Specialized Stumpjumper Comp review

The Specialized Stumpjumper Comp shortlisted in the Trail Bike category of our 2022 Bike of the Year awards, is the cheapest carbon Stumpy in the range. There are also two alloy versions available for a chunk less cash. The Stumpy is one of Specialized’s best-known mountain bike families, with the name going back decades, to the early years of the brand. Currently, it’s Specialized’s 130mm trail bike, while there’s an EVO version offering a touch more travel and a much more aggressive shape.

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp frame and suspension

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This generation of the Stumpjumper sticks with Specialized’s signature asymmetric reinforcement on the driveside of the front triangle. Specialized has switched to a flex stay arrangement to control the rear suspension. This is designed to help Specialized control the arc of the rear wheel under compression, and how it relates to pedalling inputs. The frame is built from the brand’s FACT 11m carbon, with just the S-Works frames getting a higher-grade material.

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The wavy chainstay protector is claimed to reduce chain slap noise compared to a regular flat protector. The frame receives down-tube and chainstay rubberised protection. The down tube features SWAT Door storage, whereby a plate under the bottle cage opens up via a locking clip to reveal a storage door inside the down tube, which houses a neat SWAT bag if you wish to use it.

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SWAT Door storage in the down tube is a handy addition. The included bottle cage has a mini-tool holster bolted to the base of it, with the mini-tool having all the usual Allen keys. Other frame features include a threaded bottom bracket, internal hose guiding and sealed bearings at the pivots. Tyre clearances proved ample during testing, while pivot bolts are easy to access. The internal cable routing feeds neatly into the head tube, minimising cable rub.

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp geometry

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Cables are routed tidily into the head tube. Specialized eschews S/M/L-style sizing, instead using ‘S’ numbers. These go from S1 to S6, with the general idea being that you buy on bike length, rather than seat-tube length. Short seat tubes mean most riders will be able to pick from a range of sizes to dial in the feel of the bike they like. Specialized adds in a geometry-adjusting flip chip, giving 0.5 degrees of adjustment to the head and seat angles, and 7mm BB height adjustment between the high and low settings. The figures are bang on trend, with a slack head angle and long reaches (if you assume an S4 is roughly equivalent to a size large).

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The finishing kit is all Specialized’s own, other than the X-Fusion Manic dropper post. At 182cm tall, I tested an S4 bike, with a super-short 425mm seat tube, and long-ish 475mm reach in its low setting – in the high setting this extends to 480mm. The stack, in the low setting, sits at 632mm, the head angle is 65.3 degrees (measured, just over the 65 degrees claimed) and the seat tube, with the saddle at my climbing height of 71cm from the BB, measured up steeper than claimed at an impressive 77.3 degrees. Claimed geometry is presented below.

Seat angle (degrees)767676767676
Head angle (degrees)656565656565
Chainstay (mm)432432432432442442
Seat tube (mm)385385405425445465
Top tube (mm)563583605632660692
Head tube (mm)95100110120130140
Fork offset (mm)444444444444
Bottom bracket drop (mm)474242424242
Bottom bracket height (mm)328333333333333333
Wheelbase (mm)1,1521,1751,2001,2281,2681,302
Standover (mm)730734744749757757
Stack (mm)610609618627636646
Reach (mm)410430450475500530

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp specifications

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The Fox Rhythm 34 front fork comes with a GRIP damper and 140mm of travel. Shimano, Fox and Specialized dominate the build on this bike. Shimano’s mid-range SLX drivetrain and brakes are a solid choice, with a 10-51t cassette, 30t ring and snappy brakes that provide tons of power. Fox’s Rhythm 34 is up front. It comes with a GRIP damper and 140mm of travel. At the back, there’s a Float DPS Performance shock with Specialized’s custom RX Trail Tune compression tune. The fork has compression adjustment via an easy-to-grab dial on the top of the fork, while the shock has a three-position lever to toggle from open to firm.

Specialized has a wide range of own-brand kit, from cockpit to wheels and tyres. Its Butcher and Purgatory rubber is featured here in the slightly harder T7 compound and GRID casing, both in a 29×2.3in size. The alloy wheels feature 28 spokes each. The only non-Spesh piece of finishing kit is the X-Fusion Manic dropper. The smallest S1 bike gets 100mm of travel from the post, while the (huge) S6 gets 190mm. My S4 bike has 175mm of drop, which feels reasonable – though at 182cm tall, there’d be room for a 200mm drop if I wanted.

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp ride impressions

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I tested the Stumpjumper across a wide variety of terrain. This bike was tested as part of our 2022 Trail Bike of the Year test. It was pitted against seven other bikes, with travel ranging from 120 to 140mm at the rear, and priced from £3,299 to £3,999.99. The bikes were tested all over the UK, from long, steep tracks in South Wales to our regular testing loops in the Forest of Dean, fast rocky tracks in the Tweed Valley and the fresh-cut loam and rocky outcrops of the Cairngorm National Park.

Bikes were tested back to back, with short repeated loops ensuring differences were easily noticed. An extensive programme of workshop weighing, measuring and general poking about ensured that every little detail was explored.

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp climbing performance

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There’s a little pedal bob on the Stumpjumper but, overall, it’s a perfectly competent climber. The Stumpjumper fulfils the requirement for a trail bike to climb technical trails with ease. The rear suspension is impeccably smooth, a light-feeling shock tune helping this, aiding the bike’s Purgatory rear tyre pick out every morsel of grip on offer, whether that be up and over rocky or rooty steps, or when scrabbling for traction on wet grassy drags. The rear Purgatory’s T7 compound isn’t the softest, nor the tread the most aggressive, and thus it feels as though the suspension really massages the tyre’s abilities here.

On smooth climbs, there’s a little pedal bob, certainly if the suspension has been set up to be compliant and comfortable on descents, with sag in the region of 28 to 30 per cent. Here, I often found myself reaching for the Float DPS’s lockout lever to quell the squish. The T7 rubber helps keep the bike rolling with good efficiency on tarmac and fire-road surfaces, so I rarely found myself cursing up hills.

Pop more pressure in there, and the rear end becomes even more stable under power, however one loses the ground-hugging descending capabilities the Stumpy enjoys. In its low setting, the seat angle on my bike measured up at 77.3 degrees, with my preferred saddle height (S4 bike, 182cm tall, 71cm saddle height). This is pretty steep, certainly in the context of Trail Bike of the Year. As such, saddle position on steep climbs was good.

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp descending performance

With a slack 65-degree head angle, long (475mm, S4) reach and a bottom bracket that’s 42mm below the axles in its low setting, Specialized has set a high bar on paper for the bike’s descending capabilities, even with 130mm of travel at the back. The four-piston brakes, combined with this modern shape, worked well on slow-speed and techy descents, as long as the tyres could keep pace. The Fox 34 fork might not be enduro-ready, but it holds its own here, with smooth, supportive and predictable performance.

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Four-piston brakes are a welcome addition on this very competent descender. When you really start to slam it into terrain, or load it up into a berm, you can feel the chassis squirm, and this is more pronounced the heavier you are. However, the GRIP damper always impresses our testers, it’s not as sophisticated as the GRIP2, found on Performance Elite and Factory Fox forks, but I find its lighter tune friendlier on my hands, and 95 per cent of the time, well up to the job.

On the grippy gritstone-like rock at Laggan in Scotland, the Butcher T7 front tyre stuck to the ground confidently, meaning rocky technical moves were dispatched with ease. However, on smoother rocks or damp roots, the harder-compound rubber struggled to match the performance of similar tyres from the likes of Schwalbe and Maxxis. The rear suspension also impressed in the main. It feels light and responsive, fluttering nicely over high-frequency stutter bumps, and boosting grip when I hauled on the anchors, remaining pretty active under braking loads.

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The Stumpjumper is slightly outgunned in more technical high-speed terrain compared to the other bikes on test. I did find it possible to slam the shock into its bottom-out bumper on harsh landings, whether I came up short on a jump or took an unsympathetic line over roots. While no bikes are immune to bottoming out, there was a bit of a thunk with this Stumpy on the worst terrain – an additional volume spacer should mitigate against this. That said, the majority of the time, when the rear suspension was required to support shifts in body weight, whether in a berm or in the upslope of a jump, the support is there to push against.

Overall, on fast, technical terrain, it’s a capable machine, but lacks the absolute composure I found on the Nukeproof Reactor, with its Lyrik fork and piggyback shock, while the shape and demeanour of the Canyon Spectral 125 pips it when it comes to the steepest tracks. Push it hard, and the Stumpy starts to feel unsettled in its balance, the rear suspension getting a touch overwhelmed.

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The Stumpjumper is reactive without being overly nervy. On more mellow terrain, the Stumpy weaves a nice course between rocks and trees. It’s not quite as taught as some bikes in my test when it comes to pumping through rolls or putting hard efforts through the pedals, but it’s far from sluggish or lazy. It’ll hold speed well, and encourage you to push harder and develop your skills, ensuring it was one of the most relaxed and fun bikes to ride.

The bike’s natural home would be day rides on natural singletracks or quick blasts around a trail centre. If you’re more at home seeking out the gnarliest tracks, there are better bikes, and if you want to taste blood and set some PRs, there are other machines that’ll do that faster. However, if you simply want to get out on some trails, the Stumpy is likely going to suit you well.

How does the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp compare to the Kona Process 134 DL?

Both the Stumpjumper and the Process 134 are mid-travel trail bikes with longer, slacker trail-bike geometry and similar 140mm forks. The Stumpy is very much a classic trail bike. It does everything pretty well – it climbs with the minimum of fuss, covers rolling terrain well enough that I’d happily spin all day on it, and when posed with a technical descent, has enough grunt to get to the bottom without throwing its toys out of the pram. Though similar on paper, the Process 134 feels like a more specialised machine. It’s much more sluggish on the climbs, and along flatter terrain than the Stumpy, so riders who like big miles might err towards the Specialized.

However, the Kona is a better bike down fast, loose and rough descents. The rear suspension is impeccably smooth and progressive, bolstering grip, speed and confidence, and feels, relative to the Stumpy, unshakeable on gnarly tracks. This bike was tested as part of our 2022 Trail Bike of the Year test. We collected eight of the latest trail bikes, from downcountry rigs through to mini-enduro shredders and pitted them back-to-back to find the best.

Also on test:

  • YT Izzo Core 2
  • Kona Process 134 DL
  • Cube Stereo 120 HPC TM
  • Nukeproof Reactor 290 Alloy Pro
  • Trek Top Fuel 8
  • Vitus Escarpe 29 CRX
  • Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7

Specialized Stumpjumper Comp bottom line

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Spesh has made a truly great all-rounder with the Stumpjumper Comp. Specialized has built a remarkably competent trail bike in the Stumpy – as you would expect. It has a good geometry, ensuring confident handling in most conditions, and some well-chosen spec details. It’s a really easy bike to jump on and ride, with no funny quirks to catch you out, or anything so radical on it that it feels awkward at first. As such, while it’s impossible to objectively measure, it’s a really fun bike to ride, twisting and turning, and popping up and over trail obstacles.

It’s a classic trail bike for middle-of-the-bell-curve trails and riders. It might not have caught our imagination quite like the Trek Top Fuel or Canyon Spectral 125, but the Stumpy quietly sits there in Specialized’s range, providing a bike that, in reality, will suit a lot of riding, and a whole ton of riders.


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