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  1. #1
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    Smile Another Clyde Resurrected From the Dead

    Hello Everyone!

    I’ve been lurking for a while, finally decided to post my story how a former rider wound up back here after many years off.

    I wasn’t sure where to put this post. Beginner’s Corner? Or Clydesdales? Or General Discussion? Or Passion? because it fits there too!?! LOL!!

    A little bit about me: I’m a 35 year old dude, born/raised/still living in the Houston Texas area. I’ve been a police officer for nearly 15 years and have spent about four years specializing in Crime Scene Investigations.

    I had to start my life over from scratch after my divorce in 2002 that left me with nearly nothing. Took a little over 3 years, but now I’ve built a new home for me and my 11 year old daughter who now lives with me and is my world.

    I’m soon to be re-married to a spectacular woman and will be adding her 3 year old daughter, and 12 year old and 13 year old sons, to my family.

    I’m kind of a newbie only because I haven’t ridden a bike in years. I rode BMX and freestyle growing up (late 70’s to mid 80’s), until I turned 16 and got a drivers license and a car….. Then the bike got tossed aside in favor of driving! LOL!

    Back around 97 or 98 I bought a Schwinn Mesa hardtail at the LBS and rode it quite a bit around town. Then I started having marital problems in late 1999/2000 that put a damper on all my hobbies. Lost interest in the bike and it wound up on a hook in the garage. The marriage never got any better and in early 2002 we split up. She kept the house, which included the garage, which included the hook, which was holding the bike…… etc etc…….

    Earlier this year I bought my 13 year old step son a new department store bike. It got me thinking about getting myself a bike too. I looked at the “adult” bikes at the department stores but wasn’t impressed with them at all.

    And since I’m still kind of a Clydesdale, I weigh 200-205lbs (down from 227), I had a feeling the $150 bikes at the department store would fold under my weight and abuse since I like to ride wheelies, bunny hop, jump, etc etc……

    Although I didn’t trust a cheap department store bike to hold up to my abuse/weight, I also didn’t want to rush out and spend $2000 on a hi-end bike because……….

    1) I’m a little out of shape, I smoke cigarettes, and haven’t ridden in years. I didn’t know if I could “hang” anymore.

    2) And I had knee surgery a couple years ago and didn’t know how it would take the abuse either.

    So I started doing some research on bikes and wound up here MTBR. This place has been a priceless source of information. THANK YOU!!

    I grew up riding Schwinn BMX’s and that Mesa hardtail I had was a pretty tuff bike, so I looked into what they had to offer these days. I realized the “Schwinns” at Wal-Mart WERE NOT the same Schwinns I had before.

    I found the Rocket Pro on their website. It was a 5” FS bike with good components….. SRAM shifters and derailleur, Manitou fork and rear shock, Truvativ cranks, WTB seat and tires, Hayes hydraulic discs, etc etc…….

    I went to my LBS and they cut me a deal on the bike (2006 model), a Camelback MULE, and some platform pedals since I had never ridden clipless before and I was afraid of busting my butt while I was getting used to riding again LOL!! I walked out with all that for $800.

    The first couple rides I was a bit nervous and rusty, but I quickly got back in decent form and was soon riding wheelies, bunny hopping, jumping, and so on. I rode the bike as often as I could for about 6 weeks and put a little over 100 hard urban miles on it (3’- 4’ stair drops, curb hopping, ditch jumping, bunny hopping parking lot stops, etc….)

    The bike has held up great, but last week the cranks started making a weird clicking sound on every revolution. Since it was past due for the 30 day tune-up I took it back to the LBS. They called me the next day and let me know that my cranks were coming apart. The cross tube that is pressed into the drive side crank was coming apart. Luckily Truvativ stood behind their product and are sending a new crank out to replace the defective one.

    By this point I was sure that I enjoyed riding again, and my knee was holding up great. I knew I’d be interested in this sport for a while. I began to worry about the Schwinn and if I was going to have constant problems. Wondering if a hi-end bike was worth the extra money and would hold up better.

    So……… while I was at the LBS checking on my broke rig, I asked to test ride a 2006 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert.

    OMG!! The bike felt completely AWESOME!! My Schwinn Rocket Pro was leaps and bounds above the department store bikes I had test ridden…….. Well this Stumpjumper was leaps and bounds above the Schwinn.

    It just felt so solid and the suspension, with the Fox TALAS fork and Fox rear shock (with lockout) was unbelievably better than the basic Manitou stuff on the Rocket. I could definitely feel a huge difference in quality and construction.

    I was sick with envy. I had to have one!!

    But the only one the LBS had was a large and it felt too big/long and just wasn’t comfortable. My Schwinn is a 17 aka medium. They had a medium FSR XC and it felt much better size wise, but I liked the features on the Stumpy better.

    The manager at the LBS called around but was unable to find a medium for me. He offered to take all the stuff off the large Stumpy and put it on a medium S-Works frame for $2500. I almost went for this deal, but the large Stumpy they were going to use the parts off of was a display/test bike and parts were scratched up a bit from being handled/abused for nearly a year.

    Then he offered to get me a new 2007 Stumpjumper FSR Expert for the same $2500. After looking at the specs on the 2007 I liked the “Brain” rear shock upgrade, I liked the SRAM components better, and the dark charcoal color looked sweet….. So after some brief deliberation………… My new rig will be here in a week or so!!

    I also ordered a set of Shimano 647 pedals and some Specialized Tahoe clipless shoes. Figured it was time for me to learn clipless and the 647’s have a cage so they’ll be a good dual purpose pedal and I’ll have the M520’s that come with the bike if/when I get completely comfortable with clipless.

    Sorry for the long winded post. Just wanted to share. I love this SCHTUFF!!! Hopefully some day soon I’ll get to ride in the actual mountains instead of this flat urban concrete megatropolis I live in now!

    P.S. - Anyone want to buy a nearly new 2006 Schwinn Rocket Pro? LOL!!

    Here's a current pic of me and the bike that got me hooked on this stuff:

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    New/Old Clyde From Houston TEXAS...
    2007 StumpJumper FSR Expert

  2. #2
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    As a fellow owner of a bike you just trashed , what do you think is the main reason that makes the Stumpjumper feel more solid in quality and construction? What about ride quality? I like the Rocket Pro quite a bit, and I bought it for the same reasons and with the same reservations as you (though I upgraded the fork right away, and am seriously concidering upgrading the rear suspension). Just wondering if there's a real advantage to other (more expensive) bikes, or if I'd get the same bennifits from upgrading parts on an as needed basis.

    P.S. With any hard riding, you're going to end up breaking parts. I think it's just something we have to live with. And yes, your post was WAY to long Keep me updated on your thoughts after you've had your new bike for a while.

  3. #3
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    Sorry. I didn't think I really "trashed" the Rocket. If it sounded like that, I apologize.

    I really like the Rocket. My main complaint is the fork is kinda basic with limited adjustability. I wish it was a little firmer..... although that may be cuz I'm a big fella. There was also noticeable bob/bounce in both the fork and rear suspension when I'd really get down on the pedals and accelerate hard. Again..... probably due to my size and the fact I'm using platform pedals instead of clipless, so I can only push down, not pedal in circles. Of course the fork is a Manitou product, not a Schwinn product, so I should be complainin about Manitou not Schwinn LOL!!

    Obviously the Fox TALAS fork on the Stumpy is an awesome piece with greater adjustability...... as well as greater COST!

    And of course I'm not real happy with the super duper Truvativ GXP FireX cranks that took a dump on me. Again, not a Schwinn brand component.

    I guess we'll see how well the Shimano XT cranks hold up hehe.

    Another thing that is more of a "concern" than a complaint, is the rear suspension linkages. There seemed to be alot of side to side flex in the entire frame/rear triangle system. It never gave me any trouble and aside from creaking a little, never broke. Again, maybe it had something to do with my size.

    The rear suspension design on the Stumpy just felt more solid with no noticeble side to side flex. Of course I only rode it in the parking lot of the LBS so I cant yet comment on it completely and fairly.

    The frame on the Stumpy felt really well built too, and the whole bike was noticeable lighter than the 32lb Rocket.

    The Hayes hydraulic brakes are AWESOME and only squeaked occasionally. The SRAM shifters and rear derailleur are great too. The rims, tires, and seat are also nice pieces.

    The 06 Stumpy I rode had Shimano shifters, which felt wierd to me. The thumb/index finger shifting just felt odd. I prefer the SRAM dual thumb trigger shifters. And luckily for me.... the 07 Stumpy uses SRAM X9 shifters. WooHoo!! I'm already comfortable with them LOL!!

    The Hayes brakes on the Rocket feel better than the Juicy 7 brakes on the 06 Stumpy test bike I rode. I sure hope the Juicy 7's just weren't broken in yet or weren't adjusted right or something, cuz I wasn't impressed with them on the test bike.

    I think the main things that sold me were the Fox fork, the Fox rear shock with the lockout and pro-pedal feature was nice, and the frame. It was just so solid feeling, yet still lightweight.

    I would definitely recommend the Rocket to anyone who wanted to get a really good value on a bike with nice components. Schwinn got a bad name letting box-stores use their name on cheap bikes. The Rocket and Mesa for example, are not from the same family as the box-store "Schwinn" named bikes. I guess that's why Schwinn made sure to put a special designation on the Rocket - "Schwinn Select Series".



    Ooops! This post turned out way long too. LOL!! Guess I'm just long winded!?!?
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    New/Old Clyde From Houston TEXAS...
    2007 StumpJumper FSR Expert

  4. #4
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    Sorry. I didn't think I really "trashed" the Rocket. If it sounded like that, I apologize.
    I was exagerating a little bit......

    I really like the Rocket. My main complaint is the fork is kinda basic with limited adjustability. I wish it was a little firmer..... although that may be cuz I'm a big fella. There was also noticeable bob/bounce in both the fork and rear suspension when I'd really get down on the pedals and accelerate hard. Again..... probably due to my size and the fact I'm using platform pedals instead of clipless, so I can only push down, not pedal in circles. Of course the fork is a Manitou product, not a Schwinn product, so I should be complainin about Manitou not Schwinn LOL!!
    The first thing I did was replace the front fork with a Marzocchi All Mountain 1. Nice fork. I am really suprised to hear you had any peddal bob on the rear shock. I'm much bigger than you, but I haven't noticed any pedal feedback and I haven't heard anyone else mention it either (in fact, everyone else says the opposite). Was the suspension tuned to your weight? How much sag did you set in your fork and rear shock?

    Another thing that is more of a "concern" than a complaint, is the rear suspension linkages. There seemed to be alot of side to side flex in the entire frame/rear triangle system. It never gave me any trouble and aside from creaking a little, never broke. Again, maybe it had something to do with my size.
    Again, I'm suprised to hear this as I haven't noticed any flexing in the rear linkage. I had to tighten the main bolt quite a bit though (before I did this, I heard a creaking sound whenever I peddaled, and the rear tir felt like it dropped a bit whenever I picked the bike up -- it should feel completely firm), so I wonder if yours suffered the same problem. If not, your frame was likely defective (or maybe I just don't know what to look for to determine flex).

    The Hayes brakes on the Rocket feel better than the Juicy 7 brakes on the 06 Stumpy test bike I rode. I sure hope the Juicy 7's just weren't broken in yet or weren't adjusted right or something, cuz I wasn't impressed with them on the test bike.
    Has to be a break in or adjustment thing. The Juicy 7's should be in an entirely different leage. You certainly have some nice components on your new bike.

    Good luck. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts in a few months from now.
    Last edited by Good Grief; 08-09-2006 at 08:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    I imagine a fork upgrade would make a considerable difference over the Splice. I almost bought an upgrade fork, but wanted to wait til I got to the point where I couldn't stand the Splice anymore. It wasn't that bad.

    I guess you could say I did buy a fork upgrade, it just happens to have a bike connected to it! LOL!!

    As far at the pedal bob I'm talking about, maybe I'm not describing it right. And maybe I just dont know what I'm talking about either! That's a distinct possibility! LOL!!

    I think it was just more the fork than the rear shock, squashing up and down when I'd get off the saddle, over the bars, and really crank down, either accelerating hard, or climbing. Again, I'm only mashing down on the pedals due to platforms, not clipless. And I may be using poor form too? Who knows? Maybe it's a normal phenomenon and all FS bikes do it. I really dont know and haven't ridden any other "real" FS bikes.

    Maybe after I get the Stumpy I'll know more. Since I'm not trading in my Rocket on the Stumpy purchase, I'll have both bikes and can do a side by side comparison then.

    And I have no idea if/how the suspension was tuned by the LBS. They did ask my approximate weight when I ordered the Rocket, so maybe the just pumped up the fork and rear shock off that weight "guesstimate". Maybe I need to have them check the air pressure in them, since I dont yet have a shock pump. I guess that can make a huge difference huh!?!? LOL!

    The "flex" I feel in the rear suspension may also be a figment of my imagination. Maybe all FS do that too. Again, this is mt first real FS bike. The majority of my previous experience was on my Mesa hardtail.

    So basically......... I've come to the conclusion that I dont know what I'm talking about and I should just shut up until I get some more experience and get the Stumpy to compare it to. LOL!!

    I'm actually looking forward to the "side by side" comparison thing now. Should be fun!
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    New/Old Clyde From Houston TEXAS...
    2007 StumpJumper FSR Expert

  6. #6
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    You definitely need a shock pump. To start out, most people will set sag between 20% and 33%, and fine tune from there. I'm also guessing your suspension linkages need to be serviced/tightened. And yes, there will be bobbing from the front fork. Most forks have settings to minimize this though.

    If you don't sell your Rocket, you can always use it as a spare bike for those occasions when someone doesn't have a bike to use. I'm always running into that situation where someone doesn't have an apropriate bike for a ride. Or keep it as a spare for when your new bike needs service.

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