Good XC/Super-D bikes


Looking at possibly purchasing a Yeti 575. I am 5’8″ and a mid aggressive rider. I like to descend and climb Cross Country and Super D type riding. What else should I look at for comparison? Pros and cons?

Thanks, Dave

Hi Dave.

No cons on the 575 for that type of riding. It is a very sweet bike. I guess the only con might be price.

These days there are plenty of fun trail bikes. Here are some I’ve ridden:

If you want to go lighter with a little less travel, a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR (5″x5″) is excellent. The Stumpy is available at both lower and higher price points. BTW: I’m currently riding a carbon S-Works Stumpy with an inertial valve shock, and it’s a freakin’ weapon. Full report when the snow melts.

The Turner FiveSpot is also very nice. It rides a lot like the Stumpy, but with boutique appeal. I borrowed one with a Pushed Fox RP3 in the back, and the hookup was stellar.

The Maverick ML-8 is also a standout. With that guy you get 6″ in the front and 6.5″ in the back, with geometry tweaked toward aggressive trail riding. The ML-8 will end up close to 30 pounds, and the suspension is a tad less active than the above bikes, but it climbs like a champ (and wins Super Ds too). Con = cost!

All of these bikes are exceptional. It comes down to riding style, favorite color, price and availability. Buy from a good shop.

Cool. Good luck and tell me how it goes,

— Lee

Added 11 p.m.:

Sorry I was lazy this morning. It turns out the 575 is the least expensive frame. The Stumpjumper covers the range — most expensive frame, least expensive bike and most expensive bike. Overall, the bikes cost about the same: For $4500-$5000 you can get a very nice 575, Stumpy, FiveSpot or ML-8.

Model Frame Bike Site
Yeti 575 $1400 aluminum stays
$1630 carbon stays
Stumpjumper FSR
$2200 S-Works
$3800 S-Works Carbon
Turner FiveSpot $1895 $3300-$4500
Maverick ML-8 $2400 $4000-$4800
7 replies
  1. Ryan says:

    I sell Stumpjumpers and Yeti’s. You mentioned the price of a 575 being a con, but the 575 with the Enduro kit is just as affordable as the Stumpjumper, and way more affordable than either the Turner or the Maverick.
    PLUS…….it’s a Colorado company!!! BONUS!~! even if that specific model isn’t welded here.

  2. Rob says:


    There are so many great bikes that fall into this category. However to this day it is still hard to overlook one of the originals. I purchased a SC Heckler in late 2002 and still love every time I throw a leg over it. It has its strengths and weaknesses. With SC focusing on the VPP bikes like the Nomad, it can usually be found for a deal, even new.

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    Hey Rob.

    Good call. The Heckler was one of the first mid-travel trail bikes. Back then 4 or 5 inches was considered crqazy DH stuff. Nowadays even a 7-inch Bullit can be considered a trail bike — if you have the power to pull it. The single pivots are getting overshadowed these days, but they still do the trick. Oh, and let’s not forget another sweet high-end trail bike, the Santa Cruz Blur LT.

    So many bikes, so few days …

  4. Olen says:

    While those are all great bikes, many people overlook the affordability of small bike company frames. My favorites, Astrix and Transition, both ofer a wide range of frames at lower prices than the big corporate companies. In addition, I will assure you that the lower price does not mean lower quality. I raced an Astrix Stryke this year in Super-D, and its abilities are far more than I will ever require. Call up a small shop and let them know what you are looking for. Not only will you get a more personalized experience, you can get more frame, less name.

    P.S. Dave, the Astrix Solo may be right up your alley; 4.5″ travel, stiff and strong, lightweight, and a dream to ride anywhere your travels or races may take you.

  5. Zack says:

    Yeah Olen the Transition Preston might be the right bike for u the frame has 5 inches of travel and isn’t real expensive an older enduro would rock too thats what i ride and it kills everything from downhill to xc. I am lite so i even race downhill on it but i have seen lots on the xc rides around here they would probably be a low cost option as well.

  6. Tjaard says:

    I really like my prophet. Strong, light and durable, especially the fork: it is stiff and light, great mud/stick clearance and the maintance is much easier than most other forks. The frame can be set to 69 or 67.5 degree head angle and BB height changes as well, so you can tune it to the course/preference. It comes in a wide range of prices.

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