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Bike opinion

By Rich de Pom - Posted on 05 February 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Going to change my steed after 7 years of service and do not know if I should go for the Giant Reign or Specialized Stumpjumper Pro. My riding is Manly Dam and Oxford Falls and I dont go completely crazy and do loads of jumps but would like to know of anyone either has these bikes, especially the Specialized as it has the Brain. Any input would be great.


ive been riding mountain bikes for nearly 20 years now and i say go the specialized. ive got an epic with the brain and it does exactly what its meant to do. great bikes!

Hi Rich

Both bikes are very nice. The reigns appears to be a little more heavy duty with more rear suspension. The stumpy pro is fairly light & makes a very nice all mountain XC bike. It probably all comes down to your riding style.

I bought a 07 stumpy pro late last year & cant fault it in any way(except the seat, it was uncomfy & I also managed to break it over the weekend), the bike is light, with ample suspension & a good mix of compontents, also has the brain rear shock which works awsome.

Everyone I have spoken too with specialized bikes say they wouldnt swap them for anything, I agree with them its my favourite toy.

What sort of riding do you mostly do & how much do you want to spend? The stumpy pro will set you back close to 6 grand retail.

Hope to see you out on the trails at some stage on your new bike.

I have a 2006 Reign 2 and I did my first time at Manly Dam this weekend...even though I did walk some of the technical sections fearing for my life there wasn't anything else that felt like the bike had trouble with. I wouldn't think theres anything at Manly Dam to bottom out the Reign suspension. I scored the Reign 2 late last year when they wanted to get rid of 2006 stock and got 20% off (around $2.5k in the end)

I have an 06 expert 120 and cant fault it ride wise. It goes everywhere i have the guts to go. Manly down to the creek flat out or red hill in the technical stuff. Oxford falls XC loop down the hill towards the lake is a blast too at high speed. Havent broken anything yet on me or the bike. Its efficient enough too. Yeah I like it a lot.

It has got me out some sticky spots and improved my riding a lot.

The only thing is that in sticky mud conditions the back wheel can clog up because there aint much clearance to the frame. That is with the standard tires which are 2.3 or close to it (although labelled 2.1).

My other bike is a Giant XTC hardtail which was also a top ride but not upto the riding I want to do now.

I chose the stumpy because it is a very simple design with less moving parts in the rear. It was also very well spec'd.
Mine was a lot less than 6K too.

Check out a few bikes and see how they feel. You can get demo bike most of the time which should help you in the decision.

How about a Yeti 575?

Good Luck with the search.

The Specialized equivalent of the Giant Reign is the Specialized Enduro.
I have a 2004 model Enduro and I am very happy with it. Does everything I want it to do.
I do everything from XC to light downhill/freeride. It climbs very well too.
The Stumpjumper is a very nice bike, but the Enduro is a bit more solid. The Stumpjumper is lighter, so that would be important if racing...

Thanks for the comments guys. Looks like the Specialized wins by a long shot. I have seen it advertised(Im not telling)and love the look of it. I did like the Giant as well but needed reassurance but asking the masses.

I have seen one built up in black at the City depot in Kent St and loved it. But hen I saw the price tag and nearly cried.

I'd be very surprised if the Specialised won by a long shot! Giant seem to be winning all sorts of friends these days for well specced bikes with good geometry and a good price.

Also for your type of riding you could well go for a Trance rather than a Reign and the Trance is an excellent all rounder.

Nobody seems to have mentioned Cannondale either, unmistakably good bikes and a Rush or Prophet would be well worth a test ride, also Scott seem to be coming to the party too.

Ellsworth, Santa Cruz and Yeti might be out of your price range, not sure, but have a look out for deals on these, I picked up a Heckler from their distributor dirt cheap and it's an absolute dream to ride. If you're committed to a long term affair with your bike then spend as much as you can on the frame and forks as everything else gets replaced eventually and the frame and fork design/size/quality will impact your experience more than anything else.

Have a look out for good deals too, spend a while doing rounds of the bike shops (CBD, Bike Addiction, Burwood Cycles especially) they'll mostly have ex-dem or last years models which are just as good as this years and a lot cheaper. Last time I was in Burwood Cycleworld I think there was a Santa Cruz Blur and an Ellsworth something going cheap.

Most importantly don't let anyone tell you what you need until you've test ridden it and you're sure it's the right type and size for you, and take your time cause you'll have to live with it for a long time if you rush it and get it wrong.

Further to your distress at the 575 price, don't take shop prices as read, if you shop around you can cut the cost by as much as 50%, try going direct to the distributor or shopping abroad, ie. US though shipping on a full bike might be prohibitive, frame and build kit though might work.

Sometimes paying the bike shop in cash can knock off 10-20% straight away. Keep it in mind.


Some bike shops have demo bikes you can borrow for a trial and Supreme Cycles at Narrabeen have Specialized bikes you can borrow.

I don't know how it works but you can contact them on 9913-1881.


P.S. I vote for the Stumpy - I love mine

Thanks for that Paul I might just do that. And thanks for the number. Does yours have The Brain, and if so how does that work and does it really make a difference. I may just put this out as another post.


No, my Stumpy has a Fox air shock (Sepatune). It has Pro-pedal which means it should only compress when I hit a bump and not react to pedal strokes - this works.

This is my understanding of The Brain and how it works - hopefully its not all bullsh*t.
The Brain is a seperate reservoir with an inertia valve. The inertia value is like a ball bearing sitting on top of the value to seal it - pedalling doesn't dislodge the ball bearing so the value stays shut (no compression), hitting a bump dislodges the ball bearing which releases pressure and the shock compresses.

Both work


My stumpy has the brain, it is different to the one fitted to the epic I think(no lock out)? It works just like any regular air shock except it has the remote air reservoir which allows you to adjust the air pressure with out the use of a pump, you will still need a shock pump to get the basic set up & occasional top ups. The shock still has the normal rebound type adjuster knob.

It all works very well although I wouldnt by the bike just for the brain, have a look also at the expert, I test rode one of them & it performed very nicely, in my honest opinion the expert is much better value for money at around $4300.

Other things to consider are the brakes on the pro are the magura marta, very nice brakes, but near impossible to get pads for from most shops. I have only found two shops that carry them & one is no longer in bussiness. The expert has the shimano brakes, which make getting pads alot easier.

Either way there both great bikes.

One other thing to note about the Magura's is they can be hard to get correctly aligned. They bolt directly to the frame/fork rather than the usual arrangement of having an adaptor bolt to the frame/fork and the caliper bolt to this. The implication being that to change the alignment on the Maguras you need washers, whereas with a standard mounting you can usually shift the caliper left/right on the adaptor. Have a look at one in a shop and you'll see what I mean.

Well Im going for a ride at the dam after work and see if anyone around has a Brain (yes that does sound a bit wierd) and check it out. Basically there is one Stumpjumper on sale on ebay and looks the biz with the Brain which I thought was only on the epic. I know what people are going to say about buying from ebay but I will check it all out properly. I dont know what brakes it has but I will find out. I may also just go and get a Giant as it would be hard for me to try out a Yeti as there are all made to order, and I may spend a fortune on something I may not like.
Thanks again for everyones input. It is appreciated.

I got a friend with an older stumpjumper with upgraded new model suspension and all.
Its in top condition if you want to check out a pre loved dually.
Let me know and I can check if its still available. It would be a good price if it is.


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