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  1. #1
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    Aaaargh... 5-Spot or RFX?

    Right, so I have the opportunity of buying either an 03 medium 5-Spot or an 03 16.5" RFX and am having trouble trying to decide which to go for...

    Now then, I know they are different styles of bikes, with the RFX being more burly than the 5-Spot, but I am planning on this being a bike that I will keep, so want to get it right and for it to be something I can grow into as my riding progresses...

    Now, at the moment most of my riding is XC, where I ride hardtails and singlespeeds, with the plan for this bike being for riding bigger rockier trails and for some playing... and I am sure they will both do that superbly... but would also want it to be able to ride uphill without too much trouble and take on longer rides...

    So just how much heavier is an RFX likely to be over a 5-Spot for similar builds?

    I guess I'm wondering just how much more you have to be doing to make an RFX the better choice over a 5-Spot...

    I hate having to make decisions like this... help..

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkynick
    Right, so I have the opportunity of buying either an 03 medium 5-Spot or an 03 16.5" RFX and am having trouble trying to decide which to go for...

    Now then, I know they are different styles of bikes, with the RFX being more burly than the 5-Spot, but I am planning on this being a bike that I will keep, so want to get it right and for it to be something I can grow into as my riding progresses...

    Now, at the moment most of my riding is XC, where I ride hardtails and singlespeeds, with the plan for this bike being for riding bigger rockier trails and for some playing... and I am sure they will both do that superbly... but would also want it to be able to ride uphill without too much trouble and take on longer rides...

    So just how much heavier is an RFX likely to be over a 5-Spot for similar builds?

    I guess I'm wondering just how much more you have to be doing to make an RFX the better choice over a 5-Spot...

    I hate having to make decisions like this... help..
    From what you've said I would go for the spot, it loves rocky trails. Take a look at what the RFX guys ride their bikes like in other posts. Aquaholic has only just upgraded from 5 spot to '5 pack', take a look at his pics and see if you're likely to do that?

  3. #3
    FM
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    A 16.5" RFX with 5" rockers and an Rp3 shock will weight about 8.5lbs and have pretty much identical geometry to a 5-spot. That's about what a heckler weighs- pretty reasonable for rough XC.

    I've found that the 6" modes high BB, and extra weight that comes with a solid 6+6" build, to be a bigger deal for trail riding than just the extra frame weight. If you can find the optional 5" rockers, I would say go for the RFX hands down! You can still do a low-30lb build easily.

    In 6" mode, the high BB makes tight twisty XC trails extra work, and a durable build is going to run 35-40lbs... but that's all to be expected from a true free-ride bike that loves to be jumped, dropped, and generally abused...

    search back though my older posts and you will find info on my 16.5" RFX built up all kinds of ways...


    Quote Originally Posted by funkynick
    Right, so I have the opportunity of buying either an 03 medium 5-Spot or an 03 16.5" RFX and am having trouble trying to decide which to go for...

    Now then, I know they are different styles of bikes, with the RFX being more burly than the 5-Spot, but I am planning on this being a bike that I will keep, so want to get it right and for it to be something I can grow into as my riding progresses...

    Now, at the moment most of my riding is XC, where I ride hardtails and singlespeeds, with the plan for this bike being for riding bigger rockier trails and for some playing... and I am sure they will both do that superbly... but would also want it to be able to ride uphill without too much trouble and take on longer rides...

    So just how much heavier is an RFX likely to be over a 5-Spot for similar builds?

    I guess I'm wondering just how much more you have to be doing to make an RFX the better choice over a 5-Spot...

    I hate having to make decisions like this... help..

  4. #4
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    If you get the RFX you'll get a frame that can morph into a variety of applications. It can be a bit burly and heavy 5 Spot, it can be a 6-Pack (RF6 these days) or it can be even more stout with additonal mods as shown by Lucky7 and Renegade, among others. If you get the 5 Spot you'll get a meticulously designed and super well tuned 5" trail bike. Your fork and shock choices as well as the component will ultimatelly make it either a long travel XC bike or an all mountain beast that can handle some light duty freeriding. With RFX you'll get a broader choice of build options and ability to grow with the frame. Who's to say that once you start riding the full susser that you won't start dropping off of small houses for fun? The RFX can take you very far in that direction and it can start as a 5 Spot impersonator. You'll always carry a bit of extra aluminum, however. And then the Spot is just an exteremly well balanced trail bike with no penalties in weight.

    _MK
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  5. #5
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    I'm in the process of making the same decision. I have an '00 RFX (5" travel) that weighs about 34 lbs. built up as a trailbike. I am thinking of moving the parts over to a 5 Spot and I'm guessing I'll end up with about a 30-31 lb. build (the other big difference besides the frame would be an air fork instead of the coil fork I have now).

    I'm thinking about getting the Spot because I don't enjoy taking the RFX on rides longer than 2 hours where a lot of climbing is involved. When I rode the Spot at Interbike, it felt like a long legged version of the Flux that floats over obstacles and doesn't mind climbing. The RFX feels like it wants to be aimed between point A and point B and go over and through whatever might be in the way. It's a really solid feeling bike, but it doesn't put you in the most efficient position for doing long climbs.

    Unless you're planning on working up to doing big drops (>3 feet), and generally flinging you and the bike through the air regularly, I would say that the 5 Spot will make you a happy camper for a long time. I purchased the RFX originally to do the same things that you're looking to do. It is a tremendously fun bike in the right circumstances, but I think the 5 Spot is the more useful bike for most of us.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Part of the problem is that I just don't know where this is going to lead me... although I can't really see me doing monster drop-offs, but I can see me riding in the mountains, although over here in the UK they aren't quite as big as you guys over in the States/Canada... but I am sure we have some stuff that is just as rocky!!

    One thing I forgot to put before is that I am planning on getting over to the Alps (big mountains) next year, which is one of the reasons for looking for a bike like this so I can really enjoy it out there..

    Anyway. how easy are the 5" rockers to come by? I am thinking they are quite rare, and probably about as rare as hen's teeth over here in the UK... it does sound like a good solution though.. hmmm

    Cheers guys for your thoughts..

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=funkynick]I guess I'm wondering just how much more you have to be doing to make an RFX the better choice over a 5-Spot...

    QUOTE]
    Hmmmmm, for me it was; "how much do I have to do to my RFX to make it as good a trail bike as a 5 spot".
    My RFX is my one and only bike [sniff], so it has to do alot. It came pretty much ready to rock and roll with the big boys, but it needed changes to make it a finessfull trailrider like the spot. I made rockers that dropped the bottom bracket height, use a ZAM1 fork that I can run in the 130mm travel mode, and put a fox DHX-air shock on it [dropped one pound off the bike]. In this configuration, it weighs 35.1 pounds. No don't get me wrong, it's not a wussie bike in that configuration, it just sits lower, with a steeper head angle. It's still all-RFX bussiness.
    So, as FM pointed out, if you can get 5 inch rockers with that rfx, you are half way there with getting an RFX that can climb well.
    It will take more effort to transform an RFX; I think it's worth it. But a five spot is NOT a compromise by any means; in fact, it is what I would recommend to you .

  8. #8
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    5" rockers were standard fit with 6" being an option.

    In the UK you could try alan at Riverside as he had some rockers or possibly Lewis at Planet Bikes as both had spares.
    "We're here for a good time not a long time"
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  9. #9
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    I thought the RFX was a 6" rear travel bike as standard... with the 5" rockers as an option... is that not correct? Or have I misunderstood about the rockers?

    Paul5s.. thanks for the tips as to where to find them..

    Hmmm.. I do kinda like the idea of having a bike that can be used for lots of different things.. that I can make into a good trail bike, and then change it into a bit more of a monster... and although I doubt I will do a great deal of downhill, I am guessing the RFX would be up for that as well.. how would the 5-Spot deal with that sort of riding?

  10. #10
    FM
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    It depends on the year- I think 5" may have been the standard for 2000, but I think for 2001 and definately for 2002, 6" was the standard. My 2002 came with 6" stock, and what the geometry charts show.

    Just a (long) side note; prior to buying my RFX I really had no intentions of being totally into free-ride stuff... I just wanted something with a non-interrupted seat tube, horst link, big tire clearance, and the ability to handle whistler trails and even some northshore as well as XC. I was torn between the spot and RFX as well... as was a buddy of mine who was shopping at the same time. He bought the spot and I bought my RFX. He is now shopping for a bigger bike, which he would only use for FR days... and I often choose my hardtail for smoother XC rides. His 'spot has survived some tremendous abuse at whistler's bike park and north vancouver...likewise I have been really impressed with how XC you can make an RFX with 5" rockers and XC parts. Or throw a 66 and 2.5's on for whistler....

    You have to consider where your taste in riding going, and also where the sport in general is going too. These days everybody likes a little free-ride in their riding diet... bike parks and FR riding spots are becoming more common in most places...and many of them are becoming more fun for those of us with XC backgrounds... no doubt the RFX gives you a little more room to safely enjoy this kind of stuff without trashing your equipment....

    Quote Originally Posted by funkynick
    I thought the RFX was a 6" rear travel bike as standard... with the 5" rockers as an option... is that not correct? Or have I misunderstood about the rockers?

    Paul5s.. thanks for the tips as to where to find them..

    Hmmm.. I do kinda like the idea of having a bike that can be used for lots of different things.. that I can make into a good trail bike, and then change it into a bit more of a monster... and although I doubt I will do a great deal of downhill, I am guessing the RFX would be up for that as well.. how would the 5-Spot deal with that sort of riding?

  11. #11
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    I'd say get the RFX. I never complained about lugging around a couple of extra pounds (ok, yes I have) but it's never kept me from getting up, around or over anything. The RFX is a very versatile frame, it won't be like trail riding a big fat sloppy FR bike if you build it up for your needs. When, if ever, you decide you'd like to kick things up a notch or two you need only swap a few components. I've done that myself for years before settling on my current build which works incredibly well for just about everything.

    IMO, I'd rather be riding just under the capabilities or limits of a piece of gear than just over them. RFX all the way.
    Nick.

  12. #12
    t66
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    thought I'd mention

    No such thing as a 03' RFX, at least here in the States. 02' was the last model year.
    Last edited by t66; 10-26-2005 at 07:30 PM.

  13. #13
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    Spot

    If, as you said, you're coming off a hardtail and single-speed, and you're going to climb over and around the Alps, I'd get the 5-Spot. It will feel like tons of bottomless travel compared to what you are used to, and still climb very well. I think you would, at least at first, find the RFX discouraging in terms of climbing.

    And if you happen to weigh much over 200 pounds, disregard all the above, and get the RFX!

  14. #14
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    Heres one more vote for the 5 spot, as kosmo said, coming of a ss.& a hardtail 5" is going to be a magnificent difference for you.

    how much do you weigh?

    I have both a 5spot and an rfx. the rfx stays in the 6" mode and rocks. its stiffer, tougher, badder and can handle FR and DH duties with no problems, thats what mine is built for. the spot is built lighter, more xc oriented.

    Furthermore, the spot is no slouch it can handle some burly rocky terrain, you will not be dissapointed. the more technical the better...
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkynick
    Right, so I have the opportunity of buying either an 03 medium 5-Spot or an 03 16.5" RFX and am having trouble trying to decide which to go for...

    Now then, I know they are different styles of bikes, with the RFX being more burly than the 5-Spot, but I am planning on this being a bike that I will keep, so want to get it right and for it to be something I can grow into as my riding progresses...

    Now, at the moment most of my riding is XC, where I ride hardtails and singlespeeds, with the plan for this bike being for riding bigger rockier trails and for some playing... and I am sure they will both do that superbly... but would also want it to be able to ride uphill without too much trouble and take on longer rides...

    So just how much heavier is an RFX likely to be over a 5-Spot for similar builds?

    I guess I'm wondering just how much more you have to be doing to make an RFX the better choice over a 5-Spot...

    I hate having to make decisions like this... help..
    I've got a 6" '02 RFX and live in the UK too. Frankly its overkill for most trail riding. It's a lot of fun in the Peaks, but if you want to show any consideration at all for other trail users, you do have to show quite a lot of restraint on many trails. I've come round coreners at full chat a couple of times to find either bikers or walkers spread out all over the trail, and its turned into a bit of an impromptu slalom course. Not big or clever...

    That said, for a big bike, it climbs amazingly - just blats through boulder fields, and I spent a week in Chamonix this summer kicking a bunch of 575 riders asses uphill.

    I'm finding, as a result of owning such a capable bike, I'm ending up spending more 'n' more time playing about on drops and planks at such FR meccas as Chicksands & Hertshore, and it was bloody fantastic in Morzine. If thats where you want your riding to be heading then go for the RFX, if not, the a Spot will do the traily stuff better and be perfectly capable of some Alpine action, so long as you don't want to spend too long in the Les Gets Freeride park.

  16. #16
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    bichin bikes for the birthday boy!

    heya nick,

    i was in a similar position just a few weeks ago and went with the rfx but its not so simple. i can confirm that '02 was the final year of production by the way. i guess i wanted the spot more cuz im not a big huck kinda guy but i have the d/h bug again, i kinda wanna see how big a old man like me can go (43 today!) and i already own a flux and a burner. dt made me an offer i couldnt refuse on a wacky 02 rfx front/06 pack rear/spot & pack rocker/dhxc & ava combo that would allow me to make it anything i wanted or needed it to be. its even gettin a custom color job so thats cool.

    all that bein said, if the rfx deal hadnt presented itself at the price im payin, it woulda been a easy call to go with the spot. it comes to mind that i may be bringin a hummer to a drag race but i do have the other bikes to fall back on in case its too much bike for a given day. this may not be the case for you so think about yer long term ride goals before ya throw yer gold card on the counter.

    one more thing about the rfx is the fact that in all likelyhood youll never break it no matter what ya do to it save for a trip under a mack truck, this from dt himself. its a tough call man but it sounds to me like the spot is more yer speed. well untill you decide to up the perverbial ante and start tossin yerself off 5' ledges every day.

    3 turners, 5 levels of travel 4 generations of rear ends and tomorrow the flux and i leave for vacation in az.... happy birthday to me!!!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    heya nick,

    i was in a similar position just a few weeks ago and went with the rfx but its not so simple. i can confirm that '02 was the final year of production by the way. i guess i wanted the spot more cuz im not a big huck kinda guy but i have the d/h bug again, i kinda wanna see how big a old man like me can go (43 today!) and i already own a flux and a burner. dt made me an offer i couldnt refuse on a wacky 02 rfx front/06 pack rear/spot & pack rocker/dhxc & ava combo that would allow me to make it anything i wanted or needed it to be. its even gettin a custom color job so thats cool.

    all that bein said, if the rfx deal hadnt presented itself at the price im payin, it woulda been a easy call to go with the spot. it comes to mind that i may be bringin a hummer to a drag race but i do have the other bikes to fall back on in case its too much bike for a given day. this may not be the case for you so think about yer long term ride goals before ya throw yer gold card on the counter.

    one more thing about the rfx is the fact that in all likelyhood youll never break it no matter what ya do to it save for a trip under a mack truck, this from dt himself. its a tough call man but it sounds to me like the spot is more yer speed. well untill you decide to up the perverbial ante and start tossin yerself off 5' ledges every day.

    3 turners, 5 levels of travel 4 generations of rear ends and tomorrow the flux and i leave for vacation in az.... happy birthday to me!!!
    Who's getting me a 5 Spot for my Birthday (heck, I'll even take the TNT version) - you still have a few more days to get it here on time

    one more thing about the rfx is the fact that in all likelyhood youll never break it no matter what ya do to it
    Very true - I've seen T66 dump his a few times in crashes that would have ended the life of lesser frames.
    Nothing to see here.

  18. #18
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    You guys really aren't helping much here with telling me stories about how good the RFX is, and then telling me to get the Spot... hehehe..

    Anyway, thinking about it seriously I know that I should probably get the Spot.. and that I won't regret it and it'll be a fabulous bike... but there is this other side of me that thinks the RFX is just going to be a whole lot more fun to play on.. but a whole lot more hard work to ride...

    Oh, and it being my birthday on monday is one of the reasons I was buying it as well.. hehehe..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    heya nick,

    i was in a similar position just a few weeks ago and went with the rfx but its not so simple. i can confirm that '02 was the final year of production by the way. i guess i wanted the spot more cuz im not a big huck kinda guy but i have the d/h bug again, i kinda wanna see how big a old man like me can go (43 today!) and i already own a flux and a burner. dt made me an offer i couldnt refuse on a wacky 02 rfx front/06 pack rear/spot & pack rocker/dhxc & ava combo that would allow me to make it anything i wanted or needed it to be. its even gettin a custom color job so thats cool.

    all that bein said, if the rfx deal hadnt presented itself at the price im payin, it woulda been a easy call to go with the spot. it comes to mind that i may be bringin a hummer to a drag race but i do have the other bikes to fall back on in case its too much bike for a given day. this may not be the case for you so think about yer long term ride goals before ya throw yer gold card on the counter.

    one more thing about the rfx is the fact that in all likelyhood youll never break it no matter what ya do to it save for a trip under a mack truck, this from dt himself. its a tough call man but it sounds to me like the spot is more yer speed. well untill you decide to up the perverbial ante and start tossin yerself off 5' ledges every day.

    3 turners, 5 levels of travel 4 generations of rear ends and tomorrow the flux and i leave for vacation in az.... happy birthday to me!!!
    Hey, I thought Turner was all out of 02 RFX fronts, is it a new one or just one they were saving for warranty? Anyways, I would normally suggest the 5 Spot seeing as what you're coming off of and where you'll be riding, but after your last quote, sounds like an RFX is what you should get. Why the change? Because you just said you thought it would be more fun. That's exactly what it is, a pure blast. I ride mine and don't notice the weight, and I'm skinny with very little leg power. I do like a 5" bike for some smoother trail riding, but honestly have more fun railing the same trails on the big bike. It's just more solid feeling. Remember that the extra weight will be in the frame, not rotational mass, so it will be slightly less noticable, and you already have a bike to blast XC stuff with. Now you'll have something to go crazy on.

  20. #20
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    I would suggest the 5 spot over a rfx with the high bb 6" rockers.
    Unlikely that it has the old rockers, but if it does, then go rfx.
    I would also see if you can arrange a rear end switch like cactuscorn.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky7
    Hey, I thought Turner was all out of 02 RFX fronts, is it a new one or just one they were saving for warranty? Anyways, I would normally suggest the 5 Spot seeing as what you're coming off of and where you'll be riding, but after your last quote, sounds like an RFX is what you should get. Why the change? Because you just said you thought it would be more fun. That's exactly what it is, a pure blast. I ride mine and don't notice the weight, and I'm skinny with very little leg power. I do like a 5" bike for some smoother trail riding, but honestly have more fun railing the same trails on the big bike. It's just more solid feeling. Remember that the extra weight will be in the frame, not rotational mass, so it will be slightly less noticable, and you already have a bike to blast XC stuff with. Now you'll have something to go crazy on.
    hey lucky,

    yeah, its a older one thats been sittin in his shop but doesnt have alot of miles on it. were powder coatin it to freshin up the look some. and airwreck, the rear was a colaberation really. i left it up to him as to which one to mount up as it didnt matter to me much. he chose the '06 so i could give him some feedback and im kinda excited about that oppertunity.

    im glad to hear that you, like me are a now leg power kinda guy and digs his rfx. makes me feel alot better about havin this mega-frame forced down my throat when i knew a spot would suffice. his point was i already had the other 2 bikes, why not go huge this time? the things i dream about doin on it should scare a man my age but as he also said, its as close to superman a guy like me should get. this should be fun!

    i think ya made a good call nick. if yer gettin a med and we dont like our bikes, we could always trade out. waddaya think?
    No, I'm NOT back!

  22. #22
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    were powder coatin it to freshin up the look some.
    WTF c-corn, I thought you were getting it ano'd? Come clean, dammit!!!

  23. #23
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    i know man. the anno was gonna be sweet. not sure i have a really good answer for ya here. dt sent me a sample and it was paint, looked good and for what im payin i didnt argue. hope we still do the trick, secret logo treatment though. if not im still happy. wait till ya see it fm. youll still be stoked. the color is sooooo nice! i almost posted it but i figure ill keep some mystery in the project and see what happens when i do the reveal. maybe im watchin too much OCC?
    No, I'm NOT back!

  24. #24
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    i know man. the anno was gonna be sweet. not sure i have a really good answer for ya here.
    It's all good, I'm sure it will look killer! For all the PIA involved in ano, the extra cost, etc it would be hard to justify.

    PS, ever pulled a king steelset out? Is it impossible? Just curious as I'd have to deal with that if I repainted.. now might be a good time since I am forkless...

    (sorry for thread-jacking)

  25. #25
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    nope. never tried and from what im told, i dont wanna. somewhat akin to rebuilding the great wall. masking tape or better yet, a more form fitting painters tape should do just fine. i hoard some i picked up while in aviation years back.

    now back to the forum. lets talk about how bichin my new SPaaNB is gonna look! or we can sing happy birthday to nick and i. ill start. haaaaaaaaaaaa.................. cummon! join in! haaaaaaaaaaa........... oh screw it.
    No, I'm NOT back!

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