• This topic has 47 replies, 27 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by b33k34.
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  • LLS-ish 29er hardtail options…Solarismax or…
  • Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    I’m looking to swap out my 29” hardtail frame for something that feels more like my sus bikes. A reach of c500mm definitely works for me (so the 450 of my Nicolai Argon is now really noticeable). Parts will be shifted over and it’s a 140mm pike on the front. I’m

    The Solarismax is top of the list but worried that 65 degree HA measured sagged puts it in geometron territory and I found the steering flop really unpleasant when I had one. (That assumes everyone else measures unsagged HA).

    What else should I look at? Sonder Signal looks heavy and has a very low bb (and stack is a bit low on the Xl). Stanton switch9er is only 483 reach, as is the Ribble trail al29.

    Premier Icon jamesmio
    Free Member

    In time honoured STW tradition of recommending what you have, your brief sounds similar to mine.

    I went for a Bird Forge, and picked it up last night.

    This morning will be it’s maiden voyage but I’ve high hopes – it’s a beautiful looking thing (if I do say so).

    I suffer from penguin shape syndrome, short legs / long back so tall bikes leave me dangling like a toddler on an adults bike at times so the current LLS trend suits me perfectly.

    Premier Icon freddiest
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    jamesmio did you go for a full build? A friend of mine is keen on one but he’s not sure about an MRP fork. Any pics yet?

    Premier Icon cjr61
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    Pace RC529 is the best bike…because I’ve got one.

    Sliding dropouts make it super versatile. 853 steel. 120-140 forks but runs nice with 150.

    My XL Pace 506 reach 65.5 HA with 150 Yari.

    Climbs well, descends brilliantly

    Premier Icon cjr61
    Full Member

    Just because

    Premier Icon st
    Full Member

    I had a Solarismax last year and it was great, no way too slack, I’d recommend them.

    I’ve just built up a s/h Stif Squatch and it’s great too. I sized down to a large to deliberately have something shorter than my sus bike (XL Starling Murmur) and so far it’s amazing. The Bb is very low though, however it feels really good on descents.

    Id say it’s also worth looking at a Pipedream Moxie which was on my shortlist when I ended up with the Squatch.

    Premier Icon st
    Full Member

    Oh and another one would be the Genesis Tarn. I had a Ti one last year briefly (one of those I should have kept, dammit) as I wanted something lighter than the steel one I haspd a few years back.

    That was nice and is more conservative than the full on LLS business. Steel if hefty though and Ti tricky to find.

    Premier Icon jamesmio
    Free Member

    When I ordered mine Bird were struggling for bits – no forks or complete groupsets in stock so I went for a frame, wheels and few other bits from them and got the LBS to order the rest up as a custom build.

    Ross has got a few pics up of the finished build on the shop’s Insta page – https://www.instagram.com/frothybikeco/?hl=en

    I lucked out and nabbed one of the CRC Lyriks that popped up on here a month ago for mine so can’t comment on the MRP. But by all accounts, MRP are a great company. They make excellent stuff so I wouldn’t be too worried about the fork.

    Bird also don’t tend to stock or offer junk components; I think it’d be a pretty safe choice.

    Premier Icon luket
    Full Member

    I’ve got a Moxie. It’s a lovely frame I think. Nicely finished. Whether it’d suit you on angles though I’m not sure, from what you say. It’ll have a similar sagged HA. Maybe need to try a few current hardtails to see how you get on. Personally I don’t find the head angle a disadvantage at all, and I run mine as a mullet with a 150 fork, so a fair bit slacker, but that’s subjective.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    Pole Taival, kingdom Vendetta, Nordeat Bardino, Norco Torrent,

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    Ragley Big Wig, very stable and as much fun as my full suspension bike. Or a Kona Honzo ESD? Not sure about availability as expect that will be one of the deciding factors.

    Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    @cjr61

    Pace a good call. What’s the tyre clearance like? Website makes it sound like it could be a bit tight with 2.4s

    Britt go is short at 475 reach in largest size

    Also, given my fork is a few years old is the offset likely to be wrong (and what will that do to the handling?)

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    and what will that do to the handling?)

    Bugger all that you wont adjust to in 10 minutes IME.

    Thats how it worked for me going from a 51mm pike to a 44mm 36.

    Premier Icon cjr61
    Full Member

    @b33k34

    Pace can take 27.5+ 2.8’s easily and I’ve ridden 2.4 conti for a while with good clearance still.

    Premier Icon lightfighter762
    Full Member

    The Moxie is excellent. Really capable bike and probably one of the best descenders and climbers around. Cannot beat the price either and it is a beautiful frame. On ride feel and all round comfort it is hard to beat. In mullet mode with a 150 29er fork, plus sized back tyre it is excellent for anything in the UK. Overland, enduro trails, park. It will do it all.

    Premier Icon zezaskar
    Free Member

    To the OP, regarding reach, keep in mind that a HT reach grows longer when sagged, so you might prefer to aim for a shorter bike if the desire is to keep the FS feel.

    Same goes with head angle, they get considerably stepper under sag

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    I have a 140mm forked Marino 29er hardtail and went with a 64° HA, it definitely doesn’t feel too slack. I wanted an aggressive trail bike rather than a Hello Dave style DH weapon and I think I nailed it. I worked on the basis that a 64° HA unsagged will equate to around 66° sagged which I thought was the right sort of area.

    There weren’t really any similar options when I bought mine two years ago but there are now(Norco and Kona IIRC).

    Premier Icon samhay
    Free Member

    A friend of mine is keen on one but he’s not sure about an MRP fork. Any pics yet?

    I have an MRP Raven on my On-One Big Dog.
    Frame is pretty good, but could have more standover height and won’t take a particularly wide tyre.
    The forks are good. Once set up right I can’t fault them and would have no qualms taking them over a Pike.

    Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    To the OP, regarding reach, keep in mind that a HT reach grows longer when sagged, so you might prefer to aim for a shorter bike if the desire is to keep the FS feel.

    Same goes with head angle, they get considerably stepper under sag

    From another thread “ Bear in mind that Cotic (and a few others) quote their geometry sagged whilst everyone else quote the static figures, so it’s quite confusing comparing. You roughly have to add 1.5 deg to the angles, add 20mm to the reach, take 30mm off the stack and take 10mm off the BB height to go from static to sagged on a typical hardtail.”

    Which would mean hardtail sagged figures are comparable to static full sus? That points me back towards the Cotic then……

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Which would mean hardtail sagged figures are comparable to static full sus?

    That’s the idea, yes.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    I love my Zero 29 and Bird are a joy to deal with.

    Premier Icon marksnook
    Full Member

    I’ve just been out all morning on my cotic bfemax. All natural fod stuff. It may have been one of those days but man that bike is so so good! It descends very well, I’m only running a 140mm fork but bike just handles the rough stuff. I was equally surprised by the way it climbs. It’s a slacker seat angle than a few other I was looking at but I find it does absolutely great.
    Only other frames on my list were nordest bardino and a pipedream moxie
    The bird forge looks good. Don’t starling have a frame coming out as well?

    Premier Icon craa22uk
    Full Member

    I was going to get a Pace but went for Stanton Switch9er in the end – really enjoy it going up, down and along. Taiwan steel but super comfy and weight it not a problem Running a Pike 140 on it.

    Premier Icon alan1977
    Free Member

    i was shopping for a 27.5, was going for the pace 27 specific… then decided on on the 529
    however, a sonder signal ti frame came up, and could resist it, went full 29er, it’s perfect…
    the frame alone isnt massively expensive from sonder, would highly recommend, assuming you are good with a 130mm fork

    Premier Icon groundskeeperwilly
    Free Member

    I’ve a Moxie for sale…

    Premier Icon marksnook
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    I’m a bit of a serial frame swapper at the minute, I don’t want any details @groundskeeperwilly 😂😂

    Premier Icon groundskeeperwilly
    Free Member

    Well since you’re a serial swapper then where’s the harm….

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    “Which would mean hardtail sagged figures are comparable to static full sus?”

    Yes, apart from the BB height (on a full-sus the sagged BB height will obviously be about 25% of the travel lower than the static BB height).

    Premier Icon zerocool
    Full Member

    I don’t think you’ll notice floppy steering with a 65* head angle. Especially as 140mm is a reasonably short fork my Bike has a 65.5* HA and feels fine (I’m actually thinking of adding a Slackerizer and taking it down to 63.5* on a 130mm fork).

    Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    Thanks all – some years since I’d looked at hardtail so was forgetting the differences when comparing to full sus. Orange p7 29 looks in the same vein but looks expensive as frame only.

    Premier Icon edge85
    Full Member

    I’ve had my SolarisMax for 2 years now and I’m still in love with it. I don’t find the steering floppy at all with the forks set to 140mm running 29er. Had a lovely ride today with the little dude on the shotgun seat, it’s perfect for my local trails too.

    My other bike is a Bird Aeris 145 and I usually end up taking the SolarisMax instead!

    Premier Icon zerocool
    Full Member

    I’ve always run a slightly shorter Reach on a hardtail compared to a full suspension bike.

    Premier Icon TheGhost
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    Premier Icon TheGhost
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    Great explanation of why the reach should be different on a hardtail.

    Premier Icon superstu
    Free Member

    Interesting seeing a recommendation for a Tarn. I had one and on paper it ticked a lot of boxes, made with the uk in mind and huge clearance…but a heavy sluggish dull thing. Looked very pretty in the copper finish but it didn’t want to move, sapped energy but similarly wasn’t great downhill. Replaced with a nukeproof scout frame that’s better in every way.

    Sounds like the bird hardtails, pace or cotic would all tick the boxes. The Sonder signal is a bit of a bargain, higher rise bars would sort stack height concerns.

    Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    @theghost
    Interesting- would mean me as a 195cm rider on a large not an xl. With super long dropper posts probably still have enough seat post in the frame but it’s a lot of leverage.

    Premier Icon TheGhost
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    I was more interested in how the reach changed with suspension movement on a hardtail vs a full sus.

    I’m 6’2” and ride XLs

    Premier Icon TheGhost
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t even contemplate a Solaris Max because the chainstays are comically long. You’ll never be able to get the front wheel up.

    Waits for STW flaming… 🙂

    The new SC Chameleon would be a good call if you can stomach the price.

    My Banshee Paradox V3 feels very similar to my Ibis Ripmo AF if thats any help.

    I’ve had 2 Pace RC627s and they were brilliant except for the dropouts which are made from cheese.

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    “I was more interested in how the reach changed with suspension movement on a hardtail vs a full sus.”

    Full sus bikes get a bit shorter at sag, hardtails get about a whole size longer.

    “I wouldn’t even contemplate a Solaris Max because the chainstays are comically long.”

    I swap between 420mm and 455mm chainstays on my two bikes. Higher bars give the leverage/body position to cancel out the longer chainstays for manuals – and with long chainstays don’t need low bars for steep climbs.

    When I get a new hardtail I’m tempted to get something with sliding dropouts because my current hypothesis is that shorter chainstays work better when it’s grippy and longer when it’s slippery.

    Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    444 CS on the Cotic is the same as my Orbea Rise and I can still get the front up on that. Again, the Geometron was more of a stretch but that was another 5mm CS and 32mm reach….

    The Pace has a longer reach (same as the Coptic when unsagged) but short stays. Dropouts look a bit spindly – how do they break? (I’ve had a sliding dropout Nicolai and an inbred – always seems like a weak point to me)

    I’m now wondering what the static reach is on the Cotic. If moving from 120-140mm fork knocks 10mm off the reach then unsagged is probably 20mm less, so it is actually a good chunk shorter than the pace, wonder and orange.

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