Review: SRAM X5 (PG-1030) Cassette for MTB

I just replaced my faithful SRAM X5 cassette as it was worn out after I have put in >6800km on it. I would say it was very long lasting as I had it for 3.5 years and all the abused I had put in. I hardly take care of the chain or cassette as I hardly wash them. I normally got very tired after a ride, so I would just rinsed my bike with water and store it. I would wash them probably once every 2 months (or more :o) but I did lube them occasionally and normally excessively too. But, I always make sure the chain needs to be changed once it is worn out except for once I missed out. That’s when I firstly got my bike. From then onwards, I occasionally check the length using a chain checker. I am sure the cassette will last longer if I take care of the whole drivetrain a little more.

X5 is not the lightest cassette as it weighs 395g but it is strong. I have used it to climb many hills and Penang Hill is one of the list. It is finally gave up on me as it started to jump gears and I had the intention to bring this bike for touring. So, I have no choice but to replace it with another brand new SRAM X7 (PG-1050). X7 is <100g lighter than X5 and it weights 299g. I picked X7 over X5 as the pricing (MYR25) is not much different and it is 100g lighter.

Since I had my chain and cassette replaced, it was no point for me to keep the old chainrings. So, I had them replaced too. I had used the 38T chainring as long as my cassette and the 24T was the 2nd sets. I believe the 24T still usable for another few hundreds kilometers.

Well, my X7 review will probably take some time as it is harder for me to accumulate the mileage now especially I have 2 bikes.

Will I use SRAM again if I have to replace them? The answer is DEFINITELY. It is basically low maintenance and long lasting. Keep up the great work SRAM guys!!!

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Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC – Update

Ok… I am slowly getting my daughter riding in different terrain. 1st, it was flat tar road just to make sure she knows how to shift the gears and which gear to use. 2nd, I took her to a hill with 4 to 7 degree climb. And now, I am exposing her to cement trail in Penang with about 5 degree gradient but rolling and uneven road. This is MPPP trail which i have blogged about earlier.

MPPP Trail

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She seems to handling well with the bike and the 50mm fork travel did help her a bit. Her max speed going downhill was 26.6km/h and if it is not because me stopping her, she would probably did faster than that. Her average speed going downhill wasn’t that fast as it was her 1st time tried out the trail but she did about 13km/h.

Coming down with speed control by the dad

Coming down the trail with speed control by the dad

Overall, I think the Specialized Hotrock with wide handlebar helps her in maneuvering the trail quite well and with the front suspension absorbing all the uneven roads did help her in handling the bike. I will let her ride this trail a few more times before moving up another step for her in riding a single track cemented road. That’s my objective before I am moving her to pure off road which I can hardly find in Penang.

Other post about Hotrock:-

Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC

Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC – Update

 

Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC – Update

This is just an update from my previous posting of Specialized Hotrock after my daughter has done more rides on it.

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I took her to Pearl Hill for the 1st time couple of weeks ago and she seems to enjoy it very much. It was a 100m climb in 1.7km only, so average gradient is about 4° (at 1 stretch it was about 7° climb). She seems to be managing it quite well for her 1st time. Of course her gear was set to the lowest gear available which was 22-34 setting. She did stop 2 times to rest but I have to admit she is not fittest kid around the block. Great was that she completed the whole ride to the top of the hill.

Coming down was her dream as she had a blast of letting go the brakes. The daddy (me) have to keep remind her to slow down as it was her 1st and I wasn’t sure how well she can handle. She did about 24km/h downhill and she handled it quite well. I believe she would go faster than that if it was not for me.

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Overall, I believe Specialized Hotrock is good enough for kids her age to climb up hill and easy to control during downhill. Below is the total distance and time.

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My next objective is to bring her to cemented trails with uneven roads during her school holiday.

Other post about Hotrock:-

Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC

Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC – Update

Review: Boardman’s Team Carbon

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The Boardman’s Team Carbon is an entry level of their carbon bike and it is British brand but Made in Taiwan. I believe majority of the bike companies are asking Taiwan to make bikes as they are like a bike hub nowadays. The Boardman’s are pretty diversified company like Specialized or Trek. They sell bottle to carbon bottle cage to everything that a rider needs every day.

They have MTB, cyclocross, road and Hybrid bikes. What I am reviewing today is a road bike and it is a 2013 model. The 2013 model has a matte black frame with a striking Boardman wording on its aero frame.

I had a few short rides (~40km) to get myself accustomed to the bike and on a final run I used it during the CFAL event (~84km) to test out the ride.

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Bike Specifications

Frame:       Unidirectional carbon monocoque

Fork:          Carbon Steerer

Groupset:   Shimano 105

Crankset:    FSA Gossamer Pro compact, 34/50t alloy rings

Cassette:     10 speed, 12-25

Bottom Bracket: Pressed-fit BB30

Saddle:       Fizik Arione

Seat Post:   Boardman Carbon

Wheelset:   Mavic Aksium Race

Tires:         Vittoria Zaffiro

Stem:         Boardman Pro

Handle bar: Boardman Pro Alloy

Weight:       8.6kg small frame (18.96lbs)

Price:          MYR7250 (retail price)

Components

For a bike that cost slightly more than MYR7000, it comes with Shimano 105 groupset which is already costing MYR1800. The wheelset cost MYR880 and the saddle cost MYR390. That goes almost 1/2 of the bike priced already. This is considering a great bargain.

This bike comes with full Shimano 105 except for the crank which is FSA. The Shimano 105 is definitely not light comparing with its rival. It is 285g heavier than the SRAM Rival (minus the crank).

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The rear brake is placed nicely behind the seat stays to have better aerodynamic.

The drivetrain setting is exactly the same I had for my previous bike. It is a compact crank with 12-25 cog which is meant for speed and it is still good for climb.

Vittoria tire is another weight contribution to the bike. It weighs 340g each and comparing with Continental GP4000s which is only 210g.

The Mavic Aksium Race is definitely not the lightest wheel that you can think off. It weights 830g front wheel and 965g rear wheel or total is 1795g. This is almost the same as the groupset weight which is 1790g after minus the crankset. But, it is a good training wheel to strengthen your legs.

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The Ride

In terms of fitting, I will have to say it is not my best fitting as this bike does not belongs to me but the reach and ride I can still handles it pretty well. My previous bike top tube length and stem is 530 and 100mm respectively. The Boardman’s measurement is 540 and 110mm. So, overall is 20mm more. Surprisingly I didn’t have any back or shoulder ache.

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This bike is very stiff as I gained a lot of Strava personal records pretty much of the whole course. On a flat and climb it just gained speed as it was like asking for more. The only thing that lacks of response is the off the saddle pedaling. This could probably due to its longer chain stay (410mm) yet it is not stiff enough. Also, it could be the wheels.

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The Team Carbon is very stable during a straight run (thanks to its long wheelbase) and with the aero frame it just gaining speed. There is a slight difficulty in controlling the bike during cornering at higher speed. It may not be as nimble as my previous bike as I had to slow down a bit. Ok, may be the size is not right for me too.

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Now, I can make a comparison and review both the Shimano 105 and the SRAM Rival as I had used both of them. I can now concluded that shifting experience is much better on 105 as it takes less effort to shift and engaged faster too. Also, it was much quieter during the shifting. But, I prefer the hoot on the Sram as it nicely fit into my hand and reach for the brakes. The braking for 105 is better also as it grips on the wheel when pressed. The full 105 is just 380g heavier than Rival.

Since this is a very stiff bike which means all the vibrations will absorb through my hands and feet. The 1st few times I tried this bike I had no issue at all as I rode 40+km only. It was when I covered 84km ride both my hands and feet were numbed especially on a rougher roads. Fortunately the seat post is carbon as it absorbed pretty much of the vibration.

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The wheel is probably the only complains I have. It could be out of true or it is just very soft as it was rubbing the brake pads when I was pedaling up hills or off saddle. It was waste of energy and time there. If it is really out of true then I am very surprise as the bike was hardly ridden. It was ridden less than 10-20 times only and all of them were short distances (<40km).

Conclusion

Boardman’s Team Carbon is a very good race bike as it is stiff, aero bike and a climber yet it didn’t make a big hole in your pocket. This is definitely a good entry level carbon bike for any person new to roadbike.

If I do get this bike the only thing I will change is the wheelset as it flexes so much. Other than that, it is a pretty good bike.

If you are weight weenies person then this bike may not be for you or you will need a lot of upgrades. Total weight is 9.18kg which includes pedals (256g), Lezyne bag (115g), Cateye safety light (61g), Cateye headlights (94g) and Cateye Micro Wireless Meter (26g).

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Review: Specialized Hotrock 24 XC

Finally, I have decided to get my daughter a 24” wheel size instead of 26”. After trying out some bikes and I feel that fitting is very important. I had a wrong fitting once on my road bike and I suffered throughout my entire ride. Also, I have read up a lot of review and articles online they recommended kids with height in between 4’5” to 4’9” (135cm to 145cm or 9 to 11 yrs old) to cycle on 24”. I guessed we can’t save on everything.

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There are a many aspects why is size important.

Reach

If it is too far, it will jeopardize their handling. I saw how my daughter wobbled thru the handlebar when pedaled from a stop position.

Frame Size and wheels

Bigger bikes (like 26”) have longer wheelbase and little kid like them will need extra strength to pedal thru an obstacle like tree brunches.

Weight

Bigger bike is heavier. Again, they will need an extra effort to cycle. I read an article stating that 1kg saved on kid’s bike is equivalent to 2.5kg saved on adult’s bike.

Cranks

Adult cranks are normally 170 – 175mm long. Kid’s bike is around 160mm.

Shopping for a 24” bike in Malaysia can be quite difficult. Not many shops here carry mid/high end kid’s bikes. Asian culture is more calculative when coming in spending this kind of $. Most parents will not spend more than MYR600 for a kid’s bike. In fact, one of the shop customer asked me how much was the priced for the bike and when I told him that time he got shock. He told me he wouldn’t spend that much for it.

This was supposed to be my daughter’s birthday present. She ordered a Trek Superfly 24” back in May but it never got it here. So, we have to ditch that brand and look elsewhere. Like I said, not many brands here unless we special ordered it and that also didn’t come through. We have looked at Specialized, BMC and XDS bikes and it took her 2 hours to decide getting the Specialized over BMC.

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Well, kid’s bike is definitely smaller and components used are also lower end comparing with the adult bike. But, the price does not scale down with size. I paid MYR1350 for my daughter’s bike and that bike cost as much as my 1st entry bike (XDS MX-896) I got for myself 2 years ago.

So, what are the features?

Frame:        Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum, double-butted and formed downtube/toptube, externally relieved headtube, forged dropouts w/ replaceable hanger, disc mount

Front Derailleur (FD):  SR Suntour, 8-speed

Rear Derailleur (RD):   SRAM X3, 7-speed, long cage

Shifter:        SRAM X4 Trigger Shifter, 8 Sp (we opt trigger shifter over grip shift)

Brakes:         Die-cast, alloy V-brake

Fork:            SR Suntour XCT-JR-24-MLO, 50mm travel

Crankset:    SR Suntour, 7-speed Junior, 160mm arms

Chainrings:   42/32/22 steel, replaceable outer ring, w/ chainguard

Cassette:     Shimano MegaRange, 7-speed freewheel, 14-34

Tires:             Specialized Fast Trak Sport, 24×1.8″

Pedal:             Composite platform

Weight:         12.60kg with 50g bottle cage

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The Built

The bike looks very solid and I will say the design is comparable with the adults design. It is double butted top and bottom tube for better stiffness and reduces weight. The frame has a disc brake mount hole ready for upgrade at any time.

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Unfortunately, the looks and ride said differently. On the 1st day we took the bike back, the front hub was whistling when my daughter was riding. Also, the back cassette was wobbling when the wheel was moving. So, I had to bring it back to the shop for repair. It turned out that the bike was in the box for too long as the rubber covering the hub is rubbing against the axle without any play. With little grease, the whistling is gone. There is nothing they can do about the wobble cassette as it is a nature of freewheel. 😦

The total weight of this bike is 12.60kg with 50g bottle cage and pedals. Not sure how will this compares with other brands. I just know the BMC weighs ~600g lesser than Specialized.

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The Components

For this price range of bikes or 24” MTB pretty much offering the same components as others. There are definitely 1-2 manufactures are giving better components. For Specialized bike, they used a better RD which is SRAM X3 whereas other using Shimano Tourney which is the lowest range for MTB component. By just comparing the component pricing, the SRAM X3 is something similar to Shimano Altus/Acera range.

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The original shifter comes with this bike has a very low quality and my daughter could hardly twist and turn the SRAM 3.0 grip shift. I am not sure how this compares with Shimano Tourney in terms of functionality but the price is about the same. So, I assume they are same range. My local bike shop upgraded the shifter to SRAM X4 for free. Just to ensure I do not go over to BMC. 🙂 SRAM X4 shifter is slightly more expensive than Shimano Acera and cheaper than Alivio. So, sometimes you have to demand for better parts. 🙂 The grips will have to change also and they changed to Specialized Bodygeometry grips  which I think is not suitable for kids at all.

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My personal preference is to have lightest gear available for daughter so that she can climb steeper hill easier until she gets stronger. So, the Shimano MegaRange suits my requirement. The smallest chainring is 22 and largest cog is 34. Normally this type of setting can only be found at a higher end bikes like Trek Superfly 24 or the Giant XTC 24. Most of bike manufactures give the smallest chainring is 24 and largest cog is 28. So, with the ratio of 1.54 vs 1.16 will definitely help especially going uphill. Anyway, cassette can always be replaced when she is stronger.

The brake lever for this bike was designed for little fingers like my daughter. She can reach the lever and press on it without difficulty.

The cheapest thing come with this bike is probably the FD. I tried to Google for the price and there is no result at all. It could be custom made part for bike manufacturer installation only.

The crankset comes with 160mm long which is suitable for kids at my daughter age. Lots of bike shops pushed me for a 26” bike which comes with at least 170 to 172.5mm length and that’s not suitable at all.

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Another uniqueness feature is the pedal. Though it is plastic pedal but they made it in a way that it has pins for nonslip when pedaling. Not sure if it hurts when it hits the shin like the adult pedals.

Both of the wheels come with quick release for easy access. I am currently asking them for a quick release for the seatpost also.

Finally, the fork is spring coil with preload adjustable and with mechanical lockout. It has 50mm travel. From the technical spec, this fork weights about 2035g and the lightest 24” XCT fork is just 50g lighter only. A lot manufactures use these forks but they didn’t mention which model.

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The Ride

The bike was tested in 2 conditions. 1 that was completely flat road and 1 with some climb. So far we have not tested on fire road or off road condition as I want her to familiarize with the gear shifting 1st.

An immediate improvement I see her on a flat road was that she can ride much faster with average of 5-6km/h more than her usual. Her max speed was 28.4km/h comparing with about 18km/h on her single speed bike. We did a 17km ride with just about an hour.

With the MegaRange cassette she climbed small hills like mountain goat. And, she is able to climb 7-10 degree gradient slope without coming down and pushed. She had to do some off saddle pedaling at steeper part.

With the SRAM X3 RD and the X4 shifter she is happily pressing the trigger. The way she changing gears looks so easy for her with just a click. Anyway, the shop did lube the cable during installation. That probably helps too.

Braking is another important area for kid’s biking. Without able to reach it or press it, it serves no purpose. The Hotrock brake lever is soft to press and based on my daughter’s feedback it is very powerful too.

My daughter just loves the 50mm fork as she is doing drops after drops. The highest drop she managed to do was ~15cm or 6”. I am just wondering what if I introduce her to air fork. She will probably do DH jump. 🙂

From both rides, I do notice she gets less tired than her usual rounds and drank lesser water (obviously) too. That also explains she can go longer distances with much faster time.

Conclusion

There are a few aspects I feel this bike can improve further. I believe kids do not need 3 chainrings. 1 or 2 should be sufficient for them. Probably a 22 and 32 is good enough or just 1 chainring – 24/26. Having too much chainrings also create an issue when she has to change from 1 to 2. I noticed the chain was very loose and with no tensions it just won’t engage to 2nd gear.

Change the Revo Twist for your children sake. It is so hard to engage.

In terms of price point and features, the only bike that can come close with Hotrock is BMC SE24. I do believe every brand have their own good bike like Trek Superfly, Cannondale Race or Giant XTC. It is all depends on the price point, availability and components they give. But, definitely try to get the highest range model else any China brands are good enough. The reason is because they do spend on their R&D to come out with a kid’s bike.

Update

Well, there are 2 things I would like to update about my daughter’s bike. 1 is the quick release for the seat post. I finally got it after months and months of chasing them and finally they have it. Actually it was a simple mistake/understanding. The clamp size is 27.2mm and they kept insisting it was 25.2mm seat post until I told them give me one 27.2mm 1st and I will try it out which it fits.

Secondly was the kick stand that they gave. I have to wait for months also before I got it. And, once I got it my daughter can use it for couple of months only and it broke. The bottom part of the stand was made of cheap plastic and it can’t hold the ~13kg bike with water. So, immediately the stand gave way and broke. I brought it back to the store for exchange or warranty claim and they told me this can’t be claim but he will try… So, let’s wait and see if they can do miracle for me.

Review: Cervelo Soloist Team – S1

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Well, I never come to think that I will own a road bike. I have been riding my MTB for >1 year and still loving it until my boss tempt me with his Cervelo S1. It was a deal too good to pass.

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Cervelo is a company up in Canada and they are very famous with the race bike, tri and time trial (TT) bike. What I have is the very last aluminum bike rolls out for Cervelo S series. They are no longer building this bike in aluminum frame. Err… why aluminum? Well, I don’t want to spend tons of money for my 2nd bike yet it can deliver the power that I wanted.

It took me quite a while before taking up the offer. I have read a lot of the review and mostly all are very positive. Every single one commented that this is a very fast bike and light (some claimed 6.7kg). Of course, it has downside too.

The bike came in unassembled and I have to put it up all by my own. I am gladded that I did as I appreciate the bike more and I know the build of the bike better. All the parts passed down to me were new which never been used (all nicely packed in the boxes) except for the frame which he claimed it was used for 5 times only. And, I believe in him because he has like >15 road bikes either just the frame only or assembled.

These are the bike spec:-

Cervelo Team Soloist (S1) aluminum frame

Cervelo Carbon Aero Seatpost

SRAM Rival Groupset

SRAM Red Chain

American Classic 420 Aero3 (medium profile – 34mm)

Continental GP4000s tires

Time Xpresso4 Pedal

Tioga Saddle

FSA Drop Bar and Stem

Trigon RC28S Full Carbon Fork

I would say this is a very light bike. I managed to get the weight down to 7.72kg for an aluminum bike with pedals and bottle cages! This is an almost all aluminum bike except for the fork and seatpost. I believe I can shed off another couple more hundreds grams but that would means more money to throw in.

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The beauty of this bike is it can perform as race bike or TT bike by rotating its seatpost head. The angle of the seat tube immediately changes from 73 degree to 76 degree for the TT bike setup.

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The S1 has internal cables routing for both the derailleurs and the rear brake. Normally for an aluminum frame, you don’t see them.

Cable

The Ride

Ok, I have to admit the 1st ride was terrible but not because of the bike. It was the setting I had it all wrong. Coming from MTB rider, I needed time to accustom to it (you can read my blog about Riding a Road Bike). After made all the necessary adjustment, I began to love the bike more and more. I have been going longer distance from 60km to 80km to 110km.

The bike frame is built with Aero down tube and short chainstay (to be exact it is 399cm for a 51cm bike). On a flat road, this bike can take me on an average speed of ~39km/h and I can say that I am not a strong rider. The aero frame and 34mm profile rim did definitely help a lot during the sprinting. There were a few times I got up from my saddle and started to sprint the speed just took off just like I had a jetpack.

Comfort? I would say this is very personal feel. In a forum, there were some people complained that it was too hard on an rough surface but I find it acceptable especially with the Trigon full carbon fork.

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The only weakness I see in this bike is going uphill. I have tested with carbon bikes, this bike lacks of power when going uphill. Again, that could be due to the 34mm med profile rim that I have and I may not be the strongest rider out there.

Lastly, the thing that annoys me is the internal cabling sound when I go thru an uneven road or turning a corner. It makes a lot of rattling noises. I probably need to redo internal cabling and put more donuts. That should solve my problem.

Bike Components

Well, SRAM groupset is very famous for 1 thing. Light weight! The Rival groupset is at least few hundreds gram lighter than it’s widely known competitor.

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It has a compact crank and the rear cog is 12-25. In this setting, it will gets you going real fast on a flat road.

The SRAM shifting is using Double Tap meaning up and down shift is using the same stick. By lightly tap, it is up shift for the rear cog and to down shift slightly pressed harder and inwards. It allows rapid shifting too by pressing all the way in.

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I have not ridden a bike with Shimano 105 long enough to make any comparison comments. But, I would say the gear shifting is not as smooth as Shimano Ultegra but that again is not a fair comparison.

Getting in and out from the Time Xpresso4 pedal is so easy that you can’t imagine. Before using Time, I used Look pedal and I always have to look before clip on but not on Time. Also, slight twist it disengaged easily.

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Conclusion

If I have to buy another road bike, it will definitely be aero frame. It is fast, light and agile. And, if $ is not a problem, I will get back a Cervelo bike. I really like their design, geometry and responsiveness.

Update

I just got myself a Cervelo S3 recently. Read on by clicking to this link – Cervelo S3.

Review: Specialized StumpJumper Comp

I had laid eyes on this bike for a long time. I got a 2013 model earlier this year with 2 months of waitlists but it was a worthwhile waiting.

My Stumpjumper

My Stumpjumper

Specialized was a major American brand and founded in California. In 2001, Merida Taiwan has bought over 49% shares which explains why most of their bikes now are Made in Taiwan (I guessed it is for cost effective also). This includes my StumpJumper.

This is an all-aluminum bike and if you are weight weenies, it is not much different from the carbon bike. The StumpJumper Carbon Comp is just ~500g lighter than this bike. My bike weighs <12kg but that is with top tube bag, 2 bottle cages, Maxxis Crossmark tires (heavier tires), Wellgo Magnesium pedals and it is a medium size (17.5”). For a 29er and medium size frame, this is light!!!

For my height at 173cm, I can either pick medium or small size frame but I prefer the medium frame as it looks nicer with big wheels.

This bike comes with:-

Frame:       M5 fully manipulated alloy

Rear Derailleur: SRAM X9

Front Derailleur: SRAM X7

Shifter:      SRAM X7

Brakes:     Magura MTS, Hydraulic disc (160mm rotor)

Fork:         RockShox Reba RL 29 with 90mm travel

Crankset: SRAM S-1250 with PF-BB30 bottom bracket

The Ride

The M5 frame is the highest aluminum grade that you can find for Specialized MTB. It is quite a stiff bike but it does flex at areas it supposed to which gives it a very comfortable bike to ride for hours. For its class, it has one of the shortest chainstay length at 435mm.

Going down the trails with the 680mm flat handle bar gives you a better control and yet you can still steer clear from obstacle around the trails. But, I have reduced the size by 10mm in total for better gripping.

Coming from a 26” bike and not a super strong rider, I find that I need an extra effort when going uphill. If you are a strong rider then it will not be a problem as the big wheel momentum will help you go faster and faster. 1 thing for sure is 29er can gets you going through rocks and tree roots without coming down and push over. Going downhill, 29er will definitely push faster than the 26”.

Bike Components

I love this bike so much that I am still keeping all the original components to date. The only thing I have changed is the tire which I am currently using Maxxis Crossmark that adds another ~250-300g to my bike weight and it is still considerable light.

Shifting gears of this bike is as easy as shifting automatic gear in a car. I have used Shimano XT, Deore and Shimano non-series and they are nowhere come close to SRAM shifting. By pairing with the SRAM X7 shifter and X9 rear derailleur all you need is just lightly tap and it will accurately shift to the gear that you want. X9 rear derailleur comes with a lock actuation that eases when removing the rear tire. Not much said on the front derailleur as it works as good as the rear.

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Also, this X7 shifter has something similar with Shimano Rapid Fire. It allows you to downshifts (to a larger sprocket) 4 gears in 1 go.

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This bike comes with 2 chainrings only (38/24) and for a 29er this is more than you needed for. I have tried other 29er bikes with 3 chainrings (that normally you found on your 26” bike) and I find the middle gear is pretty much redundant (add weights). With 2 chainrings it gives you 20 speeds only. But, that doesn’t stop you from doing an average speed of 35km/h on a flat road and still able to go up on a 20-30° gradient hills.

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I suspected that Specialized was given the exclusivity of selling the Magura MTS brake for 1 year only as you don’t see them previously except Specialized bike. Right now you can purchase the MTS directly from Magura. The MTS brake was actually designed off from MT4 with very minor modification and reduced ~10g in weight. Those of you who come from Shimano families may not like this brake as Magura MTS does not bite as good as its rival. But, if you are looking for good modulation and light weight then you are at the right place. It weights ~320g (incl rotor) comparing with its rival Shimano SLX weights ~454g.  I have heard stories about brakes failed when it heated especially those who are using DOT fluid.  I came down a hill dropping from 768m to 32m (above sea level) in 10 mins, the brake works as it should. The only setback is the rear brake does make a lot of squealing sounds and that can easily resolve by replacing them with aftermarket pads. The good thing about Magura caliper is you can see your brake pads worn out without taking them apart.

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Some may have commented that this fork is too short. Well, it really depends on the trails that you are going and your body weight. If the intention is to have huge drop or going downhill with huge rocks in your path then obviously you will need a longer fork. So far I have no complains over it.

The Verdict

Don’t look at this bike as aluminum as you can hardly feel it is sluggish and cornering through the trails are fun. Most importantly it keeps within your budget for XC bike at MYR6300. I would recommend to anyone who wants to get a bike for race or cycling with your buddies.