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  1. #1
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    950 opinions needed

    So I think I've settled on the RM 950 as what I'm going to go with for a full suspension rig. I have several options on this. There are 2012 models on ebay shipped for around 1800. Demo bike though. I'm not sure about a demo. Every time I've ridden a demo, I rode the crap out of it. I assume everyone else does as well. These bikes have been checked by Rocky Mountain and do come with warranty intact. I talked with the seller on ebay, and they did send me detailed pictures. These bikes have various scratches and scrapes, but run well. They do have a return policy, but I pick up the tab on shipping back. The other option is a 2013 from a local dealer. New, obviously, but about 1200 more at @3k with tax. Just looking for some feedback and opinions on which way you'd go and why? Also, if anyone knows where a good deal is on one, I'd appreciate. Need an 18.5 or 20.5 Thanks
    Last edited by FullsizeMike; 04-19-2013 at 02:57 PM. Reason: forgot something

  2. #2
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    I'd go with the 2012 950 since I have a severe allergy to the Avid brakes on the 2013 model. I also think the overall parts spec on the 2012 is a bit nicer, it gives up a bit on the crankset but nearly everything else is a touch better than on the current year bike. The individual differences are fairly small (except the brakes, the 2012 is far ahead here) but added together it feels like a noticeably higher quality package.
    Last edited by aerius; 04-19-2013 at 04:51 PM. Reason: typos

  3. #3
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    Agreed, the 2012 formula's are awesome.

  4. #4
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    You're going to spend $1200 to save a few scratches!?! Are you going to ride the bike or put it in your living room as a showpiece? If it was my budget I would go for the 2012 and then apply the $1200 to a lighter wheelset.

  5. #5
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    After just checking out eBay there is only one seller at $1800; the others are more in line at $2400 for last years model. $1800 is almost 50% MSRP.

  6. #6
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    And one more thing, the grips seem to be different I believe OEM are white grips, but the red RM lock-ons with the maple leaf is a stand out for me; I definately didn't get that kit on my 2012 950.

  7. #7
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    Also , the 2013 has a triple crank to the 2012's 2 x 10

  8. #8
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    I am going to ride it. Probably crash it too, DR. haha I found a nicely speced 970 that I am considering as well. The only hesitation I have is its an xl. I rode a L yesterday w a 100mm stem, and it was about perfect. This xl has a TT length that's 1" longer than the L. I figure I can make up w a shorter stem. What do you think?

  9. #9
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    The only way to tell is if you ride it with a shorter stem. Phone them up and ask if they are willing to put on a shorter stem for you to try out. The travel adjust fork was the big draw for the 950 for me.

  10. #10
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    Here's what it has. I think it's worth the risk. Like I said, worst case I sell this frame and buy a new one.

    FRAME & SUSPENSION
    27.6 Lbs. 2012 Large 20 Hydroformed Frame,Tapered Head Tube,Press Fit BB Rock Shox REBA RLT 29 15mm Rock Shox Monarch RT3 Custom Valved Cane Creek Forty Series ZS44mm Top / ZS56mm

    COMPONENTS
    Avid XX Brakeset, 160mm X Rotors Front and Back
    SRAM XX 2x10 Shifters with Matchmakers.
    SRAM XX Rear Derailleur,
    10 Speed SRAM XX Crankset, 2x10, 39, 26
    SRAM XX Cassette 10 speed 11-36
    SRAM XO Front Derailleur
    2x10 Shimano
    HG-X Chain 10 speed
    Easton EA90 100mm Stem
    Crank Brothers Cobalt 2 XC Bar 680mm
    Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 Post
    Crank Brothers Acid 2 SPD Pedals
    Bontrager Evoke 3,
    Titanium Rails Lizard Skin Lock-on Grips

    WHEELS
    Stans ZTR Arch 29er
    X9 Hubs 15mm Front & 12 x 142 Rear Thru Axles
    Specialized Sworks The Captain & Control 2.0 (Tubes installed)

  11. #11
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    To be blunt, I'm not a fan of the parts on the above bike. The front brake rotor got downsized and well, you don't want to hear me rant on how problematic Avid's brakes are. Same thing with Crank Bros. stuff, their pedals are disposable and the seatpost is inconsistent at best. The clamp design needs to be threadlocked to stay tightened and depending on your luck it may need to be shimmed to hold onto the saddle. The parts spec looks nice on paper, but it's a maintenance nightmare in the making. As a former shop mechanic, I wouldn't touch it.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for that. That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for. The 2012 demo can still be had for 1800 to my door. I rode a 13 and maybe it was just new car syndrome, but it felt good. Mostly felt like it accelerated real fast. Just rode on pavement. I can't bring myself to pay 3k for it though. Wheels, cranks and triggers would all need to be upgraded.

  13. #13
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    Just an update. I had it down to 3 bikes. A 2012 950, a 2013 950, and a darkhorse in the Cannondale Scalpel 3. I really like theCannondale a lot, and if I could have gotten it a little cheaper, would have pulled the trigger. I felt the best component package was best on the the older model, so I ended up going with a 12 Element 950 from a bike shop (Golden Bike Shop). I was able to get it new for a very fair price. I can't wait. Anything I should do immediately out of the box? I've read of some creaking from the main pivot. Common practice to grease it, or just wait and see?

  14. #14
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    Have the shop do a service on the pivots to confirm that there is grease on the metal to metal contact points. Then go ride the daylights out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FullsizeMike View Post
    Just an update. I had it down to 3 bikes. A 2012 950, a 2013 950, and a darkhorse in the Cannondale Scalpel 3. I really like theCannondale a lot, and if I could have gotten it a little cheaper, would have pulled the trigger. I felt the best component package was best on the the older model, so I ended up going with a 12 Element 950 from a bike shop (Golden Bike Shop). I was able to get it new for a very fair price. I can't wait. Anything I should do immediately out of the box? I've read of some creaking from the main pivot. Common practice to grease it, or just wait and see?
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  15. #15
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    Good choice, although honestly at $1800 for the 2012 950 I don't think there was any real dilemma there, even though you went with another bike shop. In comparison I found the Scalpel to be very twitchy and not as versatile. Its got a trick rear suspension but I think it would only take you so far. I'm also not a fan of the lefty fork, although one can't argue with convienent trail side tube swaps without taking the wheel off the fork.

    First thing is check whether the oem stem is too long for you. Second, remove all the yellow caution stickers. Third think about whether the oem maxxis tires are suitable for the your local terrain, but as a wear item you can also wait until they are worn before swapping them. Fourth what RockyUphill said. Fifth if you saved over $1200 compared to the next bike in your budget, start looking around for a ligher wheelset.

  16. #16
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    I wish I saved that much. I decided on the demo bike on ebay, but they sold both of them while I was messing around deciding. I ended up 2750 shipped, vs 3148 for the scalpel or 2800 on the 13. The last 2 included tax as they were local, but also have service and a place for warranty work if needed. I can do regular maint and adjustments myself. I figure this will be the last mtb bike I buy for a long time. I justified the cost of a new one. I'll see how the wheels are, as i have a set of Sun Charger Experts that I think i can convert with a spacer or something to the 142mm. I need to look into what I need to do to just swap wheels between the element and my goblin if I can. I'll run tubeless and try the Maxxis. I have run AKA's and Smallblock 8 around here a lot. I just put a Nevagel on the front of my hardtail, and even though it doesn't roll as fast, it sticks so good I am turning faster laps.

  17. #17
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    Update on the 950. On the first ride, I avg almost 2mph faster than I ever did before. I havent ridden for 2 weeks either, so I'm sure there is more i n the bike and myself too. I love this bike. I still have the factory wheel on the back as I am waiting for an axle to put the stiffer Charger on. Have a Sun Charger on the front already. At 260#s, I think I'll be too much for the DT Swiss wheels. I could feel the rear flexing pretty good at times. Shocks I hit about perfect on setup. I'm using up about 90% of the travel on the front and 95% on the rear. Never did bottom out. The bike really excels in accelerating on climbs, and the geometry is better for tight stuff than my other bike. That's where I would assume I picked up speed.

  18. #18
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    Scalpel .... trick rear suspension
    I think you have confused it with the Trigger/Jekyl's
    Dyad set up .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccaddy View Post
    Scalpel .... trick rear suspension
    I think you have confused it with the Trigger/Jekyl's
    Dyad set up .
    No. I mean the rear linkage relies on the chainstay to flex rather move about a pivot. Hence, trick.

  20. #20
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    As it reads , your statement implies that the Scalpel relies only on the carbon stay's flex for suspension .
    That would be incorrect as it also has a shock absorber as part of the suspension .

    On the other hand , the first generation Scalpels relied more on its carbons stays for suspension action as they ran a shock with less then 2" of travel .
    The new 29'r uses a shock with more travel then the first generation and
    is way less reliant on the action of the stays . It mostly complements it .

    Hope that helps .

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