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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you have a favorite aluminum HT 29er geo and frame design? Which is it? Why?

Of course, choices are a bit more limited than in 26" HTs - but if you have riden several; is there one that you feel is best for your type riding?
 

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That's easy. The 2008 Motobecane Fantom29. Why? Because they were affordable for me(I bought 2 frames but haven't built them up yet), they at least appear to be strong, & they look good. So that's that.
 

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My current favorite AL hardtail design is the 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper SS and Comp frames. It's got a nice aesthetic swoopy top tube and short chainstays - haven't ridden one but they visually are very appealing and by all reports - are very good XC machines.

I'm a big fan of the Astrix Rook too, as well as the Sirens and Kona/Niner scandium bikes.
 

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Niner H.T.
Giant XTC 29er , quick steering , long top tube XC bikes .
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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No mystery here, everyone is going to post their current bike. :D

I like the misfit diSSent obviously. A do it all design, climbs awesome due to stiffness, descends fast because of geometry. Big wheels take away the AL harshness. Designed around a 100mm fork but flexible enough to accept 80mm-120mm.
 

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Banshee Paradox (I own) and Sinister Simon Bar (similar idea to Paradox). Short chainstays and slack head angle allow the bike to climb and descend fantastically well. True All Mountatin Hardtails. The Paradox is also a very "flickable" 29er, compared to the Stumpjumper, Paragon, XTC, etc. All these other bikes felt big, slow, cumbersome and MUCH more flexy. Paradox (and I assume Sinister) are VERY LATERALLY STIFF relative to most production 29ers and I've ridden most all of them. Of course at 270lbs, I'm a little biased on lateral rigidity.
 

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I'm in the market for a 29er, so last weekend I went out and test rode the following:

Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc
Gary Fisher Cobia
Access XCL 9.7
Fuji Tahoe Pro

The Access had a really wide bar that made it feel hard to turn, so I couldn't really make a judgement about the frame. Of the rest, the Cobia felt the quickest steering, but I found myself preferring the stability of the Rockhopper and Fuji. If I were to rank them as far as my initial impressions, I'd put them in this order:

Rockhopper - felt pretty natural, good balance
Fuji - similar, but perhaps a little slower or less natural
Cobia - felt quicker and more aggressive (more "bent over" the bike, and less "in" the bike)
Access* - a narrower bar would have made for a better comparison

Mind you, all of this was from parking lot rides, going up and down curbs and steps, etc. More time on the trails would really make this more insightful, but it at least gave me a quick feel for some popular frames.

Ted
 

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bike tester
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i have a soul cycles dillinger that i will convert to ss and a superior team29 on the way.

i would say my favorite alloy ht frames are the air9 and the paradox.
 

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briscoelab said:
Love the geometry of my EMD. But the chain ring clearance sucks.
Amen. Have demo'ed the Stumpjumper HT from 2 years ago, really liked it too, but Niner had a better deal for me and I've been happy with it. Demo'd a Superfly, didn't like the geo as much but very impressed with the carbon ride quality.
 

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Another Paradox vote here

short CS's
slacked out front and how that helps with going down and up
design features - shock block stays, attractive tube flow
burly aesthetics
comfort
snap
balance
ease of riding
reasonable price
biggest up - consistent fun factor
 

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big_slacker said:
No mystery here, everyone is going to post their current bike. :D

I like the misfit diSSent obviously. A do it all design, climbs awesome due to stiffness, descends fast because of geometry. Big wheels take away the AL harshness. Designed around a 100mm fork but flexible enough to accept 80mm-120mm.
Massive +1 here. However, I can't say that I have ever found Al mtn bikes to be harsh. Al road bikes [with an Al fork] - they'll make your vertebrae ping off each other...
 

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+2 on the EMD or any Niner hardtail, but what do you mean about ''chainring clearance''? I'm running a 26 tooth granny with no problem at all. I put two spacers on the right side and none on the left but a don't think I really needed to.
 

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Angry bunny
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Ventana El Comandante for purely XC purposes.
Handled like it was on rails in the swoopy stuff and never made me think that the ride was harsh even when riding it with the Ventana rigid fork.

I cannot say my current frame as it is Scandium (technically an alloy though I guess).
 

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Input

Like another above, I too have tried to test every 29er bike possible. Below are the ones I have tested and the feed back for these bikes.

Fuji Tahoe - Felt real good and stable I liked the ride, but foot hit the front wheel a couple of times.

Specialized Stumpjumper 29 - Love this bike, but the geometry was wrong for me. I felt like I was sitting up too high and turns felt sketchy.

Jamis Dragon Pro 29 - Love this bike as well but did not like the geometry. I felt up too high and did not feel responsive on tight turns.

GF Paragon - This is the bike for me. The bike feels stable, has a low center of gravity feel, turns tight, and is responsive. It basically felt like my 26" hardtail, but with 29" wheels.

Unfortunately, all of these test rides were in the parking lot and surrounding area so I could not get time to get more familiar with them. I am looking forward to when more and more companies get the 29" geometry down like they have for 26".

I hope this is helpful for you.
Jon
 
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