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what's for lunch today?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm beginning my search for a 29'er rigid steel f/f and am stongly considering either Kish or IF. Kish would be my first choice due to budget. it's still a pricey frame (for me), but i can score one for less $$$ through the shop i work at.

so anyone have a Kish 29'er in either tubeset that Kish uses and have a good solid review? setup details would be nice too. my build will be a SS, but i want my frame to be traditional for possible gears in the future. no disc brake mounts, rigid fork (i'll take recommendations on that also), regular BB, not sure on dropouts yet. my desire is a resilient frame that is not overly flexy and a fork with the same qualities. snappy handling is a good thing. clean lines i like.

any input is appreciated. thanks...
 

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I built a 29er at UBI with Jim Kish as my instructor. Jim seemed quite skeptical of the 29er design being the latest fad in frames. He brought up many of the common perceptions on 29er's that I had heard before (slow to accelerate, limited suspension forks, only good for really big people) and said it would be a challenge. I went forward with my 29er frame which was based on my Karate Monkey. Luckily, I had brought my KM with me to the course, to ride when I was out of class and I was able to get Jim to ride it. After Jim had gone for a ride on it he was actually pleased with the way it rode and handled. I would give Jim a call or email him and tell him what your looking for, and get a feel for his interest in building the frame before you think about going forward with it.
 

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I have currently four Kish frames and one more to come. One of them is a 29er. Actually Jim has build the first 29er frame about 13 years ago, called it Fireroadbike and was not convinced. It took me quite some effort to build a 29er for me and I really, really am glad that I have succeeded. Its a marvel of a frame.

Well, it Titanium, but he has build me a steel frame now too, just not 29er but 28 Roadster. Its stiffer than my 29er but a perfect ride again. Great powder coating too. If you want my recommendation, go for one. He will build up another 29er for my collegue soon, so we get him finally convinced that its worthwile to do 29er.



More here at www.twentyniner.ch, the german/swiss 29er forum.
https://www.twentyniner.ch/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3
 

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zoip.
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seems to me that if the builder doesn't have good thoughts about the sort of bike you want him to build, you might want to look for a different builder. no knock on jim kish, my understanding is that he's the man to go to for ti, and I love the way his bikes look, but if you're dead-set on a 29er you might consider going with a builder who wants to build you a 29er rather than one who's trying to talk you out of it. there are a lot of ca-based builders who could build you something with clean lines for a little less dough than IF. check out soulcraft, sycip, hunter, inglis/retrotec, or patrick cycles. I know any of those guys would be quite stoked to build you a big wheeled bike, and a number of those builders ride 29ers as their personal steeds....
 

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If you would have talked to Jim, than you would think the contrary. He is just not the man to follow each and every hype. And he doesnt do anything he is not convinced of. For him, every detail must fit and you feel that in your bike. The 29er he has build for me is incredible agile and fast, nothing compared to others I have tried. (And nothing to all of the 26" bikes I have tried the last 13 years). Well anyway, if you have the chance to try one, try it. And a good steel frame he can build too.
But hey, there are so many others and thats only my impression.
For example give Willits a try, as they push the 29er if you prefer this and they are really cool guys.
 

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what's for lunch today?
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
cool. this is a good starting point for my new bike. i'll be asking more questions in the near future. thanks, everyone.
 

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Jim wasn't super stoked to build my 29er either -- but just because the high end craftsman/artist doesn't like your color choices doesn't mean it the final product isn't a work of art.... mine is.
 

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Both Kish and IF would make a great bike, but there's really no reason to limit your choices to just those 2.

I'd look at WaltWorks, Quiring, Strong, Cutlo, and DeSalvo just to name a few. All of those will be at or below the price of Kish or IF.
 

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Non Dual Bliss
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Just a general response, but it was Jim Kish who INTRODUCED me to 29ers in '98 or '99 when I saw one he'd built. I don't know where this whole "Kish is against it" comes from. Jim is a very pragmatic builder and ain't a Kool-Aid drinker (unless there's Vodka in it). He's more of a "26" or 29" doesn't matter to me, it's all good" kind of guy and I have a lot of respect for him for that.
 

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Hickerklicker and DWF already said it for me, but as long as I dusted off my password I may as well chime in.

I've been building these bikes way before most of you jumped on the bandwagon. Like DWF said, I don't have a dog in this fight. But if someone wants to buy a bike from me for the wrong reasons it's my job to tell them my side of it. Believe it or not, I might know more about bicycle design and bike building than you do. Sometimes I refuse to build a bike altogether if I think it's a bad idea for their size/style of riding, etc., but that's rare.

The mythology that I am 29er-phobic is very odd to me. I could dig up pictures of myself and Ron Sutphin riding our 29ers from the late 90's, but that'd just be embarassing for both of us. Bad hair years.
 

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hispanic mechanic
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I don't know why I'm doing this...

I'm sure someone's gonna flame me to keep my nose outta this, but here's my two cents- talk to the builder you're looking at.
It sounds like Kish isn't convinced that 29" wheels are for everyone. Heck, maybe he thinks they're not for most, I don't know. But the best way to find out if a builder is on the same page as you is to talk to them, and take what you find on here with a grain of salt. Or maybe a big salt lick.
No offence to anyone posting here, but I certainly haven't made a living building bikes at Serrotta, then starting my own frame shop. My guess is that Kish probably has an insight or two, and hey, maybe you won't see eye to eye. But maybe you'll find out that he's the guys you absolutely want to build your bike.
Whether or not you decide to have a froame built by him, he sounds pretty reasonable.

Los
 
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