a Cross Country Rider
from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2010
Strengths: This bike is awesome! I wanted to replace an old FSR that was stolen from me. My budget was tight so I checked craigslist and found this bad boy. Man did I hit the Jackpot. This thing is lightweight, fast, and responsive.
Weaknesses: The crankset sits low. Maybe its just my riding style but I have been clipping small rocks a lot. The Specialized Pro Tires it came with tend to lose grip in soft sand. Upgraded to Veloci Raptors- Problem solved!
This Bike Kicks A**! Granted I got it with some pricey after market parts that made it lighter and faster (Bontrager Race X light wheel set alone runs about $800). Ive travelled a lot and have been forced to rent a lot of different bikes. I can wholeheartedly say this one of the best rides that I have been on for the money.
Favorite Trail: 401 Trail in Crested Butte, Porcupine Rim Trail in Moab, Skippers Canyon in Queenstown New Zealand.
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: Craigslist
Similar Products Used: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp
Bike Setup: Bontrager Race X light wheels, DT Swiss Hubs, Bontrager Race X light carbon handlebars, WTB Veloci Raptor Tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Framingham, MA
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2006
Strengths: Plush Suspension package with plenty of adjustment. The Fox Triad Rear Shock offers the pro pedal mode and makes the bike a good climber. Looks cool and is super fast and stable on the downhill.
Weaknesses: I have to get used to is the low bottom bracket height. The bike is pricey, but well worth it. This is the first complete bike I have ever bought off the rack.
I have only had my bike for about a month and I have three things to say about it. It Rules! It Rules! It Rules! I am a former XC and Down Hill Racer and I have never ridden a bike that is this well balanced. The rider who should buy this bike is a strong XC rider who loves to bomb down hill. It's fun, fast and very responsive. The stock 2.0 Revolution Pro Tires are o.k. for late Spring and Summer New England riding, but for bad conditions I will mount my 2.1 WTB Raptors.
Favorite Trail: The NAM Blackstone Valley Corridor
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Belmont Wheel Works
Similar Products Used: Cannonades Jekyll, Prophet, Super V Raven, several Pro-flex and K2 full suspension bikes
Bike Setup: XT/XTR shifting, Avid Juicy 7 hydraulic brakes
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2006
Strengths: Geometry, short wheelbase, weight, looks
Weaknesses: Octalink cranks, wheels, LX Front Deraileur
I purchased a 2005 Stumpjumper FSR Expert (100mm travel). This is truly a great bike. It's fast, nimble, corners like it's on rails, and climbs very, very well. The front fork (Fox F100R) is stellar - extremely easy to set up, and it's really responsive. The Fox triad shock works well (and I'm 200lbs). Besides the bike's cross country-ish head angle, it's great on the downhill. You can really 'sling' the Stumpjumper around while flying down the single track, too - that seems to be because of the shorter wheelbase. Just for comparison, my other ride is an Ellsworth Moment (great bike) and I love both of them - even though the Stumpy is at least a $1000 less in price.
To sum up, if you're looking for a great cross-country bike, for racing or just trail riding, really consider the Stumpjumper. Truthfully, when I bought this bike, I was cheking out the Santa Cruz Blur also - the Stumpjumper won out, and I have no regrets.
Bike Setup: Custom wheelset (Chris King hubs + DT Swiss 4.1d Rims), Kenda Nevegal 2.1 Tires, Shimano XT Cranks, Shimano XTR Front Deraileur, Easton Carbon HB, Thomson 90mm 5deg rise stem, Lizard Skin grips... all the rest stock.
from Fayetteville, AR
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2005
Strengths: This bike is fast enough to race and comfortable enough to take on a joyride. If your looking for a bike that combines speed, comfort, and durability this is the right bike for you. Excellent Fox fork and shock. Great components.
Weaknesses: This bike would be perfect if it were on 29s. The Adrenaline Pro Tires are nice, but they tend to go flat (a lot).
In the low $2000 price range, you simply can't beat this bike. It is fast, tough, dependable, smooth, and sweet. If you want a awesome full suspension bike look no further. I've put about 1500 hard miles on this bike in about 8 months and this bike has held up beautifully.
Weaknesses: Low bottom bracket causing the pedal to strike the ground occasionally. Not a big issue but it is there.
I waited to post so I could experience the ride for three months after my purchase. The bike still rides great with the new worn off of it. The store tweaked the bike a week after I got it and has not seen the shop since.
Shifts are still smooth and the bike climbs like a mountain goat. I have not experienced the paint problems listed above and have fallen more than I would like to mention. No problems with brakes heating up either. The tires do pick up quite a bit of debris but the sand has not proven to be a problem. Small jumps are all I do and they have felt stable and straight.
When locked out, the suspension does well on the road, while traveling to and from the trail. If you ride on the road at all or with your kids periodically, you'll love this feature.
Being a large rider (200lbs/6'3")I was concerned with the full suspension and the problems my size may cause. I have an XL frame and the bike suspension has performed perfectly and has plenty of travel. I recommend this bike without hesitation to anyone looking for a great full suspension XC bike at a reasonable price.
a Weekend Warrior
from Socorro, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2005
Strengths: Generally very good bike -- suspension floats very well, holds up well during crashes, comfortable for long uphill riding as well as downhill.
Weaknesses: Only some minor nitpicks: 1. Stock tires are annoying; They pick up and throw small stones and don't perform well in sand. 2. Only about 4 inches of seat height latitude due to interruption in frame. 3. It is difficult to attach to some bike racks. 4. Brake rotors (esp. front) get _very_ hot during use. Perhaps front rotor is a bit undersized? 5. Paint chips off when stressed.
Unless you do really crazy things this bike will probably suit all your mountain biking needs. If you are afraid to get off pavement and onto rough steep terrain then this bike is overkill and the its features will be wasted on you. It is nice knowing that you are riding a quality, nearly top-of-the-line bike when taking this down steep, fast trails. I have no regrets!
Bike Setup: Stock with minor add-ons. I will change to Velociraptor or similar tires soon.
a Cross Country Rider
from Oceanside, CA. USA
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2005
Strengths: Geometry, propedal, front and rear shocks works great climbing or going downhill. Love the xtr rear derailleur and the Shimano disc brakes.
Weaknesses: none so far
I was riding a hardtail Gary Fischer montare for 6 years. Decided to upgrade to a FS xc bike. I have tested 5 different brands of xc mountain bikes during my search for the bike I can ride and improve with. I love climbing hills and fast single tracks. I was leary switching to FS bike based on the negative inputs of other "old school" mountain bike riders. I'm 6'0 210 lbs.. I did my research meticulously. I read back orders of MTB mags and compared bikes. After going back and forth 4 different bike stores in our city, I was approached by an avid MTB rider who recognized me from coming back to the store. He asked me my riding style. I told him climbing and single tracks. He advised me to test ride SJ expert 100. Immediately, I found myself somehow feeling more fitted too this bike compared to the other 5 choices i've ridden. Light (28 lbs. on the store scale) not too active while pedaling fast. The ride was plushed. Took it to Fullerton Loop and rode it for 15 miles and it was great and then took it to Crystal Cove in Orange County the following day ( straight 1.5 mile on the first steep uphill alone ). The bike performed well like a hardtail if not better. Im very satisfied with this bike and I would recommend it to anybody who likes to ride hardtail but considering switching to a full suspension xc bike. Lots of room to improve riding skills.
a Weekend Warrior
from Mount Vernon, Washington, USA
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2005
Strengths: This bike is a great looking machine. It has a low center of gravity and is very manuverable. It also climbs great and is resonably light weight. It is one of the best values to be had out there with the great frame and fox suspension components. XT brakes seems to work very well.
Weaknesses: I have trouble getting clean shifts from the LX front shifter/derailleur. Otherwise, great components.
I did quite a bit of looking and price comparing before buying the Specialized SJ FSR Expert. I was originally looking at a Blur or Titus Racer-X frame and building up a bike from there, but the overall cost was difficult to justify. With the SJ you get a great out of the box ride for just over 2 grand. I did upgrade the wheel set with Dave's Speeddream wheels, an XT cassette and Crank Brothers S pedals to get the weight down to just below 27 pounds in a Large frame size.
I wanted a bike that was primarily a good climber due to the hilly terrain where I ride and this bike climbs like crazy. The four inches of travel is just fine for my needs and is not mushy and with the ProPedal setting selected there is just enough cush to take the edge off the bumps. I highly recommend this ride to anyone looking for a solid deal.
Similar Products Used: Trek Liquid 20, Giant Iguana Disc
Bike Setup: Dave's Speeddream Wheels wheel set (red Chris King hubs and Bontrager tubeless Mustang wheels(lighter and cheaper than crossmax sl). Awesome looking things! XT rear cassette and Crank Brothers S pedals.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2005
Strengths: Fox Float RL, Fox Triad w/pro pedal. Powder coat finish. Nice componet grouping for the money. Provin Specialized design and predictable handling. Feels light for a FS.
Weaknesses: None really. Bottom bracket to low? then you probably what an enduro.
This is my first owned FS. I rode my buddy's Heckler last summer for months and knew I would be going to FS once I saved up the $$. Just not the $$ a Santa Cruz would cost. I wanted a bike where on the first ride I was immediatly thinking, 'when I upgrade the .....' this bike will be great. That's just a nickle and dime nightmare. Do your self a favor, research, demo and then shop and buy the bike you really want. This bike satisfied that problem for me. I know previous reviews stated they needed to upgrade the chain, cassette, etc. Stock, the rear XTR derailer and LX cassette do fine. It shifts smooth. I have had to adjust the front derailer a bit but hey cable stretch is going to occur, you have to fine tine a little. The only thing you gain with XT and XTR is less weight. I have 5 full rides on this bike now in 1 month and I am loving it. I want to be on it all the time. The handling is predictable and the Fox Shocks to have no trouble with my 220lbs.
What I like. Pro-pedel. Most of the trails I ride are up, down, up, down. Some up, up up, and then long down. Propedal is great for up down stuff and when I know a long bomb downhill is comming up it is easy to flip the switch to 'open' on this shock. Lock out works when I play with it, but I sometimes do a ride with a 2 mile climb. I will use it then for sure.
Previous reviewer nailed and I will copy him. This bike is great for the price and will do everygthing well. It does get me out on the trail and I get enjoy every minute of it because I no longer get beat up on the rocks and bumps. I am having fun and you can too.
Similar Products Used: Voodoo al (hardtail). Santa Cruz Heckler. Enduro
Bike Setup: Everything stock that Specialized puts on the FSR 100 disc
a Weekend Warrior
from East Hartford, CT USA
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2005
Strengths: The stable platform rear suspension is unbelievable; this system has eliminated any notion of pedal-induced bob. It has classic Specialized geometry that was natural to move to from my SJ ’03 hardtail.
Weaknesses: Low bottom bracket, crap stock tires, some of the components are too low-grade to belong on a bike of this caliber (e.g., cheap cassette and chain).
I purchased this bike after spending two years on my ’03 SJ hardtail. This is my first full suspension bike. Prior to purchase, I tested both this bike and the 120 version in Pro and Expert level. Very little has been written about the 100 with all talk about the 120 and the new Septune. There were three main points that made me choose this bike over the 120:
1) I gave each a thorough test for pedal-induced bob, hammering up a steep paved road in both sitting and standing position. The 120 when set on firmest setting did not bob if I remaining seated. If I stood up however, there was moderate bob. On the 100 in pro-pedal mode, I couldn’t get the thing to bob no matter what I tried (serious!). Score 1 for the 100.
2) While both bikes provide remarkable plushness as compared to my HT, the 120 was hands down a much softer ride. It has more of a “point and shoot” feel to it as it is a bit less navigable than the 100. While the 100 has softness to the ride, you definitely feel what is below you. In keeping a bit closer to my HT roots, the 100 was a more natural choice for me. I suppose if I were a bit burlier than the 6’0”, 155 pounds waif that I am, the 120 would be a good choice for me. Score 1 more for the 100.
3) The 120 Septune is only in year one of production. If I were a betting man I say that they will modify the rear shock to include a lockout in future versions. Some contributors to the technical pages have also made reference to frame damage due to a design flaw on the 120 version. I was a bit uneasy with this, preferring that the bugs get all worked out first. The Triad shock on the 100 is tried and true. The adjustable front fork on the 120 is awesome. The Fox on the 100 is only slightly less awesome.
I have made a couple changes to the setup: I swapped out the WalMart cassette for an XT and gave up a bunch of weight in the process. I got some Xpedo pedals to drop a bit more, and trimmed at least an inch off each side of the ridiculously long handlebars. May end up trimming a bit more.
I have had some issues getting the drive train dialed in – serious clicking and ghost shifting, etc. I just swapped out the piece of dog-doo stock chain with XTR and ~80% of the issues have suddenly vanished. Tightening up the crank arm bolts beyond the 13 ft lb spec provided by Shimano also seemed to help, and eliminated a horrible creaking sound. One thing that is of concern to me is the awkward path the chain must follow when in the middle chain ring and I am using the first three (tallest) gears. I am wondering if swapping for a narrower bottom bracket would help this problem. The last change I have made to date is to swap out the big chain ring in favor of a bash guard. This has helped overcome some of impact of having a low bottom bracket – I was previously hitting everything on the trail. I hate to jump on the band wagon with this issue, but it is true. I have pumped up the rear shock a bit (body weight +10 pounds) and this seems to help some.
Above description sounds like a lot of gripes, but I am just spelling out some of the issues I have had in hope that it can help you make an informed decision. The bike handles fantastically and the suspension is beyond belief for both front and rear with no slop. While it matters little to me, this is a beautiful ride that even has the kids on their boutique bikes eyeing the cool lines and color. It looks that Specialized has come a long way with developing good quality components that are comparable in strength and weight to some of the aftermarket parts (e.g., stem, bars, seatpost, seat). I like the new oversized stem/handlebar setup – very rigid. What else? Although it takes some getting used to, I have on occasion swapped from pro-pedal mode to HT on the fly when cranking up steep technical sections. I have never made use of the “open” mode, feels mushy.
This is as good a place as any for this question: Why does Specialized not offer the 100 in the Pro (or S-Works) version? I would have happily slapped down the extra change for a Pro 100 to have some of the upgrades preloaded. This have forced me into prowling the catalogues for upgrade parts when I'd rather just be out riding. While the stock wheelset is very good, I would gladly have given up a few more $$ to get better and lighter. Instead you end up with a bike that hits the scale at >28 pounds – a tad on the heavy side when clawing your way up some of the hills around here.
So who would like this bike? Anybody that has already ridden Specialized will immediately feel the similarity with the aggressive steering. If you are tired of getting bounced around on your hardtail on technical rocky XC rides but still demand staying in touch with the trail, this may be a match. If you are looking for a real plush XC ride, take a look at the 120 or even Cannondale Prophet 1000-2000 (even more plush). If you demand a lot from your bike as I do, you will be annoyed at some of the trinket parts that need to be replaced within a few rides. The cassette and chain must go!
Bike Setup: All factory except for a new headset, stem, and handle bars.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2005
Strengths: Handling, front and rear shocks, rear derailleur, brakes, reasonable weight, nice balance between cost and quality, looks great.
Weaknesses: Front derailleur, handle bars
This is a fun bike. The steering felt twitchy at first, but after a few months it just feels quick and responsive. Everything works the way it should, including solid shifting, responsive brakes, and great shocks.
The pro-pedal rear shock setting works well, and I use it 80% of the time. You can lock both shocks for a long climb, and you can set the rear shock loose for technical descents.
The only imperfections are the front derailleur that seems to need adjustment more than it should, and a bit of a creaking from the handlebars during a steep climb. But then again, I weigh 220 lbs and beat up my bikes. It's still quieter than most, and I've put it through a pretty tough first three months.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2005
Strengths: *I posted this review under FSR XC Pro Disc before this link was available*: Perfect balance between hardtail response and all-mountain toughness. Disk brakes work great. Suspension is active when ya need it. Propedal shock stiffens-up on the flats. Top tube is not too long and not too short. The 100mm air sprung Fox Fork is un-frickin' believable. I was a hardcore Marzocchi fan (195 lb rider). Marzocchi still makes a good fork, but the Fox is a step above. At just over 28 lbs, the bike is spec'd well and can be made even lighter.
Weaknesses: The Bottom Bracket is low. I'm bangin' pedals and crank arms on alotta sh!t. That makes the bike's ride more stable, but they're too low. I look like an idiot because I can't stop grinning thinkin' how great the bike performs.
It's a great bike. If I could raise the bottom bracket a about a 1/2 an inch it would be perfect for my mixed-condition, fast XC trail riding style. I've had two 2000 FSRs and I'm probably an official Specialized FSR dork now, but I can't think of a good reason to have a hardtail and be a serious rider unless you just have to ride a 23lb bike. This is the best full suspension bike to ride without paying an additional $1000+ (or more) on a Santa Cruz Blur.
The next part is my 2 cents: People who have complained about the front end wandering haven't nailed down the frame geometry. My old FSRs were even shorter than this one and so I've had to adjust from that feel to this feel. The low bottom bracket sucks at times and is awesome at times.
The others who talk about the components should have bought the FSR Pro. I think that Specialized has given us a great bike at this price. I considered getting a better handlebar when I bought my bike. We all have a favorite tire, bar, saddle etc. This bike gets us out on the trail and can take about everything you can dish a trail bike. And when we scrape up the coin to get a new wheelset, the old one will have served us well. Would my favorite tire be the same as yours? I'm gonna go order my new handlebar now...
What more can I say without qualifying for a Factory sponsorship? "Ride Hard. Respect Others." Email me with your feedback.
Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain Element 50 and Kona Stinky Primo. Primo is made to get you into AND out of trouble, but the head angle is pretty slack and it weighs nearly 30 lbs. Too much bike for me. Element was a close contender, but it was a 5" bike (all mountain). If I had cash for another bike I'd get the Element. The Specialized covers my bases very well.
Bike Setup: I changed to Eggbeater pedals and a Flite saddle with Ti rails.
a Weekend Warrior
from Scottsdale, Arizona
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2005
Strengths: Anodized frame = lighter and no paint chips. The Fox F100RL is a vey light 3.3 lbs and responsive fork. The RP3 triad has a lock out, missing on the 120 stumpy.
Weaknesses: None, wish they had a pro version with a XTR drive train though.
This bike is a blast to ride. It's light, responsive and makes it hard to ride slow. I don't know why many bike manufactures don't publish weight. This stock bike weighs in at 28.0 lbs, which is lighter than the stumpy 120 expert disc. For the rough rocky trial riding that I do,100 mm of suspension is plenty and I have yet to fully bottom out the front fork. If you're in search of a new bike, do your research. I was comparing against the Yeti 575, Marin mount vision and attack, and I kept coming back to the stumpy for the best bike for the money.