When I chose the Stumpjumper Comp in a 26 inch wheel I wasn't so sure that this long term would be relevant & as it turns out my feelings were warranted as for 2013 there is no 140mm 26" wheel option in the new Stumpjumper platform. But we'll press on regardless!

Having ridden 29" wheels on all of our test Mountain Bikes for the last 12 months I am 100% sold on them however when it came to spending some of my own money I got the jitters and went all traditional, thinking I might just give it one more year before I took the plunge!

Stumpjumper FSR Comp long term test

If you're reading this & you know the history of the Stumpy, you'll know that you should probably stop reading now if you want my opinion on an ideal cross country bike as it's evolved almost out of recognition even in comparison to relatively recent models. This 26" model has 140mm of FSR travel, a 68 degree head angle and a fairly attack minded riding position, so whilst you can ride it all day, its perfectly suited to aggressive trail riding and the most demanding technical singletrack.

If you want to buy a more complicated bike there are plenty out there, but despite the price point of £2300 being squarely aimed at riders who "know what they are doing" Specialized have put a lot of thought into getting a very simple & dialled setup straight out of the box to minimise the need to immediately start "fannying around" An obvious note to this simplicity is the Fox designed rear shock. Having been riding for over 20 years and witnessed the evolution of rear shocks, all the weirdest set ups & the seemingly continuous mission to make setting them up as difficult as possible, the latest offering from Specialized, the "Autosag" is a breath of fresh air & at least for me seems to work perfectly. Check the video here.

The shock has three settings; lock-out, Pro-pedal & fully open if I'm honest, the type of riding I have done so far has really not had the shock fully open much, as its mainly been just generally underwhelming trail riding, some up & down some fire-road & some singletrack but mostly with the pedals rotating, just to get a general feeling for the bike as a package.

Stumpjumper FSR Comp long term test

I'm going to wind it up here for now and not go into the spec right now, because you can more or less read all that stuff for yourself, but as a quick evaluation after my first 32k off-road ride, its one of the most balanced bikes I've ridden for a while & with the addition of some thicker grips & a dropper post (pictured above) I feel right at home on it at least for now.

More to follow as I "break it in"