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Ok, so i've been thinking about getting a hardtail. Well, now I'm considering a f/s xc bike.

What is the difference between the Vertex and ETSX. I know the ETSX has more rear travel.

What about ride characteristics?

How much bob in each design?

I'm 6'1 185 or so and i'll be doing mostly xc riding in Texas (also city riding/commutting (I hope)) with the ocassional trip to the Arizona/North Carolina Mountains.

ck
 

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Ummmm, the Vertex has 0 travel, it's a hardtail. Perhaps you are thinking of the Element, which is more of a firm travel race bike compared to the ETS-X. Why not test ride them both and see which one you like better?

I ride a Rocky hardail, love it to death, can't see myselft buying another bike for a while. Climbs like a goat (especially with my new flat bar), decends great for a ht, carves the tightest twistiest singletrack with ease. I've beaten the bike up hard for the last 3 years and it's still going strong.

If you're debating between a FS and hardtail, again, ride them both and see which one you perfer. I've hardly ridden FS bikes, and never on real trails, but for me my ht works great.
 

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As one who rode Hard Tails for years and recently went to f/s I will never go back. I ride longer with les recovery time, more control, and I can do more technical trails. Go f/s and the ETSX is a great choice. Just check out the posts on it
 

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I've got a Vertex and an ETSX70 tied up in the barn and I take them both out to play on a regular basis. The Vertex is like a sports car and the ETSX70 is like a rally car. When the going gets rough the ETSX70 is a joy, it has the right sort of geomterey to get up on top of obstacles and it feels lighter than it is. The Veretx is a joy on open smooth fast single track as it responds so quickly it's like it already knows the trail. Different horses for different courses.

Unless you're riding with a guy named Bob, your rides on the ETSX will be virtually bob-free. There's a bit of suspension movement but it isn't the long travel bobbing that less well behaved designs can have. It does brake jack a bit but not an unpleasant amount. If you expect that your riding may take you through a variety of places and trail conditions then the ETSX is a great choice. If you ride really smooth fast single track the Vertex is a beautiful riding hardtail
 

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I'm in a similar boat (though 6'2", 200# and 40yo) and I'm leaning towards the ETSX.
I think it'll be a tad heavier than the Element but much more versatile. The rear is adj on the etsx from 3.5 to 4 to 4.5 (with a quick release, not "on the fly") and of course you can adjust the response or even lock it out, so I'm thinking you can make it behave pretty much like an Element if needed, but then use the travel if needed.

I really dig the rear end on this bike, this is a nice design.

btw, can someone point me towards the money tree, I could use a little bit more...

Happy Trails. :D
 
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