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  1. #1
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    Reviews of the 2011 Stumpy FSR Elite

    Anyone have any reviews, ride opinions, or observations from experience on the 2011 FSR Elite?

    I am really curious about the Brain, weight and ride characteristics. I like to ride up and down trails - some log work, some 3ft drops, but for the most part it's all pedal-loving singletrack. Any complaints about the downtube cable routing?

    For some background I am coming from a 2006 Trance - so anything will be a big upgrade. I will be adding a dropper post (probably the KS-i950 R) and am thinking about getting SRAM kit instead of the Shimano shifters - I prefer the 1 - 1 actuation.

    Thanks in advance!
    E/.

  2. #2
    Riding in North VA
    Reputation: APO.Guy's Avatar
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    I got my Lime/Black 2011 SJ FSR Elite on November 2010 and it being my first FSR I was really intimidated with how tall SJ FSR bikes are. After 1-2 rides I don't think about it any more and I can't imagine how I ever rode a lower HT. I also had to get use to the Fox 32 Series Float (140mm) fork which is fairly long and tall. This is not very noticeable until you start a steep climb, then you learn to shift your weight forward considerably. Needless to say down hill it's awesome. The bike does a lot of the work for you in both up hill and downhill. Also you are seating fairly upright vs. the stretched out look of most HT or Epics, which makes it comfortable. I think it's at 28lb. but you don't feel it. IMO, the Brain rocks, I make it a point to move the rear shock O ring all the way back before a good hill and I can always see how little shock travel there is on hills and what little travel there is I'm sure it's helping me with traction.

    The only complaints I can think of are:

    * Grips look good, but the ridges are breaking off by just using Mtb gloves.
    * The Fox fork paint seems pretty delicate, since simple falls will peal or chip the paint rather easily.

    Over all I think it's a great bike, another model such an Epic may have been fun too but not as comfortable.
    Last edited by APO.Guy; 01-14-2011 at 06:02 PM.
    MTBing in Colombia with my 2011 FSR Stumpjumper Elite

  3. #3
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    It rides great, pedals uphill better than my 09 RH HT. It corners well and handles all that my local trails have to offer. I ride mostly rutted trails with some buried rocks and the Stumpy eats up everything easily/comfortably. Nothing bigger than a 2 ft drop for me. I probably could have got away with an Epic, travel wise, but the riding position wasn't for me. Just like everyone says, you need to demo first if you can. My only complaint is waiting so long before making up my mind to get it....and not going tubeless yet.

  4. #4
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    Hey,

    I have a '10 expert...same frame, rear suspension (brain), same Geo.

    It's the best bike I have ever owned. It's very capable as far as 3ft drops are concerned.

    I do have the Talas Fox which helps on steeper climbs, it's adjustable from 100-120-140.

    It climbs like a scalded monkey and descends like a Demon.

    As far as the cable routing is concerned, I like it. Full cable housing, shifts like butter, and has actually deflected some smaller rocks w/out damage to the housing.

    The Brain is pretty complex though. You're supposed to have a sleeve service (replace seals) every 50 hours and a complete shock service every 150 hours.

    I've been riding my bike at least a couple of times every week since April, and my shock is still going strong.

    Will get the 50 hour service done next week (long overdue, but every 50 hours seems unreasonable and unnecessary IMO) which my LBS can do in a day and it's $30.

    For the 150 hour shck service you do have to send it to Spec which according to my LBS takes about 2 weeks. That's the only downside I see to the bike. I'll prob. have that done in 6 months or so.

    FWIW, being lax on the recommended service intervals as I have been does invalidate the Brain warranty, but I'm not worried about it. Fox has always been super reliable for me.

    Knock on wood
    2014 Tallboy 2

  5. #5
    Riding in North VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlx john
    Hey,

    I have a '10 expert...same frame, rear suspension (brain), same Geo.

    It's the best bike I have ever owned. It's very capable as far as 3ft drops are concerned.

    I do have the Talas Fox which helps on steeper climbs, it's adjustable from 100-120-140.

    It climbs like a scalded monkey and descends like a Demon.

    As far as the cable routing is concerned, I like it. Full cable housing, shifts like butter, and has actually deflected some smaller rocks w/out damage to the housing.

    The Brain is pretty complex though. You're supposed to have a sleeve service (replace seals) every 50 hours and a complete shock service every 150 hours.

    I've been riding my bike at least a couple of times every week since April, and my shock is still going strong.

    Will get the 50 hour service done next week (long overdue, but every 50 hours seems unreasonable and unnecessary IMO) which my LBS can do in a day and it's $30.

    For the 150 hour shck service you do have to send it to Spec which according to my LBS takes about 2 weeks. That's the only downside I see to the bike. I'll prob. have that done in 6 months or so.

    FWIW, being lax on the recommended service intervals as I have been does invalidate the Brain warranty, but I'm not worried about it. Fox has always been super reliable for me.

    Knock on wood
    I almost bought the 2010 SJ and by the time I made up my mind they were all sold, so I waited a couple of months and bought the 2011 SJ Elite.

    That 2010 did have the bad ass Talas. Just today I was wishing I was able to adjust my Float fork since shifting the weight forward gets hard at times. But the 2011 has the 2x10 gear system which to me rocks. Also the carbon fiber plate over the second front plate (looks like a third plate) is very practical since it not only gives you protection on the teeth of the gear but protection for your leg which in my case cost me a lot of injuries on my old Rockhopper.

    I may just sell my 2011 here were I'm stationed since bikes here are more expensive and I may get away with losing $200-$300 after pretty hard riding. Then I'll get me another FSR SJ but 2012, even if they don't change much I's like a damage free bike. Point is SJ is the way to go for my weekend warrior style.
    MTBing in Colombia with my 2011 FSR Stumpjumper Elite

  6. #6
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    Yeah, that 2x10 drivetrain is pretty sweet on the '11s.
    2014 Tallboy 2

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware that you need to service the entire shock once every 150hrs. Factor in the remoteness of my location (north of 60 in Canada) and I might be in for some long wait times. Do you have to go through your LBS or can you do it yourself? Can you turn the brain off entirely? Does it ride well if so?

    Can you ride the entire range of gears in the back on the biggest of the front chainring? Does the chain line allow for that?

    I am interested in getting an 2010 Talas and putting it on this bike but funds will dictate what I ultimately do. How's the BB clearance with the Float?

    I am super pumped that you are having such a good time on the 2011.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

  8. #8
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    As far as servicing the shock goes, you pretty much have to go through your LBS, which sends it to Specialized (for the complete overhaul). If you have experience in replacing the seals on Fox shocks, you can probably do the 50 hour seal replacement yourself, but I think that invalidates the warranty.

    The Brain on my '10 has 14 clicks between full brain and no brain. With no brain, it's been my experience that it rides like a fully active 140mm bike. I only go w/no brain on long technical descents. With full brain it rides like a hardtail, but if you hit something big enough, you get that full 140mm of travel. I usually ride it 4 clicks out from full brain on long climbs. For all around riding, I spend most of the time at 6 clicks from no brain. The bike suspension is pretty seamless and plush when I need it at this setting and doesn't bob when pedaling.

    With Fox making the shock starting in 2010, the inertia valve stays open a little longer once it's been activated and the suspension will remain active when hitting multiple bumps. In the past the brain would shut the inertia valve off at a much faster rate making for a bumpier ride.
    2014 Tallboy 2

  9. #9
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    Cool. I had watched some videos online about the new Brain Fade tech. Very interesting. I will have to see if it is possible to get a demo ride up here. Might require me committing to buying the Elite and then hoping for the best.

    We'll see. Thanks again for all the indepth Brain-analysis!

  10. #10
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    I'm looking for a new ride this spring. Debating between staying with specialized or moving to trek or yeti. I've been riding 07-09 epics and stumpjumpers with the specialized brain and had a few problems with them. Wondering what people think of the new version? When it worked it was awesome, so if they are more reliable I might consider another specialized full suspension setup.

  11. #11
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    I have a 2010 Stumpy Expert. Same bike as the Elite. Great bike. I was questioning the brain before I bought the bike. Darn thing really works great. I've had mine since May with no problems. It really is a great bike. My first specialized as I was a Giants man before. If Specialized makes bikes as nice as the one I have now, I'll be with Specialized for a bit.

    Good luck on whatever you guys purchase.

  12. #12
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    Just noticed that the Elite does not have a tapered head tube. Strange that a bike at this price point does not have a tapered head tube. Weird.

    Also the lack of a QR15 on the front is another strange omission.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewise
    Also the lack of a QR15 on the front is another strange omission.
    Specialized uses oversized endcaps instead.

    Which are actually stiffer and lighter than 15mm TAs.

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