A little while ago I posted a thread inquiring about good full suspension bikes, but decided to look for a decent Hardtail instead. I was planning on just buying the Forge Sawback 5xx because it has decent components, but after taxes and shipping combined, the unbeatable $379 becomes about $440.
I was just surfing the web and came across bikesdirect.com. I didn't really make much of it, but saw that they had several bikes for sale at really good prices within my range and with decent specs. I was actually planning on just flat out buying their Windsor 4900 because I saw that it had very good reviews and it was only $399, but they are out of stock for it.
Anyways, I couldn't buy that, so I thought about the Motobecane 700HT. since bikesdirect doesn't have shipping or tax, the $499 price tag wasn't as bad is the $379 price tag of the Sawback.
Here are the spec differences:
Forge Sawback 5xx:
Size: 19" FRAME / STANDOVER HEIGHT 31.7"
Color: MATTE BLUE / SILVER
Frame: 6061 ALL ALUMINUM, DOUBLE-BUTTED, HYDROFORMED GUSSET, WITH DISC AND RACK/ FENDER MOUNTS
Front Suspension: ROCKSHOX DART 1 W/ADJUSTABLE PRELOAD, 100MM TRAVEL
Rims: WTB SPEEDDISC, 32-HOLE
Hubs: JOYTECH ALLOY QR DISC 32H
Spokes: 14G STAINLESS STEEL
Tires: ITS NINJA 26X2.1"
Shifters: SHIMANO DEORE
Front Derailleur: SHIMANO ALIVIO
Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO DEORE
Crankset: TRUVATIV ISOFLOW ALUMINUM TRIPLE 22/32/42T
Bottom Bracket: VP SEALED CARTRIDGE
Cassete: SRAM PG950, 34-11T, 9 SPEED
Chain: SHIMANO HG73
Pedals: ALLOY PLATFORM
Saddle: WTB PURE V SPORT
Seat Post: ALLOY 30.8X350MM, ADJUST WITH QUICK RELEASE
Handlebar: MTB-ALLOY 30MM RISE
Stem: FORGE-ALLOY 105MM
Grips: WTB TRAIL
Brake Set: AVID BB-5, MECHANICAL DISC
Brake Levers: TEKTRO ALLOY
Extras: PRESTA VALVES, CATEYE REFLECTOR SET, TWO WATER BOTTLE MOUNTS, STORAGE RACK & FENDER MOUNTS CLEAR COAT PAINT FINISH AND OWNERS MANUAL
Frame Custom 7005 Aluminum Trail-Tuned POWER STAY frame, box section chainstays, bi-axial gussetted downtube, sculpted rear dropouts with replaceable rear derailleur hanger, 2x H2O bosses, International Standard rear disc mounts Detailed Picture Gallery
Fork RockShox Dart 2 Adjustable with Advanced LockOut (crown-mount lever)
Crankset TruVativ 5D Aluminum Triple 22/32/42T 175mm (TruShift Rings)
Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge
Pedals ATB Beartrap (metal cages)
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore Mega 9 top swing
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT long cage
Shifters Shimano Deore Mega 9 Speed STI Rapidfire Pods (27 speeds total)
Cassette/Freewheel Cassette 11-32T 9 Speed Hyperglide
Chain 9 Speed Z9000 Super Narrow
Hubs Formula DiscSpecific Aluminum (black) Sealed Ball Bearing mechanism
Spokes Stainless Steel
Rims WTB SpeedDisc Rims Double Wall Aluminum
Tires WTB Velociraptor Blackwall 26 x 2.10
Mechanical Disc Brakes with Multi Pad Angle adjustments
(Note: Brakes are Tektro Aquila or Avid BB5, No Choice)
Brake Levers Tektro for Disc
Headset Cane Creek Internal Sealed caged ball bearing VP A42E 1.125 inch
Handlebar Skye Comp Aluminum Riser
Stem Skye Comp Threadless Aluminum
Tape/Grip WTB Dual Compound
Saddle WTB Speed V with comfort groove
Seat Post Skye Aluminum Micro-Adjust
Seat Clamp Alloy w/QR
Sizes 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 inch
Colors Polished Silver Detailed Picture Gallery
From what the specs show, it seems like the 700HT is a substantially better deal because of the Deore XT versus plain Deore and no Alvio components etc., but I am not sure if anyone knows which one will most likely be better based on the components (because I have heard that they are both well made). I only have $450, but I am willing to wait a week or two to buy the 700HT if it is a better deal (I currently ride a crappy Mongoose full suspension kids bike and I am 6', 255 lbs)
I am not sure if the frames would be the same size because the Sawback has a 31.7" standover height while the 700HT has a 30" standover for the 19" model (their 21" is out of stock). I have a foot to crotch measurement of about 33" from what I got when I measured two nights ago, so I am just hoping the 700HT wouldn't be too small if it is the better deal (although since my current bike has a 13" frame anything would fit better).
As far as modifications go, I am not planning on doing much. I am not an extreme mountain biker, but stuck would like to get the best value and components possible for my budget. My only plan was to put a Cane Creek Thudbuster Suspension Post on it when I get the money (I would have to figure out the post size of the 700HT to find out whether I would need a shim or not, but the skye post is the only thing I have heard complaints about so far) since I really do not like the feel of a hardtail, but like the design. My only concern is whether the Thudbuster post would make either bike fit to tall or too short for me if the 19" stock post is fine.
Also, if anyone knows of a bike with better components for $500 max, shipped and taxes included (Washington Taxes), I would appreciate to know as well.