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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I made the 29er jump earlier this year to a Niner Air9 1x9 and am loving it! I have always been a huge fan of ti and am starting to consider the dream build. So far, the options are

- Independent Fabrication Ti Deluxe

- Moots Mooto-X YBB

- Eriksen HT

- Castellano Silk Ti (concerned about standover due to geo requirements of his softtail design)

- Black Sheep Highlight

I'm around 5'7" so standover is a concern and I'd like to include a replaceable rear derailleur hanger and/or possibly slider dropouts so I could run it as a singlespeed as well. S&S coupler might also be thrown in the mix.

I've done all the usual searches but would appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or pics of your 29er ti hardtail build. Thanks!
 

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Eriksen 29er

I would give each company a call and talk to them about what you are looking for in your new ride. I did the same thing earlier this year and ended up getting an Eriksen 29. I thought they had some of the best customer service. They also had a good turn around time as well. The turn around time was not a big deal to me, but the 6 weeks it took seemed like forever. I think one of the best things about a custom frame is that they are able to ride tune the bike for your personal messurements and geometry you like.
 

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Hey Lactic,

Lactic said:
I made the 29er jump earlier this year to a Niner Air9 1x9 and am loving it! I have always been a huge fan of ti and am starting to consider the dream build. So far, the options are

- Independent Fabrication Ti Deluxe

- Moots Mooto-X YBB

- Eriksen HT

- Castellano Silk Ti (concerned about standover due to geo requirements of his softtail design)

- Black Sheep Highlight

I'm around 5'7" so standover is a concern and I'd like to include a replaceable rear derailleur hanger and/or possibly slider dropouts so I could run it as a singlespeed as well. S&S coupler might also be thrown in the mix.

I've done all the usual searches but would appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or pics of your 29er ti hardtail build. Thanks!
I wish I had your problem, but than again I'm glad I don't have your problem. What I mean is I wish I was getting ready to pick between one of these frame builders to make me a dream Ti 29er but I'd hate like he!! to have to try and choose..VERY VERY good list of Ti builders you've got there. I think for me it would be Eriksen 1st, Blacksheep 2nd with Moots a very close 3rd...I don't much care for Castellano...Have fun you lucky SOB...CF...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yeah, tough situation to be in. Like picking which supermodel you want to take home for the evening. :thumbsup:

I currently have a couple of these bikes in the 26er versions- Moots YBB SL and Ibis Silk Ti. I prefer the Ibis over the YBB due to the longer travel, lateral stability provided by the flat chainstays, and the dampened rebound. Unfortunately, I think the Castellano 29er is out due to the stock rear triangle assembly which creates an approximate 31" standover clearance on the smallest frame.

The Niner Air9 did change my opinion on the necessity of the softtail though. With the big wheels, layback ti post, and tubeless tires, it's a very similar ride.

Love your Eriksen! Very sharp looking frames!
 

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I guess as someone who has owned 3 Moots I might be biased but I'd list em out like this-

Moots only if the YBB is something you really want. I love the soft squish of them but it makes for a bit heavier frame. One thing- if you are ordering a YBB Mooto X in an 18 or shorter it'll have the odd tube at the downtube junction. I like it but some aren't so fond of the way it interupts the lines of the frame.

BlackSheep if you need to feel that your Ti 29er isn't going to be unique enough for you. The BS frames are absolutly gorgeous and James is as nice a guy as I've ever bought a frame from. It's really nice to see such new/retro lines on a frame. Makes the IFs/Eriksens look pretty dull w/ their humdrum double triangle looks.

IF- Don't you IF folks meet me in an alley w/ a Ti club for this but, I'd pass on IF. Great bikes, really well made (like the enitre list you've asked about) but...ehhh. Sorta dull to my eye. Look at some amazing IF (w/ all the usual matching hope/king bling) and then place it next to some amazing BS and the IF gets lost among the swoopy lines. It's odd the way nicely bent Ti makes an IF look almost boreing.

Eriksen- If you want a frame that isn't swoopy and doesn't have the YBB this is your answer (to me anyway). They are also more rare than the IFs. Standard double triangle put together perfectly.

You'll get plenty of folks saying that so and so does the best welds or this company has a nicer finish. They are all great bikes assembled and welded as well as can be done. Perfect coin stack finsih welds at all junctions. So, I'd say chose what you are looking for (squish, swoop, clean lines, whatever) and order it up. Then you need to start choosing parts.... that could take ahwile.
 

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SpoK Werks Handmade Goods
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I have also sent you a PM with my comments about my Black Sheep experience. Enjoy the new bike whatever you choose.

Oh... if you really want a sweet bike check out Crisp Titanium (http://www.crisptitanium.com/). Darren is a super nice guy. Former racer and honestly welds some of the most beautiful frames and forks that I've ever seen.
 

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Eriksen first, Moots second, Blacksheep and IF tied for third. I'll take a Carl Strong along with a nice Single Malt as well. :)

My view of BS is tainted with a lot of past frame alignment and other issues but I think they are really nice looking and probably have no issues now.

I went with a Moots for the Softail and the fact that the company has been around for quite a while and of course, they are here in Colorado. I have always liked Moots and as much as a small/individual builder sounds appealing, the Moots ended up being the one I wanted the most after considering all of my factors, including price. That said, I would have been just fine with any of the others....it was a tough call :)
 

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Flyer-
Lots of BS frame alignment issues? Lots? How many frames from James did you have and what were the issues. I had some issue w/ a rear trianlge and am wondering if yours was similar.
 

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Belltown Brazer
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Ti frame thought

With your limited standover, you're going to end up with a really short head tube, The TT and DT will contact each other. My experience as a shorter rider on a Ti frame was that this allowed the frame to twist, and really made handing inconsistent. With a longer HT, the TT and DT can be seperated by a reasonable distance and this eliminates the twist.

For me, steel fixed this problem (and the problem only became truely evident in retrospect). Apparently you are sold on Ti...and that is cool. Make sure your builder chooses his tubing appropriately.

Or, you could go rigid-specific.

At the least I would go zero-stack HS to get that HT as long as possible.

HTH,
BSp
 

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Depends what you want from your Ti!

I have to agree with Johnny Chicken Bones. I think you need to sit down and decide exactly what you want from your new frame. Hopefully you will have this frame for a long time, so you want to make sure it is exactly what you want/need. Do you really want/need a softtail? There will clearly be added comfort with a softtail design, but there will be other compromises. The frame will be heavier, probably have higher standover and will require more maintenance. You also mentioned you were thinking about adding couplers, these will also add weight, complexity and cost. The Ti couplers add about $700 to $1000, depending on the builder. Also keep in mind that you will probably wait longer for your frame from one of the one-man shops than you will from Moots or IF.

All the builders (and others) will deliver a great bike. Others I would add to the list are Quiring, Strong, and Lynsky. Here is my take on the list:

Scott Quiring will build you a very nice double triangle frame with perfect geometry at a much lower cost than the rest. Scott built me a Ti road bike with S&S couplers a few years ago, and it is great. I feel like I could just ride it all day. The Ti frame with couplers from Scott was cheaper than most of the other builders frames without couplings!

Strong: I do not know too much about his frames, but have only read positive things.

Lynsky: I also do not know much about the frames, but they sure look nice. They have standard sizes but I believe do custom as well. I have seen a lot of their frames with a downward curved top tube for added standover, which might be good for you.

Castellano: I have no experience with them.

IF: I have no personal experience, and their bike look kind of bland, but their have their fit techniques down to a science, and they will deliver quickly.

Erikson: Also makes standard double triangle frames, but somehow they look better than the IF. He is one of the early 29er adopters, so the geometry will be spot on.

Moots: Moots make great bikes and have some interesting designs, but overall I just don't jive with their stuff, not sure why. But if you are looking for a softtail, they are probably your best bet.

Black Sheep: Just call James and order your frame from him! I am kind of kidding, but not really. I worked with James this summer on my dream frame, and it is all I asked for, and his frames are just beautiful as well. I had some weird design ideas, and James made them happen. If you want a travel frame and decide against the softtail design, you should check out my frame. Picture below and a link to my thread about it. It took a little longer than I was originally told, but the wait was well worth it.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=443737
 

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These incidents were from a 2-3 of years ago. I have not owned one but know four people and ALL four either had significant alignment problems with the frame or tabs that were welded on with improper distance calculations. There was another issue which I forget but there was also a bike shop owner who told me about problems one of his customer had with the brake tabs not being welded correctly and it had to be redone. I didn't include that in the four. I heard that James has "gotten a lot better" since then and builds much better frames now and I personally have not heard of anything recently.

What problems have you had? I know that the frame alignment issues were so obvious in two cases that the buyers were pretty distraught. I don't know much more than that and the two who are on this forum do not feel comfortable posting about this.
 
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