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  1. #1
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    2019 Specialized Stumpjumper ST Alloy 29 vs 2018 Scott Spark 960

    I'm getting ready to buy my 1st FS bike, after periodically riding a budget hardtail 29 for several years. My max budget is < $2000, and I've narrowed it down to either a 2018 Spark 960 or a 2019 Stumpjumper ST Alloy, and would appreciate opinions/advice on the component differences (I know that fit/comfort will trump specs). I'm 47, 5'9", and ride for fun/fitness in nor-cal.

    2018 Scott Spark 960
    Fork: Rock Shox Judy Silver RL Solo Air 15x110mm QR axle / Tapered Steerer / Reb. Adj. 2 Modes / Lockout / 120mm travel
    Rear Shock: X-Fusion NUDE Trunnion SCOTT custom w. travel / geo adj. 3 modes: Lockout - Traction Control -Descend Reb. Adj. Travel 120 - 85 - Lockout / 165X45mm
    Remote System: SCOTT TwinLoc Remote Technology
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX RD-M7000-10 SGS Shadow Plus / 20 Speed
    Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore FD-M6020-D / / side swing
    Shifters: Shimano Deore SL-M6000-I / Rapidfire Plus 2 way release
    Brakes: Shimano M396 Disc 180mm F & R / SM-RT30 CL Rotor
    Crankset: Shimano FC-MT500-B2-10 Boost 36x26 T
    BB-Set: Shimano BB-MT500-PA / shell 41x89.5mm
    Seatpost: Syncros Dropper 2.5 Remote 31.6mm / S size 100mm / M, L & XL 120mm
    Seat: Syncros XR2.5
    Hub (front): Formula CL811 / 15x110mm
    Hub (rear): Formula CT1702 / 5x141mm
    Cassette Shimano CS-HG50-10 / 11-36 T
    Rims: Syncros X-25 / 32H / 25mm Tubeless ready
    Tires: Maxxis Forekaster / 2.35 / 60TPI


    2019 Stumpjumper ST Alloy
    CASSETTE Sunrace, ED Black, 11-speed, 11-46t
    REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano SLX, Shadow Plus, GS cage, 11-speed
    FORK RockShox Recon RL, Solo Air, 51mm offset, rebound adjust, lockout, 15x110mm Boost™ Maxle® Lite thru-axle, 130mm of travel
    REAR SHOCK X-Fusion 02 Pro RL, Rx Trail Tune, rebound adjust, lockout 190x42.5mm
    FRONT HUB Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm spacing, 32h
    REAR HUB Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 12x148mm thru-axle, 32h
    RIMS Double-wall, 27mm internal width, 32H
    FRONT TIRE Butcher, GRID Casing, 2Bliss Ready
    REAR TIRE Purgatory, GRID casing, d, 2Bliss Ready
    FRONT BRAKE Tektro Gemini Comp, hydraulic disc
    REAR BRAKE Tektro Gemini Comp, hydraulic disc

    The Scott seems to have some better components, with the dropper post, and Shimano brakes. I don't know enough about front/rear suspension to know which fork/shock combo is better, or by how much.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  2. #2
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    The rims on the Stumpjumper do not appear to be tubeless-ready, unlike the Spark, but you could convert them through other means.

    But... don't buy an entry-level bike for its wheels. Hubs or rims are too easily broken, and entry-level wheels are often one of the first big replacement or upgrade expenses.

    Which brings me to what would be the decider for me: the Spark has a 141mm quick-release rear wheel. This is a newer size so replacements and especially upgrades are not widely available, and it is also a size only being used on entry-level bikes so good upgrades may never be common for this size. The 148mm thru-axle rear on the Stumpjumper will be marginally stiffer (if all other things are equal) but is also much more upgrade-able.

    The Recon fork on the Stumpjumper is a bit better than the Judy on the Spark. I don't know enough about the X-Fusion shocks to comment on that part

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