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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I am interested in buying the new '09 F5 the lowest price I have found was $700 at REI others have bought their past models below $600 does anyone know where? And how is the Dart 3 Fork I have heard their alright and that the seal brakes quickly and I am guessing the F7's RST Gila Pro is worse if not let me know and the bike is also cheaper! Thanks
 

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What make you want to buy a F5 instead of a F4? Is the F4 not available at your area, you won't spend an extra $200 in MTB in the future or you use the F5 for commuting. Take some time to research and decide, F4 has a cafferine frame and a headshox, both are great leap forward comparing to CO2 and Dart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well its mostly a money issue i am 16 and don't have a reliable source of income to pay 900 upfront and I am using it strictly for trails and some downhill i know that i should be using a full suspension for down hill but I don't have the bills and I am also looking at the new Hardrock Comp Disc 09 model but cheaper with a decent fork from what ive heard. And I do understand buy spending he extra $200 now then later Thanks Kuiwing
 

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look for last years model F4. I bought an 07 in 08 for $700 from LBS. Keep looking you wont regret it if you get the F4 or the F5. You just need to find out which bike that fits you best. That is the first thing I learned. Go try out all the bike you can.
 

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Well, I have a CO2 frame (2008 F4) and I have nothing but good things to say about it... it's light, responsive, and has a nice geometry. Also correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the weight difference between the CO2 an the Caffeine only something like 300 grams or so, if you can feel that weight difference while riding then you're a better man than I.

I know, I know, the horror that it doesn't say "Made in USA", but compared to the other hardtails I tested in the same price range (Norco, Rocky Mountain, Giant, Specialized), there was no debate that the CO2 was easily the best.
 

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I've enjoyed mine so far. Compared with other bikes in the same price range it felt the best for me, nice fit plus light and stiff. If you're going to compare it with bikes costing a few hundred more then the alternatives from other manufacturers become nicer too.
 

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I look at it this way, if the F5 fits your budget buy it and ride it like you stole it. Thats a good solid bike that should bring you tons of fun. True you could always spend more and get a "better bike" or you could shop craigslist and get a sweet deal on a used one. Bottom line is, if you want a new bike now the F5 is a great choice in your price range.
 

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One thing to note, the F4 has an 80mm fork where the F5 has a 100mm fork. I have a Caffiene 3 with the Headshock and while the steering precision is nothing short of amazing it's not the plushest fork around. The F4 looks pretty bad ass for the price, but I wouldn't worry about fork/frame failure on either one, your dealer warranty should cover you for the first year. Be sure to let us know what you end up with.
 

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^ Yeah, the headshock, compared to the lefty or traditional forks is cool, but the maintenance over a normal fork is silly, and the benefits just aren't really there. If you want a new bike, I don't see the purpose of F4 over F5 functionally, I just don't. I've built, ridden, worked on them both. Honestly, the dart 3 isn't awful but it isn't great - if you're under the impression that you're going to need a new fork soon anyways, save some $$ and get an F7 instead - the derailleurs aren't as good, but same brakes, frame, just a cheaper shock. But the savings towards a nicer, used fork when it's time to replace.

If you don't mind a used bike - find a used F3, those were awesome last year.

I love my c'dale stuff, and the headshock is cool, but personally not my choice for MTB, more of a nice commuter option...
 

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Id take 80mm of HS suspension over 100mm of traditional low end fork suspension any day. Its the quality not the quantity that makes the HS nice. Add so high volume tires like conti moutain kings or on a budget hutchinson spider 2.3s and you'd be set.
 

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rvmdmechanic said:
^ Yeah, the headshock, compared to the lefty or traditional forks is cool, but the maintenance over a normal fork is silly, and the benefits just aren't really there. If you want a new bike, I don't see the purpose of F4 over F5 functionally, I just don't. I've built, ridden, worked on them both. Honestly, the dart 3 isn't awful but it isn't great - if you're under the impression that you're going to need a new fork soon anyways, save some $$ and get an F7 instead - the derailleurs aren't as good, but same brakes, frame, just a cheaper shock. But the savings towards a nicer, used fork when it's time to replace.

If you don't mind a used bike - find a used F3, those were awesome last year.

I love my c'dale stuff, and the headshock is cool, but personally not my choice for MTB, more of a nice commuter option...
Damn you people have money. My MTB is my commuter and vice versa.
 
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