Strengths: Light weight
Great for climbing
Weaknesses: Cassette and free hub body combination
2010 Stumpjumper Carbon Expert 29er Hardtail; 3x9; XT crankset; X9 shifters; XO rear deraileur SLX front; Fox fork; DT Swiss hubs & wheels; tubless; Avid Elixr brakes (~4000mi at time of review). I'm 6'1" and the 21" fits just right. Weaknesses first: the OE Shimano cassette digs into the aluminum free hub body. I noticed this when it came time to replace the cassette and chain. Chances are, if you have one of these (2010) bikes or are looking to buy one, the cassette has already been replaced. I've heard you can replace the free hub body with a steel one from the DT Swiss 370 hub. I still have the aluminum free hub body (in the interest of weight savings) and I replaced the cassette with a lighter Sram PG990 and really like it (you lose 2 teeth on the largest cog that you get on the OE Shimano). The S-works tires are fast and light, but cut easy on rocks and branches. Organic brake pads wear faster but are quieter...and organic - opt for the metallic pads with steel backing plate to decrease wear and save $ (at the expense of weight and less noise). Descending seems to be a little more of a challenge, but that could be rider-error. Strengths: I feel like this bike has held up well. I've replaced the bottom bracket bearings once and am in need of replacing the headset now, but have been limping the bearings along with a little extra maintenance and grease. It climbs really well and is fast on the flats. The naked carbon frame has a cool look to boot. The wheels have held up well with some truing and I have recently replaced the bearings in the rear hub. Switched to tubeless and wouldn't ever go back to tubes. The fox fork is smooth and the manual lockout is very useful - remember to check the air pressure in the fork and change the oil and seals as needed. Bottom line: this bike is fast, looks good, and treats you well as long as you give it some love (normal maintenance) from time to time. Upgrades I'd consider: 2x10 drivetrain and some carbon components (bars, seatpost, etc).
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2013
Strengths: Super light, fast, etc.
Weaknesses: Not enough clearance between top tube and break lever.
I Bought 2013 model. Cracked the top tube on my first ride. Crossed the handle bars but there wasn't enough clearance between the top tube and the break lever. The top tube cracked pretty bad. Specialized offered crash replacement for the frame but it was nearly full price.
I got the frame fixed instead but I can't put enough spacers to clear the top tube. Ordered a new stem with 20 degree rise, hopefully this will solve the problem.
Date Reviewed: October 1, 2012
Strengths: Super light, super fast. I have the 2012 carbon expert 21", am 6' 2" and the bike fits perfect. Absolutely flies uphills and rules on anything close to level ground. Great stock parts but I upgraded my bars and stem to carbon and rear cassette to SRAM XG 1099, setup with tubeless for a total weight of 21.3 for an XL. Incredible!
Weaknesses: Downhill technical his is scary. You really need to have your bike setup perfect and find what works cause steep tech terrain has been a work in progress but I finally dialed it in with an 80" stem. It works for me and feels way more controlled than the 105mm stem. Tires, renegade control are stable, renegade s-works are fragile. Anything but smooth or semi smooth single track will do. As soon as I got into rutty riding with rocks and such my tires cut. Running racing Ralph's tubless and they are incredible IMHO.
Insanely fast bike for the price. ( paid 3100 at my LBS) and can climb so well I actually look at it as a an advantage in races. Consider different tires, renegades are blazing fast but the sworks version is super sensitive. Practice ride this bike and get it dialed in before getting into a race, especially anything downhill. Easy to get to the 21 lb mark with tubless and rear cassette change. I have no regrets!
Strengths: Light, rolls well, climbs very well. Generally very fast in open terrain with good sight lines. Stable at speed.
Weaknesses: understeer. slow response time for corners requires planning well ahead.
Rims are weak, replaced the back and the front is not far from getting binned.
Avid elixir brakes are a doing the turkey gobble thing and I don't prefer the lever shape to other brakes. but that's just me maybe.
I'm desperately trying to love this bike. It's incredibly sexy, and on buff open trails is quite fast. This is my first 29r and I expected some growing pains and adjustments. I've got about 50hrs on it now, have made several adjustments to the cockpit and extended the travel from 80 to 100 to try to get some versatility and deal with the understeer and have made adjustments to my riding style, position etc to try to figure it out but I'm still really not feeling it.
It pains me to say, because it's gorgeous and I really really want to like it, and have always had an XC hardtail as part of the stable but cornering is one of the bigger elements of riding for me and this just doesn't excel at that. I'm going to give it another month and if I can't figure out how to make it turn corners I'm going to sell it off.
Bike Setup: swapped out the narrow renegade tires for Racing Ralph (F) and Slant six (R)
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 21, 2012
Strengths: Fast,stiff,nice cranks,good spec,
Weaknesses: Rims are terrible
Great bike but a shame about the rims. Folder the front over in a corner which caused a crash. The wheel had run true to that point. Rebuilt on same hub with Stans Arch. Rear needed frequent trueing so its being swapped as well. Overall the stock build was very good and I think the 2012's have better wheels. I was lucky to have ordered mine before they raised the MSRP mid season. Even if the open droppout/oversize end caps to yield a stiffer front end I'd like to see Specialized using 15mm axles instead as it makes upgrades and swap outs more difficult. I'm looking at carbon wheels right now and its been a hassle. I use this bike to compliment my Ibis Mojo HD (excellent bike) and find I enjoy my time on the hardtail every bit as much as the Ibis.
Similar Products Used: variety of xc to all mountain rigs
Bike Setup: Stock except running Gravity Dropper post, Ergon grips, XT pedals and Easton Carbon bar. Swapped out the terrible rims for Stans Arches and although I like the stock tires I'm putting on a Ralph and Ron for this season.
a Cross Country Rider
from Austin, TX
Date Reviewed: January 6, 2012
Strengths: Very light stock: 22lb and change. Smart spec. Extremely stiff. Dialed geometry. Brain fork works as advertised. Nice wheels for the pricepoint.
Weaknesses: Frame weight: around 1400 grams for a medium. The brain fork isn't as controlled as an RLT or an RC3, fairly easy to swap dampers though. an extra 10mm travel would be nice stock (includes spacers to get the travel you want though). Would have preferred a 15mm through axle. Not very compliant rear triangle.
There are a lot of things to really like about this bike. The 2012 wheels are very nice for stock components. The frame is exceptionally stiff. The entire package is very light for a stock bike under 4 grand (it would be for a stock bike near 6 grand, as well). I would recommend this bike to anyone that wants a raceable package right out the box. If the type of riding you do is fast, putting the power down and less technical, I think this bike comes set up near perfect stock.
Spec: The cranks are very rigid for a bike this price and hard to fault. Steering is quite precise. The 2012 wheels ride well, are easy to set up tubeless, and appear to be more durable than the ones speced on 2011s and prior. I'm even impressed with how well the 1 bolt seatpost works. The brain fork does do its job exactly as intended, it climbs phenomonally, and is pretty adjustable. Were I riding smoother conditions, I would definitely keep it, however, when pushing the hardtail to its limits through steep rock gardens, chutes, and drops, it is less predictable than the high end dampers from Fox and RS.
Ride and Frame:
Pros: Depending on what types of trails/racing you do, this may be your perfect bike short of spending 7K plus. This thing is exceptionally stiff and steers very predictably. The build nails weight and performance versus cost, so if you don't see yourself doing any upgrading to a stock package, this bike might make you very happy
Cons: If you are wanting to upgrade a bike to make it as light as possible you should do a different frame up, or just get an sworks. The frame is a little hefty at around 1400 grams. Very hard to make the bike sub 20, and difficult and expensive to make it sub 21 (though, this is partially a compliment to the great build). The bike could use an extra 10mm travel. Also, the ride is harsh compared to an Air 9 Carbon and Scott Scale.
The package comes together quite nicely. If you want a bike to build below 20 lbs, it probably isn't for you. Also, if you want a bike that has the otherworldly ride quality of the highest end carbon with the most precise layups, it isn't for you either. However, if you want a race-worthy bike that has a super smart spec, and pedals like a zooty road bike, the Stumpy is hard to fault.
Similar Products Used: Alloy Niners, alloy Specializeds.
Bike Setup: Full XX, industry nine wheels, superlogic cockpit.
a Cross Country Rider
from west chester, pa
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2011
Strengths: Light!!!!, fast, responsive and unbelievable comfort in riding position from the very first ride...great component package, so far strong, solid bike
Weaknesses: carbon frame, if you ride on bony or loose trails or washouts you are bound to chip the paint easily on this bike when rocks are flying up, dt swiss specialized wheelset comes out of true pretty easy and I am not a heavy rider
Fast, light, very comfortable bike for racing, or long cross country rides no matter what the pace this bike keeps up and responds, lots of specialized components but they are light and solid, I have ridden xo for years and have loved it since it came out great responsive shifting, geometry makes you feel like you are not even on a 29er
Similar Products Used: jamis exile 29er, stumpjumper pro 26"
Bike Setup: 2010 stumpjumper expert carbon 29 reba with specialized brain, specialized seat/stem/seatpost/handlebar, dtswiss specialized wheels, sram carbon crankset... xo 2 by 10 gearset xo rear derailer x9 shifters avid elixir cr sl brakes ( great brakes!)
a Cross Country Rider
from Denver, CO
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2011
Strengths: Weight, Fit, Feel
Weaknesses: Brakes, Could use more travel than an 80mm up front, Frame strength
My ride is actually a 2010 Expert Carbon 29er... Bottom line comes down to this... It's a good bike, if you're effing tiny. If you are 5.8" and 150lbs, this is for you. I however, am 6'4", 210lbs... The bike couldn't handle me. The seat stay cracked in 6 months of less than aggressive riding. The wheels would not stay true - and I was told by a mechanic to have it rebuilt. The rear tire lasted 2 rides before the sidewall blew out. It is currently off to specialized to get a warranty frame and also on craigslist for sale... What blows my mind is that the 2011 and 2012 actually have thinner seat stays...
Weaknesses: Warranty Bogus! There is no more lifetime waranty on specialized frames. They will tell you its impact damage if there is any sign of bike being ridden at all !!
The bike rode nicely for about a total of 20 rides. Then during a dirt crit race.on one of the smothest grass trail ive been on in years the rear seat stay cracked halfway thru on the top of the stay! The bike had been ridden for about 6 months saving my epic evo r for racing only!! So of course the bike had signs of wear meaning very minor scratches on the clear coat. My LBS took the bike apart and sent in the frame for warranty exchange. to both of our shock Specialized denied the warrenty claiming impact damage!WHAT THE !!?? I have been riding for 25 years and racing on Specilaized bikes for 20 years in the expert class for specialized and my LBS.I have tried to speak nicely to several people at Specialized and no one wants to even listen. They are like programed robots, stating that was impact damage!! And maybe the bike fell over in the garage!! WHAT THE ??!! Its time for me to move on to another brand that will honor thier warranties! after 20 years on their product. Be very careful buying a Specialized Carbon bike!!! These complaints are poping up all over the internet so i know this is not a single case
Similar Products Used: Specialized S-works epic 26" seicialized epic evo R 29er
Bike Setup: Stock
a Cross Country Rider
from rancho santa margarita
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2011
Strengths: Very nice plush ride, climbs well, cruises on the flats and carries inertia on the line.
Weaknesses: Framesize slightly big for me: 21"
If you like climbing and like rolling over objects that a 26er cannot: this is the bike. Also, for transition between road and mtn bike, or riding 1/2 road and 1/2 trail while going to work, this frame feels quite comfortable handling 200lbs.
from Tacoma, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2010
Strengths: Amazing-ride frame. Great parts (even OEM). Smart spec. Fox fork. Great wheels.
Weaknesses: None...maybe the single-bolt seat post.
I have ridden a lot of bikes...rigid...suspension...several have really stood out over the years (racing since 92). This bike is by far the best riding bike I have ridden. I also have the 2010 Single Speed, and while the parts are very similar, the carbon frame definitely has a different, unique and IMO better ride quality.
I don't dispute other people's claims but I have to speak in favor of the stock wheelset. All 29er wheelsets are heavier than 26ers. These wheels are fairly light, have alloy nipples, a fairly nice OEM front hub with over-sized axle AND a sweet DT rear hub. The rims are basically Stan's knock-offs and they rule. I did have the rear wheel go out of true early on, but that was due to one loose spoke, and after tightening/truing, the problem as never occurred again.
I have 7 races so far on this bike and it hasn't had a single hiccup. With the tubeless kit it almost mimics my full suspension Cannondale Scalpel 100--so much so that I sold the Scalpel. The frame is rigid and sprints well but soaks up a lot of trail chatter.
The bike is not the lightest--the parts are workhorse parts. The XT stock crankset is only a few (very few) grams heavier than the current crop of XT cranksets with the better rings (I weighted them both when I swapped mine out).
Mine is mostly stock, with tubeless, carbon bar and thomson post. With time atac pedals (steel axles) it weights 24.5 pounds. Heavy for some, but as light as my cannondale 26" hardtail raced previously.
Love the bike. Love the wheels. I even love the OEM stuff like the FastTrack tires (some of my favorites and I have years on the 26" version), the stem (weights the exact same as my thomson X4) and the Phenom saddle (which adorns ALL my bikes now).
I don't normally post reviews, but felt I needed to shed some more light on this bike, and the wheels. Great bike. Supposedly the 2011 is a little bit lighter and 2x10...I won't be selling this bike any time soon.
Similar Products Used: Specialized 29er Single Speed, Specialized M2, Cannondale Caffeine.
Bike Setup: Stock except Thomson seatpost, XT (not stock XT) crankset, Specialized ergo grips, Easton EC90 carbon bar.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 2, 2010
Strengths: stiff frame,good handling,good fork,sram works well
the wheelset on this bike is junk. specialized should be ashamed of themselves. they should have put a set of stans no tubes on it like cannondale did on the caffeine 1. the tubeless does not work with the rim strips specialized put on. like the other reviewer said wheels go out of true easily. beside the wheels the bike has performed as it should
Bike Setup: stock except xo grip shifters,soon to be different wheels
from Running Springs, CA
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2010
Strengths: Excellent frame. Excellent seat. Tried and true Fox fork. The Avid Elixir CR brakes are proven performers. The stability and minimal rolling resistance provided by the larger wheels is impressive. This bike's handling and performance breathes new life into the hardtail.
Weaknesses: The Custom DT Swiss X450SL wheels are without question the worst wheels I have ever owned. I have been riding competitively for 16 years. I am a 173 pound rider who seeks out the smoothest lines. However, within 1/4 mile of my first ride, I already had a hop in the rear rim. And I was on a fire road! I had to true the rear wheel every ride. Unless you can negotiate a wheel upgrade, or plan on upgrading them anyway, I would consider the wheels a deal-breaker. They're that bad. My LBS and Specialized were gracious about it and allowed me to upgrade the wheelset for a set of Rovals and simply pay the difference. BTW, the Rovals are over 200 grams lighter, and they are as straight today as the day I received them.
The SRAM shifters function okay, but lack the butter smooth action of their Shimano counterpart. The left shifter pod malfunctioned early on, with the shifter failing to ratchet. The thumb pressure required on the front derailer is excessive. My LBS handled the replacement shifter without complaint.
I bought this bike as a backup to my primary race machine, a carbon Epic. But I have fallen in love with the 29 inch wheels and find myself riding this bike more than the Epic. My lap times on my local race course are nearly the same as the Epic's. I suspect on a smoother course it would be a tossup. And yes, 29 inch wheels do roll faster than 26ers.
I abandoned hardtails 10 years ago and never thought I would be back. Frankly, this bike rocks. Notwithstanding my criticisms above, I would still purchase this bike. In fact, if I could have only one bike in my stable, this would be it. With a better wheelset, I would give it 5 chilis.
Similar Products Used: Specialized carbon Epic 26er.
Bike Setup: Stock, except for the Roval wheelset upgrade.
a Cross Country Rider
from Western North Carolina
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2010
Please know, I haven't been much into off road riding for past 4 or 5 years, and as such, I really upgraded everything (1st time with disk brakes etc...) The bike goes uphill wonderfully well (and no one would be amazed by my ability to go uphill) and handles quite well. Downhill performance is good for HT. I am convinced that I am a better rider on this bike than anything prior.
My one complaint, and maybe it is more personal preference, as someone who has never owned a FS, I stand up quite a lot when coasting. When standing, the feel of the bike isn't as confidence inspiring as when in the saddle. I began not to notice that nearly as much at the end of the day, so maybe it is becoming less of a concern.
Long and Short: Had to complain about the whole package. I could nit pic the front derailleur, wheel weight, saddle / seat post, but I couldn't be happier with bike and the amount of fun I had.
Picked up a new Stumpjumper a couple months back and was ecstatic with my purchase until the first ride. Climbed great to the top of the mountain then started the downhill only to have the noisiest brakes on the mountain. First five rides were the same way. Yes the noise was super annoying but wh ... Read More »
Just ordered one from my bike shop, anyone here have one and what's your take, do you like it (I've never ridden one before or seen one). What's the weight for your bike with or without mods. Also inread a common issue with this bike is the seat post where it connects top tube cracking easily and S ... Read More »
Just picked my new ride up today, can't wait to get it dirty tomorrow. I rode one of these at a test day about 3 months ago, and it left a lasting impression. The finish on the frame is absolutely stunning, I know a lot of people don't like the look of Spesh bikes, but I think this thing is sexy as ... Read More »
[ATTACH=CONFIG]767162[/ATTACH]I test rode one of these a while ago, and just had to have one. It's my first 29er, and what an introduction to big wheels! The finish on this frame is amazing, photos really do not do it justice. I'm gagging to get it dirty tomorrow!
My 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Expert 29 ... Read More »