NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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You CAN get an Epic for under two grand, but barely!
As far as a Santa Cruz, check their website, likewise you can get one for you budget, but barely!
Intense? Yep. $2000, will buy you a frame! Maybe a seatpost and a bottom bracket, maybe even a headset!
However, there are sooooooo many other bikes to choose from. The Santa Cruz are more Custom/Production, the Epic is production, but in it's first year and I'd wait till year 3 to give them time to work out the kinks. (if any).
You stated you rode the Enduro. Did you ride the FSR XC?
Also, check out a Yeti Kokopelli. With discs, you can get one for under $2000.
The Giant's are nice. I'm not a big fan of Gary Fisher's, but I'm not a XC racer. They're well known and liked in the Race Scene. Trek's design is similar yet slightly different. Same philosophy different design!
What else? Too many to think about!
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger