It’s likely hard to find a mountain bike better known than the venerable Specialized Stumpjumper. It’s been on the market for almost 40 years and has always been one of the benchmarks in its segment. Earlier this year, Specialized introduced its latest version and we’ve had a chance to extensively review the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29.
The Specialized Stumpjumper is a bike with broad appeal. From relaxed trail riders to enduro racers looking for a light, responsive racing machine; the Stumpjumper appeals to a wide variety of riders. For our review, we chose the Expert 29 model with 140 mm of travel at the rear and 150 mm at the front. The € 5,499 bike comes with a full carbon frame including a super practical and expanded SWAT box. With plenty of storage space in the down tube you can almost always leave your backpack at home. Visually, the asymmetrically positioned shock is probably the most unique feature. An additional bridge next to the shock promises to provide the optimal balance of stiffness and makes the bike stand out from the rest. The rather discreet paintwork accentuates the design. Eye-catching logos and lettering are not necessary on this bike.
Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 in detail
Fork RockShox Pike RC 150 mm
Shock RockShox Deluxe RT 140 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle
Seatpost Specialized Command Post IRCC
Stem Specialized Trail 45 mm
Handlebars Specialized Trail 780 mm
Wheels Roval Traverse Carbon
Tires Specialized Butcher GRID/Purgatory GRID 2,6”
Specialized has opted for a clever mix of affordable and high-end components. You won’t have any riders drooling over the SRAM Guide R-brakes. It’s a completely different story with the lightweight Roval traverse carbon wheels. Specialized has deliberately invested a little more money in the parts that have a noticeable effect on handling and saved on less important components. They’ve got a sensitive RockShox PIKE fork at the front, and the gears are taken care of by a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain. Most of the remaining components come directly from Specialized. Together with the frame, the American brand has finally redesigned their seat post. The new Command Post IRcc now offers 160 mm of stroke, but it still shoots up just as fast as its predecessor – be careful, or you’ll be in a world of pain.
The geometry of the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29
As with its predecessor, the geometry of the new Stumpjumper is anything but extreme. So it’s not surprising that you feel comfortable from the get-go. As a 180 cm tall rider, you’re sat upright but very comfortably on the size L bike. The rather slack seat tube angle gives the impression of sitting a little too far back on very steep climbs, but you’ll be rewarded with a lot of traction on technical climbs. Nevertheless, we decided to set the saddle further forward than we would usually. Thanks to the light wheels, the Stumpy accelerates willingly and sprints forward if you put the power down. If you like extended rides, you will love this bike.
|Seat tube||380 mm||410 mm||455 mm||505 mm|
|Top tube||572 mm||595 mm||628 mm||662 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||95 mm||125 mm||140 mm|
|Chainstay||437 mm||437 mm||437 mm||437 mm|
|BB drop||33 mm||33 mm||33 mm||33 mm|
|Wheelbase||1.149 mm||1.169 mm||1.201 mm||1.231 mm|
|Reach||405 mm||425 mm||445 mm||470 mm|
|Stack||614 mm||614 mm||641 mm||656 mm|
On the trails
It’s not just on the climbs where the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 is a composed performer, its ‘all-rounder’ abilities extend to the descents too. The handling is very balanced and agile. You won’t be breaking speed records with the Stumpjumper, but you’re guaranteed to master all downhill trails. It changes direction playfully; the handling is excellently balanced and thanks to the low bottom bracket you’re perfectly positioned between the bike’s wheels. The AUTOSAG valve, which featured on earlier versions, is no longer present on the new Stumpjumper. That doesn’t really make setup any harder though. The suspension isn’t excessively progressive, happily using the available travel, yet it doesn’t wallow and manages to transmit enough feedback.
Paired with the lightweight wheels, the stiff frame and fast rolling tyres you easily pick up a lot of speed on flowing trails and easy singletrack. However, if the roots and ruts become larger and the rock gardens longer, the bike lacks some composure. Here you’ll notice the low rotating mass of the wheels. The bike is never nervous or unpredictable, but it will let you know when it’s time to reduce your speed. Speaking of reducing speed: on long descents, it wouldn’t hurt to have something more powerful than the SRAM Guide R brakes. If you usually ride in very mountainous terrain, we recommend upgrading to a CODE. The low slung top tube gives you lots of room to move around and inspires you with confidence. One highlight: the specially developed chainstay guard effectively suppresses all chain noise.
The new Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 is a bike for an extremely wide range of applications. From short after-work rides, alpine tours over several days to a hard-riding shuttle day, this bike can do it all. It is in no way extreme and that is its greatest strength. If you’re looking for the definition of the perfect do-it-all mountain-bike, this is it.
– fun on every trail
– very balanced handling
– SWAT box
– not the best value
– brakes lack power
For more information head to specialized.com
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer