2019 Specialized S-WORKS Stumpjumper Review – Trail Avenger

Rating
/10

Would you get into cycling just to ride the 2019 Specialized S-WORKS Stumpjumper? Well, after taking one look at the bike, I had few people that said they would!  That says a lot about the nature of the Stumpjumper – it has the power to draw people in and get them excited to pedal a bicycle. Back in the day the StumpJumper was one of the few mountain bikes that managed to change the game. This time Specialized have done it again. By drawing the attention of riders around the globe with a new suspension design, and getting us excited to ride!

Its most certainly the cream of the crop, in the trail bike spectrum. Boasting the latest FOX shock technology and lightweight frame material, that’s also stiffened up this beast. Objectively, ZAR 150 000 for this bike is quite extreme, and it definitely falls into the dream bike category for most. However, if you’re willing to pay that price, rest assured that you’re getting the best of best. The S-WORKS Stumpjumper is as good as it gets, or in more appropriate terms; as specialized as it gets!

The power to thrill…

S-WORKS Frameset

The frame on the S-Works level is carved from Specialized’s high-end, FACT 11m carbon fibre. It’s the best of the best for illuminating strength in key areas of the frame. No Stumpjumper frame is ever complete without the signature SWAT Door integration on the downtube. You can store anything from a spare tube to a CO2 bomb in that compartment. This eliminates the need to carry tools and spares anywhere else, and is somewhat less restricting. There’s another SWAT tool are in the stem and fork steerer. In which Specialized have tucked away a slim multi-tool. And on top of all these great features, the brand has added a cushioned, chain silencer to the chain stay of the bike.

Demolishing Bazookas

The bike has a FOX 36 150mm travel fork upfront, that’s a legal-eagle, full-on, bazooka! It manages to blast out endless amounts of shock absorption, all while you keeping you stable and able. The same can be said about the rear shock. It’s a FOX Float DPX 2 Factory shock with 140mm of travel and added air chamber for superb shock performance.

Get in Gear

SRAM’s XX1 Eagle gear-set takes care of the shifty business, with a 1 x 12 setup. While this drivetrain does get you soaring out there, it could use a bigger chain-ring pair up. Currently the S-Works Stumpjumper runs a 30T chain-ring, but we felt that it could manage a 32T instead. Every year it gets better and better with SRAM, and recently the brand has launched their AXS wireless group set for mountain biking. So we’ll bet that soon Specialized will start to sell that over the mechanical shift version, on their S-Works Stumpjumper models.

Brake It   

New from SRAM, and it’s certainly a step-up in the right direction, is the Guide RSC brake-set. It’s got 4 piston callipers for more stopping power, at less expense on the rider’s energy. Running a 200mm rotor upfront and 180mm on the rear wheel it is pretty stock standard to see this brake-set model on high-end trail bikes, like the S-Works Stumpjumper. However, SRAM have added contact-point adjustment to the brake lever, allowing you to create a tailored brake feel. You can either run it harder, or softer, without having to play with the brake fluid.

You brake it, you bought it!

The Wheelset:

The meaty pair of Roval’s Traverse SL 29er rims were excellent. They kept weight to a bare minimum, thanks to their stiff carbon material. Latching on to the relatively wider rims, were 2.6-inch tires. A Specialized Butcher on the front wheel, and a Purgatory series tyre on the rear wheel. Both made with the brand’s signature GRIP casing.

29 Trail Geometry

Trail geometry is a code that Specialized swear by. It makes the Stumpjumper more compliant with the needs of enduro and trail riders. Overall we found it to be quite a playful setup. The head tube angle, at 66.5-degrees, can be adjusted through the Flip Chip on the bike’s suspension link. Either slackening it or steepening it to your liking.

The king of corners!

The Ride

Firm up the Kashima coated suspension from FOX, raise the dropper seat post, and the Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper becomes super stiff on climbs. The bike’s 30T chain ring did make it feel as though our legs were spinning out quite a lot of the time, and we as mentioned earlier it could’ve done with a 32T chain-ring perhaps. As a result of the smaller chain-ring upfront, the bike was not an aggressive climber in terms of getting that acceleration out there. However, the frame’s geometry managed to make to bike laid back and more comfortable to climb with.

Golden hour, on a golden trail bike.

Lower the Specialized Command, 160mm, dropper seat post, open up the suspension and the S-Works Stumpjumper becomes a voracious, downhill, tiger. Thanks to the extensive dropper post we could clear high drops, without the saddle giving us a hiding. And then land solidly with the practically infinite absorption of the rear shock.

The front shock wasn’t too bad either! In fact, its buttery smooth, that it feels like a natural extension of your arms, while grasping the handlebars. Speaking of the bars, the cockpit area of the bike was quite neat for a trail bike. The only levers on the bars really, were for the dropper post and rear derailleur. Together, with 2.6-inch tyres, the bike rounds-off as capable to ride any type of trail. From loose to muddy and everything in between.

The S-Works Stumpjumper knows how to catch some air!

Verdict: 

In closing, the rustic carbon colour schematic, enhance the bike’s raw nature. But here’s the phenomenon; Specialized have found a way to balance this rawness with slippery smooth suspension and, crazy-nice, handling. As far as trail bikes go these days, the S-WORKS Stumpjumper is one of a kind. Being able to keep its rider smiling on longer rides or sending it on massive jumps. Over the years, we have become convinced that the Stumpjumper is one of the best mountain bike’s money can buy!

5-star performance!

Price tag: ZAR 150 000

2019 Specialized S-WORKS Stumpjumper

Joel Meintjes

Joel Meintjes

Joel's goal is to help you become an expert in the field of cycling. He has helped many riders decide on buying new bikes and coached a handful of young aspiring riders. He's been on the bike and on the roll since 2013, and has gained bucket's full of knowledge from his tinkering with bicycles.

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