The FACT carbon SJ FSR Comp Carbon 29 has 130mm of plush FSR suspension, a Fox Float CTD Evolution air-sprung fork, custom Avid Elixir 5 SL hydraulic disc brakes, custom Fox Float CTD Evolution shock with AUTOSAG and a Roval 142+ wheelset.
Strengths: Fast, stable and forgiving all round trail bike. All the advantages of the 29er but with few of the drawbacks in terms of trail manners. It climbs brilliantly, it decends with composure and speed. Most of all this bike is fun and will lift your abilities and confidence to a point where you ride trails that previously were beyond you.
Weaknesses: Its long, the forks sometimes get overwhelmed by the velocity encouraged by such a fast bike. It needs a dropper post if its full potential is to be realized and some of the stock parts are 'low rent' when compared to the quality of the frame.
The highest point on the evolutionary scale of Mountain Bikes as they currently exist. This is simply a brilliant bike and a near perfect execution of the 'one bike to do it all'. It's straight line speed is ferocious, it corners with huge quantities of grip and confidence and it even likes to be muscled around like a 26in all mountain bike when you are prepared to put the effort in.
The bike will benefit from a few tweaks (I changed bars, stem, grips, brakes and stuck on a dropper post and my saddle of choice) but anyone spending this kind of money will want to upgrade. The Truvative cranks are a little low rent but work perfectly well enough until they wear out and need upgrading.
As a 'larger gentlemen' (I'm 6ft 3in) this bike fits me well in XL. Comiing from a Santa Cruz Heckler the change in trail speed was noticable. Be warned you will hit corners much faster than before....and hold your line and carry your momentum. On moderate downhill rough trails you will be able to free wheel faster than riders on 160mm travel all mountain bikes who are pedaling like mad. Its really scary fast, go easy on your first few rides....it can catch you out.
The Roval wheels are actually very good (light, stiff and still true after 6 months of being thrashed hard) and the tyre combo is excellent. I'm not going to change them. On tight slow steep terrain the wheels do flex more than a 26in wheel, but that's physics for you!
The forks are actually very good but sometimes you wish for 34mm stanchions for a bit more grrrrr up front but 95% of the time the 32mm are good enough. CTD settings are great but I tend to leave the fork in trail and notice the benefits of descend more on the rear shock.
The frame is beautiful. Coming from 7 years on a single pivot I'm always slightly amused by how many linkages there are, but they work well and this bike hugs the ground brilliantly. It's also incredibly stiff and the carbon mutes trail buzz well. Somehow it screens out trail chatter but feeds back grip and camber information. Who ever designed this frame knew their stuff, whoever built mine, built it with love and precision. Thankyou.
In short this is a highly accomplished state of the art mountain bike. If you are looking for a hooligan jump bike this is not for you. If you are looking for a smooth, fast and accomplished Mountain bike that is at home ripping up a trail centre as it is in your local woods then look no further. You will be as amazed at how much it improves your riding as I was, you will constantly turn around at the bottom of trails with your friends no where to be seen and you will have to adjust your riding style and braking points / distances to compensate.
Just do yourself a favour fit a dropper post and a slightly shorter stem and you are ready to roll. Ths Stumpjumper redefined what mass production bikes could do. This version is a fantastic reinterpretation of that legacy. I love it's speed, control and all round versatility. I'm off to the Alps later next month and I'm going to change.....nothing at all. Can't say much fairer than that as a testament to this bike.
Over 30 years of the Stumpjumper and it's legacy is safe in the hands of this model. One bike to rule them all? I think so.
Strengths: Great handling, easy to ride and bomb down hills.
Weaknesses: Heat set bearingswear out wen ridden in the wet frequently (I change mine every 3 months), bottom bracket bearings are the sameand changing the pivot bearings in a pain (took me 3 hours and had to grind out one pair in the horst link as they wouldnt push out. I live in Malaysia so the conditons are wet and dirty but the design and engineering of the bike doesnt support easy maintenance/
Overal a great bike to ride but a pain to maintain.
I bought this bike in March of 2012 and have ridden it several times a week since then. I must start this review with the statement that I really love this bike. Overall, I couldn't ask for a nicer bike at this price point. Some of the parts such as the cassette and shifters could be nicer, but I doubt they could give you a carbon frame and high end components at this price.
The geometry is nice if you are an aggressive rider. I ride everything from cross country to all mountain trails and it has done very well at both. I have taken this bike to places like Durango, CO and Bend, OR and it has proved to be a great all-around bike. I especially like how I can attack downhill runs because the bike feels very stable at high speed, can handle 3'+ drops (I weigh 160 lbs), and does very well with holding its line through rock gardens.
I only have a few complaints with the bike and it is the wheels and tires that come on the bike. The tires that come stock are very grippy, however the sidewalls are thin. I went through one front and two rears in the first 3 months before I switched to Conti's with reinforced sidewalls. I haven't had any issues since then. The other issue is that the wheels aren't very strong. I live and bike around Albuquerque, so I deal with a lot of rocky terrain with lots of baby heads. With that in mind I still shouldn't have to have the wheels trued every month or two on a "trail bike". After finally bending the front wheel to where it couldn't really be trued, I got a good deal on some carbon Control Trail SL wheels. The new wheels are amazing and really add to the stiffness of the bike. I must point out that after switching wheels and tires the bike weighs 27 lbs with XT pedals and Stans.
With all that said, I believe that this bike is a heck of a deal because you get a lot for your money. Everything except for the tires and wheels have held up very well since I got the bike. I even fell about 7' off a ledge and the frame was perfectly fine except for a few scratches. The bike has done everything I have asked very well and I am very happy with my purchase.
Strengths: Light weight carbon frame
Fox CTD suspension
The first thing to note about the specialized stumpjumper fsr comp carbon 29 is its matte black and white paint job and the red anodized bearings and grip collars, this bike looks the business.
My bike is size xl and upon purchase i swapped out the original cassette and cranks for the sram xo versions. this review is thus based on a slightly modified model. The bike weighs 12.715 kg without pedals. I stand six feet four inches and am at the limit of the size xl frame.
The bike is dead simple to set up although you need to find a chart for correct air pressure in the forks. the auto sag feature on the shock works really well and I have found that it is well worth re-setting the sag on the shock every couple of rides. Pump the shock up to your weight plus 50 lbs, sit on it with your normal gear and backpack and press the auto sag button, you can hear air escaping and feel the suspension shifting slightly, thats it, all set to go. Note there is a rebound setting on the forks and shock that you can play with to adjust the feel of the bike and fine tune the suspension to your preference or even for the type of riding you may be facing on the day.
The front end is plush and progressive in either trail or descend mode, it is easy to reach down and flick the mollet on the top of the fork to change the setting on the fly. The rear end feels planted all the time, you can hear it working filtering out all the small bumps and over the bigger stuff it quite simply holds its line leaving you in full control. The mollet on the shock is harder to find on the fly, after three months and close to 1000km I still struggle to find it. In trail mode there is no perceptual pedal bob and in descend mode there is kind of a gentle weave as you pedal down the trail but it honestly feels like it is coming more from the front end than the back end. I do not often use the climb settings on the suspension, it can be useful on really steep climbs, particularly the fork but not that necessary on the shock.
The tires offer amazing grip and traction in both wet and dry conditions.They are susceptible to thorns however so be prepared for the odd puncture if your trails include thorn bushes.The wheels and tires are tubeless ready and a tubeless kit is supplied with the bike. Note that the stock tire tubes are extremely light.
I find the saddle to be very uncomfortable and as soon as budget allows it will be replaced. The shifters are very average in performance and below average in ergonomics.The body of the shifters is so large or fat that there is very little range of adjustment available on the handlebars. Once the brake levers are set to what I call a good agressive position on the handlebars it is impossible to find a good position for the shifters, you end up having to bend your thumb back beyond belief just to operate the bottom shifter lever. The body of the SLX shifters measure 37mm, by contrast XT shifters measure 20mm. the X7 front derailleur does not like shifting up except when you are in the higher gears. Overall on a bike in this price range there should be a more homogenous set up for the transmission, all XT for example.
I cannot fault the avid X5 brakes. they are powerful and progressive offering lots of feel. I got used to them almost immediately. They are a little squeaky for the first two or three weeks but once bedded in all that noise goes away. I do note that whenever I take the back wheel off it takes about 10 minutes of fiddling around to get the brake shoes centered properly over the disc.
The 2013 FSR Stumpjumper is a very fast and agile machine.The suspension gobbles everything in its path and the bike holds its line like its on rails. I find myself looking further down the trail than I used to, preparing my lines in advance and holding much faster speeds.The bike will respond to body english if you need to change your line mid turn, the low center of gravity and the wide handlebars really aiding in the process. It accelerates strongly both out of corners and up hills, certainly the geometry of the bike is a huge factor in this respect but I wonder how much the XO cassette and cranks come into play on this point.
The bike is highly recommended as an all mountain do everything machine. It is at home through technical rocky terrain, big tree rooted downhills, fast sweeping singletrack and all day 60km marathons.