The Specialized S-WORKS StumpJumper FSR 6Fattie is, and will always be, a legitament, serial, dirt-chomper in my books! It was designed and built for one purpose; to ride-high on discovery and make trail ends meet with hastened speed!
Test & Words by: Joel Meintjes
The moment I swung my leg over the saddle, I knew immediately, this bike had its sight set on the trail, and was strictly for the thrill-seekers bunch of humans! The beastly 6Fattie wheels pulled out some wild cards, out there on the trail, pushing grip to the next-level, handling without hesitation and speed, unparalleled…
Specialized pulled out all the stops; a fully crafted carbon frame, featuring FACT 11m carbon fibre, Specialized’s highest grade! SWAT door integration on the lower tube of the frame, was where my tools took refuge, and were easily accessed when needed. Then I had the FSR rear triangle on my mind. Effective, yet as light as air!
This S-WORKS model came out with Roval Traverse SL carbon rims, with the obese 650b x 3.0” tyres, which made up the 6Fattie ‘ness that I mentioned earlier. These fat wheels, allowed me to run a lower pressure tyre set-up, which in turn, gave me phenomenal grip, and improved my confidence like you wouldn’t believe! Like I said, ‘handling without hesitation’. We ramped up every turn on the test terrain with passion!
Like I said, ‘handling without hesitation’.
The fork was represented by Ohlins RXF 36, with 150mm of travel, and featuring an air sprung system with a 3rd chamber. Together with Ohlin’s Twin Tube design and low/high compression tuning, I got a very forgiving ride out of it.
I was met with something special at the back shock, a Custom Ohlins STX with a custom tune for trail riding. This rear-shock sat really well with the 135mm travel area provided by the frame. It was air sprung with AUTOSAG technology, and with the added benefit of a 3rd air chamber, delivered me a flawless rear shock. Perfect for any trail seeker’s needs.
The S-WORKS StumpJumper was kind of like a Jaguar F-Pace, only slightly tougher. That being said, it felt comfortable, yet had that ‘itching to go’ feeling. The bike was very accommodating for my legs. With an upright position, my lungs were able to get oxygen easier, and therefore to your legs quicker. Plus, the cockpit had a spacious feel to it. Nothing was clustered together, and the handle bars were just the right width.
The frame definitely felt in proportion to the 3.0 inch wheels. With that, the 67-degree head-tube didn’t provide sloppy handling, and never made me feel that I would be going flying over the bars.
The StumpJumper 6Fattie also had some decent ground clearance, with the BB height set at 331mm and chain stay length at 437mm.
The S-WORKS treatment!
SRAM’s XX1 Eagle took care of the gear work, with a 1×12 gear range and 32 tooth chain ring in the front. The gear ratio was spot-on, as well as the Eagle technology that lived up to its name. Simply put, it provided expeditious shifting and feathery weight, thanks to the bits and pieces of carbon fibre in almost every part of the drivetrain.
The rest of the high performance grade components fell into the high price category. SRAM Guide RS Carbon brakes is just one example. The S-WORKS carbon handle bars and Specialized HENGE saddle, gave me the best two areas on the bike, where my body met the frame. High-class comfort was known and felt, the moment I got on the StumpJumper. Then there’s the added functionality of the Reverb dropper post, that freed things up for my legs on descents.
I must say, S-WORKS StumpJumper 6FATTIE did surprise me with its proficient handling and negotiation of the track in front. I have deduced that this is simply from the geometry of the frame being suited for 3.0 inch. After all, what good is fatter tyres, if you can’t handle the bike properly with the fatter tyres. Specialized definitely put thought into this aspect, and rightfully so!
After all, what good is fatter tyres, if you can’t handle the bike properly with the fatter tyres.
I’ll admit, the 6Fattie tyres did make the bike quite demanding on the legs when it came to uphill’s. However, I got through it with the ratio of the XX1 Eagle.
Downhill, the Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie, was in its natural element. A balanced and assertive dynamic, was over powering on descents. That’s a good thing though! It gave me the opportunity to be an unparalleled, speed, chaser. Therefore, putting a huge smile on my face!
With testing finished, I was directed to the question; why is the S-WORKS StumpJumper 6Fattie at the forefront of trail riding gratification? Well, I took into account the light weight design, 650b+ wheels, geometry that trail riders love, and the uprising Ohlins MTB shocks, which in fact is everything a trail rider would look for in a flawless bike! All these features make riding fun and less like staring down the barrel of a gun! Therefore, in a sense, I just proved to you how and why the S-WORKS StumpJumper FSR 6Fattie is the master over the trail you set it on!
All these features make riding fun and less like staring down the barrel of a gun!
Specialized S-WORKS StumpJumper FSR 6Fattie:
Test & Words by: Joel Meintjes