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What do you guys think?

Is this a good first full suspension bike?

I dont want to have to buy another bike for a while, is this the type of bike i'd be happy with, or would I want to upgrade pretty soon as my skills improve?

Local shop has some leftovers that are a prett good deal.
 

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You and I are in the same boat my friend. I have been going through the same thought process for the last 3 months while I save my money. I have tested many full suspension bikes, but none have felt as good as the stumpy. The owner of my LBS gave me his 07' stumpy to take out on the local single track trails. What a great guy! The stumpy really shined on the downhill sections of my test ride. I like the pro pedal setting the best on the rear shock. Climbing takes some getting used to on the pro pedal setting. However, you can lock out the rear with the flip of a switch and your basically riding a hard tail at that point. I ride some pretty technical trails and the bike was incredible. It allowed me to ride faster on the downhill sections and it gave me way more confidence on cornering through tight switchbacks. I couldn't find any weaknesses in the bike. The 08' stumpy fsr comp comes with everything you need at a great price right now. I can get one under 2k at the LBS. I don't like the paint on the '08s at all. For $100 more I can order the '09 with the new color options.

I have read all the reviews and talked to owners on the forums about this bike and I am convinced that this is the right bike for me. However, it all depends on what kind of riding your doing. If your racing, you might want to look at the epic. If your like me, weekend warrior, the stumpy is the way to go. I'm 40 and don't plan on riding downhill, but I could on this bike. 5 inches of travel and multiple shock settings make this bike very diverse. In fact, it may actually be more than what I need, but I don't want to regret not getting one. If money is an issue, you can look at the FSR xc. The frame is closer to an older Stumpy with basically the same suspension. The components are not as good as the stumpy's though. I would save up and go for the Stumpy. I hope my raving was helpful. Merry Christmas!
 

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It depends on where you ride and the type of riding you want to do as you progress. I recently rode a SJ at Topanga Canyon and it was a great bike for those trails. A SJ can handle anything except the heavy DH stuff. If I didn't ride so much DH, I'd be riding a SJ. When you factor quality of ride, availability of parts and anywhere LBS support a Specialized bike is tough to beat.
 

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Like the previous posters have said, you might want to look at the type of riding you will be doing. The Epic might be a better choice if you want to race and only do light XC trails. However, you'll want something more substantial if you do freeride/DH. The SJ is a good all-rounder. You should definitely test ride the bike if you can and see how you like the feel.

I WAS in the same situation as you guys until I actually bought one a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately with the awful weather lately and final exams, I haven't really been able to take it out and really ride the bike and push it to its limits. However, initial impressions are good and the stock components are pretty decent (though I have made a few upgrades for personal preference). The only thing I don't like so far is that the cockpit feels a bit cramped. If you search the forums, you'll find that this is a common problem for people. It can easily be fixed by getting a setback seatpost. On the 2009 models, Specialized actually sell setback seatposts with the bike.

I got my 08 SJ FSR Comp (medium) for $2050 + tax. If you look around, you can probably get a better deal. A couple people on the forum have said that they have gotten as low as ~$1600 if I remember right. None of the shops around me had the 2008 bike in stock, so I had to get it ordered from Specialized and the best deal I could get was $2050. If you can find one in stock at a shop then you can probably get it for a couple hundred lower.

I have attached a pic below if you are interested. I took the pic right after I brought it home from the shop, I had them install Avid Elixir R brakes (Mounted on Avid Matchmakers), X.0 Shifters, and X.0 rear mech. I only went for full X.0 because I got a really good deal, at most I would recommend getting X.9 shifters and keep the X.9 rear mech. Otherwise the bike is stock, one thing to note is that the bike came with different tires than what is listed in the specs (Specialized Resolution D2 Pro instead of S-Works The Captain) and I do not know why, others have gotten The Captain tires on the forum. However, I will be changing them out for a different set anyways.

A few of upgrades I have done or plan on doing:
New tires (still trying to decide which ones are best from my riding conditions)
WTB Rocket V saddle
Thomson setback seatpost
Crank Bros. Candy SL pedals (from my old bike)
Oury Lock-on grips (from old bike)
Cateye trip computer (from my old bike)
Specialized Rib Cage MTB bottle cage
 

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Bought my 08 Stumpy in August of 07, as my first FS bike. I had actually only been riding about a year, so the skills were bound to improve with any bike. In stock trim, the bike could handle much more than I could, and helped me greatly improve. The beauty of this bike is that even as you get better, the bike is still right there for you. It is light enough to climb like the true XC bikes, yet has more travel. It handles most descents pretty well, just don't go for the big drops or jumps. The F120 forks won't take it, and you really only get about 3 3/4" out of them anyway.

After several hundred miles, my skills improved and I wanted more bike, yet still the light weight and climbing ability. So rather than buy a new bike, I just started upgrading the Stumpy. New Float 140 forks, new RP23 shock (7.5 x 2"), new wheels, and a bunch of everything else. I now have a lot more bike that can handle the technical stuff and climbing just as well, but can take a more of a hit.

The Stumpy was a great choice, and is fun every time I throw a leg over it.
 

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For that one do it all bike, the Stumpy can't be beat. I had one as my first FS bike, and it opened up a whole new world to me. Now I've ended up going with a XC bike and an AM bike, but to do it all on a budget, and still have a blast, I would highly recommend the Stumpy.
 

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turtles make me hot
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I have the 08 FSR 29er. It's my first full suspension bike, it's my first 29er and it's my first Specialized.

I have nothing but praise for it.
 

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I bought one to replace my '07 enduro (non-sl) as I was doing more and more xc and less freeride. I love the way the bike climbs compared to the enduro. I highly recomend one. My wife has an '07 and envies how much better my '08 climbs over her expert stumpy.
 

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The stumpy comp is a great bike. I picked up an 08 this past September for $1560 + tax, so spend the time to look for a good deal. Only change made so far is a Thomson setback seatpost.
 

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swayne,

I'm guessing you're going to get a lot of positive feedback for the SJ here in the Spec forums. Not that that's going to be a bad thing as I have nothing bad to say either.

I've had my '08 XL Stumpy FSR 29er for a few months now and it doesn't compare to my older '99 Klein FS bike. Granted it's not fair to compare a ten year old bike to an '08 and 26" to 29" wheels but the Stumpy's an absolute dream to ride.

I'm also a Clyde at 6'5" and 270lbs so you can imagine that I put some stress on the bike. I did taco my front wheel on a ride after bouncing off an errand root after a small jump and going over the bars but other than that it's tough as nails. I'm thinking of going with a stronger wheel build for added strength. The stock wheels aren't bad but with my weight I'm thinking of going with a custom wheel build.
The bike handles climbs great (virtually no bob) and the FS with the brain works like a charm ('09 has a RP23 I believe).

This is definitely a bike that will hold its own and its only draw back is the skill of the rider on it.

(Yes, that Klein is an XL as well...tiny isn't it)
 

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Happy Trails
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New Santa Cruz Blur LT's with 140mm travel have gotten a lot of props, and I rode the new Trek frame and it was suhh-weeet, but nobody ever regrets getting a SJ, especially if you can get one for less than two grand. I've ridden my 2003 SJ all over Arizona, the Ozarks, the southern Appalachian foothills (Mt Cheaha, in Alabama) and now in the killer Frederick Watershed in central Maryland (check out the trail reviews...) and it has been a fantastic bike. Also, here's a thought: If you have to ask what kind of bike, then you probably can't really answer what kind of riding you are going to do. And that means a SJ is perfect for you. Good luck and happy trails.
 

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rsvrjimbo02 said:
Bought my 08 Stumpy in August of 07, as my first FS bike. I had actually only been riding about a year, so the skills were bound to improve with any bike. In stock trim, the bike could handle much more than I could, and helped me greatly improve. The beauty of this bike is that even as you get better, the bike is still right there for you. It is light enough to climb like the true XC bikes, yet has more travel. It handles most descents pretty well, just don't go for the big drops or jumps. The F120 forks won't take it, and you really only get about 3 3/4" out of them anyway.

After several hundred miles, my skills improved and I wanted more bike, yet still the light weight and climbing ability. So rather than buy a new bike, I just started upgrading the Stumpy. New Float 140 forks, new RP23 shock (7.5 x 2"), new wheels, and a bunch of everything else. I now have a lot more bike that can handle the technical stuff and climbing just as well, but can take a more of a hit.

The Stumpy was a great choice, and is fun every time I throw a leg over it.
I'm close to pulling the trigger on an 09. I was curious about that RP23 you installed on your stumpy. It is actually a bigger shock no? Did it allow more rear travel? Affect the suspension performance negatively at all?
 

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DTL said:
I'm close to pulling the trigger on an 09. I was curious about that RP23 you installed on your stumpy. It is actually a bigger shock no? Did it allow more rear travel? Affect the suspension performance negatively at all?
The stock rear shock measures 7.25 x 1.75. Stock travel is 4.7". With the new 7.5 x 2.0 shock, the rear travel increases to about 5.3". This pairs well with the new Fox F32 RLC 140mm shocks I added. They have 5.5" travel. Some models of the '09 Stumpjumper are coming with Fox Talas forks, with 140, 120 and 100mm settings.

This setup slackens the head tube angle by about 0.5-1.0 degree, making steering just a tad more deliberate and less twitchy.
The additional travel front and rear makes the bike perfect for aggressive trail riding, both up and down the hill. I love it.
 

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rsvrjimbo02 said:
The stock rear shock measures 7.25 x 1.75. Stock travel is 4.7". With the new 7.5 x 2.0 shock, the rear travel increases to about 5.3". This pairs well with the new Fox F32 RLC 140mm shocks I added. They have 5.5" travel. Some models of the '09 Stumpjumper are coming with Fox Talas forks, with 140, 120 and 100mm settings.

This setup slackens the head tube angle by about 0.5-1.0 degree, making steering just a tad more deliberate and less twitchy.
The additional travel front and rear makes the bike perfect for aggressive trail riding, both up and down the hill. I love it.
Thats pretty cool. So no problems with rear suspension performance with the bigger shock? Was curious as to whether it would through the rear angles out of wack. Did you consult with spec before adding? Got any pics? Would like to see.
 

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DTL said:
Thats pretty cool. So no problems with rear suspension performance with the bigger shock? Was curious as to whether it would through the rear angles out of wack. Did you consult with spec before adding? Got any pics? Would like to see.
No problems at all with the rear suspension; no interference and it works fine. The additional travel/length changes the geometry using 120mm forks on the '08, but that was corrected with the longer 140mm forks.

My LBS stated they had heard of some "ovalizing" of the bearings, though they hadn't actually seen it. I had already switched to Enduro Max bearings, and haven't had any problems yet. The worst I can see happening is possibly going through bearings a little more frequently. The extra travel is well worth it in my opinion, as the bike descends much better now. I'm running about 30% sag at both ends and the ride is smooth and sweet.

We are going out tomorrow with a group. I'll get some pics with the new set-up then and post them up. My Stumpie is awesome!
 

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annadel lives in my blood
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i have an stumpjumper comp 08 it is the best bike. It runs like an champ it has about 900 miles. the only upgrades i have put in are thorn proof tubes and fenders in the winter i live in California my bike has seen downville tamarancho annadel china camp and other parks in California . i will keep this bike for the rest of my life it has helped me lose almost 40 pounds i love my stumpy, i'm a die hard when it comes to buying one you can not go wrong viva la stumpjumper comp
 

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rsvrjimbo02 said:
No problems at all with the rear suspension; no interference and it works fine. The additional travel/length changes the geometry using 120mm forks on the '08, but that was corrected with the longer 140mm forks.

My LBS stated they had heard of some "ovalizing" of the bearings, though they hadn't actually seen it. I had already switched to Enduro Max bearings, and haven't had any problems yet. The worst I can see happening is possibly going through bearings a little more frequently. The extra travel is well worth it in my opinion, as the bike descends much better now. I'm running about 30% sag at both ends and the ride is smooth and sweet.

We are going out tomorrow with a group. I'll get some pics with the new set-up then and post them up. My Stumpie is awesome!
Here are a couple pics of my Stumpie. Love this bike. It rides, feels, and LOOKS awesome...
 

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rsvrjimbo02 said:
Here are a couple pics of my Stumpie. Love this bike. It rides, feels, and LOOKS awesome...
Yeah, it definitely looks awesome. It puts my (mostly stock, as shown above) SJ to shame.
 
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