20150609_sTrail-0793_HDR
Photo c. Carson Blume/Specialized

Last year at this time, the concept of a 27.5+ wheel size was littler more than a rumor – another feather in an already very full cap. In a very short period of time middle fat sizes have gone from ideas to full blown bikes. While the bigger companies have typically been more reserved when it comes to new sizes and genres, with 650b+, or 6Fattie as they call it, Specialized is jumping straight in.

After launching their 6Fattie dedicated hardtails known as the Fuse and the Ruze at Sea Otter, Specialized was quietly waiting to launch one of the first 27.5+ full suspension bikes as well. Given the fact that the 6Fattie uses the same Trail Chassis front triangle as the new Stumpjumper FSR which was just released, the fatter FSR had to wait for its debut. Now that the curtain has been pulled back, we got a chance to check out the Stumpjumper S-Works 6Fattie FSR in person and even get in an awesome ride in Graeagle, CA…

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (3)Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (5)

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (15)

Even though the 6Fattie shares the same Trail Chassis front triangle as the standard Stumpjumper FSR, the 6Fattie is the only bike in the line up that makes use of a Boost 148×12 rear end. According to specialized, they weren’t sold on the benefits of the Boost system for standard wheels but the added tire clearance afforded by the wider hubs made it a good choice for the 6Fattie. Up front the bike again runs Boost 110×15 spacing with a Fox 34 Plus Factory fork set at 150mm of travel.

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (17)

At the rear, the 6Fattie squeezes out 135mm of travel through the FSR 6-Pack linkage and a custom Fox Float Factory DPS shock with the Specialized Rx Trail Tune.

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (11) Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (10)

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (12) Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (6)

Built with a FACT 9m carbon front triangle and a custom 6Fattie M5 aluminum rear end, the bike has clearance for the Specialized 650b x 3.0 tires with room to spare, though these tires are mounted to 30mm wide Roval Traverse SL rims. All of the full suspension 6Fattie bikes roll on 29-30mm rims as opposed to wider rims on the hardtails. Because the front triangle is the same as the standard Stumpjumper, you’ll find all of the new features including full SWAT integration, and internal cable routing with captured housing that runs from the head tube to the front of the bottom bracket.

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (8)

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (14) Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (9)

A welcome addition to the front of the bike is the new Specialized 6Fattie Purgatory Control tire which is quite a bit more aggressive than the 6Fattie ground control on the rear. Both tires are 3.0″ wide, 2Bliss ready, and 60tpi with a folding bead. After three days of riding in the Lost Sierras we were discussing the amount of flats on various bikes and compared to the mountain bikes with normal 650b and 29″ wheels, we’d estimate there were 10 flats on normal wheels and tires to every 6Fattie flat. That could be a total coincidence, but everyone, including the Legend Ned Overend, were riding the 6Fatties pretty hard.

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (18) Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (19)

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (20) Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (22)

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (25)

Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (26) Specialized Stumpjumper 6fatty 275 plus full suspension fsr  (27)

When the new Stumpjumper FSR was introduced, one of the more interesting features was also one of the most commented on, with responses ranging from “awesome”, to “terrible.” After using the SWAT door storage system on both the 6Fattie and regular Stumpjumper FSR, our vote would be in the awesome category. After more than 3 years in the making, making SWAT possible was understandably more than just cutting a hole in the downtube. Specialized had to start with tooling they knew would probably be discarded in the end as they figured out how to create mandrels to make the inner walls as smooth as the outer and still allow for them to be removed. While the final design does add an estimated 100+ grams to the frame compared to a theoretical frame that was exactly the same minus SWAT, Specialized feels that the added convenience and lower center of gravity is completely worth it – and we’d probably agree. Combined with something like the Specialized SWAT bib liners and the SWAT equipped frames, riders can carry a full complement of tools, spare tube, around 70 oz of water, food, and more – all without a hydration pack. For anything other than the biggest rides, that should be plenty for most riders.

To access the SWAT storage simply undo the clip on the SWAT door, and then remove the door along with the bottle cage. Inside you’ll find two tool wraps which are the perfect size for a spare tube and pump, though that’s just the tip. Riders were stuffing anything from light rain jackets, to extra food, and even sandwiches in their downtubes. Yes, you’re adding weight to the bike, but that weight would otherwise be on the rider making for a higher center of gravity. Better yet, after 3 days of big rides none of the bikes we rode had any hint of a rattle from items stored in the down tube. Other SWAT integration on the frame includes the ability to run the EMT Top Cap Chain Breaker, and the SWAT multitool above the rear shock.

Available later this year, the Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie will be sold along with the women’s version, the Rhyme FSR 6Fattie. Stumpjumpers will be available in the FSR Comp 6Fattie, Comp Carbon 6Fattie, Expert 6Fattie, and S-Works 6Fattie along with the FSR Carbon 6Fattie frame only. The 6Fattie Rhyme will be sold in the FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie, Comp Carobn 6Fattie, and Comp 6Fattie models. The Rhyme will have an additional XS size though the rest of the geometry looks to be the same between men’s and women’s models with the exception of component sizing like bar, stem, and seatpost length.

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 6fatty geometry

Rhyme FSR 6fattie geometry

20150609_sTrail-0971_HDR
Photo c. Carson Blume/Specialized
20150609_sTrail-1225_HDR
The forest floor littered with fresh hail. The start of a WET descent. Photo c. Carson Blume/Specialized

First Ride Impressions:

I’ll admit that while interested in plus size tires and bikes, I was a little hesitant to hop on one while out in Graeagle, CA. Here we were starting around 6K feet of elevation and I’m about to ride with a bunch of super fast riders including Ned Overend and they hand me a 6Fattie? OK, then. Honestly though, after we started climbing out of camp towards the summit of Mills Peak there wasn’t one point in which I even thought to myself about wishing I was riding something else. The big tires climbed much better than they should, no doubt helped by the carbon rims.

After climbing around 1,900 feet, we reached the summit and prepared for the nearly 10 mile descent down Mill’s Peak Trail (if you haven’t ridden it, it’s worth the trip). Blasting down loose, decomposed granite trails, there were many situations where the added footprint of the tire was quite welcome. The added heft and rotational mass of the wheel and tires did take some getting used to – once they get going, really going, it can be harder to change direction quickly than on a regular mountain bike, but given the intent of the big tires in the Specialized line up, they seem to deliver a confidence inspiring ride at anything less than ludicrous speed. If you ask Specialized, they break the wheel sizes down like this – 650b is the most nimble, the 6fatty offers the most control, and 29 offers the greatest speed. I’m not about to give up standard mountain bikes in favor of 6Fatties across the board, but there is no denying the added control and confidence having those big treads underneath you provides.

Towards the bottom of the Mill’s Peak trail the tires really came into their own – especially on account of the weather and trail conditions. After a freak storm pelted us with hail, torrential rains made the remaining trail into a combination slip and slide and luge track. Even though I was riding with a number of shredders who normally could leave me in the dust, the fatter tires had me riding their rear wheels as they struggled for traction. To the haters of the half shell/goggle look, on this run goggles were a complete necessity.

Maybe the biggest takeaway from the ride, is that the 6Fattie rides just as well as the standard Stumpjumper FSR suspension wise, only with a bit more bite.

specialized.com

35 COMMENTS

  1. The natural reaction is to say something daft here. But you know, after reading the ‘ride impression’ and thinking about it, hell, why not? With more and more carbon coming on tap, bikes are (in theory) getting lighter so why not use that advantage to offset something like a fat tyre? The added grip, up and down is a good thing and if the overall package is ‘about the same weight’…

    I do wonder, and maybe someone can pipe in here, how does the steering feel? One would think with a heavier tyre and a substantially larger contact patch, the steering would start to feel heavy, or is that all really academic and in real world conditions you don’t notice it?

    The other plus I see here is that the bigger, softer footprint will be kinder to trails… in theory.

  2. @Antipodean_G: “I do wonder, and maybe someone can pipe in here, how does the steering feel? One would think with a heavier tyre and a substantially larger contact patch, the steering would start to feel heavy, or is that all really academic and in real world conditions you don’t notice it?”

    Did you read the entire article?

    “The added heft and rotational mass of the wheel and tires did take some getting used to – once they get going, really going, it can be harder to change direction quickly than on a regular mountain bike, but given the intent of the big tires in the Specialized line up, they seem to deliver a confidence inspiring ride at anything less than ludicrous speed.”

  3. 30mm rims on a B+? You wonder if they ever built a prototype or just threw it in CAD then sent the drawing to Taiwan. I’ve used 35mm in a pinch and it just wasn’t enough. It worked, but not as well as a 45mm wide Dually or 52mm Scraper. Gotta support the tire to get the psi down to get some traction!

  4. Neat bike but I’m with Sevo on this one. 30mm rim profile? That has to be sucking the potential out of that tire size in terms of real traction and casing contour. Get ready for a lot of “New and Improved” marketing to come out when people ask for a design that carries a more complete thought process.

  5. Our passion doesn’t need to be dictated by the industry. Ride what you ride and let it go.

    It’s human nature to push things beyond necessity. THAT is purely a personal opinion.

    Empty and be full.

    Personally, I try to live by that. Riding included.

  6. Remember the last time there were bikes for every riding nitch? I do. The demand isn’t going to last this time around either. The market will crash again and companies will be forced to thin the lineup. We need more bike catagories about as badly as we need to run into a tree at 30+ mph. People wake up! If you really want to improve your riding go to a skills camp. Ride with people that ride better than you.

  7. meh while its a little “small” for a fatty to ride in the snow, it seems like a nice intermediary one. pretty sure its more fun to ride than a “Real FS fatty” specially if u have to climb a little with it.

  8. “All of the full suspension 6Fattie bikes roll on 29-30mm rims as opposed to wider rims on the hardtails”

    Why the difference?
    As has been pointed out, a 3″ tyre on a 30mm rim doesn’t make sense.

  9. Waiting for BR to ride the new Scott line-up with the nice fat Syncros rims….as noted by others, it makes more sense than what Sinyard’s people did considering the application.

  10. I think both @Rickstar and @Bikethrasher make good points. I do believe, like Rickstar, that it’s human nature to push (and want) things beyond necessity. I’m guilty of it myself from time-to-time.

    But then Bikethrasher makes an excellent point in that the current model is not sustainable. The small LBS must be going out of their minds with the additional niche models. Especially ones in small markets like where I live.

    And back to Rickstar, ride what you want. If anything, we have more choices than ever. I’m off to ride my Nimble9 with 2.35 Ikons front and rear – all the technology, volume and traction I need. 🙂

  11. Why 27.5+ and not 29+? Ive heard the 27.5+ tires are heavier. Treks chupacabra 29+ is half the weight? Ive ridden the 29+ on fat bike frame and love it.

    I agree on the narrow rim issue. Ive been ridden both 38 and 50mm rims. Gotta go with the 50 mm on the plus wheels.

  12. “As has been pointed out, a 3″ tyre on a 30mm rim doesn’t make sense.”

    And yet a 25mm rim apparently makes perfect sense to the bulk of the MTB market and is, in fact, considered to be a wide rim by many including the entire DH market.

    “3.0” tires are commonly 185mm bead to bead. This makes them 15-20% larger than the largest conventional MTB tires. Scaling up a 25mm rim to “+” size produces a 30mm, not 40mm and certainly not 50mm that’s being pushed as a standard.

    The problem isn’t that 30mm doesn’t make sense, it’s that people are victims of marketing and lack critical thinking skills. There are some that believe that 30-35mm is the best rim width for the 3″ size. Too wide rims produce undesirable handling side effects.

  13. I’m in the camp that 30mm is just too narrow for the 3.0 inch tires. I’m running Chupacabra 29×3.0 mounted to Velocity Blunt 35s on my Krampus, and I wouldn’t go any narrower without feeling like I’m losing something. On the Blunt 35s, it rides more like a regular trail bike with lots more rollover and traction, and less like a fat-bike.

  14. @Nat- I am pretty sure the 30mm number above is INNER width. Which would be exactly the same as your Blunt35’s. So, are you now in the camp that this bike has the correct rims, based on what you are riding (30mm inner width and 3″ tire)?

  15. I tend to think wider tires will eventually become the norm. The 27.5+ 2.8-3.0″ might be the sweet spot. I haven’t ridden one yet, but a 29+ was impressive, smoothing the ride on dirt trails while opening up previously unrideable territory.

    No, the big tires are not going to be the choice for racers or people who care most about speed on typical trails. They do add increased stability and maybe a safety factor, sometimes requiring less skill to get past obstacles.

    With all the follow up of fat bikes with 27.5+ and more 29+ coming out, it seems to be happening. 29ers became popular for similar reasons. Just my opinion! Won’t be for everyone.

  16. I’m waiting for the weekend-warrior to start claiming that they can isolate and feel frame stiffness (or lack thereof) before wheel flex and tire squirm.

    I love how many Michael Schumachers there are in the MTB world, people that claim they can notice a 0.00004º change in HT angle. Riiiiight.

  17. I will say, the scott setup seems a bit more thought-through… they did testing and found 2.8″ tires to be the sweet spot instead of full 3″, they seem to be running wider rims, and they calculated the increased tire patch versus extra rolling resistance (they’re claiming 1%). I do love me some stumpy though so I’ll most likely wind up riding this one.

    oh and a niggle- “All of the full suspension 6Fattie bikes roll on 29-30mm rims as opposed to wider rims on the hardtails. ” I think you meant 27.5-30mm there.

    • @boomhauer, according to the spec sheet the Traverse SL rims are 30mm wide, and the Traverse rims are 29mm wide, that’s where the 29-30mm comes from.

  18. I was at the industry release for this with Sam and Brad Benedict, they said that when trying out the wider rims (which they already designed…in carbon) they noticed no increase in performance just more weight, so they went with the same 30 mm internal traverse fattie SL that they use on the normal SWORKS stumpy. Also, those scotts look good but they are still single pivot with only a complicated lockout to compensate. The syncros wheels look good but their suspension is pretty meh.

  19. @kevin, not really odd considering they have been pretty vocal about 29 being an “ideal” size. 27.5 (590mm) rim +3″ tire = 29.2″ total. ding ding ding. It falls in line with their philosophy.

  20. I always go for the fattest tires i can ride with and still not fall behind in my group xc rides. After following the latest developments, I just got the ibis 941s and the WTB trailboss 2.4s for my tallboy ltc and wow what an amazing difference. I like the idea of the 27+ 29+ but it is overkill on most trails. there is no doubt carbon wheels and fatter tires make riding faster and smoother and im looking forward to exploring the limits of fatter tires on my 29r. We now need more choices between 2.4 and 3.0. my tallboy ltc can handle a larger tire but i agree with @Boomhauer that 2.8 is probably the limit, then it gets too bouncy or heavy. please WTB, make a 29 x 2.6 TrailBoss.

  21. SBC claim that they have a higher RRP compared to other brands because they put so much money into industry leading R&D “innovation as they call it” and yet they still seem to stuff up a simple thing like a rim width to match a 3.0 tire width because they’re in a rush to get this bike out before there competitors. I think its funny they were releasing 29 SJ framesets with 27.5 wheels in them because they were to stubborn on 29 and left it to late to design and manufacture anything proper. I don’t trust this corporate joke of a brand. There innovation sucks, I would rather get a puncture and have to ride home on my rim then keep a tube in a fugly swat box.

  22. @bazookasean

    Haha, are you kidding me? Only engineers/product managers/pro riders/people-that-have-tried-it-before-it’s-knocked hang out here.

  23. Didn’t mention it in this article, but one of the things I like about 27.5+ (that even hurts to type) is that most bikes can also support regular 29″ wheels – so you can have a burly set of 27.5 wheels for going through the rough, and a faster set of 29er wheels to do the cross country thing.

    Of course, with new hub and axle standards every week, you can’t simply swap wheels from one bike to another…

  24. @’Merika Apparently I’m not the only one who rides with a number of MTB Schumachers..”I changed my pedals to (less reliable) ones that weigh 30 grams less. BIKE IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT!” “It doesn’t have a 12mm through-axle? Totally worthless frame!” I will give them credit though, nobody complains about the SWAT kit’s functionality.

  25. I normally don’t read/follow (or add) comments/blogs but boredom (and curiosity) led me to read some of the comments on this NEW standard and I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty disappointed. I can see the points/concerns with running large rubber on the 30mm but the bashing on this NEW standard is pretty comical! I’m am curious on how many have even ridden a PLUS bike? I recently picked up a FUSE EXPERT 6FATTIE and I can tell you that it has been a total HOOT to ride! I have ridden all types of bikes/disciplines throughout the past 20 years and I truly believe that the bicycle industry is on to something special here. Now, I can’t comment on the performance of the 6FATTIE FSR or any full suspension “mid-fat” bike nor do I believe that this is the death of our beloved “normal” full-sus rigs but I do believe that pushing boundaries and outside the box thinking is ALWAYS a good thing. I’m sure that there will be a few bugs and growing pains but I applaud bicycles companies for shaking things up (yes! most whom are the industry giants – probably due to the fact that they may actually have the finances and resourses to push the limits). Admittedly, when I first pick up the FUSE, I was wondering if I just waste my hard earned money BUT two minutes into my first dirty outing cemented that this was one of my greatest bicycle purchases ever! I am considering swapping out the stock 3.0 tires with a set of WTB’s 2.8 Trail Boss but I may wait for the release of the 2.8 Nobby Nics or Rocket Rons – I too believe that the 2.8 may be the sweet spot for the mid fat set-up. Oh, and I’m still laughing on “ugly swat”‘s comment about SPECIALIZED be a corporate joke! Cheers!

  26. Just saw the comp version of this in my LBS today and have been waiting for a full susp “plus” bike!!! I demo’d the Stache 29+ for 2 weeks and loved it, but still wondered if a full susp was the way to go for me.

    Well since the comp is LESS than the Stache 29+ hard tail…that helps to make my choice! LOL!

    I LOVE the 3.0 size and think that this will be the bike to replace my 1993 Klein Rascal.

    As for those who poo poo the idea of yet another category, I can tell you that for those of us who grew up doing fine on the 26inchers since the early ’90’s, the plus category has come out just in time for us “old-timers” who want more comfort, confidence, control, and traction so we can still ride the trails without fear of crashing. It’s not a matter of going to a “skills camp”, but as you get old, reaction time, vision, and other things don’t work like they used to when we were in our 20’s.

    So kudos to the bike companies for coming out with a category for those of us who have entered into our 50’s–the plus bikes were made just for us! (And newbies as well.)

  27. 2.6-2.8…35-40 int rim dhf minions 160 fox 36 20 mil axle on my Troy don’t get much better sick thru rock gardens n bombs the decents

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