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I am starting my research into a new frame. My last couple of frames have been Ti and I must admit that I have really come to be a fan of the Grey Metal. That being said, I definately would like to consider all options and it goes without saying that the difference in terms of cost between a Steel and Ti frame is likely in the $1000 range(not trivial). My questions may seem dopey, but I really have no experience with Steel frames. How do the new alloys hold up vis-a-vis rust? I gather that if one buys a steel frame, regular applications of a framesaver are a good idea, but is this enough? Also, I hear about compliant ride characteristics of Steel, but as things move upward (my age and weight most noticeably) I want to make sure that the frame is not too flexible. I guess a good builder can adjust tubeset selection to accomodate rider demands and body traits, but at 185lbs, am I going to be forced into a frame that is so stiff that I miss that magical steel feel? Finally, I want a frame that can run SS or Geared. Can't decide on EBB versus Sliders. I have not been impressed with what i have read about the Bushnell style EBB's, can't decide if I like the aesthetics of the sliders. Some builders I am considering are:

Carl Strong
Sycip
Engin
Pereira

Thank you in advance.
 

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single speeder
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Steel is VERY real, my friend.





My last two frames have been steel. I prefer it over aluminum for the ride, and prefer it over titanium for the price. I'm 185#s and ride aggressive XC. Steel doesnt flex too much. Any name brand steel frame should work for you. As far as chain adjustments, I too, was concerned about a simple sliding setup, so both steel frames I've owned had an adjusting screw to keep the back wheel in place (see Monocog and On One Inbred29 frame detail). No problems there.
 

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Try to Demo a Fisher Ferrous if at all possible. It's not boutique, but it sounds like what you are looking for. If you like it, you could have a custom builder build you the exact same bike for 2x the cost ;) .
 

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Get out of town!
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I have never treated any steel frame I own and have ridden one for over 5 years now (99 Gary Fisher Aquila). I guess it couldn't hurt to apply frame saver but unless your rides typically include salt water marshes and heavy downpours I wouldn't be too concerned about that aspect of owning a steel frame.

If I had the extra money to build up a nice Strong SS I would. I have too many bikes already though.
 

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Here's my stand on ti VS steel:
I've done them both, and I do lust for ti. Except for the little extra weight, and the mental torture of a scratched paint job I think steel can feel pretty close to ti in ride quality.

My stand on slider's VS EBB:
I've never had sliders, but I've known a lot of people with them. I don't think they would be a happy thing for me. I swap my cog out quite a bit, so I am always adjusting chain tension. Going to the mountains, ride locally, racing, whatever. Cogs have to be swapped on my bike. Loosen two bolts, make a little turn on the EBB, and tighten the bolts back up. Simple.
Sliders? Loosen four bolts, adjust the set-screws, keep the axle even (I've heard it's easy, but it's a step right?), tighten down the lock nut on the set screws, tighten four bolts. Would the hose of the disc brake interfere with this operation? I don't know, I guess if it isn't held too tightly by zip ties in the hose guides.
I don't notice the change of the BB position much at all. If the gear swap is a big difference I might double check the saddle height to make sure it's close enough to a happy place.
 

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In FTF We Trust
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More voice to the choir: I've got a Strong steel hardtail and weigh 185, and it rides at least as nice as my ti. SS. The builders should be able to dial in the ride of the frame for your requirements. I'm with TD too on the slider vs. ecc. bb. thing too, I have a steel Sycip SS with a pinch-bolt ecc. bb and I've never had a single problem with it. It's easy to adjust, holds tight and has never even squeaked for me and the bike's 5 years old now. That said, most builders now are building exclusively with sliding dropouts (Curtiss is the only one that jumps out as still building with eccentric bottom brackets).
 

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el-cid said:
That said, most builders now are building exclusively with sliding dropouts (Curtiss is the only one that jumps out as still building with eccentric bottom brackets).
Badger Cycles will do an EBB (with a light Niner EBB)
If you don't necessarily need custom, the Sir 9 is pretty sweet. I have to admit the GF Ferrous looks beautiful for a production rig. Why it's not available as a frameset I have no idea.
If you want a decent steel bike with EBB for very little coin Zion 737. I'm making mine fit the bill(http://teamdicky.blog.com/1468919/)
I was seeking out EBB friendly builders recently, and they're still out there. i just can't remember them all.
 

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OMR - Old Man Riding
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Another one...

teamdicky said:
I was seeking out EBB friendly builders recently, and they're still out there. i just can't remember them all.
Doug Curtis at Curtlo builds a beautiful custom steel frame... with EBB or sliders. Quite reasonable as well.

OMR...:cool:
SoCal
 

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Size

Unless you have freakish dimensions you can't go wrong with the Niner SIR. I went through the same thing a few months back. Being a "Boutique guy" I really really really wanted to go custom but after looking at the dimensions of the Niner it fit me perfect.
 

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I prefer Steel to Ti personally, I think for the bigger guy steel tends to be less latterally flexy than Ti . Although any good builder will pretty much be able to dial what ride qualities you are looking for, for me Steal is the way to go at least for now! ;)

However I like the way you don't need to worry about the finsih on Ti too much and you can;t beat it for a bit of bling afterall can ya?! In other words, you'd be happy either way! :D

Regarding EBBs and sliding dropouts, I like Bushnell EBBs and have had no problems with them, however Paragon Sliding Dropouts are really nice too and work well.
 

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I have zero experience...

with ti, but own 6 (2 ht 29ers, 3 ht 26ers, 1 softail 26er) steel bikes and love them. I cant imagine riding anything else really.
 

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I have two steel hardtails built by Carl Strong. A 26" frame and a 29er. The 29er is built for both SS (EBB) and gears. It I've had it for about 18 months but it has only had gears on it for 2 or 3 rides. 99% SS use. The EBB has worked without problem. I've never used sliders so I can't comment on those. The first 29er I had was a karate monkey. When I contacted Carl about building a 29er I told him that I wanted a smoother ride for endurance racing but stiff enough that I wouldn't feel like the rear end was wagging when I stand up to climb. Carl delivered on both. The bike is much snappier than the karate monkey. I've used it for 6 and 12 hour solos, 60 milers as well as shorter races. I have no complaints. I've tested a couple of ti frames and I don't think that they warrant an extra $1000. My only dilema now is that I'm probably going to have to sell my 26" bike that Carl built for me. It just sits in the corner. 29er's have spoiled me.
 

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Who turned out the lights
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bikecop said:
i immediately thought of mward's classic response to a similar inquiry:

https://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=2298077&postcount=12
I had totally forgotten that....oh, Marcus, what do they feed you out there in the boondocks?

I love my Badger. Rob has done quite a bit of analysis (i.e. actual computer modeling) of most of the available tubesets so that he can recommend the best tubeset for you based on your weight/size and riding style. I can truly feel the difference between my Badger and my Rock Lobster, and the Badger is a better riding bike. I am 6'0" and currently 201 lbs and dropping (from 210). The bike definitely isn't a noodle and it isn't some overly stiff ass-beater either. It definitely rides better than the Merlin 26"er I had (which was a nice bike, by the way).

Rob rode his personal bike for +/-2 months "bare". Riding it for 2 months with no paint didn't kill it. It now looks like this:



I don't think it's gonna rust out any time soon.
 

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I'm thinking about getting a steel hardtail and that "tail wagging" feeling is what I want most to avoid. Anybody had the problem on the SIR9 or El Mariachi? (2 that I have my eye one) (I weight about 200) -

Thanks
 

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AuntieAPE said:
I'm thinking about getting a steel hardtail and that "tail wagging" feeling is what I want most to avoid. Anybody had the problem on the SIR9 or El Mariachi? (2 that I have my eye one) (I weight about 200) -

Thanks
No experience on the SIR or the Mariachi, but one good place to start is a solid, hand-built wheelset. A machine-built (or poorly built) wheelset could likely wag more than the frame. From the little I've read about the two bikes, they both seem to be pretty nice.
 

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I think that if you could get a SIR 9 in your size then you cant really go wrong. It has a lovely feel to the Reynolds steel, a 'snap' and 'spring' that is both fast and comfortable.

Whatever frame you choose, whether it be production or custom, please post pics and comments on here.. :thumbsup:


R.
 
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