A Tale of Two Stumpjumpers

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Above are two Specialized Stumpjumpers from the early 1990’s. I bought the one on the left in 1990 when I was in graduate school. It has been in near continuous operation since then and has gone through five kids. It has been used as my main mountain bike and commuter, with every combination of tires you can imagine; on numerous occasions it has been a road touring bike with slicks and panniers, and all five of my kids have used it at one time or another as their transportation around town. It has been well used and sometimes abused. When I bought a fat bike about four years ago, it fell out of use, except as an occasional touring bike for one of my kids.

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I am really attached to this bike, and could not imagine getting rid of it, so earlier this year I decided to fix it up as a town and gravel bike. Actually about two years ago my son was riding it on a bikepacking trip in the desert and crashed breaking one of the original thumb shifters. At that time I bought new rapidfire shifters and replaced the old cantilever brakes with Avid U brakes, huge improvement. In addition to new brakes and shifters, this is what I did.

• New Schwalbe Marathon tires, 1.75″

• Race Face Chester pedals

• Jones Loop Bar (the new straight gauge one), with chunky ESI grips

• Riser stem adapter (I’m getting older and prefer a bit more upright position than I used to)

• Soma Lucas mini front rack

• Wald basket zip-tied to the rack

• Brooks saddle (taken from my cargo bike)

• Specialized Fiber bottle cages

I’m really happy with the makeover. It is a super comfortable and smooth bike and has lots of life left in it. I’ve been commuting on it and it is really convenient to put my leather bag, and maybe some books in the basket. It still has the original Deore DX drivetrain.

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The Stumpjumper on the right in the first photo belongs to my son Lars. For the past three years he has been riding my Stumpjumper for our annual bike tours. He has been wanting his own bike for some time now, and really wanted something that he could use for road touring as well as dirt roads and gravel. He found a nearly identical Stumpjumper with all original parts at a local thrift store for $65. From the research we did, it looks like a 1991 model. It is identical to mine except that the lettering is in a slightly different font. He then stripped it down to the frame and rebuilt it upgrading many of the parts and converting it to a drop bar mountain bike that will serve him well on or off road.

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This is what he did with it.

• Avid Single Digit 5 brakes

• Tektro road brake levers

• silver seat post from the Provo Bicycle Collective

• Dirt drop bars similar to Salsa Woodchippers, also from the Collective for $7

• Shimano Ultegra bar-end shifters

• Schwalbe Marathon tires, 1.5″

• Planet Bike Eco Rack

• Cool retro silver bottle cages from the Collective

• Stem converter and stem

He is really happy with it and it fits him well. He learned a lot about bike maintenance putting this together and really enjoyed the project. When he would get stuck, like when he was repacking the bearings on the bottom bracket, I’d hand him a thick bicycle maintenance book, or a bike repair app on my phone, and he would figure it out. We did take a couple trips to the Bike Collective to get some help from them as well. Next week we are off on our annual bike tour and he is really excited to have his own bike, that he built. We will be mostly on roads, but do have a few dirt sections planned as well. He really wants a Brooks saddle too, like what I have on my Stumpy, but he can’t afford it right now. I think it looks great and rides great too.

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