A new Toy has joined the stable to replace my aging S works hard tail. I have only done a few rides on it but have already beaten a good few of my Strava PR’s on Brushy peak. I tried a 29er a few years back and hated the steering as it felt like you were trying to turn an ocean liner. The Stumpjumper feels much better and you dont notice the big wheels that much at all. 29er wheels really roll well and there is a noticeable difference between them and the 26er it replaced. I dont know if it is just the bigger wheels or a combination of the wheels and carbon frame but it the ride is very impressive (isolates a lot of trail buzz). I have nothing but good things to say about the Rockshock brain fork too as it stays firm when you need it to be (climbing out of the saddle) but is nice and plush when you hit the rough stuff. I am alsoimpressed with the 2×10 drivetrain although I am sure I would be a bit undergeared if I was to take Stumpy for a blast on the levee trails.
One question that hit me on the first long downhill was, ” How did I survive so long without Disk Brakes?”. The Magura Hydraulic Disk brakes are simply amazing. They have great modulation but still have the power to lock everything up with just 2 fingers. All in all I am very happy with the new stumpjumper but I have a few little things I need to change before nirvana is found. The bars feel much too wide for me and I think I am going to have to cut them down. I do have some concerns about cutting down the bars in that it might make the 29ers steering feel a bit lethargic but it is a risk I think I will take. I also want to fit some bar ends as climbing without them doesnt feel natural at all.
Weight wise the Stumpy isnt that much lighter than my old S works Aluminium 26er (less than 2 pounds difference) but the super stiff bottom bracket means that I can climb in higher gears so it goes up hill faster. The only real time you notice the size difference is when you put it in the car or the back of a truck where it takes up a lot more space.
I havent got the saddle position entirely correct yet but the Strava times indicate great promise.