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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm >< This close to chosing a HP Expert

    After months of reading reviews on bikes and components, I have finally narrowed my decision down to either the Spec Epic Disk or the HP Expert. I will moving up from a low end hardtail. I do grinding climbs up fire roads and then ride the singletracks back home.
    My question: How does the HP Expert climb, especially if there is a comparison to be made between that and the Spec. Epic? Thanks for any feedback on this.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by COMMITTED
    After months of reading reviews on bikes and components, I have finally narrowed my decision down to either the Spec Epic Disk or the HP Expert. I will moving up from a low end hardtail. I do grinding climbs up fire roads and then ride the singletracks back home.
    My question: How does the HP Expert climb, especially if there is a comparison to be made between that and the Spec. Epic? Thanks for any feedback on this.

    I can only compare my Hollowpoint Expert to my '01 GT i-Drive team. And the Hollowpoint climbs as good, probably better, than my i-Drive with a much plusher ride in the descents! And as others as well as myself have posted, IH customer service is exceptional.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by flybarry
    I can only compare my Hollowpoint Expert to my '01 GT i-Drive team. And the Hollowpoint climbs as good, probably better, than my i-Drive with a much plusher ride in the descents! And as others as well as myself have posted, IH customer service is exceptional.
    Thanks for that. I have read all the of kudos' and IH definitely has a good customer service attitude. The bike components are top notch, I have not read of many frame issues and there appears to be a great goup of folks enjoying their rides!

  4. #4
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    I'll concur with flybarry. I came off a NRS and expected a bit of a compromise in the transition to a fully active 5" travel trailbike. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt more comfortable immediately climbing on the HP (after getting over the initial shock of sinking into 1.6" of sag).

    The HP and bikes like the Specialized FSR really are a different breed than the NRS and Epic you're comparing it to, and some riders do have a preference for the locked out performance of the latter and are willing to compromise a little bit of trail compliance for the preceived benefit of a solid platform underneath.

    Where the HP shines is that even though you've got a pretty active suspension working underneath you, if you don't look, you'll never guess that the shock is soaking up all those little trail imperfections. The bike really does pedal that smoothly, and where the mind preceives smoothness, is smoothness. Dave's dw-link has earned the title of "smoothest pedaling suspension" for good reason.

  5. #5
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed?e
    I'll concur with flybarry. I came off a NRS and expected a bit of a compromise in the transition to a fully active 5" travel trailbike. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt more comfortable immediately climbing on the HP (after getting over the initial shock of sinking into 1.6" of sag).

    The HP and bikes like the Specialized FSR really are a different breed than the NRS and Epic you're comparing it to, and some riders do have a preference for the locked out performance of the latter and are willing to compromise a little bit of trail compliance for the preceived benefit of a solid platform underneath.

    Where the HP shines is that even though you've got a pretty active suspension working underneath you, if you don't look, you'll never guess that the shock is soaking up all those little trail imperfections. The bike really does pedal that smoothly, and where the mind preceives smoothness, is smoothness. Dave's dw-link has earned the title of "smoothest pedaling suspension" for good reason.
    Since I have not had any experience with a FS bike to this point, anything will be a surprise to me. With the experiences you have had, what are the climbing characteristics of a active suspension vs a stable platform? Also, what do you think of the weight tradeoff? The Epic out of the box comes in at 28lbs before any component modifications while the HP is tipping the scale at 31lbs. While I am not a total weight wennie, when I am in the midst of a grueling one hour climb, I do want to be as effcient as possible.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by COMMITTED
    Since I have not had any experience with a FS bike to this point, anything will be a surprise to me. With the experiences you have had, what are the climbing characteristics of a active suspension vs a stable platform? Also, what do you think of the weight tradeoff? The Epic out of the box comes in at 28lbs before any component modifications while the HP is tipping the scale at 31lbs. While I am not a total weight wennie, when I am in the midst of a grueling one hour climb, I do want to be as effcient as possible.
    It's important that you differentiate a "stable platform" (as you call it) from the type of suspension the Epic employs, which is fully locked out until a bump force unseats a brass piston, which opens a hydraulic port to allow the shock to move.

    Bike weight is so totally over rated. Three pounds doesn't mean squat, certainly much less than the impact than the performance of the suspension, and definitely of minor concern when compared to something such as tire weight and rolling resistance, which results in measurable performance differences (hint hint - lose the Hansventure tires on the Hollowpoint). If you were to put a 2 groups of Elite class racers on bikes that were three or four pounds apart, you would probably see a trend towards a time difference measured in seconds over the course of a race. For the majority of us though, even a 24 pound bike isn't going to make that climb notably easier, and if your riding buddy kicked your ass before up that hill, he'll do it again. That's my firm, time-tested belief.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by COMMITTED
    Since I have not had any experience with a FS bike to this point, anything will be a surprise to me. With the experiences you have had, what are the climbing characteristics of a active suspension vs a stable platform? Also, what do you think of the weight tradeoff? The Epic out of the box comes in at 28lbs before any component modifications while the HP is tipping the scale at 31lbs. While I am not a total weight wennie, when I am in the midst of a grueling one hour climb, I do want to be as effcient as possible.
    I've got a 25# Titus RacerX and a 29# Iron Horse Hollowpoint Expert. I can climb at least as well on the Hollowpoint as I can on the Titus. There's one really long, steep, loose climb on one of my regular rides. I know I'm in good shape when I can get all the way to the top without dabbing, spinning out or having my heart and lungs explode. The only time I've made it this year is on the Hollowpoint. And it's not the tires, since I have the same tires on both bikes. Yeah, it climbs nice. It goes downhill really nice, too.

    Kathy :^)
    Last edited by Lucky; 09-24-2004 at 07:38 PM. Reason: spelling
    Look where you want to go. This is as true in life as it is in mtbiking.

  8. #8
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    ride quality

    as spped and lucky have posted the weight doesnt matter first off the bike rides alot lighter and fills alot lighter than it is. as for climbing i have a 25 pnd hardtail that climbs very well but i have made more climbs on my HP than i have on the HT and as far as the ride you really dont realize that it is working unless you look at the shock just a smooth smooth ride there is one climb that i have made several times on my HP but i cant get half way up with my HT do to all the roots but you really cant even fill them on the HP go for the HP and you will be a very happy person. no dought
    RIDE ON

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan R
    as spped and lucky have posted the weight doesnt matter first off the bike rides alot lighter and fills alot lighter than it is. as for climbing i have a 25 pnd hardtail that climbs very well but i have made more climbs on my HP than i have on the HT and as far as the ride you really dont realize that it is working unless you look at the shock just a smooth smooth ride there is one climb that i have made several times on my HP but i cant get half way up with my HT do to all the roots but you really cant even fill them on the HP go for the HP and you will be a very happy person. no dought
    RIDE ON
    Thanks Luck & JanR and to everyone else who has taken the time to respond to this inquiry! I am actually visting some friends in the Fresno area this weekend and stopped off at a Performance Bike shop. They had a HP Expert on hand so I had a chance to check it out first hand. What a nice bike! I will more than likely be picking one up next weekend at a LBS.
    With all of the positive feedback I have read and received here on this bike, I am sure this is the best choice!! I also look forward to keeping on line once I'm in the saddle to discuss other aspects of the upgrade process!! :

  10. #10
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    Just Do It!

    What everyone said. I have an 03 Expert and it kicks! And, I can climb faster than I can on my 23 lb HT. Going downhill is a given

  11. #11
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    This weekend I was finally able to take my HP expert out to some local trails. (Work and weather had been conspiring against me). I rode the same trail I had ridden a dozen times on my old Dakar. There are two short but steep climbs that I could only clear 1 out of 6 tries on the dakar. I made it up both of them easily on the HP....even with the 32-tooth cog (dakar had a 34). The bike simply tracks better. Another first for me was catching some real air on a couple of the dirt piles that have been built into the trail. I've never had the confidence to take the jumps before. Last night I simply hunkered down and gave it a shot. I'm glad I was riding alone because I would have sounded foolish with how much I laughed after I landed safely. I turned around and took the jump 3 more times. I think there is something about the bike that just makes me feel secure. I know that sounds hokey but it's true. Having so much fun on the HP it should be criminal.

  12. #12
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    I Should have saved more $$

    I picked up a Warrior Expert a couple months ago.

    After all the raving about the HP on this and many other threads, I feel that I should have saved more $$ and gone for a HP.

    I enjor the Warrior, but this HP thing just sounds so nice...

    For the price and features, I think I got a very good bike, but if I'd only saved a bit more....

    Lesson learned.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtSpaz
    I picked up a Warrior Expert a couple months ago.

    After all the raving about the HP on this and many other threads, I feel that I should have saved more $$ and gone for a HP.

    I enjor the Warrior, but this HP thing just sounds so nice...

    For the price and features, I think I got a very good bike, but if I'd only saved a bit more....

    Lesson learned.
    I too bought a lower end hardtail. But this has given me the opportunity to check out all of the latest equipment that is available. The process of narrowing down which FS bike would offer me the highest end componetry, the best overall performance, the best bang for my hard earned dollar, the least hassle if trouble does come my way, has been confusing, frustrating and a lot of fun to say the least. I have been researching this for the past 8 months.
    Every time I thought I had it narrowed down to a specific bike, I would start reading about some string of failures that riders were experiencing out in the field. Or the customer service absolutely sucks. Or it is a good bike but the mfg. put all kinds of crap components on it to save a few bucks and then you end up spending a load of cash to upgrade later.
    Ultimately, it has come down to the HP Expert for me. I have enjoyed the other riders on this forum and look forward to sharing other aspects of the ride and bike in the future. Save some more cash, sell the Warrior and get what you really need!

  14. #14
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    Make sure you get RL version of the HP Expert -- it has the WTB Laser Lite wheelset. Also, you can get it at a great price ($1389!!!) at bicyclebuys.com.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by psmithm
    Make sure you get RL version of the HP Expert -- it has the WTB Laser Lite wheelset. Also, you can get it at a great price ($1389!!!) at bicyclebuys.com.
    Have you ever purchased a bike through the net or more specifically, bicyclebuys?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by COMMITTED
    Have you ever purchased a bike through the net or more specifically, bicyclebuys?
    I have -- that's where my Hollowpoint came from. Talked to them on the phone a few times while I went back and forth on sizes. Real nice guys and didn't get attitude w/ me when I changed my mind three times!!!

    No sweat on the transaction, got to me in great shape. I've since used them for some small parts purchases, and again, never a complaint. Highly recommended.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by psmithm
    Make sure you get RL version of the HP Expert -- it has the WTB Laser Lite wheelset. Also, you can get it at a great price ($1389!!!) at bicyclebuys.com.
    Has anyone ridden both the RL Expert and the Expert? I'm curious to hear about any differences in the actual ride/handling between the two.

    Thanks,
    "A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish." - Ty Webb

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