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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was researching the 2004 Stumpy FSR's I read a review in Mountain Bike Action that concluded the bike was a smokin deal, but they mentioned that the head angle was a bit steep for their liking. As I recall this is about the only gripe they had.

After my second trip over the handlebars while descending a steep rooty trail, I started thinking about how an adjustable travel Fox Talas might work on this bike. Seems like it would be nice to have the option of dialing in an extra 25mm travel and slacker head angle for steep descents.

To be sure, my over the bar experiences have a lot to do with my riding skills (or lack of) and I'm generally really enjoying this bike. I also think that once I put an Avid disc brake on the front (in place of Avid Mag v-brake, I have the non-disc "Comp" model) and a newer, wider tire, I might have better luck. This is my first FS bike and I'm still getting used to how it handles and the fact that it is slightly smaller than my old bike.

But I'm curious to hear if anyone out there has put a Talas on this bike, and if so what their impressions are.

Thanks in advance.
 

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A friend of mine has a talas and loves it,his is on an ellsworth ID.
I think that your smaller bike that you mention may be more of a factor than the stock fork regarding endovers.I had a med stumpy that kept throwing me on my haircut on steep descents so i returned it for a large and problem solved.
You can try a shorter stem and a set-back seat post along with a marzoochi fork with eta so that the changed geometry wont effect climbing.
Yes,i believe the talas set on 125mm would also help but not as well.
 

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I run a TALAS on my SJ pro and it works fine. I run it at 125mm most times - this does feel slightly slack to me as my Klein hardtail handles a lot sharper, but not enough to outweigh the benefits of the extra travel. You can always drop it for long climbs or tight singletrack.

My Bike!

I would definitely recommend an adjustable travel fork - it adds a fair degree of versatility over a 100mm fork. The only drawbacks are slightly more weight (about 200 grams) and you should check with specialized about the implications on the warranty. I asked spesh about this and they quoted that it was "at your bike shop's discretion".

PS if you find yourself going over alot on rooty descents, a few technique tweaks may be more cost effective than a new fork. Are you putting your weight back far and low enough (I'm practically sitting over my rear wheel for the steepest stuff)? I also try get just the right amount of power on the front brakes, enough to slow it down but still allow the front wheel to roll over any obstacles rather than coming to a dead stop whenever you hit a big root etc.
 

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I have a Talas RL on a Stumpjumper Pro, absolutely love it.

I normally run the fork at around 109mm of travel for XC, winding up to 118mm for downhill and down to 94mm for steep climbs.

I find the Stumpjumper very light on the front when climbing steep hills and the ability to reduce the travel a big bonus.
 

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Rider position on the bike will have a large effect on downhill performance.

I have a 04 medium SJ. I am running a 5 degree 110mm Thompson stem. Recently I flipped the stem from 5 degrees down to 5 up. I also repositioned the seat slightly rear ward.

This increased the fun factor, and my comfort going downhill. I did lose some steering accuracy on the uphill but I find the increased confidence downhill to be worth it.

I have found the sag of the shock and the fork to affect steering quickness (Changes head angle)

BTW, I have been thinking about a Manitou Minute 100/130 myself. I would like a stable platform fork to go with the ProPedal Fox shock.

Ken S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I realized all along that what the tradeoffs between a medium and large bike would be, and despite the endos I am happy with the medium (I am right between sizes at 5'10"). I like tighter single track as opposed to high speed fireroading and I am already making some switchbacks etc, that I never could on my old bike.

I agree that there are considerable gains to be made in riding technique. I understand the "weight back" thing in concept and have for a long time, but executing this, and keeping my weight back on the steeps under hard braking are still challenges. That is what's fun about this sport- a rider of my caliber has lots of room for improvement...

I never thought braking modulation with my Avid v-brakes was an issue, but I can now see why I might want at least a front disc. Locking up the front in semi-panic situations has been an occasional issue.

I agree about the light feeling front end, which is kind of odd as I thought the one of the tradeoffs to a steeper head angle was increased ability to keep the front wheel planted and thus better climbing. I got a new seat that has longer rails and moved it back a bit in relation to my old seat for a short ride last night, and noticed how even this small change made the front end feel lighter. I wasn't lifting off or anything, but it was still noticeable.

I think I will also look into a 2005 Talas. I should be able to sell the 2004 Float RL that came on the bike and make the switch without a giant slam to the bank account.
 

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Have you also tried a slightly shorter stem? The stock on stem on the medium is 100mm, so you could try 90mm or even 80mm. If you don't mind a shorter cockpit, this will make it easier for you to put your weight back on the downhills while still having good control of your handlebars.
 

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One thing to keep in mind is the Talas is much more linear than the Float and will likely be just as deep in the travel when going down steep hills, thereby negating the advantage you are looking for.

I think you need to look at your setup and riding technique. Do you have a lot of drop from the seat to the bars? As others have said, do you need a shorter stem?

I would look at these things first and spend the extra money on converting to disks before getting a new fork.
 

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Gotta agree there. I love having the TALAS on my SJ, but the FLOAT is a great (and expensive!) fork to be replacing if thats your only issue.

Also remember that its all a balancing act, anything that helps your ride position/balance on the downhills is likely to count against you on the up hills. If your forks are too long, and weight too far back, your front wheel will wonder on steep ascents. I know the TALAS is adjustable, but I find that in reality I only drop it for the steepest climbs as my mates ain't going to wait for me to twiddle my nobs every time there's a hill :rolleyes: . So the best and cheapest option would be to keep the bike in the happy medium zone with respect to setup and concentrate on getting the techique sorted instead.
 
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