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  1. #1
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    FNG, looking at a couple Spesh bikes

    Greetings, all!
    I'm 6'3", 260lb and looking at my first mtb. I rode bmx in high school, and haven't ridden since. I've come across an incredibly polite and helpful lbs, and they stock spesh: I rode their fatboy for a couple seasons, and have always been impressed with the company.
    I had originally decided on a RH Pro, but then I saw the Carve Comp. I have a few simple (read stupid) questions :
    1) is the M4 frame enough to hold my weight? I've always had steel bikes.
    2) is the geometry difference enough to matter? I'll be riding the FATS trails here in the CSRA, coupled with pedaling around the local dirt roads.
    3) I've come to understand that one would be better served dropping another few dollars initially if possible. Between these two bikes, would I be best served with the Carve?

    I understand we're armchair-quarterbacking here, but I would like as much info as humanly possible prior to dropping $1600. Also, if there's anyone else in the CSRA,check out Andy Jordans, as they know their stuff.

    Thanks all!

    (sorry for the edit, but typing on a phone has its limitations)
    Last edited by spectre04; 01-31-2013 at 12:27 PM. Reason: wrong spelling

  2. #2
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    Ultimately, the Carve will handle better and has better components. The aluminum is certainly strong enough, there are plenty of lads bigger than you are that ride alloy. If it should fail, Specialized has a pretty good warranty. At your size, the frame is the least of your worries. Driveline and wheels will be a bigger concern, in which case, the Carve is certainly the better choice,

  3. #3
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    So many posts of people buying bikes and then replacing everything. You save so much money by getting the bike with the components you plan on keeping. That said, IMO the specialized are great except the wheelset is weak. Especially with a 29er, a weak set of wheels will be noodly as hell and all the nice components on the bike won't do you any good if you can't put the power on the pavement.


    As well, I personally break aluminum. It's always the bottem right corner by the rear derailleur. I'm just pedalling along, not doing jumps or anything. No more for me. I'm 6'8" 275lbs btw.

    Giant XTC Composite is my frontrunner for my next bike, but the Surly Ogre also looks fantastic at half the price, the components aren't as nice as I'd like, but they're strong and the wheels look good too. I'm really not sure if I'd miss the front shock or not.

    I wish the bike designers out there would build a bike here and there with strength and sturdiness as the criteria instead of just weight. For example, have the XL and XXL versions cost a little extra and put some beefier wheels on them.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! I know the wheels would be the weakest link, but I'm not sure where to start on a replacement set. I've read tons of threads prior to posting here, without finding a concrete answer. Wheel weight really isn't a concern for me.

  5. #5
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    The geometry difference is almost non-existent. A teeny-tiny difference in head tube angle and seat tube angle is about it, and I don't even know if you could detect it. They share the same crankset and brakes. The biggest difference will be the fork, and that would be noticeable. IMHO, the fork on the Rockhopper would be on the replace-as-soon-as-possible list, whereas you could likely live with the Recon. IME, Specialized's lower end wheelsets are kind of hit or miss at times and there appears to be a minor difference in the rims, at least in name and one is sleeved vs. pinned at the joint of the extrusion, but they are both listed as 26mm wide.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectre04 View Post
    Thanks! I know the wheels would be the weakest link, but I'm not sure where to start on a replacement set. I've read tons of threads prior to posting here, without finding a concrete answer. Wheel weight really isn't a concern for me.
    Hope hoops can ship to ur location or the lbs might be able to ship them. Comes with the Stan's Flow Ex rims. That's what I'd like to do if I were getting a wheel set on the side

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the information. I know the fork upgrade is worth it alone, and will going with the Carve accordingly. Regarding the wheels. I'll definitely be ordering a set (once I've found the appropriate set!) but will likely ride the factory setup until I kill it.

  8. #8
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    another guy on here has the carve and he hasn't replaced wheels yet. In the 29er thread

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham77 View Post
    I wish the bike designers out there would build a bike here and there with strength and sturdiness as the criteria instead of just weight. For example, have the XL and XXL versions cost a little extra and put some beefier wheels on them.
    The Kona Hoss range was designed for the beefier rider. Not sure they still make them now.

  10. #10
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    Well, I wrote a massive reply last night but it seems to have disappeared.

    Anyway, in a nutshell, if you can afford it, get the Carve. It has a better frame and fork which are your two crucial areas. The geometry difference isn't much of a concern. The wheels may be an issue but only because they will be factory-built. If you break spokes, get the wheels rebuilt under warranty. That's what I did and they've been perfect ever since.

    FWIW, I have a 2011 RH Comp 29 (with an M4 frame) and it has worked flawlessly over thousands of miles. You shouldn't need to upgrade anything for until it wears out.

  11. #11
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    I'm 6'4" and about 260lbs rising a 21" 2013 Carve Pro. Seems plenty strong enough to me - I've not broken anything or bent the wheels yet... great bikes I reckon.

  12. #12
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    All you guys rock. I rode a 19" and 21" carve Comp yesterday, and ordered one.... A 19" red carve Comp. I was comfortable on a 21 RH Pro, but felt better on the 19 carve. It should be here the middle of next week, and I'm stoked. Thanks, gents.

  13. #13
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    I have the 2012 Carve Expert and I'm at about 300lbs and 6'4". I have only upgraded to M-785 brakes and XT shifters. Love the bike and it has held up great, over 900 miles on it and just took my rear rim in (went 2 Bliss) and it needed some adjustment. Still ran great and I did not notice that I have a few loose spokes. Since I had the heavy thick thorn tubes and liners I dropped almost 4 lbs off the bike and now my XXL is under 30 lbs (28.95). Bike is very stiff and climbs great, it also rips down single track and while my fork is a bit under sprung for my weight it still works nicely.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  14. #14
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    I know this thread has been focused on Spesh bikes, and I myself have a 09 RH Comp with NOTHING stock left on the bike....except for the FD.

    If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought a 29er frame that was more AM oriented, like the Canfield Yelli Screamy or Banshee Baradox. Both of them have beefy construction where it counts for a clyde.

  15. #15
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    We have roughly the same build. I'm 6'4" at 260 LBS. Going to keep an eye on here for more information.

  16. #16
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    Took delivery yesterday, and will be visiting the local FATS trail this afternoon. To say I'm quite excited is an understatement.
    Just knocking around the yard, everything felt great. I'll update the thread this evening, if I haven't hit a tree and died.

  17. #17
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    After taking the bike to the trails, I can honestly say that I now know my limits as a new rider. I got my butt kicked. I bent my derailleur hanger on a spill, but the bike held up otherwise. It really taught me what a slob I am.


    I don't have anything bad to say about the bike, other than the rider sucks. I will refrain from the hardcore trails again until I've built up the skills necessary NOT to shame myself. I had an absolute blast! I, like the bike, did not escape unscathed:

    I have tree trunks for legs, but I still managed to get bit. I tucked my knee under the crank while trying not to step on the wheel. I ended up doing it anyway.

  18. #18
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    Don't beat urself up too much. Technique is a huge part and it just comes from experience. I've been hitting the bike lots but I'd still be fatigued quickly riding into everything instead of over it.

    Might want to go clip in with the pedals if you're not currently. Get well used to them before you hit any serious trails.

    As far as fitness cycling def uses specific muscles and people that are overall very fit need to do a couple break in rides before they get good performance. Just spin, take it on flats until you're not gassing as much and start adding hills.

    Don't shy away too much from those trails tho. If you hit them again tomorrow I bet you'd feel your performance improve

  19. #19
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    it's a good idea to train on paths & road, esp if you've been off bikes for a while. Mt biking requires both fitness and finesse, it's not particularly fun if you're lacking both. The finesse is easier to pick up if you have a relative amount of fitness. Congratulations on your new ride!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    it's a good idea to train on paths & road, esp if you've been off bikes for a while. Mt biking requires both fitness and finesse, it's not particularly fun if you're lacking both. The finesse is easier to pick up if you have a relative amount of fitness. Congratulations on your new ride!
    This is true. It's a lot easier to control the bike when you're not red-lining.

  21. #21
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    Just touching base:
    I have tried to kill this thing by launching (here having the meaning of light bunny-hop) off curbs and sewer drains onto fresh pavement, big ass roots, rocks, and other nasties...to no avail. the bike rocks. There's the occasional creak (moan, perhaps) from the crankset, but she's a mute for the most part. After the bent hanger was replaced the damn thing just keeps on trucking. I sincerely recommend this piece to anyone looking.

  22. #22
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    I agree, these are really tuff bikes. The wheels on mine are holding up pretty good so far. I ride a carve comp for work, so with all my gear I am closer to 240lbs plus we run a rear rack with bag loaded with gear and a headlight etc... I have really put a beating on it not to mention teaching three week long classes which involve rapid dismounts, stair descents/climbing as well as off road and urban riding, never a problem. I think we are going to purchase some more shortly. As for the derailuer hanger, that's why they make them, easier to replace than a frame! Nice carnage on the leg, some of my best and most recognizeable scars are from chain rings, can always pick out the perfectly space puncture wounds!!!
    E.P.
    2013 Mukluk 3
    2012 El Mariachi
    2012 Specialized Carve comp (work bike)
    2005 Banshee Chaparral
    2008 Felt F4C (roadie)

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