Review: Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 2019

Review: Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 2019

Let’s get the ball rolling with the video…

The new Stumpjumper is a really beautiful bike. Although, having said that. The old stumpy wasn’t exactly a pig in lip stick. And if I’m honest… I kinda prefer the sharper, if a little harsher, lines of the previous version. But, we’re not here to get all nostalgic. We’re here to talk the new bike. And first off… A disclaimer. Much of this will be anecdotal and preferance driven. But I suppose that’s pretty much all you’ll get from any review, if not a little better couched in jargon and inuendo.

Asymetrical frame design and shock layout creates an “odd” look from above.

First off. I ride a specialized as my every day bike. So there’s nothing on this bike that stands out straight away and being epic or different. For me it was the usual predictable bike all wrapped up in a tighter and lighter package. And there is a notable increase in stiffness to this bike. Everthing just seems to be… Well… Tighter. This lead to a slight increase if the amount of trail feedback I was getting through the bars (the first trail was chock full of trail chatter). For the second day on the bike I reduced the rebound by two clicks and let a little air out the front tire and that seemed to have solved the problem.

Update to the rocker link adding an extra cross brace. As well as retaining the brace across the seat stays that was removed from the 2017 Enduro.

A notable difference with the updated frame is that there seems to be more support at the end of the stroke. The bike didn’t eat through its rear end travel with as much vigour. In fact, I never used the full rear travel during my time on the bike, despite running a (close to) 30% sag on the back end.

From the right, the frame seems to lovingly cradle the shock. It is beautiful indeed.

Although the SWAT system is a stroke of genius I didn’t use it as I was on the bike for just a handfull of days and didn’t feel like rearranging my entire riding regime. I would imagine though, you’d be able to shed just about everything off your person with a bit of strategic packing as the Spesh has increased the SWAT hole on the new Stumpy.

A good looking bike from every angle.

Here are a few things that did stand out for me about the bike. It seemed a bit sluggish on the climbs. Not that it is though. I did post my third fastest time through a segment I put a bit of effort into (beat out only by the old Stumpy and my Enduro). But it’s the feeling you get. It just doesn’t have that same pep to it as the previous model. And this kinda just sits in the back of your head. Annoyingly…

Guide R’s taking care of safety. Yes… I’m going to ask the LBS to remove the Dork Disk…

This lack of (percieved) pep disappears quite quickly once you’re trucking along the trails. The bike does like to “bounce” around quite a bit as you frollic down the trails. The handling on the old 6Fattie was nearly telepathic (from my rose coloured nostalgia), but on this Stumpy it wasn’t quite as sharp. Yet the bike did feel like it wanted to party. I found myself popping and jiving a little more that usual… Even in some less that ideal riding conditions. And I would hazard a guess that would only get better as i got the bike better dialed into my comfort zone. And my smile would get broader… This is something that was lacking from the older stumpy (which was a little more business…).

Butcher up front and Purgatory out back gave a good balanced feel to the bike.

The are a few niggles on the bike that are highlighted in the video. But those little irritations are easily “adjusted” out of contention and largely personal prefference… And what are you left with then? Well… An absolutely lovable bike. It ticks just about every box. It’s something special to look at. Rides like a dream. Is playful yet seriously quick and has everthing that opens and shuts as far as what you’ll ever want on a bike…

RANGE!!! Except maybe… Too manys.

This one definaitly gets the “I don’t wanna give it back” stamp of aproval. Except that stoopidly small chain ring. God dammit. That thing would be thrown in the ocean farster than you could guess the tooth count!

Two Guys…

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