Steel Hardtail – which one?

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  • Steel Hardtail – which one?
  • Probably a cotic soul rather than a bfe


    Dialled Bikes Prince Albert?

    Kinesis Versa?

    What fork have you got lined up?

    FWIW i rode a ragley blue pig yesterday that a friend had built up and i was suitably impressed. Although this was the 1st time i’d rode a steel hardtail and a long travel hardtail at the same time i thought it was very capable going downhill… so much so I’m now thinking of selling my spesh enduro frame and swapping everything over

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    If you can afford/justify a Soul then buy one, if not then which ever one of the others takes your eye.
    I’ve ever had a moments regret/doubt/whatever about buying a Soul.


    I’ve got a bfe, love it. Easy pedaling, awesome descending.


    Just to be picky, the mmmBop is aluminium.

    Genesis Alpitude – Reynolds 853 tubing for mucho less cash than a Soul. Great frames and even come with ISCG tabs for going radcore or 1×10 or whatever.

    Orange P7 (sorry, i know that’s not on your list)

    456, if only they made a lighter version……………

    It’s no heavier than most other comparable hardtails, but an alloy version would be nice to get the carbon/Ti weight without the carbon/Ti price tags.

    Its one of those bikes you just dont notice, it just does what it should and very rarely gets out of its depth.


    Transition TransAM?


    I was thinking the exact same thing. Currently have a spesh rockhopper as a town commuter (altho dont commute since new job) and a giant trance. I have always felt Im too heavy for the trance, usually about 18st. Like a bit of kick on the singletrack, and trail centre stuff. But also like long natural trail stuff in summer..

    I really like the bfe, but have never tried a steel hardtail before, so dont know how it will differ from my spesh. Im thinking the bombproof strength would be good given my weight, and also wanted to run a 140mm fork.


    pipedream sirius – according to WMB – its the best

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Rickos, the Genesis Alpitude is closer in weight/purpose/fittings to the BFe than the Soul (and costs a wee bit more than the BFe).

    BFe would be ace as an all round bike with 120mm forks TrekMart; longer forks only really ‘needed’ for 4X/downhill duties.


    oooh that trans am looks great.


    What sort of riding you do will factor into your choices.
    Are you after a hardcore steel hardtail, using long travel forks, or something softer for Xc duties?

    If the former, I am using a Genesis alpitude and think its brilliant, builds into a 27lb bike with reasonable thought given to kit. Has massive stand over clearance for jumping/playing. “Feels” very soft, certainly softer on the rear stays than my previous 2 Prince Alberts.
    Downside, paint finish seems easy to chip, seat tube is odd size takes a 30.0mm seat post and finding a Qr seat clamp is a pain.
    Friend has an Evil Sovereign which I love, but builds into a 30lb bike, the alpitude is close in sizing, geometry but builds far lighter.


    Kelvin – granted, but the Alpitude has 853 and the BFe doesn’t any more (hence the cheaper price for 2010). Whether that really matters is a whole other can o’ worms, but seeing as 853 frames are generally more pricey it must count for something.

    EDIT – seems the BFe has an 853 downtube.

    Premier Icon kelvin

    One look at a BFe toptube will tell you why it doesn’t need the extra strength of 853 over 631. Downtube still 853.


    yeah its an 853 631 combo, 370 delivered with seat clamp and lizard skin. I do love mine…


    I’m loving my Pipedream R853 Sirius. As has already been mentioned it won, a rather ecclectic, steel hardtail grouptest in WMB, beating the Genesis Altitude, On-One 456, Cove Handjob, Cotic Bfe and Ragley Blue Pig. It’s a tough decision though as there are lots of good steel hardtails available. Whatever you choose I hope you enjoy it.


    Genesis Alpitude – Reynolds 853 tubing for mucho less cash than a Soul. Great frames and even come with ISCG tabs for going radcore or 1×10 or whatever.

    I’ll second that. I borrowed one from a my LBS for a weekend ride and I was very impressed with it. Couldn’t stop smiling…..if fact wondering why I went Full sus 🙁


    Looking to buy a steel hartail as a main bike. Looking at On One 456, Cotic BFe, Ragley mmmbop & blue pig. Mainly to be used for lakes riding & local singletrack night rides.
    Which is best suited?


    As the majority say it depends on what riding you’ll be doing. Personally i can highly rate both the Genesis Alpitude and the Soul. I have a Alpitude built up with Pikes,double and bash and a up/downy seatpost for big days and Alp trips and it hoons with the best of them will chase bouncy bikes all day. Then i have a Soul as my race bike for solo 24’s and the like. Weight wise the Alpitude is a bit of a brute at about 31lb and the Soul a whippet at 23.5lb( will easily go sub 23 without silly money). If you are going for one bike to do it all personally i’d go with a Soul as the ride is sublime and it can be built into a serious trail bike without too much of a weight penalty.

    Hope that helps.


    Give the Dialled PA a serious look. I went from an Inbred to one of the the new CEN standard PAs and find it a great balance of zing and strength. Really suits most uk riding apart from the extremes of XC/DH to the point I’ve hardly ridden my Prophet MX this year.

    Seems a bit of a nicer/more involving ride than a 456 perhaps and not far off a Soul for general trail riding at considerably less outlay. It’s a bit heavier than a Soul – more like the BFe I suspect.

    As others have said though the BFe is going to be hard to beat especially if you are on the larger side. I’ve ridden several Souls, and a P7 (though not a BFe unfortunately) but have been more than happy and without regret since getting the bargain PA.

    Biggest differnce I find between these Steel bikes and a few alloy hardtails I’ve had is they aren’t quite as tiring over a long day or days in the saddle than comparable ali frames. I had lots of the same or similar parts on a Mountaincycle Rumble and a Cove Stiffee. The all up weights are not much different so I’m pretty convinced there’s a bit more give but it’s really hard to quantify. You won’t notice it much on short two to three hour blats.

    A friend who had an early PA used to find it pretty harsh but I really can’t say that of the latest version at all.

    Oh, and I’m running 130mm QR Vanillas on it but it’s begging for something like Pikes to up the game on descending capability.

    Premier Icon speaker2animals

    My feeling (and this is not from experience just reading specs, tests, sort of riders with them) is that the Ragley Mmmbop/Blue Pig are very style specific. If you live Hebden Bridge and do a lot of slow, naggery, steep riding then they are probably ideal. For me though they are too slack for general all round riding. I’m with Ferrentino on this, super slack seems to be the new niche whether ones riding style requires it or not. Soul for me for general riding or a BFe if I was looking at a little more rough and tough (especially if you want to use a dropper seat post).


    Blue Pig

    I do a bit of everything on mine, climbs well, comfy enough for day long jaunts, excellent downhill capabilities and even chuck it about in the skate park.

    Definately not too slack for just riding around, in fact it feels just right as goldilocks said to the three bears.


    I have an Orange R8. It’s not a long forked bike and I have only had it a couple of weeks but I love it…

    I have ridden my mates Charge Duster steel, but my Orange feels wicked. Prior to the R8 I have ridden a alu Rockhopper for the last 3 years and boy oh boy does the R8 ride well ? It sticks to the line like it’s dug in to the ground. It accelerates like sh$it off a shovel. The Rockhopper would start to get shady at speed – bouncing round all over the place. The R8 just wants to go faster faster faster.

    Can you tell I love my new bike ?

    Thanks for reminding people that the Prince Albert is still alive and kicking, Tasso. Despite the current Prince Albert being the best incarnation to date with numerous upgrades (Reynolds 725, lighter, zingier, CEN compliant, etc) it seems to have fallen off a lot of peoples’ radar.

    Next edition of Wide Open Mag should contain a comprehensive test/review.


    Vote for the Bfe here.

    Do all my riding on mine, including many trips to the Alps.

    My build is pretty heavy 35lbs, which does make it a little slower on the ups, but point her downhill and wait for the grin factor.

    Mines the old style all 853, but I assume the new version is as good!

    456 or 456 summer season. I got the Summer Season and it’s ace, can’t fault it, the Mmmbop is ok but can be a bit of a pain dragging up the lovely lakes fells but makes up for it on the way down. Blue pig is also ace but only have a small but of experience on one so i’d say 456 or blue pig

    Another Prince Albert vote here – I have the Reynolds 520 version with Pikes and it gets ridden everywhere – local trails, xc routes, DH trails, the alps. Its been fantastic.

    Singleply tyres and normal tubes it weighs around a respectable 28lbs – if I put dual plys with DH tubes for chairlifts/push ups it comes in at around 32lbs.

    It won’t ride like a xc race bike or a DH full suss but it will ride both and put a massive grin on your face while doing it.

    I love it.


    Just to throw another spanner in the works, DMR Trailstar LT or 3 with a set of Pikes 😛 Love mine, on paper it seems a bit steep on the HA for downhill (71 degrees) but I’ve got by just fine on it at FOD and Woburn with wider bars to stabilise things a bit. They can be had 2nd hand for silly money.

    I liked my 456SS with the 36 Floats. Now it’s with Z1SL 150mm and it rocks still.


    another +1 for a prince albert, got a pre CEN compliant one here with 130mm dual air revs & fairly light build (although I haven’t actually weighed it) only complaint is that I find it wanders a bit in ascents which could easily be solved with some height adjustable forks I guess. just love riding it as a general all purpose mountain bike – what more should you want?


    I’ve got both a Genesis iO and a Cove Handjob in Columbus Steel version.

    Both are brilliant bikes, the iO really makes me want to try another Genesis Steel frame as for a 100mm single track machine it’s awesome, super fast on twisty stuff and great on the climbs.

    My Handjob is built up with mid range kit and a set of Reba Races in 115mm setting, it’s an awesome machine, everytime I ride it I wonder why it took me so long to ride it again.


    What’s the budget and what size frame? (OP)

    Premier Icon oldagedpredator

    Just started running a Soul with 120mm forks. Excellent, it had done a month or two at 100mm whilst the new forks turned up much much better at 120mm.

    27lbs for riding around, mix of Hope nearly every where they do it and XT where they dont. Would be lighter if it wasnt a large / running braided hoses / 2.2 tyres. Does me as a 14stone wheels down type rider. If I jumped around might have gone BFe but just out and out riding around the soul is fine.

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    1961Bikie – Member
    My feeling … is that the Ragley Mmmbop/Blue Pig … are too slack for general all round riding. I’m with Ferrentino on this, super slack seems to be the new niche whether ones riding style requires it or not

    but, they’re not superslack, they’re about 67degrees – ish.

    which is completely average for full-suspension ‘trail’ bikes – and thankfully becoming more common on hardtails.

    my pig feels completely normal – because it is.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    currently bouncing round the lakes on my 456(blue) with 160mm All Mountain Airs on the front damm awesome bike:):) Weight is all about what your used to and it’s an easier pedal than my heckler.


    I love my Dialled bikes Alpine for all round trail riding. I am 5.10 and ride the 16 inch one. Seat post looks a bit stupid for road stuff but then off road I mostly ride standing up and like my seat quite low.

    It is built up with Pikes and it just feels right. I had a 853 PA before but the Alpine feels faster and easier to chick around.

    I regularly do 70/80km rides on it nae bother.

    don simon

    Another for Pipedream Sirius, quick, nimble and comfortable.


    Every time I see the Alpine I’m reminded just how “right” they look and always want one! Anyone got one I can have a go on some time? 😛

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Ax3M4n – Member

    “pipedream sirius – according to WMB – its the best”

    OK, I saw a couple of people commented on this but it’s maybe worth pointing out that there was no Soul in the test, they ran the BFe instead but gave the win to the Pipedream as it’s a better allrounder. IMO it was a test decided by what wasn’t in it not what was. Also no PA, 456 or Inbred.


    Thanks for the response, tremendous!
    Mr. Gnar – max budget would be BFe price and frame size would be 18-19″.Would be interested in 2nd hand frames tho! If its cheaper i can spend more on better components.
    I am 6ft and 14.5 stone and was leaning towards the BFe, however i hadn’t thought of the Dialled PA. Also mate at work has thrown in Sinister Ridge as another option.
    I’m possibly going to run my current 120mm forks so that may rule out the mmmbop & blue pig as from what i’ve read they run better with 140mm+.

    Premier Icon Vortexracing

    Soul all the way, tough enough for a lot of abuse and comfy enough for all days.

    mine weighs 23.9lbs with NobbyNic/RacingRalph combo on 355’s

    P1000834 by eastham_david, on Flickr

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