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  1. #1
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    XCL as replacement for Giant AC Air?

    As the title states, I'm trying to find a replacement for my old Giant AC Air. My riding is 90% "trail"... I live in the Midwest so we don't have extended climbs, but we do have roots, rocks, logs, and ditches. How does the XCL do on tight singletrack?

    I always felt the AC was maybe overkill for my riding, but I still liked it. After a while it broke though, and it was long out of warranty. For the last 2 years I've been riding a hardtail but it's been limiting my ride time because I can't take the pounding anymore (ha).

    As for parts, I have everything already, but the main thing is the fork... I would be swapping my Pike 426 onto the XCL.

    Any insights for me?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    nerfherder
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    The XCL is a singletrack assassin. I think there's a good chance that you'll really like it. It's efficient, balanced, and handles the chop very well. Short chainstays make it real easy to lift the front end over stuff. Pike seems to be the fork of choice for most XCL riders.

  3. #3
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    Awesome. There's a dealer sort of near me, I will see if they have one in my size so I can check it out.

  4. #4
    I'm living the dream!
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    Ditto to what Scruffy said plus you'll have the added bonus of knowing the XCL won't break on you anytime soon like your previous bike.

    Also, the Pike is perfect for this bike!

  5. #5
    nerfherder
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegen
    Awesome. There's a dealer sort of near me, I will see if they have one in my size so I can check it out.
    What are your measurements (haha) and what size frame are you thinking?

    I'm not hitting on you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scruffylooking
    What are your measurements (haha) and what size frame are you thinking?

    I'm not hitting on you.
    lol!

    I'm 5'9", 30 inch inseam, short arms, 210 pounds. I was thinking small because the AC had a 23" top tube and I felt kinda stretched out on it. I ended up running a 50 or 60mm (can't remember which) stem on it to make it up... so the half inch shorter top tube on the small XCL should allow me to use something around 90-100mm, which I already have on hand.

    as a side note... I rode my old Bridgestone recently (from approximately 1988). I can't believe I used to ride that thing... very stretched out, seat way up in the air, handlebars cut down to about 18 inches. We have it so much better now.

  7. #7
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Yup, single track killer fo sho!

    Quote Originally Posted by scruffylooking
    The XCL is a singletrack assassin. I think there's a good chance that you'll really like it. It's efficient, balanced, and handles the chop very well. Short chainstays make it real easy to lift the front end over stuff. Pike seems to be the fork of choice for most XCL riders.
    What Scruffy says is oh so true! I run mine on the tight, twisty, rocky, steep stuff here in western Pa. and the relatively slack head angle is very confidence inspiring. The short chainstays are a blast for manualing (sort of, I suck at manuals!) but getting the front end up is a breeze when you want to! I run a 454 Dual Air Pike on mine and it is killer! Going to ride it tonight here in Pittsburgh, Pa. Temps should be in the upper teens! Frozen trails rule!!

  8. #8
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    What is the rear tire clearance like on the XCL? Is anyone running anything bigger than a 2.3?

  9. #9
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    I gotta agree with Scruffy, the XCL will suit you to a T. It absolutely kills singletrack, handles really nice.

    I have my XCL at around 25-28lbs depending on how I build it up and it is an absolute blast.

  10. #10
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    Where in the midwest do you live ? I lived in the midwest before my mtb days,
    but I can say that any of the places I've lived in the midwest, you wouldn't be able to realize the potential of the XCL. If its mostly flat to rolling singletrack without
    much technical, maybe the XCL would be a bit overkill, not to say that it wouldn't
    still be a joy to ride. The XCL is more of an all around trailbike, not really one
    that's specialized(no pun intended) for XC riding. If you lightened it up a bit from the standard build I think it would do well, tho. But that would cost more than the
    standard kit.

  11. #11
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    2.4 no problem

    Quote Originally Posted by ronny
    What is the rear tire clearance like on the XCL? Is anyone running anything bigger than a 2.3?
    I run 2.4 motoRaptors and 2.4 TimberWolfs no problem. Matter of fact I am running them on Bombshell Fatboy rims (38.4 mm wide monsters) which really spreads the footprint of the tire out. I think I could even run a 2.5 but it would be close if things were muddy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by le_buzz
    ...maybe the XCL would be a bit overkill...
    Yeah, this is definitely something I'll have to factor in to my decision.

  13. #13
    nerfherder
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    le buzz has a point there. I imagine you could get away with a 29er rigid out there. If you wanted to?

    Also, you're a pretty stout guy! At 210 you probably want a stout bike. Also, at 210, I'd consider the RP23 over the DHXA (the DHXA is generally disliked by heavier riders).

  14. #14
    it's....
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronny
    What is the rear tire clearance like on the XCL? Is anyone running anything bigger than a 2.3?
    I run WTB Weirwolf 2.5 for rear and can run bigger if I wanted to.

  15. #15
    nerfherder
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    Wow, that's pretty wide. Good to know...

  16. #16
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    We are the same size, I am 5'9" with about 30-31 inch inseam. I went with the medium and it feels great. I admit I do not have any real time on it but it sits very similar to my prior bike ('07 Jamis XAM) so I am confident in that. I do a lot of DH racing and riding (also just got the F5) and normally do like a shorter frame, but the medium will be more comfortable on longer rides for me, I also have a 100mm stem, I may go down to a 90mm but not sure yet.

    We are also the same weight and I have the DHX air, I had one on the Jamis and loved it. Just get it set up right and they are great.

  17. #17
    56-year-old teenager
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    I'm also 5'9" 210-220ish with a 30" inseam, the medium fits me fine. I went to a 90 mm stem. DHX Air (it's OK, still dialing it in) and TALAS 32 for me. Love that fork but a Float would work just as well for me.

  18. #18
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    Just an update... after hemming and hawing (almost went with a Turner, then almost went with a KHS...) I just ordered up the XCL from Bob's in Idaho. They have a deal with a free Thompson seatpost and that pushed me over on ordering from them.

    I got the medium gray, DHX Air for now.

    Pics to come as soon as I get it. Thanks for all the help guys!

  19. #19
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Good move! You will not be disappointed! Here is mine in a large w/RP23
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
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    Nice. I can't wait to get it, honestly.

    It may be overkill for my day to day riding, but it also looks like I'll be doing some riding in Colorado and Utah this year, so I'm sure it'll earn it's keep then.

    Looks like you're under the same white blanket as me...

  21. #21
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Great every day bike

    Quote Originally Posted by vegen
    Nice. I can't wait to get it, honestly.

    It may be overkill for my day to day riding, but it also looks like I'll be doing some riding in Colorado and Utah this year, so I'm sure it'll earn it's keep then.

    Looks like you're under the same white blanket as me...
    I think you'll find the XCL to be a GREAT everyday bike and more than capable for when you want to push it!
    We are expecting another 3 or 4 inches over the next 36 hours so probably no Sunday ride.....dammit. Just when the trails get really fast and frozen here comes the snow. We ride year round here in western Pa unless we get too much snow. Wed PM we did almost 4 hours in 16 degree weather! The trails were rock hard and fast!! Great stuff! There is no "too cold to ride" there is only improper dressing!

  22. #22
    nerfherder
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    Vegan - Sweet. Looks like there's going to be a big splurge of Ano Grays coming out. Including myself, you're the third person I've heard of getting one this week. I better start looking for ways to make mine look different. Pink cable housings perhaps?

  23. #23
    I'm living the dream!
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    Vegan, you're going to love it. that's the same setup I have (you can see it in my profile).

    Scruffy, did you finally close the deal on one?

  24. #24
    nerfherder
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    teaser

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky D

    Scruffy, did you finally close the deal on one?

  25. #25
    I'm living the dream!
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