'11 Trek Fuel EX 8 wsd, '11 Giant Cypher 1 or 2, '11 or Specialized Saphire Comp?
Have demo'ed the Trek in a 16.5in frame and loved it...except for the color:P
Just want to hear some input on the best bike, preferably unbiased, out of the three in this price range. Haven't had a chance to ride the other two but will do that before I ultimately decide. Thanks!
I'm in the same market, but am smaller than you.
I've test rode the Giant Cypher, the Trek Fuel EX 8, the Specialized Saphire Comp 2011, and the Saphire Expert 2010. I'm still waiting to ride the Anthem X1.
I currently ride a 2003 Trek Fuel 90 WSD and so I'm used to the "race" geometry with the longer top tube and 100 mm of fork travel. However, I'm interested in the new "trail" geometry and the higher travel forks as an option, and I might be able to get more rebound to get over more obstacles.
The Cypher didn't work for me--just the geometry. I think the standover on the XS was just too tall, and overall, I didn't like the feel of the ride. It's comparable to the Saphire 2011 in its feel and components and the fact that it's a "trail bike." Neither one really impressed me with anything out of the ordinary.
I have yet to find a Giant Anthem XS to test ride, but am probably going to at least try a size small just to get a feel for it, because apparently it's an AMAZING ride, and from the comparisons I've done, it will be the lightest weight of the 3. (a little over 25 lbs, the others are about 26 and 27). I'm worried that even the XS standover (over 30") is going to be too high for me, and I still won't know that if I'm testing a size small (which will definitely be too high).
Right now, my top contender is a deal on a 2010 Saphire Expert ($2350) because I feel it's the most responsive in its suspension. I rode it today and felt very comfortable on it. It also has the Telas fork that has options for 110, 120 and 140 mm travel, which also allows for more options. It also has the "brain"...which I've heard good and bad about.
No one carries a Specialized Era in my size anywhere around here (there's a large carbon one in stock, but that's way off).
I've read on this forum about the Pivot bikes (make a very small bike), but they seem higher than my price point, and there aren't any anywhere near I live.
I've also (in the past) ridden a Santa Cruz Juliana XS and loved it--fit like a glove, but all the shop guys here are down on the single pivot suspension saying it's old school and everything out there now is so much better and would help with climbing and downhills, etc. Again, no one has one in town right now, and when /if they do, they're getting a size Small, not an XS.
Anyone else who has thoughts, let me know!