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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Narrowed my new 29er hardtail choices. Look for some picky thoughts on which one you prefer out of them or if you think there are others at this price point I should add. Both are aluminum and I've test riden them and there weren't enough differences to push me hard in one direction or the other. Others to consider? Cannondale Flash, Scott Scale? I'm shopping for the XL 21" frame.

1. Specialized Stumpjumber Comp 29er: $2100
Fork: Rock shock Reba
FD: X.7
RD: X.9
Brakes: Avid Elixir R
Wheels: DT Swiss w/Specialized hubs

2. Trek/Fisher Paragon: $2100
Fork: Fox F100 RL
FD: SLX
RD: X.9
Brakes: Avid Elixir 5
Wheels: Bontrager with Shimano M552 hubs
 

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Gary Fisher Paragon. I went to a shop that only sells Specialized and while looking at a Stumpjumper, the bike mechanic under his breath talked me out of it. Told me to find a Gary Fisher dealer and go with the Paragon. He said they have the best, most refined geometry for hardtail 29ers.

That influenced me big time. So now I own a Gary Fisher Paragon.
 

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Wow. you are either paid by trek/fisher or that was one honest mechanic that deserves a 6er of his favorite brew.
 

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That shop guy's full of it, I've had both and both bikes achieve the same thing, just differently. When I upgraded to carbon I went with the drivetrain I was most impressed with (the XX group has been awesome) and haven't looked back.
 

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I considered both of those myself and rode them both. I liked the SJ a little better, but they were both nice riding. I ended up buying a Kona King Kahuna though and couldn't be happier. I love everything about the KK. The scandium frame is really nice...light but beefy.
 
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Both excellent bikes. Reba/Fox is a toss up. I personally think the Specialized wheel build is better if you are sticking with the stock wheelset.

Ride both and pay attention to the TT clearance. I had so much more room over the Paragon TT that it played into my decision.
 

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I considered both bikes listed but went with the GF Paragon. I felt both bikes were equal in quality and fit, but my Local Trek/Fisher dealer has customer service above and beyond that of any of the other LBS's.
 

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There are a lot of small things the paragon has that the SJ doesn't that add up for me. For instance the paragon has a press fit BB, tapered head tube, and the front brake is 185mm vs 160mm. I personally prefer G2 geometry, and fox, but those are both personal preferences as I also have a reba that I love on my 26er. I would go for the paragon between those 2, although I'd also suggest you check out the scott scale 29 elite, it's sightly cheaper for a comprabile build. Happy hunting :)
 

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I narrowed down mine to those two also. I ended up with the SJ EVO but my brother ended up with the Paragon. Both are nice bikes and I could of gotten the Paragon for cheaper but the SJ won out based on feel. You really have to take the time and ride your favorite trails with both.
 

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I've test ridden both.

The paragon has a tapered steerer, press fit BB, I feel these are two selling points as that will most likely be the standard, making the frame upgradable in years to come.

But,

I've ridden them both and prefer the Stumpjumper. Seemed more "flickable" to me. Paragon seemed to run small, I blame the big sweep handlebars that sweep so far back. But, that is jus a preference,

BTW, I'm 6'4" and an XL too. Our Specialized dealer sells the SJ for $1850.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BTW, I'm 6'4" and an XL too. Our Specialized dealer sells the SJ for $1850.
If I could get my dealer to sell the 2011 SJ for 1850 I would likely go that direction. I've go the Paragon down to 1970 which isn't bad. I wonder if I should have them size me to the 23" Paragon? That sounds huge. I'm not sure about the sweep handlebars...but if it isn't right it's an easy modification to add the bars of my choice down the road.

I narrowed down mine to those two also. I ended up with the SJ EVO but my brother ended up with the Paragon. Both are nice bikes and I could of gotten the Paragon for cheaper but the SJ won out based on feel. You really have to take the time and ride your favorite trails with both.
I haven't tried the EVO. What's the difference between that and the SJ comp? It's 1x9, right?
 

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Fwiw

I ride the X-cal in 21" and I really love the bike, I know the frame material and components are different than the Paragon, but the geometry for me feels really great. I swapped the bar for an Easton Havoc though, I agree that the Big Sweep bar just feels bad... the wide DH Riser bar is perfect for me. I am 6'4" and about 250. I test rode the Spesh Rockhopper 29er that is in the same price range as the X-cal (Pro I think?) even if I had liked the feel as much as the X-Cal, the componenets just didn't stack up to the X-cal. If I was shopping in the Paragon price range, things may have been different, never rode the SJ 29er, Fox/ Reba doesn't make a difference to me, but if geometry is the same as other Spesh 29ers I would probably go for the Paragon. My choice was based on how they felt first though, and I found a shop that did the X-cal for 1259.00 out the door with the bar upgrade.
 

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Out of those two go with the Paragon. I thought it was significantly more entertaining to ride than the Stumpy. I couldnt believe how well the GF 29ers handled. It was also much more stable feeling at high speeds.

Check out the C'dale Flash 29er 1. I test rode the Paragon, Stumpy, Flash and Giant XTC and went with the Flash. I felt like the 2x10 drivetrain, Lefty and awesome fit were a deadly combo. Ive been riding it for a month now and I'm very satisfied.
 

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The EVO is a 1x10 set up. Rear der is XO which is nice. Wheels are a little beefier than the reg SJ. Front rotor is 185 instead of 160. I think everything else is pretty much identical.
 

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I <3 my Paragon. Its a solid bike and is a very good climber and steady on high-speed descents.

@sprocket47 - I would suggest paying with CASH. Like bring in what you want to pay in $100 bills. I got my 2010 Paragon (same price as the 2011) for $1600 because I brought in cash and (nicely) said, "This is what I'm willing to pay."
 

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2011 paragon last November $1850 non-cash.
19" inch frame for my roughly 33.5 inseam. A smaller frame than some would prefer, but it fits well for me.
 
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