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NSMB - 2021 - Hardtail Thread

Jan. 4, 2021, 6:11 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: fartymarty

I've got a -2 in my Krampus and wouldn't ride it without. I would go even slacker if someone made one.

What size is your Krampus? The lines look really good and the wheels look nicely balanced. Better than my medium frame. If I had a do over I'd buy a large.


 Last edited by: Vikb on Jan. 4, 2021, 6:17 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Jan. 4, 2021, 6:16 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: fartymarty

I watched both the HTP reviews but am new to his channel so still trying to get a feel for his reviews.  He seemed to really like the Solaris but was on the wrong size BFe which I'm sure didn't help.

I'm fine with bikes with long rears (Krampus has 446 short, Murmur 445, old Keewee Cromo 8 is 470) so that doesn't bother me.

I've bought two hardtails [RSD MC for my GF and BFeMAX] with input from Steve's HTP reviews and I'd say his reviews are reasonably accurate. I ride one or two sizes larger than him so that can affect the front to rear balance a lot and make some of what he says less applicable to me, but given the paucity of good hardtail reviews I'll take anything that at least tries to be objective/detailed and use it.

Jan. 4, 2021, 6:17 a.m.
Posts: 40
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

It's a large.  I should have got an XL but bought it used and wasn't sure of the standover on the XL.  

It's a bit short and the STA is too slack but it is fun to ride.

Jan. 4, 2021, 6:30 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

My GF has been riding her FS bike this winter so far and it's coming back from every ride totally trashed. We need to swap out the Rekons for some DHF/DHR rubber and the high backsweep bars for a standard riser to make it shred ready again. I did get her out on it for a local spin just to get her used to riding it.

Jan. 14, 2021, 5:15 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 24, 2020

Posted by: fartymarty

Vik - how are you finding the the BFe Max?

Has anyone else ridden one or a Solaris Max?

When I was gathering informations/reviews to decide which hardtail to buy, I had a hard time to find any info on the Solaris Max beside Steve's review. I'm 6'2'' so, like Vik, some of his conclusions are not applicable to me. But I think he does a good job of focusing on strength and limitation of each bikes when he's reviewing a bike. It's easier if you've watched many of his reviews. Anyway, I even tried to get information on mtbr  without success. Maybe on European forums? In the end, I went with a Canfield Nimble 9 because I wanted something more playful but was very close to pull the trigger on a Solaris Max but also Banshee Paradox V3 and RSD Middlechild at some point. So many great hardtail to choose from...


 Last edited by: LewisQC on Jan. 14, 2021, 5:17 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 14, 2021, 5:52 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I got out on a long ride on my Daambuilt yesterday in the fine weather. Having been riding the Cotic pretty steadily over the winter it was fun to get back in tune with this fine machine. When I started riding this bike it felt pretty long/aggressive, but after months on the BFeMAX it feels like a playful trailbike. With all the rain we've had lately there was a lot of standing water and mud to get through, but the lack of other people on most of the route made it worth the effort to get out and enjoy the day. I'm staying in my local area in accordance with public health guidance. I'll be stoked when we can move around BC again and I can load this bike up with camping gear for some adventures further from home.

Jan. 14, 2021, 8:33 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 30, 2010

Posted by: fartymarty

Vik - how are you finding the the BFe Max?

Has anyone else ridden one or a Solaris Max?

Hi fartymarty,

I have had a SolarisMax for just over a year now. Ridden a few different hardtails. Had one of the very first Surfaces, but never gelled with it. then a blue steel Honzo, (loved it) Ti Raijin (dream XC bike) then a Ti Honzo. the Ti Honzo was my favourite bike, but a frame crack had me looking for a new frame. The latest Honzo's were not appealing didn't seem to have moved with the times. Andrew Major suggested looking at the Cotic Bikes, and finding their source was a few miles south of where I was born, I was hooked. They were great to deal with, the geo was what I was thinking about and the prices were reasonable. Delivery was painless, though I wish I had waited for the 2020 frames as the SuperNova Orange would be my choice of colour! I bought a large frame and with some adaptors for the "old school" hubs, it was built up with parts from the deceased Ti Honzo. It might be considered a little over forked, fox 36 talus 140/160. Jeff from the now departed Wheelthing bike workshop built it up for me.

Steve's reviews are great and I concur with most of his conclusions. (I do not get his fixation with short chain stays, or 120mm forks). I'm 6' with 30" inseams for jeans, so on the long upper body, short leg orangutan scale. For where I ride, north shore more techy than flow, (favoured trails, severed, forever after, boundary, crippler), its darn near perfect for me. It's a little heavier than the Ti Honzo, not that I notice it when riding. It's very stable when ploughing through chunder on Severed. I tackle challenges I've never tried before with this bike! Riding the Baden Powell connector to Forever after from Severed, for example is a dreamlike floating experience.

Ok, truth be told I'm SLOW, and comfortable with riding slow. Takes me 45 minutes from Hyannis to old severed entrance and another 10 to 12 minutes back down severed to Bridle Path. At 60 I don't want to crash and damage myself, takes too long to heal, but I often find myself pushing this bike way beyond my previous comfort zones and so far, touch all variants of wood around me, it just ploughs through. Failures are when I don't trust myself!

Big differences from the honzos:

It feels so much loooonger, but I can wrangle it around the R+R climb just as well as the Honzo.

Most notable to me is that I am able to move the Solaris around in a semi track stand much easier than any bike I've owned.

The front pops much easier than Honzo.

Fewer OTB experiences.

I don't feel beaten up at the end of a ride.

I so like this bike that I bought a Rocket Max Full suspension frame last year and that's been another amazing experience as well, but mostly, I'll unconsciously choose the Hardtail for my ride. I have to be focused to select the Full suspension bike for a ride! this replaced an early Honzo Process 111, a very nice bike, that I never gelled with.

Cheers


 Last edited by: GreyHead on Jan. 14, 2021, 9:43 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Jan. 14, 2021, 8:56 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: GreyHead

I so like this bike that I  bought a Rocket Max Full suspension frame last year and that's been another amazing experience as well, but mostly, I'll unconsciously choose the Hardtail for my ride. I have to be focused to select the Full suspension bike for a ride!  this replaced an early Honzo Process 111, a very nice bike,  that I never gelled with. 

I'm glad you are enjoying the SolarisMAX so much. We'll definitely need a full report on the RocketMAX though. ;-)

Jan. 14, 2021, 9:22 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 30, 2010

the Rocket Max is much more bike than I'd ever use to its best!!  Takes me a few rides to realise that I'm just ambling through really tough stuff, and to give it its head and let it roll.  the downside is getting back on the Hardtail, you realise that what you thought was smooth is a rock garden...  So another few rides to get that sorted again!! First world problems.

Jan. 14, 2021, 10:48 p.m.
Posts: 40
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

GreyHead - thanks for your post.  I'm not in the market for a new HT but the Solaris Max is on top of the shortlist.

Jan. 23, 2021, 7:29 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Riding conditions are great here on the South Island. Yesterday was pretty much the perfect amount of moisture in the dirt. Not too wet and not too dry. Looks like snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I plan to get out for at least one more hardtail snow biking mission this year. I like riding in the white stuff.

Jan. 23, 2021, 11:01 a.m.
Posts: 812
Joined: May 11, 2018

I haven't ridden an aluminum hardtail in 20 years. How do they ride these days. It looks burly and stiff but do the big tires take the edge off?

Jan. 24, 2021, 5:57 a.m.
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec. 6, 2008

Posted by: RAHrider

I haven't ridden an aluminum hardtail in 20 years. How do they ride these days. It looks burly and stiff but do the big tires take the edge off?

I had an aluminum Norco Torrent in 2018 and a steel Kona Explosif in 2019. There was a significant difference between the two bikes; I preferred the steel.

The Torrent felt somewhat lifeless and empty, whereas the Explosif had more spring to its step.

The Torrent's larger 27.5" x 2.8" tires did in fact take the edge off, but at the expense of more drag. I switched the rear Minion to a faster-rolling but still fat tire and that got rid of some of the clumsy feeling but it never approached the energy of the Explosif.

Jan. 24, 2021, 7:17 a.m.
Posts: 567
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Every part of a mountain bike acts as a filter for vibrations/impacts from the ground to the rider. They'll all address different parts of the frequency spectrum coming your way. I wouldn't want a stiff AL fatbike with 5" tires despite the huge rubber. OTOH there are some AL frames that are designed/made not to be super harsh. So you can't really nail down steel vs. AL in general. Although I would say you are unlikely to get an optimized AL frame unless you are shopping for a high end model. 

The only AL hardtail that made me think it would ride well enough to be of interest is the Banshee Paradox V3.

Jan. 24, 2021, 1:55 p.m.
Posts: 2922
Joined: May 23, 2006

I read a review of that that said it felt "dead". Something about those relieved dropouts. ymmv.......

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