from Holly Springs, NC, usa
Date Reviewed: April 7, 2007
Strengths: Frame design, Swinger 3-way shock, geometry, price, single pivot placement is perfect, low maintenance, XC/trail versatility, XT rear der., overall performance and value. It's a Superlight killer... just as good, but a lot less expensive.
Weaknesses: As purchased, the main weakness was the generic hubs that invited water and dirt into the bearings. I also consider some of the heavy components like the saddle and handlebar a weakness because for not much more money they can be upgraded to something much lighter. I also burned through a couple of the Isis bottom brackets in short order. Once some of the lower end components are upgraded, there are no real weaknesses, especially when considering the frame, which is really the only Haro part, right? Maybe it would flex a bit if you are a clydesdale, but for the rest of us it is a highly underrated frame for hardcore XC riding and racing.
I'm writing this review almost 3 years after purchasing this bike and even after Haro has stopped making it (what a shame), and here's why... this bike is way underrated and deserves respect. This was my first "real" mountain bike and I didn't know it at the time, but the frame is really one of the best XC/trail frames you can find. I was living in the mountains of NC at the time and rode the heck out of this thing all over Bent Creek, Pisgah, and Dupont. I loved this bike and it NEVER let me down... no failures, no breakdowns, and I hardly ever did any real maintenance (I was a newb)... the more effort I put into my ride the more performance it delivered in return. It would climb like a goat and descend like an anvil... all day long... and I ride hard and fast.
Now fast forward a couple of years... I got some high flutin' job offer out of the mountains and made the tough decision to move away and take it (dumb, I know, I'm stuck in the suburbs now). I would frequently get comments from guys on the local trails like "nice bike, what is it?" and stuff like that. I was always happy to tell people about the Haro. Well, as money has a way of doing, it made me feel like I needed more, so I bought my Intense Spider frame and hung the Haro on the wall. I never wanted to get rid of it because I always liked it, but it took a back seat to the Spider. Yes, the Spider is a nice bike with loads of stiffness and bling, but I've been riding the Haro a bit lately and all this week exclusively as I was doing some major bearing maintenance on the Spider.
Well, after riding the Haro again a lot, I'm being reminded of how awesome that bike really is. I have a new respect for it. I've taken it on the same trails I ride the Spider and the handling and performance of the Haro leave nothing to be desired. In fact, I'm even thinking of putting my nice lightweight parts from the Spider onto the Haro and giving it a whirl in some races, it's that good. I'm not convinced that the multi-pivot suspension designs are *that* much better than the single pivot, but after replacing 8 bearings, I am convinced they're harder to maintain... sheesh. Will I end up selling the Spider frame in favor of the Haro? I dunno, but I can tell you that I probably won't be any slower and won't be having any less fun on the Haro.
Bike Setup: As bought it had the stock Black fork, Swinger 3-way shock, Truvativ Stylo Isis crankset, Shimano BR-M525 disc brakes, Shimano 525? pedals, heavy saddle, heavy Truvativ handlebar, low end hubs. I now have Hollowtech LX cranks and use either my Bontrager Race Lite or Race X Lite wheels on it. I'm thinking about putting ALL of my high-end parts from my Spider onto this frame and giving it the respect it deserves...
from Athens, GA
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2005
Strengths: Full XT for 1700, can't beat that.
Weaknesses: Flexes under my weight
For the price I paid this is a great bike. I got it for 1700 at Lifetime Bikes in Conyers, GA. Full XT with hollowtech crank works perfectly. My only problem is that the rear swingarm flexes some but I weigh 230lbs and ride hard so its to be expected. Haro makes a great product and I would recommend this bike for anyone serious about riding. I have been racing in in the Georgia Mountain Bike Series and do not feel like the fact that my bike costs half as much as the other guys has held me back.
a Cross Country Rider
from phx, az
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2004
Strengths: the sick price i paid for a full xt ride, for starters...very efficient, good components, shocks, etc.
Weaknesses: maybe the tires
i got this bike for 1700 from south mountain cycles on ray...they matched a price offered by adventure bike co. who no longer had my size. it's ridiculous. it just looks fast. i rode a jamis dakar comp before and it's in a different class altogether. i too was guilty of overlooking it, but i knew i had to ride a lot of bikes to see what i really wanted. EVERYBODY here was saying to go w/ the specialized (higher commission?), which didn't feel good at all. it climbs like there's no manana and handles everything i throw at it. if your looking for a solid bike, go with some of the haro bikes...they're taking it seriously now.
a Cross Country Rider
from Gorham, Maine
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2004
Strengths: Well spec'ed bike for the price. Decent weight.
Weaknesses: The stock rim strips & tires. (Hutchinson Pythons)
This is a very cool bike. I'm not an expert on the subject but I would certainly give it 2 thumbs up! This is the 4th bike I've owned, (the others are mentioned above), & it absolutely fly's! If you're into tight single track, with plenty of rocks, roots, & hills it's a great bike. I'm very happy I bought it. If you want a good all around bike buy it! It's too bad that Haro is often looked down upon, I was guilty of it myself. Not anymore, this bike is for real, give one a try.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Sugar; 03 Jamis Dakar XLT2; 03 Giant AC1
Bike Setup: Stock except tires. Replaced with Continental Explorer Pros & Stans tubeless system.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2004
Strengths: Great geometry, durable.
Weaknesses: Single pivot might not be a plus for some.
To Cory the reviewer from Kentucky who was in disbelief about the previous posts and their price of $650... that's for the frame/rearshock/headset, not the bike. Every post is about the great 2004 Haro XLS Werx cross country model. And yes, I paid $420 shipped for my new one.
a Cross Country Rider
from western KY
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2004
Strengths: Low price for what it is, awesome frame, perfect geometry, great mix of features that are the best compromise between strength and light weight.
Weaknesses: OEM shifters that were shipped early were sloppy, front SPV valve doesn't work on mine now, grips wear out quickly, the tubes and tires totally suck
The bottom line is that you need to buy this bike. I'm just picky. Not many people have a Werx XLS so if you have a single original bone in your body, you'll pick one up. The bike feels perfect.
Bad stuff: A few of the components haven't turned out too well on mine, but that's not Haro's fault. I got a demo anyway, they may have given me crap parts. The Hutchinson tires and tubes shouldn't even make it to the rims on this bike, just chuck them. The tires have no cornering traction. I got 5 flats in the first 2 days, from riding on hardpack and asphalt at 55 psi. I was flatting from the inside, these rims aren't deburred very well. Very first thing, you need to put good quality rim tape on there, get better tubes, then get some more aggressive tires, I recommend 2.4" Mutanoraptors, which fits, and has ample room to spare, and they're only like 560 grams. To make up for the rotational weight gain, you can switch to some good eggbeaters. Anyway, MTB Action magazine will tell you the exact same thing about the XLS R7's tires which are the same ones. I got one of the first ones shipped. The cable housings were too long, so they were bound up, and the internal mechanism where the cable wraps around in the shifters was bending, so my shifting was stiff and sloppy.
Good stuff... the frame is awesome. I ride XC, but I am also not afraid whatsoever to take it on the same rocky trails that I put my 7" Kona Stab to work. It is unbelievably fast, I gained an incredible amount of time on local trails when I got this bike, especially on the climbs. It's an XC racer, but it's actually strong. The seatpost is like the strongest on the market. It has DH bars. It's gussetted well, there's only one pivot to worry about, and the rear triangle is plenty stiff. I mean, you can give it hell. I have buddies with more expensive bikes that won't ride the more difficult trails that some of us do because they're afraid they'll snap all their carbon fiber stuff. That's crazy. Bikes are meant for having fun. This one just happens to go blazing fast while you're having it. I just wouldn't recommend any crazy jumps due to the fork not exactly being designed for that.
Some of the previous reviews must have been talking about the R3, R5, and R7, because you're not going to get the Werx XLS for no $600, it's a $2,700 bike and worth every penny for full XT. I rated it the highest value possible. I mean, I've seen Santa Cruz Blur's on sale that were still $600 more than this bike's MSRP and it still had components that weren't as nice, LX instead of XT for example. Rating it a 4 chili instead of 5 due to the tire/tube/SPV/shifter/grip issues I've been having. The fun factor, price, and overall feel of the bike more than makes up for these problems that are covered by warranty anyway.
Similar Products Used: 2003 Haro Extreme X3, demo'ed dozens of similar Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher, and Klein bikes
Bike Setup: 2.4" WTB Mutanoraptor tires, lightweight Kenda tubes, Salsa rim cloth (an absolute must with these rims), eggbeaters, Specialized computer
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2004
Strengths: Simple design, Manitou SPV front & rear *really* work, seems 'over built' for an XC bike, raised chainstays keep chain slap down, swank Charcol/Silver anodize finish.
Weaknesses: Seems a bit heavy for a SP design. Frameset weighed in at 6lb 6oz. Rear triangle is made of way too many small bits welded together. Lots of bulk that could have been eliminated with better cast/machined arms.
This page should just be the "Solano Ave Cyclery Fan Club".
Got the frame+fork and built up with my own parts. I like it overall, got about 2 months on it so far. The SPV works wonders, absolutely ZERO bob. Not too beefy to get up a hill. Plenty of travel coming down, all 4in front and rear are used. Frameset is definitly *not* worth the $1250+ retail I was quoted. Seems like ~$750 would be a better price. That being said this is a great frame to go out and have fun. If you find a deal, cough*solano*cough, youll be very pleased.
Similar Products Used: 02' IDrive was my last FS bike.
Bike Setup: TruVativ Stylo cranks, Hayes discs, XT front, XTR rear der, XT/Sun DS2XC wheels, Time pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
from truckee, Ca
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2004
Strengths: stiff, simple, cheap, long top tube
Weaknesses: maybe a bit heavier than need to be? single pivot issues may be a weakness for some.
My first geared bike in 4 years (yep, i'm getting a bit too old and soft for SS full time), this thing is simple, quite and nice. I hate noise, and with the elevated chainstay, a nine speed drivetrain and short cage derailler, there's minimal chain noise. The suspension works, but is quite and efficient. and as the other guy said, a great buy. $650 for the frame and manitou fork with headset was sweet. the frame is stiffer and longer than the superlight (which were 2 of my issues with it). with the 24 in. effective tt of hte L, i can ride a 90 or 100 stem and be in the right place.
so, definitely a winner. I also like the looks of the straight top tube over the bent SC superlight. and, 4 inches front and rear, after riding my ss hardtail for the last 4 years, it's damn plush. why do people want (think they need more), for a trailbike? Cheers, w
Weaknesses: Nothing outside the typical single pivot design "flaws"
Considering I bought it for $400 on mtbr.com classified, it's a screaming deal. The sticker price said $650 and my horrific local Haro shop wanted $1000 for the frame/rear shock/headset.
I'm not one to say that any frame or design is "best" because they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I value climbing, simplicity and stiffness as the most important, but was worried the single pivot would skitter me all over on braking bumps and descending. This Haro is a great xc bike (I only weigh 165 but hammer hard!), and the Swinger 3-way is extremely adjustable. I like the 73d seattube; anything less and I suffer climbing (Enduro Pro, albeit it is a different type of frame... loved how that thing went downhill!).
I almost purchased the $950 (before shipping) Turner Burner with 3-way, but the extra $550 wasn't going to make me faster, plus I would have had to buy the headset. Anyway, this Haro is a very good Taiwan built xc machine with the best rear shock in the biz for xc. I rank it above the NRS and among the Element TO for pure xc use.
Similar Products Used: 2001 NRS Team, 2003 Enduro Pro, 2003 Jamis XLT2, 2000 Element TO,
Bike Setup: F100X, Hayes Mag, 317/xt, Flite ti, Eggbeaters, 2003 XT
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2004
Strengths: After years of frustration with famous maker four bar designs, I decided to purchase a single pivot bike and rely on the shock and fork technology to make my ride efficient. It was not a mistake--this bike is well built. The rear end has no flex, even during out of the saddle efforts. The all new XT parts spec along with the Thomson post, WTB Ti saddle, and Truvativ cockpit, Manitou SPV fr. and rr. Sun rims/ XT hubs is proven and priced in line with similarly equipped bikes from other makers.
After spending time with the SPV set up, I find the bike does not bob yet it soaks up small and large bumps alike. It just feels super efficient and sturdy (I weigh 200 lbs.)
Weaknesses: None so far. I have only had the bike for about 150 miles so I will re-post if anything sucks. Setting up the fork and shock is frustrating but not really Haro's fault, the manuals are imprecise.
If you are a cross country rider who rides for 2-3 hours at a time or more and you want a light weight (Large 27 1/2 lbs.) disc equipped bike that does not flex or bob, this is the bike for you. If you are not intersted in spending a considerable amount of time setting up the SPV Black fork and SPV Swinger Shock, you will be frustrated as small changes make big differences with these Manitou products. The frame is stout and the welds are clean around the gussets. I purchased this bike because I figure I can get more years of use out of a beefy single pivot design and rely on the ever changing shock technology to get the most out of my ride in terms of wasted energy.
I have a 2004 Haro Werx XLS and posted it for sale locally. Does anyone have info on the recommended sizes per height / inseam? Someone called me today and asked about it. I'm 5'11", 32" inseam, and it's a large. The person that called is 5'8" w/ 30" inseam.
I definitely want to take it to hi ... Read More »
I just bought a used 2004 Haro Werx XLS frame but cant find any technical docs on the frame dimensions. Specifically I need to know what size front derailleur I need (clamp size) and the Bottom Bracket size. Thanks!Read More »
What do you think I could get for this? It's basically stock w/ the exception of a shorter stem, oury grips, and tires. The frame is in great condition w/ only a few scratches. Everything else is rock solid.
I have been thinking about getting a Transition Covert but need to have a bake sale fi ... Read More »
instead of overhauling my manitou black super air 100, i would rather get a new fork. i am in the valley of the sun in az, so it's rocky and technical. i also feel that the front end is still a little twitchy...i attached a shorter stem and it helped. i was thinking about sticking w/ manitou susp ... Read More »