Hard to believe that only five or so years of full suspension bikes in the marketplace, they needed a major correction, but, that's what we got.
This FSR really wasn't anything special, but I bought one three years ago for cheap, and it became I think anyway, an interesting story.
But, I know lots of people out there like Specialized, so picking up an '04 FSR XC exactly for $150 with the intent of flipping for $300, was a no-brainer. Especially because I already had 90% of what I needed to make it much sexier, and therefore profitable.
The bike was stock apart from the rear wheel, which was a DH-level Mavic D321 rim on a basic Shimano hub. Pretty sure the guy I bought it from demolished the original wheel and got this much stronger option instead. It also featured... many other parts. They worked, but I barely took any notice of them beyond that.
My plan was to put disc brakes on, as well as better handlebars and a shorter stem for a slightly more modern feel. An OEM take-off bar and stem combo appeared on Kijiji within days for $30. It's funny how often parts I need come up for sale on Kijiji just days after I need them.
To the best of my memory, the bike had disc-compatible hubs. I mean it must have, because buying disc wheels would have wiped out any profit I had hoped to make. I didn't see this going for more than $300 even with new parts, so I wouldn't have bought it otherwise. I had some rotors and one caliper, but I knew I could get another off Amazon - or maybe Wish? - for really cheap.
I installed the bar and stem, and then rear brake - or maybe the front - and then..... It was stolen!!
I then went to my local Kona dealer and grabbed this gorgeous Kona Explosif from the previous model year.
So yes, that's right; my $150, ten-year old FSR XC (with only one brake!) became this modern 27.5 wheeled Kona. I can't tell you how much I loved this bike. The colour was perfect. The 1994 style decals were perfect. It was made from Reynolds steel. I picked up some colour-matched Chromag bars for it. It was simply perfect.
Notice that I said "loved" not "love?"
Another trip to the bike shop put me on this Devinci Kobain RS plus bike. It's not steel, but it still looks retro. And it rides very nicely, fits me very well.
Of course I paid for these bikes with outrageous insurance premiums, because insurance is a scam, but on the other hand, it was still cheaper than financing. Which you might not even be able to do.