We put the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert through its paces, and see how it stacks up against both the competition and its Evo big brother

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert


  • Lightweight, fast and fun


  • Overly active suspension


Specialized Stumpjumper Expert review


Price as reviewed:


The Specialized Stumpjumper Expert is a 29er full-suspension bike with a long history – after all, the first Stumpy came out an impressive 40 years ago! Of course, its had some updates along the way, but has frequently been rated one of the best mountain bikes on the market.

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert need to know:

  • Grid Trail casing tyres add extra puncture resistance and sidewall support
  • Flex in the seat stays dispense with Specialized’s signature 4-bar design to deliver 130mm travel
  • Fox’s 34 Performance Elite fork benefits from the Grip2 damper to control the 140mm travel
  • SRAM’s 10-52t Eagle cassette will keep you legs spinning even on the steepest climbs

Photo of woman mountain bike rider the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert MY22

Weight matters, right? So how much lighter is the standard Specialized Stumpjumper Expert compared to the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Evo? On our workshop scales it weighed in at an impressive 13.48kg with the SWAT bottle cage and tool fitted. That makes it almost 1kg lighter than its big brother, and lighter than comparable models like the Mondraker Raze RR, Canyon Spectral 125 CF9 or the Bold Linkin 135

Some of that weight saving has been achieved by opting for the Fox 34 fork over the 36, and by swapping from a Float X piggyback shock to a lighter inline Fox DPS. But given that both models share the same cockpit, wheels, OneUp seat post and SRAM Eagle drivetrain, it’s fair to say a big chunk of the weight saving has to be in the frame itself. 

Photo of shock on Specialized Stumpjumper Expert mountain bike

By forgoing some of the Evo’s adjustability the Stumpy can be made lighter. As such, it doesn’t get the independent head angle and chainstay length adjustment found on the Evo. You can still tweak the numbers via the asymmetric insert in the shock eyelet though. In the low setting the head angle measures 65.1º with a corresponding BB height of 330mm.

Detail photo of geometry switch on Specialized Stumpjumper Expert mountain bike

Geometry can be switched between high and low settings

The other way that Specialized has saved weight is that standard Stumpy has fewer suspension pivots than the Evo. 

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert suspension

In fact, the flex-stay rear end on the Stumpy Expert has more in common with Specialized’s Epic XC race bikes than the rest of the Stumpy range, even if the alloy version of the Stumpy still uses the brand’s signature 4-bar design.

So why the change? Well, by eliminating the Horst link pivot on the chainstay there are obvious weight savings. There’s also less to go wrong. The flex occurs in the seat stays, so the 130mm rear end on the Stumpy is closer in behaviour to a single pivot than a four bar. Also, as the stays flex they increase the force needed to compress the suspension, and act like a secondary spring.

Detail photo looking down at the top of the forks on the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert

Specialized has been smart about this though, so the suspension is still really subtle off the top, then the spring force in the stays kicks in around the sag point to add support but it’s not so pronounced that you can’t achieve full travel. 

We’ve already mentioned that the 140mm travel Fox 34 fork gives the Stumpy a distinct advantage on the scales, and while it isn’t as stiff as the Fox 36 forks elsewhere in this test we didn’t notice any loss in steering precision on the Stumpy. In fact the front end was very composed thanks to the Grip2 damper cartridge.

Detail photo of wheels and tyres on Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert components

A big part of that steering precision on the Stumpy comes from the oversized 35mm cockpit. Specialized’s forged alloy 55mm stem isn’t as sexy as its machined counter parts, but it certainly makes for a light, stiff stem. The 780mm alloy bar also has a good profile, the Deity grips simply icing on the cake.

Detail photo of dropper seatpost lever on Specialized Stumpjumper Expert mountain bike

The controls for the OneUp dropper seatpost

And it’s not just the grips that make for a more comfortable ride, the Bridge Comp saddle offers good ergonomics too. The S4 size Stumpy comes with a 180mm drop OneUp post, and given how much post we had sticking out of the frame we could easily upsize to S5 if we wanted more reach, without having to compromise on drop. 

Yes the SRAM G2 4-piston rear brake gets overwhelmed at times, so if you weigh north of 75kg you’ll want to upgrade to a 200mm rear rotor.  

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert performance

Two photos of a woman mountain biker riding the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert MY22

Specialized appreciates how important it is to dial in your handlebar height, which is why the Stumpy has 30mm of stem height adjustment in 5mm increments. We ended up running 10mm of spares under the stem, which really helped balanced weight distribution. And with the riding piston dialled in we spent most of the test fiddling with shock settings.

Photo showing the SWAT storage compartment on the Specialized Stumpjumper Expert MY22

The SWAT storage compartment in the downtube

For a short-travel trail bike the rear suspension on the Stumpy is remarkably active; overly so. So we ended up running the DPS shock in the Trail setting with the mid-level of the platform just to calm things down and provide more support for climbing. In the open setting the Stumpy felt hyperactive and totally off-sync with the fork.


With a 475mm reach on the S4 size, the Stumpy Expert is the shortest bike in test. It’s still roomy enough and reasonably well balanced when you get the correct suspension setting to make it an easy bike to get to grips with. Also with six sizes to choose from, upsizing for extra length in the cockpit is always an option. The active flex-stay suspension provides ample grip, but it left us constantly toggling between suspension settings, especially for climbing. So in that respect, it falls short on the goal of increased efficiency when compared directly with the longer travel and more adjustable Stumpy Evo.


Frame:Fact 11m carbon, 130mm travel (130mm measured)
Shock:Fox Float DPS Performance Elite (190x45mm)
Fork:Fox 34 Float Performance Elite, 44mm offset, 140mm travel
Wheels:Roval/DT Swiss 370 110/148mm hubs, Roval Traverse 29 alloy 30mm rims, Butcher/ Purgatory Grid T7 Compound 29x2.3in tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM Descendant 7K 32t, 170mm chainset, SRAM XO1 derailleur and 12sp shifter, SRAM XG-1295, 10-52t cassette
Brakes:SRAM G2 RSC 4-piston, 200/180mm rotors
Components:Specialized Trail 780mm bar, Specialized Trail 55mm stem, OneUp V2 180mm post, Specialized Bridge Comp saddle
Sizes:S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6
Weight:13.48kg (29.72lb)
Size tested:S4 (low)
Head angle:65.1°
Seat angle:68.1°
Effective seat angle:(@740mm) 76.4°
Bottom bracket height:330mm
Chainstay length:430mm
Front centre:798mm
Seat tube:430mm
Top tube:620mm