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  1. #1
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    Looking for a hardtail race bike

    I've talked myself in and out of this decision for a month or two now and would appreciate any comments you have

    I'm looking for a light hardtail for XC riding and racing, I'm 6'3" 190#. I've got a Trek, Specialized, Felt, and Marin dealers nearby but in this town they can't really stock any high end XL bikes because they just don't sell. I mention this because "ride it first" isn't really an option locally. I don't really mind buying a bike w/o riding it....I just ordered a Premier Tactical for TT's and those aren't exactly sitting around for people to test ride LOL I am competent to set up my bikes and it's not unusual to be screwing with some new thing the night before racing it....so building up a bike is a solid option. Finally, I don't mind spending some money on a bike but when we're getting up to the $3500+ range I start to hit the "cost/benefit" curve on my buying scale so....no $10,000 super bikes for me. Finally, I need a "modern geometry" with a long front center and < 70 degree head tube.

    OK, qualifiers done I really like my Specialized dealer and the the 2018 epic HT bikes but they seem expensive for the parts. You can buy the S-works frame but that is a whopping $2500! A chisel frame for $750 is an option....I'm guessing a 1# penalty but it's only $750 bucks.

    The local Trek store is....only so-so for me.

    Marin doesn't do race bikes and I'm not sure what Felt has.

    As for direct brands.....the Canyon Exceed is light, has the right geometry, nice parts, and is pretty cheap https://www.canyon.com/en-us/mtb/exc...l-6-0-pro-race The problem with that is....is there a stigma to buying Canyon? Will my car get keyed by local dealers at races? I like those guys and I imagine showing up on some "internet bike" would be a kick in the teeth. I'm sympathetic to the plight of the LBS's out there.

    Anyway...give me some ideas. I'd love to build up a bike part-by-part but sometimes the value of a complete bike is just too hard to turn down. Thanks

  2. #2
    Life's a ride, enjoy it! Moderator
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    Canyon no contest.
    Wanted, SRAM GX 2x11 rear derailleur

    It ain't supposed to be easy.

  3. #3
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    Giant XTC
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  4. #4
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    If you can afford it go for the Epic hardtail. If you want to save money get a Canyon but be aware itís a 142 rear end.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    If you can afford it go for the Epic hardtail. If you want to save money get a Canyon but be aware itís a 142 rear end.
    What? No boost? Well that's two strikes against it (non boost and not buying from a good guy locally). Light, cheap, and good lookin', it's still got some solid pluses though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    If you can afford it go for the Epic hardtail. If you want to save money get a Canyon but be aware itís a 142 rear end.
    Are you talking get the epic comp and swap out some parts of go whole hog with the s-works frame and build it out? I'm not sure I can swallow the s-works frame but....well maybe I can, it's more a matter of will than ability if that makes any sense.

  7. #7
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    The epic is hot. I rode my bosses' 2017 Carbon Comp and it's a rocket ship. He is totally in love with it and just sold his Stumpy because he rides the Epic more. Can't comment on the others, but there is more to a bike than just component spec vs price. I believe in buying what feels best to you, not what is best specced. A good fit and ride quality is what's most important to me, so I would hesitate to go with the Canyon unless you know somebody who has one you can ride.

    As far as Marin goes, they don't really have any XC offerings at the moment. They're pretty much trail focused. As a younger guy who doesn't have a lot of money I appreciate the value they put into their trail bikes, hardtail and full sus alike, but the fact that they seem to be either constantly changing their models or letting them atrophy for a long time worries me. The resale value on them is really poor in my area too, so that's one less reason to purchase imo.

  8. #8
    Formerly of Kent
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    You can build a 19lb Chinese HT with 69 degree HTA for the cost of a Epic HT frame and fork.

    I "get" buying expensive FS bikes*; there's a lot more going on there. Hardtail? Find a Chinese carbon frame with the geometry of your preference and build from there. It's a platform for mounting other components at certain positions and angles relative to the rider.

    *I have an ~$8k Yeti ASRc.
    Death from Below.

  9. #9
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    /\ what he said; then you'll have the budget for a top notch wheelset. If you do crash-damage the frame the cost of new would be cheaper than a crash replacement of a name brand frame. I'm the same height as you, I agree that you would most likely ride XL from most places.

    That being said, Bullsbikes website still shows XL carbon hardtails with an RS-1 and 2x11 full XT for $2050 (half price sale from $4100 for a long time now), but the sizing availability may not be up to date. - I'd happily race one of those, not a bad price as a parts donor if you didn't like how it rides. I bought one of their fs bikes and I get zero hassle at the races or anywhere else (nobody really cares very much about what you are riding). https://www.bullsbikesusa.com/black-adder-29-p-219.html
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  10. #10
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    Sure appreciate the comments guys. I took a look down the rabbit hole of chinese carbon and I think, all things considered, I'm going with a local specialized bike. So now....which one? Build up a Chisel frame? Go for the Epic Comp and swap out a few key parts? Or go whole hog with the S-works frame?

    Half of me wants to build up a frame, the other half likes the value of the complete bike. What do you figure the non-sworks carbon frame weighs? It looks like the XL Chisel is 1500-1550g over on the long Chisel thread.

    Thanks again guys

  11. #11
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    For $1500 you can get the lightest HT 29r frame on the market with a great geo and amazing ride quality. The Focus Raven.

    Mine weighs in at 18.11lbs race ready. Did I mention the ride quality, it is the smoothest HT I have ever ridden.
    18 Focus Raven Lite
    17 Focus o1e
    17 Yeti ASR-cT
    16 Bianchi Specialissima
    15 Echo Big Deal

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    For $1500 you can get the lightest HT 29r frame on the market with a great geo and amazing ride quality. The Focus Raven.

    Mine weighs in at 18.11lbs race ready. Did I mention the ride quality, it is the smoothest HT I have ever ridden.
    You guys are killin' me LOL! I make up my mind and then you throw something else at me. Where do buy a focus?

  13. #13
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    Ha, for 1/10th the price of the sworks I could pick up this guy slightly used

    XL CS-057 (W/Extras) - RS 29 Recon Fork (Upgraded)

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    How much is your parts list looking like it will cost?
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  16. #16
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    I just picked up a new carbon 2015 Storck Rebel Seven (27.5" wheels) for $700 all in from HIBIKE.com. Look under the sale frames. Frame, Fox 32 SC Factory ($299 from Jenson), Thomson stem/XC handlebar/Seatpost comes in at 7lbs. I figure I will have a sub 20lb bike when all is done for around $2300.
    https://www.hibike.com/storck-rebel-...cb895f47d8fa20
    Last edited by bob knox; 02-22-2018 at 10:24 AM. Reason: link

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob knox View Post
    I just picked up a new carbon 2015 Storck Rebel Seven (27.5" wheels) for $700 all in from HIBIKE.com. Look under the sale frames. Frame, Fox 32 SC Factory ($299 from Jenson), Thomson stem/XC handlebar/Seatpost comes in at 7lbs. I figure I will have a sub 20lb bike when all is done for around $2300.
    https://www.hibike.com/storck-rebel-...cb895f47d8fa20
    That sounds like a great bike. I want a bit more "longer/lower" but it'd be cool, you never see those bikes around here.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    How much is your parts list looking like it will cost?
    I'm not very far along with that. Other than "carbon wheels" LOL

  19. #19
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    how about Niner? they are US based. 2000$ for the Air 9 RDO frame. but its a 70 degree headtube.

  20. #20
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    I thought they went out of business? Didn't they?

    I'm thinking...Heller!

  21. #21
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    I believe that there is no point of taking carbon wheels or frame. If you like to go for crazy riding in winter times and early spring you are killing your bike greatly. I prefer to take worth money bike like: Diamondback
    PHP Code:
    http://bestadviser.net/reviews/mountain-bikes-reviews/top-mountain-bikes-helmets-and-clothing-review/ 
    . Change to better set up worth 400 usd and you are going to have fast and hard riding bike worth notning. And with such cost you can take new bike each year " and you know that feeling riding a new bike"
    Last edited by MarryHadson; 03-26-2018 at 11:24 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    I thought they went out of business? Didn't they?

    I'm thinking...Heller!
    They're still around. They just got bought by a Chinese/Hong Kong investment group according to this article. Niner's apparently going to operate as usual and even add to their R&D and marketing.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    They're still around. They just got bought by a Chinese/Hong Kong investment group according to this article. Niner's apparently going to operate as usual and even add to their R&D and marketing.
    That's pretty cool they're going to handle warrantee stuff and parts too. It's a surprise to me Niner went under, they seemed to have a good thing going. But...there's slick advertising and then there is turning a profit, seems like they are a little better at one than the other. It's a bit different than...say blue buffalo dog food or dollar shave club, those were examples of slick marketing AND profit, sold for 8 billion and 1 billion respectively after just a few years. Dog food and razors, freaking amazing.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    No Boost though.

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