Stumpjumper Carbon Comp 29er – initial impressions

After having my trusty aluminum Stumpjumper 29er hardtail stolen, I was able to obtain some insurance money thanks to USAA and purchase a new bike.  I went with another 29er Stumpjumper, this time in carbon.  I have had this bike just over a week and can offer the following initial impressions based on around 65 miles of riding on pavement, jeep roads, gravel, and singletrack.

First off, this bike is extremely comfortable and very smooth.  I knew the carbon would smooth out some of the ground chatter, but did not expect it to make such a difference.  Granted, my aluminum bike was four years old and I had been running a rigid fork for almost two years.  But, it definitely makes for a nicer riding experience.

The fit is what I expected from a Specialized race hardtail, which is a low-slung, stretched-out stance.  I really prefer to ride with my bar as far down and as far out front as possible, and this bike suits me well.  The first thing I did when I brought the bike home was invert the stem so that it would drop substantially rather than keep me in a more upright position.  At first I was worried that I needed a longer stem, but after a few rides I think the stock stem will work well for me.  I also had my doubts about whether the size Large was the right size for me, as my old bike was a size X-Large.  But, I’m glad I listened to Joe and Geoff at Bike Link and went with their recommended frame size.

I immediately converted the Roval wheels to tubeless, which was easy considering they already had rim tape and came with spare removable valve cores.  This shaved exactly 0.5 pounds from the bike weight, which dropped it to 24.2 pounds.  Not bad for a bike of this size, with rather heavy/cheap Shimano pedals.  Over time, I could easily shave this bike down to closer to 23 pounds with a carbon seatpost, lighter pedals, and lighter cassette….all things that will be done as the original parts start to wear out on me.

The massive bottom bracket area dishes out a ton of stiffness and is very responsive when pushing on the pedals.  Pretty much what I expected, but still something that is noticeable.

The bike came with a Specialized Phenon saddle, which is my all-time favorite saddle.  This is now the fourth bike of mine to run a Phenon, and I am always comfortable on them.

On a recent ride at Oak Mtn State Park, I set somewhere around 7 or 8 personal records on Strava for various segments of my 17-mile ride.  What stuck out to me about that though is that I was not trying to do so….I was simply out riding with the same exertion level that I typically ride with out there on my old bike.  So, the extra speed must have been a direct result of simply having faster equipment this time out.  Definitely a plus there.

Lastly, the bike just plain looks good….stealthy in fact, with the black on gray on carbon color scheme.  Some random pics are below.

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