Tell me about steel HT's

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  • Tell me about steel HT's
  • Mackem
    Member

    Why steel?

    Duffer
    Member

    If you’re after a golden bullet, i’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. They won’t make you any faster, uphill or downhill; for that, you’ll need fitness and talent.

    Once you’ve got those two nailed down, buy a 456 😉

    bigrich
    Member

    not as fast as an alloy ht, flex takes the edge off. save your pennies for an 853 long travel frame.

    aphex_2k
    Member

    I guarantee my Pipedream will make you faster. Want to buy it? :p

    b r
    Member

    One of my back up bikes is a Giant XTC Composite 1.F80 forks extended to 100mm – 23lb of carbon-framed flying machine. Much better on the uphills, but very harsh.

    I had one of those, no way would I describe it as ‘harsh’. Although have you tried running it with lower tyre pressures (tubeless) plus carbon bars/post and possible change the saddle (if its the original which was solid on mine).

    One reason steel HT are often described as ‘comfy’ is that they’ve lots of mud room, so you can run big tyres for more cushioning.

    khani
    Member

    If your used to riding a hardtail steel is a bit more forgiving than ally, carbons as stiff or compliant as its designed to be, some are stiff, some are compliant and some are both if they’ve been well designed.
    But if your used to a FS then a hardtail is a shock to your arse full stop..

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
    Subscriber

    So…I have as my main bike a 2002 Rockhopper FSR, and while it flies down hills, it lacks a bit in the climbing department – the BETD link and 130mm Revs see to that.

    One of my back up bikes is a Giant XTC Composite 1.F80 forks extended to 100mm – 23lb of carbon-framed flying machine. Much better on the uphills, but very harsh.

    I have seen pics of built up Cotic Soul’s/BFe’s and the like and they look very capable and can handle 130mm forks with ease.

    What are they like to like with after full suspension? Any other frames I should consider – budget not much more than £250 second hand.

    Premier Icon RRD
    Subscriber

    They are heavy and they rust!

    Whilst some are more compliant than some other frame materials there is simply no getting away from the two facts above… I’m not meaning to insult the “steel is real” fan base however, I was very disappointed with the weights of even the better ones and in my experience the rust will come through the paintwork in some locations.

    IMO geometry is far more important when it comes to hardtails than frame materials, but that might just be me. I love my Cotic BFe but if it had a lower BB it would be absolutely perfect.

    bigrich
    Member

    They are heavy and they rust

    nope, and nope.

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    I built a soul as my mud bike. Coming from a ti Salsa with ti post and 2.25 tubeless I was very stupid to be shocked when with alloy post and tubed 1.9.mud rear tyre it was harsh as hell! Now with 2.2 tubeless and carbon post I love it but it’s still not as comfy as ti.

    aphex_2k
    Member

    RRD – Member
    They are heavy and they rust!

    As an owner of numerous steel bikes over the years… Utter tosh.

    Edric 64
    Member

    So all my bikes should have rusted out by now especially the 1947 Hobbs road frame

    Premier Icon johnhe
    Subscriber

    I moved from a 100mm aluminium hardtail to a 140mm hardtail with more mud clearance. I thoroughly recommend a longer travel hardtail with bigger tyres. Fantastic fun. Obviously not sofa soft compared to a full susser, but more fun.

    I upgraded from my HT ’06 Rockhopper to a Soul.

    Internet wisdom informed me that i basically had 2 options the Soul or a 456c. Have to say i was very reticent to go for a steel frame as the whole “Steel is real” reeked of fanboism and very very nearly plumped for a 456c in the end i went with the Soul for pretty much purely cosmetic reasons, just couldnt get over the ugliness of the 456c.

    I am now a convert! It really does have a zing to it and is an absolute pleasure to ride, i still have my rockhopper kitted out for mud duty but although its a fabulous bike it just feels like a lifeless lump of metal compared to the Soul.

    That said i have yet to try a 456c and by all accounts it should build to an excellent bike.

    Welcome to my nightmare from 6 months ago!

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    I chopped in a 100mm steel hardtail and a 5, for a Soul. Just had first ride on it today, round cathkin, which is ideally suited to full suss. the Soul has 120mm forks and felt as capable as the 5, lap times no slower, but harsh compared to the 5. It has a temporary seat post with a reverb coming in a few days,which will narrow the gap with the full suss. It felt very different to the 100mm rock lobster, in a good way 🙂

    Soul was lovely and comfy and felt very nice indeed, I’d happily own another (carbon post used)as soon as one comes up I will 🙂 . The BFE doesn’t feel the same in the ride zing thing, it sort of felt sluggish and is much harsher. But I had an alloy post on the BFE so it’s not a direct comparison as such.

    trickydisco
    Member

    I’ve got a stanton slackline and absolutely love it! best bike i’ve owned. nice wide bars super short stem and it loves going downhill. It’s got short rear stays which makes it very maneuverable

    tacopowell
    Member

    I started mtb’ing in 2009, I started on a Spesh Hardrock Alu HT, quickly moving to a Spesh Epic FS, I’ve now been riding my Dialled Bikes Prince Albert 725 since January,
    Although taking some used to, ie choosing a wiser line, using legs as oppose to using the rear shock over those bumps & holes, I’m finding it to be fairly satisfying,
    I even smashed some personal bests on my return to my old stomping ground, Nant yr Arain.

    I choose steel due to the forgiving properties, hoping it would make the transition from FS to HT smoother, truth is my gooch has toyed with returning to FS, but the PRince Albert has improved my ride, I’m still learning but I feel comfortable on this bike, I feel like we’re pushing each other, harder and faster in a way I never got with my full susser.

    Mackem
    Member

    Modern Alu frames arent all the stiff race frames of yore. The Pace 303 and Chumba Hx1 have some give engineered into them. I’m sure other frames will be like that.

    cfinnimore
    Member

    If my Inbred makes it through this next trip to Fort Bill it will prove, once and for all, that it cannot be broken.

    That won’t help, but it’s made of steel and you should see the bloody state of it.

    Bombproof.

    Premier Icon RRD
    Subscriber

    I’ll quantify my comments:

    Cotic Solaris 2.2kg
    Kinesis ff29 1.86kg
    Planet X Dirty Harry 1.1kg

    I know i’m not comparing like for like here but the weights are indicative. The top two are getting rave reviews and are bikes I’m considering and as I said I was a tad disappointed with the steel weights. Yes, I’m sure you can get a custom built uber light steel frame but comparing off the shelf (roughly) like for like frames they will be heavier.

    As for rust – as I said in my experience rust will come through. I did not say all steel frames will “rust out”… Whatever that means?

    I’m also a rider of numerous steel frames and not rubbishing them (my favourite bike at present is an alfine equipped inbred 29er) but I stand by the two stated facts

    Rust out? Must be like swap out, a stupid American term.

    Duffer
    Member

    As for rust – as I said in my experience rust will come through. I did not say all steel frames will “rust out”… Whatever that means?

    The rust that will develop on a steel frame is little more than cosmetic; i wouldn’t be concerned about rust on a frame less than a decade old. Anyway, it’ll add some character.

    matther01
    Member

    Had an Orange Crush which i ran with big tyres and low pressures, with a carbon post and decent saddle..but every ride left me feeling sore all over for a coupe of days. Moved to a trek Ex8 last year and it was an instant hit…but really missed the instinctive, interactive ride of a HT so got a Soul.

    The difference between comfort levels with the orange was massive and in fact I prefer the Soul to my Ex8 too!

    seizednuts
    Member

    I got a rocklobster that i love riding more than the yeti FS.

    I haven’t tried any other steel cant see why when the lobster puts a smile on my face everytime.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    teethgrinder – Member

    What are they like to like with after full suspension?

    climbs feel easier, descents feel longer – and need more thinking about.

    surely that’s a win/win situation?

    reasons for steel:

    1)i never have worry about mangling my BB threads when i’m doing a beery bike build (all my bike builds get a bit beery)

    2)when i notice a bit of cable-rub – i feel sorry for the cable

    3)i don’t have to whine like a bitch about pedal-pins on my frame tubes when my bike gets quickly lashed onto a bike-rack for a weekend away

    4)lovely frames cost less than £300 – and will last for decades

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Seizednuts – I rode a rocklobster for 6 yrs until 2 weeks ago and loved it, often more then my 5. Similarly it just made me smile. I now have a Soul, which I have ridden last 2 days. My smile is now bigger 🙂

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
    Subscriber

    Hmmm…looks like I may have to start saving, then!

    Already taken the WTB razor-like saddle and RF Evolve XC post off and swapped them over for a Bel-Air and Thomson. Tyres are Hutchinson Piranahs and pressures were high, so I’ve dropped some air out.

    gears_suck
    Member

    I think this thread contains more bo##ox than the average. I’ve never read such a bunch of crap.
    If you want to climb better, man up and put in the effort. It’s retarded to think steel is better than alloy or alloy is better than carbon or Bala Bala Bala.
    Quit your jibber jabber and “git some nuts”.

    Duffer
    Member

    I think this thread contains more bo##ox than the average. I’ve never read such a bunch of crap.
    If you want to climb better, man up and put in the effort. It’s retarded to think steel is better than alloy or alloy is better than carbon or Bala Bala Bala.

    Pretty much what i said, except i was more succinct:

    They won’t make you any faster, uphill or downhill; for that, you’ll need fitness and talent.

    😉

    Some (but not all) are more flexible than some (but not all) aluminium frames. Sometimes this makes them comfortable, some are just flexy.

    The main selling point to me is toughness, Steel is very hard compared to aluminium, cable rub, heel rub, stone chips are genuinly cosmetic, I’ve had bits of aluminium wear through in one gritty ride! I like that I can put a few thousand miles on a frame and it not be a big deal.

    The downside is it’s weight, generaly 2lb more than a comparable aluminum or carbon frame.

    Rusts a non issue, yes if it chips it rusts, but I’ve only ever had paint bubble off on aluminium frames, steel just rusts on bare patches and it usualy rubs/washes off as quickly as it appears. Never worried about the inside fo the frame, might do if I regularly rode it in the sea, but they’ve never rusted in normal winter rian/trail/mud/road salt.

    They won’t make you any faster, uphill or downhill; for that, you’ll need fitness and talent.

    +1, although a good bike of any material helps.

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