2016 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 650b

Bike: Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 650b

Size Tested: Medium

Geometry: (Here)

Build Overview:

  • Drivetrain: Sram XX1
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 150mm

Wheels: 27.5′′

Travel: 150 / 150 mm

Weight: 26.6lbs (12.07kg) without pedals (measured)

MSRP: $8,600

Test Location: Boulder City, Nevada

Reviewer: 5’9”, 155 lbs.

Noah Bodman reviews the Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 650b for Blister Gear Review

2016 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 650b

Caveat

Interbike’s outdoor demo is located at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada. It’s a fantastic network of trails, and it’s a great escape from America’s neon bunghole, Las Vegas. The trails we spent most of our time on were relatively fast, with a fair amount of sand and some pretty rocky sections.

Having said that…

Riding bikes at a demo is always kind of tricky. For starters, we’re unable to get as much time on each bike as we like–our test durations are measured in minutes and hours, not our preferred time frame of weeks and months. One good ride can tell you a lot about how a bike handles, but it certainly doesn’t allow for the customary, in-depth, Blister analysis.

Demo days also don’t generally permit the time needed to get each bike dialed to our liking. A quick suspension setup and fiddling with the bike’s ergonomics gets it most of the way there, but it’s certainly not dialed. We also take the bike as we get it, so things like bar width and tire selection may not be optimal.

So while we believe it’s important to be upfront about the limitations of reviewing bikes in such settings, there is also merit in riding a slew of bikes, back to back, on the same trails. Subtle differences that might not become apparent if our test rides happen weeks or months apart are able to come to light, and each bike’s attributes may be more easily identified.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 650b

The Stumpjumper, in its various incarnations, has been around for roughly forever. The FSR 650b version of the Stumpjumper is the latest and greatest flavor, and it represents Specialized’s grudging acknowledgment that 29ers aren’t for everyone. (However, they still make a 29” version if you want it.)

Noah Bodman reviews the Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 650b for Blister Gear Review

Noah Bodman on the 2016 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 650b , Bootleg Canyon, NV.

Sporting 150 millimeters of travel front and rear, the Stumpy is at the longer travel end of what one might call a trail bike. The top of the line 26.6 lb S-Works version that we rode is the lightest in the Stumpjumper FSR lineup, and is constructed out of a higher end carbon than the other models.

The Build

Rear suspension duties are handled by a Fox Float CTD, while the fork is a Pike RCT3, both of which yield 150mm travel. The parts kit is top of the line throughout: XX1 drivetrain, XTR brakes, and Roval Traverse SL wheels that come with wide, 30mm internal carbon rims.

All of the high end drivetrain and carbon bits bolted to the bike are fantastic, and work as expected (which is to say, exceptionally well). But really, the part of the build kit that I was most excited about was the tires. Specialized spec’d a Butcher in the front and a Purgatory in the rear. I’m always happy when a high dollar, lightweight wonder bike still comes with real tires, even if they’re not the absolute lightest option.

It’s not really a part of the build kit, but it’s also worth noting that the frame incorporates the new “SWAT door,” which is simply an opening in the downtube where one can store some basic tools, a pump, or whatever other items one might want to keep in a semi discrete location. The door under the water bottle mount reveals a compartment that’s more or less the entire downtube, and the system seems pretty slick. I do, however, wonder if the opening in the tubing sacrifices a little bit of frame rigidity.

The Fit

Fit and geometry numbers between different companies are kind of all over the board these days. In years past, at 5’9”, I’ve always ridden a Medium. Now, with many bikes getting longer in the front end and specing shorter stems, I find myself going back and forth between Mediums and Larges, depending on the company and how they size their bikes.

I’d more or less call Specialized the middle ground in terms of this sizing debate. Part of that is just because they’re a huge company and their bikes are really common, so they serve as a good metric. But part of it is because they were one of the first major companies to err toward making their frames a bit longer, but they also haven’t gone as insanely long as some other companies.

The Medium Stumpjumper I rode felt like an honest Medium: long enough that I didn’t find myself wanting a Large, but not so long that I felt like I had too much bike out in front of me. The Stumpjumper’s reach comes in at 414mm, which is far shorter than some brands, where a Medium can be 430mm or more. But the Stumpjumper comes spec’d with a relatively long 60mm stem, which is a nod to its intentions. The short 35mm stems that are all the rage these days are great for handling on the way down, but they give up a bit of control on steep climbs. The Stumpjumper is sized and spec’d to be a bit more of an all-arounder.

The full geometry chart can be viewed here, but a quick rundown of the numbers reveals a bike that more or less sticks to Specialized’s “aggressive bike” formula. At 67°, the head angle is pretty middle of the road for a bike in this travel class. It’s slack enough to lend stability to the bike, but not so slack that it makes the bike feel sluggish or floppy at lower speeds.

Since this is a Specialized, it has their characteristic short chainstays – 420mm, which isn’t the shortest out there, but they’re definitely not long. The rest of the numbers on the Stumpjumper are fairly average, and produce a bike that should be comfortable for a pretty wide range of people.

NEXT: The Ride, Bottom Line

1 Comment

  1. Ron April 29, 2016 Reply

    420mm equates to 16.49″ chainstays on a 27.5 bike, very impressive and I do believe it is the shortest out there.

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