I'm new to the forum (my first post) but I'm after some advice... I'm looking for a new bike...and upgrade to a full suspension machine after riding my GT Avalanche 0.0 for a couple of years... When I bought it, all my mates with fuller sussers swore I'd be joining the two shock club within 6 months but I've lasted a wee bit longer!
Anyway, my girlfriend has recently bought her first decent bike a few months ago (Specialized Safire FSR) and it going me looking at the Stumpjumper FSR... Put off making a purchase until later in the year to take advantage of the sales...so as well as wanting a decent bike I'm also looking to take advantage of a bargain if I can... I'm based in Scotland and a lot of the riding at the moment is trail centre but where I am there is also a lot of less smooth, wet, rooty stuff... I'm not a downhiller or a XC racer but would like something that will handle what I can throw at it and help me improve my skills (rather than being able to just crash over everything!)...but be a good alrounder...it will be my one bike.
I seem to have got down to a choice of two bikes: Trek Fuel EX and Commencal Meta 5.5.1.
I saw a 2008 EX9 with about £500 off the full price in the sale but just missed it...probably would have bought it if it was still there. I've now got my eye on a 2008 EX8 with a £300 discount... I have a fetish for Formula Oro brakes and after reading all the reviews / forums etc I figure I would upgrade the brakes, tyres and possibly shifters, taking it up to about full price again at £1600. It gets great reviews, was top of the awards list for sub-£2000 fuller sussers and I quite like the design... If the EX9 was still around I'd go for it I think, especially with the asjustableTalas forks....
The other option is a Meta 5.5.1 which has a big £500 discount (in the sale for £1700). I wouldn't want to upgrade anything on this bike... but I'm a little worried that its almost a bit too much bike for me... whilst EVERYONE who rides it seems to absolutely love it, there is also lots of chat of thrashing it, jumps etc ... Also I'm not the quickest uphill and dont want to make things much harder for myself than I need to, although it looks like the 5.5.1 is about the same weight as an EX8...so its perhaps just the extra travel in the fork to deal with....
Anyone any advice...? Is the Meta a complete bargain at that price and a joy to ride (even if you're not absolutely thrashing it!)...? Or is the upgraded EX8 a better buy...? I'm sure that no-one will have a definitive answer but at the moment I feel pretty torn so anything to help!! I think that I need convincing that the Meta isnt too much for me and that it will be a fine all round trail bike...
The other considerations are sizes... the Commencal is only in a large...im about 5 ft 11 - 6 ft with long arms... I've only managed to sit on a medium which felt ok...the LBS said a large would be better for me but they cant get one in til later in the week... The EX8 is in a 19.5 which Ive tried in the car park and seemed fine... I'm a bit worried that these bargains will go in teh same way the EX9 did so am feeling the pressure to make a purchase sooner rather than later!!!
Any advice gratefully received!!
PS- sorry for the long post but it should prob answer most of the questions you would throw back at me!! ;-)
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