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.
mtn. biking 101
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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    Trek EX series or Blur LT /2? Buy whole, or build?

    As the title implies, I have two questions.

    First:
    I'm in the market for something new, and after some poking and prodding, I've narrowed my search to two bikes: Trek EX8 or 9, or a Blur LT or LT2. I'm currently on an older Gary Fischer hardtail, and it's not working out any longer. I do mostly all mountain, and don't plan on doing much free riding or downhill. I've demoed all of the bikes that I've listed, however I'm having a hard time narrowing down what bike would work out for me best.

    I know the Blur LT has a good reputation. I don't know a whole lot about the EX series, other than what a few guys at shops have said. Can anybody give me pros/cons on both series of bikes? Any other recommendations on bikes in the same range? I suppose I'm in the market of between 2800-3300.

    Second:
    I'm more inclined to build the bike myself, just because of how I am, however would it be financially more beneficial to buy it whole at a shop, or buy parts new and build it myself? There are sales to be had on whole bikes and parts, however will I spend loads more buying parts overall?

    Thanks much

  2. #2
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    If you decide to buy a Blur, make it an LT2. The original was (is) notorious for having creaky pivot bearings. The EX has a good reputation as a great trail bike. The VPP suspension on the Blur is pretty sweet (love mine); it gives you a nice firm pedaling platform without having a fancy shock doing that job. You really can't go wrong with either bike, it will all come down to which one fits you best. One question: have you demoed the bikes on the trail, or just in the parking lot?

    As for building your own bike, it is almost always cheaper to buy a complete bike because the manufacture can get all the components at wholesale, and you for the most part, can not.

  3. #3
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    The Blur LT is designed around a longer fork and the new EX (2008s) are very nice. If you want a Trek brand the Roscoe just introduced will have travel more like the Blur. I rented the EX and was quite impressed but I wanted a bike with more travel.

    As far as buy whole or build, that's up to you. It occupied an evening to put my bike together but I know everything was done right and to proper torque etc.. also that it's set up as I like. The downside of course is the time. I went with hand build wheels that you won't get with any kit or factory assembled bike so that's an advantage too.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    I've demoed the Blur on a small dirt patch with a couple of hills, but that's it. It was an LT 1, also.

    I demoed the EX9 in a parking lot, unfortunately. There was a customer in the shop who had his EX9 there, which he had just finished up a ride on one of our trails. He let me ride his, as well. The broken in bike felt much better than the store demo, but still didn't get to hit any trails.

    How long has the LT2 been on the market? Are there any notorious problems that are surrounding it? I'll look around myself, but I thought maybe some people would have answers. The guy at the Trek store told me to watch out for the factory warranty on the Santa Cruz bikes... any word on that? He said 3 year for frame, whereas the trek is lifetime for frame.

  5. #5
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    I've been keeping an eye on the Roscoe, and I love my current gary fischer, however I think it's a bit out of my budget. Starting at around 3100 for the Roscoe I... It looks awesome, but I'm not sure where that price may go when it finally comes out. I do, however, get a 10% discount from the Trek store here in town, which is the only place that sells the GF.

  6. #6
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    After some more searching, and another ride on an LT2, I'm REALLY liking the LT2. My local Santa Cruz dealer sells their stuff at full MSRP, unless the bike has been demoed. I'm gunna have to try and knock them down a bit. I'm looking to buy pedals and shoes as well, maybe I can get some package deal. Unfortunately, I'm not a very good haggler

    This forum has been pretty awesome, I've read a lot of great stuff. Anyone live in the central cali area, san luis obispo?

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