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.

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 | 150 mm/140 mm (f/r) | 13.16 kg | € 5,499

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”

Asymmetry
The bridge between the top and seat tube promises to provide the bike with optimal stiffness and improve the connection between the grips and pedals. Whether it does what we’re told, we don’t know, but what we do know is that the bike feels extremely balanced.
Very quiet
The specially developed chainstay guard absorbs chain impacts, making the bike particularly quiet whilst riding
Better, but not perfect
The new Command Post IRcc has been improved with more stroke and no set-back. Unfortunately, it jammed a little in our review and still extends insanely fast.
High-end
Specialized specs high-end Roval Traverse-carbon wheels, but saves elsewhere, for example with the drivetrain and the handlebar. We find the mix of entry-level and high-quality components where necessary a smart choice; the light wheels contribute significantly to the bike’s agile and direct handling, as well as its brilliant acceleration.

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.

Size S M L XL
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
Head angle 66,5° 66,5° 66,5° 66,5°
Seat angle 74,8° 74,5° 74,1° 73,7°
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.

Helmet IXS TRAIL RS | Shirt ION TRAZE AMP | Shorts ION TRAZE AMP 7 | HipBag SOURCE Hipster

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.

Conclusion

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.

Strenghts

– fun on every trail
– very balanced handling
– SWAT box

Weaknesses

– not the best value
– brakes lack power


For more information head to specialized.com

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

About the author

Christoph Bayer

Christoph loves to be kept on his toes – both on the bike and in his role for ENDURO. He’s known as the guy in charge of the bi-monthly magazine and masquerades as both its editor and photographer. You’ll usually find him tearing up the mountains on his bike, soaking up the flow or tackling technical, narrow trails.