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Back of the pack fat guy
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I've been the proud owner of an '04 X-5 for about 18 months now, but recently I've had some dark thoughts of replacing it with an El Salt. These dark thoughts hit their apex this weekend, when I took a day-long road trip to ride two of the more fun trails around Idaho, Greenhorn/Imperial in the Scum Valley area and Fisher/Williams in Stanley. (See link here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=205833) The bike I chose for this venture was my trusty X-5, which is currently sporting a true "all mountain" build - '04 Z1 FR fork, 6 inch rockers, Atlas cranks, DT 5.1 rims and Pro II hubs. I'm also running a pretty beefy set of rubber - 2.4 Big Betty up front and 2.35 Nevegal out back. I'd have to guess it's probably in the 32 - 34 lb range. The other guys I rode with were all on lightish-weigh XC rigs (Blur, Truth, Stumpy FSR, NRS carbon) and one guy was on his Surly 1x1. Needless to say, I could NOT hang with the group on the climbs - I got dropped like an ugly chick with a bad case of halitosis on nearly every climb. Usually, I'm a very good climber and most often I'm leading a climb or very close thereto. I don't know if I just had a bad day with some sore legs, but it was a humbling experience. (The other guys did let me lead the downhills where, of course, the X-5 was in its element.)

Yesterday, I did a longish ride/climb on my dedicated short-travel XC bike, a Jamis Dakar XC Expert, which sports a King/717 wheelset, faster rolling rubber, but a mere 90mm of travel. (It's pretty heavy for its build - maybe 28 lbs or so. Hey, the frame was cheap. Cheap, light, or strong - pick two.) Unlike Saturday, my climbing speed was more like I'm used to - fast and steady, but the downhills were not as fun.

These two rides got me thinking that perhaps I should consider replacing the X-5 with an El Salt or at least "building down" the X-5 into something more vaguely XC'ish. I do 90% of my riding in and around Boise, where 5 inches of travel is pretty useless. The climbs are long and steep, and the downhills are fast and smooth. I am a strictly XC rider - I don't do technical, rocky trails and I love to climb. I bought the X-5 originally because I thought I was planning on taking my riding to the next technical level, but I finally have to be honest that I'm just not "that" kind of rider and never will be. When it comes to choosing a bike to ride locally, I unfortunately find myself choosing to ride the Jamis (or my Fisher Rig) more and more, while the X-5 collects dust. The other 10% of my riding is usually in the mountains in Idaho, where 5 inches of travel is nice, but not strictly necessary. I also make a trip to Moab or Fruita once a year or two, where 5 inches of travel is really nice to have. The X-5, at least in its current configuration, just seems like more bike than I need on a daily basis. I also have not found the highish (14.5" plus) bottom bracket on the X-5 with the long fork and 6" rockers to my liking - as others have described, I feel like I'm sitting waaaaay up high on the bike, instead of sitting "in" the bike.

So, I'm staring squarely at a case of "FoShizzlitis" (you all know what I mean - even you, Fo!) - the urge to change components or whole bikes in search of that "ultimate" set up. Ideally, I'd like one bike that I can ride comfortably locally (lots of climbing, fast & smooth downhills), but which is still burly enough for the occasional trip to the mountains and Moab. The options I've considered include:

1. Replacing the X-5 frame with an El Salt with 4/5 rockers and getting either a Vanilla or TALAS fork. I'm thinking an El Salt with the 4/5 rockers and a TALAS would be a nicely adjustable set up that can be easily modified to go back and forth between smooth XC riding and burlier, rockier riding. I would probably sell the Dakar frame and fork as well, and have the King hubs from the Dakar rebuilt with 29'er rims for use on the Rig. This option may also accelerate my timetable to replace the Rig frame with an El Commandante.

2. Keeping the X-5 frame, but going back to the 5" rockers and selling the Z1 fork for a Vanilla, and using the King/717 wheelset off my Jamis for local riding. I'd still have the X-5, but it would be set up more XC-ish. I think this is what Fo did with his X-5 about a year ago. I would guess it would still be around the 30 lb range, so I'm not sure I'd gain anything.

3. Replacing the Dakar frame with an El Salt. Not sure, however, whether the 100mm Reba SL on the Dakar would be "enough" fork for an El Salt.

4. Doing nothing. This would be the cheapest option. The X-5 would just be used very little, which is a bummer b/c it's such a nice bike. The Dakar is an OK bike, but I originally built it up more to use a "backup bike," not as a primary ride.

Decisions, decisions. :madman: Any advice from the Ventana faithful?
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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LOL....

my sincere apologies....it was only a matter of time till it spread; sort of like the mtbr version of the bird flu i suppose. i hate to tell you this, but there is unfortunately no cure so resistance is futile.
 

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I would try # 2.
The 6" rockers slow climbing a bunch ( for me anyway, not sure if your running a 2" or 2.25shock)
I switch between 5/6 depending on the ride and it really changes the bike, and with a Vanilla you still have a very capable bike.

Wheels and tires make a very noticable difference to me. Give it a try since you have them from your other bike ( =less $) and go form there.

Just my 2cents ( I spent the rest on my bike:) )
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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Seems like the X5 is a perfect bike in all regards and I certainly would not replace the Jamis with an El Salt. At least the way my perverse mind works; I need my bikes to be different enough to justify keeping them around...X5 and El Salt are kissing cousins.

Unload the Jamis, unload the Surly (do you still have it?) (or keep it for a rigid ride if you so desire), unload the Rig.....build up a sweet El Fomandante with der hanger and run it as a 1x9 with a nice fork and single speed when you want that. You may feel better about the X5 and use it more if it is only 1 of 2 bikes....and not 1 of 3.

An X5 with a 29er 1x9/single speed is the perfect combo in my opinion. You may be right that you dont "need" your X5 as much as you had originally thought...but it is a killer bike and in the aforementioned combo it will fit perfectly and you will not have to suffer taking such a loss on the sale whereas the loss (emotional and financial) from the Dakar and Rig will be much less.

Only downside with having a 1x9/single speed and not a single speed is you may not bother switching it which may be annoying....but unloading the Rig as well would make the new El Comandante more bearable financially.

The El Fomndante is friggin UNBELIEVEABLE downhill and on technical section....NIGHT and day with any hardtail I have ridden. No doubt in large due to the fork, tires....but alot of credit goes towards the frame for sure, with its perfect geometry for all around riding.
 

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FoShizzle said:
Seems like the X5 is a perfect bike in all regards and I certainly would not replace the Jamis with an El Salt. At least the way my perverse mind works; I need my bikes to be different enough to justify keeping them around...X5 and El Salt are kissing cousins.
Fo is right that the Salty and X5 have a lot of overlap in their capabilities, they are both so versatile. I went with the Salty, and am very happy with that choice, but I ride with a bunch of guys with X5s. I think the Salty would be perfect for what you do, but it would cost to replace the X5 with it.

You can get nearly the same result by lightening up your X5. Just get lighter wheels/tires, shock (don't know what you have on there now), maybe a lighter fork, maybe 5" rockers. You should be able to get the X5 down to the 28 lb range fairly easily - that's the FoShizzle way! And keep the heavier stuff for the trips where you are going to use it. One of my riding buddies does that - heavier wheels/tires and shock for really technical rides where the downhill is the goal, lighter stuff for everything else. It'd be a relatively cheap way to go - sell the Jamis to bankroll the new stuff - and you'd keep a great-handling bike, and really take advantage of its versatility!
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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agoura_biker said:
Fo is right that the Salty and X5 have a lot of overlap in their capabilities, they are both so versatile. I went with the Salty, and am very happy with that choice, but I ride with a bunch of guys with X5s. I think the Salty would be perfect for what you do, but it would cost to replace the X5 with it.

You can get nearly the same result by lightening up your X5. Just get lighter wheels/tires, shock (don't know what you have on there now), maybe a lighter fork, maybe 5" rockers. You should be able to get the X5 down to the 28 lb range fairly easily - that's the FoShizzle way! And keep the heavier stuff for the trips where you are going to use it. One of my riding buddies does that - heavier wheels/tires and shock for really technical rides where the downhill is the goal, lighter stuff for everything else. It'd be a relatively cheap way to go - sell the Jamis to bankroll the new stuff - and you'd keep a great-handling bike, and really take advantage of its versatility!
C'mon! wheres the fun in that for us? I am trying to get him to buy another bike!
 

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It's not the frame

My 17" X5 frame is 1.3 lb heavier than my wifes XS RacerX frame.
This is 0.7% of my total riding weight. I'm suggesting that frame weight isn't your problem. (My X-5 weighs 29.7, her RX is 25.2).

You could skinny up your X some. I'd do that for sure. You could save a lot in wheels. Check w/ Chad at Redbarn on light yet strong wheel/tire options that won't break the bank. Put your burly wheels on when you go to Utah, ride super light wheels locally to kick your friends asses up hills.

Also, eliminate power leaks - lock the fork, dampen the shock.

Of course, a 5# lighter bike will have a climbing advantage, but you should be able to shave that down to 2 or so easily compared to a Blur, or similar Toyota-ish bike. (OK I apologize to Santa Cruz owners)
K
 

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FoShizzle said:
C'mon! wheres the fun in that for us? I am trying to get him to buy another bike!
You are right! What was I thinking? :confused: It's the scientist in me - I'm trying to provide a practical, optimal solution to his problem, and really I should just be getting him to buy a new bike! Especially a completely impractical bike, like a single-speed! :crazy:
 

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I would probably...

,....just lighten up the X-5. Yours is an 04 so its geometry is pretty steep (ala the Salty). I currently have a 5" Salty with a 4" fork and I absolutely love it and don't feel that having 5" of travel in the rear is slowing me down. In fact, I think it makes the bike track better and ride more smoothly on climbs -- thus making me (feel) faster than I did when I rode 4" rockers.

I really like my current setup for climbing (as well as descending):
5" rockers rear,
F100 RLC up front
Diesel 2.5 up front / Slash 2.3 in rear ( the smaller tire in the rear all but makes up for the geometry tweak of running 5" rear/ 4" front )

I imagine you could try something similar with your X-5....I wish you would so we could compare notes.:D

Earthpig said:
I've been the proud owner of an '04 X-5 for about 18 months now, but recently I've had some dark thoughts of replacing it with an El Salt. These dark thoughts hit their apex this weekend, when I took a day-long road trip to ride two of the more fun trails around Idaho, Greenhorn/Imperial in the Scum Valley area and Fisher/Williams in Stanley. (See link here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=205833) The bike I chose for this venture was my trusty X-5, which is currently sporting a true "all mountain" build - '04 Z1 FR fork, 6 inch rockers, Atlas cranks, DT 5.1 rims and Pro II hubs. I'm also running a pretty beefy set of rubber - 2.4 Big Betty up front and 2.35 Nevegal out back. I'd have to guess it's probably in the 32 - 34 lb range. The other guys I rode with were all on lightish-weigh XC rigs (Blur, Truth, Stumpy FSR, NRS carbon) and one guy was on his Surly 1x1. Needless to say, I could NOT hang with the group on the climbs - I got dropped like an ugly chick with a bad case of halitosis on nearly every climb. Usually, I'm a very good climber and most often I'm leading a climb or very close thereto. I don't know if I just had a bad day with some sore legs, but it was a humbling experience. (The other guys did let me lead the downhills where, of course, the X-5 was in its element.)

Yesterday, I did a longish ride/climb on my dedicated short-travel XC bike, a Jamis Dakar XC Expert, which sports a King/717 wheelset, faster rolling rubber, but a mere 90mm of travel. (It's pretty heavy for its build - maybe 28 lbs or so. Hey, the frame was cheap. Cheap, light, or strong - pick two.) Unlike Saturday, my climbing speed was more like I'm used to - fast and steady, but the downhills were not as fun.

These two rides got me thinking that perhaps I should consider replacing the X-5 with an El Salt or at least "building down" the X-5 into something more vaguely XC'ish. I do 90% of my riding in and around Boise, where 5 inches of travel is pretty useless. The climbs are long and steep, and the downhills are fast and smooth. I am a strictly XC rider - I don't do technical, rocky trails and I love to climb. I bought the X-5 originally because I thought I was planning on taking my riding to the next technical level, but I finally have to be honest that I'm just not "that" kind of rider and never will be. When it comes to choosing a bike to ride locally, I unfortunately find myself choosing to ride the Jamis (or my Fisher Rig) more and more, while the X-5 collects dust. The other 10% of my riding is usually in the mountains in Idaho, where 5 inches of travel is nice, but not strictly necessary. I also make a trip to Moab or Fruita once a year or two, where 5 inches of travel is really nice to have. The X-5, at least in its current configuration, just seems like more bike than I need on a daily basis. I also have not found the highish (14.5" plus) bottom bracket on the X-5 with the long fork and 6" rockers to my liking - as others have described, I feel like I'm sitting waaaaay up high on the bike, instead of sitting "in" the bike.

So, I'm staring squarely at a case of "FoShizzlitis" (you all know what I mean - even you, Fo!) - the urge to change components or whole bikes in search of that "ultimate" set up. Ideally, I'd like one bike that I can ride comfortably locally (lots of climbing, fast & smooth downhills), but which is still burly enough for the occasional trip to the mountains and Moab. The options I've considered include:

1. Replacing the X-5 frame with an El Salt with 4/5 rockers and getting either a Vanilla or TALAS fork. I'm thinking an El Salt with the 4/5 rockers and a TALAS would be a nicely adjustable set up that can be easily modified to go back and forth between smooth XC riding and burlier, rockier riding. I would probably sell the Dakar frame and fork as well, and have the King hubs from the Dakar rebuilt with 29'er rims for use on the Rig. This option may also accelerate my timetable to replace the Rig frame with an El Commandante.

2. Keeping the X-5 frame, but going back to the 5" rockers and selling the Z1 fork for a Vanilla, and using the King/717 wheelset off my Jamis for local riding. I'd still have the X-5, but it would be set up more XC-ish. I think this is what Fo did with his X-5 about a year ago. I would guess it would still be around the 30 lb range, so I'm not sure I'd gain anything.

3. Replacing the Dakar frame with an El Salt. Not sure, however, whether the 100mm Reba SL on the Dakar would be "enough" fork for an El Salt.

4. Doing nothing. This would be the cheapest option. The X-5 would just be used very little, which is a bummer b/c it's such a nice bike. The Dakar is an OK bike, but I originally built it up more to use a "backup bike," not as a primary ride.

Decisions, decisions. :madman: Any advice from the Ventana faithful?
 

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Well at the end of the day an El Salt weighs only one pound less than an X5 and the '04 X5 and El Salt geometries are very close. It would make a lot more sense (FoShizzle won't understand of course) to just put a lighter build on your X5. Check out the setup thread, there are loads of X5s in the 28 lb range or even less.
 

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Back of the pack fat guy
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, I'm seeing a theme here - keep the X-5. That's my preference, FWIW. I may try going back to the 5" rockers for a while, and maybe trying to find a nice used Vanilla or something similar (I love the feel of a coil fork). I think swapping the Big Betty/Nevegal combo in favor of a 2.4 Mutano front and rear for local rides would save nearly a pound of rotating weight. As for wheels, I really like the Hope/5.1 combo and I just got them this year, so those will probably stay. I have a spare AL hardtail frame that I raced last year on which I could hang the components from the Dakar, so I'd still have a backup bike. I want to keep a dedicated 29'er singlespeed, so I'm likely going to keep on my original plan of upgrading to an El Commandante next year. Thanks to all for your comments - even you, Fo!!
 

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not so super...
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Keep the X5 and lighten it a bit and go back to 5" mode. Not sure I would lose the BB tires however. Those things rock and are worth the weight IMO.

Keep the Dakar and ride it until it cracks, it will! Then get a new bike.
 

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I went through a similar process here:

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=206074

Conclusions: basically I like a more XC feel most of the time.

Ditch the X-5 and get an El Capitan.

But if you want to save money, just go back to 5" rockers and fork. It will make worlds of difference.
 

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Bodhisattva
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FoShizzle said:
LOL....

my sincere apologies....it was only a matter of time till it spread; sort of like the mtbr version of the bird flu i suppose. i hate to tell you this, but there is unfortunately no cure so resistance is futile.
Untrue.
The cure is a Titanium 29er SS.
But Fo wouldn't know since he's slumming it on an aluminum frame

PS. I hate you too
 

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Back of the pack fat guy
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Enel said:
But if you want to save money, just go back to 5" rockers and fork. It will make worlds of difference.
I think that's the plan, but thanks for the offer in your PM!

Now, the question is whether to go with an '06 (130mm) Vanilla or an '07 (140mm) Vanilla. Why can't this ever be easy? :rolleyes:
 
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