Big thank you to Jared Neff for writing a very detailed and great review of the Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie. Not just thanking him because he said he loved it, but more importantly that he had almost written the bike off based on reviews he had read but instead took it out to judge for himself. It seems to me that many reviews (unless they are written by people paid to write them) are almost always negative opinions and/or negative characteristics of something. This isn't just when reviewing bikes either people! Most people who like something don't take the time to rave about it except when talking to someone in person. This is of course now his opinion but a well thought out and detailed one I'm glad he shared. Hope you do too.
Speaking as someone who is not a pro rider (duh) I am fully convinced that 27.5+ / 6Fattie is the way to go, if you aren't a serious racer, but just out to have fun.
I am very glad I have so much seat time on fatbikes; that helped me quantify how this tire feels compared to both a "normal" 2.2-2.4" mtb tire, and a 4-5" fatbike tire.
This tire size truly gives you nearly all of the traction benefits of a fatbike (on dirt), but with barely a discernible difference in pedaling efficiency compared to a "normal" tire.
I rode Bear Creek this morning, and it was misty/damp, but not muddy- so the rocks and roots were wet and slick. I was at about 16 PSI.
This tire size inspires a normal guy or gal to just rip it over whatever. I see comments online like "plus bikes are stupid, just learn to ride better..." but that's just it- this bike inspired me, in just one hour, to ride outside my comfort zone. It gave me the confidence to push myself. It was so awesome.
Cutters currently has a Fuze and Ruze hardtail for sale- nearly everything I am raving about would no doubt be present on the hardtail too- this demo ride justified to me that it was a good idea to get my wife (who hasn't ridden a bike in 20+ years) a Ruze this past Christmas.
Stuff specific to the Stumpjumper:
Firstly, I want to say that I had completely wrote this bike off before, when the Stumpy FSR 6Fattie first came out and I was starting my shopping.
Mainly, for 3 reasons:
1. Color, as seen on the website... but after seeing it in person, it's a gorgeous metallic flake, and the orange and red really pop. They need to do these bikes justice in the web pics!
2. Rim width- compared to the 6Fattie hardtails, the rims are narrower. This bugged me due to my fatbike rim and tire snobbery, and people whine about it on the internet, but in reality, I didn't mind it at all. Again, if I was pro level, would I notice some tire deflection in a hard turn? Maybe, but not for a normal rider.
3. Alleged low bottom bracket- once again, people in the forums are looking at the measurements and whining without actually riding it. I had two pedal strikes today- one was due to me climbing a ridiculous off camber line that wasn't meant to be ridden but the tires encouraged it, and one was due to me climbing up/pedalling/pumping thru an uphill rock garden, with the rear can fully open. ....So, situations that I would have likely struck a pedal on my old Transition Bandit 29.
Seriously, one hour riding it cured me of months of agonizing over forum posts and specs. I totally wrote off this bike, I was going to get another Transition or a Kona, but this ride showed me that anything I thought after reading was wrong!
This thing just HOOKS UP in tremendous fashion- I was taking gnarly lines I wish I could take on my fatbike, yet would avoid on a normal mtb; it was hilarious what the bike was encouraging me to do. It was my first experience on Specialized's FSR rear end, and it was super stable on climbs but happy to rip when it came time to head downward.
So yeah, go ride it while you can! I really think this tire size is appropriate for most of us amateurs in the LV.