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EXORCIZE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I currently live, ride, and race (a bit) in bone-dry Arizona, but may move to Portland in a couple years. I'm shopping for a high-end 29er hardtail in either steel or titanium. Do Portland riders avoid steel because of rust/contamination, or is a treated steel frame a safe bet? I'm looking at the Niner S.I.R.9, but also some titanium builders.

My local Phoenix trails are rocky and technical, but I like the 29er hardtail format, even if it's compromising at times. I've never ridden in Oregon - are there enough technical trails that beg for full-suspension bikes, or are hardtails still popular?

Thanks!
 

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I think you would be fine with a high end hard tail. I have a GF piranha and i just got done riding the McKenzie river trail which has some pretty nasty lava rock areas. Held up fine. Im not sure about the other trails, but I can't imagine a full suspension being "needed."

Not sure about the steel question though. Probably not prefered in coastal areas... but portland - don't think it would be too bad.
 

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A TI HT SS in the PNW is the way to go:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Sealed bearings everywhere!

Rigid fork in the wet winter months and then plug in a suspension fork for the epic summer rides.

That's just my opinion.

Caz
 

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cazloco said:
A TI HT SS in the PNW is the way to go:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Sealed bearings everywhere!

Rigid fork in the wet winter months and then plug in a suspension fork for the epic summer rides.

That's just my opinion.

Caz
My goodness, Caz with an opinion! - - - - Kidding Caz. When are we riding together next, MBO maybe?
Now to return to your regularly scheduled thread. In all seriousness, either steel or Ti are good ways to go. How deep is your pocketbook? I rode my 20 year old 'rigid' Merlin last Sunday on Lawler and remembered just why I like it so much, once I crashed I remembered where I need to be over the bike to ride with a 'rigid' (old IRD Ti blade) fork. Most of the time I ride a steel Zion 26 SS with a suspension fork.

Flaps
 

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I'll be the dissenting opinion and say that you've got to be a caveman or on crack to want to trail-ride a hardtail in rocky terrain out here. Heck, why not wooden wheels?

At least it's got a suspended saddle. Then again, Portland is full of nut-jobs, so you'll fit right in! :p
 

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Ryder1 said:
Hi. I currently live, ride, and race (a bit) in bone-dry Arizona, but may move to Portland in a couple years. I'm shopping for a high-end 29er hardtail in either steel or titanium. Do Portland riders avoid steel because of rust/contamination, or is a treated steel frame a safe bet? I'm looking at the Niner S.I.R.9, but also some titanium builders.

My local Phoenix trails are rocky and technical, but I like the 29er hardtail format, even if it's compromising at times. I've never ridden in Oregon - are there enough technical trails that beg for full-suspension bikes, or are hardtails still popular?

Thanks!
I don't live in Portland or on the wet side of the Cascades, but I used to live in Tucson and now in high desert central OR.

Hardtails are really nice here. The wet side trails I've ridden are soft and cushy, especially compared to rocky AZ. There is some all-mountain or freeride riding around for which you'll still want a fully, but for general xc riding I think hardtails are preferable.

Not sure about the rust issue other than the technique of pre-treating a steel frame with JP Weigle's Frame Saver.
 

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fallzboater said:
I'll be the dissenting opinion and say that you've got to be a caveman or on crack to want to trail-ride a hardtail in rocky terrain out here. Heck, why not wooden wheels?

At least it's got a suspended saddle. Then again, Portland is full of nut-jobs, so you'll fit right in! :p
Other than a few short stretches, Oregon is not as rocky as Arizona. The ground here is relatively soft and has...stuff growing on it.
 

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I've been commuting in Portland for the past 8 years on a steel Stumpjumper. I ride all year, all winter and most of those years it spent the miserable days tethered out of doors, in the wet stuff. Because, you know, it rains every single day here in Portland, except for one week in August and three days in July. Your skin may turn a strange shade of yellow, but your steel hard tail will be fine. You will probably be fleeing the rain and taxation within a year or two anyway.

I'll leave the full suspension vs. hardtail vs. geared comments to Jaybo.

:D
 

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Shamisen Appreciator
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If you're riding a hardtail in Phx, you won't need one here. and if you're looking to get a new hardtail, you have no shortage of local builders to choose from either. As far as I know, there are two ti builders here, and about 17 steel builders. Steel won't be a problem unless you don't paint it and leave it outside all winter long.

Ryder1 said:
Hi. I currently live, ride, and race (a bit) in bone-dry Arizona, but may move to Portland in a couple years. I'm shopping for a high-end 29er hardtail in either steel or titanium. Do Portland riders avoid steel because of rust/contamination, or is a treated steel frame a safe bet? I'm looking at the Niner S.I.R.9, but also some titanium builders.

My local Phoenix trails are rocky and technical, but I like the 29er hardtail format, even if it's compromising at times. I've never ridden in Oregon - are there enough technical trails that beg for full-suspension bikes, or are hardtails still popular?

Thanks!
 

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smudge said:
you have no shortage of local builders to choose from either. As far as I know, there are two ti builders here, and about 17 steel builders. Steel won't be a problem unless you don't paint it and leave it outside all winter long.
Smudge, are you still building those sweet Ti frames? General Coonskins sure loves his.:thumbsup:
 

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ride the moment
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I've been riding a steel hardtail (On-One) for the last two winters in the valley and it hasn't rusted yet. I agree with Caz, get a rigid and a suspension fork, with an extra crown race so you can swap them out easily. There are certainly rocky sections around, but I think they are the exception rather than the norm and I seem to handle them fine on the hardtail.

Edit: If you're going to ride it in the mud, then I would think about a singlespeed.
 

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EXORCIZE
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone. You guys rock.

Dogbrain said:
I've been riding a steel hardtail (On-One) for the last two winters in the valley and it hasn't rusted yet. I agree with Caz, get a rigid and a suspension fork, with an extra crown race so you can swap them out easily. There are certainly rocky sections around, but I think they are the exception rather than the norm and I seem to handle them fine on the hardtail.

Edit: If you're going to ride it in the mud, then I would think about a singlespeed.
Yes! I definitely want the ability to switch between rigid and suspended, plus single/geared - being a 29er, that would make an extremely flexible bike. I've been riding single speed exclusively for the last 1.5 years and have split that time between fully rigid and suspended - I like both, and will eventually add some gears just for a change of pace.

My chromo frame is 6 pounds and I'd have to zip tie the derailleur cables if I wanted gears, so I'm looking for something nicer, maybe one of the ti On-One Inbreds that are coming out this summer.
 

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iRider said:
Don't believe them! 8" freeride bikes are the ONLY way to go here in Oregon! ;)
I believe you're lost, Troll. The question is about steel hardtails in Oregon from a racer in Arizona. He obviously asking about riding xc trails and not freeride parks. Though, he did ask about techy trails and would he need a full suspension. Again, techy trails are not freeride parks.

So tell me, how does your 8" freeride bike handle the wet winter months? You don't ride year round do you? 8" freeride bikes are the ONLY way to go in Oregon.:rolleyes:

Caz
 

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I guess the ";) " was lost on you. :) No need to insult people if you can't read :nono:

BTW: full sussers do well in the mud if you do the maintenance. You would be surprised how much faster you can go in the mud on a long travel bike with super tacky tires. :D
But hey, stick to your fully rigid 29er if it makes you happy. :thumbsup:

cazloco said:
I believe you're lost, Troll. The question is about steel hardtails in Oregon from a racer in Arizona. He obviously asking about riding xc trails and not freeride parks. Though, he did ask about techy trails and would he need a full suspension. Again, techy trails are not freeride parks.

So tell me, how does your 8" freeride bike handle the wet winter months? You don't ride year round do you? 8" freeride bikes are the ONLY way to go in Oregon.:rolleyes:

Caz
 

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I have the same bike you are thinking of getting (Sir9) and for at least 50% of the riddingin Oregon (at least what I've done) it is perfectly fine. I'm ridding mine with the Niner rigid fork and I've been grabing it a lot lately over my squishy bike, but with that being said I just pulled the trigger on a 6" travel bike.

On the Sir9...It's a nice bike but that's about it, nice but nothing special.

I'm in Portland by the way.
 

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Muy Borracho
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Steel Hardtail

I grew up riding in rocky AZ. I just moved to Central Oregon 2 years ago. After 15 years of riding SoMo in Phx the trails of Oregon seem like a paved sidewalk. I'm exaggerating a bit but not much. I bought a steel hard tail 29 because I found the squishy was overkill. The flowy single track of CO seems to be made for a 29er. I couldn't be happier with my choice.

As somebody else mentioned, rust isn't going to be an issue unless you live your rig outside.
 

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Snake Muesl said:
I've been commuting in Portland for the past 8 years on a steel Stumpjumper.

:D
12 years in Corvallis on a cromo Rockhopper, commuting every day, rain or (too rarely) shine. Rust? Of course, it has a ton of dings and scratches and yes, they do get rusty. And in ten years I'll still be riding it with the same rusty scratches...maybe some newer ones as well. I recently replaced the bottom bracket, didn't notice any rust in the shell.

Ti is great, but don't be afraid of steel.
 

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EXORCIZE
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
El Guapo said:
I grew up riding in rocky AZ. I just moved to Central Oregon 2 years ago. After 15 years of riding SoMo in Phx the trails of Oregon seem like a paved sidewalk. I'm exaggerating a bit but not much. I bought a steel hard tail 29 because I found the squishy was overkill. The flowy single track of CO seems to be made for a 29er. I couldn't be happier with my choice.
I haven't ridden in Oregon yet, but from everything I've read/seen, I figured this would be my impression, too. I do sometimes crave a 5" bike, especially for doing more jumps, which I've been getting into lately - very fun. But if I'm happy in Phoenix with a 29er hardtail, I'd guess I wouldn't want/need more in Oregon.

I'm a bit of retro-grounch and actually like having less bike (well, less bike, but made of titanium!). I especially groove on the single speed aspect - I find it makes more of a trail interesting/compelling/challenging. My main riding buddy won't ride certain trails now that he's gotten a FS, but I still find those trails stimulating. He seems to almost be hunting for the "fun parts" while I'm more bent on gettin' my flow on.

I've owned 3 FS bikes, and they're definitely fun, and I'll probably own another ventually (the current crop of 5-6" bikes do look awesome), but I've found the 29er hardtail to be the "one-bike" sweet-spot for me, especially since it allows single speeding and makes a good XC racer.
 
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