New Stumpy vs. old Enduros?

Gear related question: How does the new Stumpy compare to the Enduros of yesteryear? 2003 vintage, and 2005-6 vintage? I know you’ve rawcked them all, and I’m wondering where the new Stumpy fits in, particularly on the strength/durability side.


2003 Enduro.

Hey Sly,

Nice question.

I’ve rocked (rawcked) a long line of Specialized trail/all-mountain bikes:

– 1997 FSR Pro (~100mm travel; still being ripped by my buddy Peter)
– 2002 Enduro (100/130mm travel)
– 2006 Enduro (150mm travel)
– 2007 Stumpjumper Pro Carbon (120mm travel)
– 2007 Enduro Pro Carbon (150mm travel; still riding it)
– 2008 Stumpjumper Pro Carbon (120mm travel)
– 2010 Stumpjumper Pro (140mm travel; current bike of choice)

All those machines are listed only to establish some sort of credibility. I’ve ridden them all to the best of my ability, which has improved alongside the technology.

Build note: My 2010 Stumpy is built more like an all-mountain bike than a trail bike. It has burly wheels (Sun Charger 27s), meaty tires (Specialized Eskar Control 2.3s) and a short stem (70mm Point One Racing). It currently has a triple chainring, but my chain isn’t being cool, and I’m likely to slap a Gamut dual ring chain guide on there.

Comparing the 2010 Stumpy to the 2003 and 2006 Enduros:

Travel: Stumpy is right in the middle.

Geometry: The 2010 Stumpy is similar to the 2006 Enduro, which, after being PUSHed, is still one of the best-riding bikes I’ve ever experienced.

2006 Enduro.

Durability: It’s too soon to say. But the bike feels solid, and Specialized isn’t gonna make a new bike weaker.

Rear suspension: The Stumpy feels more supple at the top of the travel, and it has a nice ramp-up. I rode DH trails at Left Hand Canyon pretty aggressively the other day, and while the shock used full travel I don’t remember any kind of clank or horrible violence.

Feel: The Stumpy feels lighter (which it is) and also stiffer and more precise from a lateral braaap standpoint.

Overall: It all comes down to how your bike and body perform together. I only have a handful of rides on the new Stumpy — from smooth trail to DH gnar — and it’s already fitting me well. I’m climbing just fine, and I have yet to find the braaap limit.

And consider: I have a splendid 2007 Enduro, and I currently see no reason to ride it when I can rock the 2010 Stumpy. A 2010 Enduro should be coming soon; that’ll be an interesting comparison.

— Lee

2010 Stumpjumper.

From the archive:

Dr. Jim Norman pilots a 2002 Enduro down Santa Barbara’s [in]famous Tunnel Trail. Jim now does OEM for Fox Racing Shox.

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31 replies
  1. Slyfink says:

    ha! front page. cool!

    Thanks for the write-up. My question is more theoretical because I see no need to replace my 2005 Enduro currently. I was mostly wondering what my options could be in the future. I’ve been pining for a lighter bike with maybe less travel. Now that I have a proper DH bike for gravity oriented fun, I don’t need my xc bike to be able to take all that abuse.

    keep up the braaap, on the bike and with the twins…


  2. Chuck says:

    I had a 2003 Enduro which was the best handling bike I’d ever owned. Unfortunately, somebody apparently needed it more than me and it came up missing when I wasn’t looking. I saved some cash, and bought a 2007 Stumpy and thought that it was the best bike ever made–until I rode a 2008!! I’m riding an ’08 right now, and would be willing to bet that the 2010 (or ’11 which I hear is coming soon!) would handle even better!

    I’ve nailed Pisgah trails, DuPont trails (both NC), technical and smooth trails, big drops and long climbs with this bike and can honestly say it handles as good as the ’03 Enduro.

    I must say, the old enduro was a helluva bike… I miss it!

  3. Burgertron says:

    G’day Lee
    I have an ’06 Enduro and I love it too…
    How is your DHX-A setup??…still trying to find the sweet spot.
    I’m 85kg and dont mind sending it

  4. erinn says:

    Hey Lee. I’m stuck between the 2010 Stumpy and Enduro. Can’t wait til you ride the enduro and compare the two of them. Hurry! I need to buy one soon! 🙂

  5. leelikesbikes says:

    I’ve been riding the Stumpy a lot and liking it more and more.

    But check this out:

    The new Enduro Pro Carbon got built today! With a 36 Float, DH wheels, heavy pedals and Speedball seatpost it’s only a pound heavier than the Stumpy. It feels great on the street; the first mission is Sea Otter!

    The Mighty Stumpy is sitting out this trip. I’m bringing all my pump track building equipment, plus the P.3 (pump), SX (DS) and Enduro (trail and DH).

    Oh yeah!

  6. Erinn says:

    Have mercy! I want both. Sooo hard to decide which one. Spesh should design a Stumpy/Enduro hybrid.

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    I shot one in Green River, WY yesterday, but I’ve been driving all day and have not processed it. Dude, I’m at Laguna Seca right now. 1 a.m. and getting settled. I’ll post pics as soon as I can.

  8. Martyn says:

    Hi Lee

    On another note for 2011 as the 2010’s are scarce around here;

    The Brain, I’m considering either the 2011 comp carbon stumpjumper w/o brain or the aluminium elite with brain, both about the same price. Flick the coin for me?

  9. leelikesbikes says:

    If you want a more DH-ish/plush ride, do the non-Brain.

    If you want a firm ride for pedal/pump efficiency that opens up to a firm ride, do the Brain.

    My 2008 Stumpy with Brains front and rear is an amazing bike. Firm when you want it to be firm, plush when you want it to be plush. Yeah man, an incredible bike.

  10. joe says:

    I was having a hard time decideing between the 2011 stumpy elite or a 2010 enduro expert…i went with the stumpy. but i am secound guessing my decsion…should i have done the enduro. i ride technical terrain roots rocks with steep climbs short drops and some heavly rooted climbs with the sand washed out ..fl. should i have gone for the extra weight with the enduro?

  11. Joe says:


    since you have ridden both the enduro and stumpy…what do you think? thers is such a grey line between them … any disadvantages one over the other? does the enduro feel heavier on climbs?

    wish I could have one of each!!!

  12. leelikesbikes says:

    This is such a tricky question. Today I am riding the Enduro on a two-hour techy XC ride that I last did on the Stumpy.

    They are both awesome all-around bikes. I plan to write on this in detail (especially after today’s test), but some quick thoughts:

    The slackness of the Enduro makes steep/tech climbing harder. I wish I had an adjustable fork. The 50mm stem probably does not help.

    The slackness of the Enduro makes it feel way better on steep/gnar downhills. The plushness works well in looseness/roughness.

    For general climbing, I don’t think the Enduro is any worse. Mine is only a bit heavier than my Stumpy. I feel like the overall chassis stiffness makes the Enduro feel quicker, more responsive. My Enduro has a bigger chainring than my Stumpy, so of course it climbs faster. It has to.

    The Stumpy is a perfectly balanced, completely appropriate bike for almost every situation. This summer I’ve used my Stumpy for most of my trail riding, dirt jumping, pump tracking and clinics.

    When I got to come home from the fire evacuation to grab some things, the first thing I grabbed: The Mighty Stumpy!!!

  13. Joe says:

    I’m glad to hear you escaped the fire!!

    Let us know what you think after todays ride…I have oredered the 2011 stumpy elite with brain…i’m a little concerned about the brain not being plush enough.

    the only reason I got the elite is because it comes with the fox shock up front.

    My LBS said I can always get the enduro expert if I want because they still have it in stock and no takers

    so I’m just trying to get other peoples input this will be my only bike for years to last bike lasted 12yrs so Im anxious for a new ride!!

    Thanks again!! hope you and your family are doing good!!

  14. leelikesbikes says:

    On today’s trails — pretty steep up and down, very tight — I think the Stumpy is a better all-around tool. The Enduro climbed OK but was more work when it got super steep. I was railing the DH, but I had to (got to?) ride more aggressively than I would on the Stumpy.

    I think a longer stem on the Enduro (change from a 50mm to a 70 or 80mm) would make it easier to ride on this sort of terrain.

    If you’re a normal person riding normal trails, you cannot go wrong with a Stumpy. I loved my ’08 with Brains front and rear.

  15. Joe says:

    Thanks Lee for the update!!!

    I’ll stick with my original plan of the Stumpy. since I do have 80% more technical climbs then decents…and they are short and quick but very technical..

    when I rode the Enduro I wasn’t feeling good , so I was thinking the negative results I got back where because of me. The Stumpy did feel more nimble and seemed like I could ride it all day. but that was the comp model without the brain.

    Can the brain be set up to ride as plush ?

  16. leelikesbikes says:

    You can make the Brain very plush, but I would NOT try to make it work like a regular shock. The Brain technology is awesome for a trail bike. Set just enough threshold so the bike is firm when sprinting and pumping. When you get into the bumps, the Brain will open up and the bike will be as plush as a non-Brain shock. Seriously. Embrace the Brain!

  17. Joe says:


    Thanks for the info. My LBS gave me a deal a could not refuse…$2300 for an Enduro Expert 2010 new, too good of a deal to pass.
    It also helped that I rode North Carolina over the weekend hit Dupont mtn, Bent Creek, and Tsali needless to say my 98′ Heckler was a trooper but a bit under gunned for the terrain.

    I’ll just have to work harder at my climbing techniques:)

  18. Joe says:


    How are you liking the Enduro so far?
    I rode my Enduro for the last four days. Now I know what you mean buy having to ride it more aggressively…still fun as all get out!!!
    find it alot easier to bunny hop over obstacles and I am incline to find things to jump off of…never occurred to me before. trying to figure out pumping tracks on it alot different from my Heckler.
    so far so good…I do put a little bit more effort on the single traks!!it’s alright I’ll just end up with huge quads.
    it definately has the potential to be an all around bike!!

  19. leelikesbikes says:

    The Enduro is a great bike, especially on steeper/rougher trails. If you have the power and skill to ride this bike the way it’s meant to be ridden, it’s an impressive weapon.

  20. Joe says:


    sorry my saga continues. but know I am completely stooked on a 2011 Stumpy elite. I went back to the LBS several days later and the bike they told me was not going to be available just came in. The Owner knowing I was not happy on the Enduro did the Switch for me.
    The Enduro is a fine bike but for Fl. I realized the hard way it was too much bike to push around.
    The Stumpy feels alot better in the short steep climbs and in the twisty single trak.
    I am completely loving the Stumpjumper. And my concerns with the brain are gone. feels nice and plush on the settting that are adjusted. And when I go back to NC for some more downhill action I am sure the Stumpy will be more than adequate.
    Thanks for your help!!! completely stoked!!!

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