Another bike recommendation
Looking to buy my first FS bike. Will be for xc type riding. I want to spend less than $1500.00. I am looking at the Specialized FSR XC expert, GT marathon 2.0 and the Santa Cruz Superlight d xc. I am only 5'4" 125 lbs. Any opinions on these bikes? Any other favorites? My local bike shops only carry a few brands. Thanks, any input would be helpful.
The SL DXC build is rather heavy for a bike named "Superlight". That being said, it is a good bike.
I would also add the Cannondale Rush 6(??) to the mix. It has a Fox Fork compared to the SL's Tora and a stiffer rear. It also has a slightly slacker HA for a little more relaxed handling.
The FSR XC is the Stumpjumper from 2007 so a good bike. But I just don't like the proprietary shock. I suppose that's weird hearing that from someone with a Lefty fork. But I think the Lefty is on a higher level than the Fusion shock the XC comes with.
But see if you can find leftover Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp. That might be in your price range and a good mix of parts and well, a very good FS bike.
Look at a KHS too. Might be able to find a good enough deal on one of those to make it worth your time.
Why do you say a Fox fork is better than a Tora?
If I had to choose from the bikes listed, I would take the Marathon. It's a pedalling phenom.
I feel the Fox damping performs better. Very smooth action, very controlled.
That with the 'Dale's 1.5 head tube (probably a bit overkill on a XC bike) provide great accuracy and the slacker geo will help all day rides.
The Superlight is a bit snappier on the tightest single tracks and switch backs. But once the speed picks to moderate and above, the Rush really comes into its own. And I feel the Superlight has a bit more slop in the rear end compared to the Rush.