Stumpy Evo 29 – first impressions, thoughts

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  • Stumpy Evo 29 – first impressions, thoughts
  • Firstly, I’ll try and make this post as succinct as possible and not waffle too much.

    Secondly, some back ground. I currently own a carbon 26” FS 5” trail bike and a 29” steel HT. Both of which are great bikes. One is light, stiff, strong with aggressive geometry and the other has that big wheel feel and benefits with playfulness.

    Finally, I’m only on my fifth ride back after a 6 month absence due to amongst other things a fractured wrist. So fitness and trail confidence are slowly returning.

    Anyway, over the last 6 months my absence has had me hankering for a 29 FS which has the best attributes of both my existing bikes with a view of replacing my 26” FS.

    The bike I identified was the Stumpy Evo. On paper it looks right, with a slightly shorter seat tube (18.5” compared with 20.5” and 19”) and effective top tube (622mm compared with 627mm) than my current large frames. Right head angle, good spec, looks the part, good reviews, etc, etc.

    So this weekend I managed to secure a demo and took it for a 20 mile familiar Peak route that I’ve been riding over the last 12 years on various bikes and a good benchmark route.

    I might as well cut to the chase. I liked it. I liked it a lot and I’m right in wanting a 5” FS 29er trail bike but I’m not quite sure the Stumpy Evo is ‘the one’.

    The Stumpy is light-ish, certainly heavier than both current bikes, although not overly so. It climbed and covered the ground nicely as you’d expect. It felt strong and stiff. The bottom bracket area alone is a great platform for the strength of the frame and for putting power through the pedals. The front of the frame the same and the Pikes were impressive if not a little harsh on the smaller, chatter aspects of trails. The XO1 drivetrain was pretty good too. Nice gear range and it never dropped the chain. But…

    I found it difficult to get the front end up. Yes, I know you can get tablets for that. In fact the back end also. It was not as poppy or playful as I would have liked. Is this a suspension/design behaviour? Is this my fitness? Is this setup?

    I suppose I’ve been used to the linkage driven single pivot of my FS and the snappy feel of steel with my HT. It was definitely great fun on the descents. Composed and confident. Which left me grinning steam rolling and monster trucking my way through and over familiar trail features.

    Also sizing. My current bike has a 627mm eTT, a 50mm stem and 750mm bars. It’s nice, comfortable and roomy and provides direct, snappy steering to muscle the bike around. The Stumpy is supposedly 622mm eTT and the demo bike had a 75mm stem and 750mm bars. Yet it felt shorter, not necessarily cramped but not as comfortable and I feel that this bike could benefit from a shorter stem and dare I say it, wider bars still.

    Unfortunately this would shorten the cockpit further and maybe Specialized’s stated eTT is a little on the generous side? This would probably also put me on top of the bike not in it. Which I’ve found to be a benefit of my 29er.

    So, the Stumpy Evo is a good bike, I liked it, it was a great day out, but the demo ride didn’t seal the deal and I have reservations which I thought I’d share on here. The bike doesn’t have to be back until tomorrow afternoon so I’m going to squeeze in another ride just to make sure 🙂

    What’s the reach measurement on the bikes? Taht can tellk a different story to TT length, always good to consider both

    Premier Icon shortcut

    Sounds promising.

    I have read the issue with getting the front up is not down to tablets but down to the greater distance between the rear axle and the BB that is necessary as a result of 29 inch wheels and full suspension especially on longer travel machines. So a bigger pull will be necessary to get the front up.


    Fitting a 35mm stem does make it easier to lift the front, also it makes the handling sharper, sometimes too sharp if you get it wrong!

    I’m running 35mm/780mm.

    Can you demo the Camber Expert Carbon Evo?

    @honourablegeorge -The reach on the Stumpy is 435mm. It’s not defined in the geo of my current bikes.

    @shortcut – Yes sure, that makes sense. Although my Solaris feels more playful and responsive i.e. easier to man handle. As I said maybe a factor is my fitness and maybe it takes more time to get used to the bike. Especially after a long time out.

    @toons – I was hoping to fit the cockpit (50/750) from my current bike (too start with at least). The Camber seems to have even less reach on paper. Plus the Stumpy was the 29er successor to my current 26 FS.

    Quite strangely the Enduro has greater reach but a shorter eTT. I’m tempted to demo the Enduro but I feel it would be too much bike for me and overkill for the majority of riding I do.

    KingofBiscuits – Member
    @honourablegeorge -The reach on the Stumpy is 435mm. It’s not defined in the geo of my current bikes.

    Yeah – pain that not all manufacturers quote it – TT length only gives part for the picture – Yeti SB66 has a TT that’s about 30mm longer than my bike, but doesn’t feel any longer – same reach, despite a much longer TT. Really is no substitute for sitting on the bikes – and even at that, bar width/height and stem length totally change the picture.


    It’s not defined in the geo of my current bikes.

    Easy to measure tho, tape measure and a bit of string with something on the end to make a plumb line.

    Or calculate it from ST angle. But really, just measure it.


    Not sure how helpful this is but I demo’d the (non evo) camber carbon comp 29 and the (non evo) stumpy fsr 29 comp carbon, back to back a while ago.
    Both bikes rode really nicely but the differentiating factor was the stumpy was much easier to pull the front wheel up (and it had a longish stem). Id put this down to the geometry on the stumpy being slacker.

    I think 29ers are always going to be more difficult in this respect for the reason you stated above but if you can get away with it a short stem and wide bars do make it a fair bit easier. In comparison with a 26″ enduro I found I needed to alter my perpective on how I ride, the 29ers arent quite as easy to pick up and move around or pop over stuff but they just handle everything in their stride albeit in a slightly different way.


    OP can I just ask how tall you are? I’m considering the same bike but I’m smack bang in the middle of a medium and large. Hoping to test ride one at demo day at the tackeroo in a few weeks.

    183cm tall. So the L is the right size for me.


    I’d suggest a wee blast on a camber evo
    I tried one just before Xmas , was really impressed
    I’m on a 26″ wheeled stumpy evo

    The camber certainly felt pretty lively and no
    Bother getting the wheels over stuff

    Forks were a wee bit flexy but that was about all that wasn’t
    good about it

    Tried a gyro 29er that had lots more pop
    Just a bit pricey and heavier , makes you wonder if the
    5-650 or 5-29 would be worth the weight penalty

    Not really many bad bikes out there these days
    Giant trance sx would be worth a look too

    Pete B

    Yesterday was my 4th ride on my Stumpy evo 29er alu coincidentally on a Peak route I’ve a couple of decades familiarity with. My previous rides were all trail centres and as I was getting used to the bike and they’re not taxing for a 140 travel bike it was hard to judge its benefits over my Stumpy 26. Sure enough it could do everything the old bike could, including getting the front up and getting both wheels as far from the ground as I’m happy with, but I was unsure of it’s advantages.
    All that changed yesterday when I recorded my PB’s – by quite some margin – on the descents of Roych & Jacobs. Even bits I thought I was slower on turned out to not be so. I’m sold!

    Pete B

    Re size: I’m on the crossover point on Speshes size chart – my 26 is a large but that ruled out a dropper due to saddle height. My 29er is M so I do feel more upright but not cramped.

    I’ve owned a Five and liked it and imagine the Five29 would be fun also. Although weighty and to be honest I’m looking for the 29er version of my ASR5C. The Stumpy Evo had the potential to be that bike but I’m not quite sold….yet.

    It’s a great bike though and I had no issues getting both wheels off the ground but it felt difficult to pop the front wheel and bunnyhop. Again, this could be a fitness issue* and the need to adapt to a new bike and what input it requires.

    *Although I’m not too out of shape, just not where I was at 6 months ago.

    It’s certainly one to consider. I suppose I thought it was a done deal and the ride would confirm it (as previous first day demo rides have proved). I just need to sample more 140mm 29er FS’.


    I have read your post but not all the replies so i may be well off the mark with my response…..

    I’ve just bought a ‘new geo’ Bandit 29 after spending the last 18 mts on a Alpine 160 (my bigger bike) and Cotic Soul (my wed night ride bike 🙂 ).

    I’m running 140 mm forks up front and 50mm stem (after trying a 70mm). i’m 5 11 fyi

    I have absolutely no problem lifting the front end,it feels totally stable descending and then planted when going up hill.

    After 5 rides i can say it is the BEST bike related decision i have ever made, after owning Fives, Mojo’s, Blur LTc’s etc etc i can’t see me keeping the Cotic as will always be thinking i could’ve brought the bandit out.

    Even with the crappy weather I am climbing faster than i have ever before regardless of how technical the climb is, descending is a total hoot too. I’m not beating my PB’s on the downs YET due to conditions but i have absolutely no doubt I will.

    I was out with a mate yesterday who has been off work for 3 months and has done nothing apart from ride / train / swim – He was on his XC bike and said he has never pushed himself so hard to keep up. Trust me its not my skill level or fitness level improving that broke the man.

    I had started to ride my CX bike much more than MTB, since buying the Bandit I have not touched the CX…


    So u like it then! Happy days


    So u like it then! Happy days

    Yes! I am converted!


    I spotted a stumpy evo doing 5ft drops at chicksands yesterday ,with stock wheels 😯


    I’ve raced Whistler Enduro’s on mine. The bike shreads.

    Premier Icon TomHill

    Mic – you are welcome to take my Tallboy out for a spin. It’s not the LT, so not as much travel as you want, but it’ll give you something else to compare the Specialized to. Just need to replace the shock bushes this week, then it’s all yours.

    Cheers Tom, I was going to get in touch regarding your Tallboy and what setup you use 🙂

    What stem do you run? As I believe the Tallboy has an even shorter cockpit.

    Gonna skip work this afternoon and take the Stumpy out for another run. Be rude not to.

    Premier Icon TomHill

    It’s a 60mm Easton one, with 780mm renthal bars. Almost tempted to shorten the stem slightly, but not got round to it.

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