1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Assembling Access XCL 29er

    I got my new Access XCL 9.5 today and have pretty much finished the assembly but there are just a couple little details that I'm not completely sure about. The main thing is exactly how to route the front brake cable. Should it go between the fork and the wheel or stay to the outside of the fork? The other is a few little miscellaneous parts that came in a plastic bag along with the screws for the reflectors and a ferrule for the end of the brake cable. I assume the rubber strip is meant for mounting the reflectors but they only included one so is it meant for the front or rear reflector or something else entirely. I have no idea what the other three pieces are for. A little metal S, a washer and a plastic cap.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondiablo
    I got my new Access XCL 9.5 today and have pretty much finished the assembly but there are just a couple little details that I'm not completely sure about. The main thing is exactly how to route the front brake cable. Should it go between the fork and the wheel or stay to the outside of the fork? The other is a few little miscellaneous parts that came in a plastic bag along with the screws for the reflectors and a ferrule for the end of the brake cable. I assume the rubber strip is meant for mounting the reflectors but they only included one so is it meant for the front or rear reflector or something else entirely. I have no idea what the other three pieces are for. A little metal S, a washer and a plastic cap.

    If its just a reflector, and hardware, don't worry about it, I always route the cable between the wheel and fork, and I zap strap it to the arch of the fork, and if need be, one to the fork leg as well. It would suck if your cable was on the outside and a branch caught it, pulling your fron brake( if its mechanical) and send you over the bars, or hydro brake and rip it out of the caliper.

  3. #3
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    Yes, I was debating with myself between catching the cable on a branch or it getting caught in the spokes. Neither seemed very likely. Thanks.

    I can't imagine the remaining pieces are crucial to anything it's just going to nag at me not knowing where they were supposed to go.

  4. #4
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    Where exactly would you measure stand over for this bike? I measured 12" forward from the center of the seat tube and am getting almost 33". I definitely have the 19" frame so either I'm measuring wrong or something is screwy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondiablo
    Where exactly would you measure stand over for this bike? I measured 12" forward from the center of the seat tube and am getting almost 33". I definitely have the 19" frame so either I'm measuring wrong or something is screwy.
    you're measuring it right. If it isn't a swooping top tube, I can see it having slightly lower standover.

  6. #6
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    I thought the stand over for this bike was more like 31.5". I can still stand over it just not as much clearance as I was expecting.

  7. #7
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    Access XCL 9r 9.5

    I don't mean to be a buzzkill but I bought a 9.5 back in May and I've been kicking myself ever since. The 9.7 just offers SO much more - things I didn't understand the value of at the time. Upgrading a 9.5 to 9.7 spec yourself would cost an easy $900-1,000 (seriously, price it out). Since May, I've ended up upgrading my 9.5's fork spring, stem, handlebars, grips, saddle, pedals, headset and brake levers. Still, the cheap-looking crankset doesn't have the best reputation and the fork is only a basic coil unit. Had I spent a few hundred more in May, I'd be at a similar point money-wise today yet had a much better bike all along. Unfortunately, I didn't realize until recently just how easy Performance makes it to return a bike - especially if you're looking to upgrade.

    Access XCL 9r 9.5 .................vs................ 9.7
    Fork..............RockShox Dart 3 100mm.........RockShox Tora SL Solo-Air 100mm
    Brakes..........Avid BB5 185mm/160mm.........Avid Elixir 5 185mm/160mm
    F.Derailleur....SRAM X.5...............................SRAM X.7
    R.Derailleur....SRAM X.5..............................SRAM X.7
    Shifters..........SRAM X.5..............................SRAM X.7
    Tires..............GEAX Saguaro 29x2.2.............Schwalbe Albert HS 29 x 2.1"
    Crank............TruVativ 5D 3.0, square-taper....TruVativ FireX 3.3 w/ Giga X Pipe
    Cassette........Sunrace, 11-32T, 9-speed........SRAM PG-950, 11/34T, 9-speed
    Rims.............WTB SpeedDisc All MTN, 32H..Mavic TN 719 Disc, 32H
    Handlebar......Aluminum, 25.4 x 620mm.........Aluminum, 31.8 x 685mm
    Stem.............Alloy 4-bolt; 25.4mm clamp......Alloy 4-bolt; 31.8mm clamp

    On the other hand, I do like my Saguaro tires and I like the gear indicators on my X.5 shifters (not found on the newer X.7 shifters). I'm just saying...

  8. #8
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    I realize the 9.7 may be a better overall value but a) it's just more than I wanted to spend on a bike and b) I really hate the silver/gray color. I think the components on the 9.5 will be fine for me. I wouldn't even think twice about keeping the bike if the stand over weren't so much higher than anticipated. Maybe I just need to get used to it. I always thought I only had a couple inches of clearance on my old bike but I just checked and I can lay a 2x4 on the top tube and still have at least 1/2" so that makes for at least 4" of clearance on the old bike. Is it possible for something to have been setup incorrectly that would raise the height of the XCL?

    The riding position on the XCL is much more comfortable than my old bike though and I have the seat post set only about 1/2" past the minimum insert so I can't imagine going down a size.
    Last edited by bondiablo; 09-18-2010 at 08:40 PM.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, myself and a lot of people I meet on the trail really like that "Slate" color with all the blacked-out components. Like you, I didn't much care for the silver either.

    The best thing I did for my bike was switching to 680mm bars on a shorter stem. Narrow, 620mm bars on a 120mm stem just didn't cut it. Ergon GC2 grips are awesome too - huge improvement over stock. My other issue was the bogus compression ring design on the cheap VP-A42E headset - hard to believe that Cane Creek is willing to have their name on it even if it's only a license. A lot of people don't have any problem but my headset was clunking so I replaced it with a FSA Orbit ZS-3 headset (cartridge bearings and nice external seals) which made me a lot happier. It's hard to enjoy riding trails when you're worried the fork is going to fall off! LOL.

    Last edited by Clones123; 09-18-2010 at 09:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondiablo
    I thought the stand over for this bike was more like 31.5". I can still stand over it just not as much clearance as I was expecting.
    31.5 seems low for a 19

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wickerman1
    31.5 seems low for a 19
    That's what I got from searching the forums and asking customer support at Performance before buying. Ok, the guy at Performance actually said 31.7"

    Giant's L/20" 29er frames claim only a 30.5" stand over. Even the Specialized 19" 29er frames which were among the tallest I looked at claim just under 32.5".

  12. #12
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    There is no industry standard for where to measure stand over. Different companies measure it differently.

    If the line in this geo chart actually means anything Performance may be measuring it directly over the BB shell and not 12" from the seat tube. Interesting that they note stand over in the drawing but don't provide official #s in the chart below

    edit: nv, just saw the text note in that same file. They claim its measured from "the horizontal center point of the top tube", but given how not everyone measures it the same the customer support guys might be going off their own numbers measured from a different spot

  13. #13
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    To get their 31.7" you have to measure from about 9" forward of the seat tube center. Measuring at the center of the bottom bracket is about 30.5" Anyway, it will probably be fine it's just taller than what I'm used to. In shoes, even moving all the way forward to where my crotch is right up against the stem I can still stand over it flat footed, I just have about 0 clearance there. For anyone interested in this bike who finds this thread in the future I'm 6' and wear a 32 inseam pant.

  14. #14
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    Did anyone ever try to fit a tapered fork into the Access XCL frame? I'm wondering if it would not be possible with a Crane Creek EC 44/40 Headset, specifically made for frames like the XCL 9r. I am just a bit worried that it will not fit properly and I'll have to buy another frame to fit my tapered fork...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steffen View Post
    Did anyone ever try to fit a tapered fork into the Access XCL frame? I'm wondering if it would not be possible with a Crane Creek EC 44/40 Headset, specifically made for frames like the XCL 9r. I am just a bit worried that it will not fit properly and I'll have to buy another frame to fit my tapered fork...
    It should fit.

    I'm pretty sure that I've seen a picture of an Access 9r with a tapered fork, had to run an external EC44 lower cup and ZS44 top cup to make it work.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondiablo View Post
    I got my new Access XCL 9.5 today and have pretty much finished the assembly but there are just a couple little details that I'm not completely sure about. The main thing is exactly how to route the front brake cable. Should it go between the fork and the wheel or stay to the outside of the fork? The other is a few little miscellaneous parts that came in a plastic bag along with the screws for the reflectors and a ferrule for the end of the brake cable. I assume the rubber strip is meant for mounting the reflectors but they only included one so is it meant for the front or rear reflector or something else entirely. I have no idea what the other three pieces are for. A little metal S, a washer and a plastic cap.

    That little S is for your cable housing in front of your handle bars so you can hold the two of them together if you would like.

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