You’ve seen it here first folks, for the first time in print in South Africa… a review of the epically cool Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie. Words by Karl Ebel, photos by Ashlee Attwood.
The first thing that grabbed my attention when I laid eyes on the Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 27.5+ was the most amazingly detailed front triangle. Milliseconds thereafter the 27.5 Roval Traverse wheel-set sporting 27.5+ Ground Control rubber drew my attention. My immediate thought was how on earth will those feel… on earth. I have spent some time in the past on fat bikes so I have a good idea of where their limits lie… but where exactly would this ‘in-betweener’ fit? So to find out I loaded it up and took it to my favourite hill.
Unloading the S-Works Stumpy 27.5+ I couldn’t help pausing to appreciate the carbon candy of the front triangle showing off in the morning sun. It is truly a work of art. One can immediately appreciate the professionalism of this company as your occipital lobe absorbs the high-tech composite mastery and a smile uncontrollably starts to grow across your face. In my opinion they totally aced it in the aesthetics department. Immense amounts of commitment and design have been incorporated into the engineering for the front triangle to include the SWAT ‘glove compartment’. At first I thought “gimmicky” but after living with it I changed my mind to “innovative”. The S-Works SWAT pretty much eliminates the need for a full size hydration pack, thus freeing one to totally experience this Stumpy.
I loved that the multi tool had its own storage spot on the frame and that there was a spare masterlink in the steerer. I loved that the SWAT storage compartment could even stash some food for the trail and at the same time lower the CG of the bike with the addiction of ones pump, or bombs. Attention to detail is what Specialized are all about. They extended that philosophy to the aesthetic detailing found on all the Specialized components such as the organic flow of the frame,the hidden cable routing, the chain stay guard and the detailed FSR pivot bolts just to name a few.
I followed my usual test protocol and aimed the 67.5 degreed head angle of the Stumpy down the hill. I had set the Fox suspension to trail and then proceeded to let her rip. The trail that I had chosen wasn’t a super technical descent but it was pretty fast in places and had a variation of corners, both tight and open, cambered and off.
My very first concern rolling in was the feedback I would be receiving from the 3” Ground Control tires. Would they counter the effect of the suspension? Would they burp?
I prepared myself for the slightly loose but bermed first corner. I tipped the bike in and was amazed by the positive feel that I received. The transfer across to the edge of the tire was really progressive and didn’t in anyway feel nervous. I was equally amazed at the amount of side grip this size tire gave. The next thing that became apparent was how alive the bike feels on the trail. The spring effect from the pneumatics is obviously exaggerated with this tire size. The combination of that, the Stumpy’s light weight and the superb Fox suspension encourages you to find little transfer mounds all along the trail. It just wanted to pop from one mound to another and from one root to the next. With the outside diameter being close to a 29er the speed one carries down the trail was unlike a regular 650b. I felt a slight gyro effect initially but I soon adapted and heck it was worth it, because the smile factor was immense!
After putting the S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie through its paces on the descent I turned left, popped the Command Post up and traversed a really interesting tight little singletrack. The taller tire required a little more finessing through the really tight stuff but it certainly made up for it over the eroded, rooted out and super soft sandy stuff. ‘Big wheels keep on rolling’ and the larger contact patch helped even more.
Being a gravity merchant, climbing is not my strong point. It has, however started to grow on me a little. The 27.5+ Ground Controls really didn’t look to me like they are made for climbing at all. In fact I thought it would feel like climbing two bikes at once with that size contact area. How wrong was I? With the 28 tooth front chain ring on the SRAM XX1, 1 x 11 set-up, you can almost climb a tree on this bike. I didn’t notice the extra friction of the bigger contact patch on long climbs with the Fox in clime mode and on technical climbs the 27.5+ actually lessened the chance of getting hung up on roots and rocks.
I really enjoyed the Stumpy in the air too! It felt very agile and again not nervous at all. Overall I would have to say that the Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie is a superb all-rounder. Maybe even the ultimate all-rounder… for us trail shredding, non-stage racing folk.
Sus the Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie Geometry
RRP 124 999
All measurements are for a medium framed bike in mm or degrees.
|Head Tube Length||95mm|
|Head Tube Angle||67°|
|Top Tube Length (horizontal)||590mm|
|Stand Over Height||761mm|
|Seat Tube Length||430mm|
|Seat Tube Angle||74°|