Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 27.5 12-Speed - Women's Review
Cons: Some underwhelming aspects of the build, moderately heavy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Specialized is slowly phasing the women's models out of their Stumpjumper line in favor of unisex models. The women's version may still be readily available, but the 2020 Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 27.5 is the same price and build as the model we tested and is offered in sizes S-XL.
Should I Buy This Bike?
The Stumpjumper Comp Carbon Women's is unique in its user-friendliness, broad range of appeal, and extremely well-rounded trail manners. One of our testers named it "Stella the Unicorn" for its seemingly mythical capability to do everything well. Interestingly, the Stumpjumper provides the same grin-inducing ride for riders with a vast range of skills and experience levels. Whether you're a hardcore enduro fiend or a casual after-work rider, the Stumpjumper has you covered. It has a balanced suspension feel and predictable handling that performs well at low and moderate speeds on mellow terrain, yet it doesn't falter when you open it up or want to charge down some rough and rugged trails. The 150mm of balanced front and rear suspension is supportive on the climbs and will rarely if ever, leave you wanting for more on the descents. The modern long and slack geometry feels dialed and helps give this bike unwavering stability at speed while the short chainstays and meaty 2.6" tires keep it lively and plenty maneuverable through tight stuff and corners.
The Stumpjumper isn't perfect. It weighs in at just over 30 lbs for the size small we tested. Weight-conscious riders seeking the utmost in efficiency will be better off looking elsewhere. The component specification is also generally quite good, but considering the price, we'd have hoped for a few more high-end pieces bolted onto this bike. That said, testers found it hard to complain as they had a blast riding this bike at all times. Anyone seeking a highly capable and comfortable do-it-all trail bike need look no further. Maybe unicorns exist after all.
The Stumpjumper Carbon Comp features a carbon frame with Specialized's Fact 11M carbon construction. They have employed their long-standing and iconic FSR (Future Shock Rear) suspension platform. The FSR suspension design is a four-bar or Horst-Link system that has a rocker link attached about mid-way up the seat tube, the main pivot right above the bottom bracket, and a pivot on the chainstay just in front of the rear axle. The front triangle has an asymmetrical design with a one-sided brace around the rear shock for added frame stiffness. The rear suspension linkage also features a flip-chip that allows the user to switch between low and high settings; adjusting the head tube angle by 0.5 degrees. They have also integrated their SWAT (Storage, Water, Air, Tools) compartment into the downtube of the frame. Specialized has also developed a Chain Silencer chainstay protector that is intended to reduce chain slap noise. The women's Stumpjumper is offered in 4 sizes, XS, S, M, and L.
Our size small test model measured to have a 570mm effective top tube and a 418mm reach, the longest in our current test selection. The Stumpjumper has a slack 65.7-degree head tube angle and a modern 75.1-degree seat tube angle in the high setting. In the low setting, these angles change to 65.2-degrees and 74.6-degrees. We measured the bottom bracket height at 336mm with a wheelbase of 1167mm and 435mm chainstays. The Stumpjumper weighed in at 30 lbs and 1 oz set up tubeless without pedals.
- Available in Carbon or Alloy frame
- Offered with 27.5" (tested) or 29"(short travel model) wheels
- 150mm of rear suspension
- Designed around a 150mm fork
- Flip Chip to adjust geometry
- SWAT storage compartment
- "Easy" cable routing
- Asymmetrical frame design
- Custom shock tunes for female riders
- Chain silencer chainstay protector
- Clearance for up to 3.0" tires
The Stumpjumper Comp Carbon is an absolute, hands-down, all-around trail destroyer. This bike can handle anything that comes its way in terms of handling and performance. It was tenacious with laser point precision when attacking the trail, not a lick of terrain can baffle this beastly descender. There were virtually no situations where our testers didn't feel comfortable descending on this bike. High speeds or low speeds, mellow to steep, smooth or rocky, the Stumpjumper was adaptable and ate it all up with the same easy-going and user-friendly attitude. This bike provides effortless maneuverability in those tricky tight sections at higher speeds and implements a bottomless feel when the terrain becomes challenging and rough. Testers really enjoyed the way the Stumpjumper willingly adapted to the terrain regardless of speed.
The Specialized FSR suspension platform is tried and true and reliably controls the 150mm of rear suspension. It provides great small and mid-sized bump compliance and allows the Stumpjumper to motor over chop and chunk at speed. This is the longest travel bike in our test selection, making it a tester favorite for hitting larger drops and smashing rock gardens aggressively. Stiff yet lightweight, it has the stability to remain on course in high-frequency chop and transforms into a silent destroyer on tighter and more technical terrain. Larger 3-5 foot drops are left in the dust thanks to 150mm of travel and the Fox DPS Performance Float.
This bike's geometry also plays a huge role in its confidence-inspiring downhill capabilities. This is the longest and slackest bike in our selection with a wheelbase of 1167mm and a head tube angle of 65.7 degrees in the high setting. Those two measurements combine to give it remarkable stability in how it charges downhill and remains on course without ever feeling bounced about. Those looking to get extra aggressive have the option of using the flip-chip to adjust the geometry by a half degree making the head tube angle 65.2 degrees. Despite the overall length and the slack head tube, the Stumpjumper remains quite maneuverable and easily controlled, plus it encourages playful antics and popping off obstacles in the trail.
The component specification of the Stumpjumper is mostly excellent on the descents. The Fox Float Rhythm fork has sturdy 34mm stanchions and performs well enough with adequate adjustability. The Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock is also reliable and consistent. The Specialized Roval wheels have a nice modern 30mm internal rim width that pairs well with today's wider tires including the 2.6" Specialized Butcher and Purgatory tire combo. These high volume tires can be run at low pressures, provide heaps of cornering traction, and the beefy Grid casing can handle some serious punishment.
The cockpit components are mostly dialed. The 750mm wide handlebar was adequate, though testers would have preferred a slightly wider bar for charging hard on descents. The 125mm X-Fusion Manic dropper post worked reliably during testing, though testers noted that it was harder to compress than some of the higher-end options on the market. The SRAM Guide R brakes provided ample braking power in most situations, though testers found them to fade a bit during especially long descents.
Despite the longer travel numbers and the long and slack geometry of the Stumpjumper, testers found it to a surprisingly comfortable and capable climber. Climbing immediately felt smooth and effortless right out of the gate. The seated pedaling position is comfortable and efficient with active rear suspension and large grippy tires that provide seemingly endless traction. It doesn't climb like an energetic short-travel XC bike, but considering its downhill prowess and relaxed geometry we feel that it performs very well on the ascents.
The Stumpjumper is by no means a featherweight at 30 lbs 1 0z. Despite that weight, it doesn't feel unusually heavy when climbing. The seated pedaling position is comfortable and relaxed, and power transfer feels very direct thanks to the steep 75.1-degree seat tube angle that lines the rider up almost directly up above the bottom bracket. The 418mm reach measurement is slightly longer than other models we tested, and all the frame angles align to give the rider a precise and ready for action feel. This bike's long wheelbase helps it hold a line well when motoring up climbs, yet it never felt like a handful in tight or technical sections.
The FSR suspension platform is relatively active, which does help to maintain traction while climbing. Testers found, however, that it prefers a calm seated approach, out of the saddle efforts resulted in a noticeable pedal bob. Extended periods of climbing benefited from the use of the 3-position compression damping switch on the Fox Float DPS shock. The SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain provides smooth on-the-fly shifting even as the terrain becomes steeper and last-minute shifting needs to happen. The SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain works well on the climbs and provides plenty of gear range for even the steepest of hills. Traction from the beefier 2.6-inch Specialized tires is second to none as this beast blazes it way up drier, sandy sections, especially as the terrain gets steeper.
The women's Stumpjumper is offered in a few different build kits in either carbon fiber (tested) or aluminum frames. The Comp Carbon 12-speed model we tested is the top of the line women's build. It is available in the Mixtape LTD colorway we tested as well as a similarly bright Satin/Acid Lava/Acid Pink color scheme.
Specialized makes another version of the Comp Carbon 27.5 Women's that retails for $4,220. It comes with a very similar build to the model we tested with the primary difference being a Shimano SLX/XT 11-speed drivetrain and Shimano SLX brakes. If you're not hell-bent on having a 12-speed drivetrain, this is a great way to save a few hundred bucks for almost the same exact bike.
The alloy-framed Stumpjumper Comp 27.5 Women's 12-speed comes at an approachable retail price of $3,320. It has an identical component specification to the model we tested.
For riders who prefer a shorter travel trail bike, Specialized also makes two women's model of the Stumpjumper ST. ST stands for short-travel and these models have 120mm of rear and 130mm of front wheel travel and steeper head tube angle. The ST Comp Carbon 29 Women's 12-speed retails for $4,520 and has a nearly identical build to the model we tested. The ST Comp Alloy 29 Women's 12-speed retails for $3,320 and has an alloy frame and the same build as the carbon model.
At a retail price of $4,520, we feel that the Stumpjumper Comp Carbon is a pretty solid value considering the fact that this is our Editor's Choice Award-winning women's trail bike. This bike is incredibly user-friendly, and the serves the casual rider just as well as the aggressive everyday trail slayer. The component specification isn't as impressive as other models in this test, but it gets the job done with little to complain about.
Overall, the build of the Stumpjumper is serviceable and get the job done out on the trail. There are a couple of aspects of the build, however, that we'd be inclined to upgrade if this bike were our own. First, we would swap out the noticeably heavy SRAM NX Eagle cassette for a lighter weight option like the GX Eagle cassette which weighs 160 grams less. Ladies looking to really get after on the descents might also be interested in upgrading the suspension to something a little heavier hitting like a Fox Float 36 with bigger stanchions and a sturdier chassis. The X-Fusion Manic dropper is functional, but testers found it to require more force to compress and would likely upgrade to a higher-end option.
The Stumpjumper Comp Carbon Women's is unique in our test for its impressive user-friendliness and versatile all-around performance. This 150mm travel trail bike is suitable for a huge range of skill levels and will please everyone from the mellow after-work rider to the all-out trail slayer. Testers were hard-pressed to find fault with the Stumpy as it climbs well and descends even better. It's not often you find a bike that is as approachable and capable as this one. If you've been searching for a Unicorn, be sure to check out the Stumpjumper.
— Tasha Thomas