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Hi All,

I currently have a Carbine 29 that I am using for trail riding and enduro racing here in Socal. It pedals great but I am still looking to add a plus hardtail to the stable as a second bike. I want something that is less all mountain and more trail/xc oriented to get some true separation of uses from my Carbine. I would like to be able to race it in the odd XC race (beginner or sport class) so it would need to be convertible to 29" wheels. Would like to spend $2,500 or less if possible, so I know I am not going to be able to get it much below 27 lbs. Any suggestions? Should I be looking at building up a frame only as well?
 

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that guy
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Nearly every manufacturer now has a HT Plus-compatible frame that matches that requirement.

For a complete build, I'd consider buying and later upgrading a Trek Stache 7 -- it can be set up with any 27.5+, 29er, or even 29+ wheels. Hell, it's even compatible with singlespeed belt drives. (Carbon 9.8 frame available for $1500 if you want to build a carbon XC rocket).

Other reasonably priced steel options are the 2017 Kona Unit and 2017 Surly Karate Monkey (due out by March). You could pick up either of those and then lighten them up using some fantastic carbon upgrades with your extra budget.

Once again, though, there are bikes that fit your requirements from nearly every manufacturer, so it's really tough to make recommendations without knowing more about your material tastes and geometry requirements.
 

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fnInt(1/x^2,x,0,1)
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Heard that the Kona Big Honzo will take 29" wheels in addition to the specced 27.5+. I've got a Big Honzo but haven't tried 29" wheels in it.


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