Field Test: Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29

Dec 4, 2018
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

SPECIALIZED S-WORKS STUMPJUMPER 29

Jack of all trades, master of none?



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Trevor Lyden



If you got into the way-back machine and traveled to a forward-thinking bike shop in California in the early 1980s, you might find yourself looking at the first Stumpjumper. That steel hardtail was the first mass-produced mountain bike thirty-eight years ago, and while it looks like the carbon fiber green machine pictured here has nothing to do with that old rigid rig, it's actually a distant relative.

The new Stumpjumper platform might be just as important as that first Stumpy, too, simply because Specialized is using it in various forms for thirty-one different models. In that light, the new bike can’t just be good - it needs to kick ass.
S-Works Stumpjumper 29 Details

Intended use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
Travel: 140mm
Wheel size: 29''
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Head angle: 66.5-degrees
Chainstay length: 437mm
Sizes: sm, med, lrg (tested), xl
Weight: 28.2 lb / 12.8 kg
Price: $9,520 USD
More info: www.specialized.com

With 29” wheels, 140mm travel out back, and 150mm travel in the front, our high-end $9,520 USD Stumpjumper test bike is going to be different things to different riders. It could be a trail bike if you frequent hairy terrain, and it certainly could be considered an all-mountain or enduro bike to some, especially with that Fox 36 fork up front.

There are a bunch of clever details on the new Stumpy, but my favorite has to be how Specialized has done the internally routed lines: You feed the housing in at the head tube and it pops out at the back of the chainstays without you having to scream at it or throw any tools. Neato. There’s also threaded bottom bracket, room for a 3’’ wide rear tire if you wanted to mess the bike up, and let’s not forget the SWAT box for carrying spares, tools, donuts, etc. Oh, and no more Autosag shock - we’re glad to see they’ve gone to a standard, easy to service or replace damper.

When it comes to the geometry, it's fair to call it conservative rather than old school. There's a 66.5° headtube angle up front, a 74.1° seat-tube angle, and a 445mm reach on the large-sized bike. It starts with the small at 405mm reach and goes up to the XL with 470mm of room. The stack is tall, too, with a 641mm number on our test rig that’s 30mm more than some other larges.

No surprises on suspension: It's the familiar Horst Link layout. Specialized has a rep for providing suppleness and traction rather than the crispest pedaling rear-ends, but they've upped the anti-squat number on the new bikes to improve this.

There are a load of different Stumpjumper models to choose from other than $9,520 USD S-Works model, including Stumpys with 27.5’’ wheels, less travel, and others with different geometry. There are alloy versions of the bike from $3,000 USD, and carbon versions from $4,200 USD. Options galore.




Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden
Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden


Climbing

The Stumpy's pedaling manners have been improved compared to previous versions of the bike, with more anti-squat that adds some crispness to the suspension when you're on the gas. So yes, the bike has an acceptable amount of get-up-and-go to it, but it's still not in the same efficiency class as something like Ibis' Ripmo, one of the leaders on that front. Both Kazimer and myself think that we'd be reaching down for the shock's pedal-assist switch a bit too often, but we're also aware that most riders (including Kazimer) don't mind flipping the Lever of Lies when faced with a solid climb.

I also found the bike's slow-speed climbing handling to be a touch tippier than the other bikes for PB's Field Test, especially through those switchbacks and momentum-killing roots that call for near-trackstand speeds. That said, in a very Specialized-like fashion, this thing delivers loads of predictable driving traction, so while I didn't gel with it in the mega-tech, I can't blame any dabs on the rear tire spinning out.

While the Stumpy obviously isn't my favorite climber in recent memory, it actually might be ideal for a lot of riders because it is so forgiving. It's not sporty-feeling, but there's loads of grip from the rear-end, you can just sit and pedal through all the rough, technical climbs, and the switch on the Fox shock means you can easily firm it up enough to crush some fire road climbs, too.



Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden

Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden
Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden


Descending

You know that active suspension that I moaned about when climbing? Yeah, it's f*cking awesome on a rough and rowdy descent, and especially when it's greasier than a bunch of slopestyle pros during Whistler Crankworx. It's all a give-and-take balance, after all, and the green Stumpy gives off the impression that it's got more than 140mm of squish out back, a rare trick these days. It's also a trait that's often associated with a bike that wallows into its travel needlessly, but that's not the case here. Not only has Specialized made this thing feel supple on top, it also feels deeper than bikes with a bit more travel, especially the 150mm-travel Kona Process that I also spent some time on. Good trick, Specialized.

The Stumpy's deep-feeling and active suspension will make the bike a great generalist for many riders who want something that works well everywhere instead of something that's the best in one setting and so-so in a bunch of others.

It's the same story in the handling department, too, with steering and poise that's more all-mountain than enduro. You'll be able to point the Stumpy down the steepest of lines and anything else that your courage lets you try, and there's no doubt that the tall stack makes this a bike that delivers confidence. Unlike the Kona, it's happy to do your best rock-trundling impression through the roughest chunder; unlike the Bronson, it's also just as content to jib its way down a fun trail.

When it comes to the build, the S-Works tag means that there's not much left to upgrade. One thing that I would change, though, is the stock Specialized dropper post that felt rough from the get-go. It's basically a mechanical post that, with a zillion indexed height settings, is trying to be like an infinitely adjustable hydro dropper. It eventually stopped returning to full height, too.

This bike might be the best all-around version of the Stumpjumper that Specialized has ever put together.


Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden

Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden


Pros

+ Great generalist
+ Active suspension provides tons of traction
+ SWAT sure is convenient
Cons

- Geometry is a bit conservative
- Not all that efficient under power
- Specialized's dropper post is a miss


Must Read This Week

338 Comments

  • + 316
 Is the color indicative of the amount of green you need in your bank account to buy this?..
  • + 46
 Underrated comment right here ^
  • + 31
 Bright neon fire red could be indicative of the overdrawn account balance after purchase!
  • + 9
 @chrisingrassia: or the torching of a previously happy relationship with you significant other
  • + 2
 They had more paint left over from 2015
  • + 2
 These days, 10g's for a FSR bike is insane. There are literally 1/2 dozen brands that can deliver this for 6
  • - 5
flag RedRedRe (Dec 5, 2018 at 19:11) (Below Threshold)
 Green indicates the color behind your ears if you buy thiS plastic chinese bicycle.
  • + 2
 The top of the range Yamaha cross country dirt bike is cheaper. How is price not a con???
  • + 1
 Expert Carbon with carbon wheels is now only $5000. Still kind of a lot though. But little more than half as much.
  • + 132
 Really loving how balanced all of these reviews feel, how high quality the riding footage is and how much attention is given to the overall feel as a whole of the bike and not just on paper or in a vacuum without mention of other bikes in the catagory. Thanks Pinkbike! Keep up the amazing work.
  • + 21
 Smile
  • + 36
 @mikelevy: Mike when did you setup a second account? Lol....
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: Bet that clashed horribly with the mini Wink
  • + 65
 Has SWAT....still straps tube to frame.
  • + 204
 That's because he'd already filled the SWAT box to the brim with Haribo gummy bears.
  • + 38
 @mikekazimer: Hope not the sugar-free ones!
  • + 41
 @mikekazimer: my mate uses his as a cake dispenser, there's these little individually wrapped cakes that come in a pack of 10 for like, 1.50,and they fit in perfectly, just keep pushing them up and adding another, literally always a cake there ready for you.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: get the black forrest gummy bears
  • + 82
 It's full of moon pies and donuts. And I like stuff strapped on...
  • + 9
 @mikelevy: ba dum tsssss
  • + 5
 @inked-up-metalhead: that is brilliant.
  • + 8
 @mikelevy: I can already hear Ryan Palmer's head exploding
  • + 6
 @johannensc: Perfect.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: Haribo gummy bears are the BEST
  • + 5
 @inked-up-metalhead: how many can you fit in before you get cake in your headset and have to have an embarassing conversation with S's warranty dept?
  • + 1
 @TheRaven: Hopefully soaked in vodka...
  • + 1
 @BenPea: we call it the Play-dough bike. Mike be riding down the hill on his Specialized Chia head.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: individually wrapped my friend, no bearing issues, would be a different story with a full madeira or carrot cake...
  • + 5
 @inked-up-metalhead: any kind of sponge cake will reduce vibrations by a certain percentage, so win/win.
  • + 42
 I find it so refreshing and awesome that a huge company like Specialized was willing to forego putting their company name in huge letters down the side of the bike... just makes the bike so clean. Arguably maybe these bikes need it because the frame is a little complicated? Either way, good on ya Spec! Side note: Especially the Evo in that raw aluminum... nice...
  • + 21
 $9500 and a house brand dropper? Pretty sure I could assemble a dream build buying parts I want at retail from Jenson and still have coin left over for a good used motorcycle.
  • + 43
 I don't have so much of an issue with the house-branded parts - some work very well. Look at Trek and Specialized's tires, Trek's house-branded post, Santa Cruz's wheels, etc. If the Specialized dropper post worked well, it wouldn't matter where it came from. But it doesn't work well.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: line post is garbage
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: What did Specialized have to say about it? There is a known issue and they've been warrantying the faulty ones. Mine is finicky as well, need to lube the seal/post interface with oil after each ride to get full height.
  • - 17
flag browner (Dec 4, 2018 at 15:46) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: trek and spesh tires are garbage in terms of reliability
  • + 8
 @browner: Meh, it's gonna depend on where and how you ride. I used to live a few hours east of Squamish and could get away with a lot less of a casing than I need now that I live where I do. And even when you do have a right kind of tire, a sharp rock can always wreck anything. I've had good experiences with Speci and Bonty tires.
  • + 2
 @brumos: mine is the same. Super frustrating. Works great lubed, but have to do it repeatedly. Also sucks in the cold. Rather than spending money getting a rebuild I just got a oneup dropper. $100 more than shop quoted for rebuild and it has a two year warranty.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Yep, I agree with you. For most parts house brand stuff works because the engineering has been sorted. Droppers are so problematic if I were spec I’d want to be able to point my finger at the oem to protect the brand. Especially on a skunk build.
  • + 1
 @brumos: take it apart and clean it, does wonders
  • + 13
 @browner: specialized tires are one of the best values out there IMO. Nearly half the retail cost of other brands and just as durable.
  • + 1
 $9500 for house brand cockpit, wheels, tires ETC. Anyone with basic online deal hunting skills can build a better bike for 30-40% less and with good quality parts. You could build two really nice bikes for that same $9500.

Hell, I could build 3 good bikes for 3 different disciplines and have enough money left over to go on a trip to ride them.
  • + 4
 Did you not post the exact same comment on the Bronson Review?
  • + 5
 @browner: yeah i've had both the new bontrager team xr4 and se4 as well as the new specialized butcher, never had any issues, in fact they're both great tires. I like the butcher more. Durable, holds up fine.
  • + 9
 Do people hate in-house parts because they suck or because they saved the brand some money? I swear, if Enve made their own Enduro bike, we'd still complain that they used in-house finishing kit and rims.
  • + 0
 Surely for a huge brand like Specialized they could offer alternatives when ordering (like Orbea)? Dropper post, rims etc...
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: to some extent but racers on these have fared poorly in all conditions. Spesh and bonty. They are do it all tires but easily upgradable. You buy a giant however and your hard pushed sometimes to upgrade the tires.
  • + 1
 @ATXZJ: Lets see a detailed list of how you could actually build 3 quality bikes for 3 disciplines and go on a trip with all three bikes for less thank 9500. This would be amazing.
XC Bike
Trail Bike
Downhill Bike
ready go!
  • - 1
 @snowtrooperjr:

Use your imagination and the www..........go!
  • + 2
 hmmmm
  • + 1
 @ATXZJ: so what you're saying is you have to imagine it? I agree because its not possible. There are other models of the bike so why complain about the certain one tested?
  • + 0
 @snowtrooperjr:

Well, im not your monkey, so you'll figure it out for yourself.. We've done it and havent bought a complete bike from an LBS or online since 2012. Sorry.

From the looks of your classifieds it seems my comments may have hit a little close to home. Best luck
  • + 0
 @almacigatrailrider: THE MOST under rated comment right here.
  • + 2
 @demo811: They have had that in the past, we should be seeing something like that in the future.
  • + 0
 @snowtrooperjr: Simple, just get a Sketchy ass china carbon frame for the XC bike, with lower end parts that work fine like NX eagle, all in around 2K. The Trail bike gets a 4k budget so commencal meta something? And who needs a DH bike if you have a commencal? Spend the rest on a fat bike and get lost on a road trip to BC
done with over a grand to spare for the extra china frame you will need for getting caught smuggling patent infringed goods across the canadian border.
  • + 1
 @brokenspokephoto: you missed the word "quality" in the conversation above.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: What's funny is that the X-fusion Manic on their cheaper stumpy's works perfectly. With all the issues they've been getting on their house brand dropper i simply don't understand why they don't pull it and put the manic across the board.
  • + 20
 Can we please get a review of the stumpy 27.5? It's a very different bike; more travel, slacker head angle, steeper seat angle, longer reach, shorter chain stays, oh yeah and different wheel size! There are literally no reviews out there from any major publications on this version meanwhile I know I'm not the only person interested in this bike.
  • + 5
 Why would you want that review? They won't like it. See the original Bronson and 5010 review, this Bronson review, the Thunderbolt review, etc. In every one they make a point to (repeatedly) state their preference for 29ers. It would be hard to write one of the negatives as "Doesn't have 29-inch wheels" when they make models that do.

What do you think the first con of the Remedy will be? You get 3 guesses....
  • + 3
 @Climbtech: That it's not on 26" wheels?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: you jest, but the Remedy review is out now and you do mention in the video that it's not your preferred wheelsize Wink
  • + 21
 All those people who dropped a deuce on the Lyric flex yesterday, where you at?
  • + 6
 Lyric flex? What? If Lyrik seems flexy to someone, he should go Eff himself 3 times in a row. He needs it. This is serious.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: no doubt... Lyrik is some shiz!
  • + 1
 @bohns1: it’s all those power lifters who need a stiff fork to withstand those manic forces their 250lbs of lean muscle puts on it.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: where I ride there are several 4 to 6 foot drop to flat options or bigger 8 to 12 for stuff with shallow angled landings. I stuck to things in the 4 to 6 range (usually riding solo) and these fork flexing clips get me every time! Just over 200 pounds on a Fox 36... It's no wonder mine creaked.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Haha exactly.. I'm 195 and can't even flex my pike with hucks to flat!
  • + 1
 While I am definitely not an expert, I feel like that is more of the wheel flexing than the fork. Watch the Bronson test vs this one, Traverse's have a 24h spoke count, 28 for Reserves. Same fork on both bikes, looks to be substantial less flex on the Bronson video than on this one. The 36 is not a flexy fork by any means, nor is the Lyric, but to each their own.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: yahh, yahh. But often I’s crushez my fatbars from gripping too tights and soz the flexx could be from dee fork getting scurred of my intentions.
  • + 1
 @nickyp132: 29 vs 27.5 the leverage from the larger wheels is a massive confounder on fork flex over and above rim/wheel differences
  • - 1
 @yzedf: well drops to flat are the problem, not the fork. Do whatever you feel like. Some ask other people to kick them in the balls. Why not.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: or maybe design a fork for how people use them? Just a f*cking thought.
  • + 0
 @yzedf: I may be a worthless troll that doesn't ride, but I do put my Lyrik through more than most it's owners (not to mention people much faster than me) and well, I just don't see the problem. Hucking to flat will be a problem for every single fork out there. There is a reason almost nobody does it since 2008... just saying. Oh BTW Today I hucked to flat a Fox32 100. Overjumped a Dirt jump, so like 6-8ft to flat. Wow. I am here to write it.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: been there done that with the Fox 32, glad you didn't break a wrist LOL
  • + 1
 @yzedf: that’s why we bench press 250lbs and then do some plyo push ups Wink cheers!
  • + 14
 Several points in no particular order:

1) Thank you for acknowledging that a bike doesn't pedal particularly well even though you were more kind than I would have been. They pedal like a wet mattress imo.
2) Sticking with your 'keep test bikes Reach the same, frame sizes be damned", shouldn't you have tested an XL? WTF. Go back and test the Large Kona!
3) The Fox 36 flexes more than the RS Lyric on the same drop, if all else was equal. Also the rear tire bounced off the ground on this drop. Not enough rebound damping?
4) When I watch your bike review videos, there is a bit of delay between the words and the lips moving on the screen, which gives it all a cool dubbed kung fu movie sort of feel. This doesn't mean anything in regards to the review, but I like it enough to mention it.
5) That geometry...just yuck. If you are going to have an old school trail bike it should come with 680mm bars and pedal really well. Specialized should just move forward with the Evo.
  • + 6
 @SunsPSD

Just brutal, man.

Yeah for me the big upset for this bike was the geo, otherwise I'd consider it. I did a quick demo of the XL (I'm 6'1") and it was kind of disappointing compared to bikes like the Ripmo, Sentinel, and sb130. And the XL is similar in reach to the L version of those 3 bikes which is kind of ridiculous. Also, you can Sentinalize the Ripmo with an angle adjust headset, which you can't do with the Stumpy. This bike felt tall, awkward, and twitchy compared to the fabulous 3. I respect all the design changes to the Stumpy and have no issues with the rear suspension, it's just the steep geo and the fact that at 6'1" I'd have to run a long stem on an XL to get comfortable over the bike.

And then there's the Stumpy EVO, which PB reviewed and looks insanely badass, with the exception of a curiously low bottom bracket, even in the high setting. Cool bike. I look forward to the plastic version..... hey Spesh, maybe creep up that bb a few more millimeters?
  • + 7
 I just had a 36 RC2 170mm, now have a Lyrik 180 and it is noticeably stiffer. Been telling everyone who’ll listen (not many) but nobody believes a humble Lyrik can beat the 36. It’s plusher too, and actually stays that way after you get out of the car park. Cheap parts. Easier to service. Pisses all over the Fox.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: glad someone is honest about the geo. I don't get guys gushing over this bike. 470mm reach is rediculous on an XL. It was even shorter than the Switchblade that came out years ago. We've figured out now that small reach and a slack STA at 74 sucks and there isn't any upside to it either...yet here they are with this nonsense. Don't get my wrong, I'm on an XL custom Instinct which isn't super long depending on the Ride9 (487 reach up to 495) but its much better than this. There is a right way and wrong way to do Conservative geo and this isn't it.

When even Yeti figures reach out, you know it's a good idea to go there (yeti took FOREVER)
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro:

Had the Sworks stump 2019 for 2 months June-july (bought frame and built it up)
Sold it after 15 rides
Couldnt dial it right
They change the leverage ratio and the linkage and its worst compare to 2018
Just brutal
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro:

The BB hight on the Evo is perfect.
  • + 3
 @iqbal-achieve: if you havent already got it in, the new debonair spring makes a huge difference. Its even more plusher!
  • + 1
 @sarah-maude:

That's disappointing.

I think with a little work I could come close to dialing in the new stumpy. Starting with a reduced offset dual position Lyrik (160-130). Add an offset bushing and that gets the HTA down to about 65.5 in the 160 position. The travel adjust would keep the front end in check whilst climbing.

That new leverage ratio is supposed to be firmer and mesh better with coil shocks too, so too bad you didn't like it. To me it still felt pretty mushy in open but I'm accustomed to using compression adjustments on rear shocks so no big deal. I think it is weird that spesh supposedly firmed up the rear end but then stocked shocks with lighter tunes, seems counter intuitive. Anyway, lotsa good options out there these days.
  • + 1
 @jclnv:

Jay-Cee! How much time do you have on the EVO? According to my napkin calculations, in the high setting the bb is about 13.15 inches american. Compared to the 13.3 that I'm used to which already results in plenty of rock strikes but I've learned to live with it. The EVO has 5mm shorter cranks than what I'm riding. Maybe with a 160 air shaft the EVO bb becomes no big deal in the high setting? As long as the rider is cool with rocking a 63.6 HTA with that setup, which someone who's buying that bike probably is.
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I run 165mm cranks in the high setting.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: So are the chainstays imo.

I haven't ridden this bike but I'll take the trade-off of having super active suspension over the firmer pedaling designs.
  • + 1
 @Flowcheckers: Yep rear centre length is bang on. It's an amazing bit of kit IMO. Going to be tough to not buy a carbon version.
  • + 4
 The "oudated" geometry, well I am the most awake as fuk and will say that mountain bikers are lame whiny bitches obsessing about irrelevant numbers and material properties and they should learn how to ride a bloody bicycle in the first place. Many Dirt jumpers clear jumps bigger than you on your silly overcomplicated, gigantic bicycle. Not to mention kids doing BMX racing. Yes there are kids on 16" wheels and 1.5" tyres jumping bigger sht than you do. They possibly pedal better too. If you think that adding pictures of Pole Machine to the favorite pics or your pinterest will make you the enlightened one, you sit way too deep inside your own arse to see any light at all. Not only that, you present yourself as some poor little victim of opression by the industry which does not want to provide you with the solution to becoming a great rider. Yet you still want a medal for it.

There! Rant over! Drops the bomb and leaves...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: once again not sure if you’re taking the piss out of me or we have the same opinion :/
  • + 2
 @iqbal-achieve: I do believe people talk about “new school” geos to appear awake as fuk. There are quite a few Poles and Geometrons on ebay... I am deeply sceptical to this trend in commenting. Especially under an article describing a bike that I rode and is ridden by some of the fastest dudes in my town. An idea that a fricking trail bike should be as slack as and long as a DH bike and then same dude rides 1ply tyres is simply laughable. Like that 36 stiffness pseudo-issue. By large, Mountain bikers, namely all from XC to Enduro, are horrible wooses. We deserve to be shamed by BMXers of all kinds. We are Dorks.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

Wacky - we all know you're the wokest of us all. After spending a little time on some of the Stumpy's competitors I can see that they're falling behind on the geo a little (exception EVO). that's it. it could be a little longer and slacker even in this "everyman trailbike" version that's meant for the masses. And fast riders are fast riders.

Agree that we're dorks.

Also, heading to ebay to check Poles & Geometrons right after I add the Machine to my Pinterest.

#wokerthanyou
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I hear Ya... However I'm loving the geo on the sb130.. No more scooting to the tip of the seat...The steep seat angle and longer reach are welcome for my lanky ass..
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: Just got this bike, Stumpy 29 s-works. I was a little worried about the geo... I'm not worried anymore. The bike rips. I come from a Sentinel, which I loved, but now I can tell that there's no perfect geo, since I feel way more comfortable on the Stumpy, it just works. So f*ck geos, learn to ride a bike and rip them all.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: LOL. Bikes as short as the Stumpy just don't fit the average male proportions very well. There is a reason dirt bikes are not 4" shorter with the foot pegs 6" closer to the bars, it's f*ckin awkward!

Mine, or anyone else's relative speed is not a factor, when you stand up on a bike this short you feel like you are holding on to your knee caps. Doesn't matter so much for lots of seated riding but it matters a lot for aggressive standing and steep chutes. Sure I might get my ass handed to me by kids on much lesser bikes (I'm sure it's happened but honestly don't remember when), also irrelevant.. I'll never be a kid that grew up BMXing and rode my entire life, but instead will always be the guy that never had a bicycle until the age of 43. That doesn't mean I can't ride my best on a bike with good geometry.

As someone who raced a lot of MX, I think I have a better feel for proper geo and suspension than the average bicyclist that tends to accept shit, quite frankly.

~ take care
  • + 4
 @SunsPSD: I have been riding different bikes through many years of being super awake and I have no idea how can one talk about wanting longer geos and talking about steeps... considering that longer reach limits your ability to freely place your belly button over BB because your arms have limited length. I can ride steep sht, including 5-10m slabs over 50 degrees and huh... no not really a problem. did it on Medium Nomad in 2008. By modern standards it is a kids bike. The longest bike I rode was Big Honzo in L and 2016 Enduro 29 in XL both bikes were riding me. Not me riding them. Sure, I see how it is cool to hang on in a cadilac, but it is harder for me to make them do things on demand. But well... whatever... ride what you want, but the attitude that standard Stumpy is too short for EVERYBODY and EVRYBODY should ride Evo or Pole/ Joeymetron, is a joke. Actually when I think about it, long bikes are good for average riders. Not saying you are, by any means, no. But the better the rider is, the less it matters. I also know a coach who rode a Sick bike in extreme geo and asked for a shorter bike afterwards. Shitty example, but still... again, I am not saying what you should ride, you guys do.
  • + 1
 "1) Thank you for acknowledging that a bike doesn't pedal particularly well even though you were more kind than I would have been. They pedal like a wet mattress imo."

I agree, I have a Stumpy as well. I think they should emphasize this point even more though, they didn't put this issue in the Cons section and it looks like a lot of these guys are missing the hint and the bike is still getting a lot of praise. This is a trail bike and it should pedal well, to today's standards, and it doesn't. It's just too bobby when pedaling through rough sections and I end up having to lock up the shock. I've tried to adjust the shock but I just can't seem to find a good tune/middle ground. It's definitely the FSR system which I think needs a complete redesign.

As far as the geometry, I think there are people who will love it. This bike is shorter than most of today but I think it fills a niche for people who want shorter bikes.
  • + 3
 @Ricardino: FSR is a rather simple design with no wobbles in the mid travel like VPP so if anything, it is the shock. I personally wouldn’t expect any bells and whistles from such a shock. Tuning it will only optimize it for a certain use. People want light bikes, and if you want to save 200g to get this shock pump of a shock, then this is what will happen. Put X2 or CCDB or TTX22 on it and it will be a different bike. Maybe they should have set it more for climbing than riding down the hill at least. I agree.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
I know the guy who KOM the dh World Cup track in Ste-anne on his unicycle Koxx.
Says the shorter the better unlike my girlfriend.

You are awasteke
  • + 0
 @sarah-maude: I know a guy who used to live in the countryside... he drank vodka by dipping a tampoon in it and was stuffing it up his arse. He was tying pigs and raping them. What could he do. He was a grandson of a Finnish farmer who lost both legs fighting Russians and then was sent around Nazi Germany as a War hero, meeting all the Generals and officials, he even spent a weekend in Himmlers villa. Finally he was sent to Eastern front to see how German army is progressing. There he was sleeping in a tent with a Russian captive who was gang raped regularly. The captive asked him too shoot him. Which he did, as an act of mercy. Even though Russians blew up his legs.

Now... how possible is it that I made up this story? Quite many details isn't it? Anyhoo found it relevant to your post.
  • + 1
 @Ricardino: You just need better pedalling technique.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
A waste
sorry my mistake
  • + 1
 @glen-allaire: You called me a waste?
  • + 14
 For me, you look at the Stumpy Expert, you get GX Eagle, carbon rims, carbon front triangle with aluminum rear, for 5k USD. Although you don't get this unreal green colour, damn.
  • + 43
 just pick the stars off your ceiling and stick 'em to yer frame, dawg
  • + 17
 I was so stoked to not be on an all-black bike. It looks great in green, I think.
  • + 15
 @seanondemand The expert stumpy actually has Carbon front and rear triangle. Same frame as the s-works model.
  • + 2
 The new pricing is good, back when that was a $5500 bike a few weeks ago it was a hard sell. Especially with the same hubs you can get on a $1600 fuse. Lacing bad hubs to carbon wheels doesn't really make sense.
  • + 4
 The Expert is always the best model to buy with Spesh.
  • + 1
 @JacksonTM: The Expert has rebranded DT Swiss 350 Classic hubs... In what comparison to what alternative are they bad?
  • + 5
 @Lundholm: No it does not. Trust me. I own the Expert and it did not come with DT350 internals but rather 3 pawls. Subsequently rebuilt it with a DT240.
  • + 1
 @brumos: I have an Enduro with that 3 pawl hub. The thing has developed play and wore out a bearing in less than a year. Now tightening the casette on preloads the bearings in the free hub and makes the bearings really rough. Compared to cheap Giant hubs and a Funn hub I have owned it is junk. The alloy rims are even worse.
  • + 13
 Cable routing is well thought out? Not for Moto style or UK/NZ/AUS riders it's not.
  • + 4
 100% Trek is doing a great job on this front IMO and it's a pleasure not to have my brake hose rubbing a hole in my super expensive crabon frame, just because they were too lazy to put an additional port on the head tube.
  • + 15
 Well said guys. The racist routing on this bike (and many others) is a big downside.
  • + 8
 @jclnv: Racist routing. Ha ha, I like it and don't at the same time.
  • + 1
 @BrendanVDB: It is what it is!
  • + 2
 I'm having trouble signing off on the cable routing( I do feel cable routing needs to be done better by a lot of bike companies to be fair). Right as they talk about it on the video you get a shot of what I am guessing is the dropper cable going into the frame. It's crimped and looks like some of the outer cosmetic casing is coming off already. In one of the previous videos, they mention that they only had a couple weeks worth of riding on these bikes. So, unless there has been a crash of some kind, that cable/hose shouldn't be getting that kind of wear on it at all.
  • + 2
 @brendanVDB this Yankee is with you on the moto style. . . . Internal routing suck!
  • + 5
 I ride moto and still use the front brake on the left for my bicycles. I don't get why this is so hard for you guys.
  • + 5
 @HARv379: Obviously we're just not as awesome as you
  • + 3
 With the alloy version you can easily switch it to moto style as the ports are interchangeable. But if you want carbon then youre screwed...
  • + 0
 @BrendanVDB good point... should have asked the UK contingent during the test. That said, I think the "pop it in the front it comes out the back" part is awesome regardless, and you could probably just flip your brakes and not have the housing cross over.
  • - 1
 @HARv379: just like the sportbike world where most riders just can't swap between standard and gp shift without issues. I never got that. People always thought my cbr had the same shifting as my KTM supermoto lol!
  • + 1
 @jclnv:

It about time this was called out. I wouldn't buy this bike for a lot of reasons and this is one of them.
  • + 2
 @HARv379:

I am right handed and it makes a lot of sense having the front brake controlled by my dominant hand. What reasons are there for left/front other than archaic auto hand signals?
  • + 1
 @Legbacon: based on your reasoning... Left handed people?
  • + 2
 @yzedf:

Left handed, left front.
  • + 1
 @Legbacon: By that logic I'd rather have the rear brake controlled by my dominant hand as it's harder to feather just so.
  • + 2
 @acali: No way. There is vastly more consequence for not modulating a front correctly than a rear.
  • + 13
 Gumby is excited about his signature color Spesh
  • + 2
 he doesn't ride Pokey?
  • + 9
 @powderturns: they just pals
  • + 13
 Specialized dropper post AKA "The Vasecto-post"
  • + 9
 Its actually pretty cool that the lowest spec carbon model uses the exact same carbon frame as the Sworks model.....no alloy rear end, no lower grade carbon, etc. Ive rode the stumpy a few times, and I feel that the taller stack height helps to offset the short reach....while its a bit shorter the tall stack height helps you feel like youre really in the bike, as opposed to on top of it. if that makes sense. I also found that it was one of the more playful 29ers ive had the pleasure of riding, the rear end really generates a ton of pop off of jumps and trailside features. Its also interesting to note that Graves and Keene choose this as their race bike for the EWS as opposed to the Enduro.
  • + 3
 OG-MG,

I agree with your first sentence. But to me the tall stack height made me feel on top of the bike, as opposed to in the bike, opposite of your experience.

Not sure if I'd call it playful, but definitely agile. Rear end is more plow-friendly than play-friendly to me.

Finally, we'd need a bike check on G&K as their bikes aren't stock. They're likely long-shocking the rear a little and for sure the front. Graves is small enough that he has good fit options too as the reach is super conservative on these.

Not a hater, I ride a '17 Stumpy and after $2k in upgrades (Topaz, dual position Lyrik, carbon wheelset) it kind of rips. But after demoing the latest and greatest this year, it seems to me that the big S is falling behind. (caveat, EVO!) And to make things worse (or better), the new Jeffsy 29 is close to dropping. I doubt that YT will make the same mistake as the big S on their new geo.... i think the new Jeffsy is gonna steal some Stumpy sales.
  • + 5
 @WasatchEnduro: agreed. the stack height on these is that of a similar beach cruiser. if you ride an XL be careful riding into a parking garage, you might hit your knuckles on the ceiling.
  • + 1
 @Hobo1337: flip the stem and put your favorite no rise bar on it. Local guy did that with his. Personally I like more stack height, works well for me in the slower tech for those last second front wheel lofts.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro I’ve admittedly not rode a ton of new bikes recently. But I found the stumpy suspension more poppy than my ol 2018 trek remedy. Definitely not as playful/poppy as my current pivot Mach 5.5 though. That thing flys off any jump and has great traction too. And those points regarding G&K are certainly valid. I suppose my local trails are pretty much all flow trails with lots of jumps and berms, so a bike with poppy/playful suspension is definitely ideal as opposed to something that sticks to the ground. My trails really aren’t ideal for drawing conclusions about how well a bike plows.
  • + 1
 @Mgabriel757:

I hear ya. There’s also no substitute for a quality setup. Mine does really well on flow/jump trails too. Especially faster ones with moderate jumps... and no problem late season when they’re beat to sh#t. I also run a Topaz stacked with volume reducers (2 neg, 3 pos) and the spring rate chamber at max (200 psi) with enough psi in the main chamber to get my sag at just under 30%. Still pretty supple but miles more support and bottom out resistance than other options I’ve tried.

And I’m doing what @yzedf said too, stem slammed and flipped neg 6 with a low rise 800 bar. Even if I set up a demo rig with my preferred cockpit setup it’d still be a little too short and steep. On mine the dual position fork helps the climbs a bit tho u gotta watch for pedal strikes.
  • + 2
 I ride an 18 Enduro 650 and the stack height is simply too low in XL even with a 180 fork. Steerer is cut short and the only option is to buy a higher rise bar to get my hands where I need them on steep terrain. Sounds like they cant find a middle ground...
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: Seems like we have the same bike 17' stumpy with Lyric and Topaz.

But I have always found that tokens in negative side on Topaz make the shock really hard on begining of the stroke. The best setup I found so far is 4 spacers positive and 250ish psi in main chamber. That gets me close to 30% sag and it has some bottom out resistance, tho bottom outs still happen.
  • + 2
 @Plancktonne:

Nice. That's a lot of bottom out support. I'm doing fine with 3 and also the occasional bottom on drops and jumps with marginal landings (or cased landing). To me the shock felt a little mushy without some spacers in the negative chamber. It sounds like your setup would erase trail chatter really well. Ride on.
  • + 1
 @headshot: Enduros have 10mm higher BB's... Plus the shorter A-C if a 650b fork. Apples to oranges.
  • + 9
 It climbs.....okay. It descends....okay. That's not a glowing endorsement for a $4000 bike let alone a $10k top-shelf ride. When the same cash gets a better climbing and descending bike, why buy this?!
  • + 2
 Because you can put gummy bears in the frame.

Can't really think of another reason unless you really like the geometry. The tall stack and short reach is not for me, but there are 20 other great bikes with more "normal" geometry. I think it's better to have 20 similar bikes and 1 different, than 21 similar bikes. I'm sure someone out there prefers the Stumpy geometry.
  • + 1
 @samimerilohi: I don't object to the geometry (I get on well with shorter reach bikes)-I object to mediocre climbing and descending. A well designed bike with a shorter TT can still do the things well.
  • + 6
 i found ironically enough that the manic x fusion they spec on their comp models to be far superior to the command post, more reliable than my foray into fox transfers and significantly better than bontragers drop line, ive loved it enough that i actually put them on my fatty and a procaliber.
  • + 5
 I've had nothing but good experience with the Manic. The one reviewed in the link below is still going just as strong. A great post at a reasonable price.

www.pinkbike.com/news/x-fusions-199-manic-dropper-post-review-2017.html
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: yeah this entire season has been great. this winter will really tell to its quality. my fatboy is my commuter in mucky salty crap and im curious to see how it holds up to that.
  • + 3
 I put an xfusion manic on mine after the spesh post broke the collet...and the X fusion is much better. Perfect return speed, reliability and crazy light lever feel.
  • + 6
 Good review. With suspension there's always some compromise. Sounds like this one sticks to the ground real well which is great - but there's drawbacks to that as well as you identified. Nothing a cheater switch can't fix. Geometry wise it's really similar to the YT Jeffsy - classic fun trail bike geo. I think Specialized have been smart here - they've brought out a fun, well handling trail bike with conservative, proven numbers that will please most people who walk into a bike shop and want a mountain bike - and then they've brought out the Evo at the same time - to please the more gravity-oriented and trend-conscious among us. The swat stuff all looks really good too. The fact that comes stock is really nice.
  • + 1
 But not fun to climb? The slack STA for a taller dude is a nightmare... the reach isn't helping it either. Plenty of these new 29ers are fun without geo flaws that cause real issues on the trail and not just on paper
  • + 2
 @Svinyard: The stumpjumper evo has a 75.6 degree seat angle, 63.5 head angle and 475mm reach in the S3 size.
  • + 2
 @tom666: wouldn't fit me in reach but the STA and head angle are cool... That's a pretty slack hta tho.
  • + 6
 @Svinyard: I think they're doing their best to please everyone. This bike has very similar geo to the YT Jeffsy. The Jeffsy was MBUK's trail bike of the year earlier this year because it was such a fun bike to ride - I don't think the MTB landscape has changed so much in 1 year that that's no longer relevant. I think for most MTB riders who are out riding trail centres this bike looks great - and then for people who want a more aggressive bike there's this stumpjumper evo and also the enduro. I think it's important to remember with new trends (like the really steep seat angles we're starting to see) that people have always managed until now. People have been getting up steep shit and putting down watts with this seat angle and slacker for years and years.
  • + 1
 @tom666: went sb130.. The stumpjumper evo was a bit to much.. Love that 77deg seat angle at 505 reach XL and 65.5 ha.. They nailed it for me!
  • + 2
 @tom666: I tend to agree. My XL Enduro is great but I have as much or more fun on my shorter reach steeper HT. Sometimes the numbers are just numbers. My old Enduro had a 66.5 hta and 477 reach in XL. Almost perfect numbers for me. Longer is not always better...:-)
  • + 2
 @tom666: I totally agree and find it humorous how what was awesome last year or two years ago is now dated/cramped/uncomfortable/unridable. Some people are so adamant pushing the long reach I wonder how they ever rode a bike before 2015/16.

They would likely never release the data, but I think with this bike there is a really interesting market research opportunity. If the long, low, slack geo that everyone "needs" is really the way forward, and the short geo is too conservative, then Specialized should sell way more evo models than regular. I would love to see the relative percentages of how many "regular" vs. evo models they sell.

Of course, the counter argument will be that people are dumb, or are joeys and will buy whatever the salesman sells them. I'm not sure how to get around that, but I still would find the numbers interesting.
  • + 1
 @Climbtech: They can't make enough Evo's. It also isn't a long bike sizing wise.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Yeah, to the LLS crowd, the EVO is probably only progressing to "normal", at least in reach. (HTA is a bit more adventurous.)

Curious if you say they can't make enough EVOs because of knowledge of actual sales numbers or just that the local shop has a hard time getting them?
  • + 1
 @Climbtech: Some coming into Canada in May but all are sold. Same situation in the US apparently.
  • + 6
 Ok I'm sorry but I'm sick of all babies crying about climb switches. Is it really that hard to flip a climb switch? I mean some bikes are designed to use the climb switch and I'm ok with that. These types of suspension platforms definitely are designed to use that switch. It's just right there! Just use it! plus when you use it they climb very well and then you just change it back to descend mode and you're set for a supple downhill ride!
  • + 3
 I could not agree with you more. It takes all of 2 seconds, and you can do it on the fly. It instantly takes a bike which is a killer on the way down, and make it a respectable climber. We're all looking for the downhill bike which will climb well - but flipping a switch a few times a ride is too high a price? C'mon!
  • + 1
 same here. agreed. and the shock position is great for easy of access. unlike the Scott Genius which is also a very active design so with the shock way down there you basically need the twin lock on bar to calm down the rear end on climbs. but then you're faffing with a clusterf*ck bar situation and horrible dropper lever ergonomics. rant over.
  • + 4
 @hondabw @KJP1230 @WasatchEnduro

For sure, I get those points and the switch can certainly make sense... But just imagine how good rear suspension could be if no one had ever invented the pedal-assist feature!? Especially on a bike like this Stumpy that's essentially designed to do a lot of things pretty dang well. It's less of an issue if you do all your climbing and then all your descending, but when I'm on rolling terrain, I just want all my bikes to be 100% open 100% of the time and still pedal really well.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy:

Understood. That's where bikes like the Ripmo and SB130 beat the Stumpy.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Defying physics with that requirement I'm afraid.

Even with a high pivot/idler or Switch Infinity.
  • + 1
 It's not just climbing, I end up having to lock out the suspension when pedaling through rough sections on my Stumpy because it just bobs too much. I've tried adjusting it but I can't seem to find a good middle ground for climbing and descending. The FSR system needs a complete revamp.
  • + 9
 I have the 27.5 and I’ve been loving it so far!
  • + 4
 I don't get how other brands with horst links can be said to climb/work so well but bigS always gets kicked in the teeth over it. How could they possibly not have the most dialed horst link ever??

Is it just bias because its bigS, or can they really of missed the mark that bad? I've had several enduros and thought they climbed fine. Sure not the most efficient, but totally fine. Plus they were so smooth and plush on the downs it always made perfect sense why they didn't climb as well as other bikes.
  • + 5
 It's all pivot locations. One Horst Link isn't the same as another. Moving pivot locations by only a few millimeters can have a big effect on how much anti-squat the system has, which is a major factor in determining how efficient it feels.

And yup, they climb just fine. Not great, but fine, and the reason for that is because Specialized wants them to be active for that "so smooth and plush on the downs" feeling Smile
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: On the EVO it would make sense that they would want that kind of suspension. Or an Enduro for sure. But on the regular Stumpy it doesn't seem like that would be the ideal goal?

I can't believe that BigS didn't buy one or several Transition Patrols a few years back, (or insert whatever other highly reviewed Horst link bike of late), and dissect them to the Nth degree. With today's computer/software, 3D scanning, data acquisition, and custom damper tunes for a company the size of Specialized they should be able to pick and choose any bike feel they want. (within reason, but they should be able to at least match any other Horst link out there) So to me it seems odd that with all their resources and experience they would still get this kind of suspension review on a pretty top tier trailbike???

At any rate, I haven't been on a 19. Honestly I don't think this is the geo I want, but reading this review makes me want to see if I can get a demo this weekend. Thanks for the reply and thanks very much for the field tests!!!
  • + 1
 @stiingya: The R&D guys at Spesh are all pinners. They're not going to mash the pedals like the average online mag hack.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I never think to call and reserve a bike till the shops are closed... Gonna try and get a demo tomorrow anyway since I got an unexpected 3 day weekend.

Not that my review will be much input in the greater scheme of things. but it will be interesting to see how the bike rides.

Also, I re-watched the vid and I'm not gonna let go of the "bias" thing. It's hard to believe the bike gets a fair shake when the introduction was basically; "let see if another one of these Specialized bikes still climb like shit". Smile
  • + 1
 @stiingya: The Evo is something else (this side of a Geometron/Pole). I actually see it as such, a bargain price Geometron. The seat angle is way steeper than the stock bike and it climbs better because of it. Weight aside it's mega, just don't expect it to be fun when you're not on the limit because it's crazily stable.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: The raw aluminum one is a thing of beauty!! They need to do it in XL!!
  • + 1
 @stiingya: Agreed. I feel for the taller guys but it'll come.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Dealer I talked to didn't know when. I think an angleset to increase reach and slack out the regular stumpy would totally be worth looking at along with a fork upgrade!! I thought it was totally livable as is with the low shock setting and the seat slammed forward! But I would rather have that DPS and 36 AND the RAW on the EVO is just killer!!! Smile
  • + 1
 @stiingya: An angleset is going to decrease your reach.
  • + 1
 @jclnv:

I'm no expert, but my understanding is that slackening out the headtube rotates the front end down and away from the rear axle and steepens the seat tube angle/lowers the BB. If you got out a level and a ruler it seems as though that increases reach and lowers stack? There was a Banshee Spitfire thread back before the last frame update and they were slacking out head tubes along with some even reducing fork travel to increase reach.

If a person just puts on a longer fork they are rotating the front end up and back reducing reach and increasing stack, slacking seat and raising BB. So if you combine that with a slacker angleset you can add a longer fork without changing geo. (which I have done before, though in my case I needed to run an external lower cup that raised things back up so reach was about the same)

What I was thinking with the Stumpy is a 2 degree slacker headset and then just 10mm longer fork. So the longer fork should negate some of the reach change, but even a little longer would help out. (and my experience on the test ride was that just the small changes I had made were significant in how the bike felt, so even some small reach increase would be beneficial)

Anyway, this was all just armchair thought experiment. No idea what headset the stumpy is running to know what kind of angleset options there would be...
  • + 1
 @stiingya: You're mostly correct. There might be a slight net increase in reach if you're happy to keep the resulting stack low. If you add spacers under the stem or a higher rise bar you'll be back to square one and slightly shorter reach as the angleset will also angle the steerer/stem/bars back a little.

Anyway it's a nonstarter as Specialized use IS headsets so an angleset won't fit.

I reckon the next standard Stumpy will have similar geo to the Evo. There's also a carbon Evo coming.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: It's the tall stack height that made me think of it in the first place... (a bit too tall anyway so could use the lower set up) But I guess your right with the IS headset killing the deal/idea for more reach. Bummer...

Offset bushings then!!! JKN
  • + 1
 @stiingya: Totally agree re the stack. I could ride a large reach wise but the head tube/stack is too big.
  • + 4
 "While the Stumpy obviously isn't my favorite climber in recent memory, it actually might be ideal for a lot of riders because it is so forgiving."

a "forgiving" climber?? this is downcountry level.

do you guys have staff meetings on creatively coming up with ways to provide constructive criticism without drawing the ire of the big red S?

this is artfully done LOL
  • + 9
 Nah, this is just comprehension level Wink I say that it's a forgiving climber because of how its active suspension will forgive your poor body position or mistakes on tricky, low-traction climbs. I wasn't a big fan of the handling on really tricky stuff, but I think it'll be a great climber for a lot of people simply because it does just keep on crawling forward.

I'm also pretty clear that it's far from being the most efficient bike, and that it's not efficient enough for me.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: More time on the bike and you'd clean everything. I had the same issue at first but once you adapt it can climb with the best of them.
  • + 1
 It has to be constructive as all the ads on pb will be for this bike for 2 weeks then they will give one away as a prize
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: can't wait until you guys do the sb130..
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Sounds like an Altitude would climb more efficiently and but still be as plush on the descents with a DPX2. Would you agree? By the way, I love these reviews. Honest and straight to the point. They're really helpful given how hard it can be to get demos.
  • + 1
 @stacky00: I think I'd agree re the Altitude. Thanks for the kudos, these have been fun to make Smile
  • + 1
 Bikes with less anti-squat (aka more pedal bob) have a way of smoothing out your power delivery. If your pedal stroke is especially stomp-y, then a bike like this is less likely to break traction when your power spikes.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy:

Antisquat increases climbing grip at low shaft speeds. Thus, bikes with high AS will typically be more forgiving with poor line choices at lower wheel speeds (and this typically lower shock shaft speeds)
  • + 3
 Why not review bike specs around the same price? Seems weird to test and review a $10k top-of-the-line Stumpy to a $6k Kona Process to a $8k SC Bronson. Could have done a $5k Process 153 CR 29 to a $5k Expert 29 to a $5.2k SC Bronson S Carbon, yeah? I'd assume more people could relate, more people buy these models, and more people would appreciate reviews and comparisons with less variables.
  • + 0
 This is the highest end model of the Stumpy. The Kona was also the highest end model, and I think the Santa Cruz was the 2nd highest end one? In that way it makes sense, they're reviewing the best (or close to best) build of each bike.
  • + 1
 great point!
  • + 3
 I'm sure it's a great bike. But jesus christ...at that price point the world is your oyster. There are WAY cooler bikes that cost WAY less. Spend the leftover cash on plane tickets and hotel stays at exotic locations to ride.
  • + 4
 Yeah, the S-Works tax is substantial, and while Specialized house brand stuff might work fine it just doesn’t shout “dream bike.”
  • + 2
 A lot of what they're saying here could also be said for my old 2010 Enduro. Great bike overall, but yes, the suspension is really active. It's cool on descents and really technical terrain -- bottomless feel, soaking up the hits and all that -- but I never realized what an energy suck it could be fighting it on climbs until I bought another bike with a different linkage system. They hit this on the head. As for geometry, I think manufacturers are getting a little too extreme with the reach. I think what's happening is that guys who were comfortable on a large with whatever reach are now just sizing down to mediums to get the same reach. I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers start dialing back a little in the years to come, although I'm sure bigger guys are psyched.
  • - 1
 I think so too, but the reach on this is laughable. STA too
  • + 2
 I have a Horst link bike and while it does bob a bit (which is unnoticeable when pedaling), I ride for fitness so going a bit slower isn't a negative in my book. Shock is on open all the time. If I was racing up hills for prize money it would be different.
  • + 1
 @JohanG: Yeah, overall I wouldn't have too much of a problem buying another one some day. You don't really notice it, until you start riding another bike.
  • + 3
 I qant this for a +160mm bike. Id i get a 140mm bike, it better be good peddler.. anyways, I had two seasons of fun flipping the lever on a knolly warden ( thats a bike that needs the Climb switch).. ride what you have
  • + 2
 I have been riding a Warden or the last 3 years. I only feel the need for the climb switch on very smooth trails or gravel roads. Definitely don't need (or want) it for steep techy climbs. Depends on your trails I guess.
  • + 2
 You guys are absolutely spot on with your reviews, great job! I rented a new Bronson in Whistler, came home and bought an EVO 29er. I've always ridden a FS with a floating pivot, but wanted to try a more active rear end. All the negatives on this model are addressed on the EVO: longer reach, lower stack, better dropper post, more aggressive geo, and a reasonable price that includes a Fox 36 and a DPX2, but no SWAT Frown
  • + 2
 Demoed the Stumpy short Travel 29er and even the bottom model peddled very efficiently. But it felt too high off the ground on the descents. Geo is more than a bit conservative, think they are competing with cube in the 90s with this one! The 27.5 version looks a lot better geo - will look forward to trying that out at some point
  • + 3
 You know there's a flip chip to lower it
  • + 1
 @ProChargedZ28:
Yup, it was in low.
Its more the high stack height...
  • + 1
 Yup. 27.5 is a bit more modern geo
  • + 1
 I also demo’d the ST. I didn’t think the stack was too high for me most of the ride, though the front end did feel a little lighter than my current ride in sole steeper climb sections.
  • + 1
 Had the new Stumpy ST with the Manic dropper. worked flawlessly wet, cold, muddy, or hot. Got the new SC 5010 with the RF dropper. Would not come to full extension with correct psi.....but works flawlessly with zero psi. Thanks Race Face for mind fucking me.
  • + 4
 A 10k bike and the dropper doesn't even last the testing time lmao no thanks.
  • + 1
 Even though it's the identical frame, there's a big difference in climb efficiency between the LT vs ST setups on the Stumpies.

I test rode both types of the 2019 29er model and the ST smoked the LT for climbing. On the LT you do need to observe that the crank length spec for even the size Large is a paltry 170mm long. On the ST heading down steeps, I felt the setup would have benefited from a 140mm fork, but otherwise spot on.

Taking the lessons learned from the 2019 test rides, I went back to my 2018 LT Stumpy Pro 29er and set about to implement a "mid travel" with a Pike @ 140mm (yes, got rid of the Ohlins fork) and the rear Ohlins ramped a bit more with 2x oil. Replaced the 170mm cranks with my usual 175mm and the rear susp. is lifted 6mm using the longer yoke Specialized provides for the 27.5+ setups. I now love the 2018 "mid" ride... more of a XC feel and quicker turning than before but still highly capable and stable on the trails.
  • + 5
 did the batteries come in handy?
  • + 3
 yeah, was there a punch line I'm missing with that shot?
  • + 2
 The batteries made it a proper e-bike
  • + 2
 This it is ebik? I heard the guys tell me ebiking is like the good, but not the best I think it is better to have iPad, maybe s crankbrother? Thoughts?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Forgive me if this was already mentioned- but why was the flip-chip not put into play? For as little geo change as it gives the bike feels completely different. I just feel it would have been a noteworthy mention/interesting to hear your take on it.
  • + 1
 wouldn't it make sense to use the same tires on all the bikes? getting an accurate/fair comparison between all the bikes will be difficult, if not impossible, since tires make such a big difference for weight, traction, etc.
  • + 1
 I am surprised Pinkbike did not include The Offering in this field test. Just got one from Jensonusa for 4990, yes expensive half the price from Specialized. The bike is so far feeling great. I've had Santa Cruz and Transition bikes prior to this one, and I have to say its a great bike.
  • + 3
 Agree with the dropper post. I have a 2018 Enduro and the dropper post goes up halfway normally. When its raining it wont go up at all.
  • + 1
 My 125 mm dropper has been largely problem free. Only time it got slow was after a 1 deg C drive to the trails last winter. Spaz say you must pump the air up periodically and then reset the pressure to get the desired return speed. Did that once and it's been perfect. I love the swift return speed and lack of lateral play. Its a well made post.
  • + 3
 ... best thing about this review is Mikes helmet ...Looks dope, anyone know what brand it is?
  • + 1
 That's a Bell Sixer.
  • + 0
 I have been riding this bike in a custom build for about 5 months now. It is a good trail bike but I really wouldn't put it in the category as a full on Enduro machine. The BIG miss for me is the sizing. I bought a large and it is too small for me, I'm 5'11" with 32" inseam. I later test rode an XLarge and it feels like it fits better but would have to run a shorter dropper. If you do decide to get this bike go bigger on the sizing.
  • + 3
 Incredible ugly. My 2014 silver-liquid s-works looks hips better than that.
  • + 3
 Loving these review @mikelevy you guys doing a great job. On point with info. Keep them coming bro!
  • + 2
 I feel like that Mike & Mike segment would have been perfect for another 'Mike vs. Mike' food shoot-out... Gummy bears vs. tofu skewers?
  • + 5
 We're going to be a bunch more Mike vs Mike videos in 2019. Hopefully all of them have gummy bears, too.
  • + 5
 @santxo, spicy agedashi? I'm in.
  • + 2
 It also has a flip chip making the geo slacker to 66 degree head angle. I got the expert 29ner one and love it.best bike I e ever had.
  • + 4
 How does it compare to the Giant Trance 29?
  • + 2
 Very curious about these “bikes that punch above their weight” interesting to see how a 115mm rear & 130mm front 29er compares to “fun-ability” in most riding scenarios in the “mountain bike” category.. lol
  • + 5
 Trance review upcoming!
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: Sweeeeet.. Can't wait!! lol, I like my Giant Reign Sx for my "riding style" but man it might be nice to rid myself of my road bike( seeing as I use it for long distance & hate being by cars) To then have a Trance 29er for 80% of the "normal trail riding" I do... kuz tho I do love the Reign SX, it's a monster to haul around everyday & maybe the Trance 29 would be capable enough for most of my riding & then just keep the Reign SX for those Rowdy, Steeper, Chunky day's at the bike park or on heavier Enduro races... Anyone else have this view/dilemma?? lol
  • + 2
 @Jaybirdy: I have done exactly this! Love the new Trance 29 with DVO.
  • + 2
 @OzarkBike: Sounds like my next best guess!!! Honestly with all the new this and that coming out in the bike industry.. I just want something tried and true and capable of more than only one great quality! So that being said.. I could only hope to find the perfect balance between two different extremes.. being DH/Enduro or Agressive Trail/Cross-country. Or I guess I could just sell everything and get the next best "One Bike To Rule Them All" cough cough .. SB150 29er no f*ckes given & with your friggin water bottle King Bike...What way shall I go again..!?!?hahah
  • + 3
 Could we see some of the huck to flat tests in little videos?
I think that would be fun to watch
  • + 5
 Don't worry, that's in the works.
  • + 1
 reading this review i start asking how graves u. keene could ride this thing in the ews?! or are they gettin a heavily modified version that us mortals don‘t have access to? none the less, i think it looks very nice.
  • + 3
 So was it zero flats like the video or six like the article?
  • + 6
 It was zero flats. I got a bit mixed up with my notes but Kazimer fixed it for me. Bless him.
  • + 1
 How many times did you hunger flat?
  • + 4
 @danielsapp: Every. Hour. Every. Ride.
  • + 4
 Stupid money
  • + 3
 I just gave myself whiplash when I saw the price on this bike.
  • + 45
 f*ck... so tired of these comments... of course it's expensive, it's their top spec carbon bike... just like every other company. Stop complaining, you should actually be praising Specialized as one of the companies making lower spec yet fully capable bikes in the Stumpjumper family that start at $1870!! And they offer a huge range of pricing in-between these prices. Thanks Specialized for offering great bikes at great prices allowing younger riders starting out in the sport with less cash an opportunity to buy something new and capable!
  • + 3
 It's a 29er so the Pink Bike staff should go gaga over it! Smile
  • - 9
flag sjflow (Dec 4, 2018 at 11:18) (Below Threshold)
 Does anyone know if there are any non-profit bike companies? It would be so cool to see what someone can do just for the passion of building bikes—not to make a damn buck. I'm thinking that they'd charge enough just to cover costs. To keep prices down they'd stick with the same standards and maybe the same frames for longer, etc. Maybe build some components in-house if it makes sense?
  • + 1
 I agree that it’s their top tier but you should admit that price is a bit laughable considering you can almost buy a new KTM fuel injected 2 stroke for that price. The r+d that went into developing an actual change in performance is worth a cost like that, not just changing geometry, clown paint and selecting top shelf components.

I'm also not so eager to thank Specialized (I’ve owned numerous and worked at a Specialized shop). I'm thinking of their sh^% Roval wheels, alloy bars on $6k bikes and a history of terrible “proprietary” shock partnerships (Ohlins and Cane Creek). If we're going to praise a company for offering value, the big S doesn't come to mind but Commencal, YT, Canyon, and other direct-order brands do.
  • + 3
 @islandforlife: The $1,870
Models got released a while back in very short quantities and then they got pulled out of the dealer site.
As of today , they aren't available.
  • + 5
 @ryan83: Wrong, Ryan. You must genuflect at the Altar of Specialized. Thank the Specialized Gods for deigning to build a $2000 bike. Worship them for throwing us peasants a bone. Repent, sinner.
  • + 2
 @sjflow:
Cannondale.
(GDR)
  • + 2
 @sjflow: anything from bikesdirect.com sells fits your criteria.

Happy trails !
  • + 2
 Good call, hospital is cheaper
  • + 2
 @ryan83: Try a Krispy Kreme doughnut or child's wooden block instead of me. Then see how you really feel about my Roval breed.
  • + 4
 @endurocat: That's so weird... when I made that comment, I only did so because I specifically looked at the bikes on their website. But you're right, when I go back now, they're gone! It's almost like someone at Specialized saw my comment and was like "Hey Chad, those f*cking cheap stumpys are still on the site, get off your ass and pull-em aleady!".
  • + 0
 @islandforlife: truth bomb right there.
  • - 1
 @islandforlife: your point still stands with the $4500-5000 versions that are still on there.
  • + 2
 @sjflow:
This is actually a great idea and I’m kinda surprised people downvoted you so much. It’s obvious that most don’t understand how not for profits operate. You’d need a niche, like making bikes for low income folks for example, but it could work if executed properly.
Legally being able to fundraise makes a big difference.
  • + 1
 @sjflow: non profit bike co.? are you serious? try fantasy land.
  • + 1
 “unlike the Bronson, it's also just as content to jib its way down a fun trail.“....cmon....we have all seen the 50to01 movies...
  • + 2
 I love how the bottom-out picture looks so serene. Even the wrinkles on the tire look peaceful and static.
  • - 1
 I don't believe that we can call the rear suspension a Horst-Link any more. One of the key elements of the Horst-Link I don't think any Mfg. uses any more. The pivot of the chain stay/seat stay placement in relationship to the der. mount is what I am referring to.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy the point about the stack being too tall, would you be happy with a zero rise handlebar (27mm rise on the bar tested)?
  • + 0
 Why would you pay $9500 for a bike that comes with a Fit4 Fork in 2018? There should definitely be the Grip2 damper in there and I'm surprised that didn't get mentioned in the review.
  • + 5
 FIT4 and Grip2 are two different things; the former offers on the fly adjustment via a three-position switch while the latter is more for people who like all the dials. I'd probably argue that there's room for both in high-end options, although I'd prefer the Grip2 damper if given the choice. The FIT4 damper certainly doesn't hold this bike back, though Smile
  • + 1
 I agree. Grip is another level and at that price, there's no excuse.
  • - 1
 Just dumb. Bad dropper and not an ultra high end fork damper? Grip2 is legit!
  • + 2
 @Adamrideshisbike: there only $30 dollars difference, tons of grip2's with problems. Rather have a fit4 on trail bike
  • + 3
 It’s actually a travel thing. There is no 150mm GRIP2, at least in a 29er. I learned this in some recent fork shopping.
  • + 1
 @chasintrails: I've had problems with 2 or the 3 Fit4 forks I've had, so I'm hoping Grip will be better.
  • + 2
 Being $2k less out of pocket for a bike that gets you labeled a rich elitist by Specialized owners: priceless.
  • + 2
 Not surprised but disappointing to see that the Spesh dropper is still a POS. I've had a few and they've all SUCKED.
  • + 3
 "Great generalist" that's a pretty good compliment.
  • + 5
 For sure, it's just a good mountain bike, period.
  • - 1
 @mikelevy: I'm genuinely confused on this one. It doesn't climb that great and the switch is probably needed, and it is tippy in slow single track. Seems to me that it is more of a smasher and less of a precision trail tool.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: It's also not a bad climber; it's just not in the top 1/3rd of the class because Specialized has put an emphasis on active suspension, and that's fine. Horses for courses and the switch makes every bike pedal well.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I have the 2018 model and actually really enjoy the bike. It doesn't however make a very good Thursday night race league bike at 30+ lbs and very active suspension.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: but there is no getting around that STA for a taller dude. Auto-wheelie. Flaw
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: it actually grows on ya. I never thought I'd own a bike with a 4-bar style suspension, but I've find myself able to keep the uphill pace I want because the abundance amount of traction will allow me to climb "out of the saddle" at will (I kept the shock fully open). Honestly, I really thought I was gonna just buy and sell my SJ but it has really impressed me.... except for the Roval wheels Frown
  • + 1
 @Beau-Doug: I'm a 4 bar as well. Jeffsy. Its a proven layout. And I'm glad that the rights to horst link expired so that other manufacturers can use it and give us variety.
  • + 1
 10K for a 29lb (with pedals) 140mm travel bike, wtf, bikes are getting more expensive AND heavier?
  • + 1
 If my front wheel only gets 24 spokes then I also want the bike to at least be 28lbs
  • + 1
 "room for a 3’’ wide rear tire if you wanted to mess the bike up" ... ok ok you win, I laughed.
  • + 1
 Don't care about the bike, but the shoes still look as weird as ever #twosocks.
  • + 3
 Con: NO 32" VERSION
  • + 3
 Agreed.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: that makes me feel better. I was mad at first but now I understand. Keep up the hard work. Thanks for the free content.
  • + 2
 Looks like a hunchback when he rides it.
  • + 1
 My poor posture.
  • + 2
 Can this review be re-titled to "The Many Faces of Mike Levy" ?
  • + 1
 Mike, you looked faster on it than on that session in worn out beige yesterday. Both up and down.
  • + 7
 I probably just had a Monster before riding the Speci.
  • + 2
 Do I still need to read the article once I finished watching the video?
  • + 2
 Oh, wait, Bikeradar already figured that out. Fugly is the new black.
  • + 1
 Looks like Specialized got their creative inspiration from the Orbea Rallon.
  • + 1
 SJ was modeled after the 2016 Demo which started the asymmetrical frame.
  • + 1
 Seat angle and reach numbers are very outdated.
  • + 1
 Does it climb better than the Enduro?
  • + 1
 Hey M.Levy, M.Kazimer, I am fond of your field tests. Please don't stop !
  • + 1
 We won't Smile
  • + 1
 The very good Stumpjumper Expert is now only $5000!
  • + 1
 2 different knee pads was the only thing I noticed.
  • + 1
 Why is the website spec a DPS for the rear shock but this has DPX2?
  • + 1
 $10k for a bicycle... lmao
  • + 1
 looks like a rallon
  • + 0
 SWAT Box can't fix poor geometry.
  • + 1
 stick of celery
  • - 2
 66 degree head angle on a trail 29er is dated geometry. Wonder what bikes in 2030 will look like...
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