You will not go wrong with a Stumpjumper. The name has been around for 30 years, and this model’s pedigree is one of continual refinement. We always enjoy riding a Stumpy, though we’ve spent more time on the 29er versions over the last few years. Riding the smaller wheel option had us taking a very different approach to the trails, it’s simply so much fun.
Watch the Stumpy 27.5 in action here:
What is it?
Click through to our first impressions piece on what the Stumpjumper 27.5 is all about, and the differences between it and the 29er version. Stumpy intro.
Our review of the 29er Stumpjumper is here; Stumpjumper 29 review .
Suspension, dialled, simple, smooth.
A Specialized always seems to be easy to set up, feeling right from the first ride. The FSR system with a FOX DPS rear shock feels ultra-smooth and hyperactive, paired with the tacky tyres at low pressures the bike has plenty of sensitivity.
Where some longer travel bikes wallow into the travel and make it hard to get out of it, the Stumpy’s supportive suspension lets you push into the bike to pump the terrain of the face of a jump really well. The 150mm of travel never felt vague, you always know where you are in the stroke.
Up front, the FOX 34 Rythm fork is not as impressive as the rear end but felt a lot better with tokens added to reduce the size of the air spring for more progression.
Small wheels, big wheels, small wheels, big wheels, arrrrgh!
Fewer bikes are available with two-wheel size options now, but Specialized offer both in the Stumpjumper.
We’d typically have picked a 29er in this category, but the small wheels brought out a different style of riding for us – it’s that old story of the little wheels being more playful, but it’s true.
We took this bike to Derby and rolled straight into their new jump trail. It felt natural just to let it flow and we were clearing jumps on our first run, breaking all our rules of jumping gaps blind on a work day!
We had a great time riding the 29er version of this model last year, the big wheels were faster on the rougher trails, but on the more machine built trails, with berms and jumps and tighter technical sections, the 27.5 with big tyres is a hoot.
Frame details, the Specialized touch.
Specialized is the master of the fine details, all the finishing touches and features unique to the brand like SWAT internal storage, the chainstay silencer, fully lined internal cable routing and obviously the wild paint job, all the little things help to justify the price.
Not a spritely bike, there are other models for that:
It’s not the bike we’d pick for super-long rides. The suspension might be buttery smooth but it’s not that efficient without constant use of the FOX shock’s compression lever, and the heavy wheels will tire your legs on those big days. It prefers gravity on its side, with playful and technical terrain to make the most of it.
Bang for buck.
For the money changing hands here, a few lighter components wouldn’t have gone astray. But value is relative and this bike performs really well enough for us to almost overlook the cost.
After a few months on the Stumpy, it has rekindled our love of 27.5” wheels again, the feeling of a smaller bike below you promotes a more light-hearted style of riding. And the suspension lets you ride like a lunatic and get away with it. Good times!