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  1. #1
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    Why buy Specialized??

    ooo
    Last edited by woogie11; 02-25-2008 at 03:04 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
    "Its All Good"
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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
    "Its All Good"
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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 05:01 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
    hummm! should I?
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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 10:26 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 02:56 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
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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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