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  1. #1
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    Which bike is better?

    Hey,
    I'm trying to decide in between two bikes for the same price. One is a 2008 Specialized FSR XC Expert and the other is a 2011 Trek Fuel Ex5. I'll leave the specifications of each below.

    2008 Specialized FSR XC Expert

    FRAME
    FSR M4 butted frame w/ ORE downtube, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, replaceable hanger, bolt on cable guides, two sets of water bottle bosses, disc only, 100mm travel
    REAR SHOCK
    X Fusion 02RC, Specialized tuned, rebound/compression adjust w/ LO, 7.0x1.6", 4 bearing lower shock mount
    FORK
    RockShox Recon 335 SLite, 100mm travel, 32mm alloy stanchions, alloy steerer, disc only, Turn Key damper, lockout w/ rebound adjust, coil spring
    HEADSET
    1 1/8" threadless, black steel cups, loose ball bearings w/ seals
    STEM
    Specialized 3D forged alloy, 7 degree rise, 31.8mm 4 bolt clamp, S:75mm, M:90mm, L/XL:105mm
    HANDLEBARS
    Specialized XC low rise, 31.8mm, butted alloy, 640mm wide, 6 degree up, 8 degree backsweep
    TAPE/GRIPS
    Specialized MTB, dual density
    FRONT BRAKE
    Custom Avid Juicy 3 SL, hydraulic disc, G2 Clean Sweep rotor S/M: 180mm, L/XL 203mm
    REAR BRAKE
    Custom Avid Juicy 3 SL, hydraulic disc, G2 Clean Sweep rotor S/M: 160mm, L/XL: 203mm
    BRAKE LEVERS
    Avid Juicy 3 SL hydraulic Custom
    FRONT DERAILLEUR
    Shimano Deore M530, 34.9mm clamp
    REAR DERAILLEUR
    Shimano Shadow XT M772, SGS cage
    SHIFT LEVERS
    Shimano Deore M530, 9-speed trigger
    CASSETTE FREEWHEEL
    Shimano HG-50, 9-speed, 11-34t
    CHAIN
    KMC HG 73 w/ reusable Missing Link
    CRANKSET
    Shimano M521, Hollowtech, Octalink spline, replacable rings w/ alloy outer
    CHAINRINGS
    22S/32S/44A 4mm thick outer, 4 bolt 104/64mm
    BOTTOM BRACKET
    Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink Spline, cartridge bearing, 68 x 118mm for 50mm chainline
    PEDALS
    Shimano 505 SPD
    RIMS
    DT-Swiss 445D, 26", double wall disc, pin joint, eyelets, 32h
    FRONT HUB
    Specialized Hi Lo disc, 32h, CNC flange and disc mount, polished races, alloy QR
    REAR HUB
    Shimano M-475L disc, 32h, 8/9-speed cassette, alloy QR
    SPOKES
    1.8mm (15g) stainless, black, alloy nipples
    FRONT TIRE
    Specialized The Captain Sport, 26.2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
    REAR TIRE
    Specialized The Captain Sport, 26.2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
    TUBES
    Specialized Ultralite, .6mm, presta
    SADDLE
    Specialized MTB, 7mm steel rails
    SEAT POST
    2 bolt micro adjust, 6061 alloy, black, 30.9 x 350/400mm
    SEAT BINDER
    Alloy collar w/ QR, 34.9mm clamp ID, black


    2011 Trek Fuel EX5


    Frameset
    Sizes 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5"
    Frame Alpha Red Aluminum w/ABP, Full Floater, alloy EVO Link, oversized pivot bearings, replaceable derailleur hanger, 120mm travel
    Front Suspension RockShox Recon Silver TK w/coil spring, preload, rebound, TurnKey lockout, alloy steerer, 120mm travel
    Rear Suspension Fox Float RP-2, "trail tuned" w/ProPedal, rebound; 7.0x2.0"
    Wheels
    Wheels Formula alloy DC20 front hub, Shimano alloy M475 rear hub; Bontrager Ranger 32-hole rims
    Tires Bontrager XR3, wire bead, 26x2.2"
    Drivetrain
    Shifters SRAM X.5, 9 speed
    Front Derailleur SRAM X.5
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.5
    Crank SRAM S800 3.0, 44/32/22
    Cassette SRAM PG-950 11-34, 9 speed
    Pedals Wellgo alloy platform
    Components
    Saddle Bontrager Evoke 1
    Seat Post Bontrager, 31.6mm, 20mm offset
    Handlebars Bontrager Low Riser, 31.8mm, 25mm rise, 9 degree sweep
    Stem Bontrager SSR, 31.8mm
    Headset 1-1/8" threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
    Brakeset Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes

  2. #2
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    The FSR

  3. #3
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    Fsr............
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  4. #4
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    Why?

    I realized that the Recon fork on the fsr is slightly better and the xt components in fsr are better but then I see the rear suspension in the trek which is fox plus newer design and more travel both on rear and front.

    Is there a big difference?? Can any of you guys explain why the FSR is so much better? I thought that the trek would be better

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by tavorh1 View Post
    I realized that the Recon fork on the fsr is slightly better and the xt components in fsr are better but then I see the rear suspension in the trek which is fox plus newer design and more travel both on rear and front.

    Is there a big difference?? Can any of you guys explain why the FSR is so much better? I thought that the trek would be better
    Buy the one that fits you better.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
    DH.FR.0ne
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    I would usually favour the specialized, but the trek has better components.
    IMO from experience with the shimano shadow and Sram setup, I would highly favour the Trek's drivetrain components. Also the Fox RP2 would be better long term than the X-Fusion O2 as most tuning companies service Fox, but not X-Fusion shocks.
    As Shiggy said, make sure the one you get fits you.

  7. #7
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    Is the RockShox Recon 335 SLite fork better than the RockShox Recon Silver TK ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH.FR.0ne View Post
    I would usually favour the specialized, but the trek has better components.
    IMO from experience with the shimano shadow and Sram setup, I would highly favour the Trek's drivetrain components. Also the Fox RP2 would be better long term than the X-Fusion O2 as most tuning companies service Fox, but not X-Fusion shocks.
    As Shiggy said, make sure the one you get fits you.
    I thought that the specialized had better drivetrain components than the trek. Can you please clarify?

  9. #9
    DH.FR.0ne
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    Quote Originally Posted by tavorh1 View Post
    I thought that the specialized had better drivetrain components than the trek. Can you please clarify?
    From my experience I prefer to use Sram components over shimano. I used to run the same shimano setup the specialized has with the shadow derailleur on one of my bikes, while my other bike had a complete Sram X5 setup.
    I found them both good but the shimano mech needed adjusting every so often and didn't seem to shift as well as the Sram did. Also sram trigger shifters are more consistent than the shimano shifters because of the 1:1 actuation ratio Sram use. The trigger position of the Sram shifters is also proven to be more efficient.
    I now run Sram X7 on the bike that had the shimano setup. Its easy to set up, never needs adjusting, runs smooth and shifts flawlessly.
    IMO the shadow XT mech is good but very overpriced as it certainly doesn't perform better than Sram X5 or higher.

  10. #10
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by tavorh1 View Post
    I thought that the specialized had better drivetrain components than the trek. Can you please clarify?
    It does not really matter. Either drivetrain is fine. Except for the XT RD they are about equal.
    mtbtires.com
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  11. #11
    AZ
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    Second buying the one that fits.

  12. #12
    Swimming thru the Smog
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    Pick the frame that fits the best, honestly all of the components are middle of the road, and can be replaced without dropping a big pile of cash. I personally like the FSR suspension design, but if i was to get a stumpy i would at least get the 2010 expert/elite with the brain. FSR get pedal bob in granny ring no matter which way you slice it, and PP is nice.

  13. #13
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    See if there's a chance of riding them. As others have said already the fit is everything.

  14. #14
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    +1 on fit! I'm a total noob in the mtb world but, I'm learning that "what's best" = what's best for you may not be best for others. My .02....as other have suggested, ride them. Look at them, size them up...do they "Fit" you...size wise, aesthetically, price, color, etc. As I am buying bikes, I just shutter at the possibility of shelling out good money only to decide I don't like something about it, can't live with it and sell it for a loss!!

  15. #15
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    Haven't ridden any but specwise the fsr is better

  16. #16
    Jungle rider
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    The FSR is better

  17. #17
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    Buy the one that your favorite shop has. If your favorite shop has both of those bikes, then just pick the one that feels better, like others have posted.

  18. #18
    Singletrack Slayer
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    Quote Originally Posted by az.mtns View Post
    second buying the one that fits.
    yes!!
    ~~~~~~Singletrack Slayer~~~~~~~

  19. #19
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    Working at a Specialized dealer, I strongly suggest AGAINST Specialized in every way. go trek if thats your options. its the best of two evils. in no way shape or form is fsr better. all fsr means is future shock rear (not kidding) and it is a way for specialized to hold a broad spectrum patent forcing many manufaturers to buy into their company. bearings, geometry, frame design and componentry are all a hack job and the rest is well designed marketing and hype. bg is bs as well unfortunately. talk to real bike manufacturers and real fit specialists and any one with proper training will let you into the right insight. LOL

  20. #20
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    I've got the 2011 ex5 and it's pretty amazing. It climbs really well which surprised me; its like the rear tire is glued to the ground. Shifting is REALLY quick. It corners well and Trek seems to really have the rear triangle/suspension nailed. All in all, I'm really happy with mine and have a hard time thinking that others wouldn't also be just as happy. And I suspect the technology differences due to the 3 year difference between the two bikes are probably significant enough to lean me towards the newer bike -if I were in your shoes.
    That said, ride both and spend time on them if possible. Most likely you'll be happy either way. Personally I wouldn't worry about components as much as the frame. You can always swap things out. And unless you've got some elite needs, either set of components is going to be satisfactory. And (again) you can always swap things out (upgrade).
    Good luck!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2012kashimabutcher View Post
    Working at a Specialized dealer, I strongly suggest AGAINST Specialized in every way. go trek if thats your options. its the best of two evils. in no way shape or form is fsr better. all fsr means is future shock rear (not kidding) and it is a way for specialized to hold a broad spectrum patent forcing many manufaturers to buy into their company. bearings, geometry, frame design and componentry are all a hack job and the rest is well designed marketing and hype. bg is bs as well unfortunately. talk to real bike manufacturers and real fit specialists and any one with proper training will let you into the right insight. LOL
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  22. #22
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    I'm new to the whole AM concept, so please forgive any ignorance. I'm also in the market for a true AM bike.

    That said, do either of these bikes actually qualify as AM?

    With only 100mm and 120mm of travel, I would think not...?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleh0rse View Post
    I'm new to the whole AM concept, so please forgive any ignorance. I'm also in the market for a true AM bike.

    That said, do either of these bikes actually qualify as AM?

    With only 100mm and 120mm of travel, I would think not...?
    I have a Fuel EX 9.9 and I wouldn't ride it on anything that involved more than a foot or two of air, but, then again, I weigh around 230 when kitted up.

  24. #24
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    have an EX5 and happen to like it... would define it more as a trail bike, but none the less.

    I would go for it purely on the grounds of being newer and having more travel. most everything else is close.

  25. #25
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    Trek over Specialized, better suspension and overall quality. The longer travel should help. and the Fox RP2 is better than the Specialized shock. Rear suspension on Trek is a plus. Ive had Specialized before. I'm not with the proprietory parts I learned the hard way.
    The Bontrager tires are not good for single track. I don't know about the specialized.

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