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Old 10-12-07, 10:40 PM   #1
XC Down Under
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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.
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Old 10-13-07, 12:01 AM   #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.
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Old 10-13-07, 03:46 AM   #3
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thanks Brian, that's really helpful. What year was the frame built?
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Old 10-13-07, 04:24 AM   #4
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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.
Where did you ride in NC?
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Old 10-13-07, 06:04 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:37 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:51 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-16-07, 01:07 AM   #8
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How about a Fisher ferrous. Same genesis geometry. Its made with ox platinum air-hardened steel.
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Old 10-16-07, 06:26 AM   #9
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thanks for all the input. sorry for the tardy reply. had to be at the birth of my son!
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Old 10-16-07, 07:47 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 10-16-07, 09:06 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 10-16-07, 09:23 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-16-07, 11:16 AM   #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.
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Old 10-16-07, 02:10 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-16-07, 03:21 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-16-07, 03:23 PM   #16
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I thought Tsali was the best riding in the area???
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Old 10-16-07, 04:02 PM   #17
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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?
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Old 10-16-07, 04:31 PM   #18
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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!
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Old 10-17-07, 02:51 AM   #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.
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Old 10-17-07, 02:57 AM   #20
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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.
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Old 10-17-07, 09:46 AM   #21
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There you go thinking again. Will you require the same camping items on this trip?

Yeah, is that okay?
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Old 10-17-07, 09:57 AM   #22
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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.
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Old 10-17-07, 09:58 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 10-17-07, 10:04 AM   #24
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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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