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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to purchase a 2011 SJ Expert soon. Currently riding a 2006 FSR. I've demoed a Rumblefish 2, so I have a little experience riding a 29er. I do know that I want a 29er now.

Mainly looking for any feedback on the Expert. Wondering about the fork, never ridden a Reba. Do you like the SRAM components? Is the command post more trouble than it's worth? The Avid brakes ok? Is the geometry similar?

Any feedback is appreciated. I will have a chance to demo one next week but am looking for some unbiased opinions. It's a lot of money to drop on a bike and want to make sure I'm making the right call. Thanks.
 

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I can't think of a time where I have had a problem with anything Rock Shox/ Sram.
I have XO 9 speed on one bike sram X7&X9 on a another bike I have had some other X7 &
X9 on my older bike and that stuf is now on a friends bike.

I was going to get the same bike that your looking at last year but I got two bike 1 H/T &
1 F/S. I am now selling my frames and I am building up two H/T..

I won't go with Specialized carbon frame bur I'm looking at the alu m5 s/j the big S wants
to much for the carbon frames, there are others for a little less.

If I where you and you have that kind of money I would go and look at and ride a lot of
bikes, you must be a mtb racer, here are a few On-One (but I don't know if we can get in the USA yet!) Niner bikes,Gary fisher, and I don't know if Scott bikes has a carbon 29er frame or not but I think so.
 

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I have the 2011 SJ FSR Expert 29er. It's a great trail bike. The adjustability of the Brain is nice -- set it plush for rocky trails or stiffer for more efficiency on smoother trails.

The Reba RLT is a nice fork once you get it dialed in. Nice and plush, easy to lock out for climbs if you want, and the 20mm thru axle keeps everything fairly stiff

SRAM drivetrain is excellent. Front shifting is especially good, and I've had no problems or issues with anything. The 22/33 chainring gearing works great for me on a 29er trailbike, but I'm not a very strong or fast rider.

The command post has been a little bit of a pain. The pivot on the lever fell out at one point and I had to get a new one. Right now the end of the noodle that holds the cable housing near the lever has split open, so it should be replaced. I haven't found much use for the command post other than easily lowering the seat to put the bike in my car. I'm not sure it's worth the extra weight and hassle.

Avid brakes have been great. No squealing or chirping or other bad noises, and they work great.

The only downside to the bike is that it weighs about 30 lbs., which is okay for a trailbike, but might be a little heavy if you want to race it.

The Brain on mine also failed about about 4 or rides. The adjusting knob just spun freely and it was stuck at full stiff. Based on other posts here, this is not an uncommon problem.

Overall, it's a great bike. If you are looking for a 5" travel 29er trailbike then it is definitely an option worth considering.
 

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I had an 08. It had the larger Brain shock. Bike was awesome until I cracked the frame about two years in. Specialized replaced the frame with an 09. The 2010 and newer SJs have been improved in the area where mine broke, so they shouldn't be a problem. I've had no trouble with the Reba, the Avid Juicy 7's went in as a warranty early on and have been pefrect ever since. My bike came with X9 shifters and an X0 derailler and that has all been perfect. In fact, I like them better than the XT stuff on my last couple of bikes.
My bike was before the Command post, so I can't help you there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys. It's about what I expected to hear. Now I guess I just need to ride it for the final test.

*Note to all FL riders-please stay away from Alafia next Saturday so I can get some quality time with this bike. :)
 

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jabrabu said:
The command post has been a little bit of a pain. The pivot on the lever fell out at one point and I had to get a new one. Right now the end of the noodle that holds the cable housing near the lever has split open, so it should be replaced. I haven't found much use for the command post other than easily lowering the seat to put the bike in my car. I'm not sure it's worth the extra weight and hassle.
I was thinking this would be the case for me, too. After getting the saddle height adjusted to where I like it for climbing, I did feel a bit out there on steep descents - much more so than on my 26FSR. I started using the command post a bit, and before long it became part of my regular routine. I've had to really wrench down the fastener which secures the saddle angle. This has let go on long rides a couple of times, and it is a PITA to readjust in the field. I carry a spare bolt with me now, since I can imagine over-torquing it out of exasperation if happens again.

It's a really fun bike.
 

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I also found that the seat clamp tends to slip, even with the bolt tightened very very tight.
The upper part of the post also needs to be cleaned and lubed regularly for it to return to full height, or else you need to use a lot of air pressure.

I have tried lowering the command post to the middle position for some longer technical descents, and it just feels kind of awkward to me. I may just need to get used to it, though. After 20+ years of riding with a roadie-height seat I've gotten used to sliding off the back of the saddle for technical descents and also squeezing the seat between my thighs for control. Having the seat out of the way allows me to get lower, but it also feels like I've lost a point of control on the bike. I could see where folks who grew up doing BMX, dirt jumping, pump tracks, and downhill would love it, but I'm still not sure that it's for me.
 

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My experience so far:
- The Reba is stiff and works well once it's dialled in.
- Sram has done a great job with the drivetrain. The low gearing seems well suited to this bike.
- The Avid brakes are working fine.
- Some aspects of the geometry look a little worrying on paper but it all works really well out on the trail.
- The only thing that's slightly bothering me is a little stiction in the rear suspension. It's not really noticeable while riding but I might have to look into it if it doesn't go away with more usage.

jabrabu said:
I have tried lowering the command post to the middle position for some longer technical descents, and it just feels kind of awkward to me. I may just need to get used to it, though. After 20+ years of riding with a roadie-height seat I've gotten used to sliding off the back of the saddle for technical descents and also squeezing the seat between my thighs for control. Having the seat out of the way allows me to get lower, but it also feels like I've lost a point of control on the bike. I could see where folks who grew up doing BMX, dirt jumping, pump tracks, and downhill would love it, but I'm still not sure that it's for me.
Same...I don't see the Command post staying on the bike for long. Never felt the need for such and thing on my bike and having got one I still don't. It does work well though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I went to my LBS yesterday and saw one up close. I was concerned with the way the cables are routed under the frame and the way they hung down a little. Also the way the cable sticks out at the rear derailleur.

Anyone have any issues with debris getting caught in there?
 

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cnsaguy said:
I went to my LBS yesterday and saw one up close. I was concerned with the way the cables are routed under the frame and the way they hung down a little. Also the way the cable sticks out at the rear derailleur.

Anyone have any issues with debris getting caught in there?
No issues but they are PITA to clean etc. I would think Specialized can come up with a better idea....
 
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