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  1. #1
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    Confidence going from Stumpy to Enduro

    Will switching from a Stumpy to Specialized Enduro significantly increase my confidence such that I may be willing or daring descend more technical and steeper terrain than I would normally feel comfortable doing on a stumpy? Would I loose more in climbing efficiency than what I would gain in downhill confidence?

    I am a 42 year old that can descend technical and steep terrain as long as it is not crazy difficult. Sometimes I have to slow down but rarely do I need to get off the bike. I am working on building confidence and would consider switching to an Enduro if it helps me in being a little more daring on the downhill. I am in very good physical condition, so my stronger side is certainly climbing. I don't think I'd be willing to make the suggested change if I am giving up too much in climbing with respect to any additional confidence that the bike might offer.

    I currently own a 2013 S-Works StumpJumper FSR 29. I am considering changing to an S-Works Enduro 26 or S-Works Enduro 29 which will be available in the 2014 models.

    Will switching provide what I am looking for? If so, should I go with Enduro 26 or Enduro 29?

    Thanks
    Jesus

  2. #2
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    If confidence is your problem a bigger bike won't solve anything, you'll ride the same, just with 20mm more travel and a slacker bike.

    You're already riding almost a $10k bike, rather than spending several thousand more on another bike, why not spend a fraction of that on some skills training? Practice and someone helping you get the technique right will build your confidence way better than new stuff.

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    I think you should be able to ride any terrain with just about any bike, if the skills are there. More or less bikes like the Stumpy can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. At least the 26" version I don't like jumps, drops with bigger wheels. Personal preference there, I think spade is on the money.
    Your big wheels are so awesome!

  4. #4
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    As usual, it is the rider more than it is the bike. That said, I can also tell you that I went from a bike with XC'ish geometry to my Enduro a while back. On my 4th ride on my Enduro, my brother happened to be visiting and came along. He said I was quite a bit faster on the Enduro -- usually, he is right on my tail, and he was falling back a bit on this ride. I also hit much larger drops and obstacles last summer on my Enduro than I have ever done, or thought I'd do -- the Enduro feels a lot more stable in the air, and makes me feel like I can go bigger and bigger. So having geometry that is better suited to going down hill fast and jumping off things does help one's confidence. I'd say that I'm not now able to ride terrain I was unable to ride before, but I can now ride it faster and with more confidence.

    I don't know about climbing, though -- I was slow on my old bike, and I'm slow on this bike. I climb to get to the downhills, and don't really care how long it takes to get to the top, as long as I eventually get there.

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badpichu View Post
    I think you should be able to ride any terrain with just about any bike, if the skills are there. More or less bikes like the Stumpy can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. At least the 26" version I don't like jumps, drops with bigger wheels. Personal preference there, I think spade is on the money.
    Good point, I know some guys with $50 bikes that ride more and better than some $2000 bikes owners...
    Last edited by Max24; 03-10-2015 at 01:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    My buddy weighs well over 200 pounds, and he feels much more confident on his new Enduro than he did on his Stumpy. Both carbon models. I can tell, because he's much faster on the downhills. He said the Stumpy just felt like it was going to explode on him. I believe much of the feeling was due to a standard quick release front axle, lighter and flexier frame, and a Fox Float that didn't have a compression adjustment, which resulted in a lot of brake dive. Confidence can go a long way.

    If you're feeling a lack of confidence in your ability, then buying a more capable bike is a waste. If you're lacking confidence in your bike, then buying a more capable bike is a wise investment.

  7. #7
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    More slack ht = better at descending.

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    Thanks for the Replies so far. Sounds like it won't give me the skills to tackle riskier terrain but it will help me go faster on what I can already ride?

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    Confidence going from Stumpy to Enduro

    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    If confidence is your problem a bigger bike won't solve anything, you'll ride the same, just with 20mm more travel and a slacker bike.

    You're already riding almost a $10k bike, rather than spending several thousand more on another bike, why not spend a fraction of that on some skills training? Practice and someone helping you get the technique right will build your confidence way better than new stuff.
    Agree. A three day class could work wonders.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    Thanks for the Replies so far. Sounds like it won't give me the skills to tackle riskier terrain but it will help me go faster on what I can already ride?
    Not quite. I would think of the Enduro as a tool which is better suited to aggressive terrain. Your skills don't change (though they likely will improve with saddle time even if you don't switch bikes) but the bike is more suitable for technical terrain. Slack head angle and more travel are more forgiving when the trail gets rough or steep.

    In a pinch, you could use a set of pliers to turn a hex head bolt but it's not the best choice. Similarly, you could ride a rigid bike anywhere you want to go but that doesn't mean it's your best choice. Compared to the Stumpjumper, the Enduro is better suited to rough and steep technical terrain. If your goal is confidence in those situations, the Enduro will likely deliver. The best way to know is to test ride one on your trail of choice. Does your shop have demo bikes?
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Thanks Zebrahum,

    Yes, my goal is to increase confidence in terrain that I am not so confident. Saddle time is the main thing but if the Enduro speeds the process then why not.

    Yes, I am arranging for an Enduro 26 demo with my LBS. The problem is that one demo ride is often not enough, even if it is in proper terrain. For example, I did a 12 mile demo on a good technical single track to determine if I should go with a large or small stumpy. I switched a few times between the sizes and by the end of the demo I was still not sure. It took some time to realize that my size was medium.

  12. #12
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    Why go all-in on the S-Works Enduro? If you like the Stumpy for some of your riding, why not keep it and get a lower spec Enduro for the rougher stuff? Or something even a bit more burly?

    The way I looked at it when I bought my Enduro, I had about $3500 to spend, and I like to ride a wide variety of terrain -- from longer XC'ish loops to bike parks and lifts and everything in between. I figured I'd rather have a nice bike that I could ride everywhere than two $1500-2000 bikes. But I would rather have 2 $3000-4000 bikes (keeping in the Spesh lineup, say, a Stumpy 29er and a Demo or an Enduro Evo) than one "do it all" bike for $6-8k. Don't get me wrong -- I love my Enduro, and it does as well in all circumstances as I could expect any one bike to do -- but next time I'm bike shopping (and hopefully my budget will be double my budget last time around), I won't likely be getting another Enduro.

    Good luck!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  13. #13
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    The enduro certainly inspires confidence.. I haven't ridden the stumpy but my good friend did a long term demo on one and just felt like it was not quite enough bike.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Confidence going from Stumpy to Enduro

    I have done this switch. The answer is yes for going down.
    I went from a stumpy evo to to an enduro. I am way better at speed with enduro, though I feel the longer stiffer fork plays a big part. I also feel the bike climbs better.
    Whats this line for?

  15. #15
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    I've had five stump fsr bikes and two enduros over the past 10 years. I would say that the enduro is way more bike than the stump. I've ridden both a lot in races and bike parks, jumps and crazy rocky terrain. Along with the enduro came wider, tougher tires and the stiffer chassis and slacker angles REALLY made a difference in my riding.

    I spent all last year at bike parks riding the enduro off of stuff that would curl your hair. I was doing 10 foot drops, 20 foot gaps, wall rides, step ups, step downs... The stump is a GREAT bike but the enduro really is a different beast.

    People who tell you 'it's not the bike, it's the rider', don't have enough bikes. Get an enduro and buy a lift ticket for a few weekends. You'll learn SO MUCH your brain will hurt. At 42, it's time. I'm 38...

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    If you're feeling a lack of confidence in your ability, then buying a more capable bike is a waste. If you're lacking confidence in your bike, then buying a more capable bike is a wise investment.
    Well put. I would like to add that new riders or XC oriented ones might struggle to tell the difference.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    Get an enduro and buy a lift ticket for a few weekends. You'll learn SO MUCH your brain will hurt.
    This is the way to go. You will get SO much better in just a few days at a bike park.
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  18. #18
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    Climbs better than the Stumpy?

  19. #19
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    Invest in some skills clinics then a new bike.

  20. #20
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    I've never ridden an Enduro or a Stumpy, but personally I'd love to own both. I don't believe in one do-it-all bike. I think about 10 bikes are ideal!

    Keep both! I'm saving for an Enduro, love that geometry.

  21. #21
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    I don't want to twist any panties here, but PLEASE check out the Intense Tracer 275 bike. It's pretty close to enduro geo but with the bigger wheels, it's makes the bike that much better. 275 feels like 26 most of the time but it spins up to a higher speed when going down hill and holds lines better in the rough. Maxxis has their 275 big-boy tires available now.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    I don't want to twist any panties here
    I dont wear any panties
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    I don't want to twist any panties here, but PLEASE check out the Intense Tracer 275 bike. It's pretty close to enduro geo but with the bigger wheels, it's makes the bike that much better. 275 feels like 26 most of the time but it spins up to a higher speed when going down hill and holds lines better in the rough. Maxxis has their 275 big-boy tires available now.

    mk
    I suppose if money isn't an option this sounds like a good idea.. on the other hand, seeing as 26 wheeled bikes are obsolete, I bet you could pick up a used enduro for a pretty discounted price, I mean really, who in their right mind would ride a 26 wheeled bike?
    Last edited by billybobzia; 04-24-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    Climbs better than the Stumpy?
    The rougher the trail the better the Enduro will climb relative to the Stumpy. On a fireroad grind: no.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Well I guess the direction this is all going that 26" tires are no longer a valid wheel size and you should buy a down hill bike! ha It is interesting all the different angles you get. I like a bigger bike myself but I learned on smaller bikes and the fact that I can do it on a smaller bike has helped my skills. I was riding a good size drop not long ago, some dude hit it with his XC bike which goes to show the point that many here are saying, the rider skill is vital. I think the main reason to purchase a bigger bike is because you feel the bike can't handle what you are throwing at it or it is holding you back. Please post pictures of your bike either way. haha
    Your big wheels are so awesome!

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    In all honesty, riding DH (lifts and shuttles) has helped my skills tremendously. Think about it logically, how do you get better at anything? Simply by practicing more right? If, on a typical ride, you get to descend for only a small fraction of the ride, it takes quite some time to get enough practice to improve. If you spend a day at a resort riding downhill, even on your XC bike you can obviously get tons more downhill practice. I would say that depending on the mountain, you might even get as much downhill on one run as your would on a typical day of riding. So, if you make 10 laps, thats like 10 days of riding and if you are like me and have a job and kids and stuff, I get in 2-3 days per week in the summer, well, thats like a months worth of DH all in one day.

    I am 44, started DH when I was 38 and the progression has been amazing, and I don't feel like I was bad before, I have been riding mtn bikes since 20.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    In all honesty, riding DH (lifts and shuttles) has helped my skills tremendously.
    This is true -- it is about reps and building confidence, and at a resort you get plenty of opportunities to do both. And I would add that all resorts I've ever been to have plenty of less extreme options that any decent rider will be able to ride and have fun on - the runs aren't all steep rock gardens with big mandatory airs. Plenty of easier runs to hone your skills, and after a day, you'll be riding through and over stuff that had you balking the first couple runs. The few "XC riders" I've convinced to come with me up to the resorts have all had a great time.
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    I am definitely going to hit the lifts then based on what everyone is saying. A few people have brought up the topic of big wheels. I've been hearing amazing things about the enduro 29 and how they didn't sacrifice virtually anything compared to the 26. The chainstay is just 10mm longer and is in fact shorter than many 26 bikes. Sea Otter DH course was won this year on an Enduro 29. Has anyone had a chance to ride both Enduro 26 and Enduro 29?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    I am definitely going to hit the lifts then based on what everyone is saying. A few people have brought up the topic of big wheels. I've been hearing amazing things about the enduro 29 and how they didn't sacrifice virtually anything compared to the 26. The chainstay is just 10mm longer and is in fact shorter than many 26 bikes. Sea Otter DH course was won this year on an Enduro 29. Has anyone had a chance to ride both Enduro 26 and Enduro 29?
    29 inch wheels are not ideal for cornering, cornering to me is one of the best and most enjoyable skills and sensations you can have while riding on a two wheel toy. I do think it makes sense for long distance pedal rides and for the average to below average rider it helps with speed and obstacles but those riders often don't really have cornering skills.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    29 inch wheels are not ideal for cornering, cornering to me is one of the best and most enjoyable skills and sensations you can have while riding on a two wheel toy. I do think it makes sense for long distance pedal rides and for the average to below average rider it helps with speed and obstacles but those riders often don't really have cornering skills.
    Why aren't 29 wheels not ideal for cornering?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    Why aren't 29 wheels not ideal for cornering?
    I'm not really a tech geek so explaining it correctly is not my specialty but it's awkward and tall. I do know a few people that ride the Stumpy 29 Evo and claim it's sweet, they are good riders too.

  32. #32
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    The Enduro will increase your comfort zone in difficult terrain and at mach-stupid speeds.

    It can be a great tool for learning what is possible and then apply the confidence to the skills you have, which will grow those skills.

    Then you can step down a bike and achieve more with greater skills.

    That said, this book is the best upgrade I have ever done. It made me much faster than any component and it was only $20:
    Lee Likes Bikes

    Read, ride, repeat.

    I've won gravity events due to what I applied from that book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post
    The Enduro will increase your comfort zone in difficult terrain and at mach-stupid speeds.

    It can be a great tool for learning what is possible and then apply the confidence to the skills you have, which will grow those skills.

    Then you can step down a bike and achieve more with greater skills.

    That said, this book is the best upgrade I have ever done. It made me much faster than any component and it was only $20:
    Lee Likes Bikes

    Read, ride, repeat.

    I've won gravity events due to what I applied from that book.

    P
    Thanks so much

  34. #34
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    I don't know what your previous mtbing experience is jarango but here is my observation. Guys that don't have a lot of mountain biking experience and jump on a full suspension bike as their first bike are doing themselves a disservice. You see you never really build the skills and feel/feedback from the bike as the full sus is robbing you of the trail feedback. I've seen MANY first time mountain bikers get a full suspension mountain and progress to a point and pretty much level off. The one's that I've been able to convince to spend some time on a hardtail then come back to full suspension have progressed SUBSTANTIALLY. My advice spend some time on a hardtail building some skills.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by big JC
    I don't know what your previous mtbing experience is jarango but here is my observation. Guys that don't have a lot of mountain biking experience and jump on a full suspension bike as their first bike are doing themselves a disservice. You see you never really build the skills and feel/feedback from the bike as the full sus is robbing you of the trail feedback. I've seen MANY first time mountain bikers get a full suspension mountain and progress to a point and pretty much level off. The one's that I've been able to convince to spend some time on a hardtail then come back to full suspension have progressed SUBSTANTIALLY. My advice spend some time on a hardtail building some skills.
    This is good advice and is certainly true. However there is no way of knowing the OP's skill level. He may have already learned most of the things he can learn from a hardtail. On the other hand it could be what he needs. The only way you can know for sure by seeing him ride and looking at he setup of his bike.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by big JC View Post
    I don't know what your previous mtbing experience is jarango but here is my observation. Guys that don't have a lot of mountain biking experience and jump on a full suspension bike as their first bike are doing themselves a disservice. You see you never really build the skills and feel/feedback from the bike as the full sus is robbing you of the trail feedback. I've seen MANY first time mountain bikers get a full suspension mountain and progress to a point and pretty much level off. The one's that I've been able to convince to spend some time on a hardtail then come back to full suspension have progressed SUBSTANTIALLY. My advice spend some time on a hardtail building some skills.
    I actually don't agree with this anymore. I used to, but now I have seen so many people that have never ridden a hardtail and they learn just fine and in fact learn at a quicker pace most of the time.

    I see your point and in the early days when FS bikes sucked, it made sense, now it just doesn't in my opinion (and I learned on bikes that were fully rigid because that was the only option).
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    I actually don't agree with this anymore. I used to, but now I have seen so many people that have never ridden a hardtail and they learn just fine and in fact learn at a quicker pace most of the time.

    I see your point and in the early days when FS bikes sucked, it made sense, now it just doesn't in my opinion (and I learned on bikes that were fully rigid because that was the only option).
    I think it depends on the person really. Some people are just natural intuitive athletes and most things come easy to them, others not so much. I disagree it has anything to do with the progression on mtb technology though. I have several "friends", and observe others that I ride with occasionally that have super nice bikes and they're total hacks. They have next to no technique yet can still manage to ride most trail obstacles even in the bike park. I have zero doubt they would benefit from spending time on a hardtale. Learning how to manipulate your body relative to the trail features is a MUST on a hardtale. There's now way around it.

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    If you sold the stumpy you would lose about half of what you paid. Why not just get a cheaper level of the Enduro and have the two bikes. Better yet, get a nice used "big bike" and I you like the change enough, sell it and get whatever you want down the road.

    As for busing skills and growing balls, numerous options have already been mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    If you sold the stumpy you would lose about half of what you paid. Why not just get a cheaper level of the Enduro and have the two bikes. Better yet, get a nice used "big bike" and I you like the change enough, sell it and get whatever you want down the road.

    As for busing skills and growing balls, numerous options have already been mentioned.
    I don't think I would loose half. I got a good discount, so I payed 9200 Including tax. I can put it on the market for 8000 and it would certainly sell for at least 7000. It is in pristine condition. I can also get a good discount on the Enduro, 8500 to 8700 including tax. So I would probably need about $1700.

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    I Like the idea of buying it use if I were to find one at a good price and in excellent condition.

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    I just demoed an Enduro Comp. I felt more confident on the steep single track. The small jumps seemed to be much easier, perhaps due to the smaller wheel. Most of the climbing was the same as the stumpy. If the climbing was steep, smmoth and loose the stumpy was better. If the climbing was technical the enduro was better because I could beat technical sections with mere acceleration.

    One disadvantage of the enduro 26 is that it is harder to maintain a chose line/path if the section is technical. The 29 wheels on the stumpy are not through of course that easily. This however has an upside. I noticed that if I made a steering mistake with the stumpy it was harder to correct. The smaller wheel of the 26 could be more easily placed back on the correct course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    I don't think I would loose half. I got a good discount, so I payed 9200 Including tax. I can put it on the market for 8000 and it would certainly sell for at least 7000. It is in pristine condition. I can also get a good discount on the Enduro, 8500 to 8700 including tax. So I would probably need about $1700.
    If you can recover that much cost, you're the man. But, realize that you'll have to convince someone to drop $7000 on a bike with NO frame warranty.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    I don't think I would loose half. I got a good discount, so I payed 9200 Including tax. I can put it on the market for 8000 and it would certainly sell for at least 7000. It is in pristine condition. I can also get a good discount on the Enduro, 8500 to 8700 including tax. So I would probably need about $1700.
    If pristine means you just rolled it out the bike shop, maybe. If you have several hundred miles or more on it, you are probably looking more in the 5-6k range. If you can get much more, you are pretty lucky or a good salesman.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    I just demoed an Enduro Comp. I felt more confident on the steep single track. The small jumps seemed to be much easier, perhaps due to the smaller wheel. Most of the climbing was the same as the stumpy. If the climbing was steep, smmoth and loose the stumpy was better. If the climbing was technical the enduro was better because I could beat technical sections with mere acceleration.

    One disadvantage of the enduro 26 is that it is harder to maintain a chose line/path if the section is technical. The 29 wheels on the stumpy are not through of course that easily. This however has an upside. I noticed that if I made a steering mistake with the stumpy it was harder to correct. The smaller wheel of the 26 could be more easily placed back on the correct course.
    Most of what you are mentioning here has more to do with wheel size than bike choice. Simply not being used to a 26er is the main issue. Your riding will adjust quickly to mitigate many of cons you mentioned. And there is always the option of an Enduro 29. For really technical ups and downs I prefer 26. For long ups or really loose trails in general, 29 will be better.
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  45. #45
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    Skills clinics are a better investment than a new bike, tbh. Or just saddle time in a group of people. Why not stick with the bike you have (which is seriously one of the best trail bikes in the world) and learn its limits? You can't really expect to switch bikes and suddenly expect to own every downhill section, but you can spend money on learning something new!

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    Do you ride trails that require that bike? I won't ride a Stumpjumper on the trails at Fromme... although some do. I won't ride an Enduro around Lost Lake either. I would think a Stumpy EVO would be a better choice if you're riding XC or All mtn trails. The Enduro would be a good choice for Shore style trails.

    +1 for skills training. I've done privates at Whistler Bike Park and Endless Biking. Those days made me a better rider way more than any bike did.
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    I own 2010 Enduro 26 - it is serious fun machine. It morphs into true downhill bike when seatpost is slammed and elbows are pointed outward . It's passable when climbing - with usual limitations of slack and long fork and low bottom bracket. I demoed Stumpjumper FSR 29er in both park and trail settings but was not impressed much. Bigger wheels have very obvious rolling advantage, but long rear end very noticeably "drags" in descends and when climbing bigger steps. Jumping was actually OK. In my opinion current longer travel Specialized 29ers are stopgap models before they finally got serious with Enduro 29 and returned to nice short Spesh-style chainstays.
    Don't get me wrong - S-Works Stumpy 29er is a dream bike and I am pretty sure that what I see as shortcomings would be turned into advantages by better or just different style rider. Knowing how to ride bike trumps any equipment differences any day. And yes, riding parks and taking lessons helps dramatically.

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    I keep reading everywhere that the Enduro 29 has all the good qualities Enduro 26 with virtually no tradeoffs. What are your thoughts on this? I find this hard to believe.

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    I expect E29 to be pumpable and quite playful. I think it will require more pronounced technique (leaning in turns, staying balanced) than E26 to ride to it's potential. I would probably have to buy it without proper demoing - I an 6'5'' tall and don't expect to find XL demo. My gut feeling is that for people who need XL size E29 is better (they don't even make E26 in XL any more). For those riding medium size it's not obvious which wheel is better - and for small frame size it's easy choice - no E29er offered... This reasoning is for gravity riding when geometry consideration and throwing bike around are very important...

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    Should I get an Enduro 26 or wait for the 29 ?

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