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Old 09-01-2010   #11
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
great frames, especially for the money. like most have said very customizable, light compared to others, and a great price - again compared to others. i use a cooler in front and a drybox in the back bay and still have plenty of room in the rower's compartment as well as storage space underneath my seat for junk like tables, chairs, fishing rod tubes, etc. if you can find someone with an NRS account, they're an even better deal.

By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 09-01-2010   #12
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
The Bighorn II has lots of pros and a couple of cons; the seat bar and the kick bar are wasted space, whereas the adjustability and weight are nice. By sitting on the cooler or drybox and using a cross bar with a kick bar incorporated, allows an extra drop bay for rocket boxes or whatever else you might pack--with the added bonus of a table fitting over the drop bay locking everything in and seating for passengers.

Having a double rail would be nice for safer walking purposes.

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Old 09-01-2010   #13
oarframe's Avatar
Gardnerville, Nevada
Paddling Since: 00
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 447
Good comments all, but not sure that the price of a bighorn 2 is much cheaper than other options. At $645 its more than some of the welded frames out there.
Only con's about the welded frames is the lack of adjustability, you have to have your boxes and coolers dialed in beforehand. Also lots of welded frames do breakdown for easier transport.
Have fun shopping!
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Old 09-01-2010   #14
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Remember, you do not have to order a package setup

you can order parts separate and only order what you want
another benefit of the NRS frame setup
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Old 09-01-2010   #15
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Only tip from me: don't powdercoat the frame until you are really, really sure about where everything goes. Fortunately I didn't suffer this problem, but I watched it happen!
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Old 09-01-2010   #16
Osprey's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
I agree, it's a solid frame and the adjustability is the key thing for me. I really like being able to change from a day setup, to fishing, to multi-day with a few quick tweaks. Seems like I'm ever evolving my setup. A couple suggestions versus the stock one I see online. I would go with the taller oar towers right off the bat and at least one more crossbar. for multiday I have a table/dropbag up front, cooler, then rowers area and I sit on my drybox which is no problem. No drybox for day trip, pop in the seat bar. Slide on the front and back seats and boom, fishing. I was able to get 88" bars on my 14'er. essentially I started with the fishing frame and kept buying parts and now have a tweaked Bighorn II. Easy to throw on a roof rack too if you aren't going to have a trailer. There is no doubt there are a lot of really nice frames out there but for versatility these are hard to beat. zero durability issues and can't foresee one even happening, it's solid.
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Old 09-02-2010   #17
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
i have a 15' otter with a 66" NRS frame that i can rig for fishing, day trips and overnights. i also have a 12' otter with a 48" NRS frame that i also rig for fishing and day trips. all points made about the adjustability and flexible rigging options are extremely valid, and are the main reason i went with NRS frames.

the point about getting the tall oar towers is right on. i tried both the standard 6" towers (on a westwater trip) and the tall 8" towers (day trip and fishing, not on big water) and i decided that the 8" are the way to go on the big raft. i also have the 8" on the small raft. the standard 6" size is just too small, and i was constantly bashing into my knee caps with the oar handles while rowing. the towers can be rotated on the side rails, so with a few times out you can dial in a good location that works for your height and rowing style.

i bought all my side rails long to allow me the maximum flexibility in rigging. if you get the longer side rail size, you can always cut a few inches off with a $25 pipe cutter. if you do ever cut the NRS tubing, i would suggest using a pipe cutter and NOT a hacksaw. any saw will make a somewhat coarse edge, but the pipe cutter is nice and smooth after you de-burr the cut. i suggested getting longer side rails to my buddy who just ordered a new fishing frame package from NRS, and they replaced the standard package size (68") with the longer rails (84") at no added cost. he also had them swap out the standard towers and replaced them with the 8" towers for the price difference of around $20.

there was a thread a couple years back about NRS frames being subject to distortion and tweaking because of the many "flexible" connection points at the lo-pro fittings, but if you keep your fittings tight and your boat right side up i don't see how this would be an issue. i have been very happy with mine, and would suggest them to anyone wanting the flexibility to do several things (fish, whitewater rowing, multi-day trips, etc.) with the same boat. later.
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Old 09-02-2010   #18
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 201
The Trib 14 has a short straight section (around 68-70" I think) so a Bighorn is about the longest that will fit without starting to ride up on the kick. If you went with a double rail frame with bent/radiused ends you could cheat the OAL a bit to get some more room for gear, and it would eliminate most of the knuckles/u-bolts that might cause a wear issue on the Trib as it has less PVC coating on the base material (compared to the US Aire models.)

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