ti felt a little punchier than the steel Whyte under sprinting, but both were lovely and had the springy feel I like. The Cotic was the lighter bike but it was not really noticeable on the trails due to the hefty coating of mud acquired by both bikes.

    I’ll be sticking with my Whyte for the moment but if I had a Cotic I would be sticking with it too – different but equally brilliant fun. Now… what else can I try

    I’ve since tried a Soul and a Bfe… and a Blue Pig X (and my Mmmbop)… and my Whyte is for sale.

    The Soul was as with the Soda = great. The Bfe was too small but had 160mm Wotan forks on it… it was fun but felt overly solid and wouldn’t climb for toffee (seat angle too slack). The Blue Pig X had me hooked and I loved it, we just got on… despite it being a bit lardy and set up for a taller rider (Fox 36 Van forks ffs).

    Your looking for a hardtail to complement your Spicy… exactly like I was looking for a hardtail to complement my Helius. I really love my Helius… but my local forest is brilliant when served up on a hardtail… I love taking the big bike up there but taking the hardtail is such a hoot too and means I can keep the big bike fresh for the mountains where I NEED it. I bought the Whyte to get back to my older XC roots (and route’s) but I found I was still wanting to rag it all the time like it was my Helius… I guess I only really have the one speed at the end of the day… FLAT OOT! I found going from Helius to Whyte a bit of a struggle as they were very different… AM plough to Trail mince… I found myself taking the Whyte into things and then going “oh *&&%”… do the same on the Mmmbop and it’s “oh goody”… so much more confident.

    People describe Mmmbop’s etc as rather blunt tools for bludgeoning trails into submission but if you build them up right/light they are amazingly flexible. Mine is about 26lbs so what I would call XC weight, light enough for long rides yet it ploughs through the techy stuff where the Soul/Whyte would require much more finesse… I think it suits my riding style better and is definetely easier to switch across from big bike too. For the record… the Mmmbop has the slack head angle of the Whyte, the bottom bracket height of the Soul and even with 150mm rev forks the same seat angle. This thing climbs and descends with the best traits of the other bikes mentioned without requiring an adjusting travel fork… but it does ride solid and do things with a jarring thud and not the “ping” of the steel bikes. I knew it would be like that as it’s a very big tubed alu monstrosity, but I wanted to try Brants Ragley geometry… really try it… not just demo it for a ride, so the Mmmbop is a bit of a test mule to figure out size and try a few things on the cheap (it takes my Reverb, 1.5″ forks, HUGE tyres, and it’s really light for whats it’s capable of). I wasn’t sure that a 150mm forked hardtail would be a sensible proposition which is why I ended up with the 120mm forked Whyte… I should have gone down the 150mm forked route that I have now, it really is ace for where and how I ride (YMMV of course). I’d love to buy the Ti Ragley or a Brodie Holeshot (Hi Si) but this is my second bike so I need to keep it sensible (at the moment anyway).

    I used the SS dropouts on the Whyte once… at last years european singlespeed championships when my Explosif rear wheel exploded. I’m very glad I had the Whyte with me and that it could be SS’d so quickly and easily. But I’ll be keeping the Explosif as my SS… rigid works best for me and so does keeping the weight down to about 20#, I’m glad I tried the Whyte for SS but I prefered the total daftness of my old Kona so I now know that there is no need to give my hardtail the ability to SS (I can always fit a tensioner if I really have to).

    Sorry for the long rambling reply… bikes are ace… enjoy whatever you choose 😛

    _tom_
    Member

    I’m sure I’ve seen somebody singlespeeding the soul without a tensioner, not sure what gearing they used though but the chain looked tight enough 🙂

    I quite enjoyed the long rambling reply – found it all pretty informative and interesting, appreciate you taking the time.

    The forks I have are 140mm, so I’d be riding a slightly slacker Soul than you’re describing – possibly the best of both worlds, then. It will be for messing around in the woods and riding miles at the trail cnetre, so I think it should be plenty.

    Premier Icon darrell
    Subscriber

    Bronto Bikes

    what about one of these

    messiah
    Member

    I think an adjustable travel fork would work well on the cotic for many people, the problems I had with the 160mm on the Bfe was the 69 seat angle made techy climbing impossible, I could have wound down the travel but I don’t like doing that because my local forest has loads of wee techy ups and downs so it would be constant fiddling… best stick with something that is set at one length for me. The gears and the uppy downy post is enough to fiddle with!!!

    Right – dithering over, Soul ordered. Thanks all for the advice.

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 46 total)

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