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  1. #1
    Rider, Builder, Dreamer
    Reputation: sambs827's Avatar
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    I fell in love yesterday....

    Yesterday was Specialized Demo Day at Sport Tech here in Oneonta, NY. Originally it was going to be the standard "men's" models, but then the women's Speshy demo lady got wind of it and showed up as well. The result: over 70 high-end Specialized mountain and road bikes for our riding pleasure. Some were 2011 rides, but most (especially the mountain bikes) were 2012 goodness.

    First let me say that I'm not a Specialized fanboy. I have a Remedy, my buddy has a TopFuel 9.9SSL, and we have agreed that Trek has the best suspension platform in existence (Let's not argue; that's just what we like.). Nor am I a 29er fanboy. I've tried several 29er rigid, hardtail, and fullie offerings from several brands but never felt at home on them.

    Next I will say that as the president of our college mountain biking club, I was asked to be at the shop for the duration of the Demo Day to guide people on test rides. It was my job to ride the top of the line Specialized bikes and lead the good folks on a good trail ride. I took them to a trail our club built called Blood Sweat & Tears, a 2.5 mile singletrack chock full of climbs, flowy downhills, rock gardens, diving boards, berms, log rollers....you get the point. It's a great loop for anything up to a 6" AM bike, depending on how you ride it. Each demo ride we would either do an out-and-back on this trail, or go out and loop back on a 1-mile trail consisting of one big climb followed by one big downhill.

    So yesterday I started with the 2012 S-works Epic 29er. While it was obvious that it was rocket when climbing, it just wasn't my style of ride. It felt racy but out of control. My buddy's TopFuel feels way more stable on anything around here. I also tried the S-Works Stumpy 29er hardtail, and got the same impression.

    Then I tried out the 2012 S-Works Stumpy 26. They've got the Brain on the Stumpy, so pedal bob is not an issue. However I felt like I was way too far back over the rear wheel on climbs an was having trouble keeping the front wheel down. (Note: I've taken my FR rig on these trails without having that problem.) It had the poor uphill handling of a big bike, but since it was slack it also lacked the quickness it tight turns and ducks from side to side that I would have expected. I was thoroughly disappointed since I was really looking forward to ripping one of these.

    At this point I was getting kind of worn out. My buddy kicked my butt on a ride Friday afternoon. Each of the bikes I tested didn't just get tested; it got hammered on. I hammered as fast and hard as I could on each of those bikes to really get an idea of what they could take.

    Finally I rode the 2012 S-WorksStumpy FSR 29er. Remember that I am not a Speshy fanboy or a 29er fanboy, and that I have not thoroughly enjoyed any bikes up to this point. But my oh my was it amazing. Just doing a wheelie through the parking lot told me I would love it. I got to the trail and proceeded to climb just as fast as I had on the sub-20 pound hardtail. I got to the top where the trail leveled out and it felt like I had a rocket strapped between my legs. My Remedy weighs in just under 31 lbs.

    This thing weighed just over 25 with dirt. On climbs the rear wheel was glued to the ground without sacrificing efficiency. On fast stuff I could throw the bike around so well that I was taking turns faster than I had ever taken them before. I've never been on such a playful bike. Even though it's a 29er I was still able to manual over an amored section then go straight into a 2-7 speed wheelie, bringing down the front wheel just in time to rip through a super tight 180* turn faster than I would have ever thought possible.

    This thing was super stiff, super light, super playful, and super fast. My buddy and I went down a long traversing off-camber downhill and on sections where he usually drops me I was right on his wheel yelling at him to hurry up. On the steep section right after that where we often hit 20 MPH going straight downhill on singletrack, I was going faster than I ever have on my Remedy and felt way more stable.

    On trail rides on which most of the group are riding 100mm XC bikes, I usually find a way to push my Remedy to its limits on the downhills. I find teh chunky lines or the little kickers here and there that the weight weenies avoid like the plague. My only regret for the day is that I was not able to push this bike to its limits. It is clearly capable of handling some steep, chunky descent, especially since it is equipped with a Command Post (which I had no need of using on our demo rides).

    Oh how I wish I had a well-paying job instead of a well-charging college....
    Go ride your bike.

  2. #2
    Rider, Builder, Dreamer
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    Sorry that took so long...but the people I live with don't really understand the significance of this so I had to vent.
    Go ride your bike.

  3. #3
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    Go towards the light.....

    (the 29er light that is) :-)

  4. #4
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    Reputation: jmountain's Avatar
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    Sounds like it rode amazing for sure and wow, that's a price tag.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    So now you are in love with something you can't afford. Kind of like my feelings for Jessica Biel (shhhhh...don't tell my wife).

    Enjoy pining away!!

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