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  1. #1
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    2013 Stumpjumper FSR Elite Update

    I wrote a review of the bike a while ago but it vanished in the forum upgrade. I've had it for about three months and I have never ridden a better bike. The Brain Shock works exactly as advertised and while there are other solutions to the problem of unwanted rear-suspension movement, when I bother to think about it (which I don't, most of the time...kind of the point) the bike feels fully rigid on smooth trails and very plush over roots and obstacles.

    The only problem I've had was with the brakes. A few weeks ago the front Avid Elixir RL stopped working. At first I thought it just needed to be bled but apparently it was more complicated than that. My LBS called specialized and they covered it but somehow I was upgraded to Shimano SLX brakes (front and rear) which are fantastic.

    Believe it or not (because I read this forum a lot) this is the first problem I have ever had with Avid brakes and I have or have had eight sets of them. I don't even get brake squeal and the Avid RL s on my Enduro went 4000 miles without even needing to be bled.

    The Elite comes with a very nice dropper post but after riding for a couple of months I replaced it with a Easton Havoc rigid post. Nothing bad to say about the Blacklite Command Post; it worked flawlessly and I think Specialized has solved the reliability problem of dropper posts. It is just not necessary for riding here in Louisiana. Contrary to what people think, it is not flat everywhere in the state and we have some very hilly terrain West of Alexandria where I ride. Still, we don't have long, sustained downhill runs and I found that I had to force myself to use the dropper post...most of the time I kind of forgot I had it which is a good indication that it's not really necessary. Generally it was more trouble than it was worth for our terrain.

    I paid $3800 for it. A lot of money but worth every penny. I know it is fashionable to bash Specialized but they design and make very solid and beautiful bikes. I'm not one of those Big Box Bike zealots who revel in riding the ugliest, cheapest piece of crap they can find while condemning as heretics anybody who spends more than a couple of bills for a bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Elite Update-fsr.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Here is mine ( Italian market color but I like USA one a lot more). Excellent bike. No issues from brakes,the Command Post lost pressure in a month and a half of idle wich can be ok LBS said. CTD fork is shot,just sent that in for overhaul. Other that than a great bike. I'll soon remove the Command Post aswell,this bike can take any ground with no flicks,I love it. Replaced OEM wheels immediately. Great bike,a bit on the heavy side tho.
    Never,ever ever had any issue with Avid brakes,I guess I'm just lucky.
    It may be fashionable to bash Specialize but I feel right at home on their frames,and this is my 4th in a matter of 2 years,I guess I know what I'm talking about
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Elite Update-image.jpg  


  3. #3
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    Thanks for the awesome review. I am looking at a Stumpjumper 29" but am unsure whether to go for a Stumpjumper Carbon Comp; Evo Comp or Elite. All seem to be in relatively close price range. Any suggestions?
    Regards,
    Kevin

  4. #4
    Ski during the off-season
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin4000 View Post
    ... Stumpjumper Carbon Comp; Evo Comp or Elite...
    Did you pull the trigger on any of these SJ's? I purchased an Elite 29er at the end of June. It has been a fun ride--my only regret is that it is a bit heavy. Mind you, my last MTB was a Giant NRS, which weighed ~6 pounds less than the SJ. The Giant was more responsive, but I can go much faster DH and over most terrain, except when going up hills... ;-) Having said that, there are some twisty, uphill climbs (with a few roots thrown in) on my local MTB trail that I rarely made on my old bike -- on the Elite SJ, I drop the front shock and keep climbing.

    As I wanted grip shifters, I ended up replacing the XTR RD & SLX Shifters with an X0 Type 2 RD and X0 Grip Shifters (sweet ;- ) After having XT brakes on my last MTB, I upgrade to XTR brakes as well (i.e., went Shimano on the brakes & SRAM on the drive train ;-) Additionally, I found a lighter set of wheels with DT hubs (got them for a good price--my plan is to purchase a set of carbon light bicycle wheels once I sell some of the build-up in the garage...).

    After purchasing the X0 drive train, I realized that that the Expert model has a carbon frame, comes with an X0 RD, upgrded brakes and a lighter wheel set (200-250g lighter). New, there is about 2K price difference between the Elite and Expert models, but used, the difference is closer to ~$1000-$1200 (well, when you wait for the right deal that is--some are more expensive...), which is not much different than what I paid for my updates. But I digress--back to the Elite, Carbon Comp & EVO Comp.

    I cannot comment on the EVO -- seems like the right bike if you are looking for more of an All Mountain / Trail bike. The 140mm on the EVO 29er and slacker head angle would seem to be a better choice if you are doing more downhill and less uphill. If you are going to be peddling up hill as much as you go downhill, I think the 130mm of travel on the non-EVO 29er works well and is pushing the edge between a XC & Trail MTB.

    While I really wish I had waited for an Expert SJ, I did not think it was worth getting the Carbon Comp over the Elite or Comp, as the Carbon Comp is alum. on the rear triangle and seat stays -- only the frt triangle is carbon. If I was going to put an extra $1K into a bike, my logic was that it would be better to get a set of Light Bicycle Carbon wheels instead of opting for the Carbon Comp. The lighter, wider and stiffer wheels will make it a different MTB. Mind you, that was before I decided to purchase the XTR brakes, which set back my wheel purchase...

    Overall, I believe the extras on the Elite are worth the extra $$'s -- XTR RD, dropper seat post, carbon cranks (i.e., 2200 vs 1200), Talas fork (yes, I do use the different amounts of travel on the fork and seat post), and slightly better rims. There maybe more, but I forget.

    Regarding the dropper seat post, I have liked mine. While I am still dialing mine in, I have found that when the ground is wet, it is very convenient to drop the seat down for the 'ooops' factor (i.e., when you hit a slick spot and have to quick put a foot down).

    Regarding the Talas fork, I find that I use the travel adjustment (105 to 130mm) more often than I do the CTD adjustment -- any time I start any serious climbs and the frt end starts getting a little light, I reach down and reduce the travel. I have seen where some people have adapted a Manitou shock travel adjustment for the Talas fork -- that will like be my next mod. I do not play with the CTD adjustment unless I am going on DH only ride (D setting) or on a flat / cross country trail. Otherwise, I just leave it in the middle.

  5. #5
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    I have been on a Stumpy FSR Comp 29 for about a year. I agree, this is an great bike. The only issue I had was with the Avid Elixir brakes. Sounded like a wounded seal and would vibrate the handlebar no matter what I tried to cure the problem.
    LBS recommended Shimano SLX upgrade. Have not had any further issues since.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by macvapor View Post
    LBS recommended Shimano SLX upgrade. Have not had any further issues since.
    I just read tonight that the 2014 Elite comes with SLX brakes... Go figure.

  7. #7
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    I finally got a very good deal on a 2013 Evo and so went for it. There are definitely pros and cons but on balance I think I actually prefer the geometry on the FSR comp or Elite. The more aggressive geometry on the Evo is pretty awesome on the downhill, but as you noted, on the uphill not so much. It's much more noticeable than I thought and for someone who does a lot of uphills the bike will take some getting used to.

  8. #8
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    I just picked up the Stumpy FSR 29 Expert Carbon. It's about 28# with pedals and bottle cage. Could stand to have some Fast Traks and be made tubeless for a little more weight savings.

    Not an XC race bike (for me), but super fun so far otherwise

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