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  1. #1
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    Which Bike for Trail Riding and Occasional Enduro Racing?

    Hello fellow Specialized riders,

    I graduated from Syracuse University this past May as a mechanical Engineer. I've been working as an intern for the past three months for a small engineering company, and expect to be hired as a mechanical design engineer/test engineer in about a month, which means I'll finally have some disposable income.

    I started mountain biking 4 years ago on a 26" 2010 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc. Over the years I've done a lot of upgrades on my bike that have made it into a capable trail hardtail as opposed to the more recreational and xc build that it came as stock. Riding from the very beginning and for the past 4 years on a 26" hardtail has made me a better rider, I had to learn proper mountain biking skills and pick smart lines, but I'm itching for something that can take my riding to the next level.

    Now that both the 2014 models are out and some of the 2013 models remain at great prices I'm seriously thinking of picking up a new Specialized mountain bike. I was hoping to get some advice as to which models I should consider, ask about at my LBS, and test ride.

    I want to use the bike for weekend trail rides (2+ hours and 10+ miles) in New England primarily Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but I'll occasionally travel to Vermont and Upstate New York. I'd also like to be able to get into enduro racing with this bike, it looks like a lot of fun and is something I've been wanting to try for a while. My riding style is fast and loose on the descents, so I'd like a bike that compliments that sort of riding style. I'm about 5' 9.5" and weigh about 170lbs if that makes a difference.

    Here's what I'm looking at as my possible choices:

    - Camber
    - Camber EVO
    - StumpJumper FSR 26
    - StumpJumper FSR 29
    - StumpJumper FSR EVO 26
    - StumpJumper FSR EVO 29
    - Enduro 26
    - Enduro 29

    I'm sort of thinking the standard Camber is to XC and the Enduros are to DH for what I'm looking for out of this bike, but I thought I would include them to be fair. The Camber with it's larger wheels may make up for the fact that it only has 110mm of travel, and the new Enduro with its more pedal friendly linkage might not be too much of a chore to climb with.

    Any suggestions on which model(s) I should seriously consider and test ride? I'm hopping I can narrow it down a bit from your suggestions. I'd like to go into my LBS with maybe 3 or 4 models in mind, test ride each, and make a decision based on that. 8 models will be overwhelming to sort through.

    Also does anybody know if either the StumpJumper FSR 26 or the Enduro 26 can take a 650b wheel? Kind of another option there if it works.


    Thanks for your help guys
    Last edited by mmckechnie; 10-04-2013 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    - StumpJumper FSR EVO 26" - that's my vote. It's also what I ride and I like, go figure

    So there you have it, totally unbiased choice. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I rode all the bikes on your list this year, and went with the Stumpy FSR 29"

    Price was a big issue though, I was able to get the discount I wanted.

    Love mine!

    Another unbiased choice...

    mudhen
    "Lighten up Francis" Sgt. Hulka

  4. #4
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    I think your height and terrain play a factor too. I personal ride and race a 26" Stumpjumper Evo. I do like the way the 29er rides, but it is a LONG bike and not as easy to toss around for me, but i"m only 5'10, 160. A buddy I ride with a lot is 6'2 and he has a 2013 Stumpy 29 he races and loves.
    2013 Stumpy Evo
    2014 Fatboy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    I think your height and terrain play a factor too. I personal ride and race a 26" Stumpjumper Evo. I do like the way the 29er rides, but it is a LONG bike and not as easy to toss around for me, but i"m only 5'10, 160. A buddy I ride with a lot is 6'2 and he has a 2013 Stumpy 29 he races and loves.
    I'm about 5' 9.5" and weight 170lbs. I ride New England which has pretty rough terrain. LOTS of roots and lots of granite.

    I'm kind of torn on the 26" vs 29" wheel. I love the tossability and snappiness of the 26" wheel, but every time I go for a ride I see areas where i would be faster on a 29er. The roots really suck up your momentum on a 26er.

    Any idea if a 27.5" wheel will fit in the back of the 26" Stumpy EVO? Another idea I had was to convert it to a 650b bike or possibly 650b front, 26 rear.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmckechnie View Post
    I'm about 5' 9.5" and weight 170lbs. I ride New England which has pretty rough terrain. LOTS of roots and lots of granite.

    I'm kind of torn on the 26" vs 29" wheel. I love the tossability and snappiness of the 26" wheel, but every time I go for a ride I see areas where i would be faster on a 29er. The roots really suck up your momentum on a 26er.

    Any idea if a 27.5" wheel will fit in the back of the 26" Stumpy EVO? Another idea I had was to convert it to a 650b bike or possibly 650b front, 26 rear.
    Not a pro by any means, but I found the '13 Stumpy FSR 29er to be very tossable, especially compared to the Fuji 29er I rode just before it. I rod both bike down Vail, and I *REALLY* bonded with the stumpy.

    Fwiw....

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