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Specialized Stumpjumper 29″ Comparative Test Winner

Specialized Stumpjumper 29″ Comparative Test Winner

17/03/2016
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17/03/2016

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As we have seen with our recent comparative test in Punta Ala, the Stumpjumper came out on top in the 29er category. Each of the testers had our preferred bike, in this case the Stumpjumper was Alex Boyce’s particular preferred ride.   We take a closer look at the bike and its features out on the trails.


Our test Stumpjumper in large size.

Specifications

The Stumpjumper Expert came fully tooled up for trail riding, what really leaps out is the trail ready features of the bike, especially those pertaining to SWAT. In simple terms SWAT means you can ride with everything that you might normally have in your pack only it’s stored in/on the bike or in your bibs. Chain links, a space to carry tools and tubes inside of the downtube, a trail tool embedded near the shock and a feeling of freedom from not having to carry it on you and having the weight low on the bike.

The SWAT tube storage, the auto sag shock, sweet internal cable routing that allows a change over in minutes as there are embeded internal tubes for the cables and the FSR linkage that keeps the bike stable and glues to the trail.

Details

BOTTOM BRACKET – SRAM, PF30, OS press-in bearings, sealed cartridge
CASSETTE & CHAIN – SRAM XG-1180, 11-speed, 10-42t, SRAM PC-X1, 11-speed
CRANKSET – Custom SRAM S-2200, carbon, PF30 spindle, 30T, 94mm BCD spider
FORK – RockShox Pike RC 29, Solo Air spring, 140mm travel, compression adjust, rebound adjust, tapered steerer, 46mm offset, 15mm Maxle Ultimate thru-axle
FRAME – FACT 9m carbon, Trail 29 Geometry, FACT IS carbon construction, M5 alloy rear triangle, SWAT Door integration, PF30 BB, fully enclosed internal cable routing, 142mm dropouts, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, replaceable derailleur hanger, front derailleur compatible w/ Taco Blade, 135mm travel
GRIPS – Specialized Sip Grip, light lock-on, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thickness
HANDLEBARS – Specialized, 7050 alloy, 8-backsweep, 6-upsweep, 10mm rise, 750mm, 31.8mm
HEADSET – Hella Flush, 1-1/8″ and 1-1/2″ threadless,
BRAKES – Shimano XT, hydraulic disc, Ice-Tech metallic pads, I-spec compatible
REAR DERAILLEUR – SRAM X1, 11-speed, alloy cage
REAR HUB – Roval Traverse 142+, SRAM XX1 XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 28h
REAR SHOCK – Custom FOX FLOAT Factory CTD, AUTOSAG, Rx Trail Tune, Boost Valve, Kashima coating, 197×47.6mm
TYRES – Specialized Purgatory Control and Specialized Butcher Control, 60TPI, 2Bliss Ready, folding bead, 29×2.3″
RIMS – Roval Traverse 29, alloy, disc, 29mm inner width, 24/28h
SADDLE – Body Geometry Henge Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
SEATPOST – Command Post IRcc, cruiser control technology, micro-adjust height adjustable, alien head design, bottom mount cable routing, remote adjust SRL lever, 30.9mm, S: 100mm travel, M/L/XL: 125mm
SHIFT LEVERS – SRAM X1, 11-speed, trigger
STEM – Specialized XC, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise

Setup

IMG_8283
Before being ridden, each bike was given a once over by the Punta Ala Trail Center professional mechanic.

We set up our Stumpjumper out of the box with about 2 bar of  tyre pressure and we used the auto sag feature to set 30 percent of sag on the back and 30 percent on the front. Out of the box the bar setup was ideal and we felt we needed no changes here.

On The Trail

There are two things a trail bike must do, that is climb and descend. The Specialized’s state of the art frame and geometry gave the Stumperjumper an impressive all-round poise on the trail in all the situations we threw at it. Consistency is the key with a trail bike, and the Stumperjumper covers each element of riding well.

F75R7493
Take the high or low line, the Stumpjumper makes it all possible.

Climbing is smooth and predictable with the wheels maintaining traction in all the situations from roots to technical rocks to twisty climbs. If the trail gets steep the front end remains stuck to the ground with minimal body movement necessary to keep the bike balanced.

F75R7486
Like its predecessors from years past, the Stumpy 29 is light on it’s feet.

Downhill is fun and predictable with the 29″ wheels eating up the small chatter and FSR suspension handling the multiple stutter and bigger hits with aplomb.  The geometry was dialed as well – a nice low bottom bracket rewards you in the corners but if you aren’t careful with the timing of your pedal strokes, it can bite back.  We found the rear chainstay length to be ideal for those that like a bike that’s snappy and carries the speed through the corner with a lively feel.

F75R7391
The weather during our testing was clearly quite nice.

Component choices on the trail were ideal with XT brakes giving a dependable response to rider input and the  SRAM 1 X 11 drivetrain with a 30T up front had enough range to climb all normal trails that 90 percent of us ride. If it’s high mountain riding then swapping out the 30T for a 28T up front might be necessary for longer steeper climbs with weaker riders, otherwise the gearing is good for all other situations.

The aluminum Roval wheels were stiff enough to keep the bike on track. Switching to carbon rims would improve the responsiveness of the bike in technical situations that are twisty, but the Roval Fattie’s are some of the stiffest Aluminum 29″ wheels that we’ve used to date.

The SWAT system was brilliant for keeping the rider comfortable on the trail as you don’t need a pack. The cockpit layout was simple and effective withno strange remote positions, everything was intuitive so the rider can focus on the trail.

F75R7539
Grip is solid and defined in corners.

The “out of the box – on the saddle – feel comfortable” ride is what makes trail time with the Stumpjumper enjoyable and consistent in every situation.

We noted in our group test, “If you really are searching for something to gripe about on this bike, maybe you can find it in the high release speed of the dropper post and in the tricky position of the autosag valve.  Those are small matters in the grand scheme of things though.” Really those were our only extremely picky negative comments.

Conclusions

There is no doubt that to be able to pick up any trail bike and ride it within the same short time window really allows you to focus on those things that you like  in a bike. Specialized covered about every element possible in a trail bike package.  The Stumpjumper is not an Enduro bike, let’s be clear about that.  If the going gets heavy, a bike with extra travel would be appreciated, with every other type of riding though, if you like 29er wheels then this steed will keep a constant smile on your face.

IMG_8233
Too many trail bikes to choose from…give us the Stumpy…

A Final Word

“I felt pretty much at home on the Stumpjumper from as soon as I sat on it, there are very few trail bikes which cover so many elements so well. SWAT has become a fundamental for me on my bikes.  Why do it any other way? The Stumpjumper was very forgiving with my riding errors and it became my preferred choice of trail bike.”  (Alex Boyce 29er group tester).

Specialized
Test Location: Punta Ala Trail Center

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