Steel Hardtail – which one?

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  • Steel Hardtail – which one?
  • I’ve got an 18″ mint condition DB alpine MKII for sale if you’re interested. Drop me a line for info and pics.


    Transition TransAm on our crappy blog . Magical beast for 140mm – 160mm forks.


    Vortex that Soul looks nice, tho i’m not sure i can justify the extra price over say BFe/Ragley’s when they will do what i want. Are they 140 forks?

    Cokeitup… will email you for pics etc. Ta.

    Premier Icon Vortexracing

    150mm rev teams, but if you put 20psi more pressure in the neg than the pos they limit themselves to 140mm.

    I’ve had a older Soul and a bfe (full 853) the BFe was definitely stiffer by a long way. Geometry and fit were identical though.

    The new BFe is supposed to be somewhere between the Soul and old BFe WRT stiffness.

    It might be your best bet.


    Live and ride in the lakes, had a 456 for about 3 years now, weighs 28Lb and i’ve been very happy with it since purchase, I’d suggest you come and try it , but its a 16″ and you’re looking at 18/19″, so it’d be a bit small.
    Still, highly recommend, especially if they’re still that cheap!

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Sanderson Life / Breath ?
    Just to muddy the waters a bit more.

    I had a Soul. Is it worth 4x what I paid for my Inbred…if you can afford it then hell yes. But whatever you get stick some Maxle Revs on it. Superb forks.


    Well, having owned a charge duster, dmr sidekick, genesis io and now a mmmbop (no ones mentioned it ain’t steel…)

    Really depends what gives you the most smiles-

    – genesis & charge are serious fast singletrack bikes
    – mmmbop is surprisingly fast on the ups and downs but feels odd in pedally singletrack
    – dmr is great for short runs, jumps and alot of fun dh too.

    For me going bloody quick is what I like so the duster is my choice.


    Northwind – Member
    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.

    They also pretty much totally discounted the Handjob from the running because they stated it could only take 120mm travel forks. This is total bollocks, I have 140mm Floats on mine which don’t exceed coves maximum 510mm axle to crown height.


    Another vote for the Dialled Bikes Prince Albert I have had a mk2 520 and the new CEN tested model.

    I can’t heap enough praise on the Albert it’s a stunning bike to ride and makes every ride enjoyable, the new CEN version is a little more compliant than the mk2 and you can’t help but grin as your ride 😀 accelerates nicely and grips with poise and confidence.

    I love it.


    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.

    Magazine tests aren’t definitive of course, but I do think that they’re worth thinking about rather than simply discounting. In my post suggesting the Sirius (and I do like mine) I did say that it was a rather ‘ecclectic’ test, considering that the Sirius, Altitude and Handjob are all roughly 100-130mm bikes (the Sirius is 90-130 I think) it would have made more sense replacing the 456 with a standard Inbred (and there was a 456 in the test) and the Bfe with the Soul. However WMB have tested the Soul and still chose to place the Sirius as number 3 in one of their buyers guide catagories (I don’t have the mag. to hand to check which one).

    There have been comments that the Sirius is overly heavy (and it’s certainly not the lighest) however in the build it was supplied to the magazine it was the lightest on test (but I appreciate that it’s not fair to compare this to bigger hit bikes like the 456, Bfe and Blue Pig). The frame is just one part of the whole and £350 for an 853 frame isn’t bad allowing extra cash to be spent on weight saving if that’s what’s wanted; the Sirius was lighter and cheaper than the Handjob and Altitude builds if I remember correctly.

    I’m not saying that the Sirius is better than the Soul (or the Altitude, Handjob, 456 or Bfe, I’ve never ridden any of them) but how many people suggesting the Soul have ridden the 853 Sirius (some of the reviewers may have)? I just think that the Sirius is worth considering, equally I’m sure that there are plenty of other viable options out there too.


    chain reaction have the NS bike shore (aka Surge) on sale at the moment (£200 iirc) – I’ve got last year’s version – its an excellent frame, a bit less xc oriented than the 456 et al, so if you want something more play-inclined, that’s where I’d look


    I`m thinking of giving up my little used FS to buy a steel hardtail so interesting thread; however I currently own a Van Nic Ti hardtail too, 70deg head, 72.5 seat angles, 19.5″ frame so wonder of Cotic BFe / Dialled Bikes P A / On One 456 would give a much appreciably different ride to my Ti, and be much tougher , before I step away from my Full Suss?

    I would want to transfer kit from FS to a possible new hardtail, this being Hope Hoops on EN521 / Hope Mono minis etc


    Love my Soul on 120mm forks…

    James, you’re asking whether an XC bike differs much from a hooligan? No, it’s like Paris Hilton vs. Jordan (you can ride either for hours but one will “suit” you better than the other). It’s a personal choice.

    Trans AM frame in medium black I know somewhere for £375


    COVE Handjob is a contender – Cove state a 510mm axle to crown which allows you a 140mm Fox fork or a 132mm Pike. 120mm TALAS gives you great trail handling whilst 140mm TALAS makes it nice and slack for gnar core Lakeland downs whilst 100mm TALAS keeps the front down for 1:3 climbs 😉

    💡 if i was to buy again i’d probably buy a Prince Albert in lumo frog green

    Premier Icon Trekster

    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+.

    Run mine no problem with a cheap 3nd hand set of Marz 600s @ 130mm or the Fox rlc from my old Kona.

    friendsandfamily – Member
    Trans AM frame in medium black I know somewhere for £375

    Very nice they are to.


    Ive got a PA frame for sale at the mo in the classifieds. Its a 17′ frame but im just over 5’11” and it fits nicely

    Premier Icon specializedneeds

    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.

    Not sure I agree with this. Firstly, I don’t think 67 degrees is average for FS trail bikes, more like 69 or latterly 68 degrees. Secondly, don’t most people quote their figures without sag? In which case the Blue Pig is quoted as 65.6 degrees, with an unsagged 140mm fork (67.5 degrees with a 140mm fork sagged by 40mm) which is a common fork length for a FS trail bike. My buddy’s mmmBop with a Pike fork is very obviously slacker than any of the 120mm to 140mm FS bikes in our group from: Orange (not the new 5), Santa Cruz, Specialized, Yeti, Giant, Iron Horse, Trek, Gary Fisher – which is a fairly average bunch of FS bikes.

    Premier Icon specializedneeds

    I haven’t considered the effect of the rear end sagging as well though 🙄 too late to edit! Surely it wouldn’t be enough to make the head angle slacker than the static figure though?

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    orange 5, head angle = 67degrees.

    thankfully, this kind of thing is becoming more common*, it really isn’t that weird.

    oh, and yes.

    (*hardtails steepen more than FS bikes when you ride down a steep trail**, slack hardtails make perfect sense to me)

    (**cos FS bikes are balanced a bit by the back end compressing – even more on brake-jacky single-pivots)

    Premier Icon specializedneeds

    Interesting, thanks. The current five is at the slack end for a trail bike though.

    Would only have compared the mmmBop with while standing around in the car park or leaning against a tree, all v. miss-leading of course.

    That’s got me thinking, slack hardtails make sense!

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