Stumpjumper Comp 29 test: Neighborhood gnar

I’m on a mission this week to wring out a 29er on my local rides — work, babies and weather permitting — and see how it suits my style.

Expect a full write-up when I return this test bike. Today’s quick report:

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29 with upgraded wheels and cranks, plus my 70mm stem, flat pedals and adjustable seatpost. 2.2 Purgatory Grid tires; 30 psi in front, 33 psi in back. Rockshox Reba fork and Specialized/Fox Triad shock set according to manufacturer specs. The handlebars are way to short for my taste.

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29, with upgraded wheels and cranks, plus my seatpost, pedals and stem.

Graffiti by my 2-year-old Fiona. She and her twin sister Finley are geniuses.

This bike comes from Specialized rep Jason Emmanuel’s personal fleet. Thanks Jason!

Short road climb, rocky/techy traverse, steep/loose/rocky/exposed downhill, long road climb.

I’ve taken several people on this ride, and only one wanted to do it again. Even the pro gravity guy struggled on the traverse and downhill (and he was super bummed on the climb out).

The ride is less than an hour, but it’s a good gauge of overall fitness and flow.

Compared with
I’ve ridden this loop in all conditions on my 26-inch-wheeled Enduro, Stumpjumper and Captain America the Stumpjumper HT EVO.

• The Enduro feels great in the steep stuff, but it feels big elsewhere.

• The Stumpy is a solid go-to.

• Captain America was terrifying.

• The bike felt good, not at all strange.

• There are some very tight and/or steep turns, and I made them all.

• The steepest and loosest section didn’t feel as steep or loose.

• Pumping the rocks didn’t feel as necessary, but it sure did help.

• The rocky traverse was stupid-easy.

• I cleaned a section I’ve never cleaned before. It’s steeply sidecut, with big, awkwardly spaced rocks. The 26es get stuck. The 29s did not. Of course, I blew the next section because I wasn’t expecting to reach it. Good problem to have.

• I cruised the ride, and I ran a new personal time record.

So far this bike — and the 29er experiment — does not suck.

Also see: The 29er experiment begins in earnest

Know more. Have more fun!

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