GT Zaskar Pro 9r, Upgraded Spec Rockhopper or Spec Epic Comp 29?
Here is my dilemma: I have the chance to buy one of 3 bikes. They are at 3 different price points. I'll list them, the prices and their specs. Which one would represent the best buy for the money? The prices will be in Aussie dollars. To convert to $US, just take 15% off. Remember we get ripped off here compared to RRP in the US.
I plan to use the bike as a commuter with road / tyres or small block 8's, and then as a secondary enduro race / trail bike. I also have a 2009 Giant Trance X1 which I love and won't sell. My current commuter is a Giant Yukon 26" hardtail.
2008 Specialized Rockhopper 29er - Medium
Second hand but has numerous upgrades and most components are only 6 rides old.
FRAME M4 manipulated alloy frame, butted ORE DT
RockShox REBA, 100mm,
HEADSET 1 1/8" threadless
STEM Specialized 3D forged alloy, four bolt, 31.8mm, 7 degree rise
HANDLEBARS Specialized alloy640mm wide, 8 degree back, 8 degree up sweep
FRONT BRAKE Avid Juicy 3 SL, hydraulic, 6" G2 clean sweep rotor
REAR BRAKE Avid Juicy 3 SL, hydraulic, 6" G2 Clean Sweep rotor
BRAKE LEVERS Avid Juicy 3 SL, hydraulic
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano XT
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano XT
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano SLX
SRAM red cassette and chain
CRANKSET Shimano XT
BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano BB-ES25
RIMS Specialized/Alex RHD 29,
FRONT HUB Specialized Hi Lo disc, 28h, CNC flange and disc mount
REAR HUB Specialized Hi Lo disc, cassette, 32h, CNC flanges and disc mount,
SPOKES 1.8mm (15g) stainless, alloy nipples, black
FRONT TIRE Specialized Fast Trak Sport, 29x2.0",
REAR TIRE Specialized Fast Trak Sport, 29x2.0",
SADDLE Specialized XC, 143mm width
SEAT POST Specialized butted alloy, two bolt micro adjust head, 30.9mm
2009 GT Zaskar Pro 9r - Medium
Second hand but barely ridden according to the seller.
Frame - GT Zaskar 29'er
Front shock/fork - Fox F29
Handlebars - Ritchey Pro
Stem - Ritchey Pro
Headset - FSA integrated
Grips - GT
Saddle - WTB
Seatpost - Ritchey Pro
Brakes - Shimano XT
Cranks - Shimano XT
Chain - Shimano
Pedals - Shimano
Front derailleur - Shimano SLX
Rear derailleur - Sram X.9
Front shifter - Sram X.9
Rear shifter - Sram X.9
Cassette - Shimano XT
Front hub - Shimano XT
Rear hub - Shimano XT
Front rim - Mavic 719
Rear rim - Mavic 719
Tyres - Front: Kenda Nevegal, Rear: Maxxis Crossmark
2010 Specialized Epic Comp 29er - Medium
Price - $3750
FRAME Epic FSR M5 alloy, 29" geometry, fully manipulated frame 90mm travel,
REAR SHOCK Fox/SBC remote Mini-Brain, inertia valve, w/ Brain fade adjust
FORK Rock Shox Reba SL 29, custom tuned for Specialized, 100mm of travel
HEADSET 1-1/8 and 1.5" Threadless, Campy style upper with 1.5" lower cartridge bearing
STEM 3D forged alloy, adjustable rise, 31.8mm clamp
HANDLEBARS Specialized XC flat, 2014 butted alloy, 660mm wide, 8 degree backsweep, 31.8mm
GRIPS Specialized waffle lock on grip (S/M)
FRONT BRAKE Custom Avid Elixir R SL, alloy backed organic pads, M: 160mm,
REAR BRAKE Custom Avid Elixir R SL, alloy backed organic pads, 160mm rotor
BRAKE LEVERS Custom Avid Elixir R SL Hydraulic, tool-less adj. reach
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano M660 SLX,
REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM X-9, 9-speed long cage
SHIFT LEVERS SRAM X-7, aluminum trigger
CASSETTE Shimano HG61, 9-speed, 11-34t
CHAIN SRAM PC-971, 9-speed w/Power Link
CRANKSET Custom Shimano FC-M542, 175mm
CHAINRINGS 44A x 32A x 22S, 4-bolt, 104/64mm
BOTTOM BRACKET Custom Shimano, outboard bearing
RIMS Custom DT Swiss X450SL, 29" rim, 24mm w/ eyelets, 32h
FRONT HUB Specialized Hi Lo disc, CNC flange, sealed cartridge bearing, 9mm DT RWS, alloy QR, 28h
REAR HUB Custom Shimano M525 SL, alloy QR, 32h
SPOKES DT Swiss 1.8mm stainless
FRONT TIRE S-Works The Captain, 29x2.0", 120 TPI, tubeless ready
REAR TIRE S-Works Fast Trak LK, 29x2.0", 120 TPI, tubeless ready
SADDLE Specialized Phenom, hollow Cr-Mo rails, thin foam, S/M: 130mm,
SEATPOST 2014 butted alloy, single bolt setback, 30.9mm
So with all that in mind, which would represent the best buy for what you get? I have the money for the epic, but as with most people, I could put the money towards other things. I guess what I'm asking is, would most people be happy with either of the other two options, and is it worth spending more money on the two higher priced bikes?
Thanks for any advice.
Too much for GT Zaskar IMO, also looks like some compentery has been swapped out so wonder how little it was really ridden. The zaskar has a really stiff rear end which I love on my mine for trail but might not be what you need for a commuter.
XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!
You can get a new '10 gt zaskar pro from performance bike for $1800 US. I don't know if they ship to Aus. but the seller of the '09 is smoking rock.
Cool. Good info. The cheapest I can see it on that site is US$2500?
What do you think about the other two bikes?
oops, It was on sale for $2000 and they were offering and additional 10% off. Keep an eye on it and it will go on sale again soon.
The Zaskar Pro has had components swapped.
They swapped XT shifters and derailleurs for Sram X9. A direct comparison, but swapped out. Rear tire swapped - should be a Nevegal.
New MSRP in US dollars is $2500-2600. So in Aussie cash that would equate to around $2800.
I'd offer $2200 (Aussie value) as even though it was barely ridden, its still a used bike and components have been swapped out.
As I understand it, the Zaskar 9r was a US only model, and it had to be specially imported as a one-off, hence the extra cost. It came here in pieces and had to be built up, so I think he requested the SRAM bits before it was built, and they are the original bits.
Not taking the RRP into account, what do you think of the bike as far as the frame goes? Obviously the specs are good, but if you didn't know the RRP, would you say it's worth the $2600?
I really like the Epic, but don't know if I really need the full suspension. I have the Trance for the rougher or tighter trails, and it's still an excellent bike to race XC on. I figure the hard tail option would be better for commuting, which would be 75% of the 29er's use. I know the brain can make it seem like a hard tail anyway, but the extra weight and extra cost makes the cheaper two bikes a bit more appealing. If I didn't have the trance, I'd definitely go the epic (or a stumpjumper 29er) as my only bike.
Thanks for the replies so far, it's helping a lot. I'd love to hear some more opinions on the 3 builds vs money though
Come see me after class
for a 75% commuter, a heavier FS bike is pointless. i'm a die hard GT fan, so i have to recommend the Zaskar Pro 9r. a rockhopper is not a bad bike, but it's quite a bit heavier than the other two. for the price you're willing to pay for the GT, why not consider the Stumpjumper 29?
a local bike shop is selling '09s for USD$2200, even less than what you'd be paying for the used '09. but, if the Pro 9r is indeed a US-only bike, the extra price could be justified in knowing you have one of the only - if not the only - GT Zaskar Pro 9r on the continent. so you have to ask yourself, "how much is that novelty worth?"
for perspective, here in the USA we can easily get a 2010 GT Zaskar Pro 9r for $2500. hopefully some aussies or kiwis will chime in on relative value on your side of the planet.
I've got an upgraded '08 Rockhopper and like it pretty well. I'd suggest that with one caveat:
The seller of that bike has the bike almost ready to go.... you'll need a decent wheelset. The stock Alex / Specialized rims are junk.
The GT site doesn't show a 2009 Zaskar 9r. It would seem the bike he is selling is the 2010 model?
Does that sound right? I googled 2009 Zaskar Pro 9r and came up empty except for the 2010 one on the GT site, and there is not one listed in the 2009 archives.
I'm guessing there has only been one model and was probably bought in 2009, but was the 2010 model. Don't know if it makes any difference to what has been said above, and whether $2600 is fair for the current model?
Come see me after class
if the bike is an import only item for New Zealand, i would say that is a fair price. whether or not the bike is worth that amount is up for debate, but it is a fair price in relation to how much the previous owner spent to purchase and import the bike.
let me reiterate that i am a very loyal GT customer so my opinion is biased. if i had USD$2200 to spend on a geared hardtail, it would be on the Zaskar Pro 9r. i'm a single speed guy though, so i can't justify spending big bucks on a non-SS frameset, only to remove the gears.
Well I haven't read anything bad about the GT, so I guess the only thing to do is go and ride it. If it feels right and fits well, it might have a new home
I don't see it on their website, but I swear they made a Zaskar Pro 9r prior to 2010.
There was a 2009 Zaskar Pro 9r. It was full XT components Fox fork with 9mm QR front wheel and Nevegals and weighed in the neighborhood of 29 lbs. The 2010 Zaskar Pro 9r is still full XT, but the Fox fork is now 15mm through axle and the Nevegals were dumped in favor of Kenda Karma's and is now a more reasonable 27 lbs.
The LBS I work at sells GT.
Bizzarre that the official GT site doesn't list the 2009 model though!
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.
I would have thought the epic would have come in heavier than the zaskar, but if the '09 was 29lbs, the 2010 epic in Medium weighs a touch over 27lbs, according to guys on this site.
Such a hard decision. Hopefully riding the zaskar will make or break the deal. Th epic felt very nice, but only got a chance to sit on it in the shop.
I guess it comes down to the pro's for each bike:
Zaskar - Cheaper, better components, hardtail good for commuting.
Epic - Full suspension for offroad, lighter, brain / lockout for commuting, manufacturer warranty.
Ok here's a spanner in the works:
What if I could get this, brand new:
Frame - Tomac Flint 29er Medium
Fork - DT Swiss XMC 100mm
Brakes & Shift - Shimano XT Disc Dual Control M775 and 160mm XT rotors
Wheels - Shimano XT 29" MT75
Front tyre - Maxxis Ignitor 2.1
Rear tyre - Maxxis Crossmark 2.1
Rear derailleur - Shimano XT M771
Front derailleur - Shimano XT M770
Cassette - Shimano XT M770 11-34
Chain - Shimano HG93 9 speed
BB - Shimano XTR M970
Crankset - RaceFace Evolve XC Chainset 2009
Stem - RaceFace Evolve XC II
Headset - FSA Sky Pilot
Bars - RaceFace Evolve XC Flat 600mm 5 deg sweep
Seat post - Da Bomb HellFire XC
Saddle - Fizik Gobi
All that would be AU$3100 (US$2600), only problem is I'd have to build it myself as it's all parts ordered from CRC
If I wanted to upgrade (or is it downgrade?) the DT swiss forks to a Reba, it would be an extra $120.
I'm leaning towards the Zaskar still, despite the new price in the US. It has all the gear I like on it (very similar build to my Trance X1), and it's ready to go.
What do you think of the Tomac build? Would most people prefer the Tomac to the GT, all things considered including an extra $600 and full build required?