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  1. #1
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    Element 950 vs Thunderbolt 750

    So I am contemplating my next bike purchase, as my current bike (Cannondale Flash 29er HT) needs to be replaced.

    I am thinking of going to a FS bike and having owned a 26er Element in the past (circa 2009), I thought that the Element 950 may be a good bet. I have never ridden a 29er FS bike before but I know I love the 29 inch wheels (based on my HT experience). The one thing I worry about is acceleration on a 29er FS as it is noticeable on my HT, so I feel that with some loss of efficiency due to the rear suspension that acceleration may be more muted on a FS. This concern has lead me to consider the 27.5 bikes and in particular the Thunderbolt. Again, I have never ridden one, but it would seem that the 27.5 wheel size would alleviate the acceleration issue, be a bit more nimble in the tight stuff but would likely suffer in climbing traction (due to the smaller footprint) and it would not roll over stuff as easily.

    I only ride recreationally now, but may at some point do a few more races.

    So with all that being said, what are everyone's thoughts on the Element 950 vs the Thunderbolt 750?

    Cheers,

  2. #2
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    I've ridden the Tbolt at a festival in VT. Great bike. I'm currently thinking of the next purchase as well. I ride a '12' Element and am either looking at the Tbolt or the Turner Flux. I personally don't care for the 29ers. The Tbolt was very nimble and was able to handle some nasty stuff also. I didn't think it suffered at all in the climbing. It did take me a bit of getting use to since it was a 2x10 and my Element is a 3x10. I stayed seated and it just kept climbing as long as my legs were able to keep pedaling. I'm waiting for the 2015's since the Tbolt will get the Ride9 setup.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  3. #3
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    I was on a Cannondale Flash 29 HT before I bought my current 2012 Element 950. I was still committed to a 29er, but I wanted a short travel XC full suspension frame so I could sit and pedal through chunky sections instead of having to stand and coast on the Flash HT. For me, the 950 is beter...just enough travel for me to keep power to the pedals and maintain precious momentum. My aluminum 950 weighs more, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to make. Also...just plain more comfortable on long rides and FS helps decrease rider fatigue. If weight is a concern, you can always opt for a carbon version.
    Don't wish away distance. Don't wish away time.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Any more feedback on these two bikes?

  5. #5
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    I have a 2013 Element 950 SE with XT and Fox 120 factory fitted. I live it and was looking to add a Tbolt but realized it's practically a Tbolt anyway. With a change to better tires it climbs up, races down and is surprisingly nimble. I have some pics here somewhere...

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