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  1. #1
    ballbuster
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    Tomac 98 special... opinions

    I got a lead on a 98 Special to replace my slightly-too-small-for-me K2 Razorback SL in medium. I love the Razorback, but it is a bit cramped, and can't find another one in my price range (cheap). The 98 Special in Medium looks a bit bigger (1" longer TT) than what I'm on, so it should be fine. The problem is, I can't test ride it before buying.

    I'm 5'10" with a 32 inseam, ride mostly XC (some techy steep stuff), don't get big air, and weigh in at 195#. I like fast feeling almost twitchy handling bikes, and this looks like it would fit the bill. I would get a Large Razorback in a hearbeat if the price was right.

  2. #2
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    Two words:
    Broken frames.

    Another mention was made in the past about the frame having way slower geo than advertised. Use the search function for both, as well as the online reviews.

    As far as the razor goes, you haven't checked out Ebay? Tons of them go like crazy for great prices there. I would go for the K2 on this and shy far away from the 98. It doesn't have a great rep for reliability.

  3. #3
    MIA
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    98 Special

    I've been riding one of these for about 2 years now, and they are a decent bike. Climbs well, is relatively well-mannered. Mine came with an adjustable travel Manitou Black, at 80mm, the bike is nervous and twitchy as heck, and at 100mm, the thing handles like a whale. The sweet spot is somewhere in between. I'd recommend a 90mm fixed travel fork, as the Black is pretty poor. I've had to replace broken internal spring mechanisms twice.

    As for the broken frames post. I got lucky, and have not broken mine yet, I am 5'10" and 200lbs. Primary riding is XC, and lots of random trails ranging from easy to quite technical. I can't say I'd recommend going out to look specifically for this bike, ... but if you have a line on one without frame issues at a good price, it is a capable machine.

    That said, I am in the process of replacing mine with a Titus Moto-Lite, so that may give you some indication of my opinion of the bike. At first it was great for me, but I've been doing more and more rocky, technical, drop-filled riding, and I am afraid for the longevity of the frame under these conditions...

    my $0.02... hope this helps....


  4. #4
    Real Men Cope
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    I'm going on 3 years with mine. It has been my first FS bike so to me it ride great. I hated the Manitou Black that came with. Ditched that and got a Fox Vanilla RLC 125. I ride mostly in VA and MD and it works great. If the price is right it's a good frame. Although I would not buy one again.
    Earth first, we'll log the other planets later.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I got a lead on a 98 Special to replace my slightly-too-small-for-me K2 Razorback SL in medium. I love the Razorback, but it is a bit cramped, and can't find another one in my price range (cheap). The 98 Special in Medium looks a bit bigger (1" longer TT) than what I'm on, so it should be fine. The problem is, I can't test ride it before buying.

    I'm 5'10" with a 32 inseam, ride mostly XC (some techy steep stuff), don't get big air, and weigh in at 195#. I like fast feeling almost twitchy handling bikes, and this looks like it would fit the bill. I would get a Large Razorback in a hearbeat if the price was right.
    My 98 special frame broke after about 6 months, but since I bought it as a dealer demo, I was covered under the warranty and Tomac treated me well by giving me an Eli to replace it. Remember, if you buy used, you have no frame warranty on a bike that seems like it has a history of cracked frames.

  6. #6
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    wtf i broke mine and i worked at a shop and had a hell of a time getting them to replace it they suck. The bike rides fine its just they break and ABG has poor service. I use my new one as my 2nd bike now i dont want to put too many miles on it and have it snap again. And im only 5'7" 160 pounds.

  7. #7
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    Not very good quality

    A riding buddy of mine is on his FOURTH Tomac. He bought a 98 Special in early season 03, then cracked the chain stay later that fall. Tomac sent him a new frame, and mid season 04 he cracked the chain stay again. Tomac got rid of the 98 special around this time - rumor from the local shop was that they ditched it because of all the returns.

    Soooo, Tomac sends my buddy a brand spanking new Eli frame, and guess what? He cracked that, but this time on the 4-rod seat post holder frame (cracked a weld, which most likely was a mist-fit weld and induced a stress riser). Tomac redesigned the Tomac Eli and my buddy has had this version for a few months now. The company has promised to send him a new Litespeed if this one breaks.

    My buddy is an admitted hack, but @ 170-lbs and a former roadie/xc guy he does more roll-overs than large drops. I've ridden with him on many of those miles and my Titus has held up on roughly the same riding.

    It's too bad for tomac, but they just have thrown out some garbage and it seems everyone I've talked to has had troubles. 2 LBS's dropped them all together because of the breaks.

    So, heck yeah I'd stay away from them.

    But for full disclosure; In this time period I have known 4 Ellsworth Truths and 1 Id to break (chainstays), 2 Spec. Stumpys ~bottom bracket/chainstay, 1 - Cove Hand Jobs, 2 SC Blurs, 2 Syscips, 3 Trek Fuels, and 1 Liquid to break. So Tomac isn't the only one to have frame issues. (P.S. I DON"T work in a shop...these are just riders that i know of in my small world).

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