Strong Racing Frames Racing steel hartail mountain Frameset

5/5 (17 Reviews)


Product Description

steel hartail mountain


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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Noah D. a Cross Country Rider from Gardiner, MT, USA

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2008

Strengths:    Perfect

Weaknesses:    It broke. But....

Bottom Line:   
After six years of abusing a Strong steel frame mountain biking and loaded touring in the US, Thailand, and Panama, it cracked at the chainstay near the bb. Carl Strong replied quickly to emails about this, and after sending the frame back to their shop, he quickly agreed to fix it and repaint it for free. I can't express how happy this has made me, since it rides like a dream for such things as wild singletrack and loaded touring. Their level of customer service is second to none.

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Favorite Trail:   Devil's Gulch, WA

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Acme Bikes, Rapid City, SD

Bike Setup:   Sometimes loaded touring, sometimes freeride hardtail

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Cross Country Rider from Park City, UT

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2005

Strengths:    Everything. Custom fit, superlight steel frame comparable to aluminum in weight, custom colors, lively, snappy, sweet looking welds, stylin badge, and crazy strong.

Weaknesses:    None yet.

Bottom Line:   
I am 6'4" tall and all the stock frames out there just never seemed to fit me right and if they did, I broke them. I considered the Karate Monkey since they make a SS frame large enough, but they're heavier than hell, especially with the fork. I found the cash and looked up custom frame mfrs on the internet and Strong stood out from the crowd. Check out their site and give Carl a call, and you'll be convinced they've got their sh*t together. Carl walked me through every step of the process, but due to an incorrect measurement on my part, the frame arrived too short in the top tube (ouch). I called Carl with tears in my eyes and he said "no problem, send it back and I'll fix it up". A week later I got the frame back and it was perfect. I easily improved my race times by 15-20% with this baby (lack of gears had something to do with it) and went on to have my first winning season. As an added bonus, my back, knee and neck pains were all gone due to the custom and correct geometry. Give Carl a call, you can't go wrong.

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Favorite Trail:   Wasatch Crest Trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Direct from Strong Frames

Similar Products Used:   Steel hardtails, aluminum hardtails, several full suspensions.

Bike Setup:   29'er full rigid singlespeed. Columbus/OX Platinum tubes. OX Brand titanium 29'er fork (light as heck, but flexy). Stan's 29'er rims, King hubs, Race Face components... My dream bike.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Reinert a Cross Country Rider from Palmer, Alaska

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2004

Strengths:    This was my first experience purchasing a custom frame and Carl and his crew did a fantastic job. From the measurements and the interviews to the final details Carl impressed me with his willingness to create a bike that I wanted. This was no easy task, I wanted a bike that could do everything from multi-day cross-country to bombing my favorite downhill and Strong delivered what I sought. The welds and finish on my Ti frame are first rate and the bike fits perfect giving me an extremely confident feel even through the sketchiest sections. Cheers, Carl and crew!

Weaknesses:    Everybody wants my bike!!!

Bottom Line:   
huckingruven hell of a do all bike!!! Anyone interested in a true custom bike contact Carl, you dream it they build it!

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Favorite Trail:   Cresent Lake

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   strongframes.com

Similar Products Used:   This is my first Custom frame but I previously owned a Diamond Back Axis Ti TT, and test rode a Seven Sola, Lightspeed Tinasi, and considered a Dean Colonel, and an Independent Fabrications Ti Deluxe.

Bike Setup:   Strong Ti Frame Cross-country/Freeride/Trail Bike, 69.5deg. head w/ 73deg. seat geometry w/ Fox Vanilla 125 RLC Fork, Race Face Signature FR B.B., Race Face Turbine Crank, Surly 30 tooth steel chainring and a Blackspire Ring God guard, Atom Lab Aircorp pedals, Sram PC-99 hollow pin chain, Sram X.0 rear derail., Sram X-7 trigger shifters, Sram PG-99 / 11-34 cassette, Chris King headset w/ Azonic Head-Lock, Race Face Prodigy Stem and Titec Hellbent Ti riser bar, ODI Lock-On grips, Race Face XY seatpost, Terry Fly Ti rail saddle, Avid 160mm Mech. disk brakes, WTB Laser Disk hubs, Sun Single Track rims, WTB skewers, DT Super Comp. spokes, Nokian NBX tires, Avid Flak Jacket shift and brake cables.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Noah Daniels a Cross Country Rider from Baker, NV

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2002

Strengths:    All the benefits of a full custom rig: handling exactly as I wanted, choice of tubing, options like rack mounts and disc mounts.

Weaknesses:    none so far, maybe price, but in the long run it'll be cheaper than playing musical bikes, trying to find the perfect ride

Bottom Line:   
A frame perfect for a huge variety of riding: dirt touring, long singletrack rides, urban assault, etc. Slightly heavier than some steel frames I've owned, but it also won't snap on some lonely, third-world dirt road, which is a huge plus. A very good deal if what you want is a bit outside the norm, or if you have had a tough time finding a production frame that fits just right. It fits perfectly and rides well under all conditions. Carl Strong and Tim at Acme were a pleasure to deal with.

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Favorite Trail:   Commando Run

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Acme Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Spooky Darkside, Sunn X-chox, Bianchi BUSS

Bike Setup:   Manitou Xvert, Sram drivetrain, thudbuster seatpost, fat WTB tires, Old Man Mountain Racks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ian a Cross Country Rider from oregon

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2002

Strengths:    completely custom; quality tubing and construction; carl and his company

Weaknesses:    jeepers...ya gotta know what you want and be realistic. custom is best suited for the experienced rider.

Bottom Line:   
this is a titanium frame, and perfect for me. i still jump into an expert race now and then, but my new credo seems to be ride more, race less. i'm 6'1" and 160 at the most, so a lively ti frame is my ideal ride. carl built the frame to my geometry specs, so that was easy. what he did do so well was select the tubing profiles to give me the perfect ride for my size - springy, oh-so-fast and crazy smooth. and the construction, from the machined head tube to the paragon breezer-type dropouts is precise and beautiful. carl is a perfectionist - he WILL take care of you and deliver what you want, on time. i pity (yes, i am being a snob) those convinced that an aluminum hardtail is "fast"...please! steel and titanium are, in a word, motivating.

for those considering ti - the trend these days is to overbild, perhaps to dispell or counter the flex criticisms. unless you're a heavyweight, beware of overkill...carl did not use the biggest, beefiest downtube or stays on my frame. i'm 30 years old and ride like the racer i once felt compelled to be, and this frame is the fastest, best feeling bike i've ridden. blindingly fast, comfortable and fun for hours on end. what else is there?

oh - about 22.5 without really trying :)

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Favorite Trail:   depends

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   kona hot and king kahuna, rocky mountain vertex t.o. and element ltd., t.e.t. foco custom

Bike Setup:   9.0sl/xtr, thomson, mars super, monkey lite, king and various wheel/tire combos

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Carbondale, Colorado

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2001

Strengths:    Custom-built. Great welds. Good service. Great price. Looks great.

Weaknesses:    Maybe paint on the dropouts?

Bottom Line:   
Carl Strong was very good to work with. Asked all the right questions. I wanted a bike that rode similar to my old MB-1 (which broke a few years ago), so he used that geometry as a base. Came up with a frame with geometry very similar to that MB-1, plus beefy Foco tubing, disc and canti mounts, and very pretty paint. The ride is great--a great single-track frame that handles going up and down hills well also. Seems a little stiffer than what I remember about the MB-1, but I would expect that because of the beefier tubing (I am expecting it to last even longer than the ten years that my MB-1 did). It is so much more fun on single-track than my FSR-XC that I pretty well ignored my full-suspension this summer.

Only concern so far is there is chipped paint on the drop-outs. This is one of first places that would chip of course, but I was surprised when I realized. I don't take the wheel off very often, but I may have chipped it. No big deal since a little touch-up will fix it.

I checked most of the custom frame builders, and decided on Strong because of reputation (from these and other reviews), possible material choices and price (and, forgive my blatant bigotry, they are in the west but not California). Strong Racing is a great choice if you are looking at custom frames.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Strong Frames

Similar Products Used:   No custom frame before, but had a 1989 Bridgestone MB-1 for ten years and a Specialized FSR-XC for two years.

Bike Setup:   For this review: RaceFace cranks, Thomson Stem and seatpost, Marzocchi Z.4 Flylight, Avid arch rivals/levers,King HS, Gripshift 8-speed, remainder drivetrain XT stuff.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ned henry a Cross Country Rider from new orleans, la, usa

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2001

Strengths:    killer custom frame design and tubing, welds are absolutely beautiful/ seamless

Weaknesses:    nada

Bottom Line:   
I was searching for a replacement for my 14 year old rigid aluminum Fisher Al-1 which I had ridden into the ground. I was interested in building up a SWEET high-end custom frame hard tail from scratch. I serendiptously discovered Carl Strong's custom shop in Bozeman, MT in a mtn bike magazine article and checked Strong Frames out, along with Moots, Seven and Merlin. What really set Strong apart from the rest for me was the interest he had in creating the perfect bike for ME. He spent a great deal of time with me on the phone, fine-tuning the design until it was perfect. He took a very active role in the whole process, considering my specific requests and adding his own suggestions along the way. It was clear from his attitude that he was fully focussed on my bike from the time I first called him until the time the frame was finished. It was painful waiting three weeks for the frame to arrive, but when it did, it was worth the wait because Carl delivered, WAY surpassing my expectations. The welds on the bike are flawless...they are virtually seamless. The paint job is astounding. The bike was built with Columbus Foco Mega tubing and is totally badass. Rather than being round, the top tube is pear-shaped and the down tube is "coffin-shaped" in cross-section. It is a wicked looking piece of machinery. Its performance is fantastic (remember that I am upgrading from a 14 year old aluminum bike, though!) It has a very aggressive geometry with a pretty radically sloping top tube. The frame is actually pretty compact and extremely responsive, which has made me a faster and more confident rider. I don't think that I could have gotten a better rig even if I had spent more money. It is without a doubt the sweetest bike I have ever ridden. The switch from aluminm to steel was a good one. The bike feels so "alive" on the trail without feeling "mushy." I would recommend this frame to anyone seeking a high-end bike. The coolest thing is having a bike built for you and you alone. Compared to many of the other custom shops out there, Carl Strong offers great value. His prices are reasonable, yet his product is, in my opinion, equal to or better than those of some of the better-known outfits. Check out strongframes.com---it will be the last bike you'll ever want to buy.

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Favorite Trail:   clear springs, ms

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   strongframes.com

Similar Products Used:   tested a merlin, cannondale jeckyl, moots rigor mootis and seven sola

Bike Setup:   XT, King Hubs and Headset, Thomson seatpost and stem, Mavic 517s, Marzocchi Z2 Atom Race fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Sylvan a Cross Country Rider from Seattle

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2001

Strengths:    Fast, Durable, Compliant, Oh So Pretty!

Weaknesses:    Doesn't break and performs spectacularly. Provides no rational to use when arguing with significant others about buying an additional bike.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike that I recommend to anyone who can afford a custom frame.

Best of all, I was able to send it back and have disk mounts added for my disk brakes. For a very reasonable price they did so and stripped and re-powdercoated my frame. Try doing that with the major manufacturers.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Strong Racing Frames

Similar Products Used:   Davidson, Diamond Back, Klein

Bike Setup:   Easton Handlebar, Race Face Stem and Cranks, Avid Disk Brakes, Mavic 317s, Panaracer Fire XC Tires, XT/XTR Everything else.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin Petrone a Racer from Fairbanks, AK

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2001

Strengths:    stiff when hammering on the pedals, but not a harsh ride
versatile frame with rack mounts 1900g
nice custom steel fork with suspension correction 890g



Weaknesses:    not a featherweight, but it was designed to hold up for touring and adventure racing

Bottom Line:   
This frame has done everything I've asked. It has rack mounts and carries 40+ pounds nicely over jeep roads in death valley. it rides straight and true going 40+mph down a mountain pass. it also carried a 15lb load nicely during the iditasport race in alaska. you can even sleep on it for a quick nap! the stiffness of the foco tubing "coffin" downtube and oversized chainstays can be felt in the bottom bracket. this is definitely more responsive than some aluminum frames i've ridden, but it has a nice steel "feel". the custom steel fork has suspension geometry correction and looks great. just tell carl what you want and he will set you up at a reasonable price.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1250.00

Purchased At:   from carl strong

Similar Products Used:   fat chance, specialiized s-works M4

Bike Setup:   19' columbus foco with oversized stays and "coffin" downtube and pear shaped toptube, XTR, easton carbon bar and post, raceface stem, wtb wheels, snowcats in the winter,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Finney a Cross Country Rider from Pottstown, PA

Date Reviewed: December 13, 2000

Strengths:    Rides like a steel hardtail, the way its supposed to.

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
I bought the frame because of the price. It was used but the geometry was right and it did not sound like it had seen a great deal of use. The other reviews for Carl Strong's frames were very good so that made me feel more comfortable.

I have only owned steel hardtail mountain bikes. I have ridden friends aluminum hardtails and didn't like the harshness. I have rented a Santa Cruz heckler full suspension and while it was nice, the trails I was riding in the Napa Valley didn't have a lot of character so it wasn't a really good comparison.

All I know is that I ride in Eastern Pennsylvania where the trails are pretty twisty, have lots of tree roots, logs and baby-head rocks that move when you hit them and this bike, like most I've owned, cuts through it pretty well. Like any hardtail, you still have to pick a line, but it does that as well as any other I have ridden.

The frame is light (under 4lbs for a 19 inch frame) which always helps. The welds are very nicely done and I like the Breezer dropouts. I have always been happy with the bombproof Columbus tubing I have had on road bikes in the past so that doesn't concern me.

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Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   mtb review classified

Similar Products Used:   Rhygin Juke, Yakota, Trek

Bike Setup:   Strong hardtail made with Columbus Cyber tubes, Shimano XT and Manitou Mars-1

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Swanson a Racer from Rockford, IL, USA

Date Reviewed: December 11, 2000

Strengths:    Quality, customer support, custom specs.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I spent a great deal of time researching custom builders before deciding on Strong Racing Frames. What separated Carl Strong's frames from the rest was the choices that he makes available to the buyer at a great price. Where others call themselves custom but only offer one tubeset with a specific set of stock geometries, and allow you to choose the color. Carl Strong goes quite a few steps further by offering many tubesets and a true custom geometry based on your dimensions, weight, handling characteristics desired, and riding style. All this attention to detail pays off. My frame was more than I expected. The workmanship is flawless, the paint-fantastic, and the ride and fit - perfect. This bike really handles single track with the best, and climbs better than the Stumpjumper without the harsh hammering to my backside. I couldn't believe how much better I instantly became at climbing some of the steep sketchy stuff with this bike.

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Favorite Trail:   John Muir

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   This is a special frame, so it's not right to call is similar to my off the shelf Stumpjumper M2

Bike Setup:   Sid SL, Raceface crank, XTR 8 speed.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jason a Cross Country Rider from Duncanville, Tx

Date Reviewed: October 31, 2000

Strengths:    Exactly what I wanted from a frame. Fits perfectly. Quick handling but totally stable. Lively steel, (Reynolds 853) but stiff and built to my specs for decades of serious abuse. Beautiful paint. The price was less than comparable custom builders. Carl Strong himself.

Weaknesses:    None, just make sure you can clearly communicate what you want from a bike.

Bottom Line:   
I couldn't imagine owning a better bike. It is exactly what I wanted. It's beautiful, It's strong, (I'm a heavy guy who rides hard), It's quick, It's lively, It corners well, It's stable and best of all it fits my weird body so perfectly that I can ride much longer with much less fatigue.

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Favorite Trail:   Cameron Park System

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Strong Racing

Similar Products Used:   High end aluminum and steel production bikes.

Bike Setup:   Profile Cromo cranks, Race Face rings, XTR rear XT front derailleurs, XTR hubs, Rhyno Lite rims, Dean ti post, Ibis Ti bar, Flite Ti saddle, Avid brakes, Time Carbon clipless, and NEW Thumb shifters (XT front, Suntour Rear).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve Bowman a Weekend Warrior from Baltimore

Date Reviewed: October 6, 2000

Strengths:    Desends anything with confidence,climbs like scalded dog,tracks singletrack like on rails and very comfortable fit, no soreness in shoulders or neck even on long road rides.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
December of 94 I and small pickup had a headon collision at 45MPH. I was at my best riding shape of my life; racing Vet crosscountry and looking forward to good upcoming year. This accident changed all that very quickly. My left leg was broken in 6 places compound facture of course. Hip was also broken and right elbow was pretty much destroyed. Keith Bontrager generously built me a new race frame in which I am very thankful for(Thanks Keith) That frame was the one that enabled me to ride again, not very fast but at least able to ride . Over the last few years I have put that Bontrager to good use and it has serve me well. I noticed that my ability was suffering,most lightly from all the injuries that I had over the years,but also I am 48 years old and that does take it's toll. When I started looking for a new frame I was impressed by Carl Strong website-stongframes.com. After talking with Carl and his solution to my techical prowess made perfect sense. I decided to vist his shop in Bozeman in May while I was back in Seattle. I was very impressed with his shop it looked very much in order,but also looked like work was being done. The combination of old world artistry and new world Tech (computer and CNC)gave me the confidence to have Carl build me my new "Strong Frame". A sloping top tube of almost 24 inches and short 16inch chainstays and the shaply Foco tubeset painted Yellow with a Red fade. I could hardly to get this bike built and on the trail. The surprise came when it did hit the trail. This bike makes all obstacles disappear. It makes me feel like I've never been hurt, that I can ride with some degree of finesse.(that might be an illusion) After 200 hours this is truly an amazing frame.

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Favorite Trail:   PATAPSCO "Avalon"

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   StrongFrames,Bozeman,MT

Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Race frames 3 over the last 10 years, Treks all steel.

Bike Setup:   XTR 8sp w/180mm XTRmega9 crankset,Chris King wheelset/Bontrager rims,Chris King headset, Easton EA70 Hbar,XCR Shockpost, 00 Marzocchi Atom 80,Kore 120mm stem,LP Braids B/ENDS,Gore-Tex Ride-on cables

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Whalen a Weekend Warrior from Omaha, Nebraska

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2000

Strengths:    Light, Fast, Expert Craftmanship, SUPERIOR Handling

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
After a couple of harsh seasons riding a hard tail aluminum-I decided to go back to steel. I chose Strong after contacting a number of custom frame builders (see above), and deciding that Carl not only had greatest number of options, but also the expertise and patience to determine the best combination for me. The result-a beautiful (Dank Moss)Columbus Foco framed ride that cuts up singetrack like a Ginsu! Stiff but not harsh-Steel is back! Visit www.strongracing.com-call Carl-buy a Strong! Thanks also to Alex Kuhl at Bike Masters in Omaha for helping me with the bike setup.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Swanson,Indian Cave,Platte River

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Looked at, talked to, or road IBIS,Waterford,IF,Fat,Dekerf,Curtlo-

Bike Setup:   Basic stuff-XT drivetrain, Avid brakes, Bontrager wheels/tires, SID XC fork, etc. on a non basic frame!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Sylvan a Cross Country Rider from Seattle, WA

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2000

Strengths:    Strong, Straight, Stable, Speedy, and Svelte

Weaknesses:    I cannot afford more than one...

Bottom Line:   
This is a beautiful frame to look at; even better, it is just under 3.3 pounds according to my scale at work. With out even trying, and with a relatively normal component group, my bike is just over 24 pounds. Best, it is fast and stiff and a great climber. I have been riding since 1986, and it will take me a long time to approach the limits on this bike. I absolutely love it.

If you can afford a custom steel bike, Strong Racing Frames is the only way to go. It is built for you based on your measurements, and conversations with Carl. The end result is a bike that Carl builds for you, and only you. It is YOUR bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   trail, what trail???

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Davidson, Diamondback

Bike Setup:   Monkey Lite, Race Face Stem and Cranks, Manitou SXR, XTR Brake Set, XT Drive-Train, Moots Seatpose, Mustand Rims with XT Hubs, Velociraptors.

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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