Demo Days test rides on Giant & Specialized- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    DynoDon
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    Demo Days test rides on Giant & Specialized

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    I tried 3 Mountain bikes on the road for a mile or so, then a couple miles in the trails at Island Lk State Park in Michigan.

    1. Giant 26 FS maestro, shimano XT bike, set up for my weight/height, with spd pedals,
    Impressions, bike fit good, shifted good, my bikes are XT and XTR, on the trail, the bike climbed good, felt soft in the back, the front was good, nice bike.

    2. Giant 29er FS maestro, FS, Sram XX bike, set up for my weight/height, with spd pedals, bike fit good,
    Impressions, I never rode a 29er before, on the road it was nice, shifted good, but it took time getting readjusted to the Sram shifters, (I had them before) I got to the trail stopped at the hill going into the trail,(I wanted to see how it would be climbing a 29er from the bottom, it seems that I start there often, LOL) It climbed good, but slow going, again soft in the back, front felt good, I never use lockouts/gates on my bike or any other. We need suspension going up in Michigan, lots of rocks/roots etc. at the first corner up to speed I had to correct the front end alot or smack a tree, and that wasn't even a tight corner, steering was slow on the 29er, I don't think it would be good on the Torn Shirt in Brighton, and many other tight wooded/rooted trails in Michigan, the next hill I hit at speed only down shifting a couple gears, it did a good job on that rooty small loose climb, it felt big and awkward compared to the Giant 26 I rode earlier. The front end other than not wanting to steer was good.

    3. Secialized Carbon XO FS 26 inch bike, set up for my weight, the seat was a bit low, the bars close, not a good fit, but,
    Impressions, the bike felt good, nice on the road, this bike had brains,,LOL it felt stiff on the road, that all changed on the trail, the brain went to work, and took all the fun out of the ride, the back went soft, flexed around, and just didnt' feel good on the loose, rocky, rooty climbs, the front was working just about like my Reba, once the brain started working.

    Over all I liked the Giant 26 inch FS the best, I was fastest on it, I climbed best on it, it handled the best, a bit soft in the back, compared to my bike. The shifting was great, but then I ride a shimano XTR all the time, the triggers seem better on the shimano compared to the Sram, again thats what I'm use to.

    Compared to my bike, I'll be keeping my bike as is, its stiffer in the rear then any of them bikes, no flex, feels more like a HT even though I use all my travel, (Rock Shox 4.2 Monarch set at 270 psi, max is 275 psi, I weigh 220 w/gear) turns great, climbs good, shifters work great, front end (Reba) goes up, and down the hills with the best of them, I should try the gate (it works like the brain, but has to be pop loc'd) the rear is stiff enough I dont' need to use the gate anywhere in Michigan I've found, I dont' notice flex, or bob on the climbs, or turns.

    All in all there is only small differences in each bike, they can all be dialed in better, everyone sets up their bike for themselves once they get them, that would make each bike I tested a bit better bike, but for me to change bikes, or frames to make my bike ride like the newer designed bikes, I dont' see where the money would be well spent, I'll ride my bike as is, and go on enjoying it, by the way my bike is a 2010, 26 inch, Motobecan Fantom Team Full Suspension.
    Happy Trails

  2. #2
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    Lucky you, Manabiker - you got out riding this weekend! I still haven't put my Haymaker 1500 together yet, although I ordered a Haymaker 1000 for my 12-year old son (I guess that means I like what I see in the box so far!)

    How were the trails? I had a first communion party to go to on Saturday, and opened the pool and took my son to a hockey tryout on Sunday. Maybe tonight I'll get at it a bit!

    Thanks for taking the time to write!

  3. #3
    DynoDon
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    Trails are in great shape, a bit dry, but thats better then wet..LOL!! I get out alot, about 400 miles so far this year on the trails, I racing this weekend at Brighton, 3 races in 2 days, Torn Shirt Time Trial, 1 lap, grass stage race, laps, then the next day a cross country race on Murry Lake, each race longer then the last one, I've been praticing, I did 22.5 miles today on Murry Lk non stop, Wensday I'll do 2 or 3 Torn Shirts..then rest for the race,, come on out and check it out.. Tailwinds is putting it on..
    Good Luck on the put together
    .http://www.shop.tailwind-racing.com/...B-Races_c5.htm

  4. #4
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    I felt the same way about a Trek Fuel EX I test rode. They set it up for my weight and the rear end felt like it had plenty of travel but the bike felt kinda empty when climbing and like you said soft.

    I have a Pro DS.

  5. #5
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    Holy memory road. I'm from B-town. You grow up there?

  6. #6
    DynoDon
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    You mean Brighton ??? I'm grew up (well was raised, never grew up) closer to Metro Airport, and live there now,

  7. #7
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    Yeah, Brighton, lol. That's cool, used to go there all the time back in high school.

  8. #8
    DynoDon
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    I just got back from a race, well 3 races in Brighton State Rec Area, a Time Trial, yesterday on Torn Shirt Trail, a staged grass race there yesterday, then today we did a cross country at Murry Lake Trail, rained all day, races were shortened 1 lap each, they combine all three races for a Plaque, and give a cool gear on a ribbon necklace type thing for the cross country race today, I got a 2 nd in the stage race total and a 3rd today in the rain.. I moved down to 50+ Beginner, I was racing 60+ Sport, I'm glad I did it was 1 lap shorter, (easier on the bike) It was torture on the bikes, alot of people finished with no brakes, the sand and water worked like a grinder on them brakes and who knows whatelse, I have some work to do tomorrow, on the brakes at least..

  9. #9
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    Damn, that sounds fun and a pain in the ass all at the same time.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the review. Never really considered a 29er. If they don't turn as tight as a 26 then they are out for me. One of my fav trails has a whole section of tight twisty downhill.

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