- Quality steel 29er frames off the peg?
- hungry monkeyMember
might even be worth look at the US shops, they have more stuff there, and are pretty cheap. jensonUSA were great for my forks, but they don't seem to have many 29er frames in at the mo.
warranty may be an issue if you are bothered about that though.
seem to be plenty of 2nd hand 29ers too,Posted 8 years ago
I hate to say it, but 'mid-spec' Reynolds is no different from the tubing I use in the Singulars. When I was first getting started I had otherwise identical frames made in 853 and double butted 4130 cro-mo. I and others who tried them both couldn't tell any difference in the ride. Slightly lighter, will be a bit stronger, whether necessary for most xc use is debatable. I'm not saying buy a Singular (though of course you can) just think about what you expect to get out of more expensive tubing in a stock frame. If it were being custom made for you then that's a different story.Posted 8 years agomboySubscriber
Seems to be a fair sized gap in the market for an off the peg 853 29er that comes in significantly cheaper than the Niner's if you ask me. Plenty of 26" wheeled hardtail frames out there circa £400 or so frame only, I appreciate 29ers are less mainstream, but got to be a demand now considering many people are perhaps moving up from having dipped a toe in the water via a Rig or a 29er Inbred or the like?
I liked the look of the old Voodoo Dambala, but the newer one is significantly heavier as I understand it…
Love the design and finishing touches of the Singular, but not so keen on the colour, and though it is well finished and comes with a rigid fork (which would be redundant to me anyway), for the price it could/should have a slightly more upmarket tubeset for my mind… Though I appreciate it's economies of scale and all that.Posted 8 years ago
Yes that's pretty much what I was thinking – a Niner fits the bill but looks like very very poor value for money to me. Custom build price and from what I've picked up on this forum custom build wait time but for a far eastern off the peg frame not that different from some 26ers at half the price.Posted 8 years ago
Fair enough, and I appreciate it that some people 'just want it', but what do you expect to get out of a True Temper/Columbus/Reynolds tubeset over one that is made to similar profiles from the same type of steel but doesn't carry a 'brand'? In theory they could be made lighter, but I don't think you'll find much of that particularly with the advent of CEN testing. You could make it stronger, but that's not really necessary – I've had one failure (non-catastrophic, slight bending of TT) in 3 years of selling my frames. To use 853 or similar we would be looking at probably a close to £200 increase in retail price for little material gain. I'd be happy to give back to back rides on an 853 and my production 4130 frames and let you decide whether you can tell the difference.Posted 8 years agoShackletonSubscriber
My tuppence worth.
Having ridden, on prolonged demo loans, both the on-one steel 29er inbred, Alu scandal 29er, on-one Ti 29er all with O-O carbon forks and am now the owner of a swift. I can say that the swift and Ti on-one have a much more similar ride than the on-one steel 29er and the Scandal was between them. Both swift and Ti have a lively, nimble ride feel but the on-one steel 29er feels a bit dead and heavy and the supposedly stiff alu scandal surprisingly comfy.
So my point is that it's what you do with the metal rather than what it is, and I think that the singular shows how to do it with 4130 and the on-one not! Other than an extra level of niche I don't think 853 would deliver anything like value for money in performance compared to 4130. And as Sam says, CEN testing will probably narrow the gap (perceived or actual) further.
As for pricing the singulars come with a lovely steel fork, relieved EBB and (I think) free delivery so I think the pricing is good for what you get given that for say, an O-O frame, you would need to add on a £150 carbon fork, chain tugs and postage. And I think the singular fork feels nicer than the O-O carbon one.Posted 8 years agobonesetterMember
Well said. 853 TT & DT is just not going to give much trail feel difference.
Niner SIR9 is very overpriced, and is plagued by EBB problems. SIR is 800 pounds. A full custom steel such as a Shand is the same or less…
But as you ask for off the peg, Sam seems to have cornered the niche there, and would be my recommendationPosted 8 years agokeavoMember
i'm a very happy sir9 owner, but when i bought it over 3 years ago it was around £550. at £800 plus its still a great frame but i couldn't say its value for money. i think you can get salsa el mariachi (old model) for around £500 off ebay, which fits your stated requirements. if i was buying again now i'd get a swift, had one of their rigid forks and it was very good.Posted 8 years agoRaouliganMember
Vassago might be worth a look, or there's the Black Buck thing as well.
Although when all is aid and done it's my experience that it's generally just worth saving and buying nice bikes that are really special than just splurging some cash on something that's alright.
It's nice to own something special rather than something that's bog standard.Posted 8 years agoskyhigh_71Subscriber
I was so happy with my Singular Swift a bought a second, running one fully rigid SS and the other suss fork and Rohloff hub. I thought the Niner Sir Nine looked great but at twice the price of Singular, I have bought 2:1. (and Niner don't include the fork in their price!)
BTW Sam – the Singular Blue colour is excellent, definately become your trademark.
NeilPosted 8 years ago
I like steel but I also like a light bike with a nice responsive ride. Particularly with a 29er I'd be concerned about weight and so aim for a better tubeset. Obviously there is a real difference in steel tubesets, the frame on my Scapin Nope in Columbus Spirit weighs a couple of pounds less and rides massively better than my 4130 LavaDome.
Actually I'm not that impressed with 853 (I'd prefer 631 or 725 throughout) but I'd buy a Swift today if it was £200 more but made from Spirit throughout (in fact Scapin's 29er is just that but I'm guessing its into 4 figures).Posted 8 years agoShackletonSubscriber
Norton – are you seriously drawing a comparison between a Nope (£1000 frame only carbon and steel XC race bike) and a Lavadome (cheap trail bike) and concluding that an uninspired 4130 steel design doesn't ride as well as your frankly rather lustworthy Scapin with carbon comfy bits? C'mon, lets at least have a level playing field! I think most of the ride in your scapin comes from tube manipulation rather than the steel although I do conceed that the spirit steel allows some manipulations that would be harder or heavier to do with cheaper pipe.
Although I agree that having a light bike is nice, I think weight distribution plays a huge role in handling and feel as do tube profiles, geometry and intended application. I've also found that weight in the wheels tends to affect things much more than weight in the frame.
I'd still rather have a well designed and executed custom tubed 4130 frame than a frame built without much in the way of R&D using fancier steel off the shelf. If you can have the best of both worlds then maybe it would ride nicely but I certainly wouldn't be able to afford it.Posted 8 years agomboySubscriber
To use 853 or similar we would be looking at probably a close to £200 increase in retail price for little material gain. I'd be happy to give back to back rides on an 853 and my production 4130 frames and let you decide whether you can tell the difference.
I understand where you're coming from here, I just perceive that if someone is going to "try" a 29er (as I did), they don't want to spend £420 on a frame (even with a fork) as that's a fair investment just to see if it is for them. But once they've tried a cheaper 29er, and know they like the ride and feel of bigger wheels, but want something more upmarket, offering a nicer tubeset, at a greater cost of course, would appeal much more to those that know they want a "nice" 29er after having tried something at the cheaper end of the scale…
What size is your 853 prototype? I'm a "short arse" at 5ft 11, so it'd have to be a medium, but I'd love to give it a go.
Also, just being curious now, but what sort of weight saving could you get by using 853 main tubes versus double butted 4130 to maintain the same strength? More or less than 0.5lb?
And I hear what you're saying on the increase in RRP, but how about offering a frame only, say with 853 main tubes, an EBB and mech hanger (same as current Swift) for say close to £500? That would appeal to me greatly as long as the colour did…
Should have added, I'm always happy to hear about ideas for new colours!
Dark Metallic Green, especially something like BMW's "Oxford Green" which in pale light looks practically black, but under bright light is really quite vivid green. Like my old Beemer (sadly recently sold)…
Or perhaps a slightly lighter Metallic Green, almost like a metallic version of British Racing Green, but then with Yellow Detailing, like on the Lotus Elise Type 25
Either would be pretty nice… And mine's a medium please… 😉Posted 8 years agowillsimmonsMember
I don't know but I think the standard Stambek is ~ 5 lbs so not all that light. If you buy one of the Stambeks with lighter tubing then obviously the weight comes down, but the price goes up
I have no need for another frame at the moment but I do think they look classy.Posted 7 years agoBig DaveMember
It isn't made out of anything particularly flash but what about the Karate Monkey? It has horizontal dropouts and comes with a fork. I've just bought one and the frame isn't the lump of scaffolding some people would make it out to be, and it is very versatile in terms of what you can do with it. It is also reasonably cheap. Admittedly it isn't going to be as pretty a bike as my Swift but I'm fairly chuffed with the quality of the frame.Posted 7 years ago
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