Bob’s got the bug. He’s got it bad. Bob’s retired, so he has time to devote to things he’s passionate about. One of those things has become bicycling. A couple of years ago in late fall his wife, Lisa, decided to take a spinning class. She invited Bob along. He loved it. She’s now probably wondering what she unleashed. He spun happily through the winter and once spring came around he needed to keep spinning, but he wanted to move the experience outdoors, so he bought a bike. That bike, the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er, is the subject of this edition of Bike Grits.
Bob has also taken to road riding as well and he bought a Trek Madone this year. He’s now thinking about building up a cyclocross bike (he kind of covets Tom Pilutti’s Gunnar, another Bike Grits protege…Look out, Tom!). Like I said, the hook is set. Soon he’ll be measuring out his property for a bike warehouse in order to fit them all into his expanding stable of two-wheeled wanderers.
This 2010 Stumpy Comp 29er is an out-of-the-box bike with a strong pedigree, a hearty aluminum frame, and some quality components. The upgraded models have carbon frames, and/or pricier components, and an adjoining leap in price. You can get this mid-level Comp’s frame mussed without feeling like you just scuffed up the Mona Lisa. Specialized changes things around yearly, and not just the colors, dropping and adding variations of their models. It’s a big company and I let them do whatever they want. (I imagine they follow Bike Grits doggedly to tap into the pulse of American bike culture!…I imagine a lot of things.)
This 29er is one of those bikes that can handle all kinds of riding styles, from mountain biking to commuting to…what else!…dirt road excursions. It’s 29 inch wheels (comparable to 700c wheels in diameter) roll smoothly on all kinds of terrain. Change the tire and you basically change the personality of the bike. Road tires make it a commuter, knobbies make it an mtb, and a set of cyclocross tires are ideal for dirt road cruising. Joy in one package. Bob replaced the knobbies with a pair of cyclocross tires. Though he’s tried mountain biking, he uses this Stumpy mostly on dirt roads (he lives on one…lucky guy, huh!).
The Stumpjumper is a revered name in off-road bikes. It was the first mass-production off-road bike in the US, the vision of Mike Sinyard, founder of Specialized. The Stumpjumper came out in 1981 and it met a demand. It was based on the early mountain bikes built by Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, Charles Kelley and many others in the revered California mountain bike scene of the late-70s. For $750 you had a bike that finally did dirt. It’s been refined and remorphed ever since. Bob’s Stumpy is not at all the same bike as the early model, but it fits a similar demographic.
To learn more about the early mtb scene of this bygone era go to the Klunkerz website. The past is only a video away. Buy, rent or stream the video and you’ll learn what kind of wackos these guys and women were…and still are. Roam the site and you’ll recognize some names and learn about “the scene” in all its hyper glory. It also touches on the Colorado scene taking place simultaneously.
For a complete list go here. It’ll save screen space, our contribution to the Green movement here at DRW.