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Old 03-01-08, 08:15 PM   #1
BluesDawg
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I love my Stumpjumper FSR!

Well, maybe it's a little soon to be professing love, but I sure do like it a lot.

After dragging everyone here through the months long process of deciding what kind of bike to buy and many changes of heart along the way, I am happy to report that I believe I ended up making the right choice. I had good reasons to consider other types of bike, but a full suspension MTB, and the 2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp in particular, is really going to work out for me.

I took the bike out for a 9 mile ride on the streets around town Thursday to make sure everything worked and to make sure it was set up right before taking it to the dirt. It felt good, needing only a few minor adjustments. Having never ridden a full suspension bike before, I was surprised at how little the rear end reacted to pedaling. I expected it to bob up and down, especially since I had it in open mode without the pro-pedal mode that is designed to control pedal bob. Naturally, potholes and railroad tracks were much less noticeable than on my road bikes.

Today I took it out for a real test. I met some friends at Dauset Trails near Jackson, GA to try the bike on my favorite singletrack trails. I have ridden these trails many times on a hardtail bike and on a fully rigid bike. It would be a good way to judge how the new bike felt and handled. The trails are mostly smooth and rolling but there are enough rocks, roots and fairly technical climbs and descents to keep things interesting and to test the bike. The trails were in great shape and the weather was perfect, sunny and mid 60s.

I felt at home on the bike right away. It fits me very well and it handled predictably, no big adjustments for me to make. I will need a few more rides before I feel confident enough to really stick the turns hard on this new machine, but it didn't do anything to scare me. The rear suspension really made the trail feel a lot smoother. I usually need to stop a couple of times to stretch my back during a ride at Dauset, but not today. I have never had my back feel so good after a 15 mile singletrack ride as it did today. That was one of the main reasons I decided to go full squishy and it seems like a direct hit on that mark.

Another main reason was to be able to go harder and faster through rough sections of trail and bumpy downhills. The bike certainly did not disappoint on that point. I was able to ride cleanly through sections that have always given me trouble before. Not having to fight the wheels bouncing out of control made riding rocks and roots much more pleasant. There is one really fast downhill section with a few rough parts and little rises and drops that I have always wanted to ride fast but kept holding back because my bikes were barely hanging on the edge of control. I was afraid to really let them go for fear of bouncing off the trail into a tree. Today on the Stumpy I let it rip and had a ball. The suspension kept it all in line. I went a few inches airborne a couple of times and the landings were very smooth and controlled.

Tomorrow I will take it to a different trail that I also have ridden many times. This one is not really singletrack, more like jeep trails (but no jeeps allowed). There are more long climbs and descents and the trails are not as smooth generally. It tends to be a bit faster and bumpier with some fun rolling twisty sections. Another good test of the suspension and handling. More to come tomorrow.





One of the best things about Dauset is the Fresh Air.


Last edited by BluesDawg; 03-01-08 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 03-01-08, 08:21 PM   #2
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Sounds great. Couldn't hope for a better first ride report.

How did you get those action shots?

I saw the same model today in a Specialized shop. Very nice. Didn't ride it or anything, as that's way too much mountain bike for me.
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Old 03-01-08, 08:24 PM   #3
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Oh sure..........rub it in. Good weather, great bike, good trails......

Good choice of bike. "Your going to like the way it looks on you". Modern FS design is pretty good about things like BOB. You may not have to lock it out much at all.

Good riding.
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Old 03-01-08, 08:40 PM   #4
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Looks like a lot of fun. Haven't been on mine since before Xmas. Gotta get it out there soon.

Meanwhile, you have fun...But be safe.
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Old 03-01-08, 08:50 PM   #5
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Dawg, congratulations on the new ride and for the first-hand report. I tend to have a little more faith in the reports I read on BF 50+ than others.
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Old 03-02-08, 08:51 AM   #6
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How did you get those action shots?
I handed the camera off to a friend who rides faster than I do.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:27 AM   #7
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Well, there goes all BluesDawg's time spent on a road bike!! Great to hear it as much and more than what you were expecting.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:40 AM   #8
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I handed the camera off to a friend who rides faster than I do.
Whenever I do that they still don't get any good action shots. All they get is pictures of me coming from a loooooong way off.
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Old 03-02-08, 10:20 AM   #9
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This would be suitable for a BluesDawg
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Old 03-02-08, 10:50 AM   #10
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This would be suitable for a BluesDawg
I like it!
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Old 03-02-08, 10:59 AM   #11
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That should keep the fat of. Nice bike BluesDawg. I remember years ago, they say, start with a dirt bike and you'll be a better rider on the road and I believe it would.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:13 AM   #12
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I definitely believe that MTBing will make you a better road rider and that road riding will make you a better MTBer.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:37 AM   #13
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I like it!
If you want the higher resolution image for your shop or den, Google "bicycle art", click on images for a search and voila, about halfway down the first page. I was saving this for use later in a game but now seems to be the appropriate time to show it to you. I had to smash it a little to get inside the 100k limit but the original is quite nice.

I see it became your new avitar.
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Old 03-02-08, 12:28 PM   #14
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Whenever I do that they still don't get any good action shots. All they get is pictures of me coming from a loooooong way off.
Can't anyone except 50+ers use a camera? I have the same problem.

Glad you are enjoying the Bike BD- but the Son-in-law took his NEW FS out again today. I went on the road. He is finding that The bike is adapting to him now. Took a couple of weeks but it is going to be a while before he gets fit enough to use it properly. And the tweaking of Susspension has started. He managed to Take a shock pump with him and he annoyed the other riders by trying different pressures on the same rough bit of track----Over and over again till he got it right. Time for him to get a solo ride in before he runs out of ride partners. Won't call them friends- as he lost the friendship today. Might have to go and get muddy next week to see how fit he is getting.
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Old 03-02-08, 04:51 PM   #15
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Hello BD,

Very nice Bike and ride report. I sounds like the wait was worth it. I went to Specialized's site and took a look at it: lots of nice "goodies". Mt. bikes have changed a bit since I took a look at at them in the early 80's...hydraulic brakes even! From the looks of the pics, you need a little rain to give them a good test.

Have Fun!

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Old 03-02-08, 07:36 PM   #16
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I hope to avoid riding in a lot of mud as much as I can with this bike. There were a few mucky places on the trail, but not a lot. The trail is not open after heavy rains so the trails don't get damaged by tire ruts. What you can't see in the second picture above is the rocky creek crossing I had just gone through. The best line goes over a big rock just as you come out of the water. If you don't hit it just right, you get stalled just as you have to power over the rock and the rear tire loses traction and you stop. The rear suspension really helps in situations like that as the tire stays in contact with the trail giving maximum traction.

I rode again today on a faster trail with lots of loose and embedded rocks on the trail. I was again amazed at how much smoother and controlled the ride was with full suspension. It was not total isolation from the bumps as I could feel the changes enough to react to them, but I did not have to stand and let the bike bounce around under me, taking all the shock in my arms, legs and joints. The 120mm of controlled travel front and rear took the jolts.

There was also more sustained climbing on the trail I rode today. I guess Specialized has their suspension design worked out to control pedal bob because it was just not an issue. But I'm sure being a seasoned road rider with a smooth spin helps. Even in open mode I did not feel an objectionable amount of bob, though I did find that on the longer and steeper climbs it was faster in pro-pedal mode.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:38 PM   #17
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Here's a photo of my Stumpy that I purchased in late '05 - it's an '04 model year bike, that I've since uprgraded with XT Dual Control brifters mated to XT Hydro brakes. Wonderful bike with great handling and I love the shifters !. And yes that was a Brroks, since replaced with a Specialized Alias

I also just built up a '91 Fuji Pro steel mt. bike frame with assorted parts, as a non-suspended bike. Rides nicely though doesn't steer as quick as the Stumpy. I just this week added a used Judy SL fork that my LBS sold me for $50 and that also works very well. I do like the acceleration of the no rear suspension bike as well as the lighter weight, but do get more fatigued on the steel.

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Old 03-03-08, 08:39 PM   #18
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Hmmm... no photo....

Working.....

SB
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Old 03-17-08, 08:44 AM   #19
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OH! Sorry I missed this thread. I've missed a ton of threads lately, for some reason. I just picked up you got this when I read the Trek was going to be repurposed.

It looks great!!!! What do you think of it 2 weeks later?
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Old 03-17-08, 09:08 AM   #20
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BD,
Hope you are having great fun on your Stumpy. Unfortunately I flew over the handlebars off mine on Friday $#%&**@ and am out of commission for a while.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:16 AM   #21
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Hm, yeah, I missed this one, too.
Sure looks like fun.
Sounds like you made a GOOD choice...
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Old 03-17-08, 10:13 AM   #22
BluesDawg
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Still loving it, just not getting enough riding in between work, family, weather and illness. I'm hoping for an epic day of offroad riding this Friday if all goes as planned.
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