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Which bike 2nd-3rd gear guy!

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Have my pick of an 2014 xc or xc-w 250. Racing enduros but mostly hare scrambles and trails. Most of the time I'm 2nd-3rd on an mx gearbox with 13-50 gearing during the tight stuff in races. I'm 3rd to 4th on more open stuff. I like the idea of the new fork technology of the xc but wondering if most of my riding is so slow it's wasted on me and I should stick with the open chamber W setup? I don't do any big jumps but trails do get whooped out here in Michigan. What I'm mostly looking for is stability in the handling dept. I'm 6'1 and 220 so new springs will be in order either way. Please help a brother out with suggestions. I've ridden older xc's and my buds new xc-w which felt good but didn't ride enough on rough stuff to get a good feel. Not much in the way of rocks here but does get rooty and grooved out pretty good on courses.

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I honestly don't know about the suspension but for me the transmission differences make the decision. I don't like the wider spaced ratio's so it's always an XC for me, never the W. Does this factor into your decision at all?

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We'll all I've ridden are close ratio mx gearboxes so I'm not sure how I would feel with the wider 2nd-3rd gear. I'm sure I would get used to it, I'm really more concerned about if the xc is too stiff or xc-w too soft for me. I'm trying to get around revalving I've had to do that on all my previous mx bikes and trying to avoid the expense again.

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We'll all I've ridden are close ratio mx gearboxes so I'm not sure how I would feel with the wider 2nd-3rd gear. I'm sure I would get used to it, I'm really more concerned about if the xc is too stiff or xc-w too soft for me. I'm trying to get around revalving I've had to do that on all my previous mx bikes and trying to avoid the expense again.

I have an 06 XCW 250 and remember the gappy gear stuff.  I do not know how different the gearboxes are between these two year models, but for mine wound up going one tooth lower on the CS and it made a nice difference on the gearbox width.  I don't feel like I really gave up that much in top gear (mine is a 5-speed by the way, yours may be a 6-??).  Also, just last week I installed a Rekluse EXP 3.0 and am taking my first ride with it this Sunday.  Depending on how that feels, I might experiment with going back to the original CS size and see how that gearbox width feels.

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I guess my main question is; are the new 4cs forks harsh on roots and small rocks around 2nd and 3rd gear? That's my big dilemma, I'm not a 4th and 5th gear racer, at least not our tight courses, and I don't want to be getting jacked around on the slower portions with the xc suspension. One of my previous bikes was a wr450 and it was valved really soft and was wallowy and bottomed hard off anything serious. I'm just nervous the xc-w will feel similar, I don't mind a little stiffer valving if it aids in stability and deflection?

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Forgot to ask as well, do the 20mm clamps on the xc feel less stable than the 22 on the xc-w?

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My friend and I bought bikes together from the same dealer the same day he got a 14 300XC-W and I bought a 300 XC. I've ride both of them back to back a few times and while I can't stand his bar set up they are both very good bikes. The transmission are almost identical now that they are six speeds except that first and second are geared lower on the W. I've always had jap MX bikes and I don't like his stock gearing they are just to short of gears. Maybe a smaller sprocket would help. Suspension wise it is hard for me to tell as he is a big boy and puts the stiffest springs in his bikes he can find. Mines does feel more stable everywhere and especially consecutive bumps but that is not real fair since I'm about 125 pounds less than what it is sprung for. Overall slower gnarly stuff get the W, you want an all around great bike that will go fast and go slow and pretty much do everything great get the XC.

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I really appreciate the advice. Would you say your suspension is still plush over smaller roots and stuff on the xc? That's my biggest concern I don't want a jarring ride during the rooty technical sections of the race. I was leaning towards the W just because I feel like I'm not fast enough to get the suspension working good on the xc but maybe I'm wrong. I'm picking one of them up tomorrow morning!

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My suspension is more plush than the 12 KX 250f I had and the 12 CRF 450r with an RG3 revalve I had previous but not super plush. If you want super plush the W is noticeably more plush than the XC. Also I have not had a good chance to do much mountain trail riding as there is still some snow but mostly out on the desert.

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I went with the xc-w. I think it may be a tad too soft but during a 2 or 3 hour race that might not be a bad thing. I'm super happy and will post a ride report in the future.

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I think you are going to be really happy with that bike. Nice Work!

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