Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 29

In January we spent four days doing head-to-head comparison test rides, but on our final “fun lap” everyone chose whichever model they pleased. The variety of choices said a lot about today’s mountain bikes. Hardtail M

Back in 1981, the original Stumpjumper, the first mass-produced mountain bike, revolutionized the sport. Now comes a breakthrough Stumpy 29er that proves big wheels and big travel are not mutually exclusive. With 5.1 inches of travel front and rear and a laid-back 68-degree headtube, this bike hits the sweet spot. “It’s no racer, nor a point-and-shoot downhiller,” said one tester. “But it’s surprisingly close to both.” The ever brilliant rear Brain shock (firm for pedaling, free-moving for big hits) gets another heady innovation: Autosag. Push this button while you’re on the pumped-up shock, and it adjusts the pressure for you. Similarly, the stiff aluminum Roval wheels and through-axles in the front and back make tough descents both pillowy and precise. But it’s the addition of the telescoping Command seatpost, which drops to either of two set positions with the push of a bar-mounted lever, that really lets you rail down hills. It may sound complicated, but the result is simple, near perfect riding in almost all conditions. 27.3 lbs


Brand: Specialized $5,800
From 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide Subscribe or Give a Gift.