Hardtail for the Lakes – BFe/456c ?

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  • Hardtail for the Lakes – BFe/456c ?
  • simon80

    Hi there,
    After riding my 2008 Rockhopper for a while, I noticed that it had limitations (apart from the rider ).
    My riding buddy and I live in the NE and regularly try to ride in the lakes, on natural trails. He seems fine on his Enduro, the decents can be interestingly twitchy and rough on the ‘hopper.
    I have put tougher parts on it, but it has always been a little big for me(40mm stem and saddle fully forward on seatpost needed), and I was gently advised by other riders that I was trying to change it too much when I mentioned bigger forks/angle offset headcups etc.

    Here are the specs:

    http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/ … pper#specs

    I have added/changed:
    40mm stem – to try and sort out reach issues
    Haven Alu bars
    Hope evo/flow wheels
    Hope mono minis
    Superstar Nano flat pedals
    Kenda nevegal stickE front 2.35/ Maxxis Ardent Exo Rear 2.25

    I have been saving for a while and have just picked up a nice and shiny 2nd hand set of 2012 Fox 36 RLC FIT TALAS.
    I know I have probably done it backwards, but now I need a frame to fit the forks . . .

    I have my eye on both a Cotic BFe and a carbon 456.


    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FROOCAR456- … ls___18_in

    I am on the pre-order list for a medium BFe, but am having last minute nerves. The weight saving of the 456 is attractive, though I am definitely not a weight weenie.

    So any experience of the above frames would be greatly appreciated. I have done some research and chain suck does get mentioned alot in relation to the 456c.

    Short version of this post is:
    I have 36 talas forks.
    Which frame – BFe or 456c?
    Reasons for/against appreciated.
    Intended use is going down (and up) steep mountains but not formal downhill.


    Premier Icon boxelder

    Either will work, but are quite different are they not?
    Lightweight obviously helps uphill, but you’ve gone with some overweight parts it seems – Fox 36?
    Unless you’re heavy/mental downhill, you don’t need the ‘overbuilt’ nature of the Bfe and I’m sure the C456 will be more comfortable on anything over a couple of hours.
    It’d go for C456 and with the money you save get some revelations with bolt thru front. Sell the F36 talas.
    Or buy an El Guapo frame from On One!

    Premier Icon variflex

    I had the same decision this time last year and do very similar riding.
    I actually ordered a BFe and then cancelled it, and now very glad I went for C456.

    Main factors for me were:

    1. Weight
    2. slacker angles on the C456 which makes a difference on the downhills but still enables it to make it up hill very easily.

    I run 140mm fox floats on the front and its great.
    Would definitely recommend a clutch rear mech (either XT or SLX) as its eliminated chain such completely.


    Live the dream, c456 (in a new colour) with slackset (do it straight away as the smoothie mixer is a pig to get out – dont know whether hopes etc are the same) and keep your 36s. The c456 frame weight will offset the 36s. Question is, is your riding up to it?


    I don’t know how the rockhopper rides but in the past 3 years I have had a 456 (non carbon) and a BFe with pretty much the same build. I didn’t like the 456 but love the BFe. I see the 456 as more of a long travel XC bike and the BFe more of an AM bike.

    The roughest place I have taken the BFe is the Peak and it was brilliant there. If I were you I would be running the 36s in a lower setting than the full 160, my BFe is fine at 140 and I have never wanted more.


    Or maybe a Transition Trans Am? Just to throw another option out there. A friend has the Bfe and likes it a lot. Also, depending on the steerer on your forks, the Dialled Alpine is well worth a look. Used to have one myself and it was probably my favourite peewee wheel bike.

    Beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that but the carbon 456s look fugly when you see them built up imo, much more so than when you see pics on here. If you haven’t already I’d get a look at one in the flesh before you commit.


    Like you i live in the NE and ride in the lakes often.I had a Bfe and found it great in the lakes (apart from the pinch flats which convinced me to go tubeless).

    I ran Sektors on mine but thought they held the frame back a little when really pushing through the rough stuff,your 36’s should track and hold a line much better and really bring out the best in the frame.If i was building again i would prob go with a set of lowered floats.

    My seat stay got a battering on one ride from flying rocks,it could happen to any frame and was a pure fluke where it was hit but i was suprised how easily it dented.

    Im sure you will be happy with either but not having experience of carbon i would worry about rock strikes when riding in the lakes as i would imagine the same incident would have wrote off a carbon frame?


    Thanks for the replies.
    The forks have a tapered steerer so I think a slackset would not fit?
    Also the weight of the forks are subjective. My cheap toras on the rockhopper weigh roughly the same! So I gain a stiffer fork, 120/160mm travel, 20mm through axle, tapered steerer and lovely kashima coating – for the same weight 🙂
    I thought the TALAS would enable me to play with angles and travel. If I find 160mm too extreme, I think a FLOAT conversion is not that expensive and I could step them down to 150/140mm.
    I do not consider the BFE to be overbuilt for what I want – I want a bike that can handle rocky Lakeland descents and survive my clumsy riding.
    I am almost ready to buy the BFe but the C456 is always lurking at the back of my mind.



    456 – who can resist carbon loveliness
    BFe – better bike, cheaper price and most riders are by far the weight limiting factor not the bike.

    I ? my BFe

    And the carbon 456 is the most ugly thing ever!


    C456, easier on you for the ascents/hike-a-bike, means you’ll be fresher on the descents and therefore more in control.
    Get a new bling colour if that’s your bag, but the raw black will keep it’s looks, and On One/works components slackset. Maybe consider going for the next size down than you would normally buy, they are quite long in the TT.


    As per the norm of STW, I am of course massively biased:

    So, i say, get the BFe…………….

    STW in shock “buy the bike i haven’t got shocker” 😉

    If you’re anywhere near Cyclewise Whinlatter, they’ll be able to give you good advice on suitable bikes for the Lakes.

    Premier Icon boxelder

    If you’re anywhere near Cyclewise Whinlatter, they’ll be able to give you good advice on suitable bikes for the Lakes.

    They don’t sell On-one………., so advice will be……..
    a Ragley – oh hang on they sell Dialled frames too. 😉

    Just joshing Mike. Good call though, they know their bananas and will give sound advice.


    Good call on Cyclewise,
    I was at Whinlatter on a skills course in July. One of the shop lads said that the BFe was going to be his next bike . . .


    Love the Bfe, I find it very lively, and forgiving, I don’t recognise the comments about it being dead. It is a pleasure to ride. Cannot comment on the c456..

    Premier Icon nickc

    Or a Chameleon.

    Maxorque, nicest looking C456 I’ve seen.


    Today I ‘got’ hardtails again. Alles klar.

    Get neither though and buy a 140mm frame for the Lakes.

    The hardtail is a Peaks dream bike. Just enough to be fun.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Have you considered a full-susser?

    I’d certainly want one if I was lucky enough to do most of my riding in t’Lakes.


    Descents are usually twitchy on a hardtail due to it being a hardtail !

    My c456 is more steady than my previous ht, a full sus will be smoother still.

    More skill using the ht though.

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