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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After much reading here I have reached saturation and confusion point on coming up with tube selection for a custom steel 29er HT frame, and kindly ask for your help...

My frame is going to be a long fork travel (120mm) slacked out 29er trail bike. I would like a compliant and lively ride if these two attributes can co-exist. I am 190lbs and will do small drops (1-2'), more often than not badly so flat heavy landings are a likely.

I have been riding a Niner SIR 9 for the last two years and love it's feel, which I would describe as springy and very nicely compliant. Comfortable for long rides and will smooth out the roughest of trail.

I was going to just try and clone the 853 SIR with my geo changes, but then learned of Columbus and True Temper tubing, which maybe better suited, but I don't know. This goes for rear triangle tube choice too and what makes for a compliant ride here.

Here is a drawing of a ti bike I was thinking of going for before deciding on steel, but the sizing is correct. The only difference I am hoping for with the steel frame is having a curved TT for more standover
 

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Who is building this bike?

If you're having it built by a professional builder, talk to them first.

If you're building it, use a 38mm DT and whatever other stuff you think is appropriate. The Nova 29er kit might be a good choice, as it's inexpensive and forgiving of mistakes. Throw your ideas about the spiffiest/lightest/trickest tubing out the window - using that stuff for your first attempt will just lead to frustration and wasted money/time.

Does anyone want to volunteer to do a "what tubes" writeup for the FAQ?

-Walt
 

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Walt said:
Does anyone want to volunteer to do a "what tubes" writeup for the FAQ?

-Walt
How good is the Henry James tubeset list in his price list for this? It specs rider weight and how compliant the frame would be with said tubes.

One of the more glaring things I've seen there is that often it recommends a 8/5/8 downtube for 29ers but from what I've read here, 9/6/9 is sort of a minimum 29er downtube for someone in the 200lb range.

Anyway, that may be a good FAQ in itself if enough folks agree that it should work as written.

I do know that Henry James will talk with you through a lot of scenarios from experience, so maybe those tubesets are more of "suggestions" than "will work".
 

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Meh.

With no offense intended to Hank, he's not a mountain bike guy particularly. That list is pretty weird - they're all pretty much identical, with the exception of the top and downtubes. Using the MHT head tube for an "ultralite" build is humorous to me.

All the toptubes are 31.8mm, too. You can certainly use 28.6 for many riders on 29ers, depending on how you want the bike to ride.

He also recommends the OX3SS seatstays, which are terrible if you have to bend them.

So not great. I think all you learn from that, really, is that bigger tubes=stiffer.

The rest of the tech info (how to read butt info, etc) is great, though. I'll add a link to that in the FAQ.

-Walt

jay_ntwr said:
How good is the Henry James tubeset list in his price list for this? It specs rider weight and how compliant the frame would be with said tubes.

One of the more glaring things I've seen there is that often it recommends a 8/5/8 downtube for 29ers but from what I've read here, 9/6/9 is sort of a minimum 29er downtube for someone in the 200lb range.

Anyway, that may be a good FAQ in itself if enough folks agree that it should work as written.

I do know that Henry James will talk with you through a lot of scenarios from experience, so maybe those tubesets are more of "suggestions" than "will work".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Walt said:
If you're having it built by a professional builder, talk to them first.

If you're building it, use a 38mm DT and whatever other stuff you think is appropriate. The Nova 29er kit might be a good choice, as it's inexpensive and forgiving of mistakes. Throw your ideas about the spiffiest/lightest/trickest tubing out the window - using that stuff for your first attempt will just lead to frustration and wasted money/time.

Does anyone want to volunteer to do a "what tubes" writeup for the FAQ?

-Walt
Thanks very much for your reply. I suppose I do want to go a little spiffy trick - I do want to be happy with this frame

I spoke to my framebuilder today and he has heard back from his man at Reynolds. The recommendations looks like this:

HT - 725 1 1/8" GG159 36.4 plain gauge

DT - 853 34.9 8/5/8

ST - 853 28.6

TT - 653 31.7 8/5/8

SS - 725 19mm dia 0.7mm 580 single taper

CS - 525 22.2mm 1.2 440 round oval

It looks like a real mish mash of tubes to me. The seat & chain says dia's look huge to what I was thinking of using
 

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This is between you and the builder.

Going online to second guess the builder you've chosen is poor form, IMO. So I won't offer any further specific feedback wrt/tubes.

Talk to the guy/gal and find out why he's chosen what he has/discuss/etc. You chose this person, presumably, because you thought they'd do a good job. Trust them to do it.

-Walt

bonesetter2004 said:
Thanks very much for your reply. I suppose I do want to go a little spiffy trick - I do want to be happy with this frame

I spoke to my framebuilder today and he has heard back from his man at Reynolds. The recommendations looks like this:

HT - 725 1 1/8" GG159 36.4 plain gauge

DT - 853 34.9 8/5/8

ST - 853 28.6

TT - 653 31.7 8/5/8

SS - 725 19mm dia 0.7mm 580 single taper

CS - 525 22.2mm 1.2 440 round oval

It looks like a real mish mash of tubes to me. The seat & chain says dia's look huge to what I was thinking of using
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry Walt, no offence intended. It seems it's a case of my bad communication...

Here's some background. 29er custom frame builders are are on the thin side in the UK to say the least. Most custom builders have said they do not have jigs to make the larger bikes, period.

If I could, I would love to be making this frame myself, however, as it panned out I found and chose my 'frame builder' as primarily he is based 20 minutes drive from me. He has made just one 29er bike before and this was cross bike influenced. Most of his time is spent as a bike restorer, but he seemed happy and keen to go ahead and his costing and build time were very good - remember I was coming into it knowing nothing.

Since then we have since been exhaustively discussing each stage of the design and I have made it clear I am second researching online, both of us seem to be learning by it. My objective is to find out how different tubes will effect the ride on this 29er MTB to give me what I'm looking for, and this is something my builder does not know.

I would like to stay with him despite all this as I feel if a grasp of the tubing requirements is reached a successful bike will be the outcome. We don't want to fret it, for If it is not, then we can as he says build another

Your help is very appreciated and I will respectfully go by what you think
 

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Cool.

Ok, that makes sense. I didn't mean to get all snarky, I just wanted to make sure your builder was cool with the idea of soliciting advice online.

So some specific feedback:
-Downtube is way underbuilt. Reynolds probably does not make what you need, which is a minimum 38mm diameter, 9/6/9 (10/7/10 might be even better) downtube. Look at True Temper or Nova for some appropriate tubes. You're not a tiny dude, and you're putting a HUGE fork on this bike - 35mm x 8/5/8 is just too flimsy, IMO.
-Hard to say if the chainstays are the right shape/bend, but they're long enough, and at 1.2mm wall thickness, WAY beefy enough (assuming that's what the 1.2 means). For reference, pretty darn burly chainstays are .9mm at the bottom bracket end, and I use .8mm ones all the time for 29ers.
-Everything else looks fine.

-Walt

bonesetter2004 said:
Sorry Walt, no offence intended. It seems it's a case of my bad communication...

Here's some background. 29er custom frame builders are are on the thin side in the UK to say the least. Most custom builders have said they do not have jigs to make the larger bikes, period.

If I could, I would love to be making this frame myself, however, as it panned out I found and chose my 'frame builder' as primarily he is based 20 minutes drive from me. He has made just one 29er bike before and this was cross bike influenced. Most of his time is spent as a bike restorer, but he seemed happy and keen to go ahead and his costing and build time were very good - remember I was coming into it knowing nothing.

Since then we have since been exhaustively discussing each stage of the design and I have made it clear I am second researching online, both of us seem to be learning by it. My objective is to find out how different tubes will effect the ride on this 29er MTB to give me what I'm looking for, and this is something my builder does not know.

I would like to stay with him despite all this as I feel if a grasp of the tubing requirements is reached a successful bike will be the outcome. We don't want to fret it, for If it is not, then we can as he says build another

Your help is very appreciated and I will respectfully go by what you think
 
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