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Feb. 28, 2024, 6:18 a.m. -  Vincent Edwards

I never got to try that 145mm travel Hei Hei, but I remember your \[favorable\] review from back then. I did test ride the aluminum 2016 XC model, and really enjoyed it.  I have an Epic Evo from the current (outgoing) generation. It’s probably the fastest bike I’ve ever owned, and very nearly accounts for the amount I’ve naturally slowed down since 2016. Late last year I got curious… was the comparatively unforgiving suspension down to the flex-stay… or the shock / tune? I swapped to a Cane Creek DB inline 190x42.5 giving the bike about 115mm of rear travel, and then put a 130mm Fox34 \[fit4\] on the front end. For where I ride, I don’t think the bike is any slower in this new configuration. It’s definitely more comfortable though!  I still agree with you that there’s something inherently stiff and energetic in the flex-stay system.  I’d love to hear from some Stumpjumper owners here in regard to a 130mm trail bike that uses flex stays.  (I’ve heard some whispers from the rumor mill that we may see a new 130mm bike from Specialized this year… and it may not continue the flex-stay tradition… time will tell) Looking forward to your upcoming review in a few weeks. I hope you’re enjoying those epic XC rides in the meantime.

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