Stumpy 29 EVO too long to turn?

Hey Lee

I’m a happy owner of Stumpjumper FSR 29 2012. As I read, you have the EVO version of the same bike. My question is regarding the wheelbase: Compared to my old Scott Genius 26er the wheelbase is rather long. The EVO has an even longer wheelbase. What do you think about steering through narrow corners with such a long bike? Is this much different with a 450mm chainstay, than with a 420mm? I’m interested what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks and regards.
Reto from Switzerland

Hi Reto,

Thanks for writing.

My Stumpy 29 Carbon S-EVO is actually a “virtual” EVO. It has a stock Stumpy 29 Expert Carbon frame with a Fox 34 at 140 mm. This raises the front end an inch and slackens the head angle about one degree. The resulting geometry is much like the EVO, except my bottom bracket is a bit higher. The Fox, Roval and Shimano parts on it are top of the line, so it’s a bit like an S-Works; that’s why I call this machine an S-EVO.

I’ve been riding this bike all season on everything from pump tracks to dual slalom to dirt jumps to slopestyle to cross country to downhill, and it turns just fine. Heck, I finished 2nd at the Sea Otter Classic vet dual slalom. You don’t do that on a bike that won’t turn.

Stumpy 29 S-EVO: Mountain man gnar

When you look at the list of factors that determine cornering ability, skill is at the top, head angle is pretty high and chainstay length is near the bottom.

If your bike is well designed and you know how to ride it, it’s going to rip. That’s all there is to it.

Week one: Stumpjumper FSR 29 Carbon S-EVO
Stumpy 29 S-EVO: Mountain man gnar

Rip it,


Know more. Have more fun!

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7 replies
  1. Scott Hiebert says:

    As an owner of a lt 29er I’m guessing this might be fixed with a shorter stem. I believe you (lee) run short stems as well. I went from 60 to 40mm on my tallboy ltc and cornering in tight switchbacks became much easier. Just a thought.

  2. James says:

    I am going to by a new bike and am wondering if you have tried the new 27.5 wheels. I am looking at either a Tallboy Ltc or Scott Genuis 700. Any insight on the wheel sizes kung fu master?

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    I have not tried the middle size. It sounds like what everyone says it is: a compromise.

    As a guy who’s ridden 20, 24, 26 and 29-inch wheels, I can say this: Small wheels pump awesome. Big wheels roll awesome. Everything point in between is some kind of … well … compromise.

    The bike-industry press says 27.5 will become the new “mountain bike.” We’ll see.

    More on this to come.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I went from the stock 90mm stem to a 70mm and noticed a little better turning in tight areas, so then I went all the way down to a 35mm and haven’t looked back! The bike turns in tight area’s so much better now!

    Before I felt a little to far forward and I often over-steered corners on the 29er, now I feel “light on my hands, heavy on the feet” like I’m in the bike. Funny thing is, I can remember the days when I ran a 150mm ControlTech stem on all my bikes…


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