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  1. #1
    abc
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    Superlight or BLT?

    Need to get a new bike. Trying to decide between a Superlight and a BLT. What would you guys suggest for 80% XC (but no racing) 20% lift-served DH singletrack (no jumping)?

    In other words, no high speed blasting down the hill but some steep'ish single tracks. Lots of climbing in those XC trails, technical climbing too.

    The Superlight frame is a pound lighter. But does the VPP make it up with better efficiency?

    OK, here's the bits of history: I held out against full suspension because I didn't think I want to carry all that weight up the hill. BIG mistake! As everyone knows by now, the efficiency simply makes up the weight difference AND SOME!

    Is VPP the same holy grail I would regret not embracing sooner rather than later?

    Especially those of you who had own both, what's your take? If you happen to do my kind of riding (basically mostly steep x-c single track), what would you pick?

  2. #2
    Got A Lust for Life...
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    The BLT2 seems like the holy grail. I raced it in a 24 hour race a couple weeks back. I didn't notice how much travel it had until the downhills. The thing can climb, climb, climb and sprint and pedal and do whatever you want it to do. I noticed the weight a bit picking it up but it was covered with mud. I think in race form, my BLT2 weighs in at like 26.5lbs or something stupid like that. 28.5 every other day.

    From your description, a BLT would fit you a bit better. The SL is a great bike, but lift served DH would push it's limits immediately. The BLT2 is the best of both worlds and now worry free at the pivots. No reason to go SP over VPP any longer. Too many reasons to go VPP over SP.
    Try a BLT2. I doubt you would buy any other bike.
    I am immune to your disdain.

  3. #3
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    I've had both, and the BLT2 feels similar to the Superlight, being very nibble on single track and a great climber. I still get a shock though when I head down or over rough terrain, as I forget how much travel it actually has until it's needed. I would go the BLT2 for sure.

  4. #4
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    Your on the right track with both bikes. I ride mostly xc/trail but like to take the rough line sometimres, currently ride an 07 BLT 1 and also just sold an 05 SL, I ran a fox rp-23 on both and prior to that I held out and ran a hardtail. I loved the SL and would buy another one (the new version) in a heartbeat! But... now that I have dialed in the BLT I love it. It works great for climbs and is great on windy single track and downs as well. I run a Talas 100-120-140 and almost always run it at 120 for where I ride but have the option of 140 for the downs (or lifts like you are thinking). The SL would not be overly agile with a 140mm front shock and in your case mabey not quite as versitile though it requires a bit more bearing maint.. etc.

    I don't know if you are planning on buying new or used but the BLT 1's have a rep of giving odd "feedback" in granny gear climbs, I personally have not notice but alot of others have voiced the concern/dislike.

    I can give you more specific feedback on the rides if you think it might help- Good Luck

  5. #5
    abc
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    BLT has been reduced to about the same price as the SL, due of course, to the new BLT2 hitting the market.

    Not planning to spend quite so much (or BLT2) though... So it's either the BLT or Superlight. I'm under the impression BLT2 climbs similarly to the BLT, have the edge on descend mostly. So for my use, BLT1 should suffice, and still a better choice than SL?

  6. #6
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    Both the BLT and the SL are great bikes and can suit a pretty wide variety of riders. I am not sure of the exact weight on the new SL but my 05 was about +/- 25.5 lbs with a 100mm Fox RLC and xtr build VS my BLT with a Talas 100-120-140mm with most of the same stuff at +/- 27.75 lbs. Do you know what shock you plan on running? and build?
    I think that the SL made my transition from Hardtail to Full Susser an easy one, it had a similar longish top tube and I still have a hard time thinking I gave anything up for a bike that climbs smooth stuff well and technical stuff better than my old hardtail.

    On the other hand, though I like it now, I may have felt like the BLT's geometry was too slack (and kind of shortish top tube) comming from my stubborn hardtail mindset. I have grown to really like the BLT as an all around trail bike.

    You really can not go wrong, the new SL is sweet, and can handle up to a 120mm fork, requires less maint, and can be built sub 26lbs. The BLT can do it all and gives you a bit more adaptability based on your build-

  7. #7
    abc
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    My current SL was build with the (no longer offered) X kit which was XT/LX mix (V-brake) plus a pretty cheezy RS fork. Came to about 25lb for a small frame. Light and inexpensive, the only thing I really dislike was the flexy RS fork. And the wish for disc brakes drove me into looking for a complete new bike.

    I'll be building the new frame with probably a XT level kit, disc brake and probably the Talas fork like everybody else. So it's going to be a heavier bike regardless which frame I choose. I'll get better downhill if only from the fork and disc brake alone. So I'm focusing a bit more about the uphill side of things...

    If the VPP is more efficient, it might offset the extra weight. Such that I get the best of both worlds: better downhill handling and no lost of climbing ability. Yes, I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too! ;-)

  8. #8
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    I love my new 08 SL for xc riding....cant say ive hit any lifts but i may give it a try if i get the chance...built with a f120rl and rp23, you cant beat the pedaling or the smooth downhill...mines at about 26.5lbs right now cuz ive still got a cheapish wheelset....i love mine and highly recc'd the SL, but then again, i may be quite one sided...

  9. #9
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    if you're not racing, going up hill is a matter of how much power your legs and body can put out and either bike will rock there. if you want to add some down hill punch go for the blt unless you want your legs to take up more suspension duties too.

  10. #10
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    Can a superlight run a 140mm fork? I thought that 120mm is about what the top of the recommendations..and also what warranty would cover. I have BLT2 and it is a do everything bike. Gives me tremendous confidence in all areas of riding.

    Also Indyfab..could you post your build out for your BLT2 for racing? Or PM me it. I am doing off road triathalon in Oct and have XT kit. Looking to lighten up a bit. Sorry for half thread hijack.

  11. #11
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    If I had to make a choice between the two for the most versitile single bike in my garage it would be the BLT. Both the SL and BLT have proven suspension designs but the VPP has an edge in the brake jack department and of course an extra 1.5" of rear travel along with the ability of running a longer travel fork. The only downfall(s) I can mention would be the reputation of creaking (which the later models came with caps etc. and seem to hold out longer), the bit of extra weight, and the granny gear "feedback" that some blt owners mention. Prior to the BLT 2 comming out I don't think that most riders would not have leaned towards the SL if they had the choice to get a BLT for the same price (unless maint. was an issue or they planned on racing more often), the BLT has not gotten any worse, but the BLT 2 has just raised the bar. Go for the BLT especially if you plan to run a 100-120-140 Talas, other wise on the SL the 140 is kinda wasted- Just an opinion-

  12. #12
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    I had a bullit (Single Pivot) and now a BLT2.

    Dont get the BLT1 unless you like taking it apart every few months to grease the pivots.
    I had to do that to an old Proflex race bike of mine. Hate it.

    I mean, unless your hobby is bicycle mechanic, why do you want to work on your bike instead of ride it? If time allows, I would rather be riding even when it is dark outside, than spending time in the garage greasing things. With that said, I am anal about my bike makijng noises.

    If you are a newbie to full suspension, then you prob. wont be able to truly tell the difference btwn sp and vpp. It takes an experience to grow into the vpp technology. But as you said, you want to do some lift assisted riding, then SL is way too little travel for you.

  13. #13
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    if you haven't already, might want to consider a heckler.

  14. #14
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    Second that. Heckler

  15. #15
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    Heckler done in a light build is a great ride, fast and can handle the downhill, mine is around 28lb, I've got the Pike coil fitted at the moment so if you went air and save another 1/2lb, and I have the float R on the rear, I have a Lyric coil fork and a DHX-5 coil and some hefty wheels 30 mins and you can change it into a trail monster in this build it weighs in around 34lb

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