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  1. #1
    Ride Everything
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    Full-Sus Advice (Looking Ahead)

    OK Front Rangers, I’m tired of getting “beat up” riding my hardtail. I want to ride longer/farther, and while I can train my legs and lungs, I can’t do much about my tender wrists and elbows (too many years of keyboard/mouse use, and I broke my wrist a few years ago).

    I climb slow and am a cautious descender. I like my bars at, or even slightly above my saddle height (my Kona has 30mm of headset spacers, a 17-deg stem, and bars with 32mm rise). I have no desire to huck, shuttle, or generally leave the ground. I simply want to be able to ride more. A typical “out-the-door” ride for me is up and over the Coalton Trail, down to Marshall Mesa, a lap or two around there, and then back home (approx 20 miles total). That’ll include one mile of pavement, some fire roads, singletrack, and some minor rocky bits.

    Bikes I’m considering:

    Gary Fisher Hi-Fi
    Kona Dawg (2008)
    Santa Cruz Ultralight

    I have a long torso for my height (5’11”), and generally end up positioning my saddle back pretty far on frames with steeper seat angles. And although I’m 215-220#, I tend to ride “lighter” than my weight would indicate. I’m not interested in 29-er’s, or single-speeds.

    “Test ride them and buy the one you like” is what most of you’re thinking, and I’ll certainly do that. I’m just wondering if there’s a model I’m overlooking.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SinglePowderTrack's Avatar
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    There are some smoking deals on SC Superlights out there right now. Something like $1500, full build with the Ano finish. Check with Colorado cyclist or another SC shop.
    Now if you're wonderin' what I think of it all, just read the back of this postcard. - WSP

  3. #3
    Mojo0115
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    If you are considering a bike like the Hi-Fi, also consider taking an Ibis Mojo for a test ride.

    I can't justify it but I am so tempted by the new MojoSL they just announced - a full .5 lb lighter again and still 5.5" of travel with DW link suspension.

  4. #4
    Ride Everything
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    The Mojo is out of my price range, unfortunately.

  5. #5
    ..ouch
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    Don't forget the Intense Spider XVP or Turner Flux. Although, my experience is that if you buy a 4" travel that you'll end up wanting more in a few years. I'd recommend you skip right to a Intense 5.5. EVP, or Turner Spot. Both bikes will still keep you cranking with speed, but will give you more flexibility in the types of terrain you can ride comfortably.

    Of course this is coming from a guy that uses an Uzzi for my all-around trail bike.

    Being the same height with a long torso, I've found I prefer running a large size frame with a short stem vs a medium bike, but I'd let standover height ultimately guide that decision for you.

  6. #6
    People of zee wurl,Relax!
    Reputation: trail topher's Avatar
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    Try the Hi Fi

    The Fisher geometry is great for someone with your build (long top tube for a long torso). Give it a test ride. The Superlight from Santa Cruz is great but has a shorter top tube. Test ride a couple and see what you like. Another choice IMHO is the Cannondale Rush. It is comfy and well built.
    Less Talk, More Rock.
    http://www.peakmtb.com

  7. #7
    contains quinine
    Reputation: Debaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    Don't forget the Intense Spider XVP or Turner Flux. Although, my experience is that if you buy a 4" travel that you'll end up wanting more in a few years. I'd recommend you skip right to a Intense 5.5. EVP, or Turner Spot. Both bikes will still keep you cranking with speed, but will give you more flexibility in the types of terrain you can ride comfortably.

    Of course this is coming from a guy that uses an Uzzi for my all-around trail bike.

    Being the same height with a long torso, I've found I prefer running a large size frame with a short stem vs a medium bike, but I'd let standover height ultimately guide that decision for you.
    Good recommendations, both Intense and Turner. Dave up at Redstone has both Turners and Intenses built up for demos. I lean Intense, mostly because they are the best bikes ever.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Don't screw around. Get a Niner Rip-9. Those bikes kick it.

  9. #9
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    Hi Fi!!

    Quote Originally Posted by trail topher
    The Fisher geometry is great for someone with your build (long top tube for a long torso). Give it a test ride. The Superlight from Santa Cruz is great but has a shorter top tube. Test ride a couple and see what you like. Another choice IMHO is the Cannondale Rush. It is comfy and well built.
    If you are new at Full suspension then go with the Hi Fi. It will fit your geometry better as well. Once you learn how to ride a FS then save some $$$ and get a Turner, Titus, or Yeti.

    Since you are comming from hardtail I would look at the Gary Fisher race day to make the transition. The Hi Fi may feel huge and slugish to you because you need to learn how to ride FS first.

    Oh and for the wrists I highly recomend ergon grips.
    Sit and spin my ass...

  10. #10
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    http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/it.A/id....=7&category=55

    Randall Scott has great deals on the K2 Lithium right now. Good specs, competent components and enough travel to keep even a rough trail pretty smooth. I've ridden my K2 in Colorado quite a few times and enjoyed every minute of it.

    You might be ripe for a Large depending on what length top tube you like, the eff. TT on a Large (what I have) is 24".

    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11
    Ride Everything
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    Thanks for the info/feedback -- keep it coming.

    I'm running Ergons, and they definitely help the hands/wrists (glove choice can be tricky, but that's another matter).

  12. #12
    Ride Everything
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    No love for Kona's Dawg (http://konaworld.com/08_dawg.htm)?

  13. #13
    Give dirt to me... Repent
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    I'm only replying because I do the ride you mentioned pretty often (it's sort of out my door, too) and I used to have a Dawg. I've only bought three mountain bikes in fifteen years, so my advice is worth even less than you're paying for it.

    What I liked about the Dawg was that I wasn't afraid of breaking it, no matter how badly I screwed up (I was over 200 lbs when I got it); it came in a really big size (I'm tall); and it was on sale. I especially liked the sale bit.

    Since you don't plan to leave the ground, I'm not sure the Dawg has a lot of advantages for you. It's a pretty burly bike. Also, geometry-wise, the Dawg struck me as being slightly better-suited to the long leg/shorter torso build; a plus for me, another possible negative for you.

    To add another bike to the mix, have you looked at a Giant Trance? I have two friends who've bought them, and both have been extremely happy. They're built heavily enough to cope with a larger rider, but they're lighter than the Dawg. They also seem to have a more efficient suspension design--there's certainly much less pedaling-induced bob when climbing than I had on the Dawg, and yet it still seem very active over rougher stuff. They're also often available at something of a discount.

    Anyway, just my $0.02. I don't want to sound down on the Dawg--it's a nice bike, just perhaps oriented towards a more abusive rider than you sound like. It's still a fine all-arounder if you get it at the right price (and/or want the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're unlikely to break it "just riding along").

  14. #14
    Ride Everything
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    Thanks for the feedback on the Dawg and Trance. I did the aforementioned ride Saturday, and when I was riding over the baby-head rocks, I was really wishing for some rear suspension. Same with the rutted sections of singletrack between Coalton and Marshal Mesa.

    More homework is in order...

  15. #15
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    Not to confuse you even more but....

    have you considered the Rocky Mounatin Element or ETSX? Seems you could get those bikes are in your $ range.
    Now if you're wonderin' what I think of it all, just read the back of this postcard. - WSP

  16. #16
    Ride Everything
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    I attempted to try a SpecEd FSRxc and Trek Fuel EX, but the closest dealer wasn't a lot of help. The sales guy didn't ask me a single question about riding style, terrain, etc. All he did was go on about "Bike A" having Juicy 3's, "Bike B" having Juicy 7's, etc...

  17. #17
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    I'm in a similar situation as you, Mark. I used to do that ride all the time until I broke my MTB last year and now I'm itching to get back onto one. Hard tail was no fun on Marshall. I looked at the Dawg, but supposedly it's not a great climber (according to the reviews I saw on this site.) What do people think about the Felt Virtue (floating pivot)?

  18. #18
    Ride Everything
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    I saw a lot of Fishers on the trail tonight, along with a smattering of SpecEds and Giants.

  19. #19
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    Mark - are you in the Denver area? Hit up REI and see what they've got. They deal the K2 and can get you the Lithium as well. Novara has some interesting offerings - I wouldn't rule them out b/c of the name, take a look at the construction and specs - very good stuff for what you pay.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  20. #20
    Ride Everything
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    My new ride:


  21. #21
    Rolling
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    Enjoy it Mark.

    ... am a cautious descender.
    That bike will eliminate that.

  22. #22
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    For a long Torso I would check: GT and Gary Fisher first. And of course you may want to eyeball some niners.

    Rush Carter
    CS West Bikes

  23. #23
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    I wouldn't even think about another bike except a YEti for the front range.

    Erik

  24. #24
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    Out of the 3 you mentioned I'd definatly get the Dawg.

    BUT if you got a little extra cake, get a ride on a Turner spot or RFX.

  25. #25
    Ride Everything
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    Bought the Trek Fuel EX 7 on closeout. Digging it.

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