With the Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy, Specialized enter the race with an alloy trail bruiser. Like its carbon counterpart, it has a storage compartment, an integrated multitool and clever frame details that are usually exclusive to carbon frames, all topped with a high-quality spec. But how does it fare against its carbon opponents?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy enters our 2022 trail bike group test as the only full suspension bike with an aluminium frame. However, an alloy frame doesn’t necessarily imply a basic spec. The € 6,300 Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy comes equipped with a high-end suspension that controls 160 mm travel at the front and 150 mm at the rear. Furthermore, it shares many exciting frame details as its high-end S-Works carbon counterpart, which also takes part in this test. That being said, at 15.5 kg in size L, the Elite Alloy is also 1.7 kg heavier.
The spec of the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy
The frame of the Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy features Specialized’s proprietary SWAT box, which comes standard with a plastic pouch for trail essentials. For hot summer days, the American brand have also developed additional accessories that fit perfectly into the opening, like a special hydration bladder. The flip-off SWAT door is easy to operate and stays securely in place when riding. Furthermore, it acts as the mounting plate for the bottle cage with integrated SWAT mini tool, which includes everything you need for basic trailside repairs. Specialized’s ingenious SWAT combo allows you to leave your backpack or hip pack at home. A ribbed seat stay and chainstay protector prevents chainslap and paint chips, ensuring a quiet ride together with the neat cable clamping.
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X Factory 150 mm
Seatpost OneUp Dropper Post V2 180 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RS 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem DEITY Copperhead 35 50 mm
Handlebar Specialized Alu 800 mm
Wheelset Roval Traverse Alu 29"
Tires Specialized Butcher GRID Trail T9/Specialized Eliminator GRID Trail T7 2,3/2,3
Size S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
Weight 15,5 kg
Tuning Tip: Push the saddle all the way forward for a more centred climbing position
The Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy proves that aluminium bikes aren’t necessarily synonymous with cheap components. Specialized rely on a high-end suspension consisting of a FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 fork and FOX FLOAT X Factory shock, which are the same you get with the flagship S-Works model. This offers excellent trail performance and countless adjustment options. The cockpit consists of Specialized’s own-brand 800 mm alloy handlebars and 50 mm DEITY stem. The SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain isn’t exactly the cream of the crop but gets the job done nicely. The same goes for the CODE RS brakes, which feature tool-free reach adjustment and SRAM’s SwingLink lever. This was designed to minimise deadband and improve braking performance, but the brakes forgo a bite point dial altogether. However, together with big 200 mm rotors front and rear, they provide powerful and reliable deceleration.
A bash guard with chain guide protects the chainring from impacts and prevents the chain from falling off. The 180 mm OneUp V2 dropper post is first class and so is its remote, providing excellent ergonomics and haptic feedback. Unfortunately, the dropper post can’t be inserted all the way into the frame, which might be a problem for short-legged riders. For the wheels, Specialized combine their own-brand Roval Traverse alloy wheelset and Specialized tires, pairing a Butcher in the soft T9 rubber compound at the front and Eliminator with harder T7 rubber compound at the rear, both in the GRID Trail casing. This is the same tire combination of the S-Works model, which perfectly suits the bike’s character and intended use.
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy combines an aluminium frame with high-end components and cool, well-implemented frame details.
Geometry of the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy
The Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy is available in 6 sizes, S1 to S6 and combines 475 mm reach with a very low 425 mm seat tube. While in theory this would allow you to choose from at least two sizes, the dropper post can’t be inserted all the way into the frame, limiting the choice of sizes. Chainstays are 3 mm longer than on the carbon frame and feature a flip chip that allows you to change their length and the bottom bracket height. Furthermore, you can slacken the 64.5° head tube angle by 1° just by turning the headset. We rode the Stumpjumper almost exclusively in the high setting with a slack head tube angle.
|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 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy on the trail
On level ground, the pedalling position is comfortably upright, albeit a little front-heavy. Going uphill, you’re sitting relatively far back over the rear wheel and the suspension wallows noticeably when pedalling. Furthermore, the pedal bob intensifies as the climb gets steeper and as the dropper post extends, which is why we recommend pushing the saddle all the way forward. On long climbs it’s also worth reaching for the climb switch. Here the bike gives away the extra weight, feeling somehow sluggish, even in direct comparison with its S-Works carbon sibling.
With its heavier system weight and significant rear suspension bob, the Stumpy EVO Elite Alloy is rather sluggish uphill.
As soon as you drop into a trail to shred your way back into the valley, the Specialized is comfortable and easy to ride, integrating you between its big 29” wheels. The suspension is pleasantly plush, encouraging a rather passive riding style and allowing you to plough through nasty root carpets and rough trail sections without breaking a sweat. At the same, it offers sufficient reserves for big hits and botched landings. However, spontaneous line changes and creative riding style require greater physical effort. Compared to the S-Works Stumpjumper, the alloy version is more composed and stable, but also a tad more sluggish. Moreover, the aluminium parts increase both the mass and compliance, and as a result the Stumpy EVO Alloy sticks more to the trail and is more forgiving of riding mistakes.
Alloy bikes with killer specs are rare, and if you want all the cool features on top, you’re asking a lot! However, the Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy offers just that. Unfortunately, the Specialized’s S-sizing concept doesn’t work with this bike, because the dropper can’t be pushed all the way into the frame. On the trail, the bike is composed and inspires huge amounts of confidence. And while it might not be as agile as the flagship carbon model, it’s easier to ride and more forgiving of mistakes.
- elegant aluminium bike without compromises
- conveys huge amounts of confidence
- intuitive handling
- dropper post can’t be fully inserted into the frame
- not exactly a rocket uphill
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 trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review
All bikes in test: Atherton AM.150 (Click for review) | Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM 8.9 (Click for review) | Mondraker Raze RR SL (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | ROSE BONERO 3 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS (Click for review) | SCOR 4060 ST GX (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY UNCAGED 6 (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↩
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger