Tomac 78 Special Frameset

4.92/5 (24 Reviews)
MSRP : $1500.00


Product Description

Tomac 78 Special


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Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex a Cross Country Rider from Arizona

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2004

Strengths:    Durability, light weight, sweeeet design that is still cool even after five plus years (I still get googly eyes and lots of questions from other riders checking out my 78sp), Oh yeah its made in a Merry cow and did I say sweet design. PEDALING EFFICEINCY IS GREAT! QUICK! It works!

Weaknesses:    Not the plushest or lightest out there now BUT WHO CARES!

Bottom Line:   
OK, so I know that probably nobody but us old timing 78sp junkies will read this post, but here it is anyway.

Ive been riding, racing and touring for a hundred years (really only about 30). Ive lived all over the country (West coast, East coast, the Middle part and now here in the Desert in AZ). I purchase this bike shortly after smashing my Dreamlight (21lb) Voodoo Sobe Scandium into our garage whilst on the roof rack of our car (thats a story too painfull to fully share.) I was thinking about getting another hardtail in steel or something and there she was...the Black Beauty hanging from the ceiling of our LBS. I never, I mean Never saw myself riding such sacralige as a full susp. (cheaters) frame. But there she was, and I simply went head over heels. By the next day I had most of the salvadged parts from the Voodoo mated to her. Then the first ride, which I shall never forget, almost like a first kiss. Soo smoooth and fast. I could'nt get enough. Its been a love affair for sure as over the years Ive upgraded her do disc, new front suspension, wheels, carbon, etc.

Never once have I even considered changing her out like some forgone part... oh sure , there was the 98sp (made in Taiwan) with an inch or so more travel, but not nearly the same soul or spirit of my hand crafted American Beaut. There were Superlights, Uzzis, FSRs, Sugars, Blurrs you name it, none with as much soul or loyalty as my trusty 78. I know I could have more, but sometimes less is more and this is the case with my beloved 78. Soon she will have new wheels by Dave. Just rode her again today, classical gas and still the longing looks of other riders with their mode dejour, here today, gone tomorrow, dont you wish you had more travel? NEVER I SAY, NEVER........as I leave them in the gritty cloud behind me with my steely Grin and my Black Beauty.

Nothing can catch me and no one will ever know how wondrous, how blissfull she is. Some have tried her for a minute or two but they will never know. She is all there ever was and all there ever will be.

Never a cough or a sputter even when her derailleur hanger was brutally bent after a stick tore off her derailleur. I felt physical pain as she was bent back into shape by that shop hound. Her paint may not shine like it did that first day, but her sprit does. A fox float sits in her main traingle and has never had a hiccup. I weigh about 155# and run about 90psi in it. She started with a Marzocchi Z2 atom race and last year begged me for a new Marathon S for just another inch of front travel. So nice! Now what may be her final change a new pair of Dave's Speed Dream wheels made exactly to my specifications. Such Joy!

Tell the world, they may never understand, but my 78 special is here to stay!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   China Camp

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   CBO, CA

Similar Products Used:   MARIN, SPECIALIZED, INTENSE.

Bike Setup:   TOMAC 78SP, MARZO MARATHON S 105mm, Magura Martas, RF Turbine LP with square Ti BB, Syncros stem 120mm 15deg, Easton carbon riser bar, Thompson post, WTB race saddle, SRAM 9.0, and right now Mavic 3.1 laced to XT(uggghhheavvvy) soon to be Dave's speeddream Krazylight. WTB UST rubber front and back.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Alastair a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne, Australia

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2003

Strengths:    Solid Build, stiff rear end, good all round ability both in climbing and descending

Weaknesses:    Requires a lot of fine tuning to get suspension right

Bottom Line:   
A great all round XC frame and I love riding it on twisting single track. Climbing is excellent in the saddle - descending is definitely faster than my old hard tail. Durability is top notch - no problems of any kind and I have put 10,000 miles on it, all off road.
I've used it in 24 hour events and while it isn't a racing frame, the rear suspension cuts down rider fatigue a lot. This is a frame that you need to spend time on setting up the rear suspension. For my weight (158lb) I have it set up with 120psi in the shock, rebound damping on maximum and compression damping halfway. These settings set the rear suspension fairly firm with only a little sag. The suspension design has a low amount of leverage on the rear shock, so the shock needs much lower pressures than in the AD10 user guide. The Cane Creek shock also benefits from moving the volume adjuster plate to the highest volume setting, which gives the most linear shock progression. All instructions to doing this are on Cane Creeks's internet site, but BEWARE you must have the patience of a saint to do it. Also order the replacement seal kit before you start and replace the seals while you have the shock apart.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   42 traverse - NZ

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Bikes Direct

Bike Setup:   XTR/XT, Thomson post & stem, Hope XC hubs, Avid Disc, Cane Creek AD10 shock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JekyllSan a Weekend Warrior from SF Bayarea, CA

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2002

Strengths:    Stiff, light (for a FS), durable, good looking, seal bearing all around (a must), minimum flex, plush suspension design and a great rear shock (Cane Creek AD-10)

Weaknesses:    Not the lightest frame around, but you do get the reliability and durability off that little weight difference. No replaceble RD hanger? well, it's like a SC Bullit, very thick and don't need to worry much on that.

Bottom Line:   
One of the best XC frame I have ridden. I was going to buy a hardtail frame again but I made a right choice by switching to the 78 Special from my old carbon fiber hardtail. Would prefer to have an adjustable 5in travel fork up front when decent but affraid to shorten the life of the front tube section. However, still sweet to run with an 4 in travel fork. Rear suspension feel like more than 3.2in travel. More like 4 or 4.5. Doesn't bob when sitting down. I'm 5'9" and the medium fits me perfectly. Running w/ 1" riser bar and a 110mm 0 degree stem. It comes with either Cane Creek or Fox shocks, which are the real shocks that would work for you on the trail. Rock Shox are good, but not as durable and effective on the run, only in the showroom floor.

Bottom line, an excellent frame that won't let you down if you are looking for a trailbike or XC machine, it can work great for both depends on your setup. Best investment for me so far. Great value too comparing with other top end frame makers.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR, SC superlight, etc.

Bike Setup:   Not the hardcore XC setup, planning to upgrade though. Running w/ a plush Bomber Z3 FlyLight 100 fork. Perfect match with the rear shock. Better than showroom-floor-only Rock Shox Duke and Sid. V-brakes, XTR/XT drivetrain, Thomson, Mavic, and other goodies.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Cross Country Rider from Monument, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2002

Strengths:    Quality, construction, stiff, no pogo, looks, JT & Doug!

Weaknesses:    Lack of replaceable Rear D Hanger - haven't needed it yet but makes me nervous. Other than that - NONE.

Bottom Line:   
I too ws a hard tail hold out but when CC had these on sale I had to do it. I have never looked back. I thought I would miss the super light and stiff Zaskar on the climbs but not so. This bike RULES! It climbs like a dream. Once I got the shocks all dialed in for my weight I was set. Getting rid of whatever my last tires were and going with the Pythons helped glue it to the ground in the corners - I thought it was the suspension washing out in the rear but the tire change fixed it. Of course I am a fashion statement with the yellow Pythons and the red Tomac but who cares?

I've probably got over 2000 miles on this bike and would buy it again in a heartbeat. And those are almost all single track miles.


Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   not telling

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Zaskar for 5 years. Before that Scott. Rode various Trek's and a borrowed Sugar. Tried Yeti and Titus.

Bike Setup:   All XT, XVert, WTB Saddle, Kore stem, CT2 bar, WTB Ergo Bar Ends, Huthinson Pythons, Mavic Rims

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jon from tpa, fla

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2002

Strengths:    TOMAC. RIDE. CLIMB. SMILE.

Weaknesses:    ???

Bottom Line:   
THIS IS A FOLLOW UP ON A PREVIOUS REVIEW. GLEN AND ERIC FROM TOMAC ARE EXAMPLES OF HOW TO TREAT THE CUSTOMER. MY FRAME WAS CRACKED AND GLEN HAPPENED TO BE IN A LOCAL SHOP(BICYCLE EMPORIUM IN TPA.) AND LOOKED AT MY FRAME AND IMMEDIATELY CALLED ERIC IN TENN. THEY REPLACED MY FRAME AND SENT ME ON MY WAY. THE BIKE SHOP AND MANUFACTURER TOOK THE STRESS OUT OF THE ONE 'STRESS FREE' ZONE IN MY LIFE.THANKS GUYS. TOMAC RIDES LIKE A DREAM AND CLIMBS LIKE A DREAM. NOW I KNOW THEY TREAT YOU LIKE A HUMAN NOT A MOOK.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin W a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs, Co. El Paso

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2002

Strengths:    Stiff, construction quality, geometry. Paint is awesome. Truly confidence inspiaring. I was instantly comfortable on this bike. Oh yea, damn sexy!!!I've had it a year and it still gives me wood!

Weaknesses:    This is picky. Rear disk brake mount isn't perfectly straight. It makes rear brake adjustments kind of a pain.
Doesn't hinder performance any, and I can still get the brake to run drag free.


Bottom Line:   
I was a hard tail hold out, but I have seen the light. The hard tail was finaly holding me back. I wanted to go faster , but couldn't take the abuse.I decided to go FS, but was unwilling to give up hard tail assets.(climbing)I considered 4-bars, and parallels, but decided on the 78 because it was such a killer price. I don't think I could have made a better choice.
Climbing: Call me a wierdo, but I actually believe in earning my down hills. This thing climbs like a hardtail. Zero flex!!! No bob. I wanted a Fox like everyone else because of the lock-out, but now I don't care. Don't make a buying decision based on a lock-out. I have put 4000 miles on my bike because I commute. I've rode my hard tail a couple of time and can't tell the difference in pedaling!!!I used to pump up my shock stiff, but now don't even bother.This bike tracks bumps, and I can finness my power just like my Spec.
Decending: This is not a downhill rig.(I don't want one) 3" is enough. The Mac strut/swing link is fully active climbing, and braking. I feel like I can blow through anything. Tracks straight.The 4" offered on the new 98 would be truly special. Look into it. Unless you are a strict racer boy, FS is the only way to ride cross-country.
Obviously I love this frame. What do you expect from a $1000+ frame. Be true to your style and you will be rewarded. I'm not a downhiller( but have spent plenty of time at Keystone in the Summer), or a hucker(I've taken 4 foot drops without a wimper from my bike). If you mostly ride cross country then buy a cross country bike. 3 to 4 inches is plenty, and the advantages "far" out-wiegh the added pound and a half. I strongly recomend this frame, or the 98 Special. Look into other Mac strut/swing link designs, Turner, Titus, Dakar.
Oh yea, a note to Creek owners. The volume plate comes set to the middle setting on the 78. If you don't know what I'm talking about call Cane Creek(or e-mail me) and they will explain. Move to the largest setting(real simple) and you will get more linear action and more usable travel.A must do!Take the FS plunge. Buy this frame, or the 98 Special. Tomac knows how to build a bike. Duh!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Monarch Crest

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   No full suspension, had a Spec M2 Comp for 5 years

Bike Setup:   Manitou X-vert/Cane Creek shock,XT drivetrain, Hayes hydaulics, Dave's speed dreams wheels(King hubs),Thomson stem,more to come....

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jon h a Cross Country Rider from tpa, fla,usa

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2002

Strengths:    looks, name plate, quick steering, suspension feel in rear

Weaknesses:    cracked rear swingarm. Derailleur hanger not replaceable.

Bottom Line:   
220 pound 6'4" rider with moderate skills and no medical insurance (I'm not a No Fear guy). I love the way this bike feels. Very fun. Confidence inspiring on all hills up or down. Quick on twisting trails. Beautiful. One problem though, and it's a major one. The swingarm on my bike has recently begun to crack at the most beautiful section near the bb. I hope to get a response from representatives at Tomac. I bent the rear derailleur hanger (not replaceable) but never received a response to my email from Tomac. Fortunately I was able to have it realigned. Maybe they will respond this time. Hope noone else has this problem, but it is something to look into with both the 78 and 98 Special framesets. Wish me luck with customer service.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   reddick

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Similar Products Used:   specialized, trek, gt, gary fisher, cannondale, giant, ellsworth

Bike Setup:   xtr, xt, dukesl, sun rims, thompson, easton, odi grips, continental tires, sram hubs, fox shock w lockout....

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob a Cross Country Rider from Lafayette, CA

Date Reviewed: November 2, 2001

Strengths:    This is an awsome ride! It's light and handles great. Great design. Perfect fabrication. Went with an air shocks all around. The fox vanilla RC is great. Use the lock out on pavement only. The overall package is light - about 26 lbs. Paint is holding up well.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
The best. New 98 has more travel but I'm fine with 78. Could be some killer deals out on the 78. Buy it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Superlite

Bike Setup:   Shimano XT, Manitou Mars Elite, Fox Vanilla RC, Thomson Post, Kore Stem, Easton Monkey-lite bar, Mavic rims, Velociraptors.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Seymore a Cross Country Rider from East Bay, CA

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2001

Strengths:    bullet-proof build quality, plush (without the pogo), excellent handling, climbs like a hardtail, looks that kill, Vanilla RC

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This is a great, great bike. Climbing ability is not dissimilar to my Zaskar; it has very little bob, and does not pogo like some other frames. It's super-smooth and fast on the descents, and easily the best handling bike I've ever ridden. I don't notice any weight difference. The bike does generate a lot of head turning, even from the SC Superlight riders. The linkage design is ultra-clean, and the paint job is beautiful. And it is a TOMAC. I know there are better downhill bikes, and a titanium frame is a little easier to climb with, but this thing does it all. A first rate cross-country bike. Hats off to Tomac and Bradbury.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Zaskar, demo'd Sugar, various GTs. Considered purchasing the SC Superlight

Bike Setup:   XT components, Manitou X-Vert, Race Face Turbines, Italia Flite, Kore-Lite, Bontrager Assym. Mustangs, Fox Vanilla RC, Velociraptors

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by angelo a Cross Country Rider from san mateo,ca

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2001

Strengths:    craftmanship, plushness, excellent handling,great climber

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
this bike rides like it's on rails. You just point and shoot anything. It just loves singletrack.Its a quick handler but yet it's stable at high speeds. I cant believe how well it climbs. I run it with the fork set up for 100mm and the bike handles it no problem. The fit is dead on. This bike is just too much fun. The guys at RBM sports were great to deal with.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   skeggs/downieville

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   rbm sports

Similar Products Used:   rocky mountain element t.o.,merlin xlm

Bike Setup:   pyslo race,xtr drivetrain,shimano xt discs,thomson stem,time attac pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jason williams a Cross Country Rider from seattle ,wa

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2001

Strengths:    excelent craftsmanship,plush travel,you don't see one that often.

Weaknesses:    none as of yet,although I have had to take the frame apart to find a creek noise,it turned out that the main support bearing shaft just needed a little lube.

Bottom Line:   
this bike is the best bike I have ever ridden.I've never owned a dullie but have test ridden a lot of them,and until this one they all felt "off" a looked dam funny.Once I saw this bike I fell in love with it,rode and was amazed.I never though I would "sell out" and leave the steel hardtail clan,but this thing decends,well FAST,and I can out climb just about any one on this thing I even use it to commute 23 miles each way to work once or twice a week.All said anyone kind of on the edge of buying a dullie or converting from the hard tail crowd should try this bike.It does'nt hurt to be endorsed by one of THE bike legends either.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   tapeworm

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3300.00

Purchased At:   colorado cyclist

Similar Products Used:   davidson hardtail

Bike Setup:   raceface,psylo sl,xtr,king,thompson,monkeylight,hayes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by George a Cross Country Rider from Ketchum Idaho U.S.

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2001

Strengths:    Cross country

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I live in an area that is laced with hundreds of miles of single track. I ride Five days a week and average fifeteen to twenty miles a day with four or five thirty plus mile epics a month. The riding is a mix of smooth single track to technical knarly uphill and downhill.I've test rode a few full suspension bikes in all conditions and have felt that the handeling in tight situations and loss of power on the uphill was not a fair trade off for some extra speed on the downhill,untill I rode a Tomac 78 Special. This bike climbs like a hardtail especially when out of the saddle and decents are as smooth as you would expect from a FS MTB. The construction of the frame screams durability from the sealed cartrige bearings to the multi coats of paint and clearcoat. I've managed to keep the weight down below 26 lbs and with a few more weight saving upgrades I can easily see a sub 25lb bike. If you are a hardtail hold out like I was,I suggest you give one of these bikes a try.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Durrance Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Intense Tracer,Pro Flex,Turner,Santa Cruz

Bike Setup:   Raceface,Chris King,Thomson,Grip Shift,Mavic,Marzocchi

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martin Broome a Cross Country Rider from Redwood City, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 26, 2001

Strengths:    Great handling bike, climbs like a longhorn sheep, descends like a demon! Very nice workmanship and finish.

Weaknesses:    None so Far

Bottom Line:   
Overall, I rate this bike as excellent compared to Santa Cruz's and Fisher's. I'm sure there are more limited production custom bikes out there, maybe for the same price as I paid, but for me the search was over with the '78 Special. As a frameset, the '78 Special allows you to customize the build to your liking, while knowing the foundation is a rock solid masterpiece of design and construction. As a free ride/XC rider, durability and handling qualities are more important to me than shaving every last ounce off. Mine weighs in at ~26lbs. I could have built mine lighter, but probably at the sacrifice of strength. So, depending on your intentions (racer vs.recreational), you could build accordingly. Have your cake and eat it too!! (or ride right through it!) Cheers!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dog Meat

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2900.00

Purchased At:   RBM Sports

Similar Products Used:   This is my first FS bike, before FS: Bontrager HT Privateer Comp; various Treks; Miyata, and a Hutch!

Bike Setup:   XT, XTR hubs, 517 rims, Fox vanilla RC rear, ATOM 80 front, Thompson seat post, and other assorted DH/XC bits and pieces.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kwon a Cross Country Rider from Taegu,KOREA

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2000

Strengths:    Build Quality
Comport
Design


Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
I have liked hardtail for XC riding. but I recently decided to take full Suspension frame for freeriding .
For getting best frame, I checked the color and specification and so on with several frames
like 78special of Tomac and FSR-M4 of Specialized and Tracer of Intense etc.
Though they have each strong points, I selected the 78special finally.
Because I appreciated the simple design and excellent strength including the strong image of John Tomc.
First week I ride it, I feel it 's some heavy and not move briskly compared to the hardtail frame 1 have ridded.
Getting two weeks riding, I found myself some excellent riding mood.
Firstly. It was best frame to go hill up without any fluctuation compared to the full Suspension frames I have ever ride.
Further more when I go up extremely rough terrain I can go up more fast than that of any other hard tail frames
which my fellow ride.
Of,cause it's best when it go hill down
I finally thought it is best frame for freeriding and am satisfied with it
Giving my best regard to Tomac USA.........,,,,

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bongmu & Danny mtn

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Joywell

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Truth
Psycle werks


Bike Setup:   Manitou, Shimano, Mavic, Chris King

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by James a Cross Country Rider from Colorado

Date Reviewed: November 20, 2000

Strengths:    Love the Fox lockout for climbing and commuter trails. Climbs great, descends smoothly.

Weaknesses:    Getting a viable seatpost quick release. Use the Tomac collar with the QR/skewer from a Salsa combo.

Bottom Line:   
So far I love the versatility of the bike. Feels great on railroad beds or steep single-track. The machine work is a piece of art and the finish seems very durable.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   Hayes Disc

Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Tomac 78 Special opinions?

I read the reviews and they all seem pretty positive, it seems the 78 was made with more attention to detail than some report in the last couple years from Tomac. Anyway, just curious how past owners have felt about the bike in comparison to some of the more current XC race FS models. ToddRead More »

Broken Der Hanger on Tomac 78 Special

Anyone have a solution for a broken non-replaceable der. hanger on a 78 special? I've bent mine twice and its only a matter of time b4 it is toast. The 98 special part is different and last time my lbs checked, replacement 78 special parts didn't exist. I've thought about having the part mach ... Read More »

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