Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Are you with me
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    41

    Prophet, Rush, Gemini, Heckler, or Dakar XLT for Atlantic Coast daily rider

    Background:

    Hello from Maryland and apologies for the long post -- a lot of thinking has gone into this over the last few months. Im in the process of choosing a FS bike. I ride everyday. I have the good fortune of being able to commute to work, and I often vary my route, hitting secret trails on the way. There is a lot of ribbon-thin singletrack involved with sketchy spots opening to sheer 10 foot creek drops on one side, twisty-turny stuff.

    On the weekends I ride local trails like Stream Valley. If you know the area, you know the single track can be quite technical, nasty rock-and-root strewn in places. There are also some secret trails with deadly climbs. I like to climb. I will try to get air off of anything, even a small pebble ;-) When not on the trail I tend to ride around looking for dirt jumps and things to jump off of, cant help it. However, the trail riding described above is the bulk of my riding

    Physical stats:

    Im 5 9 145-150 lbs, 31 inch barefoot inseam, approx 32 inch riding inseam. Somewhat short of leg, long of torso, I suppose. I must face the fact that at 42yrs old, the pounding is taking its toll, I wake up with soreness in my wrists, knees and ankles every morning. However, that quickly goes away once Im on the bike.

    Preferences:

    -- FS bike (this is required)
    -- Id like at least 30 standover, prefer 29 and lower
    -- Id like a lighter bike than my current one
    -- Id prefer the BB height to be 13 max but will consider higher if the bike is right. However, a nice, balanced center of gravity feeling is good
    -- Im open on componentry
    -- I am open to the lefty fork on the cannondales, as long as it can handle the stuff I do

    Current bike:

    I own a 2006 Iron Horse Warrior Comp hardtail, all stock, 17.5. Before that I rode a 2002 Bianchi Volpe, sometimes even on the trail. Before that a Nishiki Backroads steel monster. I like almost everything about the Warrior, though the Deore group is a bit clunkier than Id prefer. Major problem: my bones are quite literally getting jangled and the fillings are rattling out of my mouth during my daily rides over root carpets and other obstacles. Before you tell me to pick a better line and stick with the hardtail, note that 1) I prefer bombing over stuff, its one of the great pleasures of riding for me, 2) there is only one line on six-inch-wide singletrack ;-)

    The Choice:


    My list of FS bikes to test is very long, but the ones that keep bubbling to the top are the Cannondales (Prophet, Rush, Gemini), Santa Cruz Heckler, Jamis Dakar XLT. At the moment Im quite taken with the Rush, though I wonder if it can handle some of the rougher stuff I do.

    Based on the info I have provided, may I ask the good people of this forum to provide some insight into to which bike I might choose? Keep in mind that I will be commuting on this bike, but as noted the commute is partially on trails, partially on a paved bike path, 3.5 miles one way, I can vary to add more trail as I like. I am looking to extend my weekend rides considerably with the acquisition of the FS bike.

    Of course I am open to suggestions for other bike models I have not mentioned, but Id love to hear from people who know the bikes I have mentioned and can provide some real-world feedback before I enter the test phase.

    In advance, I thank you for your words of wisdom.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: freeriderB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,560

    I have a gemini & Prophet

    Quote Originally Posted by HansCastorp
    Background:

    Hello from Maryland and apologies for the long post -- a lot of thinking has gone into this over the last few months. Im in the process of choosing a FS bike. I ride everyday. I have the good fortune of being able to commute to work, and I often vary my route, hitting secret trails on the way. There is a lot of ribbon-thin singletrack involved with sketchy spots opening to sheer 10 foot creek drops on one side, twisty-turny stuff.

    On the weekends I ride local trails like Stream Valley. If you know the area, you know the single track can be quite technical, nasty rock-and-root strewn in places. There are also some secret trails with deadly climbs. I like to climb. I will try to get air off of anything, even a small pebble ;-) When not on the trail I tend to ride around looking for dirt jumps and things to jump off of, cant help it. However, the trail riding described above is the bulk of my riding

    Physical stats:

    Im 5 9 145-150 lbs, 31 inch barefoot inseam, approx 32 inch riding inseam. Somewhat short of leg, long of torso, I suppose. I must face the fact that at 42yrs old, the pounding is taking its toll, I wake up with soreness in my wrists, knees and ankles every morning. However, that quickly goes away once Im on the bike.

    Preferences:

    -- FS bike (this is required)
    -- Id like at least 30 standover, prefer 29 and lower
    -- Id like a lighter bike than my current one
    -- Id prefer the BB height to be 13 max but will consider higher if the bike is right. However, a nice, balanced center of gravity feeling is good
    -- Im open on componentry
    -- I am open to the lefty fork on the cannondales, as long as it can handle the stuff I do

    Current bike:

    I own a 2006 Iron Horse Warrior Comp hardtail, all stock, 17.5. Before that I rode a 2002 Bianchi Volpe, sometimes even on the trail. Before that a Nishiki Backroads steel monster. I like almost everything about the Warrior, though the Deore group is a bit clunkier than Id prefer. Major problem: my bones are quite literally getting jangled and the fillings are rattling out of my mouth during my daily rides over root carpets and other obstacles. Before you tell me to pick a better line and stick with the hardtail, note that 1) I prefer bombing over stuff, its one of the great pleasures of riding for me, 2) there is only one line on six-inch-wide singletrack ;-)

    The Choice:


    My list of FS bikes to test is very long, but the ones that keep bubbling to the top are the Cannondales (Prophet, Rush, Gemini), Santa Cruz Heckler, Jamis Dakar XLT. At the moment Im quite taken with the Rush, though I wonder if it can handle some of the rougher stuff I do.

    Based on the info I have provided, may I ask the good people of this forum to provide some insight into to which bike I might choose? Keep in mind that I will be commuting on this bike, but as noted the commute is partially on trails, partially on a paved bike path, 3.5 miles one way, I can vary to add more trail as I like. I am looking to extend my weekend rides considerably with the acquisition of the FS bike.

    Of course I am open to suggestions for other bike models I have not mentioned, but Id love to hear from people who know the bikes I have mentioned and can provide some real-world feedback before I enter the test phase.

    In advance, I thank you for your words of wisdom.
    ***

    1. Stay away from the Gemini. It is too much bike for daily commuting and it's not the best climber (although if built up light it does ok). It can handle abuse, but I think it would be overkill for what you are doing the majority of the time.

    2. Rush: I believe this is probably just the opposite. It's a little too XC ish for the nasty stuff. So if you are taking any drops at all....I would avoid the rush (not enough travel in my eyes)

    3. Prophet is the best match. You can build it up super light, or spec it out to handle the real nasty tech stuff. Mine has the Lefty...but it's going to be sold soon (so heads up Lefty lovers! Check the classifieds in the next week or so)!!
    The 5.5" does not feel like it. I think it feels more like 3.5" (but I ride a Vp Free with 8.75")
    I ride in the FR setting all the time, and the slacker head angle feels great down steep rollers.
    The BB is very low in this setting (not sure exact measurement)...but I constantly crack my pedals on rocks each ride.


    4. Heckler is similar to the Prophet. But I would say it's a nicer bike (just preference to Santa Cruz).

    5. I too feel the pain DAILY in my elbows and wrists for weekly DH trips. I guess I need to stop being so active...but I'm not ready to take a break....

    Good luck...hope my $.02 helps.

  3. #3
    Stewed Screwed & Tattooed
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    645
    Quote Originally Posted by freeriderB
    ***
    2. Rush: I believe this is probably just the opposite. It's a little too XC ish for the nasty stuff. So if you are taking any drops at all....I would avoid the rush (not enough travel in my eyes)
    You would be surprised what the rush is capable of. I have many friends who do BIG drops on their rush. 8+ feet. Then again they can do 8+ feet on hardtails so it might be the rider as much as the bike. I would really consider this bike and see if you can get a test ride in on one.

  4. #4
    Are you with me
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    41
    really appreciate the quick reply. and, yes, I am drawn to the heckler. Finding one to test ride in Maryland, near me, is a headache, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by freeriderB
    ***

    1. Stay away from the Gemini. It is too much bike for daily commuting and it's not the best climber (although if built up light it does ok). It can handle abuse, but I think it would be overkill for what you are doing the majority of the time.

    2. Rush: I believe this is probably just the opposite. It's a little too XC ish for the nasty stuff. So if you are taking any drops at all....I would avoid the rush (not enough travel in my eyes)

    3. Prophet is the best match. You can build it up super light, or spec it out to handle the real nasty tech stuff. Mine has the Lefty...but it's going to be sold soon (so heads up Lefty lovers! Check the classifieds in the next week or so)!!
    The 5.5" does not feel like it. I think it feels more like 3.5" (but I ride a Vp Free with 8.75")
    I ride in the FR setting all the time, and the slacker head angle feels great down steep rollers.
    The BB is very low in this setting (not sure exact measurement)...but I constantly crack my pedals on rocks each ride.


    4. Heckler is similar to the Prophet. But I would say it's a nicer bike (just preference to Santa Cruz).

    5. I too feel the pain DAILY in my elbows and wrists for weekly DH trips. I guess I need to stop being so active...but I'm not ready to take a break....

    Good luck...hope my $.02 helps.
    spacer
    [SIZE="1"]"Show me an old guy with no scars, and I'll show you a wasted life." -- Anonymous[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Are you with me
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by bad ronald
    You would be surprised what the rush is capable of. I have many friends who do BIG drops on their rush. 8+ feet. Then again they can do 8+ feet on hardtails so it might be the rider as much as the bike. I would really consider this bike and see if you can get a test ride in on one.
    thank you, the Rush is stocked locally, so I'm definitely all over a test.
    spacer
    [SIZE="1"]"Show me an old guy with no scars, and I'll show you a wasted life." -- Anonymous[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    LA CHVRE
    Reputation: Dan Gerous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,396
    I would say the Rush is the best choice too, it not as tall as the Prophet, it's lighter, it climbs a bit better, it's better on the road and it should be able to deal with the riding you do, especially at your weight. I'm not sure I'd do 10' creek drops though but it can definitly handle some drops and jumps. Again, no problems dealing with technical rocky and rooty trails, you just have to time your pedals to avoid hitting them on rocks too much but since you are coming from a hardtail, it should be a second nature to you already...

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  7. #7
    Good For You
    Reputation: The_Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    408
    I am also in MD and I ride a Rush. For me the Rush is perfect, it can handle the typical East Coast rooty/rocky/technical terrain and is a great race bike. To me however, based on your mention of seeking out drops and getting as much air as possible on purpose, it sounds like you might want a Prophet.

  8. #8
    Are you with me
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    I would say the Rush is the best choice too, it not as tall as the Prophet, it's lighter, it climbs a bit better, it's better on the road and it should be able to deal with the riding you do, especially at your weight. I'm not sure I'd do 10' creek drops though but it can definitly handle some drops and jumps. Again, no problems dealing with technical rocky and rooty trails, you just have to time your pedals to avoid hitting them on rocks too much but since you are coming from a hardtail, it should be a second nature to you already...
    Thanks much Dan, good point on the pedal strikes. my Iron Horse BB height is 11.7 and I would like a bit higher BB, but the 13.5 bb height on the Heckler seems a bit high in terms of balanced feel on the trail. The Rush gives me bb height of 12.6 and the prophet 13.0. I won't know how those two compare feel-wise until I test them.

    Test riding the Rush will be easy, prophet is special order in my area, heckler hard to find as well. but would love to ride all three and compare.

    re: 10' foot creek drops, I only do those with a rope around my waist ;-)

    cheers
    spacer
    [SIZE="1"]"Show me an old guy with no scars, and I'll show you a wasted life." -- Anonymous[/SIZE]

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hugh088's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    391
    Between the Prophet and the Heckler consider the warranty. When I broken my GF I was looking for a forever bike. The heckler was at the top of my list but with only a 2 year warranty it did not seem like SC was thinking it was a forever bike. Lifetime on the Prophet and I love the Lefty.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •