Tomac 98 Special Pro 2003 Full Suspension

3.93/5 (28 Reviews)
MSRP : $2595.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jordan a Weekend Warrior from denver

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2009

Strengths:    this product has great brakes, gears, and shocks.

Weaknesses:    the tier pump is hard to find

Bottom Line:   
the best bike i have ever used

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Travis Scheefer a Racer from Gunnison, CO

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2008

Strengths:    weight, great climbing for a 4" travel bike, fast downhill for a cross country machine

Weaknesses:    bushings on main shock connection, develops play(but fox replaced them for free)

Bottom Line:   
Bought the frame new mid-summer 04 and built up from scratch. Have ridden it hard every summer with a fair amount of racing and hard riding. Frame has held up great, must have got a good one, I think it was one of the last made. Climbs like a hardtail and lockout works great. Goes downhill fast too and can be pushed hard for a xc bike. Pretty light for its day, mine is just under 27 lbs. Would recommend a light rider for this bike as well(under 180), not designed for clydesdales.

Great frame design, would recommend if they were still around.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   bought as a new frame from a friend

Similar Products Used:   only hardtails up until I got this bike, aluminum trek, specialized stumpjumper, custom steel hardtail

Bike Setup:   full XT, dt swiss 240 wheels, fox talas(80-125mm), avid discs, truvative cranks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gene Frial a Cross Country Rider from Mission Viejo,Ca.USA

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2007

Strengths:    geometry, balance, weight(for a full suspension), price, climbs great, nice balance on descent, fairly good components for out of the shop bike.

Weaknesses:    Manitou Black front shock(nothing but problems), paint job chips easy(not into blue), stock stem & bars, stock headset

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. Aside from upgrading the pedals to eggbeaters and Salsa QR seatclamp right from the start, I road it stock for about a year and half. I finally started to upgrade starting with the front shock and bars(I didn't like the the stock Manitou fork-leaked all the time and fairly flat handle bars). With my new setup, the bike climbs BETTER because I can lockout the fork. I haven't had any problems with the Magura Louise hyd. brakes. I have gone to 8" disc in front and 7" in the back and now it stops on a dime(no rubs). You can purchase the frame adapter from Magura. I feel for those who have cracked their frames. I'm only 140 lbs and maybe this bike suits lighter riders better, no cracks so far. The latest thing I've done was powdercoat the frame "desert sand" and now the bike looks as great as it rides. I'm 100% satisfied with my purchase. I've spent more $ on upgrades than the original cost of the bike. I built a hardtail with all of the spare parts so I consider it a wash. Happy trails!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   San Juan trail, Silverado Motorway

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Supergo, Laguna Hills

Similar Products Used:   Specialize FSR, Specialize Ground Control Aim Comp.

Bike Setup:   Rockshox Revelation U-turn, complete XTR drivetrain, Thomson Elite stem and seatpost, FSA carbon cranks and carbon riser bars, raceface headset, Crank Bro eggbeaters, Magura Louise hyd. brakes w/8" V cut disc in front and 7" in the back. Mavic 717 rims

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Wilton, CT... USA

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2006

Strengths:    Balanced and reasonably light (as set up).

Weaknesses:    Bent rear derailleur dropout on first ride. (These things happen!) Bent back, finished ride. Ordered and mounted replacement and now carry original as spare. No problems in over 2 years of riding. Finicky Magura brakes.

Bottom Line:   
Tuned and ridden by 200 lb XC rider over the local rocks, roots and rivers. Very different ride vs. F700. Where the hardtail required very precise line in technical sections, the Tomac is far more forgiving - allowing more speed. Stock bike a little on heavy side. Colorado Cyclist wheel special WTB/Mavic Disc was just the ticket. Seems to have rider in very high position. Been a great bike for me - I'm not into big air or drops, just fast long and hard riding.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale F700

Bike Setup:   Stock except Colorado Cyclist WTB/Mavic wheels, Fizik seat, Ritchey Pro flat bars, Ritchey Excavader 2.1.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by David a Cross Country Rider from Truckee, CA

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2005

Bottom Line:   
The top tube/head tube weld snapped during a ride. Almost sent me into a serious header. What a pain replacing the frame. Warranty dept. sucks. Made me dish out $$ for another frame. The second frame snapped at the rear chain stay weld point...now i'm goin through it again with the warranty dept. We'll see what happens this time?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hole in the ground

Duration Product Used:   2 Years


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Warren Ennis a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs Colorado

Date Reviewed: June 10, 2005

Strengths:    Loved the travel and comfort of suspension. Bike handled uphill and down a comfortable and predictable pace. Always had minor issues, but nothing major on the trail.

Weaknesses:    Frame, Frame

Bottom Line:   
This was my second frame, my first was a Tomac Special 98 which I broke in the first year at the bottom bracket on the weld on the seat tube going up. Warranty department was very good and Colorado Cyclist was great in putting me back on the trail in less than a month. Last week went to Fruita and had a great time, noticed the bike had a vibration coming from the pivot point from the rear suspension connecting to the rear shock, tried to fix and found the threaded side of the main bolt thru the shock was broken, and when I tried to tighten it back up it stripped. I am getting much stronger as a rider and do not feel this frame can hold up to 180lb of 50+ miles a week on tough single track Colorado rides. Will keep ya posted on the outcome of the Warranty

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Palmer Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 90

Bike Setup:   Avid Disk, Manitou Black, XT front and rear.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Carl-Arnold Wilke a Cross Country Rider from Waiblingen, Germany

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2005

Strengths:    Smooth rear susupension. Laterally stiff. Fairly light. Climbs well, descends well, partly good components. Frame design.

Weaknesses:    Damageably paint. Some cheap components.

Bottom Line:   
I have to replace my conclusion about this bike "After all I can say this bike is durable!!" Last week the frame cracked at the welding seam of the seatpost tube!!!!

But the warranty department of American Bicycle Group works very well. I got yesterday a new Litespeed Niota frame (2005).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lake Garda

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1690.00

Purchased At:   Supergo (Santa Monica)

Similar Products Used:   AMP B5

Bike Setup:   Grimeca System 12 brakes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Carl-Arnold Wilke a Cross Country Rider from Stuttgart

Date Reviewed: December 16, 2004

Strengths:    Smooth rear susupension. Laterally stiff. Fairly light. Climbs well, descends well, partly good components. Frame design.

Weaknesses:    Damageably paint. Some cheap components.

Bottom Line:   
Concerning to my terrible experiences I've made with this bike until May of this year I am now satisfied with it. After round about 4000 km riding on rough single trails the bike is in good condition. None of the bearings are weared out, fork and rear damper don't loose air pressure and work well.

After all I can say this bike is durable!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lake Garda

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1690.00

Purchased At:   Supergo Santa Monica

Similar Products Used:   AMP B5

Bike Setup:   Grimeca System 12 brakes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jeff a Cross Country Rider from petaluma, ca, usa

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2004

Strengths:    geometry, suspension, handling, value

Weaknesses:    magura louise brakes, politically incorrect paint job, stock bars, stem & seat

Bottom Line:   
i love this bike. i was looking for a $1200 full suspension bike and you all know what that means (spend at least 25% more than budget). i feel lucky to have gotten away with alot of bike for the price....a great deal.

i switched out the stock handlebars & stem to the truvativ team stuff (7050 aluminum) with a little longer straight stem & straight bars, it now handles beautifully. the brakes are annoying, but when tuned right, they are o.k. now if only they would stay that way. i will switch out to some hayes or something proven this winter at discount price.

it climbs great, with no bob. i've adjusted the air pressure in both front and rear shocks, and now it knows to give just the absorbtion that i need without losing efficiency. it tracks very well on single track and downhill runs. once i got myself fitted correctly, everything about riding it now seems effortless. just think and it goes.

i'm 40 y.o. and 175 lbs., i just want a comfortable ride to get me to the top of the mountain and back down. i occasionally ride in tahoe and downieville and i still appreciate a good handling bike on technical stuff, but i'm no pro. i also don't like to abuse my body, thus i don't abuse my bike. this bike is therfore great for me.

as for those who drop the one or no chili reviews, that just seems a bit immature and vindictive. do us a favor and just give a mesured assesment, not a reactionary one, please. one test ride around the block will expose a one chili bike, don't ya think?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   supergo santa monica

Similar Products Used:   schwinn string ray with a banana seat and a krappy plastic big wheel

Bike Setup:   xt/xtr, mavic 317's, manitou black air, fox float rl, truvativ team cranks, stem, bars, wtb laser seat, shimano 545 pedals

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Carl-Arnold Wilke a Cross Country Rider from Stuttgart, Germany

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2004

Strengths:    Smooth rear susupension. Laterally stiff. Fairly light. Climbs well, descends well, partly good components. Frame design.

Weaknesses:    Bad quality of manufacturing and components, poor paint

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike at the end of september 2003 at Supergo for 1690.- bucks than I've paid beside normal customs fees a german anti-dumping fee because this bike is not manufactured in the US, it ist built in Taiwan. At least this bike costs me nearly 3000.- After a few rides I recognized that my fork lost air pressure because the right fork leg has had a big crack. Manitou Germany wasn't able to repiar it so I got after 4 month struggle a new one, a Black Super 120 cm. Now my tomac began to make dreadful noises coming from the frame because all bearings of rear suspension are dry, after filling up with grease, they worked well. My last torture with this bike was pops were coming from the crank area. The reason was the washed-out Truvativ bottom bracket Giga Pipe SL. Now I've replaced it against a FSA product with 3 ball-baerings. Overall this bike was a expensive and nerve-racking experience.
I thought Tomac bikes are cult and John Tomac will be proud of his products but I think he will only make cash with his brand.

PS To protect the paint against cable rubbing and rockslides i'v used adhesive foil, it works !!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lake Garda

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1690.00

Purchased At:   Supergo Santa Monica

Similar Products Used:   AMP B5

Bike Setup:   Grimeca System 12 brakes

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matthew a Cross Country Rider from Ocala, FL

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2004

Strengths:    Components, price, ride

Weaknesses:    Fork, brakes

Bottom Line:   
Great Bike over all. I had to send the forks in for warranty work immediately. First they would not hold pressure. When they replaced the cartridge the lock out would not release. Over a month and a half to get them back. The Magura louise brakes took some time to work in, they are super strong and very responsive and progressive. The are extremely hard to keep adjusted...I.E. rub and squeek often. Everything else works great. handling is on the loose side, the front end wanders at speed. I am going to try a longer stem with lower rise first. If that doesn't work a new fork is in order. No cracks yet...keeping my fingers crossed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Razorback

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1740.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Rocket 88, GT Zaskar LE

Bike Setup:   Stock: King H.S.,

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Banks a Cross Country Rider from Provo, UT USA

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2004

Strengths:    Smooth rear susupension. Laterally stiff. Fairly light. Climbs well, descends well.

Weaknesses:    Laid back geometry makes it a handfull on technical sections.

Bottom Line:   
This bike climbs like crazy. I rarely lock it out. The only complaint I have is the bike seems to sit so high and the steering seems so slow I have had to put a foot down in technical areas I would breeze through on other bikes. Overall, for the price I paid, the performance is great. I love the XT disc brakes(I pulled the Magura's after one ride). I just hope this bike holds up.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   mtbr.com classifieds

Similar Products Used:   Tomac 78 special. Specialized FSR.

Bike Setup:   XT discs. XTR/XT drivetrain. Tuvative cranks. Thomson stem, monkeylight riser. Manitou Black Super Air fork.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by drew a Cross Country Rider from staten island

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2004

Strengths:    price, build kit, and you dont see it all over. handles great and climbes even better

Weaknesses:    some stock components are not so good

Bottom Line:   
i love the bike but the shock is pretty lame its way undersprung and developed play after 3 rides. i broke the chain on a moderate ride. the rear derailler hanger broke on my first real ride and destroyed the xtr derailer. gripes were the worst ever. brakes rub alot. this bike feels so good but it seem to be one headache after another. its my second tomac and it is definatly not built as well as my first one (scandium bucksot) but it is designed well so it handles and feels good. ill ride it till it breaks and if it dont break il ride it forever

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   bay ridge bikes

Similar Products Used:   alot

Bike Setup:   stock with time pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by marco a Cross Country Rider from austin, texas

Date Reviewed: February 19, 2004

Strengths:    Light, Drivetrain & Gear Components; Rear Shock has lockout; climbs well, feel very compact/solid if set up (shock/fork) is right. Hydraulic brakes are pretty powerful.

Weaknesses:    Headset Cane Creek C2 is crap, Paint chips easily; Tomac components could be lighter; Cables rub frame. Discountinued for 2004.

Bottom Line:   
I would not buy this bike at full price; for the price I paid, there's nothing comparable out there in terms of design and components. I'm sorry to hear about problems with frame cracks, I'm not sure what you are using this bike for; remember it is a just XC...
Noticed some bobbing, about half inch on small and middle gears and a fourth on big one, which obviously is not a problem with the lockout. Hydraulic brakes are impressive although hard to tune, squeak a lot but i can brake with one finger, which really helps on downhills. Climbs just like a hardtail with or without lockout.
Just went riding for a week to Sedona, Az and the bike gave me no problems.
For the price, I give it 5 chilis, 4 overall for the design and to sympathize with people that have had their frames cracked.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Submarine Rock, Sedona Az

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1729.00

Purchased At:   supergo online

Similar Products Used:   Ironhorse HOllowpoint Sport -great frame design with poor excution (cheap paint, poor cable routing)

Bike Setup:   Stock + SPD 536 pedals; Trade up from Ironhorse Hollowpoint -Supergo credit full price towards the Tomac98. Would buy from them anytime...

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by s b a Cross Country Rider from Long Island, NY

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Another update:
I was inspecting the frame and I found even more cracks. This time two underneath the top tube where it meets the weld for the head tube and one of the drilled pilot welding holes on the chainstay. Clearly poor workmanship that Tomac won't fess up to.

Total of five cracks, all by some type of work. Beware, American Bike's warranty has so many technicalities because they don't want to warranty anything. They're saying, in effect, that purchase affects how the bike was manufactured on a frame that was already made.

Should've bought a Turner Burner. Do yourself a favor. you'll find a bike with at least consistant welds on the rear triangle.

here's a thread:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=2776

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1600.00


Reviews 1 - 15 (28 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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98 Special Pro brake problems

I have been having problems with the Magura Luise brakes on my '03 98 Specia Pro. I have tried everything to get then to quit vibrating and making squealing noises. I'm on the third type of pads and it still will not quit. I called Magura, they said that this fame has a lot of flex in the chain stay ... Read More »

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