GTA Locals, tire and frame input needed!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    sru
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    GTA Locals, tire and frame input needed!!

    A few questions for the locals.......

    I've ridden The Don twice recently for the first time and am still learning my way around......lot's of fun for a lunchtime ride. However, this little network of trails have really exposed the weakness in my tires. I am running IRC Mythos XC Kevlars, and man, do those suckers want to wash out on the off camber sections. I've tried different air pressures and it doesn't seem to make a difference. So my question to those of you who frequent The Don is, what is a good tire for this area?? I am strictly a XC type of guy, not competitive and refuse to buy a tire for my bike that costs the same as a tire for my car.

    Also, my back has decided it is time to go to a full squish frame and I'd be interested in knowing what you guys are riding and the frames pros and cons. My first thoughts were to go with 3" of travel, then I started thinking 5" would be nice on those root-infested downhills. Since I am out of shape, pedalling efficiency and climbing efficiency is VERY important to me. Any info on your shock set-up would be cool too. Since I ride a Jamis and like their geometry, I've been looking at the Dakar XLT(5") and Dakar XC(3-1/2"), but would look at all makes.

    My main riding areas are Albion Hills, Waterdown, some rocky un-maintained trails in Caledon, and now, The Don.

    Thanks for your input.

    Happy Trails.

  2. #2
    NormalNorm
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    If you want an all round tire, try the Panaracer XC Fire Pros. My buddy had the same tires as you(he is a newbie) and swapped them out for Hutchinson Bulldogs. He also tried different pressures. He said the IRC Mythos XC were brutal for traction compared to the Bulldogs. I ride the same type of terrain and have a Specialized Stumpy FSR(2004-100mm of travel). Same thing, great all round bike. I've been riding Specialized Stumpys for the last 8 years and I have nothing but good things to say about them(3 bikes).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    A few questions for the locals.......

    I've ridden The Don twice recently for the first time and am still learning my way around......lot's of fun for a lunchtime ride. However, this little network of trails have really exposed the weakness in my tires. I am running IRC Mythos XC Kevlars, and man, do those suckers want to wash out on the off camber sections. I've tried different air pressures and it doesn't seem to make a difference. So my question to those of you who frequent The Don is, what is a good tire for this area?? I am strictly a XC type of guy, not competitive and refuse to buy a tire for my bike that costs the same as a tire for my car.

    Also, my back has decided it is time to go to a full squish frame and I'd be interested in knowing what you guys are riding and the frames pros and cons. My first thoughts were to go with 3" of travel, then I started thinking 5" would be nice on those root-infested downhills. Since I am out of shape, pedalling efficiency and climbing efficiency is VERY important to me. Any info on your shock set-up would be cool too. Since I ride a Jamis and like their geometry, I've been looking at the Dakar XLT(5") and Dakar XC(3-1/2"), but would look at all makes.

    My main riding areas are Albion Hills, Waterdown, some rocky un-maintained trails in Caledon, and now, The Don.

    Thanks for your input.

    Happy Trails.
    Just another option for you - IRC Mibro tires - buy on-line for $30 per pair http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/142...-%26-Save!.htm. I've used them at Albion and Kelso (clay & rocks) and they are decent. Try the 2.1 if you are mainly XC, no racing, or the 2.25 if you are more into higher volume tires - more comfort or better DH traction.

    I agree that the Fire XC is a fine all around tire... just rolls slow ...

    I have a FS with 3" travel and it has made a big difference to my back problems... 5" might be nicer - I'd guess it will make the bike sit higher and be more of a challenge to balance, but should be way better in the rough stuff...

    Good luck
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  4. #4
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    I use the Maxxis Ignitor. Great volume and great ride in most Ontario conditions.

    As far as your back goes, F/S won't help. You need to consider core strength, and bike fit. Also, look at how you are pedalling. Pushing the gears much?
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  5. #5
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    Another vote for the Fire 2.1's. They work great on my Slayer.
    $40 each at MEC.

    As for what bike, I can ride the same trails with both my bikes, just pick different lines on each of them.
    Mike
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  6. #6
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    I used the Fire XC pros in the don with great success and Im running Spec Roll X pro's now and they work just as good.

    For a f/s bike I'd say 4" is good enough for Ontario but then it all depends what you ride alot of. Plus if you get f/s are you going to start trying harder/rougher lines or obstacles? Maybe then more travel would be better.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  7. #7
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    Continental Explorer Pro's are a great all around tire. Roll well and have good bite.
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  8. #8
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    I second the conti explorers.

    I've had two sets of those in the past and they are by far my favorite all round tire. The maxxis ignitor runs a very similar tread pattern, and its around the same size, so they probably handle very similar.

    The Fire XC's are great tires too if you dont plan on racing or doing fast group rides. They grip VERY well in almost all conditions. Of course the price of this is quite a bit of rolling resistance.

    Another suggestion if you want a fast rolling tire is the michelin XCR dry's formerly known as the comp S' . I run these 90% of the time and at almost all races. They are brutally fast, predictable tires and have enough tread to get you out of most situations given that you can compensate here and there.

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  9. #9
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    good thread...

    ...seems like everyone has an opinion of what works best. I have Kenda Karmas on my bike, Mrs. M. likes her Kenda Nevegals. Both work well in all conditions, very smooth rollers, great climbers, and grip well in the sandy conditions that we often ride

    We now have the whole family on full sussers, I'm on an Ellsworth Id, Mrs. M. loves her Santa Cruz Blur, and the little kid has a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Disk Women's (whew)...I think that the only thing i'd watch for is the amount of peddle bob that comes with poor designs, handling characteristics and fit are unique to you
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  10. #10
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    Tires - I've tried the Michelin Wildergripper Comp S Light (now the XCR Dry) and while it's a fast tire I just can't corner worth beans with it. This is when I was introduced to the Conti Explorer, BUT if you ride really aggressively and/or are a clyde then stay away from the Supersonic version of this tire. It's a lighter version, but prone to pinch flatting (2 flats in 2 rides - crappy). I really liked this tire (and still do) for riding where I want traction, but without sacrificing too much in the weight category. My Explorer Pro's don't exhibit this tendency.

    Lately my riding has been more aggressive (especially in the cornering department) and i've been trying the Conti Vertical (rear) and Panaracer Cinder (front) and they've been doing alright. If I have an issue with the Cinder my next pick will probably be a Kenda Nevegal. Sloooooow-a$$ tire, but they'll bite into the ground real good. Again, speaking mostly for cornering traction (maybe overkill for what you're looking for?).

    Frame - tough call, IMHO. There's so many different designs out there, pro's, con's - heck, i'm still trying to figure out which of mine I want as my "primary/do it all" bike. Compromise is an evil thing! My NRS is great for flat terrain speed, but when things get really rough it's a tough ride, expectedly. My San Andreas - it's like riding a couch, but a fast one.

    I ride Albion mostly. It's convenient and fun.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    A few questions for the locals.......

    I've ridden The Don twice recently for the first time and am still learning my way around......lot's of fun for a lunchtime ride. However, this little network of trails have really exposed the weakness in my tires. I am running IRC Mythos XC Kevlars, and man, do those suckers want to wash out on the off camber sections. I've tried different air pressures and it doesn't seem to make a difference. So my question to those of you who frequent The Don is, what is a good tire for this area?? I am strictly a XC type of guy, not competitive and refuse to buy a tire for my bike that costs the same as a tire for my car.

    Also, my back has decided it is time to go to a full squish frame and I'd be interested in knowing what you guys are riding and the frames pros and cons. My first thoughts were to go with 3" of travel, then I started thinking 5" would be nice on those root-infested downhills. Since I am out of shape, pedalling efficiency and climbing efficiency is VERY important to me. Any info on your shock set-up would be cool too. Since I ride a Jamis and like their geometry, I've been looking at the Dakar XLT(5") and Dakar XC(3-1/2"), but would look at all makes.

    My main riding areas are Albion Hills, Waterdown, some rocky un-maintained trails in Caledon, and now, The Don.

    Thanks for your input.

    Happy Trails.
    I have been riding Hutchinson Python Air lights for the past few years, with 90-100% of my riding being at Albion. They are a fast tire, with minimal rolling resistance. Some others may curse them, but others love them. Albion, as you know, is a hard pack surface for the most part especially following a rain. I consider myself fast in singletrack areas with them and have noticed this in race conditions.

    In respect to the bike, I ride a Giant NRS with a rather stiff set up due to my preference for a hardtail like ride with speed in mind 4" of front and rear travel, I believe. That's bad that I don't even know the specifics, other than I love the bike and it's set up. My $0.02 as you asked.

    N.

  12. #12
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    Kenda Nevegal UST or 2.1 DTC tube...

    by far the best all around tire...

    Panaracer Fire - cheap and just okay... doesnt roll well and doestn shet mud at all...

    Hutch Spyder - second best in my tests... too wide for my taste... says 2.1 but really 2.3

    Hutch Python - best rolling tire, not enough grip in anything else but dry

    Nokian NBX Lite - good only for racing in dry

    Nokian NBX UST 2.1 - third on my list as all around tire..

    WTB Weirwolf UST 2.1 - good only for a front tire - good rolling but not enough grip

    Kenda Nevegal Lite 1.95 - best tube tire - best all around tire for lighter riders...

    Schwalbe Racing Ralph UST 2.1 - excellent rolling, decent grip - my new favourite for marathon racing

    michelin comp s light UST - excelelnt rolling - not enough grip in anything other than dry

    summary: Kenda Nevegal UST for tubeless
    Kenda Nevegal Lite for tube tire

    frame???

    you've got to get 5 inches of travel with some good rear suspension design (FSR or Host link)...

    Jamis Dakar is a very good choice, Specialized Epic is another....

    oggie



    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    A few questions for the locals.......

    I've ridden The Don twice recently for the first time and am still learning my way around......lot's of fun for a lunchtime ride. However, this little network of trails have really exposed the weakness in my tires. I am running IRC Mythos XC Kevlars, and man, do those suckers want to wash out on the off camber sections. I've tried different air pressures and it doesn't seem to make a difference. So my question to those of you who frequent The Don is, what is a good tire for this area?? I am strictly a XC type of guy, not competitive and refuse to buy a tire for my bike that costs the same as a tire for my car.

    Also, my back has decided it is time to go to a full squish frame and I'd be interested in knowing what you guys are riding and the frames pros and cons. My first thoughts were to go with 3" of travel, then I started thinking 5" would be nice on those root-infested downhills. Since I am out of shape, pedalling efficiency and climbing efficiency is VERY important to me. Any info on your shock set-up would be cool too. Since I ride a Jamis and like their geometry, I've been looking at the Dakar XLT(5") and Dakar XC(3-1/2"), but would look at all makes.

    My main riding areas are Albion Hills, Waterdown, some rocky un-maintained trails in Caledon, and now, The Don.

    Thanks for your input.

    Happy Trails.

  13. #13
    sru
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    Excellent info!!

    I now have a short list of tires to consider. A good point was brought up regarding rolling resistance, its something I never really considered, but will now.

    I have considered an NRS because I heard the transition from a hardtail is fairly easy, however, a wrench a the LBS said the tubing was pretty thin and wouldn't recommend it for a daily ride/trail bike. Any thoughts??

  14. #14
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    what do you want your bike for?

    if it is racing - NRS will be an excellent choice. it is fast and responsive and you can make it very hardtail - like...

    however, if you want to have fun on the trails with some 24 hour or similar racing - NRS might not fit your bill...

    when i was buying my first squshy after few years spent on the hardtail - i wanted as hardtail - like performance as possible on my new squishy - hence got Ellsworth Truth. Yes, it is nice for racing and blasting up and down some nice switchbacks etc... but when it comes to having fun in the rock garden, all mountain riding and even marathon racing, it leaves me with a lot to desire... i am looking around now for a 5" or thereabouts travel, light bike like Specialized Epic Carbon, Scott Genius MC10, Rocky Mountain ETSX Team, Ellsworth Epiphany etc...

    hope this helps....


    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    Excellent info!!

    I now have a short list of tires to consider. A good point was brought up regarding rolling resistance, its something I never really considered, but will now.

    I have considered an NRS because I heard the transition from a hardtail is fairly easy, however, a wrench a the LBS said the tubing was pretty thin and wouldn't recommend it for a daily ride/trail bike. Any thoughts??

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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    i am looking around now for a 5" or thereabouts travel, light bike like Specialized Epic Carbon, Scott Genius MC10, Rocky Mountain ETSX Team, Ellsworth Epiphany etc...

    hope this helps....
    have you looked at the Blur 4X? When compared to my Id, it has a much stronger frame, similar geometry, lower bottom bracket, lower standover, and is just as light and quick. Very nimble, climbs well, not a bad price as well.

    very impressed as its rated for everything from dirt jumping to free ride...nice frame

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    just a quick add...what is it about the Epic and commuters?...I passed three (!) of them coming into the city on my commute today, 1 on Bloor, 2 on Queen W.. I know we have potholes, but 4" travel FS's? Something we don't know?

    one rider was in a suit with a backpack

  17. #17
    sru
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    I have looked at some epics, Blurs, and The RM (including the 05 Slayer) and also the Kikapu and Dawg however, I haven't had a chance to ride any of them yet.

    Just yesterday, I had a great flow going. I was weaving in and out of the cedars, eating about 10 blackflies a minute, and then I had to grab a handfull of brake to help negotiate some very root infested singletrack. I am no pro, but the only way to get over these sections is slowly (on a hardtail anyways), there is no other line to take. I am thinking that if I had a full sus, I can ride over them without dropping any speed and blowing my flow.

    My normal ride is rocky, has some pretty hairy root infested sections and lots of ups and downs. I think I'll be leaning towards a 5 inch trail bike, since there is no racing in this kids future, other than the odd 24hr deal at Albion.

    Thanks all.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    Also, my back has decided it is time to go to a full squish frame and I'd be interested in knowing what you guys are riding and the frames pros and cons. My first thoughts were to go with 3" of travel, then I started thinking 5" would be nice on those root-infested downhills. Since I am out of shape, pedalling efficiency and climbing efficiency is VERY important to me. Any info on your shock set-up would be cool too. Since I ride a Jamis and like their geometry, I've been looking at the Dakar XLT(5") and Dakar XC(3-1/2"), but would look at all makes.

    My main riding areas are Albion Hills, Waterdown, some rocky un-maintained trails in Caledon, and now, The Don.

    Thanks for your input.

    Happy Trails.
    if full rigid single speed aint your cup and you must bounce around...

    (unless you are concerned with raceability of a bike) i would rule out 3 and 3's...look seriously at an 'all mountain' bike with 4 and 4 or 5 and 5. nope they wont be low 20 lbs but neither is any FS of reasonable price.

    suspension technology on 4" and 5" travel bikes has improved greatly, making climbing much more efficient.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    I have looked at some epics, Blurs, and The RM (including the 05 Slayer) and also the Kikapu and Dawg however, I haven't had a chance to ride any of them yet.

    Just yesterday, I had a great flow going. I was weaving in and out of the cedars, eating about 10 blackflies a minute, and then I had to grab a handfull of brake to help negotiate some very root infested singletrack. I am no pro, but the only way to get over these sections is slowly (on a hardtail anyways), there is no other line to take. I am thinking that if I had a full sus, I can ride over them without dropping any speed and blowing my flow.

    My normal ride is rocky, has some pretty hairy root infested sections and lots of ups and downs. I think I'll be leaning towards a 5 inch trail bike, since there is no racing in this kids future, other than the odd 24hr deal at Albion.

    Thanks all.
    sounds like Mrs. M.'s experience

    She used to ride a Kona hardtail through the roots and rocks around Collingwood, bounced around a lot, broke a rib 2 years ago

    She then swithched to a more stable platform...a Fuji Panic Pro DJ with 3.35 tires...a little better, but not a great climber.

    This year she's flying on her Blur...rocks, roots, logs...i can't keep up with her

    We've created a monster

  20. #20
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    If climbing efficiency is the deciding factor, then you either do it with either technology (brain shocks and/or linkage design) or a plain old shock lock-out.

    My 2004 Jamis XC has lock-outs front/rear. Not too sure about the newer ones though. However, I do think climbing efficiency is somewhat overrated, and you can spend a LOT of money to get a very small advantage.

    Just my 2c (or 2.1c Canadian)
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    I have considered an NRS because I heard the transition from a hardtail is fairly easy, however, a wrench a the LBS said the tubing was pretty thin and wouldn't recommend it for a daily ride/trail bike. Any thoughts??
    I made the transition from HT to NRS at the very end of last season when my HT frame broke. I like that chain tension extends the shock. This means the rear is solid when hammering hard to accelerate. My bike sees a bunch of trails that are not too rough in most spots, and some road too. I am very happy with my bike. Good for racing too. Thin tubes + lifetime warranty = no worries for every day riding IMO.

    However, if i were to get a dedicated trail bike (no road or racing) for rooty/rocky areas, i would not get an NRS. Instead i would consider something like a Stumpjumper or Rush.

    For tires, i use cheepo 2.1s with pretty low rolling resistance.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sru
    Excellent info!!

    I now have a short list of tires to consider. A good point was brought up regarding rolling resistance, its something I never really considered, but will now.

    I have considered an NRS because I heard the transition from a hardtail is fairly easy, however, a wrench a the LBS said the tubing was pretty thin and wouldn't recommend it for a daily ride/trail bike. Any thoughts??
    Like others have said, for a daily trail bike, may not be your best choice. I like it for the speed and rigidity it provides. But if you are hitting rock gardens and doing epic rides frequently, I would get something more comfortable. That being said, the tubing being thin is a new one to me...

  23. #23
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    Considering an NRS? Well, first of all they are now out of production. Giant stopped making these and the last model year for either aluminum frame or carbon frame was 2005. Just an FYI. NOT trying to scare you away from one in ANY way at all. For what the frame is designed to be used for it's a GREAT bike.

    As for racing or trail riding - it's funny but as soon as you say racing some people get all .... wierd. Ooooooh, it's a "racing bike" - what, so that means you can't just ride the thing????? C'mon, give me a break.

    Seeing as how you're asking about something i'm smack-dab right in the middle of .....

    I ride Albion frequently. Lately i've been pushing myself and my NRS faster and harder then I ever have before - almost to the point where I feel I might be "asking for it" with regards to my frame's longevity. Some people might look at a statement like that, think about Albion and wonder wtf i'm talking about, but the truth is that when you beat the crap out of any bike on any terrain you're "asking for it" ..... racing aside, seed is speed.

    Now, that said, i'm also working on my San Andreas to see how that goes. Who knows, maybe the SA will do me better with what i've been riding lately. It IS, afterall, more burly (durable), has more travel, offers more comfort - it's a trail bike. Oh, but I could also use it to RACE. There's plenty of sections at Albion that my SA would blow away my NRS (and vice-versa, of course).

    See where i'm going with this? Please, before you go any further with choosing a frame, think about your riding (which you are) and realize that racing and fast trail riding should be considered the SAME thing. The biggest thing that changes is the adrenaline rush of competition with racing.

    If you have friends with FS bike's ask them (beg?) to let you try it. It's different riding on the trail then the LBS's parking lot.

    As for the Dakar - no experience with it, but if I didn't buy my NRS I WOULD have wound up buying the HL'ed version of that popular Jamis instead (2003 and earlier only, I THINK). XLT is the only way to go.

    Good luck!
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  24. #24
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    Jenson has the '05 XLT frames (19") for $389

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ame+05+Oe.aspx
    It's only pain......

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F
    Jenson has the '05 XLT frames (19") for $389

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ame+05+Oe.aspx
    Jenson also ships fedex. From what i gather, they rape you with brokerage fees.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM01
    just a quick add...what is it about the Epic and commuters?...I passed three (!) of them coming into the city on my commute today, 1 on Bloor, 2 on Queen W.. I know we have potholes, but 4" travel FS's? Something we don't know?

    one rider was in a suit with a backpack
    Perhaps it is the only bike they have, you know run what you brung. Would you prefer to see these people in cars?
    it tied the room together man!

  27. #27
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    Of the tires that osokolo listed, are any of them more suitable than others when riding rocky trails in the Canadian Shield?
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8
    Apsley, Ontario, Canada

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by norm
    If you want an all round tire, try the Panaracer XC Fire Pros. My buddy had the same tires as you(he is a newbie) and swapped them out for Hutchinson Bulldogs. He also tried different pressures. He said the IRC Mythos XC were brutal for traction compared to the Bulldogs. I ride the same type of terrain and have a Specialized Stumpy FSR(2004-100mm of travel). Same thing, great all round bike. I've been riding Specialized Stumpys for the last 8 years and I have nothing but good things to say about them(3 bikes).

    I just bought some Specialized Fastrack UST's. They are best tire I've ever rode...They roll unbelievable and have awesome grip on rocks, roots and mud. They look like they might wear fast though.......

  29. #29
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    I think with Jensen's Fedex to Canada, brokerage fees are included. You just get charged tax (15%) on top.

    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    Jenson also ships fedex. From what i gather, they rape you with brokerage fees.

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