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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I recently sold my Klein Attitude Race HT and bought a Specialized Stumpy FSR. I loved the way the Klein climbed, the power transfer was instant and it smoked on the uphills. It was also fantastic on flat singletrack. I got rid of it because I was getting dropped on the downhills pretty regularly. I did a lot of research and rode some bikes and eventually ended up buying the Stumpy FSR, a super nice bike. But after a few months on it, I'm not loving it. It feels like such a dog on the climbs that I'm getting really frustrated. I love it on the downhill, and I'm way faster, but I want something that climbs better.

So, my question is whether there is anything out there that climbs like a HT -- for real -- and still maintains the benefits of a squishy. I figure on can sell the Stumpy for about $1500 -- $2 K and I'd like to keep things in that range. Any suggestions for what I should be looking at?
 

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Reporterkyle said:
OK, so I recently sold my Klein Attitude Race HT and bought a Specialized Stumpy FSR. I loved the way the Klein climbed, the power transfer was instant and it smoked on the uphills. It was also fantastic on flat singletrack. I got rid of it because I was getting dropped on the downhills pretty regularly. I did a lot of research and rode some bikes and eventually ended up buying the Stumpy FSR, a super nice bike. But after a few months on it, I'm not loving it. It feels like such a dog on the climbs that I'm getting really frustrated. I love it on the downhill, and I'm way faster, but I want something that climbs better.

So, my question is whether there is anything out there that climbs like a HT -- for real -- and still maintains the benefits of a squishy. I figure on can sell the Stumpy for about $1500 -- $2 K and I'd like to keep things in that range. Any suggestions for what I should be looking at?
Is your stump set up like your hardtail? If you want to climb well on the stumpy, it should be set up for climbing...i.e. a more stretched out position...longer stem, etc. It's all a tradeoff. If you set up a bike for better climbing, it will always be at the detriment to decending.

Getting a bike like the epic will help with climbing as it will behave more like a hardtail when climbing. The downhill side will be better than a hardtial, but not as nice as the stumpy.

Something else to consider. A lot of people that go from a hardtail to a FS bike think that they're much slover on the FS bike. A full shock bike will typically feel slower because of the shock absorption. A good analogy is comparing the ride in a tiny sports car to the ride of a luxury car. The luxury car, with more travel and softer shocks feels slower even when going at the same speed as the sports car with shorter travel and firmer shocks. Most good FS bikes are very efficient. Even if they bob, it does not mean that they are less efficient. A bobbing bike may affect your cadence, but that's a different issue and can be addressed in other ways.
 

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1) Why don't you just lock out your rear shock when you climb - does your FSR have this capability? If not, the energy loss is mostly in your head anyway.

2) Some cold hard reality here ----> If your not winning sport races - I never did! - it's not due to the bike. It's all about you. A different bike isn't going to change your climbing performance that much. If you like the FSR because you think it's fun then keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
goldsbar -- thanks for the reality check. We'll see if I'm winning sport this weekend in Moab since it's the first one of the new year and first one on the new bike. I'm in shape and ready, so a good finish may change my tune about the Stumpy. Who knows?

My complaint is mostly a feel thing. The FS just doesn't feel as fast, that's it. I know the bike is about 4-5 pounds heavier and FS does help you stay hooked up in a climb, but I'm not pushing the same big gears I was on the HT and just don't feel the same snap. Thanks for the tips, folks.
 

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I've had an FSR myself for the last few months. Old AL/Carbon HT before that. Yes, the snap is gone. The bike also feels slower due to the FS and the very high, upright seating position (ever drive a big moving truck? 70mph feels like 30 on the highway since you're so high). Is the bike slower? I highly doubt it. In fact, I notice myself making more climbs and being able to keep the power down while going over roots and other low grade technical areas. That being said, the Epic (or something similar) may be more your thing as another poster stated.
 

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VPP bikes (Spyder, Blur). I was a doubter until recently, when I had the chance to ride a buddy's new Intense VPX. The bike has nearly 8" of travel, and it pedaled and accelerated like it had 3". Downhill, it DH squishy, as you would expect from an 8" bike. I've never ridden a shorter travel VPP bike, but I'd assume their uphill pedaling efficiency and downhill capabilities would scale appropriately.

..Oh, and the Epic Brain shock is NOT computer-controlled. It's an inertial value system, controlled by physics, not electrons. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gee, gonzo, what a helpful suggestion. You're welcome to come train with me any day of the week since I ride pretty much every day. I just hope you can keep up with my slow ass. We're all experienced riders here, so condescending pricks need not reply. ;)
 
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Have you considered adding a chainring with an extra tooth or two? Maybe lowering your peddling cadence may suit your riding style. Perhaps as you get more miles in, you can more precisely dial in your suspension to more what you want.
I've ridden the same bike for years. When I ride another bike, it seems so strange. You really get used to what you ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ronbo613 said:
Have you considered adding a chainring with an extra tooth or two? Maybe lowering your peddling cadence may suit your riding style. Perhaps as you get more miles in, you can more precisely dial in your suspension to more what you want.
I've ridden the same bike for years. When I ride another bike, it seems so strange. You really get used to what you ride.
Ronbo, I may give your suggestion a try. Part of it may be that I've been logging a lot of miles on the road bike while the local trails dry out and dethaw, and I may just be making a bad transition from the road bike to the MTB. Naturally, a road bike feels even snappier than a HT MTB. Trails conditions are improving a lot on Colorado FR, so I'll be hitting it more on the new FSR. I'm sure I just need to get used to the new bike and not jump to conclusions. For now, I'm leaning toward at least giving it the summer and a full season of racing before I throw in the towel on this bike. Perhaps all it needs is some simple tweaking.
 

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wow. sometimes the obvious needs saying, sometimes it doesn't. apparently this was one of those times when it seemed like it needed to be said, but maybe in retrospect it was not. :D

anyway, why did you ask that question if you knew the answer isn't to blame the bike?
 
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