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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a XCE and although I love the way it rides, I'm getting the 5 Spot.
They are the same color so that my wife won't notice the change:)
I would appreciate any feedback from you guys especially the one who owned XCE and now riding 5 spot.
Any difference, advantages and disadvantages.
Does 5 spot climb like XCE or is it much slower?

dmz
 

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dmz said:
I would appreciate any feedback from you guys especially the one who owned XCE and now riding 5 spot.
Perform a couple of searches with "xce" isolating posts by "tscheezy". He currently owns both and has briefly mentioned the difference between the two in several threads.
 

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dmz said:
I have a XCE and although I love the way it rides, I'm thinking of getting the 5 Spot.
May be the same color so that my wife won't notice the change:)
I would appreciate any feedback from you guys especially the one who owned XCE and now riding 5 spot.
Any difference, advantages and disadvantages.
Does 5 spot climb like XCE or is it much slower?

dmz
Keep both of them (I am) as they are complimentary, imo.

5 Spot:
- more stable at speed
- more aggressive/bigger hit type bike - loves to go downhill
- may be a slightly better climber due to the extra inch of travel helping traction
- slower steering
- higher center of gravity, but more of a "sit in" feel to the geometry
- more plush (due to more travel)
- longer wheelbase for same size XCE
- longer cockpit for same size XCE
- more radically sloped top tube for same size XCE
- standard shock measurements

XCE:
- noticeably quicker handling
- not as efficient unless you have the Romic shock version or you get your Fox pushed
- less stable at speed (but very stable, nonetheless)
- lower center of gravity but more of an XC oriented geometry (less "sit in")
- thicker/stouter tubeset (straight gauge vs. butted in the 5 Spot)
- less plush (due to less travel)
- better than the Spot in very low speed handling
- cable routing under the top tube for size large frames on up (woohoo! I much prefer this over the routing above the top tube)
- shorter wheelbase for same size 5 Spot
- shorter cockpit for same size 5 Spot
- less radically sloped top tube for same size 5 Spot
- non-standard shock measurements unless you have the Romic rockers

Don't keep both if you want to race one of them. If not, they have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the trail you are on so you can choose your pre-ride weapon accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the detailed comparison.

Acutally I also have a '01 Specialized Stumpjumper FSRxc comp for occational XC races so what I want is big hit plusher bike.
XCE is really nice but it overlaps in several areas with Stumpy.

Not sure how much difference in feel in terms of plushness since I haven't rode 5-spot.
Thanks again for nice feedback.

dmz
 

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dmz said:
Thanks for the detailed comparison.

Acutally I also have a '01 Specialized Stumpjumper FSRxc comp for occational XC races so what I want is big hit plusher bike.
XCE is really nice but it overlaps in several areas with Stumpy.

Not sure how much difference in feel in terms of plushness since I haven't rode 5-spot.
Thanks again for nice feedback.

dmz
Noticeably more plush (overall), more stable, and meant for more punishing terrain. It definitely doesn't make sense for you to keep all 3 in your case.
 

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dmz said:
Acutally I also have a '01 Specialized Stumpjumper FSRxc comp for occational XC races so what I want is big hit plusher bike.
If that's the case why not sell the FSR, put the XCE on a diet (maybe an air shock and fork to start with) to cover your race duties, and pony up for the 5 Spot you've been dreaming of.
 

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CrashTheDOG said:
If that's the case why not sell the FSR, put the XCE on a diet (maybe an air shock and fork to start with) to cover your race duties, and pony up for the 5 Spot you've been dreaming of.
Exactly; ideas like this confirm that Turner is the "thinking person's bike"! Seriously, an air shock on the XCE will give you a Burner for all intents and purposes, and the Burner is a perfectly complimentary ride to the Spot. You might lose ~.75 lb. to the FSR, but there's plenty to be gained in stiffness, tire clearance, the uninterrupted seat tube, bushings, etc.
 

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Roy said:
Keep both of them (I am) as they are complimentary, imo.
What fork do you have on your 5 Spot, and what fork do you have on your XCE? Have you tried your XCE with a 5" travel fork (or better yet, both bikes with the same fork)?

I think I remember that you have a 19.5" XCE, so I'm assuming that you have a Large 5 Spot. So, I guess I would expect the Large Spot to handle a bit slower because it's a bit longer (than the 19.5" XCE). And, if you have a longer fork on the Spot, that that would slow things down even more.

I remember that Tscheezy's comments were similar to yours. However, he has a Z1 on his 5 Spot, so I would expect it to feel much slower because the Z1 is 22mm longer than the vanilla at 5" (which he has on his XCE) which will slacken the head angle out to 68 deg or so. If you factor in the longer fork and the longer top tube, the wheelbase is about an inch longer as well. So, that's not really and apples to apples comparison. I think a better comparison would be an 18" XCE and a medium 5 Spot, both with Vanillas at 5".

I'm wonder about this, because I am picking up a lighter trail bike, so I'm considering putting a 5" travel fork on my XCE (not really for the extra travel, but to slow the handling a bit for higher speed riding). However, I have some reservations about this because back in the dark ages (i.e. pre 5 Spot), almost everyone I can think of that tried a 5" travel fork on the XCE didn't like it as well, and went back down to 4" (I can only remember one exception). On the other hand, 1 billion 5 Spot owners can't be wrong (can they?). Interestingly enough, when Mountain Bike tested the 5 Spot, they prefered it with a 4" fork as well.

On paper, other than the 1" difference in rear travel, the bikes would appear to be almost identical. With the same fork on both bikes, the geometry is almost identical. With a 5" fork on the XCE, the head angle will be about 0.1 degree different than the Spot. That would seem to be insignificant. The seat tube angle will be about a degree slacker, but that can be corrected by adjusting the saddle forward 1cm (and my saddle is all the way back on it's rails, so that's not a problem). I have 30mm of spacers under my stem, so I can get my bar position back by removed 25mm of spacers. That leaves the bottom bracket height, which should be about 1/4" higher on the XCE. Is that significant? I wouldn't think so, but that would seem to be the only real difference.

I guess I am puzzled a bit by your comments and Tscheezy's, because on paper the bikes look to be nearly identical (with the exception of the rear travel). So, with the same setup, I would expect them to handle very similarly. Of course, "on paper" doesn't mean anything, it's the actual ride that counts. But, I'm wondering if you guys have ever done an apples to apples comparison, or if perhaps is the longer wheelbase and forks that are making the difference. I believe your comments are accurate (both of you), but I'm just trying to put them in perspective.

Here is an overlay of the two bikes with a Fox Vanilla set to 5" (with the top tube length of the spot adjusted to eliminate any wheelbase differences, because that's really just a size difference). There is not much difference between these two bikes (assuming Turners published specs are accurate).

 

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Forks

Tullebukk said:
What fork do you have on your 5 Spot, and what fork do you have on your XCE? Have you tried your XCE with a 5" travel fork (or better yet, both bikes with the same fork)?
I have Fox Vanilla R on both bikes, and yes one is a 19.5 and the other is a Large.

On the XCE, I have the Fox in 4" mode and have never tried it in 5" mode. I really love the balance, quickness, and how it handles in 4" mode and so have never had the desire to try it in 5".

IMO there are 3 things that cumulatively cause the Spot to not handle as quick (still quick, just not as quick) as the XCE:
- 5" of travel front/rear (compared to a 4" x 4" XCE) - basically the same reason an 80mm fork is more responsive/quicker than a 100mm fork (as you mentioned in your post). This goes for the rear as well, however.
- longer wheelbase on the Spot
- higher center of gravity/bb

I'm not sure how close the XCE with a 5" fork would perform to a 5 Spot, but your theory sounds reasonable. Tscheezy rides his XCE like this and he should be able to compare the 2 back to back, setup like this.
I really like the 4"x4" XCE - ALOT. And I really like the 5"x5" handling of the Spot - ALOT. A 5"x4" XCE would be closer (but not equal) to the Spot, but there are trails here where the 4"x4" XCE is ideal for tackling, and others where the Spot dominates the XCE on, so I don't have any desire to blur the line between the 2.

Did you say a magazine tested the 5 Spot and preferred it with a 4" fork? a 4"x5" Spot? That sounds squirrely to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a TALAS fork on my 18" XCE and yes handing in 5 inch mode is pretty floppy.
So except on extreme downhill, I set it about 7 to 8 clicks from longest travel setting.
I am actually getting medium 5 spot so I guess the geometry is almost identical except the slacker head angle. Even this can be adjusted by TALAS fork, right?
So for twisty single track, I would set the fork about 3 to 5 clicks from 5 inch mode on 5 spot and just run 5 inchs for all other occations except uphill:)

I will be stripping the XCE and transfer everything to 5spot.
Now the suggestion to keep XCE and dump stumpy makes a lot of sense except it will cost more money since the 5spot and XCE shares the same diameter seatpost, front derailleur etc.. hmmmmmm more dillema........

dmz
 

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Tullebukk said:
...I remember that Tscheezy's comments were similar to yours. However, he has a Z1 on his 5 Spot, so I would expect it to feel much slower because the Z1 is 22mm longer than the vanilla at 5" (which he has on his XCE) which will slacken the head angle out to 68 deg or so. If you factor in the longer fork and the longer top tube, the wheelbase is about an inch longer as well. So, that's not really and apples to apples comparison. I think a better comparison would be an 18" XCE and a medium 5 Spot, both with Vanillas at 5".
To add more fog to the soup, Tscheezy also explained that when comparing the Fox with the Z1 on his 5 Spot, the two forks seemed to steer about the same. He attributed this to the rake and trail differences of the two forks. So even though the Z1 has a taller AC than the Fox, he felt that it didn't appreciatably change the handling.

Is everybody confused now? :p .

As for which bike to keep, don't ask me, I've never been on a XCE...but if I were to guess I'd say, Double your Turners...Double your fun:D . I like the idea of tweaking the XCE for the light and snappy, and keeping the 5 Spot for real thrashing. But then, it's your money and maybe you want two bikes that are completely different. What's you gut say to you?

Hey Tulle', what did you end up with? I know you wanted a snappier bike to keep up with your XC hammerheadded partners.
 

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dmz said:
I will be stripping the XCE and transfer everything to 5spot.
Now the suggestion to keep XCE and dump stumpy makes a lot of sense except it will cost more money since the 5spot and XCE shares the same diameter seatpost, front derailleur etc.. hmmmmmm more dillema........

dmz
The XCE will outperform and outlast the FSR, not to mention retain better resale value, so keeping it over the FSR is the better route, particularly if you just race it occasionally (but take it out on the trail more frequently than you race it).

However, if that is your serious race bike and you only do occasional trail riding on it, I would get rid of both and get a Hammerhead 100x or RacerX, as those will make better racing bikes but still make good trail bikes (just less travel than the XCE). Having a HH100x or RacerX is also *very* complimentary to the 5 Spot - they aren't quite as close to the 5 Spot as the XCE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually I got a great deal on a used 2003 5 spot so I might get a 100mm Skareb Elite fork from JensonUSA (220$) and intall on XCE, install my vbrake adaptor which I didn't use on XCE along with XTR Vbrakes and install my light Speeddreams ceramic rim CK wheelset that I used on FSR race bike. Then, transfer everythingelse from XCE to 5 spot including TALAS fork. I guess this will make a pretty light, sub 25lb XCE or even 24 lb XCE:)
 

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Roy said:
I really like the 4"x4" XCE - ALOT. And I really like the 5"x5" handling of the Spot - ALOT. A 5"x4" XCE would be closer (but not equal) to the Spot, but there are trails here where the 4"x4" XCE is ideal for tackling, and others where the Spot dominates the XCE on, so I don't have any desire to blur the line between the 2.
Yep. I like the 4"x4" XCE a lot as well. I really have no complaints at all about the way the bike handles. I hate to admit it, but all of the glowing reviews and comments about the 5 Spot on this forum have given me a bit of 5 Spot envy.

However, the primary reason I am looking at going to 5" of travel, is that frankly, my high speed bike handling skills are terrible. And, most of the guys that ride in this area are pretty darn good riders. I'd like to ride with them occasionally, but I don't want to hold them up. I stay in good enough shape that I don't think I would have a problem on the climbs, but I would get left in the dust on the descents. I noticed that when I switched from my hardtail to my XCE, I got much faster. I didn't have to try to go faster, it just happened. I'm wondering if going to the 5 Spot would result in a similar speed increase on the technical descents (ok, I admit it, I'm trying to buy skills).

However, when I look at it logically, it doesn't look like there is much difference between going to a 5 Spot and putting a 5" fork on the XCE. Of course, there is the extra rear travel of the Spot and the platform of the Romic, but with a bit of creativity you can get about 4.7" of travel out of the XCE, and a Push modified Vanilla RC should match the performance of the Romic. On paper, there is no significant difference in geometry (and thus no significant handling difference). But, that doesn't necessarily translate to on trail performance. My cost on the a 5 Spot frameset is over $2500, so is the extra 0.3" of travel worth $2500? If there is no difference in handling, the answer is clearly no (for me anyway). However, if there is a big handling difference (i.e. if there is less chance of doing a face plant in a field of baby heads at 30+mph), then the answer may be yes.

Anyway, all of these raving comments about the 5 Spot have me wondering how much different it really is than the XCE (with the same components).

Roy said:
Did you say a magazine tested the 5 Spot and preferred it with a 4" fork? a 4"x5" Spot? That sounds squirrely to me.
Yeah. Well, sort of. They said the bike handled better with a 4" travel fork, they didn't actually say they preferred the handling (the comment is about half way down the page on the left). Note, I personally wouldn't put a 4" travel fork on the 5 Spot (but maybe a TALAS). I was just trying to point out that the geometry differences may not be as great as it would seem.

<img src = "http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/5-Spot-Page3(1).jpg">
 

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Bikezilla said:
To add more fog to the soup, Tscheezy also explained that when comparing the Fox with the Z1 on his 5 Spot, the two forks seemed to steer about the same. He attributed this to the rake and trail differences of the two forks. So even though the Z1 has a taller AC than the Fox, he felt that it didn't appreciatably change the handling.

Is everybody confused now? :p .
Good point. Marzocchi does use a fairly large offset (43mm), so that could make a difference. I was mostly referring to a comment Tscheezy made in one of his posts. I don't remember the exact details, but he did say that his XCE with a 5" fork still handled a bit quicker than the 5 Spot with a 5" fork. He seemed to think it was due to the longer wheelbase. I was thinking that the wheelbase probably had something to do with it, but that the longer fork probably also contributed. However, perhaps that fact that he didn't notice a difference between the two forks led him to conclude that the difference was due to wheelbase.

Bikezilla said:
Hey Tulle', what did you end up with? I know you wanted a snappier bike to keep up with your XC hammerheadded partners.
Yeah, well hmmm... that's a long story. My wife and I had our first child in March, and bought our first house in March. So, between caring for the baby, moving, and renovating the house, I just haven't had time to get the new bike ordered.

I have decided to get a Blur. I think in terms of quality and even perhaps overall performance, there are better bikes on the market. But, the Blur claims to eliminate the one thing that I find most bothersome, so I have to give it a try. However, I'm going to keep the XCE around for a while, just in case I don't like the Blur (or it proves to be unreliable). Plus, the XCE is a superb rough terrain nasty conditions trail bike, so I plan on leaving it setup that way, and setting up the Blur with more of a 24 hour endurance racer type build. At least initially.

I was in the process of trying to order a Blur, but with the baby and the house I just haven't been able to find the time to finalize my order. In the end, I think it has worked out better for me anyway, because it sounds like the '05 Blurs will have some improvements (clearance for 2.35" tire, better rear bearings, and a more reliable Fox pro-pedal or RP3 shock). So, with that in mind and since it sounds like Turner is coming out with a light weight trail bike, I'll probably wait until after Interbike to make my order. In the mean time, I'm having my Element shipped over from the states. I'll just have to slum it with the lowly faux-bar for the rest of the summer ;). Actually, it's a pretty nice bike and with race tires it comes in at just about 23.5 lb., so it's makes for a pretty nice race/training bike.
 

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dmz said:
I have a TALAS fork on my 18" XCE and yes handing in 5 inch mode is pretty floppy.
So except on extreme downhill, I set it about 7 to 8 clicks from longest travel setting.
I am actually getting medium 5 spot so I guess the geometry is almost identical except the slacker head angle.
The geometry is not slacker, with the same fork it is almost identical period (with the exception of the seat tube angle). The only reason it looks slacker, is that the geometry for the 5 Spot is specified with a taller (i.e. 5") fork. Put a 4" fork on the 5 Spot, and the head angle comes in right about 70 degrees (actually just a tiny bit steeper). Of course, that's assuming the specs given by Turner are exactly correct. If the angles in the specs are rounded to the nearest half degree, then it's hard to say for sure.

I am really curious to hear your comments once you get a chance to put some time in on the 5 Spot. If you think the XCE is a bit floppy with a 5" fork, I would think you would feel the same way about the 5 Spot. I would like to know what you find out. "floppiness" is pretty subjective. I think the XCE with a 4" fork is just a tad bit floppy, so I would agree with your assessment of the XCE with a 5" fork.

dmz said:
I will be stripping the XCE and transfer everything to 5spot.
Now the suggestion to keep XCE and dump stumpy makes a lot of sense except it will cost more money since the 5spot and XCE shares the same diameter seatpost, front derailleur etc.. hmmmmmm more dillema........

dmz
That is a dilemma. It probably comes down to how you plan to spec both bikes, and your personal preferences. If they are speced similarly, I think the XCE becomes redundant. However, if you spec the 5 Spot as an aggressive trail bike, and the XCE as a light weight trail bike, than they would be different enough to warrant keeping both. However, if I were in your position, I would be tempted to keep the 5 Spot, sell both the XCE and the FSR, and use that money to buy a used Racer-X (or one of it's descendent's) or maybe even the new light weight 4" travel Turner (although that will be significantly more expensive, because you won't be able to find one used for a while).

In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences.

I look forward to an update once you've spent a bit of time on the 'Spot. :D
 

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Tullebukk said:
but with a bit of creativity you can get about 4.7" of travel out of the XCE

<img src = "http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/5-Spot-Page3(1).jpg">
I have and XCE with a 5" fork. I am curious as to how you can get an additional 0.7" of travel.

Thanks,
JR
 

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Tullebukk said:
I'm wondering if going to the 5 Spot would result in a similar speed increase on the technical descents (ok, I admit it, I'm trying to buy skills).
You will be able to descend *noticeably* faster on the 5 Spot - period. You're going to just have to trust me on this.

The XCE with 5" in front may descend faster than if you had 4", just give it a shot. However, the 5 Spot will still have a longer wheelbase and longer top tube; BUT the extra inch of travel in the rear is huge. Overall, the Spot is substantially smoother and more stable going down at speed.
 

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When considering the MB review it is important to consider the reviewer. Mike Cushionberry is a XC weenie. When you look at the pictures he also had the stem flipped to lower the bars in addition to the 4 inch travel fork. He made several comments in different reviews that make me believe that he prefers fast handling, even praising the handling of a 72 degree bike. The idea behind a slack head angle is not just handling at speed, but also down steep downhills. That is one of the strengths of the 5-spot. I know people who have been pretty happy with 5 inch travel forks on their XCE's.
 
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