Specialized Stumpjumper HT Expert Carbon Mountain Bike Review
The Specialized Stumpjumper HT Expert Carbon is a hardtail mountain bike which goes the extra mile to provide an extremely light build, making every climb a joy and ensuring that you can accelerate quickly across virtually any surface. Its carbon frame is significantly lighter than the alloy alternatives while retaining the stiffness and durability which are necessary to get you across XC race tracks in the shortest possible time. This is coupled with excellent equipment which allows the whole bike to be a little more affordable than its range-topping siblings, while still giving you stellar performance.
The FACT 8m carbon frame is strong and rigid and the hardtail setup is particularly conducive to fast paced dashes across uneven terrain and responsive climbing which lets you put down some serious power and not have your efforts hampered by an overly flexible ride. The RockShox fork gives you 90mm of travel and because this is a couple of rungs down from the top of the range, it does not have any carbon components. However, it is still a light bit of kit and a very useful tool during descents when bumps and jumps can threaten to spoil the experience if they are not dealt with adequately. The XC alloy handlebars give you an appropriate degree of control, but if the bike has one weakness it is in the slightly nervous nature of the handling, particularly during downhill sections. It is by no means a terminal issue, but something serious riders might need to experience at first hand.
Specialized has applied plenty of its own know-how to the equipment of the Stumpjumper HT Expert Carbon, customising various aspects from the fork to the Avid Elixir R CR SL hydraulic disc brakes. These will let you counteract the speed of the bike with confidence and precision while being tweaked to deal with the weight and capabilities of the machine in its standard form. The carbon crankset from SRAM is mixed with Shimano and KMC components to give you confidence in the gear changes and extra lightness throughout the construction of the bike.
The Specialized Stumpjumper HT Expert Carbon features Roval Control AL rims and hubs, with the front tyre coming from the S-Works ‘The Captain’ range, while the rear is from the Fast Trak LK product family. The wheels provide you with the consistent ability to bite into the terrain and compensate for the roughest surfaces time and time again without worrying about your stability. If lightness is the first point on the agenda of this bike, then durability must surely be the second.
Its red and white frame makes the Specialized Stumpjumper HT Expert Carbon a striking bike to behold, while the chunky black tyres are unadorned with excess branding, as can be the case with alternative mountain bikes. If you want a mountain bike which will eat up any trail which stands in your way at high speed, then consider this amongst the best options around.