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Who makes a 90's style rigid 26er with a threadless steerer/ht?

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Who makes a 90's style rigid 26er with a threadless steerer/ht?

Old 03-28-20, 05:13 PM
  #26  
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I am going to pick up a frame from Mark at Habanero Cycles. He was kind enough to dust one off for me (well way more than that) so you might check with him. I will say he is super nice and when I told him what I wanted 26" with canti/linear pull brake mounts and a threadless steerertube to put some old early 90s XT he was more than happy to oblige and we chatted for a while about the project and he was quite stoked. Ti is fly!

I haven't yet sent the money due to COVID-19 and my worries about not working for a while but we are still open so I think next pay period I might have to send him the money because I just can't wait to welcome another beautiful titanium bike into the stable.
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Old 03-28-20, 05:24 PM
  #27  
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Much as it pains me to say this, the Troll is probably a better option than an old bike if you have some money to spare. You can buy the old MTB and move everything over to the Troll frame, then when upgrade-itist/ "oh, that's cheap I'll buy that" hits you have the option of going to discs, boost rear, racks coming out your wazoo, fenders and 3" tyres whatever...
That being said I did some good tours on old MTBs The Shogun Trailbreaker 4 from the late 90's still stayed with the early 80s vibe, long chainstays and slack steering with rigid forks. Threaded though, I just used a quality stem adapter.
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Old 03-28-20, 09:22 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Refreshing View Post
I want a bike (or preferably a frameset) that has a geometry for straight bars, can fit 26"x2.25 tread, and uses rim brakes.
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
On and off I've wanted a surly troll for this reason.
Originally Posted by skidder View Post
The Surly Troll (already mentioned) or Surly Long Haul Trucker if you're not going to take it on rough roads or off-road. Looks like all frame sizes of the LHT can now be purchased with 26" wheel compatability.
The LHT maxes out at 2" tires with fenders. The Troll maxes out at 2.8" with fenders. So if the 2.25" tire width is a requirement then the LHT is out.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
There's nothing wrong with taking a true touring bike like the Surly LHT, for example, and putting flat bars on it. The geometry doesn't suffer if you use a flat bar. Handling doesn't suffer either. Your hands may suffer from riding a flat bar for extended periods but that's a lesson you'll have to learn yourself.
I agree 100% on the straight bars and hands suffering. If the OP is used to them and has been endurance tested over the long haul being OK with straight bars that is one thing. However, I would venture a guess that most of us don't fall in that category. Multiple hand positions can be a blessing. Another thought is posture. With drop bars you can adjust your riding posture between the 2 levels also. That can make a world of difference, though traditionally drops are narrower thus you don't get the same "leverage" for the same tracking stability on rough terrain as you can get with wider straight bars.

Originally Posted by djb View Post
If off road tendencies are in the books, go with a frameset that can go up to 2.5 2.75ish for older frames, and up to 3in front and back in the 2017 and newer frame design.
Its neat to have a frame that can be changed into diff types of bikes with tire widths and bar types. Mine has been a mtb setup, trekking bars and dropbars. Ive run 1.5 to 2.5in tires on it, from slicks to mtb knobbies, and like how it handles and rides in all guises
Best advice in the thread, I think. The point about the different width of tires is key. You get a lot more use out of your bike depending on what you find yourself in. That is on my radar in a new build (ECR). Had it been on my radar to think through before I bought I wouldn't have the Disk Trucker I have. It is a great bike, don't get me wrong. It just is very limited with any off-pavement riding in my world.

To add to it - when bike shops set up bikes they "set the bar height" then cut off excess height of the steer tube on the fork so it doesn't stick up past where it needs to for the stem to mount etc. If you know this from the start you can have the steer tube cut much higher. That gives you a lot of flexibility later that you wouldn't otherwise have in setting bar heights and/or mounting gear. That is what I did with my Disk Trucker when I got it and I have adjusted bar height over the years as well as expanded my mounting options (last Fall I added a 2nd stem that holds a dummy bar for accessories - bar bag and phone mount primarily).

Again, I ride a disk trucker - 700c. For pavement riding/touring it is a great bike. The tire width being limited severely limits (in my book) the off-road capability. The frame handling off-road is one thing, which it would no problem. The limitation is the tire width.

With the above having been said, again if I had the foresight to have thought through this a long time ago, I would have had a different bike. The 26" LHT framesets can clear much wider tires. So that is heading in the right direction. If the OP wants to stick to a 26" wheel with rim brakes the Troll would be the next step for larger tire clearance. You can always go narrower - you can't go wider. Above 2" is the right place for off-road on firm ground - so the 2.25" original width listed by the OP is right in that ballpark. However...

Take in to consideration soft ground. The primary examples of this are in the in-between seasons where temps are freezing at night and above freezing during the day. If you ride out in the morning on frozen ground then by mid-day the trail surface has started to thaw the surface will get soft to where your tires sink in. I had this happen to me on a gravel trail system in IL. I tried to combat that with going from 37mm tires to 42mm tires (as wide as I could go). It did not make much difference. If it were me I would want to be able to get to the 3" width range, or larger. That gets in to the fat tire bike realm, though, so that may not be your cup of tea. The Surly ECR is a good in-between bike here. It is a touring bike that has the wider tire clearances. Though, it is a 27.5 or 29+ frameset with disk brakes. They don't have it in a 26" or with rim brakes. So that is where I think, if the 26" with rim brakes is a hard set requirement, the Troll is likely to be the best option.

Again, keep in mind the steer tube length and bar height setting. You can always add spacer rings to make up the distance then if it is still way too tall trim it later. If it is cut short it is hard to go back the other way.
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Old 03-29-20, 10:23 AM
  #29  
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[QUOTE=KC8QVO;21388834]The LHT maxes out at 2" tires with fenders. The Troll maxes out at 2.8" with fenders. So if the 2.25" tire width is a requirement then the LHT is out.

This idea of going to super wide tires is getting to be ridiculous. For road use, a 2” tire doesn’t offer anything than just being heavy. A 2.8” tire is just more weight. If you add knobs for off-road use, it’s just more weight. And it is rotating weight which means the rider has to fight it with each pedal stroke. At some point the rider is going to have to lift that weight to the top of a hill...or even mountain.

If the point is to get some cushion for off-road use, going to a suspension system does far more than wide tire without dampening nor compression control does. In off-road situations, the bike will handle better and provide a better ride with suspension. If suspension bob is a problem, use a suspension that locks out. This is my off-road touring bike (without the fenders)

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
I agree 100% on the straight bars and hands suffering. If the OP is used to them and has been endurance tested over the long haul being OK with straight bars that is one thing. However, I would venture a guess that most of us don't fall in that category. Multiple hand positions can be a blessing. Another thought is posture. With drop bars you can adjust your riding posture between the 2 levels also. That can make a world of difference, though traditionally drops are narrower thus you don't get the same "leverage" for the same tracking stability on rough terrain as you can get with wider straight bars.
Bar ends help with flat bars. I wouldn’t use drops in any off-road situation rougher than a gravel road. I have had experience with flat bars with and without bar ends and they help a lot. My first off-road tour left me with numb hands for 6 weeks following the end of a week long...4 days, actually...trip. I’ve had that a little with drop bars but never as bad.

Originally Posted by djb View Post
LHT is limited in tire width compared to a Troll.
If off road tendencies are in the books, go with a frameset that can go up to 2.5 2.75ish for older frames, and up to 3in front and back in the 2017 and newer frame design.
Its neat to have a frame that can be changed into diff types of bikes with tire widths and bar types. Mine has been a mtb setup, trekking bars and dropbars. Ive run 1.5 to 2.5in tires on it, from slicks to mtb knobbies, and like how it handles and rides in all guises.
It would depend on the use. The Troll would be okay for bikepacking...frame bags, seat bag and handlebar...on rough roads. (For my own personal preference, I’d choose something lighter and with front suspension at least). But for traditional pannier touring the Troll has very short chainstays. I’ve toured on bikes with longer chainstays than the Troll and, while I don’t have particularly large feet, I was constantly kicking the panniers even when they were pushed back as far as possible. It gets annoying very quickly.

I enjoy both on- and off-road touring but I would never try to find a bike that would do both. Like most hybrids, a bike that “can” do both probably won’t do either all that well. My mountain bike does rugged off-road rides that are challenging, fun, and interesting. My on-road touring bike does smoother rides that are challenging, fun, and interesting. It’s just a different kind of fun.
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Old 03-29-20, 11:31 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
This idea of going to super wide tires is getting to be ridiculous. For road use, a 2” tire doesn’t offer anything than just being heavy. A 2.8” tire is just more weight. If you add knobs for off-road use, it’s just more weight. And it is rotating weight which means the rider has to fight it with each pedal stroke. At some point the rider is going to have to lift that weight to the top of a hill...or even mountain.

If the point is to get some cushion for off-road use, going to a suspension system does far more than wide tire without dampening nor compression control does. In off-road situations, the bike will handle better and provide a better ride with suspension. If suspension bob is a problem, use a suspension that locks out.
Good points on all. However, none of the points were to the tune of where I was coming from.

Where I was coming from was ground pressure/flotation.

I agree weight is weight. However, I guarantee a "heavy wider tire bike" is going to ride a lot easier on mushy trail with 3-4x less ground pressure than a narrower tire, harder surface bike.

From that standpoint - a frame set that allows that wider tire will be a better option, in my opinion. You can always go narrower on tire width, you can't go the other way around. That was my key point and why I said djb's statement was, in my book, the best point in the thread.

From an efficiency in riding perspective (conditions changing that guide what type of bike set up to ride) it would help to have dedicated bikes for those conditions, yes. That might not be in the cards for the OP. By stretching 1 frame set with wheel sets it becomes entirely possible to span a very wide range of conditions. Will it excel at those differing conditions? Probably not. But it is quite a swiss army knife of a bike when it can still do all of them.
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Old 03-29-20, 01:13 PM
  #31  
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Cycco is certainly right about the troll having short chain stays, I wear 42 size shoes or 8.5 so heel strike could be a real problem for larger shoes depending on the rack and bags.
re tire size, I agree too that at a certain point things might be too wide, although I've only ridden on 2.5in max, mtb tires and found them pretty cool to ride on, but I completely admit that I have such little off-road experience, especially compared to cycco, that I would tend to take his experience and views as very valid.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:11 PM
  #32  
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Bike touring is a pastime so there isn't really anything ridiculous about what type of bike one chooses. Just choices and directions to explore.

This is my current road touring bike. At the moment it has 700x32 Gatorskins.



This was my loaded tour bike for a while. A 90's era rigid mtb that was repurposed for loaded road touring. It had 26x1.75 Schwalbe Marathons



On this trip I saw the limits of that size of tire as I couldn't ride the sand at that width. I also had problems in another swampy area.



I tried adding a suspension fork and mtb tires to my now redundant converted mtb. It was ok but the fork threw the geometry off a bit. It is also a bit too small for me so I decided not to invest any more into it as a tour bike. For old school mtb it works fine.



After that I made up my mind to get a better off road bike.

I bought a fatbike. What I really wanted was a Surly ECR and I think that would be a better overall choice with 29x3" tires but I couldn't afford one at the time and I got a good deal on this one. For the up coming summer I plan to swap the 26x4.6 for 26x4". Ultimately I want to get a second wheelset 29x3" which keeps the BB at the same height.

If the proof is in the pudding then wider tires have made a difference as it has become my favorite go to bike for riding these days and when I think of tours it's hard to think of road routes as I tend to be looking on the maps for more and more off road opportunities. Two things I notice:

Riding it is just plain fun. It makes me look for terrain that's sketchier or different because I want to see if the bike can handle it.

The distance I make is less but that gets me out of the mileage mindset. Usually, on the road, I tend to try to make big mileage each day and get bored if I stop early and have to sit around camp. With this bike I tend to not think of making miles and tend to enjoy the distance I do ride more.


Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-29-20 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:44 PM
  #33  
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My Thorn Nomad has some similarities to some older mountain bikes, 26 inch wheels, can take 57mm wide tires with fenders (no fenders in the photo, I could not fit them in the S&S case). The manufacturer strongly recommends flat bars but i wanted drop bars for strong headwinds.

But it really was built for heavy duty touring, long chainstays, etc. Frame is specific to Rohloff hub, does not have a derailleur hanger.





Thorn has recently updated this model. Mine is the Mk II model and has a frame that can be fit with a 100mm suspension fork, but the Mk III does not. And mine was available with an S&S option, the Mk III version does not offer that. The Mk III model also can be fitted with a derailleur hanger if you want one instead of Rohloff.

Post 19 above shows a photo of the same bike in these photos but with a suspension fork when I was using it for mountain biking while car camping in North Dakota.
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Old 03-30-20, 05:34 AM
  #34  
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So many good answers and pictures. Thanks guys.

I will be building the bike including the wheel set so I plan to buy a lot of used parts off of eBay. In fact, although I greatly prefer the aesthetic of the LHT I am leaning towards the troll since I tinker with my bike so much. It went from a flat bar MTB to an e-bike to a drop bar gravel bike.

The troll frame will allow me the same range of options I am just afraid that the horizontal dropouts will be a real PITA.

Also, I used to be a real hater of fat bikes thinking that they are slow and totally useless even with the huge amount of snow that we get in South Dakota and Minnesota. But I just keep hearing over and over that fat bikes are so loved because they're just fun to ride ( a poster above me said the same thing). So having the ability to fit larger tires on the troll would be a plus for me.
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Old 03-30-20, 06:44 AM
  #35  
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Happy-- a nice montage and ode to bikes in general, especially interesting is your take on how fatter tires get you into different places and a different mindset.

refresh-- re horizontal dropouts. They don't bug me really, although they are different. Ive set up my fenders with lots of clearance to be able to take the wheel out without having to adjust or loosen rear fender.

the surly bridge club has regular dropouts so maybe look into it. Not z sure if it's sold as a frameset. Check it's max tire size too. It's a 27.5 wheel bike.

good exploring and deciding
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Old 03-30-20, 08:57 AM
  #36  
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I don't think it's just the fat tires that make a difference. I would imagine, if one only rode road bikes and then rode a full suspension mtb they would find it equally as fun in some regard. The difference there is that a rigid platform allows better travel potential (less squish, weight and better geometry).

I guess it's like owning a 4x4 jeep (a real one,not just a looker). To the common eye they are impractical, hold less people, can't haul much, poor aerodynamics and COG... but, if you own one I imagine you just like driving it and look forward to finding places to take it.

We can look at touring bikes as practical platforms for hauling ourselves and our gear from A-B but they can also enhance and shape the journey as well. Like someone who chooses to tour on a penny farthing or a unicycle. Why? Just because.

In my case I found my endurance bike covered the road and gravel scene pretty well (as I don't do heavily loaded touring atm). That left the off road genre open and I didn't want to be limited in terrain by tire size so I sought a bike capable of wide enough tires to cover the far end of the spectrum. I wouldn't want it to be my only touring bike though as it is limited for road use. Except for snow and soft sand, I think 3" probably is a better choice than 4". A 29x3" ECR for example (or any other plus bike like it) can also drop down to 2.5 smoother mixed surface tread if one wants without too much BB height sacrifice.

A suspension fork and 2.5 mtb tires can probably handle most off road conditions and if distance traveled each day takes precedence over all terrain then it may be a better choice - the suspension is the trade off for the wider tires. But those tires won't handle swampy or sandy conditions as well. That I think is the big decision. Which takes more precedence.
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