The shop received a Medium and Large demo back in September and we've had a overwhelming response from the few customers that have taken them. The first two customers to demo them returned to purchase the same model.
As far as the component spec, it has a great build for the price. Equiped with a SRAM GX 1x11 Drivetrain and a Race Face Aeffect Crank w/ a 28t narrow-wide chainring. Out of precaution we also installed a Blackspire Bruiser Chainguard on the demo's to protect the chainring. The wheels are Specialized's OEM Traverse 29mm wide rim on their sealed cartridge hubs. The Purgatory Grid 650x3.0 Tire are set up with tubes but are tubeless compatible if you'd like, Specialized includes the valves. We set them up with tubes on the demo bikes.
The chassis gets 135mm of travel powered by the Rock Shox Monarch RT with the Autosag. The Autosag is a huge help in the shop for setting up the shock for everyone that takes it out. It saves a lot of time and is really accurate so far.
The fork is a Rock Shox Revelation RL150mm and the headtube angle is 67.5. The BB height is 331mm with stock tires and 338 set up as a 29er. Sram Guide R Brakes and the Command Post with a Henge Saddle round out the cockpit set up.
Going for $3000 it really allows a rider to get into a high-end quality bike for a affordable price. It seems that the high-end pricing isn't slowing down lately with carbon wheels and all the other tidbits you can add on. This bike represents how far the technology has come in the last few years.
This past week I was able to find time to hop on the 6Fattie for a spin on some local trails. I was determined to ride despite the horrible down pour and cold weather, suited up in Gore Tex I headed out. Within seconds of riding the 6Fattie I noticed the more upright riding position compared to my current bike the Santa Cruz Bronson. It was a nice change and took a bit of stress off my shoulders. I'd slept wrong the night before and tweaked my shoulder, sleeping injuries are the worst!
As I was riding the 6Fattie I felt like I had to analyze every bump, shift, corner, shock compression and I started to ride horribly as I over analyzed every aspect of the bike. Once I got over it and just started to ride, it all clicked. The tires rolled over everything and made the ride smoother than I had imagined. The rear autosag seemed spot on and I was overwhelmed with how fluid it felt.
By this point I had warmed up and was embracing the horrible conditions and having fun. As I realized the capability of the bike I started to really push the bike to its limits in the roots and wet leaves. The 3.0" tire hooked up like nothing Id ever experienced in these types of conditions and I was getting a bit cross eyed pushing myself. I crashed subsequently on a off camber downhill section and ate it good but walked away giggling for more.
Settling back into a more reasonable pace I noticed all those things I was trying to analyzing in a more natural unforced way. So here are the key points I took away.
- Mid-Fats are just as they are called. Their right between a Fatbike and a standard mountain bike. The larger wheel has the feel of a 29er in regards to momentum but the tire has a bit of the bounce you feel in a Fatbike. Climbs better than a 29er and has more momentum going up and down stuff than a 27.5x2.3.
- The 3 inch tire is confidence inspiring in handling. You feel a lot more connected and I was able to ride incredibly confident in really slippery conditions that I would have normally slowed down more in corners and accelerated more going into hard climbs. It allowed me to pick my way up climbs and be less concerned about spinning out on roots going uphill.
- Descending was faster on fire roads or smooth track but I think I'd ride a bit more reserved on very technical rocky downhills. I feel a 27.5x2.3 tire is a bit stiffer and more predicable on what I would consider sketchy downhills. I felt like there was a bit of a waffling of the front tire on corners where I was testing the sidewall strength of the tire. Running 15psi in the front and 20psi in the rear it felt fine throughout the ride except in this situation.
- The handlebar height seemed a bit high compared to what I have been riding for a long time. There is room to move the stem down if you want to ride more aggresive but honestly it was a nice relief.
- The handlebar width at 750mm was also nice. I've been running 780mm but questioned it after riding 750mm. The cockpit just felt really comfortable.
The overall take on the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 6Fattie is that its a super capable all mountain bike. It smoothed out the ride a ton and made me question why I ride a standard 27.5x2.3 tire. I don't think I'm ready to ditch my 27.5x2.3 bike but it peaked my interest a ton and I'd like to try a beefier tire like the new Maxxis Minion 27.5x2.8 on it for comparison in some really technical riding with more rock moves where your really compressing the tire a lot in moves. The only other thing I noticed is that it may not be as fast on the flats. Up and down it seemed as fast but on the flats it had a bit of a feeling like a mountain bike on the road. You felt like you should go faster. The gearing may have had to do with this as well. I might opt for a 30t up front rather than the 28t just to see the difference.
The plus size tire is a great introduction to the sport and I think you will see the offerings grow in models from all brands and tire choices. It is a exceptionally smooth ride and for the traditionalist maybe too smooth and may take away from our roots of riding fully rigid back in the day.
Plus size tires can and should be used as a tool to get new riders on the trail. The bigger tire is really reassuring and for a new rider could mean the difference between having fun and not.
Swing by and take one out for the day.