Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brownsville, TX
Bikes: Surly CC
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Only difference, imho, between the F5 and the F4 is the brakes. The F4 frame is the Caffeine (American made) where the Co2 frame is the same frame, but made in a foreign land.
F4 has Juicy 3s, the F5 has BB5s. Otherwise, they're both running middle of the road SRAMeinstein drivetrains and the low-end Headshock.
Personally, if you've never dealt with Juicy 3s - go with the F5 to avoid the hassle of mineral oil brake systems. The 3s run a bit tight too, and aren't that forgiving where the BB5s are mechanical-disc.
I know jack **** about Specialized. We don't sell them here at the LBS.