Specialized Stumpjumper HT Marathon Carbon Mountain Bike Review
Specialized does not tend to like trimming down the names of its high end bikes, instead piling on extra words to give you an idea of what the bike can do while leaving you with a moniker which is something of a mouthful. The Specialized Stumpjumper HT Marathon Carbon is a good example of this, but not a single syllable is superfluous in outlining the capabilities of this hardtail mountain bike. We’ll attempt to deal with each of its given names in order to look what is on offer.
First it is part of the Stumpjumper range, which includes both affordable and range-topping mountain bikes with full-sus and hard tail setups. This is essentially a stamp of quality which means you cannot go wrong when you choose one of its number. However, each Stumpjumper model will come with different equipment that can drastically alter its performance, so a closer look is always required.
As a Stumpjumper HT model you know that this is a bike build for speed across any XC race track you are facing. To help keep that speed under control, it is equipped with Avid X.O R SL hydraulic disc brakes. These are customised by Specialized in order to make them the perfect match for this bike and in conjunction with the blistering acceleration which is afforded thanks to the hard tail stiffness, this bike will chew its way up climbs at speed and let you careen down the descents while having the confidence in your ability to bring the machine to a safe, controlled halt.
The Marathon and Carbon aspects of the bike really go hand in hand, because with its FACT 8m carbon frame and super light selection of components, it is a bike which will go the distance and never weigh you down with excess baggage. The full SRAM X.0 groupset supplies the gearing, complete with hybrid shifters which integrate even more carbon to whittle away yet more weight. Meanwhile, the Roval Control EL XC wheelset is in keeping with this ethos, providing a hard wearing platform for performance while still giving you the speed and grip you need, whatever the weather. S-Works Fast Trak LK tyres complete the package and the slightly larger wheel at the front makes it as eager on climbs as it is on descents.
The one thing the Specialized Stumpjumper HT Marathon Carbon does not take into account in its nametag is its good looks. The red and black frame has a pleasing angular symmetry to its design and the unobtrusive red detailing on the rims and saddle help to keep everything looking its best. The Future Shock fork from Specialized, which offers 90mm of travel at the front, is also a welcome addition, making sure that the stiffness of its hard tail setup is tempered by a beefy shock absorber. In short, the Specialized Stumpjumper HT Marathon Carbon is a mean machine which will help you keep your eye on the prize in competitive situations.