Let’s start with materials; choices are Carbon, Titanium, Aluminium, or Steal.
Carbon, probable the lightest choice and the design of the weave can have a large influence on the handling, comfort, strength, and style of the frame. I've searched the internet for long time to find a bike/frame that will be suited to My Tour divide, high in contention for a carbon framed bike has to be the Santacruz Highball.
Titanium, the best choice for comfort and after a couple of thousand mile I will be very glad of the comfort, the same comfort can be had with a carbon or steal frame, titanium is lighter than steal and stronger than carbon (considering they are both designed well) I have been waiting for a new On-One Ti 29er to come out, but i have also been looking at some other frames. Titanium is far more expensive that steal, and depending on the carbon frame builder can be more expensive and could be cheaper.
Steal, this is by far the cheapest option but defiantly not the lightest, in an environment when every gram counts I am not too sure the comfort gained warrants the weight increase, I need to do some more research on the weight of a steal frame, but looking at the new Ritchey's p-29er there is no denying it’s an awesome looking frame but at a similar price to the titanium and carbon frames I fail to see the point. But steal is still an option for the shear comfort.
Aluminium is used on the majority of frames on the marked at the moment from cheep £200 jobs to very nice race bikes, aluminium frames have a tendency to be very rigid and for me provide no comfort for My Tour Divide, so i don't think it will be a bike I am going to use.
When I talk about comfort on frames all frames have a bit of flex in them, but some materials and designs have more than others. So I need to do a lot more research to see what frame is going to be the best of all worlds, I need a frame that has a bit of flex to adsorb the small vibrations of the Tour Divide route also stand up to supporting all the kit I have to carry and be as light as possible.
Plus on top of needing the perfect bike for the Tour Divide I will need a bike for the races coming up for the next 12 months.
So in conclusion, I haven't got a clue what bike to use!!! But it's got to be a 29er.
My options so far:
Santacruz Highball (Carbon)
On-One Ti 29er (Titanium)
Sorry no Picture, because its not out yet (that's even if there will be one) :( but I hope it will be out soon.
Lynskey Pro29 VF (Titanium)
Pipedream Ti 29er (Titanium)
Niner 29er (Carbon)
Plus many many more from Cannondale, Scott, and Specialized :(
You may have noticed that I have changed the layout and design of my blog, hope you like it :) any tips for improvement?