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  1. #1
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    5 spot vs. Heckler???

    I am about to get a new frame and i think i have narrowed it down to the 5 spot and the santa cruz heckler. I do a lot of climbing and technical tight single track high speed decending here in colorado, i'll take the occasional 5 foot drop and go ride in moab from time to time. Which bike will serve me better? Any other bike suggestions? What size should I get if i am 5'll" w/ a 32 inseam? the large turner look a little big but I am coming from a large intense tracer.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Biker
    I am about to get a new frame and i think i have narrowed it down to the 5 spot and the santa cruz heckler. I do a lot of climbing and technical tight single track high speed decending here in colorado, i'll take the occasional 5 foot drop and go ride in moab from time to time. Which bike will serve me better? Any other bike suggestions? What size should I get if i am 5'll" w/ a 32 inseam? the large turner look a little big but I am coming from a large intense tracer.

    Thanks.
    You can't really go wrong.

    imo.... the Heckler will be able to take more punishment and is a really good bike.

    The Spot will be better in technical climbs and will have better rear braking habits.

    5 foot drops are pretty big for the Spot, unless they're to tranny.

    If you get a Spot, a large will most likely be the best fit. I'm 5'8.5" with a 32.5" inseam and I ride a Medium Spot. I'm right between sizes (M and L). I have about 9.5" of exposed seatpost and the top tube fits me just right.

    If you go with a medium, you'll have to put one heck of a long stem on it to make it fit.

  3. #3
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I have a 5-Spot and demoed a Heckler. I really loved the Heckler's handling and all-around manners, but the pedal feedback while climbing in the granny ring was pretty annoying. It tended to lock the suspension out under hard efforts and when you do hit a bump big enough to overcome the chain tension, it yanks the cranks backwards. Middle ring pedaling was fine. In my experience (and the Heckler was no different in this regard), high/forward single pivots do not have very pleasant braking characteristics that I have never had an issue with on low, rearward single pivots.

    The Heckler is probably a beefier frame and so if you wanted a bike for abusing, it still would be an option. The Spot is not really rated for a lot of 5 footers.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  4. #4
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    The 5 spot will be far more laterally stiff, due to the bushings, and due to the design. Elevated swingarm single pivots like the heckler suffer greatly from side to side flex due to the design, and making the pivot bigger or the tubes bigger doesn't really get around the fact that the rear end becomes a big "lever" and is able to flex back and forth on the pivot-mast. The only way to combat this with the heckler-type design is to add a swing like like Foes and Yeti do, but the heckler is a somewhat inexpensive bike.

    The 5 spot doesn't rely on "platform" damping either, meaning that you can run less low speed compression damping, and the suspension will perform better, you also have a much wider choice of shocks, whereas the heckler is a drastic-falling rate design and must use a progressive coil shock or progressive air shock. A DHX-air on the heckler may be a very poor idea for this reason, but smaller-volume air shocks should be ok.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    Link to a thread asking the same question which may be of soem additional help.

    5 Spot vs Heckler

  6. #6
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    I rode a Heckler for 7 years (a '98 and then an '03 "new" Heck). I now ride a Spack (RFX front/Spot rear), ridden it for 5 months give or take.

    The Hecks took tons of abuse from my poor skills and larger than average size (6'3" @ 280 for a long time on the Hecks/ down to 250 now). I routinely did 5 footers on them and they took every bit of shuttle monkey time I could dish-out to them. With that said, they "suffer" from a$$ loads of brake jack when decending and bob when in the granny as mentioned. The handling was nice and "predictable", but the brake jack and limits of the suspension design really started to piss me off as my skills increased. At $1K they are not very expensive (the 'net often has them for much much less...). I'd recommend one for a newer rider or for an urban type bike, but if you have much skill and are riding real trails mostly I couldn't recommend them. Plus their CS sucks right now. It took almost 4 months (14 weeks) to get a replacement rear triangle.

    The Spack took some time for me to get used to while descending (not as "quick" steering, but feels more stable at high speed) but I immediately loved that the rear didn't automatically unload as soon as I thought about the front brake. Now that I have a mile or two on the Spack I prefer the handling and have found myself running sections I have done "forever" on the Heck *faster* on the Spack. My skills haven't increased I don't think (I wish they had...). I've not done any big drops/jumps on the Spack, but have done plenty of 3-5 footers with the only issue being I cased one, completely--bad, and bent the brake tab on the rear. Fixed easily (with help from yuz guys and DT) in the garage and we were off again.

    Pedal bob? Not really and I run two-four clicks of "pro-pedal." Brake jack? Doesn't seem like it. Durable? Even under my low skilled butt. Sizing? I'm 6'3" w/ 34" inseam and really long arms/torso (38-39, or longer, sleaves on dress shirts) and the XL is great for me w/ a 90 mm stem and I don't know how much post (6"?).

    Get the Turner. Ride well.

    Kraig...
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    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  7. #7
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    ...lemme concur w/ IK & say that the RFx5 (5Pack) would be the best choice here. I spent 2 years on a Spot & recently built up a RFx5 (RFX front tri-Spot rockers & stays) & feel that it doesn't give up anything to the Spot in climbing or XC prrowess, but it is huck-approved by DT. It would seem to be the best solution for what you're wanting to do (unless you are considering the SC bike due to fundage & were considering a USED 5 Spot as the alternative...in which case it would be near impossible to nail down a used 5 Pack).


  8. #8
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    The Heckler is a great trail bike, but it only took me one ride on my buddies 5-spot to convice me that I had been riding an inferior suspension system, so I ponied up, and bought a six pack. I've seen Spots take a ton of abuse including 4 foot to flat, and 6 foot to tranny. The Heckler can take a ton of abuse as well, but the brake jack was enough to push me over the edge. As for pedal feedback, Tscheez must have super sensitive knees. The Heckler climbed like a mountain goat, and I am a granny ring climber. A shot of the Heckler....
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  9. #9
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    Whoops....That was a Kona. Here is the Heckler....
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  10. #10
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon
    As for pedal feedback, Tscheez must have super sensitive knees.
    I don't deny it. I have always hated pedal feedback, and I am probably more sensitive to it since the fullies I "grew up with" did not exhibit this characteristic. If I had started off on a bike with heavy feedback I may have not minded it so much. As it stands...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  11. #11
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    Lots of good advice...

    from the above posters. And I would agree, the Hecker is one tough bike. Built to take abuse. I went from a Superlight to a Spot and can only rave about the Spot's performance on the technical downhill. No brake jack or rear end lock up.Not sketchy or hesitant. The Spot is buttah on the downhills. I think that the Heckler may have a very slight edge on the uphill but the Turner is defenitely smoother in either up or down.

  12. #12
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    frame size?

    Thanks for all of the awesome advice! I am still having a hard time deciding what to go with, I really want something that is semi affordable so I would have to buy used and I'm coming from an intense tracer so which would be a better transition? What about the blur LT vs. the 5 spot? I will be putting on a marzocchi AM1 fork.... And finally, what sizes in these frames would you recommend before i buy somthing online... I am 5'11" and weigh 160 w/ about a 32 inseam. I am coming from a large tracer...

    Thanks!

  13. #13
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Biker
    ...and I'm coming from an intense tracer so which would be a better transition?

    I am 5'11" and weigh 160 w/ about a 32 inseam. I am coming from a large tracer...
    Off a Tracer? The Turner all the way. I think that you, like me, would hate the pedal feedback. If you like the "traction all the time" feel of your Intense, the deal is sealed.

    Get a large. I'm your size (as are a lot of folks here) and they almost invariably are on larges. A few weirdo's opted for mediums and a lot of them ended up switching to large.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  14. #14
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    Dittto on the large

    I'm 5'11" and 32 inseam. The large is a perfect fit with a 90 mm stem and a setback Thomson.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I don't deny it. I have always hated pedal feedback, and I am probably more sensitive to it since the fullies I "grew up with" did not exhibit this characteristic. If I had started off on a bike with heavy feedback I may have not minded it so much. As it stands...
    I too have had a number of HL bikes without the pedal feedback, Turners and such, and too have felt the pedal feedback on such bikes as the Heckler and notice it quite a bit, I also feel it on the Blur. The bikes one has owned makes a difference in what you feel on a design different from what your used to.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

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    "A few weirdo's opted for mediums and a lot of them ended up switching to large."

    I'm one of the weirdos who is 5 ft 11 and ride a medium spot i also have a 60mm stem but i do like a small and chuckable bike

    I think if you are not too heavy the 5 spot can take a fare amount of punishment, but if you are a bit on the porky side then maybe the 5pack or even a new RFX would be the best bet.

  17. #17
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    I too am 5' 11 with a 32 inch inseam. I came off a large Tracer and went to a large Spot. I couldn't be happier. I was unsure of sizing as well. I came from a BMX background and usually went with smaller size frame when in question. The large is perfect. The longer wheelbase of the Spot (I think I always ran the Tracer with the short wheelbase for whatever reason) was the only thing I needed to get used to. Tight switchbacks are just a little tighter now. I run a 90 mm stem and straight Thompson post.

    Shaft

  18. #18
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    I am 160 so i'm sure I won't be putting too much stress on either bike... God I want a turner but I can get a new heckler for the price of a used turner.... What should I do??? Anyone have any comments about a Blur LT or a Rocky mountain Switch or Slayer?

  19. #19
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    It's been said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Biker
    I am 160 so i'm sure I won't be putting too much stress on either bike... God I want a turner but I can get a new heckler for the price of a used turner.... What should I do??? Anyone have any comments about a Blur LT or a Rocky mountain Switch or Slayer?
    The Heck and Spot will take abuse just fine.

    If you want (read: have to get...) the cheaper bike then the Heck wins out, clearly. If you want (read: can afford...) the *better* bike, the Spot wins, clearly (I've ridden a mile or two on both). Reality is what it is and we (most of us, me, sadly, included) live with a finite amount of funds so you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I've done two trail rides on the Blur LT and it's a really nice riding bike and it was on the short list when I was first beginning the process of replacing the last Heck. My disappointment with SC service (better stated: the lack of service and failure to followthrough or be forthright) over the last 3 or so years kept me from going with another SC. The Rocky Mountain Slayer was nice, but not as precise or quality as the Turner on the one (very limited) ride on it. My last two choices on bikes were the Intense 5.5 and the Spack. The Spack won obviously.

    Budgets are what budgets due (my apologies to Forest). Good luck.

    Kraig...
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    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  20. #20
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I rode a Slayer at Interbike. It took an absurd shock pressure to keep it from wallowing all over the place on climbs. It seemed overly affected by weight shifts too. It made more squeak/creak noises than any bike I have ever ridden. It was plush as all get-out, but man, loud and rode like a see-saw...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I rode a Slayer at Interbike. It took an absurd shock pressure to keep it from wallowing all over the place on climbs. It seemed overly affected by weight shifts too. It made more squeak/creak noises than any bike I have ever ridden. It was plush as all get-out, but man, loud and rode like a see-saw...
    The current issue of Bike - with the RFX review - said something similar but didn't mention the noise. That is one interesting set of pivots/mounts/etc on the rear suspension.
    Big hoopy.
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  22. #22
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Krispy from Go-Ride came to similar conclusions. Must not all be in my head, this time.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  23. #23
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    foes fxr?

    how does the foes fxr compare to the 5-spot and the heckler???

  24. #24
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    What about an Iron Horse Mk 3, with the DW link supension that seems to provide all that the four bars provide and more. It is by all accounts somewhat of a leap forward in suspension terms, similar to the Horst pivot Turners when they were introduced.

  25. #25
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Biker
    how does the foes fxr compare to the 5-spot and the heckler???
    Well, I had the older generation FXR (not the 06);

    The FXR has a slacker headtube angle by at least a degree, even when set up with a 130mm marzocchi.

    Chainstay length was virtually the same.

    BB height was virtually the same (but with a bit more travel).

    The bike was stiffer laterally, although the turners are definitely "acceptable" to me in this regard, as opposed to some bikes I've tried that were just noodles.

    I kept bending shock/linkage bolts on the FXR. This was due to a very long bolt that went through the linkage and the shock. If you notice, turners use as short a bolt as possible, and this was a big selling point to me. It was seriously getting to the point that the bolts wouldn't hold up for more than a couple hard rides.

    The 5spot is more active and feels better than the FXR. The curnutt shock was a pretty big dissapointment. There was just no way to tune the curnutt to make it perform as well as something like a 5 spot. That SPV or CV/T stuff just makes the suspension harsher, it doesn't add to the performance. When the terrain got choppy or fast, the bike felt pretty harsh.

    Even with a DHX-coil, the 5 spot/6 pack still outperformed the FXR suspension wise, it just could't match the rate on those bikes, because the FXR is a pretty drastic falling-rate design, and it needs a lot of help from the shock (anti-bottoming adjustment).

    The FXR is intended for pretty agressive riding. I don't know if the new 2:1 FXR will fix any of the issues I had with the suspension, but I wouldn't spend my money on an FXR again, mostly due to how the suspension felt.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  26. #26
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    I had a RFX, sold it due to injury (foolish) bought a tracer and sold it to get a heckler.......the Turners are by far superior in handling, climbing, singletrack and have just something else in the make up. The heckler is a good bike, the tracer was a very good bike but I tried of changing bearings hence the move back to single pivot, but the RFX was an outstanding bike. Buy a large 5. Good luck

  27. #27
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    Since I don't want to start a new thread. I'm getting a killer deal on a size M 2004 spot. I'm 5'9 and I'm wondering if medium is the way to go? Thanks in advace!

  28. #28
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    Yes, 5'9" is perfect for a medium. Congratulations on the score!

  29. #29
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    Go with 5spot

    I recently got a deal demo'd '05 spot, its absolutely amazing. The lateral stiffness is very impressive, and i'm 240. The lack of pedal or breaking feedback of a 4-bar bike cannot be matched by a single pivot. I have tried the intense 5.5 vpp and i assume a blur lt feels the same, its pretty awesome when you stand and sprint, the geometry just felt all wrong for me though, too 'tall' feeling.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bone Collector
    I'm 5'9 and I'm wondering if medium is the way to go? Thanks in advace!
    It depends. What's your true inseam?

    I'm 5' 8.5" with a 32.5" inseam. I'm right between sizes. My spot has about 9.5" of post above the seat tube and I'm using riser bars and an inch of headset spacers. I could just as easily gone with a large.

    You really should try them for size before you buy.

  31. #31
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    how about vs. a nicolai helius fr?

    A guy is offering to sell his nicolai helius fr and says it is comperable to a 5 spot/6pack. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this frame? How does it compare to the 5 spot or hecker?

    THanks!

  32. #32
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    If you are going to be taking 5ft drops, the Heckler is the better choice. I have owned one and have a HL Turner right now. Yes, the Heckler has some quirks with the suspension design, but there are advantages as well. The Heckler accelerates quickly, and there is very little bob due to the high forward pivot placement. It is not just the rear shock working for the Heckler. The overall geometry of the Heckler is excellent as well.

    Out of all the bikes I have owned and tested, the Heckler is definately one of the best in the handling department. The Heckler out handles and out performs the 5-spot when the going gets rough. Everyone mentions brake jack or whatever, but when the terrain gets really nasty and technical, I would rather have a Heckler under me, than a 5-spot. No question.

    Just because a bike is a sp, does not mean it can't perform in very technical terrain. The Heckler is a point and shoot machine, that shines the more technical the terrain gets.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    5 foot drops are pretty big for the Spot, unless they're to tranny.
    OK ... newbie question ... what all mountain bike can handle a 5 foot drop ( shoulder height ) to flat? You know, and still have round wheels afterwards. A BMX bike can do this because the little 20 inch wheels are so freakishly strong. I'm not talking about a trials drop onto the backwheel, but you know, wheelie off a 5 foot ledge at regular riding speed and just, you know, land on the flat. I guess if you were like 150 pounds it might be better, I'm 200 pounds, 6foot.

  34. #34
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    RFX, Highline, Intense 6.6, ... basically any FR / DH bike can handle 5 foot to flat.

  35. #35
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    ... what all mountain bike can handle a 5 foot drop ( shoulder height ) to flat? You know, and still have round wheels afterwards.
    I'd guess a lot of that would depend on your wheels ...
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  36. #36
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    There are a few.

    Turner RFX.
    The Heckler can handle some drops to flatness.
    Norco Six Two
    Giant Reign. I am putting this one down because I have seen guys going large on this bike with no ill effects.
    RM Slayer is pretty beefy.
    Knolly Delirium.

  37. #37
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    The Heckler can take 5 footers to flat all day long. I owned my 2004 XL Heckler for 18 months, and it took some serious abuse, without a whimper.
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  38. #38
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    why iz yew katz talkin bowt drops to flat?

    who's dumb enough to do them?

    don't answer if you don't want to embarrass yourself.

    there ain't nothin' gained in droppin' to flat, nothin' at all.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    why iz yew katz talkin bowt drops to flat?

    who's dumb enough to do them?

    don't answer if you don't want to embarrass yourself.

    there ain't nothin' gained in droppin' to flat, nothin' at all.
    Poor Gonzo. It sounds like you lack the proper trials skills. Let me know if you want me to teach you proper technique, so you don't bend your rims. One trip out to Little Creek, and I'll have you ledge hopping in no time.

  40. #40
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I'm pretty sure what gonz is saying is that smart people pile cheater rocks and drag shovels on rides to build trannys.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon
    Poor Gonzo. It sounds like you lack the proper trials skills. Let me know if you want me to teach you proper technique, so you don't bend your rims. One trip out to Little Creek, and I'll have you ledge hopping in no time.
    that wasn't even remotely funny.

    if it were about trials skills, it wouldn't be necessary to talk about whether the bike can "handle" drops to flat.

    nice try though.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I'm pretty sure what gonz is saying is that smart people pile cheater rocks and drag shovels on rides to build trannys.
    nope. please read my reply to El C.

    thanks for your support.

  43. #43
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Oh, gotcha. Smart people WALK around drops to flat that appear in the trail.

    PS Don't ever go ride in Utah unless you wear comfortable shoes.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon
    Poor Gonzo. It sounds like you lack the proper trials skills. Let me know if you want me to teach you proper technique, so you don't bend your rims. One trip out to Little Creek, and I'll have you ledge hopping in no time.

    ahahahah....i like you gonz, but youz got SERVED!

    laff a lil', homey! (nice one, El C! )

  45. #45
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    I find it hard to laugh at something that makes you think I got "served" by someone who can't ride worth two schitts.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Oh, gotcha. Smart people WALK around drops to flat that appear in the trail.

    PS Don't ever go ride in Utah unless you wear comfortable shoes.
    uh okay. I'll be sure to wear my comfortable shoes that next time I go ride my underbuilt Highline on the asphalt rail-to-trail with those confusing "technical features" that made me get the Highline instead of a road bike.

    anyone want to race Motard? my Highline with Pace Carbon rigid 29er fork is THE KING, baby. I can even drop 8 feet to flat, just like El C.

  47. #47
    No, that's not phonetic
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    For someone who tells other people to read your posts more carefully, you really display poor reading comprehension yourself. Or are you likening Utah to a paved rail to trail? You do need to get out more...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  48. #48
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    Final Decision!

    So I found a guy who will sell me his 5 spot for $800. It is an 04 medium frame with an 05 RP3 shock. I test rode a large today but it felt too long and too high riding of a rame for me. I also tested out the medium and it felt more agile. I am 5'10" and 32 inseam... He said that he has only been using it as his epic cross sountry bike and that it is in very good shape. He also said there is a small dent in the top tube from his friend's bike rack and that is wouldn't pose a problem and that I wouldn't see it if he didn't tell me about it.

    I am about to make a serious decision soon. Do I buy the used 5 spot or do I buy a new heckler for $900, or a new azonic saber for $700???

  49. #49
    Now with flavor!!
    Reputation: kidwoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    5,467
    5 spot

    Even dented it rides better than the alternatives.
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.

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