Trail Hardtails

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    • #260132

      Why is it so hard to find a 29er with relaxed trail geo? 27.5 and 27.5 plus are plentiful and affordable(under $1k), but I can’t find squat that’s affordable on wagon wheels, the few I have found are hard to get in the USA or I’m looking in the wrong places, i.e. NS Eccentric Lite, Nukeproof Scout 290. Thanks in advance for any advice.

      P.S. been lurking for over a year, this is my first post.

    • #260141

      In my opinion, the best budget 29er hardtail is the Salsa Timberjack.  The cheapest model retails for $1250.  The bike comes with 2.6 tires mounted on (i=inner width) i29mm rims and has a 130mm fork.   The bike is designed to for any tire width from 2.2 to 2.8.  Amazing versatily.   The Timberjack comes with good solid spec.   If I was buying a budget hardtail, the TimberJack would be my first choice.

    • #260143

      I have to agree that the Salsa Timberjack is a very good hardtail for the money. It’s what I ride.

    • #260144

      If the info here is accurate, while the 27.5+ models are a little more, you should be able to get the 29er Timberjack for around $999…

      • #260145

        unfortunately that is old info, the 2019 Timberjacks come in 3 different build kits starting at$1249.00 27.5×2.8 or 29×2.6 build kit and wheel size determine your frame color, the Deore 29er is flat black with very feminine looking teal/turquoise graphics/logo.  Was hoping for some other ideas, I have several LBSs where i live, but they are all the Big 3 or roadie shops, I don’t understand how they stay in business when they all sell the same stuff and their is no competitive pricing in new bikes. it’s not like going to a car lot.

    • #260146

      Sorry for the old info. On the other hand, if you can find a shop with leftovers, getting a past year’s model might be a way to get a good bike at a more affordable price.

      Have you checked There was another thread about them and the people who chimed in about their personal experiences with their bikes were mostly very positive.

    • #260147

      Already checked on old stock, i prefer buying local, I guess i’ll just have to firure out a way to get the 2 local retailers that carry Salsa to compete for my business. i.e. discount or free service/tune up in the first few months/year.

    • #260148

      Well I hate to double post but i guess its time to save my pennies to get the Timberjack, one dealer who has the bike in my size in stock says bike prices are fixed and they offer one free tune up. the other shop who would have to order the bike has won my business however with a 10% military/veteran discount and free unlimited basic tune ups $68 value/each for the first year.

    • #260192

      A little late to this hot topic but I completely agree. You can find 29er hardtails with 70-71 degree head angles all day. Even Ritchey and other custom frame builders you will find this issue.

      I was rebuilding my 29er hardtail that I put through the ringer for the last two years and started with some nice wheels, crank, gears, shifter and brake levers. Then I got a bonus and thought, “maybe I should put these nice parts on a better frame”. Found 27.5 frame that I like real cheap but already have 29er wheels so no good. I can find 29er frames that are nice and have thru-axles and/or boost but again, I already have the wheels and they are QR. If you are set on continuing to use your nice QR 29er wheels, good luck. My best bet is the Vitus Nucleus but those frames don’t show up on too often.

      In the meantime, the last pieces I need to get that build done are currently shipping my way. It will stay a cheap rebuild. I have spent $315 so far, this included new wheels and tires, convert to 1.5x (Bought a 3x crank and I kept the 32T/22T chain rings but removed the derailleur and the 42T), updated the cockpit. Maybe add a slightly better fork (air) and a dropper post in the future.

      • #260198

        Amen, there are some sweet frames out there that will take 29er wheels but you’re right not QR, at least not the sweet super slack ones like the RSD Middlechild, or the Commencal Meta AM HT. You could have gotten a Salsa Timberjack frame with the QR alternator dropouts, but I don’t think it would have been as budget friendly as the route you went.

    • #260197

      The answer is always Honzo. Base level MSRP for $1500 and nothing that needs an upgrade (no PF bs, has a dropper) out of the gate. Less scratch than the comparable Salsa and it’s a 29er.

      • #260200

        For me the answer is never Kona, I don’t support Potheads.

      • #260201

        @Halfsquish: “For me the answer is never Kona, I don’t support Potheads.”

        You probably should quit mountain biking. The holier than thou weed teetotalers are few and far between in the industry there Mr Sessions.

      • #260203

        That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. EVER

      • #260207

        I don’t support Potheads.

        Well, at least you showed us proper respect by capitalizing. lol

    • #260206

      @HalfSquish: “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. EVER”

      Damn! Winning! My work is done here.

    • #260209

      The Santa Cruz Chameleon is a great ride.  It is just a bit more expensive, yet a very versatile rig.

    • #260327

      I was going to make a suggestion, but I realize it’s possible the manufacturer has a weedhead on its payroll. Better play it safe – stick with the drunks.

      • #260421

        its not so much having weed smokers on payroll its the blatant selling of kona branded rolling papers. i have ridden a couple konas and they are fabulous bikes.

      • #260535

        @HalfSquish: “its not so much having weed smokers on payroll its the blatant selling of kona branded rolling papers. i have ridden a couple konas and they are fabulous bikes.”

        I’m confused on this still. It’s not the illegality of it as cannabis is legal in Washington state (and many other places). It isn’t about the effects/buzz as Kona has sold pint glasses in the past and the destructive nature of alcohol consumption is well documented and obviously one could utilize the papers to roll a tobacco (also really bad, duh.) cigarette. Maybe you believe there are better options for rolling papers (J&B, Captain Zig Zag, etc?) or better smoking methods (bongs, vapes, pipes, etc?). It seems a curious thing to be offended by.

      • #261533

        Understood, halfsquish.

        I hope that you consider getting a used frame if it opens up more possibilities for you. There is still a nearly-new large Pedalhead on Pinkbike for 900, and it’s been there some weeks. You can even fit a 29 x 2.8 in there. Good luck in any case.

    • #260328

      Ribbing aside, I would be less constrained by price and just get the HT I truly wanted, which would be steel and not prohibitively more expensive than a cheap frame. If I was pinched I’d find it used.

      The sting of few hundred bucks extra doesn’t stick with you every ride like a consolation bike does. And yes, a steel Honzo would kill it. So would a Pedalhead.

    • #260333

      I have been riding a 2017 Salsa Timberjack 29er for a couple of years. I love it. The bike has handled all I can throw at it. The only hold back has been my skills. I also like the fact that should you change your mind or want to try something new you can put 27.5 wheels on it with I believe up to 3″ tires. Currently riding 29 with 2.4″ tires. If I got a different fork I could put probably 2.8″ or bigger tires. Frame can handle big tires. Alot of upgrades or ways to customize the bike.

      Just picked up a Santa Cruz Chameleon this week for the same reason. Versatile bike that can be changed up. Timberjack though is cheaper.

    • #260625

      It’s all about tyres & tyre pressures. Go fatter & lower – makes an amazing difference = sofa bike.


    • #260966

      Ive  been rippin 2019 roscoe8. Besides nothing its a great bike that most cant outride. Dropper, airfork,2.8 tires thing has been a great climber and with correct air pressure can bomb the downhill rockys.

    • #261043

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>I bought a new Cannondale Trail 7 in 2015 for $550 and have put over 1k miles on it and have liked it. Mine is XL so it is a 29er but I’m not sure if the smaller sizes have 29″ wheels.</p>

      • #261139

        how do you like the geo on it?

      • #261166

        Well to be honest I don’t pay much attention to the geo or notice much of a difference on different bikes. Although I recently bought a Cannondale Cujo 2 and have noticed more pedal strikes than on the Trail. The Cujo is significantly smoother and more fun on anything other than pavement and dirt roads but the Trail is definitely faster on smooth stuff because of the narrow tire and the higher gearing.

    • #261136

      Check out Commencal Meta HT. I built up a really nice 27.5+  hardtail from the frame up. Frame only cost $500 brand new and you can run 27 or 29er wheels on it. SC or Kona woulda been my other choices.

    • #261391

      Check the Motobecane Fantom 29s, a very soft and forgiving frameset.  Bikes Direct is OK, I have purchased from them in the past.

    • #261798

      @HalfSquish what have you ended up doing? I ran into a couple guys riding the Marin Nail Trail, that is a nice trail hardtail but you would have to look for them on sale if you want to stick to the $1,000 budget.

      I was going to recommend the Breezer Thunder but it looks like they stopped making mountain bikes last year. The truth is they are from the same company as Fuji. So there is probably a Fuji that was equivalent to the 2018 Breezer Thunder.

    • #261801

      Whoops. Meant Breezer Storm.

    • #261924

      Still being undecided, as I keep test riding more bikes I’m uncomfortable on my 72* HTA bike in size L @ 6’4″ I need an XL and love the feel of a 29er but i like the cushion of a 2.6 -2.8 wide tire as i prefer a HT for the fun factor. plus i need the plusher ride due to breaking my back in Iraq circa 2005. I have test rode a few 27.5+ rigs that i like but the only 29er i can find with at least a 2.6 that is what i consider affordable is the Timberjack Deore. Picking a new bike is a PITA. too many choices and prices are ridiculous with not a lot of margin to the LBS as I have a cousin who owns a bike shop in CT, according to him best bang for buck is Giant which is funny considering he’s not a Giant dealer LOL.

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