Older FSR vs newer FSR
I recently finished building an older 2003 Rockhopper FSR XC (A1 frame). Its a very nice bike and rides well for me. However, I'm kind of interested in the newer Stumpjumpers. I'm just curious what the major benefits would be? Assuming I keep the components similar, would the only difference be the M4/M5 frame? It looks cooler, but other than the weight, are there other benefits?
I'm still kind of a newbie biker so I dont even know if I would notice the differences... If I started shopping for one, I'm not sure what to look for.
Any advice would be appreciated!
edit - the reason I was interested in the stumpjumper was because of the frame and lesser weight.
I've got (currently ride/race) a 02 Stumpjumper FSR XC which is the basically the same except mine is M4. I've also got a 99 Stumpjumper FSR XC (A1) frame in a size smaller than the 02 frame and had them side by side when I was building the 02 frame. The the 02 is noticeably lighter.
I think the main difference between the old bikes and a newer model would be the amount of travel the suspension has.
My rear end has 75/90mm of travel and newer bike would have up to 130mm of rear travel. A Betd linkage would allow 100/120mm of travel in the rear.
I think the stock fork has 100mm of travel and a newer bike would have much more. I'm using a fork with 130/140mm (can't remember) and it hasn't negatively affected the way the bike rides. I actually like it this way.
Better geometry and most likely better pedalling. Both are more important than weight.
The rear shock will probably be much improved as well as quality of travel.
The last 10 years have been very good to mountain bikes. In 2003, it was hard to find a good bike. Now, in 2012, it's hard to find a bad one.