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  1. #1
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    '03 Rockhopper FSR XC or '03 NRS 3?

    I'm returning to mountain biking after a 6 year absence and am a bit overwhelmed with all the new technology. I started out looking for a decent hardtail for around $600, but most of the local shops suggested I step into a full suspension bike. The Specialized Rockhopper FSR XC and the Giant NRS 3 seem to be the best bikes in my budget (approx $1000). Which bike would be better for a 200 lbs guy that plans to ride mostly moderate trails? I really like the components on the Giant, but I have read that their frames are thin. Also, I am open to other suggestions that fit within my budget.

    Kevin

  2. #2
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    if you're set on getting an f/s i'd get the FSR far and above the giant

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by PeterG1185
    if you're set on getting an f/s i'd get the FSR far and above the giant
    I'm with ya on that!!!

  4. #4
    Canadian eh?
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    Me too!

  5. #5
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    I appreciate the comments so far. To put a different spin on things, in my price range should I be looking at a hardtail instead? When I first started shopping I was set on a hardtail, but the sales guy at the LBS told me I would be better served with a f/s bike. I was looking at a Rockhopper Comp and he showed me the f/s version which had all the same components as the hardtail for $250 more. Seemed like a good deal. After doing some more research it seems that most people have the opinion that unless you spend $1250 or more you should stay away from full suspension. Does this still hold true for the 2003 models? I was told the '03 Rockhopper FSR XC is comparable to the '02 Stumpjumper FSR. Is this analysis correct?

    Kevin

  6. #6
    Scooby Snax
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    I think that the 03 FSR XC stumpjumpers / rockhoppers are still the same as last year, Sumps being M4 sluminium and rocks being A1?
    But a 02 or 03 Rockhopper is basically the same as a 00 Stumpjumper I was told.
    (I just got a 02 Sumpjumper FSR XC, and man do I like it!)

    Basically the difference is that a rockhopper has slightly less race geometry, slightly heavier frame, and slightly lower grade components. But are well speced bikes. But I think that the ride is quirte similar

    Giant NRS 3's ride more like a hard tail, but dont have as active a suspension. A Giant NRS3 frame is the same as thire NRS1, its a good frame, just the shock is different.
    Giant builds frames for most companies, specialized, trek, and others and they do give great value in the way of components to their bikes.

    Why dont you ride em both and see which one you like.

  7. #7
    Canadian eh?
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    Remember to make sure that it fits.

  8. #8
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KevinST4
    I appreciate the comments so far. To put a different spin on things, in my price range should I be looking at a hardtail instead? When I first started shopping I was set on a hardtail, but the sales guy at the LBS told me I would be better served with a f/s bike. I was looking at a Rockhopper Comp and he showed me the f/s version which had all the same components as the hardtail for $250 more. Seemed like a good deal. After doing some more research it seems that most people have the opinion that unless you spend $1250 or more you should stay away from full suspension. Does this still hold true for the 2003 models? I was told the '03 Rockhopper FSR XC is comparable to the '02 Stumpjumper FSR. Is this analysis correct?

    Kevin
    I am a big believer in only buying good fs. However if you won't be rough on it and only ride pretty basic xc trails they should hold up. I wouldn't do drops, downhill or even aggro xc on a 1000$ fs. I am 1000% sure it would break and wouold end up costing more than its worth.

    I am also a ht fan so generally I will always recommend (especially beginners) someone to get a hardtail. Discover what type of riding you like and how rough you will be and then you will be better served when you want to get a fs in the future (if you ever need one)

  9. #9
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    What will you be riding? Dirt roads, fire roads, bike paths. . . hard tail will do as f/s is probably overkill.

    How do you ride? Laid back, not aggressive. . . a hard tail will do.

    Is racing in your future? If yes, go with a HT as you'll get a lighter, better spec bike in your price range. Mid-range f/s are porky. I'd rather have a 25 lb. HT than a 30 lb. f/s to race with.

    NRS vs. FSR. I ride an NRS, but could be happy with the FSR. Because the NRS 3 uses the same frame as the NRS Air (different shock, though), it is very upgradeable. The FSR will give a better ride over small bumps as the suspension is always active. The NRS rides rough over the little stuff, but eats up bigger bumps just fine. The NRS climbs better without needing a rear lockout.

    I'll argue that the NRS is a better race bike, but that's just my biased opinion.

    If racing isn't in your future, I'd recommend the FSR.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MtnBikerChk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KevinST4
    I appreciate the comments so far. To put a different spin on things, in my price range should I be looking at a hardtail instead? When I first started shopping I was set on a hardtail, but the sales guy at the LBS told me I would be better served with a f/s bike. I was looking at a Rockhopper Comp and he showed me the f/s version which had all the same components as the hardtail for $250 more. Seemed like a good deal. After doing some more research it seems that most people have the opinion that unless you spend $1250 or more you should stay away from full suspension. Does this still hold true for the 2003 models? I was told the '03 Rockhopper FSR XC is comparable to the '02 Stumpjumper FSR. Is this analysis correct?

    Kevin
    what kind of riding will you do?
    Come visit my SEX arena at IRON MAGAZINE.

    Come ride the Monkey.

  11. #11
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    My riding will be limited to XC mostly. I will also put in a little road time while I try to get my riding legs and lungs back. The hardtails I looked at included the Klein Attitude, Giant XTC 2 and the Gary Fisher HKEK. Any opinions on these bikes? The Klein has the best looking frame by far, but I'm not sure if the compact geometry would be best for me. I'm 6' 1" and don't want a bike that puts me in a bad position. I rode all three and they all felt pretty good around the parking lot, but I'm not sure how they will be after some time on a trail.

    Kevin

  12. #12
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    I have a friend a little taller than you, and he loves his XTC 2, its got a good fork, good geometry, race face cranks (a big plus for someone on your side) and a ton of other good stuff.

    While the Klien is the better frame, its not the better bike.

  13. #13
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    i just bought a giant nrs3 for 800$ is this a good price? its a little big for me cause my crotch is right on top of the bar. The bike shop told me a it was a little big but the only other bike they had left in my size was one of the top of the line giants that was like over 2000 that they were getting rid of for 1400. I only plan on riding this in the streets and just messing around so it doesnt really matter that its a little big. I heard bigger bikes are faster is this true.

  14. #14
    bentrim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby Snax
    I think that the 03 FSR XC stumpjumpers / rockhoppers are still the same as last year, Sumps being M4 sluminium and rocks being A1?
    Does anyone know what Specialized's A1, M4, M5,...aluminums are equivalent to? I know M5 is allegedly better than M4 which is better than A1.

    But how do they compare to stock aluminum: 6061, 7005, Easton, etc. used by most manufacturers ('though I admit I don't know the qualitative differences in those aluminums either).

    Just wondering how much of this aluminum labelling is factual, and how much of it is marketing hype.

    Also, how are they heat treated (which is often more important than the aluminum grade)? T-6, T-6(2)?
    Last edited by bentrim; 12-02-03 at 09:18 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    I'd take the NRS personally.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  16. #16
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I'd say got with the XTC SE2.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

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