During my trip to Crested Butte last year I fell in love. I loved the adventure of the trip, I loved the terrain, I loved the scenery. I knew that I wanted more. The bike I rode in Crested Butte, my 2013 S-Works Epic, is a great bike, but I wanted something better suited for the intended use. I found myself in a situation where I had two cross-country mountain bikes and made the decision to sell the one I rode less, and while I will miss my old hardtail, selling it opened the option for me to buy a trail bike. My criteria while looking for a trail bike were through axles front and rear, a tapered head tube, and be reasonably priced as I won’t be riding this bike much unless I’m headed out-of-state. I stumbled across a stock 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29 being sold locally for a great price and pulled the trigger.
With the new to me trail bike in hand, I contacted the good folks at Bloomington Cycle & Fitness to order some parts. I swapped out the Sram brakes in favor of Shimano XTR brakes because I’m convinced there is nothing that compares in terms of performance and reliability. I also swapped the brake rotors in favor of 203mm front and 180mm rear Shimano rotors. I swapped out the low-end Sram drivetrain with Shimano XTR shifters, XT Shadow Plus rear derailleur, and a SLX front derailleur. I choose the XT rear derailleur over XTR because of the XT having a metal cage where the XTR uses carbon. For a piece of the bike that sits low and has a good chance of seeing a rock at some point, I chose the cheaper and probably stronger option. I didn’t choose the SLX derailur as much as I was told it was the only Shimano option for the proprietary Specialized mount. Before I sold my hardtail mountain bike I removed the custom wheelset with the intention of putting them on the new trail bike. This wheelset was made of Stans Arch rims laced to DT Swiss 240s hubs. I had to have the rear hub converted to a 142 x 12mm through axle and also had the DT Swiss Star Ratchet Upgrade done to double the number of engagement points. I had to purchase a new front hub to support the 15mm through axle. I wanted to swap the stock crankset which proved more difficult than expected because of limited chainring gearing options. I settled on a Sram XO crankset with an integrated bash guard. A key component for this project was a dropper seat post. I choose a KS LEV based on recommendations of friends. The Specialized carbon handlebar is secured to the front end with a Thomson 75mm stem. A big thanks to the great folks at Bloomington Cycle & Fitness for their help sourcing parts and assembling the bike. The bike now weighs in at 28.75 pounds as pictured. I’m looking forward to the future trips this bicycle will allow me to partake in! I am headed back to Crested Butte later this summer and other trips are being planned to places like Moab Utah and Alabama!Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!