Which steel xc hardtail for racing?

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  • Which steel xc hardtail for racing?
  • I've got an Orange 5 and a One one Ti 456 both great but at similar things. Looking to sell the 456 and buy a steel hardtail for xc racing, southern series, gorrick that sort of thing. 100m travel preferable what are my options? Not a big fan of carbon and used to like the feel of by P7.


    Curtis / Yates (U.K)

    Indy Fab Deluxe / Yo Eddy / DeKerf / (over the pond)


    Have a look at the Sanderson Life. Light (for steel), long and nicely finished. Rides great too.

    Premier Icon robob

    orange r8… that'll do it.

    for a bit more versatility you could go for a soul? fine for racing @ 100mm and for bigger hairier stuff @ 130mm

    Premier Icon boxelder

    The Life isn't light enough for proper flat out whippet boy racing, but excellent for everything else. Frame is 4.6lb in 18". I've raced 10 under events etc on mine with 100mm Rebas, but it's now more fun oriented with 100-130 Revs.

    Designed and developed in the UK and built using the best tubing in the world the UK's Reynolds 853. Our top model the "LIFE" was developed to meet the needs of the enthusiast to pro level rider who appreciates the subtle ride qualities that Cro-mo has to offer. Quality and attention to detail are Sanderson’s main focus and our flag ship Model "LIFE" has it in bundles. Whether your day riding for fun or soloing a 24 hour event this is the tool for the job.


    Jamis Dragon lovely 853 frame, two specs, pretty good value for money although I dunno if they still have a UK distributor.


    steel for xc racing? why not go for a decent frame designed for those sort of shenanigans. It's always going to be a compromise otherwise. Have you thought about something like an anthem? Even with a conservative build it'll be lighter, faster and more comfortable for enduros than a good quality steel frame.


    Agree with no steel for racing, just to bloody heavy and not going to be as responsive.

    Anthem good, or if on a budget go buy a cheap Alu XTC frame.

    Premier Icon boxelder

    Maybe he justs wants to take part.
    An Anthem isn't a steel HT, or even a HT at all.


    merlin cycles have rocklobster 853 frames suitable for 100mm.

    some good suggestions there, RL 853 probably the best value at a guess. Steel will bring a weight penalty of around half a kilo over an ally frame ofc depending on what you're comparing with what, so bear that in mind

    I would add RM Blizzard (Merlin and Wiggle have restricted sizes for cheap atm) and Kona Explosive. One that gets talked up for value and weight but I've never ridden is the Hansom Dog Talisman

    but wishlist time I'd be choosing between that Sanderson (OMG that looks lovely) and a De Kerf

    how about keep the 456 and alter the build a little? perhaps a shorter fork. Or race on it as is?

    I use the 5 for enduros and am fairly succesfull as an amatuer racer even been in the top 10 at my 100km/6hr distance.

    For short 1 to 2hr xc races such as Gorrick or Southern series I race masters, ultimately I'm faster on a comforatble steel HT than I am on a carbon weight weeny machine that beats me to death! (All except a Whyte 19 Team that I can't afford)
    Have had xtc from sponsor in past and back to back against my old P7 I was faster on the P7. Also rode an Anthem X1 at Enduro 6 last year great bike but not for me prefer the 5 over that distance. And before people say isn't a 5 heavy, I think 26lb is respectable for an all day endurance machine.

    No sponsor this year 😥

    Orange R8 or Sanderson look like good options. Bloody heck De Kerf is nice but pricey!

    not all carbon frames are back hammers. I have an IBIS Tranny that is amazingly compliant and over small stuff (like Flemish cobbles) you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a softtail. Yet it is fantastically stiff laterally and accellerates like it has a separate power source. ofc wheels and tyres play their part but on that I have a fairly stiff wheelset (Easton XCOne) and 2.1 tyres

    Tranny is about as expensive as a de kerf though and not neartly as light as other carbon frames

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    There's only one maker I can think of that does XC racing light steel frames and that's Scapin. I don't think they have a current UK importer though…


    The rest of the build will be light(ish) anyway so a little bit extra in the frame is compensated for. xtr throughout, thompson, easton ML, hope mono mini, pro 3 ztr 355 wheels etc.


    i got a 3.1 pound scandium kona frame and an approx 5 pound steel pipedream sirius, the sirius is running singlespeed the kona gears, bizarley i'm hardley any slower and sometimes faster singlespeed on some courses, both bikes about same weight, a pound or so on the frame is not going to make that much difference, the sirius is more comfortable too.
    i'm not recommending the steel sirius as a race bike but it can do that, a ti or 853 version would be more suitable, get on old steel kona and some bling wheels 🙂

    Premier Icon househusband

    I think you would feel the extra weight in the frame, you can't compensate for it fully with componentry.

    Cotic Soul would be nice and racey with 100mm forks. Chromag Sakura is very, very light for a steel frame – pricey though.

    Re the Merlin Rock Lobster mentioned above; I'd suggest that they are too short in the top tube to race.

    Premier Icon Clink

    Have a look at the Scapin website if you want a steel race bike.
    OOps in my delay in posting somebody else has said it!

    Wow, Pace looks good!


    I would happily use a Ti456 for racing with light kit fitted – indeed I have. Did n't win by the way. But then I would n't win on race bike, no matter what frame material it was.

    All depends on how serious you are about racing.


    WOW £59 for the handsome dog frame thats got to be a bargin!

    Premier Icon Clink

    I have to say that my mate has an 853 curtis frame that is lovely and very light; if you can afford it it would be a good option.

    Ok make 456 Ti more xc biased! Take off 08 Fox Talas and fit a lighter 100 -120mm fork?

    Premier Icon Metasequoia

    For a 29er option a nice Niner MCR, 853, very XC, could be very light with the right bits.

    Niner MCR


    Cove Handjob is worth considering – on Sale at CRC at the moment too. My muddy one weighs in at 25lbs with middling components. It can also handle Trail riding – even with 100mm forks.

    How about the Spesh M5 S-Works or Maxlight for a light weight Ali option?

    Premier Icon njee20

    I don't really get the whole 'I'm compensating for the heavy frame with a light build' argument, sure it'd be even lighter if you hung the same bits on a lighter frame…

    eBay carbon special FTW:

    Oh wow, that Pace looks amazing, had forgotten they were releasing that.

    Whats the aluminium equivalent to the Pace then?

    Don't want carbon! What forks are they though?

    Premier Icon njee20

    SID Teams. It's an impressively compliant frame actually. If you're gonna build a bike up, and race it occasionally then steel makes sense, but it seems a bit daft for a race bike IMO. Still, each to their own!

    that pace looks beautiful… for me it would either be that or a scapin. friend of mine has a scandium scapin as his race bike and its fabulous to look at, light as anything too…


    Second the handjob. If money is not an issue, have a look at the chromag website.
    But I love my Hj to bit.


    love the Pace, but it's SS 🙁


    Pace has mech hanger….look closer


    I'm enjoying using my charge duster. It's a shade over 26lb with mud tyres and guards. You could probably pick up a second hand frame for £150ish.

    Rides really well, very capable trail bike as well.

    Would second the Charge Duster, hadn't mentioned it here because there are a few lighter steel frames around.

    That said, mine has reminded me why steep angles and short chainstays can be so much fun, if you've got the legs to keep it moving its unbelievably good fun in tight singletrack, and gives you the option to run some pretty hefty tyres too, so it can take the hits over roots etc.

    Problem is, I'm now getting so carried away on it that I seem to be tearing a lot of tyres…

    Makes a great singlespeed too, would be nice to have slidey drops though.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    The Soul would work acceptably well… But would still be a little heavy, and expensive. It's what I'll be using but then I don't think I'll really be racing, I'll just be participating in a race 😉 I know it's been said but steel just isn't all that good a choice.

    If you want something that's a bit more suitable, get a Scandal. No it's not steel but it's a pretty compliant aluminium frame, and it's substantially lighter and cheaper. I think most people who make the "steel is real, aluminium is stiff" assumptions would be surprised by these.


    On-One Scandal here, Alu I know but more comfortable than my P7 and my Inbred.
    Top frame and very good for short xc races.

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