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  1. #1
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    GF vs. Trek vs. Klein

    I have been looking at new bikes. I see the Trek 8000, GF HKEK and Klein Attitude V all have the zr9000 frame and almost identical components(and MSRP). Are they the same bike with different paint/decals? I have also looking at the '06 stumpjumper disc, I don't see a whole lot of differences in component quality, is the zr9000 frame that much lighter than the specialized? If there is not much difference in componentry the weight may be the deciding factor. If the GF/Trek/Klein are all basically the same bike that choice would come down to which color I liked best. Thanks for any info you may be able to provide.

  2. #2
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    Geometry.

    They all have different geometry and will ride on the trail differently. Fisher has Genesis which has a longer top tube, and a short stem - it puts the front wheel out in front of you more so it's harder to endo. Klein is super stiff and has a steep head tube angle - it's a fast aggressive handling bike. Trek is sorta middle of the road.

    Pricewise, you'll get the best bang for your buck with a Trek vs the others. I think the Klein will be the most expensive. Also I believe that the Klein is probably the best frame of the 3 - they do take some extra steps in the manufacturing that they don't do on the Trek. Fisher also does a bit more with the frame than the Trek. Treks are great bikes but I don't think the hardtails have that bling factor - but solid, dependable, good buy.

    The 8000 has a better component spec (i think i didn't check) than the other 2.

    You need to ride the bikes and see which one speaks to you.

    GL,
    -don

  3. #3
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    My advice would be to ride them and if you can't tell the difference then there isn't enough for you to worry about.

    That said, The Treks usually have a shorter top tube than the Fisher's and thus have a more upright posture compared to the stretched out feel of the Fisher.

    Don't know about the Klein's, nobody had any of their hardtails when I was looking.

    The ZR9000 is a trade name for the lightweight alloy aluminum Trek/Fisher uses. it has a somewhat better strength to weight ratio than straight 6061 apparently but is still commercially weldable with heat treat. Giant and Specialized probably have their own trade names or propriatary alloys for their top end bikes with simular properties.

    Base your decision on how the bike feels/fits and the components included. The paint is a consideration but very secondary.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies,the three models I mentioned are spec'd with very similar components and priced about the same(around $1500). I didn't know that the frame geometry was different for each bike, thought they just rebadged the way GM does it with their cars. I will have to check them out. I rode a specialized and liked it but have been looking at others. Didn't want to make a snap decision on a $1500 hardtail. I do know that I would like a bike that will keep the front end down on steep climbs. Thanks
    Last edited by Steve Russell; 04-17-2006 at 02:19 PM.

  5. #5
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    Wheelies

    I'm only speculating, but I would think that the GF would be the most prone to wheelies on climbs. The genesis geometry has a very short chainstay and puts more weight over your back wheel (according to their website). They say this helps for traction on climbs, but I would also assume that this would cause the front end to be light on the steep stuff. You might have to keep your upper body low to the bars on this type of geometry. Has anyone experienced this in real life with the Genesis Geometry?

  6. #6
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    not sure, i would argue that the seat tube angle and length of seat post plays more of a part on a lifting front than how short the stays are. i think its more those that determine how much your seat sits over the rear wheel than the chainstays alone.

    from my own experience, i have a set of 5" forks on an old GF hard tail which was really meant for 2 or 3" travel forks ( if anything atall ). this lays the seattube at quite an angle and cause i run a long seat tube on it , my weight its shifted a lot more back than just having shorter stays like on a genesis bike. Net result is a much lighter fornt end on the climbs ( to the point its often too light )


    from the very short test rides i've had a on a genesis hard tail, i think any weight over the back wheel effect from the short stays is somewhat countered by the long top tueb which will bring your body weight back forward a bit more ( cause you have to reach forward more )


    personal preference out of the lot would be a gary fisher. Nowt wrong with a Trek bikes, but i think the upright position is a little too conservative for me. Whilst I adore Kleins ( have a palomino ) i have sometimes felt on it that the headtube angle is too steep when doing techinical step downs and stuff ( really feel like i'm about to go voer the front ) , the feel of a genesis HT is a bit more comfortable for me all round . . .nice lean forward, yet not feeling like your going over the front too much.


    i would recommend you go and have a seat on a few of them ( both makes and frame size ) I have medium frames for the old GF HT and Klein Palomino, but like the large genesis frame of a tassajara . its all down to personal preference.

  7. #7
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    After doing some more research online I found that the GF Big Sur is the model that is closest to the Klein Attitude V, and Trek 8000 in components and price. I did notice that they had different frame geometry. Fortunately I have a local dealer that carries all three and specialized also so I can ride them all and the Stumpjumper disc also to see which fits the best.

    The one thing I noticed on the GF Big Sur is the carbon seat stays and chain stays. Any one have an opinion on those? I know they will be lighter, but how durable are they? I don't do any big jumps but I am 5'10" and weigh 190, don't want be be breaking them. Sorry for all the questions, just want some information from some people with experience.

  8. #8
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    Except for the ZR9000 frame, the HKEK is more in line with the Trek 6700, both in terms of price and component specs. IIRC, the Trek 8000 and Klein Attitude V are about $500 more.

    I have the '06 HKEK. It climbs extremely well. It is very resistant to lift in the front because you are stretched out over the bike with the longer top tube. When the bike does lift, it is very predictable and easy to adjust for. With other bikes that I've ridden, when they lift, it's very sudden and too late to do anything about it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Russell
    The one thing I noticed on the GF Big Sur is the carbon seat stays and chain stays. Any one have an opinion on those? I know they will be lighter, but how durable are they? I don't do any big jumps but I am 5'10" and weigh 190, don't want be be breaking them.
    I have been riding a Trek Fuel for 4 years now. It has carbon seat and chain stays, and like you, I was initially concerned about the durability. I am light (120 lbs) and I don't do jumps or anything, but I have had my share of crashes on this bike and the rear has held up just fine (looks better than the front triangle actually.

    Since I am not familiar with the construction of the GF rear triangle, i will make one recommendation: check to make sure that the aluminum at the top of the seat stays and on the chain stays nearest the seat tube extends far enough past the edge of the tire (towards the rear hub) so that any rocks that get picked up by the tread will contact aluminum only and not the carbon. Is that clear? The aluminum on my Trek extends well past the edge of the tire, so while the aluminum has been scratched up pretty good over the yaers, the carbon is in great shape.

    Personaly, I think that carbon is silly on a full suspension bike. Probably makes sense on a hardtail though - might take some of the edge of the trail chatter.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Russell
    After doing some more research online I found that the GF Big Sur is the model that is closest to the Klein Attitude V, and Trek 8000 in components and price. I did notice that they had different frame geometry. Fortunately I have a local dealer that carries all three and specialized also so I can ride them all and the Stumpjumper disc also to see which fits the best.

    The one thing I noticed on the GF Big Sur is the carbon seat stays and chain stays. Any one have an opinion on those? I know they will be lighter, but how durable are they? I don't do any big jumps but I am 5'10" and weigh 190, don't want be be breaking them. Sorry for all the questions, just want some information from some people with experience.
    I think the big sur probably has discs, but if you want an AC/DC frame, you must absolutely get disc brakes. with V's the seatstays flex a ton. I mean some serious movement that you can totally see from 5-6 feet away.

    GL,
    -don

  11. #11
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    Yes I am only looking at bikes with discs. At this point it is GF big sur, Trek 8000, Klein Attitude V, and Specialized stumpjumper disc. From some other reading I have done, would a longer top tube make a bike that will keep the front end down on steep climbs? I have been trying to compare the different geometry designs and no one really comes out and says "this design feature does this better because" Thanks again for any help.

  12. #12
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    Fisher stopped putting out Big Sur bikes on the 2004 or 2005 models.
    I've got a 2003 with Vs and I'm thinking of converting over.

    If I'm not wrong the AC/DC bikes have the same warranty that the aluminum frames do so I wouldn't think that would be a problem and as indicated above when the Big Sur went AC/DC it also went disc only.

    One thing I noticed is that my aluminum 2003 frame seems to have a little more tire clearance than the AC/DCs. For paved use and curb hopping I run a Maxxis 2.5" Hookworm without any rubbing or problems. I don't think I could do that on the new AC/DCs.

  13. #13
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    Steve,

    My personal opinion is that keeping the front tyre down on the ground during a steep climb is more to do with rider technique than geometry alone. I wouldn't get too hung up on it via geometry because at the end of the day, as you improve your skills, you'll be able to anticipate / control the front end better - regardless of the bike.

    I also wouldn't recommend you make a choice based on spec-sheet geometry figures or spec-sheet weights alone. The best thing that you can do is to head down the store and get on the bikes and see how they fit. Then walk away, mull it over, and go back and try again. After a few visits, you'll probably find a frame that suits you and how you like your riding position.

    A good fitting frame and comfortable riding position is more likely to make you feel happier on the bike, more controlled on the bike and likely lead to you putting more power, speed and distance down on the bike . . . . factors which would overcome the differences of a few grams here and there between bike specs and weights.

    Reality is any bike in that price range is going to have decent spec, smooth componentry . . . so chose the one which fits you best.

  14. #14
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    I love my Klien Pulse. I have a 100mm travel fork on it, and the geo rocks. It is light, stiff, climbs like a billy goat and the handling is snappy and resposive. Amazing bike. I'd get the Klein.

  15. #15
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    Well, I went to the local shop today and rode the Klein Attitude, a GF HKEK((they didn't have a BigSur disc in my size) and a Trek 8000. Basically I fell in love with the Klein, actually rode the XV(has a better fork and crankset than the X) and it was WAY more comfortable than either the Fisher or the Trek. I also went to another shop that had specialized and rode the Stumpjumper also.

    When I started out today I think I actually wanted to like the specialized the best, but after riding them all and seeing the extra attention to detail on the Klein frame, the Klein just about sold itself. The Hayes hydraulics on the Klein felt much better than the Avid mechanicals on the stumpjumper also. Now I just have to decide if I want to pony up the extra cash for Fox fork and XT crankset on the XV. Thanks for all the responses, it really made me think about things before I rode all the bikes.

  16. #16
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    Picked up one of the first 06 Big Sur's last fall. As far as the warranty goes, the ac/dc is definately covered. It's a trek product, and they warrant all of their frames, even the full carbon ones. I have definately noticed the weelie tendancy on hard climbs. I definately do like the bike dispite a few quirks. Now that I work at a shop, I'll probably be picking up the Klein while they're still available. Enjoy all.

  17. #17
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    Not for me...

    Quote Originally Posted by blehargh
    They all have different geometry and will ride on the trail differently. Fisher has Genesis which has a longer top tube, and a short stem - it puts the front wheel out in front of you more so it's harder to endo. -don
    I have endo-ed my HKEK numerous times... I must be a super biker


    It seems to me that the Genesis frame is more likely to lift the front wheel if you are climbing in a seated position, so you have to learn to lean forward and keep your wrists down. On the other hand, if you are climbing from a standing position, the Genesis frame allows more space to get up and lean forward. You just have to learn to ride the bike you have. Pay more attention to the fit and feel of the bike and less attention to marketing.

    -BD

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Dooey
    I have endo-ed my HKEK numerous times... I must be a super biker
    hee hee, well i never say you would _never_ endo. :P

    -don

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