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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this in the 29er forum and didn't get much response, so...

before plunking down my cold hard cash on a new wheel set for my 2013 Cobia at my LBS, I took one of the rental bikes (2013 Superfly AL Elite) out for a spin b/c they are looking to unload it for a great price. I'm up in the air about the new wheel set vs abused Superfly decision, but the one thing that I noticed in my 1/2 hour ride was something really unexpected: the Superfly actually feels the slightest bit more plush in the rear end. This makes no sense at all to me b/c the tire they had on the bike was identical to what I run (Ignitor) and appeared to be inflated slightly higher than my own. Could it be the difference between the additional hydroforming in the frame? Could it be the difference between the Evoke 1 seat and the Evoke 2 seat (Bontrager says the 2 has chromoly rails, but it doesn't say what the rails are in the Evoke 1)? Could it be the difference between the SSR and the Rhythm Elite seatpost? Or was this all just my imagination?
 

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I posted this in the 29er forum and didn't get much response, so...

before plunking down my cold hard cash on a new wheel set for my 2013 Cobia at my LBS, I took one of the rental bikes (2013 Superfly AL Elite) out for a spin b/c they are looking to unload it for a great price. I'm up in the air about the new wheel set vs abused Superfly decision, but the one thing that I noticed in my 1/2 hour ride was something really unexpected: the Superfly actually feels the slightest bit more plush in the rear end. This makes no sense at all to me b/c the tire they had on the bike was identical to what I run (Ignitor) and appeared to be inflated slightly higher than my own. Could it be the difference between the additional hydroforming in the frame? Could it be the difference between the Evoke 1 seat and the Evoke 2 seat (Bontrager says the 2 has chromoly rails, but it doesn't say what the rails are in the Evoke 1)? Could it be the difference between the SSR and the Rhythm Elite seatpost? Or was this all just my imagination?
Different frame, different wheels, different saddle and post, different tire pressure. It all adds up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^
I would normally tend to agree with you, but it seems to me that all of the stiff components (frame, wheels, post are likely made out of the same material) and the tires were the same and were at a higher pressure on the bike that felt softer under my bum. Could the seat make that big a difference?
 

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It is not which material, but how it is used.

Better/lighter does not necessarily mean stiffer. Heavier = more material = (likely) "stiffer".

If you did not check the tire pressure with a gauge, you do not know if it was higher or lower than what you normally use, and you should have checked it for a meaningful test ride.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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If they were not any different, there wouldn't be much reason to make both of them.

The Superfly has a more sophisticated design that will have better compliance where it is desired and more stiffness where it is desired.

This can be accomplished by the material itself, the thickness and butting of the tubes, the shape of the tubes, and how they are configured.
If you can't afford, or you don't push the performance potential to the point where that design sophistication is of value to you, then the lower level frames will do just fine. If you can take advantage of the better design, or just want it for whatever reason, then the better frames are available.

It would seem a bit naive to believe that a frame is a frame is a frame just because it's a hardtail with xyz geometry.

There is a pretty good chance that at least some other factors (different components) also contributed to the different feelings between the different bikes.

The significant downside to getting rid of your Cobia for a Superfly demo bike would be that demo bikes do not generally come with a warranty for the frame, and your Cobia does IF you are the original owner.

Other than that, if the demo bike wasn't flogged hard and long, it could be more economical that upgrading your Cobia, and it's a frame you can feel the difference in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the answers. I guess it just didn't seem possible to me that the frame design would actually make a difference in the plushness of the rear end (and I use the word "plush" very loosely when speaking of either of these bikes!). I did notice the additional hydroforming on the Superfly and I remember that the chainstays were noticeably thinner than those on my Cobia.

I agree that without actually checking the tire pressure, it would seem that I'm just winging it in that regard. The only reason that I discounted tire pressure as not being the responsible party is because the shop manager put a lot of air in it and when I sat on it, it looked considerably less compressed/displaced than when I sit on the same tire that is on my Cobia. Having said that, the different rim could also change how much the tire flares out. I should have checked the pressure though just to take that variable out of the equation.

Thanks again for the thoughts on this. I'm a newbie and trying to learn all I can.
 

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If they were not any different, there wouldn't be much reason to make both of them.

The Superfly has a more sophisticated design that will have better compliance where it is desired and more stiffness where it is desired.

This can be accomplished by the material itself, the thickness and butting of the tubes, the shape of the tubes, and how they are configured.
If you can't afford, or you don't push the performance potential to the point where that design sophistication is of value to you, then the lower level frames will do just fine. If you can take advantage of the better design, or just want it for whatever reason, then the better frames are available.

It would seem a bit naive to believe that a frame is a frame is a frame just because it's a hardtail with xyz geometry.

There is a pretty good chance that at least some other factors (different components) also contributed to the different feelings between the different bikes.

The significant downside to getting rid of your Cobia for a Superfly demo bike would be that demo bikes do not generally come with a warranty for the frame, and your Cobia does IF you are the original owner.

Other than that, if the demo bike wasn't flogged hard and long, it could be more economical that upgrading your Cobia, and it's a frame you can feel the difference in.
IME a demo bike purchased from a dealer or manufacturer carries a full warranty.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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IME a demo bike purchased from a dealer or manufacturer carries a full warranty.
That could certainly be true in many areas or shops, but doesn't seem to be the norm near me.

The shops I know of in my area don't. This is from a local bike shop's website's page where the 'hot deals' are listed (first one I went to):

"DEMO BIKES are sold as is, no warranty."

I'm working part time at another shop and their demo bikes aren't covered either.

If they say the demo is covered, and if the receipt says it's a demo bike, or anything other than new, I would advise you to get it in writing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I learned something today that would tend to give credence to Shiggy's comments about the frame. I discovered that the 2014 Superfly's were redesigned to create an additional 24% of compliance in the vertical plane for a more comfortable ride. Although the bike that I was riding was a 2013 and therefore stiffer than the 2014, it sounds very plausible that the 2013 SF would possibly be more compiant in the vertical plane than my Cobia since the SF has more sophisticated hydroforming. All of this now makes me curious to ride one of the 2014 models. Of course, those aren't the ones that are currently on deal :(
 

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So, I learned something today that would tend to give credence to Shiggy's comments about the frame. I discovered that the 2014 Superfly's were redesigned to create an additional 24% of compliance in the vertical plane for a more comfortable ride. Although the bike that I was riding was a 2013 and therefore stiffer than the 2014, it sounds very plausible that the 2013 SF would possibly be more compiant in the vertical plane than my Cobia since the SF has more sophisticated hydroforming. All of this now makes me curious to ride one of the 2014 models. Of course, those aren't the ones that are currently on deal :(
It is more than just hydroforming (just one way of manipulating metal) differences, and more than just the frame. You can believe this, too.
 

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This is an apples to oranges comparison.

The Cobia shares the same frame as the Marlin, Mamba, Wahoo with components being the only difference.

The Superfly is a much better everything, frame, wheels, components, and so on. Plus the Superfly's frame allows it to springs forward with each pedal stroke, the difference in frames is clear.

But for the price you might as well go full suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hopsolot-

I would agree with you about the price, except that this came across my radar because I can pick up last year's demo model for $1,600. At that price, I wouldn't get much of a full sus bike. What I have to figure out is if I want to trade in my Cobia (the shop will give me $500 on trade in) for the used Superfly or do I want to upgrade my Cobia wheels as I was originally planning on doing (probably to an Arch EX with X9 hubs). Or I could upgrade the wheels and always move them to a newer bike down the road. Decisions, decisions. Any opinions on the decision are welcome.

Thank you!
 
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