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Went bike shopping this weekend and found the following two bikes that I like:

2003 Giant VT1 for $2200
2004 Gary Fisher Cake 2 DLX for ~$1,850

I've been waiting forever to buy (current bike is 89 Giant with no susp) and now I'm finally ready - anyone have suggestions on which I should be leaning towards? Otherwise, in this price/travel range what should I be looking at?

Thanks,
Eric
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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Flip a coin. They both seem like nice rigs. I have ridden the 03 VT1 in a parking lot and the 04 VT1 I got to thrash for a week. I have not ridden the Cake. That’s a really tough call since it appears that you are a person that may want to hang on to a rig for ten or more years. The 04 VT1 is considerably better spec’d than the 03 IMHO and if you have waited this long, you could wait until the 04’s are reduced and come out with a spectacular rig for around that price. I like the Minute fork better than the Psylo that comes on the 03. The carbon lever Hayes brakes on the 04 VT1 also work very nicely. I have the regular HFX-9 on my regular bike and the ones on the 04 VT1 are considerably nicer. You also get an awesome wheelset, 04 XT ISIS cranks, Time pedals, XTR rapidrise shifting, carbon bars, carbon post on the 04 VT1 although I’m not sure on the 03. You might also consider the 04 VT2. It has the Minute fork and a solid, if unspectacular component spec for around the same price as the 03 VT1.

All that aside, if you’re going to live with this purchase even half as long as your last, you should really ride every bike you can swing a leg over because you’re going to be saddle pals for a long time. Sticking with a large company with a proven CS reputation seems like a good strategy for a successful LTR (long term relationship).
 
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