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Steel hardtail

RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
edited July 2010 in MTB buying advice
I'm wanting to upgrade to something a bit tougher than my Hardrock. I'm thinking a steel framed hardtail would be good fun. I want a bike that can do just about anything I feel like.
I had a look at an Orange P7 today and it looks like just the sort of thing i want. What else would be good? Up to £1500 to suit 15 stone 6' 0" rider. Must be built to last and survive a lot of abuse.
My main reason for wanting a hardtail is that it's simple so less to go wrong & at this sort of price I can get a very good hardtail or a just fairly basic full suspension bike.

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    What year is your hardrock? Some of the older ones were built for exactly the riding you describe and are as tough as old boots. Maybe worth upgrading?
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    It's this years Hardrock. It's a great bike for a cross country blast but I just get the feeling that it's not that tough. The wheels are a bit fragile & even after changing the original forks for some Tora SL's I regularly find the limits of the fork 100mm travel & I don't think I can fit longer than 120mm travel forks.
    When riding on the Mendips & Quantocks I often come across some hairy looking downhill trails but I don't have the confidence to really blast down them on my Hardrock
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Ah that's true, this years Hardrock has gone all xc and light lol.

    In the longer travel xc category we have bikes like the Cotic Soul and Genesis Altitude that will handle upto 130mm. 853 steel keeps things strong and lightish.

    The OnOne 456 and Ragley Blue Pig will take even more.

    I wouldn't rule out alu frames though as they can still be tough, and are usually a lot lighter too ie the Ragley MMMBop.

    I think the Orange p7 is a bit expensive for what it is to be honest.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Can you buy the Blue Pig as a complete bike? All I can find for sale is frames.
    How does the On-One compare to the Orange?
    One thing I really liked about the Orange is the build quality. The dealer showed me a 15 year old P7 in the workshop and it still looked great. The quality of fabrication in the frame looks excellent, I used to work as a TIG welder (Nuclear, Oil & defence industries) and I could never weld tubular frames as neatly as Orange manage!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The onone is lighter than the orange, just as tough if not tougher and a third the price.

    I think the Blue Pig can be built up from some dealers.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Theres not a huge difference in price between the P7 and the 456.
    At the spec I would want (P7S with Fox forks) its £1399. The similar spec On-One is £1249.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    0.6lbs difference for a medium frame. If you like the frame then go for it, but you are paying a premium for the name. It should be 853 steel and a pound lighter that money.
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    I would have the 456...though the Blue Pig is rather tasty
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    The P7 is a joke as a frame only, the price is about 3 times what it should be. But the full bikes look alright.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • vengeance111vengeance111 Posts: 137
    im going to get the on-one 456 with some 140mm marzocchis
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I looked at the posibility of building a P7 but the cost of the frame and forks come to nearly as much as the complete bike!
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    Rocklobster ??
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • bike-a-swanbike-a-swan Posts: 1,235
    Love mine, but wouldn't say it's really what the op is looking for.
    Rock Lobster 853, Trek 1200 and a very old, tired and loved Apollo Javelin.
  • cat_with_no_tailcat_with_no_tail Posts: 13,581
    If you build your own 456 you can usually get a better build than the pre-built ones they offer on the site, for less money too. You just need to shop around for the bits.

    Also, you asked about pre-built Blue Pigs, you can get one here for under £1,500 with the following spec. To be honest, that's not far off how I'd build it myself:

    #Fork - RockShox Pike 454 Air U-Turn
    #Headset - (Blue Pig / Ti) FSA Orbit MX
    #Headset - (Mmmbop) Hope 1.5 Reducer
    #Rear Hub - Hope Pro 2
    #Front Hub - Hope Pro 2
    #Spokes - DT Black Stainless
    #Rims - Mavic XM-719 Disc
    #F Tyre - Maxxis Minion F 26" x 2.35" Kevlar
    #R Tyre - Maxxis High Roller 26" x 2.35" Kevlar
    #Shift Levers - Shimano XT
    #Front Derailleur - Shimano XT
    #Rear Derailleur - Shimano Shadow XT
    #Cassette - SRAM PG-980 11-34,
    #Chain - SRAM PC-951
    #Crankset - FSA Gravity Light MegaExo, 44/32/22 With MegaExo BB
    #Seatpost - Race Face Ride XC
    #Saddle - WTB Pure V Race
    #Bar - Race Face Atlas AM
    #Stem - Race Face Evolve AM
    #Grips - Sunline Lock On
    #Brake Front - Avid Elixir CR 185mm
    #Brakes Rear - Avid Elixir CR 160mm
    #Pedals - Shimano M424 Clipless
    #Seat Clamp - Ragley QR
  • jamesdawgjamesdawg Posts: 3
    I would take the pig at that price for sure and with that spec sheet its gonna be a tough cookie.
  • Cotic soul, but I am biased

    £1.25 for sign up http://www.quidco.com/user/491172/42301

    Cashback on wiggle,CRC,evans follow the link
    http://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/MTBkarl
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Now I'm getting even more confused. A friend is trying to talk me in to buying a full suspension bike. My idea was that a steel hardtail would be tougher than a full suspension bike & have better components at this price. I want one bike that will do everything from fast, bumpy downhill to all day cross country rides.
    I think the most appealing hardtail in my budget seems to be the On One 456
  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    The 456 is definatly a tough nut.

    Mine can handle Innerleithen DH stuff easily so its pretty tough (admitadly I am not that fast a rideer but I ain't smooth either :wink: )
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Now I'm getting even more confused. A friend is trying to talk me in to buying a full suspension bike. My idea was that a steel hardtail would be tougher than a full suspension bike & have better components at this price. I want one bike that will do everything from fast, bumpy downhill to all day cross country rides.
    I think the most appealing hardtail in my budget seems to be the On One 456

    Sounds good to me. 456 fits, it's not light but it's not too heavy, it's pretty sturdy... Rides lovely. Not as good as a Soul obviously ;) But then it costs less than a third as much! You can build up a pretty decent 456 for the cost of a pretty basic full suss.

    No particular reason it should be steel of course, something like an Mmmbop or a Chameleon or something might fit the bill too.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • I quite fancy the idea of the Ragley Blue Pig or On One 456 but not sure about the sizing, i've tried trek and Orange, and fit a 17/17.5" frame, but On One and Ragley have different frame sizing. Any advice? or should I just stick with a Trek / Orange / Specialized for my first bike in a number of years.

    I do quite fancy a steel hard tail though.... decisions, decisions...
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Is best to try out as geo varies so much.

    But are plenty of other steel hardtails out there - Voodoo, Genesis Altitude, Rock Lobster etc.
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,287
    and the new Orange R8 I think its called. In Reynolds 853. Saw one at Builth Wells and does look very nice - though not as nice as my Cotic of course ;-)
  • bivvybivvy Posts: 23
    edited July 2010
    Many seem to say lobster for xc, soul for more hardcore use (if you had to choose between these two). But I noticed the Rock lobster 853 and the Cotic Soul 853 weigh the same. So similar strength and stiffness, I imagine. I think the Soul has a tiny gusset and a strut (that what you call it?) to take bigger brakes at the rear but that's about it from what I can tell. so is the real difference between these two that the soul is adjusted for 20mm more travel ? (120mm ideal balance for soul, 100mm ideal balance for lobster). Perhaps the stays on the lobster are a bit more skinny, but i imagine this would only affect power delivery not handling. And the extra bit of all day comfort could be bonus to those who need it.

    So I guess this makes the lobster pretty hard core in a way for long rides on the trails? I'm hoping so as I just bought one.. Certainly reviewers have said that it can handle all thrown at it and it makes a good trial machine.

    Other differences are the lobster comes up shorter for the seat tube size. Both have sloping top tubes. So if you have long legs like me the lobster will fit better, without the need for a 400+ post at full extension.

    so maybe on paper at least there is not that much difference.

    Just trying to justify not buying the cotic !
  • thel33terthel33ter Posts: 2,684
    Not steel but super cool. I would go for this if I had the money, might not be tough enough though.

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/CBOOCAR456T ... -456-trail
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    bivvy wrote:
    Many seem to say lobster for xc, soul for more hardcore use (if you had to choose between these two). But I noticed the Rock lobster 853 and the Cotic Soul 853 weigh the same. So similar strength and stiffness, I imagine. !

    The lobster's plenty tough, it's just as you say optimised more for use as a 100mm XC frame, whereas the Soul works very well up to its design limit of 140mm (and though it'll do 100mm very well, isn't really at its best down there IMO, there's probably better options if that's all it's to do)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • *AL**AL* Posts: 1,185
    Also, you asked about pre-built Blue Pigs, you can get one here for under £1,500 with the following spec. To be honest, that's not far off how I'd build it myself:

    I'd be more than happy with that Pig, cracking bike for the money.
  • bivvybivvy Posts: 23
    Northwind wrote:
    bivvy wrote:
    Many seem to say lobster for xc, soul for more hardcore use (if you had to choose between these two). But I noticed the Rock lobster 853 and the Cotic Soul 853 weigh the same. So similar strength and stiffness, I imagine. !

    The lobster's plenty tough, it's just as you say optimised more for use as a 100mm XC frame, whereas the Soul works very well up to its design limit of 140mm (and though it'll do 100mm very well, isn't really at its best down there IMO, there's probably better options if that's all it's to do)

    Yep the geometry is the difference it seems. I was surprised when I saw them weighing in at the same on the scales when I'd heard the cotic was more hardcore. The real difference seems to be 20mm in travel adjustment. . I guess if I got a U turn I could turn it up to 130mm on the downs ('ll check with merlin to make sure). And still be able to turn it down when come to a tricky climb. I kind of like the challenge of keeping the front wheel down and making some technical accents. But some in the peaks are so hard I would have to lower it. Sideways Stiffness is good of course for a fun ride / handling. I imagine they are about the same on that level being same material and weight. something like the bfe will be better, but will lack the smooth ride for when in the saddle on all day rides.
  • bivvybivvy Posts: 23
    here's what cy said on which forks to use on the cotic. (quoted from forum ) :-

    "Just because the can take 140mm forks, doesn't mean you have to use 140mm forks. It's all about where you're riding, and your preferences. 140mm forks do feel a little floppy in fast singletrack, but when you're out blasting rocks most of the time it's completely mint. The inverse is true of 100mm forks. 120mm is a nice compromise, and F120's are a very nice fork. Make sure you get the QR15 one and it'll be sweet.
    The key thing with all these differences in fork length is that you have to think about adjusting your contacts points on the bike to compensate for the geometry changes. If you go from 100mm forks to 140mm and don't change anything, you'll be way too far back on the bike to make it climb. But, shove your saddle forward 10mm, roll the bars forward back to where they were with the shorter forks, and maybe drop the stem 10mm (if there's room), and you'll be back in a similar position on the bike to the shorter forks and it'll all work a lot better. Going the other way, dropping the travel when you've set the bike up nicely for longer forks will mean you'll have very low bars and loads of weight on your wrists, which is less than ideal too.
    Obviously adjustable forks mean you need to run your setup good for your most used fork length, but when switching between fixed length forks, this is well worth thinking about."
  • Happy HarryHappy Harry Posts: 345
    Bike Radar have just given the Charge Duster Hi four and a half stars in a review so you may want to look at that, too. Charge Duster review It's got 100mm forks so may be a bit too XC orientated for you.

    My Whyte has 120mm forks but is a wee bit over budget. It's a very good allrounder and weighs in at around 27lbs. It displays all the cliched characteristics (springy ride!) that reviewers use about steel but it doesn't lean towards trail or XC but seems to handle both equally well.
    Canyon XC 8.0 '11
    Whyte 19 steel '10
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