Talas 36 and 2.3 tires on my Stumpy?

I love my 2007 Stumpjumper FSR but I think it is slowing down my riding progression. In the past 3 years, I went from a hardtail 1993 Stumpjumper (steel frame with Manitou Mach V forks – creepy elastomer spring), to a used 2001 Fisher Sugar 3, to my current ride.

I used to be scared of descending fast but I’ve gotten over that and even learned to launch off small jumps and 2 footer drops, thanks to my Stumpy FSR. Now I have a dilemma. I want a BIGGER bike but I don’t want to go through the hassle of selling my current ride. I do like the Stumpy’s ability to climb well and its predictable handling.

Would upgrading to a bigger fork and tires be a wiser investment rather than starting all over again and buying an all mountain bike (like an Enduro SL or Intense 6.6)?

Hey Roland,

First, why do you want a bigger bike? If you’re doing 2-foot drops and little jumps to smooth landings, you’re well within the Stumpjumper’s design envelope. I’ve seen Stumpjumpers ridden VERY hard by very strong, aggressive riders. I don’t know how fast/high/hard you rip, but I doubt you’re at the level of Brandon Sloan, Mike Howse and Curtis Keene — to name a few rippers who love Stumpies.

As an aside, I raced a 2006 S-Works Carbon Stumpjumper at the 2005 Mammoth Super D national championships, and that bike didn’t hold me back one bit.

Second, don’t slap a 36 onto your Stumpy.

1. That’ll change the handling that you love so much. And you’ll have to get a new front wheel, which is a pain, then you might as well upgrade the brake rotor. All a pain.

2. The bigger fork might inspire you to do things you shouldn’t do on that bike.

3. It will void the warranty. Although Specialized is great about warranty, it’s hard to make your I-was-just-riding-along story believable when you shear off your head tube.

Third, try some burlier tires. Maxxis Minion, Specialized Eskar, Kenda Nevegal, WTB Weirwolf … tires make the man.

Fourth, If you decide you need a bigger bike, an Enduro SL, Intense 6.6, Maverick ML-8, Santa Cruz Nomad or similar will be awesome. They climb well, and they descend very well. Don’t worry: Your Stumpy will sell fast.

Just for fun, read this story: 2005 Mammoth National Championships – featuring characters, pumice, downhill, mountain cross, Super D and the arm wrestling nationals (which I won 🙂

I like bikes, and so should you.

— Lee

I’ll do just about anything on a double dare. Feel my power!
19 replies
  1. Ibelieveinsasquatch says:

    I had a similar dilemma a few years ago. Keep the SJ, put some 2×3.5″s on her and up the compression a bit if you need to. Also get a 60-70mm stem if you don’t already rock one.
    Step 2: Get yourself a freeride bike. I really like the Demo 7’s or SX since Lee’s a Specialized guy. If you want just one for financial reasons, I understand, but as a guy in a bike shop once told me, “Well, you like riding your bike don’t you?” -So it’s worth it. I rock an 04 Slayer 5″ and an 06 Switch 7″. I love and use both bikes. Oh, and the site is great Lee. Bop-Bop-BAP!

  2. Chris says:

    I have a Giant Trance which is Tranceformed (he, he) when I change from my skinny Maxxis Larsens to the Minion DHFs ST. It is like a light freeride bike. Well, that’s how I treat it, anyway. Try bigger tires before a bigger bike. I also have a 2006 TALAS on the front and how it feels at 4″ is totally different to 5″. 6″+ may not be an asset.

    If you decide on a bigger bike, also consider the Giant Reign. They can be sub 30lbs and I rode every double-black diamond trail at Whistler on mine. And even the top of the line will be far less than the price of a new 36 + new wheel + new brakes + what you sell the Stumpy for.

    And Sasquatch, 50mm!

  3. Chay says:

    I will say run tubless as well using Stan’s No Tube and run 30psi. It feels like you have an extra inch of suspension! It grips better too. Don’t put a long fork on a stumpy, it ruins the bike’s handling.

  4. Mike says:

    Sounds like you may want an enduro sl. judging by what you want to do I have ridden a 2007 stumpy extensively great bike. However I purchased an 08 enduro and slapped on a talas 36 totally different bike and ride, and fantastic, they are just not the same I much prefer the later for what I do.

  5. Davis says:

    Hey, I got an 06 stumpy and have yet to find its limit. Of course I weigh 125 pounds and am not pushing it hard. I’ve done several 3-4 foot drops to flat(with terrible technique) and I haven’t come close to bottoming it out. Just trust it.

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    I used to WRING OUT my 2006 S-Works Carbon Stumpy. Very aggressive trail riding, some pump track, some dirt jumping, even some light freeride (5-6 foot drops to trannies). The weak link was always the rear tire. Pinch Flat City.

  7. Todd L. says:

    Lee, what about putting a 36 Talas on a Blur LT? I currently have the 32 Float on my bike, but I want to slacken the head angle a little for descending. You can get the Blur LT with the 36 Talas, so I assume it wouldn’t void the warranty. Aside from the weight, how would the extra 20 mm change the performance?

  8. leelikesbikes says:

    Higher bottom bracket – More pedal clearance. More “floppy” and cumbersome at low speed.

    Slacker head angle – Greater stability at high speed and on steep love. More “floppy” and cumbersome at low speed.

  9. biscuit says:

    Question: What fork do you currently have on your ’07 stumpy? The ‘comp’ comes with a Fox Float 120 vs. the Talas 140 on the higher end SJ’s. You can have your shop remove a spacer that bumps the float to 140mm of travel. Destructions are in your manual and online.

    The extra 20mm makes for a significant attitude change. I’m running mine with a 50mm stem, wider bars, and a gravity dropper. The only thing I swap for “hard” riding is the tires to 2.2 Michelin comp 16’s (actually bigger than 2.2).

    And like Lee said, that bike can be wrung HARD.

  10. Roland says:


    Well, I’m definitely no Brandon Sloan. But I wanna be someday. Like soon! 🙂

    I agree that the Stumpjumper can be ridden hard and I have. The main reason why I wanted to turn the Stumpy to a semi-huckster bike was because of this project huck – http://www.ihatebikes.net/images/santa_cruz/pacifica_nofooter.jpg

    The step-down is in my town and pinning it on a Stumpy still scares me. Not to mention that I’m a fireplug of a Clydesdale @ 205 lbs. Lee was right, the reason for the bigger fork was to “inspire” me to do things I shouldn’t be doing on my new bike. I figure, if I put bigger wheels and fatter suspension, it will at least save the bike from my fat ass.

    At any rate, I’m selling my single speed mtb for a DH/FR bike (like Ibelieveinsasquatch suggested). I’ll keep the Stumpy Expert for most of my riding and rock the FR bike during days I want to go downhill FAST or learn to huck around Soquel Demo Forest.

  11. leelikesbikes says:

    Right on Roland.

    I am about to build a new Stumpy Pro Carbon for forest pixie days, and I’m gonna let my Enduro SL (33 lbs with FOX suspension and full DH wheels) stay burly for those burly days.

    I think I recognize that trail in the eucalyptus grove! If I’m not mistaken, there’s a steep, rocky trail on the mountain above it. A great place for a big, slack FR bike …

  12. Roland says:

    You are right!

    The two steep and rocky DH trails above the eucalyptus grove were the reasons why I asked if I could get away with slapping on bigger tires and a fatter suspension on the Stumpjumper FSR. 🙂

  13. Morten says:

    I just build a Ibis Mojo SL with 2008 Talas RLC and DT Swiss, averall I really love this bike and but I find the BB sits a bit too low for some very demanding climbs and DH in very rooty trails. I do fast 3feet drops and the mojo just loves them.

    Now I am thinking if I should put TALAS 36 AND 2.3 TIRES ON MY STUMPY 07. Why i would get a nice high BB so I can climb and DH better and save the mojo on the muddy days. the 08 RP2 I can run 160mm for DH and 130mm for narrow trails that would be the same like the talas 32 RLC. and I happen to have a set of Hayes El camino for the project with big discs

    anything i should think twice about in my project??

  14. leelikesbikes says:

    – Do not mess with your Stumpy. Read the above post.

    – Raising your bottom bracket DOES NOT help downhilling.

    If you strike pedals:

    – Learn to pump the downhills and flats.

    – Learn to time your pedals on the rocky uphills.


  15. Lance says:


    What can you tell me about the 08 Stumpy vs the 07? I’m interested in building one but need to find the correct frame to begin with. Also, FSR Shock w/Brain vs RP23, can you enlighten me regarding this? I have also considered an Epiphany but think I prefer the geometry of the Stumpy (lower BB, slacker HT). I would like the end product to be a 26 lb medium duty trail rig.

    Thanks mang.

  16. leelikesbikes says:

    The 08 Stumpy is slacker, lighter and stiffer than the 07. Neither bike sucks, but, if you’re in tune with your stuff, the 08 will feel better.

    My 08 Stumpy has heavy parts and DH/4X wheels and weighs about 28. You can get to 26 easy.

  17. John T says:

    Hey all,

    I have been going through a similar soul searching process with my 05 works stumpy. Hard to find the money for an upgrade so I went for the cheaper option. Here is my report:

    I fitted a 60mm stem to wide bar and shod a set of conti diesel protection 2.5’s (great underrated tyre) and now it rocks! I have a push tuned septune which I use at about 180psi (I weigh 205 in my bike gear) and the 7 settings allow me to choose between XC and plush ‘in the bike’ – more AM style. I also have an 07 talas, which I run at about 75 psi. A bit linear perhaps – do you think I should go for a float 140?

    I have trialled the enduro SL and an Intense 6.6 recently (cheers LBS!) and to be honest, although I was hanging on a bit on the stumpy, it could handle any terrain I was prepared to go for on the bigger boys (nothing too serious, but it scares me). For what it’s worth, I thought the enduro shock platforms were a bit detached from each other, making the bike a bit unpredictable – spesh should have made the shocks progressive without the multiple platforming IMHO. Love the e150 fork, stiffness, but not it’s suspension feel. I liked the 6.6 but I found it sat at 50% sag with the DHX air, even with 240psi – still pedalled well though. Pity it couldn’t be set up with 30% sag – apparently this is a common problem with the 6.6. Good bike but I wouldn’t buy one unless this was sorted.

    My thoughts were originally that I needed a better bike – actually it it the reverse – I need to keep the bike until I become a better rider. Sure a slacker heavier bike will make me feel better, but it will just mask poor technique that I should be dialling with practice rather than buying it off in the bike shop.



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