Strong Racing Frames Racing steel hartail mountain Frameset

Racing steel hartail mountain

steel hartail mountain

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
Mark   Cross Country Rider [Oct 23, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

Maybe paint on the dropouts?

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.

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ned henry   Cross Country Rider [Oct 01, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

nada

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.

Similar Products Used: tested a merlin, cannondale jeckyl, moots rigor mootis and seven sola
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Sylvan   Cross Country Rider [Sep 10, 2001]
Strength:

Fast, Durable, Compliant, Oh So Pretty!

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Davidson, Diamond Back, Klein
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kevin Petrone   Racer [Mar 29, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: fat chance, specialiized s-works M4
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jason   Cross Country Rider [Oct 31, 2000]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: High end aluminum and steel production bikes.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve Bowman   Weekend Warrior [Oct 06, 2000]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

None

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.

Similar Products Used: Bontrager Race frames 3 over the last 10 years, Treks all steel.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Whalen   Weekend Warrior [Jun 09, 2000]
Strength:

Light, Fast, Expert Craftmanship, SUPERIOR Handling

Weakness:

None

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.

Similar Products Used: Looked at, talked to, or road IBIS,Waterford,IF,Fat,Dekerf,Curtlo-
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Sylvan   Cross Country Rider [Apr 17, 2000]
Strength:

Strong, Straight, Stable, Speedy, and Svelte

Weakness:

I cannot afford more than one...

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.

Similar Products Used: Davidson, Diamondback
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
s yuasa   cross-country rider [Nov 26, 1998]

after a disappointing 1997 with profelx 957, i decided to try a custom steel hardtail a try for this year. after checking out his web site and largely on a hunch, i went with carl strong, a true independent out of mozeman, mt. for $900, i chose the steel (reynolds 853) and the geometry. i gave him all my measurements over e-mail and phone. we communicated extensively over the next two weeks regarding my riding style, the trails i ride, and my expectations for the feel i'm looking for. he used a computer program as well as my requests to best fit me.
he listened to me carefully and also gave sound suggestions. i had my bike in six weeks. the tig welding is superclean. i asked for curvey stays and top cable mounts. for paint, he uses sikkens paint - a high end auto body finish that's polyuerthane based. after 5 months of twisty east coast singletracks and a 24 hour race (canaan), i'm happy to report that the finish still looks wet, thanks to the ton of clears he applied on top of the darlk eggplant coat i chose (i had 100s of schemes to chose from). the graphic design of the 'strongman' logo is very professional. as for the component package, i don't want to get him in trouble so let me just say you would be pleasantly surprised. the frame, xt-xtr drivetrain, syncros bars, manitou sx ti tpc fork, xt-mavic 517s all came in just under $2300. as for the ride, i can honestly say that i've had less back problems than i did with the full boinger. my riding position just feels natural now. the steel is real. and light ! the 17in-ish frame is 3.6 lbs. yet bombproof. before i chose a strong frame, i compared dozens of local custom frames (wojick, independent fab, fat chance, seven) in the showrooms and on the trails. the strong racing frames deserves to be considered in the same level of excellence.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Noah Daniels   Cross Country Rider [Jul 29, 2002]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Spooky Darkside, Sunn X-chox, Bianchi BUSS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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