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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On paper (geo) these two steel hardtails seem very similar. I'm not talking spec as much as how the frame rides. I have seen HTP's videos on both (probably seen the Japhy videos 3x each :) ) but am looking for some differentiation.
 

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Check out 'Hardtail Party' on YouTube. He has ridden and reviewed both models, and he goes deep into how they ride. He has plenty of other hardtails on there as well that you might be interested in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm thinking the Big Al could be looked at. Steve compares the Big Wig and Big Al.
Yes he seems to like the big al even more from my impression of the video. From a pure one ride perspective of course. I’m thinking ride quality and long term durability (repairability too) that steel would be better but I’m not swearing off aluminum. 😄
 

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Aluminum lasts a long time. I'd go with better everyday ride quality over some distant possible lifespan benefit.
Anything can break. Steve rides a bike awhile before he does the video ride. His comment on steel finds some frames that don't offer 'steel' compliance because they're overbuilt.
He has ridden a lot of bikes. His Stanton reviews are interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aluminum lasts a long time. I'd go with better everyday ride quality over some distant possible lifespan benefit.
Anything can break. Steve rides a bike awhile before he does the video ride. His comment on steel finds some frames that don't offer 'steel' compliance because they're overbuilt.
He has ridden a lot of bikes. His Stanton reviews are interesting.
His review of the Japhy suggest it doesn’t ride like most overbuilt steel bikes. Hence my interest in it. The other end of the steel spectrum for me is the Honzo ESD
 

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I have a Big Wig Race and have had many steel frames over the years and it is my favorite. It has the smoothest ride quality. It is a heavy pig though :), built out with full SLX it sits at 31.5lbs with cage and pedals. Just added a Helm coil and probably increased the weight by 1/2 lb. Installing Hope Tech E4's brakes and rotors tomorrow and that will take off that 1/2 lb. it gained.

I also wanted a rowdy 160mm hardtail, the Japhy is designed around a 120mm fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a Big Wig Race and have had many steel frames over the years and it is my favorite. It has the smoothest ride quality. It is a heavy pig though :), built out with full SLX it sits at 31.5lbs with cage and pedals. Just added a Helm coil and probably increased the weight by 1/2 lb. Installing Hope Tech E4's brakes and rotors tomorrow and that will take off that 1/2 lb. it gained.

I also wanted a rowdy 160mm hardtail, the Japhy is designed around a 120mm fork.
What frame size? Which fork? Wheel set?
 

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Seems that some feel the more travel in a HT the more into your travel you’ll be. Geo would be changing dramatically and the back wheel skittering around. Obviously I’m guessing this isn’t your experience?
Nope, no problem with the geo. In fact I am only 5 seconds off of a WC DH local guy on a timed DH here in VA on it.

Fork is Cane Creek Helm Coil and using the stock Nukeproof Horizon Wheelset. The Ragley is designed around the 160mm fork though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nope, no problem with the geo. In fact I am only 5 seconds off of a WC DH local guy on a timed DH here in VA on it.
Ahh see I don’t ride much downhill specific
Fork is Cane Creek Helm Coil and using the stock Nukeproof Horizon Wheelset. The Ragley is designed around the 160mm fork though.
That may be too much fork for me. And the geo would be radically altered by a 130mm fork
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No way I would ride it with 130mm, I definitely do some park, DH and enduro on it. It does fine on the xc stuff but I rather have a lighter bike for that type of riding.
No way I would ride it with 130mm, I definitely do some park, DH and enduro on it. It does fine on the xc stuff but I rather have a lighter bike for that type of riding.
Weird but Ragley seems to say 140mm fork?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Esker Japhy does have great geo as well though. At 30% sag it’s got a 66* HTA, so somewhere in the 64-65 unsagged. The ability to fit 2.8’s (with dropouts slid back) at a 435 chain stay length is nice and I could run 2.6’s at an ever shorter CS length. Building one from the frame would mean I could make smarter weight choices (XT cassette, SLX cranks, lighter wheelset). But the Big Al (aluminum) is a great spec for the money, and I could sell the takeoffs and upgrade the things mentioned above.

Part of me wants the steel ride quality though, and coming from a 35+lb bike I don’t think I need to be sub-30lbs to be happy. Somewhere in the vicinity of 30 would be great. I know a single speed guy who’s at 23.4 with the Japhy. If I’m smart with the rear mech, I bet I could come close to 30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ah, the race bike is different. I see.
 
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