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  1. #1
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    Reputation: honkeystyle's Avatar
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    Am I over riding my SJ?

    I currently ride on 08 SJ Elite. This is my first full squish bike and I absolutely love the machine. Part of the reason I bought it is 'cause I thought it would be able to handle medium sized jumps and drops. I also thought it had 5in of travel. If I am not mistaken, it only has 4.7in. (Does .3 in really make that much of a difference?) Anyhow, I have been taking my SJ off of drops and jumps here at some of my local trails and am beginning to wonder if I'm pushing the machine past what it was designed for. The largest of the drops would be about 4 - 4.5ft to flat. There are some drops that are a higher, but they don't have flat landings. It seems that the suspension is nearly if not fully bottomed out on these larger drops. I am afraid this will damage the internals of the suspension. I have changed the pressures in the fork and shock to try and accommodate for the larger hits, but then my ride quality suffers. So my question is, should I get another machine, or would it be safe to assume that this one handle what I'm currently riding?

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Vespasianus's Avatar
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    The stumpy has closer to 124mm of travel, which is close enough to 5 inches to be 5 inches. Jumps 4-5' to flat would be pushing the bike past its limit.

  3. #3
    trail addict
    Reputation: Uncle Six Pack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkeystyle
    I currently ride on 08 SJ Elite. This is my first full squish bike and I absolutely love the machine. Part of the reason I bought it is 'cause I thought it would be able to handle medium sized jumps and drops. I also thought it had 5in of travel. If I am not mistaken, it only has 4.7in. (Does .3 in really make that much of a difference?) Anyhow, I have been taking my SJ off of drops and jumps here at some of my local trails and am beginning to wonder if I'm pushing the machine past what it was designed for. The largest of the drops would be about 4 - 4.5ft to flat. There are some drops that are a higher, but they don't have flat landings. It seems that the suspension is nearly if not fully bottomed out on these larger drops. I am afraid this will damage the internals of the suspension. I have changed the pressures in the fork and shock to try and accommodate for the larger hits, but then my ride quality suffers. So my question is, should I get another machine, or would it be safe to assume that this one handle what I'm currently riding?
    If you are bottoming your suspension frequently, more compression damping is probably a better solution than changing pressure (to some extent)... then again, I think you already know the answer to your question. Anything we do with our bikes is generally abuse... I am every bit as guilty as many others of taking certain frames and components beyond their intended use. Then again, you have others who go out and buy "more" bike than necessary...

    Anyways, your SJ is a pretty tough bike, but it sounds to me as if you'd be better suited to something like an enduro, or just pass on the drops where you know your suspension will bottom harshly.

    For what it is worth... I wouldn't drop any bike 4.5 feet to flat on a regular basis regardless of the frame or components. It is just no fun for me-8 ft to a good transition is soooo much better than 4 ft to flat.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  4. #4
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    SJ is an XC bike. The fact that it has suspension doesn't mean it's built to be ridden on drops on regular basis. And flats ? That hurts the bike the most. I know very well the feeling of having your furst full sus bike and after a while your riding changes from usual ( XC )and you wish you do drops and stuff. It would be better if u have started with Pitch for example and there are more upgrade options to use it as a freeride bike. With the SJ i guess you would want to change it if u intend to do drops.

  5. #5
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    it shouldn't reli be a problem but at the end of the day its more of a xc machine

    i did the same on my stumpy and reli enjoy it coz the bike is so light which make everything smoother and easier to do, but it worries me when i start to apporach bigger drops(well the bike still handle it, just not reli stable when landing)

    my advice is to go for the new enduro or SXT, it will give you much more confidence and make the ride a lot smoother if you are plannin to hit bigger drops / doubles or tables
    Custom 08 Swork Stumpy FSR
    Custom Revell 250R Jump/4x/street
    Custom '10 Enduro - "sometimes trail ride turns into freeride"

  6. #6
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    I agree with the general consensus here. I pretty much need a different machine. I don't do many flat jumps, most have a transition, but every once in a while there is one that I go off of. Looks like it's time to start saving. The SXT looked very capable, maybe that'll be my next rig.

  7. #7
    cougarbait
    Reputation: Lambdamaster's Avatar
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    I am getting an SXT to do freeriding my pitch couldn't handle. if you happen to ride a medium, now's the time to catch a great deal!!
    I read a guy's post on the specialized facebook group asking if he was under-riding his SXT II... only does xc and no drops. maybe you two should trade
    09AS-Rsl/09Six

  8. #8
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    Its not really a question of what your suspension can handle. Its more of a question of can the frame handle it. Youre looking at broken chainstays if you keep jumping to flat. I was in the same boat as you. I had a 2007 stumpjumper and found that, while I wasnt ridng it way past its capabilities, I was pushing it. Get a bike built for what you want to do. I currently run an Enduro SL. I couldnt be happier with its performance. Though its no free ride bike it does everything I ask of it. Having an aggresive bike has upped my riding ten fold.

  9. #9
    Religion = Non-thinking
    Reputation: louisssss's Avatar
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    i also think you're pushing it past its limit, the fork's lifespan will def be shortened by those drops, and your rims/spokes will bend very soon. You also risk them taco-ing and you getting kinda hurt.
    RH SL Pro

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