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Disgruntled Peccary
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2,990 Posts
That is one good looking bike.

I forgot to say that I consider Cush Core to be a must have for performance HTs.
Thanks! Yea, I'm running cushcore. I like it since I can get lower pressures before hitting squirm.
 

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219 Posts
2021 Spesh Chisel. This bike does what I need it to do and does it all beyond my expectations. Fit is like a glove. Comfort on multi hour rides is amazing. No aches or pains. Climbs amazingly well. Light. Tossable. Nimble. Fast on downhill sections and its comfortable in the rough stuff for a hardtail. The R & D in the frame strength and compliance makes for a lively yet comfortable hardtail that’s different than most aluminum hardtails. Im starting to push into areas I wouldn’t be comfortable with on my old hardtail and like my ride today its all smiles.
 

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Premium Member
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6,730 Posts
My goto is my hardtail. Was going to be my last hardtail frame ever, but in 5 years 27.5+ has gone the way of the dodo. I am in line for a new one, 29 2.6-2.8, a bit slacker head angle, a bit steeper seatube, staying with longer stays as they fit my riding.

Wheel Bicycle Tire Cloud Sky
 

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1,170 Posts
If I were building a hardtail for myself, it would be 853 or Ti and very light
Sid, XT, and 1500 gram or lighter wheels, 29x2.2
and not slack
70 degree HT with 74ST would be about right for me
and nothing on it would be CF

of course, this is not where the market is
 

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Premium Member
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6,730 Posts
If I were building a hardtail for myself, it would be 853 or Ti and very light
Sid, XT, and 1500 gram or lighter wheels, 29x2.2
and not slack
70 degree HT with 74ST would be about right for me
and nothing on it would be CF

of course, this is not where the market is
I assume you have tried slacker? I am not in the heavily raked out, super steep seat tube, short chainstay crowd, but found I really like 120mm hardtails at about 66-67 degree head tube angles unsagged (so 67-68 sagged). They still feel responsive, but have some extra stability. My son’s Ibis DV9 was at 67.5 and felt a bit twitchy so Iput a-1.5 degree headset in. Feels better everywhere but there was a slight loss in front end grip which I fixed by going from a 50 to 60mm stem. I feel more raked out on an XC/trail hardtail would turn it into a bike that must be ridden very aggressively.
 

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1,170 Posts
I assume you have tried slacker? I am not in the heavily raked out, super steep seat tube, short chainstay crowd, but found I really like 120mm hardtails at about 66-67 degree head tube angles unsagged (so 67-68 sagged). They still feel responsive, but have some extra stability. My son’s Ibis DV9 was at 67.5 and felt a bit twitchy so Iput a-1.5 degree headset in. Feels better everywhere but there was a slight loss in front end grip which I fixed by going from a 50 to 60mm stem. I feel more raked out on an XC/trail hardtail would turn it into a bike that must be ridden very aggressively.
YES
you can assume I have tired about everything after about 50 years in the biz
What I have found is; there is no such thing as the right design
Only the right design for you; on a particular date and for a particular location
Things change

i like a bit less slack than is popular today
but I find it easy to change HT angle spec on about any model to meet the majority desire for a certain market
 

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21 Santa Cruz Chameleon
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158 Posts
My Chameleon. Hands down the best hardtail I've owned to date. As someone just getting back into riding after about a 12 year break, it hasn't left me wanting for a full suspension just yet. I'm sure next year I'll end up buying one but this bike will always have a place in my rotation regardless of what route I go. It's just an absolute blast to ride.
Bicycle Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel Crankset
 

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5,649 Posts
First and foremost I want to say I think good Midwest hardtails/bikes are being ruined by all the leg humpers jumping on the low/slack/long bandwagon.

My favorite(s).
Rigid ss karate monkey. It was so simple, quiet, and got the biggest smiles when you nailed difficult sections of trail.

Rigid Krampus. Loved everything about it except me rubbing chainstays on out of saddle climbes.

My current bike. Growler American Stout in 29+ mode. I finally got a bike that fits me right, and it is absolutely awesome. The only thing I am left wanting is shorter chainstays (455 to clear stupid 27.5 fat) so there is a little less errort required to lift the front.

I have been considering a new Karate monkey (big tires and cushcore) or Krampus just to see if I can handle rigid riding. But honestly I am thinking more towards a full suspension to help prolong cycling into old age.
 
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