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Need a new XC/Endurance hardtail, keep breaking carbon. How does steel holdup over time vs Ti? Seems like I could go through 2-3 steel frames for the cost of a Ti
 

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I have a kona honzo steel (2013) and a honzo Ti (2016) as well. I wholeheartedly recommend to go titanium. The ti honzo is a much better ride, more compliant and spritely, and a better climber.
Granted the design of the bike evolved and got more refined between those model years, but I attribute most of the improvements to the material.
I ride fairly regularly and have taken the ti honzo to bike parks and long epics, without any issues or damage . I have managed to put a dent in the down tube of the steel frame, which I guess was caused by a rock that was launched upwards by the front tire. That was several years ago and I'm still riding the frame on a regular basis as well, without further issues.
Both frames are made in Taiwan, and I got the ti frame second hand, so the price difference was bearable.
Depending on where you live, the kingdom or nordest Ti frames might be an option.
All that being said, I added a chromag doctahawk to the stable last year. The frame cost me the same as the ti honzo frame. That bike is also an absolute blast, so it seems that high quality steel frames (eg chromag's Canadian built models) seem to be close in ride character to mid quality Ti. They are also quite similar in price, though.
Hope this helps...
 

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All depends on how they're built. You can have good/bad examples of all types. I'd be asking why you're breaking the carbon frames. They should still be plenty solid enough.

Older or custom made steel frame hardtails might get you that magic carpet feeling (steel is real). But I find most modern geo steel (4130) frames with big tube sizes are quite stiff. Steel holds up just fine, and is easier to repair if need be. I don't know Ti frames, but might be more compliant for same size tubing?

Or just pay a bit more for a carbon brand that gives lifetime warranty.
 

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Neither material is stronger/more durable all things being equal. Frame ride quality, durability, and strength has much more to do with tubing selection and quality of design/construction.

They're both great materials. I personally prefer steel for its price, ride quality, and ease of repair.

Maybe consider a custom steel frame over an off the shelf Ti frame? You'll end up with a perfect frame with the geometry you want, and that will be built strong enough for what you need without being over built.
 
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