Rollin’ a Stumpy

I just got back from an XC ride on a 2007 Stumpjumper Expert. I’ve been riding Enduros exclusively on trail for over a year, and you know what? The Stumpy feels good.

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This all reminds me of this recent post: TALAS 36 and 2.3 tires on my Stumpy?

2007 Stumpjumper Expert. The one I rode is Euro-spec Purple. Sexy!

– This demo bike is bone stock, except for a 2.2 Specialized Adrenaline front tire (stock is a 2.0 Fast Trak).

– It has a TALAS 32 R in front and a FOX rear shock with a Brain. The latter uses an inertial valve to stay firm while pedaling yet yield to bumps. This technology was developed on the Epic, and it has trickled to the Stumpies.

– It has a light set of DT-Swiss wheels and a collection of mid-high-end Shimano, SRAM and Avid components. Jason E says the bike weighs 28 pounds.

– The trail at Heil Ranch north of Boulder is flowy, with a mellow grade and lots of embedded rocks. I know it very well, and I feel like I can really attack it. I usually roll my FOX-equipped Enduro SL, which is built like a mini DH bike. Whenever I try light tires, I pinch.

– Because I run 50mm stems on all my bikes, the 90mm stem freaked me out at first. But it felt great on the climb and just fine on the mellow descent.

– If you have lower gears, you’ll use ’em. I’m accustomed to turning a 36×34 on the Enduro SL. I apparently turned the Stumpy’s 34×34 at the same rpm, because I reached the top of the climb almost exactly 5 percent slower. (But it was easier than on my 33-lb Enduro SL.)

– The traverses felt faster and more snappy on the Stumpy. The quick side-to-side transitions — brap brap brap! Super fun.

– The Brain shock yields astounding pump. I had the threshold at the middle setting. There was no out-of-the-saddle bob, and when I laid into the back of a water bar or boulder — wow. Brap.

– When I was light on the bike, skimming over stuff, the Stumpy felt more likely to deflect than the SL. It was just a tad more sketchy. But when I loaded the bike for extra traction, it felt very connected. Like I said, the Brain gives you extra pump. I could put the bike on edge, squash it into the ground and really feel the tires digging in. I have a feeling: The more aggressively I ride this bike, the better it’ll work.

– Which bike is better on this descent? Today I rode about the same time as usual. It’s all about tradeoffs: The Stumpy rolled faster than my SL. The Stumpy was more responsive out of the turns. The Stumpy got more balled up in the rough sections. I was worried about pinch flatting, and maybe not as aggressive as usual.

All told, the Stumpy feels like a great weapon for this kind of ride. While the SL lets me act like a more of a fool, the Stumpy feels more efficient overall.

This just in: I just got my mitts on a 2008 Stumpjumper Pro Carbon frame and fork. This bad boy has Brains front and rear. When I get the parts together, I promise to wring it out and give you a full report.

2008 Stumpjumper Pro Carbon
11 replies
  1. Mike LaFlow says:

    I demo’d an Enduro & Stumpy and chose the Stump; the LBS crew said it was the wrong decision and insisted on going for a ride with me and switching bikes to prove their point. They had never compared sidexside. Stumpy unanimussly.

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    I know a highly placed rider at Specialized who can ride anything he wants (and do so very well), and his current favorite is a 2008 Stumpy.

  3. mackai says:

    I disagree with everyone here. I rode a hardtail for 7 yrs and then bought an 06 stumpy expert, then an 07 stumpy pro and then currently landed with an 08 enduro SL. The enduro is more upright which equates to a much happier lower back. I climb just as well or better on the SL which weighs a good 4 lbs more than the 07 stumpy pro and the happier lower back allows me to ride longer. The downhill enjoyment and handling is far superior. The SL plows through anything as is just as agile through flowy singletrack. The spike valve technology is amazing on the fork and shock. The rearend hooks up amazingly on the climbs and the bike tracks very well and is much better planted than the stumpy. I’m sure there must be quite a difference in the handling characteristics with the SL mated with fox suspension. Anywho, I’d rock the SL anyday…LOVE IT!!!

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    An SL with Specialized suspension pedals much like a Stumpy.

    An SL with FOX suspension (at least my setup) pedals more like an Enduro or an SX Trail. Which isn’t bad at all …

    It’s a matter of feel and preference.

    I look forward to rocking timed laps and runs, SL vs the new Stumpy.

    Anything worth thinking about is worth quantifying …

  5. mackai says:

    I would imagine the SL would dominate downhill runs (geometry, suspension travel and stiffness), while the 08 stumpy would own the cross-country laps (weight and suspension efficiency).

  6. James Snowdon says:

    I bought the 07 version of the stumpy in the purple colour and it rides amazingly the fox talas forks are beautifully smooth and overall a great bike, the 07 bike looks much better than the 08

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