Looking for carbon SS experience and/or opinions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking for carbon SS experience and/or opinions

    I am starting looking for a carbon 29er SS. I have a scandium 29er ss with sliders currently, just for reference. I am not expecting to drop much if any weight, but love the dampening of a good carbon frame. If anyone has any firsthand experience with these any feedback will be appreciated. Here is the list with a rough pros/cons as far as I can see from the specs.

    S-Works
    pros:
    has sliders (if they don't creak like the older spec stuff)
    can probably get a good deal it through a friend
    cons:
    BB30, any issues, creaks adapters blah blah?
    is frameset only, don't really want the carbon crown super reba
    Even though I may be able to get a deal, is freaking expensive
    New/unproven has anyone seen or ridden one of these?

    Niner Air 9 Carbon
    pros:
    Relatively easy to get
    Can run geared
    *relatively* inexpensive
    cons:
    EBB, read that some have had fun with creaking

    Trek/GF Superfly SS
    pros:
    Lots of people ride them and plenty of info on them
    sliders? probably better than EBB, but have heard they can slip?
    cons:
    G2 - not really a big con as far as I can tell. Seem to ride fine, but just limits fork options
    2011 are fairly pricy

    Are there any others I should consider?

    TIA

  2. #2
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    The owner of the shop I work at has the 2010 Specialized S-Works SS frameset. Loves it. It is uber sexy and very light. Just wondering, whey don't you wan the S-Works "Super Reba"? That fork is ridiculous! Had it on my Epic Marathon 29er last year and it is super stiff and highly adjustable. The only negative I've heard, is that the bearings wear out quickly and need to be replaced regularly. I'll find out soon enough. No experience with the other models.

  3. #3
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    I have a full season of riding/racing on my 10 GF Superfly SS. Its been very reliable for me once I got the rear dropout hardware sorted out. I had to upgrade to beefier bolts to prevent slippage. The bike is just plain sick....I love how fast it is and it handles technical terrain with total confidence. I feel like I'm cheating when I line this bike up at the start.

    I must admit that the Sworks Stumpy SS is a fine looking rig but the proprietary items hold me back (r hub width for one).

  4. #4
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    Thanks fellas. This is helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by erichwic
    Just wondering, whey don't you wan the S-Works "Super Reba"?
    No good reason, just paranoid about a full carbon steerer crown. I should give it a chance though. A guy I ride just got a 11 s-works 29er epic which has the same fork I think. I should test it and give it a chance.


    Quote Originally Posted by LIV2RYD
    I have a full season of riding/racing on my 10 GF Superfly SS. Its been very reliable for me once I got the rear dropout hardware sorted out. I had to upgrade to beefier bolts to prevent slippage. The bike is just plain sick....I love how fast it is and it handles technical terrain with total confidence. I feel like I'm cheating when I line this bike up at the start.

    I must admit that the Sworks Stumpy SS is a fine looking rig but the proprietary items hold me back (r hub width for one).
    Good to hear on the superfly sliders. Can you give me more detail on the beefier bolts? I have heard similar stuff around the slider based superfly's but no details. In my mind this bike is the leader right now. I am considering the 2011 s-works too. I didn't know they had different rear hub widths? Do you know if the 11's with the sliders have non standard with too? Couldn't find anymore info on the specialized site. I do see the bb30/pf30 as a downside at this point.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapieyow
    A guy I ride just got a 11 s-works 29er epic
    I just spit beer through my nose onto the computer.
    Truffle Shuffle

  6. #6
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    There is a post on the GF page on this topic from earlier this season. I just upgraded the stock bolts from the cheesy, rounded st st bolts to beefier steel units with bigger heads. You want more mating surface between the bolt head and slider. Use both flat and lock washers to hold things tight as well. This setup gives u better leverage when tightening and wards off slippage.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla
    Quote Originally Posted by kapieyow
    A guy I ride just got a 11 s-works 29er epic
    I just spit beer through my nose onto the computer.
    lol. oops.


    Thanks for the detail liv2ryd

  8. #8
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    I have a 2011 S-Works Epic 29er frameset on order with the new Reba having "Brain" technology incorporated into it. Should be pretty sweet. It is the same fork as on their S-Works SS frame. According to the Specialized website, the SS frame does not have a proprietary hub. This is only on 2011 Epics.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapieyow
    I am not expecting to drop much if any weight, but love the dampening of a good carbon frame.
    This guy does not like dampening of any sort:


    Perhaps you mean the damping of a good carbon frame...

    sorry, feeling EXTRA pedantic today...
    **** censorship

  10. #10
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    I own a 2010 S-Works SS 29er and let me tell you it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I personally love the bike in every way. It is my first carbon SS but has exceeded all of my expectations. Before this bike I owned the following SS's in this order.

    1)Kona Unit 26er (heavy, too flexy and too small)

    2)Niner one9 (loved the bike but the old style BB was horrible)

    3)Salsa El Mariachi LE (old style was way too flexy - chains fell off all the time while hard cornering and the EBB sucked)

    4)Dean custom Ti w/ Paragon sliders (loved this bike- only sold it to acquire the S-Works)

    5)'10 S-Works SS (My Baby - I plan on keeping this one awhile) I run a 10mm RWS rear skewer on this to simplify changing tires - super slick and easy

  11. #11
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    lancelot, so you went from a titanium to carbon fiber frameset - how was the ride enhanced and do you have to be more "careful" with the carbon monocoque as opposed to forever titanium?
    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIV2RYD
    I have a full season of riding/racing on my 10 GF Superfly SS. Its been very reliable for me once I got the rear dropout hardware sorted out. I had to upgrade to beefier bolts to prevent slippage. The bike is just plain sick....I love how fast it is and it handles technical terrain with total confidence. I feel like I'm cheating when I line this bike up at the start.
    I am voting for the GF SS, as that was my bike for the season, and I agree with the above totally. My only regret was waiting until October to put on the Niner carbon fork.

    My second choice would be the Niner, but the warranty is not as good as Speshy or GF. I used it once on my Fisher already, so I am glad I have it. It could be that any defects would be apparent during the Niner warranty years.

    The Niner is a bit more expensive as well, around the same as the Superfly (2010), but the SF came with the Fox fork.

    That, and availability played a role. However, if I got a deal on a Niner frame, I would not hesitate.

  13. #13
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    I have the 2010 S works SS with the reba fork this bike kicks ass in every way. no creaks, smooth, fast and I am getting ready to ride in 20 minutes since we are to have an upper 70`s degree day.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by illnacord
    lancelot, so you went from a titanium to carbon fiber frameset - how was the ride enhanced and do you have to be more "careful" with the carbon monocoque as opposed to forever titanium?

    I prefer the ride of carbon any day to anything else. That being said I like a slightly stiff bike that fells snappy. I weigh 235lbs so most bikes feel a bit flexy to me especially when I'm out of the saddle cranking hard. I do feel as if I treat the carbon SS a little different than my Ti SS while going over more technical areas but that is only with my SS. My other carbon bikes that I have owned like my 07 and 08 FSR I rode them hard and never worried about damaging them. They can take quite a bit more abuse than you would think. The carbon SS however feels really thin much like a road frame and I have seen pics where guys have dropped them onto sharp objects and actually punctured the frame. This is where the Ti shines in my opinion. I absolutely loved my Dean Ti other than waiting for it to be built but I guess all great things take time. If you have slightly deeper pockets and can afford the carbon and like a nice snappy bike I would pull the trigger. If you want the assurance that the Ti can give you in the durability department I think Ti should be your choice. I personally could ride either and loved both of them in their own way. The carbon stands out a lot more and people always comment on how they would love to own it. Hope you find what your looking for.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the feedback. This helps. From what I can tell the 11 s-works uses a standard rear hub and it is only the epic that use the new through axle stuff? Does anyone have one? If I can find a 10, I might be into that too. Track ends seem to work fine. Also found a friend who knows a dealer nearby with a demo air 9 carbon, so may try that soon.

    Also @illnacord I have had several carbon 26er frames and a long term ti one. lancelot is spot on. Ti tends to be flexy (I run about 165), but is pretty close to indestructible if you get a good one. I prefer the feel of a good carbon far by far over all the other materials. I have been lucky with all mine and they have taken a fair amount of abuse. I have seen other's carbon bikes crack on weird impacts though, like a fall in a rock garden and hitting the stays.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapieyow
    Track ends seem to work fine.

    I use a RWS rear skewer with my track style ends on the '10 S-Works and I love it. It allows the wheel to drop straight down when you remove the skewer and leave the set screws in the drop outs. The new one looks better with the sliders but I'm happy with the old style.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lancelot
    I use a RWS rear skewer with my track style ends on the '10 S-Works and I love it. It allows the wheel to drop straight down when you remove the skewer and leave the set screws in the drop outs. The new one looks better with the sliders but I'm happy with the old style.
    I'm considering the On One Lurcher SS which won't be available for a while but was slightly put off by it's track end drop outs. I hadn't thought of the RWS Thru bolt option for easy wheel removal with track ends. That's a really good idea but I think it would only work with DT, Hope, Hadley or maybe King hubs.

    One thing to keep in mind about the '11 Fisher SS, it doesn't have a tapered HT for some reason. Only the geared frame does.
    2 wheels

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