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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 6'4", 215 lbs and I am really enjoying some mild freeriding. Lots of uphill, both smooth and technical, lots of downhill, a little bumpy with some technical stuff. Looking to be able to climb well, do technical stuff fairly easily, and be able to drop up to about 4' comfortably. Was thinking I'd like about 130 mm of front travel. Looking for a package bike and not just a frame, preferably something weighing 35 pounds or less. Also would like to have a little more open frame than the dirt jumping bikes allow, something a little more suited to climbing. Does such a bike exist? Or would the frame geometry not match up with that long of a fork? Thanks.
 

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Lots and lots of bikes available, though most HT package deals are aimed towards XC rather than aggressive trail and/or light FR. I'm guessing you'd have better luck choosing frame and fork and doing a build yourself, rather than looking for a package. But that's just my opinion. I ride a Planet-X Compo with a 6" SuperT and it rocks. The Compo was designed for a 5-6" fork, so handling is tight even with the taller fork.

Check out Evil, Planet-X, Soul Cycles, Mountain Cycle Rumble, and Banshee Scirocco (or Morphine) for starters. Dekerf used to make a wicked steel HT called the Implant, but alas, I don't think it's produced anymore. VooDoo bikes are back, and they used to have some nice HT's, so their new line might be worth a look. BTW, my Compo is no longer made, either, but Planet-X has a number of frames that fill the space left by its disappearance. And few companies can touch the paint and graphics of a PX, which is gravy when heaped on their excellent build quality and design. :D

Good luck!
 

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You need a Santa Cruz Chameleon

mattbryant2 said:
I'm 6'4", 215 lbs and I am really enjoying some mild freeriding. Lots of uphill, both smooth and technical, lots of downhill, a little bumpy with some technical stuff. Looking to be able to climb well, do technical stuff fairly easily, and be able to drop up to about 4' comfortably. Was thinking I'd like about 130 mm of front travel. Looking for a package bike and not just a frame, preferably something weighing 35 pounds or less. Also would like to have a little more open frame than the dirt jumping bikes allow, something a little more suited to climbing. Does such a bike exist? Or would the frame geometry not match up with that long of a fork? Thanks.
with a Fox Talas or just get a dedicated 100mm travel fork and not fiddle with any knobs.
My Chameleon has an RLT 80 on the frt end, it rails down and climbs real good.
 

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how about one of these...

https://www.orangebikes.com/2005bikes/bikes.php?bike=subzero

this is mine:
and i use it for everything that you say you do. it's even tempting me onto bigger stuff and is supremely confident on north shore style antics.

:eek:)

i'm also 6'4". I've got a Thomson elite 410mm post to make my legs work and on the climbs i lock the manitou sherman breakout 150 down to 110mm. quick flick of a lever and a bounce on the forks and you've got 6" of travel again. This bike is so much fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shoogly said:
https://www.orangebikes.com/2005bikes/bikes.php?bike=subzero

this is mine:
and i use it for everything that you say you do. it's even tempting me onto bigger stuff and is supremely confident on north shore style antics.

:eek:)

i'm also 6'4". I've got a Thomson elite 410mm post to make my legs work and on the climbs i lock the manitou sherman breakout 150 down to 110mm. quick flick of a lever and a bounce on the forks and you've got 6" of travel again. This bike is so much fun.
That bike is incredible. If it were half the price, I would buy it right now. I'm looking for something exactly along those lines, but I've got about $1000 to spend. Will anything work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mattbryant2 said:
I'm 6'4", 215 lbs and I am really enjoying some mild freeriding. Lots of uphill, both smooth and technical, lots of downhill, a little bumpy with some technical stuff. Looking to be able to climb well, do technical stuff fairly easily, and be able to drop up to about 4' comfortably. Was thinking I'd like about 130 mm of front travel. Looking for a package bike and not just a frame, preferably something weighing 35 pounds or less. Also would like to have a little more open frame than the dirt jumping bikes allow, something a little more suited to climbing. Does such a bike exist? Or would the frame geometry not match up with that long of a fork? Thanks.
Would anyone else possibly be willing to comment? Thanks in advance.
 

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Just about any agressive hardtail with a low seat and short chain stay will feel great with a 130-150mm fork.

I highly suggest you find an adjustable travel fork for the hardtail if you want to do it all. A compact frame and adjustable fork gives you tons of adjustability in how it rides.

There's tons of choices. Your cheapest and probably one of the strongest choices is the azonic steelhead frame. A 130 or 140mm fork would make it ride perfect for trail riding with light FR mixed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So basically what I'm hearing is that I need to build a bike myself. My budget is probably $1200 max, so it would be really close to try to build a bike with decent components for that little amount of money. That is why I was hoping I could find a manufactured bike, but it appears as if one does not exist.
 

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long travel hardtails are out there

I think the Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc looks like a good option. This model has disc brakes, a Marzocchi 130mm fork, bash guard, and relaxed geometry. I would check first with a bike shop, though; traditionally Rockhoppers are optimized for cross country.

Personally I would rather build up a Santa Cruz Chameleon or an Evil DOC, but I have other bikes to scavenge parts off of :)
 

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My personal favorite for a hardtail that can be ridden up and down is the Banshee Scirrocco. The Scirocco has a perfect review score on this site. Only 11 reviews though. I have been thinking of building one up for a little while. Here are a few others.

Cove Stiffee FR
Planet X Armadillo
Planet X Compo
Santa Cruz Chameleon
Dekerf Implant
 

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I've been riding a medium Chameleon for the past two years that is set up for trails with more and more freeride thrown in the mix. I've even started doing a bit of urban riding. I decided to order a Titan from Soul Cycles, because I like the fact that it has a lower and shorter toptube and longer chainstays.

You might might want to check out the Titan at www.ridesoul.com. It sounds like the 18" would fit you well. A RS Pike would make it super versatile.

Good Luck!
 

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No ... not necessarily. There are some good manufactured bikes that fit your criteria. These are good frames and you can replace components as they break.

Take a look at the

MARIN ROCKY RIDGE - http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2005/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_rocky_ridge.html

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FLOW - (you may be able to pick up a 2004 for < $1,200)
http://www.rocky-mountain.com/bikes/2005/flow/flow-f3.aspx

GARY FISHER GED -
http://www.fisherbikes.com/bikes/bike_detail.asp?series=biggns&bike=GED

Best of luck in your search for the perfect ride!

Susan

mattbryant2 said:
So basically what I'm hearing is that I need to build a bike myself. My budget is probably $1200 max, so it would be really close to try to build a bike with decent components for that little amount of money. That is why I was hoping I could find a manufactured bike, but it appears as if one does not exist.
 

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$1200?

You could build one hell of a nice hardtail for that much. Probably better than buying a stocker bike prefab. Prefab bikes often come with crummy forks, even on the high priced ones.

You just need to find a good deal on a frame and fork, and then spend some good money on the best disc brakes and wheels you can get.

There are lots of agressive FR hardtail deals going around. Ediscountbike.com has some K2 FunkyMonkeys still around for $150 (or if you're lucky they go for $100 on ebay) in small. THere's also the tried and true Azonic Steelhead for $150 on jensonusa.com. If going uphill is something you'll do a lot of, get an aluminum frame thats around 5 pounds. Other more DH oriented HT frames (as well as the Steelhead) can get over 7 lbs.

Then swoop up an 04 model fork for a big discount, plenty of MArzocchi forks to choose from including SuperT, JrT, and Z1's. 130mm Z1's are going for $339.

With $1200, I wouldn't buy a frame that's over $300-$400. Spend too much on your frame and you won't have enough to make sure you can get the strongest fork, discs, and wheels. On a hardtail build, it's all about making the priorities.

First item of importance:

1. Frame (does you no good skimping here, go low too, I'm 6'4" and ride a 16in tall frame)
2. Fork (It's all the suspension you got, so make it the best you can get, 130mm IMO is Minimum for hucking)
3. Good, Big disc brakes (obvious item for FR, minimum 185mm in front, 160 rear OK)
4. Wheels (Hardtails abuse wheelsets, no way around it, get the strongest even if does weigh a bit)
5. Tires (Big DH sticky tires are mandatory for a serious FR hardtail, no pinch flats! 2.5 is prime for a FR HT)
6. Short 45-60mm handle bar stem
7. Everything else.

That's my order of Freeride Hardtail preference. It should treat you well if you decide on your own build.
 

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Banshee Scirocco

I just finished building up a Banshee Scirocco. The medium frame weighs only 4.3 lbs and is very burly. I built it up for trail and light freeride / jumps and it is probably about 30-31 lbs (haven't actually weighed it yet). I posted pics on DH / Freeride forum.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?postid=878379#poststop
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MicroHuck said:
$1200?

You could build one hell of a nice hardtail for that much. Probably better than buying a stocker bike prefab. Prefab bikes often come with crummy forks, even on the high priced ones.

You just need to find a good deal on a frame and fork, and then spend some good money on the best disc brakes and wheels you can get.

There are lots of agressive FR hardtail deals going around. Ediscountbike.com has some K2 FunkyMonkeys still around for $150 (or if you're lucky they go for $100 on ebay) in small. THere's also the tried and true Azonic Steelhead for $150 on jensonusa.com. If going uphill is something you'll do a lot of, get an aluminum frame thats around 5 pounds. Other more DH oriented HT frames (as well as the Steelhead) can get over 7 lbs.

Then swoop up an 04 model fork for a big discount, plenty of MArzocchi forks to choose from including SuperT, JrT, and Z1's. 130mm Z1's are going for $339.

With $1200, I wouldn't buy a frame that's over $300-$400. Spend too much on your frame and you won't have enough to make sure you can get the strongest fork, discs, and wheels. On a hardtail build, it's all about making the priorities.

First item of importance:

1. Frame (does you no good skimping here, go low too, I'm 6'4" and ride a 16in tall frame)
2. Fork (It's all the suspension you got, so make it the best you can get, 130mm IMO is Minimum for hucking)
3. Good, Big disc brakes (obvious item for FR, minimum 185mm in front, 160 rear OK)
4. Wheels (Hardtails abuse wheelsets, no way around it, get the strongest even if does weigh a bit)
5. Tires (Big DH sticky tires are mandatory for a serious FR hardtail, no pinch flats! 2.5 is prime for a FR HT)
6. Short 45-60mm handle bar stem
7. Everything else.

That's my order of Freeride Hardtail preference. It should treat you well if you decide on your own build.
Thanks a lot for the tips. Had a couple more questions...

Was considering the Mountain Cycle Rumble frame. How does this compare to the Santa Cruz Chameleon and other similar bikes? I notice the angles look pretty steep, but the seat post tube goes pretty high so is that going to effect anything?

Was also wondering if anyone has any experience with this frame and how much travel would be appropriate? I was thinking 130 or 140... the two forks I am considering are the Fox Vanilla R 130 ($360) and the Rockshox Pike ($340), but am open to other options, preferably if they would save me a little money...

And what wheelset would you recommend for my budget? Something strong but affordable.
 

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mattbryant2 said:
Thanks a lot for the tips. Had a couple more questions...

Was considering the Mountain Cycle Rumble frame. How does this compare to the Santa Cruz Chameleon and other similar bikes? I notice the angles look pretty steep, but the seat post tube goes pretty high so is that going to effect anything?

Was also wondering if anyone has any experience with this frame and how much travel would be appropriate? I was thinking 130 or 140... the two forks I am considering are the Fox Vanilla R 130 ($360) and the Rockshox Pike ($340), but am open to other options, preferably if they would save me a little money...

And what wheelset would you recommend for my budget? Something strong but affordable.
Can't help you on those frames. All I can say about frames, is this:

Get a 15-17 in tall frame (16 in for your height and riding would be ideal).
Make sure it's close or over 5 lbs
Make sure it has mucho reinforcements around the head tube where the fork goes. A good hardtail will have gussets (thick pieces of metal welded on the seam) on top and bottom of the back side of the head tube. Some come with only a gusset on the bottom, that's fine too, but one on top is preferable. Also make sure the front end of the traingle near the head tube is extra big and wraps around the head tube a bit on the welds.
Also get the longest seat post you can find (450mm) after ordering the frame, it will be needed for uphill.

As far as forks go, The Pike is much mroe of a Extreme All Mountain fork than the Fox. It's not a full on 15 drop FR fork, but the Pike can take some serious abuse as long as you keep it at or under 8 ft drops (with a hardtail that is).

IMO, the Pike is the best Hardtail extreme fork available today, second only the the new and expensive Fox 36 ($1000). The Pike has the perfect range in travel along with the perfect damping for every type of riding. The great thing about having a Pike on a FR hardtail is that you can ride it lowered down for XC and uphill, and the second you come to a jump or start descending, you can transform it into a 140mm huckster. The other great thing is that you can fine tune the travel to suit any frame you buy, so you always have the perfect setup. There aren't really any other affordable forks that give sch a wide range in adjustment, and adjustment is what you will need for going up and down mountains.

My Pike has held up fine to me dropping up to 8 ft on it with my hardtail.

IMO, if you want ultimate adjustability just go with the Pike:

95-140mm of travel
Low speed compression adjust
High Speed compression adjust
Rebound Adjust
SPV type setting on the fly adjust

$325 at AEBIKE.COM

----------------------------------------------------------

Ask around to find out what the best wheel sets are for your budget. You will probably need to spend $200-$300 for the wheels.

Just make sure to get rims wider than 30mm, but no wider than 38. This will make for a good fit with 2.5 tires (you will need 2.5, 2.35 wont cut it and yo will destroy rims).

I recommend getting some 2.5 super sticky tires with ramped knobs for speed. Any of the Kenda BlueGroove Stick-E or Nevegal Stick-E, or Maxxis HighRoller 2.5 42a Supertacky are your best bet for maximum turning traction AND speed.

Do a search in the porduct review section for disc brakes. Get the best ones you can afford.

Being patient and doing tons of searching and research on the internet will get you the best equipment for the best price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
MicroHuck said:
Can't help you on those frames. All I can say about frames, is this:

Get a 15-17 in tall frame (16 in for your height and riding would be ideal).
Make sure it's close or over 5 lbs
Make sure it has mucho reinforcements around the head tube where the fork goes. A good hardtail will have gussets (thick pieces of metal welded on the seam) on top and bottom of the back side of the head tube. Some come with only a gusset on the bottom, that's fine too, but one on top is preferable. Also make sure the front end of the traingle near the head tube is extra big and wraps around the head tube a bit on the welds.
Also get the longest seat post you can find (450mm) after ordering the frame, it will be needed for uphill.

As far as forks go, The Pike is much mroe of a Extreme All Mountain fork than the Fox. It's not a full on 15 drop FR fork, but the Pike can take some serious abuse as long as you keep it at or under 8 ft drops (with a hardtail that is).

IMO, the Pike is the best Hardtail extreme fork available today, second only the the new and expensive Fox 36 ($1000). The Pike has the perfect range in travel along with the perfect damping for every type of riding. The great thing about having a Pike on a FR hardtail is that you can ride it lowered down for XC and uphill, and the second you come to a jump or start descending, you can transform it into a 140mm huckster. The other great thing is that you can fine tune the travel to suit any frame you buy, so you always have the perfect setup. There aren't really any other affordable forks that give sch a wide range in adjustment, and adjustment is what you will need for going up and down mountains.

My Pike has held up fine to me dropping up to 8 ft on it with my hardtail.

IMO, if you want ultimate adjustability just go with the Pike:

95-140mm of travel
Low speed compression adjust
High Speed compression adjust
Rebound Adjust
SPV type setting on the fly adjust

$325 at AEBIKE.COM

----------------------------------------------------------

Ask around to find out what the best wheel sets are for your budget. You will probably need to spend $200-$300 for the wheels.

Just make sure to get rims wider than 30mm, but no wider than 38. This will make for a good fit with 2.5 tires (you will need 2.5, 2.35 wont cut it and yo will destroy rims).

I recommend getting some 2.5 super sticky tires with ramped knobs for speed. Any of the Kenda BlueGroove Stick-E or Nevegal Stick-E, or Maxxis HighRoller 2.5 42a Supertacky are your best bet for maximum turning traction AND speed.

Do a search in the porduct review section for disc brakes. Get the best ones you can afford.

Being patient and doing tons of searching and research on the internet will get you the best equipment for the best price.
Thanks a lot, that is super helpful. Pardon me if this is a silly question, but should the wheelset include hubs?

I was also considering 6" Avid Mechanical BB7s. I didn't think I'd really need 8" rotors, but maybe 8" in the front would be preferred? Also, am I better off with Hydraulics? I've just heard stories about lines breaking and the pain of bleeding those things...

Do you have any suggestions on the frame for me? Like I said, I'm 6'4" 215 lbs... I'm looking to climb as well as my Hardrock but to have a better descent, which I'm hoping the long fork and a tighter frame will do.

Thanks a lot for all your help.
 

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Here's the pics

Sorry, I didn't have the pics on my work computer, so I posted the link. Here they are now. A new frame can be had for around $500 and a complete bike for $1200-1300 range (check ebay - Richards Bicycles). The Scirocco can be fitted with a 4"-7" fork without problems. The frame is more open than a DJ frame. The seat-tube allows for the seatpost to be pushed all the way in or pulled up for climbing. It is also offered in more sizes than most DJ hardtails are. Especially for someone your height - a one-size-fits-all frame may not be well suited for climbing. The sizes are listed at http://www.bansheebikes.com/bike-scirocco.html.
 

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