ColoradoDiscman
Can anyone recommend a non-custom steel frame with a springy and lively ride with room for at least 700x40 and also 650b x 47. So far I’ve tested a Niner RLT and Kona Rove LTD and they both rode like tanks. I’d love to try out a Ritchey Outback because from what I’ve heard it’s exactly what I’m looking for but trying to find a built up frame is proving difficult (currently in Dallas if anyone has a lead).

I’m also thinking about the Black Mountain Cycles Road plus but I’m not fond of the available colors.

Anything else out there without having to wait 6 months?
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drwelby
If you can cut your 700c requirement to 35, there's this:

https://www.endpoint.bike/products/coffee-grinder-pre-order-fall-winter-2019
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brando
Hey, what is wrong with tanks? I ride the Rove ST, it is a super tank!

One frame that I find intriguing is the Rondo Ruut ST: http://rondo.cc/ruut-st,66,pl. Not sure of the weight and ride feel of this frame, but the geometry could definitely be livelier with the shorter (dropped) chainstays, 420mm vs 435mm for the two you mentioned, as well as the ability to tune the front end handling with the two positions for the axle on the fork.

I think availability in the US is limited, so probably no luck in taking one for a test ride.

I think other options are looking for higher end demos, closeouts or other quick availability on something like a Seven Evergreen or Mosaic. 
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ColoradoDiscman
drwelby wrote:
If you can cut your 700c requirement to 35, there's this:

https://www.endpoint.bike/products/coffee-grinder-pre-order-fall-winter-2019


Yes, I’ve looked closely at this bike. They seem highly regarded on the other forums I frequent. They have have a Jan delivery date which isn’t too bad but the complete build weights I’ve read about are on the heavy side to me. Definitely a bike to keep on the short list if what what I read about is true.
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ColoradoDiscman
brando wrote:
Hey, what is wrong with tanks? I ride the Rove ST, it is a super tank!

One frame that I find intriguing is the Rondo Ruut ST: http://rondo.cc/ruut-st,66,pl. Not sure of the weight and ride feel of this frame, but the geometry could definitely be livelier with the shorter (dropped) chainstays, 420mm vs 435mm for the two you mentioned, as well as the ability to tune the front end handling with the two positions for the axle on the fork.

I think availability in the US is limited, so probably no luck in taking one for a test ride.

I think other options are looking for higher end demos, closeouts or other quick availability on something like a Seven Evergreen or Mosaic. 


Definitely nothing wrong with tanks. I’ve got two Surly’s that fulfill my tank requirement.


That Rondo is interesting I’ll have to dig into that one. Seven’s for some reason have never interested me though I know their craftsmanship is nice and they provide a nice turn around time.

I used to live in Boulder, CO so I’m familiar with Mosaic bikes. Beautiful bikes but the CFO has given me a budget on two bikes. One of them I have picked is a No 22 Drifter. I’m trying to keep my steel bike at a reasonable price.
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ss29er
http://shop.vassagocycles.com/Fisticuff-Frame_p_248.html
This is a pretty nice frame for the $
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badgerhoo
What about the 2019 Jamis Renegade Escapade? comes stock with 40mm 700, but can go to 45s. Sram Force, Reynolds 631, under 22lbs. 3k? Would love to here from someone that has ridden it.
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owly
I can only think of a custom frameset with lightweight tubing (e.g. Rodriguez) and tight rear end for something like that. 

If Crust had their Lightning Bolt 2 with a carbon fork and larger 700c clearance that would do the trick. 

Maybe one day Cherubim will do a large clearance gravel bike [thumb]
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drwelby
Gunnar Fastlane gets close too but I don't know what tubing they use or their lead time.

On the budget end the Soma Fog Cutter has potential.
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VTFerg
As someone who was looking for the exact same thing late last winter, here are a few others that haven't been mentioned yet:

Fairdale Rockitship
Norco Search XR Steel
Fairlight Secan

All are nice, relatively light steel frames with carbon forks and lots of braze-ons. I went with the Fairdale and have been super happy with it. Built up to almost exactly 22 pounds with no real concern for weight. I'm rebuilding it with an Ultegra R8020 kit and some lighter wheels, and expect to get it close to 20 pounds without too much trouble.
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ColoradoDiscman
Thanks for all the recommendations so far! I’m doing research on them all.

Can anyone comment on the Chumba Terlingua?

I forgot about Fat Chance Bikes and saw the Chris Cross. Pity that they have an August delivery or I would buy that now.

Also, there is the Flaanimal by Rodeo Labs. But I think it may ride stiff and dead considering a lot of that crew use it on singletrack in the Front Range.
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midh
I own both the Niner RLT Steel and a Moots TI.
In my experience, with the right wheels, the ride quality of the RLT comes close to that of a Moots.
I think the key is to pick a wheel set that is forgiving and pick tires that are supple.
Stock wheels on most retail builds are crap. If you ride the 1 star or 2 star builds of the RLT, they will ride like tanks. The wheel sets are of the generic heavy and stiff kind. I can’t say I am a big fan of the Stan’s on the 3 star RLT build either.
Even some after market mid range wheel sets are stiff because they are meant for racing. For instance, I have some Mavic aero carbon wheels that also ride like tanks.
I highly recommend RLT and Hunt Bike Wheels.
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Cmtgravel
2019 Masi CXGR Supremo. Columbus steel frame, complete bike just under $2000 . I ride the 2016 Masi CXGR and love it. Heavy and tank-like, but i'm thinking with the upgrade to Columbus tubing, it may be livelier.
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Jeremy
ColoradoDiscman wrote:
Also, there is the Flaanimal by Rodeo Labs. But I think it may ride stiff and dead considering a lot of that crew use it on singletrack in the Front Range.


I pick up my new Flaanimal next week, so I’ll be able to give better info after that, but from what I’ve been told they’re anything but “dead”. If you’re interested at all, I highly recommend reaching out to them and asking when it’s a good time to come by the office. They’re great to talk to and will definitely be able to tell you if the bike is a good choice for the type of riding you’ll be doing. Bonus that they’re a Colorado company and that their beautiful carbon wheels are built in-house.
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Masshoff
Honey Allroads
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