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Stumpjumper Marathon 29 First Impressions

1408 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  skiahh
I'll start by saying I don't have any particular love for Specialized over other bike brands, my favorite shop just happens to carry them. I purchased this bike because I fell in love with 29" wheels while riding my Kona Unit 2-9 and knew I needed a geared 29er. I basically quit riding my Specialized Epic after getting the Kona because of not only the preference for 29" wheels, but also that I could stand up and pedal up steep hills without the fork diving (the Kona is rigid). Upon mounting the bike, the first thing I noticed was that the front wheel was farther out in front of me than on my Epic or my Kona Unit 2-9. The riding position is decisively more "between the wheels" than on either of those bikes, both front to back and up and down. On the trail this translates to more balanced handling (easier to keep on course)and phenomenal traction both while climbing and cornering. Being an Aluminum hardtail, the bike is ultra efficient already, but the bike seems to somehow put me in a better position to get power from my legs to the pedals. I am a much better/faster climber/rider on this bike. I am also able to stand up on short steep hills without bothersome fork dive. I believe this is because (i) my riding position is farther back than on other bikes and (ii) the Fox 80mm fork is a stellar performer. XT cranks, SRAM shifting, DT Swiss Wheels, Fast Trak tires and Phenom Saddle all work perfect for me. Only 2 minor quibbles, the narrow (600mm) handlebar and why do they ship the bike with valve stems, but not the rest of a tubeless conversion kit? I can't believe I have waited this long to get a geared hardtail 29er. I don't know that I will ever need FS again. This bike is so much more "tossable". It feels lighter than 25 lbs.
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Glad to hear from another happy Stumpjumper owner. I just recently got a Stmpjumper Comp and am very happy with it. It really doesn't ride like you would think an aluminum frame would ride, it's very smooth. I converted mine to a singlespeed as soon as I got it home and I love it.I also thought to bars were too narrow, but that was easy to fix. Other than that it is a real solid bike as it comes from Specialized. It weighs 23 lbs as a SS with stock parts. Bonus for being pretty unique where I usually ride, I haven't seen another one yet on the trails. :thumbsup:
You screwed up!

Spec is releasing a 29er Epic for 2010! :D Seriously, congrats on the new bike. I'm looking forward to getting one, too!

I am a fan of Specialized, just based on my experience with them over the past 10 years. I'm looking at a 29er hardtail and will start my search with the Specialized Stumpy... it'll be a nice compliment to my FSR Expert (26). But I'm also going to look at a Ti and maybe even carbon, though I probably can't afford either of those options.
I also thought about Ti since I have a Seven Road Bike, but with the tires primarily dictating the ride quality of a MTB I went with the Stumpy. Just a note, super easy to convert the DT Swiss rims and Specialized 2Bliss Fast Traks to tubeless with the Stans kit. It even sealed fine without the sealant on the trial run. This is my first tubeless conversion. I was a little worried, but it was super easy.
Yeah, that's what I'm wrestling with... do I need Ti with the 29er? Kind the same argument about full suspension. I'd only get the Ti for the comfort factor. Well, OK, if I wait until next spring and wind up getting promoted, the gucci factor of Moots Mooto-X Rigor may kick in.

Good to know the tubeless conversion is easy!
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