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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    I hate to ask this, but I suppose that's what this is here for.......

    So, I've decided to pull the trigger and buy a new bike. I picked up a Moto from BikesDirect last year to see if I would actually enjoy tooling through the woods and it turns out I love it. Now that I've managed to teach myself how to avoid most of the trees most of the time I'm going to try a better bike. I'm down to either Trek Superfly 5 or Specialized Crave Comp

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Superfly 5 - Trek Bicycle

    They look comparable to me, but I'm only a year deep in riding. I've sat on them both but haven't been able to ride them yet as I've blown out my ankle and the doc said no at all right now. Sitting on them in the store I didn't feel any distinct reason to shun one over the other. I know riding will be telling. Short of that, is there any reason among the specs to favor one over the other? My head starts to swim after a bit trying to keep straight what is what in components. I've narrowed it down to these two mostly on budget and the two shops that sell them that I've visited and liked the people working there. The Trek comes with life time tune-ups and the Specialized comes with one year of tune-ups. Appreciate any input, thanks!
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  2. #2
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    Looks like the main differences are the fork and the geometry.

    Crave: Better fork. Geometry is more "old school" XC.
    Superfly: Lesser fork. Geometry is more in line with current geo thinking(shorter chainstays, slacker headtube angle, more fork offset).

    Having ridden neither, the Superfly appeals to me a bit more because I prefer a slackish HTA even in an XC bike.

  3. #3
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    yep, differences are mostly geometry. A ride will give you more feedback. So until you can actually ride again, I'd kinda sit back and avoid making a decision. Compile a shortlist of bikes to ride for now until you're given the all-clear.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyguy1001 View Post
    The Trek comes with life time tune-ups and the Specialized comes with one year of tune-ups.
    How does this work out from a bike shop? Does Trek pay the shop to do tune ups after one year?

    Couple things that the Trek frame has that the Spesh don't is the press fit bottom bracket and the convertible 142x12 rear axle. Those two features offer up more options for you in the future if you decide to upgrade wheels and cranks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    How does this work out from a bike shop? Does Trek pay the shop to do tune ups after one year?
    Typically set by shop policy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    How does this work out from a bike shop? Does Trek pay the shop to do tune ups after one year?
    I would be wondering the same thing if both bikes come from the same shop. If it's from a different shop it would just be shop policy. I would certainly recommend asking what this "lifetime tuneups" entails. I would doubt they'll offer full blown tune ups and parts installs for free...so most likely it's going to be little tweaks and things to keep you going. What about brake bleeding, suspension servicing, etc...?

    Beyond that, like the other guys have said. You definitely need to ride the bikes.

  7. #7
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    Haha...my bad...I missed the part where he said "and the two shops that sell them.".

    The shop I used to work at offered "lifetime check overs". It was basically an inspection and maybe some minor derailleur and brake adjustments.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    How does this work out from a bike shop? Does Trek pay the shop to do tune ups after one year?

    Couple things that the Trek frame has that the Spesh don't is the press fit bottom bracket and the convertible 142x12 rear axle. Those two features offer up more options for you in the future if you decide to upgrade wheels and cranks.
    I agree about the 142x12 having a lot of options, although I would actually prefer the threaded bb for compatibility and ease of servicing. I've also seen issues with creaking on different press fits, although I've been lucky with mine. Seems a little hit or miss.

    I've ridden the crave, and while I really liked it, I would probably take the trek if I could throw a leg over it first. Definitely gravitating towards the more modern geo these days.

    I've also had some experience spec and their dealers, and its been very positive. They will take care of anything that breaks in the first year, or needs adjustment. If their is a problem with the shock or fork, they will take care of it. However, servicing of these suspension parts is up to you. They will have people they use that service these parts for them, but its not under warranty unless their is an actual problem in that first year. The frame itself however is under the lifetime warranty as the original owner.

  9. #9
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    "Couple things that the Trek frame has that the Spesh don't is the press fit bottom bracket and the convertible 142x12 rear axle. Those two features offer up more options for you in the future if you decide to upgrade wheels and cranks."

    Now there's some techy stuff that I certainly didn't know a think about! Thanks! It worked out fine buying the bike from BikesDirect as I had no idea what I was doing, or if I'd actually enjoy it. Going forward I'm not buying anything without riding it, even if it is just a dozen laps around the parking lot.

    The shop that has the Trek is the store I bought a DS from last year before I picked up the Moto. So far I've had it in twice for shifting problems and they dialed it in for me. They told me it wasn't necessary to clean the bike up before I brought it in, because they'll clean it up before they give it back to me anyway, unless I don't want to wait. Exactly what the tune-up entails, I don't know. I would imagine worn parts are on my dime, as they should be. I'm not that astute yet at adjusting my own stuff so I view it as a handy thing to have available to me.

    I'm down to these two bike just because I liked the people that worked there for the most part and they have bikes in the range of money I will be able to spend. I'm in the Detroit Metro area and there are a lot of shops. I've window shopped at everything I can find within reasonable driving distance and settled on these two places.

    The shop that has the specialized alluded to throwing in some deals riding clothing if I went with them, but I didn't pursue the particulars at this point.
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  10. #10
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    Trek generally has odd sizing, running a bit smaller than whatever size they call it. Another thing with them is that the wheelbase is usually longer, which can be an issue with trails that have multiple switchbacks forcing you to take wider arcing lines or to resort to finishing the turn with either of the wheels off the ground.

    Another difference, Trek does not warranty the fork, they deal with Fox or whomever. So its you > shop > Trek > Fox/Rochshox versus you > shop > Specialized. One of these has the potential for longer delays.

    ABP Convert usually isn't cheap as the bike usually comes with a rear hub that isn't large enough. Now your talking $60 in ABP plus a non-standard (longer) 142x12 axle and a new rear hub or wheel. Then its, well I might as well buy a new wheelset. Then its, is this bike worth it? Then you sell it. Well, thats my story anyways.

    edit: press fit bottom bracket is lighter weight, maybe stronger, but is much more prone to making noises.
    Specialized Stumpjumper HT

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzedf View Post
    Trek generally has odd sizing, running a bit smaller than whatever size they call it. Another thing with them is that the wheelbase is usually longer, which can be an issue with trails that have multiple switchbacks forcing you to take wider arcing lines or to resort to finishing the turn with either of the wheels off the ground.
    This does not apply to the Superfly. It has new geo introduced in 2014.
    It turns as quick and sharp as you want in any conditions. You can dive into as many switchbacks as you want without even thinking of having to go wide.
    And unlike a steep head tube bike it stays stable hitting bumps at speed going downhill.
    The geo is completely dialed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzedf View Post
    Another difference, Trek does not warranty the fork, they deal with Fox or whomever. So its you > shop > Trek > Fox/Rochshox versus you > shop > Specialized. One of these has the potential for longer delays.
    Specialized doesn't warranty suspension either if it's not theirs. Actually, I don't know a single bike company out there that handles warranties on products they don't produce. Our shop is a Specialized dealer and the handful of times I've called them about a problem that isn't a Specialized part they've referred me to contact the manufacturer of said part for warranty.

    It would be silly for a shop to send a fork out to Trek, who would then send it to Fox/SRAM, who would then send it back to the shop, when the shop could just send it directly to Fox/SRAM/whoever and eliminate the middle man.

  13. #13
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    Most people will tell you to stay away from press fit bottom brackets. Myself included. I would pick the spesh just because of that If I only had those two options.

  14. #14
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    The Crave has the much better fork (Recon Gold vs XC32). The Superfly for my money has a much better frame; for the 142x12, the better geo and the fact that the Crave hasn't gotten the frame freshening up the Rockhopper and the Stumpjumper got in 2015. The rest of the spec is pretty similar. If it was the Crave Expert vs the SF 6, I'd definitely pick the 6 on paper, but between these two options I think it's pretty much a dead heat.
    Last edited by Carton; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:45 AM. Reason: Mixed up the fork/frame name

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyguy1001 View Post
    So, I've decided to pull the trigger and buy a new bike. I picked up a Moto from BikesDirect last year to see if I would actually enjoy tooling through the woods and it turns out I love it. Now that I've managed to teach myself how to avoid most of the trees most of the time I'm going to try a better bike. I'm down to either Trek Superfly 5 or Specialized Crave Comp

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Superfly 5 - Trek Bicycle

    They look comparable to me, but I'm only a year deep in riding. I've sat on them both but haven't been able to ride them yet as I've blown out my ankle and the doc said no at all right now. Sitting on them in the store I didn't feel any distinct reason to shun one over the other. I know riding will be telling. Short of that, is there any reason among the specs to favor one over the other? My head starts to swim after a bit trying to keep straight what is what in components. I've narrowed it down to these two mostly on budget and the two shops that sell them that I've visited and liked the people working there. The Trek comes with life time tune-ups and the Specialized comes with one year of tune-ups. Appreciate any input, thanks!
    Heal up and do you deciding once you can actually pedal them.
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  16. #16
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    Thanks for the input all, this was the sort of info that I was hoping to read. Comparable decent bikes with no glaring deficiency that I don't know enough to identify yet. Now I'm an ankle and a few laps around the parking lots away from a new bike :~)
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  17. #17
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    When you test go into some ditches and on the grass to get a little offroad feel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by owensjs View Post
    Specialized doesn't warranty suspension either if it's not theirs. Actually, I don't know a single bike company out there that handles warranties on products they don't produce. Our shop is a Specialized dealer and the handful of times I've called them about a problem that isn't a Specialized part they've referred me to contact the manufacturer of said part for warranty.

    It would be silly for a shop to send a fork out to Trek, who would then send it to Fox/SRAM, who would then send it back to the shop, when the shop could just send it directly to Fox/SRAM/whoever and eliminate the middle man.
    Ask me how I know how bad the Trek warranty system is on suspension parts. I sold my Trek specifically for this reason (2013 Superfly 100 AL Elite). They don't cover a darn thing that isn't branded Trek or Bontrager. Just as bad for your Shimano or SRAM parts. It took over 2 weeks to get a loaner shock before I could have the shock sent to Trek, who decided it was a warrantee issue then mailed it to Fox who then took their sweet time fixing it somehow it got back to me. It was a 2 month process in the middle of the summer!

    This warranty applies to 2011 and newer model bicycles and covers only Trek and Bontrager branded products. Any other original part or component shall be covered by the stated warranty of the original manufacturer. Any products not specifically included above are hereby omitted.Any other original part or component shall be covered by the stated warranty of the original manufacturer. Any products not specifically included above are hereby omitted.
    For Specialized their warranty states

    Suspension attachment points, suspension related equipment (including pivot points, bushings, shock units, front suspension forks, chain stays and seat stays, shock links, fasteners) for two (2) years from the date of the original purchase.
    As well as

    Some branded equipment and co-branded suspension equipment may have additional warranty coverage offered by the specific manufacturer. Please check in your owner’s manual pack for information regarding these warranties or check with your authorized Specialized dealer for details.
    As a side note; Trek received a memo from Fox stating all the suspension issues this winter were due to the cold weather. This was before the big chain of snow storms hit New England. The temps were within 10 degrees of the historical averages. CYA at its best. I will never buy another Trek because of that and I am highly unlikely to buy another Fox product as well, which is too bad as all my dirt bike gear (helmet, boots, pants, jerseys and gloves) were usually Fox.
    Specialized Stumpjumper HT

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzedf View Post
    They don't cover a darn thing that isn't branded Trek or Bontrager.
    I can see why you're frustrated about the experience, but why should they cover something they don't even manufacture? As for the Specialized warranty, they have manufactured suspension in the past, both front and rear, and currently handle the brain shocks that need to be sent back. However, I've dealt with several warranty situations with Specialized and if it's something manufactured by another company (Shimano/SRAM bits, Suntour/RockShox/Fox suspension, etc...) they have always referred me to the other company, who has taken care of me in a pretty timely manner. Obviously there are going to be bad experiences out there, but my experience with warranty stuff in a shop setting, it's been really positive. Sorry you had bad luck.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzedf View Post
    Ask me how I know how bad the Trek warranty system is on suspension parts. I sold my Trek specifically for this reason (2013 Superfly 100 AL Elite). They don't cover a darn thing that isn't branded Trek or Bontrager. Just as bad for your Shimano or SRAM parts. It took over 2 weeks to get a loaner shock before I could have the shock sent to Trek, who decided it was a warrantee issue then mailed it to Fox who then took their sweet time fixing it somehow it got back to me. It was a 2 month process in the middle of the summer!







    For Specialized their warranty states







    As well as







    As a side note; Trek received a memo from Fox stating all the suspension issues this winter were due to the cold weather. This was before the big chain of snow storms hit New England. The temps were within 10 degrees of the historical averages. CYA at its best. I will never buy another Trek because of that and I am highly unlikely to buy another Fox product as well, which is too bad as all my dirt bike gear (helmet, boots, pants, jerseys and gloves) were usually Fox.
    Trek just updated their warranty info as when I bought my bike 2 yrs ago it read the same as specialized. Basically lifetime frame (since mines a ht) and 2yrs on everything else. Guessing suppliers (Shimano,sram, etc) are stopping extended warranties beyond the standard 1yr. Willing to bet specialized will be reading the same soon.

    Ya 2 month game to get forks dealt with sucks bad, but part of the problem sounds like slow LBS. My trek shop has always had my issues squared in a week (but never had to have forks dealt with).

    Personally based on geo, superfly all the way. My current ht is closer to crave geo and I demoed a new superfly last fall, HOLY CRAP seemingly small geo changes matter alot. Definitely bit different to deal with in heavy roots etc than im used to but on the rest of our hard pack it was on rails.
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  21. #21
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    Ortho doc has cleared me to ride, with an ankle brace. Now I need to ice to clear off a little bit so I can get on them and decide. Thanks again for all the input.
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

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