Old 04-02-08, 11:23 PM
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Severian
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 945

Bikes: Gary Fisher Aquila (retired), Specialized Allez Sport (in parts), Cannondale R500, HP Velotechnic Street Machine, Dented Blue Fixed Gear (retired), Seven Tsunami SSFG, Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Hardtail (alloy version)

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The shop I work at sells both. My personal bent is towards the Specialized. But, I am a bit biased. I do have a couple points that I can illuminate:

The crankset on the Specialized is geared a little bit lower across the band than the Raleigh. So it's high end isn't as high and the number of unique gear combinations may be smaller on the Specialized.

My own personal bias also leans towards the Specialized because of the tire. Kenda makes a decent MTB tire, but I'm not convinced about the durability of the other tires in their line. My own feeling is that Specialized sources a better tire in general than Kenda.

I also like the wheelset on the Specialized a bit more. The rims and spokes on both bikes wheelsets are about comparable. But, the hubs on the Specialized are a step up from the Joytech hubs on the Raleigh. When you have wear in your hubs down the line you're more likely to find replacement parts for the Shimano hub on the Specialized, for example.

My question to you is: were you able to take either bike out on a decent test-ride? In the end you have to like the bike under your butt. Whichever one feels, subjectively, like it rides better is the one you should go with.
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