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  1. #1
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    Why buy Specialized??

    ooo
    Last edited by woogie11; 02-25-2008 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    I bought a Spesh cause it's what my local dealer mainly carries and he's a good friend, so there wasn't anyway I was gonna buy a different bike from a different dealer. Plus I really like my new Pitch.

    But I hear what you're saying about the AFR stuff, I wouldn't buy any of it, either.
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  3. #3
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    The first mountain I ever bought was a Specialized when I was 14 years old in 1994. I bought a brand new Rockhopper with $420 I had saved up from mowing lawns during the summer. I've owned 3 more Specialized bikes since then...the latest being a 2007 S-Works Stumpy Carbon. I've never had a problem with any of them. I'll keep buying them until I have a serious problem.

    ..okay...so Specialized screwed up with this new fork. Give it a year and see if it gets better. I never buy anything the first year it's out anyway. You gotta let the bugs get worked out!

  4. #4
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    Because I've ridden an 03 Epic since new and its never, ever let me down. So I've gone for an 08 sworks carbon Epic and heres hoping I get the same result....

  5. #5
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    I like their frames more than anyone else's. Well, the new Pivot's are pretty nice. I've been on a Specialized for the past 10 years, through bmx and all.
    Livin' the dream.

  6. #6
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    thankfully the AFR on my epic has never given a problem, my local bike shop only deals in specialized so i dont have much choice really, im in the market for a freeride bike now, ive got my eye on an SX 2, i was up in the next town the other day though in a sports shop and saw a kona coiler deluxe hanging up on the wall, nice bike, very tempting

  7. #7
    "Its All Good"
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    I hav eno doubt they are good bikes, I think they are way over priced for the spec etc. I mean up to 7K USD for a a S Works, you can build a handmade pure bling machine for that money, that is what always goes through my head....

    I dont say this to Shiat stir at all, it is my opinion... Or do you think they are good value...
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  8. #8
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    I bought my 06 S-works stumpjumper fsr because the FSR rear suspension works great, the bike fits well, and I have a great shop that sells them 1.5 miles from my house.

  9. #9
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    I have said this before, I won't buy another Specialized. I don't like the direction the company is taking their products. Specialized bikes come with an excellent lifetime warranty on an above average frame with unreliable proprietary parts. I like my LBS but I don't want to be in there every three months to have parts fixed, replaced, or sent off for service. I would also prefer to have upgrade paths available for new fork/shock technology.

    I love my 06 Stumpy and have no complaints about it. It fits me well and works perfectly for my current riding style. But when this bike is toast, I will be looking at Turner, Niner, or Ventana for a custom build.

  10. #10
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    You buy a Specialized if you like the bike, like the lifetime warranty (if they even still offer that), and like the fact they will be around 5 years from now.

    Specialized makes good bikes, but they are getting expensive. $7500 for a bike is crazy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by anand
    You buy a Specialized if you like the bike, like the lifetime warranty (if they even still offer that), and like the fact they will be around 5 years from now.

    Specialized makes good bikes, but they are getting expensive. $7500 for a bike is crazy.
    Well put! Especially the part about the prices. Hopefully the profit margins are big enough to ensure the shops make out very well.

  12. #12
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    I've owned over 10 MTB bikes in the last 15 years, including 3 S-Works FSR's. My current is an '06 Stumpy FSR. Great bike, but it'll probably be my last Specialized for several reasons:

    1. The price of the S-Works FSR has increased $3500 in 5 years, which is now $7400. My '02 was $3900 retail. I can now buy two very good bikes for the price of a new S-Works Stumpy, and I probably will.

    2. As mentioned previously, I too am not a fan of their proprietary suspension choice. While it seems to work great, where do you go for parts if this line gets discontinued, like the FutureShock (re-branded RockShox) line did in the early-mid 90's? What about if you don't like your rear shock and want to swap it out?

    3. Hey Specialized, 1994 called, they want their blue anodized parts back. While certain models aren't too bad, what's with all the multicolored anodized headsets, linkages, etc. on nearly every bike in the '08 line? Oh, and paint scheme of the entire FSR line, hideous! My bro-in-law bought one last year, and said if he had waited a year, he wouldn't have bought one b/c they look terrible.

    4. Mixed parts spec. I don't mean to start a flame war here, but SRAM and Shimano on a $7400 bike? C'mon, pick a drivetrain, or offer both like the high-end road bikes. Personally, I liked the S-Works FSR's because they had (to me) the best of breed parts spec (XTR, Mavic, Thomson, Fox). They seem to have moved away from nearly all these brands in favor of their own label parts, or a mix of different vendors. I bet Magura gave them a nice deal on disc brakes this year in order to gain the contract, and they still increased the price on the bike.

    So in summary, sorry Specialized. I've loved the bikes, but the part spec has been getting weirder, the prices higher, and the design choices poorer. I'm thinking in a year or so I'll be riding a different brand.

  13. #13
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    Good question, to me it made sense when I wanted to upgrade and
    the closest LBS carried them,,,
    After 2 years, I'll never buy a Specialized again, and I'll never darken the doorstep to the LBS again either...
    Proprietary suspension is part of it, the customer service that a lot of people are raving about I've seen nothing of, and when I need a new bike I'll get a Turner, Titus or Chumba frame and build it up on my own.

  14. #14
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    2006 Specialized had an awesome line and a decent, if not good value overall. 2007, that seemed to change with both proprietary parts and a change in the relationship with many dealers, etc... While I still believe that they build a nice bike, I am not too hip on the parts selection or build of their own suspension pieces. I think that there are a lot better buys out there for the money these days. While I still love my '05 Roubaix on the road, and have kept my '03 Enduro Pro in the quiver, I sort of doubt that I'll buy another Specialized again...
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  15. #15
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    Being subjective here, many may think I am not, but I assure you I am... How do you put, paying 7400 USD for a common as bike etc, when for less money your could build a Ventana, Knolly or Nicolai, where by the quality I feel is far better... It just staggers me that such a mass produced bike can cost so much........ And before the flamers attack me, this isnt about snob value etc...

    In the world of bikes, a 7400USD dollar frame is a super car comparison price... Would you pay Italian or German supercar prices for a Japanese super car, if indeed one exists.
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    In the world of bikes, a 7400USD dollar frame is a super car comparison price... Would you pay Italian or German supercar prices for a Japanese super car, if indeed one exists.
    depends on the type of person you are. if you dont give a $hit, like some people I know, then, no, it wouldn't affect them at all if it were the same, if not better, quality. For me, I wouldn't.

    I initially bought my specialized quite frankly because it had better parts and cost $600 less than a blt. What am I doing right now? Selling the spesh frame to buy an intense 5.5 frame. Why? I feel the vpp climbs alot more efficiently for me, and the size fits me a lot better. I love specialized for what they do, and their bikes below $2500 are worth it, but past that, I rather have something else other than specialized. Why? Personal pref; I'm also not dropping $100 on a pair of shoes that say skecthers. Materialistic, sure, but I am human... Then again, if the sworks rides way better than any titus or intense I've ridden, then I wouldn't care. Spesh marketing was also smart in instilling the sworks idea. It's not a specialized, it's an sworks. unlike the $6,000 trek, just... well, trek.

  17. #17
    Huh?
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    This is why I plan to build up a new Bionicon Super Shuttle... my 03 Enduro is great, but I'm getting tired of the company and their high prices myself

  18. #18
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    These are both awesome cars............... Would you pay the same money for these cars? When you get honest, I very much doubt it...

    Some will for sure, but the masses, no way.... No one would buy the Nissan if it was the same price as the 911, no way they would.....
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    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  19. #19
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    well, thats not fair. ive always been a porsche fan...

    see your point, but I think your still too quick to judge. One of the most important things I've learned in school for business/sales is that the people with the most money don't always need to flaunt it. Warren Buffet still lives in the same house since he was a kid in Omaha, NE. Now, sure, it's easy to assume that the guy with the porsche has more money, but does he really have money to put gas in it next week? My point is some people don't care if it has the porsche emblem or not, as long as it performs like a porsche, its fine. Then again, I can get a way sweeter build custom to what I want on an US made frame cheaper than an sworks stumpy, which I find ludicrous!

  20. #20
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    I must admit it's too bad to read this stuff, it really seems as though this company has really put themselves into a corner. I think another downside, which really effects me is re-sale value. Due to the reliabilty and QC issues resale has suffered on an enormous scale. I think Specialized's whole mentality of "let's get it to the market first" needs to take a back seat to to QC, R&D, and testing. I appreciate what you are all saying and will continue to follow this thread with much interest.

  21. #21
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    This is why I would never buy an sworks...

    Model:
    Frame Intense 5.5 EVP Works 21.00 24.00 Disc 6.50lbs
    Fork Fox 32 Talas RLC Titanium 9mm 100-140mm 1832.00g
    Front Brake Avid Ultimate | Black | 185.00 380.00g
    Rear Brake Avid Ultimate | Black | 160.00 335.00g
    Shifter SRAM X.O. Trigger 225.00g
    Crank Shimano XTR Aluminum 175.00 22-32-44 786.00g
    Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech II | CrMo
    Front Derailleur Shimano XTR M970 Top Swing
    Cassette Shimano XTR M970 | Steel/Titanium | 12-34 224.00g
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.O | L 203.00g
    Chain SRAM PC-991
    Pedal Shimano M970 | Silver/Gray 325.00g
    Headset Chris King NoThread Set | Green 126.00g
    Stem Thomson X4 | Black | 100.00 | 10.00 166.00g
    Handlebar Easton EC90 XC SL Carbon Carbon Flat 99.00g
    Grip Oury Soft Grip | Black 125.00g
    Seatpost Thomson Elite Black 410mm 235.00g
    Saddle WTB Pure V Race | Black 355.00g
    Front Tire Kenda Nevegal UST | Black | Kevlar | 2.10 770.00g
    Rear Tire Kenda Nevegal UST | Black | Kevlar | 2.10 770.00g
    Front Hub Chris King Disc ISO Navy 32 148.00g
    Rear Hub Chris King Disc ISO Navy 32 277.00g
    Front Skewer Salsa Stainless flip-off | Black | Stainless steel 49.00g
    Rear Skewer Salsa Stainless flip-off | Black | Stainless steel 55.00g
    Front Rim Mavic XM 819 Disc | Black | 32 | UST 450.00g
    Rear Rim Mavic XM 819 Disc | Black | 32 | UST 450.00g
    Rim Tape Velox Cloth Rim Tape 7.50g
    Front RimTape Velox Cloth Rim Tape 15.00g
    Rear RimTape Velox Cloth Rim Tape 15.00g
    Front Spoke DT Swiss Competition 14/15g | Silver | 184.96g
    Rear Spoke DT Swiss Competition 14/15g | Silver | 184.96g
    Nipple DT Swiss Alloy | Silver 32.00g
    Bike Weight: 26.45lbs Bike Sub-Total: $5,773.08

    Sub-Total: $5,773.08

    http://www.wrenchscience.com/WSLogic...buildid=279384

    This is a no-expense cash-is-not-an-object type build, and it still came out $1,000 less than the sworks complete with king wheels, thomson, fox, ect... At least in my eyes a dream build. Sure you can get more expensive, but, come on... and at less than 27 pounds.... wow.

  22. #22
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    Stumpy Steve, hear ya buddy, this is nto about flaunting and money. The Porsche is not more expensive just because of the name alone.....

    I mean real bang for buck performance, you go buy an STI.............

    I really think this is a pertinent topic...I just went over what it cost me to build my Nicolai Helius FR.... Cheaper than 7400 USD believe me....I visited the factory, saw the building, saw the work that goes into each frame, not at all sayign the same doesnt happen at Specialized. But the quality cannot be the same, mass production is not at all often better than in house hand production.... Then all the other components..... 7400 USD is just a focken rip off to be honest, especially when they move to Asia which I dont have a problem with, btu they say it is prodcution costs etc, this makes the price worse....Am rambling....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  23. #23
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    Wondering that myself

    Quote Originally Posted by woogie11
    Hey guys, this is not meant to be an inflamatory thread. I work at an S-Works dealer, which means 60% of our inventory is Specialized, so I feel especially confident posing this question. Knowing all of the short comings with the AFR "technology," would you still buy an AFR equipped bike? I had a customer today who was going to buy an 08 S-Works SJ FSR, for sure, until on a 5 minute test ride in the parking lot the SJ120 fork blew a seal on the left fork leg, (even though that shouldn't really be possible). Despite this, and my honesty regarding AFR reliability, he is coming back in on Thursday to check out/buy a brand new one. What is it about these bikes, with these known issues, that make people buy them? Especially at an S-Works level where you could afford to buy virtually any bike on the market? I'd be very interested to hear some opinions and reasoning from the other side of the fence. Thank you very much.
    I'm starting to nose around for a gearie 29er. I love my '03 stumpjumper that I bought used, so I thought that a 29er stumpy might be a good way to go.

    Then I started doing the math on it.

    Yeah, its a beautiful bike, feels great, I would love to own one.

    But....

    Expensive. For the same dough, I can get a real live USA in-house made Ventana El Ray wtih a Reba, all XT, WTB Laserdisc Lite wheels, for about the same price, instead of a medium speced Taiwanese made Stumpjumper. Or, I could get a Titus (Taiwan or US made? Can't find out for sure) Racer X 29er or Lenz Sport (US made in house).

    Specialized has a lifetime warranty on the front triangle only. Who breaks a front triangle? I've only seen rear triangles break on FS bikes. The rear triangle is considered 'suspension linkage' so it only gets a one year warranty. Sounds like a cop-out to me. *edit* this was confirmed in an email to Specialized today. Yes, it's frickin' true. Front triangle is a frame, rear triangle is 1 year warranty. Lame!

    Yeah, Ventana isn't true 4 bar, and has a 2 year warranty, but is built like a tank, yet weighs the same. I don't think I have ever heard of anybody who cracked a Ventana who wasn't outright doing stupid stuff the bike wasn't designed to do. Then again, I have yet to ride an El Ray myself, so this all may be moot.

    Don't get me wrong. Spec makes some killer bikes, but for the dough, you can get a boutique bike... and in the case of Lenz or Ventana, you can even get custom geometry for another couple hundred if you want.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 02-19-2008 at 06:01 PM.

  24. #24
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    I wouldn't buy the AFR stuff, but atleast in Europe Specialized bikes offer excellent price/quality ratio. I paid 3400 euros ($5000 according to Google) for my 08 Demo 7 II which has top-of-the-line components everywhere perhaps excluding the hubs. To get, lets say, Intense VPX/M6 or Rocky Mountain Flatline with similar spec, I would have to pay about 5000 euros ($7300). I think Specialized prices in Europe, more specifically at "unnamed" shops in Germany which automatically give 15-20% discount of list prices, make their bikes very hard to resist.

  25. #25
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    Nissan vs Porsche

    I know what your saying, but that Skyline is only gonna be like $75K-that GT3RS complete with the yellow(carbon) brakes...is like $200K, or am I confusing that with the
    GT2? One is like $180K, the other over $200K.

    Anyway, that Nissan is faster than a standard 911 Turbo, for half the money. That Nissan will stand the supercar world on it's ear when it's available here in the states. And that from a multiple 911 owner, and life long P car fanatic.

    That Nissan is ugly(IMHO), but holy $hit fast.

  26. #26
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    an 08 specialized SX trail 2 will cost me 3100 euros, thats not the offical price but thats what my bike shop boss will let it go to me for, i was in another bike shop monday and they had an 07 kona coiler deluxe for 2700, im sure some would prefer one over the other and vice versa but specialized arent any more expensive than other top brands over here in my part of europe

  27. #27
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    whats up with US made?

    I'm going to preface this with I am American, but I think we as Americans all need to face the truth about what has happened to manufacturing in America. so wasn't this postv supposed to be about why would we buy Specialized? Or did some just fail to pay attention to what they read. I am a long time reader of the forum, but I hardly ever post. I am just tired of reading the same bull*&*^ about where its all made all the time.

    Specialized gets flamed for making frames outside the US yet everyone on this thread that has a bike build and goes to pains to point out where its made has components from the Orient. Where were are all those who swear by the "made in the US" when US companies were trying to make components. I wonder why there aren't any US drivetrain manufacturers anymore? Don't worry that was a rethorical question- The US made drive train sucked- they simply didn't perform. You only need to remember back to the 90's with all the cnc aluminum cranks and derailers, pedals, stems and other crap that didn't work.

    Secondly, I have worked at a number of bike shops and have sold many brands some US, some European,and some oriental, In my experience, however anecdotal, the US made frames have a higher return rate than any other country of origin. If you contact the major manufacturers I am sure that they will tell you that their warranty percentage sharply declined when they moved manufacturing overseas. I am not saying that everything that is manufactured in the US will be better if it is manufactured in the orient, but when it comes to bike frames the orient has better QC than the US. Look at the auto industry for another example: I also think it is telling that for the most part the comparisons on this post are between bike are between US and Oriental bikes and yet the auto comparison we get here is betweeen Japanese and German. Where do the US auto makers fit in here? Wait--- the US automakers don't manage to compete very well with the Japanese do they?

    Thirdly, just because it says "made in the US" does not mean that the frame was made in the US. The aluminum tubing is likely not drawn, shaped or cut to size in the US. It is drawn, shaped and cut for the frame sizes outside the US and then shipped in the factories to be welded together. Unless the frame is straight guage and unshaped the tubing came from outside the US and wasn't even cut to length here. "Custom shaped and cut tubing" is really an acronym for "we bought the tubes ready to weld together." The frame should say "loaded into a frame jig and welded in the US from tubes we were unable to supply in the US." .

    Fourthly, All the technology in an aluminum frame is in the shaping, drawing, forging of the tubes not in the welding. US factories are not invested in hydroforming or cold forging technologies. In fact they all divested themselve of those. Look at the 100% US made frames- they do not use cold forged bottom bracket shells, headtubes, or ,dropouts unless they purchase those parts from an oriental or european supplier. For instance: Hydroformed Specialized and Sants-Cruz tube sets are all from Tiawan and so are the cold forged bottom bracket shells and headtubes. (Yes I know Santsa Cruz still welds some of their frames here in the US. Santa Cruz makes a killer bike- I love my Heckler, but the new Heckler is made where? I guess by extrapolation the new Heckler is inferior to the Heckler made in the US of inferior technology) Do you want the technology or do you want the stuff that was new 25 years ago.

    Fourthly, this talk about proprietary parts being a negative simply shows that there is a lot of ignorance out there about what is available. You can get nonspecialized forks and rear shocks that will fit the shock eye to eye and stroke length for any specializedd bike that is out on the market place. Rear shocks: Perhaps Fox does not make one aftermarket and perhaps neither does RS, But there are brands that will make a shock or that fits. For instance Risse Racing has them in stock! Even if they don't they will custom make you a shock! If you want to put a diffferent fork on the new STJ all you have to do is get an adapter to drop the lower headtube bearing to the 11/8 standard. But it is easier for most everybody to complain about "proprietary parts" than it is to find out what is possible and what isn't.

    Lastly (and I'll end my diatribe), Specialized certainly has its work cut out in in convincing us that their supension is going to meet the QC standards we all expect when we pay the premiums we do for the Epic, Enduro SL and STJ FSR. Only time will tell if this was a good move for them. But how many of us had blown SIDs from RS, how about RS Pikes that sucked. What about the 03 fox forks that had no reliability whatsoever and the 04 recall on the fox forks because the brake posts were not designed for any rotor larger than 163mm. What about all the stuck down rear shocks from fox over the last three years. (and since Fox has moved the RL 32, RP line offshore their quality has gone up) Everybody who has started making bike parts or frames has had problems. No manufactur is beyond problems part of what seperates one manufacture from another is what happens after the problems arise.

    So why would I and why did I buy Specialized: For two reasons, No one in the idustry has the innovative bikes that Specialized has. Who else has gone out on the limb that Specialized did with the Enduro SL and 08 stj FSR. Secondly no one in the fork or rear shock industry backs up it product like Specialized does. I took a risk buying an innovative product. So far for the 15 years I have owned Specialized they have had my back. I have not seen any reason in all these flaming forum posts that suggests otherwise.

    I can feel the heat already- flame away

  28. #28
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    Don't Hate

    My 2006 Stumpy FSR Carbon IS my dream build. I admit that I won't buy another FSR for a year or two until they work through the kinks on their new Spec branded suspensions. It's a new design - crap happens. Someone said it previously - but you don't buy a new car model the first year it comes out without expecting to be part of the "beta" program (i.e. bug finders).

    But seriously - what are you guys saying here? Specialized has led the industry in design innovation when it comes to MTBs for many years. The other guys are FINALLY starting to catch up a little. And what does Specialized do - they hire one of the best in the suspension design business and start their own line.

    Moves like that are what separates a company like Specialized from companies like GT who get absorbed by the mega-retailers. Either try something new or get passed by the pack.

  29. #29
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    @ d12294

    I agree with nearly every point you made. One thing I would like to clarify is regarding the proprietary parts, as I still consider that an issue. Here's why:

    If I buy a Stumpy with the brain, I am stuck with that shock. I don't think anyone will come to market with a shock that will replace that. Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. I have a brain equipped bike with a Fox shock currently. I know Fox's track record in the suspension biz, and I know I can get parts from them for my 1991 snowmobile shock if I need to. Will the same be true of the big 'S' in 5 years if this doesn't turn out to be a market they're interested in any longer?

    As for the forks, yep, those can be replaced with something else. I guess I have sour grapes from this company's first attempt at getting into the suspension biz in the early 90's. It doesn't show commitment to the improvement of the product very well when you only build forks for 3 years and bail. Will they do the same thing this time?

    I agree that Specialized does many things well. That's why I've owned so many over the years. But if I plan on dropping $7K on a bike, I'm not going to risk getting shafted by an unproven product that might be here one day, gone the next.

  30. #30
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    Check out Cannondale. They've been doing system integration for years, and have got it nailed. BB30 bottem bracket, Lefty, Headshock... It works, and most of their frames are made in the states.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    an 08 specialized SX trail 2 will cost me 3100 euros, thats not the offical price but thats what my bike shop boss will let it go to me for, i was in another bike shop monday and they had an 07 kona coiler deluxe for 2700, im sure some would prefer one over the other and vice versa but specialized arent any more expensive than other top brands over here in my part of europe
    Well there you see. Specialized prices are very attracting in Europe. You can't even compare a 07 Kona Coiler Deluxe to a SX Trail II. SX Trail II has much better parts and higher end frame compared to Coiler Deluxe. I think that only a totally clueless idiot would pick a Coiler Deluxe for 2700e if SX Trail II could be had for 3100e, so it's not even a matter of taste.

  32. #32
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    the coiler was hanging from the ceiling i couldnt get a good look at it, it has a marz 66 on it and for dhx4 on the back which are good shocks it had XT componants and a race face crank, brakes i think were hayes, it did have a pretty good set up,

    i dont know much about heavier bikes im a cross country guy that wants to dive into freeride a bit so i need a new bike, my twig of an epic just wont do, the reason i wouldnt go for the coiler is its not a dedicated freeride bike like the sx is, plus its also heavier, the rims looked cheap too,

    you also must remember i get a discount off any bike i get from my shop, the offical price of an sx II here is 3600 euros, thats almost a grand more than the coiler, i guess i just have to keep on saving

  33. #33
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    response3:

    The brain shock on the Stumpjumper can be replaced by an aftermarket shock. You will not find an aftermarket shock that has a Brain but there are shocks that will fit. Go to RisseRacing.com for an example. You can get shocks for bikes all the way back to the first full suspension bikes, including shocks and reducers that will fit stuff no longer made by Fox or RS

    I still do not see why this is such a big deal though- the reason there arent more aftermarket shocks is that companies like fox, RS, Marz, etc., simply don't think that there is any money in the aftermarket shock market. There are fox shocks on the stj models so Fox already makes those in the correct eye to eye Fox makes the custom eye and stroke lengths for Specialized because specialized purchases in significant enough quantity to justify the retool. Fox simply doesnt do it aftermarket because it doesn't make financial sense. Why? its because there simply isn't any money to be made in the aftermarket. The whole aftermarket component market died in the late 90s. These days there are only a couple of major players in components. You would think that a company that is willing to bet their future on trying to broaden the field would be lauded even though it takes some serious mis-steps.

    I don't know if Specialized will still do suspension three years from now--neither does Specialized. but they have clearly mortgaged their future on this. Regarding the first version of the future shock back in the 90's if you remember there was a safety recall on all rockshock forks- after the recall Specialized backed out because of the way the recall affected the overall business. those shocks were just rebadged RS shocks. This time its different the shock is not a rebadged shock but Specialized's own design and construction. I don't think that they can afford to fail at this point. Specialized cannot tell you to go to RS or to Fox for service they own the whole mess.

    Furthermore even if your future shock from 1994 failed you could still get support from specialized and RS right up until RS went bankrupt a couple of years ago. you can still get service on the shock from Companies like Hippietech suspension. And that is on a 13 year old shock way past any intended or deserved life span.

    These days you don't know whether a company will be around in a couple of years. Fox just got majority purchased by an investment company that is not involved in the industry are they going to go down the road of the other major brands that were purchased by investment firms, probably not. However how do I know that Fox will still be around in three years to support its product? No one knows the answer to that kind of question, but we all hope that they will. If the way that Specialized has been trying to take care of its enduro customers over the last year is any indication of the future then it seems clear that they have two goals: fix the QC issues,this is going to be slow going, and have the best customer service in the shock industry. Who else has the turn around time that Sspecialized has on problem parts: this doesn't mitigate the failures, but it does show that they are committed and taking responsibility. I don't have my head in the sand thinking that everything is rosy, the current enduro 150 made promises that it couldn't keep. How it pans out- only time will tell.

    But at the very least you have to credit the big red S with trying to stay ahead of the game. No one else in the industry takes the risks that they and in turn their customer base does. I for one want more players not fewer. Specialized is not going to put RS or Fox or Marz out of business. More options is better for everybody

  34. #34
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    None of my posts have been made to get at Specialized. As a company I dont like hteir ethics, am not hiding that. BUT, my posts were not about htat, posts were about the price of their high end bikes, compared to other bikes that are cheaper and better.....

    Take Nicolai, they have a 5 year warranty on their frames even under racing conditions. People talk about Specialized lifetime warranty, is that only for the front triangle...

    Am not just being pig headed here... You can try and sway me, but I stand by my opinion 7400UDS for a S Works is a focken rip off, you can get better spec components etc on a handmade custom frame far cheaper.............
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by d12294
    response3:

    The brain shock on the Stumpjumper can be replaced by an aftermarket shock. You will not find an aftermarket shock that has a Brain but there are shocks that will fit. Go to RisseRacing.com for an example. You can get shocks for bikes all the way back to the first full suspension bikes, including shocks and reducers that will fit stuff no longer made by Fox or RS
    ..........
    Maybe you should check out RisseRacing.com. The latest Specialized shock size they have is for a 2003. That's 5 years of Specialized models that are not covered. No thanks.

    Supporting Specialized with their "devotion to innovation" is BS. Innovation to them is gimmick of the year. M4 and M5 frames, Brain forks, Brain.v2 shocks, frame geometry, blah, blah, blah. If we need this innovation so badly, why does Turner and Ventana have such a loyal following? A 2002 Turner 5spot (I don't know if they made them then) still fetches a hefty price tag, while a high end Specialized FSR from the same era doesn't. Because Specialized wants the consumer to believe this year we have new technology that is better than the rest, they shoot themselves in the foot and indirectly declare last year's model was not very good.

    Innovation IMO is starting with a solid base and tweaking it each year to make it just a like bit better, not starting from the ground up with a new bike each year.

  36. #36
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    @ d12294

    Good points. You make an excellent argument regarding getting parts for proprietary components, and I must admit you did change my opinion as to Spec's new forks/shox being a negative. I'll give it a year to get any bugs worked out, these may turn out to be the best forks/shox in the biz.

    As for my other points, $$, parts spec, etc., I still think those are valid, and will probably be the main factors in my next purchase.

    Lumbee1 obviously doesn't believe that Spec. hasn't brought innovation to the industry. I disagree with that. If you look at their entire line, you can see the trickle down in technology and designs from the last 4 years. This means that consumers can get a high-end frame from a couple years ago for not much $$. Can you get a 2005 turner brand new for $1500 complete? Further, the entire stable platform concept was pushed along by the VPP and Epic/Brain ideas. This in turn caused other builders to take notice (DW, Giant, etc), and got the fork companies to improve their models.

    As for frame materials? Since you threw out Turner as a brand, I'll use that as an example. (disclaimer, I owned a turner and loved it, so not a flame) Turner hasn't done anything in this area. They just don't seem to have the ability or inclination to get custom drawn tubing, hydroforms, forgings, carbon, etc. at a reasonable cost. Dave Turner is a great guy that runs a pretty conservative company. He makes solid products for a small group of buyers. I don't think he'd risk his sales on what some might see as a 'gimmick'. But when Spec does, and the rest of the industry latches onto that 'gimmick', well, then I would call that innovation. d12294 might be right, we might have Spec, Giant, Trek, etc, building their own suspension in 5 years from now. This might be an evolution towards what motorcycle brands do...with each brand/model having shocks/forks custom made for them by Kayaba or Showa. They aren't the same, since a Honda fork doesn't share many, if any, parts with a Suzuki, or Yamaha.

    Lastly, I think the reason a Turner, Ventana, etc. hold their value well is that they don't change much in terms of design or quality. Small differences aside, a 2003 Turner is the same design as a 2008 Turner. You know what you're getting when you buy one, and the quality has always been good. Spec's has the trickle down effect, which makes last years tech more affordable in a brand new bike. They can also afford to take risks, since their product line is so deep. If one model doesn't do well or has problems, they have others to absorb that loss. Small guys just can't do that.

    Guys, thanks for contributing your well thought-out posts to the discussion.
    Last edited by response3; 02-20-2008 at 11:26 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by response3
    ...

    1. The price of the S-Works FSR has increased $3500 in 5 years, which is now $7400. My '02 was $3900 retail. I can now buy two very good bikes for the price of a new S-Works Stumpy, and I probably will.

    2. As mentioned previously, I too am not a fan of their proprietary suspension choice. While it seems to work great, where do you go for parts if this line gets discontinued, like the FutureShock (re-branded RockShox) line did in the early-mid 90's? What about if you don't like your rear shock and want to swap it out?

    3. Hey Specialized, 1994 called, they want their blue anodized parts back. While certain models aren't too bad, what's with all the multicolored anodized headsets, linkages, etc. on nearly every bike in the '08 line? Oh, and paint scheme of the entire FSR line, hideous! My bro-in-law bought one last year, and said if he had waited a year, he wouldn't have bought one b/c they look terrible.

    4. Mixed parts spec. I don't mean to start a flame war here, but SRAM and Shimano on a $7400 bike? C'mon, pick a drivetrain, or offer both like the high-end road bikes. Personally, I liked the S-Works FSR's because they had (to me) the best of breed parts spec (XTR, Mavic, Thomson, Fox). They seem to have moved away from nearly all these brands in favor of their own label parts, or a mix of different vendors. I bet Magura gave them a nice deal on disc brakes this year in order to gain the contract, and they still increased the price on the bike.
    ...
    I've never owned a Specialized, but that's about to change. After testing 5-6 bikes to replace my old Klein Adept, I'm pretty much sold on the '08 Stumpjumper FSR. But response3 made some points that ring true to me:

    1. Specialized's S-Works bikes are not worth the money. There's just too many excellent boutique bikes in the same price range. It's their lower-priced bikes that seem to pack in the true value.

    2. Having said that, I understand the price of innovation, and I appreciate that Specialized is doing some cutting-edge work that's quite costly to bring to market. But I'm not going to pay the money for it, especially when the cutting-edge stuff could cut me! Again, I'll take the bikes that the good stuff has trickled down to.

    3. The paint schemes and other dabs of color on the '08 Stumpjumpers SUCK. Thankfully I don't have to look at the bikes while I'm riding them. My wife and daughter each has an older (05 and 07) Sirrus, and they're tasteful, mono-colored bikes. Subtle and classy. The Stumpjumper line, top to bottom, is garish. I'm going to have to swap in the black King headset from my old bike before I can leave the store with an new SJ. Simply horrible paint!

    4. I'm more concerned with all the cheap house-brand parts than the mixed drivetrain. Stem, seatpost, saddle, bars... What are those things? And what's with the "custom for Specialized" rims and cranks? Is this just finish or something more fundamental to the design?

    Despite (or because of) these reservations, I'm looking at either the SJ Elite ($600 less to forego the proprietary suspension - yay!) or Comp (Save another $500 to drop from Juicy 7 to Juicy 5, and lose the XT stuff). The price/value ratio seems to get higher the less I spend. And the colors are atrocious no matter how much or how little the bike costs, so...

  38. #38
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    Why Buy A Specialized?

    Beacuse they are trying to poached the best engineers in the industry...
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  39. #39
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    Beacuse they are trying to poached the best engineers in the industry...

    You mean the guys at Fox building the lefty internals?

  40. #40
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    Check this out. On the Specialized website the price of an '08 SX Trail Frame is $1,750. this includes the rear shock and a Thomson seatpost. The price of the SX Trail 2 is $5,100 so that's $3,350 for the build kit. This includes house brand hubs and tires. Go price out every other component at full retail prices and you won't even come close to $5,100 for the bike. It makes no sense.
    Last edited by Dibs; 02-20-2008 at 03:56 PM.

  41. #41
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    They are sucking you all in and laughing their butts to the bank... I am all for a free market and for businesses to make a profit, makes the world go round.... It is just that as you mention Dibs, you can build a better specced bike for 5100USD....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  42. #42
    hummm! should I?
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    lumbee1

    You are correct they do not list the shock on website, but if you call they have most of the stroke lengths and eye to eye measurements available. And even if they don't they will construct one for you for about what you would pay for a shock from fox.

    My claim, if you read the my first reply, was that aftermarket parts are available,so the anti-proprietary stuff is just nonsense. I made no argument or reply to those who said that the Specialized stuff comes with Sticker shock. What somewething is worth to the individual doing the buying is subjective. What I think is a value may be overpriced garbage to another. I see nothing wrong with laying down 5400.00 full retail for the stj pro carbon, but my wife thinks i'm an idiot. Purchasing any bicycle over 350.00 is sign your an idiot, if you ask her. Of course the one carot peice of crystalized carbon on her finger is really not worth what I paid for it either now is it. Value is perceived/created.

    Dibs has an excellent counter by pointing out the discrepency between building a frame and buying complete

    No where in my argment do you find me saying that Specialized or any other company is better than some other manufacturer: I only had three points to make: one about proprietary parts, the second about made in America and the third about those who somehow fail to read the topic of the original post. Again the post gets hijacked by those who can't help but launch into attack mode. The post was why buy specialized? Not why did you choose a brand other than Specialized. If you want to tell us why we should buy something else start a thread about why Specialized sucks vs your brand of choice. We are all curious as to why riders make the choices they do. If your only argument is that Specialized is over priced you are unconvincing simply because that is completely subjective.

    response3:
    Good luck next year hopefully the suspension issues will be on the way to being worked out. I don't know whether the other manufactures intend to start their own suspension lines, I am just glad there is another player. This industry has seen so much consolidation over the last couple of years it is nice to see a little diversification.

    Furthermore next year the price should drop on the STJ pro and STJ SW line. If you look at the past history with Specialized the second year usually sees a price reduction vs the rollout year. First year is for those of us who simply can't wait and must have it now-- again my wife would point out that I am deficient and deserve the hassle with the suspension parts.

  43. #43
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    Long post, wasn't planning on it.

    My purchases are based on two things: my riding needs and my wallet. I bought Specialized bikes because I got a good deal on some demo bikes. And because I don't mind throwing a little business to my local shop. And I sold my Turner to make these Specialized purchases knowing full well what I was giving up both in terms of having a bullet-proof frame (2002 RFX) and the security of Turner's exceptional customer service.

    Would I buy a Specialized new at full price? Probably not (my apologies to my LBS ). Because as Whafe and a few others have said a top-end frame plus build kit can be put together at quite a discount either by scouring various online sources or going through a retailer that does heavy discounting (and not necessarily just online retailers).

    $7,000+ plus for an S-works Stumpy (or whatever) seems absurd to me, but then again I'm not really interested in carbon-based frames. More up my alley is the $6300 Demo 8, which seems just a bit high for what you get and when compared to other similar-purpose bikes. Speshy hubs & bars...X9 shifters? All perfectly functional, but on a $6000+ bike? I'd rather piece together exactly what I'd want, and should easily be able to do top of the line everything for $6300. Maybe I'm not the intended market of such a bike, Some people probably don't want to have to think at all about which parts to get and are glad to have the manufacturer's product manager do it for them. And maybe for some the Speshy name carries prestige that's worth a few extra $$$.

    As far as some of d12294's comments about Specialized replacements, I don't really agree. I don't think having a non-standard shock size (like on the new Stumpy) really makes much sense for the consumer or Specialized. Since neither Fox nor Marzocchi (probably the two most commonly purchased after-market shock makers) make a shock in that size the consumer is potentially SOL if support for the AFR disappears. Having to go to an obscure maker like Risse Racing (Avalanche may be another option) to get a custom shock made would seem to be a minor PITA. Specialized is somewhat locking themselves into extended support for all of these proprietary parts, are they really gonna be there 2, 3...6 years down the road to provide support/parts for these components?

    Personal experience: my local shop tried to get parts for the "Stout" front hub on my Enduro, and Specialized didn't have them. This is a hub that was part of the 2005 build spec for almost the entire Enduro line...and apparently they don't have replacement parts. Based on my experience any current '05 Enduro owners who have front hub issues may have to replace their hub, because part replacements may not be available. I had to purchase a whole new hub. Luckily my LBS provides great service and more than made up for what Specialized was lacking.

    Compare this to my experience last year with Turner. I purchased my RFX 2nd hand (3rd hand?) and immediately noticed that the rear disc brake mount was cracked. I called Turner to see what could be done and they admitted it was an issue they'd seen before. They then shipped me a replacement (upgraded) seatstay for free, no questions asked, no shipping charges and it went out the same day I called. Third owner, a five year old frame, no charge.

    I'm confident that these Speshy frames will hold up under my planned use (they really are pretty nice), but in the event of an issue I don't anticipate a similar level of support. And don't bother disagreeing with me, because I'd be glad to be wrong about this.

  44. #44
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    I think both sides have good and valid reasons for their arguments. My big problem is concerned around their AFR technology. Instead of this whole "never buy the first year production" argument, let's be realistic. They have, relative to what they are doing, virtually unlimited resources, they bought the best guys and have had close to three years to figure this out. They had R&D, testing and finally 1/1/2 model years to get this sorted. Who else in the modern MTB suspension age has had this flawed of a roll out? It really bothers me to see how upset my customers are, I feel border-line guilty when I sell somebody an AFR equipped bike. From the problems I am seeing/have experienced nothing but poor quality is to blame. I do not claim to be a suspension guru, somebody feel free to correct but, the amount and frequency of blown seals leads me to conclude that they use a cheap system. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right? Nobody ever had problems with Fox forks and suspension on this level and they performed better. I think the AFR is a solid chassis but, they would be wise to simply use proven internals until they have their own reliable alternative. I feel this is, like what else they do, nothing more than an attempt to save money.

  45. #45
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    PCinSA:
    Well said reply and I don't have any substantial disagreement with you since now our differences are about how big a pain the proprietary part is going to be to replace.
    I only have one comment: While the example you give regarding the stout hub is a good example of Specialized not supporting a proprietary/OEM part.. There is a difference between a your hub and the propietary suspension arguments in this post. Those here who have brought up the proprietary parts issue have done so under the guise that it is eliminating the possibility of finding non Specialized aftermarket replacements.
    .
    The fact that Specialized did not have parts for their own hub is a seperate problem from what was being raised.but is a legitimate question regarding support OEM parts.. As to whether or not Specialized will be around in four or five years:to support their suspension-- I have no crystal ball but can only point out that they have managed to be in business for a lot longer than has Turner. So you might ask that same question regarding Turner.as well as all other bike manufacturers and fox and marz?

    We both know that if Specialized does not support their shock line that with the same outstanding service that you got from Turner that they are in serious trouble. So far in general,their service on their suspension has been the same as what you expereinced.with Turner. The problem is not in their customer service but the quality of the replacement part hasn't been mmuch better if at all than was the defective part. To be sure those of us who have purchased the newer enduro and stj are hoping that things work out.
    .

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidseven
    Despite (or because of) these reservations, I'm looking at either the SJ Elite ($600 less to forego the proprietary suspension - yay!) or Comp (Save another $500 to drop from Juicy 7 to Juicy 5, and lose the XT stuff). The price/value ratio seems to get higher the less I spend. And the colors are atrocious no matter how much or how little the bike costs, so...
    I checked the specs on both bikes and to me the elite isn't worth an extra $500. You wouldn't even get a fork upgrade.
    This color comp is decent looking imo-
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobretti
    I checked the specs on both bikes and to me the elite isn't worth an extra $500. You wouldn't even get a fork upgrade.
    This color comp is decent looking imo-
    Glad to get independent confirmation of my feelings. I mean, this is the same frame as the $4600 FSR Pro - I can spend a hell of a lot on component upgrades before I get anywhere near that price!

    And my local shop is building up one in that color, in medium, today. I've found the colors look better in person than in the website photos, but I still think I'm going to have to swap my black King headset onto the bike before I'd be able to take it home...

    Here's my half-assed attempt to approximate the bike I'd be taking home:
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by d12294
    Fourthly, this talk about proprietary parts being a negative simply shows that there is a lot of ignorance out there about what is available. You can get nonspecialized forks and rear shocks that will fit the shock eye to eye and stroke length for any specializedd bike that is out on the market place. Rear shocks: Perhaps Fox does not make one aftermarket and perhaps neither does RS, But there are brands that will make a shock or that fits. For instance Risse Racing has them in stock! Even if they don't they will custom make you a shock! If you want to put a diffferent fork on the new STJ all you have to do is get an adapter to drop the lower headtube bearing to the 11/8 standard. But it is easier for most everybody to complain about "proprietary parts" than it is to find out what is possible and what isn't.

    OK, find a 7.0 eye to eye + 1.6 stroke off the shelf shock that is not currently sold on an FSR-XC and then you can reference others as ignorant. Yeah, you can always have someone custom make one, but for the cost, it's not worth it over replacing the whole bike.

    I love my FSR-XC, but when it's time to replace it, I can't say that I can support a company that insists on using non-standard parts, forcing my choice on replacements. If all bike companies where like this, then we'd have a point, but that is not the case.

  49. #49
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    I would not buy one

    Quote Originally Posted by woogie11
    Hey guys, this is not meant to be an inflamatory thread. I work at an S-Works dealer, which means 60% of our inventory is Specialized, so I feel especially confident posing this question. Knowing all of the short comings with the AFR "technology," would you still buy an AFR equipped bike? I had a customer today who was going to buy an 08 S-Works SJ FSR, for sure, until on a 5 minute test ride in the parking lot the SJ120 fork blew a seal on the left fork leg, (even though that shouldn't really be possible). Despite this, and my honesty regarding AFR reliability, he is coming back in on Thursday to check out/buy a brand new one. What is it about these bikes, with these known issues, that make people buy them? Especially at an S-Works level where you could afford to buy virtually any bike on the market? I'd be very interested to hear some opinions and reasoning from the other side of the fence. Thank you very much.

    My current ride 03 enduro- I like the bike- a Lot- the only things left are the crank, bars & frame, everything else has, broken, worn out, or just sucked and I replaced it.

    My LBS has Trek and Specialized, and ....

    If I had to buy a bike to replace it, I would buy the Trek EX-8
    Fox Fork & Shocks, and real part builds, and wait for it... a decent price!

    It is a real bike for real people, riding real trails. Just Like my enduro was in 03.

    Enduro is now an SL with DC fork, S fork & Shock, with dumb front axle for like 6" travel- I'm sure it's great, but it will not make me faster.
    The SJ is not as bad, but I don't want a brain & AFR. I want a FOX, but can't get it at the build level and they are Fugly (IMO). The big S jumped the shark

  50. #50
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    I think the real key with buying a Specialized, or any other Big brand bike is to wait till the next year models are arriving. I picked up my 07' Stumpy Pro Frame for $999.00 a couple of months ago. I have had one shock issue, the dust seal popped off, but it was fixed hassle free with no down time. They sent a replacement, and I sent mine back once it got to the shop, my shop said to keep riding it without the seal, no worries. I could not ask for anything more. I have had a couple of pricey rides prior to my 2 bike Specialized run, an 06' Epic before the Stumpy, and all of them broke at some point. 1st year Blur- 1st one welded cockeyed, sent another. The 2nd- broken Vpp link 2x, and the bearings creaked and wore out once a year. I still loved it though, great bike. Switchblade- broken shock rockers, and rear chainstay cracked. GT STS Carbon I=drive- 3 broken frames, then GT went belly up during the last break. I had to report the LBS to the BBB to get my money back, $3500.00. Yeti- 575- 2 faulty RP3 shocks, not really Yeti's fault, but they did spec it. My point being everybody has issues. I have buddy with blind Titus devotion, yet everyone he has ever had has broken. His bike is always cracking. I am pretty sure he started out with a Locomotive about 6 years ago, and it warrantied out about 6 times into its current Racer X which is broken yet again. They offered up a TI replacement for about $600, or wait 3-4 months for a new front triangle. There is some service. I myself will never buy a small brand bike unless I can pick up a super deal.
    I was worried about the AFR rear shock, but my shop assured me they would take care of any issues, and so far so good. I really love my Stumpy,and it was a bargain. It weighs 27.5lbs, and cost about $3400ish with a Lifetime warranty. It is full 08' XT, an 07' Fox Float RLC, and Cross Max St's. I sell my bikes every two years so I won't use it (lifetime warranty), but the fact that they do it speaks volumes to me.

    FFF
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  51. #51
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    They have a great warranty, are sweet when they work like they're supposed to, and are some of the coolest looking bikes out there, especially compared to any Cannondale MTB, except the Perp or Judge.

    Wow, does Cannondale make some FUGLY bikes!!
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  52. #52
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    Well, first, I should say that I don't think I'd be buying a bike with the AFR stuff just yet.

    But, last year when I bought my 07 Epic, I rode the stumpjumper, the rush, a few offerings from fisher, etc. The only bike I truly enjoyed was the Epic. It did everything I wanted it to do, and was a blast to ride, even around the parking lot at my LBS. I also like their clothing and apparel - it is functional, looks good, etc.

    I'm by no means an Spesh loyalist though. I defend them from the people who hate them because they think Spesh is a bunch of "meanie heads", but the next time I buy a bike I'll be riding multiple brands with offerings that match my needs and budget. If the Specialized bike is the one I like best, I'll buy it, otherwise, I'll buy the bike I like the most.
    :wq

  53. #53
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    I came on board the brand in 1999

    My bro in law was a big factor in that really, as he has been BIG into bikes his entire life. My first S bike was a 99 Stumpy FSR XC Pro, got it off the classifieds here on MTBR as a frame only in the early spring. Got a beautiful rim brake S Works wheelest off the classifieds here to go with it too. I used quite a bit of Ritchey stuff for the build too.That wheelset I still have, Hugi hubs finished in peweter, with the classic red anondized Mavic rims, the wheelset is beautiful. Next up was a 99 Specialized Allez Pro road bike...again from these classifieds. I got the bike also in the early spring, before my local shop could get one from Specialized for me. I paid just half of the MSRP for the bike too. It came brand new and almost spotless. That road bike is still my primary road bike, and I will probably never sell it, even long after I upgrade to a carbon ride.

    Back in the spring of 2003, I upgraded my old 99 FSR to disc brakes. Specialized mailed me a shark fin adaptor for FREE, the customer service rep said he had one just laying around. I got a 2003 S Works wheelset from an Enduro-Hugi/MavicX317 in all black for the bike.

    When I built up my current FS mtb, I utilized that wheelset. I built up an 06 Stumpy FSR in the spring of 06, used a few Ritchey pieces, as I have always saw performance and value in Ritchey offerings.

    I have always had LOTS of Specialized clothing, I feel most of their stuff is comparable to Pearl Izumi in quality and durability. You name it, I got it, Big S only shoes since 99, socks, shorts, jersey's-short sleeve and long, jackets, summer and winter gloves, helmet, hell...even a Specialized floor pump and gear bag. Lets not forget some casual clothing and a poster or two of Ned in the garage, and some stickers on the truck to boot. I've used nothing but big S tires on my mtn and road bike since 99 also. My cross bike(CDale) has a mix of Kenda, Conti, and WTB tires on it, depending on the road/race/trail conditions.

    My next new road bike will be a Tarmac, I'm unsure what my next mtb will be. I love the Stumpies, but these boards littered with problems and complaints about the future shocks is troubling. My current Stumpy with a Pushed Vanilla R, and a soon to be Pushed RP23, will serve me very well till probably thru the 2009 season. The bike works like pure magic for me, and I couldn't be happier with it.

    In a world full of big bike manufacturers-Specialized, Giant, and Trek(and I leaving out anyone) these guys are easily criticized. There are many great small manufacturers out there to consider that make super quality stuff. Titus, Turner, and Chumba make some awesome frames, I just don't know if I could go there.

    For whatever strange fascination, I like Specialized. I am proud to associate myself with them and their products. Everything I have owned from them, from the cheapest pair of riding socks, to the most expensive bike, has exceeded my expectations. Now, you might think those expectations are simply too low, maybe. But consider that cycling has become my ONLY hobby, I average 2K road miles a year, and approx 500 mtb miles. That may be way less, or way more than many ride, but with work and family obligations-and winter here in Central New York to consider too...that is pretty good seat time, ooh yea,,, all my saddles, on all my bikes are Specialized....oooh comfy!.

    Anyway, moral of the story, I love the brand, it has served me well. Quality, innovation, durability, and good customer service, that is my experience with Specialized

  54. #54
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    I bought an leftover '06 epic disc last fall for $1450,to replace my snapped turner.Turner has a great warranty,Specialized as an excellent warranty.I'm looking foward to not paying for a new frame every 3 years or so.I've been riding xc since '92,full suspension since '94 (amp b-2).I've come to realize that ALL FRAMES BREAK.My epic is fast,smooth,stiff,and when it breaks,I get a new one.FWIW I ride a Prophet as well,Rides great,warranteed like a mofo.Orbea carbon road bike-lifetime warranty-5 years into my alum/carbom the frame separates.New full carbon for $400 (an upgrade).I love my LBS!!!
    A foot note.As soon as I have the extra $$$,I'm getting a flux front triangle and rockers.Turners do kick ass.
    Last edited by DAVID J; 02-23-2008 at 07:04 AM.

  55. #55
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    My SJ FSR '04 frame cracked and I got a new SJ FSR Pro '07 frame (maybe unfortunately with the AFR...). Seems like a good deal to me...

  56. #56
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    if you can find the right deals, they are still a great bargain..

    i'll be the first to admit that i'm not a huge fan of how big specialized has become and don't really like the way the company has gone. but it is still the main brand that my lbs carries and i can get new frames a year old for nearly half off. That to me is still a great value. the frames are solid, and mix and match of parts or not, they are still wayyyy cheaper than if you were to build a bike up from nothing.

    i just got a 2007 Enduro expert for 2k and a enduro elite for my wife for 1350. i could barely afford the parts that come on the frame for that and i have plans to sell the frame to swap out for a transition preston.

    so, as much as i'd like to rank on specialized, i've still had nothing but a good experience with the 5 bikes i've owned. when i have the bank account someday, i would definitely choose a smaller company, but until then, i'll still take the great deals....

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by woogie11
    Hey guys, this is not meant to be an inflamatory thread. I work at an S-Works dealer, which means 60% of our inventory is Specialized, so I feel especially confident posing this question. Knowing all of the short comings with the AFR "technology," would you still buy an AFR equipped bike? I had a customer today who was going to buy an 08 S-Works SJ FSR, for sure, until on a 5 minute test ride in the parking lot the SJ120 fork blew a seal on the left fork leg, (even though that shouldn't really be possible). Despite this, and my honesty regarding AFR reliability, he is coming back in on Thursday to check out/buy a brand new one. What is it about these bikes, with these known issues, that make people buy them? Especially at an S-Works level where you could afford to buy virtually any bike on the market? I'd be very interested to hear some opinions and reasoning from the other side of the fence. Thank you very much.

    Would i buy a specialized bike off the shelf......no!

    Would i buy a specialized frame and custom build it, yes!

    i'm almost at the end, after spending dosh building up a nice all around bike, that includes a 04 enduro frame (mtbr bike of the decade) and all the top spec components, just need to change the fox rl to a van coil for a nice plush ride.

    I reckon specialized make some excellent frames (sx enduros on the wish list) but the overall bikes imo from the shelf are lack luster.

    love their frames, and you can build one up to and excellent spec for a fraction of the cost of a new bike..........

    if your an eager beaver with money to burn, get one!!...........If your an eager beaver with sense, build your current bike with components to swap over to a specialized frame of choice when it turns up dirt cheap.

  58. #58
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    Going with the car analogy:

    Specialized is the Honda/Toyota of mtb companies. It has the bigggest selection, a good reputation for quality frames and can afford to give good deals on mid range bikes.

    With that said, you do not spend 7 grand on a Specialized mtb(nor do you spend 50 grand on a Honda), that is boutique money and people who succumb to the S-WORKS marketing are not getting enough bike for their money, period. Carbon frames for a Enduro SL? Give me a break!

    I am with yomattyo, I just bought a 07 Enduro Pro for $2800 this winter, which I feel is an excellent deal for the money. And it is my dream bike. I would never spend boutique money on a bike though. Having a handmade frame or a bling bike does not interest me. And I think the 07 Enduro Pro was the most bike for the money of under 3 grand. It has a very nice component list, the shocks are top of the line and the frame has a lifetime warranty.

    But I also do not like the '08 shift to proprietary shocks. They obviously dropped the ball by releasing the the shocks a few years early before they had them dialed in. It was the main reason I did not buy an Enduro SL. I also do not like proprietary stuff on principle. Corporate greed does not inspire me and I will take that into consideration on my next bike purchase.

  59. #59
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    About the proprietary shocks and custom shock dimensions....that's like wanting the front shock on a Chevy Silverado truck to fit your Honda Passport....I'm done.....

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikernc69
    About the proprietary shocks and custom shock dimensions....that's like wanting the front shock on a Chevy Silverado truck to fit your Honda Passport....I'm done.....
    No.

    It's about Chevy putting on shocks in their Silverado for which no other shock available will fit except the one that came in the truck.

    In any case, what may be acceptable in the car world does not make it acceptable in the bike world.

  61. #61
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    why not buy specialized,they have been there from the start,for the amount of companies that have struggled specialized have been in the game constantly developing and improving.

    yeah its a corp now but thats where most companies want to be anyway.

    and yeah i just bought one and very chuffed.

  62. #62
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    Because of this sort of thing....

    I'll start off saying that I am a Specialized dealer. Over the years, I have sold about every major brand of bikes that are out there, from Schwinn to Trek, Raleigh to Specialized, and many in between.

    I find that Specialized is a great brand in relation to customer service, innovation, and value. They are not always the best in every category, but they are a very well balanced company.
    They have made a few bone head choices over the years, but, hey, if you don't have a couple of mistakes, you aren't trying to hard.

    Has the AFR had issues? Sure ! Have they turned their back on their customers? I think not.
    Case in point, I just received this in my email....

    2007 Future Shock and AFR Shock Performance Upgrade –

    USA Dealer February 21, 2008

    Dear Specialized Dealer,

    At Specialized we hold ourselves to extremely high standards. Our bikes and equipment must stand up to the use of riders who tax the limits. We are so dedicated to exceeding rider expectations in both quality and performance that we are offering a free performance upgrade for every one of the following that you or any of your customers own:

    • 2007 E150 Future Shock fork damper cartridge and air cartridge
    • 2007 Enduro AFR Shock rear shock
    • 2007 Epic AFR Shock rear shock

    The reason for this customer service action is that in some cases the reliability of these suspension components did not meet our high standards and we want you and your customers to be totally satisfied. We have significantly improved the performance of these parts and we want Specialized riders to benefit from these advancements.

    WHO

    All Specialized dealers and consumers who own 2007 Enduro and/or Epic models are eligible for a performance upgrade.

    WHAT

    Specialized is offering a free performance upgrade to the following suspension components:

    1. 2007 FutureShock E150 air cartridge (S-L: W2070212 / XL: W2070414)
    2. 2007 FutureShock E150 damper cartridge (S-L: W2070213 / XL: W2070415)
    3. 2007 Enduro AFR Shock (W2080251)
    4. 2007 Epic AFR Shock (W2080124)

    Each of these components will be replaced with our most current equivalent which we guarantee will meet or exceed rider expectations.

    HOW

    • Sufficient quantities of replacement parts are now in inventory.
    • Inform customers who have purchased 2007 Enduro and/or Epic Models that they are eligible for a performance upgrade.
    • Replace components on all of your 2007 inventory and on all of your customers’ bikes.
    • Collect 2007 components and return them to Specialized for full credit.

    WHEN

    • This performance upgrade is in effect now.


    I wonder how many other companies would do something like this. I think it says volumes about the level of customer service they offer. Should they be doing this anyway? Yup. Would you get this type of service from most other brands? I doubt it.

  63. #63
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    That is impressive!

    You have to give Spesh props for owning up to their shocks deficiencies and doing something about it. That is a company that wants to protect it's good reputation and take care of it's customer base. Smart move! But not completely unexpected, it was needed to protect their product share.

    I bet all the posters from the huge thread" If you have Specialized own-brand forks or shocks, this may be of interest to you" will be really happy to see this!

  64. #64
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    Wow, Cfrone1, thanks for sharing that.

    I bought my 1999 specialized enduro pro in early 2000 because I got it for a good price and I liked their lifetime warranty.

    I bought my 2004 S-works Enduro in early 2005 because I got it at a discount (still quite expensive) but still cheaper than the sum of its parts (full XTR, Crossmax SL, TALAS). It was innovative, and had a lifetime warranty, which made me feel better about spending that kind of money. I wanted one bike to do it all - up and down. I was intriguiged with the brain that came out on the Epic and then the Stumpy, but I wanted 5" of travel and liked the enduros. When they put the brain on a the Enduro, I had to have it. Pedaling efficiency is better than any other 5" travel bike I have ridden before and since buying this. It can be set up almost hardtail firm for extended fire road climbs in the middle of that 25 mile epic ride - and then I can bomb down the last 5k feet with 5" of travel under foot. It was like having two bikes for the trip - an efficient uphill bike and a smooth 5" travel all-mountain bike!

    After taking the 04 s-works enduro to Northstar at Tahoe a few times last year (LOVE flameout and Livewire!) I realize that the 70.5 degree head-tube angle is not really cut out for downhill duty. I made due, but would prefer a slacker head-tube angle. I flipped the flip-flop link to get a 69.5 degree head-tube angle and it feels a little better on the steep stuff, but the bottom bracket is pretty low now and I wheelie easily now when climbing and I did not before.

    So, now I am now itching for a new bike. I am eyeballing the Enduro SL in either pro-carbon or s-works. I realized I need 3 bikes in one - a bike that pedals efficiently up hill, one that's a decent all-mountain bike, and one that can pull some Northstar black-diamond duty. I am a much stronger rider than I was in 2005, so I can spare some uphill efficiency for more down-hill prowess. The 6" travel S-works Enduro SL is aresome and seems like the next logical step for me. It's an expensive bike, but I know Specialized has my back in the warranty department. I demo'd an 07 s-works SL at my local trail for hours and It was awesome. Not as plush as I would have liked for a 6" travel bike, but for a 6" travel bike that climbs well, it's admirable. I absolutely love the super-stiff front-end and the 45-degree travel adjust switch that's on the upper crown, at handlebar level. Awesome! I dunno about the specialized wheelset though. I love my Crossmax SL's. I have really beat the crap out of those wheels and they hold true and strong and using them tubeless with Stans has been a dream. I don't see a bead-hook on the specialized rims which worries me.

    Yep, I am a bit of a fan-boy and am loyal to specialized, but I know they have my back from a customer service standpoint and from a warranty standpoint. I'd hate to spend money on a boutique bike only to break the frame and have to buy myself another - at a discount? I'll just buy specialized, ride the hell out of it, and rest easy knowing they have my back if I break the frame.

    I might not opt for the s-works due to the Specialized wheelse issue - not sure if that's worth the money. The XTR is nice, but I am starting to value durability over the lightest racing components. Is any bike really worth $7,400.00?? Not so sure about that.

    BTW, My wife and I both have full-carbon Roubaix road bikes as well. Love those too.
    Last edited by MisterClean; 02-27-2008 at 12:43 AM.

  65. #65
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    You will love the SL. It too can be set almost hardtail firm for those long climbs and fireroads, and relatively easily on the trail.

    It isn't really enough bike for N* though. It's fun on Livewire because it's so smooth, but a heavier duty wheelset would certainly be welcome for their other trails.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-bo-b
    ..
    It isn't really enough bike for N* though. It's fun on Livewire because it's so smooth, but a heavier duty wheelset would certainly be welcome for their other trails.
    Yeah, but it should be a little better than my 04. I actually made the mistake of trying a pro DH bike at a small local DH run.

    It was a SantaCruz V-10, pimped out with every good DH bit available (Boxxer, Industry-nine, etc) and all I can way is "Wow - I had no idea what a good DH bike could do for you"

    It really just shrunk the course and any obstacles by 10x. - What bump? What rock? what rut? What line? What body english?. Just point it down hill and let gravity and the bike do the rest.... I would LOVE to take that V-10to N*.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cfrone1
    I'll start off saying that I am a Specialized dealer. Over the years, I have sold about every major brand of bikes that are out there, from Schwinn to Trek, Raleigh to Specialized, and many in between.

    I find that Specialized is a great brand in relation to customer service, innovation, and value. They are not always the best in every category, but they are a very well balanced company.
    They have made a few bone head choices over the years, but, hey, if you don't have a couple of mistakes, you aren't trying to hard.

    Has the AFR had issues? Sure ! Have they turned their back on their customers? I think not.
    Case in point, I just received this in my email....

    2007 Future Shock and AFR Shock Performance Upgrade –

    USA Dealer February 21, 2008

    Dear Specialized Dealer,

    At Specialized we hold ourselves to extremely high standards. Our bikes and equipment must stand up to the use of riders who tax the limits. We are so dedicated to exceeding rider expectations in both quality and performance that we are offering a free performance upgrade for every one of the following that you or any of your customers own:

    • 2007 E150 Future Shock fork damper cartridge and air cartridge
    • 2007 Enduro AFR Shock rear shock
    • 2007 Epic AFR Shock rear shock

    The reason for this customer service action is that in some cases the reliability of these suspension components did not meet our high standards and we want you and your customers to be totally satisfied. We have significantly improved the performance of these parts and we want Specialized riders to benefit from these advancements.

    WHO

    All Specialized dealers and consumers who own 2007 Enduro and/or Epic models are eligible for a performance upgrade.

    WHAT

    Specialized is offering a free performance upgrade to the following suspension components:

    1. 2007 FutureShock E150 air cartridge (S-L: W2070212 / XL: W2070414)
    2. 2007 FutureShock E150 damper cartridge (S-L: W2070213 / XL: W2070415)
    3. 2007 Enduro AFR Shock (W2080251)
    4. 2007 Epic AFR Shock (W2080124)

    Each of these components will be replaced with our most current equivalent which we guarantee will meet or exceed rider expectations.

    HOW

    • Sufficient quantities of replacement parts are now in inventory.
    • Inform customers who have purchased 2007 Enduro and/or Epic Models that they are eligible for a performance upgrade.
    • Replace components on all of your 2007 inventory and on all of your customers’ bikes.
    • Collect 2007 components and return them to Specialized for full credit.

    WHEN

    • This performance upgrade is in effect now.


    I wonder how many other companies would do something like this. I think it says volumes about the level of customer service they offer. Should they be doing this anyway? Yup. Would you get this type of service from most other brands? I doubt it.
    Hi- Thanks for the info. Can you please explain why the 07' Stumpy's with the AFR shock is not included if you know?

    FFF

  68. #68
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    I bought an '07 SL Expert in March '07 and didn't even pay 3gs, as it is priced in their website, after Ca sales tax of 8%. They inflate prices so they look good marked down on the sales floor. The bike didn't perform up to my expectations so they replaced it with a brand-new '08 Expert that is now about 4gs after tax. Talk about customer service. This bike is listed at 4300 on there website but is selling in my local shop for 3800. Anyone who would pay the suggested retail is being suckered by their shop. Made in the USA is great but doesn't insure better quality or innovation. Chumba went to Taiwan, so what, they have great welders. It's a global economy people. How many of these bikes are using the extensive forging of Spesh? And creating new suspension components is the very competition that drives innovation. Fox with no competition simply wouldn't be as good. I applaud Spesh for creating their own suspension because it will help keep everyone on their toes and keep stagnation away. We all benefit whether we buy it or ride it ourselves.

  69. #69
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    Look for a good deal

    I´m the owner of my fourth Epic expert, Excelent bikes, if you compare them with Scott or similar .....Epics rides like hell, great geometry, and if you get a good deal with your LBS ($2700 for a 08) it can´t be beatten

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Being subjective here, many may think I am not, but I assure you I am... How do you put, paying 7400 USD for a common as bike etc, when for less money your could build a Ventana, Knolly or Nicolai, where by the quality I feel is far better... It just staggers me that such a mass produced bike can cost so much........ And before the flamers attack me, this isnt about snob value etc...

    In the world of bikes, a 7400USD dollar frame is a super car comparison price... Would you pay Italian or German supercar prices for a Japanese super car, if indeed one exists.
    S-Works are hand-build in America, not mass-produced at all.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeX
    S-Works are hand-build in America, not mass-produced at all.
    A long time ago the S-Works were built in the states. Not any more. They are built in Taiwan.

  72. #72
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    5 year unconditional performance guaranty on 07+ AFR suspension, they must have faith in it.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy_Steve
    Model:
    Frame Intense 5.5 EVP Works 21.00 24.00 Disc 6.50lbs
    Fork Fox 32 Talas RLC Titanium 9mm 100-140mm 1832.00g
    Front Brake Avid Ultimate | Black | 185.00 380.00g
    Rear Brake Avid Ultimate | Black | 160.00 335.00g
    Shifter SRAM X.O. Trigger 225.00g
    Crank Shimano XTR Aluminum 175.00 22-32-44 786.00g
    Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech II | CrMo
    Front Derailleur Shimano XTR M970 Top Swing
    Cassette Shimano XTR M970 | Steel/Titanium | 12-34 224.00g
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.O | L 203.00g
    Chain SRAM PC-991
    Pedal Shimano M970 | Silver/Gray 325.00g
    Headset Chris King NoThread Set | Green 126.00g
    Stem Thomson X4 | Black | 100.00 | 10.00 166.00g
    Handlebar Easton EC90 XC SL Carbon Carbon Flat 99.00g
    Grip Oury Soft Grip | Black 125.00g
    Seatpost Thomson Elite Black 410mm 235.00g
    Saddle WTB Pure V Race | Black 355.00g
    Front Tire Kenda Nevegal UST | Black | Kevlar | 2.10 770.00g
    Rear Tire Kenda Nevegal UST | Black | Kevlar | 2.10 770.00g
    Front Hub Chris King Disc ISO Navy 32 148.00g
    Rear Hub Chris King Disc ISO Navy 32 277.00g
    Front Skewer Salsa Stainless flip-off | Black | Stainless steel 49.00g
    Rear Skewer Salsa Stainless flip-off | Black | Stainless steel 55.00g
    Front Rim Mavic XM 819 Disc | Black | 32 | UST 450.00g
    Rear Rim Mavic XM 819 Disc | Black | 32 | UST 450.00g
    Rim Tape Velox Cloth Rim Tape 7.50g
    Front RimTape Velox Cloth Rim Tape 15.00g
    Rear RimTape Velox Cloth Rim Tape 15.00g
    Front Spoke DT Swiss Competition 14/15g | Silver | 184.96g
    Rear Spoke DT Swiss Competition 14/15g | Silver | 184.96g
    Nipple DT Swiss Alloy | Silver 32.00g
    Bike Weight: 26.45lbs Bike Sub-Total: $5,773.08

    Sub-Total: $5,773.08

    http://www.wrenchscience.com/WSLogic...buildid=279384

    This is a no-expense cash-is-not-an-object type build, and it still came out $1,000 less than the sworks complete with king wheels, thomson, fox, ect... At least in my eyes a dream build. Sure you can get more expensive, but, come on... and at less than 27 pounds.... wow.
    Well you beat the price but still 2 pounds more weight not same in comparison.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjohn
    Beacuse they are trying to poached the best engineers in the industry...
    Nice as if every other company does not try to hire from companies in same field.

  75. #75
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    I don't normally get into the flaming but just few points. Specialized is big yeah but didn't trek buy Fisher, Klein, and LeMond also Bontrager which is speced on most of their bikes.
    The top fuel 9.9sl is xtr and bontrager speced and 900 less but you get better price on full groupo and XTR to me not as good as the Sram (imo). Plus the brain system is sweet for changing condition trails.

    About shock problems seems to me that the lefty had same problems when it came out. Everyone has toubles.

  76. #76
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    Ned Overend said it simply, "Specialized bikes are simply the best."

    The only problem I have is their paint schemes. Example is the 2007 Hardrock Comp Disc in Satin Bronze distressed. Or the '08 Demo/BigHit line. Butt ugly.
    2007 Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc - Red
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp Triple - Black

  77. #77
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    I can't agree with Overend's statement. I still think other companies (Ibis, Bionicon) offer more in different categories. The Mojo is probably the best MTB ever made, and Bionicons are unbelievably innovative (I still can't get over a 7" of travel frame that weighs 5.5 pounds)

  78. #78
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    I use to own Specialize bikes, about 10 of them from the first S-work FSR to the 05 Stumpy S-work, but I found someone that makes the FSR design better without having to use the gimiking overprice brain shock in the rear to make the supension work.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundowner
    I use to own Specialize bikes, about 10 of them from the first S-work FSR to the 05 Stumpy S-work, but I found someone that makes the FSR design better without having to use the gimiking overprice brain shock in the rear to make the supension work.
    Gimik as in lockout you do not have to manualy work. Supension works fine without the brain it is just an added feature, so you can set the supension up and forget it is there during the ride.

    Have a great day and keep the pedals turning.

  80. #80
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    I have been a fan of the Specialized Stumpjumper's (HT versions) since from back in the early 90's. However, I have never owned one. I finally decided to retire my 1995 Trek 8700SHX this year and there was no question what I wanted to replace it with.

  81. #81
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    this is comming from a person who has only owned 2 specialized bikes. Both of which were under the $500 mark.

    I like them for the fact that 3 local people sell them. Also the bike was the cheapest mountain bike there, so i had no choice.

    But with anything hobby, you get better quality if you build it from the ground up. Such as computers, skateboards, snowboards. You know it, if there is a variety of parts to chose from, you can basicly make the bike you always wanted for cheaper than the stock highend bikes.

    Just my $0.02

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