Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 650b (2017) review

Spesh’s latest Stumpy is a feature-loaded smoothie

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £3,000.00 RRP | AUD $5,750.00 | USD $4,000.00

Our review

Super smooth with user friendly features, but soft-focused rather than responsive when pushed
Buy if, You're looking for a super smooth and stable ride that's great for tight, slower speed singletrack and trail riding
Pros: Naturally neutral, well balanced and super-smooth ride; Sorted trail spec at a good price; Unique easy shock set-up and internal storage
Cons: Heavy, twangy wheels and soft suspension sap responsiveness, and short wheelbase undermines flat-out stability
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Specialized’s Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon family covers every possible modern trail bike base, including 29er and plus versions, but it’s a conventional cruiser rather than a radical charger.

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A mid-range composite front end is mated to an M5 alloy back end, and the down tube features Specialized’s unique SWAT internal storage hatch under the bottle cage. The RockShox Monarch RT shock gets a bespoke ‘Rx Trail Tune’ and ‘Autosag’ side valve for easy set-up of the 150mm stroke.

The rear of the shock uses a custom cradle to connect to the shock driver yoke, which in turn connects to the U-shaped linkage of Specialized’s FSR kinematic. A curved seat tube and 148mm wide Boost rear hub allow super-short asymmetric chainstays, and gear and dropper post cables are all routed internally. The down tube sports a big protective plate in front of the PF30 bottom bracket shell and there are also chain guide mounts.

The removable panel under the bottle cage reveals a ton of internal storage space complete with custom bags to stop your bits rattling out of sight
The removable panel under the bottle cage reveals a ton of internal storage space complete with custom bags to stop your bits rattling out of sight
Mick Kirkman

The tight grip of the SRAM GX rear mech and Race Face direct-mount chainring meant we never felt the need for a chain guide, though. The RockShox Yari RC fork is a seriously tough unit, while the Specialized Butcher and Slaughter tyres get reinforced Grid casings.

The 200mm front rotor on the size L and XL bikes amplifies the power of the SRAM Guide R brakes. Specialized’s bar and stem suit the trail character and the own-brand dropper is reliable, if eye-wateringly rapid in action. Specialized’s 29mm internal width wheels add tyre volume, but reduced spoke count affects stiffness.

Specialized’s chainstay pivot and fourth shock-driving Horst Link suspension set-up give a naturally pedal and brake-neutral performance
Specialized’s chainstay pivot and fourth shock-driving Horst Link suspension set-up give a naturally pedal and brake-neutral performance
Mick Kirkman

While the Autosag shock drops you into the right sag spot in percentage terms, the RX Tune is very keen to push through its travel. That meant we soon added air pressure and volume-reducing bands to the Monarch shock body to increase support. It’s still a very mobile ride under pedalling, though — it could use an additional low-speed compression damping setting between the fully open or almost locked options of the RT lever.

With the carbon mainframe, oversized bottom bracket, stiff Boost rear end and semi slick tread on the Slaughter rear tyre we were expecting prompt acceleration and easy momentum maintenance, but with wattage wasted by the soft rear end it meant it struggled in power play situations.

While the 67-degree head angle and 620mm top tube look good on paper, the Stumpy feels more compact and prone to stumble in aggressive turns than other longer wheelbased, bikes, such as the Orange Five S Reverb or Mondraker Foxy R. Even the stout 35mm legged, Boost width Yari fork can’t add sharpness to the manners of the heavy but flexy front wheel. When we tried to bully the front end out of understeer situations or drag it in to an apex it felt vague rather than visceral.

Specialized Butcher and Slaughter Grid tyres are some of our favourites, but low spoke count makes the wheels flexy
Specialized Butcher and Slaughter Grid tyres are some of our favourites, but low spoke count makes the wheels flexy
Mick Kirkman

While ragged-edge riding might not be its forte, there’s still a lot for less radical riders to like about the Stumpjumper. The relatively conventional geometry doesn’t feel as initially intimidating as the stretched and slack-angled bikes here if you’re used to an older bike, and the shorter wheelbase and back end make it easier to steer through tight, slow speed singletrack.

The Autosag feature takes the guesswork out of shock set-up and the linear shock character and very little chain influence on the suspension action leaves the rear wheel to roll up and over roots and rocks with consistent connection, so you don’t need to manage technical terrain traction yourself. The long negative spring in the Yari fork means an equally smooth ride up front and the tubeless-ready wheels and tyres add more potential float.

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There’s the option to add even more float by choosing the plus-tyred Stumpjumper 6Fatty or get a faster rolling, more stable ride from the 29er model. They’re both still short and nimble, so if you want a more radical feel try the new Enduro.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 650b (2017)
Brand Specialized

Available Sizes S M L XL
Weight (kg) 14.12
Rims Roval Traverse
Saddle Specialized Body Geometry Henge Comp
Seat Angle 74
Seatpost Specialized Command Post IRcc (125mm stroke)
Shifters SRAM GX (1x11)
Stem Specialized Trail, 60mm
Weight (lb) 31.13
Rear Tyre Slaughter Grid 27.5x2.3in
Spoke Type DT Swiss Industry
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.19
Chainstays (in) 16.54
Seat Tube (in) 18.5
Top Tube (in) 24.41
Wheelbase (in) 45.67
Rear Wheel Weight 2900
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch RT Autosag
Bottom Bracket PF30 adapter
Front Derailleur SRAM GX
Brakes SRAM Guide R S4, 200/180mm rotors
Cassette SRAM XG-1150, 10-42t
Chain SRAM PC-1110
Cranks Race Face Æffect, 30t
Fork RockShox Yari RC Boost, 150mm (5.9in) travel
Frame Material 'Fact 9m' carbon fibre mainframe, 'M5' aluminium rear end, 150mm (5.9in) travel
Front Hub Specialized
Rear Hub Specialized
Front Tyre Specialized Butcher Grid 27.5x2.3in
Front Wheel Weight 2410
Grips/Tape Specialized Sip
Handlebar Specialized, 750mm
Head Angle 67
Headset Type Sealed
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX
Frame size tested L