Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail Review
Specialized has something of a monopoly on exciting names which accurately describe its mountain bike ranges and the Stumpjumper family is definitely deserving of its title. For 2012 the Stumpjumper models have been refreshed with a plethora of new components and revised designs which will catch an eye or two when you are out on the trail.
The Specialized Stumpjumper Evo 29 is at the more affordable end of the price scale and yet is still endowed with more than its fair share of class-leading components. The M5 fully manipulated alloy frame and its 29 inch-friendly geometry is a great start, with a light construction and strong composition, but this is only page one of the story.
The hardtail setup is complemented by a Fox Float 23 Evolution RL fork that gives up to 100mm of travel on the larger sizes. You also get SRAM X0 and X7 components on the drivetrain along with aluminium trigger shifters for prompt changes and a consistently light build. The Custom Avid Elixir 7 SL hydraulic disc brakes at the front and rear are a welcome feature, ensuring that you have the control you need to stay in a position of dominance whether you are racing or just riding for fun.
Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon 29
The Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 29 rearranges certain elements of the alloy-framed entry level model in order to accommodate the FACT 8m carbon frame. Carbon is always the material of choice for higher end bikes of this kind and here it is paired with a RockShox Reba RL 29 fork providing around 90mm of travel as well as SRAM X7 and X9 components. The same Avid Elixir 7 SL hydraulic disc brakes are found onboard, although here both rotors measure 160mm. Roval 29 rims are a favourite of Specialized’s 29ers and you will find them wrapped with an S-Works Renegade tyre at the front while the Specialized Renegade Control takes charge at the rear. Price: £2,300.
Performance, versatility and power continue to arc upwards with the introduction of the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29. The same FACT 8m carbon frame is on hand to hold everything together as lightly as possible, but elsewhere changes are afoot. A custom RockShox SID 29 Rain fork with inertia valve damper technology and 90mm of travel does an excellent job of adapting in real time to the conditions you are facing. Meanwhile the customised components continue with Custom Formula R1 S hydraulic disc brakes, the reach adjustment of which can be handled toolessly. Priced at £3,200, it’s hard to see where the extra value comes from compared to the Comp Carbon model.
Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works 29
The Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works caps off the range in true style. The FACT 11m carbon frame is super-light thanks to hollow carbon dropouts and there is even carbon on the Custom RockShox SID World Cup 29 Brain fork. The complete Shimano XTR groupset handles the gearing and the brakes, while the S-Works XC carbon handlebars keep things consistent across the bike. A twin set of S-Works Renegade tyres combine with Roval Control SL 29 rims & hubs and even the seatpost is carbon in construction for completists. Price: £6,000.