Weaknesses: Shoddy saddle, poor tires, and a back wheel (Sun Rim ZJ 18) that split at the seem without any hard hits
Other than the upgrades for comfort and poor stock parts this ride is so not what I expected. Pick a line and the bike goes. Have to play aggressive though or you get bucked. I'm ~ 150lbs and the size is 18.5", a size I am pleased with. Basically you can't go too wrong with LX-XT and a solid fast frame. Try it.
Similar Products Used: I also own a Giant Iguana SE 6000 series aluminum
Bike Setup: I upgraded the stem to a longer, steeper rise (I'm 5'9"). I upgraded the saddle to a women's Specialized split saddle(much more comfortable on the @$$. Recently replaced rear wheel w/ Rhyno lite rim and Panaracer XC Firepro and a Specialized Team Control up front (damn good and grippy combo)
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2001
Strengths: it takes a beating. for the money, i think that this is one of the best deals you can get. the newer models have some poor component choices (air fork), but this one is solid and sensible. I paid about 1100 cdn in vancouver on sale as the 2000 models were coming in. I love the polished paint job =).
Weaknesses: mine didn't come with a riser bar, so i bought a 2" steel beast for 17 dollars. the stock pedals suck, but it keeps costs down, and MEC has cool flats for $8 (they're amazing for the price). I do not like the lx brakes, or the stock tires (no grip here at all, and got a lot of flats). the stem might be a bit long, but i should have checked that at the shop. Disk brake tabs might be nice. Oh yeah, the headset is not normal and is a pain to retighted properly.
This is a really solid entry level bike. I think I'm starting to outgrow it, and the 2.5" travel fork is overwhelmed with the lite shore stuff i ride. Its really smooth and durable, but it doesn't have rebount adjust and 2.5 will never be that plush. It sucks up the small stuff wonderfully. This bike has withstood a lot of abuse, jumping, drops up to about 3 feet, multi day cross country treks, etc, with the only casualties being my rear rim and right hand gear indicator. The frame is solid and has a geometry that can do it all, and would stand up well to upgrades. All that being said, i'm saving as quick as i can for a '02 specialized enduro expert. I could keep the frame and turn it into a sweet jump bike (actually, it does it pretty well already, under my clumsy hands), a freeride hardtail, or a cross country beast. A warning though. all bikes require love to run smoothly. clean it, lube it, take care of the bearings and the fork, and it'll last a while.
Bike Setup: changes: new bar, put on a 2.4 motoraptor front and a 2.35 kenda kinetics kevlar rear. Replaced rear rim with rhyno lite after i destroyed it. Added stem and toptube pads. changed stock pedals to other metal flats (victor i think). Added a blackspire bashguard and an electrical tape chainstay protector.
from Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 12, 2001
Strengths: sweet bike, would make awesome freeride but needs shock travel. awesome selction of components, sweet look and great value.
Weaknesses: lx cranks g2g. they work good for the first year, but than they fall apart. needs more shock travel
most bike 4 ur value, i am a hard core racer and have tried out many bike, and this is one of my favourites. with a canadian made bike, u know the performance is going to b there. if ur looking for a mid thousand dollar bike, i recommend u give this one a look and a ride.
Similar Products Used: kona manomano, shwinn 4 banger
Bike Setup: all stock except i got rid of those crappy vp clipless and put no some shimano m545
a Weekend Warrior
from Victoria, Australia
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2001
Strengths: easton elite! fast, great climber, strong, light, very nice slack angles. its snow white (I have the 2000 frame)
Weaknesses: none, I love this bike (but I can only speak for the frame)
I bought this as a frame only and then added bits to it. This bike not only outruns all my mates' bikes, but looks fantastic being white (beautiful, pure). The angles are very slack and comfortable, and yet I hardly need to get out of my seat when climbing steeply. how did they do that? I am happiest when riding my bike, rain hail or shine:- what else can I say?? Buy this if you want a light strong bike that goes fast and is for all-round enjoyment, not suitable if you want to really abuse your bike ie: dirt jumping, stair drops etc Note that the ratings are for the frame only:
from Whis BC Canada
Date Reviewed: March 13, 2001
Strengths: lasts, good spec, comfy
Weaknesses: too cross country-ish - needs a longer travel fork and a shorter stem - if you weigh a lot you might brake it - i only weigh 110. i tore the derrailleur into the spokes and wrecked the hangar - luckily it was replaceable, but make sure you replace it with a compatible one.
if you are looking for aq durable crosscountry free rider - you should get one but if you are looking more for something free-ride oriented, look elsewhere (NEEDS REINFORCEMENT, MORE TRAVEL, SHORTER STEM, ETC.). Excellent value.
from Brookstown, Ontario
Date Reviewed: August 18, 1999
Excellent bike! I recently won the Canadian Championships by 22 minutes with this bike. My only complaint is with the extremely heavy spoke nipples. After upgrading to titanium nipples, my bike came in 5 grams lighter. What a difference!
a Cross-Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 19, 1999
Strengths: Reasonably light, excellent value, great singletrack machine.
Weaknesses: Not great balance for climbing, mostly due to the riser bars.
A nice ride. Not the best climbing, although it outclimbed a Rockhopper, Cindercone, X-Caliber last night on a loose, steep climb. The riser bars take some getting used to, at least for a dyed-in-the-wool flat-bar rider like myself. I still think I'll probably go back to a flat bar with bar ends when I break this one. I like the drivetrain: smooth as butter. Veloci-Raptors hook up well, but high rolling resistance on the road (I rode there once, won't again soon). All in all, a recommended ride. Price and parts are comparable to the Hammer Race, another nice (steel) bike.
Similar Products Used: Rocky HammerRace, Kona Cindercone, KHS Comp
Bike Setup: Stock - LX/XT, Z-4, Sun ZJ-18
a Cross-Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 15, 1999
Strengths: This damn bike takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. I dropped this bike (by total accident, I'm sure you'll realize) on the highway going 120km/h (60 m/h) the other day and damn it all if the ony thing that was broken were my two Sun RIms (still awesome rims ill admit). This bike is so lite and fast and the LX-XT combination just kix some serious butt. I have never been so happy with a bike as I am with this one
Weaknesses: Thoes damn riser bars gonna take some time to get used to, thats got to be my only complaint
This bike is the best buy for your buck thats for sure :) take it from me Mikey Boy