I'll try not to go on forever, so I'll try and keep it short.
My current mountain bike is a well-appointed (for that era) 1996 Trek 8500. Many upgrades from the stock 8 speed XT, including a sweet Ti Syncros seat post, some XTR and a CK headset. I used to race the thing back in the day, and riding kind of gotten away from me.
I've reecently rekindled my interest in mountain biking while mainly focusing on XC. If I can get back into shape I'll try some racing next season. It may be important to note I'll be hitting the trail at least weekly.
Anyway, the Trek is getting pretty worn out. The Judy SL had some water in it when I pulled the fork apart a few weeks ago and the chain and cassette are very worn.
Since I've discovered it to be impossible to locate quality 8 speed components, I decided to get a new bike OR, as a somewhat temporary cash saver, dropping a grand or so on an XT/XRT mix drivetrain replacement for my Trek.
I swung by one of my LBS and I ran into the owner. Long story short, he offered me a unbeatable price on a slightly (seven or so rides) used Merlin XLM with full XTR.
He let me take it out on the trail and I've found that it may be a little short as I was really having trouble maintaining traction on the uphills while in the saddle. The seat is pushed all of the way back on the rails. It seemed as though as if it had a offset seat post the fit would have been much better. The positive was that I didn't get 'numb' as I sometimes do while on my Trek. I also didn't feel cramped.
I'm about 5'10, and the frame is 16.25. I've always preferred smaller mountain frames, but I don't know if this is taking things a bit too far.
I do have to say though, having never ridden a bike this nice, that it was an experience from the heavens. The XTR shifted flawlessly, the brakes were awesome and the titanium was much plusher than my aluminum Trek.
I had been considering a FS, 29ers, and a plethora of other options down the road until this deal came up.
So, what do you think?
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Thread: New Bike Advice, Merlin XLM