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The Duuude, man...
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Curtlo vs Niner?

*Full Custom vs overseas pre-built
*a few colors vs any color
*short wait vs long wait
*price about the same
*long time small builder vs new hip kid on the block
 

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Steel and teeth.
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577 Posts
ncj01 said:
Curtlo vs Niner?

*Full Custom vs overseas pre-built
*a few colors vs any color
*short wait vs long wait
*price about the same
*long time small builder vs new hip kid on the block
But my Niner has a Maverick SC32 on it and looks so cool at the trailhead! :D

bb
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know. I should not have even asked the question. I like the idea of calling Niner up and ordering one and having it within a week.

Curtlo will be able to do whatever I ask him to do. A local guy has a Curtlo 29er and the welds are soooo smooooooth. The wait is a factor there, but I am sure in the end I will be a bit happier with having exactly what I want. I think.

I guess in my mind, the rides would be comparable to each other. It has to be steel, that is for sure. I ride a Teesdale 26er now and it is so much better than everything else I have ridden including steel bikes from a few other production builders (although I am not sure I would go back because of some other reasons - - lack of 29er experience for one and paint/finish).

Sadly, I do not even have a 29er yet. A frame is showing up on my doorstep in a few hours and I already have upgrade-itis.

Thanks for the input. I have no idea what I will do.

And thanks for the offer to go to Baltimore. Are you doing any of the cranky monkey races?
 

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Steel and teeth.
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577 Posts
Fort James said:
And thanks for the offer to go to Baltimore. Are you doing any of the cranky monkey races?
No, no racing... just in it for the ride.

I am sure Curtlo makes great bikes... but I will say that the Niner is one of the best riding bikes I have ever owned (hands down). I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to another. That being said, Hollywood has owned both (if memory serves me correct...) so maybe he'll chime in.

Like I said, if you want to venture over into the Loch Raven trail system for a little or extended jaunt, just say the word. I am a firm believer in riding being the best indicator (if the size is right).

bb
 

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Steel and teeth.
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577 Posts
ncj01 said:
:p
Indeed...focus on what's important first...buy fork/bling first, then worry about the frame later... :eekster:
Sorry... I am having trouble staying awake at the computer and was daydreaming about riding slowly and unaggressively on a hardtail on non-technical, mostly flat trails.

Just remember that you can't look good at the trailhead if you ride fast and hard, because no one will see you. ;)

bb
 

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45 gone, 15 to go
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1,237 Posts
I have had both.

I love the Niner guys. Great frames. I am prefer a different sort of geometry to what they build. Nothing wrong with it, it is just not my favorite. Their customer service is awesome. The aluminum stuff is super light and super quick handling.

Curtlo. I have a great deal of experience with Doug and let me say that he is currently building me a cross frame. I am pumped, but even with Doug there is a downside.

I like what ncj01 wrote, it is pretty accurate: "Curtlo vs Niner?

*Full Custom vs overseas pre-built
*a few colors vs any color
*short wait vs long wait
*price about the same
*long time small builder vs new hip kid on the block"

But to expand on it here are the downsides first. You will wait quite a while. While the brazing is perfect 98% of the time, there is an occasional blemish on his brazing in the form of a little dimple or pinhole. I have one on my road frame but it is hard to see and it does not affect the strength because there is more than enough brazing material there. It is just cosmetic. My other Curtlos have not had any blemishes. Brazing my be a little heavier than tig weld, but not by much. Curtlo formerly had paint issues but those have been resolved long before I bought my first one, in case some one brings that up.

The good stuff. Doug will get your exact measurements. He will ask you for the set up of of your current bike and spend time asking you like various attributes of it. OR if you know what you what he will build it exactly as you want. I have done it both ways and the frames have turned out great. The ride is spectacular. He has built me one 26er frame, one 29er frame and I picked up a used 26er singlespeed that looked incredible even though it was several years old. I have a road bike currently that built up to sub-18 lbs with an Ultegra/Dura ace mix and some Zipp CSC wheels (non carbon). so his bikes can be pretty light. I think my 29er frame was about 4.5 lbs for what would be considered a large in toptube length. My niner frame One 9 frame was about 3.25 lbs or so by comparison, but the frame didn't ride quite as nice because of the frame material, not because it was built in Asia. The steel is OX Platinum which rides great. He will pick tubes depending upon your weight and riding style.

If I were to chose between the Niner SIR 9 and the curtlo it would be a no brainer, Curtlo. I love the custom aspect. I can deal with the wait, especially if I have another bike to ride. It will be worth it. A qualifer though, if you like Niner's geometry and it fits your body perfectly, perhaps there is less of reason to go with it. However, the experience of having a custom bike designed around your body and riding style is really cool. But I realize not everyone cares like I do.

Also, I really like his "Baby Poop Brown" powdercoat. My cross frame will probably have that color. It is kind of a light brown with burnt orange tint.

As far as overall quality between Niner and Curlto. Both are top end. You can't lose either way really, but go with Curtlo if you are patient and want something made just for you.
 

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34N 118W
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*chime*

b1umb0y said:
That being said, Hollywood has owned both (if memory serves me correct...) so maybe he'll chime in.
yep, both sitting in the garage as I type. Totally different purchasing experiences. Doug used to be a neighbor in SoCal before he moved out of state, so the "homeboy" factor appealed to me. I got in touch with him, discussed what I was looking for (dedicated SS 26", rigid fork). The price wasn't bad and the wait....4-6 weeks! was a no-brainer. I've said it many times here before, but 5 weeks turned into 5 months. I'm over it now, thanks to my therapist and a recycle bin full of beer bottles. He also tracked down the "hot pants" pink that I wanted. I think he has pics of it somewhere on his website.

Niner was similar in that I had met Chris and Steve on some local Socal rides & events and at Interbike. Their new shop is about a 15 min. bike ride from my house. I liked them....liked the product.....DONE. Honestly I didn't want to wait 5 months just to try out my first 29er and I wanted another steel frame. Ironically the build took months due to gathering the parts and a 2 month wait for the I9 wheels.

I love the ride of both bikes - both rigid. I won't get into a full ride report here, but I'm curious to go back to the Curtlo now that I've been 'nining and see what feels different. I still like the idea of talking/emailing with someone to dial in a frame just for you. Curtlo was my first experience with a custom build and the result was well worth the wait (deep breaths...focus....). I'd do it again someday now that I know going into it that it might be a while before I see a frame.

good luck with your decision~
jeff
 

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