Monday, November 23, 2009

Riding an old Stumpjumper

I've been riding a 1983 Specialized Stumpjumper somewhat regularly for at least a couple years now, in various configurations. Recently I determined that the only original parts are the frame, headset, seatpost, and shifters. Anyway, the bike sort of reminds me of a tractor, in that it's somewhat heavy and slow to maneuver, but stable and able to keep a straight line over suboptimal terrain. It's safe to say that this design fell out of favor in the late 80s when bikes with faster-handling geometry came along, but for my "mountain bike" needs, the old Stumpjumper is just fine. For that matter, suitably equipped, it also makes a fine commuter or touring bike.

Anyway, I decided to take advantage of yet another 50-degree late-November day, and went exploring. I was probably never more than 2-3 miles from HCWHQ, but at times I felt like a wilderness explorer, much the way my cycling ancestors must've felt back in 1983.

minnehaha creek

mississippi river

mississippi river

mississippi river

mississippi river

minnehaha bag


Eric P. said...

More like 1984 for me. But, yeah. That's basically my favorite "old route". Well, that, and Pike Island.

New Minnehaha handlebar bag?

KM said...

Your "ancestors" even had electricity and phones back in 1983!!

Swashbuckling Dandy said...

I have one of those with its original bullmoose handlebar. The bike weighs almost exactly as much as my "all mountain" dually, and it has the longest chainstays of any bike in the house (including a couple of touring bikes) but it does surprisingly well in the dirt. 26x2.3 tires fit with ease, too, for some bump relief.

One of these days, if I get up the gumption, I might make use of those long horizontal dropouts and put a singlespeed wheel in there. Yee Haw!