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2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 Review

By Bruce Lin

The Specialized Stumpjumper is a classic mountain bike. Redesigned for 2019, it’s come back stiffer and lighter, with more travel and modernized geometry. With the Stumpjumper, Specialized have made the ultimate do-it-all trail bike, a versatile machine that remains comfortable and composed in every situation.

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 Highlights

  • Asymmetric Carbon Frame
  • 140mm Rear Travel
  • RockShox Deluxe Shock
  • 150mm RockShox Pike Fork
  • SRAM GX Eagle Drivetrain
  • Roval Traverse Carbon 29 Wheels
  • SWAT Storage in Downtube

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29 Details

The Stumpjumper has been a staple in the Specialized mountain bike lineup since its introduction in 1981, and through the years it’s firmly established itself as a benchmark that other trail bikes are measured against. For 2019, Specialized has redesigned the “Stumpy” from the ground up to make it even better. Probably the most eye-catching feature is the new asymmetric carbon frame. Similar to the Specialized Demo downhill bike, the Stumpjumper features a carbon arm that extends around the right side of the rear shock. This arm adds support to increase lateral stiffness compared to the old frame, which helps it track better in rough terrain. The rear swingarm has been redesigned to be lighter and stiffer as well, and the yoke now accepts a standard eyelet shock, expanding shock options and reducing compatibility issues. One of the frame’s nicest features is the SWAT box storage system in the downtube, which allows you to store spare tubes, tools, food, or other small items in a covered compartment built into the frame.  

Reach numbers for the Stumpjumper are a bit conservative (425mm Medium / 445m Large) but the headtube has been slacked out slightly to 66.5° and the seattube steepened to 74.5°. A flip chip allows the rider to slack out the head angle another 1° to 65.5° and drop the bottom bracket slightly. This improves the Stumpjumpers downhill trail manners while still being steep enough to keep the handling snappy and precise. The frame is designed to accept up to 2.6” tires, so big meaty rubber can be used if the situation calls for it. Travel has been increased over the previous 29er Stumpjumper. There’s 140mm of travel at the rear controlled by a RockShox Deluxe shock while a 150mm RockShox Pike gives the bike some big-hit capabilities at the front. The build is rounded out by a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain and a set of light and stiff Roval Traverse Carbon 29 wheels.

Rider Type

  • Do-it-all trail riders
  • Riders who want a one bike quiver killer
  • Riders seeking overall refinement and quality

The Stumpjumper is the quintessential trail bike. It can handle trails that range from smooth and flowly to steep and technical and still put a smile on your face. If you want to pedal all day on a long distance epic adventure, the Stumpy is efficient enough to do it comfortably. If the trail turns downhill, fast, and gnarly, the Stumpy can help you confidently ride it out. It won’t be as fast on climbs and long distance rides as an ultra-light and efficient XC bike, and the rear end doesn't feel as plush and forgiving as other 140mm+ travel enduro bikes. But it settles well enough into the middle to satisfy the vast majority of riders, especially those who need one bike to do it all. If you need a bike that pedals better, Specialized offers the Stumpjumper ST which is essentially the same frame with travel reduced to 120mm in the rear and 130mm up front. Riders seeking a slightly more plush and playful ride have the option of the Stumpjumper 27.5, which pairs 150mm of travel in the rear with the smaller 27.5" wheels. Pro enduro racers on the Specialized team have even used the standard Stumpjumper 29 in Enduro World Series races with the addition of a beefier fork and shock combination (e.g. a 160mm fork with a coil shock). The Stumpjumper is a bike that can truly become whatever you make of it, and no matter what you're riding it’ll give you plenty of miles of fun.

 

Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.