Hardtails… 29 or 27.5? carbon or steel

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  • Hardtails… 29 or 27.5? carbon or steel
  • Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    Been mulling over a hardtail build from the frame up for over a year now and still not sure what to go for!

    It all started with the new Genesis Mantle, as I wanted a light bike I could use in winter and perhaps do a few XC races on in summer. Geometry is a bit short for a trail bike, but it’ll take a 120mm fork, dropper and decently wide tyres. All sorted. Or so I thought…

    Then Cotic released the new Soul and having always wanted one but couldn’t afford one (went for a BFe instead back in 2013) that threw a real spanner in the works. The geometry is on the boundary of what I’d want, I had a Mondraker Foxy that I didn’t really get on with, so don’t want it to feel too extreme. Just to complicate matters that new Pace RC627 looks insanely nice too, having looked fondly on Pace hardtails when I started riding.

    My worry is whether the Genesis will feel a little too XC and that the Soul or RC627 will be a bit extreme. In an ideal world I would love a Kona Honzo carbon but they are just too much money and frame only seems like a no go.

    Would appreciate some thoughts from Soul owners or if anyone has another suggestions for a frame to go for as a bit of all-rounder.

    ta11pau1
    Member

    What’s the budget?

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    Shame you just missed the steel is real demo day but perhaps some who attended can help.

    I am a huge fan of Cotic (although do like the look of that Pace and Sanderson stuff) so would ssy getting on a demo day with a Soul would be worth it.

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    budget is up to around £700-£750, ideally less if possible (I can get a deal on the Genesis, but it is more than this)

    Premier Icon cokie
    Subscriber

    Is that budget for frame only or complete bike?
    I see your comment about some bikes having geometry thats too progressive, but you really need to test some of these new bikes to understand that it’s not all about the numbers.

    Have a look at the last 3 pages of SolarisMAX Longshot thread. I’ve got one and it’s an awesome bike. I’ve done everything from long XC day rides to uplift days.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    The Stif Morf is a lovely frame. I had one and loved it. Only got rid as my aging bones finally convinced me to give full squish another go. Really great hardtail, one of the best I’ve had and the geometry is pretty much in the middle of current versus previous.

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    Budget is frame only. The Solaris did interest me, but again without riding one and just looking at the numbers, it looked even longer than Foxy and the 444mm chainstays put me off somewhat as well. I do need to try and get a ride on one. I’d forgotten about that new Ibis DV9 as well, but they’re waaaaaaay to short still. Shame as I loved my Mojo HD 🙁

    Premier Icon cokie
    Subscriber

    Feel free to have a go on mine if you’re local- I’m near Didcot. It’s a medium.

    antares
    Member

    Not carbon or steel but the latest SC Chameleon is a great all rounder

    Cotic quote their hardtail geometry sagged, whilst almost everyone else states theirs static, so the Cotics aren’t as crazy long as you think.

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Subscriber

    I have a 2018 Genesis Mantle 30, with Fox 32 Factory / DT XM1501 / XT etc.  I used to have a Cotic Soul for reference.

    I think the new Mantle is a great-looking bike (this is my second; the first was stolen after 3 weeks) and it rides really well.  It’s very light at 10.5kg inc. pedals and rapid for my sort of riding.

    I’ve always liked hardtails and, being realistic, a light 29er suits my riding style and current needs best.  I don’t get a chance to go MTB’ing the wilds much since having the kids, but can do almost unlimited amounts of local 1-1.5 hour loops from my doorstep, mainly on woodsy manmade blue-level trails.  I’ve had mine since March and done 500 happy km’s on it.

    Compared to other recent bikes (Transition Scout, Cotic Soul), it puts you in a position to put out more effort more often.  Its geometry isn’t as low and slack as the most recent trail trend, but it’s closer to trail bike angles than most of the conventional XC hardtails of the moment.  I’m 181cm tall and have a Medium frame… With the supplied 70mm stem I have to put the saddle right back on its rails (inline post), but I prefer things this way as I have a long neck for my height.

    I was a little concerned that the forks in particular would feel a bit noodly, but I haven’t been troubled by that at all and I use the lockout on every ride.  It’s also surprisingly comfortable (I run the Maxxis Forecaster 2.2s tubeless at around 20PSI) and I’ve not felt the need to add a dropper post – your tastes may vary.

    This was my first shop-bought factory MTB in 14 years, on account of the spec being just right for me and the wheel size swap from 27.5.  The finish and detailing of the bike deserve a mention.

    Overall, I’d dead chuffed with it.

    ta11pau1
    Member

    69 degree head angle, 100mm fox 32, 70mm stem, 23lbs, £3500 and no dropper? The mantle is full XC hardtail, nothing else. 69 degrees is the current XC hardtail norm, not trail bike. XC bikes have been getting a tiny bit slacker the past year or 2, but that still equates to 70/71 degrees sagged.

    65 degrees static will be closer to 67 sagged, so not that extreme at all.

    Premier Icon StuF
    Subscriber

    mk5 Soul owner here.

    It’s lovely and very rapid down hill. It gives a feeling of stability, yet maintaining a nippy manoeuvrable feel. I preferred it to the new SolarisMAX, which felt like it would steamroller over anything.

    It’s worth getting a test ride if you can. But the Soul felt just right. It’s my only mtb so I wanted it to be able to everything I threw at it (trail center / peaks / local paths) but wasn’t focusing on racing it.

    daveh1980
    Member

    Ive built up a On One dee Dar steel frame’d hard tail, 650b with a set of 150mm pikes on it and it is a wicked all rounder, just seems to handle everything.

    or

    If you look at GMBN Blake is blasting round a 650b Nukeproof Hardtail.

    Mbnut
    Member

    I am just putting together a carbon Sonder Transmitter build.

    I too wanted a fast agile HT that could do well on a range of trails.

    Tried a few and settled on the Sonder, great frame for the money, well designed, good attention to detail and an excellent finish.

    I say worth a look.

    Premier Icon Ben_H
    Subscriber

    69 degree head angle, 100mm fox 32, 70mm stem, 23lbs, £3500 and no dropper? The mantle is full XC hardtail, nothing else. 69 degrees is the current XC hardtail norm, not trail bike. XC bikes have been getting a tiny bit slacker the past year or 2, but that still equates to 70/71 degrees sagged.

    65 degrees static will be closer to 67 sagged, so not that extreme at all.

    Hmm… I’d still say the angles are closer than something like a Trek Procaliber…a few mm’s or decimal points here and there, but “closer” all the same. 🙂  The OP was looking at a frame-only Mantle, I think – and, as they say, it takes 120mm forks, bigger tyres and a dropper.

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the input all 🙂 Ben_H is right, the stock Mantle builds are very XC, I would be building it with a 120mm Revelation a dropper post, so basically the kind of build you’d see on a Honzo. Headangle with a 120mm fork is the same on both, it’s just the other angles that change between the Mantle and Honzo.

    Has anyone else ridden both the new MK5 Soul and latest SolarisMax? Be interested to hear your thoughts 🙂

    ta11pau1
    Member

    Fair enough, tbh I’d want something a bit more beefy/longer travel than the 100mm 32’s on the stock build, that should also slacken it out a bit.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    The Genesis looks lovely, if you can get a deal on one and your riding’s on the XC side of things.

    It’s so easy to demo a Cotic though, have a go on the Soul and Solaris and see how they suit you in real life.

    Or get a secondhand one from before they got with the long-and-slack program and save a bomb, not much to go wrong with a steel hardtail. I have a large mk2 Solaris I’m moving on if that’s of interest at all.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    Not carbon or steel but the latest SC Chameleon is a great all rounder

    I was going to say this as well.

    geex
    Member
    four
    Member

    I have a Soul Mk 5 and it’s ‘okay’ not fantastic or anywhere near the hype they often get – basically it’s a steel hardtail but I can’t say it is any better than the many mainstream bike shops offerings from Whyte etc.

    The XFusion Pikes are NOT as good as Pikes in terms of performance imo.

    too be fair though I probably have the wrong rims and tyres on it Stans Crest I think wider 30mm rims and fatter tyres would improve the ride.

    TheGhost
    Member

    The new Pace RC 627 geo looks very close to the Cotic Soul/Solaris Max longshot numbers. But the chainstays are 425mm which will keep it lively.

    I’m Interested to see the geo of the RC 629 when the reveal it.

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the input guys 🙂 I’m leaning towards the Soul, just think it will suit what I’ll actually use it for more than the Mantle, plus it works out cheaper as I use the wheels out of my T130 for a while and the frame is much cheaper too. 0% finance for 6 months as well is tempting, something they don’t offer on the Pace. I did like my old BFe too, it was just too small and I built it up pretty heavy, think my mind is made up!

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Have a Solaris Longshot from a Whyte 29C .. so two ends of the spectrum really. If I was racing, yeah, the Whyte would buy me a few seconds a lap but for an all rounder, 1 bike only, I’d take the Solaris everyday. It has that mystical element that’s called fun .. makes me smile just spinning down to school and back. The weight differential is not really noticeable, and I’m less precious about sticking a steel bike on a bike rack or in the van. Ride is a lot smoother too, though some of that may have been carbon wheels on the Whyte.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Checked your seatpost Ben_H?

    Nice writeup on the Genesis on this ere strange website Sniggletrack

    Have a look at the Titus Fireline Ti that On One sell.

    Should be about right for your fork length / angles etc and in budget.

    Very well made and very light. I have one with 2.4″ tyres, 140mm Pike and a dropper – great trail bike.

    The Honzo you wanted has a reduction:

    PSA -40% Kona Honzo

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    Yeah spotted that, but I can’t do finance or cycle to work on it from HiBike so that puts it out of my price range 🙁

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the input all, have bitten the bullet and ordered a Cotic Soul in Mercury/Orange 🙂 Will post pics in the Cotic Friday thread when it arrives!

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