What would you put at the same price/quality price point as a Santa Cruz Superlight?
I've been looking at Santa Cruz bikes for a while. My old '94 Stumpy's geometry is not comfortable anymore, and after having the chance to ride a few new SC bikes I was very interested in buying one. I really like the Superlight, which is great considering that SC offers a sub 2k bike alongside a 5k plus carbon bike. I've scrubbed through a bunch of manufacturers and can't find one that builds top of the line bikes but offers inexpensive bikes like the Superlight. Does anyone have any recommendations that are comparable to a Superlight?
If a 100mm travel XC bike is what you're after, you might check out the Titus X. Frame prices are the same as the Superlight. You'll move from a single pivot to FSR (not saying that's better, just pointing out the difference). Titus has for a long time been a popular bike among XC racers and respected brand in the industry. They fell off the map a few years ago when they had to shut their doors, but the brand was revived and is being operated by On-One.
That said, I can tell you that I watched a good buddy throw everything from XC, Trail, AM, and even shuttled all-day gravity runs at his old Santa Cruz Superlight. He was the kind of guy who rarely serviced his bike, washed it with a high pressure hose, and was generally unkind all around. The bike was rock solid and simply held up strong despite the neglect. I'm a fan of that bike if it fits your riding needs.
You didn't search very hard. Most manufacturers have $$$$ full suspension bikes right up next to their $$-$$$ full suspension bikes.
I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
The carbon is way more durable than most people.
Instead of you making assumptions as to what I did and didn't do let me give you a list of the manufacturers I did look at. I looked at most of the bike companies I know or have heard of, so the original intent of this was to have someone with knowledge to recommend a comparable company with options similar to the Santa Cruz SL.
Originally Posted by mtnbikej
Manufacturers I've looked at:
Felt (mostly 29ers, couldn't find anything below 2k)
Giant (only see a Trance X3 in a similar price range)
Ibis (all top end bikes)
Niner (RIP 9 is close)
Norco (nothing below the 2k price point)
Pivot (couldn't find pricing)
Scott (maybe something in the Spark range?)
Specialized (seems to have all gone 29er, not interested)
Trek (maybe a Fuel EX 5?)
Yeti (all top end bikes)
Most of the other manufacturers listed on the main forum I've never heard of, so I'm unsure as to their quality. Looking at the list above, I see a low cost Giant (with lesser components than an SL), Scott Spark, and maybe a Trek. I was hoping to find some other options from other "boutique" manufacturers. Maybe my perception of SC as a boutique manufacturer is out of whack.
Yes, your perception of SC being a boutique manufacturer is out of whack.
Santa Cruz moved beyond boutique status a long time ago.
What is really cool about Santa cruz is that their ground breaking/super premium/revolutionary, etc, etc frames from years ago are now the basis for their entry level complete bike builds.
It would be difficult to find a more tested/proven/loved brand new sub $2k complete bike than a Superlight or a Heckler.
Even the base build kits on those frames are really nice for the cash you are spending.
The other cool thing is that those frames are worthy of almost any upgrade you want to put on them-over the years as parts wear out and break, you'll have a frame that is worthy of new parts.
The single pivot suspension on the Superlight is great-ESPECIALLY these days with the newer shocks available with improved damping.
Buy the Superlight, you'll love it.
Thanks Norman, the way you explained it that makes sense. Sounds like a SL is in my future, now only if they would update the bike builder on their website so that I could see the color options :-)
Niner Rip9 is 1,850 for frame only with the rear shock. Complete bike is well over 2,500
2007 Specialized FSR Comp
2010 Jamis Trail XC
2012 Superlight 29
The superlight is a great bike, and really performs well with modern damped shocks even with the single pivot. If you can spare another $200, I'd go for the RXC kit with the Fox Float 120 CTD. The Sektor TK is an OK fork, but the damping and overall performance on the Float is much better.
For the price, I'm not sure if you're going to find a better bike. I would look for a closeout Specialized Camber, which I've seen for as low as $1600 in a local shop. Also, no need to be leery of the 29" bikes. If nothing else, just go ride one and see how it feels. On most terrain they're no different than a 26".
"Got everything you need?"