2021 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert

The storied Specialized Stumpjumper—perhaps the most famous mountain bike model in the history of our sport—has undergone major updates for 2021.

2021 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Bike Review

The moment that Specialized revamped its venerated Stumpjumper for 2021, I was chomping at the bit to see what the redesigned trail bike was all about.

My first introduction was to the Stumpjumper EVO Expert, a rowdy all-rounder that I absolutely loved. So, when I got a chance to test its sibling, the Stumpjumper Expert, I was eager to find out how it stacked up against the EVO.

I had a hard time concealing my curiosity when I noticed that the Stumpjumper Expert was missing Specialized’s signature FSR suspension design. To save weight, the bike’s designers opted for a lightweight flex stay rather than the traditional chainstay pivot point. I was so keen to try it out that I immediately took it on a few small hot laps on the “test track” outside my apartment, which is, no joke, a stump I love to jump. I immediately knew the Stumpjumper Expert was ready for some of Galbraith Mountain’s rowdiest trails.

Most of my favorite rides involve an hour or more of climbing before a quick, high-speed descent. So, as one could expect, I have a soft spot for bikes that climb exceptionally well. The new Stumpjumper Expert made my time climbing a joy. The kinematics of the 130-millimeter rear shock helped to keep the momentum moving forward, regardless of whether I was pedaling in or out of the saddle. I never felt the need to reach down and flip into “climb” mode on the Fox Float DPS Performance Elite shock while climbing. The suspension showed an excellent mix of traction-generating squish, while also delivering some zippy acceleration—something that was accentuated by the Specialized Purgatory rear tire. The seat angle was just steep enough to keep the bike balanced on steep, punchy climbs, even while seated.

Geometry & Specs:

Wheel Size: 29"
Rear Travel: 130mm
Fork: 140mm
Wheelbase: 1228mm
Chainstay: 432mm
Reach: 475mm
Head Tube Angle: 65°

Rider-First Engineered™ frames use a size-specific approach to ride characteristics that ensures benchmark handling and flawless performance, regardless of frame or rider size.
Deity Knuckleduster grips with SRAM G2 RSC 4-piston caliper brakes.
Specialized Alloy Trail Stem 35mm bar bore with Specialized Trail handlebars, 7050 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 30mm rise, 780mm, 35mm clamp
FOX FLOAT 34 Performance Elite fork with 140mm of travel.
GRIP2 damper, 15x110mm, 44mm offset, 140mm of travel.
Butcher, GRID casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29x2.3" is paired with the Fox suspension up front.
FOX FLOAT DPS Performance Elite, Rx Trail Tune, EVOL Air sleeve, 3-position adjustment w/ Open Mode Adjustment, 190x45mm.
asymmetrical design with FlipChip adjustability you’re able to further fine-tune your fit.
X-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, remote SRL LE lever, 34.9 (S1:100mm, S2: 125mm, S3: 150mm, S4/S5: 170mm, S6: 190mm).
SRAM Descendant 7K, DUB crankset.
Chain protection comes standard.
SWAT™ Door integration.
Sram X01 Eagle, 12-speed.
Sram XG-1275, 12-speed, 10-52t cassette.
FACT 11m carbon chassis and rear-end with asymmetrical designed frame.
asymmetrical frame detail.
Through precise shaping of the seatstays and chainstays, along with utilization of appropriate composites, Specialized created a flex zone along the seatstay, above the brake mount, that serves up 130 mm of travel without any rear end pivot hardware or redundant material required for bonding pivot parts in the carbon.
Plenty of clearance for bigger tires on the new Stumpjumper.
Purgatory, GRID Casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29x2.3".
New rear brake mount with the Flexstay rear triangle.
The combination of the progressive leverage ratio and mildly progressive spring rate results in precisely the ride Specialized dreamed of for their mid-travel trail ripper. What you feel on the trail is a lively, snappy ride for the first two-thirds of travel, then — thanks to the increasing spring rate — excellent bump force management and resistance to bottoming in big events.

On sections of trail that require pumping the bike to generate speed, the Stumpjumper Expert really came into its own. It would rebound out of holes with an urgency that I’ve not experienced on any other bike—a trait I’m attributing to the suspension’s new flex stay design. And the lightness of the new frame was even more obvious when lifting the front end to get airborne.

When bombing down some of Bellingham’s steep descents, the Stumpjumper practically begged me to flirt with high speeds. With its long reach of 475 millimeters in the low bottom-bracket setting, I felt like my body positioning was extremely stable. What’s more, the 140 millimeters of front travel delivered by the Fox Float 34 Performance Elite fork was the perfect amount of travel for some of my go-to trails, which require a lot of climbing and some seriously technical descents. Add all of this to the snappy 432-millimeter chainstay and the bike was squaring up tight corners and popping off jumps with pure ease.

It gets said a lot, but the new Stumpjumper Expert truly is an all-rounder that riders of many different levels could enjoy equally. It’s a versatile bike that could make a newbie as happy as someone who’s been riding at a high level for years.

Specialized Stumpjumper Expert - $4,700