Stumpjumper Expert


The Bike:2006 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert FSR
Size: Medium
Miles to Date: approx 700 

The Rider:Bike’n Fool
Height: 5′8″
Weight: 163 

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Specialized really makes great bikes. The Stumpjumper is probably my favorite. Sure it is not as fast as the Epic but man, is it fun to ride. As usual, I did research and found that the mid-model fit the bill. In all honesty I was shopping to get my wife a bike. Once again lucky me, she and I are the same height. We talked about whether to get a woman specific bike but elected not to.

One of the local bike shops sells Specialized and had a demo Expert that we rented for a weekend. I fell in love instantly. When I went to drop the bike off and discuss purchasing a new one, the guy offered me the demo. It was at the end of the 2006 season and judging by the looks of the bike it did not go out more that two or three times. It was spotless and had only two small nicks on the frame tube. After an $600 discount I bought the bike for $2100.

  

Check the detailed specs

You Look Marvelous My Darling….

The Stumpjumper weights in around 27lb but some how feels lighter. It is very well balanced and super nimble in tight trails. It tacks true and un-like the Epic it has a fair amount of forgiveness if you get a little sloppy. I feel the front end has more bite. Maybe it is my tire pressure or rebound settings but going into corners at a good clip is easy and and produce lots of confidence.

 

 Smoooooth…

The suspension is great all around. The Fox Tas RL forks are smooth supple. I have them set to produce just about an inch sag with medium rebound and dampening. I have not screwed with the travel adjustment much. I just leave it full 130mm.

The Fox Triad shock is set to about 3/4″ sag and I run it a little firmer. The lever for the ProPedal is not in the easiest spot to reach and given the nature of the terrain I ride, I leave that set on 3. It just soaks up the bumps nice.

One thing I will note is that the overall ride height is great. My pedal clearence in corners or over rocks is much better than the Epic. I had been using the Stumpjumper for about the last five rides and got used to this clearance. Then, when I switched back to the Epic I kept hitting the peddles. I had to be much more careful about peddle position and timing in the corners.

Your brakin by heart…

The Stumpjumper Expert came equipped with Avid Juicy 7 brakes and 160mm discs.  I love these brakes.  Strong and powerful, they slow the bike very well in all conditions. No major fade issues with on slight groaning when heated. They have a drag adjustment that I have set to nominal. I like the discs to grab quick. I am also lucky as my wheels are still generally true. I experience no mentionable effect on the suspension during hard braking.

Get a grip…

Getting the suspension set up to my liking was not to hard. Definitely easier that the Epic. This made the handling even better. With minimal dive and a knife like ability to weave through tight trails it handles superb. It climbs hills with no issues even with the forks set to 130mm. The RM Slayer that I have has a nice easy access lever to lock out the forks. I use that all the time but that bike has way more travel and that extra height is noticeable when climbing. When riding the Stumpjumper it seems efficient and that the power is getting to the ground. Ride the Epic right after and you see that you do loose some. That may be mitigated with full lock out on the Triad but I have tested that.

The command center…

The cock pit is spacious and comfortable. It is more relaxed that the Epic but tighter that Slayer with feels really high. The bars are Specialized XC Low Rise 31.8mm OS bar, 2014 butted alloy, 6 degree upsweep, 8 degree backsweep, 640mm width. I like the seat position a little tighter to the bars and run most of the bikes that way. It seems to help me generate more power on hill climbs.

Geared up…

if I had to choose a weak area I feel it is the shifters. The shimano XR & XTL set-ups are ok but a slightly slow. Now I know what your thinking, I am spoiled by the set-up on the Epic. Maybe your right. The Epic shift so fast and feels so positive it is hard to fault. I have tried adjust the Sthimano set-up and that helped a little but I still feel it is too slow shifting.

Responses

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