Enduro 26 or Stumpy 29?

Hi Lee,

My name is Juscelino, I´m from Brazil. I hide a lot gnarly and steep sections with a lot of rockgardens, I love long rides (4-7h), mainly singletracks more technical betters. 🙂

Well, today I´m riding a stumpy fsr carbom pro 2011, I´ve had a lot of problems with my fork, it went 3 times to warranty and no resolution until now. This year I´ll go to EUA to a meeting, and I´m planning to buy a new bike, I´m thinkin in a Enduro Sworks 2012 or a SJ FSR Sworks 29er, what do you recomend? My riddings are all just for pleasure, I´m not in races.

best regards,

Hey Juscelino,

I’ve been considering the same question.

Ordinarily the distinction between the Enduro and Stumpjumper is pretty clear:

• Enduro is a mini DH bike that can be climbed pretty well.

• Stumpjumper FSR is more of an all-around trail bike that rips both up and down.

A strong, skilled rider can rip on either bike. Your choice comes down to your terrain and style: How gnarly are the trails relative to your skill? How important is efficiency over the long ride? Do you attack or survive climbs? Do you attack or survive descents?

For me, the Stumpy 26 is enough bike for almost any trail ride. I treat my Enduro like a mini DH bike; it only comes out for the gnarliest adventures — usually when the other riders are rocking DH bikes. But I’m an older, somewhat skilled and rather careful rider.

I suppose I could ride this trail on the Stumpy 26, but I was glad to have the Enduro-with-Fox-36’s slackness and stiffness. When the snow melts, I’ll try the Red Trails on the Stumpy 29.

When you slap 29-inch wheels onto the Stumpy, that changes things. The Stumpy 29 has less travel than the Stumpy 26, but the wheels do a lot of work to smoothen and stabilize the ride. Relative to a Stumpy 26, a Stumpy 29 is going to feel like it has longer travel.

Testing a Stumpy 29 Comp at Brain shocks are incredible.

My Stumpy 29 is going to be all business: carbon frame, carbon wheels, XTR crankset, XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur, XTR Trail brakes, Fox RP23 shock and a Fox 34 fork (huge thanks to the folks at Specialized, Shimano and Fox!). The resulting bike should be really fun on normal trails — and it should rip the gnar too. I can’t wait to find out.



BTW: At a Specialized dealer in Steamboat Springs, CO, they call the Stumpy 29 “The Enduro Killer.”

Know more. Have more fun!

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6 replies
  1. brian says:

    man i love the way you describe what riding a 29er is like and what riding a bike is like. it’s just one more reason that i will be purchasing all of your books! thanks lee!

  2. Mr. P says:

    “Big hits” seem to be the key for me.

    I have been eyeballing a Stumpy EVO, but the local FR trail keeps me happy with my Enduro. I like to ride safe, and the Enduro offers up that margin of safety for when things go wrong. And it’s when things go wrong that you want that stiff, burly beast to bail you out.

    Happy is coming home unscathed.


  3. Guthrie says:

    I think Lee was spot on about his description on both bikes.

    I was super curious about how a 29er handled in technical situations and have only ridden a few on smoother trails until this weekend. I went and rode one in Moab on some pretty techy trails.

    Everything people say is true. They roll over things easier, gobs of traction etc. However, on the slower technical trails we rode in Moab, I was super happy to jump back on my stumpy evo. The slow, short, steep and rock strewn uphills felt like I was doing squat thrusts for 8 of our 12 mile ride. When pointed down though, it definatately smoothed out the trail and was a lot of fun. After the 12 mile ride, my rear tire needed to be trued pretty badly as well.

    I enjoyed the 29er and realized people should not get so fired up about 29 vs 26. Both are super fun. On trails and most places, I could see myself loving the 29er, but since Moab is a pretty frequent trip for me, I am happy I stayed with the 26″ wheels. Although, it would be intersting to take a stumpy evo 29er down the whole enchilada..

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    All modern bikes are pretty rad.

    >> it would be interesting to take a stumpy evo 29er down the whole enchilada..

    If all goes well, I’ll be doing that during this fall’s WHole Enchilada Enduro.

  5. Guthrie says:

    Lee, that race sounds rad! I am probably going down there myself. Don’t know if I will race or not, but can’t wait to hear what you think about it afterward! That is one rad bike

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