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BGR / MCM #311
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been whittling down my choices for a replacement rig for my 99 Ellsworth Joker (5" travel).

These are the remaining contenders:
1. Turner 5 spot: Pros: complete seat tube, turner quality Cons: not many! (although I'd want a coil over and not an air shock)
2. Turner 6 pack: Pros: see above Cons: weight (and is it too much travel for my style??)
3. Titus Super Moto: Pros: lots of suspension choices (4-7") Cons: interrupted seat tube, weight?
4. Kona Dawg: Pros: price, local bike shop support Cons: not truly a "horst" bike, seems everyone owns a kona (around here anyway) (again...I'd stick a coil on it)

OK...those are the finalists...

My style?? you say?? I'm 210 lbs....ride aggressive XC, long all day rides, intermediate north shore wood stunts and drops (no more than 6 foot), rocky, technical stuff...

well...help me out!! Put in your $0.02 and help me see other pros and cons of the bikes above...or throw a wrench in the works and offer up other models!!

thanks!

terry
 

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Decisions, Decisions.

fireboy said:
I've been whittling down my choices for a replacement rig for my 99 Ellsworth Joker (5" travel).

These are the remaining contenders:
1. Turner 5 spot: Pros: complete seat tube, turner quality Cons: not many! (although I'd want a coil over and not an air shock)
2. Turner 6 pack: Pros: see above Cons: weight (and is it too much travel for my style??)
3. Titus Super Moto: Pros: lots of suspension choices (4-7") Cons: interrupted seat tube, weight?
4. Kona Dawg: Pros: price, local bike shop support Cons: not truly a "horst" bike, seems everyone owns a kona (around here anyway) (again...I'd stick a coil on it)

OK...those are the finalists...

My style?? you say?? I'm 210 lbs....ride aggressive XC, long all day rides, intermediate north shore wood stunts and drops (no more than 6 foot), rocky, technical stuff...

well...help me out!! Put in your $0.02 and help me see other pros and cons of the bikes above...or throw a wrench in the works and offer up other models!!

thanks!

terry
I like all of your choices. I am in the same boat as you right now. I weigh 215lbs and ride aggressive xc with some light freeriding on the side. I am recovering from knee surgery so I am not in a huge rush to pick a bike. I got the old rigid commuter to tide me over for now.

One con you forgot to mention for the boutique bikes was price. Very pricey. Since you were mentioning some expensive bikes and seem to like the Horst design, I might recommend the new 05 Enduro S works, Pro, or Expert. The S works weighs around 30lbs with the lower models a few lbs heavier. The Ellsworth Moment is another 6" rig I would consider if you are going to blow a wad on a bike.

I agree with you on the interupted seat post design being a con on the Moto Lite. Although it is a nice bike, I prefer a full length tube. The Enduro still has an interrupted seat tube but is longer now.

The Turners are wicked rigs and the 5spot could work fine for you if you are not going all out freeride. If you want to go bigger than 6ft, then I would recommend the 6-pack. I have heard the new 5-spots are not spec'd with a coil shock anymore. The romic used to be standard on the spot but it is changing to air now. You could probably order one with a coil shock. This could all be a rumour for all I know.

The Kona Dawg will not stand up to the abuse that the Turners and Titus will imo but is a popular all mountain bike nonetheless.

I have owned a Heckler which was a tough rig that seems to be tailor made for aggressive xc and it works great for everything. It is a sp though, but it still worked well and is not very expensive. It has 5" of rear travel with the regular stroke shocks but the new 5th element gives 5.6" of travel.

Another sp offering to consider is the Cannondale Prophet which is very popular right now as a all mountain bike. The 1000 weighs less than 30lbs and climbs well. I have talked to riders who are hucking them 6ft+ with the stock configuration, with no problems.

I am not sure if you are from the States or not but I am considering a Devinci Magma or Guzzler for my "one" bike. Devinci is a Canuck company and is advertising the Guzzler and Magma as all mountain extreme bikes. They are Horst/4bar design in Canada with 6" of rear travel and sport the Pike front Fork. I was very surprised at how well the Guzzler rode when I took it out for a rip. It climbed well and felt responsive and flickable.

Upon close inspection, the frame quality for the Guzzler/Magma for 05 is right up there with Turner and other boutique brands. The welds and linkage are top notch with the price for a complete bike being reasonable.

Good luck and I hope I didnt confuse you too badly. :D
 

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BGR / MCM #311
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Discussion Starter #3
strange that you mention the Specialized enduro series...

My local shop looked into an Enduro SX Trail (the enduro frame with a 5th element coil and a marzocchi 66R fork). I've always liked the Enduro series, but have found that I really dislike air shocks and forks...I'd like to stick to oil and coil. I think it will fit my style, etc...just fine!! The price is cheaper than building up a Titus or Turner, it is a true Horst link bike, and has very trail friendly geometry with 6" of travel (which is a pleasant surprise). The only thing I've found that I don't like in the bike is the wheels...schraeder valves and heavy for a "light freeride" bike. But...I can always upgrade later. Thinking of pulling the trigger on this puppy tomorrow....

thanks for your input!!!
 

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Trailbike

My 11th, current and best ever suspension bike is my 5 Spot, it does everything well and I'd reccomend it highly. I would consider the Titus Motolite over the supermoto unless you want a bigger bike but make sure you order the bigger tire clearence stays if you go that way. Ventana's El Salt is a nice light bike with travel options from 4 to 6", no FSR but it works well. If you do want a bigger bike I'd go with you're other 6" option the 6 pak over the supermoto for the un-interupted seat tube. All great bikes, I don't think you can buy a bad bike from your'e list.
 

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BGR / MCM #311
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Discussion Starter #5
slowrider said:
My 11th, current and best ever suspension bike is my 5 Spot, it does everything well and I'd reccomend it highly. I would consider the Titus Motolite over the supermoto unless you want a bigger bike but make sure you order the bigger tire clearence stays if you go that way. Ventana's El Salt is a nice light bike with travel options from 4 to 6", no FSR but it works well. If you do want a bigger bike I'd go with you're other 6" option the 6 pak over the supermoto for the un-interupted seat tube. All great bikes, I don't think you can buy a bad bike from your'e list.
Does that list include the Speshuhleyezzed SX Trail as well?? Cuz I'm really kinda digging that bike...nice bike...nice suspension components...nice price...but the wheels are boat anchors!!!

and thanks for the info on the turners!!
 

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Nothing Trail about the SX.

fireboy said:
Does that list include the Speshuhleyezzed SX Trail as well?? Cuz I'm really kinda digging that bike...nice bike...nice suspension components...nice price...but the wheels are boat anchors!!!

and thanks for the info on the turners!!
The reason that I never recommended the SX Trail is because there is nothing "Trail"about it. The SX is built as a freerider and not an all around trail bike imo. The Zoke 66 is a very tall freeride fork and will make any climb of appreciable length uncomfortable as it will be hard to keep the front end down and from wandering. It is actually as tall as some DC forks. The 66 is not adjustable either so you cant wind it down for the climbs. You mentioned the boat anchors rims also.

You might be able to swing a deal to get a different fork on there so you can keep the rear coil. The 66 will do nothing but slow you down for epic rides. I think it is a good fork, just not on an all mountainbike. Not to mention the weight of the SXT is around 40lbs which limits the trail riding aspect of having the "one" bike. The 6" Enduro weighs in the low 30s.

The Fox 36 on the Expert and Pro Enduro is still a very beefy fork that gets 6" of travel but weighs less than than the 66 and can be adjusted for climbs. 115mm to 150mm, is the range of adjustability on the 36.

Unfortunately, Specialized decided not to spec the Pro,Expert, and S-works with a Coil shock option. Putting a coil on these models voids the warranty. However, I am hearing good things about the new 5th air on the Enduros.
 

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I will post on up for the 6 Pack, I just built mine up and it rides great! Climbs much better than I thought. It fairly light at 32.8 pounds with decent parts and a 05 Z1 fork. Decents? no problems. Drops? Well I havent yet dropped it :D

Actually, I have only done a 1 foot drop on it but its really a new RFX and we all know what they are capable of, shore style drops!

If you have to keep it in a budget, then the Enduro would be a great choice, I like what they have done with that bike this year, really impressive looking. The SX trail looks to be a sick FR bike, dont know how it would be for trailriding, it does weigh around 40+ pounds.

Another bike to consider is the Yeti 575, just for grins, I took apart my new, once ridden Pack and used the same parts/fork and wheels on the 575. I road the same trail with it as I did the Pack just 2 days before. I am truely amazed at how well the 575 performs! It feels very "Pack like" in some ways, atleast the way I have it built, more FR'ish. Plus its 2.6 pounds lighter. For me though, Im keeping the 6 Pack, I think its the ultimate bike for someone who just wants "one". It can be built light, around 30-31 pounds for trails and flat crusing, and with a few parts swapping, like a fork, wheelset and maybe some bars and rotors, you can have a 35 pound or so freeride bike that will rip down a trail, medium sized drops (like 8-10 feet) and still climb and handle tight singletrack well.
And thats with only one ride in yet! It just feels great! It weighs in at 32.8 pounds right now, but more than likely it will be around 33-34 pounds as I will use larger tires most of the time, like 2.35 tubless. I tried a 5 Spot, I didnt really like the fit, plus I wanted a little more plushness, and I prefer a laidback feel of a slacker front end, so I sold the Spot in favor of the Pack. IMHO, I would take a 575 over the Spot, but the Pack (RFX) rules!
 

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No Specialized

fireboy said:
Does that list include the Speshuhleyezzed SX Trail as well?? Cuz I'm really kinda digging that bike...nice bike...nice suspension components...nice price...but the wheels are boat anchors!!!

and thanks for the info on the turners!!
I've not owned any Specialized suspension frames because I've had bad luck with interupted seat tube bikes ( broken 3 from 3 different builders). Well thought of bikes and as you said you can upgrade later. The Motolite could probably be built for a similar price if you arent totally opposed to it and can find one.
 

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BGR / MCM #311
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Discussion Starter #9
Welp...I pulled the trigger!!

The finalists came down to the Turner 6 pack and the Kona Coiler.

The Specialized lost out due to an OEM fork that didn't match the exact features I wanted, the bolt on rear wheel, 36 hole schrader wheels, and a few other parts that I would have immediately swapped.

My local shop is both a Turner and Kona dealer...and the deal they shot me on a Coiler Primo would only get me the 6 pack frame and a Marzocchi 66RC fork. Deal cinched...a bike of Kona's reputation, with all XT drivetrain, El Camino Brakes, and Race Face components for the price of just frame and fork on the Turner side?? SOLD. The only things getting swapped from my Joker to the new bike will be the King headset and my lock on grips...lol.

and...bonus...it's emergency vehicle yellow....even though all fire engines should be red...

thanks again for everybody's input!!!

terry
 

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Congrats,

fireboy said:
The finalists came down to the Turner 6 pack and the Kona Coiler.

The Specialized lost out due to an OEM fork that didn't match the exact features I wanted, the bolt on rear wheel, 36 hole schrader wheels, and a few other parts that I would have immediately swapped.

My local shop is both a Turner and Kona dealer...and the deal they shot me on a Coiler Primo would only get me the 6 pack frame and a Marzocchi 66RC fork. Deal cinched...a bike of Kona's reputation, with all XT drivetrain, El Camino Brakes, and Race Face components for the price of just frame and fork on the Turner side?? SOLD. The only things getting swapped from my Joker to the new bike will be the King headset and my lock on grips...lol.

and...bonus...it's emergency vehicle yellow....even though all fire engines should be red...

thanks again for everybody's input!!!

terry
I hope the Coiler works out for you, but I hope you realize that the Kona Coiler Primo for this year is not really a trail bike, but a freeride bike not unlike the SXT. I have to ask, did you actually pedal the Coiler with the 66rc up any real hills? I say this because I have seen the new Coiler also and it is more of a freeride bike than it was last year. Especially with the uber tall 66 up front.

You described long all day trail rides with moderate freeriding/intermediate stunts in your post. The Coiler with a 66rc will work you over hardcore on any sort of long trail ride with climbing involved.

I am sorry if I sound negative about your decision, but as a trailbike the Coiler Primo confuses me.
 

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BGR / MCM #311
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Discussion Starter #11
yup...rode it...liked it...believe me, my joker doesn't exactly fit the "trail bike" category either...and I don't mind climbing with it...actually did a couple of 30 mile rides in Pisgah and Dupont last year with it. I guess I'm a glutton.

thanks for your concern...

t'
 

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Good to hear.

fireboy said:
yup...rode it...liked it...believe me, my joker doesn't exactly fit the "trail bike" category either...and I don't mind climbing with it...actually did a couple of 30 mile rides in Pisgah and Dupont last year with it. I guess I'm a glutton.

thanks for your concern...

t'
I had a 04 7" Joker for a while and was impressed with how well it climbed and I did epics on it. The main difference from my Joker and a SXT with the 66 for climbing was that I had a breakout on the front that could be lowered for the climbs which made a big difference.

I guess my point is the 66 on the Kona, which is very tall. When the SX trail first came out it was being advertised as a "trail bike" that could handle a hit and I was stoked. As soon as I sat on one and realized how tall the 66 was, I realized it wasnt the bike for me. I like doing some drops here and there, but I need a beefy bike that can climb and the fork plays a huge part in climbing. For myself, anyways.

I was a little concerned at first, but the important thing is that you checked it out and are stoked on it.

Have fun and post a review after a ride or two.
 
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