Stumpjumper S-Works FSR 29 Review

Jun 10, 2013
by Matt Wragg  
 
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Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works FSR 29

bigquotesOver the intervening 31 years, the Stumpjumper has held its place in the Specialized lineup, but their desire to innovate has never stopped and the culmination of those 31 years of development is the Stumpjumper FSR 29 S-Works.

In their own words, the Stumpjumper was the bike Specialized built when they "wanted to go farther and push the limits of what was possible on dirt." Launched in 1981, it was the first bike you could buy in your local shop, the first mass-produced mountain bike. Over the intervening 31 years, the Stumpjumper has held its place in the Specialized lineup, but their desire to innovate has never stopped and the culmination of those 31 years of development is the Stumpjumper FSR 29 S-Works. Today, the Stumpjumper sits in the middle of the range - the bridge point between the genre-specific cross-country and gravity bikes, with enough suspension to get a bit rowdy, and performance that is quick and light enough to cover serious distance on - fast. To fit into the commonly tossed around categories, we would pin it in the trail/all-mountain category, a niche we'd be inclined to refer to as "mountain bikes."



The Autosag valve sits to the side of the shock body. Pump it up to about 200psi,
sit on the bike and releasing the air valve auto-corrects for 25-percent sag.
Nestling behind the chain stay is the heart of the Brain system - the inertia valve.
The dramatically oversized BB30 bottom bracket system means there is a huge
mass of carbon at the heart of the frame, which helps keep it stiff.

Details

• Purpose: Trail/All-mountain
• Specialized's FACT 11 carbon construction
• 130mm rear travel with a FOX/Specialized remote Brain with Autosag
• 130mm front travel with a FOX 32 RLC Factory 29
• 69-degree head angle, 450mm chainstays
• Sizes: Small, medium (tested), large, XL
• Frame weight: 6.4lbs (with shock)
• Weight: 23.8lbs (without pedals)
• MSRP: $9,500

Construction Notes

While we don't use the word, 'superbike' lightly, the Stumpjumper FSR 29 S-Works fits the bill on every front. Specialized offer a complete range of Stumpjumper bikes, from the base-level Comp 29 at $3000, right up to this S-Works version sitting proudly at the top of the range. From the full-carbon construction, carbon components and SRAM XX groupset, down to the wallet-shaking $9,500 price tag - it's not done by halves. The main frame is made from Specialized's Functional Advanced Composite Technology (FACT) 11 carbon fibre. FACT means that the frame is made from a number of different types of fiber and lay-up techniques, each part being tailored to its specific need for strength, stiffness or flexibility. Paired with the sophisticated carbon structure are a number of features to stiffen the frame, like the giant PF30 bottom bracket at the heart of the frame, the 142 x 12mm rear axle out back and the extra wide bearings that keep the rear suspension moving.

Suspension

Controlling the 130mm of movement at the rear end is one of the more sophisticated shock systems you'll find on any bike. The Fox Float shock has Specialized's proprietary autosag feature, to help you get you air pressures dialled in with the minimum of fuss. Rather than the usual low-speed compression feature, the Stumpjumper S-Works ensures firm pedalling with another piece of proprietary technology - the Brain. Using an inertia valve mounted on the seat stay, the system can tell the difference between rider forces and trail forces and adapt the shock performance accordingly. The easiest way to think of it is that rider forces come down into the bike and the trail forces come up from the ground. When there is a downwards force it adds on a big chunk of compression damping, like a pro-pedal, and with an upwards force it opens the shock to give you maximum damping performance. All this is done instantly and automatically as you ride, the idea being that you never need to think about your shock being in the right mode, you just ride. Contrastingly, the front is handled by a wonderfully-simple 130mm Fox Float 32 fork with an RLC (rebound, lockout and compression) cartridge - in the more recent version of the bike than the one we tested, this is updated to a CTD damping cartridge.

Key Components

Throughout the bike the kit is top drawer. While SRAM's XX group has maybe been a little over-shadowed by XX1 recently, it is still light, precise and sexy. The only part of the group-set that isn't from XX are the cranks, which are Specialized's own S-Works, full-carbon arms, mated to a custom SRAM spider and protected by a bash ring. Sitting just behind it is a chain guide mounted on the seatstay, an updated take on the idea used by DCD
back in the 1990s and a simple, but effective way of keeping your chain in order. A pair of Roval carbon wheels get the bike rolling, with a DT Swiss-made rear hub and the spokes at the front are laid out in radial lacing on one side and three-cross on the disc-brake side. A beefy Specialized Purgatory tire is mounted at the front and a fast-rolling Ground Control at the rear - on the test bike, both came mounted tubeless, which is a welcome touch. Their Command Post Blacklight dropper seatpost holds the Body Geometry saddle in place and at the front it is all finished off with a Syntace stem and 720mm carbon handlebar (we swapped this out for with a bar and stem setup we are familiar with).

Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works FSR 29 Axid XX brales
Details 6
  (Clockwise) Braking was precise, courtesy of Avid XX discs with 180mm rotors. The Dangler guide hangs from the chainstay. The plastic mech does a good job of keeping the chain in order. At the back end of the drivetrain is a SRAM XX derailleur, mated to a wide-range 11-36t cassette.


Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works FSR 29 Geometry



Out on the Trail

Climbing: The Stumpjumper FSR 29 S-Works eats climbs. Weight plays a big factor in this, especially with the big, light wheels and tires, it's simply less to cart up the hill with you. On longer stints, the roomy top tube puts you in a comfortable position to sit there and grind away at the distance. There is a real immediacy in the power transfer to the rear wheel, giving you a sense that virtually none of your energy is being wasted. If you need to get somewhere fast, just stamp on the pedal and the bike shoots forwards like it's alive. When the going got steeper and more technical we were impressed with how well it held traction once you were out of the saddle. There is a compromise at the front, to set the cockpit for descending does raise the bars a touch too high for climbing, so we did have to work to keep the nose down. A travel-adjust system would have solved this, but we prefer the bike without one, we'd rather work a bit harder at the climbs and be ready for every descent.

Sprinting up.
  The Stumpjumper S-Works 29er climbs easily, even with our DH-height and width handlebars. The Brain shock makes every pedal stroke count.


Descending: Going downhill, the Stumpjumper's natural home was fast, flowing trails. Carrying speed is the thing it does incredibly well, helped buy the big wheels. You don't need a huge amount of gradient for it to come alive. Once you got moving it was surprisingly playful too, give it nicely-spaced features and you could ride them like a pump track, manualling between hits or popping off them. It does take some work to really wring it out to the limits though. We found ourselves hanging off the side of it like a speeder bike from Star Wars, exaggerating our body posture and moving around the bike, which was an immense amount of fun, but it did take some strength and commitment. It isn't a bike to be forced, on the early rides we were trying to make it jump at every opportunity, but found that it carried better speed when you relaxed and let it take more natural lines, often keeping the wheels on the ground. Yet when the trail encouraged you to jump, it constantly surprised us at how much pop we could get from it with relatively light input.

Attacking the descent.

When the trails got tighter and twistier, the 1147mm wheelbase on the medium we tested meant we could catch the bike out, it was too much to ask to thread it through really sharp corners at speed. The 69 degree head angle also means it's not in its element on steep terrain. On the XC loop, where we put in most of our test mileage, there are a three or four open, rocky sections that you need to attack head-on to take fast. Here we started to find the edges of the Stumpjumper. When we were brave and let the bike go, it battered through with a lot of speed, but it never quite felt comfortable. Whether it was the bike’s light weight, its XC-rated, 32mm-stanchion fork, or its light wheels - or just us being scared of using a $9,500 bike as a plough, it's hard to say. What we are sure of is that when it came time to ride the tougher trails around us, it was the 160mm Enduro we reached for.

More sprinting uphill.


We found ourselves looking at burlier forks like the Fox 34 or the Rockshox Pike, thicker tires and the Evo linkage kit (Specialized offer an Evo version of the Stumpjumper FSR 29 which is a bit more gravity-focused). However, we never got further than looking. While it would be interesting to see how far you could push the frame in that direction, inevitably it all adds weight and we felt it would take away from what made this bike so great: the light weight and the speed that comes with that. Those reservations aside, after three months and several hundred kilometers of us hitting everything on our local loops as hard as we could, it was all in one piece and the wheels were still true, so maybe we just need to get used to a bike this light.

Component Report

Avid XX brakes: Good - We were very impressed with the positive lever feel on these, even with the relatively small discs, on the kind of riding this bike excels at, we never felt we wanted anything more. Bad - They did squeal a lot at first, but this quieted down as the pads bedded in.

Bashguard and chain tensioner: Good - It is nice to see attention to chain retention on a bike this light, we didn't have a single problem with the chain in the entire time with the bike and it's something we'd like to see on more bikes. There are also ISCG-05 tabs, giving you the option to mount a chainguide if you want.

Command Post Blacklight: Good - We like the integrated grip clamp/lever. Bad - It did take more attention to keep the post running smoothly than some of its competitors, it worked best if you cleaned the seals and sprayed on some Teflon spray before each ride. In really miserable, gritty UK conditions it did leave us stuck at full extension mid-ride a couple of times.

Pinkbike's take:
There's no escaping the Stumpjumper FSR 29 S-Works’ price tag when summing this bike up. It's the top end of their range and simply out of the reach of most people. Yet, if history tells us anything, it's that before too long, this level of performance will trickle down to the more affordable bikes and that is an exciting prospect for all of us. If this is the future of trail bikes, then the future is quick. It's well-mannered and easy to live with for less-experienced riders and mind-bendingly fast if you want to push it. While the bike does have limits, it's not a big mountain smash bike by any means, but on most trails it's a rocket ship everyone could enjoy, both up and down the hills. - Matt Wragg



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193 Comments

  • + 125
 I'll get a GT instead thanks Wink
  • + 35
 oh how the times are changing
  • + 29
 specialized in killing world champions
  • + 29
 It doesen`t matter if the "climate" is changing I`m still a satisfied owner of SJ . This thing rails berms, shreds the loam and performs just great.
  • + 13
 So let's see how fast this gets neg-propped into oblivion by the impartial and definitely not paid-off by Spesh Pinkbike staff. I dare you, I double dare you.
  • + 18
 "MOTHERf*ckER, SAY WHAT ONE MORE GOD DAMN TIME!"

Sorry, had to finish it for you.
  • + 2
 Hahah I knew someone would Wink
  • + 2
 I would sport the crap out of that bike. However, l would rather have an Epic if l were doing the 29er thing.
  • - 12
 not even internal... the Remedy 29 or the EX 29 would be better anyday
  • + 3
 if you are referring to the cables, the seatpost cable is internally routed, as is the rear derailleur cable through the chain stay. and also, lets note, that the routing of cables doesnt win races. my road bike has no internal routing except for aprx. 3cm from the bb to the front derailleur and i have beat countless treks with it Big Grin treks are for bums. plain and simple. haha no im kidding about the last part. but really, i wouldn't stray away from a bike simply because of very little to no internal routing, thats dumb.
  • + 4
 internal routing is very important to some people that ride in very muddy, wet, or sloppy conditions.
  • + 2
 Who da hell did that derailleur?!
  • + 4
 I believe it's made by a company called SRAM.
  • + 1
 Icculus19425 - I don't see why if I'm honest. Being in the UK I have no choice but to ride mud for a good chunk of the year and all you need to do is run full length outers. Internal routing just makes frames look neater.
  • + 2
 Different Strokes for Different Folks I guess.
[Reply]
  • + 64
 About time for pinkbike to put up a specialized ad
  • + 6
 haha .. good lough man.. TQ
  • + 6
 Well played, sir.
[Reply]
  • + 45
 Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works FSR 26" would be better & more fun.
  • + 5
 26" for life!!!
  • - 16
 the problem with the 26" is the bottom braket, it is just too low, I've changed my pedals already twice in one year.
  • + 17
 stop! 26 v 29 is opinion. if you dont like 29 great for you, nobody else wants to hear about you not liking 29ers.
  • + 8
 I owned the 26" and the 29" in Evo form. The 29" destroys the 26".
  • + 10
 I have a SJ 29er and a 26 Enduro. The Enduro gets way more trail time as it's way more fun overall and it's definitely faster on the DH. Keene should go back to the 26er as he had better results with it.
29 = xc
  • + 7
 I'm thinking Sworks SJ FSR 650B EVO would be the sickest trail bike in the world. If only they made it -__-
  • + 4
 And now I'm getting neg-propped for saying a carbon, 150mm travel, 650B all mountain bike would be awesome. Good one pinkbike.
  • + 2
 Dancingwhale, I positive propped you because I agree with you -- A friend of mine is running a 650B wheel up front on his carbon Wilson (Devinci) and a 26" in the rear, which he loves and totally rips on. Of course, he's also rocking the Dorado to make room for the front wheel, but says it just rolls over that big, catchy stuff perfectly... I've ridden a few 29ers and they can be really, really fun, but the turning radius can a big strange. Smile 650B is awesome in just about any condition -- AM, DH or even XC. I have to say that I'm (almost) a convert.
  • + 2
 Mabey you should choose better lines.
  • + 0
 I have a SJ 29er and a 26 Enduro. The Enduro gets way more trail time as it's way more fun overall and it's definitely faster on the DH. Keene should go back to the 26er as he had better results with it.
29 = xc

You need the Evo Link...
  • + 1
 SJ 29er is an EVO. 29er = XC. Your kidding yourself if you think it's not.
  • + 2
 SJ 29" is not an SJ 29" Evo.

And www.mbaction.com/Main/News/Pro-GRT-Downhill-Won-By-A-29er-Trailbike-Mitch-Rop-6522.aspx

By far the best bike Specialized manufacture.
  • + 1
 I should have said my SJ 29er is an EVO. You do realize that race had about 30 seconds of pedaling on flat ground? Like I said previously, I prefer my 26" wheels to my 29" wheels. I think because you have a new SJ 29er you are justifying your purchase. Try a 2013 Enduro and you'll regret getting a SJ 29er. But if you like flexy wheels, crappy braking and slow turning, have fun.
  • + 1
 No I like more grip, more stability, less energy used, better weight distribution etc.
[Reply]
  • + 26
 I didn't read this, I didn't need too. I know full well that Speciailized are rubbish and everything they do is crap because all the highly skilled, WC class people on here have been telling me that non stop for the past 12 hours. I know that Specialized is entirely responsible for a certain WC racers downfall, and it's because they make such rubbish bikes. I know this because many highly knowledgeable individuals tell me this non stop. I know I should sell my Specialized Enduro because FSR technology is "old, dead, and outdated" because the people in the know have spoken. I know that pinkbike is full of cockheaded trolls.....
  • + 13
 I agree, my enduro is going in the trash and I'm purchasing a GT FURY for my all mountain needs. The PINKBIKE forum experts have swayed me away from my perfectly fine bicycle to purchase a world cup winning dh bike for my all mountain riding. F@$k that, my enduro shreds and that's what's up!
[Reply]
  • + 28
 I seriously need to win the lottery..
  • + 23
 lottery how to after winning 1) buy this bike 2) buy the new gt dh bike 3) go half way through putting fox suspension on the gt and run out of money
[Reply]
  • + 16
 whats up with it, that all the recent "tested" articles were about trail bikes? Its DH world cup season, can we see a bit more of the big sleds?
  • + 24
 I wanna see a review on the polygons that sick mick and co. are riding
  • + 5
 I was hoping Mic would take it this weekend, he's the king. He looked good out there, and his whip did too. I can't believe how much time he shaved off on the lower section!
  • + 9
 What's a DH? Haven't you heard? Enduro is the new black. Every bike can ride an enduro race (except of course, DH), so every bike has to have an ad. Enduro Enduro Enduro! Wink

(actually I'm racing my first enduro next week, so I'm not necessarily "hating", but you gotta admit it's one of the biggest marketing pushes since 29ers)
[Reply]
  • + 14
 This is the best trail bike I ever ride, just after 26" version. And I wish to have one. Spesh maybe become mainstream, but still ... they build great bikes!
  • + 14
 Tell that to Aaron Gwin
  • + 2
 I've the lowest Comp 29er and realy like an XC upward (against its 14kg) and flow down almost like an AM machine. Tested in Schladming also.
  • + 2
 @NZNDURO - your an idiot. He won Sea Otter on a 29er
  • + 1
 @jaydawg - that was the joke (and you missed it), afrovk likes the 26, but gwin won on the 29, hence nznduro's comment.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Specialized won't be sleeping tonight... rough weekend for them.
  • - 3
 Yeah, their bikes pedal good up a climb, but they don't sprint good. That is why they have the Brain on it., it masks the mushy pedaling performance of the super-active FSR suspension design. Their bikes perform well and are fun to ride, but they do have a weakness. On most of the models they can valve the shocks to minimize it, but when you have 8 inches of travel and a coil shock on it the weakness is fully exposed, as we saw yesterday with Arron Gwin wallowing through his pedals on the motorway while leaning over the front of the bike.
  • + 14
 Explain Brosnan's ride then?
  • - 2
 i have fsr on my lucky 7 and it doesnt seem too bad for sprinting.
  • + 4
 FSR remains active pedalling and braking. It requires a propedal type shock to prevent bob. Its not a flawed design at all. I have owned several horst link bikes, a couple linkage driven single pivots, and a DW link. They feel different, and have different advantages and disadvantages. I don't think I would buy another single pivot, unless I got a smoking deal. None were "bad" at all. They just felt different, and 1/2 h into a ride, you intuitively adapt. I like the DW best, because its simple- no flipping switches. Just ride.
  • - 1
 What is to explain about Brosnans run, it wasn't great either?
  • + 5
 You talk crap. The kid is coming back from injury and he was only 2 seconds down on the World Champion on a 4:40 minute track.
  • + 0
 Even if it would be the bike, that would mean the Demo is less than one percent slower than a GT Fury - if Protour would be fast and consistent enough to notice that, he should probably enter the WC himself..

Judging how good a bike is for Joe Average based on Pro riders performance is b.s. unless you know the effect of custom suspension, set up, etc and know how to interpret rider performance. If he has what it takes Protour should best drop everything and apply for a nice job at a WRC or F1 team.

Willie1 - I still miss the suspension of my IH 6point (i.e. DW link), it always felt so controlled, even with a pretty straight forward shock.
  • + 3
 I should race the World Cup circuit based upon what I've typed on the Internet, that's brilliant. the pedaling issues on the demo are a slight disadvantage, but the short chainstays on the demo are what is really holding Gwin back.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Will Gwin win with that in Val Di Sole?
  • + 6
 Gwinner had better freakn win at Val. Thats pretty much his track!
  • + 8
 There will be a tremendous amount of pressure on him but I bet he steps up and is at least on the podium, if not on top. But still, if he doesn't win people will be pointing at the Demo again. Especially if Sam Hill is high in the results.
  • + 4
 Sam Hill had better results at Ft William last year on his Demo when he was out of shape.
  • - 2
 He had a mechanical yesterday or he would have been 2nd.
  • + 2
 I think both should watch out for Brook at Val Di Sole. We all know the Session is a winning bike and he is a beast. Mick is hungry as ever, Smith could easily find a streak of podiums if not wins, Gee is fast as ever and Hill seems back to form at last. It's an interesting and exciting start to the season and I for one can't wait for next Sunday.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 MSRP: $9,500 Some time ago I just posted that bikes are getting more, and more expensive.. but that price, Im speechless. Who buys such bikes, who are they made for? You can buy so many other usefull things for that amount of cash.
  • + 7
 The same people who are spending $3000+ on a set of carbon tubie race wheels for their $5000+ carbon CX bike, which hangs in the garage next to their 5-figure price tag road bike.
Some people have crazy loads of money to throw at their hobbies. I'm not one of them, but I know a few people like that.
  • + 2
 some people like riding their bikes, others like sending their money on things they don't need, and some people actually believe that by sending more money one bikes they would be able to ride faster.. The only reason this bike cost some much is because there are people who are willing to spend that much on them.
  • + 2
 Basically, the rich A Holes of the world buy this kind of bike.
  • + 1
 I lucked out by getting both of my current rigs 50-70% off of what they should have been. It took a ton of time looking to find what I wanted for the price I was willing to pay but in the end I got what I wanted.
  • + 2
 Spent my first years after college living like a dirt bag, working part time - coaching, and trying to race at a pro level.

Finally quit, started a business and became an overnight success after 20+ years of working late and many long hours.

I still love bikes and biking, and now own several bikes, including several absolutely awesome carbon bikes.

Protour - if you spent as much time on your career and financial life as you do posting on PB - you might be able to afford one of those bikes too! Smile
  • + 1
 Wouldn't want one, I would rather have an aluminum Enduro.

Nothing screams "rich guy with probably not much technical riding ability" than a carbon 29 bike based upon my experiences, if that's not you then good for you, but anyone who gets on the internet and writes about "career and financial life" probably doesn't have much of one. Better go study the stock market instead of riding today, lol.
  • + 2
 right back at you... if you can't afford the bike you want - better go study it yourself.

No need to be hating on those of us who love bikes. I had been a dirt bag and poor for years, and now I am old and slow, but have always owned top-end bikes, either from sponsors or from buying myself. So what is wrong with being old and slow and having a nice bike? Some of us had a few decent years when we were younger, now we just like to ride... even if it is way slower and not as well as years ago.

Pretty much everyone who is on PB is really into bikes... right? Why are you hating so much?

I'll say it again, work hard at your career, maybe you will be rich someday too. It is not a bad thing my friend.
  • - 1
 Yawn....dude you just don't get it. It's not even about the bike it's about the ride and you can rode a pos fully rigid bike and have more fun.

You wasted all those years working hard when you should have riding, having fun, and letting loose. You are only young once, bro...it's all downhill now. Now all you have is an overpriced bike that isn't that much better than something 1/8th of the price. Sickos like you
make me happy I'm humble and hopefully one day a homeless mountain biker.

You seem like a planner, how are you planning on being prepared for global warming?
  • + 2
 Protour, you seem like a douche. Just sayin'.
  • + 1
 He's an ignorant child. Just hating because he can't buy a carbon rocket.
  • + 1
 You are both humans so by definition you aren't much better. We all belong to the same species which is the most suicidal ever and which destroys all others that have been here much longer.

We have all had different upbringings and experiences so that makes us seem different but when it comes down to it we are all essentially walking around pointing a gun to our head, some more willing to talk about it than others.

Douchebag? Ignorant child? Any other meaningless personal insults?
  • + 1
 With an outlook on life like that it's no surprise that you're such a party pooper,
  • + 1
 Yeah, and so you are all happy and pleasant every day when you think about how humans are destroying everything that has been here for so much longer than us? I still enjoy the party, but I'm not oblivious. But very happy I never had any children, that would be so depressing considering we have utterly destroyed any chance they have. You have children, Mr carbon rocket lover?
  • + 1
 No kids for me but I do have 3 pups. I am a realist but not pessimistic. I change what I can and forget about all the other crap.
  • + 2
 That's a good approach I could learn from.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 at $9,500, it doesn't have the 1X11 drive train yet and has 32mm stanchions on a 29er fork is sooo 2012. and who needs that auto sag feature? probably a noob. so what kind of noob has the money and buys this thing?
  • + 3
 Totally agree, the autosag is a gimmick feature for noobs, all it does is give you a ballpark sag and allows Fox to tout "innovation."
  • + 2
 Apparently a manual bleed with an auto check valve that cuts the bleeding when you sag to a quarter shaft travel point, is "innovative". Probably the only thing they could do after Rockshox thought to apply for a design patent on their shock/forks that have gradient marks printed on them to show sag points with the o-ring tie. Of course they could simply have oh i dunno... tried to LICENSE that patent. But noooo... much simpler to introduce another doodad that'll fail in the future that people spending 9k on their bikes really don't need. Nevermind the fact that anyone can do this to their existing bikes... just leave the shock pump attached when you're sitting on the bike, and push the bleed screw on the pump till you sag down to 20-25% or whatever mark you want, then get off and detach the pump. If you can reach the "autosag" button, you can reach the bleed button on your pump also...
  • + 1
 genius! ^^^
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Wow.... At some point, on any bike , I just dig riding..... Hard to fathom the crazy negs re: specialized.... Really just another bike company and this bike is priced at the same level as other bikes of this type ( read high end).... I don't hear people trashing Santa Cruz....or yeti.... A lot of bitter" fight the power" bs and not enough real appreciation for what bike designers can do.... So don't buy it, it's not meant for you anyways and they will sell out for sure.... To me it is another example of an expensive bike with a lot of cool shit going on
[Reply]
  • + 5
 The brain system is a novel idea and when it works is awesome but is unreliable. I have replaced my AFR brain shock 3 times in the last 2 years luckly by warrenty. I honestly feel that VPP is much better than the Specialized take on FSR Horst Link suspension simply because it doesn't require a special shock to compensate for eccessive pedal bob. I love my pro carbon fsr but my tbc just makes better use with less travel. I would like to see a writeup on the new DW Turner carbon 29r and the new Ibis Mojo model droping today. Me thinks the new Ibis will be a dedicated 27.5 roller.
  • + 2
 Ya an Ibis Mojo test would be awesome Jailbreak
[Reply]
  • + 5
 "Going downhill, the Stumpjumper's natural home was fast, flowing trails. Carrying speed is the thing it does incredibly well, helped buy the big wheels."

If this doesn't prove Pinkbike is trying to convince us all to buy 29ers, nothing will. Marketing slip up, fellas?
  • - 2
 guess some need all the help they can get to overcome the fact that they lack the one important ingredient called technique - until then maybe different wheel size would save them. But you have to admit that this is a good one - I couldn't believe that this "journalist" actually wrote this until I saw it myself
  • + 4
 You guys are stupid:

"When the trails got tighter and twistier, the 1147mm wheelbase on the medium we tested meant we could catch the bike out, it was too much to ask to thread it through really sharp corners at speed... What we are sure of is that when it came time to ride the tougher trails around us, it was the 160mm Enduro we reached for."

Just because he says some good things about 29" wheels it doesn't mean he is "marketing" it. Give your anti 29er sentiment a rest cos no one gives a shit.

Different strokes...
  • + 1
 haha you missed the part where it said "helped BUY the big wheels"
  • + 1
 aaaah! Yes I am an idiot. I just assumed it was a typo on your part. Apologies.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Another bike we can't afford...?
  • - 11
 "we" means those you don't have good jobs? Some of us CAN afford nicer things.
  • + 0
 I can still afford it, even if I get neg props from kids with lousy jobs. Smile
  • + 3
 I can afford it too, I just have better taste than to buy a specialized.
  • + 2
 I've got a really nice job with great pay - but not pay at that level. I ride a really nice bike with great spec - but these prices are just way too expensive.
  • + 1
 I have a Klein, Santa Cruz, and a Specialized. Priorities.....
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  • + 4
 I don't get why MTB are so expensive? I know there are developments and R&D that goes with all that, But so does all that go into your Suzuki or Kawi or your Honda 450 which can be had for $7000 and that with a motor......But I think MTB and some Road bikes are like made for those " who can" and for the "Have nots" Like those who buy a porche or a BMW....I have both MTB and Road bike and yes even tho they were both well over $7000- each I bought them at 50% off on end of the year sales...My 2011 Endurio S-Works was going on almost 2 yrs old when I bought it from my LBS so I got a killer deal after some haggling...but no way I would have been able to afford $18,000 in bikes on my normal pay checks. I just ponder and how expensive this is...But if you really look at it there are so much normality in bike that not much is changed so re-tooling or re-designing is far and few in between, but yet the price still at a premium.
  • + 4
 There have been a number of posts explaining the significant differences between moto and MTB costs. Motos only come in one size. The component spec is about the same as a $2000.00 MTB. There is very little if any carbon. The same design is used for three or more years, significantly decreasing development costs.Single wall aluminum rims, single pivot suspension, aluminum bars, aluminum or steel frame- again- only one size. All of those features can be had for $2000.00 in a MTB.
  • - 1
 this is a fashion product - so the R&D here is around 0. this is a the same as with sneakers, from something functional and simple to something that you NEED/MUST spend on in order to have the "best". All these companies discover that it is best to put their money into marking and to push the new "inventions" through sites like this one where the people who write about it have zero understanding and I maybe not really using it, just because they couldn't make it into the mainstream journalism they need to play along with whatever they are told from their advertisers. one real reason for the higher prices is that since they have more than one wheel size to support it cost more money in the production, but as long as they roadies and the one who like city bikes around here are happy I think the rest of us don't need to get bother by these prices
  • + 2
 The point was that comparing a top of the line MTB to a production moto is silly. The full race motos used in National Championship Racing ie. AMA or FIM racing at the pro level cost $150,000.00. To get a national level MTB for 10k is a bargain comparatively, even though many can't afford it.

I guess figuring out how little material they can use and maintain strength in the frame, wheels, contrils,mechanicals and suspension did not require any Research and Development? I don't buy that at all. If this is just marketing, then you must ride a 1970's beach cruiser. Those were basic bicycles.
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  • + 7
 can we see some other bike "reviews", and not just who can pay the most eh?
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  • + 3
 I want to see a review of the Mondraker DH bike and the new 650B Ibis Mojo. Those would be sick. Also,I know this is sort of an odd request but entry-level XC race bikes would be a nice, refreshing article from all the non-xc stuff broadcasted on pinkbike.
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  • + 6
 My reaction was "WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET THE ENDURO 29 REVIEW!?!??!" But this'll do for the time being :-)
  • + 3
 Probably never again.
  • + 0
 More likely to see the new GT enduro bike?
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  • + 2
 Why do you suppose they are still using the 32 on it? I guess it must be "good enough" as far as flex goes and it is lighter. I find that surprising because my 150 on a 26" wheel flexed, and while this only exposes 130mm of stanchion it also has a bigger wheel putting the pressure on it.
  • + 2
 The weight. The Fox 34s are much too porky for the relatively small increase in stiffness so a LOT of brands have kept using the 32s on models that should have gotten something else.
  • + 2
 I'm not sure. Maybe because it's significantly lighter? I opted for a 32 on my Bandit 29 because it was lighter and cheaper and because my local trails aren't very gnarly. If I was riding crazier stuff, I'm pretty sure I'd want something I little bigger.
  • + 1
 Fox has claimed actually an increase in stiffness of 20%, anyone who has ridden one would instantly notice the difference.The added weight anywhere from 0.6 lbs to 0.9 lbs, dependanding on travel options for a float 32 and 34 both tapereed and 15mm. (weights are a little more difficult to compare). I think anyone who has ridden a 32 at 130mm travel would agree it has a major lack of stiffness.
  • + 2
 Well Fox can "claim" whatever they like... they have a history of claiming stuff that isn't actually true. The question is whether anyone actually believes them or not. For the price tag of the top end forks though... I'd rather a Magura than a Fox. The magura has better tire clearance and is stiffer for about the same weight.
  • + 1
 I agree they make their claims and there not always correct, but anyone who has ridden a 34 including all of our customers say its a vaste improvement in stiffness over the 32. Never owned or ridden a magura, always been itching to try one, but to deal with magura regarding servicing is not a road I want to venture when i can send my fox to OGC and have it back in a week. Do you own a magura?
  • + 1
 What about the Formula 35mm and 33mm forks? Might be a better light weight performance alternative.
  • + 1
 I had a nice reply but my IE ate it lastnight... but formula is even harder to support than magura is, outside of Europe, as they have even worst distribution over here. Also if I was stepping up to a 35mm fork, then I could just go to a Rockshox Pike. As to why I want to replace my Fox forks with Magura forks, for starters they use a better damper design IMHO. Secondly they have MASSIVE tire and brake rotor clearance, even for XC racing models (their 2.9 pound lightest fork is rated for 210mm rotors, and 26 x 2.6 tires), and lastly, because of the dual-brace lowers design, their standard 9QR open dropout models are as stiff as many competitors 15QR thru-shaft models (and I have plenty of perfectly serviceable disc wheelsets built around standard QR hubs).

As to who distributes Magura in Canada... I don't think sending a fork off to Orange is any worse than having one sent to OGC.
  • + 1
 How can you suggest a pike if you have never owned one? and once again, do you own a magura fork?
  • + 1
 Since RS forks are all pretty similar (every new part on the pike should fit the lyrik, and the new lowers should fit the boxxer and domain too, making a 650b or even 29er dh/fr set up a layman's option), I would feel comfortable recommending a pike. The new damper is basically like the lyrik with a bladder, right? So reliable, light and highly functional, at least in theory.
The reason RS has so many loyal followers is that they are predictable. The pike is not a new animal. it is a lyrik-lite, which many of us have been wanting for a long time. Also the mix and match diy nature of the beasts makes us really feel like we own them.
  • + 1
 "the new damper is like a lyrik with a bladder" sounds new enough to me that I'd let it spread the market for a good year or so before considering.
  • + 1
 Have you not bothered to read any of the reviews of it ? Pinkbike and all the major print mags have run them, including photos of the "bladder". Its just a rubber tube section to give the oil someplace to displace into. The technology is really OLD in motorcycle and car suspension and there's nothing fragile about it. Rockshox has been developing the new Pike for over a year and they've had time to make the things dependable and reliable.
  • + 1
 interesting, in other forum post you personaly state how biased pinkbike is and various other reviewers, but when you want the ball in your court when someone is asking you a question,you quick change your perspective to suit your needs...... your quiet a character. once again have you ridden a magura fork, or once again are you depending on reviewers to provide you with sufficient knowedge to evaluate the product....
  • + 1
 I agree your always pretty safe to go for a rockshox fork, but at the same time, when technology is newly impletemented there are always flaws and issues. How do you know the fork is proven if it hasn't even been on the market for a long time? just a simple perspective I think the responsible consumer should have. better to wait until proven then to assume.
  • + 1
 Not that it is really anyones business what I own but yes I have ridden magura forks. I just haven't bothered to buy one yet. I'm off to the moose shortly though as it happens to price out a TS8 R - 120mm, as I want to replace the Fox RLC Talas on my 650B full suspension. It has better tire clearance than the Fox, is stiffer, weighs less, and 120mm is where I ride my Fox set most of the time anyway. And it comes in white with black decals which will match my carbon frame and its decals better than the grey anodized of the Fox does. The Dynamic Lockout of the Magura (essentially a bypass valve lets the fork settle into its sag point, then firms up the low speed compression damping for climbs) works the same way as the Climb-It control damper Rockshox used to use, and which I find superior to a straight lockout like Fox uses that keeps the fork extended above the normal sag level. I use the Climb-It dial on my Psylo often. I NEVER use the lockout lever on my Fox forks. I also don't use the lockouts on my Motion/Mission control damper rockshox forks, as they already have a low-speed compression damper circuit, and I find the idea of a lockout that keeps the fork extended to be moronic. The last thing I want when climbing is my fork extended all the way making my front end higher.

By your logic of waiting... every consumer should wait a year for every product purchase, regardless of the brand's history and reputation. Certainly Fox owners would have benefitted NOT buying the 2013 CTD model forks, since they've already had to redesign them for 2014.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 "Climbing: The Stumpjumper FSR 29 S-Works eats climbs. Weight plays a big factor in this" - what was actual weight of that M-sized SJ you've tested?
  • + 5
 Go the section titled Details.
  • + 1
 thanks! so 23.8lbs or 10.8kg quite nice improvement over comp version in weight
  • + 1
 It costs about $1000.00 per pound to drop weight off of a bike. Compare the comp and this bike, and you can easily see the price difference. At a certain point, the price jumps considerably to get the last 5-10%.
  • + 2
 Willie1, sure I know, was just curious on how much lighter that big dollar top stumpy could be over comp version

(as for price point thing if I had 9k for bike to choose I'd probably get that s-works enduro instead or maybe even cheaper expert evo version)
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  • + 2
 $9,500 you have to be sh*tting me. Even three G's for the base model...Craziness! Thank god for people with too much money who blow their credit card up on sweet new bikes only to put them up on craigslist a few years later for normal people to buy!
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  • + 2
 It's a lovely bike. I'd love to own one. Quite a few people on here will buy one i'm sure. BUT I bet 90% of us will never have that kind of money for a bike - ever. I know you do now and again but what about the cheaper/mid spec bikes that LOTS of us can afford. $2500/3500 / £2000-3000 mark? (I dunno prices Im just guessing) Please; I hate to moan on forums/blogs, I really do, but this is yet another fabulous bike (again I do love it and its a great review) but only a small selection of us could ever afford one of these - what about the rest of us? Smile
  • + 2
 Try 99% of us won't have the money. The 1% has a lot of money, and they aren't trying to attract people to their brand, but money, so it makes sense to have a few top end beasts.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This is a regular trail bike, and a bit on the XC side of the spectrum weight wise. Interesting review. It isn't as good downhill as the Enduro, or the EVO. No kidding. It isn't designed to be. It will climb better, and be more nimble (playful, fun) on flowy singletrack. Isn't that everyone's argument against bigger wheels? No problem with that here. If you need a bigger bike, they make at least four models more gravity tuned: EVO, Enduro, Status, Demo.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I got a chance to spend a few hours on board one of these last year... Simply incredible. The best part for me was nimble it felt after spending time on a Stumpy Comp. I could throw this thing around in the air like a 26.. Muck like so many other bikes on the market today, it works great in its intended element. But, this is not an Enduro or a Demo.. I joke that this bike ruined mountain biking for me since I can't afford one. Yeah, it is expensive.. But, you are getting a top shelf bike for sure. But, I could save a huge chenk of change and get an Stumpy Expert Evo and be perfectly happy... But, I can't afford that either...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nothing like inconsistency between the editors/reviewers and especially the commentators... last week Mike Kazimer reviews the new Santa Cruz models and compliments the sticking to ancient old english threaded bottom brackets and avoiding anything press fit and the kids all agree with him. This week Matt compliments the press fit 30 bottom bracket and how much stiffness all that carbon around it makes the frame and not one person disagrees with him...
  • + 2
 I don't see the problem here, it's still a personal opinion which PB offers a platform for as long it's not complete b.s. Dirt goes even further I believe, offering dissenting opnions in some reviews which to me is a case of being honest with their readers - most things can be argued both ways, like in this case where the jury's still out on BB systems.
  • + 2
 Except the jury isn't... especially not among bike designers in brands that REALLY spend a lot of money in R&D... let's face it... Specialized, Giant, Trek...they spend more on R&D alone than Santa Cruz spends on EVERYTHING they do. Companies that have invested the time/money have gone to oversized bottom brackets and companies that haven't, are still clinging to the old days. Its the same as with 650B... a year ago everyone on here practically was whining about them being just a "marketing" thing, but now practically every brand that everyone covets...except for specialized and trek, have released bikes for the wheelsize (and Trek hasn't come out as being against it, they just haven't shown off any ready for production models yet).

You know why BB30/PF30 is a good idea... stiffness. Oversize the shell for the bottom bracket, and besides having more material to make for a strong sound structural member of the frame, but you also get bigger bearings (which last longer) and a larger diameter BB spindle (which flexes less, so stiffer cranksets). And this is accomplished in the same WIDTH as a 73mm shell threaded bottom bracket...so you don't need to have new Q-factors of crankarms, or have to design around new chainlines for the drivetrains and derailleur/chainguide compatibility.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I had an older S-Works FSR Stumpjumper a while back. First the drive side chain stay snapped, then the AFR Brain shock started knocking, then I blew out a few pivot bearings, then the frame cracked where the BB and seat tube meet, got a replacement frame, then the new AFR Brain Shock stopped working after 150 miles. All in all if it were not for the warranty service I would be in a world of hurt. When the bike works it is a super light rocket but so far that has only been for some of the time. I would like to see how durable the NORCO Horst Link bikes are and their warranty service. Make stronger bikes Specialized!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The use of proprietary shock size, expensive and difficult to find pivot hardware and bearings make specialized bikes lame. Ya I got a few and it really sucks not being able to keep em running after a couple years. It took 18 months with specialized to get a replacement shock and hardware kit for a 2010 29er Comp despite that it wasn't broken yet but after three years none of the parts were available. They pirated a shock for me and finally got the new hardware made. Good people, bad company. Transition bikes for example use standard shock sizes and easy to find bearings that are simple to replace. The hardware and pivots are currently available for every bike they've made and they are cheap. Unless you're on a budget of under 3K go buy a real bike with trail cred from anybody other then trek or cpecialized.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Good review counter to what most are saying. Pointed out some flaws/limits some atributes to the bike
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  • + 2
 Looks fun, but not fun enough to justify paying that much more. Get the lowest end stump jumper and get some carbon wheels and I bet most of us couldn't tell the difference in a blind taste test.
  • + 3
 Ya the price is way too high, especially if you still need to swap out the cockpit like they did; there is no way it can be justified.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 $7000 dollar bike this $8000 dollar bike that the only way i will be riding this a few year old used one found on the buysell list.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When I read things like" "Going downhill, the Stumpjumper's natural home was fast, flowing trails. Carrying speed is the thing it does incredibly well, helped buy the big wheels."

It make me realize that IMBA standard of building trails and all the new flow trails being built are where 29 era feel the best.

Bring back old school, twisty, rocky gnar. Not stay off the brakes go starlight stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I wish i had a BRAIN Razz
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  • + 4
 Sorry i don't buy cheap bikes!!
  • + 4
 Your like Whitney. She dont do cheap Drugs, lol. Crack is wack
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  • + 1
 I'm still curious what will happen in case of both upwards and downwards forces (i.e. pedalling in the rough), hopefully the suspension action will in that case overrule anti bob action.
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  • + 2
 So sick of sites and mags giving so much props to Spesh, they are obviously being paid big bucks to say so. Demo'd a couple of them, and IMO way better bikes out there.
  • + 1
 What does IMO stand for?
  • + 2
 In My Opinion
  • + 2
 Right, so in his 'opinion'...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ill accept the way things are! I appreciate the momentum in technology! However, I am a mountain biker not a banker! I will stay with my 2600$ 650B Heckler thank you!

This is becoming insulting!
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  • + 1
 i do not regret selling my road bikes and breaking my piggy bank to get mine. It is definitely overkill but it makes riding more enjoyable.
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  • + 2
 hmmm, buy a nice car, or buy a mountain bike.............man that's expensive for a bicycle.............
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  • + 2
 I think you guys should maybe be testing a lower-end version of the bike the main-stream of riders could ACTUALLY afford...
  • + 3
 I like reading about M3s, Enzos and Lambos and l will never get one of those. Bike magazines and sites test plenty of real world bikes..
  • + 3
 Magazines and sites TEST WHAT THEY ARE SENT BY PRODUCERS.
  • + 3
 Exactly... they are given stuff for FREE to try out. If no manufacturer gives them anything but the best models they offer, what the frack do you want the magazine editors to do exactly? BUY cheaper bikes with their own money to review for you?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is not an article about Demo. Do you remember on what bike he won the Sea Otter race? ;-) This is not the bikes winning races...
  • + 1
 Mitch Ropelato Won a pro grt round on a stump jumper 29er this year !!
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  • + 1
 I don't regret selling my road bikes and breaking my piggy bank to get mine. It is definitely overkill but it has made riding so much more enjoyable.
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  • + 1
 I've the same one in 26", objectively, this is one of the best bike ever, so I can't imagine the efficiency of the 29" !
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  • + 1
 Looks like a whole lot of fun. If you're aiming to ride like a pro, you buy a machine of this calibur.
  • + 1
 no. crazy expensive bikes don't make you a better rider past a certain degree. you ride what you have to the best of your abilities. you ride as much as you can, hit the gym, get strong, eat right, lose weight, and ride some more. study how the pros ride, push your limits, ride harder trails with faster people, and then you are moving in the right direction.
  • + 1
 It's an interesting balance. Obviously little bike improvements make a difference for the pros, where they are all in a tight pack at the pinnacle of physical ability. For the rest of us, we probably have more to gain physically than we do from bike upgrades, once you're on something solid. The higher you go on the parts scale, the smaller your gains are. That said, I was blown away when I went from a $3500 Transition Bandit 29 to the same bike at the $7000 level. I was instantly faster. It made a much bigger difference than I expected. I'm very curious how much difference another $3000 would make (comparing it to this bike). I say if you can afford it, go for it, I need every advantage I can get! I've always been jealous of the guys who shred no matter what they're on. I'm not one of those guys.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would like to see a write up on the Pivot Mach 429. More boutique brands please.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Ive got the 2013 Stumpy evo 29er and i have to say its the best trail bike ive ever riden . so much fun to ride and takes everyhing you throw at it .
  • + 2
 Likewise. Amazing bike.
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  • + 2
 why review the 2012 one again?
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  • + 1
 Another bike made for sponsored riders, everybody else has money to waste...
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  • + 1
 Yet another wagon wheeler...next please
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  • + 1
 How many people can actually afford a bike at this price?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Still using a 32 fork? Hey Specialized do you think Michael Jackson is still alive? Because your living in the past.
  • + 1
 I feel quite a bit more flex on my 120 F29 than I do on my TALAS 140 26r. I would like a 34 if my TBc was the long travel version.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ya nice bike great ride.......... but then i saw the price tag
[Reply]
  • + 1
 567mm tt for a small, yet they make four sizes?
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  • + 2
 9,500!!! Bahahaha!!!
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  • + 0
 That poor rear derailleur.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Realy dude ? Are you dumb or what ????
  • + 2
 Nope just think specialized bikes are ugly. Just demo is nice only and p series. Rest IMO are ugly
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You lost me at $9500
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  • + 1
 THAT REAR DERAILLLEUR!
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  • - 1
 Gwin could do with a rocket ship.
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  • - 1
 Totally in cahoots. PB & Spesh - just get a room already!
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  • - 2
 Looks nice apart from the stupid wagon wheels.... Man I hate those 29"....
  • + 1
 then why did you bother to read a review on a 29er bike? It was afterall... IN THE TITLE
  • - 1
 Well done bright spark... I didn't read it, don't make assumptions! I was interested in the PHOTOS to see what it LOOKED LIKE ......
  • + 1
 OK then. That's ridiculous!!!!
  • + 1
 Hahahaa! 'Don't make assumptions'!!!
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