Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured I would write a review since I was really spinning my wheels and overwhelmed trying to figure out what full suspension to get. Here's my review of the stumpjumper alloy base: approximate milage: about 50. I wanted the comp model; however, no one around had them in stock (closest shop was in Florida and they wouldn't ship the bike to me) and when I rode the alloy I had to have it. I've been riding for about 8 years, all on xc type hardtails. I typically didn't ride very often until covid hit and my gym was closed down. I work in a high stress job so the gym/bjj was my outlet and with those closed I turned to biking. I went from biking once every few weeks to 3-4 times per week.

I have borrowed and demo'd a few full suspension bikes. I ride mostly what the industry calls "trail" ie a mix of xc and enduro style riding. I was looking to go full suspension since the chameleon ended up not being what I wanted, coming from a xc Hardtail and wanting something more capable. I wanted a short or mid travel bike to keep the local trails interesting but still be able to do harder trails and get out of my comfort zone. I test rode (just around the neighborhood by the shops) the following bikes: trance advanced, trance x, 5010, and the carbon stumpy. The trances were really nice and I considered them until I rode the stumpy- the stumpy just felt right. The 5010 and carbon stumpy were awesome and felt great but were well out of my budget. I wanted to try a tallboy or Hightower but couldn't find one. I was very close to ordering a ripmo af but ultimately didn't only because of the price. I could have ordered or waited to find something else but I was being impatient and wanted to be able to sell my old bike while used bike values were up. Bought the alloy base and negotiated a bike fit/setup, tubeless conversion, installation of my brakes/dropper I had for it, and a shop t shirt to be thrown in.

My last bike was a Santa Cruz Chameleon D build 29r. This bike climbs just as good, if not better due to better rear tire traction on technical climbs. Bike is significantly heavier (36.1 lbs as is compared to about 31) but it really isn't noticeable to me (also heavy-about 245lbs geared up to ride). I have been consistently clearing climbs and obstacles that I could usually only clear if I was on my A game with the old bike. The only time I feel any pedal bob is when I'm in the wrong gear and have to stand or really hammer to get up the hill or obstacle. Fire roads/ roads don't cause any bob.

I'm currently running the bike in the low setting. The bike handles and descends significantly better. The bike corners nicely and it's more composed in the corners. It's a lot poppier (if that's a thing) and feels like it wants to launch off of side hits and features on the trail. I'm still getting used to how it feels on jumps, but it feels great and the landings are much more comfortable. Drops (biggest I've done is about 2 feet or so) feel great. The only thing I've noticed is it takes a little more body English to get the front wheel off of the ground- this could be wheelbase, chainstay length, or general length of the bike but I doubt I'll notice this with more seat time.

The stock brakes were okay at best, it was very easy to reach their limit/overheat them. The controls lacked modulation as well. If I hadn't rode with nicer brakes before I might have been happy with them; however, I swapped them with G2R brakes from my chameleon and they are an excellent compliment to this bike's capability.

The stock dropper was also okay at best, it was slow to come up and often would stop if it caught my pant leg or inside of my leg unlike my PNW which would normally power through light contact. Stock lever wasn't bad, not as smooth as the loam lever but it served its purpose. Swapped it for a PNW reinier and sold the stock unit.

As of now I actually like the rockshox 35, it is much better than the lower end recon my old bike had. I will probably upgrade to a pike or a fox 36 eventually once this gets worn out or I feel like I'm out riding it.

The xfusion rear shock actually isn't bad either. I was told by many (shop employees and friends) that it wouldn't hold up to my weight. So far it's been alright and I've only used all of the travel twice. You can feel it gets overwhelmed on long rocky descents. I'll probably run this until it explodes(from what my buddies have told me it won't be long) or until I find a suitable replacement. I've been looking at a superdelux, dvo topaz, or a stock fox takeoff if I can find one used.

The SX eagle is what it is and gets the job done. It's already being very needy with constant adjustments needed to keep it shifting nice. Once the chain/cassette is worn I'll upgrade to GX.

The more I get used to the butcher & purgatory tires the more I like them. They have good grip and a firm sidewall that doesn't get squirrely when I push them. That being said they were horrible before I had them set up tubeless, but that is the same with most tires in my experience.

My average rides have been 6-8 miles of single track due to time constraints with work and family stuff. My longest on this bike was 14 miles at the Wissahickon. That trail system has a little of everything: rocky technical climbs, flowing descents, jumps and other fun obstacles. The bike performed flawlessly and the only thing holding it back was my ability. The last time I did that same ride I was on the Chameleon and felt very beat up and exhausted at the end. This time I felt great and could have kept going if I had more time.

I think I'm done with mods for now. I currently am running: one up flat pedals, ride wrap paint protection, home made mudguard, PNW reinier gen3 dropper with loam lever & g2r brakes. I know this is the bike for me since now I'm plotting/ planning my next ride before my current ride is even over. I think, for the value, the stumpjumper alloy is a great buy. My plan is to upgrade things as they break or wear out and have already sold the take off parts to make some money back towards future upgrades.

stock vs how it sits now
Bicycle Wheel Tire Land vehicle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies

Bicycle Wheel Tire Plant Bicycles--Equipment and supplies
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
You're experience was better than mine but thanks for sharing. Its good to have some reviews out there.
Personally I found the bike heavy and the rear suspension really flat. I rented the base sj alloy in lake placid so I wasn't on familiar trails. I rode very twisted, rocky xc trails and the flow trail at Mt Pisgah in Saranac. I am curious whether a higher spec would have given me a better impression. I'm coming from 2012 sj comp which is alu that I've had for 6+ years.
Fwiw I also rented a ripmo af in Bellingham and was similarly unimpressed while riding at galbraith. I will say though that both bikes climbed better. My take is these 2 bikes (and maybe most today) were designed around the characteristics of carbon so you lose a lot with the aluminum frame compared to older alu frames.

I think I'm going to try to get carbon epic Evo or lux trail next year.

Glad you are enjoying your bike! I used to ride wissahickon in Philly on my HT 26er - tough trails and the sj is a lot better for that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The epic evo was on my short list as well but no one has one around and I couldn’t find much about durability or setup for heavier riders.

I think, and have been told that a better shock would change a little bit of the characteristics of the rear suspension. I will definitely be upgrading it, especially since the xfusion can’t take volume spacers.

The wiss is a great trail system, you would never know it was there until you saw it
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top