Why Keene rides a Stumpy instead of an Enduro

The web has some sweet videos of pro downhiller Curtis Keene rocking a Stumpjumper in Santa Cruz. Curtis can ride any Specialized he wants; why does he choose a Stumpy instead of an Enduro?

First the videos:

Chromag Presents Curtis Keene from chromag on Vimeo.

Keene and Brendan Fairclough rip some Santa Cruz goodness.

If you want your PhD in braaap: Send in a comparative analysis of Keene and Fairclough’s riding styles. Pay special attention to 1:17.

Stumpjumper vs. Enduro
That’s one of the big questions of our age. Do you want the lighter, steeper skate or the bigger, slacker sled? Both bikes are awesome; I go back and forth all the time.

But why does Curtis Keene, full pro Specialized guy, choose the Stumpy over the Enduro?

– Where he lives. Santa Cruz has some gnar, but it’s mostly smooth.

– How he rides. During the winter, Curtis rides tons of XC. The Stumpy is lighter and climbs better.

– The Enduro is a mini DH bike. With a Lyrik or 36, the Enduro is extra stiff and slack — and it’s too easy to ride on his home trails.

– The Stumpy is sketchier. Curtis is training for high-level racing on the edge of his abilities. It’s more effective for him to fully wring out a Stumpy than to be cozy on an Enduro. (If you ride these trails, you know Curtis and Brendan are riding little bikes faster than most people ride big bikes.)

– He doesn’t need the in-between. Curtis could certainly ride a Stumpy, Enduro and Demo on various trails, but he’s happy with the Stumpy for pedaling rides. If the trail requires more bike, he’d rather be on his Demo — his “work” bike.

– It’s still running. Curtis’ carbon Stumpy has a 150 mm Revelation to slacken it. The bike weighs 23 pounds with a 50 mm stem and carbon wheels. “I have not broken it.”

While we’re talking about Keene: Check out Curtis Keene’s training philosophy. When Curtis first turned pro I helped him with training. Curtis is now working with super-pro trainer Scott Sharples, but this approach got him pretty far.

Know more. Have more fun!

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13 replies
  1. Dan says:

    Funny you put this up, because this is exactly what I am trying to figure out for myself. Currently I am looking at having to move to Missouri for work and am looking for a way to continue my training for DH racing. I know I need a more purpose built trail bike to be able to ride longer (currently I have to keep my rides short since I am on my 4X rig with a long seat post). I’m on all specialized and figure it’ll be one of the two bikes in question here. To top my list currently is the Enduro SL Expert, but I’m still thinking. I like the Stumpy for the 5″x5″ but the Enduro for the angles.
    To describe me and my self described style: I’m 6’3″ almost 4″ and about 205lbs with more of a floater style than monster trucker. Currently racing Cat 1 DH & 4X.
    With that said what is your two cents on which bike and what size? Also, do you know anywhere to ride or anyone to ride with in the Central Missouri area?

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    The first question is, How do you ride?

    The second question is, Where do you ride? I can’t help you there.

    From my experience, I think a Stumpy is a better all-around choice on non-gnar.

  3. Eric says:

    From this video, it looks like these two guys actually ride pretty similarly. Keene definitely has more of the foot-out moto thing going on and doesn’t appear to carry quite as much speed out of the turns. Brendan just carves. At 1:17, Fairclough gets the bike rotating for the right hander a little earlier and will probably scrub a little less speed in that turn as a result. Overall though, pretty awesome riding from both.

    How’d I do?

  4. Mr. P says:

    There is also being smooove.

    These guys are so smooth they are much easier on bikes than a hack like I would be. They know how to use the body to absorb big impacts.

    But on the other hand, they are going quite big!


  5. leelikesbikes says:

    I don’t have the data to prove this, but I think a bike ridden smoothly but quickly deals with consistently larger forces than a bike ridden smoothly and roughly.

    But: Poor riders probably encounter more of those ‘edge case’ impacts from bashing into stuff.


  6. Slim says:

    For those for are on the fence, Specialized is doing a Stumpy EVO for 2011 with a slacker HA, 150 mm travel and chainguide.

  7. Martyn says:

    I’m thinking of going from the S-Works Enduro SL to the 11 Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbo, thinking I dont need the Brain but ‘need’ a carbon frame so ? evenly matched from the SL?
    I don’t think Curtis Keene from the above video has a Brain on his SJ.

  8. True says:

    My DH analysis is admittedly rusty but the thing that strikes me the most is that Curtis seems to spend more time comparatively with his tires on the ground and is “heavier” on the tires/suspension in the turns. Probably as a result of the sheer weight of his handsomeness.

    ….the last bit is a joke.

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