Best hardtail to complement an Enduro bike?

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Best hardtail to complement an Enduro bike?
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Posted: Sep 15, 2019 at 14:36 Quote
I currently have a top-spec Santa Cruz Bronson and now I'm looking to build up a hardtail for my local trails. Living in Manhattan for a couple of years I had convenient access to some badass Upstate NY, NJ, CT trails, hence the Bronson.

I've recently moved back to Long Island (ie flat!) and although the Bronson has surprisingly been just fine on these trails, I can't help but think a modern hard tail could be awesome. My local trails are mostly flowy, some sand over hard, with barely any rocks or roots.

I will be building this hard tail up from the frame up, or modifying a factory build, so I'm more looking for advice on the actual frame/geometry. Whatever I go with will be built up as a 27.5/27.5+.

PRICE ASIDE, what are everyone's thoughts on the following frames...

Santa Cruz Chameleon
Transition Throttle
Commencal Meta HT

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 6:35 Quote
Same here, and for now the commencal ht am is the one I would pick if I had the money to do so Wink

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 at 12:19 Quote
I'd definitely look for something that could take a larger volume tire. I'd recommend going with a bike that could do either 27.5+ or 29. They're both great in their own way.

And yes, a modern ripping hardtail is a lot of fun. Keep in mind that if you're going to be riding flatter trails you don't need a crazy raked out HT angle.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 2:13 Quote
Got to be steel or ti if you can afford it. Aluminium is too stiff for a good hardtail, steel has a beautiful natural springiness which is hadmrd to explain but immediately obvious when you try one. A good modern geo one won't be too much heavier than alloy or carbon, the frames last forever and look great. Check out the Cotic Soul, or Stanton Switchback for starters. Both UK brands but they ship all over. There are probably loads of US companies making steel frames too, Chromag maybe.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 8:11 Quote
fielonator wrote:
Got to be steel or ti if you can afford it. Aluminium is too stiff for a good hardtail, steel has a beautiful natural springiness which is hadmrd to explain but immediately obvious when you try one. A good modern geo one won't be too much heavier than alloy or carbon, the frames last forever and look great. Check out the Cotic Soul, or Stanton Switchback for starters. Both UK brands but they ship all over. There are probably loads of US companies making steel frames too, Chromag maybe.

I keep seeing people saying how great steel is, but I remember when I switched from steel to aluminum and it was really great. I always see the "aluminum is too stiff" complaint thrown about, but that's part of what I like about it.

I've always wanted to try a Ti frame, but I've been too worried about it being too flexible for me.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 14:38 Quote
The material matters a lot less than the design.

You can get stiff steel frames and you can get forgiving aluminium frames (same goes for carbon).

I've had all three on various different hard tails (Pace, Commencal, Cube etc). I'd say my Steel Pace RC529 was just as stiff as the Commencal Meta AM HT that I had (even though that one was pants).

Most forgiving hard tail frame I had was a Cube Reaction GTC XC frame. Light as fook that one too! Smile

I've just ordered a Ibis DV9 to build as my XC bike to compliment an Intense Spider 275c. The frame was £999 direct from Ibis and can be build with either 100mm, or 120m fork.

I wouldn't worry about Ti being "too flexible". Unless the frame has a weight limit, I've heard people say it's the best material for a hard tail. But then again, that might just be bluster as I've never ridden Ti.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 17:54 Quote
Pipedream Moxie. It is the only bike I've ever owned that I won't consider selling. Bonus if sliders if ya wanna get wacky and ride single speed.

Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 23:55 Quote
If you want a bike for flat trails, you want a 100mm FS XC bike, not a slack hard tail with beefiness to take downhill riding that you will not have access to.

If you optimize on the weight and rolling resistance (which having rear suspension helps a lot with because any hit on a hardtail to the rear will rob you of speed), you will have a lot more fun, because you can translate more of your pedal power to speed. FS is also good for reducing fatigue and thus extending your rides.

Now, if jumps are going to be a part of your riding, and you want to ride some street, then a good hardtail is probably worth it. Frame material isn't that important, the money should go into strong wheels (probably 27.5+ setup), and drivetrain. I would also avoid the super long slack ones - just like any other long bike, they are harder to corner, and require more lean angle, which means you can't pedal them through some corners. Shorter hardtails with steeper head angles and lower travel forks have the same benefits of XC bikes in the sense that they are better on tighter trails, and they are easier to pump and jump as well.

The other thing to consider is winter riding, for which a Fat Bike with a suspension front fork is probably worth it. You can ride it in the summer easily, and then you have a bike for the winter.

Posted: Sep 27, 2019 at 5:28 Quote
I picked up a 2020 Specialized Fuse 27.5+ bike a few weeks ago for exactly this reason. The components that it came with aren’t exactly the best, and I’ll eventually upgrade stuff, but as an overall package for the price(non direct consumer) it’s pretty fun.

I’ve been riding it mostly on XC trails with a few jumps and small 2 foot drops and came away really impressed in general and with how the 2.8 tires help mute the trail some. The 66* head tube angle gives the bike awesome stability on the 2 45-70s descents we have on the trail and managed to PR them without trying too hard. It comes with a 130mm fork and am torn between a 130 and 140 pike when the time comes because it’s mainly used as XC bike that can have some fun, aka trail hardtail which feels silly saying.

The bikes a little heavy, but I knew I’d be replacing things as they break so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. For a bigger guy the tektro brakes do kind of suck and will probably be the first non weight savings upgrade I make. The RS Judy Silver fork kind of stinks but I’ve also been impressed with it as well, it’s been a lot of yeah buts and hey that wasn’t too bad. Also, despite the weight I’ve been impressed with the new Butcher and Slaughter 27.5+ combo

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