MTB assistance please

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by monsterman, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. monsterman

    monsterman New Member

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    I posted a little while ago about buying my first MTB. I've narrowed it down to a choice between an Avanti Hammer and a Giant XTC2 LE. Both are '05 models. They seem to be broadly similar in terms of spec and there are no noticeable differences in test rides. Here are some links to the specs of each bike:

    http://www.avantibikes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=54 (specs are right at bottom of page)

    http://bikeshed.com.au/pages/products/bikes/giant/giant_2005/05_xtc_2_le.html


    Can I get some educated views from the experienced MTBers in a.b land as to which one is better and why? Essentially, I'm lost when it comes to comparing different wheels, bars, gruppo elements, shifting systems (although I liked the one on the Giant better) - I'm a little overwhelmed actually - road bikes are much more my thing !!

    Oh - price is identical, so that is not an issue in the equation.

    Thanks heaps,
    MM
     
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  2. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy New Member

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    To give you an idea, this is coming from a MTBer who has raced an 05 XTC 2 for about 6 months. Similar bike to the LE, but with a SRAM drivetrain and Hayes brakes. A few of my friends race XTC2s too, and they've needed to upgrade the same things I have =P.

    First let's go through the components:

    Frame: I've no idea about the Hammer frame, but the XTC2 gets the very nice (and reasonably light) XTC frame.

    Fork: The skareb is a well built reasonably lightweight XC fork that performs well. The Splice is heavier and aimed at a more aggresive crowd. Unfortunatly it's much heavier than the Skareb and unreliable. XTC 2 is the definate winner here.

    Drivetrain: Nearly identical. I prefer SRAM, but there is nothing wrong with the LX/XT combo. The XTC2 gains a couple of points for it's 11-34 cassette, which can make getting up those really steep hills that little bit easier.

    Brakes: Both use LX, the Hammer cable pull and the XTC2 hydros. Hydro brakes are more powerful and give more control. The downside is that if they start leaking fluid getting them fixed is expensive. I'd still go for hyrdos over cable.

    Wheels: I'm not sure what rims the Avanti uses, I'm guessing they are similar to the (reasonable quality) X221s on the Giant. The Hammer's LX hubs beat the Alivo hubs on the XTC hands down though. Simply put the M495 hubs are crap. I got them rebuilt twice before I gave up and upgraded the wheelset. The hammer definatly wins this one.

    Crankset & BB: The Hammer uses low end Shimano stuff of questionable durability. The Race Face kit on the XTC2 isn't hugely better (the SRX BB needed replacing after 6 months), but it is a bit of a step up.

    Finishing kit (stem, seatpost, bars). The XTC has better quality EA50 all over. The Hammer has EA50, EA30, and generic (post).

    Saddle: Both saddles are good quality (although the XTC's is less than durable). It's personal preference really.

    Tires: The XTC's Pythons are better.

    OK so I could have just said the XTC2 LE was better, but meh. Now you know why :). The only real problem with it is the wheels, and they should last you a while if you don't treat them as harshly as I treat mine (lots of dirt mud and water). The final caveat would be that I don't know what you plan on using the bike for. I wouldn't recommend either bike if you intend on doing a lot of agressive MTBing.
     
  3. monsterman

    monsterman New Member

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    Someguy- you're a frickin legend - that's exactly the sort of advice I was hoping for. Thanks heaps for taking the time to do that. I really, really appreciate it.

    I'm not planning on a lot of aggressive riding. I lost a bet with a mate :eek: :eek: who rides as much mtb as he does road, the result being that I have to give him the pleasure of whippin my ass in the 100km Hidden Vale epic in September this year. Leaves me about 6 months to learn how to ride one of these things properly so I dont look like a complete tit come race day! (look out for some posts asking for tips there in the coming months:eek: ) I've done a little bit of trail riding etc on borrowed bikes, and I'm reas confident that I'll really get into it once I actually have a bike.

    Mate - thanks again.
     
  4. adam85

    adam85 Guest

    "monsterman" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >
    > Someguy- you're a frickin legend - that's exactly the sort of advice I
    > was hoping for. Thanks heaps for taking the time to do that. I
    > really, really appreciate it.
    >
    > I'm not planning on a lot of aggressive riding. I lost a bet with a
    > mate :eek: :eek: who rides as much mtb as he does road, the result
    > being that I have to give him the pleasure of whippin my ass in the
    > 100km Hidden Vale epic in September this year. Leaves me about 6
    > months to learn how to ride one of these things properly so I dont look
    > like a complete tit come race day! (look out for some posts asking for
    > tips there in the coming months:eek: ) I've done a little bit of trail
    > riding etc on borrowed bikes, and I'm reas confident that I'll really
    > get into it once I actually have a bike.
    >
    > Mate - thanks again.


    mm, a few mates and I do the epic every year (but we still look like tits),
    and do a few long training rides leading up to it, you're welcome to come
    along if you like. I've done it on a hardtail the last two years, and if can
    swing it this year I'd like to get a lightweight duallie for it. Admittedly
    my hardtail only has a 60mm travel headshock and v-brakes, but the duallies
    I have ridden are so much easier to ride it's unreal. Might be worth a look
    anyway. Something like the Giant Trance 3, seems pretty good bang for buck
    for about the same money as you are looking at.

    Adam
     
  5. Donga

    Donga Guest

    Where do you go, Adam? For the Epic lead-up, I headed up the Mt
    Glorious Rd and then cut through the Forest Park and finally down to
    Gap Creek. From home that gave about 70km. Not technical, but good for
    the legs. I'll be in some of those training rides. Let us know when you
    get your wheels, MM.

    Donga-tit
     
  6. monsterman

    monsterman New Member

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    PHP:
    PHP:
    Donga & Adam85 that sounds like a plan. I'll post when I've purchased. Just securing that final credit approval. You know, the one where timing is everything ... .... particularly so soon after new wheels pedals and helmet ... ..mm mmmm mmmmm

    Some group training would be great, It would also be a much cheaper alternative to bike GPS. I have the navigational sense of a dodo on crack!!
     
  7. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy New Member

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    Another epic in QLD? I'm already going up there in August for the Kooralbyn 12 hour and Noosa 100km... somehow I don't think I can justify going back for another epic just a month later :p. It is tempting though.

    PS: I'm a Melbourne boy for the non-cycling forums people.
     
  8. adam85

    adam85 Guest

    "Donga" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Where do you go, Adam? For the Epic lead-up, I headed up the Mt
    > Glorious Rd and then cut through the Forest Park and finally down to
    > Gap Creek. From home that gave about 70km. Not technical, but good for
    > the legs. I'll be in some of those training rides. Let us know when you
    > get your wheels, MM.
    >
    > Donga-tit


    Gap Creek to Nebo and back is one, but there are a few detours you can take
    so around 50-80kms with some big climbs. Here's a google earth map done with
    GPS.
    http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/passion-fingers/images/GapCreekToNebo.jpg

    There's some google earth flyovers and vids from the Epic on mtbdirt as well
    which are interesting.

    Adam
     
  9. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    My turn to ask about MTBs :)

    Just picked up a sweeeeeet Giant XTC '06 frame. I was going to switch over my 8spd kit and cheap-o bouncy fork but after seeing the frame in the flesh, it needs more respect than that!... Here are my current thoughts.. comments/suggestions welcome...

    Basic plan: Light. Quick. Clean. I'm a "Toorak" MTB rider, I _never_ go off-road. I ride an MTB on the days where I want to "smash along" and not tip-toe around on a roadie.

    - Roadie 172.5mm cranks (I cant find MTB cranks at that length). I guess I'll need a triple BB (118mm) to give the cranks more width to clear the wide chainstays.. yet to get the tape measure out to confirm.

    - ONE chainring. Keeping with the 'simple'. If I can reverse mount a 44 tooth on the inside of the crankset then the chainline from the 11 up to the 32 should be workable. I've used this method on my SS roadie giving a perfect chainline.

    - SRAM x.9 9spd shifter and derailleur on the rear. Short/Med cage I'm guessing as I'll not be using a granny?

    - Rigid fork: Winwood Carbon Purist. See http://tinyurl.com/pyp4p http://tinyurl.com/lvl25

    - Brakes: Shimano mechanical discs for now. Just got a new wheelset with disc hubs, so the move to V brakes will be put on hold for a while.
     
  10. Donga

    Donga Guest

    Passion-fingers? I love what you do with Google-Earth, but I'm not sure
    that's what you mean! :D

    Can anyone save G/E outputs, or do you need to subscribe?

    SomeGuy: everyone who does the Hidden Vale Epic loves it. Let us know
    if you book in.

    D
     
  11. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy New Member

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    If it doesn't foul up your choice of derailleur (ie: force you to go up a cage size), you might want to consider an 11-34 instead of an 11-32.
     
  12. monsterman

    monsterman New Member

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  13. adam85

    adam85 Guest

    "Donga" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Passion-fingers? I love what you do with Google-Earth, but I'm not sure
    > that's what you mean! :D
    >
    > Can anyone save G/E outputs, or do you need to subscribe?


    You need to pay about $20 I think from memory.

    Adam
     
  14. Donga

    Donga Guest

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