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  1. #1
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    2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo 29 Review

    After a month of being on order from my LBS, this guy finally rolled through the door on Friday. Took it out on a couple of rides and I have some feedback for you all.

    This is a size XL for my 6'3" frame and 36" inseam. It felt big at first coming from an XL Epic but for good reason. The front end is tall to help the rider be in a neutral position on the bike on gnarly downhill segments. It just felt a lot different from the Epic Expert Carbon 29 XL I was coming from.

    My first ride I noticed climbing was a little awkward compared to the Epic I came from (more on this later). The front end is TALL, the stock stem is pretty long, and the handlebars are WIDE. This all made exaggerating the turn a necessity as it took more in the form of turning to get up the technical switchbacks I was climbing. Upon descending, I noticed one thing immediately... the suspension is awesome. I opened it up, adjusted the rebound to fast and switched from climb to descend on the Fox Float CTD and it responded amazingly. I also was a huge fan of the Revelation fork. Very plush and adjustable for climbs and descents. The actuation of the dropper command post is smooth (NO seat wiggle this year either!). For the downhill I did, the middle position was perfect. It was very easy to actuate the dropper on the fly no matter where you were on the trail. Very well placed trigger. The DH section that usually took a lot of body english and effort on the EPIC seemed like a stroll through the park on the stumpy evo. I didn't really push the bike since we were just getting acquainted. At the bottom of the hill I checked Strava and was disappounted to find that I finished considerably slower that my PR I had set for that DH segment on Strava. I knew the bike could be pushed hard and wanted to go faster... it was totally rider error and getting used to the new rig.

    Before heading back up the hill, I wanted to make a few adjustments to achieve a similar fit to the Epic that I felt so comfortable on. First I adjusted the seat position. I moved the seat as far forward and down as it would go. This was necessary especially with the XL frame, the seat tube angle makes the seat angle back more than a M or L size frame. This new position for me helped me still feel "in" the bike (especially with the post dropped) but gave me that sense of control and power of being on "top" of it while climbing. It also helped with my sore taint. I was definitely feeling it from that first climb. Once that was done I went back up the hill. I instantly felt more at home and my taint was thanking me. I crushed my PR on that climb that I set on my Epic! I was shocked. Consider that... with my new stumpy evo, I demolished a PR I had set the week before on a pure XC carbon bike ... needless to say this thing holds its own on climbs. On the second go on the DH section, I PR'd again. Not by much, but as I get more comfortable on this bike I can see that time getting lower and lower. I was still holding it back. The adjustments were spot on. This bike rips once you get a feel for the geometry and make the adjustments you need to.

    GRIPES. The brakes. I did not bed the brakes in like I should have but thought they would be fine given that they weren't the Avids this time around. About half way through my second ever descent on this bike (the PR one) the front brake started a high squeal but still braked well, but the back brake sounded like a donkey in heat and vibrated the whole bike to the point of losing control. I will update the review on this once I get this figured out. I'm going to take it in and have it looked at, but this makes me nervous. The shiftings need to be adjusted on the X9 in the back. Not too sure the kid at the LBS spent a lot of time lining them up. Other than that, its all good.

    Oh, and the Black on black is dead sexy. I'm going to slap some red CB mallet 3's on here next week too. Not that it really matters, but I like looking at the bike when I'm not riding it.



  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review, this is one of the bikes that I am considering! (In an XL as well). How does it handle in the tight/twisty stuff?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfs69 View Post
    Thanks for the review, this is one of the bikes that I am considering! (In an XL as well). How does it handle in the tight/twisty stuff?
    I've only taken it on a couple of rides and its ok in that stuff. The longer stem and wide handlebars are some parts you could swap out to make those parts more manageable but this thing was made pick a line and bomb. The stability the longer stem and wider bars provide with that in mind serve their purpose well.

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    Good to read. Taking my 2014 Evo Medium out tomorrow with the brakes bedded and the bars cut WAY down!

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    2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo 29 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by scottyroo View Post

    GRIPES. The brakes. I did not bed the brakes in like I should have but thought they would be fine given that they weren't the Avids this time around. About half way through my second ever descent on this bike (the PR one) the front brake started a high squeal but still braked well, but the back brake sounded like a donkey in heat and vibrated the whole bike to the point of losing control.

    What brakes do you have and why did you decide not to follow the bed in procedure?

  6. #6
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    The 2014 edit:All Stumpjumpers now have Formula C1 brakes with metallic pads, FTR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowroa View Post
    The 2014 edit:All Stumpjumpers now have Formula C1 brakes with metallic pads, FTR.
    Went out again tonight on the bike. I used swisstop on the brakes to stop the noise and it was effective e but braking power wasn't as good. At least the vibration stopped. Towards the end of the ride the vibration and noise started to come back on harder stops. I will have to keep an eye on it and if needs be get some organic pads.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dowroa View Post
    Good to read. Taking my 2014 Evo Medium out tomorrow with the brakes bedded and the bars cut WAY down!
    Why did you cut the bars down on an aggressive trail bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    Why did you cut the bars down on an aggressive trail bike?
    Not to derail the OP's post, but the same reason I am 6'0" 225 riding a medium with platform pedals -- preference. I came from a BMX background and I have destroyed my right shoulder. I couldn't physically do a bar that large, and the bike felt like a truck with wide bars.

    Just my choice, and bars are an easy thing to replace/upgrade. I have never been a fan of the "wide bar" movement in cycling. Please note that I personally rode about a total of 100 miles on a combination of demo bikes with 720mm bars on 26/29 Stumpjumpers on Medium and Large frames. I enjoyed the narrower bars on a smaller frame. What I currently ride works well with that configuration, and it is my money, afterall.

    Of course, once I did that, and I was able to manual the bike, I was pretty happy and felt at home (surprisingly on a 29!).

    My local trails are not in the mountains, in Central NC. I do have access to some very nice mountain trails within a relatively short drive and lots of great local trails. For me, personally, the Evo is a "do everything" bike, and I think it will do that well.

    Ps. I will promise you it will be ridden aggressively on the trails, however!

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the thorough review! Sounds like a great bike. I'm ready to buy a new carbon bike and this one is one of 4 I'm seriously considering. I had the first ever 29r stumpy and really didn't like it. My feet would hit the front wheel quite frequently in turns and pedal strikes were very common. I figure that by now those problems should have been worked out?

    The other 3 bikes I'm considering are the Ibis Mojo HD, the New Santa Cruz Solo, and the new SC Bronson.

    I'm not a crazy kid anymore so I don't jump too much or take crazy risks on the way down but I do like a plush suspension. Feel like my 06 Enduro hurts me too much on the way up so want to maybe tone down the travel a bit and go with newer technology.

    Really like the idea of having a Santa Cruz bike but they sure are not cheap. All I've heard are great things about the Ibis but not sure where to get one yet. My cousin owns a bike shop down south a couple hours and can save some dough on the Stumpy through him I'm hoping. He can't get the SC and doesn't deal with Ibis. Just want to make sure I don't rush into things on a big purchase like this.

    Haven't been able to find a place yet to test ride ant of these bikes. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venturawoot View Post
    Thanks for the thorough review! Sounds like a great bike. I'm ready to buy a new carbon bike and this one is one of 4 I'm seriously considering. I had the first ever 29r stumpy and really didn't like it. My feet would hit the front wheel quite frequently in turns and pedal strikes were very common. I figure that by now those problems should have been worked out?
    I would not assume the pedal strikes are gone. Something that Specialized really prides themselves on is a really low BB height. They state with the low BB, it makes you have a lower CG and feel better in the corners.

    From my experience on two Specialized bikes that I ride, pedal strikes can and will happen if you get lazy, tired, or are not used to it -- Evo or my older bike.

    As for foot contact with the tire, I have no issues with that. I ride with my brother who has a 29L Kona that I will foot strike the front tire. However, on my 29M Evo, that has never been an issue for me or him.

    The other 3 bikes I'm considering are the Ibis Mojo HD, the New Santa Cruz Solo, and the new SC Bronson.

    I'm not a crazy kid anymore so I don't jump too much or take crazy risks on the way down but I do like a plush suspension. Feel like my 06 Enduro hurts me too much on the way up so want to maybe tone down the travel a bit and go with newer technology.

    Really like the idea of having a Santa Cruz bike but they sure are not cheap. All I've heard are great things about the Ibis but not sure where to get one yet. My cousin owns a bike shop down south a couple hours and can save some dough on the Stumpy through him I'm hoping. He can't get the SC and doesn't deal with Ibis. Just want to make sure I don't rush into things on a big purchase like this.

    Haven't been able to find a place yet to test ride ant of these bikes. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    To your other bikes, I apologize, but I have no direct experience with those bikes.

    For the Evo (non carbon, although I did ride one), I did ride a lot of the Comp FSR before i bought this bike, and quite honestly, I think the FSR is a really good basis for comparison. The only major differences this year are the changes to the brake levers in feel/adjustment/integration with shifters and the fork which is now a Rock Shox with a Maxle (which I am personally not quite fond of the design).

    As far as use case, the things I personally liked on the 29M that I brought to the Evo 29M I bought worked really well. The bike feels very stable and I have no real complaints.

    Personally, I can't really figure out what the front compression setting really changes, as it always feels the same at low speed to me, and I am not crazy enough or have played around enough to compare the high speed differences. With that, it still functions well. I just can't tell with the setting at partially open or fully open a ride quality difference at low speed. The rear shock seems to be the most plush, to me, in the trail setting (surprising for me). The dropper post....I didn't really know what to expect, but with the height labeling on the post, it makes it really quick to dial in the right height. That and the fact it works well in action is really nice, even though I was unsure if it would be useful. I found when I went back to my older Specialized, I missed that feature for longer, technical rides (10 miles+). It really shines for me so I can keep my legs in alignment and stretched out on climbs, and then get the seat out of the way on the fast sections.

    If I had one piece of advice, it would be to get on as many bikes as you can, no matter what. I paid to do so, and it was completely worth the time and hassle in getting a bike I really felt "at home" on. Being comfortable on a bike is a big deal for me, and having bought one that I had high confidence in is a real treat. Now, I can just concentrate on riding, and not really worry about the bike, which is what I prefer. When I start being limited by an item, I can work around or "upgrade", such as the 2Bliss tires on the bike to a functioning tubeless system.

    I would like to investigate the rear brake more, as I am not sure if I have it bedded in correctly, but it is very honky/vibraty for me. More to come as I get more miles. 24.7 miles on this Evo, thus far.

    Overall, for myself, I find the Evo to be a really good selection as a "do everything" bike. I would feel really comfortable taking this bike to a rock garden, Ashville NC for some real mountains, and some light downhill work. I haven't really given it anything it can't take as an All Mountain bike and, at at this point in my life, I don't really see myself jumping it per my BMX past.

    If you have any specific questions, I am more than happy to answer, and really happy with the bike!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dowroa View Post
    I would like to investigate the rear brake more, as I am not sure if I have it bedded in correctly, but it is very honky/vibraty for me. More to come as I get more miles. 24.7 miles on this Evo, thus far.
    After using Swisstop on the brakes, the vibration and honkiness is back for me after re-bedding them in. I'm going to make it a point to keep the rotor clean with rubbing alcohol over the next few rides but that is the only gripe I have had with this bike... the rear rotor noise/vibration.

    Thanks for the great follow up! I agree with you on all points... pick a bike that you feel comfortable in and matches your riding style.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottyroo View Post
    After using Swisstop on the brakes, the vibration and honkiness is back for me after re-bedding them in. I'm going to make it a point to keep the rotor clean with rubbing alcohol over the next few rides but that is the only gripe I have had with this bike... the rear rotor noise/vibration.

    Thanks for the great follow up! I agree with you on all points... pick a bike that you feel comfortable in and matches your riding style.

    Scottyroo - I wanted to share with you my experience since owning the 2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO 29 a week ago. I had the exact same problem as you describe with horrible rear brake vibrations. I took it back to my LBS only to have them clean the brakes and then they seem OK under light to medium braking.

    I took it out to the trail immediately that afternoon only to be upset again with the rear brake vibration, right into the frame return again.

    My LBS was fantastic at getting right onto this issue by calling Specialized first thing that Monday morning. It seems like it is a resonance issue / design fault with the seat stay and it requires an S-Works Carbon seat stay to replace the aluminum one. Specialized FEDEX'd the seat stay out (of course all under warranty) immediately and it was on my bike 2 days later.

    I haven't yet hit the trails today, however I can tell immediately by riding the bike down the street with hard rear braking that is resolved the issue completely. You can also tell by just walking the bike and apply full rear brake pressure the bike doesn't vibrate / jump / chatter.

    Buyer beware though on this bike...this is a major screw up on Specialized's behalf, either a big manufacturing issue with the first batch or they didn't bother thoroughly testing the Aluminum frames.

    In saying this though...Specialized's warranty service is 2nd to none...they wanted to get the problem resolved and make it right. This bike is fantastic...best choice I made after many demo days.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychout View Post
    Scottyroo - I wanted to share with you my experience since owning the 2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO 29 a week ago. I had the exact same problem as you describe with horrible rear brake vibrations. I took it back to my LBS only to have them clean the brakes and then they seem OK under light to medium braking.

    I took it out to the trail immediately that afternoon only to be upset again with the rear brake vibration, right into the frame return again.

    My LBS was fantastic at getting right onto this issue by calling Specialized first thing that Monday morning. It seems like it is a resonance issue / design fault with the seat stay and it requires an S-Works Carbon seat stay to replace the aluminum one. Specialized FEDEX'd the seat stay out (of course all under warranty) immediately and it was on my bike 2 days later.

    I haven't yet hit the trails today, however I can tell immediately by riding the bike down the street with hard rear braking that is resolved the issue completely. You can also tell by just walking the bike and apply full rear brake pressure the bike doesn't vibrate / jump / chatter.

    Buyer beware though on this bike...this is a major screw up on Specialized's behalf, either a big manufacturing issue with the first batch or they didn't bother thoroughly testing the Aluminum frames.

    In saying this though...Specialized's warranty service is 2nd to none...they wanted to get the problem resolved and make it right. This bike is fantastic...best choice I made after many demo days.
    Thanks for sharing! I had all but given up. I tried steel wool to no avail and had not heard about the seat stay. I'll check it out with my LBS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychout View Post
    Scottyroo - I wanted to share with you my experience since owning the 2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO 29 a week ago. I had the exact same problem as you describe with horrible rear brake vibrations. I took it back to my LBS only to have them clean the brakes and then they seem OK under light to medium braking.

    I took it out to the trail immediately that afternoon only to be upset again with the rear brake vibration, right into the frame return again.

    My LBS was fantastic at getting right onto this issue by calling Specialized first thing that Monday morning. It seems like it is a resonance issue / design fault with the seat stay and it requires an S-Works Carbon seat stay to replace the aluminum one. Specialized FEDEX'd the seat stay out (of course all under warranty) immediately and it was on my bike 2 days later.

    I haven't yet hit the trails today, however I can tell immediately by riding the bike down the street with hard rear braking that is resolved the issue completely. You can also tell by just walking the bike and apply full rear brake pressure the bike doesn't vibrate / jump / chatter.

    Buyer beware though on this bike...this is a major screw up on Specialized's behalf, either a big manufacturing issue with the first batch or they didn't bother thoroughly testing the Aluminum frames.

    In saying this though...Specialized's warranty service is 2nd to none...they wanted to get the problem resolved and make it right. This bike is fantastic...best choice I made after many demo days.
    Please reply when you get a chance to ride. I am still having rear brake problems, and I would like to get my LBS on it. They told me just to ride more, but after 50+ miles, it isn't going away.

    - brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowroa View Post
    Please reply when you get a chance to ride. I am still having rear brake problems, and I would like to get my LBS on it. They told me just to ride more, but after 50+ miles, it isn't going away.

    - brian

    Hi Brian - ok I spent a solid 4 hours on some very technical trails today with lots of fast downhills. Great news - problem solved 100%. No chattering, vibrations, etc under absolute slamming the rear brakes. Just nice smooth modulation. These Formula C1s are actually very good brakes.

    Just a little bit of front and rear brake squeaking but thats solved by a quick wipe down of the discs and they are perfect now.

    Tell your LBS to go call Specialized warranty support...I have no idea why LBS's are resisting to fix this issue and Specialized are extremely helpful in resolving any issues. Specialized know exactly what the problem is and the solution.

    Good luck and let me know how you guys all go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottyroo View Post
    Thanks for sharing! I had all but given up. I tried steel wool to no avail and had not heard about the seat stay. I'll check it out with my LBS
    Scotty - how did you go with your LBS? Are they working with you on this?

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    Any update on this guys? Was interested to hear how everyone else went with Specialized and their LBS?

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    Hi. I bought a 2014 stunt jumper a couple of weeks ago and the back brake squeals when applied. Iv done over 40 miles on it. I thought it was just the brakes bedding in. I was looking to buy some new pads and stumbled on to this forum. Do UK stunt jumper differ from the US version? I approached the bike shop I bought it from. They phone specialized who said they had never heard of the problem. On the stunt jumper from 4 years ago but not on the current model. Is there anybody from the UK experiencing this problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwards82 View Post
    Hi. I bought a 2014 stunt jumper a couple of weeks ago and the back brake squeals when applied. Iv done over 40 miles on it. I thought it was just the brakes bedding in. I was looking to buy some new pads and stumbled on to this forum. Do UK stunt jumper differ from the US version? I approached the bike shop I bought it from. They phone specialized who said they had never heard of the problem. On the stunt jumper from 4 years ago but not on the current model. Is there anybody from the UK experiencing this problem?
    Just sent you a PM. You do mean the Stumpjumper not "stunt jumper" right?

    This is a known problem by Specialized USA...you need to get the LBS to encourage Specialized UK to contact the USA guys are they are getting more complaints on this and now have a fix. My guess it was a manufacturing defect in the seat stay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychout View Post
    Just sent you a PM. You do mean the Stumpjumper not "stunt jumper" right?

    This is a known problem by Specialized USA...you need to get the LBS to encourage Specialized UK to contact the USA guys are they are getting more complaints on this and now have a fix. My guess it was a manufacturing defect in the seat stay.
    I meant the Stumpjumper.

    Cheers for the info. I'm booked in at the LBS tomorrow. I will try and get them to contact Specialized USA.

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    Hi Lads

    Thanks for all your input, Scottyroo great review! I have just ordered my SJ Comp Evo 29 here in spain, I have to wait til January but happily pass the time reading reviews an looking at pics here. Changing from a Sj Comp Carbon 26.....hope I wont miss the carbon!

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    Has anybody had any problems with the command post losing air pressure? I have had a heavy weekend riding and the seat post has stopped working. I have charged the post but it works for a bit then loses the pressure. On the plus side Iv got Specialized UK to agree to change the rear seat stay for the carbon version. For a brand new bike I can't believe it has so many problems.

  24. #24
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    ^. I love my fsr evo, but yep, problems with bottom bracket, dropper post, and broken star nut but gets aggravating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb2000 View Post
    ^. I love my fsr evo, but yep, problems with bottom bracket, dropper post, and broken star nut but gets aggravating.
    What issues have you had with the bottom bracket?
    I took mine out for its first ride this weekend and I had the same braking issues with the rear brake. I also noticed that there was some kind of squeaking noise that I could not pinpoint where it was coming from, and I was trying to consistently replicate movements to pinpoint it but it seemed like sometimes I would get it to happen while I was pedaling and also some while I was not. I am fairly new to the sport and just transitioned from a 2012 Carve because I wanted a full suspension ride to reduce lower back tightness that I was getting on the hard tail. I never had any squeaking on the Carve, which leads me to think that I shouldn't be hearing this on the first two rides of relatively easy 7 mile trail.
    Also I noticed that my lower back tightness was not near as bad as on my old bike, but I was feeling it a little. I borrowed a guy's Trek superfly 100 for a 35-40 mile pretty tough ride last weekend and I didn't have any back tightness. I think that I need to play with my position on the bike. Do Y'all have any suggestions?
    Thanks!

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