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  1. #1
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    08 29er, Stumpjumper Comp - Good vs. Bad

    OK, before I pull the trigger on this bike, I have question for those that own or have ridden one. What is the good vs. bad? Living in Iowa, my full-suspension is normally overkill. The 29er seems like the ticket for mostly open and fast riding. How are the frame, fork and components holding up? Frame ride and quality ok? Any opinions would be welcome, push me over the edge to the purchase.

    Griz

  2. #2
    Just Wanna Ride!
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    I bought mine as a used frame and moved parts over. The build that I'm riding is similar to the complete bike stock, though. Can't imagine you would have problems with the stock build - should serve you well until you're ready to make some upgrades.

    I am very impressed with the ride. I've owned a ton of bikes (way too many if you ask my wife), and think this is one of the best hardtails I've ridden. The frame is light and stiff, but still gives a pretty compliant ride. Plenty of rear tire clearance, and if you run the rear dropouts fully forward the chainstays are shorter than most. Climbs really well - I'm running some lower tread faster rolling tires and the rear wheel still hooks up solidly even when pushing hard out of the saddle on short steep climbs - when you would think these tires would break loose pretty easily.

    Sliding dropouts make it easy to convert to SS if you want to give it a shot. No fork clearance problems. Laterally stiff - no waggle in the rear end.

    Specialized doesn't get much love so others may bag on it, but in a head to head ride comparison, I don't think you'll find many bikes that perform better. There will be some that are a little lighter, and some steel frames that are more comfortable, but overall it's tough to beat.

  3. #3
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    I got a chance to demo an 08 21" Stumpjumper 29er ht a few days ago and was extremely impressed. I liked it a lot better than other 29er bikes I've tried (GF Superfly, Titus RacerX). I am now planning to buy an 09 for racing next season - hopefully the Marathon model, though it seems like it should come with a better wheel spec than it does to match the other components, and I haven't seen any pricing info yet.

    Here is what i liked about the 08 model I tried: The bike just felt really fast, especially on climbs. I think this might have something to do with the relatively shorter chain stays. I also really like the feel of the relatively low bottom bracket. My only complaint about the frame geometry is that the head tube seems unnecessarily long, but this can be easily compensated for by flipping the stem to negative rise (which was the setup on my demo bike). The steering felt quick enough, though I suspect I will like it even better with the bigger offset of either the 09 Reba or the Fox fork. I was also very impressed with the feel of the frame in the rear over rocks and bumps - nothing like rear suspension of course, but not nearly as harsh as some aluminum frames I've ridden. Pedaling response felt very stiff and fast.

    So, I am currently leaning towards buying an 09 model, either the comp or the marathon, and then upgrading the wheels. It is disappointing that the marathon model won't come with lighter rims. For example, the top Cannondale 29er ht for 09 will come with Stans Arch rims, and a super light carbon Lefty, and I'm betting the pricing will be similar to the Specialized marathon model. However, while I'm still planning to test ride a Caffeine 29er, based on the geometry numbers I suspect I won't like it nearly as much as the Stumpjumper, and you can always upgrade parts.

  4. #4
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    The 08 SJ 29er hardtail is spec'd way weak for the price.

    The comparable Fisher Paragon has a Fox fork, better cranks, and is full X9 instead of cheaper parts with just an X9 rear like Spesh uses. I think the wheels are about comparable, but for about $100 less the Fisher is a better value.

    I have an 08 SJ FSR 29er but I built it from a frame with full 08 XTR and I9 wheels. It is an awesome bike.

    The 09 SJ Marathon 29er HT is looking pretty tempting but it's not much nicer than the Fisher for about $700 more...we'll see though because I'm not a Trek/Fishr fan at all.
    2008 Stumpjumper FSR 29
    2005 Titus Racer X Ti
    2007 Van Dessel Project WR

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by m4guru
    The 08 SJ 29er hardtail is spec'd way weak for the price.

    The comparable Fisher Paragon has a Fox fork, better cranks, and is full X9 instead of cheaper parts with just an X9 rear like Spesh uses. I think the wheels are about comparable, but for about $100 less the Fisher is a better value.

    I have an 08 SJ FSR 29er but I built it from a frame with full 08 XTR and I9 wheels. It is an awesome bike.

    The 09 SJ Marathon 29er HT is looking pretty tempting but it's not much nicer than the Fisher for about $700 more...we'll see though because I'm not a Trek/Fishr fan at all.

    true on the Paragon interms of what you get for your money, but damn its gay baby blue color

  6. #6
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    I can see arguments based on which components or fork are better, or which color is preferred (I happen to love the "gay" blue color of the 08 Paragon), though I wouldn't allow x7 vs x9 shifters to weigh much into the decision - they both work great and the weight difference is small. However, I would strongly argue that the #1 criteria for choosing which bike to buy, way more important than value for the money, should be how well you like the fit and geometry of the frame. If you get a great deal on a bike with a frame that doesn't fit or handle the way you want, it isn't a very good deal. If you appreciate Fisher's G2 Geometry, than choose the Paragon (or Superfly). Having tried both, I much prefer the Specialized frame geometry, but that is just a personal preference - I don't think it is inherently better. But I would base a purchase decision mainly on this criteria.

  7. #7
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    I test road the Stumpjumper and the Paragon multiple times. The Stumpjumper just felt a lot better. The 18 inch frame really fits while I felt like I was in between sizes on the Paragon. I didn't like how far in front of me the front wheel felt on the Paragon either. I guess I'm not a big fan of the G2. I also despised the baby blue.

  8. #8
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    Picked up a SJ29r a few weeks ago.

    Picked my SJ up a few weeks ago. I demoed that bike about 4 times at local trails to make sure that it was what I wanted. I liked the way it handled and rode better than the Paragon. I agree the paragon has a better spec for the same price. The SJ has a more vesatile frame if you want to run it as an SS with the sliding dropouts.

    My bike shop says the 09' model has a lower head tube by about 20mm, so that might help with the stem issue you mentioned. I personally like the taller head tube, I only need one 5mm spacer under the stem. I also heard from the dealer that the headtube angle is more slack this year, but the fork has more offset -- specialized tells him the bike handles the same -- but he has not ridden it. Probably a decent price increase from 08 to 09' models.

    I went for the 21" with a 105mm stem, 10 degree rise.
    If you are looking for the frame only, I know a dealership in Mi that has one.

    Good luck with your decision.

  9. #9
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    Sold the car and will order the bike this afternoon. I'm 6ft with long arms. I set my seat height at 37" from spindle to saddle top. What is your size and what size stumpy did you get?

  10. #10
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    I'm 5'10 with a long torso (29 inch inseam). I have an 18 inch. It sounds like the smallest frame for you would be the 19.

  11. #11
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    I have the 21" frame

    I am 6'1" with a 35" inseam. I tried the 19" but it felt too small. I am happy with the fit.

  12. #12
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    Received the 19" on Saturday, 1st ride on Sunday. It fits like a glove and handles fantastic. Look for a ride report in the future.
    Griz

  13. #13
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    I just got my 23'' (my first mountain bike)... have couple of questions for you guys:
    1) When i transport it, i take the front wheel off - should i be concerned about damaging the brake during the frequent on/offs?
    2) What pressure should i pump the tires (i'm 215)
    3) any other tips you guys have for a newbie? -i.e. riding/training, maintanance, upgrading...
    thanks!

    Mike

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