The Stumpjumper EVO has changed…
The new, 29in wheel, 160/150mm 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO is quite a bike. When it originally appeared a couple or three years ago, it appeared as an alloy-only, two size-only ‘hooligan’ version of the, then brand new, Stumpjumper model. Its super-slack downhill bike head angle and alloy construction hinted that Specialized wasn’t really sure about how many other people would be into the design and perhaps it was only testing the waters at the urging of team riders and a couple of rad engineers.
The water testing must have gone well, though, as the following year Specialized came out with a carbon version, still in the two ‘S2 and S3’ lengths and with a limited selection of models, but still with a choice of 27.5 or 29in wheel size. Now, for the 2021 Stumpjumper EVO, things have moved on again, even though at first glance the bike looks very similar to what’s gone before.
For a start, the 2021 Stumpjumper EVO is now 29in only (apart from one ‘mullet’ bike) and it features a whole host of adjustability and attitude in addition to a vast range of sizes and specs. Whereas the previous EVO came in sizes S2 and S3, the new Stumpy EVO is available from S1 up to S6 – with the equivalent reach range from 408mm up to a whopping 528mm. The seat tube length has been kept as short as possible, though, to accommodate a greater range of riders and to give more freedom to choose a bike based on length. So, if an S3 is equivalent to a ‘medium’ in other bikes (448mm reach, 405mm seat tube) then Specialized suggests that you could try an S4 (475mm, 425mm) if you want a more stable bike for the downhill ‘chunder and jank’ or you could go for an S2 if you want a shorter, more nimble machine.
The new Stumpjumper EVO also has another couple of tricks up its sleeve. The earlier models were criticised a little for being too low for non-uplifted pedalling, so the bike has been lifted a little to give something like a 340mm base setting. There’s no longer a flip-chip on the shock, however, the Horst Link chips allow you to adjust the BB height by 7mm without dramatically altering the head tube angle. That’s pretty neat, but for the real party trick, let’s look at the head tube.
The top headset cup sits in a second, oval headset cup. This gives a head tube angle out of the box of 64.5°. The bike then comes with a second, oval headset cup, featuring an offset hole. This can sit either hole-forward, or hole-backward in the head tube, giving a full degree of adjustment each way. And it’s genuinely swappable on the trail (if you really wanted to), popping out just like a top headset bearing. This gives the Stumpjumper EVO a head tube angle of 63.5°, 64.5° or 65.5° depending on which cup you’re running and its orientation.
Stumpjumper EVO Suspension
The 2021 Stumpjumper EVO has been moved up in travel to differentiate it a little from the existing Stumpjumper. It now features a 160mm fork and 150mm rear travel (instead of the original 150/130mm EVO) which is still short of the current Enduro. Specialized is confidently putting this bike as a hard hitting, longer travel trail bike for people who still want to pedal, but who get most of their joy from the descents. The re-worked suspension characteristics are designed to give a bike that will flutter over the small stuff, but give proper mid-stroke support on the chunkier bumps without hanging up.
One of the innovations with the original Stumpjumper was with the SWAT compartment in the downtube, where there’s a hatch under the bottle cage for storing a jacket or spare houmous wrap. The new 2021 Stumpjumper EVO now has such a massive downtube that there’s even more room and each bike comes with a tool tube and what looks like a plastic Santa stocking, but turns out to be a J-shaped bladder that fits into the downtube’s lower bend and holds 500ml of water.
The new 2021 Stumpjumper EVO range is MASSIVE! Rather than being the slightly oddball couple of alloy models when they were first launched, the new EVO comes in six sizes and there are four models, all carbon, that cover a broad range of (middle to upper tier) prices.
- STUMPJUMPER EVO COMP – £3,900
- STUMPJUMPER EVO EXPERT – £5,000
- STUMPJUMPER EVO LIMITED – £6,000
- STUMPJUMPER EVO SWORKS – £9,250
There will, of course be full details on specialized.com and bikes should be appearing in the shops any second… now!
Members read on for my first ride review…
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