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  1. #1
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    Hi, I am comparing mtn. bikes in the $300-800 range and notice that Specialized bikes look different than those from the other big makers. Specifically, the top and down tubes on the Specialized bikes now have boxed cross-sections and also start bigger at the headset and get smaller at the seat tube. An example is


    Is there any benefit to this design or is it just a gimmick?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    THIS BIKE'S 4 U !!!! Killer B's Avatar
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    Strength....

    HARO's have had a similar design as well....

    Last edited by Killer B; 01-27-05 at 07:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer B
    Strength....

    HARO's have had a similar design as well....
    I imagine Specialized would justify that as the reason but shouldn't round tubes be stronger per weight and size?

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    THIS BIKE'S 4 U !!!! Killer B's Avatar
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    My HARO doesn't have a round nor boxed toptube.... I suppose that's up to the designer's.

    Bottom line is that you won't have anything to worry about with a Specialized bike frame (nor anyother big company brand IMO), although a friend of mine cracked his Santa Cruz Blurr frame near the rear shock about 3 weeks ago. That's what they offer warranties for, Dude....

    Go 4 it!
    Last edited by Killer B; 01-27-05 at 08:00 PM.

  5. #5
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    BTW, I don't have an agenda against Specialized. In fact, I like that their Hardrock and Rockhopper are different from the other frames in the low-end segment - it's a good differientiator from all the clones. Just wanted to make sure this difference is an added value, not merely a non-functional design to get attention.

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    THIS BIKE'S 4 U !!!! Killer B's Avatar
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    "non-functional design to get attention"

    Unfortunately that happens alot nowadays....

  7. #7
    My life be like ooh aah anthonaut's Avatar
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    Wow, Haro sure have stepped up this year.
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  8. #8
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AusTai
    Hi, I am comparing mtn. bikes in the $300-800 range and notice that Specialized bikes look different than those from the other big makers. Specifically, the top and down tubes on the Specialized bikes now have boxed cross-sections and also start bigger at the headset and get smaller at the seat tube. An example is
    [IMG removed]
    Is there any benefit to this design or is it just a gimmick?

    Thanks
    Here's a visual aide I cooked up. Bear in mind that the black bike is steel, but the used to do the same sort of thing with Aluminum all be it that the tubes were a bit fatter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Here's a visual aide I cooked up. Bear in mind that the black bike is steel, but the used to do the same sort of thing with Aluminum all be it that the tubes were a bit fatter.
    Raiyn, it seems that already on most of the frames now, the top and bottom tubes touch and are welded together in addition to being welded to the head tube, though perhaps not to the same degree as the Specialized frames.

    OK, I know Specialized bikes have a lifetime guarantee against defects, like most other big name brands, so I'm sure their frames are tough enough. But does this new design make them lighter than frames in comparable prices. For instance, the Hardrock's frame isn't listed as being butted but many of its competitors' frames are butted. So does this new design make the Hardrock's frame as light as a butted frame?

  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AusTai
    Raiyn, it seems that already on most of the frames now, the top and bottom tubes touch and are welded together in addition to being welded to the head tube, though perhaps not to the same degree as the Specialized frames.

    OK, I know Specialized bikes have a lifetime guarantee against defects, like most other big name brands, so I'm sure their frames are tough enough. But does this new design make them lighter than frames in comparable prices. For instance, the Hardrock's frame isn't listed as being butted but many of its competitors' frames are butted. So does this new design make the Hardrock's frame as light as a butted frame?
    The Yellow Rockhopper frame that you showed IS butted. The weight penalty on the Hardrock won't be much, and at this price point you're looking more at strength - not weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    The Yellow Rockhopper frame that you showed IS butted.
    I know the Rockhopper is butted. That's why I specified the Hardrock was not butted. And while it's good and all that I'm paying for "strength" at this price point, Specialized's Hardrock's competition nevertheless uses butted frames, hence the question on what does Specialized's frames offers.

    Come on, doesn't any of Specialized's employees lurk in this popular cycling forum? Here's your chance to espouse, anonymously if desired, how great your company's frames are. I really want to know.
    Last edited by AusTai; 01-28-05 at 06:56 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mindbogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonaut
    Wow, Haro sure have stepped up this year.
    In my opinion, they are just throwing fancy new parts on old technology. Single Pivot frames? Thats old school but if they claim it works...i guess it does.
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  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    AusTai,

    In reality, with the small market this offers, why should they bother. For the most part specialized, especially in the range you are looking at, offer value. There isn't anything really special about the frames (in reality, butted is as common as aluminum, its more or less a standard for good mid range frames).

    You asked the benefit. Pure strength. It is stronger than most cheap frames. What more do you want. A whole essay on the design and welds of frames and their purpose compared to what?...For the price point the hardrock is built stronger than MOST in that pricepoint.

    Personally, it reads like you are just looking for things wrong with specialized, not looking for answers. And really, look around a touch closer. Most companies have comparible frames with that type of weld, it is NOT a 'specialized' thing. Norco, Kona etc...

    In my opinion, they are just throwing fancy new parts on old technology. Single Pivot frames? Thats old school but if they claim it works...i guess it does.
    As long as they keep the price down...its worth it. The minute I see those bikes jump in price to be equal to a builit, they will once again become a joke.

  14. #14
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
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    Funny Mindbog....you do know that Konas are a faux bar single pivot right? Funny how old technology is so bad...thats why Steve Peat doesnt win on a SP or anything.

  15. #15
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    I have a Hardrock Pro Disc and I looked around at a few other brands... didn't really find anything quite as well-equipped for the money I spent. So yes, I agree that Specialized offers value at this price point and that they're trying to give the image of strength by doing the welds the way they do.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    ...
    You asked the benefit. Pure strength. It is stronger than most cheap frames. What more do you want. A whole essay on the design and welds of frames and their purpose compared to what?...For the price point the hardrock is built stronger than MOST in that pricepoint.
    I haven't kept up with the market in a while but I was under the impression that all bikes are pretty built strong, strong enough for just about anyone, since companies don't want to be replacing frames all the time. What you get with more expensive frames is the strength AND light weight, i.e. extra butting and shaping to remove weight where it's not needed. So saying a frame is more strong than another doesn't mean much unless Specialized's competition's frames are always breaking.


    Personally, it reads like you are just looking for things wrong with specialized, not looking for answers. And really, look around a touch closer. Most companies have comparible frames with that type of weld, it is NOT a 'specialized' thing. Norco, Kona etc...
    Actually, I'm looking for things right with Specialized frames but I'm frustrated by the vague answers so far, which isn't yours or anyone's fault really since Specialized hasn't done a gone job on their web site explaining why their frames are special, beyond the looks. I actually like the different look of their frames but the left brain in me wants to be sure I'm not buying into marketing only.

  17. #17
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    The frame is made like that for 2 reasons...

    Asthetically pleasing to most people (including me who owns one)

    And the larger area of the headtube, top tube and down tube welded together makes it much stronger, this design isnt uncommon, and they must be doing something right, because on most aluminium frames this technique is being brought more and more into practise.

    Your not gonna get a better bike for the money..

  18. #18
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AusTai
    I haven't kept up with the market in a while but I was under the impression that all bikes are pretty built strong, strong enough for just about anyone, since companies don't want to be replacing frames all the time. What you get with more expensive frames is the strength AND light weight, i.e. extra butting and shaping to remove weight where it's not needed. So saying a frame is more strong than another doesn't mean much unless Specialized's competition's frames are always breaking.
    Ahhh detailed questions will get a semi detailed answer.

    The reason for the new butted look (since like 2001) isbecause of a bad habit of headtubes being ripped off of bikes. On hardrocks etc kids were using them with the new fangled 4 and 5 in forks which was puttng to much pressure on the headtube area. That butting on almost all bikes today has saved many a dead rider You will find that butting is on aluminum frames built for urban/freeride or downhill. Otherwise the butting is really pointless as the pressure of an 80mm xc fork doing xc things, is far less.

    I definately don't think the hardrock is the strongest thing out there. For newbie riders getting into drops and jumps it is adequate. But it isn't the cats meow

    Hope that helps, you just have to remember it isn't made for pure xc. Its a littler stronger and heavier for a slightly different discipline. The p series takes that strenght/ weight ratio one step further.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    ...
    The reason for the new butted look (since like 2001) isbecause of a bad habit of headtubes being ripped off of bikes. On hardrocks etc kids were using them with the new fangled 4 and 5 in forks which was puttng to much pressure on the headtube area. That butting on almost all bikes today has saved many a dead rider You will find that butting is on aluminum frames built for urban/freeride or downhill. Otherwise the butting is really pointless as the pressure of an 80mm xc fork doing xc things, is far less.

    I definately don't think the hardrock is the strongest thing out there. For newbie riders getting into drops and jumps it is adequate. But it isn't the cats meow

    Hope that helps, you just have to remember it isn't made for pure xc. Its a littler stronger and heavier for a slightly different discipline. The p series takes that strenght/ weight ratio one step further.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornish_Rdr_UK
    ...
    And the larger area of the headtube, top tube and down tube welded together makes it much stronger, this design isnt uncommon, and they must be doing something right, because on most aluminium frames this technique is being brought more and more into practise.
    Ahhh... that explains a lot. So it isn't a marketing thing (not completely anyway), after all. Thanks for clearing that up!

  20. #20
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
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    Actually....you could find a much better bike for the money if you actually looked. All the people on here have the specialized rules all aspect on their mind.

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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Very true. I don't think the hardrock is the endall bike in that range. Lots of companies make similar style bikes for similar pricing.

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    Senior Member mindbogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DjRider04
    Funny Mindbog....you do know that Konas are a faux bar single pivot right? Funny how old technology is so bad...thats why Steve Peat doesnt win on a SP or anything.
    I never said that the Single Pivots were bad, but I think that riders would benfit from the other technologies. Ive ridden a Haro Extreme with the single pivot and definetly enjoy the 4 bar linkage over it. Definelty a smoother ride over it.

    And the bike has nothing to do with the riders ability. I know plently of people that can smoke me riding a deparment store bike.
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  23. #23
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
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    true 4-bars are nice.....but the Kona is a faux bar(fake four bar) with qualities of a single pivot. I do enjoy riding bighits and other horstlink bikes, and they respond pretty well....but a single pivot with a floater is very similar, and saves weight.

  24. #24
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    So the kona faux 4 bar = decent?

  25. #25
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DjRider04
    true 4-bars are nice.....but the Kona is a faux bar(fake four bar) with qualities of a single pivot. I do enjoy riding bighits and other horstlink bikes, and they respond pretty well....but a single pivot with a floater is very similar, and saves weight.
    Single Pivot, didn't some guy place first who rode this design?? It was thrown up in another gread.
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