|A playful bike and a long distance race bike are usually thought of as two very different things, but you could do that latter on anything if your priority is the former. And, if you're considering a Honzo, it sounds like that's the case. I've yet to ride the Canfield's EPO, but I did spend way more time on the Honzo CR than I needed to during testing, simply because it's one of the most fun bikes that I've ever ridden. It is the perfect example of a hardtail that likes to party, and I also wouldn't hesitate to do some cross-country races aboard it.|
The steel Honzo ST frame is obviously heavier than the carbon CR version, but the geometry is what counts here, especially if you have some light-ish wheels to put on it. It also sounds like your build kit (with the carbon wheels) might be lighter than what came stock on that 25lb 3oz Honzo CR that I reviewed, so the weight might not be all that different. In US pricing, the steel Honzo ST frame is just $550, the lighter weight alloy frame is actually less expensive at $499, and the carbon CR frame goes for $1,599. If it were me, I'd scrounge up the extra for the carbon frame, or maybe try to find a used one. If that was a no-go, I'd save some money and weight by finding the aluminum model. - Mike Levy
|Think about it this way - which tire would you rather have losing traction and breaking free in a turn? It's much easier to regain control of a drifting rear wheel than it is a sliding front end, and running a slightly wider front tire helps keep you locked into the turns. That front tire is also the first portion of the bike to encounter an obstacle, so it makes sense to have a little bigger cushion for those initial impacts. It also wouldn't hurt to go with a stickier rubber compound up front for extra grip in the steeps - don't forget, the are multiple factors that go into choosing the right tire, and it can take a little experimentation to find the combination of width, tread design, and rubber compound that works best for your riding area.|
On a related note, you'll also see riders running a more aggressive tire up front paired with a semi-slick option on the back, something along the lines of a Specialized Slaughter or Schwalbe Rock Razor. The same reasoning applies to this scenario - in the right conditions, the front tire provides enough traction that it's possible to shed some rolling resistance by going with a lower profile rear tire.
As to mixing and matching rim widths, I wouldn't say that that's necessary. Yes, Mavic does make wheelsets that come with a wider front rim than rear, and you will occasionally see racers running a wider front rim matched with a narrower rear, but for the vast majority of riders, there's not going to be a noticeable performance gain out on the trail. - Mike Kazimer
|Specialized's shock yoke uses a post-mount shock interface that limits your options, but there is no doubt that a piggyback shock will fit your 2016 Stumpjumper. Jared Graves and Troy Brosnan started the 2016 EWS season riding Stumpjumpers with Monarch reservoir dampers. You could try to scare one up by contacting RockShox directly, or you could purchase an alternative yoke that fits conventional shock eyelets from BikeYoke, which would allow you to pick and chose exactly which brand and type of shock suits your riding style best. I'd suggest the second option. - RC|
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