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  1. #1
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    SJ Comp vs SJ Elite. Worth Xtra Cost?

    There's about a 500 dollar difference between the Comp SJ and the Elite. With the Elite getting Avid Juicy 7's instead of 5's, different wheelset and a Shimano XT rear derailleur instead of the SRAM. The Elite has a better color scheme as well but I guess that's subjective. From anyone's experience will the combination of these upgrades make much difference in the bikes ride or reliability? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hope you get some answers... I posed the same question about Elite vs Expert with nada.
    www.teamnavycycling.org
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  3. #3
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    I got an expert, but only because the bike shop gave me a great deal on it so it was only $300 difference and I liked the color of the expert I got. I wanted the Elite because I prefer Shimano shifters, etc, but the LBS changed them out for me on the expert (XT and XTR derailleur) so I got what I wanted plus the brain. I absolutely love the expert and the brain has been awesome for me, but 3 weeks after I got it my friend with an '07 SJ expert had her Fox brain die and has had no luck getting it repaired after more than a month even though it is only one year old. Fox tried to repair it, then replace it with something else, but they have no replacement parts after ONE year...maybe that is why Specialized took over making their own shocks. The '08 has the Specialized shock, and Specialized is supposed to be really into fast service, but it still makes me nervous to have the brain...one more thing to go wrong on a very expensive bike. I did not get to test the Elite in the real world, so don't know really how the Triad functions, but with either bike there is a custom shock size that you can't replace with an after market shock. Specialized seems to repair/replace their shocks faster than Fox according to this forum, so if there were a problem you would likely be without your bike for a shorter period of time. If I had it to do over again, truly, I would look at the Yeti 575 or some other bike that has a Fox RP23 in a standard size rather than go with Specialized and be tied into their custom parts. Like I said, I absolutely LOVE my bike and feel like a much better rider because of the quality of shocks, etc., but it is still very new.

    To get back to your original question, no, I don't think the Expert is worth $500 more than the Elite. If you compare them, the wheelsets are NOT different...the only thing that is different is the brain. You can change out the front derailleur to XTR (I got it for $40 more and it is WAY better than the LX) and shifters to XT rapidfire like I did and have a great XT/XTR drivetrain. Then spend your extra money on a carbon handlebar and a better wheelset at some point if you want to.

  4. #4
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    I prefer the snappy consistency of a Sram rear derailer. That alone would make my choice for me, unless I hated the paint.

  5. #5
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    IMO I would get the comp. The main parts are the same for each bike. Like the fork, frame, and the rear shock. Upgrade the shifters on the comp to x-9's when you get it and save your money for a great set of wheels for it. Then you will have a bike that is better than the elite.

  6. #6
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    i would get the comp over the elite, the extra money isnt worth it to me but the problem here is the comp colour is hideous, i mean its disgusting, gloss black red and white, i dont think ive seen a worse colour in my life, i couldnt touch it because of that, however, ive seen the comps else where in a cool annodized blue black and grey, very nice, go for it

  7. #7
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    i have a comp, was best bike a wanted within my budget really, if i had enough for an elite or expert i probably would have gone for another brand,

    as mentioned before the elite and comp have same main parts, so save the money for upgrades for when parts wear or break,

  8. #8
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    Sage - don't know what your budget is, but I just rode an Expert today and bought it. if you can swing the extra, go for the Brain. Otherwise, I would have gone for the Elite over the comp.
    www.teamnavycycling.org
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  9. #9
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    skiahh - What abouth the ride of the Expert really set it apart from the Elite or Comp?

    S1

  10. #10
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    We tested the expert as that was all that was in the shop. Couldn't stretch the budget enough for the expert (we needed 2) so settled for the Comp. Can't rave enough about the comp. It's fantastic. This is our first FS bikes but both of us can't say that we feel a real difference in the suspension. After riding the comp now for 6 weeks I'm more than happy with it and not bothered that we didn't spend more for the expert.

    SJ COMP (me)
    SJ SAFFIRE (wife)

  11. #11
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    sage - didn't get to ride the Elite, so I can't speak with authority on a comparison of the Triad vs the Brain, but the Brain did exaclty what they say it does. I messed with the settings just a little and was able to feel the difference.

    The entrance to the park here is up a steep dirt road. Halfway up, I was discouraged at how crappy it climbed... until I realized I was still in the BIG ring from riding around on the street to get the feel of the bike. Dropped to the middle ring and up I went. Not sure I would have made haflway on my Epic.

    The rest of the trail was great. More comfortable, climbs as good as my Epic - and as a crappy climber, that's important! - very smooth over everything and quick/responsive.

    After reading what I could find online, I wanted to go with the Brain, so that's the one I demo'd. I expect to have this bike a long time, so figured I'd splurge for the system since you can't retrofit it onto the Elite/Comp since there's no mounting gormmet. You could weld one on, but there goes your warranty.

    With only one ride, I can't give much in the way of concrete data, all I can tell you is it felt right and like it was doing just what they said it will. If you can swing the Brain, go for it. If not, I think the Elite, with it's component group is a pretty good value.

    I will say that you should make sure you ride one to ensure the frame is to your liking before plunking down that kind of change, though. And preferably out on a trail you're familiar with.
    www.teamnavycycling.org
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  12. #12
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    I went with the Comp, then did all the upgrades myself (I can wrench as good as any shop). Probably spent more than if I purchased the Expert, but no fun in doing the work. Only thing left stock on the bike is the F120 RL forks and the Triad shock. The Triad will be gone as soon as I can convince Giant to sell me an OEM RP23 off their 08 Trance XO. Same dimensions as the Triad and Brain.

    Here are my upgrades;
    Mavic Crosstrails w/Nevegals DTC
    SRAM X.0 RD midcage, Token 6061 rear derailleur pulleys w/ceramic bearings
    XT 770 FD (E-type. pull the bracket and it is DMD)
    X0 Carbon Trigger shifters w/Jagwire Pro cables
    Shimano M770 Hollowtech II cranks, Candy SL pedals
    Enduro BB with Creamic Bearings,
    SRAM 990 cassette, 991 Hollow pin chain
    Avid Juicy 7's, Straitline levers ordered
    Easton EC70 Monkeylite Low rise bar, Oury Lock-ons
    Easton EA70 seatpost, Phenom SL seat, 143 mm
    Enduro Seals and fresh rebuild on Fox forks

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