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ol'guy who says hi &waves
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Is it just me or does Specialized seem underrated ? These bikes that get all the talk don't seem to perform any, if at all, better. Granted, I've modified my '00 Stumpy and call it "my poorman's Blur", but it outperformed me before the modifications anyway.
 

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Overrated or Overlooked?

I see Specialized as "overlooked" rather than "underrated". All of MTBR members like the smaller builder for the quality and service they are able to provide.

I kinda got sucked into this when I was looking for a FS bike last summer. I was considering a Ventana Pantera, Titus LocoMoto, etc... I could only afford the mono-pivot bike's of the boutique builders, but found myself really wanting a Titus Switchblade with adjustable travel (pre talas adjustability). When test riding bikes, I saw an Endruo in the LBS and thought to myself "it has everything I want except I wanted a non-interrupted seat tube" I finally decided, I'd rather spend less money, have a horst link suspension bike, and live with the interrupted seat tube. I was after an aggressive XC style bike anyways, not a hucker or a freeride bike where I'd want to lower the seat.

A couple of well known MTBR'ers (JimC and Finch Platte) have gotten Enduro's lately. They both seem to have gotten pretty good deals, either from inside connections or year-end closeouts. Even if you have to pay near retail, you'll probably end up spending less on a complete bike versus the boutique frame.
 

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not a bum rap, more the ignored middle child.

The bikes work great, they have a great line of bikes for just about every need. My '97 FSR rides and handles as well as any bike available today, that can't said of many FS bikes of that era. I'd still be riding a Specialized bike but I built an Ellsworth for a lot cheaper than what a similarly equipped S-Works would have cost me.<p>Specailized just does not have the Chi Chi factor of a boutique frame, however i noticed that the most discussed boutique frame builders are lumped into the "Manufacturer" section along with the common riff raff like Trek and Specialized. The people in the "Custom" category could become the new chi chi frames, hmmm Mtbr could be trying to influence the whole mtn bike community here.
 

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govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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Ratt

I dont think so. They HAVE to put all the noncustom brands together more or less. The Specialized/Treks/Giants of the market sell the most and can either choose to vote for or against certain mtbike entities through their wllingness or not to support with advertising $ and other methods. They might become less willing if they felt segregated into inferior riffraff categories.

It's becoming to where I don't believe the frame matters so much. I think a lot of people realize there is not a 1000$ difference between say a Kona or Salsa frame and an Ellswoth or Titus. It's the components. A nicely equipped bike no matter the frame brand (of course not the traditional dept store brands)is still going to be regarded as plenty sweet.

I don't think Specialized is underrated at all. Ned has helped to sell oodles of them in Texas alone. I chose Giant. Next I will probably choose Kona. I try and get a nice performing bike that 7 out of 10 aren't riding. At the races in Texas I have noticed lots of Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Lightspeed, Ellsworth, and IF. Not so much Giant, K2, Kona, Salsa----those might be the truly unrecognized, value brands--at least in my old biking haunts.
 

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I was JK about the riff raff category, i understand this is only beta and they are trying to define the board still.<p>The underating i think Fred was referring to was on the Mtbr boards where Specialized isn't maligned like Ellsworth or Rockshox but not held in high praise like Turner and Ventana, Specialized holds more the middle ground.
 

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Specialized just builds generally solid bikes for a decent price. So there don't seem to be so many people out there that feel the need to justify buying a Specialized like they do with the ChiChi bikes that aren't much if any better but cost a whole lot more.
 

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Specialized vs. Chi Chi Brands

I rode a Ellsworth Id for the better part of a year. Broke the frame twice and said screw it... I didn't pay $2300 to help Ellsworth test defective designs. So I went to an '03 Enduro S-Works. How do they compare? The Enduro is just as nice a ride as the Id, definitely a stronger build and the Enduro fits me better.

Specialized makes some great bikes. Just ignore the bike snobs and test out designs yourself. FSR is the best! I've owned Specialized mountain and road bikes and they are *always* quality rides.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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common brands

ArmySlowRdr said:
Ratt

At the races in Texas I have noticed lots of Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Lightspeed, Ellsworth, and IF. Not so much Giant, K2, Kona, Salsa----those might be the truly unrecognized, value brands--at least in my old biking haunts.
In Indiana and Ohio, I've seen tons of Giants. Trek and Giant are probably #1 and #2 most common bikes I see up here. I see a fair bit of Specialized bikes, too...but a lot of the Specialized bikes I see are older than the Treks and Giants. It seems people keep their Specialized's around a lot longer.

As for K2, Kona, and Salsa, I don't see many of those bikes up here at all. In fact, I've only seen a couple Konas, but no K2's or Salsas. I can only think of one Kona dealer off the top of my head, and no K2 or Salsa dealers. The one mtb-focused shop I know of sells Giant, Diamondback, and Santa Cruz. The shop at Galyan's (where I work) sells Iron Horse, The North Face, Marin, and Ellsworth (and rumor has it they'll be adding Cannondales, also). But I have yet to see many of these bikes on the trails (except for Cannondale...I see a few of those around).

I guess it has to do with the popularity of mountain biking in an area. It's not all that popular around here, so the smaller companies tend to stay out of the market. The bigger companies can afford to enter this market, so they have a lion's share of the mtb sales around here.

All in all, I love my Stumpjumper FSR. For less than $2k, I got hydro discs, Fox float RL front and rear, mostly LX, and an XTR rear der. The bike rides great. I even took it on a 36 mile road ride the other day. I tried locking out the suspension, but that made the ride too harsh, so I left the suspension active. I still got dropped, but then again, more than half the riders there were on road or cx bikes.
 

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ArmySlowRdr said:
Ratt

It's becoming to where I don't believe the frame matters so much. I think a lot of people realize there is not a 1000$ difference between say a Kona or Salsa frame and an Ellswoth or Titus. It's the components. A nicely equipped bike no matter the frame brand (of course not the traditional dept store brands)is still going to be regarded as plenty sweet.
The frame doesn't matter so much? The frame is, literally, the backbone of the bike! A good frame matters hugely! Now, I agree that there isn't a $1000 difference between frames just because one is handmade here and one is handmade or even machine made overseas. Specialized Enduro and Titus Switchblade are basically the same bike. Titus even licences the technology from Specialized. In my opinion, the frames are of identical quality but the Spec is quite a bit more affordable.

Get a good frame with lower parts and upgrade the parts as you go along. It's the frame that matters!


But, that's just me....
 

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govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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Well that's what I meant, in part, just not in so many words--when I said but of course not a dept store bike frame. Of course some frames are bound to be somewhat better--but not enough difference for me to pay say 500 to thousands more For instance, on even a lower price scale, I wonder if my Giant XTC frame really is hardly any better than my wife's Raleigh. It's just that her bike has cheap, heavy weight parts on it. A good fit is most important IMHO.


skiahh said:
A good frame matters hugely! ..Now, I agree that there isn't a $1000 difference between frames just because one is handmade here and one is handmade or even machine made overseas. Specialized Enduro and Titus Switchblade are basically the same bike. ..Get a good frame with lower parts and upgrade the parts as you go along. It's the frame that matters!


But, that's just me....
 

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ArmyGuy,

I totally agree that the big S puts together really effective packages, as in whole bikes, with fair components and well designed frames.

But, just like with everything else, for some people they are just not the right choice.

My wife bought me an '02 Enduro FSR in June of '02 and while I found it to be a great package of a bike ( with only minor mods to tune it to my personal taste ) and a great solid fun ride, it just could not sustain the usage level to which I put it. The frame broke four times in ten months of riding, every time it was a weld failure. I'm not the only person who has suffered this either. My LBS and thru them Specialized was, each time, wonderful about quickly getting the replacement frameset in and the bike rebuilt.

This is from basically the same level of use to which I had a Cannondale hardtail last seven years. I expected more endurance from a bike billed as the "go everywhere all day" bike.

After the fourth failure, my wife and I decided I needed to find something more durable because I simply did not want to have one of the frame failures at a Really Bad Time. So after I got the frame replaced I sold the bike to finance the next evolution.

We ended up after about two months of research going with one of the botique manufacturers and building up a bike around a designed-for-freeride ( or is it black diamond now ) riding BUT with the geometry and angles to keep it a good overall trail bike.

I do NOT do "big air" and never will, but I wil say I've had nothing but great riding for six months and 1200 miles now on the revised bike.
 

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You're obviously using the bike for the wrong thing...

If you're incurring that level of frame breakage, than you're not riding the bike as it was intended, plain and simple. Any piece of equipment can be broken, knife, gun, bike, pack, etc., but a testiment of a piece of equipment's success or failure is does it meet it's intended purpose.
 

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"intended purpose"

Hmm. No dirt jumping, no drops over 12", no major downhilling, no racing, just Central Texas trail riding at average pace 7-12 mph - but a lot of mileage and pretty much daily riding, sometimes 2x daily. By a 230# dude. I don't whang rims, I don't break deralleurs, nor stems, nor bars.

So, the bike was not "intended" for daily use?

My Cannondale hardtail didn't seem to mind this level of use, I guess it was "intended" for daily use.

That's what I figured.

That's why I moved on to a different bike after the last breakage incident.

I think the Enduro was a good bike, just not designed and built for me.
 

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These were FSR frames??

I have a 99 FSR XC, broke the chainstay where you described. Specialized replaced it under warranty. It was a know problem and the one they replaced it with is much beefier where the crack occurred on mine. But other than that, I have no complaints about their qaulity on either my FSR or my M2 hardtail.
 
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