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  1. #1
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    Specialized Fate - Experiences/Sizing

    I tried using the search feature and kept getting a server error so...

    I currently have a '13 Spec Epic Expert, which I love, but for some financially irresponsible reason I want a hard tail in my bike stable for this coming season. I am gravitating towards the '14 Fate Expert.

    The problem I am running into is my LBS only has a small comp model in stock, so I am completely lost on sizing first off. I'm kind of all over the place on my bike sizes... 57 (or XL) on my WSD road bike, 54 on my cross bike, and a 16/Medium on the Epic. I have to run 75mm stems on all my bikes, so naturally I don't care about having to change that. My brain tells me 16 in the Epic = 17 in the Fate, but logically I don't think that would be totally right. I sat on the 15/Small Fate in the shop, and it was like I was on a kids' bike! I am 5'8" with a 34" inseam (so all legs), short torso, and long arms. Therefore, my saddle heights are ridiculous to get the correct leg extension, and I know on my very first MTB which was a Giant, the bike was too small (I think it was a WSD 16 if I remember correctly) and I couldn't get the seat high enough and blah blah blah.

    So if anybody has some sizing ideas... 17/Medium or 19/Large? I live in WY, so I don't have any other options for Specialized aside from my LBS without a drive down to Colorado (but would have to purchase the bike at my LBS due to sponsorship requirements). I'd have to special order the bike, and would hate to get the wrong size in. And everyone I know with a Fate rides a small, haha.

    Second off, anybody around these parts have a Fate and what's your impressions? I think I'm gravitating towards a hard tail for a lot of the races that aren't technical/rocky and with lots of climbing. I feel like my Epic climbs well thanks to the Brain and full stiff rear shock, but I often wonder how much better it would be on a hard tail, especially on trails where full squish is overkill. I also hate how when I stand to pedal I can feel the suspension absorbing the power. My first MTB was a hard tail, but it was so completely not in the same category as a Fate (32lbs, aluminum, horrible triple chain ring and gearing, and too small) so I can't compare the two in my mind. I also am beginning to think full squish has made me a lazy rider, and I have picked up the habit of just "monster trucking" through stuff instead of thinking about lines... something cyclocross has helped reverse slightly, but not fully.

    Thoughts and opinions are appreciated Or everyone can trying to talk me into being responsible and not buying another bike, too!

  2. #2
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    The Fate is a great bike and rides beautifully. A small will be too small for you IMHO. I am 5'9" and test rode a medium which was too small for me. For reference I happily ride a M Epic.
    It's perfectly reasonable to add a hardtail to your collection!

  3. #3
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    I think it's an awesome idea to have one of each!
    Have you considered a medium Stumpjumper? My guess is geo would be more similar to the Epic?
    I also have long legs/arms similar to yours & find women specific bikes -at least the ones I've tried- to be too cramped.
    I ride a hardtail 29er (Trek Superfly) & have a full susp. 29er (Superfly FS) on order for this spring...both men's size 17.5" I was missing the susp for the really rough stuff. I really love the hard tail for climbing & fast smooth stuff & had no problem in tech rough stuff just more exhausting for my old body.

    You will love having a hardtail again. The instant power is amazing!!

  4. #4
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    The Fate is a great bike! I rode my friend's expert Fate with carbon wheels and it was amazing! It climbs amazingly well. My friend has a Fate and an Epic and when we were on a bike trip, she commented on how well the Fate climbs compared to the Epic (which is a great climber in its own right).

    The most important thing in sizing is the effective top tube. If you like the fit of the Epic, then look at the effective top tube length and go for the size with a similar effective top tube. The Fate is a women-specific bike and I think the large Fate has an effective top tube length similar to the medium Epic (check the charts to make sure). I'm 5'8" and rode a medium Fate. It seemed a bit small for me. It has a 22.6" effective top tube. My all-mountain bike has a 22.8" ett, but I want a more upright geometry for technical stuff. The large has a 23.6" ett, which is comparable to my hard-tail. For me, I like a little more aggressive position in a hard-tail race bike. For comparison, the medium Epic has a 23.3" ett.

    I also ride a 54cm cross bike. Part of it depends on your preferences, so that's why I always go back to the effective top tube length of a bike I like.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I've figured out I'd go with a Large. My LBS is ordering in a fleet of demos so I'll know for sure when they get in (and will get to at least spin around the parking lot and hop some curbs to feel out the bike). Right now it's just really hard dropping the money, even with my team discount. And I wonder why I really "need" it and worry that I'll love it too much, and then won't ride the Epic which was an arm and leg in it's own right... oh man!

    I haven't really considered a Stumpjumper, so I took a look. Unfortunately it seems like they're a decent bit more money for similar-ish features. I'm kinda stuck on getting something with carbon wheels, so that's why the Fate seems to be a good bang for my dollar, since I can switch them back and forth between the Epic. I am not a fan of the neon yellow/black color scheme with random white saddle and grips, but hey... I can overlook it!

    I've been debating going and ordering one for the past week... one moment I'm ready to drive down and order it, the next I am being responsible. UGHHHH why must I have such an expensive hobby?!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I've been debating going and ordering one for the past week... one moment I'm ready to drive down and order it, the next I am being responsible. UGHHHH why must I have such an expensive hobby?!
    It's all relative. Yes you could knit or do jigsaw puzzles, run, or play chess cheaper, but if you take a stroll through a boat, motorcycle, or Cessna dealer, you will feel a lot better.

  7. #7
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    Well... time to bump with the news. I gave up ordering a Fate Expert... and instead... got a '13 S-Works Fate! In Large, fits great! Usually I have to run 75mm stems on all my bikes (including WSD road), but I think the 90mm stem is going to work out for me in this case... I'll know more once I get it officially fitted (it's hanging out on the LBS' S-Works display wall for the time being... we're still snowed in so I suppose that's alright!).

    Quick ride impressions is that it feels like my cross bike (only only weighs a pound more to boot), turns on a dime, and goes fast. And it's so nice to stand up and sprint and not have a rear shock absorb the pedal stroke (even the brain set to full firm on the Epic it sucked, IMO)

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