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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How plush do Specialized bikes feel on flat ground, climbing, descending compared to their competition:

5 spot FSR walking beam
Giant Maestros/ IH DW vpp type/dwlink
Cake or 575 rearward low monopivot
Prophet forward high monopivot

I have seen that Spec's rear axle paths (SJ and 04 Enduro), curves towards the bike very early on their travel, especially compared to the bikes listed above. I have ridden a bike with a similar axle path as specialized and thought it was good climbing, but not so good on flat rocky ground, plush wise.

I put much attention to axle paths, but more to riders' opinions.
Want to get a new bike and I am drawn to the specialized models but want a bike with a very plush rear suspension, something that will not make me wish for something else.

Is the Specialized for me or should I consider one of the other contenders
 

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We want... a shrubbery!
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While I can't answer the technical aspects of this question, I can give an opinion. (Sorry, don't know too much about how different axle paths would affect performance) I used to have a '99 Specialized FSR XC Stumpjumper Pro and it had the original Fox Float R shock on it for a while. Last summer, the shock's internal seals blew and I used that as an excuse to upgrade to a Fox Float RC (had to have that lockout lol!). I bought a 2003 model (LBS had to mount it upside down--had same stroke and length, but casing dimensions were different) and I couldn't believe how much plush that shock was--same air and rebound settings for the old blown shock and my "new" shock. It was amazing how much nicer this shock was, and the ride was a lot smoother--while there may have been some adjustment issues that could have provided those result, my point is this:
I think the rear shock has a lot to do with the ride quality of the particular bike. Maybe try looking into reviews of the different shocks that come stock on the bikes you're looking at... Any other ideas out there?
 

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Kona0197 said:
Actually the axle path of the FSR is nearly straight up and down. :)
Yep, the axle path is essentially vertical due to the pivot in front of the drop out being below the line from the BB to the wheel axle. This is the defining feature of the Horst link and thus creates a virtual pivot point that is to the front of the bike. This decoupling of the axle path from the swing arm motion has resulted in a pretty active suspension. And modern shock tech has made it better, although it has brought new life to many different designs, e.g. single pivot.

Pedro, your best bet would probably be to ask for contrasting opinions in the What Bike to Buy forum.

Dave
 

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Gravity Rides Everything
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it remains plush under power. That makes it great for technical riding. The chain has basically no effect on the rear suspension. modern FSR bikes with propedal style shocks are very low on bob.
 

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Plush is exactly what i wanted and is what i got with a 2004 stumpjumper f/s.
Not to deminish ones right to choose but i often wonder why one would graduate from a hardtail only to select a stiff f/s rig to replace it.
I was simply tired of the beating's from my HT and wanted a plush yet efficient ride,add 4-bar with platform shock,search over.
Do yourself a favor.If you want a active plush suspension,cheakout 4-bar designs.
 

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ballbuster
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I'd have to say plush as well.

Bird said:
Plush is exactly what i wanted and is what i got with a 2004 stumpjumper f/s.
Not to deminish ones right to choose but i often wonder why one would graduate from a hardtail only to select a stiff f/s rig to replace it.
I was simply tired of the beating's from my HT and wanted a plush yet efficient ride,add 4-bar with platform shock,search over.
Do yourself a favor.If you want a active plush suspension,cheakout 4-bar designs.
I just recently built up an '03 FSR XC Stumpy, and even set to 75mm of rear travel, it feels way more plush than my K2 Razorback ever did. OTOH, it also feels more vague on the trail, less point and shoot. I think the Fox RL rear shock has a lot to do with it as well. The K2's Noleen is pretty harsh, and is not terribly responsive. It tops out hard with a loud klack, whereas the Fox has a negative air spring that is factory pre-set.

I was amazed how little chain kickback there is on slow rocky techy stuff. I've also ridden my bud JRM's Turner 5 spot, and it is even more plush, and not just becuase it has another two inches of travel. Then again, I've only ridden it around the parking lot and off curbs for the most part. The 5 spot is also a Horst Link bike.

If you are checking out Horst Link frames, also check out the Titus RacerX if your budget allows. I love that thing. It pedals really well and feels nimble as heck.
 

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pimpbot said:
If you are checking out Horst Link frames, also check out the Titus RacerX if your budget allows. I love that thing. It pedals really well and feels nimble as heck.
the moto-lite is worth a look too. that's titus' less expensive trail bike.
 

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Team Blindspot
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Sorry to say the axle path is not vertical, but arc's towards BB

Kona0197 said:
Actually the axle path of the FSR is nearly straight up and down. :)
Here is a pic of my 99 FSR XC axle path. The 90 / 110 / 130 correspond to the three travel settings I have on my BETD link. I traced the travel after reading a discussion of VPP vs. FSR on the Intense board.

The length of the arc toward the BB (or away from vertical) at 90mm is 23mm, 110 is 32mm, and at 130mm of travel, it is 43mm.

There was also this link to a very technical article on mountainbike suspension designs. Answers a lot of questions about the different designs.

http://www.mtbcomprador.com/component/option,com_wrapper/wrap,pathanalysis/Itemid,76/
 

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can the rider feel the small diffrent?

Newbie here....

I've read the same website. Downloaded the software and open the Stuntjumper FSR file. The Chain grow max at 8.5mm and the axel path worst case about +5mm. That's pretty small I would say.

But the question is, would this small differences give allot of impact to the rider? Seriously, I test my own SJ and I didn't really feel any much different. I don't feel the paddle bob and the when suspension didn't lock up while braking too.

Anyone can share their experience?

Btw, the site provided got lots of tech stuff that I dont undertsand them just yet. :)
 

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S-Works said:
Here is a pic of my 99 FSR XC axle path. The 90 / 110 / 130 correspond to the three travel settings I have on my BETD link. I traced the travel after reading a discussion of VPP vs. FSR on the Intense board.

The length of the arc toward the BB (or away from vertical) at 90mm is 23mm, 110 is 32mm, and at 130mm of travel, it is 43mm.
So you're saying your bike with a nonstandard link exhibits chain growth at travel never intended by specialized for that model. Specialized designed bikes with 130mm of travel don't exhibit such dramatic chain growth.
 

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mward said:
So you're saying your bike with a nonstandard link exhibits chain growth at travel never intended by specialized for that model. Specialized designed bikes with 130mm of travel don't exhibit such dramatic chain growth.
First: Tell me where's the chain growth? Second: tell me how is "vertical" wheelpath defined? Is it vertical from the ground? Or tangent to the main pivot and any given travel point? If it's the latter, then maybe it is vertical. If it's the former, then how can the chain be extending if that distance is not changing?

I don't know, maybe I have the concept of "vertical axle path" wrong.

BTW: I don't thing the "non-standard" link as anything to do with it, my Tracer path looks the same.
 

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mward said:
Maybe I misunderstood your post. I read it as "at 130mm my chain has to be 43mm longer".
I'm not sure if I have vertical path defined properly. It seems from specialized that vertical path means vertical to the ground, not an arc like my tracing of the travel. I definately don't think there's any chain growth at all.

I guess I really don't care what it is, I just know I like it better than other designs out there.

later
 

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Well I think specialized means 'no chain growth'. You couldn't have a vertical axle path because you'd have lots of chain growth and all sorts of problems with the chain tightening the suspension. I like it better than other designs too, although people on the turner board say it's poop compared to turner's interpretation. Specialized people say theirs is the best, turner people say theirs is the best, etc etc. Everything is a compromise and I think a lot of people don't realize this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
spec chain growth/axlepath

In the suspension modeling software called "linkage"
Specialized bikes exhibit the least chain growth compared to most major competitors.

According to the suspension article mentioned by a poster above, I interpreted that the most bump compliant wheel path (on flat ground) is where the wheelpath arc's to the rear, or away from the main triangle. It coincides with peoples' reviews of very plush bicycles, because those bicycles do exhibit a cycle path arcing away from the main triangle.

Anybody ridden any of the bikes mentioned on my first post and how it compares in plushness to the Enduro?
 
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