Mountain Bikes 2004
Now that my knee is better, time to start thinking about a great mountain bike. Some things have changed, but here's a quick review of bikes I've looked at:
* Intense Spyder XVP Reviews, Specs and Shopping. The Intense Spyder has gotten incredible reviews. Main issue though is wearing out bearings. Many complaints on mtbreview.com of bearings dying. Not good.
* "Santa Cruz Blur":http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/2004_full_suspension/product_123141.shtml. Super popular bike. Has that virtual pivot point that's been so talked about. A trail bike (not a cross country racer like the Intense). So its not really light, but has a great ride.
* "Specialized Epic Comp":http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/2004_full_suspension/product_123223.shtml. A couple of different lines of Epics, but this one is just $2K (the Intense is $2K for the frame alone!). The cool one to get is the S-Works Epic.
* "Intense 5.5 EVP":http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/2004_full_suspension/product_123915.shtml. The 2 pound heavier but has 2 inches more travel version of the Spyder. No bearing problems reported so far.
Here's a list of key components. Again, its an update since 2003 when I last look at this:
* "Progressive Fifth Element":http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Rear_Shock/product_122047.shtml. Folks seem to like the performance on mtbr.com, but aren't sure about its reliability. Unclear what is going on, but some complaints about seals blowing and losing air. Folks really don't like hte "Air":http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Rear_Shock/product_122592.shtml version though. Even though it is lighter, seems to have great realiability problems. Seems that the valve core is weak, so when you try to pump the shock up, you blow it.
* "Manitou Swinger SPV":http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Rear_Shock/product_121945.shtml. Similar to the Progressive, this has a progressive release. It's the Progressive design, but lighter. There are two versions a three-way which is lighter for cross-country mainly (275 grams) and a 4-way which is heavier duty and which you can even use for freeriding.