a Cross Country Rider
from Auburn, CA
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2008
Strengths: nice and stiff, yet compliant when and where it needs to be. very nice weld quality, frame has a very finished/polished appearance. Upon request, beautiful satin finish, with brushed logos. I like the cable seats, nice and clean. Aaron at Dean blew out the chainstays a bit for me to accomodate larger tires. I went with the paragon slider option rather than EBB, and have had no problems with the sliders.
Weaknesses: none to speak of! I really enjoy the bike.
I now have some miles on this bad boy so feel I can write an educated review. They aren't the lightest Ti frames out there, but I was not willing to sacrifice stiffness and ride feel for at most a third or half pound weight savings on the frame. It rides beautifully, very happy with it. My only critisim of dealing with Dean is they tended to overcommit on delivery schedules... extremely helpful, very willing to talk through the purchase, but had a bad habit of promising delivery dates that kept getting delayed. Honestly, if you know this upfront, and aren't in any hurry, do NOT let this steer you away, the product is execellent, and they stand by it. And, hard to beat the price for a pseudo-custom Ti frame. Go Dean!
Similar Products Used: no real comparison, but my other experience on singlespeed is with my venerable steel SASS. This is my first Ti frame.
Bike Setup: Easton carbon bar, thompson stem/seatpost, chris king/Mavic 317 rear ss wheel, crank bros candy Ti, stylo 1.1 cranks, Reba team fork.
a Cross Country Rider
from Albuquerque, NM
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2006
Strengths: Titanium, Price for a made in the USA frame, convertable to geared, EBB, great standover, super tire clearance (2.5" easy)
Weaknesses: Longer headtube than most bikes this class, slightly shorter top tube than advertised. Not a deal killer, especially since they can do custom geometry if you need them to.
My version of this bike is a little different than the standard Colonel Single Speed. Mine is a full Ti 96er made by Dean for Carver bikes - You know the ones with the 29" wheel in the front and the 26" wheel in the back.
This bike doesn't creak at the EBB like the aluminum and steel ones that I have had. It has the same quality EBB shell that Ventana uses - and those have been the only ones that don't come loose or creak (for me)
If you love to stand and crank uphills for power, this is the frame for you. I have tried 8 single speeds over the past year and a half, and I finally found one that can take what I can dish out. Titanium is definately a metal you should consider if you like the natural look, and hate paint chips. The welds on this bike are fantastic: simple, elegant, and super strong. I had mine created with cable stops and swapable dropout for a hanger so I can run gears if I need to wimp out. It's like having two bikes for the price of one. I only had to wait 3 weeks - so I can't complain about the wait time.
If you want a quality frame that should last as long as you want it to, get a Titanium frame in 26", 29" (from Dean) or half and half (from Carver via Dean)...you won't regret it!
Similar Products Used: Carver 96er Aluminum, Airborne Al and Ti converted to SS Surly 1 X 1, Karate Monkey, Niner Sir 9 and one 9, Ventana El Toro and El Commondante
Bike Setup: Reba29er, XT crank 32 x 18 CK hubs, cogs, and HS, Thompson and Avid Juicy 5's
from Charlotte, NC
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2006
Strengths: The ti ride, baby
I have ridden the hell outta this bike for two years. I realized I have never bothered to post a review so I thought I would contribute. I absolutely love this bike. It is set up with a 29'er (474mm a-c length) fork for slightly relaxed geometry and a short Thomson stem. I have ridden it in the La Ruta de los Conquistadores, the Trans Rockies, several 12 & 24 hour races, at the Snowshoe freeride park, at Ray's indoor MTB park, and multiple other endurance events. The ride is soooooo smooth and I feel like I am riding a softail when I am seated. It maybe the last frame I ever buy. I am not sure why anybody would spend more on a ti frame except so they could say they spent more on a ti frame. I hope that my opinion is clear.
Bike Setup: Hadley/819's, Race Face headset, IF 29'er fork, Monkey Lite bars, FSA carbon Pro cranks, 959 pedals, Dean ti post
a Cross Country Rider
from Claverack NY
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2006
Strengths: I just got it off ebay, stripped my bianchi diss and quickly built her up and hit the trails WOW. The differance is unbelievable. An hour into the ride- really intense single track, she was soooo comfortable- it just got better and better the longer I road. I am sooo soar today, but want to hit the trail asap. I also ride a ellsworth truth, and she might be collecting dust for awhile- I might even take the f100x off the truth and put it on the Dean. This is the switchable drop-outs, so you can run single or geared, Moots and Seven don't even have that.
Weaknesses: hahaha, no time now to work, must ride
I have owned and RIDDEN/raced on fat chance, Litespeed (junk), merlin, Moots (cracked from poor welds and was welded twice by moots, they admitted it was there first experments into full suspension and there ti prep was poor) serotta (2) steel and a ti softtail, ellsworth truth, ( a ton of different road bikes-derosa,serotta, merlin,seven, argon-18....) I really like nice bikes (who dosn't) I have only ridden this bike once- the first pedal stroke is all I needed to know it is a super comfy, NOT flexy (my merlin hardtail was) The welds are unbelievable (I am a welder also) just as nice as Seven's and merlin's. They are sick how tight and clean the craftsmanship is. I would compair the quaitly and ride to Seven, with 1000 off the price tag the real bottom line- the guy who sold this on ebay was an idiot (so where all those I out bid)!
Bike Setup: king hubs and hs, easton carbon, oury, thomson stem, xt cranks with bash, irc's with stan's, bell
a Weekend Warrior
from Port St. Lucie, FL
Date Reviewed: January 27, 2006
Strengths: The ride! Beautiful finish and welds. The welds are a work of art. I doubt Moots, I.F., or anyone else can beat the workmanship.
Weaknesses: The frame it self? None.
I opted for the satin finish with brushed logos. The frame is absolutley gorgeous and the ride is amazing. I waited almost four months to recieve my frame after ordeing it. There are complaints about the wait times and Dean not being up front about that. The wait is worth it! Just don't expect to get the frame in 6-8 weeks. I almost ordered a frame from another builder before ordering my Dean. Guess what the wait time was w/the other builder? Four months. This frame will hold it's own compared to any other high end frame buidler and costs less. What are you waiting for?
Bike Setup: EBB w/breezer drop outs. King SS hubs, Thomson X4 stem, Dean Ti seatpost, Avid mech. brakes, Boone Ti cog and chainring
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 12, 2006
Strengths: Beautiful constructuion and finish. comfortable yet not flexy ride. Bushnel EBB. Customizable build.
Solid beautifully built excelent value for money custom built ti frame. The best bike I've ever owned hands down. It flexes less than my old steel imbred but is just as comfortable. Bare ti is just so sexy. I love riding this bike. If you are after a custom built ti frame at a decent price look no further. Be prepared to wait up to 12 weeks tho. Mine took 16 weeks to get to my door but it was stuck in customs for 2 weeks and lost by the courier for another week. The end product is worth the wait.
Bike Setup: Deamonchau Ti rigid fork. Jones H bars. Thompson post and stem. Lock on grips. xt 4pot disc brakes. DMR and hugi onyx hubs laced to ritchy rims. Raceface turbine lp 180mm cranks. Spot chain ring and Sram chain. King ti bottle cage. Sdg ti saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tucson, AZ
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2005
Strengths: Fit, ride quality, attention to detail, weld quality. I'm very anal and these all stood out to me.
Weaknesses: took awhile to get it but that's to be expected
I had a singlespeed back in the mid nineties, it was an old Univega. Since then I have not owned another singlespeed but have ridden or owned just about everthing else. I've worked in a shop for over 10 years and my current shop carries Litespeed, Dean, Moots, Ellsworth, Intense, Santa Cruz, etc. The boss rides a Moots and swears by it. I wanted to by something from my home state so I gave Dean a try. Maybe it's just the simplicity of singlespeed talking but I have never had more fun. The bike climbs incredibly. The descents are smooth and predictable. It really comes into it's own after a couple of hours. My first ride on the bike was the 2005 24hrs in the Old Pueblo, worst conditions I've ever ridden in. The bike was so comfortable and predictable I ended up with the onset of hypothermia b/c I wanted to do more laps than my body would allow. I was hesitant to go back to another hardtail but now my Blur just sits. If you haven't seen a Dean lately take a look. Their weld quality and attention to detail is leaps above Litespeed and even the boss said they are getting into Moots territory. I had S&S couplers installed so I can just pop it in a suitcase. I have had custom titanium hardtails before but this one has truly been special and I wasn't expecting it.
Similar Products Used: converted deraileured frame
Bike Setup: Easton Monkey Lite xc, thompson stem, lockon grips, Avid sd7 levers, and mech disk brakes, King headset, Fox Float 100 RLC, Dean ti seatpost, Flite saddle (don't spend much time sittin on it), Raceface Turbine DH cranks, King Disc SS wheels with Sun 0 degree xc rims.