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  1. #1
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    New question here. Ellsworth Truth vs. Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro Disc

    I am looking for some honest advice. I am getting ready to purchase a new mountain bike and have narrowed down the choices to two: Ellsworth Truth and Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro Disc. I am looking to hear from someone who has ridden both bikes and can give me an honest opinion. What are the pros and cons of each? Is the Truth worth money? Are the rides the same or different. Any advice would be helpful...

  2. #2
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    Mostly differerent

    Quote Originally Posted by TrailriderGus
    I am looking for some honest advice. I am getting ready to purchase a new mountain bike and have narrowed down the choices to two: Ellsworth Truth and Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro Disc. I am looking to hear from someone who has ridden both bikes and can give me an honest opinion. What are the pros and cons of each? Is the Truth worth money? Are the rides the same or different. Any advice would be helpful...
    I've ridden both. The Stumjumper with 100mm fork and Truth are mostly different in finnish and engineering styling and (reported) durability.

    The actual ride time differences are very similar besides personal fit differences. Both are very quick handling with steep seat and fork angles and tend to ride and handle more stable with longer than average top tube lengths than many bikes for the same size rider. They both weigh about the same within a few grams with the same components.

    They both pedal well on smooth and rough trails using platform damped shocks and brake very well in rough terrain. The Truth has a little bit less side flex in the rear suspension.

    Performance wise the personal fit would be the biggest difference, with the Stumpjumper having a little more standover clearance.

    Other than style difference the Stumpjumper riders don't report near the same number of suspension and frame failures as Truth riders and this is with many times the number of Stumpjumper bikes sold.

    They are both very good bikes with more performance similarities than noticable differences other than fit.

    - ray

  3. #3
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    Ray-
    If you had to pick between the two bikes which one would get the nod?

  4. #4
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    well said

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    I've ridden both. The Stumjumper with 100mm fork and Truth are mostly different in finnish and engineering styling and (reported) durability.

    The actual ride time differences are very similar besides personal fit differences. Both are very quick handling with steep seat and fork angles and tend to ride and handle more stable with longer than average top tube lengths than many bikes for the same size rider. They both weigh about the same within a few grams with the same components.

    They both pedal well on smooth and rough trails using platform damped shocks and brake very well in rough terrain. The Truth has a little bit less side flex in the rear suspension.

    Performance wise the personal fit would be the biggest difference, with the Stumpjumper having a little more standover clearance.

    Other than style difference the Stumpjumper riders don't report near the same number of suspension and frame failures as Truth riders and this is with many times the number of Stumpjumper bikes sold.

    They are both very good bikes with more performance similarities than noticable differences other than fit.

    - ray
    Having ridden both and owned a 2000 S-works FSR, and theoretically assuming cost was the same (which it is not of course), I would go with the Ellsworth simply because I am probably a bike snob and love the made in USA (or Canada) aspect. However, I have nothing bad to say about Specialized. In fact, I was actually not even the original owner of my S-works, cracked with swingarm, and Specialized replaced it with no questions and of course I did not even have a receipt....very impressive in my book. Another point that would lean me towards the Truth is that I love the feel of Romic shocks and the Truth can run one. However, that would also depend on what I would use the bike for....if it were my only bike and the intent was to have a trailbike as well, I would go Ellsworth Truth for the Romic reason.

    Cheers

  5. #5
    Riding free's the mind
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    ellsworth to be different

    If both are in your means to buy, the Ellsworth definitely adds a bit of custom mystique versus the Specialized mass production. So as the prev post stated, if all is equal, a bike snob would go Ellsworth, it's definitely make my car proud to have it on my roof!

    I really like the Truth, even after riding a HT for some 7 years. It's got a really nice snappy acceleration feel and the rear suspension still remains active even while climbing. I've got the Romic coil and very impressed with the low and high speed bump absorbing.

    Just to add to your choices, as much as I like the Truth, I just road my friends new Santa Cruz Blur... whoa! Nice!. I was really impressed with the Blur's suspension and slightly slacker head angle. It makes for a more stable bike down hill and in technical single tracks. The geometry reminds me of my old Stump Jumper Comp hard tail which I still covet is one of the best handling bikes I've ridden.
    [SIZE=2]Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    I just have a question about these two bikes. Is the rear suspension design of the Truth superior in any way to FSR? They are both a Horst link design, right?

  7. #7
    TNC
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    Strangely true about frame failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    I've ridden both. The Stumjumper with 100mm fork and Truth are mostly different in finnish and engineering styling and (reported) durability.

    The actual ride time differences are very similar besides personal fit differences. Both are very quick handling with steep seat and fork angles and tend to ride and handle more stable with longer than average top tube lengths than many bikes for the same size rider. They both weigh about the same within a few grams with the same components.

    They both pedal well on smooth and rough trails using platform damped shocks and brake very well in rough terrain. The Truth has a little bit less side flex in the rear suspension.

    Performance wise the personal fit would be the biggest difference, with the Stumpjumper having a little more standover clearance.

    Other than style difference the Stumpjumper riders don't report near the same number of suspension and frame failures as Truth riders and this is with many times the number of Stumpjumper bikes sold.

    They are both very good bikes with more performance similarities than noticable differences other than fit.

    - ray
    When we started selling some Ellsworth Truths, I had high expectations on reliability and performance. We are not a stocking dealer but had some requests for them and have built up some top notch setups. We are also a Specialized dealer. What has shocked me is how these cheaper FSR XC and variants have held up to abuse in our rocky terrain in our area. Though sold in much greater numbers the FSR types have only had a couple of frame failures while half of the handful of Ellsworth Truths have failed. Ellsworth has been very good about honoring their warranty which has been a little different from some stories posted here. We no longer recommend the Truth and instead try to get that category of rider on some type of FSR or an SC Blur.

  8. #8
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    only theoretically I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by dinger
    I just have a question about these two bikes. Is the rear suspension design of the Truth superior in any way to FSR? They are both a Horst link design, right?
    I defer to Derby on this one as he will give you a very precise answer.

    I do not think they are both Horst-link. If I recall, Ellsworth used to use a true Horst-link but have to move from that legally....thus, ICT (I am sure others will correct me if I am wrong).

    I think that theoretically, Horst-link of Specialized is superior. Having said that, both are incredible. Of course linkage is only one parameter of MANY that make for a great ride and is definitely not at the top of my list of ranked importance.

    Fit/geometry, Laterall stiffness (albeit related to type of linkage), standover, build quality, bottom bracket height, ability to run coil shock, etc, etc are most important to me for a trailbike.......different ranking for XC race bike. "Ride" is like a multivariate equation where many parameters are involved and while some may be important independently, at the end of the day, all important parameters must be considered.

    Bottom line is that Ellsworth and Specialized make great bikes, period. I would rank parameters in order of importance and then decide what bike meets your need the best.

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailriderGus
    Ray-
    If you had to pick between the two bikes which one would get the nod?
    Without considering price it's the Stumpjumper over the Truth for my trail riding interests which favor technical trails so difficult I have to get off and carry the bike sometimes. But without price considerations there are many other bikes I'd rather ride than either. For rough trails I’d rather ride the Enduro FSR, for smoother fireroads, the Truth has a slightly better seated climbing geometry than the Stumpjumper but that compromises handling in more technical conditions.

    Between these two I like the higher bottom bracket of the Truth for better pedal clearance. But I like the handling of the Stumpjumper a little better with the very slightly slacker seat tube (I'm tall at about 6'2, and the Truth has a very steep seat tube which make it climb very easy when seated but puts my weight up very high and harder to slide back off the seat to get low). Also I prefer the more stable and ground tracking braking characteristics of the floating rear brake linkage of the FSR bikes, the Truth floating rear brake linkage is a little too parallel and allows too much higher perched weight to shift forward off the rear wheel with rear traction loss. I've found the Truth doesn't brakes very well at the limits or downhill compared to FSR link angles.

    I could adjust the fit of the Truth to better suit me, but I've found a few other bikes that perform much better for me for less cost. I bought a Tracer after testing those two bikes and the Turner Burner and Titus Switchblade are other bikes with similar travel and weight that out performs either in the same conditions I like. But the Stumpjumper or Enduro are great values and I'd rather ride either than the Truth overall. Small riders might prefer the Truth more than me since ride height and stability isn't as much of an issue as it is for bigger riders in rough conditions. Also I'm really picky about performance!

    Try to get a test ride or demo if possible.

    - ray

  10. #10
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    Horst'ish

    I thought the Truth was a Horst link, but rebranded as ITC. Just the same it's basically the same 4 bar linkage, with just different geometry. The working principal is the same and functions for the most part the same. Great for XC and trail riding by the way.

    The Specialized Stump Jumper was highly rated in MBA a month or two ago, and over a bunch of top contenders. It's also a good $1k less than a fully equipped Ellswth, I'd say either from a perfromance standpoint will not steer you wrong.

    FYI- ellsworth for the $2k you pay for the frame has some quirks and not sure if they revised the design for the new models- one is that there are no disc brake hose guides on the left seat stay- you have to zip tie the cable down or buy one of the Hope brake boss guides. The cable feed for the rear derailleur is internal to the right stay, and is a pain to feed through. Otherwise nice frame, but I still question having to pay $2k for it. If I hadn't gotten a good deal on a older model, I'd spend $1.2k on a Blur.
    [SIZE=2]Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"[/SIZE]

  11. #11
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    Very subtle "Horst Link" differences

    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    I defer to Derby on this one as he will give you a very precise answer.

    I do not think they are both Horst-link. If I recall, Ellsworth used to use a true Horst-link but have to move from that legally....thus, ICT (I am sure others will correct me if I am wrong).

    I think that theoretically, Horst-link of Specialized is superior. Having said that, both are incredible. Of course linkage is only one parameter of MANY that make for a great ride and is definitely not at the top of my list of ranked importance.

    Fit/geometry, Laterall stiffness (albeit related to type of linkage), standover, build quality, bottom bracket height, ability to run coil shock, etc, etc are most important to me for a trailbike.......different ranking for XC race bike. "Ride" is like a multivariate equation where many parameters are involved and while some may be important independently, at the end of the day, all important parameters must be considered.

    Bottom line is that Ellsworth and Specialized make great bikes, period. I would rank parameters in order of importance and then decide what bike meets your need the best.

    Cheers
    I agree with FoShizzle that other factors are more important in performance than the subtle differences in various similar linkage designs. Linkages determine the path of the wheel to be slightly different than another linkage or a monopivot path. And rear brake linkages route braking friction angles input to the frame pitch, effecting how much weight balance is transferred forward during deceleration.

    Host designed specific link configurations that were patented. Ellsworth and others have been able to design other link configurations that are patented because they are 20% or more different from each other. Any claims of performance are subjective in any patent; only the specific link configurations (design and methods of production) are patented.

    Performance between different bikes is subjective. You really need to ride them for yourself to determine what performs best for your interests. And how a bike looks on top of your Hummer or hanging off the back of a rusty Tercell can also be an important reason for choosing one over another.

    It's my opinion that the medium-low, monopivot-like, suspension path of the Truth is better than the FSR for most climbing situations (excluding platform shock tuning differences), but the FSR path is more vertical and curving forward deeper in travel for better rough terrain pedaling and combined with a quality platform shock is superior overall than the Truth's path. But other riders may have different opinions. There's a lot more to performance than suspension effects, particularly the rider's own input which may match one type of suspension action and tuning range better than another.

    - ray

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailriderGus
    I am looking for some honest advice. I am getting ready to purchase a new mountain bike and have narrowed down the choices to two: Ellsworth Truth and Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro Disc. I am looking to hear from someone who has ridden both bikes and can give me an honest opinion. What are the pros and cons of each? Is the Truth worth money? Are the rides the same or different. Any advice would be helpful...
    I owned a Truth and have ridden an 04' SJ that a buddy bought. With the limited time I have spent on the SJ, I feel it rides firmer and the suspension doesn't take the sharp or bigger hits as well as the Truth, it also felt like it may not be as active as the Truth during braking over rocky or choppy terrain. Over smoother terrain at speeds it pedals as good and the suspension feels right on-it pedals great, no bob with the RP3 shock.

    My 01' & 03' Truth broke at the seat tube and the 2nd time Ells. didn't take care of me because they had changed the design, but the new 04' looks like they took care of the seat tube issue. The SJ is well made and just looks like it will holdup.

    You have to ask yourself-will I be using the bike as a trailbike or do I want a more racey bike that can also be ridden as a trailbike. If you choose trailbike, go with the Truth, if you want more racey then choose the SJ. I think from a pure performance standpoint, the Truth is a better choice but there is some baggage(high cost, bad rep. due to warranty, more fragile than other bikes)

    If we knew the new design would hold up, I would choose the Truth, but since we don't I choose the SJ. Then take the $$ savings and go on a trip with your new rig. Good luck

  13. #13
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    One other thought I had has to do with servicing. I am from Michigan and there aren't any officially licensed Ellsworth dealers according to their website. Who would service the bike? I assume I could get it done at a regular bike shop. What about warranty work?

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    TrailriderGus brings up a major point: warranty work. Every manufacturer has it's own share of product failure, but if you do research, I think you may find that Specialized (as a whole) is much easier to deal with in terms of warranty issues. Just my $.02

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    Quote Originally Posted by sensi
    TrailriderGus brings up a major point: warranty work. Every manufacturer has it's own share of product failure, but if you do research, I think you may find that Specialized (as a whole) is much easier to deal with in terms of warranty issues. Just my $.02
    I own a Truth. I wouldn't make the same decision again, I'd go Specialized or Santa Cruz if I was feeling rich.

  16. #16
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    Have you EVER had to do warranty work on a frame ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sensi
    TrailriderGus brings up a major point: warranty work. Every manufacturer has it's own share of product failure, but if you do research, I think you may find that Specialized (as a whole) is much easier to deal with in terms of warranty issues. Just my $.02
    To suggest that warranty work is "a major point" might be stretching things a little. If a bike breaks early in its lifecycle it may well be an design or manufacturing error. Later incidents are much more likely to be user induced or simple fatigue of materials.

    Perhaps I've been lucky but I've NEVER had to exercise any warranty on a bike. Not even the moving bits. I've had problems in the past but that was more to do with wear-and-tear which I accept responsibility for. So the question one should ask is if one is buying a frame that will be used within it's design parameters. Full disclosure - one of my bikes is an Ellsworth (an Id). And my dealings with Ellsworth have only been positive, and proactive on Ellsworth's part.

    Buy the bike that fits you and suits your riding conditions best. And use it with a smile on your face.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
    To suggest that warranty work is "a major point" might be stretching things a little. If a bike breaks early in its lifecycle it may well be an design or manufacturing error. Later incidents are much more likely to be user induced or simple fatigue of materials.

    Perhaps I've been lucky but I've NEVER had to exercise any warranty on a bike. Not even the moving bits. I've had problems in the past but that was more to do with wear-and-tear which I accept responsibility for. So the question one should ask is if one is buying a frame that will be used within it's design parameters. Full disclosure - one of my bikes is an Ellsworth (an Id). And my dealings with Ellsworth have only been positive, and proactive on Ellsworth's part.

    Buy the bike that fits you and suits your riding conditions best. And use it with a smile on your face.

    "If a bike breaks early in its lifecycle it may well be an design or manufacturing error." -this would mean you'd have to deal with "warranty service".

    "Later incidents are much more likely to be user induced or simple fatigue of materials. "
    -Again... warranty comes into play. Metal that isn't heat-treated properly can "fatigue" quicker (for example).

    I don't think calling it a major point is "stretching" since there is a comparison between two frames that are extremely competitive. Sure, warranty may not be an issue... until you actually break something.

    Of course people techinally shouldn't abuse their bikes, but i'll go out on a limb and say that the majority of avid mountain bikers abuse their equipment by a manufacturers standards.

    Anyway, I just want this guy to consider all the angles.. after all, it's not a cheap purchase either way!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensi
    Of course people techinally shouldn't abuse their bikes, but i'll go out on a limb and say that the majority of avid mountain bikers abuse their equipment by a manufacturers standards
    I've always wondered what constitutes abuse to a mountain bike. Mountain biking by it's very nature could be considered "abuse". In 1991, I broke my Yokota frame where the steer tube meets the top tube by simply mountain biking on it for 10 months. I took it into the shop to get a warranty replacement (supposedly had a "lifetime" warranty) and they said, "nope, you abused it". Don't see many Yokota's around anymore...

  19. #19
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    Warr. could be handled through your local shop most likely.....if you don't have a dealer close by. The shop I worked for handled many warr. that we did not sell....or another local shop sold. The only thing warrr wise that you would worry about is the frame. You could proabably even send it in yourself. The dealer most likely would not comp any tear down or rebuild work anyway.
    Spez on the other hand is great with warr work and usually very quick.

    As for the bikes, Ellsworth is at least 1/4 pound lighter(depending upon shock) and seat tube failure is not a problem after 03. I own an 05 Ells and have ridden the stumpy a few times on trail. I got the Ells cause I wanted a light, unique, US made, I could build it with hte parts I wanted, 2005(new shock), and it was the last bike I would be able to pro deal for a while since I was leaving my shop job. Oh, and no stumpys were available at the end of July that I could order. If the 05's were available it might have been different.

    The stumpy is a great bike and suspension wise its very simular feeling to the ells. To me the Ells was worth the money.

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