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  1. #1
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    Stumpy EVO question for you climbers, the REAL climbers

    Ive been racing XC for years now and I recently purchased a Stumpy EVO frame to build up more of a fun bike but there will be plenty of times that Ill be using it on more of the trail/XC side of the spectrum. Keeping this bike efficient, as efficient as it can be, is important to me. I understand its not an XC bike but there will be times of long fireroad climbs and hard effort workouts but also just have fun days of shuttling or bombing techy terrain.
    My question is the fork? My first thought was the Fox 34 Talas set to 150 so I could run it at 120 on those long grinds and XC type days. Im seeing post about people removing the Talas and making it a Float, not sure why. So for those of you real XC climber guys with the SJ EVOsdo you ever use the Talas, are you glad its there?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have a lyric 160 on mine which is an awesome fork for the evo. If the climb is really steep and a switch back I need to pay attention to my body position to keep the front from wandering. I think it climbs pretty good but I would be more concerned with the rear shock slowing you down. I just ordered a volume reducer kit to try to get it to ramp up a little quicker.

  3. #3
    JCL
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    Had a 34 Talas 160mm on mine. Didn't touch the Talas once. Not even in a 100+ switchback climb in the middle of a race. Was going to swap the airspring for the Float (more sensitive on HF stuff) but borrowed an Evo 29" so that was the end of that.

    The bike needs the axle to crown of a 160mm fork. Even then it's a little too steep.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    Had a 34 Talas 160mm on mine. Didn't touch the Talas once. Not even in a 100+ switchback climb in the middle of a race. Was going to swap the airspring for the Float (more sensitive on HF stuff) but borrowed an Evo 29" so that was the end of that.

    The bike needs the axle to crown of a 160mm fork. Even then it's a little too steep.
    Any draw backs with the evo 29 vs. evo 26? I looks like most of the pro enduro racers are still on 26 but the 29 evo is on the back of my mind.

  5. #5
    JCL
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    Yeah But I think that might change with the forthcoming 29" Enduro. I have no idea why the top Enduro guys aren't riding 29" apart from possibly worriying wheel strength? With the same tires, Butcher/Purgatory, I would say I easily had 20% more cornering grip on the 29" Evo compared to the 26". Same fork/shock also.

    I'm convinced (along with a number of bike magazine tester friends) that the chain stays on the 26" bike are too short relative to the long front centre. The weight distributon is too rearward biased which causes low front grip unless you're consciously weighting the bars. Thanks to the big wheels the 29" accidently addresses that problem for a start.

    I wouldn't blame anyone for buying the 26" Evo, it's a killer bike. But if you want to go quick, up or down, the 29" is in another world.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    I'm convinced (along with a number of bike magazine tester friends) that the chain stays on the 26" bike are too short relative to the long front centre. The weight distributon is too rearward biased which causes low front grip unless you're consciously weighting the bars. Thanks to the big wheels the 29" accidently addresses that problem for a start.
    That is the first I have heard of that. 16.5 inch stays are specced on all 26" Specialized bikes, and nobody is complaining about front traction. Those short stays are what keep the bikes nimble and able to handle tight turns - even with a stupid slack front. The short stays are one of the major features that make Specialized ride great.

    P

  7. #7
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    You cant lower the 34 talas to 150. I swapped my 34 to float and dropped it to 150. At 150 the HT angle is 67 degrees, which is the same angle my 2011 SJ Evo had. I have a 2 position fork on that bike and I rarely dropped it. It just wasnt necessary except for the steepest sections of climbs.

    I recently replace my 2011 Evo with a 2013. I thought hard about going with the 29 version, but for me is wasnt as fun. The 29er felt faster on rough rolling terrain and on straighter descents, but the 26" was easier to pump and pop off things on the trail and just easier to toss around. on tight twisty trails the 26" destroys the 29. The Evo 29er has a crazy long wheel base and is a lot tougher to throw around and fit though stuff.

    If I lived in an area with less trees and more open trail, I'd go 29er all the way.

  8. #8
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    In my case, I mostly use the lower settings on twisty climbs since lowering the forks also steepens the head-tube angle by about a degree, adding precision and agility in the climbs.

  9. #9
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    There is definately a gap between 26" and 29". My first bike was a 26er, heavy as hell and I was a newb. I wanted a new bike and so I went the way of the 29er and God I loved and love it. But I just ordered the 2013 Enduro expert Carbon (26er) and after a test ride I was in awe of the pure fun that bike was to ride. So much so I just HAD to buy one. I have 2 29ers and so I am selling one because there is zero need for 2. One 29er and one 26er is the way to go. If I feel like ripping into a trail and hop around and pump the hell of of it manualing and wheeling everywhere, I will take the Enduro out, if I want to climb 3000ft I will take the carbon stumpy 29er out.
    Sick of hearing about one being better than the other. They both have a place, and I am just lucky enough to enjoy the best of both places lol. Now the 650B has no reason to be inserted into that equation in my mind, but that is a whole other bag of crap to talk about some other time lol.
    Tie two birds together and though they have four wings, they cannot fly!

  10. #10
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post
    That is the first I have heard of that. 16.5 inch stays are specced on all 26" Specialized bikes, and nobody is complaining about front traction. Those short stays are what keep the bikes nimble and able to handle tight turns - even with a stupid slack front. The short stays are one of the major features that make Specialized ride great.

    P
    Apparently some guys at Specialized R&D are pushing for longer stays.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    Apparently some guys at Specialized R&D are pushing for longer stays.
    I would be surprised if Specialized made the stays longer. Or even consider it.

    The ability to take a 6" slacked out Enduro on a tight XC trail is directly attributable to the shorter stays. The shorter stays mean the bikes are not just straight line plow bikes. They can do much more than what their slacked out numbers suggest.

    I can see the argument that the shorter stays make climbing steeps more challenging.

    But even the Demo, with it's crazy slack 64 degree head angle, and silly long wheel base, has short 16.5" chain stays. And no one complains about it's front traction.

    I will say this tho. A few rides on a Stumpy Evo, or Enduro will probably equate to a front end washing as they are so slack it requires a non-handlebar turning technique to carve. Turning with the handlebar = dead spot in traction. You have to tip it into the turn, lean and drive through the feet and the Gs will come, in a big way. But that has to do with a slack head angle, not short stays.

    P

  12. #12
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post

    I recently replace my 2011 Evo with a 2013. I thought hard about going with the 29 version, but for me is wasnt as fun. The 29er felt faster on rough rolling terrain and on straighter descents, but the 26" was easier to pump and pop off things on the trail and just easier to toss around. on tight twisty trails the 26" destroys the 29. The Evo 29er has a crazy long wheel base and is a lot tougher to throw around and fit though stuff.

    If I lived in an area with less trees and more open trail, I'd go 29er all the way.
    The tight and twisty trails thing is a myth. 25mm difference between the Evo 26" and 29". You really think that allows the 26" to "destroy" the 29" in tight stuff? Also DH bikes have massive wheelbases relative to trail and AM bikes but nobody would be faster riding an AM bike on a tight descent compared to DH bike.

    I can't disagree regarding the fun aspect, it's a subjective thing. However, I refuse to believe that you weren't riding faster on the 29". Did you do any timed runs? People I know who have found the 29" to be quicker on all types of trails. I'm no 29" fanboy, in fact I was actively resisting it as a marketing gimmick, but I have to swallow my pride and say I was totally wrong. The 29 Evo is the best climbing 27lb DH bike I've ever ridden!

  13. #13
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    My 2012 Evo with a 150mm Revelation climbs great. Incredible traction and the front end is never too light. Previous bikes were a 2006 S-works stumpjumper and a 2003 S-works epic. this climbs as well as either, though the epic beats it hands down hammering on flats or non tech uphill.

    I do weight it to the front when needed a bit, but not much. Traction is amazing, and I would never think of putting on a fork to drop on climbs (I would never bother).

    This is with a 70mm stem and 710mm bar on size large for a 6' rider.

  14. #14
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post
    I would be surprised if Specialized made the stays longer. Or even consider it.

    The ability to take a 6" slacked out Enduro on a tight XC trail is directly attributable to the shorter stays. The shorter stays mean the bikes are not just straight line plow bikes. They can do much more than what their slacked out numbers suggest.

    I can see the argument that the shorter stays make climbing steeps more challenging.

    But even the Demo, with it's crazy slack 64 degree head angle, and silly long wheel base, has short 16.5" chain stays. And no one complains about it's front traction.

    I will say this tho. A few rides on a Stumpy Evo, or Enduro will probably equate to a front end washing as they are so slack it requires a non-handlebar turning technique to carve. Turning with the handlebar = dead spot in traction. You have to tip it into the turn, lean and drive through the feet and the Gs will come, in a big way. But that has to do with a slack head angle, not short stays.

    P
    Actually a number of guys, including myself, run a 42a front and 60a rear on their Demo's for this reason.

    Like I say the short stays/wheelbase on tight trails thing is a myth. My DH bike wheelbase is 50mm longer than my trail bike but it's miles quicker on any descent, no matter how tight.

    I think the 26" Stumpy Evo needs to be at least a degree slacker to suit it's suspension capability, especially on steep, rough trails. The head angle is nearly there with a 34 at 160mm but this tips the rearward bias/unweights the front grip even more. The big wheels on the 29 Evo means longer stays and you can sit in the middle of that bike and two wheel drift it like I never have on my 26 Evo. It's just way more neutral weight distribution.

  15. #15
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    I have a 26" 2013 Stump Evo with the 150mm 34 Talas. I used to ride a 2011 Stump Evo with a 150 mm 32 Float. I wanted to change the Talas for a Float, but thought that I should try it before I swapped.

    I have to say that I really like to lower the front end on the long tecnical climbs. It makes a big difference with my short stem (50 mm) and wide bar setup (760 mm). I will keep the Talas on my bike. If you plan on running a longer stem or your climbing is not done on tecnical trails, the Talas might not be a good option for you.

    In regards to the discussion about the short stays, I have to say that this is one of the things that I love about the Specialized bikes. It makes them very fun to ride and I hope that Specilaized does not change this for the future.

    In regards to the 26 vs 29 discussion, I have not been able to test ride the 29 Evo yet, but I believe that the 29 will be a faster bike. However, it will not be as playful and fun. The choice depends on if you use your bike for enduro racing or not.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    The tight and twisty trails thing is a myth. 25mm difference between the Evo 26" and 29". You really think that allows the 26" to "destroy" the 29" in tight stuff? Also DH bikes have massive wheelbases relative to trail and AM bikes but nobody would be faster riding an AM bike on a tight descent compared to DH bike.

    I can't disagree regarding the fun aspect, it's a subjective thing. However, I refuse to believe that you weren't riding faster on the 29". Did you do any timed runs? People I know who have found the 29" to be quicker on all types of trails. I'm no 29" fanboy, in fact I was actively resisting it as a marketing gimmick, but I have to swallow my pride and say I was totally wrong. The 29 Evo is the best climbing 27lb DH bike I've ever ridden!
    We have a local trail that is a 20+ minute all out descent. The upper section is tight and twisty with lots of rollers and quick turns at speed. The lower section is an old railroad logging path that has long straights that switchback down the mountain.

    I've rode this trail several times on a 26" SJ Evo, and a 29" SJ Expert. On the upper section I averaged around 6:30 on the 26", but just over 7 minutes on the 29er. On the lower section, I averaged 14:30 on the 26", but 13:40 on the 29er. Top speed on the 29er was nearly 3mph faster on the lower section, but 2mph lower on the upper section.

    On a different trail that is really tight and twisty, with tons of technical sections, roots, and short steep climbs and descents my best on the 26" is 14:50, but my best on the 29" is 16:01. The longer wheelbase on the 29er makes it tougher to fit thru some sections, and there isnt enough.

    I'm also 5'10 160, so I cant toss around a 29er as easily as a bigger guy might, but I do have a lot of seat time on both sizes.

  17. #17
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    Torepuma - thanks for your imput. After talking to some others I think I'm going to go with the Talas...it'll probably be the better fit for the type of riding I will do from time to time when I'm not on my XC bike

    Mr.Lynch - What makes you think you can't lower the Talas to 150? The SJ EVO Expert comes with a 34 Talas 150. Did you get this info from Fox?

    Thanks,
    James

  18. #18
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    I have a fox 34 on my 2013 SJ Evo, and I wanted to run it at 150.

    This info is what I was told directly from Fox. The Talas 34 forks cannot be changed, only the Float, and only by 10mm. I wanted to run a Fox 34 150 on my 2013 SJ Evo, but I want a black fork. The float comes in white and the Talas comes in black, so I bought a Talas, swapped the Talas cartridge for a Float, and added the 10mm "shuttle bumper" to drop it to 150. The Fox guy said that next years aftermarket Fox 34 Talas forks should come in a 150 option, but for now 160 is the only aftermarket option.

    I have the Talas cartridge in a box now, and there is nothing I can see that could be done to change the travel on it to 150.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    I have a fox 34 on my 2013 SJ Evo, and I wanted to run it at 150.

    This info is what I was told directly from Fox. The Talas 34 forks cannot be changed, only the Float, and only by 10mm. I wanted to run a Fox 34 150 on my 2013 SJ Evo, but I want a black fork. The float comes in white and the Talas comes in black, so I bought a Talas, swapped the Talas cartridge for a Float, and added the 10mm "shuttle bumper" to drop it to 150. The Fox guy said that next years aftermarket Fox 34 Talas forks should come in a 150 option, but for now 160 is the only aftermarket option.

    I have the Talas cartridge in a box now, and there is nothing I can see that could be done to change the travel on it to 150.
    I think you may have spoken to wrong person over there at Fox. You can purchase part # 820-02-154-KIT to change a Fox 34 26 160-120 Talas to a 150-120 Talas. The kit retails for $75.00 so you can expect to pay a little less.

    Maybe the rep was talking about the Float lowering vs the Talas lowering. The Float lowers the travel with a spacer (reducer) on the spring side. You cant do this on a Talas, the Talas requires you to lower it on the Air/Talas side via the kit.

    Just an FYI

  20. #20
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    Great info! Rep 4 u!
    When I ordered my 34 they said the Talas only came in 160-120 and you couldn't drop it to 150 like the float. If I find the 150 not to my liking on the climbs I'll definitely order that talas kit. I didnt drop my old revelation very often, but it was nice to have on a few of the longer climbs.

    The same guy also sent me the upper air valve assembling for my fork when I all I needed was the cap, so I dont doubt he didnt really know much about parts.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_95 View Post
    I think you may have spoken to wrong person over there at Fox. You can purchase part # 820-02-154-KIT to change a Fox 34 26 160-120 Talas to a 150-120 Talas. The kit retails for $75.00 so you can expect to pay a little less.
    Sorry to bring this old post back to life.

    To reduce Talas 34 (26") from 160 to 150, do I only need to order part# 820-02-154-KIT or also 820-05-247-KIT which is the top cap assembly for 150mm?

    Thx

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