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  1. #1
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    Should I upgrade my Burner to a Spot?!!!

    Ok I need some help here. Here is the scenario:

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The vast majority of my riding is here (Mt. Diablo, Briones, Redwood), I switch between two rides, my Titus Riddler hardtail, and my 2004 Burner. My Burner is set up with a Pushed fox rear shock, Fox RLC front fork (2008), I also have the XR rockers that I have never put on. I ride up in Tahoe a few times a year and that is where I have felt short on travel.

    The sale on all bikes has put me in quandary I like my Burner but sometimes wish it felt a little more plush on the downhills. It also seems over the past few years, cross country bikes have moved from 4" to 5+". When I look at the Spot, I can get a 140mm travel bike that weighs the same as my current ride.

    What I am contemplating doing is getting the Spot frame and a Fox Talas or Float fork for it. I would swap all my Burner stuff over, giving me a 29 pound Spot. I have searched the threads but still have some specific questions, I am hoping someone can answer:

    1) How much climbing efficiency am I going to give up switching bikes?
    2) Should I go to a Spot or stay with my Burner, throw the XR rockers on and get the fork pushed?
    3) It looks like the Flux is a snappier feeling bike than the Burner, is that true?
    4) Any other thoughts?

    Thanks for any help.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  2. #2
    No, that's not phonetic
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    There must be 100 Spots in the Bay Area. Why don't you demo one? That would get at most of you questions directly, ya know?
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  3. #3
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    I was in the same position you are in only I have my XR rockers on my Burner with appropriately PUSHed RP3. That in itself means my Burner rides differently than yours, i.e. more plush all the time but in a very good controlled way. You may think it's only .4 inches more travel but the ride is completely different. I built up a 2007 Spot earlier this year in hopes of utilizing more travel (like a long-travel Burner) and maybe becoming a more aggressive rider.

    Bottom line is that it really isn't a long-travel Burner, it's a Spot meant for the aggressive riding that can be found all over the Front Range of Colorado. I feel I'm holding this bike back and on the other hand I prefer my Burner for almost all the riding I do, especially the climbing. I would have to descend way faster to ride the Spot like it's intended to be ridden. For those Spot owners who rave about it's ability to "claw" its way through rocky inclines, heck yeah it does. Compared to the way my Burner claws it way through the same stuff though, way more effort expended. It's a mystery why and I wish it weren't so but sections I'll be gasping halfway through (as it smoothly hammers through the gnarly climb) on the Spot, I'll make it all the way through and then some on the Spot without gasping. Go figure.

    If you really have some aggressive riding lurking inside you itching to get out I'm sure you would ride a Spot appropriately. If you have a ton of climbing on your plate and pretty much tolerate the downhills you need to ride to get back home or to your truck you might have the same experience as me, that is, wish the Spot climbed like your Burner, but it doesn't. At almost 29 lbs my Spot isn't built heavy but it feels like about 30% more effort to climb on it vs the Burner. When I had the Spot in Moab this Spring I loved every minute on it but for the riding I do here and at the speeds I ride, the Burner rules.

    Flux: I built up a Flux last year out of curiosity and probably would have kept it if I didn't have the Burner. As it was it duplicated a lot of what the Burner is and I sold it. I'm probably going to sell the Spot too. My loss, somebody else's big gain.

    Put the XRs on and give your Burner one more shot (PUSH needs to retune your shock).
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-20-2012 at 05:06 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  4. #4
    Now with 3 more inches!
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    I've got a burner with xr rockers and an rp3 and am very tempted by the current trade-in offer. I don't live in the bay area any more, but last year I visited friends and demo'ed a spot from Sunshine bikes in Fairfax. Tried it for 2 days mostly at Boy Scouts and really liked it. Climbing felt a little less sure than my Burner, but I put that down to the bar/stem setup (it was one of the employee's bikes) more than the frame's abilities. The stem was higher and much shorter than I'd choose. Climbing traction was excellent, but the front just felt a little skittish on steeper stuff. On the flat and downhill it could soak up so much more than the burner. I would have bought one months ago if new baby and old house hadn't postponed my plans.

    Just sent an email to Greg to see if my size is available.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input, especially xcguy. I threw the XR rockers on tonight and am gong to give it a few rides and see what I think.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  6. #6
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    CDMC/xcguy/tigerdog...

    Where did you guys get the xr rockers? I've searched for them since '05 but have never found a pair for sale. I did read somewhere once that Paul's might be the place to go...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horst Linked
    CDMC/xcguy/tigerdog...

    Where did you guys get the xr rockers? I've searched for them since '05 but have never found a pair for sale. I did read somewhere once that Paul's might be the place to go...
    I got mine in '05 and since then I've seen maybe 8 pair go up for sale. Too bad I didn't know you needed a pair...and too bad you didn't see them like I did. Paul's is not the place to go, ebay or mtbr classifieds are the places. You have to be diligent in your search and ready to pay cash money. Just think, only 120 or so sets made...mine sorta glow golden in the morning.

    And, CDMC, how about a ride report. If you say "no difference" sell them to this guy and buy my Spot (ad to be posted in a few days).
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  8. #8
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    I bought my rockers a couple of years ago, they were the last set Larry had.

    I will provide a ride report, I rode this weekend, but it was on the Tandem with my son and a road ride. I am going to try and get out tonight, but if not, I am out until Thursday.

    Before you sell your Spot, PM me about it, I know someone who is looking.


    BTW, how did you mount the extra water bottle cage on the Burner?
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  9. #9
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    Ok, my brief report. Did a 45 minute loop, lots of climbing, nothing to technical. I thought I had to much sag in there as there was clearly more bob, and it seemed to be sagging more on the climb, but I didn't eat up all the travel on the downhill. The rear feels plusher, but clearly needs some more compression dampening, and about 10psi more.

    This brings me to the front. It doesn't feel nearly as plush as the rear (2008 100mm Fox Float RLC). I may have to try a 5 spot and see how it feels.

    Cary
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  10. #10
    My cup runneth over
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I got mine in '05 and since then I've seen maybe 8 pair go up for sale. Too bad I didn't know you needed a pair...and too bad you didn't see them like I did. Paul's is not the place to go, ebay or mtbr classifieds are the places. You have to be diligent in your search and ready to pay cash money. Just think, only 120 or so sets made...mine sorta glow golden in the morning.

    And, CDMC, how about a ride report. If you say "no difference" sell them to this guy and buy my Spot (ad to be posted in a few days).
    XCGuy - I have read a couple of your previous posts comparing your Spot to the Burner and your comments seem to be in the minority but you also identify yourself as a climber much more than a descender. I have been riding my Burner on the Front Range for almost four years now and often wonder if I should have gone Spot. My favorite trail (reachable from my garage!) is Dakota Ridge and I often wonder how the Spot would perform through the rocks there - have you ridden DR enough on both bikes to make a comparison? Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Definitely try the XR Rockers on the Burner. It really changes the feel of the travel. A Spot has a plusher, longer travel feel to it without much drawback. It will handle differently than the Burner though.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  12. #12
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    I'm sure most here are sick of hearing me say the Spot isn't working for me

    Quote Originally Posted by rmac
    XCGuy - I have read a couple of your previous posts comparing your Spot to the Burner and your comments seem to be in the minority but you also identify yourself as a climber much more than a descender. I have been riding my Burner on the Front Range for almost four years now and often wonder if I should have gone Spot. My favorite trail (reachable from my garage!) is Dakota Ridge and I often wonder how the Spot would perform through the rocks there - have you ridden DR enough on both bikes to make a comparison? Thanks.
    I know I'm in the minority. Let's just say that if I rode nothing but Moab every ride, where the trail would throw anything and everything at me all the time, the Spot would be my choice. It always amazes me to hear riders talking about "my bike is holding me back, I want to go bigger, should I get an RFX etc" and I'm just the opposite. I'm holding my Spot back!

    I consider myself more of a climber (mostly due to I like climbing and I suck at descending) so it doesn't matter that the Spot can handle all manner of gnarly descents better than the Burner. I go so slow downhill that I can't feel the advantage. However, I do notice how the Spot climbs compared to the Burner on Mt. Falcon, Deer Creek Canyon Park, LOTB, Walker etc etc. Dakota Ridge has always kicked my butt but, again, ridden by a competent ballsy rider the Spot would shine. It's got slacker angles, a Pike/Maxle on it that is very stiff so it handles the rocks just great. But it's just not worth it to me to have a bike that takes more effort to go up, whose advantage is in its descending abilities if I never utilize those abilities. Dakota Ridge is only one trail that the Spot would shine on in the hands of the right rider. He could go out onto any gnarly trail on the Front Range that had climbing and a ton of rocks and the Spot would rip for that rider because--the Spot climbs well enough and descends fast and confidence inspiring. One key point is, compared to the Burner the Spot wants to go straight forward and not get knocked off its line, sort of what some have called "tractoring". The Burner is more slice and dice, flick back and forth. Not that the Spot doesn't do that, but comes the time to bomb through a rock garden it's point and shoot with the Spot, no need to pick a line...with the Burner, since I'm going slower, I pick and choose my line.

    I thought of keeping the Spot just for epics but, truthfully, it would suck to have such a great bike sitting when it could be ridden by someone who would think they won the lottery as soon as they threw a leg over it and rode the heck out of it.

    So, it's a 2007 medium and I'm about to put it into the mtbr classifieds ( )
    Last edited by xcguy; 07-15-2008 at 03:12 PM.
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  13. #13
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    xr rockers

    Anybody know where I can pick up a set of the xr rockers for the burner. I ride an 04' burner and am in the market for the rockers. I would also like to change the color of my subframe to the polished look instead of the painted look. Thanks for any input.

  14. #14
    My cup runneth over
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I'm sure most here are sick of hearing me say the Spot isn't working for me
    Not at all! You just provide a different perspective than most of the regular posters. Good luck selling the Spot.

  15. #15
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    Burner shock matters

    I have upgraded the shock on my burner twice. The original Swinger was replaced with an RP 3. - This made a big improvement, but the ride was not as plush as I wanted.

    Next change was switching to the large volume sleeve on the RP 3. the bigger volume sleeve is great! - it takes away the mid-travel harshness that I felt with the standard RP 3 sleeve. You can get high volume sleeves from Push, and I guess they come standard with the Push treatment. I noticed that xcguy has the large volume sleeve on his RP 3.

    XR rockers are also an improvement.
    The Burner climbs very well and is nice and smooth for a 4-inch travel trailbike with this set-up.
    Try it you'll like it.
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  16. #16
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    word

    +1 on the Push. Had the RP3 on my '04 Burner Push'd, and it has made a significant difference . I'm not an expert on suspension, but I feel like RP3 is now allowing the suspension to do exactly what it was designed to do .... eat way more than any 3.7" travel should, hook-up like crazy while you are climbing, and I never think about it while pedaling. I think it would be interesting to try the XR rockers, but in reality, I know I don't 'need' them. That $100 will be better spent on post ride beers.

  17. #17
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    im not sure id call the flux snappyer, but i would say its far more stable and predictable. more fun as well. this doesnt mean its the answer to yer quest but i do feel its a plusher, more all rounder than the now somewhat dated burner. many will disagree but i feel confident of my opinion after more than a decade on the burner in many configs and 2 years on the flux.

    my other thought is the xr's will never work up to their potental till ya tune around them. mess with shock psi, rebound and even tire psi. youll also need to compensate up front due to the shortish fork as itll feel front heavy and unbalanced. maybe a bigger tire? its gonna be a tough test but youll get a rough idea.
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  18. #18
    Arrrghhh!!!
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    Warning-- potential derailing ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn

    my other thought is the xr's will never work up to their potental till ya tune around them. mess with shock psi, rebound and even tire psi. youll also need to compensate up front due to the shortish fork as itll feel front heavy and unbalanced. maybe a bigger tire? its gonna be a tough test but youll get a rough idea.
    Can you elaborate further on this comment? How do the xr's effect the geometry and ride?
    Thanks,
    Josh
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    im not sure id call the flux snappyer, but i would say its far more stable and predictable. more fun as well. this doesnt mean its the answer to yer quest but i do feel its a plusher, more all rounder than the now somewhat dated burner. many will disagree but i feel confident of my opinion after more than a decade on the burner in many configs and 2 years on the flux.

    my other thought is the xr's will never work up to their potental till ya tune around them. mess with shock psi, rebound and even tire psi. youll also need to compensate up front due to the shortish fork as itll feel front heavy and unbalanced. maybe a bigger tire? its gonna be a tough test but youll get a rough idea.
    I agree with cc in that it takes a lot of tuning to find the sweet spot. I also agree that the front end did feel heavy at first (lifting it over trail obstacles)--that was one of the first things I noticed when I had the Burner in Moab years ago on one of its first real rides (compared to the bike it replaced). On the other hand, the Spot feels much lighter in front even though it has a Pike (slacker seat tube angle??).

    Even with my Flux's RP3 PUSHed I never felt like it was plusher than my Burner (at that time with the XRs and a PUSHed Float RL, minus the L). I didn't think it had any bad ride characteristics but my Burner was so dialed in I felt sort of the same way I do now with two Turners---why let one great bike sit when someone else could be enjoying it?

    My test of how much I like any bike is if it disappears under me during a ride and I'm never, at any point, saying "I wish it did this or that". The Spot did that in Moab, it doesn't do that here. The Burner does that in Moab and here. Now I don't notice that it feels heavier to lift the front end (compared to my '07 Superlight).

    CDMC, notice in the pics that the Burner has a Fox 32 100RLC on it? A very plush initial 3" of travel (is there anyone who gets full travel out of this fork?). My Burner's rear end matches the Fox's plushness perfectly. It's like butter front and back.
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  20. #20
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    Good call on the high volume sleeve on my Burner

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnerd
    I have upgraded the shock on my burner twice. The original Swinger was replaced with an RP 3. - This made a big improvement, but the ride was not as plush as I wanted.

    Next change was switching to the large volume sleeve on the RP 3. the bigger volume sleeve is great! - it takes away the mid-travel harshness that I felt with the standard RP 3 sleeve. You can get high volume sleeves from Push, and I guess they come standard with the Push treatment. I noticed that xcguy has the large volume sleeve on his RP 3.

    XR rockers are also an improvement.
    The Burner climbs very well and is nice and smooth for a 4-inch travel trailbike with this set-up.
    Try it you'll like it.
    I'd actually forgotten that. I got this RP3 as a backup from miles e. He's a heavier rider than me and I wondered if the hv can would work. I had PUSH retune the shock for my weight (165) and it works real sweet.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  21. #21
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    in short, they increase not only rear travel but leverage ratio too. going on further, if ya were to keep the same fork ya had on a 3.6" rocker (say a 80 or 90 mm somethinorother) the headtube and seattube angles will pitch fwd and grow steeper liftin the b/bkt slightly so the low front/high rear will give the impression of a heavy front axle and blowin the balance.

    if ya run a 100 mm fork and make the change, most riders would say the bike will have a better balance than before but the changes in feel will still be created and have to be tuned around and gotten used to from a riders standpoint.

    in case the question comes up, i wouldnt toss a fork any longer than 100 mm in a burner or a flux unless its adjustable such as a talus or u-turn. that will chopper it out and ruin the ride. again, some will disagree with that.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC
    1) How much climbing efficiency am I going to give up switching bikes?
    2) Should I go to a Spot or stay with my Burner, throw the XR rockers on and get the fork pushed?
    3) It looks like the Flux is a snappier feeling bike than the Burner, is that true?
    4) Any other thoughts?

    Thanks for any help.
    I guess I need to chime in here since XCGuy and I have had nearly identical bikes but different opinions on the Spot vs. Burner question. Background: I had a large 04 Burner pretty well dialed in with XR rockers, Pushed RP3 LV can, and a RS Revelation U-turn 100-130 fork - came in at about 27.5lbs. I also had an '03 Spot, Pushed RP3 HV can, with a Fox Talas 100-140 fork, came in about 28.5 lbs. I loved both bikes - before you sell the Burner, get the XR rockers and shock set up properly and ride it some - also test drive a Spot. To answer your questions:

    1. I didn't feel like an climbing efficiency was lost on either bike - the Spot seemed to handle really technical climbs better - bigger ledges, rocky transitions and tough moves seemed to just go easier on the Spot. So in those areas it felt more efficient. On long duration grind climbs (7 miles and 3,000 feet of uphill singletrack and jeep roads on Keystone's West Ridge for example) the Burner was a better ride, not just because it was lighter but because it had a firmer feel when pedaling. Depending on your climbing terrain either bike would do fine, but it depends on what you typically ride. Neither bike held me back.

    2. Initially I say stay with the Burner and Push the shock not the fork. I would advise going with the travel adjust fork on whichever bike you choose - the Burner rode great at 115-120mm and even felt good at 130 on really steep descents. The Spot ran great also in each travel setting - you can't argue with that versatility. Don't judge the Burner until you have it set up properly.

    3. The Flux, rigged as an XC bike will be racier than the Burner. The Burner is more like a Flux on steroids, heavier duty frame, better in rough terrain. The Flux is not as capable or durable on the really rough stuff - the Burner is every bit as rugged as the Spot when it comes to hitting burlier terrain.

    4. Other thoughts? At the end of the day, I ended up riding the Spot way more than the Burner. It was overall a more versatile bike - I ran mine pretty light and focused on more aggressive trail riding and some XC, but you could easily add big tires, a coil shock, bash guard and turn the Spot into a way more aggressive AM bike. The Burner could not touch the Spot's high end capabilities and additional travel in this area. On the other hand, a lightly rigged Spot comes pretty damn close to matching the Burner's capabilities on the XC side of the spectrum, and it's not too far off the back wheel of the Flux either. For me, the Spot ended up the winner over the 2 bikes - I could do pretty much everything and anything I wanted on the Spot - for trips to Moab and Fruita it ALWAYS ended up on the rack. The Burner became more of niche bike for extended XC jaunts and long days in the saddle (Monarch Crest type stuff)

    Now, having said all that - I recently sold both bikes and am now riding a Sultan.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  23. #23
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    Cutthroat. Thanks for the comments. A couple of additional comments:

    1) My Burner currently has a Pushed RP3 on the rear, so that was optimized prior to going to the XR rockers.

    2) I called Turner yesterday and ended up talking with Dave for about 20 minutes which was really helpful. He had some very insightful questions and comments. We discussed where I ride mostly (East San Francisco Bay Area where is not technical and I ride a lot with my hardtail) and my once in a while trips to Tahoe and Downieville. Dave's comments were interesting. He said, obviously the easiest route is to go the Flux, and for where I live, it is most appropriate, but I will not have very much fun on the Flux in the mountains. He pointed out, that I have a bike to ride on the buff stuff (my Titus Riddler), so I don't need to compromise that side, and the 5 spot is really perfect for the Sierra's. When I asked him about pedaling, he said both the 5 spot and the flux pedal better than the stock Burner, the Burner being the last of the really active designs like the XCE, the Flux and Spot being their modern bikes.

    I am leaning towards the Spot right now.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I was in the same position you are in only I have my XR rockers on my Burner with appropriately PUSHed RP3. That in itself means my Burner rides differently than yours, i.e. more plush all the time but in a very good controlled way. You may think it's only .4 inches more travel but the ride is completely different. I built up a 2007 Spot earlier this year in hopes of utilizing more travel (like a long-travel Burner) and maybe becoming a more aggressive rider.

    Bottom line is that it really isn't a long-travel Burner, it's a Spot meant for the aggressive riding that can be found all over the Front Range of Colorado. I feel I'm holding this bike back and on the other hand I prefer my Burner for almost all the riding I do, especially the climbing. I would have to descend way faster to ride the Spot like it's intended to be ridden. For those Spot owners who rave about it's ability to "claw" its way through rocky inclines, heck yeah it does. Compared to the way my Burner claws it way through the same stuff though, way more effort expended. It's a mystery why and I wish it weren't so but sections I'll be gasping halfway through (as it smoothly hammers through the gnarly climb) on the Spot, I'll make it all the way through and then some on the Spot without gasping. Go figure.

    If you really have some aggressive riding lurking inside you itching to get out I'm sure you would ride a Spot appropriately. If you have a ton of climbing on your plate and pretty much tolerate the downhills you need to ride to get back home or to your truck you might have the same experience as me, that is, wish the Spot climbed like your Burner, but it doesn't. At almost 29 lbs my Spot isn't built heavy but it feels like about 30% more effort to climb on it vs the Burner. When I had the Spot in Moab this Spring I loved every minute on it but for the riding I do here and at the speeds I ride, the Burner rules.

    Flux: I built up a Flux last year out of curiosity and probably would have kept it if I didn't have the Burner. As it was it duplicated a lot of what the Burner is and I sold it. I'm probably going to sell the Spot too. My loss, somebody else's big gain.

    Put the XRs on and give your Burner one more shot (PUSH needs to retune your shock).
    That's exactly how felt when I sold my XCE for a 5-spot. I never really learned to like that bike, and always regretted selling the XCE. More travel is not always better; it depends on how you ride. I'm an XC rider at heart. I bought a Sultan and sold the 5-spot and I couldn't be happier.

  25. #25
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    Two things

    Quote Originally Posted by MightySchmoePong
    That's exactly how felt when I sold my XCE for a 5-spot. I never really learned to like that bike, and always regretted selling the XCE. More travel is not always better; it depends on how you ride. I'm an XC rider at heart. I bought a Sultan and sold the 5-spot and I couldn't be happier.
    The OP talks about "upgrading" to the Spot. I'd call it changing bikes, I don't see it as an upgrade, unless one feels that more travel is an upgrade.

    And it sure is hard to quantify why any particular rider (MightySchmoePong, me, some guy in England a few months ago who posted here) can't warm to the Spot. I even rode mine with a Revelation to steepen the angles and drop the weight (got it down to just under 28 lbs) but it was a failed experiment. I was left scratching my head.

    The fact is that very few riders have a problem loving their Spots. Someone's going to love mine as soon as they get their hands on it and wonder why I ever sold it (given that I'm not replacing it with a Sultan, that is )
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

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