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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    42

    Unhappy Frustration with finding a new MTB

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    Hi everyone! First off, let me say that I can't believe how wonderful and informative this forum is.....
    I'm having a hard time finding a new mountain bike. I'm a roadie that has just gotten into mountain/XC riding and I love it. I'm currently riding a GT with no suspension and my body is taking a real beating. I'm ready to buy a full suspension bike but I don't want to spend a fortune. I tried the Santa Cruz Juliana (sp?) and I loved it but the largest frame they make for women (medium) felt too small. I've tried the Kona Kikapu Deluxe, the Gary Fisher Cake 3, and the Cannondale Rush 6 (?), Giant Trance, but they've all left something to be desired. I don't want to spend more than $2000.
    I'm really getting frustrated with the whole process. Overall, I'm finding the WSD bikes to be more comfortable. Any suggestions/recommendations on some bikes in the $2000 range? Or should I bite the bullet, spend $3000+ and buy the last mountain bike I'll ever own?
    Thanks so much,
    Teresa
    "You can't kill the Rooster"..........David Sedaris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    southern cal
    Posts
    9
    Have you tried the Santa Cruz Superlight, it's very much like the Juliana, but bigger? It's not a wsd, but i've heard a lot of good stuff about it. I just got a new Juliana a couple weeks ago and I love it. It sure beats the hell out of my old hardtail and it definitely cuts down on falls.
    Last edited by mtngirl; 11-29-2006 at 08:03 PM. Reason: punctuation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    1,262
    Quote Originally Posted by mtngirl View Post
    Have you tried the Santa Cruz Superlight, it's very much like the Juliana, but bigger? It's not a wsd, but i've heard a lot of good stuff about it. I just got a new Juliana a couple weeks ago and I love it. It sure beats the hell out of my old hardtail and it definitely cuts down on falls.
    I was going to say the same thing... the superlight is basically the same bike in a men's version. I just bought a juliana and I love it (not that I have a clue what I'm doing yet) so I would definately check out the medium superlight, its larger than the M juliana

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    373
    When you say no suspension do you mean fully rigid or no rear ruspension? If fully rigid then you should be able to get a really good hardtail for a couple of thousand dollars.

    If you mean no rear suspension and want full boinger then I would think that if you are too tall for the largest Juliana then you will have a good chance of finding a non-wsd bike to fit (and a good chance of getting hold of a demo bike as well). As well as the Superlight, there is the Blur which comes in a few variants, notably XC (short travel) and LT (long travel). I don't think the geometry is that radically different to the Juliana.

    If you are going to spend some money then there is also Titus:

    http://www.titusti.com/

    Racer X: for lightweight racing,
    MotoLite: All mountain allegedly (whatever that means).

    They have a good article on women's fit:

    http://www.titusti.com/womensfit.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    42
    Thanks for the help everyone!
    I have a fully rigid hard tail already so that's why I'm thinking full suspension.
    I really like the looks of the Titus bikes but no one in my area carries them so there's no chance to try them out. Also, if I get a Titus I won't get lifetime free adjustments/maintenance from my LBS (not a huge deal but something to consider). Any suggestions on Titus sizing? (I'm 5'9" 155 lbs) Does anyone have any experience with the Moto Lite?
    I'll check into the Superlight. Sounds like a very good option.
    All of these bikes far exceed my MTB skills at this point but hopefully they are bikes that, as I improve, I'll still be happy with in the long run. Overall, it looks like I'm going to have to fork over more dough than I originally thought to get what I want. I guess I'll just put getting a new road bike on hold for a while.
    Thanks again for all the help!
    Teresa
    "You can't kill the Rooster"..........David Sedaris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    1,308
    Quote Originally Posted by mtngirl View Post
    Have you tried the Santa Cruz Superlight, it's very much like the Juliana, but bigger? It's not a wsd, but i've heard a lot of good stuff about it. I just got a new Juliana a couple weeks ago and I love it. It sure beats the hell out of my old hardtail and it definitely cuts down on falls.
    I just brought the Superlight and have to say I am totally in love with this bike.

    One thing to consider, the Santa Cruz top tube is very short. I'm not certain, unless you have really short arms, you need the WSD bike (Juliana). I also have a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR and have to say this bike, although both are "medium" is way bigger than the Superlight. The top tube on the Spec is about 3 inches longer than the Santa Cruz.

    Have you determined that you really need a WSD bike? If not, your options are definitely opened up. If you do need a WSD bike, Specialized makes an excellent range although watch the travel. The Stumpjumper is a 5" travel bike. The Superlight is 4" and I'm more comfortable with that.
    Last edited by bcipam; 11-30-2006 at 05:26 AM.
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I have a Norco full susp. bike with 5" of travel. It is not wsd, but it is very comfortable. I am 5'1" and I got the small, not the extra small. It cost $1600. I don't think this brand is too common in the US, it's Canadian.
    I am not a great mtb rider, but I really love the way the bike feels and it goes well over the rooty, muddy New England trails.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    555
    Keep Shopping!

    There are so many bikes out there. You've tried a lot, but I wouldn't say it's time to buy an expensive bike without test riding. WSD may or may not be the thing for you, I wouldn't eliminate non-wsd, I would keep trying both until you have found something you like. Have you checked out KHS? They have a really good bang for the buck. The xc604 retails well under $2k and is a very well speced bike using the 4 bar suspension. I don't think the 07s have shipped yet, but if you were willing to wait a little bit, the 07 xc604 has an msrp listed at $1599 and has the horst link.

    Also, remember that bikes can/should be fine tuned to you. While test riding one, if something doesn't feel right with the setup, talk to the shop and have them change it out! We do that all the time here. Someone wants to test ride a bike, we'll fit them to it, change stems, handlebars, etc and send them on their way. If there is anything that doesn't feel right, we'll try to fix it. So, if there is a shop you like, test rode a bike and felt something was off, have them change some parts and see if it feels better. That's part of the benefit of shopping at a lbs instead of online, they should be helping you with the fit on the test ride.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cobar NSW Australia
    Posts
    69
    Just to give you an idea I'm 5'7" and I'm happy on a regular 16" Trance. I imagine you would be a "medium" as far as most bikes go. And remember depending on what you are buying (trail or xc?) it's not going to feel like your road bike and the position etc will probably take some adjusting to even compared to the fully rigid.

    SalsaMTB is right in saying that you may have to be perpared to adjust a few things - stem lenght, saddle, bar width etc to your liking. These sort of things can make a big difference.

    Round up all the brands available in your area, look up the specs for the bikes in your price range, narrow it down and test ride as many as you can. I wouldn't restrict the choice to WSD.

    The two you test rode (kona & giant) were on my shortlist as well. You could also try Specialized, Norco, Trek, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    42
    Thanks for all the great suggestions! I'm really interested in the Titus and the Santa Cruz bikes but since there aren't any Titus dealers nearby, I may go with the Santa Cruz. I need to check out the Superlight.
    I'm not sold on a WSD bike; it just seems like they fit my body geometry a bit better sometimes (especially on road bikes). I'll likely not end up with a WSD mountain bike.
    I wish I could be more patient......
    Finding a new bike is like a full~time job!
    Thanks again!
    Teresa
    "You can't kill the Rooster"..........David Sedaris

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cobar NSW Australia
    Posts
    69
    Oooh yeah, I wasn't supposed to get mine untill about now, but in the end I was spending so much time researching and deciding over the options (I'm a bit of a research nut though) in the end I had to just go out and buy one so I could stop thinking about it! Probably didn't help that I sold my old hardtail first and then had to ride hubbys one that was too big and real uncomfortable (but better than nothing!).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    42
    bcipam (and anyone else that owns a SC Superlight)~
    What size did you get?
    Thanks!
    Teresa
    "You can't kill the Rooster"..........David Sedaris

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    23
    Hi Teresa,
    I'm also shopping for a bike and dh and I are both getting the Moto-Lite and there are no dealers here either but I've read nothing but amazing reviews so were going to go for it. We are the same height and weight and I'm getting a medium women's. I went to the competitivecyclist.com website and btw, they offer a 10% off military discount and dh is active duty They have a awesome sizing calculator and it put me at a medium. They will mail you a bike and let you try it for 7 days and give you a $100 credit if you buy a bike thru them too....but with the reviews I don't think I need a test drive...and neither does dh.
    Jennifer

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    1,308
    Quote Originally Posted by 3weight View Post
    bcipam (and anyone else that owns a SC Superlight)~
    What size did you get?
    Thanks!
    Teresa
    I'm 5'8" - have a fairly evenly proportioned body (legs kindof long but not overly, arms alittle short, torso normal). I got the medium. The large was alittle bit of a stretch. Small, well way too small.

    Like I said I also have a 2006 Spec. Stumpjumper FSR (which is for sale btw) which I also bought as a medium. The Spec has a long top tube and I was fairly stretched out on this bike. On downhill descents I couldn't get back off my seat enough. Probably did need a WSD model in the Spec (so something to remember if you test ride this bike) as the top tube is Longer, much longer. But the Superlight solved that problem. After riding the Spec for almost a year, the Superlight seems so small (still does alittle bit). I can now definitely get back off the seat.

    I did like the 5" travel of the Spec, especially going downhill, but I just love the Superlight. It's a quick, responsive, comfortable bike to ride. It feels just like a hardtail climbing and the suspension is cushy going downhill. I really didn't need to buy another bike in 2006, but am glad I did. Plus I got a deal. The shop got in the wrong bike (customer ordered the 2007 and this was a 2006 bike although with all the 2007 component upgrades) and needed to move it. With the add on of a King Headset, I paid $1500 for the bike. Look for deals they are out there.

    ~ Pam
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    42
    Thanks again for all the help, ladies!
    I *think* I've narrowed it down to 3 frames~
    Santa Cruz Superlight
    Titus Racer X
    Titus Moto Lite
    All three of these bikes exceed my MTB skills, but I want to get the bike I really want now so I'm not out looking for a new bike in a year.
    I've ridden the Santa Cruz. The problem is that I've never ridden either of the Titus bikes. They get great reviews and the specs look good, but there's not a Titus dealer in the state! I'm a bit nervous buying a frame without riding the bike.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks again!
    Teresa
    "You can't kill the Rooster"..........David Sedaris

 

 

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