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Old 12-06-06, 08:05 AM   #1
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Full suspension evolution

As a roadie looking for a nice USED full suspension Mountain bike, I find it very over whelming with so many bikes available over the years. I had a Cannondale V-500 full suspension bike back in 1999 and while it was fantastic on the fast downhills it seemed very un efficient on the flats and uphills. It bobbed like a drunkin sailer with every pedal stroke. So I hear that nowadays those are issues of the past. I hear we have FS bikes that almost as efficient as hardtails when pedaling but still have some rear suspension to knock the edge off the bumps. My question is this. What year range should I be looking at? When did the manufacturers figure it all out? Maybe some suggestions on what to look at in a XC friendly FS bike that could be had on the used market for say....under $700.00.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:20 PM   #2
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I don't know that there is any one year that the manufacturers figured it all out, The evolution was progressive and subtle over the years. XC grouping should (as a whole) be more efficient. at the price point you mentioned you should be able to find some good used bikes 2003-2005 maybe. Some that stick out in my mind are Giant NRS, Jamis Dakar, or even Specialized Epic, or Stumpjumper fsr
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Old 12-06-06, 12:37 PM   #3
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I used to have a 1998 Super V 900 comp...I loved that bike, but I do remember that poor little Fox Vanilla R rear shock bobbing quite a bit. I just never wanted to change it to a Fox air shock because the "Vanilla Kicks the air shock's butt!!!" JK

I wonder though...if I still had that Super V and put a Fox RP3 (cheaper than the RP23) rear shock on it...would it be "the bike to beat" on the cheap, of course?

It seems to me that the Santa Cruz Heckler and Superlight are just a single pivot bike very similar to the Super V. The only thing that makes them efficient is the pedaling platform, right?

So if the two Santa Cruz bikes are so awesome, why not go out and buy an early 2000's Super V for $400-$500 completely loaded (for back then) and throw a modern rear shock on it with that Magura Headshock upgrade cartridge? Wouldn't it be a nice ride, or is there more to it than that? Heck, with so many people switching back to the "retro project" 8 speed stuff, you wouldn't even need to upgrade the drivetrain.
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Old 12-06-06, 02:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed
why not go out and buy an early 2000's Super V for $400-$500 completely loaded (for back then) and throw a modern rear shock on it with that Magura Headshock upgrade cartridge? Wouldn't it be a nice ride, or is there more to it than that? Heck, with so many people switching back to the "retro project" 8 speed stuff, you wouldn't even need to upgrade the drivetrain.
This Is a great Idea! I really like the "smart shocks" technology better than just depending on intelligent design alone. JMO
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Old 12-07-06, 05:03 AM   #5
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Giant NRS is good, Specialized Epic has BRAIN Shock
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Old 12-07-06, 03:59 PM   #6
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I went from an '01 Cannondale Jekyll to a '05 Giant NRS and I could not be happier. I'm no longer bouncing my way about and I'm a whole lot faster. Since Giant phased out the NRS, you can get lucky and find them for cheap!
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Old 12-07-06, 04:07 PM   #7
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There are so many variables that you can't really answer with a specific year.

For example a brand new '07 low end suspension bike is still crap compared to a high end design with smart shock technology. i.e. Brain, terralogic...etc.

I am and have always been a big fan of a Horst 4-bar suspension design bike. It's about as efficient as they come and the new shock technology only improves performance.

I'd use that as a starting point (Specialized Stumpjumper FSR or their ilk).
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Old 12-07-06, 04:11 PM   #8
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I'll agree with that.

I recently picked up a barely used '99 FSR Sport for my wife and when she made remarks about the bike being six years old, I showed her the new FSR bikes Specialized is using and showed her that it is the same linkage system then and now. Must be pretty good, huh?

She rode the bike.

She loves the bike.
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Old 12-07-06, 05:51 PM   #9
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+1 to the FSR. You could go all the way back to 1999 with an FSR Expert and as long as the seals aren't gone, it should work great. Watch out for wobbly pivots - that goes for any FS bike.
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Old 12-07-06, 08:02 PM   #10
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Horst Link suspension have been a long time favourite among most riders. VPP is created to resemble Horst Link without paying for the patents. Single Pivot bikes is the lowest maintenance among all because it has the least no. of pivots (if im not mistaken)
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