Hi, I went back to my LBS and test rode the 2013 29er X Caliber 19" and the 12 6500 26er HT. I rode the X caliber first this time. I must say that the colors look much better in person. I took the bike out in the parking lot for a few minutes jut to get comfortable. Then I hit the streets, jumping over cubs, potholes and going through most of the gears. I noticed that the gear changes were very rough and a few time it downshifted by itself. I knew the bike wasn't adjusted right. A few minutes later the chain broke. Luckily, I was only a couple of block from the LBS. I brought it back and I told them what happened. They aid they would fix it.
In the meantime, I took out the Trek 6500 18.5". I had taken out this bike before and at $1200 it was a great deal. I am just concerned that the marketplace is dropping higher end 26" hardtails and this bike could be a dinosaur in a couple of year. As soon as I got on it felt like a kids bike, but almost in a negative way. It was my size (18.5) but felt so much smaller. It was very easy to handle. It felt a little lighter (turned out to be by only 1lb (27.2 for the 6500, 28.1 for the X-Cal, both had pedals). It was definitely quicker handling that the X-Caliber, but it did not have the same rolling characteristics. I found myself pre planning on lifting the front wheel just before jumping some 8" curbs. The 29er just rolled over them. I also noticed the 29ers rear end handled any bumps and jumps better than the 26er. The 26er did seem more inclined to wheelie though. The bike seemed to shift smoothly, but the disc brakes were noisy and vibrated quite a bit.
I returned it and the X-Cal had been repaired and adjusted, so I took it back out. Wow, the shifting was seamless without any clatter at all. Much smother than my Trek 7.3FX and even smoother than the 6500. I also preferred it's remote lockout to the 6500 as you only have to push the same button. The disc brakes were also very quiet and powerful, contrary to some reviewers. I became more confident this time on a 29er. Not quite as quick to transition as the 6500, but close. I really feel that buying a 29er will make you a better rider. I told the LBS I was interested, but I wanted to negotiate the price. They are asking $1550, but this would be the fourth bike I and my family have bought from them in 9 months. I also notice a couple of small scratches on the shifter. He said he would need to contact corporate, since it's not independently owned. I will know Tuesday and I hope he can knock it down to $1450, since originally, $1200 was my max price point. Anyone else own an X-Caliber?
Anyone else own an X-Caliber? Thanks
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