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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off let me say hello. I've been reading through the posts for a little while now and finally decided to register. I've been away from bikes for over 5 years and am looking to get back in. I'd like to buy my first fs bike, and I'm trying to gather up some info on the different types of bikes. I will primarily be riding XC with some smaller dirt jumps and some paved road riding (to reach the trails). Not looking for a hardcore racer and no big jumps so no need for big travel.

After reading many of the reviews, I'm trying to understand what category a few of the bikes fall into. Here is what I gather.

Moderate XC
SC Blur = Spec Stumpy = Intense Spider
Less travel, quicker turning, better climbing in the light stuff, more racy

More technical XC
SC Heckler = Spec Enduro = Intense 5.5
More travel, better DH'er, better on more technical stuff, better for bigger jumps

Are the comparisons and the evaluations of the two categories accurate? I'm trying to determine what classification of bike I need. Then I'll decide which make fits me best.

Thanks for the replies...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response string. My evaluation was based largely on what I've read on this forum.

Can any others weigh in, and perhaps elaborate on the benefits +/- of the two groups I've outlined?

Also, what about reputations of the three manufacturers? I know Spec has a lifetime warranty on the frame and Intense and SC have 2 year warranties, but with which company am I least likely to have to use the warranty? What about bang for the buck? Which company offers the best components for a given price?

Thanks.
 

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horns said:
Thanks for the response string. My evaluation was based largely on what I've read on this forum.

Can any others weigh in, and perhaps elaborate on the benefits +/- of the two groups I've outlined?

Also, what about reputations of the three manufacturers? I know Spec has a lifetime warranty on the frame and Intense and SC have 2 year warranties, but with which company am I least likely to have to use the warranty? What about bang for the buck? Which company offers the best components for a given price?

Thanks.
The more XC oriented frames (stumpy, spider, blur) are going to weigh in the 24-28lb range with a typical build and the heavier duty trail bikes (heckler, enduro, and 5.5) will weigh in the 27-33lbs range. However, it is possible to build the heavier duty bikes lighter, it just depends how much you want to spend on light weight parts. The 5.5 should be the lightest of the longer travel bikes.

I can speak from personal expereince that Specialized is very good with their warranty replacement. They also offer a crash replacement at cost if you brake a frame that is not covered under warranty. Don't know much about the SC or Intense warranties, but I have heard they are pretty good.

If you are looking for a first bike, I would probably go with either the specialized or Santa Cruz. Intense makes great bikes, but they are very expensive and a newer rider may not notice the extra details that come with a higher end botique bike. I would recomend getting good quality frame and upgrading in 2 or 3 years as your skills progess.

My riding conditions are similiar to yours it sounds like, a lot of single track with some pavement and small to medium jumps mixed in. I started with a XC orienented frame w/ 3" of travel, moved to 4.75" currently, and am shopping for a 5-6" inch travel frame (actually decided on Foex FXR but waiting till after Interbike just in case something new comes out). I find I don't always need the extra travel, but its nice to have when you need it.

Both Santa Cruz and Specialized offer decent component packages, but there is some give and take depending on the price point. You really can not go wrong with either. Test ride both if possible and go with what feels best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks string. Your advice agrees with the direction I have been leaning. I'm definitely going to test ride before I buy.
 

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I would argue that as you get into the 4"+ range, you really should be getting a FSR or VPP bike rather than a Single pivot and benifit from the better design combined with stable platform.

For an all around bike, my vote would be the Specialized Stumpjumper, or Santa Cruz Blur. They ride and fit differently so you really need to ride both to see how you like the fit. You should also look at the Turner Burner's on closeout..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
CDMC,

Thanks for the input. The blur and stumpy are the two that I'm leaning towards. Now I just gotta find a ride on each of them.

Could you elaborate on the benefits of the FSR and VPP designs over the single pivot for the +4" bikes (or point me to a tech right up)?

Thanks
 

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Do a search, there have been countless discussions on it. I would say the biggest difference is the VPP will bob less out of the saddle than the FSR and the FSR will not feedback through the cranks like VPP when climbing. Bottom line in my book is that both are good designs and you will be happy with either the Blur or Specialized. Spend a bit of time on each and make sure the shop sets both up properly for your test ride (seat, reach, shock and fork pressures). I emphasis this as many shops will send you out with wrong pressures in the suspensino and the bike not adjusted for your size and it will completely change how the bike feels.
 
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