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1999 Specialized FSR - Things to look out for?

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1999 Specialized FSR - Things to look out for?

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Old 10-14-09, 04:51 PM
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wadenels
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1999 Specialized FSR - Things to look out for?

Hi, I just bought a 1999 Specialized FSR Sport to handle my MTB duties. It literally looks like it is almost brand new. Everything on it is stock and in great shape. I had been taking my Dahon Jack through the trails in my area, and was in desperate need of an upgrade. I'm a pretty novice mountain biker, but I still like to go out and have fun on the advanced trails around here.

I understand the '99 FSR frame is pretty solid and shouldn't give me any problems. If I'm not mistaken; though, the FSR Sport has the cheapest components of any of the FSRs.

Mainly, what should I be concerned about breaking, i.e., what are some common problems with the bike and what should I keep a close eye on?

I've heard that some people have had problems with the rear suspension frame bolt, and things like that, but they seem to be pretty rare.

I don't plan on doing any upgrades, I figure I need to get some serious miles out of the bike before I decide where the weaknesses are. I picked it up for only $100, so it was a very cheap investment and right now I'm liking it that way.

So basically, any advice for a new '99 FSR owner?
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Old 10-14-09, 05:06 PM
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If you are a bike person, check it over. Just make sure that everything works. I don't mean shifting (although that's always nice...) but rather stem bolts, crank bolts, pedals, quick releases, are all tight. If you are new to the bicycles scene take it to a bike store and have them check it out.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:50 PM
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The early FSR frames are still very viable and you got a steal. Congrats!

I can't remember for sure if the Sport used bearings or bushings at all the pivot points but that is where I'd pay particular attention. Feel/look for play in the bearings/bushings at the dropout pivots, main swingarm pivot and everything that connects the link (that drives the shock) to the frame and chainstay yoke. These could start showing their age.

BETD (in the UK) used to sell a bearing kit for base model FSRs that had bushings and may still. They amaze me at what they still carry. If it's something you're interested in doing and you don't see it on the site, e-mail Rob and he'll be able to tell you if he can still whip something together for you.

Oh, and watch your seatpost length. If the 'safety dimple' has been honed out of the bottom of the seat tube and you have a long post, it IS possible for the seatpost to contact the shock when you have the seat dropped. You'll need to find a happy medium to shorten the post - - long enough for good leg extension when it's up; short enough to not foul with the shock if you slam the seat.

Enjoy that bike!
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Old 10-15-09, 05:48 AM
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I noticed the seat post might hit when lowered, but being a 17" frame I've got the seat up high enough where the post doesn't protrude downward. I've checked over the chain, sprockets, brakes, cables, wheels, bars, etc... Everything is tight and looks good. I had a look at the shocks but didn't check the pivot points out closely. I'll have to have a look at them.

I also noticed that the rear derailleur cable can come out of the holder on the frame near the derailleur without a lot of effort, so I used a plastic zip tie to help hold it in place against the frame. Seems safer now, I don't see any easy way for it to come loose.

If the bearings/bushings start to wear and there's a little play in the joints will it immediately cause damage, or am I good as long as I take care of it before they break?
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Old 10-15-09, 07:10 AM
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You should replace them as soon as you can. Monitor play and do it before it becomes slop. Keep in mind, too that the FSRs use standard industrial cartridge bearings. You will be able to replace them at your local industrial bearing supply and with better ones than the originals for pretty cheap. You just need to be armed with the bearing number when you go in.

One other little FSR tip: the derailleur will clatter against the dropout pivot on rough terrain. Take a little stick-on helmet fit-pad and stick it on the der. body in the right spot and it quiets that down some.
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