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  1. #1
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    FSR Stumpy 120 general questions....

    Hi everyone,

    I am in the market for another bike, and was hoping for some feedback on the Stumpy 120. I am 5 foot 9, 150lbs, and ride everything from slow-speed rock-gardens to high-speed, flowing singletrack. Most of my rides are 2-4 hours in length, and I want a bike that allows for technical riding without getting bounced around too much, yet is efficient and handles in a neutral, predicatable manner (not too sluggish like some "trailbikes"). I don't do drops or freeride stuff. Therefore, an long-legged XC bike that eats up technical singletrack and doesn't weigh too much (27lbs with, say an XT kit) is what I am looking for. For comparison purposes, some of the other bikes I am considering are the Kona Dawg Dee-Lux, Turner 5-spot, Intense 5.5, Ventana X-5, Yeti 575 ect.

    My LBS has one FSR 120 Expert in stock, on sale for $1900. Unfortunately, a demo isn't available. It sounds like a bike that could work for me. I am most concerned with the following:
    1) technical trail ability: I want to be able to ride tough, technical singletrack on a predictable, balanced bike, with a model that feels like it has a full 5-inches of travel.
    2) climbing ability: some of the "trailbikes" I have demoed have been too slack at the head tube and were very poor climbers: the front end waved around and wanted to constantly lift up. Looking for a fully-active design that hooks up with the trail and gives good traction.
    3) descending: again, looking for a nice, balanced feel. The Fischer Cake I rode was pretty unstable at high speeds, and the front end was too steep (this was a 2004 model with 120 fork).
    4) flowing singletrack: Not something excessively racy, but still with somewhat of a sporty (not sluggish) feel. Bikes with a 70-degree head tube seem to be just about right for this application.

    For the 2005 FSR 120 Expert, what is the head tube angle with the fork at 120mm? If it is 70-degrees or so, how is the handling in this configuration? Does the bike want to wheelie on steep ascents and feel unstable on steep drops?

  2. #2
    mechmann_mtb
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    my wife rides the Stumpy in the family so she might be able to better answer these, but i will try to give you my impressions.

    1) technical trail ability: I want to be able to ride tough, technical singletrack on a predictable, balanced bike, with a model that feels like it has a full 5-inches of travel.

    technical trails don't require travel per se. if you want the suspension for low speed stuff, i think the stumpy would be fine and has alot of adjustability (Talas in front, Septune in back). for high speed slamming down rutted singletrack, rocks/boulders, hard slamming corners, i would recommend that if you weigh more than 180lbs or so that you get a bike with a sturdier fork. the fox XC forks like the Talas RLC feel flexy under me (200lbs) just riding around in the parking lot. i havn't bombed any trails on my wife's bike, but i put alot more trust in my Fox 36 than i would feel comfortable with on something like the Talas RLC.

    2) climbing ability: some of the "trailbikes" I have demoed have been too slack at the head tube and were very poor climbers: the front end waved around and wanted to constantly lift up. Looking for a fully-active design that hooks up with the trail and gives good traction.

    with the Talas dialed down all the way, the Stumpy has proven to be a good climber with my wife aboard. she has outclimbed me several times, and when you consider her lack of experience/bike handling skills and power (127lbs or so), that is a significant feat. technique is going to play a significant role in how well you can climb too. if you hammer on the pedals on a steep trail with rocks in granny gear, the front end is guaranteed to come up.

    3) descending: again, looking for a nice, balanced feel. The Fischer Cake I rode was pretty unstable at high speeds, and the front end was too steep (this was a 2004 model with 120 fork).

    here is where i don't have much to say about the Stumpy. my wife doesn't challenge the bike on decents (she would rather dismount than get hurt trying), but i would think with the Talas dialed all the way up it would work well.

    4) flowing singletrack: Not something excessively racy, but still with somewhat of a sporty (not sluggish) feel. Bikes with a 70-degree head tube seem to be just about right for this application.

    i don't know how the Stumpy wouldn't do well here. my Enduro with the 36 dialed all the way up is AWESOME on flowing single track. of course, i am also not going slow. i am going as fast as i possilbly can, and at those speeds maybe steering that seems sluggish at low speeds would be an advantage.

    " Does the bike want to wheelie on steep ascents and feel unstable on steep drops?"

    this is where the Talas shines. dial it down for ascents, and dial it up for decents.

    IMO if you are a smaller kind of guy (less than 180lbs) that is moderately agressive the Stumpy is probably a good choice. much heavier, or more agressive and you will reach the limits of that frame or fork quickly. i personally never looked at anything else after test riding my Enduro. i test rode all kinds of bikes before it and NOTHING (except $5K Ells and Intense bikes) came close.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawgcatching
    Hi everyone,

    I am in the market for another bike, and was hoping for some feedback on the Stumpy 120. I am 5 foot 9, 150lbs, and ride everything from slow-speed rock-gardens to high-speed, flowing singletrack. Most of my rides are 2-4 hours in length, and I want a bike that allows for technical riding without getting bounced around too much, yet is efficient and handles in a neutral, predicatable manner (not too sluggish like some "trailbikes"). I don't do drops or freeride stuff. Therefore, an long-legged XC bike that eats up technical singletrack and doesn't weigh too much (27lbs with, say an XT kit) is what I am looking for. For comparison purposes, some of the other bikes I am considering are the Kona Dawg Dee-Lux, Turner 5-spot, Intense 5.5, Ventana X-5, Yeti 575 ect.

    My LBS has one FSR 120 Expert in stock, on sale for $1900. Unfortunately, a demo isn't available. It sounds like a bike that could work for me. I am most concerned with the following:
    1) technical trail ability: I want to be able to ride tough, technical singletrack on a predictable, balanced bike, with a model that feels like it has a full 5-inches of travel.
    2) climbing ability: some of the "trailbikes" I have demoed have been too slack at the head tube and were very poor climbers: the front end waved around and wanted to constantly lift up. Looking for a fully-active design that hooks up with the trail and gives good traction.
    3) descending: again, looking for a nice, balanced feel. The Fischer Cake I rode was pretty unstable at high speeds, and the front end was too steep (this was a 2004 model with 120 fork).
    4) flowing singletrack: Not something excessively racy, but still with somewhat of a sporty (not sluggish) feel. Bikes with a 70-degree head tube seem to be just about right for this application.

    For the 2005 FSR 120 Expert, what is the head tube angle with the fork at 120mm? If it is 70-degrees or so, how is the handling in this configuration? Does the bike want to wheelie on steep ascents and feel unstable on steep drops?
    Hi Dawg,

    I own 2 stumpies: the 04 w/ 100mm and a brand-spankin' new 05 S-works 120. I must say, i ride alot like all the scenarios above, and the stumpy has been good to me. I JUST (like an hour ago) got back from my maiden voyage ( 4 hours) upon the S-works...and damn was it nice.
    I found the extra inch of travel really gave me the boost of confidence to hit small drops, and also to set the shocks a bit plusher for the nasty sections.
    I was riding w/ 2 guys on a VP free (8inch bike) and Heckler(6in?). I was keeping up w/ them on all the technical downhill stuff (no big drops, just natural rutted, rooty Oregon singletrack stuff). The VP free was running 2.8 tires too!
    At full front travel (130mm), the bike runs 69 degrees according to spesh. At mid travel, 70, and cranked down 71. Climbing was a breeze-it felt better than my '04 SJ.
    I believe the expert has the Talas, right? Just crank it down for the ups, and crank it out for down. I do have a shorter than stock stem (90mm) to help w/ the downhill stuff. I feel it helps me keep things in better control heading down.

    Hope this helps & good luck!
    Beer has food value. Food has no beer value.

  4. #4
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    hi dawg

    i agree with the above comments. i have just bought my fiancee an 06 stumpy expert. i have a 05 stumpy hardtail. i took her bike out for some good rides a couple of weeks ago and my descending ability is vastly improved. I took it on some twisty fast flowing singletracks and single tracks with lots of rock gardens and a few 1-2 foot dropoffs. it performed admirably in both situations. the handling was easily as good as my bike in terms of responsiveness. the rear end was tracking very well and the 5" plushness makes the dropoffs much less intimidating. my ride buddies said i was way faster on the twisty rocky downhill singletracks than i am on my bike. i had no issues with any flex in the talas on these twisty sections, but i am pretty light - around 160.

    the climbing performance of the expert was also very good. not as good as my bike admittedly, but i think that has more to do with the bike being too small for me (I am about 6" taller than the fiancee) than the bike itself. dropping the talas definitely helps.

    i do find the bars on the expert a bit wide, but thats a personal thing and pretty easily fixed.

    good luck with your decision.

  5. #5
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    Hi my stumpy S-works o5 is home built so different specs i guess.

    Tech trails are fast smooth and predictable. yet the bike is agile and very flickable.

    Septune shock has recived bad press and takes a lot of dialing in, but perseveer its a good bit of kit if you have the patience.
    I have Pace 130mm xcam RC41 forks so a little different, very light they have a sort of lock down facility that is a simple push to operate...i find to climb i definatley need to lower the front end. i also started with a 60mm stem because i like quick steering, but the frame was to front end light so i changed to 90mm now she climbs well.

    Very light enjoyable fast 5 incher a good comprimise longish travel,not quite all mountain bike, i would say slightly more XC than some but fast because of it.

    I sold a Yeti 575 to buy this if that helps,i wouldnt buy another 575 i thought it harsh and hated the brake/pedal jack type of feed back.

    By the way iam 5'10 and 190 lbs, i think at your weight it will be good.
    Last edited by mzungo101@yahoo.co.uk; 10-15-2005 at 06:50 AM.

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