Would you take a look at that?! This Stumpy has finest paint job of all the new season bikes we’ve clapped eyes on. The way it shifts from deep purple through to metallic powder blue in the sunshine is almost enough to distract you from the six grand price tag, which does seem steep for a bike equipped with an NX drivetrain and a basic FOX Grip damper fork.
The quality is clear.
However, once you start to really look, and feel, how this bike is put together the price becomes more palatable. Every aspect of this bike is executed flawlessly, the assembly quality is next level, we’re talking about a very refined piece of kit. As soon as you hit the trail, that aura of quality is reinforced too, thanks to this bike’s near silence. As we all know, the best bikes are the quietest!
SWAT is superb.
While we’re dwelling on the frame quality, allow us to express again how much we love the Specialized SWAT storage system – it is THE ultimate convenience, and once you’ve used it you’ll rue the fact it’s not on every bike. This bike comes ready to roll with a tube already stashed inside the down tube compartment (you can fit a lot in there!), and a multitool fixed to the bottle cage too.
How does it differ to the 29er?
You can read our initial review of the 2019 Stumpy 29er here. This bike, with its smaller 27.5 wheels, gets a smidge more rear travel (150mm vs 140mm), along with a slacker head angle and shorter stays. The wheelbase is 10mm longer than the 29er as well, pointing to an overall more aggressive geometry.
Easy to balance.
Some bikes take a lot of twiddling to get the suspension dialled. Not this one. There’s something generously forgiving about this bike’s suspension; get it in the right ball park with your sag and it’s pretty much set. Our shock pump, normally in the pack for the first few rides on any new bike, has stayed in the tool box since our first pedal.
Ok, maybe 29ers aren’t the be-all and end-all.
By all reports, Specialized have sold more 29er Stumpys than 27.5 by a fair margin. We can understand why, as the rolling speed, traction and run-it-down vibe of the big-wheeler is very appealing. But there’s an incredible can’t-stop-grinning nature to this bike! We hate to say it, but it makes us feel much younger (like, 26″ wheels young), goading us into jumping things that we’ve been rolling of late. It’s like peer pressure. We just hope we can keep up!
Full review coming in early 2019.