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Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer my virgin posting on mtbr. I am 43, do a bunch of road riding and it has been 20 years since I did any real mountain biking. Now I'm ready to get offroad again as my first son has shown an interest. I'm in MI, and there is not alot of great trails in the area and a HT would probably do. But all my road bikes are HT ;) and the DS bikes are so damn sexy.

I am pretty torn between a number of options and looking for opinions. I'm considering an 06 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR at the LBS which I can get for about $1,670 out the door. It's mostly LX/XT and its tough to compare to the rest with the Ibex offerings (especially the Fox fork and shock). In the Ibex corner, the Atlas Sport or Pro and the Asta Race or X9. Not much seperates the pricing on these options and the Specialized is the most expensive. Specialized says their suspension design is superior to all others. And what about these new shocks? I really have no clue how to compare these. I am not afraid of ordering without a test ride, and used to work in a shop so can handle the set up.

The Ibex bikes can be found here...

http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ASTA-RCE-Details.html

http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ATLAS-SPT-Details.html

Help! Michdad
 

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I don't know if I'd say that Specialized's suspension is superior to all others, but it's damn good. I owned an 04 Stumpjumper FSR expert and it was, and still is an awesome bike. I gave it to my brother and he's still tearin it up on that bike. Faced with the 2 bikes you're considering, I sat Stumpjumper all the way. Buying from a bike shop is the best way to get knowledgeable help on choosing the right size bike, and it'll save you money in the long run on labor, tune-ups, usually parts, etc. The component mix on the Stumpy is decent for the money and you can always upgrade in the future. I say go for the Specialized, they make a good bike, have a great warranty and stand by their product.
 

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The thing i like about Specialized is that you buy from a shop, and remember, you are not only buying the bike from them, but also their service. Fitting the bike to you, warrenty issues and tune-ups are all things that your local shop will do for you.

I have a feeling if you have an issue with an Ibex bike, and go to a shop, they will not be as eager to get you back on the trails.....where if showed up with a bike you bought from them, you would be back out in a few hours. I am not saying anything bad about Ibex, because i am sure they will take care of you, but from my experiences (and i have had a few) with specialized, and the dealers and customer service.......I will never buy a bike from another company! Specialized just rules for me. Take a test ride if you can on the stumpy, you will love it.
 

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There is something to be said for the convenience of test-riding a bike before purchasing it. Ibex has a good idea, but I don't think I could buy a bicycle without seeing and riding it first.

JMO
 

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jut8 said:
I have a feeling if you have an issue with an Ibex bike, and go to a shop, they will not be as eager to get you back on the trails.....where if showed up with a bike you bought from them, you would be back out in a few hours. I am not saying anything bad about Ibex, because i am sure they will take care of you, but from my experiences (and i have had a few) with specialized, and the dealers and customer service.......I will never buy a bike from another company! Specialized just rules for me. Take a test ride if you can on the stumpy, you will love it.
Jut8 how long did it take you to get your whole epic thing sorted out? couple of months? That experience is more in line with what can be expected from all companies, except most people wouldn't of gotten a discounted road bike and multiple goodies to make up for poor CS. I am not saying that he should buy the Ibex (he probably would be much happier with spesh) but people shouldn't say that their LBS will have them out the door and happy in an unreasonable amount of time. Remember that the customer service you get at your shop was earned by buying many high end bikes from them and specialized sent you multiple broken shocks before they resolved your issues. Did they make it up to you in the end, yes, could I expect similar service and goodies if I had a warranty, nope. Just saying people need to have reasonable expectations when it comes to CS and bike shops.

PS the stumpy would be the better bike cause bad suspension is for life :) and better parts are only around for a little while.
 
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