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  1. #1
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    Trek Fuel EX 5.5 vs. Giant Trance X4 vs. Cannondale Rush 7

    DAD GUMMIT! I can't make up my mind, I have gone from looking at FS bikes, to deciding on building a bike, to realizing I don't have the time or tools to build, to looking at FS bikes again.

    I have three rides I am looking at in the sub-$1500 range. I know I can get a better bike and better components by spend $x more, but I am not willing to spend more than $1500. It's not a matter of saving as I could easily spend more than that, but I really don't want to put a big dent in the savings right now. And I really want FS. I have an HT that I really like, so I don't want another. Anyways, the bikes I am looking at are the Trek Fuel EX 5.5, the Giant Trance X4, and the Cannondale Rush 7. I will be test riding all of the above to see which feels the best. If all feel equally good, which do you guys think is the best? I really want to keep it to rides I can purchase/have services at my LBS as I really like supporting our local economy.

    I like the Trek because I current ride a Trek HT. I like Cannondale because it's made in the USA. And I like the Trance due to the highly rated frame. It seems like they are all comparable as far as components are concerned.

    Sorry to keep bugging you all, but $1500 is a lot of money for a single income family (and all that I am willing to part with on a bike) so I want to make darn sure I get it right! Thanks!

    -Ryan
    Last edited by pointerDixie214; 05-18-2009 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #2
    LDH
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    those are good bikes but you could get a better spec for your dollar if you could find the 08 models, maybe a trance x2.

  3. #3
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    I don't think any of my LBSs that carry these names have any '08 left. Maybe I could wait until September and get an '09 cheaper.

    Another thing is that I will be paying in cash, so I am sure they will give me a little break there.

  4. #4
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    ebay is King!
    Matthew Ozvat
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/mozvat
    http://toedwy.blogspot.com/

    The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday

  5. #5
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    Just saw some sweet deals on Ebay, but I am still hesitant about purchasing on there.

  6. #6
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    After going through the same dilemma, I settled on the Fuel EX 5.5. Could not be happier with the bike, it's great in every way. I have put the bike through some pretty serious abuse in the past 2 months I've owned it, and it's been completely rock solid reliable and a blast to ride. IMHO nothing comes close in this price range, and the frame geometry is the best in the business. Plus the Trek warranty, you can't go wrong. Get the TREK!

  7. #7
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    The nice thing about the giant is it uses the same suspesion design as the more expensive models (Maestro) The trek only uses the newest suspension design on the EX7 and higher. The cannondale is a single pivot design that is old school but works well with modern shocks.

    I have a feeling when you ride them one will feel better than the others and thats the one you want. Spec wise they are all similar. The cannondale does come in the cool team replica colors though

  8. #8
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    pcar964- Thanks for the post. That's what I am looking for. On another note, what year is your 964? Although I am a porsche nut, I don't have one right now. Brother in Law has a '76 911 S Targa though. Has a 3.2L motor in it. Soon as I have a garage, I will be purchasing a Pcar... always did like the 964...

    Cabletwitch- I have a feeling you're right. I want to like the Trek the most, but i will go with what's right for me as far as feel goes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214
    pcar964- Thanks for the post. That's what I am looking for. On another note, what year is your 964? Although I am a porsche nut, I don't have one right now. Brother in Law has a '76 911 S Targa though. Has a 3.2L motor in it. Soon as I have a garage, I will be purchasing a Pcar... always did like the 964...

    Cabletwitch- I have a feeling you're right. I want to like the Trek the most, but i will go with what's right for me as far as feel goes.
    Currently have a '91 Turbo, which has been a dream of mine for a long time I've gone through almost every generation of 911, I love them all. The impact bumper cars still hold a special place in my heart. Anyway the 964 hasn't always gotten the respect it deserves - but they're fantastic 911s. Just don't buy anything made by Porsche after '97, and you should be a happy camper.

    Back to the Trek, I'm an extremely deliberate person when it comes to spending big money on toys. I'll research for months to find the right one. The Fuel EX 5.5 happened to fit my needs perfectly. After deciding to steer clear of Ebay for used bikes, I figured out what I wanted in a FS:

    Hydraulic brakes are a no brainer. Try them once and you'll never go back.
    120mm travel is perfect balance of trail and freeride imho.
    An extra pound isn't a big deal for me, so coil forks up front were perfectly fine.
    For $1500 I want a frame I can use for 10 years without worrying... Trek, no brainer.
    I played hardball with my local bike store and got them down to $1369 cash.
    Two weeks later I was back with my girlfriend buying the exact same bike for her, female version. We've been riding every chance we get since then, and couldn't be happier with the bikes. Not one problem, and although I'm no expert, I'm fairly hard on a bike with drops and jumps, etc.

    By the way my last bike was a Fuji Tahoe front suspension from 1999. Great bike, but a lot has changed in 10 years. Apart from the obvious difference (full suspension vs front), I immediately appreciated the completely different frame geometry of new-age XC bikes compared to older ones. The head angle is much less aggressive, making for a much easier and more controllable ride. Also a ton more fun, as you can take some nasty descents without worrying about being thrown over the handlebars. Much more comfortable overall in just about every condition.

    The LBS also gave us 3 free tuneups, and they were very helpful and allowed long test rides before we decided to buy.

    My feeling is this - the 5.5 is the entry-level "serious" FS bike. But you get 95% of the benefits of the most expensive FS bikes out there for a fraction of the price. And if you want to go any cheaper than this, you're looking at either a hardtail of the same quality, or an el-cheapo full suspension bike that won't even compare. For me, the more I looked at what was out there, the more obvious the choice became.

    good luck!

  10. #10
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    Thanks! I agree about the '97 and newer Porsches. Water cooled? No thanks. 993 is my favorite, followed by 964.

    Just went to the LBS and looked at the Trek. Very nice. I figure I will also look at the other two and decide from there, but I really like the Trek. I will probably go Giant if it feels as good as the Trek though just because I like that shop better.

  11. #11
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    ***sorry- double post***

  12. #12
    aw fiddlestix
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    Ok, I have to take exception to the comment on the '97 and new Porsches. Obviously the feel is different, but as long as you avoid the 996 they're great cars. Especially the newest ones with direct injection. Now obviously if I could have any Porsche it'd be a 964 Turbo S...

  13. #13
    Smarter Than He Looks
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    I was in your position a few months ago, trying to decide which $1500 FS bike. I eliminated Ebay because I want/need that LBS relationship. On paper, my two finalists looked comparable, but a test ride (parking lot, side grassy lot) revealed a clear winner. I ended up with a leftover 08 Fisher HiFi for under $1400 and couldn't be happier.

    I can't recommend a bike for you, but I'll bet a test ride will help you choose.
    Last edited by Sinker; 06-05-2009 at 04:28 AM.

  14. #14
    Gig'em Aggies!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcar964
    For $1500 I want a frame I can use for 10 years without worrying... Trek, no brainer.
    Giant bikes have a lifetime warranty on their frames (for the original owner) and it has the same suspension as the Trance X3, X2, X1.

    As mentioned earlier, ride the three bikes that you have narrowed your search down to and choose the one that feels the best to you.

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