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  1. #1
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    Stumpjumper FSR or HT??

    Guys - I need help! I'm fairly a newbie to mountain biking, but I want to get something fairly decent without much upgrading in the future. I've been looking at either the '04 Stumpjumper FSR or HT comp. They are both going relatively for the same price. My only biggest concern is: should I go with the FSR and have component parts like the manitou black elite fork and Avid V-brakes OR the HT with the Fox Float 80 RL and M555 hydraulic disc brakes?

    I guess these are both give and take -- FSR with V-brakes or HT with hyd disc brakes. I'd like to go with the FSR and hyd disc brakes with the FOX forks but the price is a bit out of my league. Both bikes are going for 1200 but the msrp for the HT is 1680 as compared to 1470 for the FSR.

    OR... being that I'm a newbie, should I just go for a '05 Specialized XC FSR with comp disc for 1K??? I know good components run parallel with price but I'd like something decent without the need to upgrade.

    Any suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

  2. #2
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Ide go HT especially if your new at this. If your doing cross country i dont think suspension suits the job. If both bikes are 1200, i would say the HT is a better buy. hydraulics with a fox fork. Better than manipoo (thanks Raiyn)

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    Thanks for your reply. Wouldn't the FSR be a better investment -- i guess?? I read the other posts on FSR or HT and it seemed as that the general trend is that beginners should start off with HT and then move on to FSR???? I guess why not start off with the FSR?

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newport
    Thanks for your reply. Wouldn't the FSR be a better investment -- i guess?? I read the other posts on FSR or HT and it seemed as that the general trend is that beginners should start off with HT and then move on to FSR???? I guess why not start off with the FSR?
    Because you need to develop your skills on a hardtail or you'll use the full suspension as a crutch to bail you out. Going FS first allows you to develop BAD habits

  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    plus HT has its own advantages over full suspension. Its very much dependant on what kind of riding you plan to do. If your going XC then i pity you if you want a full suspension

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    plus HT has its own advantages over full suspension. Its very much dependant on what kind of riding you plan to do. If your going XC then i pity you if you want a full suspension
    I planned on riding half paved half rugged through trails. But from what I've heard from other coworkers that ride, they suggest getting a FS because it's a more comfortable ride. They told me when you're riding often enough, even riding off the curb of a driveway multiple times could send shocks up the spinal cord.

  7. #7
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    People have riddin non-suspension bicycles for like 100 years with no problems.
    Unless you have a serious back problem, I wouldn't consider this valid.

    The thing that I don't like is the disc brakes are on the HT, and V-s on a dually..WHAT??

    I'd go HT. The brake package is worth considering in the buy.
    The FS would need an upgrade in this area.

  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newport
    I planned on riding half paved half rugged through trails. But from what I've heard from other coworkers that ride, they suggest getting a FS because it's a more comfortable ride. They told me when you're riding often enough, even riding off the curb of a driveway multiple times could send shocks up the spinal cord.
    If you go with the FS for that then you are relying on the bicycle itself, by using an HT you learn to use the best shocks out there; your own legs. And if your doing half paved FS wills low you down becuase of pedal bob. HT is more efficient, im not throwing stones @ FS but each thing serves its own purpose.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jburnsdo's Avatar
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    I still think that in that price range you'll get much more bike for your money if you go for the hard-tail. If you're goping high end, than definitly fs.

  10. #10
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Here's the way I see it... If your heart is set on the FS, buy it... No amount of logical reasoning we can do with you is going to change your mind otherwise. But I will agree with everyone here that if you actually want to become a better rider, you should start out with a HT. Basically look at it this way... With a HT, you feel all the bumps and learn to react to them (and be proactive about getting over and through them).. with a FS, you don't learn how you should react to the bumps and obstacles because the bike just soaks them up and isolates you from them. But as I said.. buy what you want. A HT will help you develop more as a rider and probably be a bit faster in most cases, but a FS may be more "comfortable" because it soaks up the bumps.

  11. #11
    Back to granite skunkty14's Avatar
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    Between those 2 bikes, I'd say go with the HT, mainly for the skill developing reasons mentioned above. If you're going to be doing any type of extended (maybe more than a few miles?) of road riding, HT. A FS on long smooth rides feels like a pig IMO, no matter how good the design.

    I rode HT for a long time before getting a FS, and I'm sure that helped me develop skills that I use today. I'm also fairly sure that riding only a FS for 2+ years has made me sloppier because the bike will let me to a degree. This is part of the reason I'm thinking of going back to HT or at least adding a HT bike to my stable.

  12. #12
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    Guys - thanks for the suggestions! I convinced myself that a HT was the way to go... I was bit reluctant on the fact that I would need to buy another FS bike in the future... But I did come back from my LBS and riding a HT over the FS really made a huge difference. The FS was way inefficient in terms of bobbing up and down on the shocks... (although maybe because it was a manitou black fork?) in a sense, I got tired after while over a long distance. Sure it did feel comfy over bumps, but long rides are tough.

    The HT i rode was both a stumpy comp and comp disc. Both were excellent rides!! The only significant difference is the comp has FOX F80X and XT STI shifters compared to comp disc with hydralic brakes and FOX 80 RL. Boy the F80X does rides really well with the inertia valve though! Although I'm not sure if this is worth trading for the hydralic disc brakes... Right now, I'm leaning towards the comp disc, any recommendations though?

    Another one I was looking at is the '04 EPIC comp disc with Fox float RL and rear Brain shox -- this would be the best of both worlds being that the rear would only activate when it hits a bump, otherwise it's basically a hard tail! Too bad it's WAY out of my price range though otherwise overtime work here i come...

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    One more question... I'm 6' - 185lbs. Should i ride a 18" or 19"? I've heard some say that 19" would be better for pedalling efficiency and other say that 18" would be better for control on various terrains... Any ideas?

  14. #14
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newport
    The FS was way inefficient in terms of bobbing up and down on the shocks... (although maybe because it was a manitou black fork?)
    It was definately the fork. When it's time to upgrade you can always transfer the better parts on the HT over to the FS frame. Heck if you really get froggy you could even build a FS from the frame yp reusing the parts from the HT and sellt the frame to recoup a bit

  15. #15
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    On top of that, who's to say you'll feel as though you really NEED a FS bike in the future? There are plenty of guys who absolutely love a HT and have plenty of skill necessary to ride a FS to its fullest but choose to ride a HT. As far as sizing goes, size for the top tube since the leg extension can easily be compensated for by raising and lowering the seatpost. If you have a short torso and/or short arms, ride the smaller size. If you have a longer torso, you may prefer the larger frame size. Just make sure the standover height doesn't put your boys in any immediate danger.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newport
    Guys - thanks for the suggestions! I convinced myself that a HT was the way to go... I was bit reluctant on the fact that I would need to buy another FS bike in the future... But I did come back from my LBS and riding a HT over the FS really made a huge difference. The FS was way inefficient in terms of bobbing up and down on the shocks... (although maybe because it was a manitou black fork?) in a sense, I got tired after while over a long distance. Sure it did feel comfy over bumps, but long rides are tough.

    The HT i rode was both a stumpy comp and comp disc. Both were excellent rides!! The only significant difference is the comp has FOX F80X and XT STI shifters compared to comp disc with hydralic brakes and FOX 80 RL. Boy the F80X does rides really well with the inertia valve though! Although I'm not sure if this is worth trading for the hydralic disc brakes... Right now, I'm leaning towards the comp disc, any recommendations though?

    Another one I was looking at is the '04 EPIC comp disc with Fox float RL and rear Brain shox -- this would be the best of both worlds being that the rear would only activate when it hits a bump, otherwise it's basically a hard tail! Too bad it's WAY out of my price range though otherwise overtime work here i come...
    I would actually disagree with everyone on this thread who says to go with the HT. I started on a Trek 7000 HT back in 2000 and I loved that bike but I upgraded to an '02 Stumpy FSR the first chance I got.

    The fact of the matter is, you're likely going to be going down the FS road eventually (there's absolutely no reason not to) so how exactly is starting out on one a crutch? Sure, you do get the opportunity to hone your bike-handling skills on a HT when descending technical terrain however, if you’re going to be venturing forward on a FS bike eventually (and I’d be willing to be $1000 that you will…assuming you stick with the sport) you’re going to start relying upon the rear suspension to get you through areas you might otherwise walk with a HT anyway so why not utilize that technological advantage right out of the gate?

    Chances are you’re going to upgrade several of your components anyway so why not start with a frame that will make you happy for several years rather than a frame that’s just going to serve as a “training wheel” until you’re ready for a new one. Remember, a new frame is not cheap and you’ll absolutely never get any kind of value by selling a used HT – people just aren’t buying them as much as they used to – so you’ll wind up spending a ton of money to upgrade the bike in a year or two rather than incrementally spending small chunks to upgrade components.

    That’s just my $.02, hopefully it helps and good luck.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    I would actually disagree with everyone on this thread who says to go with the HT. I started on a Trek 7000 HT back in 2000 and I loved that bike but I upgraded to an '02 Stumpy FSR the first chance I got.
    Exactly what you should have done
    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    The fact of the matter is, you're likely going to be going down the FS road eventually (there's absolutely no reason not to) so how exactly is starting out on one a crutch? Sure, you do get the opportunity to hone your bike-handling skills on a HT when descending technical terrain however, if you’re going to be venturing forward on a FS bike eventually (and I’d be willing to be $1000 that you will…assuming you stick with the sport) you’re going to start relying upon the rear suspension to get you through areas you might otherwise walk with a HT anyway so why not utilize that technological advantage right out of the gate?
    Who says he'll walk the sections? If you start out on a FS you're relying on the rear suspension to bail you out without learning any control skills. Eventually you'll get to a section where not being able to pick a good line WILL have consequences regardless of suspension.

    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    That’s just my $.02, hopefully it helps and good luck.
    Wait you forgot your change.

  18. #18
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    I think that the FSR StumpJumper is a pretty sweet bike, but it has one flaw - you can't drop the seat down very far. It'd hit the suspension. I like to keep the seat way down on descents, so that might be a deal-breaker for me.

  19. #19
    Canon fiend MadMan2k's Avatar
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    You can cut the bottom off...

  20. #20
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Exactly what you should have done
    Who says he'll walk the sections? If you start out on a FS you're relying on the rear suspension to bail you out without learning any control skills. Eventually you'll get to a section where not being able to pick a good line WILL have consequences regardless of suspension.


    Wait you forgot your change.
    Invariably, there are sections of certain trails that are infinitely more ridable on a FS bike than they are on a HT; that's a simple fact. While you are correct that there are certain sections of trail that are going to depend entirely upon the skill level of the rider, there are others that will be mitigated somewhat by the amount of travel you have in the rear of your bike.

    Let's face it, the FS revolution is in full effect and there are virtually no reasons to purchase a HT over a FS bike when you have the capital to choose one or the other. HTs are quickly becoming another version os SSs in today's MTB world; they're a niche player for the diehard fan but, for the vast majority of the people out there (we're talking serious riders here, not guys who spend $500 or less on a "mountain bike") the benefits of having a FS bike is going to far outweigh the very, very slight weight and pedaling efficiency (on smooth climbs only BTW) advantages you get with a HT.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  21. #21
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notfred
    I think that the FSR StumpJumper is a pretty sweet bike, but it has one flaw - you can't drop the seat down very far. It'd hit the suspension. I like to keep the seat way down on descents, so that might be a deal-breaker for me.
    That problem has all but been solved with the '04 and '05 models. The new geometry provides for a far greater degree of flexibility when it comes to choosing seat-post height as the shock in the through-frame design sits much lower than it previously did.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  22. #22
    Canon fiend MadMan2k's Avatar
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    CranxOC:

    Dirtjumping/urban riding is one niche in which it's much better to choose a hardtail, rather than a full-suspension bike.
    Also, trials riding.
    And smooth, flowing singletrack which wouldnt really require front suspension either.
    Dual-slalom/4X.


    No, I haven't ridden a FS bike extensively, only in the LBS parking lot, and yes, I imagine it would be nice to have in some instances, but I think simpler is better for a lot of riding.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMan2k
    You can cut the bottom off...
    Yeah, but then you couldn't put it back up.

    CranxOC says they have improved this problem by putting the shock down lower, though.

  24. #24
    Senior Member CranxOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMan2k
    CranxOC:

    Dirtjumping/urban riding is one niche in which it's much better to choose a hardtail, rather than a full-suspension bike.
    Also, trials riding.
    And smooth, flowing singletrack which wouldnt really require front suspension either.
    Dual-slalom/4X.


    No, I haven't ridden a FS bike extensively, only in the LBS parking lot, and yes, I imagine it would be nice to have in some instances, but I think simpler is better for a lot of riding.
    Please don't take this the wrong way but I never factor dirt jumping into my thinking when considering mountain biking since dirt jumping falls a lot closer to the BMX discipline of cycling than it does traditional mountain biking disciplines. In fact, the only reason, IMO, that dirt jumping/urban riding is still factored into the equation is because of the fact that the bikes have a front suspension fork as well as the fact that the niche still isn't quite large enough to justify its own media coverage (i.e. its own magazines, etc.) so it kinda' gets stuck in with mountain biking where it doesn't really belong.

    Generally, when someone is looking for a MTB, and they're just starting out, they're looking for something that they can ride on trails and therefore are not considering 4x or dirt jumping unless they specifically state that that's what they're looking for.

    I'd be willing to bet that our boy here is looking for something of the trail riding variety otherwise FS bikes wouldn't even be in the conversation.
    "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein

  25. #25
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    Invariably, there are sections of certain trails that are infinitely more ridable on a FS bike than they are on a HT; that's a simple fact. While you are correct that there are certain sections of trail that are going to depend entirely upon the skill level of the rider, there are others that will be mitigated somewhat by the amount of travel you have in the rear of your bike.
    While I agree that the travel will help the rider through difficult sections the rider will never progress beyond the limits of his bike and even then may never fully reach those limits. You'd have newbies riding long travel FS bikes on easy sections and progressing no further because the bike negates them learning any skills. (I see this constantly) Starting out on a FS rig negates any basic challenge a cyclist may face on a trail which is the entire point of riding a technical trail in the first place. If you want easy go get a comfort bike and ride rail trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    Let's face it, the FS revolution is in full effect and there are virtually no reasons to purchase a HT over a FS bike when you have the capital to choose one or the other.
    Because we all know that FS rigs are just soo much more bling
    Quote Originally Posted by CranxOC
    HTs are quickly becoming another version of SSs in today's MTB world; they're a niche player for the diehard fan but, for the vast majority of the people out there (we're talking serious riders here, not guys who spend $500 or less on a "mountain bike") .
    First off people who make the commitment to spend $500 on what the majority of our society deems as a toy have every right to be called a serious rider. (If they actually ride the bike).
    Second it's the "extreme" culture (think the morons in the Orange Bronco in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle) that's driving the sales towards the FS rigs they want the bike that the guys in the video have regardless of the fact that they cant ride worth a damn. (better drink some more Mountain Dew and Red Bull) It is FAR better for a newbie to start out on on a reasonably priced hardtail, learn some basic, but needed skills, and THEN progress to a FS rig should they decide that MTB riding is something they truly want to do.

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