As we were heading out for summer 2023 in British Columbia, my girlfriend decided to pick up a new bike — a 2023 Specialized Status 140mm. This was her first real bike.
The decision on the Status was largely driven by the price point as it was on sale for $2,250. The spec with fox suspension and Sram NX components were a no brainer. Even at $3,000 it remains spec’d higher than it’s price point. In addition to that the geometry on paper is climbing friendly and bike park friendly. She opted for the 140mm travel version at my suggestion as it would be more pedaling efficient and I find that suspension travel is really a minor factor for downhill bike riding. In my experience, geometry is major factor for down hill confidence with (an extra) 20mm of suspension travel not making much of a difference.
Once we got the bike I was eager to test it out in the Whistler Bike park and some of the trails around it.
I personally ride a 150/140 Specialized Stumpjumper Sworks, so the Status is relatively a low budget bike to me. I like to take credit for stretching the stumpjumper to its limits, both sending double black diamond trails in Whistler on it (vid on Dirt Merch and Aline Whistler), and cracking Strava leaderboard on the climbs.
First Thoughts On The Status
When I first laid eyes on the new bike I noticed that it had Specialized Butcher Tires that were incredibly meaty. I’ve ridden these before and liked them. I also noticed the Deity Knuckleduster grips which came on my Stumpjumper S-works. These were nice touches in addition to the suspension, drivetrain and brakes of the bike. The other nice touch I noticed was the seat post. The X-Fusion Manic felt smoother and more responsive than my Kashima Coated Fox Transfer.
When I grabbed the top tube to pick it up, the weight was noticeably heavier than my carbon stumpjumper loaded with XTR components. That is too be expected though when you look at the price point. Still it is inline with other alloy frames.
Side-by-side the geometry was visibly more raked out than my Stumpjumper. The Status has a head tube angle of 64.2 (and 63.7 in the low flipchip setting) which is slightly less than the Mullet Stumpjumper evo at 64.5 and way less than my non evo at 66.5.
How The Status Stacks up Descending
For testing the flip chip was left in the high position. I originally planned to do a run or two in the high position and then switch it to low… but the bike SHINED, so I never got around to flipping the chip.
The geometry of the bike was noticablely better than my Stumpjumper’s when pointed downhill. More than 2 degrees of difference at the head tube and overall more relaxed geometry makes a big difference on the steeps. There was a little more confidence inspiration when it came to the steep technical stuff and as the runs added up I found myself less and less concerned with line choices than I would be on my Stumpjumper. Basically it was adding up to a point and send. Which was sweet.
The Stumpjumper I regularly ride does have nicer suspension with the Fox Factory 36 upfront and a DPX2 rear but I couldn’t tell a bit difference between what I ride and the lower tier on the Status. Another win for the Status.
The weak link of the Status’s capabilities when descending is the brakes. They’re alright albeit even good for the price point but they’re the only things that leave more to be desired when heading down hill. They are low on power so you have to squeeze lever to bar to get a wheel lock and as they get dusty they start squealing.
How The Status Stacks Up Climbing
With more weight and less head tube angle, the Status couldn’t be expected to climb like my stumpy. But it didn’t do bad here either. Actually it did surprisingly well.
It climbs very efficiently for a low budget bike. You don’t feel the pedal bob with the Float X in it’s climbing setting which is good. For short bursts of power to make it up a 25-50 climb it goes pretty well. On the long haul climbs the difference is noticable. It does wear you faster than the lightweight Sworks Stumpy and you’ll find the uphill speed slowing down.
The smaller rear wheel also meant the geometry felt different to me. Even with the seat in proper height, I wasn’t in the XC-esque position that I find optimal.
Specialized Status vs Stumpjumper Evo Comp Alloy
The Status seems to be most closely spec’d with Stumpjumper Evo Comp Alloy. They have the same suspension, wheels, drivetrain, brakes and basically everything. Considering the price point of $3,000 for the status and $4,500 of the SJ Evo Comp, I’d go Status all day long. Even at the current reduced price $3,500 I’d save the $500 and ride the status.
With the sale price we paid for the Status at $2,250 it’s a better deal than all the Stumpjumpers for a long way up the line up.
Bottomline On The Specialized Status.
I love this bike. The drivetrain shifts smooth, the suspension is excellent and overall it goes both up and down great. At this price point it is hard to beat. With its downhill potential, I actually considered buying one for bike park use this summer in Whistler.