The Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO is a perfect do-it-all bike. It blurs the line between trail and enduro and offers a lot of clever features. But can it keep up with the most capable bikes in this enduro bike group test?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2021 – 13 models in review
This year, Specialized invested a lot of effort refining their Stumpjumper line-up. The classic Stumpjumper has become lighter and more efficient, the Stumpjumper EVO even more capable. It offers 150 mm travel at the rear, 160 mm up front and rolls on 29″ wheels. If you want, you can adjust the geometry of the bike using different headset cups and a flip chip in the chainstays. The bike can also be ridden as a mullet bike by swapping out the rocker arm. However, we stuck with the regular setup for our test. As one of Specialized’s signature features, the Stumpjumper EVO also has the ingenious SWAT box in the down tube. To make it even more useful, Specialized have developed additional accessories that fit perfectly into the opening, like an extra-large bag and a special hydration bladder.
The components of the S-Works Stumpjumper EVO – Incredibly expensive, incredibly awesome
If you’re putting down € 10,499, then only the best is good enough. It’s no wonder that the S-Works Stumpjumper EVO only has the finest, top-end components. It features FOX Factory suspension with a 36 GRIP2 fork and DPX2 shock. Shifting is taken care of with SRAM’s wireless X01 AXS drivetrain and the Reverb AXS dropper post doesn’t require cables either. The Specialized Traverse SL wheels together with the carbon handlebars reduce the total weight to 13.78 kg, making it the lightest bike in the test. But you don’t have to fork out that much money to get a perfectly equipped Stumpjumper EVO. The € 5,699 Expert model has no weaknesses in its spec either and would be our first choice.
Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPX2 Factory 150 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 170 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 30/10-52
Stem Deity Copperhead 50 mm
Handlebar Roval Traverse SL Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset Roval Traverse SL
Tires Specialized Butcher GRID TRAIL T9/Specialized Eliminator GRID TRAIL T9 2.3"/2.3"
Size S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
Weight 13.78 kg
The geometry of the 2021 Stumpjumper EVO – Super variable
The options are so extensive that we actually need several different geometry tables to show them all. That’s because of the extensive adjustment options that the Stumpy EVO offers. The bike is available in a total of 6 sizes from S1 to S6 and, thanks to the short seat tubes, allows many riders to choose their size based on the desired reach. Since our testers are 180 cm tall on average, we opted for the S4 bike with 475 mm reach, which turned out to be a perfect fit. The head angle is slack at around 64.5°, though not excessively so while the 76.9° seat tube angle is also modern without going to the extreme. What does stand out is the 35 mm bottom bracket drop. At 438 mm, the chainstays are nicely balanced in relation to the moderately long reach.
|Seat tube||385 mm||385 mm||405 mm||425 mm||445 mm||465 mm|
|Top tube||538 mm||564 mm||590 mm||623 mm||647 mm||679 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||95 mm||105 mm||115 mm||125 mm||135 mm|
|Chainstays||438 mm||438 mm||438 mm||438 mm||448 mm||448 mm|
|BB Drop||40 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,167 mm||1,191 mm||1,216 mm||1,247 mm||1,285 mm||1,319 mm|
|Reach||408 mm||428 mm||448 mm||475 mm||498 mm||528 mm|
|Stack||613 mm||617 mm||626 mm||635 mm||644 mm||654 mm|
The Stumpjumper EVO climbs as efficiently as a trail bike.
Do you enjoy long rides? Do you enjoy spending a little more time in the saddle, winching your way up the climbs, to really earn the descent? Then the Stumpjumper EVO is exactly what you need! The riding position is super comfortable, though if you pedal up a lot of steep inclines, you should slide the saddle forward. Pedalling is efficient thanks to the support of the suspension and the rear end doesn’t bob when pedalling while still generating enough traction. The bike is easy to control on technical climbs and it accelerates willingly thanks to its low overall weight and light wheels. That said, the low bottom bracket requires you to be careful as the pedals tend to get hung up on roots.
The greatest strength of the Stumpjumper EVO is its versatility. As you get on the pedals, it quickly gets up to speed and the handling is balanced and agile from the get-go. It always invites you to play with the terrain and the handling is direct and precise in its response to steering input.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee – The Stumpjumper EVO has it all downhill!
Your position on the bike is central, making you feel integrated with the bike and always in control of the situation. The low-slung top tube gives you plenty of room to move around on the bike. Its rear suspension is sensitive and provides good traction overall. The progression is good and the bike absorbs big hits with ease. Only very fast, hard hits can unsettle the rear. In response, we installed a larger volume spacer to give the bike a little more reserves. However, the Stumpjumper isn’t as composed as the best bikes in the test. In combination with the balanced geometry, the Stumpjumper still offers an excellent combination of agility, light-footedness and stability. It is playful and fun to ride, yet stable and easy to control at all times. The bike will keep you feeling confident on steep terrain, but when things get rough, it lacks that last bit of composure to keep up with the best bikes in the test. We also have to mention the thin-walled GRID Trail tires – if you’re going to ride hard, you’ll want to upgrade to something with a thicker casing.
How does the Stumpjumper EVO compare to the competition?
The Transition Sentinel and the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO are two very similar bikes, and that’s not just on paper. The Transition excels on steep climbs, offering a more balanced riding position, despite the seat tube angles being identical. However, it falls behind on the descents due to its firmer suspension tune, which provides less grip and control. It does a good job of absorbing single, big hits, but it doesn’t manage to track the terrain as well as the Specialized. You feel more integrated with the bike aboard the Stumpjumper and thanks to the super convenient SWAT box, you always have all trail essentials at hand.
Tuning tips: buy the Stumpjumper EVO Expert | if necessary, install a bigger volume spacer | replace the tires with more robust models if required
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO is the perfect interpretation of the do-it-all bike. It combines the lightness and efficiency of a trail bike with the downhill capabilities of an enduro bike. With this bike in your garage, you’ll be equipped to take on everything that the trails of this world have to offer. However, it lacks that last bit of composure to keep up with the best bikes in this test on the descents. The price of the S-Works model is hefty, which is why we recommend the Stumpjumper EVO Expert.
- light-footed and efficient climber
- extremely versatile
- variable geometry
- convenient frame features
- the S-Works model is expensive
- jack of all trades, master of none
You can find out more about at specialized.com
The test field
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2021 – 13 models in review
All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR (Click for review) | COMMENCAL Meta AM 29 Öhlins (Click for review) | GIANT Reign Advanced Pro 0 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo V2 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Mega 290 Alloy Pro (Click for review) | Propain Spindrift CF Mix Custom (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Coil RSV (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Nomad CC X01 RSV (Click for review) | Specialized Enduro Expert (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO | Transition Sentinel XT (Click for review) | Trek Slash 9.8 XT (Click for review)
This scale indicates how efficiently the bike climbs. It refers to both simple and technical climbs. Along with the suspension, the riding position and the weight of the bike all play a crucial role.↩
How does the bike ride and descend? How spritely is the bike, how agile is it through corners, how much fun is it in tight sections and how quickly can it change direction?↩
Is the bike stable at high speeds? Is it easy to stay in control in demanding terrain? How composed is it on rough trails? Stability is a combination of balanced geometry, good suspension and the right spec.↩
This is all about how balanced the bike is and particularly about how well it corners. Balanced bikes require little physical effort from the rider and are very predictable. If a bike is unbalanced, the rider has to work hard to weight the front wheel to generate enough grip. However, experienced riders can have a lot of fun even with unbalanced bikes.↩
How sensitive is the suspension over small bumps? Can it absorb hard impacts and does it soak up repeated hits? Plush suspension not only provides comfort and makes a bike more capable, but it also generates traction. The rating includes the fork and the rear suspension.↩
This aspect mainly comes down to the suspension. How much pop does it have, does it suck up the rider’s input or is it supportive, and how agile and direct is the bike?↩
We don’t calculate value for money in an excel spreadsheet or based on how high-end a bike is specced. We are more concerned with how a bike performs on the trail and how the bike benefits the rider. What good are the best components if the bike doesn’t perform well on the trail? Expensive bikes with a lower-end spec can offer very good value for money – provided they excel where it matters. Just as supposedly cheap bikes with good components can get a bad rating if they don’t deliver on the trail.↩
No, it’s not about racing, it’s about efficiency. Fast, fleet-footed and efficient – those who want to speed along flowy singletrack and gravel roads need a defined and spritely bike that accelerates with ease and efficiency. Nevertheless, reliable components are important too. We interpret XC more like the Americans do: big back-country rides instead of a marathon or XC World Cup with the ultimate in lightweight construction! Uphill-downhill ratio: 80:30 (not everything has to be 100%!)↩
...also known as mountain biking. Classic singletrack with roots, rocks and ledges – sometimes flowy, sometimes rough. For this, you need a bike with good all-round qualities, whether climbing or descending. Uphill-downhill ratio: 50:50↩
Even more extreme and challenging compared to Trail riding, riddled with every kind of obstacle: jumps, gaps, nasty rock gardens, ruts and roots. For this, you need (race)proven equipment that forgives mistakes and wouldn’t look out of place on a stage of the Enduro World Series. Climbing is just a means to an end. Uphill-downhill ratio: 30:70↩
Strictly speaking, a 200 mm travel downhill bike is the best choice for merciless tracks with big jumps, drops and the roughest terrain. Those would be the black or double-black-diamond tracks in a bike park. But as some of the EWS pros (including Sam Hill) have proven, it’s the riding skills and not the bike that define what you can ride with it. Climbing? On foot or with a shuttle, please! Uphill-downhill ratio: 10:90↩
Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer, Valentin Rühl, Markus Frühmann