Crave SL vs Superfly SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Crave SL vs Superfly SS

    I am currently looking at these two bikes for my first SS. They both feel like the appropriate price and trim level for me.

    Doe anyone have any strong preference between the two?

    I am particularly interested in thoughts on the EBB vs the horizontal dropouts. I am a bigger rider (6'4" and 220 lbs) so i put good wear on components.

    Also the standard quick releases vs the thru axels?

  2. #2
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    Any particular reason you're attracted to specialized and trek? I would have a look around... There are SO many options other than those brands that offer great starter rigid bikes, and even at lower price points. The Kona Unit comes to mind and can be configured as a geared bike as well. Plus it's steel (best for rigid!)

    For starters, I would lean towards the Crave... The frame is a little nicer-looking to me. But honestly spending over a grand on a new, stock rigid single speed feels so wrong. You might as well go pick up a used one off of Craigslist and get 90% of the experience for half the price.


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  3. #3
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    I can't speak on the Crave but I love my Superfly! My only wish is that it had a longer adjustment range on the rear axle. I change gearing a lot and that would help me. Otherwise it's boss!

  4. #4
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    Mmmmm, Crave...

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    I'm biased to the Superfly... I love the Stranglehold dropout...

  6. #6
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    I have a Carve (2012 version) and it is a super nice bike. I HATE the proprietary headset crap spesh does and their service sucks when you call in and they don't even know what is going on. LBS is great though and we figured out what was needed when I wanted to add a squishy fork to my options. As for a bike, I would say it doesn't get much better. I've commuted on it, raced CX, and of course plenty of MTB single track. It's a dang nice bike.

    Right now I just swapped parts off of mine to an older, carbon superfly SS mainly because I got a great deal and I want to try a 21" vs. my 19" Carve. First ride is today. If I don't like it, it's back to the Carve for me.

  7. #7
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    Weakest parts on the Superfly are the asinine slider design and the cheap cam mechanism on the thru axles. Not necessarily a deal breaker but certainly annoying. That said...love the way my Superfly handles. Not sure how it compares to the Specialized but it is a blast to ride.
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  8. #8
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    I prefer the slacker HTA of the Superfly (69.3 vs 71.5). I was happy with how both handled, but the Trek definitely had the edge in my mind. The Trek is also lighter than the Crave (at least stock). This year's black on black Crave looks pretty sweet, though.

  9. #9
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    The Crave SL is a kick ass bike! There is not much that I can fault it for. Actually, I can't think of anything to be honest. The EBB setup that Specialized uses is simple, solid and mine was completely creak free. For XC riding the geometry is spot on in imo. I like a steeper HTA's though so take that for what it's worth...As for the Superfly, I can't really speak on it BUT I now have a Pivot Les SS and it also has a 69.3 HTA like the Superfly. With a 100mm Fox I can't say that I'm much of a fan of the slack geometry. It goes down hill great but everywhere else I feel like I'm riding a chopper. Having said that, I just put a Niner fork on it yesterday and I think it's gonna make a big difference. It lowered the front end considerably which effectively gives me a steeper HTA. Won't get it out on the trail till tomorrow so I guess I'll find out at that time....You might wonder why I sold my Crave if I thought it was sooooo great. Well, I have a tendency to be a bit of a bike whore from time to time.😀

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  10. #10
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    at 6'4" the XXL specialized is probably the only one of the two that will fit correctly unless you like a small bike. make sure you take fit into consideration; especially at your size.

    I am 6'3" with a long torso/arms and about the only production bike i can find with a long enough toptube for me is the XXL specialized.

  11. #11
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    I'm 6'4" and the XL Trek is just about perfect.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    Weakest parts on the Superfly are the asinine slider design and the cheap cam mechanism on the thru axles. Not necessarily a deal breaker but certainly annoying. That said...love the way my Superfly handles. Not sure how it compares to the Specialized but it is a blast to ride.
    Word.

    I like the geo on the Trek a lot, YMMV.

    You might need a wheel upgrade with either one. The trek comes with 28h rims front and back (least it did last year). They are offset rims, which helps. I haven't had any problems at 213lbs but I'm pretty easy on rims.

    If you drop $500 on new wheels and tires, you're about at the point where you coulda built for about the same money.

    If you want to. Personally I think steel is pretty sweet. The Trek alloy frame isn't terrible, beats the pants off my old alloy 26er. That said, you won't be able to replicate the trek geo in a steel frame unless you go custom or Jones, and there's no such thing as an aftermarket carbon fork that'll work. There are about a million 73/71 steel frames out there with nice steel or carbon forks to match.

  13. #13
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    I'm riding an eXotic carbon fork on a G2 frame with a 43 or 45mm offset. Seems fine to me even though g2 calls for a 51mm offset.

    Comparing my Carve to the Superfly SS Carbon I rode yesterday (2010 model, but similar geo) I would say the Carve seemed to climb a little better (not much different) and was quicker in the turns. The Superfly is more stable and more comfortable likely due to the larger size. I felt better on the downhills on the Superfly and the carbon frame seemed a little softer on the rough stuff.

    Still haven't made up my mind.

  14. #14
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    I've been leaning towards those two partly because of supply. The LBS's in the area have some stocked and they are showing up for sale used also. It feels like i should be able to get near or under $1k for one on clearance or used (so I am thinking more like you said about the MSRPs).

    Since this post I have looked more into the Salsa El Mar SS and I like the idea of the more proven dropout design. With that said, I can't find an XL Salsa El Mar SS on this continent for sale.

    Quote Originally Posted by TruTone View Post
    Any particular reason you're attracted to specialized and trek? I would have a look around... There are SO many options other than those brands that offer great starter rigid bikes, and even at lower price points. The Kona Unit comes to mind and can be configured as a geared bike as well. Plus it's steel (best for rigid!)

    For starters, I would lean towards the Crave... The frame is a little nicer-looking to me. But honestly spending over a grand on a new, stock rigid single speed feels so wrong. You might as well go pick up a used one off of Craigslist and get 90% of the experience for half the price.


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  15. #15
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    Perhaps I have a shorter torso and arms but I fit the xl spec well. I actually currently ride a crave comp hard tail xl that has worked great. I've been happy with the stock spec components mostly. The only component that I've felt wore out too quick was the rear hub. But at 220-230# the hub took some abuse.

    My weight and how it could wear on the EBB or drops and cause creep is most of my concern on this bike, but maybe that is misplaced. Unfortunately if I picked up the Crave SS I'd be doubling down on that rear hub also. It also just feels weird to have a hard tail geared crave and a rigid SS crave. I am not sure why, perhaps variety feels good.

  16. #16
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    I've read that folks get close or run out of adjustment.

    Ever any issues with creep? I've been told Trek fixed the creep issue that was evident on the old RIG but this new SF SS hasn't been out for that long.

    Quote Originally Posted by unclechet View Post
    I can't speak on the Crave but I love my Superfly! My only wish is that it had a longer adjustment range on the rear axle. I change gearing a lot and that would help me. Otherwise it's boss!

  17. #17
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    I can run 34x16 - 34x19 without swapping chain. No creep but you gotta torque it down properly.

  18. #18
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    No creep here but there is the creak. Cheap axle with plastic cam washer/thing that likes to compress over longer rides, slightly loosening the axle causing a very loud creak when mashing. Thinking something as simple as an upgraded axle may do the trick. Trek rep confirmed 174mm total length, 18mm thread length, and M12x1.75 thread pitch. Looks like this is a dead on match with exception of the thread length being 2mm longer.

    RockShox Maxle Lite Ultimate Rear MTB 12x142mm L 174 TL 20mm TP M12x1 75 | eBay


    Agree with Dave's sentiment regarding the wheels, especially if you want to run larger volume tires. Finding the rear to be okay since that is the volume tire I'd run anyways but a 2.4 felt really odd on the Mustang so I'm swapping my front wheel with a Blunt 35 that I already had built for my other bike.
    Last edited by A1an; 01-18-2016 at 09:39 AM.
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  19. #19
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    To make sure I understand what your saying . . .

    The creak is in the thru axle, not the stranglehold. Have you found any issues with the stranglehold? Seems like the thru axel should be upgradeable for not that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    No creep here but there is the creak. Cheap axle with plastic cam washer/thing that likes to compress over longer rides, slightly loosening the axle causing a very loud creak when mashing. Thinking something as simple as an upgraded axle may do the trick. Trek rep confirmed 174mm total length, 18mm thread length, and M12x1.75 thread pitch. Looks like this is a dead on match with exception of the thread length being 2mm longer.

    RockShox Maxle Lite Ultimate Rear MTB 12x142mm L 174 TL 20mm TP M12x1 75 | eBay


    Agree with Dave's sentiment regarding the wheels, especially if you want to run larger volume tires. Finding the rear to be okay since that is the volume tire I'd run anyways but a 2.4 felt really odd on the Mustang so I'm swapping my front wheel with a Blunt 35 that I already had built for my other bike.

  20. #20
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    I have gripes with the strangle hold dropouts themselves (silly design requiring an additional tool for on-trail repairs/adjustments compared to a normal slider), but yes the creaking is with the rear axle.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluzar View Post
    I've read that folks get close or run out of adjustment.

    Ever any issues with creep? I've been told Trek fixed the creep issue that was evident on the old RIG but this new SF SS hasn't been out for that long.
    No creep but I have had squeaks. It's really pretty bullet proof in my book but don't plan on any chain adjustments out on the trail. Unless you like carrying big ass sockets or box end wrenches. Otherwise I love the bike.

  22. #22
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruTone View Post
    Any particular reason you're attracted to specialized and trek? I would have a look around... There are SO many options other than those brands that offer great starter rigid bikes, and even at lower price points. The Kona Unit comes to mind and can be configured as a geared bike as well. Plus it's steel (best for rigid!)

    For starters, I would lean towards the Crave... The frame is a little nicer-looking to me. But honestly spending over a grand on a new, stock rigid single speed feels so wrong. You might as well go pick up a used one off of Craigslist and get 90% of the experience for half the price.


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    Amen. Preach. The easiest bike to find is a 700 mint stock SS. Guy wants to try SS buys a new one then it's not for him. Classifieds! I have an XL el mariachi I would sell you. Alternator dropouts is better than ebb. Paragon is top.

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  23. #23
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    at 6'4" the XXL specialized is probably the only one of the two that will fit correctly unless you like a small bike. make sure you take fit into consideration; especially at your size.

    I am 6'3" with a long torso/arms and about the only production bike i can find with a long enough toptube for me is the XXL specialized.
    Kona Raijin would in 22"

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  24. #24
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluzar View Post
    I've been leaning towards those two partly because of supply. The LBS's in the area have some stocked and they are showing up for sale used also. It feels like i should be able to get near or under $1k for one on clearance or used (so I am thinking more like you said about the MSRPs).

    Since this post I have looked more into the Salsa El Mar SS and I like the idea of the more proven dropout design. With that said, I can't find an XL Salsa El Mar SS on this continent for sale.
    I have 2. Pm me

    Here's an Xl

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  25. #25
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    What years Superfly? I found a 2010 for a steal?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluzar View Post
    I am currently looking at these two bikes for my first SS. They both feel like the appropriate price and trim level for me.

    Doe anyone have any strong preference between the two?

    I am particularly interested in thoughts on the EBB vs the horizontal dropouts. I am a bigger rider (6'4" and 220 lbs) so i put good wear on components.

    Also the standard quick releases vs the thru axels?
    I have about 2,000 miles on my '15 superfly ss. Probably one of the best thought out and reasonably priced single speeds available. I also looked at the crave or carve or whatever they're calling it now. The reason I didn't go with that is because that's a nearly dead wheel standard, things will be eventually moved away from 142 through axles as well but they are the current "standard". I haven't experienced any squeak or creep of the axles and other than a Chris king cog, carbon bar, and tires everything is stock and works well. The stock wheel set isn't terrible but you might consider looking into a better set eventually, I had problems with my rear wheel getting loose but the lbs warrantied it and I got a new wheel that hasn't had the those issues.
    To sum everything up, if I had a choice of $1500ish dollar bikes again, I'd buy the superfly.

  27. #27
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    Superfly SS.

    Better geometry, thru axles, the Stranglehold dropout is great, doesn't make a sound, doesn't slip.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    I have a Carve (2012 version) and it is a super nice bike. I HATE the proprietary headset crap spesh does and their service sucks when you call in and they don't even know what is going on. LBS is great though and we figured out what was needed when I wanted to add a squishy fork to my options. As for a bike, I would say it doesn't get much better. I've commuted on it, raced CX, and of course plenty of MTB single track. It's a dang nice bike.

    Right now I just swapped parts off of mine to an older, carbon superfly SS mainly because I got a great deal and I want to try a 21" vs. my 19" Carve. First ride is today. If I don't like it, it's back to the Carve for me.
    what was the problem with the headset? I put an aftermarket fork on their without issue.
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  29. #29
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    I have a Crave SL and love it. The only issue, as Someonecallthekomsquad pointed out, the axle dilemma. Not so much in the rear, but the front. I put a 15mm SID on the front and swapped out wheels. No point in keeping the fork since I'll most likely never swap hub axles out regularly enough.
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