Strengths: Well, mine is a 2004, and it has survived multiple 5 ft. drops and has yet to crack (knock on wood)so I feel the bike owes me nothing. I bought used for 1500, and I love the Shimano full spec, with shimano brakes. Shimano brakes are just the best, as long as they are Deore or better, as they use mineral oil, not DOT fluid, and are consistently smooth and trouble free, but not the "prettiest girl at the dance" so what, they work GREAT. I just love that if you throw a shorter stem, and some wider rims with 2.35" tires on, you have a mean, all mountain machine. Squamish, and most of North Van trails are all possible, although you are at the limits of the bike on "Severed D" and some other NV black Diamonds. 40 km epic? No prob, in fact I left the heavy tires ona nd just hammer. The bike is that good!
Beautiful, beautiful bike to sit and look at while you drink beer after riding all day, which just makes you want to ride it more.
Love the customization available via fork and rear shock.
Weaknesses: Umm, I hear they stopped making them? Odd seatpost size, a gravity dropper would make this the ultimate ride up, ride down bike.
That problem with the frame cracking as well.
Bike Setup: Big, heavy double sidewall tires, wider rims, chain ring guard, shorter stem.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2012
Strengths: nicest cockpit I've ever riddent. Canadians know how to do it right. Felt also nails this.
Weaknesses: LX anywhere on this bike at this price is a no-bueno
This is a marathon bike to be sure. I'll ride this bad boy til the wheels fall off. Trek can cram it--Rocky Mountains are the real deal. Quality components (save for the LX, mentioned above), great suspension system, beautiful craftsmanship.
a Cross Country Rider
from Salida, CO USA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2011
Strengths: The bike is very durable. It performs well on various terrain. Suspension performs great.
Weaknesses: Crank brothers pedals that came with the bike are not quality, I replaced them fist thing and sold them.
I have rode this bike for 4 years and have around 4,000 miles on it. It has really held up well. I do a lot of long distant cross country rides and this bike has been excellent. I have only had to do general repairs that come with miles of riding. Great for climbing and does well on the down hill.
Bike Setup: ride WTB wierwolf 2.3 tires and lizard head grips
a Weekend Warrior
from Los Angeles, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2011
Strengths: Great all around machine. Perfect for marathons and any type of terrain (except for extreme downhill terrain; doable but best left for a real freeride or downhill machine). Good choice of components for price. Rear suspension is the best I've ever sampled, bar none.
Weaknesses: Not the lightest set-up on the market.
This bike is truly meant as an all around machine. The parts are bombproof (I weigh 225 lbs), and the suspension front and especially back just smooths out any terrain. As other reviewers have said, you don't even need to lock out the rear, it just plain works. I only lock it out on paved roads/climbs. The adjustment in travel/geometry is a really nice feature, and really transforms the way the bike rides (at 4" rear travel, it is quite quick in turning, and at 5" rear travel, its leisurely). Best bike I've ever owned!
I've been mountain biking since 1985 and have owned several bikes. This is by far the worst bike I've owned. It is a total lemon. I've owned it for just slightly over a year and would consider it totally junked out already. I would consider the shop I purchased the bike from as poor, so a lot of the issues are probably do to that. I would not recommend buying a bike from Foothills Ski & Bike.
After only ten rides, most of the allen bolts fell apart. The noises and creaks were unbearable after only a few rides. The bike was poorly assembled and everything should have been lock tighted. The oro hydraulic brakes are a piece of crap and require adjustment not only before every ride but also during every ride. They flat suck.
The cross ride rims and hub are puny and weak. Second ride the back wheel ended up with a flat spot in it. Front rim after about twenty rides pulled a spoke through the rim. The wheels are always needing truing. The flat spokes always losen and cost about 9 bucks a piece to replace one. What a !@#$% money pit. I'm now looking at dropping a grand to replace the lame wheel sets and the sucky brakes.
After very minimal miles, I needed to replace the tires and the brake pads. A bike that costs 3000 should give you a massage and get you beers after every ride.
Several special tools needed to tighten pivot points too. I would recommend getting a YETI 575 instead. I bought this bike thinking I was getting a Canadian bike and it turns out they assemble them in Taiwan. Very, very, very displeased!!!
Bike Setup: Full Shimano XTR, Mavic Crossmax, FOX Talas, FOX RP3 Float, Monkey Lite, R2Magnesium grips, Michelin Comps Light
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2008
Strengths: Relatively light weight for a full sus. Great attention to detail (frame quality), looks stunning (paint job is truely beautilful). Little or no pedal bob
Weaknesses: Expensive if you compare it component wise to other bikes.
I have the 2007 ETSX 50, whihc is very similar to the 2008 (just a slight tweek of components). It is a truely go anywhere bike. Now by that i don't mean falling off a cliff type of riding, but it will happily go up as well as down, with very little comprise. It happiest on single tracks and it feels like it would roll up hill!
The bike has very little pedal bob (if any at all) and i have found that you might as well leave the rear travel at 5". The fork travel upfront is much more influential in climbing effort. The advantage of the ETSX 50 is the RP23 rear shock, with its Pro-Pedal setting. Although there is little pedal bob, this feature is great to extreme climbs or if you are cycling on road to get to your trail.
Like i mentioned above, this bike is expensive compared to its big rival the Stumpy FSR Expert. But what you get here is a hand crafted beauty. I think of it as an Aston Martin (in car terms). Yes for the same price you could buy a Ferrari which probably quicker round a track, but the ETSX comes with an attention to detail and quality that justifies its extra cost.
Strengths: This is an incredible bike! The cockpit has a very comfortable feel. The adjustable rear suspension is nice to have. The price is pretty good. Stock, it has a pretty good line up of componenets.
Weaknesses: This is not the lightest bike out there. Has sram trigger shifters, which has taken soem getting use to from my shimano rapid fire. The Crank Bros pedals that come with it are crap!
I love this bike! I feel my skills have improved since getting this bike, maybe because at $2900 I am more motivated to get out and use it. If you have been riding an ok bike and looking to upgrade, consider this one.
Similar Products Used: Schwinn S-96 - with lots of upgrades
Bike Setup: Stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Jackson, WY
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2008
Strengths: Up hill, down hill, single track
Weaknesses: Tires, pedals, paint job
I love this bike. Like a lot of other reviewers, I have to say that this bike makes me a better climber, better and faster on the down, and faster on the flats. The unique rear-triangle (quadrangle, really) and super-high bottom bracket allow me to climb stuff I never would have thought about climbing before, and go over stuff that ate up chain-rings on other bikes. The rear tires sticks to stuff I still can't believe. The eggbeater pedals are light but suck, and the Marathon tires wear out really fast, but other that that this bike rocks. Oh, wait, you really have to like the color RED and maple leafs, or don't mind putting up with a bunch of Canadian jokes because of the garish paint job, but other than that...it is awesome. It's really to bad the dollar is so weak because this bike used to be almost affordable, but with the CAD and the USD at parity, it's expensive. Worth it though, the hand built frame is bomber and guarenteed.