Aluminum FS 29er or Carbon 29er, decisions, decisions...
Just about to pull the trigger on building up a 29er using one of the Chinese Carbon Frames, however, I'm also thinking of buying a used 29er Epic FS frame on eBay and doing the build with it. Cost is within a few hundred dollars as I will use similar spec components. The biggest difference is about $400 extra for the used Aluminum FS frame.
Pros/Cons that I have thought of so far:
1) An Epic 29er is kind of the best of both worlds, FS when you need it, locked out when you don't.
2) FS is nice but that also means more maintenance as the shock needs to be serviced annually, and the pivot bearings may need to be replaced every few years.
3) FS is heavier, the AL FS frame and shock is about 6 lbs vs the Carbon HT is 3 lbs.
4) With the Epic you are stuck with the quirks of Specialized specs, like the Futureshock and the 142+ rear axle.
I have an original 26" Epic Comp and really like it, however I'm currently having an issue getting the Brain Shock Inertia Valve serviced, Fox or Specialized no longer supports that shock and I will need to spend a bit of money upgrading the shock to a 2004/2005 model that they support.
Anyone have any thoughts or advice?
Some personal info, I'm in my mid-40's, 190 lbs, ride XC trails 2-3 times per week usually about 10-15 miles each ride. I've never ridden a Carbon Hard Tail but I do have a Trek AL 69er that I like but is a bit more harsh on my back, I get a little fatigued when riding up but no serious discomfort.
So I'm also wondering how harsh a ride would I expect from a Carbon Hardtail compared to my AL HT 69er or my 26" Epic?
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Hope this helps.
Considering the XMIplay.com FM-057 Carbon 29er frame. It has geometry that I like, 142x12 Thru Axle, tapered headset, internal cable routing, 1245g. I have not found anything that I like better and I've been looking very hard.
Alonso, thanks for the suggestion, however I feel the Niner Jet FS Geometry is outdated. I am more of a fan of the Specialized Epic, Scott Spark, Intense Spyder 29 style of FS bikes. I've ridden several bikes with the Niner Jet suspension and I feel they are just too plush and too much energy is lost through the rear suspension.