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  1. #1
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    XC Hardtails - what would you recommend?

    The seat tube cracked on my old hard tail (Big Sur) and I'm now looking for a replacement. I own a duallie but looking to get a different ride. I'm tossing up between Specialized S-Works M5 HT, Kona Primo, or perhaps Salsa Ala Carte, afterall steel is real right? I ride XC, with some technical thrown in, mainly rock gardens a few drop offs of up to 3ft, but in the main tight single track. I love me dual suspension bike (Blur) but looking to mix it up with a stiffer ride for my 6' 2" and 82kg frame. I ride approx. 50kms/week, so I would be grateful for any feedback on these bikes and suggestions of your own. I've looked at MTBR.com and now turning to your help with this next purchase. I'm looking to keep the ride light, less than 10kg. Your feedback is very welcome.
    Outwit, outlast... out ridding!

  2. #2
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    I just built up a Spec M5 HT from a brand new frame I scored on ebay for $400. I went with a Fox 32 RLC100 fork and all XT, with Mavic UST wheelset and Avid BB7's. I just took this bike on vacation to North Carolina and I was very impressed. It is extremely light (even though I have an XL frame), soaked up everything I threw at it, and handled like a dream. Corners like its on rails. I rode alot of singletrack like you describe, no serious jumps though. The flat black finish is the icing on the cake, it has a real stealth motif going. Between the frame and all the parts (which came from Jenson USA), I have about 1500 into it, and I am very happy. I don't think I could have done better.

  3. #3
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    thanks Brian, that's really helpful. What year was the frame built?
    Outwit, outlast... out ridding!

  4. #4
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post
    I just built up a Spec M5 HT from a brand new frame I scored on ebay for $400. I went with a Fox 32 RLC100 fork and all XT, with Mavic UST wheelset and Avid BB7's. I just took this bike on vacation to North Carolina and I was very impressed. It is extremely light (even though I have an XL frame), soaked up everything I threw at it, and handled like a dream. Corners like its on rails. I rode alot of singletrack like you describe, no serious jumps though. The flat black finish is the icing on the cake, it has a real stealth motif going. Between the frame and all the parts (which came from Jenson USA), I have about 1500 into it, and I am very happy. I don't think I could have done better.
    Where did you ride in NC?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  5. #5
    proud of his bunny Zinn-X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC Down Under View Post
    thanks Brian, that's really helpful. What year was the frame built?
    The M5's are 2008, aren't they?

    I have a 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper (M4 frame) and I concur that it handles like a beast. Definitely a pleasure to ride.
    "I'll probably stomp you into the ground. I'm 6'4", 250, work out everyday, and have an extremely bad attitude." -ovrrdrive (aka. Captain Carnage)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinn-X View Post
    The M5's are 2008, aren't they?

    I have a 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper (M4 frame) and I concur that it handles like a beast. Definitely a pleasure to ride.
    Mine is a 2005 frame and it is an M5. I think M5 was reserved for the S-Works frames back then. This is it http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...005&spid=21488

    Mtnbiker66, we rode in Tsali, checked out the new trails at Jackrabbit (Hayesville/Hiawassee?), and did a bunch more off roading in NE Georgia. God's country for sure, at least compared to SW Florida.

  7. #7
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post

    Mtnbiker66, we rode in Tsali, checked out the new trails at Jackrabbit (Hayesville/Hiawassee?), and did a bunch more off roading in NE Georgia. God's country for sure, at least compared to SW Florida.
    Oh man, so close to the good riding.......but you rode Tsali instead.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  8. #8
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    How about a Fisher ferrous. Same genesis geometry. Its made with ox platinum air-hardened steel.

  9. #9
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    thanks for all the input. sorry for the tardy reply. had to be at the birth of my son!
    Outwit, outlast... out ridding!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hasselhof's Avatar
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    I just got myself a Soma 4one5 and love it, so I'd probably vote for a Soma Groove and build it up from there. There is a distributor in Oz apparently though I got mine sent from the states. Great bike, love every minute on the thing.
    S&M isn't so cool when its just yourself. If I handcuff myself to my bed who's going to set me free?

  11. #11
    GADawg kmoses's Avatar
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    I built up a 2006 salsa ala carte early this past summer. I love it! The steel ride feels great and the geometry is comfortable.

  12. #12
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC Down Under View Post
    thanks for all the input. sorry for the tardy reply. had to be at the birth of my son!
    congrats on the new baby! Probably can't afford a new bike now.

  13. #13
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    The new Salsa Ala Carte complete looks like it is perfectly spec'd for me. I like rigid forks.
    I would also suggest Jamis steel line of hardtails, some of the nicest around.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    Oh man, so close to the good riding.......but you rode Tsali instead.
    I'm not too familiar with the area and was pointed towards Tsali. We are going back next month, so if you know of any other nice trails around Bryson City hook me up! I'm not talking vertical rock garden type stuff, but anything us Floridians can handle!!! Thanks.

  15. #15
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post
    I'm not too familiar with the area and was pointed towards Tsali. We are going back next month, so if you know of any other nice trails around Bryson City hook me up! I'm not talking vertical rock garden type stuff, but anything us Floridians can handle!!! Thanks.
    Check your PMs.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  16. #16
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    I thought Tsali was the best riding in the area???

  17. #17
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never View Post
    I thought Tsali was the best riding in the area???
    There you go thinking again. Will you require the same camping items on this trip?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  18. #18
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I have an older (2004) Specialized Stumpjumper M4 hardtail. It's my go to bike when the fully is messed up or I just want ot have a fun, fast ride. It's a great bike. Highly reliable. Only thing I've done is added King headset, mechanical disc brakes and better wheels. Still great for most trails and has a good company behind it. Specialized always takes care of its customers!

  19. #19
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    Thanks very much for all your input (and yes you're right Curt, the bike is my last purchase for some time now I have a tiny mouth to feed). In the end I was torn between the Salsa and the Specialized, I would have preferred steel, but in the end I plumbed for the S-Works HT. I'll let you know how I get on.
    Outwit, outlast... out ridding!

  20. #20
    Shock 'N Awe Baby sixfingeredman's Avatar
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    Hey, if your seat tube cracked, can you send in for warranty or something?

    Sometimes, even if not covered under warranty, you can send stuff like that in and ask nicely saying that you loved your bike and didn't think it should have cracked like this, that you've been using their stuff for x amount of years, etc, etc. They are usually super nice about that stuff.. Just a thought. Much cheaper.

  21. #21
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    There you go thinking again. Will you require the same camping items on this trip?

    Yeah, is that okay?

  22. #22
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never View Post
    Yeah, is that okay?
    I think Flak has dibs on the black dog, but if you need something warm to snuggle with, we can rustle up another one I'm sure.

  23. #23
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro View Post
    I think Flak has dibs on the black dog, but if you need something warm to snuggle with, we can rustle up another one I'm sure.
    Redneck pimping. I love it.
    First Class Jerk

  24. #24
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro View Post
    I think Flak has dibs on the black dog, but if you need something warm to snuggle with, we can rustle up another one I'm sure.
    Hahaha...forgot about that!

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