Big wheels done better - all the rollover, control and confidence beenfits of a 29er with the shortest chainstays and wheelbase and honed angles for the most nimble handling. Out of the box and race ready for XC riders looking to climb fast and rail twisty singletrack on big wheels.
29er HT frame with curved top tube looks as fast and sweet as it rides due to its race-optimized 29" geometry and M5 manipulated alloy construction
RockShox Reba RLT 29er fork with size-specific travel, rebound/compression adjust, and Floodgate control allows this 29er to soak up rocks like no other
Custom DT Swiss 29" rims with eyelets and sleeved seams keep weight low and durability high
S-Works Renegade 29 x 1.95" dual compound 2Bliss Ready tires with aramid bead roll fast and still provide plenty of race-tested traction
Avid Elixir R SL lightweight hydraulic disc brakes/levers with alloy backed semi-metallic pads and tool-free reach adjust for superb control and modulation
Specialized BG Phenom Comp saddle with hollow Cr-Mo rails is a lightweight and minimalist design, tuned for sit bone flex and comfortable climbing
Strengths: Light, solid frame, good fork, 2x10, PF30 BB, incredible climbing, fast, solid wheels. Comfortable ride for a hardtail race bike. Tubeless ready. (This review is for a 2012 model with Avid brakes)
Weaknesses: Brakes. They will be the first to go.
I love this bike. The climbing is unreal. Even with the Renegade tires, I rode in some wet East Ohio trails and I was surprised how the tire gripped. I don't like the Renegade on the front though.
Gets up to speed in a hurry, solid feel in rough stuff and rough downhill.
The fork has some good adjustability and I like the feel so far.
It weighed exactly 24 lbs. with no pedals and tubes with ESI grips.
This bike just takes off when you punch it. The brakes aren't great, but they're good enough for a while.
A couple minor upgrades will make it even lighter and faster.
I recommend this bike for anyone who loves to climb and go fast. For the money the performance is great especially with a couple upgrades.
Strengths: Solid bike. Well thought out and aesthetically pleasing in Satin Black. Light weight for a 19” 29er. Balanced geometry. Seat, tires, wheels, brakes, all good.
Weaknesses: Welds could be prettier. Seat stays and chain stays are not shaped in any way to absorb chatter. Minor stuff.
Bottom Line: This is a review for the ’13 Comp HT (M5, Reba RL, Magura MTS...)
Excellent overall. Affordable. Weighs in at 24lbs. and 10oz. with pedals and tubeless. I’m a bit tired of reading things like – “It’s my first 29er and it’s awesome...” “My first mountain bike and it’s the best...” Seems like everyone gives out 5 stars so easily.
The most difficult part of buying this bike was getting a better bike than any of my previous bikes. Specialized was late to the 29er game. The only bikes I care about have 29” wheels. This bike caught my attention when they switched to the Maguras. My Avid’s were never 100% right. Went to LBS to ask about the EVO. I got the Comp 29 because it seemed like a better overall deal.
First impressions. Accelerates quickly. Feels nimble and predictable up the hill and down the hill. Tires grip well and the brakes make the bike stop as quickly as you need. Wasn’t sure I’d keep the original saddle, but liked it more after a few rides.
Strengths: Frame size - I'm 6'8" great to see some XXL love.
Weight - This bike is crazy light out of the box, to me anyways. First 29er, thought it would be heavier.
Gear set/shifters - First Sram components, 2x10 is awesome for my riding. Shifter location is also nice, thought I'd have a hard time coming from Shimano but I think I prefer Sram's.
Weaknesses: Brakes? If I had to say one. They are very tunable at the levers without any tools. But I still feel there not exactly what I like, probably just need to tweak em a bit more.
Saddle/Seat - The stock seat on my 2012 was so uncomfortable. If the purpose was to keep you outta the saddle and pushin hard then mission accomplished. I did not want to sit at all.
Tires - I think this is purely rider preference. But the renegades the bike came with are useless to me. Although REALLY fast rolling, they did not give me any confidence in hitting a corner at speed.
Take my review for what it is. It was my first season of actual trail riding and I got this bike at the end of the year. I previously had a 26" Hard Rock, bought 6 years old. My first ride on the stumpy just left me smiling from start to finish. It being my first 29er, I couldnt get over the wheel just eatting anything I toss in front of it. Then theres the climbs, specialized should have installed a small horn that plays the sound of a mountain goat at the press of a button. Cause it was night and day how easy I could shred up hills. As I ride it more and more I come to find out how fast it is. The bike just rips and rolls forever. Completely blown away with the performance. I highly recommend this bike to anyone in the market for a 29er HT. Over winter I added a few components that I think are going to make it exactly what I'm looking for in this style of bike.
Strengths: The bike has the oversized bottom bracket and head tube and is extremely stiff. The poster below who complained about flex must have strength that I can only dream about. But I am not a weakling and the bike DOES NOT FLEX AT ALL!
Weaknesses: Wheelset and brakes compared to the rest of the bike.....but that's why it is the Comp model and cheaper. Upgrade wheelset and go XT brakes and by damn you have a first class bike within 5-10% of those costing $7000.
Love the 29er and race it all the time. Feel comfortable on stuff that scared the crap out of me in the past. Uphills are a joy. Most important thing to get right is when you go tubeless try to run as low a tire pressure as you can. That makes this bike, and most 29ers I'm guessing, about a bump savvy as a full suspension 26er.
Great value, light and ready to race. Some people had issues round here with breaks, but they didn't set up right, great for me. The wheel builder skimped on putting any spoke prep, they don't true well and back kept pooping out, until I got new wheels.
Going strong, only wish 17.5 medium MTB bikes came with 170 cranks, I really don't understand the long crank thing in MTB.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2012
Strengths: Great value at this price point. Paid $2,000 plus Shimano XT pedals in March for a 2012 model, so no closeout pricing at that time. I bought it mostly to ride hilly gravel roads and flowing single track, but it does technical single track well, too. It's light (19" weighs 23.6 lbs. w/ pedals), accelerates well, brakes great (after getting dialed in) inspires confidence on climbs and descents (even on rocky, rooted, gravel, or sandy surfaces at 35+ mph). The fork has held the pressure all summer and the drive train only needed a slight adjustment after the first few hundred miles. The drive train is so smooth and crisp it reminds me of my friend's road Moots with electronic shifting. The bike looks great and gets many looks and compliments. The paint job has held up to several minor crashes and regular washings (I mention that because my 2003 Airborne Ti lost 2 sets of decals in the first summer I had it, so now it's a stealth bike). The tires(w/tubes) have been great on all surfaces, wet or dry (run at 30). No flex in the wheels (I'm 5'11" & 180). The hubs are extremely free-wheeling and seem to want to roll forever.
Weaknesses: The original seat (Phenom) is hard as a rock so I upgraded to the Phenom Gel and got used to it after a month. And my butt's been riding for 20 years, year 'round! I also swapped out the original grips for some Ergos, but that's just personal preference.
It's not really a weakness but a given that aluminum is harsh compared to titanium, but I knew that when I bought it (I had ridden and raced a test bike several times). You get used to it very quickly.
Not that it really matters, but I'm a 66 year old occasional (2-3 per year) sport class racer with 20+ years of mostly mountain biking. We ride lots of gravel roads to build our base.
Finally had to try a 29er after reading all the hype and listening to converts. Unless you only ride tight, rough, single track, this bike should work for you. This bike is just plain fun to ride! I know it's 5-10% faster than my Airborne Ti 26er on the same trails and road loops. It has the lowest maintenance drive train I've ever had. I've been a Shimano XT or XTR guy for 20+ years but I got used to the "thumb/thumb" shifting of the Sram system very quickly (I got an extra mounting bracket and split the up and downshift and it works great). If you keep it clean and lubed (Pro-link), it will shift well for hundreds of miles. There's nothing left to say!
Bike Setup: Stock except for the seat, grips, and shifter mounts as previously described.
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2012
Strengths: After all the 29er hype I decided to buy one myself in order to check it out first-hand on the trails i ride. What I liked about the Specialized Stumpjumper 29er Comp was:
a) nice frame/welds b) low weight (25.4 lbs, stock bike in size XL with wellgo platform pedals) c) good mix of SRAM 10-speed X9/X7 shifters, F/R derailleurs, crank etc. d) fast rolling and low resistance S-Works Renegade tires (I mainly ride singletrack).
The main reason why I wanted to try a 29er was to see if you need less effort to keep it rolling due the bigger wheel size as soon as you gain momentum, which is true.
Weaknesses: Avid Elixir R brakes (squeal, vibrations from the rear brake), and the main problem - TOO MUCH FLEX !!!
In the first place from the fork, RockShox Reba RLT 29, and the wheelset, custom Specialized wheels/Custom DT Swiss X450SL rims.
All of the steep descents I used to slice through like on rails on my 26" MTB turned out to be downright frightening at times on the 29er. At any slight impulse from the handlebar ends the fork/wheel (rims, spokes) combo felt like a wet noolde compared to my 26". Had the frame checked at the LBS and got they're demo Stump 29 HT for comparison and it was the same. I may have to add that I'm 6'/230 lbs, so this possibly might worsen the matter.
I didn't have additional cash to spend on a better and stiffer fork/wheelset, sold the bike after 3 months and went back to 26".
Nice bike, but too flexy
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 20, 2012
Strengths: Climbing, stability, confidence in the saddle
I went from an all mountain bike (customized Santa Cruz Heckler) to this bike-I mainly need only a solid XC machine and the Heckler was too much for that. I bought it used from a guy back east with less than 50 miles on it-it came out of the box looking barely used. The bike took a little to getting dialed in-one thing the bottom braket is noticeably higher on a 29er HT than on a 26" bike. The ride didn't take long to get used to-it's fun, good at climbing, and provides stability on stuff I was squirrely on previously. The bike came with the WTB Exiwolf tire on the front and it washed out a lot-traded it out with the Panaracer Rampage 29er. The ride greatly improved and became much more fun. I initially had a Joplin dropper seat post and it worked well-I just upgraded to the Reverb and love it. Having a HT 29er with just the Rampage tire and the dropper seatpost improved the ride tons-I can handle most everything my buddies with a full-suspension 26" bike dishes out. The brake pads and the bottom braket were embarrassingly noisy-replaced the pads and put plumbers tape on the bottom braket and it took care of the issues with the noise.
Initially I was thinking that the 19" was too big for me (I am 5'10") but after riding a 17" I found the 19" was a good fit because the cockpit fit better for me.
Overall, I love the 29er. I would like to have a 26" full suspension in my corral for more all mountain stuff but for my everyday XC riding I will go with the 29er. The Stumpjumper is a great bike.
I am a newbie in single tracks and I have no doubt in my mind that the mishaps that happened to me so far, are cause by lack of experience and recklessness. I've been to three parks so far and every single one of them, I have left my mark. The last one not so fortunate that I warp my front Rim!!! It was supposed to be an easy 10' downhill drop into a ravine with little water flowing through which I went through the first time with ease and had a lots of fun for 2.5 hours around the Park but somehow the 2nd time around just about when we are ready to wrap up for the day, this accident happened. I hit a puddle of Mud and the front wheel stuck and warp the rim and of course due to gravity, I found myself laying belly first on the ground creating a bulge on my front left thigh (ouch!). I my have landed on one of the two only rocks in the vicinity... Anyway, the front rims just gave up on me not sure why but I am thinking that it is maybe the impact due to speed (recklessness) and the normal reaction on the supposed way up turn to the left that caused it... We were supposed to be done but hey, sheeet happened!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2012
Strengths: this bike loves to climb climb climb
Weaknesses: none yet
I took this bike out for the first time yesterday after having ridden a full-suspension all-mountain bike for the last year or so. Man can this thing climb! I cannot believe how strong of a climber this bike is for the money. I paid $1770 at my LBS.
This bike feels extremely solid on the downhill as well...very stable. I took it down some tight switchbacks and it ate them up as if I wasn on my 26" all-mountain. Very happy with this purchase.
Strengths: Stiff and responsive
Climbs very well
Brakes are solid
Goes where you point it
Specialized gives you a lot for your money.
Weaknesses: a little harsh in the rough stuff at race speed.
Phenom saddle was uncomfortable for my sit bones. Swapped it for the one that came on my Rockhopper and I'm much happier.
Lots of fun. Big improvement over my 2009 Rockhopper Expert 29. climbs so much better. Comes race ready out of the box. I've put about 1000 miles on this bike in it's stock form with no problems and I'm a 215 pound aggressive rider. Hydraulic disc brakes are awesome but you do need to clean the disc surface from time to time to maintain max braking power. Like most 29ers, it rolls over much more stuff than my 26" wheeled bikes.
If you're not going to race then you probably won't appreciate the extras on this bike. Save $1000 and get the Rockhopper. You still get a decent shock and hydraulic brakes.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29
Bike Setup: Stock
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2012
Strengths: Light, fast, extremely well-sorted bike.
Weaknesses: None yet.
Bought this as a replacement for my much-loved Stumpy 26 hardtail which I bought way back at the turn of the century...Did a deal with my LBS and they switched the Avid brakes for XTs, upgraded the front rotor to 180mm, swapped the stock tyres for a Captain front, Fast Track Rear to get a bit more grip, and added a Pushloc remote to lock out the fork when needed.
Only had it a couple of weeks but am really pleased with it - all the trails I usually ride are faster and easier. The 29er setup just feels right, there's no real downsides to it, it simply feels better than a 26er. It rolls more easily, climbs better, is more stable on fast descents, there's more room in the cockpit. I never felt cramped on my 26er but this just fits like a glove - I'm 6'2, and went for the 21" frame.
Definitely the right thing to get the bigger rotor - 160mm would have been a bit under-specced for a big bugger like me. And the stock tyres would have been lacking in grip for the trails round Barcelona, especially on the odd occasion it rains.
Can't recommend it highly enough, especially if you like covering good distances off-road at a decent pace. I was a little sceptical about the 29er thing prior to this, but am definitely a convert.
a All Mountain Rider
from Attleboro, MA
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2012
Strengths: Fast, handles well, good bike but whats with the wheels? Suggest making the dealer provide other wheels, Specialized are a know issue
Weaknesses: Specialized warrenty; 2 wheels have broken, normal usage nothing extreme. Specialized has refused to honor warrenty. Shop indicated Specialized wheels are defective they've had numerous issues.
Like the bike, dislike the company gotta stand behind your product. Wheels are know to be defective.
Bike Setup: Comp, X( & X7 Wheels are the key dont go with Specialized
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2012
Strengths: Fast! lightweight, Front and back Derailer, paint Scheme. Stiff Frame, lockout shock.
Weaknesses: 2x4 seat, Stock tires are not great in the wet fall leaves
I bought this bike as a closeout based on the fact that it comes with test paint colors that Specialized didnt decide to use in their production. (saved me $500). I like the "test bike" colors better and it gives me a bike you wont see anywhere else. So after knocking $500 of the retail it was a great value I couldnt pass up.
I switched from a 26 to a 29 and love how this baby rolls through the fields I ride around here. it took a little while to get used to the bigger wheels on the technical trails but when it came time to climb I felt more connected to the bike and it climbed really well! for an ox like me (6' 220') Love the bike and cant wait to get more rides in on it!