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Can't make up my mind between the Superfly 9.8 hard tail or the Superfly FS 9 alloy. Like the versatility of the hard tail, but the cush of the FS. Fell into some cash from my Mom who passed away in december and would like this to be a "Legacy" bike that will stay in the stable and not be sold. Be riding cross country from gravel/fire roads to rocky and rooty NE single track. What's your opinion folks? Cheers!
 

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I was in the same boat. I was choosing between the Superfly 9.8 HT and the Superfly 9.8 SL FS. I ride in rocky Central Texas and race quite a bit. I chose the FS and I was not disappointed. In Trail mode, there is almost no noticeable pedal bob and suspension allows me to stay seated through rough sections and just pedal. The fork and shock both have lockout so it will feel just like a hardtail on gravel/fireroads. IMO, the FS is more versatile than the HT. My Superfly FS weighs 24.8 lbs with a bottle cage, tubeless, and Shimano PD-520 pedals. And btw, Mountain Bike Action tested the Superfly 9 FS in their latest (May) issue.
 

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rocky/rooty NE trails....bike you want to keep longterm.....I dont know how old you are but if you are in your late 20's early 30's and want to be riding the bike for a while after that I'd go fully to save your back etc. Just my .02
 

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I have some hours of demo time on the ht 9.8 and the Fuel Ex 9.8 on rocky, rooty trail I ride all the time from a Factory Demo last September. The SF 9.8 is exceptional for a feeling of full frame compliance with trail feel the Fuel Ex doesn't have. I think this is from the road bike frame engineering group participating through the Apollo Project. It also has 435 chainstays that combine with a little more bb drop and the 51mm fork offset give the handling a little edge the other Treks don't traditionally have. More fun than the full sus going over bumps they both handle. It rides now like it has an Ohlins shock on the rear.
I'm going 9.6 with upgrades from parts and wheelsets I already have. I think the SF FS needs to go to 435 CS like a Whyte to be competitive in it's segment.

Review of the aluminum SF 8.
 

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I have both a hardtail (Scott Scale) and the Superfly FS 8. Like alexxc above I believe the Superfly FS is the most versatle of the two. You can lock out the rear shock and voilà! You have a hardtail. Not that I ever bother using the lockout because it rides just great in Trail mode. But I rarely ride gravel/fire roads. I might use the lockout more if I did. It is a really fun, versatile Xc/trail bike and the handling is great. The full suspension helps smooth out the trails when the going gets rough and it has helped me tackle steeper, more technical trails that I'd be hesitant to ride on my hardtail. Descend mode is great for prolonged downhill sections.

I'm lucky to have both and I ride both depending on the trails but if I had to choose just one and sell the other I'd pick the Superfly FS hands down. It really is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

Condolences re your mom. Hope this helps you make a choice in honour of her legacy.
 
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