Originally Posted by Aurelius
... when selecting a mountain bike? I've test ridden two so far; one with a CF frame (Trek Superfly) and the other with an aluminum frame (also a Trek, but a different model). The AL framed one felt like it was made of lead by comparison (about 28 lb). It didn't feel 'heavy' when riding it, but it also wasn't as responsive as the CF bike - at least that was my impression at the time. I assume that when it comes to climbing over humps, fallen branches, and steep hills, the lighter the bike is, the easier it is to ride. Perhaps enough to justify the much higher price of CF. What do the experienced mountain bikers here think?
Are you looking at a FS or HT Superfly (what component level)? And, what exactly is the other bike?
I ask those questions because weight is not just in the frame. It's, also, in the components (primarily wheelset and tires) and wheel sizes. There's, also, perceived weight in geometry. You could be on two bikes that have identical components, but, frames can have totally different feeling through steeper headtube angle, fork offset, trail, chainstay length, and BB height. You gotta' be sure you're comparing like bikes, even if you have to go to another shop to do it. I don't think I'd scour the geometry charts of a bike, looking at all the little nuances. If the one bike feels the best of all that you've ridden, then, go with that one.
I, also, look at one's self. I'm no 3% body fat, stud. Before I go scrutinizing every ounce of a bicycle, I need to first work on myself. However, there's definitely a difference in the weight one feels from a bike. I went from a 3.5" travel, 26" XC bike to a 5.5" travel, 29er trail bike. I truly miss the light and compact feeling of my XC bike.
I've ridden nearly all the trails at Santos, from just outside Dunnellon to ~8 miles east of HWY 441. That's a really nice trail system. The week I was there, they had XC races, at the course by the Santos TH. Looked like all the fast guys were on a 29er HT.
Santos Bike Shop, on 441 (around the corner from Santos TH), has Giants for rent or demo. Greenway Bicycles, right across the street from Santos TH (SE 80th Street), has Niner bikes for rent or demo. If you're looking at a 29er, I'd highly encourage you to try a Niner. Greenway is a really cool shop, too. I went in there to buy a different seat. They openly welcomed me, offered me use of their tools, offered me a beer, offered me a demo on their Niners (I was on my new Specialized 29er). They were like a bunch of guys just hanging out in the garage.....in flip-flops, no less. :lol3
Originally Posted by Aurelius
Trek has a lifetime warranty on all their CF frames. If they break under 'normal use', they'll replace them for free. I assume they wouldn't have a warranty like that unless they've tested these frames under pretty severe conditions. :dunno
My buddy broke his Gary Fisher's CF swingarm. Trek warrantied it, with no hassle. They gave him a '12 Fuel EX 9 frame, which is a much nicer/better frame than his HiMod Pro. Unfortunately, he was on the hook to get the fork setup to the new frame.