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  1. #1
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    Help me pick a mountain bike Pt. 2 (my final 3 choices)

    Alright, since my last thread I went to a couple more LBSs and tried a few more bikes. It seems that I narrowed down my choices to the following. However, I still have to basically pick if I'm going to go for a hard tail or FS. A lot of people say it's easier / quicker to ride on a FS, so I think I'm edging that way. However, if I go for the hard tail, I will be getting much better over all components. Again, I never actually rode a Mt. Bike that had any suspension yet. Other things to note, my hard upper budget is $1500.

    -------------------------------------------
    Trek 8500 ($1500 on sale): Pros, felt quite good when I test rode it, but then, it was only on pavement. Cons: No rear suspension (obviously )

    Frame: ZR 9000 Alloy
    Front Suspension: Fox F80 RL Disc, 80mm
    Wheels: Bontrager Race Disc
    Tires: Bontrager Jones ACX, folding, 26x2.2"
    Shifters: Shimano Deore XT Dual Control
    Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
    Crank: Shimano Deore XT 44/32/22
    Cassette: SRAM PG970 11-34, 9 speed
    Saddle: Bontrager Race
    Seat Post: Bontrager Race X Lite Carbon
    Handlebars: Bontrager Race, 25mm rise, 31.8mm
    Stem: Bontrager Race, 7 degree, 31.8mm
    Headset: Cane Creek S-3 w/cartridge bearings, sealed
    Brakeset: Shimano Deore XT, hydraulic disc, 6" rotors
    -------------------------------------------

    Stumpjumper FSR Comp ($1400 on sale). Pros: I liked the the way the shifters felt. Cons: The brakes are the worst of the three. However, I can add mechanical disc brakes for $220 I believe.

    Frame: M4 Manipulated Alloy frame with Transform monocoque top tube
    Front Fork: Fox Float Triad 3-position (Lock-out, Open, ProPedal), 100mm travel
    Rear Shock: Manitou Black Elite, 100mm travel, lockout, alloy steerer
    Headset: 1 1/8" Threadless, 3x sealed cartridge bearings, alloy top cap
    Stem: 3D forged CNC machined, 4 bolt, 31.8mm OS clamp, 8 deg rise
    Handlebar: Specialized XC Low Rise 31.8mm OS, 6066 butted alloy
    Brakes: V Brakes (not sure which ones, the "official" spec has hydraulic disc brakes, but not the one at the store)
    Front Derailleur: Shimano M-570 LX, 34.9 clamp, bottom pull
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano M-952 XTR, long cage, standard spring
    Shift Levers: Shimano M-510 Deore
    Cassette: Shimano HG-50 LX, 9 speed 11x34t
    Chain: Shimano HG-73
    Crankset: Cstom Shimano Hollowtech, Octalink XT spline
    Chainwheels: 44Ax32Sx22S, 4 bolt 104/64mm pattern
    Bottom Bracket: Shimano ES-30 Octalink spline, 68mm shell
    Rims: Mavic X317 26" black eyelets
    Front Hub: Specialized Stout Disc, 32 hole
    Rear Hub: Shimano M-525 Disc, 32 hole, loose ball bearings, alloy Q/R
    -------------------------------------------

    Kona Dawg ($1400 on sale). Pros: Brakes were a lot better than the specialized. The shocks felt good too and had rebound settings. Cons: The chain got stuck in the frame once during riding (didn't come off, just stuck).

    Frame tubing: Kona Clump Light 7005 Butted Aluminum/5" travel
    Rear shock: Fox Float R
    Fork: Marzocchi EXR Pro 120mm
    Headset: Aheadset STS
    Crankarms: RaceFace Ride XC ISIS
    Chainrings: 44/32/22
    B/B: RaceFace SRX ISIS
    Pedals: Shimano PD M505 clipless
    Chain: Shimano CN-HG53 (9sp)
    Cassette: Shimano Deore 11-32 9 speed
    F/D: Shimano Deore
    R/D: Shimano Deore XT
    Shifters: Shimano Deore
    Handlebar: TruVativ LE Riser
    Stem: TruVativ XR 3D Stem (HS-05-XR)
    Grips: Kona Jack****
    Brakes: Hayes Hydraulic HFX-9 XC
    Brake Levers: Hayes Hydraulic HFX-9 XC
    Front hub: KK Disc
    Rear hub: Shimano Disc FH-M475
    Spokes: 14G Stainless
    Tires: Nokian NBT 26 x 2.1
    Rims: Sun DS2-XC
    Saddle: WTB Speed V Comp
    Seatpost: TruVativ XR
    Seat clamp: Kona QR
    -------------------------------------------

    Ok... so, which bike should I go get?

  2. #2
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    I'd totally get the 8500

    zr9000
    Full xt kit
    Love treks geometry for hts.
    I know its light.

    Msrp: 2200

    You can't go wrong. If I could find that deal I would go out and get it now. Get it. Now.

  3. #3
    Senior Member valbowski1980's Avatar
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    My vote is for the Kona....... if you don't mind a slightly heavier bike.
    That said, the Trek is a fine machine as is the Stumpjumper.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tag1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheard
    I'd totally get the 8500

    zr9000
    Full xt kit
    Love treks geometry for hts.
    I know its light.

    Msrp: 2200

    You can't go wrong. If I could find that deal I would go out and get it now. Get it. Now.
    +1

    Great deal on the Trek and that thing is probably light as a feather, especially compared to the other two...
    06 GF HKEK
    05 Bruiser

  5. #5
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    Yeah if I was getting purely an XC rig the Trek 8500 would be my choice, very light, great components, just grat for XC.

    I was riding just a little more aggresive (All-Mountain riding style), I would pick the FSR Comp and if I was riding even MORE aggressive I would go with the Dawg.

    Overall, I would get the Dawg because it can be beat up a little more and has more travel and I like the way Kona Dawgs ride but the 8500 will climb a lot better, will be a lot faster, a lot lighter and will serve you better as an XC rig which seems to be what you are looking for.

    So yeah if you are going to ride XC without abusing your bike the 8500 is the obvious choice, and if you are going for an aggresive riding style the Dawg is the obvious choice, the FSR Comp is like the in between and its a good choice if you are doing AM riding.

  6. #6
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    If you're not racing, there's no point to beating yourself up on a hardtail when you can have good FS for the same price. I'd go with the Kona for the $.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chone
    Yeah if I was getting purely an XC rig the Trek 8500 would be my choice, very light, great components, just grat for XC.

    I was riding just a little more aggresive (All-Mountain riding style), I would pick the FSR Comp and if I was riding even MORE aggressive I would go with the Dawg.

    Overall, I would get the Dawg because it can be beat up a little more and has more travel and I like the way Kona Dawgs ride but the 8500 will climb a lot better, will be a lot faster, a lot lighter and will serve you better as an XC rig which seems to be what you are looking for.

    So yeah if you are going to ride XC without abusing your bike the 8500 is the obvious choice, and if you are going for an aggresive riding style the Dawg is the obvious choice, the FSR Comp is like the in between and its a good choice if you are doing AM riding.
    Ok... so I'm pretty sure my riding style would be considered XC... but what is the "line" between XC and All-Mountain?

  8. #8
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    Dude majglow, the 8500 has a stronger frame. Its really light, and would be an amazing starter bike for beginners. All mountain would include 4+ foot drops and really rocky stuff. It freaking has an entire xt drivetrain!

    That 8500 will be like stealth man, you can just call it the stealth machine. It will climb like a goat, descend with grace. Get it!! and get a full suspension later.

  9. #9
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Kona!
    Once you spend time with both ht and fs, you likely won't go back to ht.
    Stumpy is a great bike but yer paying for an awful lot of splashy advertising dollars for that bike - and Specialized has become the schoolyard bully recently with their horst-link litigation.
    The Kona has great brakes, great suspenders, cool cranks - cool bike, won't need upgrading for a while, and you can do anything on it. The Trek is smooth-trail specific and though lighter, will beat you up more.

    The best part of riding fs versus ht is you can enjoy the trail, the surroundings, the company, the sights, etc instead of having to focus all your attention on picking the perfect line all the time. I enjoy the same trails on my fs more than my ht, and enjoyment is what it's all about.

    that said, you can't go wrong!
    beer-bottle target

  10. #10
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by majglow
    Cons: No rear suspension
    As one who rides a hardtail, I'd like to point out that this doesn't necessarily need to be considered a "con". That said, the Trek deal sounded pretty good... full XT and all. But, you should really just go with what feels right to you. You want to get something that you can get your money's worth out of. The only way to do that is to ride it often. The only way you'll do that is if the bike fits you comfortably.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  11. #11
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    basically the same choice my daughter was considering...she has a Trek 7600zx and her BF rides a liquid, so she was aware of some of the Trek ride and fit issues. Her BF is always adjusting things on his bike, and its a bit heavy for a XC/AM bike...but that has no bearing here...anyway, her question was why a hardtail when a FS will be a logical trade-up at a later date

    The Kona build components were a bit on the cheaper side and the bike had a stiff, unresponsive ride, great on the descents, but a bit of a slog on the climbs

    So she went with the Stumpy FSR Disc...a good build, Black 100mm fork, Fox Float R shock, Shimano Hydraulic discs...it climbs like a goat, rock solid on the descents, light, but bombproof M4 frame

    I'd ask why the lbs FSR has V-brakes, though...that's a bit of a showstopper

    that's her stumpy with mom and dad
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I guess the fact the FSR has vbrakes is why the price is so low. I just purchased the 2006 FSR Stumpjumper with mechanic disc at a discounted $1650. I love the bike especially the Triad shock but have to get used to the 5 " travel fork (Fox Float RL 100-120) - I probably would have been happier with a 4" travel fork. Just didn't realize what a different it would make. Great going downhill but a struggle climbing.

    I would look for a FSR Stumpjumper with disc brakes and forgo the "Comp" - I think really a better buy. The only things I have changed out and added were Hope seat post clamp and skewers (in a cool red to match the bike) and a King headset. Maybe someday I'll replace the wheels but right now they seem to be fine. I'm happy with the Avid mechanical brakes.

  13. #13
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the StumpJumper and I love my Kona, but the Trek has a sweet set of specs. (XT, Fox 80RL, etc.)

    It's a hardtail. For XC applications, this is a great way to develop your skills.

    You like the way it feels.

    If I was in your shoes, I'd be getting the Trek.
    First Class Jerk

  14. #14
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    Well, I just thought I'd let you all know that I just purchased the Trek 8500. It was really the bike that felt the best to me. The kona was really too small (but managable with the seat all the way to the limit) and really didn't like the brakes on the specialized with comparison to the others. I also never rode on a bike that had any suspensions and had plenty of fun, so I figured $1500 for this bike was a great deal.

    I can't wait to take it out. Now, I just have to get familiar with the trails in the area.

  15. #15
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    Pics Man !!!!!! Comon!

  16. #16
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    I don't actually have it at my house yet! I'm going to get it tomorrow. They are doing some minor adjustments and installing the accessories I bought. But mostly, I have to put the bike rack I just bought on my car. Pics shall come in due time.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tag1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by majglow
    Pics shall come in due time.
    Please.

    Congrats on the sweet bike, that is a singletrack speed-machine!
    06 GF HKEK
    05 Bruiser

  18. #18
    I=Your Mother
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    haha sweet bike. i'll be getting the 8000 which has the same geometry, tell me how you like it.

  19. #19
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Congrats. Looks like you'll be enjoying this bike.
    First Class Jerk

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by majglow
    I don't actually have it at my house yet! I'm going to get it tomorrow. They are doing some minor adjustments and installing the accessories I bought. But mostly, I have to put the bike rack I just bought on my car. Pics shall come in due time.
    Wow. I was just about to recommend the 8500 -- I happen to have bought one myself a few months back. It's easily the best bike of those you picked and for $1500? A total steal.

    The only parts that I personally have upgraded on my bike are the stem, handlebars, and saddle -- I also cut 2cm from the steerer tube of mine. Personally I feel that Trek got everything right on the bike aside from the stem and handlebars. I ride mostly single track and XC, and I just couldn't ride the ape hangers that the 8500 comes with stock. Paired off with a short riser stem and a ton of extra steerer tube, I felt as though I was riding a cruiser.

    However, with a new stem (120mm, -10 deg), a nice flat bar (550mm, 5 deg sweep) and a lighter saddle... almost perfect.

  21. #21
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    stumpy has better components than the dawg, save for the brakes. If you ride hard you'll end up replacing the deore stuff anyway, so it's like buying all your stuff twice. Go with the stumpy and save a little more for brakes. See if the shop will cut you a deal since it's speced with disks on the website.
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Tag1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
    stumpy has better components than the dawg, save for the brakes. If you ride hard you'll end up replacing the deore stuff anyway, so it's like buying all your stuff twice. Go with the stumpy and save a little more for brakes. See if the shop will cut you a deal since it's speced with disks on the website.
    Read the thread.
    06 GF HKEK
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  23. #23
    It is what it is... Minesbroken's Avatar
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    general rule of thumb is...1500 dollar range on any hardtail and your going to get a really...really nice bike but full suspension in that range is pretty good. good luck with it

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