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Test road a MTB today

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Test road a MTB today

Old 12-08-21, 03:30 PM
  #1  
Symox
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Test road a MTB today

I have an older 2000s mountain bike that I'm happy with but couldn't resist trying out a bike at my LBS

It was a Trek Marlin 8

Here's what I learned from my 1 bike sample :
1) 1x drivetrain seems nice for MTBs as long as range is there. Performs very well
2) With 1x drivetrain, the need for external bottom bracket seems gone (I think they are a big benefit to stiffness for front derailleur systems)
3) I love the Rockshox Judy air shock. The technology has really improved with one hand lockout and resistance adjustment. Super smooth performance
4) Hydraulic disc brakes feel great on the levers and are quite responsive.
5) While bikes have gotten more expensive imho, you get even more for your money than ever before.
6) I like the look of internal cable routing. Not sure how much of a pain it will be to service though
7) Aluminum frame design has progressed quite a bit with interesting tube shapes
8) To get great quality with modern components, $1K USD seems to be the entry point. For all modern standards and features (DUB, thru axel, dropper post) $2K seems to the where it starts
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Old 12-08-21, 03:51 PM
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You got it!!!

Truth be told that bike should be made with thru axles. In the big scheme of things it wouldn't add that much to the cost.
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Old 12-08-21, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
You got it!!!

Truth be told that bike should be made with thru axles. In the big scheme of things it wouldn't add that much to the cost.
I'm not so sure that is true. I costed up building a bike from scratch and anything with a QR was much cheaper than THRU axels (frame, forks, wheels, etc).
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Old 12-09-21, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Symox View Post
I'm not so sure that is true. I costed up building a bike from scratch and anything with a QR was much cheaper than THRU axels (frame, forks, wheels, etc).
Economies of scale. You are pricing one bike. Trek runs thousands of bikes down the line. There is a proportionate saving in costs gained by an increased level of production.
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Old 12-09-21, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Symox View Post
I have an older 2000s mountain bike that I'm happy with but couldn't resist trying out a bike at my LBS

It was a Trek Marlin 8

Here's what I learned from my 1 bike sample :
1) 1x drivetrain seems nice for MTBs as long as range is there. Performs very well
2) With 1x drivetrain, the need for external bottom bracket seems gone (I think they are a big benefit to stiffness for front derailleur systems)
3) I love the Rockshox Judy air shock. The technology has really improved with one hand lockout and resistance adjustment. Super smooth performance
4) Hydraulic disc brakes feel great on the levers and are quite responsive.
5) While bikes have gotten more expensive imho, you get even more for your money than ever before.
6) I like the look of internal cable routing. Not sure how much of a pain it will be to service though
7) Aluminum frame design has progressed quite a bit with interesting tube shapes
8) To get great quality with modern components, $1K USD seems to be the entry point. For all modern standards and features (DUB, thru axel, dropper post) $2K seems to the where it starts
Agree with your assessments (FME). Some of the so-called "improvements" are/may be good for racers, but not needed for trail riders. I'm very happy with QR's, "English" BB's and "regular" seat posts. I won't mind progressing from 9-speed to 12 some day in the future when my Niner hardtail is replaced though.
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Old 12-09-21, 08:09 PM
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Great impressions on the Marlin 8. Trek has made a lot of good changes on the Marlin line since they came out with this latest generation. I got the Marlin 7 in late 2018 (which was the top of the line at the time) and it was a glorified hybrid with a 3x9 drivetrain that was plagued by chain slap and drop.
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Old 12-09-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Symox View Post
I have an older 2000s mountain bike that I'm happy with but couldn't resist trying out a bike at my LBS

It was a Trek Marlin 8

Here's what I learned from my 1 bike sample :
1) 1x drivetrain seems nice for MTBs as long as range is there. Performs very well
2) With 1x drivetrain, the need for external bottom bracket seems gone (I think they are a big benefit to stiffness for front derailleur systems)
3) I love the Rockshox Judy air shock. The technology has really improved with one hand lockout and resistance adjustment. Super smooth performance
4) Hydraulic disc brakes feel great on the levers and are quite responsive.
5) While bikes have gotten more expensive imho, you get even more for your money than ever before.
6) I like the look of internal cable routing. Not sure how much of a pain it will be to service though
7) Aluminum frame design has progressed quite a bit with interesting tube shapes
8) To get great quality with modern components, $1K USD seems to be the entry point. For all modern standards and features (DUB, thru axel, dropper post) $2K seems to the where it starts
2) There's more here. The solid steel axle is heavy and flexy compared to a hollow aluminum one.
3) I had a Judy at first on my TJ and was pretty satisfied! Was more satisfied when I picked up a blemished premium fork for a song.
6) You don't need to fuss with it very often. Hydro brakes and full length housing
8) about right. $1500 will get you a hard tail bike with modern geo and functional parts, $2000 for no compromises but not premium lightweight
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Old 12-10-21, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
8) about right. $1500 will get you a hard tail bike with modern geo and functional parts, $2000 for no compromises but not premium lightweight
Now if only more people understood this. We wouldn't see posts about buying a $300 bike.
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Old 12-10-21, 12:15 PM
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I wonder how many people get hurt on those $300 bikes? THAT should be the real issue. There's something to be said about going to a LBS to test ride and for the support after a purchase but Big Box stores that sell bicycles that are slapped together deserve all the negative press they can get IMO.
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Old 12-13-21, 11:43 AM
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I'm not sure people are getting hurt on the $300 bikes it's just that they think the $300 - $500 bike is just as good as the $1500+ bike.

A majority of people focus on the looks and components and think the full suspension bike they are buying at Walmart is just as good as one from the Local Bike Shop.
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Old 12-13-21, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PGHNeil View Post
I wonder how many people get hurt on those $300 bikes? THAT should be the real issue. .
Just guessing that most of the machines in this price range dont venture too far beyond sidewalks and cul-de-sacs
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Old 12-21-21, 07:59 PM
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I picked this up yesterday - as per what you were saying about aluminum shapes, Scott are now putting the rear shocks INSIDE the frame on these alloy bikes...


My new 2022 Scott Spark 960
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Old 12-22-21, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker View Post
Scott are now putting the rear shocks INSIDE the frame on these alloy bikes...
Dumb idea in my opinion.

Removing the shock for service or if one wants to add spacers or make on the fly adjustments to compression/rebound/air pressure....It has now turned into a hassle.

Maybe they will hide the forks next.
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Old 12-22-21, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I'm not sure people are getting hurt on the $300 bikes it's just that they think the $300 - $500 bike is just as good as the $1500+ bike.

A majority of people focus on the looks and components and think the full suspension bike they are buying at Walmart is just as good as one from the Local Bike Shop.
I doubt many people get hurt on such bikes - those bikes are likely to fail and/or discourage beginner cyclists early in their progression towards trails and features that are potentially dangerous.

Kind of like why you're less likely to get into a fatal accident in a vintage British car - you can't crash a car that won't start.
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Old 12-22-21, 09:51 AM
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You generally get the upper and lower range out of 1X, you just find yourself missing middle gears. Not an issue if riding up and downs all day, more an issue when riding lots of flat and straight, where you find yourself between gears. Love my 1X though, would not go back.
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Old 12-26-21, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Dumb idea in my opinion.

Removing the shock for service or if one wants to add spacers or make on the fly adjustments to compression/rebound/air pressure....It has now turned into a hassle.

Maybe they will hide the forks next.
This seemed like a valid concern so I looked it up. The shock is accessed through a latched hatch on the bottom of the DT. So you need to lay the bike down to do the pressure or rebound, but it doesn't seem prohibitive. Compression / lock out is controlled by the handlebar switch. Shock rebuild does seem like more of a problem. It's proprietary.

One reason I've heard Scott did this is that their bikes have been frequently cloned by Chinese direct sellers.
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Old 12-26-21, 06:20 PM
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My teenage son wanted one of the new Scott Spark 970's in the blue color. Was told by the LBS these have sold out and Scott is not making anymore for this fiscal year. Heh, they did have plenty of the bright yellow or orange color,

Was able to talk son into going after another bike (and didn't point him to Race Pace having these in stock). These do look cool and the following youtube video did go over the positive attributes to these bikes. But also showed the extra work needed to access and work on the shock:


Felt like my teenager needs to stick to the basics and later on when he is making more money he can afford these more interesting more expensive bikes.
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Old 12-26-21, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Dumb idea in my opinion.
Removing the shock for service or if one wants to add spacers or make on the fly adjustments to compression/rebound/air pressure....It has now turned into a hassle.
Maybe they will hide the forks next.
Someone who makes on the fly adjustments will never be happy, so this bike is not for them.
But if you set your pressure to the same each time, your damper adjustments will be constant, so theres very little fuss (add 60 seconds a suspension check), but the big positives are a clean rear shock (which will extend the life of the seals), and the frame is open for more storage options.
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Old 12-27-21, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker View Post
I picked this up yesterday - as per what you were saying about aluminum shapes, Scott are now putting the rear shocks INSIDE the frame on these alloy bikes...


My new 2022 Scott Spark 960
Boy, really like that design!
also think the internal shock would be a great thing out here. Most of the year is very dry here, so dirt becomes dust, clay dust, with silica and other mineral content. All very small and very sharp - tears the hell out of seals, even if you're diligent in constant cleaning. I like the multi-head angle adjustment and the 3 quick position 'ride' adjustments.
Gonna have to check who carries scott out here and maybe get a test ride...
nice!
Ride On
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Old 12-27-21, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker View Post
I picked this up yesterday - as per what you were saying about aluminum shapes, Scott are now putting the rear shocks INSIDE the frame on these alloy bikes...


My new 2022 Scott Spark 960

that does look slick! I hope it works for you as good as it looks
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