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Stiff, Reliable, Light, Good tire clearance - Which hardtail?

1146 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  customfab
So I am ready to ditch my aluminum SJ singlespeed for a geared hardtail. I am running a 2.2 on the back and flex the frame so much that I can hear the tire rubbing on steep climbs.

Here are my priorities, in order:

1. Stiff
2. Reliable
3. Light
4. Good tire clearance

I want to spec the parts myself so I need something that I can get as a frame only. Any suggestions? I'm willing to spend a couple grand on the frame but I'm not sure I can convince myself to spend money on a custom.
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Niner EMD.meets all requirements and it is reasonably priced.:thumbsup:
If your going to put a couple grand into the frame, why the heck would you not even look at a custom?? Makes no sense to me.
I'd wait until the SC carbon ht is for sale.
Interesting - another aluminum bike. I assume it's not as stiff as the Air 9 Carbon which is on my list? My hesitation with the Air 9 Carbon is the bottom bracket. I'm not yet sure if the creaking issues are limited to the EBB or if the inserts for traditional brackets creak as well. Hate to admit it but I can be really fussy with noise on the bike.
DavidR1 said:
If your going to put a couple grand into the frame, why the heck would you not even look at a custom?? Makes no sense to me.
Good point. I assume a true custom will cost double what I ideally want to spend.
DBY said:
I'd wait until the SC carbon ht is for sale.
Definitely on my list. The 2012 Kona carbon looks promising too.
I think I remember seeing the SC carbon would run around $1,800.
I'd be looking at the Air9 carbon if you want something now and weigh less than 200#
I am considering an EMD for myself, hard to beat for the money and as another posater mentioned pretty much meets all 4 of your requirements.
rtcage said:
Good point. I assume a true custom will cost double what I ideally want to spend.
Your assumptions are largely mistaken. Not all custom builders are charging an arm and a leg for there work. There are loads of builders doing full custom bikes for less than 2K and if your range would be up to ~$2400 there are a lot more, and a few in Ti. Take a look at Desalvo, Rock Lobster, Kish and Vulture to name a few. I hope that didn't open up to many doors for you.
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