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The frame of my Enduro MTB is cracked and needs changing. The bike is 10 years old so I will look for a second hand frame and I'd like to be able to use as many of my current parts as possible.

What are the characteristics I need to check when considering a second-hand frame? For my bike I found the following information on its geometry (https://www.norco.com/bike-archives/2011/range-2/):

  • Wheel size 26”
  • Frame size L
  • Travel front / rear 160mm
  • rear center (chainstay) 438mm
  • front center 733mm
  • Wheelbase 1170mm
  • Standover height 774mm
  • Bottom bracket height 355mm
  • Top tube length (center-center) 587mm
  • Top tube length (horizontal) 610mm
  • Fork length 545mm
  • Head tube length 140mm
  • Head tube angle 66.5°
  • Seat tube angle 73°
  • Seat tube length (center-center) 470mm

Which are the points that are important to compare to the new frame in order to be able to put my parts on it?

What other points do I need to verify? For example:

  • How do I find out in advance if my rear suspension fits? Does the frame need to have the same rear suspension technique / geometry?
  • Are the diameters of fork and seat post normed?
  • What about the bottom bracket?
  • Should front and rear travel of the new frame's "normal" setup be exactly the same as the fork and rear suspension, or do they fit between 160 and 170 mm for example?
  • Are there any other points that I might have forgotten?

Thanks!

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    IMO, in doing what you've described I would say your best bet is to go for a like for like frame replacement and by a 2nd hand donner Norco Range 2. You may even be able to go a model or two up/down range or look a year or two earlier/later. Often just repaint between years.
    – Hursey
    Sep 29, 2022 at 22:47
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    @Hursey poliltely disagree - bike parts back to 8 speed are readily available, and 6/7 speed too if you look hard. There's no point getting on the upgrade wagon since OP has a full groupset to bulk-move to a different frame. 6 months could be thousands of km of riding and wear is just part of riding.
    – Criggie
    Sep 29, 2022 at 23:13
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    @Criggie point on drive train, yeah I might be over dramatic, but that's one part of a big picture. Still a whole heap of other components that can wear out and not quite as easy to source as the once were. Will it be a problem, I can't say hence why this isn't an answer. Just opinion that OP can be take into account if so desired
    – Hursey
    Sep 30, 2022 at 0:12
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    @Criggie 6/7/8/9-ish speed parts are no longer made to enthusiast MTB quality levels. To say that you can replace an XT level 8s derailleur with the modern Tourney equivalent is a bit misleading. Some parts can be found NOS, but the supply is drying up quickly...
    – MaplePanda
    Sep 30, 2022 at 0:37
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    @MaplePanda another excellent point. If someone's abilities are such that their performance and enjoyment are limited by their gear, then absolutely go for brand new top-tier stuff. Realistically, OP has a 26" MTB and was happy with it till the frame breakage. Any (working) bike beats walking !
    – Criggie
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:19

1 Answer 1

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I'll just focus on the parts compatibility side of things. The geometry of your current frame versus that of the new one has little effect on which parts are interchangeable, having more to do with riding feel. You can find plenty of information about differences in bicycle geometry elsewhere on this site. Accordingly,

  • You need to find a frame that also takes 26" wheels.
  • The rear wheel attachment method on the new frame must be a 142*12mm through-axle system.
  • It should take a 150 or 160mm fork. A frame designed for 140mm might work in a pinch, but a frame made for >170 should not be used--you will most likely not enjoy the steeper geometry.
  • Frames should come with a shock. You will generally have a hard time transplanting your existing one onto a new frame due to differences in stroke length, overall length, hardware dimensions, metric vs imperial, tuning differences...the list goes on. Just sell your shock separately on the second-hand market.
  • Consider the front derailleur mounting method if you have one. Frames will either have a circular band clamp or a specially-made direct mount of some sort, and the two are not cross-compatible without an adaptor piece.
  • The website doesn't list the seatpost diameter, so you will need to figure that out on your own. I wouldn't recommend buying a frame for its seatpost diameter though. A new rigid post is like $40 max.
  • Your fork has a standard 1.5" -> 1.125" taper. The vast majority of frames with a "tapered headtube" will be compatible.
  • Your bottom bracket is likely a standard threaded one. I would not worry about it--it is possible to install most cranks onto most frames. Worst case is you need a new $30 BB.

Overall though, you may struggle to find a good frame due to the age of your setup. Most of the 26" frames of the same vintage will also have been ridden hard for 11 years (at the time of this writing). It may be worth looking into selling your existing bike for parts, and putting that money towards a newer one. Also take into consideration the level of wear on your current bike's parts when making any judgement call.

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