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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A classic question:

I've been riding hardtails all my life, but I finally decided to go for a full suspension bike. I'd still like something fast and light for XC-racing but also something which is a bit more confortable on longer rides.

I narrowed the list of possible bikes down to the following four:

1. Specialized FSR Epic Carbon Expert
2. Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 3
3. Trek Top Fuel 9.8
4. Scott Spark 20

The Trek is a bit cheaper than the others and may actually be the most XC race oriented (4-5 short labs kinda thing). However, on the longer rides it could turn out to be rather uncomfortable!? The Scott appears to be a bit more for the longer rides with the 120 mm fork. The Specialized and Cannondale seems to be somewhere in between.

I've only been able to test the Cannondale which I liked it a lot, especially the lefty fork was excellent, but I would on the other hand be a bit concerned about fork service and spare parts etc. I find after-sales/customer service pretty important, I don't want to waste an entire season waiting for some stupid spare-part...

At the moment I'm probably leaning towards either Specialized or Cannondale, but I somehow manage to change my mind every 5 minutes :madman:

Any comments are appreciated :)
 

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sebbesen said:
1. Specialized FSR Epic Carbon Expert
2. Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 3
3. Trek Top Fuel 9.8
4. Scott Spark 20

QUOTE]

Cannondale would be my 1st choice from that list. I saw a lot of that and Yeti ASR at 24 hours of Moab for the past 3 years that I've been going. I ask myself why people are choosing these machine. So I did some research and found that geometery is suited well for Moab condition. Cannondale has 69/74 geo which is great on descent and climb. Basically that same set up as I have on my titus moto lite but my frame is much heavier. I'm still an alloy rider which is why i'm going turner flux. Plus i'm not fan of 71/73 geo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm from Switzerland, so it should be compatible with the Alps ;) I guess looking a bit closer on the geometry specs is a pretty good point when you can't actually try out the bike. Thanks!
 

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I myself would get a Yeti ASR as a first choice. Second would
be a Trek. If the frame on the Trek ever breaks you get a new one,
that is hard to beat. However all the bikes on your list are very good.
I would ride as many of them as you can, and which ever one you
like best go ahead and get that one.

Best, John
 

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2. Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 3 - No No NO !!!! Take a look at this CRAZY Fork ... In your list I think all bikes good, exept Canondale ...

My first choice from your list is Specialized or Spark(I Like Spark so much) and then Trek BUT Canondale Scalpel Carbon 3 - NO WAY !!! As you mentioned above I think you would have troubles to find spares for this fork and troubles with services..and I don't think this fork design is reliable..


upd: You know, I more detailed watch on Specialized and I don't like rear shock it has .. it's a bit exotic ... if you are looking for XC FS bike, Spark the best choice from this list I think... CLASSIC XC Geometry ... but I bit surprised to see on it Fork with 120mm travel ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, in terms of performance the Lefty is the best fork I ever tried, but you have a point concerning service... Another thing is the zero pivot (no bearings) rear end. I wonder how well that still works after, say, 5 years of use.

Both Specialized and Scott have custom shocks, so in terms of sticking with something less exotic for the sake of easy repairs and access to spare parts I think Trek would be the best choice.
 

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Scalpel without even thinking about it, its awesome, one of the few bikes, that will make me go back to a 26er from my 29er HT
 
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