I love a rowdy HT and if it's steel, with some modern geo then even better because they are great fun and a different way of approaching a trail and getting a very different experience. XC, Alu type HT's hold no interest for me as it's best of no worlds. Usually a pretty bumpy, rough ride that I would deffo prefer to be doing on a short travel dual sus. Usually I reckon a 130 / 140mm HT is a pretty sweet spot.
Unfortunately there is such massive range in the HT market as they really start as the basic of the basic, hunk o' junk bikes through to high end makers like Kingdom. I know that sounds obvious but there are so many bikes out from big manufacturers that are entry level, awful geo and shouldn't even see a gravel path it can get overwhelming.
The old Silverback Slade and the Banshee Paradox are great Alu HT frames. Issue is in SA there isn't really that much of a calling / market for manufacturers to bring them in. I don't think they even bring in the 2023 Slade do they? This is the reason I mostly get my frames off PinkBike or Ebay or generally UK shops as there is a wider range and prices are (usually) better than here plus as previous people have said there isn't the culture of those trail HT's here. In the UK there is a long tradition of fun, rowdy HT's and so many manufactures to choose from in Alu, steel, Ti and carbon.
Keep an eye out on here, you'll be surprised what will pop up. There was a nice Nukeproof for sale, a large Steel Stanton Switch and I've even seen a Kingdom Vendetta kicking about (which I'm still kicking myself I missed). Rapide gets some good shout outs and the Momsens are always popping up but the geo isn't great, any of Dave Mercer's frames are always awesome.
This is a good price and decent spec.
RS rev' fork, dropper, Flow wheels, bit of XT... boom!
People that make great HT's overseas:
- Orange P7
- Commencal Meta HT
- Shand used to do the shug
- Pole Taival
- On One Scandal, Vandal, Huntsman, Hello Dave, Wrekker, and Big Dog
- Chromag Doctahawk is pretty extreme / Rootdown is less so
- Kona Honzo
- Nordest Bardino
- Ragley Bikee
This list has 65 odd HT's with head angles, seat angles and standout features which is quite a fun place to start as well.