Great thread so far. As someone who's 6'6" and has put just under a year of riding and racing on a XXL 2012 Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29 I can confidently say this bike is a dream for taller riders looking for a do everything all mountain/trail bike. Coming of an XL Trek Remedy 9 (a bike which I also loved) with 150mm travel and a 160mm 36 front fork, I finally made the switch after realizing I could have bike that actually fits me and could handle the more aggressive riding I enjoy (not to say that you have to be 6
6 to enjoy this bike). My stumpy is pretty much stock except with a fox 34 140mm fork, xtr trail pedals and wider handlebars and shorter stem. Set up tubeless it weighs in at just under 30lbs (my remedy was 32lbs) not bad in my opinion for such a large bike. The advantages I have found far outweigh the disadvantages, they include:
-Angle of attack while descending
One of the immediate things I noticed was when rolling into a steep technical section with the all too common 6-12 inch drop the front of the bike would not drop away from me as much as the 26er and would result in a lot more confidence and very few feelings of wanting to go over the bars. I have gone OTB on this bike maybe once. Whereas with my 26er remedy I would find the wheel would more commonly get stuck and need the 160mm of travel to get through these sections.
My climbing ability and more notably technical climbing has improved tenfold since buying this bike. I figure it is mainly due to a bike that actually fits me properly and the XC nature and geometry of the Stumpjumper platform. However, the confidence of the larger contact patch and rollover capabilities of the 29er wheels has had me cleaning climbs I was constantly walking on my 26er.
-Trail flow and Momentum
I am becoming tired less quickly on long rides and my riding friends have noted my improved speeds on our commonly ridden trails on the shore. This includes standard shore singletrack as well as the more machine built graded trails such as bobsled and
half nelson. The first time I dropped into half nelson I could feel the bike pick up momentum. I like to use the example of Lower Griffen on Fromme, where some sections of the trail I feel I am slightly slower than I was on 26ers but overall I feel significantly faster.
I was never the best cornering rider and it has taken some time getting used to laying the 29er over in corners like I did with my Remedy but am improving and have watched other riders slay trails with multiple tight corners on their 29er AM bikes. Wheel flex is also more noticeable on my 29er but not at all to the point I find some people have noticed in reviews.
I do love to jump (nothing insane) and I find my 29er to be more than capable. Although it is less flickable than my Remedy and I often find myself feeling more like I am along for the ride than able to whip the bike like I could with the Remedy. This has not stopped me from multiple days in the WBP and various other jump oriented trails. I find the Stumpy EVO to be very playful and have a blast on it for the vast majority of my rides.
I love this bike and find it to be one of the most versatile bikes I have ever owned. It has taken me all along the shore and sea to sky corridor, NIMBY50, NSMBA and FVMBA toonie races, Oregon Enduros, Crankworx Enduro, 4Kings, Moab, Fruita, Williams Lake, Island Cup Super Ds and SSC shuttle days and is still going strong. In my opinion you cant go wrong with this bike.
However, I am drooling over those SWORKS Enduro 29er spy shots.