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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had to hunt one down but I finally got on a size L 2019 SJ 29er. It felt insanely short after the other bikes I've been testing. Look at the numbers, sure enough reach is 445mm whereas other bikes I've been on that felt good were >470mm. Shortest reach I'm even considering is 460mm.

Standover is pretty much the same between the SJ L and XL, so I thought I'd try an XL. I can't find any locally, I'd have to put a deposit on one and have it ordered in. I'm only 5'11" (though my Ape index is +2"). Seems weird to have to push up to an XL to be comfortable.

Is an XL going to feel good or should I just go with something else? The Specialized sizing chart has me barely on a large.

Are there any fellow knuckle draggers on an SJ? Did you have to size up?
 

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Yea, the numbers on the standard SJ are kind of a let down when compared to its peers and considering it was redesigned last year. I’d look locally to find something with a 500mm seat post and check for fit with your desired dropper length before ordering.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They're a bit dated reach wise unfortunately. Check out the new Orbea Occam.
Thanks for the suggestion. New Occam looks great (I'm subbed to their emails), weird thing is the local dealer doesn't carry them (more road bike oriented). Had the same problem with Scott. That dealer has a few Sparks in fairly low end builds and not a single Genius. Plenty of road options. If the rep is in town I might get to try a genius.

Was just on a Norco Sight and despite the numbers looking a bit short, it felt really good. I'm sure the 800mm bar helped. The Ibis Ripley sl's 780mm bar felt narrow after that. If I'm willing to go that short travel (ripley) I think I'd lean towards the Commencal tr (there's demo tr 27 pretty cheap).

My only problem with the Sight is the 150mm dropper won't work for me on the large.
Shop is willing to swap a 125mm though. The nice thing is I can get a rental, go ride it seriously and they'll credit me the rental price. I can't do that with a Specialized locally. Had to keep it on the pavement.

I wanted to go demo a Devinci today, but I don't think I can justify getting away from work to do a full proper demo (demo day at local trails).

TL;DR
Looks like SJ is off the list. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yea, the numbers on the standard SJ are kind of a let down when compared to its peers
Competing bike shop used the term "conservative".

The other geometry numbers seemed fine. Long isn't for everyone and the people I've talked to with SJ's love them. Apparently all the staff of the one shop with a previous gen SJ has not upgraded to a 2019 (all rave about the new frame). They were all super hyped about it.

By the numbers the sight only has 8mm more reach. HTT only 6mm different. 800mm vs 780 mm bar probably made a difference on comfort as well (with my ape arms). SJ has a 5mm shorter stem. Maybe the bars are swept back more too?

Process is 30mm longer reach and felt great (not too stretched out), Sight was more compact but comfortable (I could see it being really comfortable on the trail in various situations), SJ felt cramped.

I guess I could bump up to a 50mm stem and add 800mm bars, but I wouldn't want to buy it hoping that makes it feel good. I really doubt the shop is willing to do that just so I can kick the tires. Wish they had an EVO S2 for me to try, that probably would have been a better fit.

Oh and despite putting extra air in the rear shock, it felt really squishy. Maybe some volume reducers would help with that.. one more thing that didn't feel right off the bat.

All the other options have some higher end build options in alloy frames. Why doesn't Specialized do anything above an NX build in an alloy?
 

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Given all this talk about being cramped or not I wonder if once again folks are confusing reach with cockpit length----reach could be 400-500 and the cockpit the same length----seems he really is talking about ETT + stem at seat height here.---OP are you speaking of cramped sitting on the bike---I suspect so since you seem not to have gone off road in the test rides---having made no comment on how the bikes descend or how the suspension works.

If this is the case I have the same issue so I always measure bikes for sitting using seat tip to mid bars at seat height and know I need at least 20.25-------and if so then I can move on to evaluating how the bike descends and if the reach works for me----usually like no more than 460
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Given all this talk about being cramped or not I wonder if once again folks are confusing reach with cockpit length----reach could be 400-500 and the cockpit the same length----seems he really is talking about ETT + stem at seat height here.
Sure. And SJ is still the shortest by the numbers. ETT + stem is 673mm whereas Sight is 684mm.

---OP are you speaking of cramped sitting on the bike---I suspect so since you seem not to have gone off road in the test rides---having made no comment on how the bikes descend or how the suspension works.
I very clearly stated I could not take an SJ off-road and why. I also stated I found the SJ to be squishy despite extra psi (didn't state they put an extra 30psi above suggested for my weight).

I did get to hop on off curbs etc with the SJ. Sight I got to take on less paved but not a real trail (yet, next week I'll take one on my fave trails).

If this is the case I have the same issue so I always measure bikes for sitting using seat tip to mid bars at seat height and know I need at least 20.25-------and if so then I can move on to evaluating how the bike descends and if the reach works for me----usually like no more than 460
Interesting. I'll have to try that.

The process htt+stem was in between the SJ and sight (677mm) but still felt roomier than either. I think the steep seat tube angle with my feet more below me felt better. SJ just didn't feel good comfortable so I'm trying to sort why.

The bars are pretty swept back on the SJ. I can't get numbers for the other bikes so I don't know how they compare on that, but SJ definitely had the most rise on the bar at 27mm (others were 20mm). Bar is an easy fix, except the specialized stem is a 31.8mm clamp so I have to upgrade the stem as well to put a 800mm bar on (again easy fix). BUT (big but) I'd have to buy the bike first.

My thoughts are that if a bike feels better initially (even just in a parking lot), it'll be less work to get it set up perfectly. I'm kicking myself for not getting out on the Troy today on my favorite trails. By the numbers it's very close to the Sight, so riding it vs a Sight on the same trails would interesting (less variables).

The Ripley was pretty comfortable but not a contender.

Sorry, getting way off topic for a manf sub-forum.
 

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This is an interesting discussion, and not OT at all in my books!

I've run Spessh bikes since 2013. 6.3'', and longish upper body and arms. I ride tech, natural trails mostly, no parks, some enduro. Nearly all of them size XL (Enduro, Carve, Camber, Epic)

In late 2015 I got a '16 Stumpy, size L. Loved it to bits, and contrary to all forum posts, I had no issues with it being too short. The things I did have issues with, was that I couldn't get enough weight on the rear wheel on enduro descents. Changing to a burlier fork fixed that. Ran it with a 60mm stem.

In late '16 I got a size XL Camber, which is the same frame, but 120mm travel. Also had no issues with the size. Sliightly more comfortable, and slightly more lumbering in the slow stuff. Converted it to a Stumpy after a year (rear end, fork), and it was perfect for me. Missus got the size L Stumpy (she should have an M frame by the size charts). She still uses it, and loves it.

Last fall I got a killer (ambassador) deal on the new Stumpy, couldn't refuse. Got an XL Comp C, with several upgrades (wheels, shock etc). Here's the catch: apart from on the descents, I'm still not comfortable with it. It's too long on the steep climbs, it kills the legs on the easy stuff. Feels much bigger than the old XL. I feel that I have better control on my old Stumpy, even if it's way more flexy than the new - again, apart from on the serious enduro stuff. To get anywhere near the pedalling efficiency of the old Stumpy, I had to slam the seat forward. On the old stumpy, I ran a no-setback post with the seat in neutral position. I've run the new Stumpy in both low and high, and with an ST shock/yoke to compare.

This is also how I've experienced other, "progressive" new bikes. Even if I'm long, they still feel too long and cumbersome. Probably because my head & body are not used to the long frames.

So...guess what I'm trying to say is that size charts and figures on paper are just basic guides. Ride a bike enough, and you will adapt. Unfortunately.

With my ape index, I run a almost no-backsweep, no rise, 780mm bar, but cheating it out to 800 by moving the grips. On both the L and XL. This helps a lot. I'd try that on the Stumpy first. For me, the tall head tube plus rise is just not working.
 

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Note I demo'd both a large 2018 stumpy and sight on a variety or trails last year.
I am 6 foot with a 34.4 inch inseam---so long legs and short torso which gets me a lot of seat post compared to someone with a longer torso----so my seat height to mid bar dimension grows more than those folks. A good number of folks built like me are finding the short stack on many new bikes to be an issue but using spacers reduces sitting length causing some fitting issues.

I found the stumpy to fit well and felt natural to ride---no issues there-----but I felt it was heavy and climbed like it----just was not snappy feeling. Also had no end of pedal strikes.

I found the Sight to feel like a larger bike overall and it took a bit of riding to get used to---and it would take more time for me--no pedal strike issue and felt better climbing.

Note here I usually ride a Pivot Mach 429 Trail---a very snappy bike that is a bit short for sure. So not a surprise I felt more comfortable right away on the stumpy and felt the sight was a bit big. We should expect this as we get used to what we ride but need to use caution not to make to big of a deal about this as the bikes are changing.
 

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So, to fully comprehend: The OP "demo'd" a new stumpy by riding it around a parking lot and jumping off a curb. The bike wasn't set up suspension-wise or for fit. And the takeaway is the bike is too short and too squishy.

Check.

Excellent post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Last fall I got a killer (ambassador) deal on the new Stumpy, couldn't refuse. Got an XL Comp C, with several upgrades (wheels, shock etc). Here's the catch: apart from on the descents, I'm still not comfortable with it. It's too long on the steep climbs, it kills the legs on the easy stuff. Feels much bigger than the old XL. I feel that I have better control on my old Stumpy, even if it's way more flexy than the new - again, apart from on the serious enduro stuff. To get anywhere near the pedalling efficiency of the old Stumpy, I had to slam the seat forward. On the old stumpy, I ran a no-setback post with the seat in neutral position. I've run the new Stumpy in both low and high, and with an ST shock/yoke to compare.
Interesting. I was just in a different spesh shop and they said they had extremely mixed response on the 2019s and hence aren't carrying them in stock.

I'm now curious what I'd think of a 2018 since there are some pretty amazing deals to be had. The first spesh shop was immediately, "Oh no oh no, you don't want the previous gen, the new one is so much stiffer, so much better, we've all upgraded." But it might actually feel better.

With my ape index, I run a almost no-backsweep, no rise, 780mm bar, but cheating it out to 800 by moving the grips. On both the L and XL. This helps a lot. I'd try that on the Stumpy first. For me, the tall head tube plus rise is just not working.
I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I think the bar is a big problem. The stock bar has ton of rise and sweep and the other bikes I've ridden were flatter and 800mm. That combined with it being a bit shorter is probably it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, to fully comprehend: The OP "demo'd" a new stumpy by riding it around a parking lot and jumping off a curb. The bike wasn't set up suspension-wise or for fit. And the takeaway is the bike is too short and too squishy.

Check.

Excellent post.
Did you read the post? They went by the spesh guide for suspension, plus a bit of a tweak based on their experience. Sag was in range.

The "squishiness" was even just pedaling, which I haven't had on any other bike I've tested on road.

Seat was proper height. I have never had a shop do a fit on stem or anything for a test ride.

You imply it's purely a setup issue. Ok, then what's the fix?
 

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I did read the post(s), partner. You never mentioned anything about tweaking or setting suspension or setting sag. You just said they added air, which doesn't mean anything.

I'm not implying it's a setup issue only. I'm just not fathoming the point of posting this.

The fix? Go buy something you like better.

Anyway, carry on and I'll see myself out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Note I demo'd both a large 2018 stumpy and sight on a variety or trails last year...
Thanks. Interesting hearing your take on both of those bikes.

I rode a different Sight today (carbon, and I can actually demo it or a similar build next week). Even in carbon the bike is not light (especially in lower build trim). But I'm not looking for an XC bike, I want a good compromise between climbing and descending. Process is a bit much for the climbs from what I've heard from owners around here. SJ and Sight were front runners on paper (for what's easily available).

I can also get Intense and Ghost locally (MEC), but since they barely stock anything I can't even get a leg over one before ordering. They have a good return policy, but I doubt they're gonna let me return a used bike.

Similar deal with Transition. Dealer barely carries any stock and I'll get a parking lot test at best.

Trek dealer also does Pivot.

The Norco shops also does Santa Cruz.

Plenty of options, but barely anything I can actually ride. Maybe a Whistler trip is in order. Lots of options there to rent. Plus I can stop in Squamish at Commencal. Here's all city and e-bikes (other than the two shops that have Sights).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did read the post(s), partner. You never mentioned anything about tweaking or setting suspension or setting sag. You just said they added air, which doesn't mean anything.

I'm not implying it's a setup issue only. I'm just not fathoming the point of posting this.
I can't fathom why you'd bother relying to pointless thread....

I stated they put 30 psi in above what was suggested by Spesh. I didn't state they set the sag in range, so you have me on that. All shops checked front and rear sag.

The fix? Go buy something you like better.
Can't disagree with that.

Knowing why this particular bike felt weird might be helpful in my search or a suggestion of something else to look at.

Should I try a Ripmo? There are Ibis dealers (2), but I'm pretty sure neither have a Ripmo, just a NOS ripley.

Anyway, carry on and I'll see myself out.
Thanks, later.
 

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Tough not getting to demo----I would suggest getting down to maybe 3 bikes out of all those stated and go where you can ride---Whistler it sounds like----but ride a trail like yours and do the same on all 3 bikes.

Also take a shock pump so you can reset the suspension----these demo guys are not known to get it right and hoe could they w/o knowing how you ride. I also take an extra stem and will swap it in mid ride---5 minutes and could make a big diff-----most of these bikes are using 50MM so I take a 60MM

After this you will know what worked and what did not--you seem up to go do this but make the most of it and do not depend on initial setup.

good luck----remember it is just a bike after all---and most of us liked riding a decade ago on stuff considered junk today---ride what you like---not what the marketers or those suckered in have to say
 

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Was it short to the knees sitting or short feeling while standing? Those are two diff issues.

I sympathize with the 2019 feeling short as i tried one and the xl size was a joke for me. 6’6” But No more xxl bikes are being made!

Spec if you listening. Dad’s buy bikes and then they Take families riding. If dad has no xxl bike then the kids and wife probably dont either. So cutting one xxl bike really means cutting 4 sales. No huge sales volume seen on a single purchase concept, but its not a single purchase!

Spec.... if you do bring back an xxl bike in al, dont spec it with a 32mm reba (same as for a xs). Makes no sense!


Be careful. Reach gets all the love! But ETT is pretty important. Most bikes move the seat tube forward so a long reach is really the same size just the rider slid forward. If you Look at the differences between 27.5” 29” and the st in the sj frames. There are diff stack heights head angles and ett measurements. You may find your answer there.

As for bars, just plan on changing to your favorite after purchase anyway.

Stem length is an issue and in my mind can be adjusted -/+15mm before things get weird. Its debate-able these days getting an oversized bike as they have long fronts. So loading the front end for traction is harder. Id want to feel confident standing in tech as in not feeling like you want to go over the bars. But for front end traction, Its probably better runnning a longer stem than a longer bike. At least for techy stuff. Bombing long steep bike parks would be the opposite.

given you have super long arms, i doubt low stacks bother you and i would try a flat bar as well as a wider one. Actually running a stem upside down and slightly longer may be the ticket! Seriously the reaches work better that way in your case!

as far as the fit between brands, you can make some generalities based on your findings on each. Make a couple notes and take a tape measure with you. The charts are not always correct! Spec seems to be a bit more conservative on the geo trends.

then buy a bike and ride!!!!

dont forget to let us know how it worked out
 
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