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Old 07-20-11, 02:57 PM   #1
sunstorm
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Out of these three: Giant Ravel, Specialized RockHopper, Trek Skye

After lots of bike store visits in a couple of cities, I've narrowed my options to three particular bikes along with the advice I received on here. I have ruled out 29'ers becaues I haven't felt comfortable on any that I have tried (I think it's the wider grips.) I dont' have the extra funds for FS, but I have expanded my price range. I'm looking for a bike for trails only (I have a bike for casual errands/greenway rides and a bike for commuting, so this will be dedicated to having fun off road.) I am riding single tracks with roots, limbs, and small logs. Don't care as much about speed, mostly interested in having fun and learning how to do the basics on a single track. Looking for a bike that I can use for the next couple of years. So, based on fit, I have it narrowed to:

Trek Skye SL Disc 16"
Giant Revel 0 Small
Specialized Rockhopper 15.5" (could afford the Comp model if upgrade is worth it)

Out of those three, which would you suggest for someone new to mountain biking (comfortable commuting on bike) using it only on trails/single track for fun? Thanks!
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Old 07-20-11, 07:36 PM   #2
kenhill3
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You didn't post the specs on these three, so without digging them up for you, perhaps the next best and probably most important question is: What do you like about each bike and which one is your favorite? Does one of them 'speak' to you? ;o**
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Old 07-20-11, 08:27 PM   #3
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Oops, sorry, new enough that I don't know what is important to post! The Skye felt the most 'relaxed', but I felt a bit compressed on it (it does seem to be more upright), and I barely clear the step over (but the smaller size feels even more compressed), the Revel felt ok, but I had a harder time turning it (particularly with a tight turn), the Rockhopper felt more nimble, but less 'comfy' but I think that might be modified by changing the saddle. None of them really spoke to me (unlike my commuter that was great from the first ride.)

TREK SKYE:
Frame -WSD Alpha Black Aluminum w/semi-integrated head tube, formed down tube w/integrated gusset, formed top tube, monostay seatstay, forged dropouts w/rack & fender mounts, replaceable derailleur hanger
Front suspension -Spinner 300 w/coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, WSD Rider Right spring weight, 80 or 100mm travel

Wheels -Formula alloy DC20 front hub, Shimano alloy M475 rear hub; Bontrager Ranger 32-hole rims
Tires -Bontrager XR2, wire bead, 26x2.1"

Shifters -Shimano Acera, 8 speed
Front derailleur -Shimano Altus


Rear derailleur -Shimano Alivio


Crank - Shimano Altus, 42/32/22


Cassette - SRAM PG-820 11-32, 8 speed


Pedals -Wellgo alloy platform
Saddle -Bontrager SSR WSD
Seatpost -Bontrager SSR, 31.6mm, 20mm offset


Handlebar -Bontrager SSR, 25.4mm, 25mm rise
Stem -Bontrager SSR, 25.4mm


Headset -1-1/8" threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings


Brakeset -Promax DSK-907 hydraulic disc brakes w/adjustable-reach levers

GIANT REVEL 0
Frame -ALUXX-Grade Butted Aluminum
Fork-Rockshox Dart 2, 100mm travel
Handlebar - Giant Sport Alloy, Low Rise 31.8
Stem - Giant sport Alloy
Seatpost - Giant Sport Alloy, 30.9
Saddle - Giant Sport MTB
Pedals - Alloy Platform
Shifters - SRAM X.5, Trigger
Front Derailleur - Shimano Altus
Rear Derailleur - SRAM X.5
Brakes - Avid BB5 Disc
Brake Levers - Tektro Alloy, 2 Finger
Cassette - SRAM PG 830 11x32, 8 speed
Chain - KMC Z72
Crankset - Shimano Acera M361 22/32/42
Bottom Bracket - Shimano Cartridge
Rims - Giant XC Alloy, Double Wall
Hubs - Formula Disc, 32h
Spokes - Stainless Steel, 14g
Tires - Kenda Small Block Eight, 26x2.1

SPECIALIZED ROCKHOPPER (COMP)
Frame - Specialized M4 fully manipulated alloy frame, fully butted, externally relieved HT, forged dropouts w/ replaceable derailleur hanger, disc only
Fork - SR Suntour SF11-XCR-DS-26-LO-SP, mag. lower, 30mm steel stanchions, hyd. damping w/ lock out and custom tuned spike valve
Headset - 1-1/8" threadless, loose ball
Stem - 3D forged alloy, 7 degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
Handlebar - Butted alloy riserbar, 25mm rise, 8 degree back sweep, 6 degree up
Grips -Specialized Enduro, dual compound Kraton, no flange, 131mm
Brakes -Avid BB5, mechanical disc, 160mm G2 Clean Sweep rotor
Brake Levers - Alloy, linear pull (Comp = Tektro Draco Hydraulic)
Front Derailleur - Shimano Altus, 34.9mm clamp (Comp = Shimano Alivo, 34.9mm clamp, top swing, dual pull)
Rear Derailleur - SRAM X.5 8sp Mid cage (Comp = Shimano Alivio, 9sp direct mount Long cage)
Shift Levers - SRAM X.4 trigger (Comp = Shimano Alivo SL, rapid fire trigger)
Cassette - SRAM PG-830, 8-speed, 11-32t (Comp = Shimano HG30, 9-speed, 11-34t)
Chain -KMC X8 w/ reusable Missing Link (Comp = KMC X9 w/ reusable Missing Link)
Crankset-SR SunTour, Octalink spline (Comp = Shimano FC-M430-8, Octalink spline)
Chainrings - 42S x 32S x 22S replaceable (Comp = 44S x 32S x 22S replaceable)
Bottom Bracket -Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink spline, cartridge bearing, 68mm x 118mm
Pedals -Plastic platform, toe-clip compatible, reflectors, 9/16" (Comp = Alloy 1pc. body and cage, reflector kit, 9/16")
Rims -Alex RHD 26", alloy double wall, pinned w/eyelets
Front Hub - Forged alloy, hi/low flange, double sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flange, QR, 28h
Rear Hub -Forged alloy, mid flange, double sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flanges, cassette, QR, 32h
Spokes -2mm (14g) stainless
Tires -Specialized The Captain Sport, 26x2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
Tubes-Presta valve
Saddle -Specialized Rockhopper XC, Body Geometry, 143mm width, front and rear bumpers
SeatPost -Alloy two bolt, 12.5mm offset, micro adjust, 30.9mm
Seat Binder -Alloy QR, nylon washer (Comp = Forged alloy QR, brass washer)
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Old 07-21-11, 12:44 AM   #4
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None of them "spoke" to you? And you have a commuter that felt great on the first ride, so you obviously know what it means to have a bike feel just right. Sounds like you have to keep looking.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:45 AM   #5
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The Specialized. Rockhopper sounds much cooler than Revel or Skye.

Oh, wait... looks like you're a chick. In that case, get the one that's pink
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Old 07-21-11, 05:31 AM   #6
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one of my biggest complaints in this search is that folks keep leading me to things with pink or purple flowers. Really? I hate 'girly' stuff anyways, and it seems so much worse on a bike. When I go to look at bikes I'm in my hiking gear (I'm a K9 handler in search and rescue) and none of it's girly. I keep wondering if these guys even think before they make their suggestions, or they just see female and think flowers and pastels. The only one of those bikes specific to women is the Skye. The Rockhopper is the only one that I insisted on test riding despite being steered away from it to the Myka; everything else I narrowed from the original list (about 9 bikes) were what was suggested. None of them are pink! ;-)

Zephyre, I think part of my problem is I am far more hesitant because I'm not getting to test ride these things on an actual trail of any sort. My commuter was tested on roads....great, because that is all I will ever ride it on (or paved greenways) but I'm testing all these bikes on roads...which I will never ride it on.

Last edited by sunstorm; 07-21-11 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:27 AM   #7
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sunstorm, with regard to fit, you will find that for offroad you do need to be a little more stretched out, so definitely stay away from the ones that feel "compressed, upright, comfy", etc. Maybe go back and try the Rockhopper again with that in mind, although it still may not be the right fit for you.
Since WSDs by definition have proportionately shorter top tubes, if you have a longer torso then you may need to skip WSDs altogether.

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Old 07-21-11, 07:38 AM   #8
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scyclops - thank you for that bit of info! I've only road single tracks on rentals (all variations of Giant) and that bit of info is very helpful. I am going to head to a shop this afternoon to try the Rockhopper with that in mind. The specs on the sizes put horizontal top tube length Revel > Rockhopper > Skye while stand over height is Skye > Revel > Rockhopper. I had a chance to try a Skye this morning on the trail, and I felt more out of control than I have on the rental bikes and I think that may relate to being more upright.
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Old 07-21-11, 09:54 AM   #9
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I get tired, too, of references to pink and flowers, etc. in reference to women. It's just tired, sexist BS.

The WSD bikes are indeed predicated on the general fact of women having longer legs and shorter torso than men. There obviously are exceptions, and automatically putting a gal on a WSD may not necessarily be the right fit. How the bike fits you and how you feel on it is ultimately the determining factor. You are doing well to try out a lot of bikes.

Heck, my GF is about 5 inches shorter than me and has the same inseam. WSD would probably fit a lot of men.
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Old 07-21-11, 06:27 PM   #10
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Finally talked a couple of shops on letting me take a few bikes to the trail. Quickly realized that my lead foot is shockingly close to the front tire (bumped occasionally) of the Skye and that I felt unsettled on downhills. Couldn't try a revel (no one had my size), but was convinced to try a Myka again. Seat had to be so high that I felt I was really bending down to the handlebars. Also tired of hearing that the Myka is just a 'female version of the Rockhopper.' When I looked at the specs, it seemed like the highest level of Myka matches the lower levels of the Rockhopper, while the rest were similar to the Hardrock. Now, I fully admit that I have no real idea what any of those details mean, but if all the equipment is the same as a Hardrock, but different than a Rockhopper, seems to make sense that it is closer to a Hardrock.

What was frustrating is the shop that let me try out the Skye kept trying to convince me that as long as I needed a lower step over, there wasn't going to be anything I could do about the closeness to the wheel. Even suggested clipless pedals. When I asked about a 15 Rockhopper, they said they didn't keep that one on the floor and would have to special order it and insisted that a step over where the top bar was getting intimate was my best option.

Oh, and had a bike shop give me a Myka to test...missing it's rear disc brake. Literally, the brake wasn't there, I wheeled it outside, was walking and squeezed the brakes...and suprise, 0 resistance on the right brake.

After a lot of tail chasing, ended up with a Rockhopper. Hate the color scheme, but such is life. Don't need it to be pretty, just comfortable for a novice on the trails.
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