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MEATengines

Oct. 3, 2022, 5:38 p.m.
Posts: 1017
Joined: March 15, 2013

Posted by: fartymarty

Given the £ has bombed recently it's a good time to pick up a frame from this side of the pond.

So now would be the time to buy one of those sweet Pace frames that was just posted in the hardtail thread?

Oct. 3, 2022, 8:32 p.m.
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan. 10, 2022

A GG Gnarvana was $2,100USD two years ago and is $3,100USD today. The frame comes in colours now but hasn’t had any major geometry (mold) changes. As Vik said, the 2022 price is now close to the industry standard for a CF main/Al rear frame. When you compare the 2020 number to the Exie or the Arrival I think that the amazing thing is that it wasn’t priced higher to begin with! Did they have a government grant to cover some of their CF development or operating costs for manufacturing in NA? Were they just self conscious about their frame weights? It’s like they thought domestic manufacture was a drawback instead of a strength.

I checked the Google street view and it’s not all Audis and BMWs in front of the Denver HQ, so nothing obviously fishy going on there. 🤪

Oct. 4, 2022, 7:20 a.m.
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I've met a couple of the owners at some GG meet ups and chatted with them on the phone a few times. My sense is they are pretty committed to domestic manufacturing and doing what they can to keep prices reasonable at the same time. I have no inside scoop, but I've been involved in planning, developing and producing new products so I can understand the challenges. The money they got at the start of the carbon project would have helped with R&D, but moving to a new facility, staffing and equipping it so they could meet demand is pretty expensive and front loaded. So you overcome the technical challenges and then you have figure out how to actually fund the expansion of production so you have product to sell.

Initially GG made the carbon project happen out of their small building with limited equipment. That kept the costs low while they worked through their production processes, but there were serious delays in meeting customer orders. So they moved to a much bigger facility and invested heavily in people and equipment. They are now able to actually stock frames and build bikes on demand. Compared to the past that's amazing. 

All that cost is front loaded and then we had COVID and all the costs associated with that so I am not shocked the prices went up. I do hope the founders are making some decent $$ these days. They risked a lot of their families' savings and spent a lot of unpaid time to get GG rolling. I also hope the company makes enough above that to put back into R&D for the next generation of frames and expanding production again down the road when needed.

I really like the fact they are not frenetically making small changes each year to their bikes. They are great rides and my 2018 or my GF's 2019 would stand up to any similar category 2022 bike. They'll put out new bikes when they've got something sufficiently better to offer. I'm 100% fine with say a 5 year product cycle.

Oct. 4, 2022, 8:16 a.m.
Posts: 507
Joined: June 17, 2016

I would actually be fine with all bike brands just keeping their current models forever. Geometry has settled in the last few years and there haven't really been any revolutionary innovations in many years. I feel like everything has been solved for a while now. I'd like to see the industry focus on making manufacturing more sustainable and bikes more durable in general. Of course that conflicts with brands wanting to sell as many new bikes as possible and consumers wanting to buy new bikes every year.

Oct. 4, 2022, 9:18 a.m.
Posts: 2322
Joined: April 25, 2003

While I admire what all the standard brands do at the top end, I feel like there’s a market for less fancy frames that cost less but still make experienced riders happy. 

Personally, I’m very happy with non-hydro formed aluminum, external cable routing and a lack of “features” (adjustable geo/headsets, cute little storage compartments etc), basic paint jobs and Taiwanese welding with good QC.  I don’t think I’m alone in this either. 

In early 2020 I was planning on ordering a aluminum Hightower and reconsidered after my boy came, my half million dollar house reno started and the plague closed my business.  Saved over $1000 and got a RSD instead, and, like all the hardtail advocates point out, still had an excellent time on the trails even though I was on a more “basic” bike. Only thing I’ve ever missed was the extra travel, but that doesn’t have anything to do with price point/fanciness.

Oct. 4, 2022, 2:33 p.m.
Posts: 380
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: tashi

While I admire what all the standard brands do at the top end, I feel like there’s a market for less fancy frames that cost less but still make experienced riders happy. 

Personally, I’m very happy with non-hydro formed aluminum, external cable routing and a lack of “features” (adjustable geo/headsets, cute little storage compartments etc), basic paint jobs and Taiwanese welding with good QC.  I don’t think I’m alone in this either. 

In early 2020 I was planning on ordering a aluminum Hightower and reconsidered after my boy came, my half million dollar house reno started and the plague closed my business.  Saved over $1000 and got a RSD instead, and, like all the hardtail advocates point out, still had an excellent time on the trails even though I was on a more “basic” bike. Only thing I’ve ever missed was the extra travel, but that doesn’t have anything to do with price point/fanciness.

Aside from your early 2020 chaos, my sentiments exactly. I bought a Ripmo AF for this very reason in Feb'20, and although I've since upgraded a few things, I can see myself happily riding out the impressive 7-year warranty.

Oct. 4, 2022, 5:51 p.m.
Posts: 479
Joined: March 16, 2017

Posted by: niels@nsmb.com

I would actually be fine with all bike brands just keeping their current models forever. Geometry has settled in the last few years and there haven't really been any revolutionary innovations in many years. I feel like everything has been solved for a while now. I'd like to see the industry focus on making manufacturing more sustainable and bikes more durable in general. Of course that conflicts with brands wanting to sell as many new bikes as possible and consumers wanting to buy new bikes every year.

To be honest if the second hand Samurai hadn't been destroyed would have happily carried on giving zero fucks about it being an "older" frame.  And is was even better when I on a whim asked a local club member one day at the Farm if could borrow his 27.5" rear wheel and discovered that you could run a 27.5x2.25 rear wheel with tire in the frame. 

Was fun having two different wheel sets for differing riding. 

Oct. 4, 2022, 5:59 p.m.
Posts: 2322
Joined: April 25, 2003

Posted by: mammal

Aside from your early 2020 chaos, my sentiments exactly. I bought a Ripmo AF for this very reason in Feb'20, and although I've since upgraded a few things, I can see myself happily riding out the impressive 7-year warranty.

Ya that bike is exactly what I’m talking about - all the essentials of a really nice bike, less of the unnecessary fancy features.


 Last edited by: tashi on Oct. 4, 2022, 6 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 4, 2022, 11:20 p.m.
Posts: 368
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

Posted by: niels@nsmb.com

I would actually be fine with all bike brands just keeping their current models forever. 

My Starling Murmur is now 3 and they haven't touched the geo and I wouldn't change it.

On the subject of older bikes I've had my OG Kramous for nearly 8 years and still love riding it.  Geo is a little dated but it complements the Murmur.

I hope the next big evolutionary step is the drive train.  While they work fine they are maintenance intensive.

Oct. 5, 2022, 7:54 a.m.
Posts: 507
Joined: June 17, 2016

Posted by: fartymarty

Posted by: niels@nsmb.com

I would actually be fine with all bike brands just keeping their current models forever. 

My Starling Murmur is now 3 and they haven't touched the geo and I wouldn't change it.

On the subject of older bikes I've had my OG Kramous for nearly 8 years and still love riding it.  Geo is a little dated but it complements the Murmur.

I hope the next big evolutionary step is the drive train.  While they work fine they are maintenance intensive.

The Murmur does seem like a timeless bike to hold on to for a very long time. Any concerns about rust with the steel frame?

I have to say that I find modern drivetrains pretty low maintenance. Apart from replacing the wearables when it's time, all I do is wipe the chain after a ride and drip some Squirt lube on it when needed. I've had some durability issues with my SRAM GX derailleurs but that's another story.

Oct. 5, 2022, 8:50 a.m.
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I've had a lot of steel frames including one I used for many months [over few trips] beach camping in the Baja and when home riding around Calgary in the winter [ie. road salt]. That steel bike developed some cosmetic surface rust because I was too lazy to rinse it off with fresh water after extensive salt exposure. The rust was minor and had no effect on the bike. I eventually re-powercoated that frame and sand blasted that rust off. It looked like new again.

For my steel frames that have seen "normal" use in Calgary and on Van Isle I have not had any rust issues at all. I don't do anything special to the bikes other than store them in a garage out of the elements and I don't hose them down. I do use a rear fender which avoids spraying water into the seattube....which I think helps.

If you are particularly worried about a steel frame you can treat the inside of the tubes with rustproofing spray and the outside with a protective spray. I don't bother. 

Currently my oldest steel frame is 9 years old and gets used in the rain a fair bit. It has no rust issues and I expect it'll be going strong another couple decades.

Oct. 5, 2022, 11:48 a.m.
Posts: 507
Joined: June 17, 2016

Good to know rust is not a big issue.

One side-effect of apartment living is my MTBs often get a quick rinse off after a muddy ride because they need to be carried into our building, through common areas and our own living room, and leaving muddy trails everywhere is generally not appreciated. I also store my MTBs outside on our balcony, it's covered but there is still more exposure to the elements. So a steel frame may suffer a bit more in those circumstances.


 Last edited by: niels@nsmb.com on Oct. 5, 2022, 9:27 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 5, 2022, 12:34 p.m.
Posts: 246
Joined: April 26, 2004

With the cancellation of the old Vassago haiku forum, this seems like the best place to show off my iconoclastic build/fabrication creativity for the upcoming Arizona Trail Race 800 (Mexico to Utah on the Arizona National Scenic Trail).

BIKE: My ride for the AZTR 800 Grand Depart will be a 2017 Rocky Mountain Oatmeal (it started as an Element, but the decal was re-arranged following the first ride, a haggis and scotch on a Robbie Burns Day). Schwalbe Racing Ray and Ralph tires with noodles/inserts. Race Face and Shimano components, including a 90 mm stem and 2X front derailleur (that trigger the local fashion police).

BAGS: Made my own pack, bivy and bags from a dyneema sail (donated by Robert's Composites/Sailboards), roll-ends, and a crazy carpet (plastic roll-up snow sled). Seat bag is sized to compromise between full rear suspension travel (100 mm) and most possible seatpost drop (88 mm). Pack uses a closed cell foam sleeping pad to make a semi-rigid frame for the Big Portage - Rim to Rim through the Grand Canyon (my Metis ancestors worked as courier dubois, so it be will something I have to live up to).

GEAR HIGHLIGHTS: The same Selle Italia Turbo saddle I used for the 1989 Iditabike (I spent the last few winters trying out over ten different saddles and went back to the old standard). Although, it may appear that I am using lots of well-used, home-made, vintage and/or out-of-style gear, I am starting with brand new (and newest technology) tires (gotta have new shoes for the start of any new big scary adventure).

Some links for the race:

http://trackleaders.com/aztr22 click on Full Screen Mode for a better view
Arizona Trail Race 2022 live tracker by trackleaders.com

https://azt300-800.com/?fbclid=IwAR2t7B2jia8XnNcDL5zsVRTNxo4dZxbZOgUV_5tGROdKnRRGKuEUzYaFoDg

https://bikepacking.com/event/arizona-trail-race-2022/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1EXq55dGJQ

Guy Martin (Isle of Mann TT racer and famous British TV presenter) gives a hilarious talk about doing the AZTR. Starts at 5:15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aTvOBDEdSw



Can't say I don't know what I am getting myself in for (double-negative intended)

Oct. 5, 2022, 4:08 p.m.
Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

That is awesome Rod. Curious if you have extra water hiding somewhere not obvious there? Just the one bottle? 

When is the Grand Depart for the ATR 800?

Oct. 5, 2022, 4:39 p.m.
Posts: 246
Joined: April 26, 2004

another BORN bottle in the top tube bag, two 1 L bladders in the frame bag, 2 L bladder in the pack, and 1 L pot in the seatbag (but it will be used for food), plus tablets and a steri-pen

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