Specialized launches THREE new Stumpjumpers for 2019, but no more Camber

by Wil Barrett 6

Having already relaunched the Epic and Enduro models last year, the biggest story for Specialized’s 2019 mountain bike lineup is the arrival of the all-new Stumpjumper. Except there isn’t just one Stumpjumper. There are actually three brand new platforms. Well, technically there are six new platforms, because each model will be available in both 27.5in and 29in versions.

Arranged in order on the gnar-scale, here’s what you’ve got coming your way for 2019;

  • Stumpjumper ST: A 120/130mm travel trail bike that replaces the Camber
  • Stumpjumper: A 140/150mm travel do-it-all trail bike
  • Stumpjumper EVO: A 130/150mm travel hooligan bike with hyped-up geometry and spec

While fork travel is the same and geometry is very similar between wheelsizes, the 29er versions have 10mm less travel out back. Also of note is that the new Stumpjumpers have moved away from plus tyres as a stock option. In fact, Specialized has thankfully ditched the confusing 6Fattie name altogether.

specialized stumpjumper
The Stumpjumper is all-new for 2019. But there’s actually three of ’em. Photo: Specialized.

Brand New Sidearm Frames

There will be carbon and alloy frame options in each model, though there are no hybrids. So if you go for carbon, it’s a proper carbon front-end and a full-carbon rear. And to make things simpler again, all carbon frames from the Comp level up to the SWORKS level will use the same FACT 11m carbon fibre. The carbon frames get a new lower profile SWAT door that offers a bigger entrance and 20% more volume for cramming more pies into.

The frame itself is without doubt the most distinctive part of the new Stumpjumper range, with all models employing a new asymmetric Sidearm design – as inspired by the Demo downhill bike. The Sidearm concept purportedly increases frame stiffness by providing a structural brace through the middle of the front triangle, while also creating a reinforced loading point for the rear suspension linkage. There’s some weight savings to be had (100-250g depending on the frame and size), but the chassis redesign has mostly been about creating a stiffer and stronger bike.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
Introducing the all-new 2019 Stumpjumper. And a 500-year old monastery. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.
specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
The Sidearm frame is asymmetric to increase stiffness. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Say Goodbye To ‘Proprietary Bullshit’

According to Specialized’s marketing team, the new Stumpjumper boldly says “goodbye to proprietary bullshit”. So if you’re expecting fancy new hub and bottom bracket standards, or some whizz-bang custom fork offset, you’ll be one of the two people on planet Earth who will be disappointed.

Like the latest Enduro and Epic models, the Stumpjumper has done an about-turn on PF30 bottom brackets. Instead, the new frames feature metal threads and regular external bottom bracket cups. Other nice details include full-length internal cable routing with permanent guide tubes, which means you can poke a cable/hose into one port, and it’ll pop straight out at the other end all on its own. Bingo! Thick rubber bolt-on armour plates cover the underside of the downtube and along the chainstay. These are replaceable, and the chainstay guard is particularly interesting due to its wave profile that’s designed to drastically quieten down chainslap.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
Specific ‘nubs’ along the soft mastic-like chainstay protector help to eliminate harsh chain slap. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

For 2019 the Stumpjumper will ditch the Autosag function and the custom shock mount, instead relying on standard off-the-shelf metric rear shock sizes. That means you can upgrade the shock much more easily if you want to. Oh and if you prefer metal springs, the new frames are designed to work with coil shocks too.

Chip Flippin’ & Tyre Swappin’

In the process of simplifying the overall design, Specialized has squeezed in a little more versatility into the Stumpjumper chassis. There’s a Flip Chip inside the lower shock eyelet, with two stainless steel plates that can be flipped 180° to alter geometry between Low and High settings. The default position will be Low, and changing to the High setting will steepen the head angle by 0.5° and lift the BB by 6mm.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
Adjust the geometry via a 2-position chip at the lower rear shock eyelet. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Which brings us back to the wheel size thing. While there are no specific ‘plus’ models per se, each new Stumpy will take up to a 3.0in tyre on the rear (max width up front depends on the fork model). So you can go plus if you so desire – whether you get a 27.5in or a 29in model – and the adjustable geometry means you can set the BB height and head angle accordingly. As for tyre spec on the stock bikes, the shorter travel Stumpjumper ST models will come with 2.3in tyres, while the regular Stumpy and EVO models will come with bigger 2.6in tyres.

Bigger & Longer Droppers

Perhaps the only potential grumbling point on standards is the adoption of the bigger 34.9mm seat tube diameter. First seen on the 2017 Enduro (and used by a few other brands such as Liteville and Evil), the 34.9mm diameter has allowed Specialized to build each Stumpjumper with a shorter and stiffer seat tube. This increases standover clearance, but it also allows the use of longer-stroke dropper posts. Debuted on the 2019 Stumpjumper, the new Command IRcc dropper features up to 160mm of travel, which makes it the longest dropper that Specialized has ever offered. As well as being a load stiffer and stronger than the current 30.9mm diameter Command posts, the new version also has refined internals with a less violent top-out.

specialized stumpjumper evo st
The Command IRcc dropper grows to a 34.9mm diameter with 160mm of travel. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Spanish Special

To launch the new Stumpjumper, Specialized invited Singletrack and a herd of other journos out to Ainsa in Spain to spend five days in a 500-year old monastery eating far too much cheese and cured meats. In addition to over-eating, we also spent three days riding some pretty incredible singletrack around the foothills of the Pyrenees.

During the five day launch, I had the opportunity to ride several models across all three Stumpjumper platforms. I spent most of my time aboard the new Stumpjumper 29er, and you can read a more detailed review of that bike here. Right now though, let’s go through the full range to show you exactly what’s coming for the 2019 model year.

specialized stumpjumper evo st
The Stumpy ST (Short Travel) uses the same frame, but shrinks down to 130/120mm of travel. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper ST Features

  • Mid-travel trail bike that sits between the Epic and the Stumpjumper
  • FSR suspension design & RX Tuned metric rear shocks
  • Adjustable Flip Chip provides High and Low geometry positions
  • Rear travel: 130mm (27.5in), 120mm (29in)
  • Fork travel: 130mm
  • Head angle: 66.5° (27.5in), 67.5° (29in)
  • Seat angle: 75.2-76.3° (27.5in), 74.7-75.8° (29in)
  • 1x specific with Shimano 1×11 or SRAM 1×12 drivetrains
  • All models spec’d with wide hookless rims and 2.3in Butcher/Purgatory GRID tyres
  • 780mm wide handlebars and 40-50mm long stems
  • 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell
  • Shorter 34.9mm diameter seat tube and 125-160mm travel dropper post (size dependent)
  • 148x12mm thru-axle
  • Bolt-on armour including new anti-chainslap guard
  • Available sizes: X-Small (Women’s 27.5in models only) up to X-Large
  • SWORKS Frame RRP: £3500 (with shock, axle & top guide)
  • Complete Bike RRP: £1700 – £8000
specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
There’s very poor lighting in that room. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Goodbye Camber, Hello Stumpjumper ST

Released in 2015, the latest version of the Camber is a bike that we’ve tested and reviewed before, but didn’t exactly fall in love with. And despite it occupying a popular travel bracket, it’s no secret that the Camber hasn’t exactly set sales on fire.

For 2019, Specialized decided to wave goodbye to the Camber name completely. Taking its place is the new shorter travel version of the Stumpjumper, which is sensibly called the Stumpjumper ST.

The frame itself is exactly the same as the regular (or ‘long travel’) Stumpjumper. The difference between the two is the use of a shorter 130mm travel fork, which steepens the head angle by a full degree while also lowering the front end and the BB height. There’s also a shorter-stroke rear shock that shrinks rear travel down to 130mm on the 27.5in model, and 120mm on the 29er. However, a longer shock yoke ensures that all the pivot points remain in the same location to keep the kinematics similar to the standard Stumpjumper.

More often than not, embargoes that get broken can just be the result of a simple mistake. Someone in the US misinterprets a given European time zone (or vice versa), or an editor accidentally hits the 'Publish' button that happens to be RIGHT NEXT to the 'Save' button in WordPress (honestly - why the hell is that??).
The Stumpy ST will come with a 130mm travel fork up front, and there will be 29in and 27.5in versions. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Stumpjumper ST First Ride Impressions

So if the Stumpjumper ST has the same frame, similar geometry, and almost identical build kits (save for narrower 2.3in tyres), then why not just have the extra travel of the regular Stumpjumper?

That was the question initially on my mind during the initial product presentation. Within the first two corners of riding the Stumpjumper ST 29, I had my answer.

The best way to describe this bike is that it’s an absolute hoverboard. Compared to the regular Stumpy, the short travel version feels a lot lower to the ground. The lowered stack height is the result of the 130mm travel fork, which not only sharpens the head angle and drops the bar height, also lengthens the effective reach slightly (435mm vs 425mm on a Medium 29er). And because the BB sits nearly 10mm closer to earth, the whole bike’s centre of gravity drops noticeably.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
With a lower BB and cockpit, the Stumpjumper ST feels sharper, nimbler and quicker than the long travel Stumpjumper. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Handling is quicker and more direct through the turns. The suspension is also a touch more lively with greater feedback coming through the pedals, and that makes you feel more connected to the trail – for better and worse. Though small-bump sensitivity is still good, the Stumpjumper ST has less travel overall, so naturally there’s less travel to bob in the first place. The improved efficiency is kind of a bonus, as it’s the responsiveness and push-back you get through the suspension that helps the ST to pre-load into jumps and pop out of banked corners.

Big-hit capability is still very impressive, though it doesn’t have the same steam train momentum that the regular Stumpjumper has, and more concentration is definitely required on steeper and chunkier trails. Because the ST chassis has the same strength and stiffness values though, it doesn’t feel nervously noodly on the same trails.

I should note that I only spent a small amount of time on the 29er Stumpjumper ST, but based on that first experience, I’m absolutely humming to get some more time aboard one on home turf.

specialized stumpjumper evo st
For the regular Stumpjumper, you’re looking at a 150mm travel do-it-all trail bike. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Features

  • Long travel, do-it-all trail bike
  • Available in 29in and 27.5in versions, with carbon & alloy frame options
  • FSR suspension design w/RX Tuned metric rear shocks
  • Adjustable Flip Chip provides High and Low geometry positions
  • Rear travel: 150mm (27.5in), 140mm (29in)
  • Fork travel: 150mm
  • Head angle: 65.5° (27.5in), 66.5° (29in)
  • Seat angle: 74.2-75.3° (27.5in), 73.7-74.8° (29in)
  • 1x specific with Shimano 1×11 or SRAM 1×12 drivetrains
  • All models spec’d with wide hookless rims and 2.6in Butcher/Purgatory GRID tyres
  • 780mm wide handlebars and 40-50mm long stems
  • 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell
  • Shorter 34.9mm diameter seat tube and 125-160mm travel dropper post (size dependent)
  • 148x12mm thru-axle
  • Bolt-on armour including new anti-chainslap guard
  • Available sizes: X-Small (Women’s 27.5in models only) up to X-Large
  • RRP: £1700 – £8000
specialized stumpjumper evo st
The 29er features a very similar frame design, but shrinks rear travel down to 140mm. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Bigger Stumps & Higher Jumps For The New Stumpjumper

Like the Camber, the current generation Stumpjumper was released three long years ago back in 2015. It’s always been a popular bike for Specialized, but with trail bikes having gotten quite a bit longerer, slackerer and more enduro-ish lately, the Stumpy was starting to look a little old-school alongside some of the radder competition. As well as addressing geometry on the new model, the design team was also keen to improve overall stiffness to take the Stumpy’s descending credentials up a few notches.

Compared to the Stumpjumper ST, the regular Stumpy runs 150mm travel front and rear, except for the 29er model that has 140mm of rear travel. It has a slacker head angle than the previous Stumpy, and reach measurements have grown 15-20mm in each size. The cockpit updates accordingly with shorter stems and wider bars, while all models feature 2.6in wide tyres with GRID reinforced casings for more traction and control. Other spec updates over the old Stumpy include bigger disc rotors for more braking power, shorter 170mm crank arms for improved ground clearance, and longer travel dropper posts.

On paper, it all points towards the 2019 Stumpjumper as being the burliest and most capable model yet. So how did it pan out on the trail?

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
Specialized has delivered a superbly versatile trail bike in the 2019 Stumpjumper. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Stumpjumper Early Ride Impressions

I was able to ride both 27.5in and 29in versions of the Stumpjumper during the launch, though I did spend significantly more time on the big wheeler. For an in-depth ride report, check out my review here.

The 27.5in Stumpjumper I briefly rode was the top-flight S-WORKS model, which features Kashima-gold Fox suspension, SRAM XX1 Eagle components and hookless carbon Roval rims. It’s a bold, bright and colourful bike, but since the overall frame design between the 27.5in and 29in Stumpy is very similar, and because the paint job and spec is identical, it actually makes it quite difficult to tell the difference between the two. You know, if that bothers you.

The Fox suspension package was lovely, especially the DPX2 rear shock. Like all of Specialized’s full suspension models, the Stumpy gets the RX Tune, which means different things to different models. On some bikes, the shock can pretty much be off-the-shelf. On others, the damper can be valved completely differently – it just depends on what Specialized’s suspension team wants out of the bike. On the DPX2 shock for this bike, Specialized has actually employed a custom air canister that has a different transfer port and a bigger volume negative chamber to achieve the desired shock rate it wanted to work with the FSR suspension design.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
2.6in tyres come as standard, but there’s room for up to a 3.0in plus tyre now. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

In use, the rear suspension is superb. It’s supple and active with good ground-hugging traction, though there’s sufficient support through the middle of the travel that it doesn’t feel doughy. Because the spring has good mid-stroke support, Specialized has been able to use a lighter damping tune, so it feels a bit more floaty and lively overall. It also has excellent progression, which means it takes heavier landings in its stride. I did have to remove both volume spacers out of the fork in order to access all of the travel, but I find that’s standard for my weight and the latest EVOL-equipped Fox 36 forks.

While I didn’t get enough time on the 27.5in Stumpy to formulate a full review, my early ride impressions were that it felt pretty similar to the big wheel version, but – as predicted – it had a little less stability and straight-line control. If you were to only go off the numbers, you probably wouldn’t expect this. The 27.5in Stumpy is a full degree slacker at 65.5°, and due to its longer reach, it also has a bigger wheelbase. In practice however, I just didn’t find it to be quite as foolproof as the 29er Stumpy. Given how good the 29er is, from my perspective it does raise the question as to how much longer Specialized will offer two different wheelsize options. That said, I’d need more back-to-back testing on more varied terrain to make any definitive claims.

specialized stumpjumper evo st
The EVO is back! Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Features

  • Long-travel hooligan trail bike that sits between the Stumpjumper and Enduro
  • Available with 29in or 27.5in wheelsizes
  • M5 Alloy frameset only
  • FSR suspension design w/RX Tuned metric rear shocks
  • Adjustable Flip Chip provides High and Low geometry positions
  • Rear travel: 140mm (27.5in), 130mm (29in)
  • Fork travel: 150mm
  • Head angle: 63.5°
  • Seat angle: 75.6-76°
  • Reach: 465mm – 490mm (27.5in), 445mm – 475mm (29in)
  • Powerful 4-piston brakes with 200mm rotors
  • 30mm hookless rims and 2.6in Butcher/Purgatory GRID tyres
  • 800mm wide handlebars and 45mm long stems
  • 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell
  • Shorter 34.9mm diameter seat tube and 150mm travel dropper post
  • 148x12mm thru-axle
  • Bolt-on armour including new anti-chainslap guard
  • Available sizes: S2 & S3
  • RRP: £TBC
specialized stumpjumper evo st
Available only in alloy for now, the EVO gets a completely different mainframe. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Welcome Back EVO!

It’s been gone for a few years now, but Specialized is bringing back the EVO label for a very special iteration of the Stumpjumper, and I reckon this is going to be a total hit with hard-hitting UK trail riders.

In the past, any bike with EVO in the name has referred to a pumped-up version of a standard Specialized model. Usually an EVO model would use the same frame, but would fit a beefier and longer travel fork, chunkier tyres, a wider handlebar and a shorter stem – essentially covering all those typical upgrades that most trail riders would make to their bike over time anyway.

For the 2019 Stumpjumper however, Specialized has gone all-out on the EVO version. It’s loosely based around the regular Stumpjumper, but aside from the 150mm travel fork and 2.6in wide tyres, almost everything else is different.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
The front end is much longer, and much slacker. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

The overall goal with the EVO was to create the most progressive and radical trail bike Specialized has ever made. Something that would be fun and unruly to ride above all else. The design team from Specialized went to town with in-house prototyping while designing the EVO, with some pretty ridiculously slack and long front-ends that it tested to see just how slack and long they could go. At those more extreme ends of the scale, testers found that the prototypes were extremely fast downhill, but were hard work almost everywhere else, and proved to be physically fatiguing on longer rides. So they dialled it back a bit, and here we have the production EVO.

Available in both wheelsizes but only in alloy (for now), the mainframe is unique to the EVO and comes in two sizes; S2 and S3. Both feature a 63.5° head angle, with the S2 27.5 getting a 465mm reach and the S3 27.5 getting a huge 490mm reach. The 29er versions are 20mm and 15mm shorter respectively, but still hella-long.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
If you want progressive geometry, the Stumpy EVO has it. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

Stumpjumper EVO Early Ride Impressions

Because Specialized has designed the EVO frames with nice and short seat tube lengths, the idea is that riders can pick between the S2 and the S3 based on their reach preference, rather than feeling like they have to get a Medium just because they ride a Medium in other brands bikes.

For my brief time on the EVO, I rode a 27.5in model in the S3 size. Even with my modest 70cm saddle height, I was able to just fit onto the S3 with the collar of the X-Fusion dropper post slammed onto the frame’s seat clamp.

Straight away it’s made clear that the Stumpjumper EVO is a very different beast to the regular bike. The 490mm reach is the longest I’ve ever ridden personally, though while it did feel enormous, it wasn’t uncomfortably so, and I was able to make it work. On top of the big ol’ top tube, there are some other clues as to the EVO’s riding intentions. The 800mm bars are wider than the regular Stumpy, and the SRAM Code R brakes are immediately more powerful and less subtle than their Guide siblings.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
Stronger brakes, bigger bars and a different shock separate the EVO from the standard Stumpy. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

My time aboard the EVO was a tale of two bikes. The first half of the trail that we rode encompassed a wild high-speed descent that sent you down a deep, winding gulley. It wasn’t hugely steep, but there was potential to go quick. And boy does the S3 EVO want to go quick!

As I got used to the stability of that enormous 1258mm wheelbase, I got off the brakes more and let the bike plough its way through the rocks. On this part of the descent, it basically felt like a mini-DH bike, and one that I would find very, very difficult to discover the limits of. It was unbelievably fast, and stupidly stable for a bike with a single crown fork. I yelled out and grinned a lot.

The second half of the trail however, was much more open, and in spots, steeper as well. It was lower risk overall, but with near-vertical drops on either side of the trail, it was higher in consequence if you didn’t nail your line. Here I was much less confident on all the bikes I rode, but especially on the EVO. Because this bike is so long and so slack, you need to learn how to weight the front tyre correctly, otherwise it won’t stick. If you push your weight back on the steep descents (as you would on a normal trail bike), the front tyre unweights, and I washed out on three terrifying occasions. At that point, I couldn’t get off the EVO quick enough.

specialized stumpjumper evo st wil ainsa spain
The EVO is basically a mini-DH bike. It is properly quick on the descents. Photo: Harookz/Specialized.

This is the reality of riding a bike with such different geometry though, and much like a Pole or Geometron, it takes time to get used to the riding position and weight distribution until you can get the most out of it. Once you acquire the confidence to get over the front more aggressively, it really is only going to be your nerves that limit how fast you can ride something like this downhill.

That said, the EVO does make it very clear that it is a downhill-focussed trail bike – it’s not pretending to be the versatile all-round bike that the standard Stumpjumper is. That said, I have no doubts that I would have preferred to have been on an S2 frame size, and in the 29in version, I’m sure it would be a more versatile and better-fitting bike for me and my riding style. A good excuse for some further testing eh?


Disclaimer

Travel & accommodation for this trip were covered by Specialized

Comments (6)

  1. Great to have some honesty, this is the reality of really long and slack bikes: “Because this bike is so long and so slack, you need to learn how to weight the front tyre correctly, otherwise it won’t stick. If you push your weight back on the steep descents (as you would on a normal trail bike), the front tyre unweights, and I washed out on three terrifying occasions.”

  2. “grumbling point on standards is the adoption of the bigger 34.9mm seat tube diameter”
    Is it really though? You can always shim it to fit a narrower post no?

  3. Any idea on the shock length and stroke on the evo?

  4. @transporter13 – Yes sir!

    EVO 27.5 – 210×52.5mm
    EVO 29 – 210x50mm

    Those are actually exactly the same shock dimensions as used in the standard (long travel) Stumpjumper. The difference between the two is the linkage, which changes the overall suspension feel and the total travel.

    ST Wil.

Leave a Reply