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  1. #1
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    First 29er for AZ Trails - New 2013 Marin CXR HT vs. Used 2008 Turner Sultan?

    I just sold my 26" 2000 Santa Cruz Superlight and am looking for a new ride. I bought the Santa Cruz in 2002 (size XL) and really enjoyed the bike, but after over 10 years I decided I wanted to try something new. The bike was full XTR and weighed 26lbs, to give you a frame of reference.

    Here are the specs on me and how I like to use a mountain bike:

    Age = 50
    Experience Mountain Biking = about 20 years; have only ever owned two bikes, both full suspension
    Height = 6' 2"
    Inseam = 35.5"
    Weight = 165

    I do 100% of my riding in the McDowell Mountains of Arizona (Pemberton Loop, Dixie Mine Trail, Competitive Loops). These trails are all cross-country rides on primarily twisty single-track where the trails dip in and out washes. We also have some steep climbs in the McDowell Mountains on some trails. On my typical ride I like to go as fast as I can for about one hour. I almost never go out for two or three hour rides. Most weeks, I ride once. Some weeks, I ride twice. I am riding for fun and fitness and will never be racing, but like most all riders I like to beat my personal bests on my favorite trails. So I would consider myself a casual rider, not a huge enthusiast who considers mountain biking his primary activity. Mountain biking is one of the very fun things that I enjoy, but I also like to jump rope, strength train a bit, hike, golf, etc.

    Here a couple of bikes that I have been considering:

    2013 Marin Team CXR Pro - New

    2013 Marin Team CXR Pro XT 29er 22" Carbon Hardtail MTB Bike Shimano Fox New | eBay

    Pluses:

    -very light (I am guessing about 23 lbs)
    -brand new with warranty
    -full XT (I have a preference for Shimano after test riding a few SRAM bikes)

    Negatives:

    -cost is a bit more than I would like
    -3x10 gearing; I know nobody seems to want this anymore but this is the same set up that I just had so not really a big issue for me
    -will I like a hardtail?

    To answer that second question, I took out my wife's size medium Cannondale HT 26" with Thudbuster post. I raised the seat as far as it would go and rode the Dixie Mine trail, which has a good variety of terrain. Although the bike was obviously too small for me, I was surprised that I did not feel beat up at all after about 50 minutes of riding. Makes me think I might enjoy a hardtail just for something new, different and fast.

    2008 Turner Sultan - Used
    **** Turner Sultan 29er MTB ****

    I have been reading about these Turner Sultan bikes and people seem to love them.

    Pluses:

    -29" wheels yet only one pound heavier than my former Santa Cruz
    -price more to my liking
    -seems well taken of

    Negatives:
    -older technology (TNT susp vs. DW) and components
    -may feel similar to my old bike and I want a new feel

    I have been out to four of five of the local bikes shops to see what I could purchase with a maximum budget of $2,500. I had bought my former Santa Cruz at a LBS where the shop was selling it for good customer that had bought another new bike from the shop. At the local Marin shop I rode a nice 2013 Rift Zone XC9 demo bike with all top of the line SRAM Components. The asking price was $2,650 but the frame size was large, which felt a tad small. I did not see much else in Giant, Trek, Cannondale, etc. to get me excited (at least not with a $2,500 budget). I did not find any really good deals. As a casual rider, I am not willing to drop $70 per ride to demo a variety of bikes. I did cruise parking lots on a variety bikes for whatever that is worth.

    Any comments to help me lock down on something would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    tg
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    Get the Turner! Hardtails are for kids and racing. Who cares how light a hardtail is if ya dont have # plate on it.
    Last edited by tg; 11-04-2013 at 02:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Buy the Turner for sure...if you are trail riding there is no other bike to own especially since you keep em' for awhile. Turner's are notorious for lasting many years with very few issues. I ride a 5 year old 5 spot and still love it!
    Too wet to ride!

  4. #4
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    I have read nothing but good things about the Turners. I also read that the Sultan was more of a XC bike in the 2008 model year and has slowly transitioned into more of a trail bike today. I want an XC orientation so that is a plus also.

    My main concern is the age of the bike. I don't know enough about bike evaluation to determine if a 5-year old bike is in need of a bunch of maintenance or not.

  5. #5
    rr
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    Hey I have a 2008 XL Sultan frame in great cond hanging in my garage. It's blue with Push'd rear shock(fresh air sleeve service by Push) but has original rockers for 100mm travel, includes a matching blue Hope headset and XT front der.

    I built up a couple new bikes this year and been meaning to post it up in classifieds, PM me if your interested. The Sultan you posted does look nice as well but you could build up my frame with some newer comp's, I'd let it go cheap.

  6. #6
    rr
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    I will say that the Manitou fork on the Sultan you linked is not very good, I had that fork originally on mine and switched to a Reba 120 w/thru axle, MUCH nicer. Also, the new XT brakes are so much better than those old Juicys, had those as well. Everything else does look good tho at a fair price.

    **edit- fyi, that frame might be a large, I'm pretty sure the XL size had cable routing under the top tube, mine does. You might want to check over on the Turner forum on that.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info on your frame and on components in general. Unfortunately, I don't have enough bike mechanic skills to complete a build up myself. But just for fun I did price some new parts out as follows:

    XT 9-piece groupset with cable housings $700 (US seller on ebay)
    Reba Fork 120mm with thru axle $600
    Stem, bars, grips, seat post, pedals, tires, etc. $500
    Assembly fee to LBS $200?

    I get $2K in costs before the purchase of a frame and I am probably missing something since I have never done this exercise before. I guess that would not be bad for bike with brand new XT components and a brand new front shock. So maybe $2500 by the time all is said and done. Or is building a bike like building a custom house where the budget always seems to be exceeded despite the best intentions?

  8. #8
    rr
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    In general buying a complete bike will be the cheapest route for sure, if your willing to spend $2500 you can find a nice new bike with decent components. The V1 Sultan was a high end frame for its time but there have been some improvements in 29ers since like better geometry and susp designs.

    You could buy that complete Sultan and upgrade the parts as you go but I would def confirm the size, that could very well be a L size like I said, at your size you def want the XL. I would sell my frame with the headset/front der for $400 tho.

  9. #9
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    From your riding profile I would choose a carbon ht with good frame damping.
    Carbon frame hts can be night and day different. Here's some reviews--
    XC CF 29'er Reviews - Part 2
    In your price range the Superfly 9.6 would be my first choice. I've demoed the 9.8 at Demo Days and the geo, trail feel and damping is excellent. It has a little better geo than the SL mentioned above. The chain stays are 435 vs 445 and the bb is dropped 5mm more. Plus the price is much lower.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    From your riding profile I would choose a carbon ht with good frame damping.
    Carbon frame hts can be night and day different. Here's some reviews--
    XC CF 29'er Reviews - Part 2
    In your price range the Superfly 9.6 would be my first choice. I've demoed the 9.8 at Demo Days and the geo, trail feel and damping is excellent. It has a little better geo than the SL mentioned above. The chain stays are 435 vs 445 and the bb is dropped 5mm more. Plus the price is much lower.
    Yes, I was thinking I would like a carbon HT also. How beat up can I get on a one hour ride? And even if I did feel like I was taking more of a beating than I wanted, then I could add a thudbuster to take even more of the edge off.

    The thread you linked only seems to talk about FS carbon 29ers, not HTs.

    Nobody has commented on the Marin carbon HT bike that I linked in the original post. Marin says the bike weighs only about 21lbs and the components are all XT, which everybody seems to rave about. I think it might be a fun bike to go fast on.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by my12by60 View Post
    Yes, I was thinking I would like a carbon HT also. How beat up can I get on a one hour ride? And even if I did feel like I was taking more of a beating than I wanted, then I could add a thudbuster to take even more of the edge off.

    The thread you linked only seems to talk about FS carbon 29ers, not HTs.

    Nobody has commented on the Marin carbon HT bike that I linked in the original post. Marin says the bike weighs only about 21lbs and the components are all XT, which everybody seems to rave about. I think it might be a fun bike to go fast on.
    Sorry wrong link-
    29'er CF HT's - Part 2 - Individual Reviews
    The damping of a carbon frame on a hard tail is important, along with the plushness of the fork and carbon bars and the tire air pressure in a high volume tire and a carbon or titanium seat post. Everything makes a small contribution to the ride and the trail feel. You can ride hard for an hour or four or five on a frame with compliance. Manufacturers can design a carbon frame with damping or make it super stiff. Two completely different riding bikes. Scott Scale, Canyon Grand Canyon 29 SLX, Cannondale, Pivot Les, BMC and Trek have compliance.
    For the price of the Marin I would go with the 9.6 Superfly.

  12. #12
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    I read the new link and have also read some reviews elsewhere about the carbon HTs and all these sources confirm what you are saying. One of my riding buddies purchased a used Cannondale Flash 2 carbon a few months ago. He loves it and is riding our usual trails faster than ever. With tubeless tires at lower pressure, he says he does not feel beat up at all riding that bike. But he has always owned only HTs. I will keep my eyes peeled for a deal on a Superfly. So many good options out there.

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