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)?
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.
I’ll do just about anything on a double dare. Feel my power!