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Hi, Im looking to get an entry level hardtail. The models Im looking at are all similar setups. Two of them come with the Manitou Six, while one comes with the Axel Elite. Is there much of a difference between these two shocks? How do these both compare with a RockShox Pilot XC?

The Bikes Im looking at are the Marlin, Tassajara, Rockhopper, and Rockhopper Comp. I really would prefer to get the Marlin or Rockhopper because of price considerations. I would like to not have to upgrade the shock right away (which I know most of you would suggest).

BTW, Im a Clyde, so I need a shock that I can put some firm or extra firm springs on. Do these three shocks all accept these?

EDIT: oh yeah, this bike will be for 90 to 80% commuting and the rest (10-20%) trail riding. I don't need a bomber shock, but something that I can throw my weight around on and go off curbs and small rocks with out losing a spring or cracking the fork.
 

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OK, the Axel definitely over the Six. The Axel at least has oil damping to keep the fork from acting like a pogo stick, the Six just has MCU's (rubber). Dunno about the Pilot.

Talk to the bike shop about including the proper springs for your weight in the price you pay for the bike.
 
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