First off though, I why the Stumpy, aka the Specialized Stumpjumper. Well for a while now I’ve heard good things about the Specialized Stumpjumper in mountain bike groups but I never read or saw any glowing reviews about it in the press. Nor when comparing it against other bikes in its category. So when the 2019 Stumpjumper came out with a wealth of positive reviews in the press, my ears pricked. After joining forces with Rutland Cycling, it was the Stumpjumper I was keen to try.
There are of course a few variations of the Stumpy within the range, from the aluminium framed Stumpjumper Comp to the all singing and dancing S-Works Stumpjumper. I went for the middle of the range Carbon Comp version, baring 29inch wheels and Fox suspension set up as the best all-rounder. P.S Don’t forget with Specialized, their EVO version comes out later this year…
So what’s my first thoughts of this apparently completely reworded bike? Well, if the title of this article is anything to go by, the performance lived up to the hype! Here’s three things I loved about the new 2019 Specialised Stumpjumper.
1. More playful than a puppy
My Stumpy is the 29in version of the Carbon Comp, as I was keen to see what it felt like compared to my YT Jeffsy 27.5 inch. Unfortunately for me, within the first 100 yards of riding the Stumpy, I could tell it was going to be a laugh, possibly more so than the YT. You normally gain a bit more stability with a 29er bike, something which is great when bombing downhill over rough ground but does mean you lose out when it comes to the twisty bits. Not with the Stumpy. The bike was not only surprisingly agile, but it begs for you to chuck it around, lean it right over and push it. Everywhere I’ve ridden it, I came away thinking it could have handled more. In fact, it wanted more. Heading down “Lower Cliffs” at Cannock Chase was an absolute riot. The more you pinned it, the more you jumped it, the harder you rode it, the better it got. This is what trail riding it all about. After getting to the top of a pretty gruelling climb, you want it to point it downhill and be rewarded for your efforts, and boy does this deliver. I was actively looking for rides to race with!
2. Its more than skin deep, but…
There’s no denying the Stumpy is a good looking bike. Its hydroformed Aluminium or Carbon frame with it’s a-symmetric rear shock design looks expensive. And with my version’s big 29inch wheels and tyres, it looks serious with a capital S. The Carbon Comp comes in either Black or White/Cream. Black has all the signature pieces in red, like the Specialized brand on the downtube while the whitey cream version gets them in Blue. Looking on Rutland Cycling’s website before ordering those details didn’t really come across, but given I’m sort of an Instagramer, I went for the brighter whitey cream so it’ll stand out in the pics, and stand out it, it did. With the eye-popping blue lettering and the black components, there’s a decent level of contrast across the bike, yet still retains a clean, polished look. Saying that though, I have seen a Black Stumpy Comp in the flesh and if I’m honest both colors look absolutely spot on. You can’t go wrong with either version.
3. Rides like a Rolls
My Carbon Comp comes with Fox suspension all around, boasting 150mm front and rear from its Fox Shox Float Rhythm 34 and Fox Shox DPS Performance respectively. I’m not normally a Fox sus rider, favoring Rockshox instead so I was curious to give this a proper try both downhill and uphill. The first thing I noticed is the super subtle ride and small bump sensitivity, something my Rockshox sus lacked of lately, likely after me upping the pressures for a day at Revolution Bike Park. But still, this large wheel carbon Stumpy had an element of poise filling you with confidence. Second, to that, there is a great balance between the front and rear. The Rhythm 34 fork up front is pretty structurally stiff which means you can really lean on the front mid corner before putting the power down. The rear shock then does a brilliant job handling both the small stuff to the big stuff. There were a few jumps that it bottomed on but given a volume spacer or two, the bike felt very DH like in attitude. But even for me, its not all about the downhill. When pointing this uphill, the bike climbed well; with three settings on the rear Shox you set it to firm, medium and open. All of which gave very little bob when climbing and great traction.
Overall, you really get the sense that Specialized has taken their time with this bike to make it the best they can. From the super wider handlebars to the very comfortable saddle, I really haven’t got a bad thing to say about this Stumpy. It also comes with some very chunky rubber in the form for Specialized Butcher & Purgatory tyres – 2.6in wide and lean them over and they’ve got tonnes of grip!
I’m now faced with a challenge. A good one, but a challenge none-the-less. Find it a trail it won’t be able to handle. It’s going to have to be something good, something techy, rough and unforgiving. I feel a return visit to the infamous Revolution Bike Park. Stay tuned, let’s see how far I can push this Stumpy, I’m not sure Revs is quite enough…
Want to see the deets and more on the bike?
Check out Rutland Cycling, otherwise, tuck into the spec below;
Fork - FOX FLOAT Rhythm, 34, GRIP Damper, 44mm offset, 2-position sweep adjust, 15x110mm, tapered alloy steerer, 150mm of travel
Shock - FOX FLOAT DPS Performance, Rx Trail Tune, rebound and 3-position compression adjust, 210x52.5mm
Number of Gears - 11
Shifters - Shimano SLX, 11-speed
Chainset - RaceFace Aeffect, 24mm spindle, 170mm crankarm
Chainrings - 32
Cassette - Shimano SLX, 11-speed, 11-46t
Chain - KMC X11, 11-speed w/ Missing Link
Front Derailleur - n/a
Rear Derailleur - Shimano XT, Shadow Plus, GS cage, 11-speed
Bottom Bracket - Threaded BB, 24mm spindle
Pedals - Specialized Dirt
Custom Rims - Hope Hoops Pro 4 Std 32H Enduro wheel set
Front Hub - Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm spacing, 28h
Rear Hub - Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 12x148mm thru-axle, 28h
Front Tyre - Butcher, GRID casing, GRIPTON compound, 2Bliss Ready, 27.5x2.6"
Rear Tyre - Purgatory, GRID casing, GRIPTON compound, 2Bliss ready, 27.5x2.6"
Front Brake - Shimano SLX, hydraulic disc, resin pads, 200mm rotor
Rear Brake - Shimano SLX, Hydraulic Disc, Resin Pad
Brake Levers - Shimano SLX
Handlebars - Specialized, 6061 alloy, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm width
Grips - Specialized Sip Grip, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thickness
Headset - Integrated
Stem - Specialized Trail, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise
Saddle - Body Geometry Phenom Comp, Adaptive Edge design, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
Seatpost - X-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, two-bolt head, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL LE lever, 34.9mm, S: 125mm, M/L/XL: 150mm of travel
Post Clamp - Specialized bolt-type, alloy, 38.6mm