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  1. #1
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    Element vs. ETSX for XC racing and 24 hour

    I'm looking to build up a fast XC racer and 24-hour bike -- the inevitable upgrade from a hardtail racer. This will be my first full suspension bike. 5'9" and 175 lbs.

    Can anyone out comment on the relative merits of the Element linkage vs. the ETSX linkage? I'm not so interested in how much travel it has (as *any* travel will be better than what I have now), I'm interested in lateral stiffness, pedal bob and cornering characteristics.

    Thanks in advance!

    -koradog1

  2. #2
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    ETSX vs. Element

    I have owned and loved both but for different reasons. First the Element, very quick bike that has a stiff suspension. It is great when you want speed and is plush on rough single track but not as plush as the ETSX (which I currently ride). The ETSX is a great bike all-around. You can point it and make it over anything (gives you cofidence and runs over almost everything). Super Plush in my opinion. Bottom line is if you want an all out cross-country racer, go for the element. If you want a bike that is quick and can handle a little bit of everything, go for the ETSX.

  3. #3
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    I love my ETSX and highly recommend it but given your size and desire for a fast XC racer I would highly recommend the Element.

  4. #4
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    Go for the ETSX

    You can build them up realy light if you have the coin. The Element like all of RM's other suspension designs is a faux bar link. The ETSX in my opinion is a more eficient bike and pedals better. I would buy a frame and build it up with a light kit (Cross Max sl, Marta ,XO, FSA carbon cranks, ect. Jag has his down to 24 pounds.

  5. #5
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    I have done XC racing and endurance racing on both frames. I prefer the Element for both types of racing. I loved my ETSX, but I feel like the Element is more racey. It's also handled everything I've thrown at it while handling more similarly to a hardtail. Since you are moving from a hardtail, I think the Element would be the better choice.

  6. #6
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    Reputation: rockyuphill's Avatar
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    It'll depend on the terrain of the races, if it's really rough and technical stuff, the ETSX can suck up bigger bumps but it's a heavier frame so you do have some extra weight to crank up the hills. If the climbs are long and steep and the courses fairly smooth, then the Element can likely compete better with the hardtail racers. If you plan to use it for marathon type races with a wider range of terrain than a typical XC course, then the ETSX is a better Swiss army knike type of bike.

  7. #7
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    I looked at both as well, ended up with the ETSX, love it.

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