The Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 29 is a capable and effective mid-travel trail bike. This bike has the skills and capability to tackle a wide range of terrain but lacks personality, comfort, or a lively feel. This 135mm travel 29er climbs effectively and can stand up to nasty terrain on the descent but the ride is jarring and fairly unexciting. The Stumpjumper has been a long-running staple in the Specialized lineup and has a decisively utilitarian feel. It's not all bad, big brand affordability is a key selling point. This Stumpjumper Comp Carbon Comp comes well-equipped with a SRAM GX 1x11 drivetrain, SRAM Guide brakes and decent rubber at $3,500. This is at least $500 cheaper than any other bike in the test. There is no denying the Stumpjumper is capable on a wide variety of terrain. It just lacks the character, excitement and lively personality of the Ibis Ripley or capable Santa Cruz Hightower. Prefer nimble and quick 27.5 wheels? The Canyon Spectral provides a well-rounded and aggressive ride at an outstanding value.
The Ripley is a more playful and lively ride. The Hightower is more capable and comfortable on rough trails. The Stumpjumper still offers respectable performance and a solid value. The tense and jittery feeling when descending may slow the progression of downhill skills. The SWAT storage system is an internal box within the frame for tools and snacks. This is an extremely practical feature and shouldn't be understated.