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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey kids, just moved to Arizona. The mountain biking is fantastic but I think I need to upgrade to a long travel, enduro-type bike.

Are there any good steel long travel enduro full-suspension frames? I kind of want something different hence steel. I've looked at several UK brands.

Currently riding a 2018 Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon 29.

Oh...and now I understand why we need dropper posts.
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
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It's an area to be careful about IMO. Many of the steel frames that use one-piece rear triangles use a falling-rate suspension, where the rate the shock moves decreases as the wheel moves through the travel, this ends up allowing for easy bottoming with coil shocks and lots of mid-stroke wallow with air shocks. There are a few doing it right, but it's a little more complicated to do right, either with a yoke from the rear triangle to the shock, an interrupted seat tube, or the shock front end pointing down towards the ground at an angle. Those give you a decent rising rate.

There are companies making steel enduro bikes, just to make a bike out of steel, with poor suspension design. Beware.
 

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It's an area to be careful about IMO. Many of the steel frames that use one-piece rear triangles use a falling-rate suspension, where the rate the shock moves decreases as the wheel moves through the travel, this ends up allowing for easy bottoming with coil shocks and lots of mid-stroke wallow with air shocks. There are a few doing it right, but it's a little more complicated to do right, either with a yoke from the rear triangle to the shock, an interrupted seat tube, or the shock front end pointing down towards the ground at an angle. Those give you a decent rising rate.

There are companies making steel enduro bikes, just to make a bike out of steel, with poor suspension design. Beware.
I think this is what I am experiencing on my 130mm travel Marino. I snagged it used as a cheap experiment and I am absolutely loving the bike on 90% of my rides. When I want to get jumpy though I end up using all of the travel real quick. I am not helping the case by being a portly 215ish pound rider. I am going to ask a local guy if he can tune my shock.

To OP. If money was no object I'd be on a cotic jeht or flaremax. I just don't need all the travel of the rocketmax. I like the looks of Ferrum's bikes too. I was/am tempted by the 145 travel version. Their new 160mm frame has a different suspension layout, but there is no info anywhere on it. Even their site.
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
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I like the looks of Ferrum's bikes too. I was/am tempted by the 145 travel version
Those ones are falling rate.

The GG Downhill bike, single pivot, is a good example of one way to make a SP bike progressive and not falling rate, even though it's not steel. There was a steel one I saw a little while back with a yoke extending around the seat-tube to the shock, that too is progressive.

Essentially, when the rear shock eyelet lines up with the main pivot in a vertical line AND the shocks forward eyelet is in a horizontal line with the rear, any travel past that vertical line is falling rate. To fix this, you have to move the rear shock mounting behind the main pivot, or angle the shock down so that the front eyelet is well below the rear.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think this is what I am experiencing on my 130mm travel Marino. I snagged it used as a cheap experiment and I am absolutely loving the bike on 90% of my rides. When I want to get jumpy though I end up using all of the travel real quick. I am not helping the case by being a portly 215ish pound rider. I am going to ask a local guy if he can tune my shock.

To OP. If money was no object I'd be on a cotic jeht or flaremax. I just don't need all the travel of the rocketmax. I like the looks of Ferrum's bikes too. I was/am tempted by the 145 travel version. Their new 160mm frame has a different suspension layout, but there is no info anywhere on it. Even their site.

I've looked at Cotic. I think I'll need the long travel. I'm used to flat-land mountain biking. There are rocks and mountains here. I've looked at the Ferrum but don't see too many reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's an area to be careful about IMO. Many of the steel frames that use one-piece rear triangles use a falling-rate suspension, where the rate the shock moves decreases as the wheel moves through the travel, this ends up allowing for easy bottoming with coil shocks and lots of mid-stroke wallow with air shocks. There are a few doing it right, but it's a little more complicated to do right, either with a yoke from the rear triangle to the shock, an interrupted seat tube, or the shock front end pointing down towards the ground at an angle. Those give you a decent rising rate.

There are companies making steel enduro bikes, just to make a bike out of steel, with poor suspension design. Beware.
Thank you for your comprehensive advice. I confess I'm not that knowledgeable about suspension and pretty much have relied on brand standard full-suspension bikes that I tentatively adjust to my liking. I basically want a full suspension bike with a lot of travel that is relatively easy to pedal uphill. I have almost all the parts for the new bike including a nice wheelset so I thought I'd get something rugged for the local conditions.

I'm not hung up on steel but definitely think I need something on the enduro end of the spectrum.
 

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I love steel and Ti as frame materials
however, they really do not make sense on full suspension
for a long list of reasons

The best deals available on FS bikes are mostly AL
And for those with larger budgets; there are the CF versions of course

but there are good reasons why steel and Ti bikes are almost all hardtails, road, gravel,
 

· No Clue Crew
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Living in Phx, I understand the drive to not own a current plastic wunderbike. And I also love the aesthetic of steel FS bikes. Never owned one, but I suspect Jayem is steering you straight here not to mention the flex issues.

My advice: Pick a nice aluminum frame in the 140-ish rear travel range and go get after it. Ripmo AF, Banshee Prime, etc.
 

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Walt can build you a FS steel enduro bike, but it will have an AL rear mad by Ventana. The good news is that Ventana makes good strong rear ends that have pretty good kinematics.


Count me in the camp of love my steel hardtails, but ride AL for full suspension. I would do CF, but it isn’t environmentally friendly (that is my outside excuse, reality is I am not willing to pay $1,500 extra to save 2 pounds).
 
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Living in Phx, I understand the drive to not own a current plastic wunderbike. And I also love the aesthetic of steel FS bikes. Never owned one, but I suspect Jayem is steering you straight here not to mention the flex issues.

My advice: Pick a nice aluminum frame in the 140-ish rear travel range and go get after it. Ripmo AF, Banshee Prime, etc.
Banshee's line up is high on my list for sure. the raw frames are purty.
 

· high pivot witchcraft
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I love steel and Ti as frame materials
however, they really do not make sense on full suspension
for a long list of reasons

The best deals available on FS bikes are mostly AL
And for those with larger budgets; there are the CF versions of course

but there are good reasons why steel and Ti bikes are almost all hardtails, road, gravel,
My buddy is riding a Seven Mobius SL. He’s a hard charger and loves it. Probably strongest rider I know.

 

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Several; one is weight, and another is availability of fitting for frame building
but a major reason you do not see many steel or Ti FS is; it makes little sense

ride quality is a major selling point for steel and Ti
FS mutes that advantage; flex is supplied by mainly suspension design , not the material

I love bikes in 853; and I really like Ti
but I will not build FS in those as it does not provide a meaningful advantage
 

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one is weight,
Mitigated by being able to use less material.
another is availability of fitting for frame building
A side affect of low demand. Higher demand would result in higher supply.
ride quality is a major selling point for steel and Ti
FS mutes that advantage; flex is supplied by mainly suspension design , not the material
Mainly=/=completely

And you omitted your most important reason: bikesdirect doesn't sell any. If that changed you'd suddenly have all sorts of reasons steel FS frames are the best.
 

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Mitigated by being able to use less material.

A side affect of low demand. Higher demand would result in higher supply.

Mainly=/=completely

And you omitted your most important reason: bikesdirect doesn't sell any. If that changed you'd suddenly have all sorts of reasons steel FS frames are the best.
Sorry
you do not seem to understand me
if it made sense; I would spec and order several just to see which sold best

I build lots of steel and Ti
bunches in 853 and 520
but the wider your tires and the more suspension you have
the less makes sense

i can tell you customers seem to understand that
the wider the tires get the less people want steel or even Ti

also bear in mind
oem on carbon is less than 853
and Ti is three times the price of CF

if there was a steel or Ti FS that made sense
I would spec and order it tomorrow

i Feel good that I can still sell 853 and Ti road and gravel
plus I have 853 and Ti MTB always on order, even though my staff says it’s crazy

please look at how much 520, 631,853, orTi the big three do
should tell you a lot
 

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Walt can build you a FS steel enduro bike, but it will have an AL rear mad by Ventana. The good news is that Ventana makes good strong rear ends that have pretty good kinematics.


Count me in the camp of love my steel hardtails, but ride AL for full suspension. I would do CF, but it isn’t environmentally friendly (that is my outside excuse, reality is I am not willing to pay $1,500 extra to save 2 pounds).
I've had a steel front triangle with the Ventana rear. I loved the ride but it died in a head on at speed with a dirt bike. The Ventana front triangle it replaced was only a few ounces lighter, was stiffer but didn't have the ride characteristics of the steel frame. I wouldve had the steel frame repaired (new head and downtube) but it was going to be a year's wait vs Ventana in two and a half weeks.
 

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please look at how much 520, 631,853, orTi the big three do
should tell you a lot
It tells me that the profit margin isn't there for them, not that it's not a good material for a FS bike. Like you said, CF is cheap and they can sell it for a lot. Because they wrote the script, just like deBeers did. As far as I know they make nothing out of quality steel. But I expect Kona, Norco or some other mid-major will have a steel FS within 3 years.
 
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