Specialized FSR Extreme 98 Bike 1998 or Older

Specialized FSR Extreme 98

User Reviews (80)

Showing 1-10 of 80  
tim   Weekend Warrior [Sep 28, 2009]
Strength:

Efficient rear suspension, good geometry, solid entry components, tank-like in its durability

Weakness:

a few creaks here and there and I could have done without the mirror blue and red paint job (I call it the Captain America scheme) but that's all I've got!

This is an awesome bike. It's pulled out some crazy landings that lesser bikes would have crumpled under. I've been riding this bike over technical terrain since 99 and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It climbs like a goat, sucks up big hits like a dirt bike, descends quickly and in a controlled fashion, and is still light enough to cover great distance without killing you. When I was shopping for a bike, I wanted one that could do everything. I couldn't afford a downhill bike, an XC bike, a free ride bike...like most people can't. The FSR can do it all.

Similar Products Used: Ross rigid
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Scott   Downhiller [Jul 04, 2002]
Strength:

UPGRADEABLE!

Weakness:

Judy XL fork, rear bushings, stock link, stock tires

Now into my 5th summer and I still like my bike. Teh new fork and link really made all the difference. These components made the old FSR feel lie a new bike. I read the previous reviews and can't really understand how people can say they enjoy the downhill geometery or never bottom out. I bottomed out everywhere and think the stock link is a worthless pile of crap. My bike now rolls over everything and is far more enjoyable to ride. To me it is a long travel cross country bike and nothing more. The suspension improvements allow me to take it into the local BMX jumping park and do small gap jumos but I plan to buy and build up a real Freeride bike in the future.

Presently with the upgrades the FSR Extreme lives more up to its name and now will stay with me for another 5 years. I still like it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brook   Downhiller [Sep 29, 2006]
Strength:

Duribility

Weakness:

bit noisy and soft fork

great all mountain bike hadles climbs down hills and jumps. the bike has lasted me eight years going on nine. the bike makes some noise at times but keeps on rollin. Im sad to say though she is on her way out. you can bet my next bike is going to be a specialized.

Similar Products Used: random hard tails
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Mills   Cross Country Rider [Apr 15, 2003]
Strength:

Great all-mountain bike; good original parts spec; good suspension travel at the time; 4-bar suspension design the greatest; excellent bang-for-the-buck at the time

Weakness:

Typical weaknesses for this bike - short top tube; heavy frame; stock rear suspension bushings; some Specialized house-brand parts pretty crappy

This is an update to the review I posted back in July 1998. This bike is definitely sweet with all the upgrades i've put into it. Bought it in 1998 for $1600 (thanks Ray's Cycle in Vacaville, CA - you guys rock), and it was definitely the most bang-for-the-buck bike at the time - 4" of travel front/rear and the 4-bar suspension design - still the way to go, to this day. Didn't like the Kermit-the-Frog green that much, but I was out for as much performance and fun as I could get for $1600. As for the stock components/suspension - definitely good for the time, but, obviously, as time goes on, so does better/lighter bike parts coming out. So, in the quest for a lighter/better performing bike, I have spent some cash over time (approx. $1782.00 in upgrades), and have customized it to the moon to my liking. The key is to find the stuff on sale - I was able to purchase all the upgrades with a savings of $577.00 over the original price. The way I see it, it comes out to $3382.00 total, which is just a little over the current 2003 Specialized Enduro Pro, which essentially the same as this bike is now. Anyway, here's the breakdown of the current bike:

Frame - 1998 FSR Extreme, med. frame, Mountainspeed 4-pivot
bearing kit
Shock - 2000 Fox Float RC ($199.00 - thanks, Supergo)
Fork - 2002 Rockshox Psylo SL w/soft-spring kit ($389)
Headset - FSA Orbit XL II ($45)
Stem - Specialized (switched from stock 135mm to 110mm)($15)
Handlebar - FSA XC190 riser ($59)
Grips - Yeti Hard-Core ($8)
Brake Levers/Shifters - Shimano XT, 9-speed ($69)
Cables - Shimano XTR sealed brake/gear teflon cableset ($36)
Saddle - SDG Bel-Air, kevlar sides, titanium rails ($79)
Seatpost - Thomson Elite, cut to 330mm ($69)
Seatpost Binder - Specialized alloy quick-release ($24)
Bottom Bracket - Shimano ES-70, octalink spindle ($23)
Crankset - Shimano XT, 9-speed, octalink, hollowtech ($89)
Pedals - Shimano 545 ($59)
Front Derailleur - Shimano XT, 9-speed ($21)
Rear Derailleur - Shimano XTR, 9-speed, medium-cage ($75)
Cassette - Shimano XT, 9-speed, 11-34 tooth ($38)
Chain - SRAM PC-99, 9-speed ($34)
Brakes - Hayes HMX-1, mechanical discs ($148)
Front Hub - Specialized Stout disc, cartridge bearings ($5)
Rear Hub - Specialized Stout disc, cartridge bearings ($8)
Front Skewer - Specialized alloy skraxle ($N/A)
Rear Skewer - Specialized chromoly ($N/A)
Spokes - DT Black Revolutions, 14/17/14 gauge ($77)
Nipples - DT alloy, red/green ($16)
Rims - Mavic X317 disc, black ($128)
Rim Strips - Velox Cloth ($5)
Tubes - Salsa Superlight presta ($10)
Tires - Panaracer Trailblaster K, 2.1, black/red ($54)
Headset Spacer - Winwood, 15mm, carbon fiber ($3)
Disc Adapter - Specialized FSR alloy disc adapter ($50)
Cable Guides - Problem Solvers, plastic, stick-on ($10)
Brake Boss Plugs - Problem Solvers, plastic, 8/10 mm ($8)
Chainstay Protector - Lizard Skins, neoprene ($7)
Bar Ends - Titec Micros ($19)
Computer - Specialized Speedzone Team, wireless ($60)

As you can see, the bike is nowhere close to the original I bought 5 years ago. The performance rivals the bikes today, to a degree. I'd have to spend about the same I did on this bike and upgrades to get a comparable machine today. I'd say the biggest upgrades to the bike in the order of importance in the performance area were: Mountainspeed bearing kit, Fox Float RC, Rockshox Psylo SL, conversion to disc brakes, the change-over to 9-speed, and a lighter wheelset. With all the upgrades, the bike went from 30.66 lbs to 29.47 lbs, despite the change-over to disc brakes - not bad for an all-mountain bike. My goal was achieved - when I initially started upgrading (discs and heavy disc wheelset), the bike jumped to 33 lbs - ouch. So, I lightened the wheelset, and put on lighter components here-and-there, and dropped 3.5 lbs - pretty good for and all-mountain bike. As for any future upgrades, I cannot think of any to increase the performance/weight factor, without switching the fork out to a Fox Float RLC - not willing to shell out 700 bucks to do that. Would be a nice upgrade, though. Definitely nice having the lockouts front/rear, although I only use them on the road. Greatest feature is the U-Turn on the Psylo SL - use that every ride I do with an extended climb or descent (lots of them here in the Spokane area). Nice having the adjustability of the head angle. Love the suspension performance of the Fox Float/Mountainspeed bearing kit combo in the back - added about an inch of travel, and performs loads better than the stock Rockshox Coupe Deluxe coil/plastic bushing combo. Will definitely have this bike for years to come. All-in-all, it would be hard to find a better bike at this pricepoint.

Similar Products Used: Bike history: Huffy 18-speed rigid (1988-1991); Miyata Elevation 400' rigid (1991-1993); Diamondback Axis Team front-suspension (1993-1998); Specialized FSR Extreme dual-suspension (1998-present)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Keith Lazarski   Weekend Warrior [Aug 31, 2006]
Strength:

Durability!

Weakness:

Creaking noise in the crankset somewhere

I don't ride with groups of people or know the lingo of other cyclists. I have simply riddent this bike since I purchased it back in November of 1997. I thought the color was hideous, but it came recommended back then and a great buy and I am glad I did so. While I may not be able to speak intelligently about the individual parts of the bike, I can speak about the whole. I have only replaced the chain, tires and brake pads on this bike and have been faithful in getting a full-service tune-up each spring. On average I ride about 700-950 miles per year on either roadways, trails or off the beaten path!

The first two years, I had some fun bringing it to a couple of skate parks and used it regularly on a half pipe and many jumps. I weighed about 160lbs back then and I estimate that it handled 3-4ft drops very well. Today I weight 250lbs and while I don't do the stunts I did back then, I still find the suspension maintains the ride and traction in most conditions comfortably. In addition to the regular upkeep, I do tend to avoid puddles, sand and mud as I feel this must kill the suspension and other mechanisms over time....so, in summary, I obviously feel this has helped keep the bike in good shape!

I am very happy with Specialized and this particular bike. I am looking at their road bikes and will not sell this one...when I get sick of it I will hang it up on my wall in my den as it is too ugly to depart with.

Similar Products Used: Not so similar, but a 1992 Rockhopper and a 1989 Stumpjumper. 1988 Bianchi (cool looking and expensive for the time, but not better than my $499 Rockhopper) Tested out many competitors at the time...but I felt this was the leader for the price.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
colby   Downhiller [Jul 17, 2006]
Strength:

everything

Weakness:

frame started to crack after first ride of the season but i got it welded back together and it is a really gnarly bike.

its a sick ass bike, its good for downhill and it climbs really good because it is light and easy to throw around.

Similar Products Used: iron horse sgs expert
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Andrew   Cross-Country Rider [Jan 02, 2000]
Weakness:

Ultra Steep Seat Angle. Non Standard size post. Ugly green paint job.

This is an update to the review below. I just couldn't get used to the super steep seat angle and the ugly green paint. (Mostly the seat angle). Also, the standover height was a bit tall even on the small size frame. Bottom line: I sold the frame and picked up a Specialized FSR Comp with the MAX BACKBONE Frame, normal geometry, a better shock, a lower standover height, and a way cool paint job that turns from dark green to purple depending on how the light hits it. This is what the Extreme should have been!!!! Since I found I could not live with the Extreme, will down grade my rating to 4 flaming dead horses. (That's what they look like to me). I'd give my new ride a 5 plus!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Phil Esempio   Racer [Jan 02, 2000]
Strength:

Goes down fast!, XT components, Avid Brakes

Weakness:

Climbing, Weight

I bought this bike used in '99, and while it is a great bike for technical terrain (like West Virginia), it does not climb as well as a hardtail, or the GT i-drive bikes for that matter. The triple crown fork ('98 Judy XL) is nice and stiff going down, but impedes handling on tight single track. With the advent of some new stiff single crown long travel forks, I believe this maybe my next upgrade for this bike. Other than that, this is a great bike...in it's element, it is pretty much unstoppable.

Similar Products Used: GT XCR 2000 ('99)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Ron   cross-country rider [Sep 20, 1998]

Paid $899 for it! Bought an FSR (blue one) a couple of months ago. Was not happy with the suspension at all. This suspension on this Extreme is MUCH better. I ride between 20-30 miles a week. Mostly cross-country, some downhill. It's a STEAL at $899, it was priced at $1375 just a week ago.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Zeek   weekend warrior [Sep 30, 1998]

great bike, except for the rock shox equipment on it ...after replacing the rear with a stratos helix pro with the on the fly lock out and putting a set of white bros. dc118-dh forx in front this bike works very well in just about any condition and terrain. even if it is up or down this is a very responsive and comfortable bike in or out of the saddle. a lot of fun to ride ..have only owned it for about two months and have put roughly 230 miles in the dirt with it (IIIIIIIIIII LIKE IT!!)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 80  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.