Specialized’s venerable Stumpjumper has the distinction of being the world’s ﬁrst production mountain bike. Now more than a quarter of a century old, the Stumpjumper name has spawned an entire family of bikes over the years, but now adorns just two of Specialized’s ’09 ranges – the trail-orientated FSR full-sussers and the ‘competitive cross-country’ hardtails.
Ride & handling: Pocket rocket serves equally well as a weekend racer and fast all-day trailster
The Stumpjumper’s perfectly balanced weight distribution gives it that elusive blend of pace and comfort that deﬁnes the best all-round bikes.
Throw in the light, whippy frame and fast-rolling wheelset, and it’s easy to ﬁnd yourself riding this bike a gear or two higher than you’re used to.
The svelte frame trades some torsional rigidity for comfort, but that’s a good thing when you’re skipping through a rock garden quicker than you meant to.
It demands ﬁnesse and skill to get the best from, but this pocket rocket serves equally well as a weekend racer and fast all-day trailster.
specialized stumpjumper comp: Seb Rogers
Frame: Carefully manipulated aluminium combines light weight with impact protection
Our test Stumpjumper Comp is the baby of the range, but don’t let that put you off. It bears no resemblance to the original steel-tubed Stumpy from which it inherits its name, but like its illustrious predecessor, it uses the best current materials and frame building techniques.
So, in place of the lugged steel tubes of the original we have a collection of welded, carefully manipulated thin-walled aluminium pipes.
Unlike some of its competitors, the Stumpy’s tube proﬁling is relatively subtle. Look closely, though, and it’s apparent how much thought has gone into paring weight, maintaining strength and improving usability.
The curved down tube reinforces the front end against hard impacts; bridgeless chainstays give massive mud clearance and a unique ‘shared tube’ arrangement at the top of the seatstays creates an elegant wishbone setup. And the whole package is remarkably light.
Elixirs add a touch of class to the spec list: Seb Rogers
Equipment: Tyres are the only immediate upgrade needed thanks to a solid spec
With a fairly standard set of components – Fox Float fork, Avid Elixir brakes, Shimano cranks, SRAM gearing and own-brand finishing kit – and a lightish pair of wheels from DT Swiss/Mavic, our test bike tips the scales at a little over 23lb – seriously impressive for a production bike at this price.
There’s little to quibble over in the spec bar the Specialized S-Works Fast Trak tyres, which certainly roll fast but don’t live up to their claim of not sacriﬁcing traction in typically slimy UK trail conditions.