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  1. #1
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    How different is the Dakar XC from the XLT?

    I am wondering if I purchased the wrong bike. I have the Dakar XC, and I do love it, but it does not feel stable on the rocky rooted trails I have been riding? The LBS offered a great deal on a trade in on a new XLT? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated
    Thanks,
    Sean

  2. #2
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    I dont think you will get much difference in ride on the terrain you speak of, between the two bikes... i think some setup time is all you need. try changing the shock and fork settings to something softer or harder....

  3. #3
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    I too have a Dakar and love it.I've ridden some pretty rocky trails and felt fine.If the bike is fairly new it will take you a little bit to figure out how you want ur susp. set up.Once i figured mine out(with help from lbs) i've never had to look back

    A friend of mine has an XLT,and he loves it,but the only real difference is components.Really nothing with the ride.

  4. #4
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    The XC should have at least 4 inches while the XLT has 5 inches of suspension on it..you may not feel the difference though on the trails....the XLT would be heavier too.

  5. #5
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    The XC has 3 in. (90mm) of travel in the back and they suggest/equip it with a 4 in. (100mm) fork. I had the XC Expert, with the setup mentioned, and recently I opted for the XLT in place of the XC because I now have 5 in. in back and in front.

    I wouldn't say that they ride all of that similar. The XLT is a little heavier, has a little bit of uphill front wheel wander due to the slack head tube, and also because of the slack head tube/increased travel, it descends like a monkey on crack. Consequently, it is not as responsive/nimble in real tight technical stuff, but the difference is hardly noticable.

    With only one bike for the stable, the XLT is the way to go in my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carn75
    I too have a Dakar and love it.I've ridden some pretty rocky trails and felt fine.If the bike is fairly new it will take you a little bit to figure out how you want ur susp. set up.Once i figured mine out(with help from lbs) i've never had to look back

    A friend of mine has an XLT,and he loves it,but the only real difference is components.Really nothing with the ride.
    If you do not feel any difference with the ride, then either you haven't spent enough time aboard both bikes, or one of them is set up wrong. Following suit behind Matamua:

    The XC is heavy for a cross country bike...but lighter than the XLT. The XLT can withstand a beating far more severe than an XC could handle. The XLT can handle a "day at the park" doing gravity runs w/o worry of catastrophic damage.

    The XC has a 71' head angle which makes it a great low speed carver. It will do tight/twisty singletrack with aplomb and climb with a good amount of control. The steeper head angle will also cause it to descend with a little more uncertainty...twitchy at high speeds. The XLT has a 68.5' head angle which makes it more stable in the DH sections and aggressive lines, but it can tend to wander "more" on the climbs than the XC, though I haven't had significant issues with it. If you buy some sort of "travel adjustable" fork then that kills that issue.

    Overall, the XLT is much more plush, tough, and the cockpit is such that it begs to be ridden aggressively. It is a good climber if you have the strength to get it up the hill, it will climb quite well and will reward you on the way back down. I want to stress that it's not really that much of a "chore" to climb with this bike. I ride with upper echelon Epic's and Fuels frequently and still have plenty of energy to enjoy "tweaking it out" on the downhills.

    The XC is a good climber as well, but lighter and a little more controllable on the ascents. The descents will require a little more skill and time due to the 35mm less travel, twitchy character compared to the XLT, as well as the less robust platform, not to mention the longer cockpit. Don't misread me here...the XC is a good descender compared to some other XC rigs...but when compared to the XLT, you may as well hang it up.

    I agree with matamua, if you only have room for 1 bike and you're not a hardcore XC racer...the XLT is perfect. It can be ridden all day long with comfort yet tough enough to handle some jumps and rock gardens.

    I've heard of them being built up between 27-35lbs. Mine's 32lbs with coil sprung Fox suspension, borderline freeride wheelset with 2.35" tires, 7" front rotor, Thomson / Easton alu cockpit, and a Hone / XT drivetrain. With an RP23, Float fork, agg. XC wheelset, and some carbon...I'm sure the 27'ish lb range could be had. But...I just can't get over the smooth coils and burly build, hahaha.

  7. #7
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    I think it depends a lot on how and what you ride. I just got done building up an XC Comp (28.3 lbs) and like the bike a lot. For the type of riding I do, which is mostly single track on the rocky / rooty trails of central Virginia, it's perfect. I set up the front fork and rear shock to be comfortable for the local trails, and the Reba Race has yet to compress farther than about 60%, and same with the rear shock. These are the settings that provide me the best uphill and downhill control, so I have no need for the extra weight, wander and travel of an XLT....it would be wasted on me.

    Then again, if you're taking huge rock jumps, or ride generally rocky terrain, the XLT would clearly be the choice for you.

    By the way, I don't think the XLT is necessarily going to feel more "stable" than an XC. On the contrary, normally bikes with larger travel have exaggerated side-to-side or up-and-down movement when going over obstacles. Can you describe better what you mean by it's not stable?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwheel
    I think it depends a lot on how and what you ride. I just got done building up an XC Comp (28.3 lbs) and like the bike a lot. For the type of riding I do, which is mostly single track on the rocky / rooty trails of central Virginia, it's perfect. I set up the front fork and rear shock to be comfortable for the local trails, and the Reba Race has yet to compress farther than about 60%, and same with the rear shock. These are the settings that provide me the best uphill and downhill control, so I have no need for the extra weight, wander and travel of an XLT....it would be wasted on me.

    Then again, if you're taking huge rock jumps, or ride generally rocky terrain, the XLT would clearly be the choice for you.

    By the way, I don't think the XLT is necessarily going to feel more "stable" than an XC. On the contrary, normally bikes with larger travel have exaggerated side-to-side or up-and-down movement when going over obstacles. Can you describe better what you mean by it's not stable?
    I agree...it does depend on how you ride as well as the terrain you ride. I've done some big enough stuff to bottom out my XLT, but normal trail riding doesn't even come close to doing it.

    As far as the "stable" question:

    Usually when describing an aggressive long travel bike with the word stable, it means that on fast, technical, rocky/rooty downhill sections...the bike feels like you could smoke through the terrian while sipping tea (figuratively) whereas the steeper head angles on short travel XC bikes make the bike "twitchy" at high speeds and white knuckling the handlebars is a must if you take the same sections at the same speeds as the XLT. Granted, it's not some impossible feat to do techy DH's on the XC...you can just do it with much more confidence and maniacal speed on the XLT.

    There are some techy / rocky / jumpy DH sections here locally that I probably only ride 20-25mph on my XC bike, but on my XLT I have no problem doing them at 35 or more...it's just a more confidence inspiring ride.

    Again, it's all relative to your terrian and style. If you never break the sound barrier or leave the ground, the XLT is overkill.

  9. #9
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    Since I only have room for one bike in the "stable", and having OWNED both bikes, I would definitely still take the XLT, weight, uphill wander (hardly an issue), and all.

    Truthfully, the XLT is a little more than I need, but I wholeheartedly second chelboed's comment about the XLT inspiring more confidence downhill.

  10. #10
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    Well I did it!!!! I traded this:


    For this:


    And I could not be happier
    Thanks folks,
    Sean

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