The 2008 FSR XC Comp

The 2008 FSR XC Comp

The Specialized FSR XC:

This is Specialized‘s line of entry-level full-suspension light trail bikes . It is the Stumpjumper’s little brother and is based on the solid and efficient FSR suspension platform. The FSR XC Comp is third in a line of four FSR XCs that share the same frame and differ in component specs.

This is a 4-inch travel (100 mm) bike, which means that both the front fork and rear shock have a maximum travel of 100 mm.

How we rode this bike:

We rode this bike on a weekly basis for about 18 months, tackling everything from killer climbs, ultra-steep descents, day-long rides, technical lines and the occasional jumps (plus plenty of hard crashes :)).

fsr_xc_riding

What we liked:

  • The frame: The FSR XC’s excellent frame has been continuously refined since the FSR platform was first introduced (more than a decade ago). Light enough for efficient climbing yet plush enough for a confidence-inspiring handling on the descents. This is also one of thos bike you could describe as “beatiful”.
  • Good component group. Decent mid-range Shimano Deore kit, Rock Shox Tora 302 SL (good but faulty, see below), and an X-Fusion rear shock and a bunch of Specialized own-brand components (seatpost, handlebars, grips, tires, etc). The Specialized/Alex rims wheelset took more abuse than I thought it would.
  • Excellent brakes: The hydraulic Hayes Stroker Ryde with 160 mm rotors (on our medium frame) really have a strong bite to them. They even might be too edgy for beginner riders.

What we disliked:

Aside with a problem with faulty fork that apparently plagued a whole batch of Tora 302s produced in 2008, there is really not much to dislike about this bike. It offers a sensible option for riders looking for their first full suspension bike, and even makes a great buy for experienced riders on a budget. The fully active suspension, light weight frame (for its class) and good component group makes it one of the best full-suspension trail bikes on the market.

Final thoughts:

The 2009/10 model have  slightly improved on an already excellent bike. It now offers slightly longer travel (120 mm), a new shock placement and has done away with the interrupted seat tube of the 2007/08 frame design, which posed a bit of problem for riders who need to drop the saddle way down for more technical descents.

MTB Egypt rating: 4.5/5 4.5

Hani On October - 1 - 2009

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  • Ilhan Oner

    I have been riding the ’09 Specialized XC (without the disc brakes) for a year as my first full suspension bike. It is a great bike in overall and good value for the money. Frame and rear suspension is foultless. Forks are slighly heavy but solid (’09 ones have no issues). However, as the name implies, it is a cross country bike not an enduro or all mountain. I had to replace the wheels (Alexrims) with stronger ones (Shimano 505) after six months as they were bent and the spokes started to came off. And I recently upgraded the crankset to an SLX as the cartridge type bottom bracket died. I am some 15 kgs heavier than Hani and I guess that makes a lot of difference. So if you are a little bit heavy and plan to make some tough riding, and of course if you would like to spend more, go for a better spec bike.

  • Ilhan Oner

    I have been riding the '09 Specialized XC (without the disc brakes) for a year as my first full suspension bike. It is a great bike in overall and good value for the money. Frame and rear suspension is foultless. Forks are slighly heavy but solid ('09 ones have no issues). However, as the name implies, it is a cross country bike not an enduro or all mountain. I had to replace the wheels (Alexrims) with stronger ones (Shimano 505) after six months as they were bent and the spokes started to came off. And I recently upgraded the crankset to an SLX as the cartridge type bottom bracket died. I am some 15 kgs heavier than Hani and I guess that makes a lot of difference. So if you are a little bit heavy and plan to make some tough riding, and of course if you would like to spend more, go for a better spec bike.

  • http://mtbegypt.com/ Hani

    C’mon Ilhan you’re not THAT heavy :D

    I agree with what you said: put a more robust wheelset on this bike and upgrade a few other components and you will have an mountain bike comparable to higher-end models. The stock components are fine but they will eventually need replacement after a year+ of use (especially if you ride more aggressively)

  • http://mtbegypt.com/ Hani

    C'mon Ilhan you're not THAT heavy :D

    I agree with what you said: put a more robust wheelset on this bike and upgrade a few other components and you will have an mountain bike comparable to higher-end models. The stock components are fine but they will eventually need replacement after a year+ of use (especially if you ride more aggressively)

  • Me

    I own this bike and have put hundreds of miles on it.
    My fsr xc has been very good to me…it is def an entry level dual susp bike. Not much travel, and a little big for a female.. kind of like a truck instead of a sportscar. I kept having probs with the v brakes, but I can be hard on them sometimes :-). I’m now moving up to the 2011 Safire(woo-hoo!)
    In my opinion…if you think your falling in love with mtn biking and you might want to get aggressive with it, spend the extra grand and go for the extra travel bike…this bike is not for an aggressive rider.

  • MTB Egypt

    The Safire is a sweet bike! Where do you ride?

  • Ecsmaw1

    I own a 08 and I upgraded to larger disc brakes aswell as 140 mm mantiou minute exp, forks aswell as fox R shock. The Toro302 forks where junk from day one. I’ve replace my front rim, spokes, hub, and all. keep it for spare spokes for the rear, with more susp, it’s a better handling bike. and weights sub 30 lbs. And its a large frame. After four years of my 190 lbs abusing it. I’m glad I changed the susp. because stock set up sucked. I also have a Ironhorse 8 inch full susp.

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