Rad-ish hardtails

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mike, Jan 19, 2020.



Want to donate to imtbtrails?



  1. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    What makes one (IMO):

    • Modern trail geometry – head angles under 68 and seat tube angles over 73, room for 29 x 2.6 tire
    • Compliant material preference (1 steel or titanium, 2 alum, 3 CF)
    • Singlespeed-capable


    The ones that come to mind are Nimble9, RSD Middlechild, Chameleon, Fuse. My Pedalhead is cool but is missing a key ingredient. 68° is too steep for HA, so Honzo, Timberjack and Karate Monkey are out. SS-capable means some kind of sliding or swinging dropout.

    There must be numerous that I'm overlooking – what are they?
     
    SS Barby, redwoods, Mikie and 9 others like this.
  2. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG The Smash, Ibis DV9
    Cool thread, and a topic that has occupied some bandwidth in my brain of late. My metrics in looking were more academic than actual preference, as it's all still a bit of an experiment for me. I looked at a combo of geometry, and general reviews (which I generally find pretty meaningless, but repeated observations among a large group may be worth noting). In addition to the ones above, some that I looked at and/or for were Chromag Surface & Rootdown, Stinner Tunnel, Sonder Signal, and ultimately the DV9. Despite lack of clearance for a wider tire the Stinner really made my heart flutter, but it's just WAY too expensive for me. If the Sonder Ti had been in stock in a large I'd probably have one on the way. I ultimately pulled the trigger on a DV9. It kept speaking to me, and I found a good deal on what looks to be a pretty pristine used one that was well appointed, so I pulled the trigger so it didn't slip away. Geometry toes the line between "cool" and lycra, but I like what I've read, and again, I think it will be a good experiment. It's also not intended to be an alt. bike for most of the places I usually ride, but a different bike to liven up tamer terrain explore different areas on. If/when GG revises or replaces the PH I might have a bit of buyer's remorse, or maybe I'll just switch subjects of my experiment. Looking forward to reading other posts in this one.

    Edit: also Niner SIR 9, and Rocky Mountain Growler 50.
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 6 others like this.
  3. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    I'm sticking with my uncool Jabberjockey and its 68ish degree HTA. :D

    Sometimes its cool to be uncool. :cool:
     
    Mikie, Faust29, Grego and 5 others like this.
  4. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Monrovia
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    Room for a 170mm dropper post.

    Better make use of that space with 2 bottle mounts.
     
    redwoods, mtnbikej, Mikie and 6 others like this.
  5. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo, Ripley V4 & Timberjack
    Shouldn’t frame designed fork travel be one of the specifications? I guess that kind of goes along with head angle though. A 65 degree head angle doesn’t seem right on a 100-120mm bike just like a 70 degree head angle doesn’t seem to be a proper fit on a 140-150mm designed frame.

    Think you can add the Vassago Radimus to the list. Checks all of the boxes. Edit: only fits a 29 x 2.5
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 6 others like this.
  6. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    2BE26D2E-6D85-40FF-8378-B0EF5F207A36.jpeg 200ED25F-0A9B-4D79-9E70-FA10494E62FF.jpeg
    My Kona Explosif has a 68 degree HA with a 120mm fork. I currently run a 130mm fork and it steers great. But when I had a Fox 34 150mm fork, I think the HA was 65 degrees and was horrible in tight singletrack. Way too slack for that bike.

    You can visually see the difference between the 150mm (top) and the 130mm bottom
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 9 others like this.
  7. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Sweet color!

    I have never had as much fun on a bike as I have been having on my Fuse. 66.5° with a 140mm coil fork. Adjustable dropouts, can take a long dropper, Al alloy...
    Common comment on the trail is " you don't ride that like a hardtail"
    Huh?
     
    redwoods, mtnbikej, Mikie and 8 others like this.
  8. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 6 others like this.
  9. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    I would respond with” I ride it like it should be ridden”. I have been riding the hardtail a lot more lately. It’s a fun bike to ride and I have felt my riding improve due to riding it. I just bought a dropper for it and will have it up and running shortly.
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 6 others like this.
  10. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Monrovia
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    Orbea has a brand new update on the laufey as well.

    Nukeproof scout...
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 6 others like this.
  11. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG The Smash, Ibis DV9
    Oh, Reeb Redikyelous. So close to all criteria, with 2.5 clearance.
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 7 others like this.
  12. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    My Carver has a 69* head angle. Didn't realize that made it unrideable :thumbsdown:

    But seriously, if you're riding terrain that is so difficult 68* or more won't cut it wouldn't you be better off on a full suspension anyways? And if your answer is no, shouldn't you be skilled enough already to handle whatever the trail throws at you?
     
    hill^billy, mtnbikej, Mikie and 8 others like this.
  13. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    My buddy has a steel and Ti one, they are the nicest hardtails I have ever ridden. It helps that his bikes have top shelf parts.
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 7 others like this.
  14. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    I want a SS version of the HT I have now plus a little length. Pretty simple criteria. Thanks for your input as always. :unsure::cool:
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 5 others like this.
  15. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:

    Have fun with that! Slow and teeth-rattling bouncy. And yes, I know you are all better riders (and humans) than I am. I am stoked that these new hardtails are so capable. They are most likely a lot more fun than the older hard-tails that I rode for 15 years. Enjoy! :thumbsup:
     
    hill^billy, mtnbikej, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  16. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Wait - you have a HighTower?
     
    mtnbikej, Mikie, Faust29 and 3 others like this.
  17. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
    Love my Optimus. No gears, no dropper. Strength of steel, light as aluminum, compliant as carbon. It's just fun to ride.
     
    OTHRider, mtnbikej, Mikie and 6 others like this.
  18. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    The radish-est hardtail is the one with the aftermarket fork that cost more than the entire bike.
    26x2.35, 120mm Fox Float RLC, 3x9 SRAM x5, Tektro Aquila mechanical disk brakes 160 f/r.
    1D0D35C5-ACFA-437D-8523-F033C5FD6B45.jpeg
     
    mike, mtnbikej, pperrelle and 6 others like this.
  19. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    Thanks for the possibilities, guys. :thumbsup:
     
  20. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    The Chameleon ticks most or all of the boxes, and is $750 for frame only in aluminum... These later run frames do not seem to have the same fail rate as the early runs, and the problem area near the dropouts was strengthened quietly. You can't beat the Santa Cruz warranty...

    HA is 67.3 with a 120mm fork, so I figure I'm in the 67 degree range with the 130mm that I have. The frame rides better than an aluminum XC hardtail like the Highball- probably due mostly to the extra pound she carries. I have to admit, though, that the carbon Chameleon is pretty tempting.

    The rating is for 29 x 2.5, but I have seen guys running 29 x 2.6 on-line with plenty of clearance. I'm tempted to buy one to try, but would probably throw it on the front after the experiment. In the 27.5+ setup, it easily fits the 3.0 with the dropouts all the way forward (415mm). Its FS cousin that hangs on the wall, and is supposedly plus compatible, will not fit a 3.0. Slide the dropouts back (430mm), and I wouldn't be surprised if a 3.25 fit. That extra clearance also comes in handy in the mud...

    One other thing that was a pleasant surprise... With the range of dropout adjustment, I can use the same chain for two different cog sizes. Couldn't do that on the Highball- every cog change was a different chain. And all of the dropout adjustment bolts are 5mm, so one tool for the adjustment. On the trail, you can tension a chain in a minute or two.

    Come to SoCal and you can beat on mine all you want... It's guaranteed. :p
     
  21. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
  22. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    My friend in AZ says the Vassago Radimus is truly RADIMUS. So much so that it replaced his only full suspension frame! He now rolls on hardtails only. That's impressive to me considering the chunky, chattery roughness that makes up Arizona, which generally beats me up good.
     
    redwoods, Old&InTheWay, Grego and 7 others like this.
  23. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    What makes a Rad’ish Hardtail? The rider. :whistling: :rolleyes: :thumbsup: :D


    My requirements list is shorter than most.

    1. SS’able frame with EBB or tensioners. This is pretty self explanatory. Frame with sliders/swingers for tensioning they chain. This keeps the frame simple.

    2. Slack HA. I’ll agree that the sub 69* hA are nice these days. The Chameleon fortunately falls under this (67.3*). Slack, but not floppy.

    3. Fork Travel. The ability to run longer travel forks. Gone are the days of 100-120mm 32mm stanchion dorks on hard tails. Being able to run minimum 130mm up to 150mm. Anything over that, buy FS. This also plays in to #2 above. Again, my Chameleon with 67.3* HA based on 120mm fork....so going to 140(which I run) should drop me below 67*.

    4. Low’ish seat tubes. While I don’t run a dropper on my SS....I can see how a slammed seat will allow some very aggressive riding.

    5. ability to run 2.4 tires with clearance for mud/rocks. I don’t need to run big tires, but I like a little bit of clearance when the conditions go bad.

    6. BSA Bottom Bracket. This is goes for any bike.

    7. Frame Material. For me this irrelevant. Fork travel and tire size can compensate for frame material/ride characteristics.
     
    Old&InTheWay, herzalot, Grego and 8 others like this.
  24. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG The Smash, Ibis DV9
    Faust29, Mikie, mike and 3 others like this.
  25. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Faust29, Mikie, mike and 2 others like this.
  26. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Monrovia
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    Great thread. As I previously mentioned elsewhere, one of these fine machines will be going in my stable soon...
     
    Cyclotourist, Faust29, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  27. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    I would like to take this moment for a public service announcement as a reminder for those of you who may have forgotten or who did not know, that... STEEL IS REAL. :cool:

    IMG_6326.JPG
     
  28. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Meh......

    have owned Steel, Ti and Aluminum hardtail over the years.

    I have no issues with aluminum.

    Once again, with today’s wide rims, tubeless tires, carbon bars, and suspension forks, frame material makes less of a factor than it used to.
     
  29. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    It does for me. Aluminum beats the crap out of you, comparatively. Just ask my joints.
     
  30. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I find this thread exciting and the timing is perfection.
    As you are aware, I just bought my first hardtail in 27 years.
    I chose the Ibis DV9. Mainly because it doesn't have a washing machine head badge. :gotnothing:
    But Seriously! Because:
    HA: 67.4 to 68.5
    SA: 72 to 73
    Chainstays: 439mm
    And it will take a 2.6 tire on a 29er wheel (which I plan to run)
    I'm not a numbers guy but based off all I have read this is a versatile frame.
    My initial goal was to toss on it a 140mm fork but have been advised against it.
    I also plan to toss on it a 175 mm dropper most likely a Fox.

    Would there be any reason to not go with a 140mm fork? Pros Cons?
    This pic looks to be spec'ed with a 120mm fork...
    upload_2020-1-20_10-45-13.png
     



Want to donate to imtbtrails?