With a new range of Specialized Stumpjumpers and vastly different designs - what's the best choice for you?
After releasing the wild Stumpjumper EVO, Specialized have now released their all-new Stumpjumper. If you have been on the fence about getting a new trail bike and find these two options both exciting, but the decision process difficult, lets take a closer look at what each bike offers and who it might suit.
The Stumpjumper EVO
When the last Stumpjumper and Stumpjumper EVO were released, the EVO was pretty wild. The alloy frame was super slack, and it really sat apart from the Stumpjumper and Stumpjumper ST that were launched at the same time. The Stumpjumper EVO was a bike that the designers got to go have fun and create. But this time around they really dig into what us riders wanted.
The design team spent a lot of time going to trails and seeing what riders wanted from a trail bike. They wanted to make the ultimate trail bike, and were looking at places that they could improve. It turns out, people loved frame storage and wanted more, they wanted a bike they could ride everywhere, and do almost everything. It had to be adaptable!
This came down to creating more SWAT storage, adjustable geometry, independent bottom bracket height and head tube angle adjustments, improved suspension kinematics, greater frame stiffness, and a pretty indepth analysis of the shock tune required so they could use a Fox DPX2 shock right in its sweet spot of adjustment.
So what does that look like?
There's 160mm of travel up front and 150mm in the back, on 29" wheels. But this bike is about a lot more than travel, it's about the geometry as well. And this is where Specialized let you make the bike really adaptable.
With high and low bottom bracket settings via a flip chip in the Horst Link, and a head set cup that lets you go from a 63 degree to 65.5 degree head angle, you really can make your bike adapt to you, the trail, or the conditions. Run the BB high for greater pedal clearance on rocky trails. Set the bike super slack for steep enduro runs, or steepen it up when your ride will take you through flatter terrain where you just want to slice and dice on the trails. It's your trail bike – make it ride exactly how you want it to. Specialized claim that the headset cup adjustment can even be done trail side. So if you've got a big day of long climbs and wild descents line up - spending a minute or two make a full geo change will be well worth the time investment.
If you're all about the Mullet set up, Specialized do offer a link to keep the suspension working as they intended if you opt to put a smaller wheel size in the back.
The EVO suspension kinematics borrow a lot from the Enduro, with a leverage curve that has great small bump sensitivity while keeping mid-stroke support and bottom out resistance. The axle path also takes notes from the Enduro, moving backwards first so you don't get hung up, then forward and decoupling from dirvetrain pressure so it's free to move as you get rowdy. Compared to the current Stumpjumper EVO there is better bottom out resistance. They worked with their World Cup gravity team on getting the mix of anti-squat right, with a litlte more than on the Enduro for better climbing traction. The result – a long travel trail bike that is said to climb well without touching the climb switch.
A steeper seat tube angle helps with the climbing, to keep you right over the pedals, and size specific chainstays mean that no matter your size, you won't find the back end too short or long – but balanced. How's all that geometry play out? See below. You'll also note that Specialized have gone to S-sizing, like the Enduro. More on that later.
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO is no longer a cool project that the bike designers got to work on – but a whole range of trail bikes that can be easily adjusted to suit your trails and the way you ride. They have frame weights under 3kg, the capability to ride all day and shred really hard. Prices start at $6900 for the Specialized EVO Comp. There aren't any alloy options this time around.
But what about the Specialized Stumpjumper? Read on.