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Old 04-02-09, 03:56 PM   #1
domestique
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HELP ME! I need a XC Race/Trail BikeTrek Fuel ex, Santa Cruz Superlight, Giant Anthem

Hey everyone,

I need your help on deciding on a Full Suspension XC/race/trail bike


I am a 150 pound leg shaving, road racer (Cannondale six13 with Campy Record, custom DT wheels).

I want to get into mountain biking, and more specifically into XC and 12-24 hour marathon races. I am looking for a bike that is full suspension (around 100-130 mm of travel) and it has to be light enough to race XC, but also durable enough to take it off 2-3 foot drops when Iím trail riding.

What I want:
-100-130 mm of travel
-XC race able (comfortable for 12 hour marathons)
-Trail ride capable (2-3 foot drops)
-Weighs less then 28 pounds stock (will upgrade later)
-Less then 2,500 dollars

So far, I have looked at:

*Trek Fuel EX 8

*Giant Anthem

*Santa Cruz Superlight R XC

*Yeti ASR alloy

My budget is 1,800-2,300 dollars. I am only interested in aluminum frame bikes, I would prefer SRAM over Shimano, and Fox over Rock Shox.

I had looked at the Cannondale Scalpel and felt it was too XC oriented, and not tough enough for hard trail riding, I also looked at the Cídale Rush, but none of their packages were eye catching (too bad they no longer make the Rush 04 option).



Out of these bikes, does anyone have any experience with them? Good, bad, indifferent?

Are there any other bikes I should be looking at in my criteria?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 04-02-09, 04:33 PM   #2
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I have an '07 AS-R alloy and love the bike. Since '07, they've moved production to Taiwan, and it's gotten even stiffer and lighter (and the '07 is light and stiff to begin with). It's a very capable bike. It does come with Shimano, though I've swapped out to X.0 shifters and an X.9 RD, so it's not like you can't swap parts. It does cost well over $2300 though...the base model goes for $3440, so unless you can find a previous year's model, you'd have to stretch your budget. Nothing wrong with the other bikes you named though. I'd suggest getting on all of them and trying them out. Demo them if you can...no sense dropping that kind of money on a bike that doesn't fit you perfectly.

If you can afford the Yeti, I'd check out the Blur XC too. More expensive than the Superlight, but supposed to be a good bike. I also have a friend who loves the Specialized Epic...might be worth a look.
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Old 04-02-09, 04:34 PM   #3
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I have a 2008 Fuel 8, I like it, I bought it because it had pretty decent components that are quality, and I wanted a bike that was, not a downhill ridiculous mountain bike, but still, something that felt more capable on the trails I do than the Specialized XC rockhopper I had before did.

My mindset was, if I'm going to spend 1300 on some new bike that really isn't much of a step higher than my lame XC bike, why not spend 1000 more and make the investment 10x more worth it by getting an exponentially better bike?

The only thing with the Fuel 8 for me is its handlebar, it is a little too XC oriented but it's no big deal to me for now.

I can't speak for the other bikes, I think I skipped over the Santa Cruz because it was too expensive or I didn't like the components, I forget.
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Old 04-02-09, 10:50 PM   #4
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I ride an '08 Turner Flux. Honestly, this is the nicest XC bike I have ever ridden. For your price point, you could definitely build one. I had the choice of a few bikes when i bought mine, and the Turner blew them away. However, the Yeti AS-R is an amazing bike as well. If it were me, it would be between these 2 bikes.
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Old 04-03-09, 12:07 AM   #5
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The only one I have had anytime on was a Superlight and it was awesome. I rode it in Breckenridge about 35 miles over 2 days. Not enough time to give good review but I really did like it, it just seemed to fit really well off the bat. YMMV
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Old 04-03-09, 05:28 AM   #6
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This is my vote for the Anthem. I have been riding an X2 for about five months and I swear it is the best full suss design I have come across. I do about 12 miles a day on and off road and I can crank up hills with the suspension full open and not get any bob. It tracks really well in corners and with the full XT group and Fox F100 RL it is pretty much bomb-proof.
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Old 04-03-09, 07:04 AM   #7
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Another vote for the Anthem. The X1 and the X2 are both killer bikes for the money. I eventually went with the Trance X2 because I'm not going to do any racing but if that's your thing, the Anthems are more than capable and zippy as hell.
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Old 04-03-09, 07:32 AM   #8
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The Anthem is an excellent choice, cost-effective, entire frame production is controlled by Giant. Thy Maestro system is pretty good too, smooth. Test ride them.
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Old 04-03-09, 09:11 AM   #9
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Ooh, one more possibility I just thought of. Keep an eye on Chainlove. I sometimes see Titus Racer X's and Intense Spyders pop up for super cheap. They're frames, so you could hang whatever components you wanted on them. Only downside is you wouldn't get to play with them first.
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Old 04-03-09, 01:19 PM   #10
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Thanks a lot for all the input.

I know in my gut the Anthem would be the better buy for racing and climbing (also more geared to the riding I do now on the road).... but the little devil inside of me would love the Trance or Fuel EX to get into some Super D eventually........
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