The Stumpjumper ST is the short-travel version of the super versatile classic. It promises to be even more efficient while still being a lot of fun to ride. Can it still perform as well in every situation with less travel?
Click here for an overview of the the best trail bike under € 3,200 € in review
The Specialized Stumpjumper is synonymous with versatility. It has long been shaping the progression of our sport and has already gone through several evolutionary stages. The Stumpjumper ST is the short-travel version of the popular classic. With 120 mm travel at the rear and 130 mm up front, it has 20 mm less than the standard version and is said to offer even more efficiency, making it more suitable for all-day or multi-day rides. Priced at € 3,099, it is the second most expensive bike in the test. However, inauspiciously it is the heaviest model and also the least well-specced.
Specialized are the only manufacturer to spec Shimano’s lower range SLX 1×11 drivetrain. The FOX suspension, a 34 Rhythm fork and a FLOAT DPS Performance shock are standard in this price range. The Shimano MT501 brakes are nothing special but they offer decent braking power thanks to the large rotors. On the other hand, Specialized deserve praise for the various contact points. The handlebar, stem, grips and saddle are perfect, offering lots of comfort and great ergonomics. Specialized’s in-house Eliminator and Purgatory tire combination also performed convincingly on the trail.
Specialized Stumpjumper ST COMP
Fork FOX 34 Rhythm 130 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance 120 mm
Seatpost X-Fusion Maniac 150 mm
Brakes Shimano MT501 203/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano SLX 1x11 30 (11-46)
Stem Specialized Trail 50 mm
Handlebar Specialized Trail 780* mm
Wheelset Specialized Alu 29
Tires Specilaized Eliminator/Purgatory 2.3"
Size S M L XL
Weight 14.68 kg
The geometry of the Specialized Stumpjumper ST
Specialized was one of the first brands to start designing their bikes with shorter seat tubes. This has the advantage that you can choose the bike’s size not by its height but by its length. You’re also able to fit longer dropper posts. The reach of our size L test bike is compact at 455 mm, but the bottom bracket is very low with a drop of 39 mm. The respective head and seat tube angles of 67.5° and 75.1° in the slack setting are rather conservative. The Stumpy also features a flip chip. We only rode the bike in the slacker of the two settings.
|Seat tube||380 mm||410 mm||455 mm||505 mm|
|Top tube||570 mm||593 mm||624 mm||— mm|
|Head tube||100 mm||100 mm||125 mm||— mm|
|Chainstay||437 mm||437 mm||437 mm||437 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,143 mm||1,163 mm||1,192 mm||—- mm|
|Reach||415 mm||435 mm||455 mm||475 mm|
|Stack||612 mm||612 mm||635 mm||— mm|
Before you swing your leg over the Specialized Stumpjumper ST, it makes sense to push the saddle as far forward as possible. That way the riding position is sufficiently central and comfortable and you’ll feel at home from the get-go. Riding uphill, it is worth activating the climb switch regardless of terrain given that the suspension bobs noticeably and tends to wallow on steep climbs. On technical climbs, the Stumpy delivers lots of traction, but you have to pay attention to the position of your pedals due to the low bottom bracket. You’ll be happy about the 30 t chainring on steep climbs because, with a maximum of 46 teeth on the cassette, the gear range is limited.
The geometry is great, unfortunately, the suspension isn’t! Downhill, the Stumpy quickly reaches its limits.
Going downhill, you’ll also notice how low the bottom bracket is but only in a positive sense. As the rider, you feel securely integrated with the Specialized Stumpjumper ST, instilling you with confidence and also making the bike feel super balanced through the corners. The Stumpy’s handling is intuitive and good-natured. It’s agile and direct in tight sections and requires little rider input. Beginners and passive riders will be happiest with this bike. The major weakness of the Stumpjumper ST is its rear suspension. Despite the large 0.6 cm3 volume spacer fitted as standard, the suspension is far too linear and bottoms out harshly even at moderate speeds and with medium impacts. Should you decide to send it, your ankles and the rear rim will be cursing you later.
How does the Stumpjumper compare to the competition?
Despite only 120 mm travel at the rear, the Stumpjumper needs a lot of encouragement on the climbs and quickly falls behind the competition. Besides the inefficient rear suspension, the back-heavy riding position doesn’t help either. However, the handling on the descents is good-natured, similar to that of the Neuron with the comfort of the SCOTT Genius. Unfortunately, it’s too generous with its travel and quickly bottoms out. That makes the bike unsuitable for rough trails.
Tuning tips: We would recommend going for the longer travel Stumpjumper COMP Alu 29, which even has a 1×12 drivetrain for the same price
The Specialized Stumpjumper ST COMP is only suitable for relaxed riders who value comfort and prefer moderate terrain and going slow on the descents. Its handling is good-natured and intuitive, but its suspension isn’t up to the task. Unfortunately, the componentry leaves a lot to be desired considering the price. We recommend choosing the longer travel Stumpjumper COMP 29!
- very comfortable contact points
- aesthetically pleasing
- intuitive and good-natured handling
- suspension bottoms out easily
- lots of pedal bob
- poor spec for the price
You can find out more about at specialized.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of the the best trail bike under € 3,200 € in review
All bikes in test: Canyon Neuron AL 7.0 (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM 6.8 NINE (Click for review) | GIANT Trance 29 1 (Click for review) | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 9.700 (Click for review) | ROSE GROUND CONTROL 3 (Click for review) | SCOTT Genius 950 (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper ST COMP | Trek Fuel EX 8 XT (Click for review) | YT IZZO COMP (Click for review)
This scale indicates how efficiently the bike climbs. It refers to both simple and technical climbs. Along with the suspension, the riding position and the weight of the bike all play a crucial role.↩
How does the bike ride and descend? How spritely is the bike, how agile is it through corners, how much fun is it in tight sections and how quickly can it change direction?↩
Is the bike stable at high speeds? Is it easy to stay in control in demanding terrain? How composed is it on rough trails? Stability is a combination of balanced geometry, good suspension and the right spec.↩
This is all about how balanced the bike is and particularly about how well it corners. Balanced bikes require little physical effort from the rider and are very predictable. If a bike is unbalanced, the rider has to work hard to weight the front wheel to generate enough grip. However, experienced riders can have a lot of fun even with unbalanced bikes.↩
How sensitive is the suspension over small bumps? Can it absorb hard impacts and does it soak up repeated hits? Plush suspension not only provides comfort and makes a bike more capable, but it also generates traction. The rating includes the fork and the rear suspension.↩
This aspect mainly comes down to the suspension. How much pop does it have, does it suck up the rider’s input or is it supportive, and how agile and direct is the bike?↩
We don’t calculate value for money in an excel spreadsheet or based on how high-end a bike is specced. We are more concerned with how a bike performs on the trail and how the bike benefits the rider. What good are the best components if the bike doesn’t perform well on the trail? Expensive bikes with a lower-end spec can offer very good value for money – provided they excel where it matters. Just as supposedly cheap bikes with good components can get a bad rating if they don’t deliver on the trail.↩
No, it’s not about racing, it’s about efficiency. Fast, fleet-footed and efficient – those who want to speed along flowy singletrack and gravel roads need a defined and spritely bike that accelerates with ease and efficiency. Nevertheless, reliable components are important too. We interpret XC more like the Americans do: big back-country rides instead of a marathon or XC World Cup with the ultimate in lightweight construction! Uphill-downhill ratio: 80:30 (not everything has to be 100%!)↩
...also known as mountain biking. Classic singletrack with roots, rocks and ledges – sometimes flowy, sometimes rough. For this, you need a bike with good all-round qualities, whether climbing or descending. Uphill-downhill ratio: 50:50↩
Even more extreme and challenging compared to Trail riding, riddled with every kind of obstacle: jumps, gaps, nasty rock gardens, ruts and roots. For this, you need (race)proven equipment that forgives mistakes and wouldn’t look out of place on a stage of the Enduro World Series. Climbing is just a means to an end. Uphill-downhill ratio: 30:70↩
Strictly speaking, a 200 mm travel downhill bike is the best choice for merciless tracks with big jumps, drops and the roughest terrain. Those would be the black or double-black-diamond tracks in a bike park. But as some of the EWS pros (including Sam Hill) have proven, it’s the riding skills and not the bike that define what you can ride with it. Climbing? On foot or with a shuttle, please! Uphill-downhill ratio: 10:90↩
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer