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  1. #1
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    How do you demo a $2k bike?

    I don't race but I'm looking for a decent full suspension XC bike in the $1500-$2000 range. I'd like to get LX components or above, hence the price range. I've toured the various LBS in Phoenix and riden the following around the parking lot: Trek Fuel, Specialized ??, Klein Adept, Giant NRS, Fisher Sugar.

    So how do I predict which one will feel the best on the trail? They all feel about the same in the parking lot. The LBS reps say that you really have to drive it on a trail to see if you like it.... but no chance in hell that I can trail-demo or even rent a $2k bike.

    Any tips or hints on how you can really tell which frame is stiffer, etc? How do you narrow it down?

  2. #2
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Its hard to say, and can be a problem. Ask your LBS if they offer any type of returns policy. My LBS will allow you to return a bike for any reason within two weeks after the sale (if its in like-new condition). That should give you enough time to know if the bike fits you, and is what your looking for.

    In all honesty, i dont think you will know the bike is perfect for you for atleast 6 months. Even more so if its your first mtn bike.

    BTW, for $1500+ I would demand a full XT groupo.

  3. #3
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    LX components and xt? Do not understand? Could you explain the difference. Thank you.:confused:

  4. #4
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    XT is the next step up in Shimano's component line. Then comes XTR which is top of the line. Check out this page to see the list.
    http://bike.shimano.com/mtb/index.asp
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  5. #5
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    yeah, i know what you mean... i bought my '02 Specialized FSR XC Comp in March (near the top of your price range)...

    and i did quite a few test rides... each time i was able to ride for 20-30 minutes ON-ROAD around the bike shop. I found a set of stairs and rode up and down a few times and then a longer set of stairs and rode down about 10 times... good test for suspension feel

    in general, as long as you don't ride it off-road and keep it clean it should be cool -- the guys at the LBS said, "hey, just make sure that if you don't buy it someone else will w/o us having to clean/repair it" which i think is appropriate.

    yeah, you don't really know if it's REALLY right for a few weeks, but i think riding a bunch of stairs and technical stuff and doing some street short urban climbs (found a 15% climb but only about 15ft vertical in a parking garage) i was able to get a good feel

    use you imagination and look for parking garages or stairs or whatever...
    why drive when you can ride?
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  6. #6
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    BTW, for $1500+ I would demand a full XT groupo.
    Joe Gardner

    i think a little more flexibility is needed - evaluate the whole package...

    like i said, it's lower price than i was looking, but it depends on the whole package...

    i think a mix is quite fine is the price and everything else is perfectg -- i.e. there's not much difference in an LX and XT front deraileur

    maybe shoot for all XT and then evaluate each upgrade or downgrade --- rightly so, most bike makers mix Deore/LX/XT/XTR -- or substitute for other often better makes (like Avid v-brakes which are awesome!)
    why drive when you can ride?
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  7. #7
    Im not wearing any pants! adaze's Avatar
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    i bought my '02 Specialized FSR XC Comp in March (near the top of your price range)...
    a) hows that ride? i have the Specialized FSR Comp '99, and i love it, i've just completely refitted, with XT/XTR components, new brakes, infact the only parts i have kept is the stem, rear shock, and seat/ seatpost.

    yeah, you don't really know if it's REALLY right for a few weeks
    b) Thats true, when i first got my FSR, i thought it was ok, but after a couple of weeks we were insepereable. It depends on what you have ridden, i have gone back to my hardtail whilst i wait for parts for my FSR and to start of with it felt horrible, but now i have got used to it again and its fine. Its kinda like buying a new pair of shoes, you get ones that look rude, and fit ok, and you cant properly tell if they fit till you've worn them everyday for a few weeks. ride it on a few different terrains and test ride it at least a handful of times, im sure the lbs wont mind. But make sure you are relatively sure of its performance,if you are having any doubts probably best not to get it.
    If God were a brake he'd be a Avid Speed Dial Ultimate

  8. #8
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    How do you demo a $2k bike? Become REAAAALLLLLYYYYYYY good friends with the manager! j/k

    Our shop offers Demo days. We do this every couple months or so! We load up 2 or 3 of the new bikes and take them to the trails and let everyone take turns riding the bikes. We then reduce the price of these bikes by 10-15% to the people who attended the Demo Day!

    See if any shop in your area does the same thing!

    L8R
    "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
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  9. #9
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    bought my '02 Specialized FSR XC Comp in March (near the top of your price range)... nathan
    a) hows that ride? i have the Specialized FSR Comp '99, and i love it, i've just completely refitted, with XT/XTR components, new brakes, infact the only parts i have kept is the stem, rear shock, and seat/ seatpost.
    adaze

    i'm sooo satisfied...

    my only complaints:
    * i'm having trouble with the rear Fox shock sometimes loosing air - at first it was only occaisonally but now it happens almost every ride so i need to try and get the lbs to warranty it or help me out or something
    * my pedal-clearance is lower than my old hard-tail and i often hit my pedal on rocks and even sometimes in corners when i'm pedalling... i'm not sure if it's the geometry or what - i guess i could measure the bottom bracket height and see - my friend has a '00 FSR and he said he doesn't have the problem, but they changed the goemetry (my rear shock is more vertical than the older ones)...

    otherwise i love it - the rear suspension has no BOB, robs no power, the Fox Fork w/ lockout is awesome! handles great. i even love the extra-wide bars that seem to be the #1 complaint...

    sure, some of the extra parts like stem and post aren't the lightest, but i can upgrade them someday if i want...

    the frame, the geometry, the fork, the brakes (Avid SD) and the 'feel' are all super!

    do you have the pedal-clearance problem with your bike? it's also possible that it's when the suspension loads and the bike lowers... but i'm not sure...
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  10. #10
    Senior Member MtnBikerChk's Avatar
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    Wheelworks in Belmont Mass lets you take their bikes out onto a trail behind the store (across the street).
    Come visit my SEX arena at IRON MAGAZINE.

    Come ride the Monkey.

  11. #11
    Im not wearing any pants! adaze's Avatar
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    no i never had any problems with the clearance on the original pedals/ cranks, im still waiting for my raceface turbine LP cranks to arrive so i cant tell you about those. The only thing i noticed was that it kinda seemed to have a bit sluggish cornering but i soon got used to it and was able to compensate, i have new forks now anyways, and new headset and new hadlebars so the whole control system is now different. but i love it.
    If God were a brake he'd be a Avid Speed Dial Ultimate

  12. #12
    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    trek/fisher dealers have been known to hold demo rides at your local trails. check with your LBS to see if they participate!
    Lord Bowler: Uh oh. You hit the sheriff
    Brisco County Jr.: Yeah, but I did not hit the deputy.

  13. #13
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    Test rides are great, to a point, kind of like dating, but you'll never know the true character until you marry it. Even so, give it as good of a ride as you can, and make sure the fit is right.

    I'm confident that you would be happy with bikes from any of the brands you listed. They are all good trail/XC race bikes that you can justifiably upgrade when and if necessary.

    My ride is a Giant NRS. I bought the frame off eBay - how's that for a test ride? - and hung my hardtail parts on it. I'm enamored with it and will never go back to a hardtail. The NRS has minimal small-bump sensitivity, but its 3.75" rear end soaks up the biggest hits I ever ride over. As an XC racer the NRS is wonderfully efficient and seems to find the right compromise between efficiency and travel.

    Even so, I could be just as happy with a comparably equipped Fuel, Sugar or FSR.

  14. #14
    who you gonna call newmtb's Avatar
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    I have two suggestions for you.

    1) To show them that their is an extremely good chance of you buying a bike from them but the only way it will happen is if they let you demo the bike first on a trail. suggest maybe after business hours you and the LBS guy/girl go for a ride on a trail of their choice.


    2) this one is alittle easier. Find a DEMO day somewhere at an event and see if you can take it for a spin. Might be a little hard to find to find the exact bike but besides that no worries.

    hope thsi helps
    "If a man does his best, what else is there?"

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