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The most important thing in bike - IMHO - is geometry. From this point of view these two bikes are very very different. Stumpjumper is as old school as it gets - short, steepish head angle, slack seat angle. Sentinel is all new school - long, slack head angle, steepish seatpost angle. I have never ridden in Vermont but I would imagine that trails there are rather tight and turny than steep and open. Probably Specialized would work better there - Sentinel is more Pacific Northwest trailbike (like downhill bike in a disguise)...
I am in Colorado and downhill-oriented - so I would take Sentinel. I rode SJ - it is fine bike but wrong geometry for my use (I am now on Ibis Ripmo which is fantastic - and probably somewhat splits the difference between SJ and Sentinel - I guess being closer to Sentinel...). Or Stumpjumper Evo which is very very similar to Sentinel (no XL size though).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, yeah I think ideally he'd have something in between as well. I dont really understand why the SJ gets a steeper head angle on the 29er vs the 27.5, and a slacker seat tube. His friends at the shop are pushing him for the Transition for the head angle, my first reaction with the 64 degree HA and 160mm fork was that it's too much bike. I figured the SJ would be much more solidly a modern tail bike. I was originally pushing the SJ but now i'm not so sure.

As far as the terrain, definitely tight twisty single track, rocks and roots, but plenty of flow trails.

Anything in the component spec for those two that stands out as a difference worth noting?
 

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Thanks, yeah I think ideally he'd have something in between as well. I dont really understand why the SJ gets a steeper head angle on the 29er vs the 27.5, and a slacker seat tube. His friends at the shop are pushing him for the Transition for the head angle, my first reaction with the 64 degree HA and 160mm fork was that it's too much bike. I figured the SJ would be much more solidly a modern tail bike. I was originally pushing the SJ but now i'm not so sure.

As far as the terrain, definitely tight twisty single track, rocks and roots, but plenty of flow trails.

Anything in the component spec for those two that stands out as a difference worth noting?
Well they both have SRAM brakes. Boo

Transition has the Reverb dropper which people dislike. On the flip side, Specialized has the Command post which people dislike. Oh wait......lol

Specialized doesn't list the handlebar diameter. I wonder if they switched to the 35mm (newest) standard. The Transition does.

Rear derailleur is a cheaper model on the Specialized, but will function the same as the higher priced counterpart.

And most important, the transition probably won't be prone to pedal strike with a 3mm less BB drop. LOL Kidding. That's just a complaint with a modern bike that BB height is too lower today than they used to be.

Truthfully, I have no opinion. They seem to be farily close, a few minor differences in components that shouldn't make or break the deal. Probably comes down to which geometry suits the rider best or which is most comfortable.

It's it is money vs. value, I'd say the transition because Specialized is good at asking similar or higher costs than bikes in the same category but cheaps out on components.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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I will offer my 2 cents after you answer this:

Do you want to go to hell when you die?

I kid. I kid.

Kinda.

I am pushing the karma envelope big time myself with multiple pairs of Big S shoes, saddles, pumps (floor and mini), cages, tools, gloves, casual plaid shirts and yes - even a wallet and a phone case.

Wow, that is way over the line. I am so screwed.

I demoed a SJ last summer. The dropper sounded like a fishing reel and sunk a little from the top after it was set each time. And it shot up so hard that I seriously almost lost my nuts the first few times I extended it. You will see what I mean if you try it. Beware. Lots of pedal strikes too, and the thing almost sucked the life out of me on any sustained climbing. I could not get my head around the 2.6 tires although those basturds stuck to the ground like glue. I had trouble launching it off kickers as well. Poppy is not a word I would use to describe it.

All that said, I have never thrown a leg over any Transition bike.
 

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I also thought about getting the Sentinel, since I came from a Patrol / TR250 and have much sympathy for the guys in bellingham.
But I couldn‘t test one and the SJ Evo (!) was ready to ride at my lbs ... if you wanna compare the Sentinel to any speci, please take the SJ Evo - it‘s a beast on the dhs while still pretty easy to pedal up because of the steep STA etc.
I swapped the brakes with shimanos, changed wheels, cassette and later also the shock, which is imho the only weak point of this bike (at least for the alloy version). It‘s pretty easy to convert the 150/140 suspension to 160/155 or something like that by replacing the airshaft and clip off the spacer in the shock. The fox rhythm fork and the xfusion maniac dropper work like a charm in this bike.
So if you are able to check both bike, skip the normal SJ and compare the Sentinel to the Evo (29 or 27.5 for more reach).
 

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Havent ridden the Sentinel but I do own a stumpjumper 29 LT comp carbon with some minor upgrades like Code RSC brakes, 36 performance elite fork.

Most concern about the bike is pedal strikes as mentioned before, it turned abit better after I switched to the higher setting with the flipchip ( always comes as lower )

Abit of bobbing aswell, havent tweaked my suspensions alot yet still working on it.

Climbs well, swapped out the massive 2.6 tyres for conti trail king to test.

Other than that I like the bike.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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I re-read what I wrote above.

That was super harsh.

Contrary to what I wrote, I actually liked the SJ. So did my buddy (I demoed bikes for a number of days in a row and had two on some days - on those days I brought my buddy and a pedal wrench and off we went).

I was pretty gassed when I rode the SJ, which may explain some of my comments. Coming from a long series of Reverbs followed by Transfers, that dropper was very odd though.

I found the SJ to feel very substantial. Burly. Rock solid. I also felt very “in” as opposed to “on” the bike. I did not find the HTA to be steep, although we were on some machine made, new school, flowy terrain. I liked the geo. I did have a fair amount of pedal strikes but this was possibly due to sloppiness on my part.

My buddy loved the SJ. He is the most experienced and best rider I know. He used to own an older Evo (maybe 2014ish).

I wonder whether the 2.6 tires made climbing a little tougher for me than some of the other bikes we demoed. That said, and as I mentioned above, those tires never broke loose - climbing or descending.

I may demo a SJ again. This time when I am rested and have fresh legs.
 

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Wow. Very good post. Advice is as good as dirt.
Yeah, thanks for this.
Again: with a bit of practise, he'll most propably get used to a low BB ( and just remember, it can even become lower...) - you just have to adapt your riding style by not pedal everywhere (where you might be used to before). So easy boi ... anything else to complain about now?
 

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Proceed cautiously when reading comments about a low bottom bracket. There is more to the story than "the BB is low".


I ride a 16 stumpy. I really enjoy it but have nothing to compare it to. It still has 2.35 tires too which is nicer.
I ride a Chameleon with 2.8" tires and it does feel like pushing a tank up a hill, but I can do it.

As for the dropper. That too is personal preference. I am one of the people that personally love the fast return, and in 3 years have not been hurt by it. With as many uses as I have I have to scratch my head when I hear people say they have the seat him them in the sensitive area. I'm not even tall, and feel I have shortish legs for my height.

My other bike has a race face dropper and in contrast, it is VERY slow when compared to the Command Post. Usually I finish the obstacle, hit the release lever for the seat to rise. Yawn. Then the seat is ready for me to have a set. Sometimes I get off the bike -mix up some sports drink and by time I do that the seat has raised and I can continue the ride.
Okay, maybe a bit exaggerated, but so are most internet comments about the fast return rate of the Command Post. lol

I am of the mindset that when I push the lever I want the seat up, not something to wait for.
Also I like Shimano brakes because I like the brakes to engage when I pull the lever.
I also like when my bike shifts instantly after pressing a shift lever.

I guess I'm pretty impatient. LOL


Either of the two bikes will be normal to the ride in no time. One may be better than the other in some particular situation. Neither is probably better than the other in term of "one of these are crap bikes". My 2016 is WAY different than the bike it replaced. Took time to get used to but I tell you what -I can't imagine riding another bike now that I'm so used to how it rides and handles.

Don't lose sleep over this decision (on behalf of your friend).
 

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Yeah, thanks for this.
Again: with a bit of practise, he'll most propably get used to a low BB ( and just remember, it can even become lower...) - you just have to adapt your riding style by not pedal everywhere (where you might be used to before). So easy boi ... anything else to complain about now?
Well, dont insinuate someone being bad at biking cause of not "sCaNnInG tHe TrAiLs" before pedaling. There is significant pedalstriking on the SJ19 compared to other bikes ive tried.

It was nothing against you. Just tired of the "I r bzt biker on here attitude" which seemingly alot of folks here have.

My apologizes if you got offended.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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As always, I would suggest demoing as many bikes as possible. Only you can decide if pedal strikes are an issue or if the dropper is fked. I stand by my comments regarding the dropper. There is a long thread on here about serious issues with the exact one that was on the demo I had. The comments on that thread mirrored my experience.

There are a crapload of awesome bikes out right now. Demo lots, be patient and find “the one”.
 
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