So, I've been to 4 Local bike shops in the last couple days and have test-ridden around 6 HT XC bikes in the ~$800 range. The bike I liked best was the 05 Gaint Rainier. It's light, has decent components and just feels fun. In particular I like the frame geometry (XTC) better than any of the other bikes I test rode.
Now here's the issue: yesterday evening I take a look at the IBEX website and find that the Trophy-series frame geometry seems very close to the Rainier geometry.
Size: 19" - 20"
Head Angle: 71- 70
Seat Angle: 72- 73
Top Tube: 23.2"- 22"
Chainstay: 16.7"- 16.75"
WheelBase: 41.7"- 42"
Standover: 31.7"- 31"
The specs of each bike are:
_ 05 Giant Rainier_
ALUXX SL butted aluminumfork
Marzocchi EXR 100mm Travelshifters
SRAM X.7 Triggerfront derailleur
Shimano Deorerear derailleur
SRAM X.7 Short Cagebrakes
Hayes Sole XC 6" Rotorbrake levers
SRAM PG950 11-34, 9-speedTchain
TruVative forged 22/32/42T for Powersplinebb
TruVative GigaPipe SL ISISrims
Sun Rhyno Lite 32Hhubs
Formula 32H Discspokes
Stainless steel 14Gtires
Hutchinson Bulldog AirLight 26 x 2.1"handlebar
Easton EA50 31.8mm Low Risestem
Easton EA50 6 Degree Riseheadset
Integrated, 1 1/8"seatpost
Easton EA50 30.9x350saddle
WTB Speed Vpedals
_04 IBEX Trophy 880LX_
6061 Double-Butted Aluminum w/ Oversize Tubing /Aerol Downtube / Replaceable Derailleur Hanger / Disc Ready / S-Bend Seat-Stay & Tapered Chainstay
Marzocchi MX Comp ETA w/ 85mm Travel / Air Spring - Coil Negative / ETA Lockout / Ext. Preload & Int. Rebound Adjustment / Dual SSV Damping / Monolite Magnesium Lowers / 30mm Stanchions / Superlite Forged "M" Crown w/ Cryofit Design
Shimano LX Rapidfire - 27-spd Indexed
TruVativ Stylo SL - 44/32/22T w/ Alloy Crank Arms & Chainrings
TruVativ Giga-Pipe SL - ISIS Splined - Cartridge Type
Shimano LX - 11-32T - 9-spd
KMC Z9000 Super Narrow - Dark Silver
Avid Single Digit 5 V-Brakes
Avid Speed Dial 5
Kenda Kharisma - 26" x 2.10"
Ritchey Pro Girder XC Double Wall - 32H - Black - OCR Rear - CNC Sidewall
Shimano LX w/ Quick Release
14G Black Stainless Steel
Ritchey Comp Rizer - 620mm x 20° rise - OS 31.8mm Clamp Size
Ritchey Comp V2 Alloy - OS 31.8mm Clamp Size
WTB Dual Compound Trial Grips
FSA Orbit XL II Threadless w/ Sealed Cartridge Bearings
Shimano M520 Clipless w/ Cleats and Clip-in Platform
WTB Laser V Race
Ritchey Comp V2 Alloy - 27.2 x 350mm
Uno Alloy Extrusion
Multi-tool, Touch-up Paint
The Trophy works out to be about $100 less (shipping vs LBS tax considered). Of course I won't be able to test it until it arrives at my doorstep. It doesn't have the Hayes disc brake, but it does have what looks to be a better fork. I have no problem servicing my own bike as I am technically inclined. The LBS would provide "minor" adjustments for life on the Giant.
Based on the specs and the close geometry, what would you guys go with?
Thanks.. (Excuse the huge post)