Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie - Review

Jan 4, 2016
by Mike Levy  





What if I told you there was a tire and rim combination that could, at least theoretically, offer greatly increased traction and forgiveness at the cost of a relatively minor weight penalty? That's exactly what 27.5+ bikes have set out to accomplish, and there's no better way to see if the concept holds water than to spend a load of time on an example from a major player. In this case, it's Specialized's 135mm travel Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie.

The $6,500 USD 6Fattie rolls out of the warehouse on three-inch wide tires that can be run well under 20 psi in most settings, and Specialized has spec'd both a 150mm travel fork and a minimalist chain guide, a move that shows they expect the 6Fattie to be ridden hard. This is nothing like a novel yet ultimately awkward fat bike, but the question that needs to be answered, at least in my mind, is if the 6Fattie performs close enough to a normal bike to be considered anything more than just the latest wheel-size related gimmick.



Expert 6Fattie SE Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 135mm
• Wheel size: 27.5+
• Carbon fiber front triangle, alloy rear
• SWAT storage in down tube
• Fox 34 Plus Performance fork, 150mm
• Fox Float Factory DPS shock w/ Autosag
• 67 degree head angle
• Weight: 29lb 12oz (large, w/o pedals)
• MSRP: $6,500 USD
www.specialized.com / @Specialized
Specialized FSR Expert 6Fattie geometry


Frame Details

The Same Frame: While the 6Fattie may look like something out of a comic book, it actually shares a lot of its DNA with an already existing bike: the carbon fiber front triangle is the exact same as what Specialized uses for their Stumpjumper FSR 29 model. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that the outer diameter of the 6Fattie's three-inch wide tires is just a whisker smaller than that of a standard 29er with normal tires. It also gives the bike a similar head angle of 67 degrees, just a half of a degree slacker than the 29er due to the longer travel (and axle-to-crown length) of the 150mm Boost fork compared to the standard 140mm 29er fork.


2016 Specialized Stumpjumper 6Fattie Expert
  The 6Fattie's front triangle is the same as the Stumpjumper FSR 29, but the longer travel fork makes the bike half of a degree slacker.


Mega Tire Clearance: The 6Fattie's carbon front triangle mirrors that of the one used for the Stumpy FSR 29er frame, including the internal cable routing via channels that have been molded into the inside walls of the frame, giving it extraordinarily clean lines. The same svelte looking seat and top tube junction is also present, as are the bridge-less seat stays that create more clearance - Specialized says that their new, stouter '6-Pack Linkage' provides the required rigidity now that the left and right side seat stays are no longer a single unit. The 6Fattie's widely spaced seat and chain stays are necessary in order to accommodate the bike's three-inch wide tires, but that width may cause them to rub on some riders' heels or calves.

Specialized actually designed the 6Fattie to be able to fit three-and-a-half-inch wide tires, but have admitted that they'll likely be re-working the bike's stays now that the plus-size world seems to be leveling off at around three-inch tires as a maximum.


2016 Specialized Stumpjumper 6Fattie Expert
Ports at the head tube and internal cable guides make for a headache-free, clean looking setup.
Specialized 6fattie review test
The chain and seat stays sit out prominently to clear the massive rear tire, but may not clear some riders' heels or calves.


The 6Fattie's rear end uses the much-maligned Boost 12 x 148mm hub width, but, unlike with so many normal bikes that are Boost-ed, this is a near requirement to make room for the massive tires without compromising the bike's geometry. There's also no place to mount a front derailleur for the same reason, with the 6Fattie being designed to be run solely with a single-ring drivetrain. It does come with a 28 tooth, direct-mount chain ring, though, so anyone who can't pedal the bike up a steep hill would likely be walking, front derailleur or not.

SWAT Hole: Underneath the water bottle mount is a port that can be easily opened by flipping a latch, giving the rider access to nearly the entire length of the down tube to use as storage. To keep items from rattling around against the frame, Specialized includes fabric wraps that are designed to hold a tube and a pump, and there's also a plastic plug in place a few inches down from the lower portion of the SWAT door opening that prevent items from dropping out of reach towards the bottom bracket shell. You don't need to use the wraps - I just stuffed a tube and some supplies in there without any issue - and Specialized says that the SWAT compartment adds about 200 grams over if it wasn't included.
Specialized 6fattie review test
I forgot half a burrito in here, after which the SWAT compartment forever became known as the stench trench in my circles.



Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie review test
  The 135mm travel 6Fattie uses the latest version of Specialized's FSR Horst Link suspension.


The 6Fattie's Suspension Explained

Being a Specialized, the 6Fattie was always going to feature an FSR Horst Link suspension layout for its 135mm of rear wheel travel, and the bike employs the company's latest '6-Pack Linkage' that is more compact and said to be torsionally stiffer that previous iterations. The shock, which is a custom tuned Fox Float Factory DPS unit, is bolted to the clevis link with a proprietary, rearward-facing attachment, meaning that not just any aftermarket shock can be mounted up. Specialized says that the shock's custom 'Rx Trail Tune' features different compression ratios than an off the shelf damper would, while its Autosag function should make setup, or at least getting the spring rate in the right ballpark, a breeze.
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie review test
The tiny Fox Float Factory DPS offers big performance.




Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2016
Price $6500
Travel 135
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT Factory DPS, AUTOSAG, Rx Trail Tune, Kashima coating, 197x47.6mm
Fork FOX 34 Plus Performance Elite, 150mm travel, 3-position compression adjust, tapered steerer, 51mm offset, 15mm thru-axle
Headset Hella Flush, 1-1/8" and 1-1/2" threadless
Cassette SRAM XG-1180, 11-speed, 10-42T
Crankarms Custom SRAM S-2200, carbon, PF30 spindle, 28T, direct mount
Bottom Bracket SRAM, PF30, OS press-in bearings
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01, 11-speed
Chain SRAM PC-X1, 11-speed
Shifter Pods SRAM X1, 11-speed, trigger
Handlebar Specialized, 7050 alloy, 8-backsweep, 6-upsweep, 10mm rise, 750mm, 31.8mm
Stem Specialized XC, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise
Grips Specialized Sip Grip, light lock-on, half-waffle
Brakes Shimano Deore XT
Hubs Roval Traverse
Spokes DT Swiss Revolution
Rim Roval Traverse 650b, alloy, disc, 29mm wide, 24/28h
Tires Specialized 6Fattie Purgatory Control, 60TPI, 2Bliss Ready, folding bead, 650bx3.0", Specialized 6Fattie Ground Control, 60TPI, 2Bliss Ready, folding bead, 650bx3.0"
Seat Body Geometry Henge Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
Seatpost Command Post IRcc, remote adjust SRL lever, 30.9mm

2016 Specialized Stumpjumper 6Fattie Expert










Climbing

There's nothing like a steep pitch of uphill singletrack crisscrossed with so many shiny roots that you wonder if there ever was any dirt covering them to begin with. Or maybe the trees have spread their tentacles out above the ground specifically to make you feel like you don't know how to mountain bike. And then it rains, and you're sure that's the case. This is the sort of damp, dark setting where the 6Fattie, with its three-inch-wide tires aired up (or is it down?) to just 14 or 15 psi, can make a committed rider feel like a legend.

The bike's high-volume 27.5" rubber give the wheel an outer diameter close to that of a regular 29er, so it's not much of a surprise that the bike excels on technical ascents. However, a normal 29er can only dream of the sort of bite that the three-inch-wide tires supply. This puts the onus on handling skill and commitment rather than traction when you're on the 6Fattie. I'm positive that I didn't spin-out in places where I would have on a "normal" bike, and because of that, I cleaned pitches that I doubt I would have otherwise, especially on the first try. And while the traction is well beyond what a ''regular'' rim and tire combo can offer, there isn't that hefty, burdensome character of a real fat bike, with the 6Fattie offering a much more normal trail experience than what most plus-bike virgins would probably expect.
bigquotesThe 6Fattie is like one of those irritatingly common Instagram users who's always posting corny inspirational quotes; the bike takes away any excuses you might have had for dabbing on a tricky climb, and it will propel you to new heights thanks to all the traction. All it needs is the photo of a sunset behind it.


Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie review test
  The 6Fattie isn't cumbersome, and it rolls much quicker on smooth ground than I had expected it to.


With all that said, I did find myself wishing for slightly sharper handling - which contradicts what I say later on in the review - probably because there's enough traction that I got places where the 67-degree head angle didn't gel. I could say the same thing about the bottom bracket height: I found myself tagging my pedals on the ground more often than I normally would, but only because I was trying to turn over the cranks in places where I would likely have been walking if I was aboard a regular bike.

But what about those droning, smooth gravel road climbs that so often lead to the reason we all ride? Surely the massive tires and low air pressure had the 6Fattie feeling like an uninspiring beast of burden, right? Far from it, actually. I spent a lot of time huffing the 29.75 lb Specialized up old logging roads, often with riding buddies on lighter weight bikes with less clown-like tires, but I had no trouble keeping up. More importantly, I didn't feel like I was working any harder than usual. I guess the proper thing to do would have been to wire up a power meter to measure my output (I've heard that these big tires cost a rider around five watts) and compare it to my speed, elapsed climbing time, and power to when I was on a standard bike, all of which sounds like a lot of work. Instead, I just rode the bike a shit ton, which is my preferred method of testing, and never felt like I was slow on it.

What I did feel, though, was a short delay in accelerating from slow speeds, much like you might notice on a mid-priced 29er with heavy-ish wheels. I don't care how many squats and lunges you plan on doing, the 6Fattie won't jump forward as briskly as a $6,500 bike of the same travel but with lighter and much skinnier tires, that much is obvious. I've seen and heard of strong riders posting new PRs up climbs or netting their best results in a cross-country races aboard plus bikes, but I can tell you that the 6Fattie isn't going to be my first (or second, or third, etc...) choice if I'm going to be racing. Get the bike moving, however, and it seems to roll just as quickly as a rig with skinnier tires, not that that is going to matter for those who can't get past the sight of that immense rubber under them.



Descending and Handling

In my mind, plus bikes and broccoli share a single commonality: a lot of people seem to be hesitant about both, even if it is justified. And I bet that I'm in the minority when I say that I'm a fan of both the tree-like vegetable and trail bikes with three-inch-wide tires. They're both best enjoyed in a certain way, however; the broccoli with a ton of delicious cheese sauce, and the 6Fattie on some saucy terrain that's worthy of its massive rubber. Take away the sauce, though, and they can both get a bit bland.

While the 6Fattie can feel very much like a normal mountain bike in most settings, and it rolls quicker than you might expect it to, it's also not going to inspire any wild antics on smooth ground. I ran anywhere from 14 to 19 psi, a pressure range that turned out to match test riders' feedback at Specialized, and you're much better off at the high-end of that scale if you frequent trails that take more inspiration from IMBA than they do from a boulder field. The 6Fattie doesn't exactly feel slow on the former, but it does feel, ahem, plus-sized. Or maybe uninspired is a better way to put it, especially compared to a similarly priced bike in the same travel bracket.


Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie review test
  The 6Fattie rides very much like a normal bike, if your normal bike had a lot more traction and was more forgiving. And you rode it faster.


Fast, high-G corners on such terrain are where, having read some other writers' thoughts on 27.5+ bikes, I expected the 6Fattie's tires to fold over and send me into a vicious high-side that would leave me searching for my shoes and wondering what day it was. That never happened, but things can feel a touch vague if you're running 14 psi and slamming into berms like you have nothing to lose. Do the same thing on your current bike with under-inflated tires and see what happens, though. But, with the tires just 2 psi higher, I felt like I could get away with everything from cashing checks that my skills can't cover, to not paying my taxes for a decade, such is the amount of forgiveness that's built into the bike.
bigquotesThe incredibly planted feel will allow you to go quicker, and the high-volume tires make the bike ride like it has much more travel than it actually does. The result is that the bike's 67-degree head angle feels a touch steeper than it actually is. Yes, I just said that a 135mm travel bike with a 67-degree head angle can feel twitchy, which is a bit ridiculous and should be taken more as a compliment to the bike than an insult.


Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie review test
  Put simply, it doesn't ride anything like a 135mm travel bike, or even one with a 150mm fork like the 6Fattie comes stock with. The travel most certainly doesn't tell the story with this one.


It took a few rides, but I swear that the 6Fattie increased the size of my love spuds exponentially, especially when faced with a hairy section of trail and something as trivial as having to choose the proper line. But you can choose a line, almost any line, actually, and take it without the bike scaring you while you're on top of a mess of wet roots. This exact scenario played out in front of me a handful of times: I'd ride a section of roots that might as well have been covered in hot bacon grease aboard the 6Fattie, and then I'd hold my breath as my buddy followed, with his normal bike looking like it was having a bad Molly trip at a rave.

I could go faster over rough and technical ground on the 6Fattie than when on a more traditional bike of similar travel, which means that traditional geometry numbers might need a re-think in the future. Specialized's Sean Estes agreed, saying, ''We are still learning exactly what the perfect geo and overall setup is for 6fattie, so far we are very pleased with our current setups, but we are always looking into how to make it even better.'' Having so much traction when climbing that the bike feels a bit too slack, but being able to go quick enough (and brake even later) on the descents that it also feels a touch twitchy, is a good problem to have.



Suspension

Much like getting on a longer travel, slacker bike, the traction and confidence that the 6Fattie's tires deliver to the rider might have you pushing yourself a bit harder than you usually would with 135mm under you. And when that happens, you might discover that the bike's somewhat linear feeling suspension needs a simple mod to keep up with your growing courage. Using the Autosag function on the Fox Float shock, which is a good place to start, had me running out of travel on mere three-foot drops. Because it is so forgiving over roots, rocks, and rough trail, it's easy to forget that the 6Fattie is really a 135mm trail bike. Also, Autosag is by no means the be all and end all of suspension setup, as anyone who likes to get a bit wild on the 6Fattie is going to want to run more air than what Autosag tells you. I ended up pumping an extra 10 psi into the shock, and then added a single, large-sized volume spacer a few rides later, a job that takes all of five minutes. I also dropped a few volume spacers into the Fox 34 fork while I was at it.

The result was a still immensely forgiving package but also one with the perfect spring rate for me and where I ride, with the tires eliminating much of the nasty chatter and the suspension looking after anything that gets past them. Damping was spot-on after I slowed it down a few clicks from where I'd usually run a mid-travel bike, probably because the high volume of the tires was tricking me into thinking the suspension was rebounding quicker than it actually was. Either way, the relatively slow rebounding, more progressive suspension that I ended up with, when combined with the huge tires, makes other bikes in the same travel bracket feel like they're from the late 1990s.
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie review test
Relatively small drops caused the bike's rear suspension to bottom out until I added more pressure than what the Autosag function had me running, as well as a large volume spacer.


Technical Report

• Dropper Post: The bike's 125mm Command Post IRCC is Specialized's latest take on getting the seat out of the way, and much like the older Command Posts, it's a consistent and trouble-free performer. The new micro-indexing lets you fine tune seat height ever so slightly (although I wish that were all at the very top of the stroke), and the SRL remote's thumb paddle (otherwise known as the fun-button), which is shaped very much like a SRAM shifter's thumb paddle, is also spot-on.

• Brake Noise: You know when you go hunting, and you shoot a moose but just end up mortally wounding it rather than causing instant death, and then the animal releases a baying sound that comes from deep inside just before it expires? I don't either, but I think that's kinda how the 6Fattie's Shimano XT rear brake sounded thanks to a sticky piston that was slow to retract after I released the lever. It only lasted for a few seconds, but it was definitely annoying to hear that strange warble even after letting go of the brake lever.

• Burrito Pocket: The carbon 6Fattie frames (but not the alloy version) feature Specialized's SWAT Door system that lets you store a bunch of stuff in the down tube, and the bike comes with some nifty pouches that that keeps things from rattling around in there. You can fit a tube, pump, large-sized bag of Fuzzy Peaches, and a bunch of other things in there, which I have to admit to finding pretty handy. While some manufacturers design bikes that can't even fit a bottle inside the front triangle or, worse yet, make bikes that have exactly zero water bottle bosses, Specialized came up with a frame that lets you hide a bag of candy or a burrito.

• Rubbed Me Wrong: My calves constantly rubbed the 6Fattie's seat stays, enough so that I found it pretty annoying on long rides. The bike was designed to fit even wider tires than the three-inch monsters that it comes with, although it sounds like Specialized plans on shrinking down the stays to improve foot and leg clearance in the future.


2016 Specialized Stumpjumper 6Fattie Expert
The big tires make dry dirt feel like Velcro but make mud feel like ice.
2016 Specialized Stumpjumper 6Fattie Expert
The Command Post IRCC's SRL remote has the best fun button in the biz.


• Tire Talk: The bike's three-inch Purgatory Control and Ground Control tires are interesting in that they don't roll nearly as slow as you'd expect them to. In fact, in a lot of trail conditions they seemed to roll similar to an aggressive tire like a big Hans Dampf or Muddy Mary that's run at low pressure. Traction was immense, as you'd expect, but their Kryptonite is definitely mud - they want to skate over the top of slime rather than cut through it - which made for some interesting moments while testing the bike through November and December here in British Columbia. A proper, digital pressure gauge is also nearly mandatory when it comes to plus bikes, as a difference of just one or two psi has a massive effect on how the tire performs: at 14 psi I was getting too much casing roll in hard corners, but this feeling went away at 16 psi. Good luck nailing that sort of accuracy with the analog gauge found on most floor pumps.

• Insurance Included: Specialized decided to spec the 6Fattie with a pint-sized chain guide that bolts onto the bike using the upper two ISCG 05 chain guide mounts. Clutch derailleurs and narrow-wide chain rings will make this a bit redundant for some riders (depending on terrain, skill level, and bike setup) but it's cool to see Specialized go with this little extra insurance add-on despite the fact that it's likely that no one would have thought any less of them for not spec'ing a guide from the factory. What other 135mm travel bikes come stock with a chain guide? No dropped chains and no annoying chain rub.




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIf you think that plus bikes, and especially the 6Fattie, are going to ride awkwardly, you're wrong. The Specialized feels very much like a normal 29er on the trail, with the exception being that it allows the average rider to go faster on most downhills and clean tricky climbs more easily. Its 135mm of travel doesn't convey how it performs, however, making it a hard bike to try and label. Then again, that very description, that it doesn't suit any exact definition, makes it clear that the 6Fattie is best suited to a rider who falls into the same sort of non-classification. - Mike Levy




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About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



279 Comments

  • 178 12
 I made a 26+ bike just by putting 3" tires on my kona stinky dee lux #26aintdead
  • 13 4
 my mate did the same with some 2.5 rubena highlanders, the diameter is nearly identical to a 650b tyre now - they are insane
  • 16 2
 2.4 ardents here, they the same width as the 2.7 minion on my DH but way higher volume
  • 9 3
 2.7 kenda nevegal front/2.5 rear for me. Sooooo much traction!!
  • 14 9
 My 26" wheels with a 2.5 tires are bigger(taller and wider) than my friends 29 wheels with a 1.95 tire. The tire world offers endless options for Pinkbikers to debate. Your old bike may ride like a new bike with just a rubber size change. I like the Bontreger XR2 2.35 on a 38mm id rim. Everyone thinks its a fat bike. Yet it is just a old 26r getting all the attention at the trailhead.
  • 4 1
 Tell me more - any other trail/am full sus frames that have room for a 2.75 or 3" tire?
  • 4 4
 Are there any fast rolling 2.5 29er tires? All I can find is the minion which is NOT fast rolling
  • 4 1
 But also not slow rolling
  • 3 1
 wtb 2.8 on ztr flows on my evo expert 29er . not as fat but rides amazing
  • 8 2
 Still the 6fattie looks like a bunch of shits and giggles lol
  • 4 2
 I still have some kenda 2.7 tires on my old Raleigh xt3500 from 2008. I laughed when they started calling tires above 2.5, plus size.
  • 9 5
 Dude nobody gets traction with Kendas... I got your troll attempt lol
  • 19 1
 How does a bike that costs 6 and a half grand not come with the Fox Factory fork?
  • 5 1
 @SlodownU asking the important questions
  • 4 2
 And alloy bars too?
  • 1 0
 Not sure what you mean by that?
  • 14 0
 Let me clarify: $6.5k and mid-range fork, no carbon bars, and a mix and match of mid-and high end drivetrain. For that money, just about everyone gives you f*cking better spec.
  • 2 0
 @slodownU that's the "Specialized" formula. With an exception of sworks they always cut corners on small things when they know it won't be a deal breaker for the casual but well-off consumer.
  • 1 0
 I have a kenda tire on the front, does it counts to be a fatty?
  • 2 3
 Especially bearings, lately at the shop I work in we have had so many spesh bikes come in that are less than two months old with trashed hub and headset bearings and they hadn't been jet washing it's just specialised decided to replace the branded SRAM or shimano beerings with their own brand beerings which by no surprise are absolutely shit!
  • 2 3
 @Scotj009 Specialized is the #1 hated bike company for a reason. If you want good bearings get them from a bearing house NOT a bike shop.
  • 2 1
 yeah that was my point Rolleyes
  • 1 0
 Specialized 6Fattie on 3.0 tires, rim width 29mm internal. Fuse comes with 38mm. Find the mistake.
  • 1 1
 Kenda and traction shouldn't be used in the same sentence, ever!
  • 2 1
 Apart from if you are saying they have no traction.
  • 53 8
 Got one. Exactly the same model as the test, same colour and everything, about 1 month ago.. I bought it after trying from a friend who has had it since October. I just love it. I'm 6'3" and weight 95kgs and this bike has meant a huge step forward in my riding and in my confidence. I don't ride trail centres, but rather non manicured stuff that we have in the Pyrenees (Ainsa, Benasque, Basque Country, or the singles at Collserola when visiting family in Bcn). It is the first brand new bike I've ever bought and it was a huge investment but this bike feels (and rides) great, especially compared to the 150mm I had until I changed bikes. I don't think it is the perfect bike: very good/fast riders might not need the extra in traction and confidence that the plus tyres bring. But for older fellas (I'm 45) who are out there for some fun and want to keep challenging themselves and go faster, like me, will love it!
  • 45 9
 I'm 32, so will stick to 2.35 Magic Marys Wink
  • 1 0
 Yea would be a confidence boost on steep rocky descents and slippery roots etc. Could be the opposite when in the mud though and I've seen a mate push his up a hill the other guys were riding up on hardtail 29ers. Look forward to taking one out at the destination trail demo.
  • 18 10
 I'm 31 and I'll stick to 26" Magic Mary's!
  • 31 1
 I'm 40 and still ride 26 x 1.5 to 2.5, 27x2.35 and 700cx23 Please don't tell anyone about the 700c.
  • 15 2
 I'm 44 and I'll stick to my 26" shorties.... Its muddy here all year round ffs...
  • 7 3
 Oh yeah! Forgot to mention they're sweet 26"...
  • 33 0
 I'm 32 and I'll stick to pretty much whatever tire size. Except for 20", I'm too f*cking old for that shit.
  • 26 5
 I'm 45 and back in the day we learned to ride without wheels at all.
  • 61 1
 I'm 50 and....wait. What are talking about?
  • 33 0
 Hi, I'm Rob, I'm 49 and I like ... oops, sorry, wrong site ....
  • 6 1
 I am 49 and ride 26x2.3 and 27.5x2.4 and 700c so something's seriously wrong?
  • 11 8
 I'm 100 and I ride twelvety
  • 15 0
 So that whole age demographic thing of pb being full of 12 year olds....
  • 5 3
 Hi, I'm Nate, I'm 29 and I'm addicted to biking.
Oh and 26x2.4 High Roller 2's, 26x2.35 Minions and 26x2.5 K-Rad's.
(Pretty sure I'll be getting a 27.5 next though)
  • 10 2
 Well go ahead and roll me up a special fattie.
  • 2 1
 ASL? I mean AS-Tyre Size.
  • 10 0
 I am 12 and what is this??
  • 21 0
 Is this Pinkbike's answer to tinder. I'm 40 and like long rides in the woods and have a rubber fetish
  • 6 0
 I'm 30. All of this talk of new rubber turns me on. Don't tell my wife.
  • 6 0
 I'm 40 and I got nothing. But this is the best thread today.
  • 3 2
 yeah, I'm 45 I ride big bikes with big rubber and certainly don't act my age. I can't wait to ride a 6fattie (plus i just like saying 6fattie)
  • 9 1
 So what your trying to say is if your fat and old, this will look good next to your Harley?
  • 3 0
 im a man! im 40!
  • 3 0
 It was sent to the bike shop where I work for us to test early. I rode it down a trail full of roots and wet leaves at dusk where I wouldn't see anything since it was too dark. It didn't matter because I could brake anywhere without worrying about sliding.
  • 1 0
 @morroi - what size did you buy?
  • 4 0
 I'm celebrating the 14th anniversary of my 29th birthday this year, I like but have no idea what tyres have got to do with it... can anybody help me find the restraints section of this site?
  • 3 1
 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie Geezer Pleazer. Wink Razz
  • 1 1
 16 years old and on 700c, and 29x2.1 ...
  • 2 1
 Followed a guy with one of these the other day and couched him a bit on the jumps. Kept up with him fine on my sub2k 17.5 kg/38.5lb 160mm travel 26er. My mud rubber probably weighs the same as his thin casing plus tyres. Tell you what though in a month when I stop riding cause of the heat and the trails turning to sand he'll still be doing night rides floating over sandy trails and not digging his front tyre.
  • 41 3
 Sorry Specialized, my Mom won't let me buy bikes with names longer than six words. And don't try to trick her with compound words like "stumpjumper" and "6fattie." Those still count as two each.
  • 38 9
 Brace yourselves! The Trolls... They are coming, and they shall feast!
  • 19 2
 and they will get FAT!!
  • 5 0
 "The chain and seat stays sit out prominently to clear the massive rear tire, but may not clear some riders' heels or calves."
Wait...What?!
Sounds like a Painfully, good time.
  • 1 0
 I've read about the wider chain stays rubbing the calf on other +size frames too, mostly the Stache 9
  • 8 9
 Work on your hip stability, then buy DH crankset and space it out in BB shell...
  • 24 3
 "The 6Fattie rides very much like a normal bike, if your normal bike had a lot more traction and was more forgiving. And you rode it faster."

"I can tell you that the 6Fattie isn't going to be my first (or second, or third, etc...) choice if I'm going to be racing."

Wait, so your telling us to ride slower bikes in races?
  • 5 10
flag u-otter-b-sry (Jan 4, 2016 at 3:45) (Below Threshold)
 he means if you rode the 6fattie faster it would ride like a normal bike
  • 33 1
 Nah, it 100% sounds like he's saying the whale bike is faster
  • 9 3
 Actually, it makes perfect sense. If you're under your own power, it's not fast. If you're powered by gravity, to where going faster is a matter of what the bike will let you get away with and/or what your skills/courage allow, it will allow you to go faster than a "regular" bike.
  • 1 0
 "What I did feel, though, was a short delay in accelerating from slow speeds..." A few sentences later Mike states that he would not race the fattie. Gotta keep that zero to sixty speed up!
  • 22 1
 "Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie" Its a nice way to name this model but I get the feeling that "Stumpjumper FSR Pro Expert Carbon Evo 650B Plus SWAT Boost 6Fattie LT" would cause a much bigger impact.
  • 17 1
 A mountain bike that struggles with mud! Whatever will they think of next! Nice bike I'm sure but perhaps a bit specialist for me...
  • 26 0
 "Traction was immense, as you'd expect, but their Kryptonite is definitely mud - they want to skate over the top of slime rather than cut through it" - So useless for most UK riding then.
  • 8 0
 Yup, a bike NOT designed for Scottish Dust (mud)
  • 2 0
 yeah I can't remember the last time I rode in anything other than mud! I think I'd have got about 6 weeks riding out of this bike in the last year
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy, was that mud part specific for the tires or more general for the plus size? Did you try any other tires on it?
  • 1 0
 That would be a deal breaker for me. A bike like this would be a "winter-mostly" affair, and poor handling in mud does not make a good winter bike.

I'll just keep rocking my hard tail in the winter, with most voluminous 26" tires I can find.
  • 1 0
 Loving my 3" tyres. Mud is nothing but a cold wet dream here in SE Oz. Even in "winter".

@ak-77 I've seen the same comment made on the Specialized tyres made elsewhere put down both to their low profile tread and rounded shape (no square edge to dig in).
  • 1 0
 bang on @StueyStuey LMAO
  • 14 0
 "The bike's three-inch Purgatory Control and Ground Control tires are interesting in that they don't roll nearly as slow as you'd expect them to. In fact, in a lot of trail conditions they seemed to roll similar to an aggressive tire like a big Hans Dampf or Muddy Mary that's run at low pressure."

So my question is, why was no one ever advocating running something like 2.5" Muddy Mary's with low pressure regular trail bikes? Wouldnt this achieve much of the same benefits of plus+ sized bike without having to buy a bike?

Also you comments about the gravel road climbs show the inherent limitations of non scientific bikes reviews. You said you didnt feel like you were working any harder than your buddy's on lighter skinnier tires. But wouldn't physics say that's impossible. A fatter tire with lower pressure would have to have more rolling resistance than its lighter thinner counterpart would it not?
  • 10 6
 No need for advocating fat and knobby 2.5" tyres instead of 2.3" stuff... people in the know - they know. Others? they don't need to know. Psssst... I am giving you the Secret handshake damn it!
  • 8 3
 But isn't that the point of mountain biking? It's not a science class. Levy had a great time. Please make an equation for that.
  • 10 2
 Nope. Read up on rolling resistance in Wikipedia. Wider tires have less rolling resistance, lower pressure had more = cancels out. Comes down to compound, casing thickness, and tread design, all factors independent of width.
  • 16 0
 Please go ride your 2.5" Muddy Mary's with 14 psi and tell me how that works out for you.
  • 9 0
 @skylerd You are correct. I just used the wrong term there. I think what I was referring to was rotational mass of the wheel being greater, not the rolling resistance. The point of my comment was really just that with wheels and tires in general, traction and how well a wheel/tire roll have an inverse relationship. What increases traction (low pressure, soft compounds, big knobs, extra mass etc) will generally slow a tire down, at least in terms of acceleration and pedaling. I'm just saying that has to be the case here right? And if not what exactly is the technology that allowed the 27.5+ to overcome these limitations?

@bishopsmike I'm glad Levy had a great time on the bike. I hope everyone who owns one of these loves it. Riding is about having fun. But even if you don't want to bother with it, science is a huge part of bike design and performance and really shouldn't be ignored by anyone who really wants to understand what they are buying and riding. Which is why I ask the questions that I do.
  • 3 0
 I rode this exact bike for 2 days and was stunned at how little rolling resistance it had. Perhaps because just just eats up the little bumps that would otherwise slow you down. Whatever, I expected a lot of rolling resistance and it just wasn't a problem.
  • 2 0
 Interesting stuff on the wider tyres for regular bikes, I`ve never run anything wider than a 2.35 dirty dan upfront but I`m listening now. I`m riding (fairly wildly) a Kona Process 153 predominantly down steep muddy home-built singletracks with slippery roots, are wider tyres something I should seriously be considering? On both ends, or just the front? I`ve seen downhillers using 2.5 and even 2.7 minions and high rollers for years but I`ve never thought about using them myself.
  • 1 0
 I ride 2.5" Minions for Xc/Am and I am looking forward to try the new, slightly wider WT version
  • 3 0
 @sino: tires slowing down as a result of lower pressure is true on a roller and a smooth road. This is because deforming the tire takes some energy. But that's not the entire story. When stuff gets bumpy you also start losing energy (and traction) from being tossed around. When the ground is soft deforming the tire may slow you down less than deforming the ground. Wider tires will usually have less resistance at the same pressure, but more importantly you just can't run a low volume tire at low pressure, you'd be hitting the rim all the time.
  • 1 0
 WAKI, what's the low down on when those WT Minions come out for sale?
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns
They are really not much wider if at all :-(
I picked up some 2.5WT DHF's. One in exo, and the other with the DD casing, both 3C Max Grip. They are not as wide as expected, but they both eat rocks alive. The WT I think is more just around optimizing the casing and tread cap for wider rims, so they dont get completely squared off, which seems to be true. Have them on some i29's and they hold their shape well. I will tell you though, that the DD casing is not very "pedaling" friendly. Not sure if its the compound, the weight, and the casing, or the combination of the three, but it is a very slow tire to pedal. I've been using the regular single ply exo 2.5 DHF's for a long time, but the DD casing is something else. Its very thick (Two full 120tpi casings) and I could not get over the amount of resistance it added. Basically turns it into a DH tire for your trail bike, rather than a full DH tire for your DH bike. The dual 120tpi nylon casing keep it more supple and lighter than their full DH casing. Will be great for very rocky DH type courses and DH parks on the trail bike, or maybe the chunkiest of enduro races, but it was painful to climb with in my local terrain.
  • 16 2
 At the dirt demo in vegas a lot of this bikes came back with flats. Too much air and they bounce all over the place. Low air and they pinch flat. It was a nightmare of a day changing tubes. I don't think a new bike prospective buyer will have the time to be checking for the exact amount of air to get the most of this wheels.
  • 16 1
 And thin casings to keep the weight down
  • 6 4
 so... tubeless?
  • 7 0
 tubeless won't help with holes in casings
  • 12 2
 In their defense, bootleg canyon is probably the most tire-punishing place you can ride.
  • 3 0
 Most of the riders stuck with the easy trails. If you are 5lbs. Low in pressure on a 2.2 tire with a 21mm rim , you will be just fine. If you are 5lbs. Low on the fat wheels and tires, you are done.
  • 4 0
 This is the biggest flaw I can see in them, so they overcome the rolling resistance issue by using a hard compound and low profile tread, the increased contact patch still giving enough traction, fair enough... My local trails are very rocky and with thin sidewalls, pinch flats and sidewall gashes are a major issue, I just had my crappy schwalbes cut through the other day, you need something with a good casing to withstand rocks, these tyres wouldn't cut it I reckon
  • 1 2
 They still roll as fast as a 650b with a 2.3".
  • 2 1
 @ctd07 I used Minion DHF 2.5s, followed by 48a 3.0 Dirt Wizards back to back on the same bike. The Dirt Wizards have huge knobs and were noticeably faster rolling. Tubeless of course. Please explain.
  • 5 1
 bootleg canyon will leave most any tire setup flat.
  • 1 1
 @skylerd who knows, terrain type is a big factor; tread design is also very important? A fatter tyre might sit on top of dirt instead of digging in on certain surfaces. The overwhelming consensus in reviews seems to be that plus size tyres generally have more drag, logic would also dictate this. Wet terrain also rolls a lot quicker than dry as long as you cant sink into the dirt and create drag e.g.mud
  • 4 0
 And what do we take from all of these comments: not one bike/components will work on all trails. Imagine that.
  • 2 0
 I ride a 6fattie and have learned that I must keep the tires exactly at 15.5 front 17 rear. All types of terrain. No less no more. The bike is awesome at my body weight (150lbs) at those pressures. As soon as either tire is above or below those numbers it affects the whole bike's feel. Since I have always been super picky about psi, it is a non issue for me. But this is a weak point in the overall design for some people.
  • 14 1
 Down here in 29er country (South Florida) a couple of guys have shown up on the local trails with these. They're definitely not faster than they were on 29ers, but they sure do like them. Might be a bit of confirmation bias, as they're definitely getting dropped by guys on 29ers and they're not better in the sugar sand than real fat bikes (26x4). They sure do look cool in the parking lot though while they rest and I take another lap.

Seem like a good idea if you're only going to have 1 bike to do everything...but who's going to have just one bike LOL!?!?
  • 11 0
 So, isn't a 29er with true 2.5 tires a better allrounder? I kinda feel we somehow skipped that phase. Yes I realise most forks can fit a 2.5, but most frames can't. I personally can't imagine needing more traction than what such a combo would offer. The sidewalls could then be beefed up to offer enough stability and durability for proper trail use without a huge weight penalty. What's missing is tires of this size with fast rolling tread for rear wheel duties.
  • 18 3
 I love you Levy.
  • 31 2
 Olive juice.
  • 6 3
 Olive juice you too.
  • 12 15
 Your best review so far Mike Big Grin I always wanted to try one but now I need to. This year's Spec demo days... sounds better than Mother's day... anyways, on this years demo I'll go for this one right away! I expect sales of 275 to go down a bit, considering new 29ers coming out E29 and Tallboy LT2
  • 8 1
 @mikelevy

Why do you think Spesh specc'd their regular 29mm fattie rims on this bike rather than the 38mm Roval rims in the Fuse Pro or the 45mm Wtb scrapers on the Fuse comp? Putting the bikes side by side really puts into perspective how much narrower the 29mm rims make the tires.

From what I can tell, these are the narrowest rims of any of the current 27.5+ bikes... while yes it may be great, what is the point if they went to boost anyway?
  • 1 0
 Olive oil. Of the 10w40 variety.
  • 2 0
 @Questlove967 Mainly weight, and the fact that the FSR platform doesn't really need the extra volume for added cushion vs. the Fuse hardtail.
  • 24 14
 Fug. This media BS is killing me. Fat bikes? Really? You're a good writer, but I'm done with seeing all of these "better" products that I'll be given no choices with otherwise once I wear out my stock of NORMAL 26" WHEELS, TIRES AND TUBES.
  • 51 4
 You're still running tubes?
  • 12 2
 ^This. LMAO.
  • 10 2
 Are you really trying to tell everyone that you cannot find ANY new "Normal" 26" wheels, tires, and tubes? Who is slinging the BS now?
  • 5 1
 @scottzg = Savage!
  • 6 4
 Heaps of people still ride tubes, everyone ive met at my local trails does, in ozzy its hot and sealant dries out and needs replacing often, tubes are less hassle and less messy. You just have to run tyres with butyl inserts to prevent snakebites on all the rocks
  • 4 0
 Yes I am still running tubes, and have had to wait for my buddies during rides after they burp the air from their tubeless setup. ...and Metacomet, no. That's not what I said.
  • 1 0
 Tubeless is just another trade off... like literally everything MTB! But, IMO a little mess and refills is FAR less hassle than constantly fixing flats on the track, especially when it's cold outside.
  • 4 0
 Haha I've never heard of half these problems, I live in Sydney.... I only need to top up sealant every couple of months and check air every couple of rides. everyone & I mean EVERYSINGLEONE I ride with who still run tubes flat at least once or more in group rides. To say sealant is a hassle is a bit rich compared to sitting around waiting for old mate to fix his flat. I've been running tubeless for 3 years and never flatted or torn a sidewalk (mostly spec Tyres, butcher and ground control & lately maxxis minion and hr2) and the uptake of tubless among riding buddies is now around 90% with no one looking back at tubes.
At the local destination trail I rode this bike and the rhyme and they both were faster around a 6km test loop than the enduro 650, stumpy 650 and the epic 29 WC. The grip is off the chart and just makes you push more and more into corners until the you lose it and even then it recovers in a miraculous way.
  • 1 0
 @ctd07 you're running tubes and butyl strips and you're convinced that 3" tubeless tires will cause more drag?! Your tires are A) heavier and B) have about 3mm more rubber to bend than the ones on the review bike! You might want to stop trusting your intuition about what causes "drag".
  • 1 0
 @dylandoe
That's definitely what it sounded like you were saying.
If you are not running a good tubeless ready rim and tire, or even if its just a crappy tire, then burping and even completely unseating your tire can absolutely be a problem. The rim-tire relationship is very important with tubeless, and some rims will not setup properly with some tires. Also, some tubeless tires are much more delicate than others, in the same way that some non-tubeless tires are more delicate than others.
One thing I am certain about though, is that in the last four years of my experience, those riding tubeless have produced way less flats than those riding with tubes. This is Especially true when you consider that if you manage to get a flat that you cant fix while running tubeless, and you have to put a tube in, you have to ride much more delicately, and over-inflate your tire in order to not immediately pinch and flat again. And you still might flat from some tiny pricker or thorn. In the last four years of group rides, if someone is running tubes, they flat pretty much Every ride almost without exception.

Some folks are also just very adverse to running tubeless. I have a friend that insists he is not "convinced" on tubeless, and continues to run tubes. He got a tubeless ready wheelset, and some Schwalbes, got one flat through his paper thin xc schwalbes and said "See, Tubeless doesnt work! I had to put a tube in after I flatted!!". To which I replied, "Buddy, how many flats have you gotten running tubes?" Buddy: "A lot... Actually I've been running tubes in those tires and have gotten two more flats since the other day" Many of us explained the tires he was running are very delicate and prone to damage, and suggested he got some better tubeless tires and try again. So he did. And guess what... No more regularly occurring flats. And guess what... He's still not convinced! Hahaha! C'est La Vie
  • 1 0
 @Metacomet - You're overthinking this. I run tubes at 28psi in my DH and AM wheels, and I don't have any issues except having an industry trying to force an unnecessary change down my throat for the sake of their own profits disguised as what in my opinion is a weak and debatable improvement. I'm not bashing tubeless, or 29", or 650b, or Fatbikes... just saying that all of these supposed overhyped "improvements" are not worth burying what has been perfectly functional for the last couple of decades of my pedaling.
  • 1 0
 Nobody is forcing you to do anything. 27.5+ isn't gonna be adopted wholesale, and these bikes can accept 29" wheels. No harm done. This isn't a case of a new standard supplanting an old one and you can still get your Smoke/Darts for your tubed 26'er.

They kinda put a lot of strain on the LBS though- way too much crap to stock.
  • 11 1
 LOL at throwing money hand over fist at carbon to then throw uber heavy fat tires on it. My skinny 2.2 tires have been trolling the local fat bike lines all winter. They tend to go around things, where my tracks in the snow actually disappear over rocks and jumps.
  • 11 1
 Shove it in your swat hole!! That sounds like a new insult I can use at work, cheers Mike
  • 6 0
 I've made this comparison before but when rocker shaped snowboards first emerged people were very sceptical. They seemed to make everything easier with very few downsides but they were seen as cheating, therefore at first they were marketed to beginners but as time went on and the designs (geometry) was perfected they became the norm. As with everything the pendulum swings one way before returning to the middle and we now have a good mix of rocker and camber snowboards, and the old guard camber boards are the bit better because of what was learned with rocker boards. Rocker = plus bikes/ camber = standard bikes just in case you don't see my point.
  • 1 0
 ThomDawson, I got a chance to ride one and I totally agree. I would add that it is great for inexperienced riders who want to ride gnarly trails. You can get away with bad breaking habits and bad line choices. I think it will catch on with confident beginners and people who want to have lots of confidence at the cost of a little playfulness. More experienced riders that like super playfull bikes, or racers will probably choose the normal SJs. That's not to say that it bunny hops very easily, and doesn't have problems pulling huge whips.
  • 11 2
 Descending on the 6Fattie: 'Pick a line and be a dick about it'
  • 6 0
 So basically, it's a great bike, but Specialized has opening said they're going to rework the rear triangle and geometry a bit so you should probably wait for gen 2. Works for me.
  • 1 1
 Yup, shirter CS's ftw
  • 1 0
 Nope the rear centre length is perfect on this bike.
  • 1 0
 You have one? 430 would be reasonable though.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden it. 430mm is what the E29 has and it's too short in anything but small. It'll increase on the new version.
  • 1 0
 Haha funny, my opinion is that the good ratio is 430mm for a Large. Although my previous trail bike was a camber 29 with 450 mm CS and it shredded, but the reach in Large was too short. Im riding a Norco torrent 27.5+ with 425mm cs for a large and its perfect.
  • 1 0
 It all depends on bbh too though, theres way too much specifics.
  • 1 0
 Personal preference I guess but I still have a Camber Evo and I can ride that bike way more static than the Enduro. It just has more front grip so I don't have to weight the bars to stop the front washing.
  • 6 1
 Just like banging a plus sized chick the fattie gives you something a reg tire will never give you. More cushion for the pushin which is damn fun. I still choose my fit chick that is real tight and crisp. But about once a month I start thinking of that fattie again. The appeal is real
  • 5 0
 I hear you Mike on the tire pressure accuracy. I think that is what I did wrong on a demo which left me concluding that these bikes couldn't monster truck without tagging the rim on impacts. After my first flat I added +5 psi (I started at 15psi) and got the fat tire bounce effect.

I agree that it rides uphill like a mid-priced 29er trail bike (ie: pretty good). I would add that because of the traction I could stand up on steep loose sections easier.

Compared to my enduro bike, I would comment:

Uphill: Felt about 5% slower (and true according to my timed climbs), but absolutely fine. Do not pass on this bike because you think it will climb unacceptably slow.

Down-tech: Liked to hold its line so it was not as easy to get out of a bad line choice. This is also a plus sometimes.

Down-smooth: Awesome! grip (once you get used to it). Acceleration not as good.

Overall this bike was not faster, but I had fun on it. I couldn't justify a second enduro bike, but a hardtail? yes please I'd like to try that.
  • 3 0
 I'd love to see a review of the Fuse 6Fattie. It looks like a great progression for hardtails!

Have you got that testing underway yet Mr Levy?
  • 1 0
 Agreed on wanting to see more plus hardtails. Check out gorilla gravity's Pedalhead. That bike looks like so much fun!
  • 1 0
 That does look like a serious bike! Now I just have to decide if one of these offers anything that my Sight doesn't.
  • 8 3
 Been in Europe riding for a month in Finale Ligure and San Remo. Didnt see a single plus bike eveb for sale. No one wants that shit. Most of the riders with 27.5 wheels and most of them with 2.3 tires. Even 2.5 are big for 27.5 and you gonna tel me plus tires are good? Not for me
  • 3 2
 Hardly hotbeds of cycling innovation. Lots of plus bike demos going on in Whistler. .
  • 1 0
 lots of demos plus bikes? looks like they only will be in demos... and soon disapear
  • 1 2
 Nope. Every manufacturer is investing heavily in them. They're the future as you would know if you had ridden one.
  • 1 0
 Nice joke
  • 7 3
 I love Specialized bikes--the way they look, the innovation behind them (the storage in the downtube, SWAT, etc), the way they descend, but they have a few fatal flaws that'll keep me from owning them--the way they climb without flipping the climb switch. DW/VPP bikes climb a lot better. Press fit bottom brackets suck. And the way the cable routes under the BB to get snagged on stuff or crushed against the frame is really stupid.
  • 2 1
 I feel the same. Always those few things keeping me away from them, but so many other design aspects that make them very attractive. The SWAT box concept is so f'ing smart. I know its probably never going to happen, but I'd love if more manufacturers began incorporating stuff like this in their frames. There is a lot to be said about being able to leave your bag at home and still being able to carry what you need without resorting to cramming it all into your pockets.
  • 6 1
 I've always said, SpecializEd makes GOOD bikes, and their warranty is top notch. But bang for buck and quality, Santa Cruz sets the bar. You may not prefer the suspension design, but when it comes to thought-through design, you can't argue against SC. No PF BB's, clean and easy internal and external routing, standard head tube, no proprietary shock (and ability to run virtually any shock on most designs!), larger diameter post to accommodate longer drop-posts, full carbon frames(@$3.5k!), and IMO the best pivot/bearing/linkage design out there.
  • 5 1
 I respectfully disagree on a few points. First-climbing depends on the shock and setup. My CC shocks (air and CS) climb very well without a climb switch if sag and low speed is adjusted properly. On VPP/DW climbing better, see the first point. I like a more active climbing bike and prefer this design. Third-Press fits generally work fine but depend greatly on frame tolerances and installation. Finally the cable issue is not backed by very much data considering the 10's of thousands of riders who have this identical setup with no issues (myself included).

I would like to throw some hate at the big S for the current Enduro issue where too many riders are blowing up rear shocks and they've refused to issue a recall. Also, I hate Specialized tires and they equip their $5k bikes with crappy stems and bars.
  • 3 0
 SC cable routing sucks. The rear triangle gets eaten by the cable/hose coming off the downtube. The current SJ is at least as efficient a climber compared to the new Bronson. Saying one design is more efficient than another is nonsense as 3mm difference in pivot placement leads to very different suspension characteristics.

As said, PF30 is fine if the tolerances of the BB are accurate enough. Same goes for headsets.

The reason Specialized uses direct mount shocks is they are shorter in length meaning you can fit a water bottle in smaller frames, they offer a stiffer interface with the link and they don't require a DU which means they have less friction and don't wear out. I'd take those benefits over shock availability all day long. Especially when the best shocks are available in direct mount.
  • 2 2
 Go test ride an Evil Following or Ibis Ripley that is set up with the same tires/wheels as a Stumpjumper and about the same weight and you'll see what I mean about climbing. I'm 1-2 gears faster on the climbs ever since I got rid of my soul-sucking Stumpjumper.
  • 1 1
 Instant centre is too high on both of those frames. I'd miss the braking traction.

I'm also lucky that I come from an XC/road background so I learned to pedal with the more efficient low torque/high RPM which actuates suspension far less. The people I see having problems with the pedalling efficiency of FS bikes pedal like they're trying to kick start a dirt bike.
  • 1 0
 I came from road as well, still had horrible bob on FSR suspension vs DW. FSR is more plush, but I still far prefer my new bike overall.
  • 9 1
 I ride a normal 26 inch bike.
  • 6 1
 Do you have a flip phone to?
  • 2 1
 Congrats?
  • 7 0
 $6500 for a bike that's gonna weighs over 30lbs with pedals? Why not buy the Genius Plus? $1500 less for the same weight...
  • 1 1
 The Scott seems to be a more dialed as well.
  • 1 0
 I test rode the Genius. I really wanted to like the bike, BUT... Basically, I experienced all of the problems attributed to the Plus size: Bouncing tires on rocky stuff and tire folding in hard cornering, and acceleration a bit slower in general. I made sure pressure was 100% spot on with a Scott technician.
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy - so what's your take on target audience? Your (nicely written, btw) review seems to suggest to me that this is more Angry Midget than Half Nelson. True? Or overly simplistic?
  • 4 0
 I've been waiting for this review, but I still don't really know what to think. They had one at an endurance race/camping/drinking event late last year, but I was participating (poorly) in the racing part (better in the drinking and camping part) and didn't get a chance to try it out. I am sold on the + tire size, at least for the way I like to ride. Going back and forth from a Stache 9 to a Fuel with 2.3" tires, the Stache feels more planted, is more forgiving, and is just a blast to ride. But, I like to have a FS in the garage, and this was the first bike of its kind. From what I read here and the specs, I think there's 2 things they should do: 1) Narrow down the seat stays a bit (which it sounds like they are going to do, but I don't rub calves on my Stache) and 2) spec it with wider rims. Those rims are probably a little more than a bit too narrow for 3" tires. It will be interesting to see how this bike evolves, I think it can be a real winner.
  • 8 1
 6500usd is just ridiculous for what you get...
  • 1 0
 on a german price list I found it's the same amount of money they charge for an expert carbon 29 or 650b. if they can sell it for that kind of money why wouldn't they?
  • 4 1
 this new founded fat tire craze is reminding me of one of my great bike industry questions. Why are Maxxis tires so damn skinny. If even slightly larger volume casing tires present significant benefits. ( witch i always knew they did, hence why i skip maxxis tires and use appropriately sized schwabley tires. Then why is the most popular mtb tire company consistently making fairly skinny tires. I mean i ride DH and the size of some DHF minions are downright frighting. i wouldn't use a tire that skinny for cross country. I know i must be in the minority because so many people ive seen riding DH are content running these tires. ( so far nearly every maxxis tire i've seen is about the same , expect maybey the 2.4 ardents. Someone explain it to me, If plus tire do offer the benefits that this auther is claiming. ( witch everyone knows they do. It doesnt take a f*cking genius to figure more volume equals better traction. Than why does maxxis choose to not even offer larger sized casing's.
  • 2 0
 So it kinda comes down to tread design. The 2.4 ardent in a 26in wheel is about 2.45" wide on flows so pretty much right on. When the wheel size is increased the rider has to lean the bike less to make the same radius turn so maxxis just made a narrower tread design and called it a day. My new 650 ardent are about 2.3" wide on flows and I absolutely notice the difference riding! I was very disappointed!
  • 1 0
 Good point. Maxxis just released a "WT" tire intended for wider rims. Apparently they are still not as big as Schwalbe's but I'm interested in trying them (current wheels are 27.5 x 29mm internal). I have a Magic Mary on front and a DHR 2 on the rear and the difference in appearance is almost comical. However, comparing it to the Purgatory, Rock Razor and Goma it replaced is interesting. Yes, it's more narrow but it seems to provide more traction when I need it. I feel my rear suspension working harder with less air between the ground but that's not always a bad thing.
  • 1 0
 The knobs on the 27.5 x 2.4 Ardent are significantly smaller than on the 26 x 2.4 version. The casing is also smaller and lighter than the 26 x 2.4 version (730 vs 900 grams (possibly 800, can't remember)). I was pretty disappointed by this because the 26 x 2.4 Ardent was my favorite rear tyre.

Now I use the 27.5 x 2.3 Dhr2 Exo as a rear tyre because it's the grippiest rear tyre I've tried that still rolls fast. And damn I've just got to add that it's also the most predictable drifter that I've ever used. So much fun to get loose with.
  • 1 0
 @panaphonic. literly the exact same here. down to tire set up. if only they would put the taller nobbs on the 650b version! I miss the old 26 2.4 ardents they were the best.
  • 1 0
 The strange thing about Maxxis whimping out the 27.5 Ardents is that the 29" version still has the big knobs, good volume and nice heavy casing.

I'm doing OK with the dhr2 but I'd prefer a big ardent. In fact I think that I could ride my old 26" bike faster because of the excellent characteristics of the Ardent 2.4. I think its profile allowed me to drop into corners easily and it's epic sideknob grip made it easy to pick the bike up again after the apex.
  • 2 1
 Tread >> Size. If you ride these new tires hard over various terrain, you'll find that:
1. They don't perform in all situations (potentially painful)
2. You'll have lots of flats (another kind of pain)
3. They only roll that nice because they are so flimsy

Give me a standard Shorty any day, and keep your XC-super-wide 3.0 Ground Control.
  • 4 1
 I put a 24" 3.0 on the back of my first Chromag stylus and ran a 26" 2.5 on a marz 66 on the front, 10 years ago. This bike was able to smooth out the trail way better than my rootdown 29" 2.4.
Hint to specialized; a smaller tire width on the front will improve steering. Motocross has done this from the start because it works.
  • 3 0
 Much more balanced weight distribution on motorbikes though. Most mountain bikes are rear biased hence the larger front tire.
  • 4 1
 So why is called 6fattie if it isn't technically a fattie? Not being a fattie and being called a fattie is going to give the plus size models an ego problem. Is it fat, is it not fat, is it plus size, are you fat, am I fat? Nom nom nom, eats more french fries...
  • 3 0
 Converted an Enduro 29 to 27.5 plus tubeless and weighs in at 27lbs. climbs like a scalded cat and descends even better! Definitely a bit squirmy in the slippery mud. But I can put on a skinnier tire for mud if I want.
But overall the most fun on two wheels I have had, including motorcycles.. Which by the way run fairly wide tires on similar terrain. Best performance seems to be in the drier conditions as it has what feels like twice the grip as a 2.3 tire. Let the ego maniacs and naysayers run skinny tires.." Great for beginners" Ha! Cars and motorcycles used to do the same in the 1950's. It's about time Mtn. Bike companies figured out that tires are the limiting factor of any off-road bike. I welcome the change to bikes that actually work off-road and not the overpriced crap we have been buying for the last 30 years.
  • 4 0
 Levy, did you return the bike to Spesh with the "stench trench like that? Haha!
"What other 135mm travel bikes come stock with a chain guide?"- Mega TR for one.
  • 3 0
 Vitus Escarpe for two (please review this bike pinkbike).
  • 4 0
 If @mikelevy needed volume spacers and had his legs rub the rear triangle, then it would seem the 6Fattie isn't a good choice for an actual fattie with size 12's
  • 3 0
 This is going to be the case with most Boost bike. I'm a 12.5 and I've worn away most of the paint on my E29's chainstays and it's just 142.
  • 2 0
 Yep, what a dozen other people are already saying, Ive been running 26er with continental trail king 2.4's for years, even on my hard tail, now on an epic. About a year ago the guy at my lbs said, "those tires are huge!", then a few months later...
  • 2 0
 I've got this mountain unicycle (KH24) and I didn't expect to have flown with so many hypes over this last decade.

single speed [check]
fixed gear [check]
brakeless [check]
24+ tyres [check]

I just refuse to get into that whole e-muni stuff (should it ever take off).
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy Glad to see we had similar experience on 6 fatties.
i have one thing to add, i think it will not work as great for a heavier rider. They will have to go more pressure in the tires, and going over 20 psi on the 3.0 tires from my experience, seems like it makes them react a bit weird. i would recommand for lighter rider overall.
i m 150lbs, and was running 12.5 front-13.5 psi rear, and never got a flat in a month of testing.
if i wasnt racing, it would be my first choice
  • 1 0
 Trek Stache 29+. I run my 3" tires tubeless. 10psi in the front & 12 psi in the rear. A 50mm rim (wider) is key to tire pressure.
BTW: I'm 6'2'' and 210lbs.
  • 3 0
 I wonder how close we can get to the feeling of a plus bike by using regular wide tires on +40mm width rims. Without calling ourselves fat.
  • 9 0
 Probably pretty close. But the bike manufacturers won't tell you that because they want you to buy a new bike.
  • 2 1
 That explains the gap in the mainstream dimensions of rims with about 30-40mm and in tires between 2.4'' and 2.8''
  • 1 0
 You will get an idea, but you wont have the sidewall height and added compliance, and it will also square off your tire tread a bit too much. You probably do not need to buy a new bike to try wider tires on wider rims either. Nothing stopping you from trying anything. They still want you to buy a new bike. They Always Want you to buy a new bike. But that does not mean you need to. Unless for some reason you have to own a bike with Boost. Then you will need to buy a new bike.
My advice? Try the rims and tires, avoid the Boost.
  • 2 0
 You can get real close, I have ridden on a 26" X 2.5" the past few winters and had mostly success, I also have used the same setup for cross country and some jumping during the summer months and the traction and forgiveness is noticeable on my hardtail.
  • 4 3
 Put that bike in the hands of a regular Joe and it will blow his mind. So far I have ridden a Sherpa, a Stumpy 6fattie, a Stache and I bought a Charge cooker.

The specialized tire is the best one, makes a huge impact. It still have some sidewal rigidity and doesn't become a mud doughnut like the WTB's everyone is so fond of spec'ing.

You have to put time on one. I'm on a Charge with a 70° head angle and what I assume is a 90mm stem stock and anything sort of real DH trails it has been really fun. Plus when you manage to drift it, it throws shit everywhere. When you climb rocky/rooty stuff it gives you the weirdest feeling. I'm sold hook, line, and sinker on plus wheels.

For the elite rider, perhaps not. For the other 80% of us it's going to be awesome.
  • 1 0
 What did you think of the Sherpa? Beautiful looking bike. Seems like it would be an ultimate FS adventure touring bike, which was their intention obviously, but was it still fun outside of that environment?
  • 1 0
 It was. Change the tires to the Specialized combo or just the new Bridger from WTB. Stock tires leave lots to be desired. But the geo is comfy and it's fun to ride. Hope to try a Scott midfat coming up. I want to ride all of them. I own an AWOL from Spex and would love to ride that bike with 6fattie tires on it.
  • 2 1
 I've never been on a plus bike. I've only ever demo'd one fat bike ever and that was a Trek Fat bike and I took it for a spin and really enjoyed it but it did feel heavy and sluggish most of the time. The thrill came when going downward.

I think the plus wheel size is the perfect compromise and seriously will be the future of mountain biking for enduro/all mountaing and dare I say it Downhill sports. Just a guess.

I'd love to try out the Scott Genius Plus and see what the hype is all about. Maybe one day when they come demo it where I live.
  • 6 2
 Specialized should have spent their money on berrecloth and gwin instead of this...
  • 1 0
 I just think all the fat bike bashing in the review is funny. If you don't like fat bikes you probably don't live where it is worthwhile to ride one (places with real winter). I assume 27.5+ is probably really fun in the right conditions, like virtually every other decent mountain bike. If I had a ton of money I would buy one. However, regardless of whatever anyone feels while riding, bigger, wider tires, with less air pressure use more energy to roll down the trail.
  • 1 0
 Great review! Probably one of the best I've read. The first half had me thinking: I'd get one if I had money for a winter-only FS bike... Then the obvious part about the mud vs tires and I was all like: nope, I will never justify this.
Still, completely honest and so informative in every way that matters. Love it!
  • 1 0
 what they dont say is what rubber compound the tires are....... had a fat bike, every tire l used was the same, to hard compound and these tyres are the same. they just dont grip like a sticky rubber compound thats why the roll so well run a lower enough pressure to make up for it and you just kill the tyre and rim when things getting going on rocky trails
  • 1 0
 Looks like a very nice bike. Personally I always wanted 3" wide tires, and used to wonder how the heck they came up with 2.7" as the go to number. For decents, and soft ground, a wider tire is way better. My friend used to complain about his,"pizza cutters" when he'd be plowing, instead of skimming a soft section that others skated over.
  • 1 0
 HD3 with 741 rims is awesome traction wise and no slouch up or down despite no burrito tube or stench trench or being called a 27.5+ or fattie yet has all the traction of a caterpillar and yet speed of ..... depends whose riding

Plus 1 for wide rims and plus 2 for love the bike you ride
  • 1 0
 I have a Trek Remedy 29er, will turn 50 at the end of this month and don't see the rational of this bike. $6500.00 for this new bike is too much in my opinion. I would be much better off just getting wider rims which very good hubs and a fatter set of tires and the money saved could go to an awesome bike vacation in Peru rather than being broke with an over priced bike that my 29er Remedy can out perform.
  • 1 0
 Plus size are like training wheels. Everyone's marketing if you wanna have fun and more traction use a plus size. That's stupid! How do you advance riding if riders are kept on training wheels? If youre not having fun or think you don't have enough traction at your current tire size, maybe you should ride more.
  • 1 0
 I demo'd one of these in Bellingham. Felt my front tire completely fold to the inside on a berm I smashed particularly hard on mt galbraith. Was my front tire pressure too low or does that just come with the territory when riding a 6fattie setup? Or do I just suck at biking? Other than that one very sketchy moment I had a good time on it. The thing just ate up roots going downhill.
  • 4 0
 Want one... can't afford or justify one.
  • 2 1
 I rode a Trek Farley fat bike yesterday and it was lots of fun, albeit a bit too compromised on my local trails to consider buying one. It has made me curious to try a plus size though.
  • 4 0
 Great read. Thanks for delivering the most entertaining articles Mike.
  • 3 1
 You didn't mention it in your technical report section, but was there something wrong with the stock stem/bar that made you swap to ENVE stem/bars?
  • 3 0
 There will likely be an enve review in the next few weeks
  • 2 0
 I envy your crystal ball skills!
  • 9 4
 stop reading at "fattie"
  • 2 0
 I'm a bona-fide fatty hater. My shop let me test this exact bike. It is an absolute blast to rip on. Contrary to the the article, it takes more energy to climb when you are 250lb... otherwise this would be an everyday bike for me.
  • 6 4
 I wonder why Specialized doesn't mount the rear shock the same way Kona does with Process models. I hate being stuck with proprietary components for no reason.
  • 4 2
 There is no reason.
  • 5 1
 @kanioni most suspension companies now make shocks for these bikes so its not really an issue anymore.
  • 1 0
 Aired down skinny tires offer more floatation than fat tires. Hence why most Landrovers that roam the world run on pizza cutter all terrain tires. Ask the UK folks, I'm sure they will talk about mud traction..
  • 2 0
 Yep. Playing around with plus sized nobby nics last weekend, comparing to the hillbilly 29er. The hillbilly definitely cuts through better and feels more positive in sloppy loam but....strava had my times almost the same, in some areas quicker on the plus tires. Traversing a rooty hillside and the plus definitely grips better. It was a real shock when I got home and looked at the data as I definitely felt a lot faster on the 29 wheels.
  • 3 0
 'Aired down skinny tires offer more floatation than fat tires.'

Surely skinny tyres offer less floatation, hence why they 'cut' through the mud not try and float over the mud?
  • 4 0
 Cheese sauce on broccoli is whack. Just grill or broil it.
  • 3 0
 I think Fat bikes are like Fat butts. You either want to ride it or hide it. To each their own.
  • 5 2
 I'll never, ever buy a bike with a proprietary shock again. Too bad, this looks like a nice package in this "new" class.
  • 4 0
 Been rockin' a 24+ since 2004! Arrow Wide Bite baby!
  • 2 0
 Good review of the 650 and 650 fattie side by side here, also the 2 scotts that are the same but different

enduro-mtb.com/magazin/viewer/?issue=019
  • 4 0
 Props on the IMBA bashing!!!
  • 1 0
 Mike Levy did you get a chance to measure the wheel and tire diameter? Also, do you know why Specialized chose to go with a somewhat narrow rim in comparison to other brands who have a wider rim with their + size setups?
  • 1 0
 my "love spuds" don't care about having more traction going up. but, maybe they do having a "bad molly trip at a rave" on the way down though? hilarious metaphors and a great write up @mikelevy.
  • 3 0
 I know you guys left the "Peel Me" sticker on just to piss me off.....
  • 3 0
 My heels would wear through that driveside chainstay in about two days
  • 4 3
 Just shows you how thrown together that frame is for them to allow such terrible heel.clearance
  • 4 0
 Hmmm SWAT hole...
  • 7 6
 What is the difference between this and the 3inch tyres people ran yonks ago, the answer, absolutely nothing. Sorry this is nothing special and certainly not a new idea.
  • 7 2
 New 3" tyres are 1/2 the weight of previous ones, which makes a big difference to performance
  • 4 1
 That's like saying there is no difference between a single ply trail tire and a dual ply DH tire of the same width. And it is not just as simple as the weight alone.
The rubber compound, tread pattern and perhaps most substantially, the Casing makes for a very significant change in rolling speed and tire feel, all independent of width. I own and have tried back to back ~1100 gram 2.7 single ply tires, and ~1100 gram dual ply 2.5 tires, and the dual ply casing makes the tire sooooo muuuuch sloooowwwwwwer. It caught me by surprise how much slower. Like WTF is wrong with my legs and my lungs slower.
Those old 3" Gazzalodis were dual ply DH tires. These higher volume tires of today are Completely different from yesterdays. Not a new concept, but a very different intention, execution, and end result.
Perhaps the nicest thing? You probably do not need a new bike to try some of these higher volume tires. Backwards compatibility and a lot of sweet new tire options, and versatility between bikes of different rim/wheel sizes? Sounds like a win for the rider to me.
  • 5 0
 The wider the tire with the thinner casing causes too much tire squirm. Just ride better casing 2.35" tires and get all the grip, with no squirm. Tires too heavy? Ride more.
  • 6 5
 Boost, a proprietary shock and a press fit BB? No thanks spesh. I used to be a fan boy until I saw the light. This company sucks.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a fun bike, sort of like my Scott fat bike is fun, I don't think I would want to enter a race with this bike though...
  • 2 0
 My friends and I used to shoot womprats with our FSR 6Fattie in Beggar's Canyon back home.
  • 1 0
 Specialized proprietary shock mount can SUCK IT I have had several specialized bikes but the next bike I purchase will be from a company that doesn't pull that kind of bs
  • 1 0
 great full suspension mountain bike frame can fit 27.5+ wheels

time to get the 50mm wide carbon wheels and 3 inch tire

and should be great for track biking
  • 8 6
 There is just nothing right about that bike
  • 8 6
 I feel like that review could have been condensed to - "Not Convinced"
  • 2 0
 Doesn't that name just roll off the tongue...
  • 2 0
 Can't wait to try one at Outerbike- Moab this Spring!
  • 1 0
 With 2.8 minions (I hope they will come out this year) and 40+ mm rims, this thing would be soooo fast.
  • 1 0
 I'll just go ahead and get a motorized dirt bike if I need to have huge tires, thanks.
  • 2 0
 I stop looking at bikes for like a month and this thing happens... why
  • 1 0
 I have a hard time believing my rims will survive a rock garden or 5+ foot drop with only 14-19 psi.
  • 1 0
 Do the math. Multiply the contact patches with their pressures of each configuration and compare the two. Agreed, pinchy stuff like rocks don't lend themselves too well for such calculations but a huck to flat does.
  • 1 0
 Did the Enve stem pictured help or hinder handling? Just curious about that.
  • 2 0
 meh its a 29er essentially, actually worse.
  • 2 2
 one day they will understand, no matter how cool the bike is, if im dropping mad cash I dont want sub-par components like SRAM..
  • 1 0
 just looks like you need fatter carbon tubes and maybe 1 fat Ti lug to go with the bigger tire size.
  • 1 0
 There was a time when mt. Biking is Fat tire. Now it's just marketing to separate you and your money from buying crap.
  • 1 0
 My 24" sunrims doublewides paired with nokian gazzaloddis still feel so plush to me may have to break the old sled out ..
  • 5 4
 Fat bikes will bring about the end of days, you have been warned
  • 6 0
 Ebikes will bring about the end of days. Worse yet, plus size tire ebikes, and they are here...
  • 1 0
 What happen to the Brakes and wheelset on the specifications???
  • 1 0
 BIGGEST SMILE WINS I'm going for a road ride on my fattie
  • 1 0
 About that front brake line....
  • 1 1
 I think than the "burrito pocket" it`s very usefull but that bike i so ugly Razz
  • 1 2
 Gee, a 'review' by PB that heaps so much glory on the product being reviewed, they only stop short of claiming it cures cancer. Shocking..
  • 1 0
 It's just not the same without the winning Gwin.
  • 1 0
 26 for life until you cant get parts anymore... #ouch
  • 1 0
 Look, more stupid bikes for the 50+ crew to crap on about.
  • 1 1
 Cant wait for the plus sized DH bike protos this year...
  • 2 1
 LMFAO....
  • 1 0
 3" gazzaloddis
  • 1 0
 6chubbie
  • 1 0
 "Riding a fattie" hmmmmm
  • 3 5
 "and Specialized says that the SWAT compartment adds about 200 grams over if it wasn't included."

f*cking illiterate.
  • 1 1
 Haha yea so it's lighter with it?
  • 4 5
 +bikes. Why?
  • 3 6
 Sorry Spesh......I stopped reading at " proprietary, rearward-facing attachment "
  • 4 7
 That shits ugly
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