No bike has embodied this fun-loving, trail-munching genre better than the Specialized Stumpjumper, which has become a legend on the scene in the past decade. With such a heritage behind it, the latest Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29 definitely has a lot to live up to.
Specialized have a problem: they’re just too damn popular. Take the Stumpjumper Pro, for example, which was already sold out when we put in our request for its presence in this group test. They then shipped the Expert model, which is on par in terms of sweat-inducing excitement. As you’d expect from Specialized, the bike features a ton of great features like the familiar Autosag valve to simplify suspension setup, the not-to-be-underestimated SWAT box for storage in the downtube, and the integrated minitool in the rear shock mount. The rest of the spec continues on the same soaring tangent, with well-considered components that deliver a good performance, albeit a bit more economical and more in line with its € 4,999 asking price. The RockShox suspension is made up of a PIKE RC fork with 150 mm of travel and a Monarch RT3 rear shock with 135 mm. Their performance supplements the great SRAM GX 1×11 drivetrain and Specialized’s own Butcher and Slaughter tires.
No matter which Specialized bike you ride, there’s always that same sense of smugness that it’s pedaling well and you can just get on with the ride. There’s none of that “Hold on, I’m just getting used to it,” as the Stumpjumper handles as if it’s always been part of the family. This engaging, sorted handling is largely thanks to its fairly short, moderate geometry (the size large has a reach of just 431 mm). The Stumpy winches its way up hills with ample traction in technical sections. However, accelerations aren’t its forte, as its 13.61 kg load puts the brakes on how fast it’ll move. Its rear suspension is fairly linear, with a fairly keen move into its travel, but there’s a really pleasant end progression that lends it a plush feeling. It definitely works well alongside the 150 mm fork to add a lot of comfort to the ride. With a bottom bracket drop of 33 mm, the riding position is optimal and the Stumpjumper comes alive in every type of corner. Racers might hanker for the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert to be longer and slacker, but everyone else will love to flick and pick lines with its agile handling and predictability.
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 29 in Detail
Fork: RockShox Pike RC
Shock: RockShox Monarch RT3 Trail Tune
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM X1/GX
Seatpost: Specialized Command Post IRCC
Stem: Specialized Trail Alu
Handlebar: Specialized Trail 750 mm
Tires: Specialized Butcher/Slaughter
Wheels: Roval Traverse 29
The Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29 is more than deserving of its legend moniker! This bike delivers an incredibly balanced handling package and sports many intelligent details. A top-notch bike for long rides and adventures, the Stumpjumper can also cut a mean figure on your home trails!
- Predictable handling
- Killer in the corners
- Very comfortable
- Slow to pick up the pace
For more information head to specialized.com!
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: A Bike for All Situations – 9 of the most exciting trail bikes of 2017
All bikes in test: FOCUS JAM C Factory | Giant Trance Advanced 0 | Lapierre Zesty AM 927 Ultimate | ROSE ROOT MILLER 3 | SCOTT Spark Plus 700 Tuned | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29 | Yeti SB5 TURQ X01 Eagle | YT JEFFSY 29 CF Pro
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Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer