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Which steel frame for a SS 29er build?

  • Niner Sir 9

    Votes: 10 16.4%
  • Ritchey P 29er

    Votes: 15 24.6%
  • Salsa El Mariachi

    Votes: 36 59.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys. I recently got the itch to build a new bike and I have decided to go with a steel frame single speed. The bike will be set up with either a rigid or 100mm fork. This will be my main single speed so I am wanting it to be as versatile as possible. I ride in the midwest so the trails here are not overly technical. Nice singletrack with the occasional roots and rocks. Quite a few nice hills but not too many big drops.

I would like to keep the frame cost at around $1,000.

After many suggestions I have decided to expand my options past my original three. If you have any recommendation other than the ones I have listed, please tell me why.

Thanks.
 

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2019 Salsa Horsethief; Mone La Roca (V1)
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I'd go with the El Mariachi for the Alternator dropouts. I've never been an EBB fan, though plenty of people disagree, and that's fine. I'm not sure what is so special about the Ritchey to drive the cost of the frame up so high. Just my $0.02.
 

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:thumbsup:Ritchey p-29er.....that's what I got, and it is a great bike. I don't know how much the El Maricachi costs, but 999.00 is not too much money for a good frame, and if you check the weight, the P-29er is right in line with many Ti frames, which cost $1000.00 more :thumbsup:
 

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Did I catch a niner+?
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I personally would go with a P29 but voted for the El Mar. The bike has a lot more versatility I think especially with swapable dropouts and a 44mm headtube.
 

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I voted Sir9
the el mar is strictly ss, which is what your looking for, but it would be nice if it had cable guides.
 

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$1000 budget I'd look at the Vassago Verhauen. I have and love the Canfield Nimble 9 Gen. 2 as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd go with the El Mariachi for the Alternator dropouts. I've never been an EBB fan, though plenty of people disagree, and that's fine. I'm not sure what is so special about the Ritchey to drive the cost of the frame up so high. Just my $0.02.
It seems like it is 50/50 with the EBB. Half love it and half hate it. I haven't had much experience with it to know which group I would fall into. Makes the decision a bit tougher. I know a lot really like the salsa dropouts and most don't seem to have any issues with them. As for the ritchey, I don't necessarily think it is overpriced. It is a quality steel frame that costs the same as the niner and salsa. Most quality steel frames hover around $900 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:thumbsup:Ritchey p-29er.....that's what I got, and it is a great bike. I don't know how much the El Maricachi costs, but 999.00 is not too much money for a good frame, and if you check the weight, the P-29er is right in line with many Ti frames, which cost $1000.00 more :thumbsup:
The Ritchey and the salsa are about the same price. I don't think the ritchey is overpriced personally. I haven't had a chance to ride one but I have seen one and the quality looked very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
$1000 budget I'd look at the Vassago Verhauen. I have and love the Canfield Nimble 9 Gen. 2 as well.
I hadn't given much thought to either the Vassagos or the Canfields because I have no experience with them whatsoever. I am open to other frames and not just the ones I had listed. I only listed those three because I have at least a fair amount of knowledge with them. Anybody else recommend the vassago or the canfield over my three choices?
 

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People are saying really good things about the Vassago VerHauen, plus it's 100% made in America if that matters to you. I am in the process of building one up now. I mostly purchased it because the geometry was similar to my previous frame which was a lot of fun to ride just really heavy, and I also didn't like having vertical dropouts. Dropout options are also a nice benefit to the VerHauen.
 

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I love my Salsa El Mari. I'm a big guy and we've got steep climbs around here, been putting her through the paces and the Alternator dropouts work excellently.
 

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My personal rule of thumb is anything over $1k, save for a couple of more weeks and get custom. If you spend that much, get it exactly the way you want it.

Out of those 3, Sir 9 would be my pick. El Mar is a nice bike, but I didn't like the Alt drop outs.

Also, check out OS Blackbuck frames. ~$600 for the frame and $100 for the fork.
 

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1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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I was just about to say what Phsycle said. If you are getting to the 1k mark it is way worth going custom. I think you'll get a better frame made as light as possible for your weight...geo you want...esp if you want genuinely short stays.
 

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Custom will cost a bit more but the wait time is what gets you. That's the bad thing. You have to plan in advanced if you want custom. You are usually looking at several months to a year. Worth it...maybe. But there's plenty of great off the shelf options too that'll have you riding in a couple weeks.
 

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In 20+ years of road and mountain biking, my El Mar is my favorite bike. If Ii had to choose one bike of all the bike I've ever owned to be my only bike forever, it would be the El Mar hands down.
 
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