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  1. #1
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    2013 Stumpjumper Marathon HT

    Anyone spend some time on a new marathon stumpy HT yet? Seems to be a good racing spec for a lot less than the S-Works (same basic component selection as the Epic Marathon) and wanted to get some opinions on the beadless carbon wheels, FACT 8m frame, gripshift, bike weight or any other input.

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Spotted one at the shop, no test though

    Looks like a great deal even when I'm not a Gripshift kind of guy

    The cassette might be kinda heavy for the build
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  3. #3
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    The cassette is right around 300g, sure it could be 50g lighter if they spec'd the 1080 but that would probably have jumped the msrp $200.

    The beadless carbon wheels work fine tubeless.

  4. #4
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    I'm picking mine up later this week, but probably wont ride it until the weekend. Can't wait!

  5. #5
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    Picked it up last night. Only had time to ride up and down the driveway a few times.
    I had almost forgotten how responsive a nice hardtail feels!
    The GripShift felt pretty nice. My 17.5" bike weighs 21.7 lbs with no cages,no tubes, and the cheap flat pedals that it comes with. My friend at the bike shop who removed the tubes said the tires aired up really easy on the rims.
    My only concern is the standover height - there isnt as much as I would like.
    Hopefully things here dry up a bit so I can do a long ride this weekend. I will try to post some pics.

  6. #6
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    I just got a 21" Stumpy HT 29er last week, I haven't had a chance to trail ride it yet, but it's very sweet riding on gravel roads and pavement.

    I did the tubeless conversion and it weighed in at 22.2 lbs without bottle cages, with Egg Beaters (298 g).

  7. #7
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    Just picked up my size XL (21") today. Converted to tubeless and threw on two 20g bottle cages.Weighed 21.72lbs without pedals. Trail ride and race reports coming soon. Just came off an alum Jet9 so will be interesting to see the differences.

  8. #8
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    Would like to hear your opinion after some good rides and if it feels solid despite lack of thru-axles, and with those wheels... that's a decent weight considering (from what I've seen) that one could lose a few grams off seatpost and cassette without too much trouble. Otherwise it looks like a pretty lean build.

  9. #9
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    Could definitely shave some weight with a new seat post & cassette...my stock seat post came in at 298 g.

  10. #10
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    So far I swapped out the stock 110mm stem with an Easton EA90 100mm item. I was surprised the Easton is actually 10 grams heavier than the "Specialized" branded stem. Starting to see how they are getting these thigns so light.

    I have some new XTR pedals and a Cannondale SAVE seatpost to help take some of the edge off the bumps. Cannondale has a horrible marketing department or I think more people would know about their seatpost. It's designed to flex up to 40mm and weighs the same as a typical carbon post (230grams). I've ridden a buddy's Flash and was really impressed with how much trail chatter the seatpost took out. Felt a lot more effective than the similar Ritchey, Niner, and Syntace ones I've tried.

    On the ride - so far so good. As a bit of background I've been working my way up the ranks in racing and have reached the slow pro / fast cat 1 speed. Hoping to be a little more competitive by next Spring as I ramp up the training intensity. My current race bike is a rather heavy Jet 9 (26.7lb, 1x10). I've loved it but wanted something a little lighter and newer as I've been beating the snot out of that one for 2 years. The previous bike was a Salsa Mamasita HT 29er so that gives me a little more perspective on HTs.

    I've not had many opportunities to get miles in yet, but rode a very rocky Super D course on it here in Austin Sunday. It took a few minutes tooling around in the park, but I started to get comfortable on it pretty quickly. I'd already setup the bike tubeless front and rear (turned out to be pretty easy even with the new bead hookless rims). The test trail is definitely one I'd choose full suspension on, but wanted to put the bike through its paces. It rides incredibly smooth compared to other HTs I've tried. The geometry seems a bit more upright than Niner's, but is otherwise nearly identical and I was able to get the fit matched up almost perfectly. The wide bars were very confidence inspiring, and the thing feels super solid in terms of lateral stiffness. The trail was so chunky, I just left the brain wide open - no use for that thing on a ledge-fest trail. I could toss the Stumpy into loose rocky corners and it would just skid its way right into the intended direction.

    I was riding with a solid mtb'er guy on a 6" travel Banshee and once I got comfortable was dropping him on even the burly downhill sections. Cool. The thing I dislike the most are the grip shift grippers. The shifters are fine, but the grips themselves are like blocks of concrete on the bars compared to what I'm used to using. I already took those off, cut down some old Ergons, and threw them on. Looks a bit ghetto, but feels 100X more comfortable. The other minor complaint are the stock dinky Fastraks. Coming from a full squish bike, I'm going to need a lot higher volume tire. The 2.0 Fastrak's casing is pathetically small - are we back in 1995? The 1.95 renegade seems to have a taller casing than those. I'll switch those out to a 2.2 front (ralph, or Fastrak or Ikon) and really want to try that new 2.3 renegade as a rear.

    First XC race on it is this weekend... More to come.

  11. #11
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    great info, and thanks for the report! will look into the SAVE seatpost a bit more. am pretty sure about the SJ Marathon and excited to hear some good input.

  12. #12
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    A bit more info for those interested. Last night removed the stock seatpost yesterday as the C-dale one just came in. They are both 400mm in length - stock post weighed in at 300 grams, and the C-dale came in at 240g. A bit heavier than I'd hoped, but still gaining comfort points while saving weight.

    Also, got to get my first real ride on the bike (even though it was a night ride). Did about 20 miles of chunky nasty trails (again a trail I'd normally choose full suspension for). Since these trails are in my backyard, it was a great test of the bike. I noticed the stiffness really helping out navigating tight, slow technical rock drops and ledge climbs as well as high speed skids into natural "berms." The bike holds a line much better than my Jet - to the point where I was having to readjust my riding style else I'd be cutting into the apex of corners too early. I guess with the Jet I was compensating for the flex by turning in harder subconsciously knowing the bike would drift a bit outside of its intended line. As a side note, my Jet is setup with a Fox RLC with 1 1/8 steer tube and a quick release so those of you already running a thru-axel and tapered steer tube may not notice as much of an improvement in stiffness.

    The Stumpy rode very smooth for a HT (no it's not like a 26er full squish - never understood that point of view), and ate up everything I was throwing at it. The new seatpost paid off and felt pretty nice. I am going to get along great with this bike, just need to dial in the fit a bit more. Thinking sliding the seat forward another cm and I'll be right about perfect. Obviously the thing climbs like a bat out of hell compared to what I was used to, and lighter weight helped more than expected when clawing my way up loose ledges. On this loop there are many rock ledges ranging from 1.5 to 4 ft and I nailed just about all of them. Awesome.

    Another note on the wheels - already bottomed out the tire on the front and rear wheels trying to get away with 23psi front, 24 rear but the little 2.0 FastTraks just don't have the volume to cope with those pressures on these trails (my weight is 170lbs w/ gear). I KNOW I can safely run those pressures with a larger volume tire given the instances I did bottom took relatively nasty hits (and poor line choices on my part). The bright side is the beadless design had no indication of wanting to blow the tire off the rim, they simply took the impact and shrugged it off. Coming from the 4 year old Reynolds Carbon Rims on my Jet (which I've mercilessly smashed thousands of times over), I expected these wheels to be just as tough (hopefully more-so).
    Last edited by jd1072; 11-08-2012 at 12:17 PM.

  13. #13
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    Great ride reports from jd1072, so I'll expand on those.
    I've had the 2013 Stumpy HT Marathon for about three months now and I remain absolutely blown away. As background, I've ridden a lot of mountain bikes o'er the years, most recently a 2008 Stumpy FSR Expert (though I've tooled around a lot on 29er Epic demo bike from my LBS). Bottom line: you will be stoked with this bike.
    I concur about the Fast Trak tires, which is why I swapped out for a little larger volume 2.1 Ground Control. They are a little more confidence-inspiring on my Montana trails. I run about 24-26 PSI and have yet to bottom out at all. The bead-hook-less carbon Roval Control 29 rims are amazing. Super stiff and, like jd1072 said, enable you to really rail corners with the utmost confidence.
    Specialized did a tremendous job with this frame. It sounds cliche, but it's absolutely stiff upon sprinting and cornering but very compliant vertically. For a hardtail, it is very forgiving and that just shows the quality of the carbon layup.
    I've said this on a couple other forums, but this bike might be the steal of the year. For $4,700 you get amazing ride quality carbon frame; carbon wheels, S-Works carbon flat bar; carbon SRAM cranks; XO/X9 everything; and Grip Shift.
    I am in love with the XO Grip Shift. It took all of one ride to hate the grips, so I offed those and put on some cut-down ESI Chunky which did three things: lightened the bike; provided much better comfort; and widened my hand position. All good things. The Grip Shift is so precise and sharp, and it feels very durable. On single shifts it's not that huge of a difference from good trigger shifters, but in a race format the real shining point is how fast and efficiently you can grab a fistful of gears, up or down, without missing a pedal stroke. It's the ideal race rig shifting.
    I race shorter XC and did my first 100-mile endurance race (Butte 100) this year. This bike excels for those and is equally fun on laid-back trail rides.
    If you're remotely considering a carbon hard tail 29er, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better ride at a better price.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd1072 View Post
    Just picked up my size XL (21") today. Converted to tubeless and threw on two 20g bottle cages.Weighed 21.72lbs without pedals. Trail ride and race reports coming soon. Just came off an alum Jet9 so will be interesting to see the differences.
    I missed this thread and created my own asking about the Marathon.

    Stumpjumper HT Marathon Carbon

    JD, I'd love to hear more feedback about the Marathon from you because I also ride an aluminum Jet9 so your opinion would be very helpful! Biggest disappointment of the Marathon for me would be no thru-axles ... I think that was a big mistake by Specy for a bike at this price-point!

  15. #15
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    Just FYI ... I have prchased a Stumpy HT Marathon 19 inch in Germany so the frame has a red color with white lettering. The weight of the bike (weighed at the shop) was 10.03 kg / 22.11 lbs. Not too bad but also not great for the price point. The weight was without pedals, bottle cage, bike computer.

    The next thing to do was to lighten her up a little bit. I have removed the ultra heavy Chen Sin 29er tubes and converted the wheels to tubeless (net weight loss of about 200 grams / 0.44 lbs). Removed Spec seat tube 299 grams (ouch) and Spec seat 262 grams (ouch too) and added Rose Extreme carbon post 171 grams and Tune Komm Vor saddle 97 grams which totaled a net weight loss of 293 grams / 0.65 lbs. The bike now sits at 9.53 kg / 21.02 lbs.

    Then added XTR pedals, Spec rib cage and Sigma bike computer which brought the bike weight to a total of 9.92 kg / 21.87 lbs ready to rock and roll.

    The new Roval carbon wheels or super stiff and ride difference is tangible to my other Roval control 29 er wheels on my Epic carbon. The next good thing are the new X0 grip shifters which offer precise and quick shifting versus trigger shifters. Finally, the Stumpjumper carbon frame is quick handling but still confidence inspiring when the going down gets rough and nasty. It may not be the lightest carbon frame available but the "compliant" stiffness and handling traits are really prime cut.

  16. #16
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    I raced my 21" Stumpy Marathon this past weekend for the first time, it was an amazing experience. I'm really happy with the XO grip shifters, the precision is awesome. The XO Type 2 rear derailleur with the clutch makes for a silent drivetrain, that's really nice on rough trail sections.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonH View Post
    Picked it up last night. Only had time to ride up and down the driveway a few times.
    I had almost forgotten how responsive a nice hardtail feels!
    The GripShift felt pretty nice. My 17.5" bike weighs 21.7 lbs with no cages,no tubes, and the cheap flat pedals that it comes with. My friend at the bike shop who removed the tubes said the tires aired up really easy on the rims.
    My only concern is the standover height - there isnt as much as I would like.
    Hopefully things here dry up a bit so I can do a long ride this weekend. I will try to post some pics.
    Finally got out for a couple of hours yesterday. It handles very well and is quite nimble feeling. The bike fits me well (I am 5' 9.5") - I changed to a 100mm long (-6 deg) stem from the stock 90 (facing up) and changed the seatpost and bars to match. I love the gripshift - it seems to require less effort than my old X-ray shifters, and the standover, although I would like more, was OK. Used 30psi in both tires succesfully - great traction with the stock tires. Had no issues at all with flex due to the lack of thru-axle front wheel. I will probably change the grips at some point.
    I did have some trouble picking lines at first - I have ridden full suspension almost exclusively for almost the last year and just sold my Epic. (I kinda have my eye on a Stumpjumper FSR for the future if funds allow). Overall I am very pleased.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Stumpjumper Marathon HT-2012-11-18_09-23-01_166.jpg  


  18. #18
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    I'm looking for a new racing ht, and I'm intrigued by the sj marathon ht, but my biggest concern is frame quality at that price point. Has specialized done anything to improve the FACT 8M frames since 2010? I had one of those frames and the pedaling was incredibly stiff and responsive, but the frame was not very vertically forgiving at all. Developed a crack in a seat stay and Specialized gave me an S-Works frame as a replacement. The difference was night and day - not just a minor improvement. The S-works frame was in a completely different performance (and weight) category. (That bike was eventually stolen, which is why I'm in the market for a new one).

    Has anyone ridden an S-works ht frame and then found that they are still happy with the Marathon frame? My guess is that after spending much time on an S-Works frame, it would be very hard to go back. I think I may have to just spend the extra for the S-Works model.

  19. #19
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    Well, I know that in 2010 the seattube diameter's were 30.9 and since then they have reduced them to 27.2 to increase their compliance. I'm sure you'd be happy with the Marathon, seems to be a sick ride!
    MCH Co-Captain

  20. #20
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    Well, I pulled the trigger and have a few rides on it. Concur with much of what's been said, and maybe have a few observations as well. Summary... Incredible!

    First, coming off an older 26" FS (100mm) that was maybe 6 lbs heavier and a bit flexy, there is simply no comparison - but that's where I'm coming from so perhaps take some of this w/ a grain of salt. The SJ Marathon is simply brutally fast, sharp handling at slow speeds and wonderfully stable at high speed. It climbs like a rocket, and although you may sometimes need a little more "body english" to keep the traction on the rear tire (vs FS) on a steep technical climb, the tradeoff is worth it... it still sticks the rear like glue most of the time and when it doesn't, 6 lbs less is pretty easy to hop or shift if needed.... and the weight is fantastic on long climbs. On non-technical climbs the rigid feel when you lock out the brain (or nearly so) is nice.

    The 2.0 tires are fast and light, but I'd ditch 'em quickly if you like a little more control and cushion (and durability). I'll probably switch soon to 2.2 or 2.3 for most riding... they're just a bit sketchy (and lack volume) on rough descents.

    The carbon rims (and tires and tubeless) make for incredibly light rims and amazing spin-up. There's no question you notice it, and they feel plenty stiff. The bigger wheels are definitely faster (than older 26" FS) over mild roots and rocks - they just roll well... no rim hits yet in the high 20psi range (175 lbs w/ gear) but you still have to be more careful about lines of course. The reward is that the bike just seems to stay fast more easily. I like the wide bars for control, but one definitely has to be aware in the tight stuff. I had been concerned about the steep head tube angle but in practice, they hit the sweet spot for a raceable bike, and it descends well... though not like a big-hit FS rig of course.

    The rims have already taken a few cosmetic dings from kicking up rocks. Was surprised to see significant scuffs already but I don't have any concern about structural integrity. Guessing wider tires will help keep more rocks from coming up into the rims.

    Was also pretty happy and surprised to see an adhesive "bash guard" already applied to the down tube (it says specialized on it and is pretty subtle)... did not realize that was included, but happy... no interest in taking a sizeable rock into nice carbon.

    Love the gripshift... had an earlier version years ago. No complaints, but you do have to consciously operate them a bit differently than triggers. When going to a bigger cog in a climb, I had a tendency to slightly overshift... not to the next click, but enough to skip a gear for a moment. Just turn until you get the click and it does the job perfectly. It's nice to drop a ton of cogs at once when accelerating, but you can't really do the same going to bigger cogs without causing some havoc in the rear.

    Anyways, I don't see changing anything out soon aside from the tires. Truly fantastic bike for the money.

  21. #21
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    I got my wife one of these over the S-works due to the cost. Replaced the cassette to an XO and seat post to an SW post. I ride a 2012 SW HT in large and this marathon in small feels lighter. So far she loves it as a compliment to her epic.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimecrusher View Post
    I got my wife one of these over the S-works due to the cost. Replaced the cassette to an XO and seat post to an SW post. I ride a 2012 SW HT in large and this marathon in small feels lighter. So far she loves it as a compliment to her epic.
    Would you please post a pic of her new ride? Can she use a normal bottle cage or does she need one with side opening? I`m asking because i have a small frameset on order.
    Last edited by S-Worker; 12-04-2012 at 11:31 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by S-Worker View Post
    Would you please post a pic of her new ride? Can she use a normal bottle cage or does she need one with side opening? I`m asking because i have a small frameset on order.
    Will get a pic later. But her small frame fits a normal bottle cage fine. It has a black/white cage but her epic needed a side loading cage. The HT takes a normal cage fine but only fits one.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the info, BUT DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE PICS ;-)

  25. #25
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    Can anybody tell something about their experience with the brain fork? Do you like it? I am wonderring how it compares with a Fox terralogic fork.

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