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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on 2012 GT Karakoram 3.0

    I'm planning on hitting the LBS to check out the GT Karakoram. Its gonna be my first 29er the reviews seem to be good on all the Karakorams. Just wanted some thoughts on the situation

  2. #2
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    At this price range the components will be low-end and the bike will be heavy, the frame is worthy of upgrading as needed though. I would test ride and buy what's most comfortable to you, ride wise and price wise. Good luck!

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    Thanks bro yeah I don't know much about components yet. I've been reading reviews seeing what people say about it they mostly change the forks, brakes, and pedals. I will ride as is for awhile just see how it is then upgrade a few things as time goes on.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnSapp View Post
    Thanks bro yeah I don't know much about components yet. I've been reading reviews seeing what people say about it they mostly change the forks, brakes, and pedals. I will ride as is for awhile just see how it is then upgrade a few things as time goes on.
    I am about to get the 2.0. I really like the frame and the components are decent. I have use to higher end stuff but lately have been buying stuff that is "good enough".

    I would normally tell you your first upgrade should be pedals but GT slimlines really arent that bad. Best advice is to make sure you get the one that fits the best and just ride it to determine which parts you dont like.

    Pictures are a must!
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  5. #5
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    Depending on how you ride and where you ride you'll figure out what to upgrade. The fork will be expensive to swap out, just look for good deals on ebay etc. You can also find great deals on many online sites like JensonUSA, Pricepoint. I would just ride it and have fun, upgrade as needed. Have fun! Oh and post pics!

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    Yeah bro that's all I really wanna do Is just ride. I will definitely post pics thanks for the advice

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnSapp View Post
    Yeah bro that's all I really wanna do Is just ride. I will definitely post pics thanks for the advice
    Thats the right attitude.

    I am throwin some parts from my 26er on my 2.0 and I might sell the stock fork to upgrade. Maybe.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LONRGR View Post

    I did not like the stock pedals at all, upgraded them to a cheap 10.00 pair and that was the best thing so far.

    L.R.
    That was my first thought but I thought the pedals looked OK. I have not tried them yet. Pedals make one of the biggest differences for me.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  9. #9
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    It is the same bike as the 2011 except the brakes on the 2012 3.0 have been upgraded to mechanical disks.

    I am liking my 2011 thus far but am looking at a new wheelset (Hadley hubs and Arch rims) that will be my big $$ upgrade. Will run them tubeless and I think will save a few pounds of weight where it counts most.

    I did not like the stock pedals at all, upgraded them to a cheap 10.00 pair and that was the best thing so far.

    L.R.

  10. #10
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    Yeah Chap the 2.0 is a nice bike looks good too. LR your right it is the same bike except for brakes. It seems like a good bike if your just getting into 29ers and tubeless sounds like a good idea

  11. #11
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    I'm getting my 3.0 today and in the future my upgrades will probably go like this:

    - pedals to some proper platforms or SPD (it will be my first 29er so I don't know yet what will work best for me) - it's probably the first upgrade on every stock bike as OEM plastic pedals are just a "placeholder" for real stuff chosen depending on user personal preference.

    - rear casette to new Alivio 11-34 - cheap upgrade that should vitally boost shifting performance and range of easy gears;

    - bolted wheel skewers - had good experience with them as they improve stiffness a bit (I guess it could be an issue with 29er with 9mm fork and cheap wheels) and they look sleek

    - brakes to new Deore - mechanical Tektros will be probably ok for everyday use, but the new hydraulics from Shimano looks like a worthy upgrade for more "proper" braking performance and maintenance-free use;

    - fork to some Rock Shox with Motion Control (Tora/Reba) - it will be most expensive upgrade so it's low on the list, but I guess it will be also the most noticeable on the trail. I suppose that switching to Reba would also drop a lot of weight off the bike;

    - crankset to external-BB Deore - mostly weight saving but improvement in stifness and shifting performance also won't hurt.


    What do you think?
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  12. #12
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    Sounds like you have a good start there. I got my 2.0 a couple days ago and its begging for some different parts. Everything you listed is what I will be putting on mine, I already have everything from my 26er to put on the GT.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  13. #13
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    I've got a 2011 Karakoram 1.0 with Shimano hydraulic oil brakes and a 09 Peace with the Tektros.

    In my opinion, both feel exactly the same with braking power. I actually prefer the Tektros because I can maintain them myself easily with a brake cable kit. I can't really think of any repair job on a bike that is more annoying than servicing a hydraulic cable system.

    I've never used mechanical brakes on a suspension fork though- so it could be that they are far inferior to hydraulics when factoring that in.

    As far as the other upgrades: the pedals are an absolute necessity. I think you should ride the bike for a bit before doing all the other upgrades listed. After all those upgrades you would have hit a price point where you might just be better off buying a better ride.

    When I bought my Karakoram I thought it was an awesome bike that did everything I could ever want. Now it is a year later and I've changed a lot as a rider. The geometry of the Karakoram and the behaviors of a front suspension/hardtail bike do not appeal to me anymore. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought the Peace and then bought another bike instead of the Karakorma. You may find that you love the bike, and it is a great deal, but my point is that you shouldn't go dropping a bunch of money on it until you are sure you love the frame and geometry.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    I've got a 2011 Karakoram 1.0 with Shimano hydraulic oil brakes and a 09 Peace with the Tektros.

    In my opinion, both feel exactly the same with braking power. I actually prefer the Tektros because I can maintain them myself easily with a brake cable kit. I can't really think of any repair job on a bike that is more annoying than servicing a hydraulic cable system.

    I've never used mechanical brakes on a suspension fork though- so it could be that they are far inferior to hydraulics when factoring that in.

    As far as the other upgrades: the pedals are an absolute necessity. I think you should ride the bike for a bit before doing all the other upgrades listed. After all those upgrades you would have hit a price point where you might just be better off buying a better ride.

    When I bought my Karakoram I thought it was an awesome bike that did everything I could ever want. Now it is a year later and I've changed a lot as a rider. The geometry of the Karakoram and the behaviors of a front suspension/hardtail bike do not appeal to me anymore. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought the Peace and then bought another bike instead of the Karakorma. You may find that you love the bike, and it is a great deal, but my point is that you shouldn't go dropping a bunch of money on it until you are sure you love the frame and geometry.
    Of course you're right, and that's why I wrote "in the future" I had a first ride today, 40km+ of local trails and the bike works really well as a package. I'm even happy with the pedals - they are surprisingly decent: large platform, rather low profile and good grip if you have grippy shoes (5.10 in my case). Rear casette works well, so it stays until problems start to occur. Also the brakes are pretty ok and will stay for now - just have to clean them from some shop-**** and bed them in properly.

    But one part just doesn't suit the rest and it's the fork, which is rubbish. I suppose that it also has to break in, but from my experience, it won't help very much in this case... There are many places where I didn't feel the difference between front and rear when passing obstacles - fork just didn't work. And after the ride only about 60% of travel was used, and damping is as basic as it gets. Better fork would definitely transform this bike, because other than that, it just rips!
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  15. #15
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    I just took my 2.0, first 29er, home the other day and road it to work today. I am basically using this bike as my gateway into 29ers to see if its something I really want. So last night I tore it down to frame and fork and robbed some parts from my 26er to give this bike a fair chance (I did not like a lot of the parts this bike comes with).

    Funn Hooka DH Crank
    Welgo LU Sealed pedals
    PG980 Cassette
    X7 Short cage
    X9 shifter

    Now the bike feels a little better, partly because those parts are what I am used to. The crank was a big upgrade! The stock pedals are OK but no grip and the FSA crank with square taper BB wasnt doin it for me. The fork and wheels are my next upgrade which should really transform this bike. I cant stand this fork but I keep telling my self to shutup and ride. Handlebars are stem will be changed out as well if I decide to keep this.

    Overall this is a pretty good starting point to decide if 29er is for you or not, which for me, I hope it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thoughts on 2012 GT Karakoram 3.0-gt.jpg  

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  16. #16
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    So here it is (stock except seatpost and wheel skewers):



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  17. #17
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    Sweet, now get'er dirty!

  18. #18
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    Wooyek, that looks awesome! I have to say I like the red better then my yellow. Any plans for future upgrades?

    EDIT: just read your previous post about the fork. The fork and wheels are going to be the next to go from mine.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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    I will have almost twice the value of my 2.0 in just my wheels and tires alone. What size frame is that black one posted above? that top tube has some serious sweep in it, is it a lady's bike or something?

    I am looking for one for my wife (29er)


    L.R.

  20. #20
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    Both mine and the black/red one are smalls. Not women's bikes. If you go Med it has a normal straight top tube.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  21. #21
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    I've had mine about 4 weeks.
    First upgrade was fork (Rockshox Recon Silver TK) great price $267 That suntour weighs a ton compared to RS.
    I just put Speedplay Frogs on the other day.
    Next will be clamp on grips and bar ends.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by owtdorz View Post
    I've had mine about 4 weeks.
    First upgrade was fork (Rockshox Recon Silver TK) great price $267 That suntour weighs a ton compared to RS.
    I just put Speedplay Frogs on the other day.
    Next will be clamp on grips and bar ends.
    I am trying to figure out what fork and wheelset to go with. Make sure to post some pictures
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  23. #23
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    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.
    It's probably gonna be nite and day different. I don't think you'll be dissapointed at all. That 99 technology is pretty old compared to the new entry bikes. I say you'll love it then when you get better and faster you'll want to upgrade.
    Still loving my GT's!! find me on the "GT Bike Group" page on FB. I hardly ever hang out in here anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.

    I purchased the 2.0 as well from bluesky. The deal is pretty darn good. Assembly is pretty easy...just take it step by step and look on youtube on how to fine tune the brakes, deraileurs and so on. Goodluck

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    Good - in wife dollars this was still pretty expensive, so buying it dropping the same amount in upgrades would not result in a pleasant conversation . Since I weigh 240+, I'm just gonna set aside enough for a fork upgrade since other reviews have commented on the Dart breaking on jumps. That way if I do break it in the first year I'm prepared.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Good - in wife dollars this was still pretty expensive, so buying it dropping the same amount in upgrades would not result in a pleasant conversation . Since I weigh 240+, I'm just gonna set aside enough for a fork upgrade since other reviews have commented on the Dart breaking on jumps. That way if I do break it in the first year I'm prepared.
    If you have money, wouldn't it be more reasonable (important - tell it that way to your wife) to change it now and:
    - sell the stock fork as almost new and retrieve some money (to spend on SPA or some nice weekend together);
    - not risk the costs of face reconstruction after breaking the fork on the jumps?
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  28. #28
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    Trying to avoid G.A.S. at least to start

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    I got a tracking number!! Yay! It arrives on Wednesday.

    One disappointment is that I can't find a manual online for this bike, so I don't know what tools I'll need to assemble it. I was planning on assembling it myself, then taking it to an LBS to get it tuned and set up (as well as look for a bike for my wife) to start building a relationship with them. Are LBS usually receptive to working on bikes they didn't sell?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    I got a tracking number!! Yay! It arrives on Wednesday.

    One disappointment is that I can't find a manual online for this bike, so I don't know what tools I'll need to assemble it. I was planning on assembling it myself, then taking it to an LBS to get it tuned and set up (as well as look for a bike for my wife) to start building a relationship with them. Are LBS usually receptive to working on bikes they didn't sell?
    We do it all the time. You just need some allen wrenches and a pump to get that thing goin! PM me if you need any specific help.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChapmanMTB27 View Post
    We do it all the time. You just need some allen wrenches and a pump to get that thing goin! PM me if you need any specific help.
    15 mm flat wrench for pedals will also be needed.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooyek View Post
    15 mm flat wrench for pedals will also be needed.
    Correct.

    Allen wrenches, 15mm wrench, pump, cable cutters, philips or flat head screwdriver to adjust the F/R derailleurs. I also always true the wheels but I would ask your LBS to do this if you have no experience, they shouldnt be bad out of the box though.
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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    Yeah, I can wrench just fine with instructions, but the fine detail work and subjective adjustments I leave to experts/artists. I'm digital, not analog.

  34. #34
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    i'm planning on purchasing a karakoram 1.0 probably next month. I stand 5'6". what is the best bike size for me?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by joneighbors View Post
    i'm planning on purchasing a karakoram 1.0 probably next month. I stand 5'6". what is the best bike size for me?
    I am just a little bit taller than you with a 31" inseam and I fit perfectly on the small.
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  36. #36
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    thanks chapman this will really help me

  37. #37
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    Yup, I'm 5'7" and S is the only right choice - it will suit you well.
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    thanks. now i have to get out and buy one. i will post the pics after the purchase

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Ok, reentry/noob here. I just ordered a 2011 2.0 from Blue Sky because the discount was pretty sick - $519.00 - but all this upgrade talk is worrying me. My last bike, purchased in '99 and last ridden in 2006-7 was a pre Walmart rigid Mongoose DX3.3. Am I gonna see enough difference in this bike from the Mongoose that I won't feel disappointed and ready to upgrade immediately? The only upgrades I did on my last were suspension stem and seat post.
    I'm a GT fan, and you probably will enjoy your new bike just fine. On the other hand, Mongoose made some really sweet bikes back then. Because the DX 3.3 wasn't one of these, you are much better off with the GT.

  40. #40
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    Thanks. Problem 2 now is finding a bike for my wife. Primary requirement: pink. I am not kidding. I've got to find a pink bike suitable for pavement exercise and light trails. And she absolutely will not buy used.

  41. #41
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    Itching to try a Karakoram now after reading through the thread. I already have a GT Force as my trail bike. I was looking into getting a commuter. Rather than go and get a roadie/commuter bike I was thinking of just getting my 1st 29er. I can use it for long XC rides AND for bike commutes. I'll just upgrade as I go along. hehe. You guys think the Karakoram is okay as a commuter? I can just switch out the tires to 2.0" SB8's.

  42. #42
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    I commute on mine just find.

    Its also for sale here!
    "Never mistake motion for action."

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by prancisfena View Post
    You guys think the Karakoram is okay as a commuter?
    I use mine as commuter sometimes and it's ok, but the wheels could have been a little lighter. Generally, it feels rather sluggish as compared to "normal" commuter bikes.
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    Ok, got my Karakoram todaym and it's assembled and been on a quick ride around the neighborhood. Everything seems to be ok, except this doesn't look right:

    Is there something supposed to be covering that? It screws in and out tightly, but it seems strange for that to be open like that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thoughts on 2012 GT Karakoram 3.0-img_1998.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by airforceteacher View Post
    Ok, got my Karakoram todaym and it's assembled and been on a quick ride around the neighborhood. Everything seems to be ok, except this doesn't look right:

    Is there something supposed to be covering that? It screws in and out tightly, but it seems strange for that to be open like that.
    That's like a standard for GT. My Force has the same top cap.

  46. #46
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    i hate that top cap. that needs to be filed down. the edges could cut your knee in an accident.

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    I googled GT top cap and sure enough, found pics and reviews complaining about that top cap. Doesn't it allow mud to get down in the headset or steerer tube?

  48. #48
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    My cap is not like that one.
    Mine is fully enclosed.
    Well, I've had mine almost 7 weeks.( Haven't ridden in 20+ years)
    I commute every day 6-7 miles and ride trails every Saturday and have ridden 1 short course race.
    I'm 6'1" and started at 230# now 220#
    My thoughts on this bike:
    Fork OK a little heavy. Replaced it with a RS Recon Silver TK $270 Amazon
    Pedals were fine except I have bad knees and went clipless. Speedplay Frogs
    It weighs around 30# right now.
    Saddle fits good and have no complaints.
    After about 2 weeks I had to readjust cables and derailers. No adjustments since.
    Tubes were thin and cheap. Pinholes after first ride in desert. Went with slime tubes with Presta valve. Had to get adapters for Schrader to Presta for my wheels.
    Tires: Maxxis Aspens Work great here on AZ trails so far.
    Been down twice real hard and still keeps going.
    My next upgrade will be Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels and tubeless.
    Picking up clamp on grips this weekend.
    Anything changes I will post up.
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    Weird. Mines a 2011, so I have slightly different components. Haven't gotten to do a real ride since I just put it together last night. When I googled GT top cap, one of the hits was a review of the 2.0 at Bikeradar that complained about the top cap being sharp enough to cut someone.

  50. #50
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    What sizes did y'all get? I followed the advice of the GT size chart and got the XL - I'm 6'2" and the size chart says XL for 6'1" to 6'4". The bike store I bought my wife's bike from and took this one for tuneup says its too big for me, and the heels of my palm are hurting a little. The LBS is putting on a shorter stem with greater rise - in y'alls experience will this be enough? A 60mm stem will shorten my reach by 2" and a higher rise could get another inch. What do y'all think - better a bike too big or too small?

  51. #51
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    I'm 6'4 and got the large, fits me fine but I can see a XL fitting a little better. I'd ask if they could exchange it for a L, does it have any trail miles on it?

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    Grr. That sucks. Well, I get it back tonight with a short stem. If it feels better, then good, otherwise back to Blue Sky (and I eat shipping costs) or onto Craig's list.

  53. #53
    Vincit qui patitur
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    I'm 6'1" and I have a medium.
    Fits me great and nimble enough too.
    Vincit qui patitur
    2012 Salsa Spearfish 2
    2014 KONA Process 153
    2016 KONA Operator
    2013 Giant Defy

  54. #54
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    I just got my bike back from the shop with a shorter stem. It seems more manageable and I'm not leaning as much, so I think I can stick with this bike. My palms are still a little sore, but i rode today for 20 minutes without it becoming unbearable, so, i think gel padded gloves and time will make that go away They offered me (the online) store a swap out on frame only so I could save shipping costs, but I don't think that will be necessary. I may even go for a shorter, higher rise stem later. Very nice ride.

  55. #55
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    I just recently bought this bike from REI and ordered a M. I am 5'8 and I feel like it fits me great. I went from a 2008 GT Avalanche 3.0 to this 29er and love it. Boils down to how it fits for you. I do mainly single track climbs and descents so maybe if I were jumping it I would want a smaller bike. I would like to know more about that seat post in an earlier post if anyone has any info on it.

  56. #56
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    I bought this bike about a week ago now and have been putting 6-10 miles on it daily. I must say I enjoy every ride I take it on. Prior to owning this bike I had a 26" Mongoose xr75 (wally world special) and was affraid to really take it past 1 or 2 miles as everytime I went down a hill or over a bump something would come off. I now have total faith in the bike I'm riding, matter of fact I had a near crash the other day when my back tire lost traction into a corner from me panic braking. I let go of the brake and when I pedaled the tire grabbed again and picked the bike up on its own. Was the coolest thing I've had happen lol. Oh, I'm 6'2 and weigh a little over 200 lbs (I can't remember exactly, don't have a scale) and bike handles my weight very well from what I've noticed.

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