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  1. #1
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    5 Spot v. Switchblade

    I'm trying to decide between a new Switchblade or 5spot. I'd like to hear from people who have ridden both bikes to get some insight on these bikes. Buying a new bike is fun, with lots of choices, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build). I don't think I want to put the air shock on the Turner -- Dave Turner himself told me that the bike was built for a coil shock and he wouldn't put the air shock on it. The closest thing I have ridden to the 5 spot is a friend's XCE.

    On the other hand, I can build a 27-28 lb. Switchblade with Talas shocks and using the same drivetrain, wheels, etc. I think the weight savings of 4-5 lbs. will be significant on the trail -- maybe more significant than the loss of plushness by using the air vs. coil. I'm not in great shape, and could really use the lighter bike.

    I'm comfortable with build quality and customer service for both bikes. Am I making too much of the weight savings? I'm sure that both bikes ride great and are well built. Just wondered what the collective had to say about this comparison.

    I'll cross-post in the Titus forum.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build).
    You should probably check with the weight weiner mafia but I'm pretty sure you can do a normal build with coil shocks under 32 pounds.

    My large 5spot with burly tires (noe of that tubeless crap), XC rims, King hubs, etc., etc. is around 29 lbs. Add about a pound (again, check with the weight weiners) for a FOX RLC and you're under 32 for a sensible and durable build.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Pete, you should have no trouble getting the 5 spot under 32 lbs. I have a "freeride" 6x6 bike with decently beefy parts and it only weighs in at 34 lbs; and that's with romic coil, Beserker DH saddle, thomson post, titec DH bars, FSA FR stem, rhyno 36 spoke wheels, sherman breakout, 8" rotors... shaving two pounds off my bike to make it a "trail" bike should be pretty simple
    Last edited by Biandon; 03-15-2004 at 10:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    Probably a pound difference in weight....

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    I'm trying to decide between a new Switchblade or 5spot. I'd like to hear from people who have ridden both bikes to get some insight on these bikes. Buying a new bike is fun, with lots of choices, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build). I don't think I want to put the air shock on the Turner -- Dave Turner himself told me that the bike was built for a coil shock and he wouldn't put the air shock on it. The closest thing I have ridden to the 5 spot is a friend's XCE.

    On the other hand, I can build a 27-28 lb. Switchblade with Talas shocks and using the same drivetrain, wheels, etc. I think the weight savings of 4-5 lbs. will be significant on the trail -- maybe more significant than the loss of plushness by using the air vs. coil. I'm not in great shape, and could really use the lighter bike.

    Most of that being the difference between the Romic and Fox air shock. I don't know why you could not build a 28 lb Spot with the lb difference in weight. I'm comfortable with build quality and customer service for both bikes. Am I making too much of the weight savings? I'm sure that both bikes ride great and are well built. Just wondered what the collective had to say about this comparison.

    I'll cross-post in the Titus forum.
    The frames are roughly a LB difference in weight. I have owned both frames. I like the Spot better because of the more relaxed angles. However, I like the Blade's interrupted top tube for great standover. The only reason I went Spot is because the Blade won't allow for a coil over shock...which I like. Both are great bikes.

    Jaybo

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    ...I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs.
    It seems like the main difference in weight would be the air shock... I have a 32 lb Large 5 Spot, with a burly spec: Z1FR-QR20, 8" front rotor, X-Max-XL wheels, CB Mallet-C pedals, Thompson post & stem, Laser V Stealth, XTR group/xt levers. Vert UST tires...

    If I were to go to std xmax wheels, a lighter fork, and back to my egg beaters, I'm sure I'd be around 29 lbs.

    What's your weight? what do you plan on doing with the bike? Don't get too caught up in the weight as I can't feel the extra pounds but I do appreciate the stiffness it brings. And sooner or later there will be an air shock that will work as nicely as the Romic.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    The frames are roughly a LB difference in weight. I have owned both frames. I like the Spot better because of the more relaxed angles. However, I like the Blade's interrupted top tube for great standover. The only reason I went Spot is because the Blade won't allow for a coil over shock...which I like. Both are great bikes.

    Jaybo
    I think the only difference is the coil option with the turner which hopefully will change on the next SB. The air shocks feel pretty good with the propedal i can run more sag if i want and it still pedals fine, more adjustability over all. The geo. angles are very close.

    Med 5 Spot Med SB
    TT=23 TT=23.25
    Chainstay=16.9 CS=16.65
    HT=69 HT=70.25
    Seattube=73.5 ST=73.25
    Headtube=4" HTube=4.75"
    BB height=13.25 [tires could change it] BB=13.10
    Standover=31 Standover=29.30
    WheelBase 43.8 Wheelbase=43.5

    Different setups will change things slightly..But IMO these VERY slight differences are on paper, and I know that I myself would never feel the difference, i dont anyone who could say "ya know what.. that turner felt like the seat tube anlge was about .25 degrees different" But to be honest with ya, both bikes are great, is one better that the other NO.. it's all opinion based. IMO one does not sit above the other.. they sit next to each other at the top, I am on my 2nd SB.. and have ridden a 5, and xce.. i cant say enough good about them both, as good as the SB is..if it had the coil option [Hoping for next year] it would be even better, there is just something about the SB that maid me go back to it. It is a wash decision..you will not be disappointed in what ever you decide

  7. #7
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    I believe you can run a wider tire on the back of the 5-Spot than on the Switchblade. I rode with someone who put a 2.3 (kenda blue groove) tire on his SB and it rubs the chainstay when he's cornering.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    What's your weight? what do you plan on doing with the bike?
    I'm 6', 190 lbs. I ride in Phoenix -- dry, rocky trails (trails 1A, 8 and 100 for locals); No fire road climbs. No 4 ft. jumps. I'll drop off a 3 ft. ledge if I'm feeling brave. I don't have a bike computer, but I probably get up to 28 m.p.h. on downhills (which are very rocky). Uphill climbs don't last longer than 30 min.; most climbs are short and steep.

    I don't race. I won't take the bike to the ski slope for major downhill fun. Just ride out my backdoor to the mountain on weekends.

    edit: I just noticed this was under a different user name. My home computer is cookied for Marshall88. I'm at work. We are the same person. Sorry for any confusion. I'll have to fix that.
    Last edited by scashdan; 03-16-2004 at 08:28 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scashdan
    I'm 6', 190 lbs. I ride in Phoenix -- dry, rocky trails (trails 1A, 8 and 100 for locals); No fire road climbs. No 4 ft. jumps. I'll drop off a 3 ft. ledge if I'm feeling brave. I don't have a bike computer, but I probably get up to 28 m.p.h. on downhills (which are very rocky). Uphill climbs don't last longer than 30 min.; most climbs are short and steep.

    I don't race. I won't take the bike to the ski slope for major downhill fun. Just ride out my backdoor to the mountain on weekends.
    Then IMO, the weight differences are insignificant. You won't feel it at any point. Your water pack will make more of a difference. Especially considering you're only 10 pounds shy of being a clydesdale. (I'm 225 lbs)

    Get whichever bike you really want +/- a pound or two will mean absolutely nothing for fun trail riding.

    Both bikes are great. On paper they seem similar but they do have different personalities on the trail. Unfortunately you won't be able to see those differences anywhere other than on a trail. I highly doubt you'd be anything less than very happy with either. Try reading a bunch of reviews on each, then consider the descriptions you see repeated the most...that could give you some idea about the bike's personality.

    G'luck let us know what you decide on.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88

    I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs.

    On the other hand, I can build a 27-28 lb. Switchblade with Talas shocks and using the same drivetrain, wheels, etc. I think the weight savings of 4-5 lbs. will be significant on the trail --
    I'll cross-post in the Titus forum.

    Your analysis is incorrect. If you are using the same components for both builds, the only difference is in weight. Unless the 5 spot frame has become 11 pounds, or the Switchblade has become a 3 pound frame, the difference will not be 4-5 pounds. According to Turner, a medium 5 spot with shock is 7.21 pounds, and Titus claims that a small switchblade frame weighs 5.9 pounds. So you can figure at most the difference in the weight of the two frames in the same size is 1.1 pounds (the medium titus frame will be at least .2 pounds more than the small), meaning, all other things being equal, the difference in weight between the two bikes would be 1.1 pounds.

    Focus on which bike you like the ride of better, the weight difference is irrelevant.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    ) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build).
    I have a large 5 Spot with a Vanilla 125, Juicys, Easton stem, Thomson post, SRAM shifters/front der., XT otherwise, and a mediocre set of wheels (Bontrager rims and DT Onyx hubs) with Nokian 2.3s. It weighs just under 31 pounds.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    I'm trying to decide between a new Switchblade or 5spot. I'd like to hear from people who have ridden both bikes to get some insight on these bikes. Buying a new bike is fun, with lots of choices, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build). I don't think I want to put the air shock on the Turner -- Dave Turner himself told me that the bike was built for a coil shock and he wouldn't put the air shock on it. The closest thing I have ridden to the 5 spot is a friend's XCE.

    On the other hand, I can build a 27-28 lb. Switchblade with Talas shocks and using the same drivetrain, wheels, etc. I think the weight savings of 4-5 lbs. will be significant on the trail -- maybe more significant than the loss of plushness by using the air vs. coil. I'm not in great shape, and could really use the lighter bike.

    I'm comfortable with build quality and customer service for both bikes. Am I making too much of the weight savings? I'm sure that both bikes ride great and are well built. Just wondered what the collective had to say about this comparison.

    I'll cross-post in the Titus forum.
    Like others have said - don't worry about the weight, both bikes ride so nice you wont feel it. I like the adjustability of the talas front and rear, some ppl like to set and forget [including myself] But with the option there,i find my self using it more than i thought, yes the SB can be built up pretty light so can the 5, but it will cost ya. Let us know what you decide, u can private message me if ya have anyother questions. Every bike will have something that your not crazy about.. but only you can decide on what ya can deal with..

  13. #13
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    I went from a switchblade to an RFX, but I've ridden my friends 5-spot quite a bit too. My med. switch frame was just over 6lbs and my friends large 5-spot was 7.5lb. The difference was mainly in the shock- and the romic blows the fox air away! You should have no problem building up a 5-spot under 30lbs, maybe with a talus fork and carbon bars, etc.....

    There is no question, in my mind, that the 5-spot is a much better bike for technical terrain. The ability to tune out pedal-bob, and geometry changes due to your weight bias on the bike, more than justify the added weight of the coil shock. Also I've had much better luck with bushings than bearings, here in the muddy NW.

    I loved my switchblade, it's a great bike and worth considering. You can also get them for under $1000 now too. I'd rather have a 5-spot though, anyday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC
    Your analysis is incorrect. If you are using the same components for both builds, the only difference is in weight. Unless the 5 spot frame has become 11 pounds, or the Switchblade has become a 3 pound frame, the difference will not be 4-5 pounds. According to Turner, a medium 5 spot with shock is 7.21 pounds, and Titus claims that a small switchblade frame weighs 5.9 pounds. So you can figure at most the difference in the weight of the two frames in the same size is 1.1 pounds (the medium titus frame will be at least .2 pounds more than the small), meaning, all other things being equal, the difference in weight between the two bikes would be 1.1 pounds.

    Focus on which bike you like the ride of better, the weight difference is irrelevant.

    I don't know exactly how they came up with those weights. At my LBS, a large 5 spot with a 550 spring (what I will use) was weighed at just under 8 lbs. I'm guessing the medium with a lighter spring weighs in at the 7.21 you quoted.

    In any event, I'm going to take your (and others) advice and ride the bike which feels better, regardless of weight.

  15. #15
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    Decided

    I'm getting the 5 spot.

    I'm not worrying about the extra 2 lbs. I'm sure I could use the extra workout anyway

    Thanks for all of your help. I know both bikes are fantastic . . . but everyone who responded (or whom I have personally spoke with) who had both bikes chose the 5 Spot over the Switchblade. My old bike had an air shock and fork, so it'll be nice to try something different this time. My old bike also had a more "racy" geometry, so it may also be nice to be more upright. I guess it's tough to really know until you ride it on the dirt.

    If all goes well, my bike should be ready to ride by this weekend.

    Large 5 spot w/ 550 spring
    Fox Vanilla 125R
    Avid Juicy Brakes 6" rotor
    Shimano XT pods (rapid rise)
    Shimano XT M760 Cranks and cassette
    Shimano XT Fr. Der.
    Shimano XTR R. Der.
    King headset
    Thompson stem
    Thompson post
    King Disc hubs - 32h
    Mavic 819 disc rims
    14/15 DT Comp spokes
    WTB Rocket saddle
    Shimano 545 pedals

    That's most of it. Again, thanks for all your help.

  16. #16
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    accidental double post - deleted text.
    Last edited by marshall88; 03-16-2004 at 01:23 PM. Reason: repeat post

  17. #17
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    Looks like it will be a really nice bike. You may want to reconsider the Rapid Rise, a lot of people don't like it. You might also consider going the SRAM Trigger Shifter route, which many swear to be better than XTR.

    Just so you know, I took my Burner out this weekend (28.5 pounds) and had an easier time getting up things than I ever did on My 26 pound hartail. You will never notice the 2 pound difference except when you pick the bike up.

    Finally, why the 545 peadals? Unless you need platforms, I would go the 540 or 520 pedals.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC
    Looks like it will be a really nice bike. You may want to reconsider the Rapid Rise, a lot of people don't like it. You might also consider going the SRAM Trigger Shifter route, which many swear to be better than XTR.

    Just so you know, I took my Burner out this weekend (28.5 pounds) and had an easier time getting up things than I ever did on My 26 pound hartail. You will never notice the 2 pound difference except when you pick the bike up.

    Finally, why the 545 peadals? Unless you need platforms, I would go the 540 or 520 pedals.

    Thanks. I like rapid rise; had it on my old bike; easier to shift under load when climbing. I use the 545 pedals for two reasons: 1) if i pull out of the pedals when climbing, i can easily get back on, then clip in; and 2) i like being able to ride on the bike w/o bike shoes -- if i just want to go around the neighborhood with my daughter.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    Thanks. I like rapid rise; had it on my old bike; easier to shift under load when climbing. I use the 545 pedals for two reasons: 1) if i pull out of the pedals when climbing, i can easily get back on, then clip in; and 2) i like being able to ride on the bike w/o bike shoes -- if i just want to go around the neighborhood with my daughter.
    Hey Marshall,
    You will love the 5-spot. I did not comment before, because I have no experience with a Switchblade except I know other people like them as well.
    Anyway, I used 545 pedals on my Dh bike for years. They work well in that regard.
    But when I put them on my trailbike, that is alot of added weight, and that is weight that you can feel honestly. I did a ride with them one day, then used 959's the next, and it was a huge difference in feel. Just thought I would let you know.
    Also, check out my thread on my 5-spot, I built it up inbetween 27.5 and 28.5 lbs depending on tires.
    SEI Racing

  20. #20
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    6.25 vs 7.15 (about)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    The frames are roughly a LB difference in weight. I have owned both frames. I like the Spot better because of the more relaxed angles. However, I like the Blade's interrupted top tube for great standover. The only reason I went Spot is because the Blade won't allow for a coil over shock...which I like. Both are great bikes.

    Jaybo
    My medium 5 spot with 700 grams romic is indeed around 3250 or 7.15 pounds. Frame only 2550, add an air shock at 300 and you get 2850 or about 6.25 pounds. About 1/4 pound more than a Blur and about the same of the Switchblade ...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Of course I am a Turner fan, but the truth of it is, the SB with the Talas rear shock was one of the worst pedaling bikes I have ridden in a long time. I rode it a few different times for long enough, with a shock pump in my pack, to just not want to pedal it more than I had too, tons of bob IMO. The interupted seat tube might give more standover, but it also creates more stress and failures in the seat tower area, and limits your ability to drop the saddle a good amount. I am sure others have had good luck with the SB and are happy with it, I was not.
    Ha, that's pretty funny - comparing your Romic equipped 5 spot to a SB w/ a Fox air shock. Was it Propedal at least?
    You must not have ridden very many bikes w/ noticeable pedal bob. The SB is not perfect, but is worlds better than a Fox air shock equipped Heckler or a Stinky or my old Diamondback XR or...
    I agree with you on the lack of ability to drop the seat, that's why I have 2 seatposts and seats - one for urban/ dirt jumping, one for trail riding...

  22. #22
    FM
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    Agreed. There is no comparing the Romic to the fox air. The air does a pretty good job in 4.5" mode, but an air shock feels sort of uncontrollable sometimes in 5.6" mode. (I didn't have talus so I couldn't just drop it for climbs) The bob never bugged me, but the angles when I shifted my weight.... or squatting on a steep climb.... I always felt as though the shock was either too soft for climbing, or too stiff for small bumps. compression damping would have really helped. (push industries?)

    If you could put a romic on the switchblade, and the telescoping seatpost, that would be a huge improvement imho.The 2 seatpost trick... LOL! I was on the verge of carrying that second post&seat in my camelback for some rides! I guess for a lot of riders, these aren't really concerns, and the switchblade is perfect for them. I was very happy with mine, I can't blame it on titus that stunts started popping up on my local trails, and friends moved to BC.... In the end, the best bike is always the one that was designed for the trails you ride on most often.



    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    Ha, that's pretty funny - comparing your Romic equipped 5 spot to a SB w/ a Fox air shock. Was it Propedal at least?
    You must not have ridden very many bikes w/ noticeable pedal bob. The SB is not perfect, but is worlds better than a Fox air shock equipped Heckler or a Stinky or my old Diamondback XR or...
    I agree with you on the lack of ability to drop the seat, that's why I have 2 seatposts and seats - one for urban/ dirt jumping, one for trail riding...

  23. #23
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    We've built 5 Spot frames to 27 pounds with a Fox Vanilla RL fork, so getting under 32 won't be a problem. I think that build was XT parts with reasonably priced aluminum cockpit stuff. In fact, I would wager that getting down to 25 would be easily possible, and not absurdly expensive if you're careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    I'm trying to decide between a new Switchblade or 5spot. I'd like to hear from people who have ridden both bikes to get some insight on these bikes. Buying a new bike is fun, with lots of choices, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build). I don't think I want to put the air shock on the Turner -- Dave Turner himself told me that the bike was built for a coil shock and he wouldn't put the air shock on it. The closest thing I have ridden to the 5 spot is a friend's XCE.

    On the other hand, I can build a 27-28 lb. Switchblade with Talas shocks and using the same drivetrain, wheels, etc. I think the weight savings of 4-5 lbs. will be significant on the trail -- maybe more significant than the loss of plushness by using the air vs. coil. I'm not in great shape, and could really use the lighter bike.

    I'm comfortable with build quality and customer service for both bikes. Am I making too much of the weight savings? I'm sure that both bikes ride great and are well built. Just wondered what the collective had to say about this comparison.

    I'll cross-post in the Titus forum.
    [SIZE=2]
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  24. #24
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    I never bob in my Switchblade....

    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Of course I am a Turner fan, but the truth of it is, the SB with the Talas rear shock was one of the worst pedaling bikes I have ridden in a long time. I rode it a few different times for long enough, with a shock pump in my pack, to just not want to pedal it more than I had too, tons of bob IMO. The interupted seat tube might give more standover, but it also creates more stress and failures in the seat tower area, and limits your ability to drop the saddle a good amount. I am sure others have had good luck with the SB and are happy with it, I was not.
    My Large 5 Spot with my current build is 28 pounds in a large, 27.5 pounds with an air shock. Not the lightest tires or rims, but under 29 is way easy to accomplish on the 5 Spot. Even with a generic straight XT built kit with a Fox fork was around 29 of the many I have built and weighed. The 5 Spot pedals like it is lighter than a scale tells.

    Fox Vanilla fork
    King headset
    Magura Marta SL brakes
    X-9 triggers
    X-O rear derailleur
    XTR front derailleur
    2002 XTR cranks with compact rings
    Thomson 330mm post and 110mm stem
    Easton monkey carbon riser bar
    WTB Rocket V Ti saddle (not stealth)
    XTR cassette
    Sram chain
    959 pedals
    WTB Mutano raptors 2.4
    light tubes
    Amercian Classic disc hubs
    Mavic X 3.1 disc tubeless rims
    WS 14/15 butted spokes
    It pedaled every bit as well as my Spot; however, it did squat more on climbs. I can't tell you why.

    Jaybo

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall88
    I'm trying to decide between a new Switchblade or 5spot. I'd like to hear from people who have ridden both bikes to get some insight on these bikes. Buying a new bike is fun, with lots of choices, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    I'm less interested in the 5 spot because (despite the 26 lb. 5 spot thread) I don't think I can build the 5 spot (w/ coil shocks) and have it weigh under 32 lbs. (that includes King wheels (tubeless), avid juicy disc brakes, Thompson stem and post, Easton hb, etc. -- a class A build). I don't think I want to put the air shock on the Turner -- Dave Turner himself told me that the bike was built for a coil shock and he wouldn't put the air shock on it. The closest thing I have ridden to the 5 spot is a friend's XCE.

    On the other hand, I can build a 27-28 lb. Switchblade with Talas shocks and using the same drivetrain, wheels, etc. I think the weight savings of 4-5 lbs. will be significant on the trail -- maybe more significant than the loss of plushness by using the air vs. coil. I'm not in great shape, and could really use the lighter bike.

    I'm comfortable with build quality and customer service for both bikes. Am I making too much of the weight savings? I'm sure that both bikes ride great and are well built. Just wondered what the collective had to say about this comparison.

    I'll cross-post in the Titus forum.
    No, you can easily build a spot under 32#. My med. size spot is built with all the stuff from a 2004 Giant VT1 and it wieghs 28.2 lbs.i have the romic too.

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