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  1. #1
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    02 SC Superlight or 03 FSR XC?

    I am getting back into mountain biking after a 6 or 7 year hiatus, and am thinking about getting an FS bike. Since I'm well over 30, and have lost a lot of my "no fear" offroad attitude, I plan to mostly ride rocky singletrack in Colorado. Nothing too technical, but all the trails to which I have easy access (through a 2-3 mile road ride) have fairly steep sections with lots of rocks, sandy spots, and ruts. I don't need anything too burly, as I'm 165 pounds and 5'8", and won't be doing any big drops. Currently, I do much more road riding with a nice full carbon Bianchi road bike, and am not as enthused with my circa 1995 Giant ATX hardtail as I used to be. It feels squirrly on all the bumps, and the rear tire has a tough time staying put on the climbs. Also, after using the Campy shifters on my Bianchi, the first generation grip shift and stx combo is pretty lame. For a while, I considered upgrading it with a newer shocks and brakes, and maybe shifters, but is seems like I'm just dumping good money on a non-ideal ride for these conditions; I'd easily end up with $400 in it buying used components, when used FS bikes are available for not to much more.

    Looking at Craigslist, I found several options in my under-$700 range. A prime contender is a 2002 Santa Cruz Superlight for $600. Another is a 2003 Rockhopper FSR XC for the same price. I know the Superlight is a highly regarded piece, but am wondering if the FSR's suspension would be better for my riding (and no racing) than the older single pivot. Coming from a hardtail background, I would think pedal bob would be annoying to me, and hurt my climbing ability with the Superlight, but that's just a guess.

    Other options available now include a 2004 Specialized Enduro with discs for $700 (probably overkill) and several 2001-2004 Trek Fuel 70's and 80's for $450 - $500 (possibly underkill?).

    All all of these good choices for my size and type of riding? I really want a quality bike that will last me several years without big issues. Thanks!

    Kevin

  2. #2
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    5 - 6 - 7 year old full suspensions?
    If it is owned by a lady who use it for grocery chores, or an impulsive buyer who after 1-2 rides gave up mountainbiking, then I'll consider one. Of course, I am exaggerating. Just trying to point out that if you need to replace anything like fork/shock/brakes or want to upgrade these as technology has improved from that era, the $700 will easily double.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I would go for the Enduro or the Superlight.

    The Enduro should pedal almost as well as the Rockhopper and should generally have better components (at least the '04 Enduros were originally spec'd better than the FSRXC's). Seems like they had a pretty decent weight back then as well and the discs are worth it regardless of where you live.

    I have an '03 Stumpjumper FSR (use it as a single speed loaner bike at this point, but do ride it on occasion) and it pedals OK, but with out a platform shock its nothing spectacular. Older guy is right in that the shock technology has improved. My current bike (a Knolly DT) has 6.3" of travel and pedals better than my Stumpjumper FSR in my opinion.

    With that said, a good single pivot design (like the superlight) will pedal as well as the FSR design.

    Don't be too worried about pedal bob. Everything you are looking at are quality bikes and set up properly will perform well.

  4. #4
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    I had an Intense Tracer, a Specialized licensed horst link. Coming from road bikes and a hardtail, first hill climb I stopped to see if my rear tire was flat. I sold the Tracer to a riding buddy who rides a single-pivot. He told me he liked the single pivot better climbing and the Tracer better going downhill. This was before stable platform shocks.

  5. #5
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    Well, neither of those worked out--the superlight had been wrecked and had quite a few scratches, and the FSR seemed over priced for what it was. I stumbled into a Rocky Mountain ETSX-30 for dirt cheap. It's funny, but it sounds like the "grandma's church bike" that older guy talked about. It looks showroom new, and has no scratches, chips, etc on the paint. I bought it off a 5'9" waif of a woman who said she bought it and just never got into mountain biking. I couldn't imagine the bike was ever used on any singletrack of any kind. It was only $500, which I thought was good for a $2k+ bike. Shocks are in great shape, with no apparent leaks. I think the 4"/3.5"-4.5" of travel front and rear will work out great for my purposes. I can always upgrade the shock if necessary and still be in for under a grand, but it's a heck of a step up from my old ATX no matter what.

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