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  1. #1
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    Do all 07 SJ FSR's lack straight-line stability?

    Why does my steering feel so vague on my 07 SJ FSR Comp? Compared to my old 04 SJ FSR with 100mm of travel, the 07 SJ with 120mm of travel feels like it can not track straight without my hands on the handlebars. In other words, I could feel the straight-line stability when riding my 04 SJ whereas I can not feel it in my 07 SJ-it feels like the bike will sharply steer to the left if I let go of the handlebars.

    So far, I replaced the OEM AHEAD SP-3 3X head set with a Cane Creek S3, which made a small difference in the straight-line feel. So my next move will be to swap out my old 04 Mavic Crosslands wheel set with the OEM wheels and see if that makes any difference (e.g. the old wheels may be out of dish or have a bent axel, or the bearings may be worn to the point that the wheels donít track properly). Otherwise, it could be A) the frame is out of alignment or B) the head tube angle is so steep that the bike has no steering feel.

    Do owners of the 07 SJ Elite and up, with the Talas fork feel this lack of straight line stability at all the travel settings (100, 120, 130 and 140mm) as well?

    Lastly, I also swapped out my OEM 120 mm neck and low rise handlebars with a Thomson 100mm 15 degree neck with high rise handlebars-could this front end combination mess-up the balance of my bike by shifting more of my weight to the back wheel?

  2. #2
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    I know what you are talking about man, my 06 is the same.

  3. #3
    Single-Track Monster
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    my S-works stumpy tracks a straight line like a razor, but then again, I usually leave it at 140mm, which puts the weight a little more towards the BB. Plus it's for a Chris King Headset and Mavic SLR wheels and running tubeless. So lots of other contributing factors there.

  4. #4
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    It might be as something as simple as the tires you are running.

    Can a headset really make a noticeable difference, assuming that it's not loose?

  5. #5
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    The first in a long line of duplicated posts!
    Last edited by tonys102; 03-06-2008 at 05:39 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Grrrr ... didn't think this had gone through!
    Last edited by tonys102; 03-06-2008 at 05:37 AM.
    Building: ​Boardman 2010 HT Pro
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  7. #7
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    .. sigh .. why can't we delete these...
    Last edited by tonys102; 03-06-2008 at 05:37 AM.
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  8. #8
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    yet another one that shouldn't be here..
    Last edited by tonys102; 03-06-2008 at 05:38 AM.
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  9. #9
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    One more!
    Last edited by tonys102; 03-06-2008 at 05:38 AM.
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  10. #10
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    I went with a Pike on the front of my '06 SJ. I felt that it deflected quite badly when running through roots and rocks, and the 20mm axle tightened things up a little. I don't have anything concrete, it just *feels* better!
    Building: ​Boardman 2010 HT Pro
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  11. #11
    Help I've Fallen
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    I have an 07 SJ FSR Elite and my friends tell me I ride like I'm drunk. I've tried 4 differnet tires and running the TALAS in all height positions to no avail. You would think Specialized would have a solution to this problem.

  12. #12
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    My 04 SJ had a 05 Fox Vanilla RLC fork set at 100 mm and a FSA Pig Pro HS for the last 4 months of riding. My new 07 SJ FSR Comp has a 07 Fox Float RL (with 120 mm of travel) with a Cane Creek S3 headset. Both of the bikes shared the same 04 Crossland wheel set, Thomson 100mm x 15 degree stems and AHEAD SP-3 3X head sets before they where swapped out for better units, so other then the different forks, both bikes should have the same steering feel. The one element that varies between the two frames is the HT angle, where the 04 SJ's HT looks almost vertical, the 07 SJ's HT looks like it is inclined-tilting 10 degrees more than the 04 SJ's HT.

    If a steeper HT angle improves the steering response as well as the straight line stability, then decreasing my forks travel down to 100mm should improve the problem. Too bad I did not get a Elite with a Fox Talas fork to test out this theory.

  13. #13
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    My '07 SJ Expert tracks great. Fox Float R on the rear and Talas RL 100-140 on the front. Weirwolf 2.5 tires on the stock wheels front and back.
    2010 SC Blur XCc

  14. #14
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    Could it be that the ends of the head tube are out of parallel? Does anybody know what effect this would play on steering? Whatís weird is that the front wheel seems like it wants to turn left if I hold the bike up of walk it along.

    It feels like the bearings in the head set are starting to wear or that the front wheels hub is loose-like the quick release or the sealed bearings are starting to loosen up.

  15. #15
    backwoods and backwards
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    The steeper HT angle of the '04 should make that less stable than the '07. I own an '04 and it's quick steering ( almost twitchy ) suits techy New England trails pretty well. Checking the dropouts for alignment would be my first check. If the rear is out of wack, the pivot bearings will blow up pretty fast. Facing the HT might help, but I don't remember ever hearing that anyone needed it done on a Specialized. I rode a friend's '07 comp for a couple miles and didn't get any strange impressions from it.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  16. #16
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    I have an 07 Elite with the Talas RL and it tracks like it's on a rail with the stock set-up, have you had a bad crash with your stumpy? I had a steel hardtail in the 90's that I had a severe crash with that knocked the rear drop outs out of alignment (it also destroyed my wheelset). The bike just diddnt feel right and always pulled to the left after that, I couldn't figure it out. It wasnt till several months later that my local shop checked the alignment after I told them what was happening, an hour of adjusting later and I had my old handling characteristics back.

    Get you LBS to check it out, it could fix your problem and save you a ton in bearing replacements as the rear linkage bearings will wear quickly if it's out of whack.

    One last though; check your axels, pull out the QR and look through them to see if they are bent. I had a set of road wheels that felt wonky and the front wheel turned out to have a slight bend to it.
    Good luck

  17. #17
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    No hands test?

    Does this make sense?

    Ride the bike on a flat paved road with no hands. Should it be easier or harder than a road bike? Road bikes have steep head angles and it is easy for me to do on my road bike but maybe that is b/c I have ridden that bike for a long time and have adpated real well. And maybe the same would be true with any bike but a sudden change in no hands riding could indicate a mechanical problem. just thinking out load

    Does a more downhill friendly geometry mean an easier hands free riding bike or the maybe the opposite? It seems like a slacker head angle wants to flop to the side more once it gets out of the straight ahead direction which could mean bad no hands handling.

  18. #18
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    I bought the bike in November and have ridden it maybe 10 times so far between the rains. I have never crashed the bike so if it is alignment, then it either got damaged in shipment or the bike shop may have dropped it. Other then that, it could be a factory QC problem.

    Geometry wise, the steering on my 07 SJ should have a better on center feel then my 04 SJ because the HT angle is steeper, which creates more positive caster.

  19. #19
    dog lover-not in that way
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    some people will do anything for a high post count....

  20. #20
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    road bike better at no hands

    that is how I interpret bwalton line above.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwalton
    Why does my steering feel so vague on my 07 SJ FSR Comp? Compared to my old 04 SJ FSR with 100mm of travel, the 07 SJ with 120mm of travel feels like it can not track straight without my hands on the handlebars. In other words, I could feel the straight-line stability when riding my 04 SJ whereas I can not feel it in my 07 SJ-it feels like the bike will sharply steer to the left if I let go of the handlebars.

    So far, I replaced the OEM AHEAD SP-3 3X head set with a Cane Creek S3, which made a small difference in the straight-line feel. So my next move will be to swap out my old 04 Mavic Crosslands wheel set with the OEM wheels and see if that makes any difference (e.g. the old wheels may be out of dish or have a bent axel, or the bearings may be worn to the point that the wheels donít track properly). Otherwise, it could be A) the frame is out of alignment or B) the head tube angle is so steep that the bike has no steering feel.

    Do owners of the 07 SJ Elite and up, with the Talas fork feel this lack of straight line stability at all the travel settings (100, 120, 130 and 140mm) as well?

    Lastly, I also swapped out my OEM 120 mm neck and low rise handlebars with a Thomson 100mm 15 degree neck with high rise handlebars-could this front end combination mess-up the balance of my bike by shifting more of my weight to the back wheel?


    bwalton,

    Have you considdered having the frame checked for alignment errors? Get that checked before spending any more $$ on parts you don't neccessarily need!

  22. #22
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    If yer trying to ride straight-yer riding wrong

    Took my beloved Stumpy Elite 07 out today, and can't recall any straight line section that I needed my bike to track true.

    Call me old fashioned, but MTBing is all about NOT going straight, isn't it?
    Last edited by mikertroid; 03-08-2008 at 01:52 AM.

  23. #23
    backwoods and backwards
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photograph
    I had a set of road wheels that felt wonky and the front wheel turned out to have a slight bend to it.
    Good luck
    I love that you used the word " wonky."
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  24. #24
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    you know my 02 stumpy comp, with mavic 517s and chriss king hubs never wanted to track strait. you had to ride it atleas 18 miles an hour to comfortably let go of the bars and fold youre arms befhind youre back.my 06 sworks stumpy had mavic crossmax wheels wich were considerably heavier, an you could ride it no hands at 15 miles an hour. I had nothing to do with frame Geometry, and alotmore to do with physics. Specificaly swomthing called Gyroscoipc Precession. Im willing to bet the stumpy has WAY lighter wheels than his preivious bike, and that could cause it to feel twitchy.

    Remember tho the faster you go the straighter it tracks

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purs
    My '07 SJ Expert tracks great. Fox Float R on the rear and Talas RL 100-140 on the front. Weirwolf 2.5 tires on the stock wheels front and back.
    Ditto, My 07 SJ FSR Experts tracks well no matter which tires(Maxxis Crossmarks, Spec Captains, Spec Resolutions) i have on it. Are your handlebars out of alignment? May explain the drunk riding problem(unless of course, you've had a few pints).

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