Originally Posted by swimmer
For road use suspension travel length won't make a big difference as the roadie already has fairly long travel for a road bike and you aren't likely to use it all anyway. The plusher (from what I have read) feel of the XC might make a difference though. For all road use and if you plan to get more road oriented tires to me it seems obvious to get a roadie. If you are more than ~165lbs you may find the roadie suspension just fine. For us light folks it often considered too harsh. Can't see why you want to go with tubed tires of the XC. For less than the cost difference you could upgrade the front suspension of the roadie. I've had my roadie one year, have put about 12k miles on it and am averaging 54mpg.
Now you go me thinking I should just go w/ the Roadie.... You're saying the suspension is a bit stiffer than the XC (I'm ~200lbs + gear)? In all honesty, I started looking at the Explorer XC at the MC show, with the shaft drive, tubeless spoked tires, and a bunch of standard farkles, but it's just more bike than I really need, or want to pay for, so I kinda moved over to looking at the 800 XC without even giving the 800 a chance. Just watched a couple of video reviews on the 800 Road and it seems like it may be just as capable as the XC on anything that I may end up on. I really like the style of the spoked wheels, but I've also been thinking that the tubes may be a PITA, so maybe the 800 is the way to go. I would save about $750 (based on MSRP) once I add the extras I want.
BTW, anyone know if the Wolfman racks fit the 800? I had a set of luggage all picked out for the XC, but I'm not sure if the racks are common between the 2 bikes - everywhere I see them it specifically says 800 XC?