Strengths: Where do you start on this one!!! Yes it's heavy but who cares! I weigh 90kg so i don't! Strong built like a brick sh_t house! Awsome quality and service from the man rob! Good basic spec for the price, not much out their can compete with it for the price and stiffness!
Weaknesses: None unless your a weight wenner!!!
The bottom line is this bike is bullet proof once you change a few small things on it. I use the bike as a all rounder XC,DH urban you name it it does it! I have broken more parts then i care to remember, but if your after a bike that will last and handle anything them this is it. I recomend this bike to anyone but a weight wennie!! tuff bike! and aussie made gotta love that! go the rail!
Similar Products Used: N/A tried many different bikes but broke to many to remeber!
Bike Setup: After breaking two rear hubs and too many derailers I spent the money and put in a woodman boltup rearhub(12mm axle and no frame mods!!). FSA X Drive cranks, e-13 chainwheel and chain guide, fsa deep cup pig pro DH headset, mag 30's all the good gear for a total weight of over 19kg but who cares when it is bullet proof!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2006
Strengths: Did somebody mention strength? This bike is f___ing strong; and stiff.
Weaknesses: Also f___ing heavy. I bought bike complete and the stock Truvativ BB seized after the first wet ride.
Did I mention this bike is tough? Just takes it time and time again. Massive double sets, road gaps, drops - it doesn't care. Also VERY stiff rear end. The only let down was the Truvativ BB which seized on the first wet ride, then eventually flogged out, so I took the opportunity to upgrade to Diabolous crankset. The rear wheel does move a little in the frame sometimes after a big hit or hard braking, but it eventually moves back into place - a bolt on would be better. I've done everything from XC trail to DH racing on it. It is extremely heavy though, especially considering I'm a 63kg weakling. In my DH race spec it's pushing 18kg (40lb) which has made me decide, after 2 and a half years, it's time to move on to something a little lighter. I'm really going to miss it. If weight isn't a prob for you, you will never need another bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from Crafers, South Oz.
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2006
Strengths: Handles very well, Climbs very well, especially for a bowl of porridge like me. Super strong. Hammers down hill.
Weaknesses: Maybe a bit on the heavier side for some people, but hey! Thats how its made! go get a roadie.
This bike is awesome, and its the first model rail, the later models are even better, Kudos to Robert Crafter for putting in the effort on this design, I've had it for 3 years now and still don't want to change,I would buy another one any day. Go get one.
Similar Products Used: rockhopper, raceline enduro.
Bike Setup: Psylos, XT, Hayes hydro, usual factory setup.
from Helsinki, Finland
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2005
Strengths: Handling, handling, handling! On singletrack this bike handles like a dream. And it accelerates like a cut cat. I have used it for commutes, all day epics, singletrack blasts and even a 24 hour race. At that race my bikes handling was a huge plus, the course was tight and twisty and my bike made it all so easy. Every time i ride this rig i love it more and more, and for the price i paid i am totally stoked. I just have to try and get my skills to match my bikes abilities! But that would take some doing.
Weaknesses: The frame itself has no weaknesses, maybe weight but a weight weenie wouldnt buy this bike anyway. I wouldnt mind ISCG mounts though.
The bottom line for me is that i would most definitely buy one of these again if i have to. And i would recommend it to anyone who is after a do-it-all hardtail. Great value for money too. 5 smokin chilis from me. Nice work Mr Crafter!
Similar Products Used: An older Craftworks hardtail, Norco 125, and various other brands.
Bike Setup: As per 2005 OEM setup, (see www.craftworkscycles.com) plus a Blackspire chainguide and Oury grips.
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2004
Strengths: This is a follow up review to my original post after 5 months of riding. Overbuilt = bullit proof.
Weaknesses: Getting heavier as the upgrades continue. The frame doesn't come in the alurring 'green' colour of the FRM125......next year? The bike/frame should come with a rear bolt thru hub as standard.
The rear QR hub had a tendancy to 'move' within the horizontal dropouts under repeated heavy braking caused by the torque generated from the disk, this would throw the rear axle out of alignment within the frame. Some drops would also produce the same issue, tried different quick release brands without any improvement. This became frustrating requiring re-aligning the rear wheel after each run, and a search for a bolt through rear axle became scary with prices reaching half the cost of the whole frame for a complete wheel build. For $50(aus) a 10mm bmx through axle was fitted to the existing shimano XT hub which has eliminated this problem and provided extra strenght to the rear. (One of the guys in this post mentions a 12mm thru axle - I checked into this and there is no way one of these will fit into the rear horizontal dropouts without chopping up the frame - voids warranty). When using the bike for urban thrashing another wheelset has been purchased along with rotors running the Maxxis 2.5 Hookworms which are beaut for this kinda peddling. Have been using this bike for more and more downhill with my limitations being reached well before this frame. Serious downhillers looking for a hardtail should give this frame some serious consideration.
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilla 125RLC, SUN ditchwitch rims on shimano XT hubs, Avid 8" front, 6" rear mechanical disk brakes, Truvativ everything else. Maxxis 2.5 Highroller ST front, Michelin Hot S 2.5 rear tyre.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lexington, KY USA
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2004
Strengths: Strong, great responsiveness, NO FLEX!!! SMOOTH AS BUTTA!!!
Weaknesses: color selection
This is an XC bike for me since I am a Clydes weighing in at over 300lbs, I needed something strong. I never imagined how well this bike would handle on tight singletrack and the geometry is wonderful since I have shorter legs and longer torso. It climbs like a dream!!! Great frame. I can now do drops and bunny hops without my chainstays flexing.
Similar Products Used: Specialized HardRock and RockHopper...not similar but those are the other bikes I had.
Bike Setup: Race Face stem and riser bars, FSA Big Pig DH Pro headset, Truvativ RG cranks and Gigapipe DH bb, SRAM Attack shorties, XT front/rear derailleurs, Rhyno Lites on XT 36 hole hubs, Black Elite 100/120 fork.
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2004
Weaknesses: not the best grips but nothing $15 wont fix
this is a sweet bike. built strong, to handle anything you throw at it. i ride heaps of dirt jumps, as well as downhill, and singletrack, and nothing wants to break. i even thrash it in the skateparks (get a few weird looks) an still it goes hard. If you want a bike that will break your bones before it does, it's right here in the craftworks rail.
Bike Setup: Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 3 forks, Hayes HFX 9 Hydro brake, 8" front and rear Truvativ Holzfeller DH spec Cranks, with bash guard and chain device WTB wheel set, inc, DH spec rims, tubes, tires, spokes etc, Titec El Norte 2 stem and oversized bars, SRAM X-7 shifter and gearing etc. WTB speed v seat, marzocchi frint fender, and several go-fast stickers
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney Oz
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2004
Strengths: 1. It's strong. It's going to break me before I break it for sure. 2. Cheap. 3. Looks sweet event though I couldn't get the lime green and have to settle for silver.
Weaknesses: Only just built it so I'm going to have to wait a while. My chain rubs on the rear wheel when it's in granny gear. I'm going to blame my fairly amature bike building skills at the moment and the fact that I'm running Hookworms (2.5 inch fat arse slicks). Hoping that a propper mechanic can sort the bottom bracket better than I have so far 'cause I'd love to have the extra gears that the granny cog offers.
This is the best component spec I've ever managed to muster for a bike and it looks to be a sweet package. Any letdowns are more likely to be me thank the bike.
Feels very solid rides well in my limited experience with it. Can't wait to give it a good solid thrashing.
Anyone who rides in the sydney area drop us an email. My riding partner has buggered off to Canada. I like Epic XC, FR and dabble in Urban, DJ and DH anywhere in the Sydney area.
Similar Products Used: None really. Last bike was an old Norco vps-1 so it's certainly lighter.
Bike Setup: 03 Dirt Jumper 1's 8 Inch hayes front and Avid Rear Mostly LX drivetrain and XT rear der XT rear hub laced to sun rhyno lite rim no name front wheel (anyone heard of jetset? curious to know if they are any good) assorted funn, oury, shimano, FSA and SGG goodies.
from Kingston, Washington, USA
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2003
Strengths: Very sturdy off the big jumps and drops, flys super sweet despite her weight, rides easy with a single- or double-crown fork, can use a regular or 12mm thru-axle for the rear. Sprints like a maniac, handles like a dream.
Weaknesses: The weight, and nothing else.
Dirt Jumping, Urban, Park, Downhill (if that's your bag, I know it's mine!), even Epic XC if you want--this bike will do it. Behaves like a good hardtail should, I can beat lots of the 5-6" Freeriders in my area on a downhill with no worries. The boys down under did an awesome job with this frame-I will never sell mine!
Favorite Trail: Dickey Bird Hill, Discovery Bay, WA
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: jensonUSA
Similar Products Used: A friend's Azonic DS-1
Bike Setup: Either a Rockshox Psylo XC or Marzocchi Jr. T, Truvativ Hussefelt DH Crankset w/42T, Handlebars, & Stem, Truvativ Boxguide w/ Bashguard, Hayes HFX-9 HD Front Brakes, Sun Singletrack Rims w/ Shimano XT Hubs or Sun 12mm, XT Rear Derailleur, Maxxis Minion 2.7 Front & Rear Tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Adelaide, South Australia
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2003
Strengths: Frame Strength - the reinforced gusseting, overall design, and beautiful welds resemble a motorcross box frame (rear chainstays!). The overall build quality is outstanding.
Weaknesses: A little heavy for XC riding, I'm gonna get fit. (note to self: must cut back on the coopers and winnie blues)
Have been looking at this frame for some time now wanting to return to a hardtail for strength and reliability, anticipating swapping out all the running gear from the old bike which transferred over seamlessly. It's only been built up for a few days and a total of 6 hours riding time over the old familiar tracks which has been slower (due to the additional weight) but also has allowed for more 'adventurous' riding style of the extremely enjoyable kind. It's still early days on this frame....stay tuned...
Similar Products Used: I purchased this frame and transferred the running gear from a KHS FXT rage.
Bike Setup: Sun ditchwitch rims on shimano XT hubs, Avid 8" front, 6" rear mechanical disk brakes. Truvativ FiveD cranks and pedals, Shimano deore front and rear derailiuers, XT rear cassette. Bombers. Maxxis 2.4 Highroller ST front, Michelin Hot S 2.5 rear tyre.
Sorry for the spam, but I've got a sweet Rail frame (size large with a custom-valved Romic) that I need to sell. Check out MTBR Ad Number: 96741.
Thanks, I know one of you Homers has been eyeballing this frame.
:DRead More »
Sorry for the spam, but I know some of you are looking for the ever-elusive Rail frame.
I've got a mint 2004 Rail frame (size large) that's got to go.
Check it out in the classifieds:
[url]http://classifieds.mtbr.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.pl?db=MtbReview&website=MtbReview&language ... Read More »