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Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 120 Expert Disc

Price: $4,159
Weight: 5.5lbs with shock
(medium frame)
Components: Shimano XTR and LX, Avid Juicy 7 hydraulic discs, Specialized, Mavic Frame & Fork: M4 Manipulated Alloy frame with TransForm monocoque top tube, Fox Talas RL (95-130mm travel)
Geometry: 70.5°/73.5° (head/seat)
Sizes: small, medium (tested), large, X-large, women’s small, women’s medium
Comments: Shiny!

The 2005 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 120 Expert Disc must have one of the longest “smegging” names in the industry! If Specialized put a decal on this bike with its full name printed on it, it would probably add five kilograms to the frame. And when you first look at this bike, you would think that that extra five would put this bike well into the heavyweight category, but you would be so very wrong. The Stumpjumper FSR 120 Ex D is one of those bikes that seems to defy the laws of physics. When you pick this puppy up, you will know exactly what I mean. Light!

Specialized has designed the EX D to meet the demands of riders who venture into the worlds of both cross-country and backcountry. Ask Specialized if this bike is a cross-country speed machine or an all-mountain technical specialist and the answer will be “YES”! Designed around FSR technology, the Stumpjumper features a fully active, independent suspension that handles anything short of extreme freeriding.

The new proprietary Fox Float Septune shock has on-the-fly seven-position adjustability. The Fox Talus RL up front offers a range between 95-130mm, with rebound and compression adjust, lockout, and threshold adjust. With all of this adjustability, you may think you’ll need a degree in engineering to work it all out, but I found it easy to dial the Stumpy into whatever environment I found myself facing. Turn the ProPedal up and drop the Talas down to 100mm and the Stumpjumper attacked climbs without a second thought. Shut the ProPedal off and dial that Talus up to 130mm and I was eating up the technical descents like PowerBar samples at a trade show.

I provided the Stumpjumper with a healthy dose of North Shore and had a blast doing it. The bike felt at home on the descents and offered some impressive climbing prowess. All in all, the suspension performed flawlessly and lived up to all of Specialized’s claims. Specialized has also made sure that all this suspension firepower is backed up with a bomb-proof frame. The Stumpjumper features an M4 Manipulated Alloy frame with TransForm monocoque TT; sealed cartridge bearings; disc-compatible, 120mm-travel, replaceable derailleur hanger, and two sets of water-bottle bosses (one that’s useful).

Specialized’s proprietary TransForm monocoque technology begins with two optimally shaped halves. Both frame halves are formed in precision dies and hydraulic presses, then welded together and heat-treated, and finally “TransForm’ed” into the Stumpjumper chassis. According to Specialized, the main benefits of this TransForm process are a strong, stiff yet light frame; wall-thickness variation that allows for strength where it’s needed; and better handling and acceleration, due to increased levels of torsional rigidity. I certainly didn’t feel any flex when cranking on the bike or when flying through big sweepers on descents. It’s a solid ride you feel when putting in your big effort.

The component package on the EX D is pretty sweet. Avid Juicy 7 hydraulic disc brakes and levers provide excellent control, Shimano XTR Hollowtech II cranks provide light weight and a solid feel to the drivetrain, and a Mavic X317 Disc wheelset with 120TPI Adrenaline Pro dual-compound tires provided a fast roll on the flats with aggressive bite when climbing, breaking, and cornering. While Shimano XTR makes an appearance at the rear derailleur, LX is the main player in the drivetrain. In-house Specialized components fill in the rest of the cockpit, providing an excellent bike for the price.

Of course, if you’re a bit of a component snob and demand nothing but the best, the Stumpy FSR 120 is also offered as the S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 120, dressed to kill in full XTR. The 2005 Stumpjumper FSR 120 Expert Disc is definitely an improvement over previous years’ models and well deserving of the praise it has received. I’m sure it would win even more awards if it had a name that could actually fit on the plaques!

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