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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at my first 29er and would appreciate opinions on the following 4 bikes. I will use the bike mainly for rides on up and down rooty trails in North Carolina along with 5-6 XC races and a couple team endurance races. I am coming off a Carbon StumpJumper with the brain set up front and back which gave me the best of both worlds as far as a plush ride or a firm platform when needed. Weight, versatility, and reliability are important to me. Looking for a fast bike but not a race bike feel.

I am looking at the following bikes mostly with a XO type build and all are in a similar price range....

2011 Niner Jet 9

2011 TallBoy

2011 Spec Epic expert carbon - Lifetime warranty on carbon frame .... My stumpy just got upgraded from 08 to a 11 due to a frame crack. Specialized has been great with the replacement.

2010 Superfly 100 - I know the issues with this frame but I like the colors and spec better than the 2011. I also found one at a slightly reduced cost and Trek has a lifetime frame warranty.
 

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Neither trek or specialized have a life time warranty on suspension bikes. My vote is for the jet, I love mine. I have it setup as a trail bike with 1x9. It rocks
 

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FoCo29er said:
Neither trek or specialized have a life time warranty on suspension bikes. My vote is for the jet, I love mine. I have it setup as a trail bike with 1x9. It rocks
Incorrect information on Specialized. From the Specialized website:
"Specialized warrants to the original owner for the lifetime of the original owner of each new Specialized bicycle or frameset that the bicycle frame or frameset when new is free of defective materials and workmanship. The lifetime Limited Warranty is conditioned upon the bicycle being operated under normal conditions and use, and properly maintained."

The LBS in Greensboro will stand behind the warranty...he has in the past.

I have a 2011 S-Works Epic 29er and it is an amazing bike. If you have climbs on your trails you will love the "brain". Try out as many bikes as you can. And careful with what you read on the internet...;-0

The Superfly 100 is a great value and an awesome bike as well!
 

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I owned and loved a Jet9,but it is heavy for a "race" frame. ROCKS for aXC/Trail bike. I would look at the Tallboy FWIW.
 

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I rode the Superfly 100 as a demo for a day last summer. For some reason it does not descend well. Seemed very nervous. A friend of mine rode it the next day and said the same thing. I think it could benefit from wider tires than what comes on it stock. It climbs like nobodies business though.

I rode a Rumblefish the next day, that bike does it all well, despite the extra weight.
 

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if you have a great bike shop who stands behind their bikes warranties, thats an awesome thing to consider. you might want the epic just because of that. my last bike broke that i had bought in another state and the bike shops here didn't want to deal with it because i didn't buy it there even though they were a scott dealer.
 

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Epic29er said:
Incorrect information on Specialized. From the Specialized website:
"Specialized warrants to the original owner for the lifetime of the original owner of each new Specialized bicycle or frameset that the bicycle frame or frameset when new is free of defective materials and workmanship. The lifetime Limited Warranty is conditioned upon the bicycle being operated under normal conditions and use, and properly maintained."
I'm no expert on warranty with Specialized bikes, but I thought I read on the forum that Specialized considers the rear triangle part of the suspension system. Hence, it is not covered under the warranty.

I'm looking at 29ers myself, and having a meaningful lifetime warranty will sway which one I buy.
 

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I just got a Tallboy built up with XO and Hope hubs and 355 rims, Fox 100 fork, it is my first 29'r and I could not be more happy. The Tallboy is great, I only have 5 hours and 2 rides on it, but I have used it on all types of trails and the only thing I can say is that it turns just as tight as my 26r, is plush, light, and holds a line down single track like no other bike I have used. The only drawback to the 29 inch wheels I can see so far is that once they get on a line they are a bit harder to move off that line than a 26inch bike. This can be good and bad. The bike is a little less quick off the start line than a 26r but other than that all positives outway any drawbacks to a 29r. On open fire roads the bike can not go fast enough. I looked at the Jet9 and it looks like a nice frame but I wanted carbon as I like carbon bikes and it built up a bit lighter than the same Jet9 would have.
 

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Having sold both specialized and trek;
specialized is freekin AWESOME and fast with warranty, yet as stated above ur on ur own if the rear triangle goes (I have yet to see one fail, the link yes on a 2008 epic, but a triangle no)

Trek on the other hand is like pulling teeth for any sort of replacement.

And if I recall carbon warranties are 6 years for most anything..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the warranty input. Warranty does play a part in my decision which is what brought me to this bike search. The frame on my 08 Specialized Carbon Stumpjumper developed a crack and Specialized had me a new 2011 Frame and Fork to my LBS in 2 business days. Can’t ask for much better than that. I am looking for a new ride due to the new version of the Stumpy is 140 mm travel which is a little plush for my needs.

With that said I plan try and demo the 4 mentioned bikes before I throw down any cash. So if anyone has any other opinions on ride and or performance quality of the bikes I would appreciate the feedback.
 

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I would say the Epic is the raciest, followed by the Fly, then the TB. Although with the brains, you can definitely take a bunch of the "race" out of the Epic, and replace it with "fairly firm trail". I have a short ride history so far on an Epic Expert, but am loving the brain out back, and liking it a lot in the front. In a perfect world, my fork would have a 3-position switch that went from open to brain to full lockout, but with careful tuning of the brain as-is, I can get it just stiff enough for standing climbing without being too firm in the roots/rocks.

I am coming off a Fly 100. If I am honest, and subtract the New Bike Buzz from the equation, I would say it is every bit the bike of the Epic, except the rear suspension design DEMANDS use of the ProPedal lever, and I hate screwing with that.
 

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I put 60 miles or so on an Epic Carbon demo bike, and highly recommend you do the same. I decided to go full custom (BS), but otherwise would have felt great about the Epic - doesn't feel like it's sapping your energy in the climbs, and takes hits big and small in stride with at most a little click as it opens up.
 

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Get the most expensive of these bike because if you get the aluminium Jet you'll be wondering how the carbon frames compare instead of enjoying it. If you get the Superfly you'll be wondering if the Tallboy's VPP is a better suspension. If you get the Tallboy, someone will tell you the Brain is the best thing out there and you'll be wondering whether it is better than the VPP...

To replace the broken Jet 9, I bought the Epic 2010, hella quick but I didn't like the brain, then I tested the Superfly 100 in a demo day and got a Fisher Hifi frame, not bad but not exceptional neither, then I tested the Tallboy, I saw the light, it was way better then any other bike. Later I tested the new Jet, was awesome, was as good as the Tallboy, no matter the fact is a pound heavier and not made out of carbon. Some called me a bike whore but I don't mind because in the end I'm back on a Jet and I appreciate it and don't question anymore whether the other bikes would be a better ride.

Using the C29ssmax wheelset with Kenda Karma 1.9 and always the same parts, if you're looking for speed/snappiness/flickability : Specialized (1), Tallboy/Jet on par (2), Superfly 100/Hifi (3)
 

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Got off an Air9 and onto a Jet 9 in XL. There is no flex in the front or rear triangle that I can detect. I did notice something flexing in the rear of the TallBoy. If the Jet came in carbon (I'm hopeful it will, someday), it would be a hell of a bike. As others have mentioned, the Jet is not racing light. It is, however, a hell of a fine 80mm rear ended, very nimble trail bike.

If it were me, it would be down to the Jet and the Tall Boy, so demo both of them on the trails you ride, no parking lot demos, and go from there.

If you are on a budget, and want a true XC race bike, look into the Niner AIR 9. If you have a bit more to spend, and you are still serious about racing, then the AIR9Carbon deserves a hard look and is worth your consideration.
 

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There is also a Specialized 29er Epic EVO-R that might be just what your looking for. You may have to wait for a Demo on it but it is a awesome bike that fits between the regular Epic and the Stumpy.
Otherwise the Epic would be first and the Niner Jet9 second from your list.
Anyway you pick they are all really good bikes.
 

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I will pipe in here and vote TB. all out the greatest riding bike I have been on, My actual very own TB should be here next week. As far as warranties, I think Willie at SC is very good, very fair, and really listens to what is going on. The TB will be my 4th SC and I will continue to ride a SC bike. Tallboy all the way, 2nd would be the specialized epic but I thought it was a little nervous for me.
 

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Yep

Menzo said:
Get the most expensive of these bike because if you get the aluminium Jet you'll be wondering how the carbon frames compare instead of enjoying it. If you get the Superfly you'll be wondering if the Tallboy's VPP is a better suspension. If you get the Tallboy, someone will tell you the Brain is the best thing out there and you'll be wondering whether it is better than the VPP...

To replace the broken Jet 9, I bought the Epic 2010, hella quick but I didn't like the brain, then I tested the Superfly 100 in a demo day and got a Fisher Hifi frame, not bad but not exceptional neither, then I tested the Tallboy, I saw the light, it was way better then any other bike. Later I tested the new Jet, was awesome, was as good as the Tallboy, no matter the fact is a pound heavier and not made out of carbon. Some called me a bike whore but I don't mind because in the end I'm back on a Jet and I appreciate it and don't question anymore whether the other bikes would be a better ride.

Using the C29ssmax wheelset with Kenda Karma 1.9 and always the same parts, if you're looking for speed/snappiness/flickability : Specialized (1), Tallboy/Jet on par (2), Superfly 100/Hifi (3)
I'll agree with Menzo though I never considered the Specialized or Trek Superfly. I ended up buying a JET9 after considering the TB and 429. It was $1000 less than the Tallboy, stiffer (6'5" 205) and pedals better climbing across all the gears. It is a pound and a quarter heavier but the frame is stout. Remember all those DW 429 posts on frame weight... I'd throw the 429 in the mix as well if you are a big guy (stiff!) but the JET9's 80mm feels as deep and slightly more plush as 100mm of DW which is tighter and stiffer feeling.

If Niner comes out with a bike in carbon fiber at the same weight of the tallboy then watch out it will be super hot. CVA suspension just rides so good and I have no need to throw the propedal lever ever.

mmm hmm,

PF
 

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I can't speak for the others, but the Superfly 100 is by far the best bike I have ever ridden. Crazy light, crazy fast. I am selling mine (yes just placed an ad) only to pay for the new one.

I absolutely love this bike.
 

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DukeNeverwinter said:
Elsewhere, pulling teeth for warranty? Your wierd then. Submitted my lower swing arm on my 09 hifi 29er and got a superfly 100 frame 1 week later, no quesitons just showed up.
This is the same I have heard, I am very friendly with the owner of the LBS I go to, they sell Trek/GF, and he told me that he hasn't once had an issue with warrantying frames through Trek, he usually has the replacement in a week, and if the comparable frame is out of stock, they upgrade you. Specialized typically makes you wait until your frame is back in stock, which could leave you without a bike for a while. That is of course if they don't blame the rider and deny the warranty claim altogether. Someone just came to him and bought a Superfly 100 when the warranty was denied on their not that old Specialized, they claimed it was the rider's fault (LBS owner saw it and said there's no way that was the case).
 
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