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  1. #1
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    Rethinking my current ride....bike curious

    Currently I have a 2011 Trek Fuel EX8. I got a good deal on it last year as a left over so I went for it. So far I went tubeless, changed tires, pedals (of course), and bike computer. So I am not into it too deep. Lately I have been thinking of a 29er. Most everyone here rides one and I just got a chance to take a short ride on a Specialized Stumpy FSR comp 29er (mouth full). It felt really good over roots and rocks almost cheating. It did feel slower around corners. In the bikes defense I just threw a leg over it, dont know the tires well and its a 29er not a 26er. So I have been doing some bike searching. I have been stalking the Trek stache 8, Cannondale F29-2, and the Stump jumper FSR comp 29er. It is kind of a wide spread for bikes. I mostly was looking at a HT but after talking to the cannondale/specialized dealer he said from his experience If you like a FS stay with a FS. So thats why the stump jumper is on my list. My concern with the stumpy is it may be more bike than needed in middle ga.Most everyone here rides a hard tail but like I said every bike I owned since 1997 has been a FS. I also want to keep an open mind on the HT thing. I want to keep the weight down also. Currently my bike is around 27-28lbs. I have not weighted it since the pedels, tires, and tubeless. I am not a weight weenie but want something as light or lighter. I called a few dealers and one of the dealers has a 2013 stumpy for $2600 and they take trades. I found a Stache 8 (not in my size) to at least see in person. The guy there told me a couple employees already bought the frame/fork option.....that says something if they jumped on the bike so quickly. The local Cannondale shop has the oh so sweet looking F29-2 in my size. I really liked how nimble the F29 felt in the parking lot (for what it is worth) and love the lefty and how light the bike feels. The shop claims about 23lbs on their scale. Most all the bikes need some sort of upgrade for my taste. I can appreciate the simplicity of the HT also. I ride rooted trails and sometimes get to smooth trails. There are no real long down hills or anything too technical.There are some rooty steep climbs. I enjoy flowing single track varying terrain. No drops more than 2-3 ft.

    Cdale - Needs tires, not sure about the BB30 mated to the M525 crank needing an adaptor. Seems to be really fast bike .Love the lefty. Seems really light. Is it tought enough bike? Looks great in person.

    Stache 8- Best equiped for my taste. Does the G2 geo handle well on the trail compared to the F29 (no one has one to demo)? Tires seem fine. Love the green parts. Still have not seen it in person. It has a ruggedness that appeals.

    Specialized - Is it too much bike for around here? Felt tall/big compared to the F29 and even my EX8. Its a FS like I alway have had. Not a fan of SRAM shifters and Elixer 5 brakes. The bike almost seems to be an All mountain bike. Felt really solid. Would I be sacrificing climbing to go down hill? Should I own another FS bike?
    Last edited by stygz1; 11-25-2012 at 05:19 AM.
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  2. #2
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    There's some wisdom in that statement about sticking with a FS bike if that's what you're used to.

    I own the Stumpy so I can only speak to that...the sram shifting has been perfect. The avid brakes have all the power, modulation, (and noise) you'd expect. The propedal platform on the shock will keep the bike climbing the way you want it. I found the stock wheels to be a weak point and needed to have the front re-laced about 4 months in.It sounds like you might want the tires swapped out at the point of sale for a set of captains.( I actually went to bigger tires from the beginning). Bone stock with the cheap plastic pedals my bike was 27lb even ( '12 fsr 29 comp size L).
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  3. #3
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    The new stumpy suspension (fox) has changed. They now have the CTD system. I currently have pro pedal on my fuel so I know what that is about. As far as the SRAM shifters...its not that it misses shifts its mostly just the fingers used to make the shifts. My shimano uses thumb and pointer while the SRAM only uses thumb if my memory serves me right. The Elixer (2013) on the stumpy had better modulation than my 2011 Elixers 5's do. My elixer's and the ones that were on the stumpy I rode did not make any noise. Mine did for the first 75 or so miles. Sounds like the Stumpy is about the same weight as my Fuel. I would want a less aggressive tire than whats on the stumpy. I think ther 2013 stumpy has a revised rear hub and Roval wheels. Not sure what the 2012 stumpy had for wheels.
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  4. #4
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    As Mojo said, there's no substitute for FS, but you might be surprised how fun the right HT could be I rode FS only until I got my Paradox in summer 2010 and boy was it an awakening for me, both in fun factor and in how much differently you need to ride a HT compared to an FS, but again, boy the fun. My advice is find something with the "newer" geometry like the Paradox, Nimble, Yelli, Honzo and try to get a test ride on one. If you like it see how much tyre clearance it has (know the Paradox had a redesign to increase clearance for true 2.4") and throw the biggest, highest volume tyre back there and go have fun.

    I'll admit I'm on an FS again, but def overkill for most of our trails I get to ride regularly (fantastic for the really rough, steep, rooty ones, but not best to ride those solo and can't get others to come play on them with me), but I recently built back up the Paradox and it was a definite difference to the Prime in super tight climbs where bar width is more than tree width sometimes and def felt more playful with the shorter rear and about 5lb weight difference.
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  5. #5
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    Another vote I would throw in on FS is that since I got one my lower back pain is gone. As much as I love my hardtail I doubt I will ever ride it again - I never want to be on the side of a trail on my hands and knees again having back problems.

  6. #6
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    As far as rims go I should not have issues there. I weigh about 165 with gear and am about 5'9". So with that said I dont destroy many parts. I did look up the wheels on the 2012 vs 2013 stumpy and It looks like they are the same. And the 2013 gets a different shock from the 2012 that some did not like.

    When I look at the stumpy it just looks heavy. It looks like it is just over 30lbs from pics.
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  7. #7
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    I had a similar experience as you when I lived in Chicago a couple years ago. I came from a background of lightweight full suspension bikes but I wanted to take advantage of the benefits of a 29er. My local trails seemed to be clogged with 29ers so I thought there must be something about them that I was missing out on, so I sold my lightweight FS bike and started to shop for it's replacement. After a lot of consideration I ended up with a Gary Fisher hardtail and I upgraded almost everything with all my favorite components. I chose a hardtail because if I bought the full suspension bike I wanted I would have been at the top of my budget so I thought if I got a hard tail I would be able to upgrade to anything I wanted and still have some change to get a different frame if it didn't work out. The Gary Fisher ended up being a great parking lot bike but I couldn't enjoy it after several actual trail rides so I sold the frame and bought a totally different hard tail. A cro-moly one from Rocky Mountain. I still have this bike bc I fell in love with it, completely! I now believe that it was one of my best purchases.

    After I moved to Arizona last year, where there are actual mountains and thus justifying a FS bike, I saved up for a another bike and got a bike that is in a similar category as the Stumpy you're looking at. I love it but I still ride the hard tail. My FS 29er is easier to ride over the rough stuff but my HT is more fun in some situations.

    My point is if you find an amazing hard tail you may never get rid of it, and bc of where you live you may not need a FS bike. If, down the road, your pimped out HT seems to overwhelmed at times then start shopping for a FS bike. I've owned and liked several FS bikes but I've only had a couple HT bikes and I still have two of them bc I fell in love. Plus, you can get a pretty rad HT for the scratch you're wanting to spend!
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  8. #8
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    I'd suggest a demo on your trails to help with the necessary HT info. But from what everyone else is riding in your area it seems worth serious consideration.
    A Scott Scale 930 in medium or 2012 Expert could work. 23.5lbs. The Expert has the dual air Reba which is no longer available.
    920 has XT/SLX including SLX brakes. 23.35lbs.

  9. #9
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    You mentioned that some of the 29ers you rode felt sluggish. I demoed 6 this fall and felt that on many of them too until I rode a Niner RIP9, which was fast and flickable - I bought it. It's not as light as the others you are looking at, but is rock solid in the rear on the climbs and active in the FS on the downhills. My large frame with 140mm Talas, XT drivetrain, dropper post, pedals, Ergons, and Stans Flow EX weighs in at 31.5 lbs, but rides much lighter.

  10. #10
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    yeah, i think so, never want to be on the side of a trail on my hands and knees again having back problems.

  11. #11
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    One of the snappier 29ers was the Cannondale F29-2. Seems race oriented though. Not sure if race oriented is a good thing or bad thing for me. One thing about the Stache and Stumpy is the front and rear through axels I could tell it felt stiffer than my standard stuff on my fuel. It was very point and shoot. Sometimes it really feels like I cant "get going" on the fuel. Maybe its because I am chasing a 29er HT on the flats.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    There's some wisdom in that statement about sticking with a FS bike if that's what you're used to.

    I own the Stumpy so I can only speak to that...the sram shifting has been perfect. The avid brakes have all the power, modulation, (and noise) you'd expect. The propedal platform on the shock will keep the bike climbing the way you want it. I found the stock wheels to be a weak point and needed to have the front re-laced about 4 months in.It sounds like you might want the tires swapped out at the point of sale for a set of captains.( I actually went to bigger tires from the beginning). Bone stock with the cheap plastic pedals my bike was 27lb even ( '12 fsr 29 comp size L).

    I just weighed my Fuel EX8 with a bathroom scale. I get about 29.4lbs. Seems kind of high. I stood on the scale weighted myself the with the bike in my hands then subtracted the weight. Probably not real accurate. Maybe I will weight it against the Stumpy on the same scale when I go to do some looking. I think I got about 27.5 lbs area when I bought the bike. Since then I run kenda slant 6 2.1 tires, candy pedals, tubeless, bottle cage, and computer.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    Currently I have a 2011 Trek Fuel EX8.

    ...Lately I have been thinking of a 29er. Most everyone here rides one.
    I don't have any advice to give you.

    Edit: Other than that it's 2012.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  14. #14
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    Do your research and stop considering only the bikes that are sitting on the showroom floor.

    Hell, if I could only buy what the shop had in my size, I'd never buy anything. And THAT is part of the reason that I don't buy new.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    Do your research and stop considering only the bikes that are sitting on the showroom floor.

    Hell, if I could only buy what the shop had in my size, I'd never buy anything. And THAT is part of the reason that I don't buy new.
    I buy new because I can and also for the warranty. I have broken a frame before and needed the warranty. At the price point I am looking at I am not willing to buy before I try.

    As far as the bikes I am concidering only one that is on a local sales floor. The rest are about 70-80 miles away. And even one of those is not in my size. My local shops mostly carry 29er ht and most of those is $1500 or less. I plan on sticking with manufactures that are at somewhat at a LBS for future service or other things that may arise.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    I buy new because I can and also for the warranty. I have broken a frame before and needed the warranty. At the price point I am looking at I am not willing to buy before I try.

    As far as the bikes I am concidering only one that is on a local sales floor. The rest are about 70-80 miles away. And even one of those is not in my size. My local shops mostly carry 29er ht and most of those is $1500 or less. I plan on sticking with manufactures that are at somewhat at a LBS for future service or other things that may arise.
    Yes, all the standard reasons/excuses. Doesn't change the fact that you're settling.

    Doesn't matter I suppose. 99% of forum posters are only capable of recommending what they own anyway.

  17. #17
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    Can you afford to wait for Demo Days in Moab in the Spring that might bring other manufacturers to your city that aren't repped by the local bike shops?

  18. #18
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    Consider this when considering my input: I tend to favor hard tails for my main trail bike. Though, I've owned a lot of bikes since 1998. My stable has always included a hard tail and a full suspension bike.

    I can talk with a fair amount of knowledge about the EX, Stache and the Rumblefish as well.

    The EX is one fun bike. Last month I got to ride the 2013 EX, Remedy and Stache 8 back to back to back. I also owned and rode a 2012 Rumblefish last season and a 2011 X-Caliber the year before that. I got to demo a 2012 Stumpy this summer.

    I can't talk about the Cdale. So, not including the C-Dale, none of the bikes on your list will be as playful as the EX. Nimble is another way to describe what I mean when I say playful. No 29er that I've ever ridden is as playful and fun. The Stache comes the closest. Just like the shop guys you heard about, I got to test ride the Stache 8 at the Trek dealer event in August, and I ordered the frame and fork combo the next day and listed my Rumblefish for sale. The only change the Stache needs to be a truly great do-everything trail bike is a dropper post.

    Remember, I do tend to prefer hard tails for my main trail bike, but I've ridden a lot of different FS bikes. The Stache is a completely capable bike. I got on it and felt completely confident to do anything I did on my Rumblefish. Last month when I rode it along with the EX and Remedy I hit every technical line on the Stache with the same confidence as I had on the FS bikes. Along with this capability, you get the efficiency of a hard tail and that's why I like it for my main trail bike.

    I switch back and fourth between hard tails and full suspension bikes often and can adjust quickly. But for anyone whose been riding strictly one style for some time, I suggest giving yourself at least a month of frequent riding on the new style before forming an opinion about liking that style or not. If I spend an entire season on one style, I always feel a little out of sorts when I switch for at least a ride. Hardtails and FS bikes require tweaks to your technique specific to that style. Hard tails require you to be more aware of whats going on with the back wheel. Keep that in mind if you go that route.

    Having ridden a lot of bikes, I am very excited about getting more time on my Stache. Even though I tend to move a lot of bikes through my stable I usually have a favorite that I keep for several years. The Stache is going to be with me for some time.

    Here's my early review of the Stache if you are interested: Review: Trek Stache 8ish.

    Hope all this helps you make a decision.

    FWIW, The 2013 Slash is on my wish list for next year. While the Stache is a great do everything bike, I still prefer 26" wheel FS bikes for their fun factor. This is in addition to the Stache of course
    Last edited by dwnhlldav; 11-27-2012 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Typos. Probably didn't get them all.
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  19. #19
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    Do you think having a stache 8 and a Fuel EX8 is pretty much having two of the same?

    I can afford to wait for demo days here in the ATL area. There is a bike expo in late Feb at the 1996 olympic XC course.
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  20. #20
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    Doesn't matter I suppose. 99% of forum posters are only capable of recommending what they own anyway.[/QUOTE]

    This it very true
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  21. #21
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    I am the 1%!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    Currently I have a 2011 Trek Fuel EX8. I got a good deal on it last year as a left over so I went for it. So far I went tubeless, changed tires, pedals (of course), and bike computer. So I am not into it too deep. Lately I have been thinking of a 29er. Most everyone here rides one and I just got a chance to take a short ride on a Specialized Stumpy FSR comp 29er (mouth full). It felt really good over roots and rocks almost cheating. It did feel slower around corners. In the bikes defense I just threw a leg over it, dont know the tires well and its a 29er not a 26er. So I have been doing some bike searching. I have been stalking the Trek stache 8, Cannondale F29-2, and the Stump jumper FSR comp 29er. It is kind of a wide spread for bikes. I mostly was looking at a HT but after talking to the cannondale/specialized dealer he said from his experience If you like a FS stay with a FS. So thats why the stump jumper is on my list. My concern with the stumpy is it may be more bike than needed in middle ga.Most everyone here rides a hard tail but like I said every bike I owned since 1997 has been a FS. I also want to keep an open mind on the HT thing. I want to keep the weight down also. Currently my bike is around 27-28lbs. I have not weighted it since the pedels, tires, and tubeless. I am not a weight weenie but want something as light or lighter. I called a few dealers and one of the dealers has a 2013 stumpy for $2600 and they take trades. I found a Stache 8 (not in my size) to at least see in person. The guy there told me a couple employees already bought the frame/fork option.....that says something if they jumped on the bike so quickly. The local Cannondale shop has the oh so sweet looking F29-2 in my size. I really liked how nimble the F29 felt in the parking lot (for what it is worth) and love the lefty and how light the bike feels. The shop claims about 23lbs on their scale. Most all the bikes need some sort of upgrade for my taste. I can appreciate the simplicity of the HT also. I ride rooted trails and sometimes get to smooth trails. There are no real long down hills or anything too technical.There are some rooty steep climbs. I enjoy flowing single track varying terrain. No drops more than 2-3 ft.

    Cdale - Needs tires, not sure about the BB30 mated to the M525 crank needing an adaptor. Seems to be really fast bike .Love the lefty. Seems really light. Is it tought enough bike? Looks great in person.

    Stache 8- Best equiped for my taste. Does the G2 geo handle well on the trail compared to the F29 (no one has one to demo)? Tires seem fine. Love the green parts. Still have not seen it in person. It has a ruggedness that appeals.

    Specialized - Is it too much bike for around here? Felt tall/big compared to the F29 and even my EX8. Its a FS like I alway have had. Not a fan of SRAM shifters and Elixer 5 brakes. The bike almost seems to be an All mountain bike. Felt really solid. Would I be sacrificing climbing to go down hill? Should I own another FS bike?
    Stygz1, I'm from Georgia as well. I have a Cannondale 29 and been riding the typical trails around here. Hardtail 29 will do for most of the trails (Even Conyers and Chicopee). If you're gonna be riding up in Dahlonega, Tennessee/Georgia area, FS will be a better bet.

  23. #23
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    Depends on the type of riding you plan on doing. If you want to race, go to the races on your area and see what they are riding.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    Do you think having a stache 8 and a Fuel EX8 is pretty much having two of the same?

    I can afford to wait for demo days here in the ATL area. There is a bike expo in late Feb at the 1996 olympic XC course.
    Yes, I think they are very similar in their intended purpose. My plan is to keep the Stache and get a Slash. As much as I like the EX, it's purpose is to close to the Stache for me to justify having both.
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  25. #25
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    Sounds like the Stumpjumper FSR has more suspension than you need. Why not look at the Camber or Epic? Or other brands?

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