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  1. #1
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    Demo day. Trek VS specialized.

    I meant to post this earlier but I forgot.

    Recently Specialized and Trek both had demo tents at my local trail head. I had 3 hours to test ride any bike I wanted... so instead of just riding every bike I could get my hands on, I thought I'd conduct a thorough carbon hard tail shootout.

    Trek Superfly Pro hardtail vs Specialized Stumpy Sworks hardtail

    I rode both bikes for about an hour over the exact same terrain. Did some climbing, some fast swoopy singletrack, technical rough stuff, hammer down flatland stuff... pretty much a bit of everything these bikes were built to do.

    One thing at a time..

    Stiffness... Both bikes were super stiff and had amazingly rigid rear ends. They both accelerated great. I basically cant pick one over the other based solely on this.

    Fit... I'm 6'0 with very average measurements, so honestly most stock large bikes fit me very well, as was the case with both of these. The Sworks felt a bit more stretched out, which I liked. I haven't looked at the numbers, but I'd bet it has the longer TT and the longer wheelbase of the two.

    Build... This was fun to compare because it was Shimano XTR (Sworks) vs Sram XX (Trek). And Fox (Trek) VS Rockshox (Sworks):
    For shifting I liked the feel of the XTR, it just felt smoother. The XX were more mechanical feeling. They both shifted great, but the XTR took less effort and feel better overall. The brakes were a tough comparison, they felt very similar. Lever feel was very close and I couldn't tell a difference in stopping power. My only complaint for either one was that the XTR made a hell of a racket under heavy braking. The Fork hands down was the Sworks' SID w/ Brain. The SID is already a great fork, but add the brain to it and it takes it to the next level. The Fox on the Trek was a good fork, and it did everything well, but the SID with the brain was superior in both suspension feel and in efficiency during out of the saddle pedaling (very little suspension movement). The Saddle of the Sworks was also better. Specialized has it's game very well together when it comes to saddles. I've always thought so... I believe this was a phenom. The trek saddle was actually kind of uncomfortable. The Bars on both bikes were very wide for flat XC bars. I liked it. No complaints either way. The Wheels were crazy stiff and light on both bikes. I'd love to own a set of either. The Tires on the Trek felt better because of their width. Gave a little bit more cushion over rocks. The Sworks had tiny little Renegades on it that were rather harsh. I would have loved to ride either bike with Tubeless tires with about 25psi. But they were both pumped to around 45... ugh.

    Ride and handling... Over rocks and technical terrain I preferred the Sworks. Felt more stable and more confident despite it's thinner tires. The trek was a bit twitchy and felt like it needed to be micromanaged through every hard line. Through fast swoopy turns I also preferred the Sworks, It just felt more natural flowing from one turn to the next. The trek wasn't bad, just didn't feel as confident on it... It shined more in really tight turns, it seemed to cut them up easily where the Sworks had a "go wide" tendency. Climbing on both bikes was a pleasure... the Sworks had a slight edge because of the brain in the fork, but other than that they were both really good.

    If I had to choose one other the other I'd pick the Sworks every time. It felt more stable and more efficient. But on both bikes my first move would be to put some tubeless tires on them with about 25psi. That would have made a world of difference on both bikes. WTF were these guys thinking demoing bikes with tubed tires @ 45psi, ugh, how did I ever ride like that back in the day.
    Last edited by h2otaco; 04-06-2012 at 12:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Cool, thanks for your input. I'm looking at purchasing either a Stumpjumper EVO 29 HT or a Trek Superfly AL right now (they're both in my price range) and am having a tough time. I have ridden the Trek at my LBS but no one around me has the Stumpy EVO. I like the components on the Stumpy though, the 1x10 setup is really intriguing to me as a bit of a minimalist by nature though I don't think I am ready for a SS right now, which would be pretty damn minimalist. I'll probably just order the EVO and be done with it.

    What are your thoughts on the Specialized vs. Trek geometry and feel? People are always praising the Fisher geometry for a 29er, do you think it feels more manageable in tighter situations or on downhill?

    Jason

  3. #3
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    I have been to several demos in St Louis and I spoke with the coordinator about the tire pressure issue. He stated he loves tubeless but when you have that many people riding that many different bikes, tubeless becomes a maintenance nightmare. With tubes, if someone is out and gets a flat for whatever reason, they can toss in a new tube and the bike is ready to go in just a couple minutes. He is also pretty generous with tire pressure to help prevent pinch flats.

    Trek and Specialized were both this way, but the Giant demo had all their mountain bikes tubeless, but they also had about 1/2 as many bikes in the trailer.

  4. #4
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    you guys are lucky I'm just getting in to mtb and no one demos bikes here. sure I can ride them around the parking lot but its just not enough to tell if I am going to love a bike enough to drop a G on it. I am tempted on a cannondale sl3 for $800 at the LBS

  5. #5
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    Hi jmucio
    IMHO, after riding the EVO hardtail 29 the past year that you are considering, it is among the best of hardtails I've ridden for the price ($2400. MSRP).
    At 6'3 and on a 19" frame, that frame size works great for me: It carves singletrack like a blade and comapred to the Superfly, hands down i take the EVO.
    I run a bicyle shop in my area that sells both the trek and specialized, and cannot recommend the EVO enough. My only modification/upgrade was putting the Mavic Crossmax wheels on it instead of the Rovals (I had the Crossmax which I purchased when I first rode a dual suspension Stumpjumper comp that just was not happening for me like the hardtail). The EVO is a great value for what it offers....good luck.

  6. #6
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    Holy dead thread resurrection...

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