With its countless frame features and solid spec, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy trail bike doesn’t have to hide from the competition. In our 2022 trail bike test, it already impressed our test team with excellent composure. But can it keep up with the long-travel enduro bruisers in this test field?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2023 – 14 models in review
While the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy is the only aluminium bike in our 2023 enduro group test, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t ready to take on the competition. The alloy Stumpy was already featured in our 2022 trail bike test, where it proved one of the most composed bikes in the entire test field. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, together with the Mondraker Foxy, it’s the bike with the least travel in our enduro group test, combining 160/150 mm of travel, at the front and rear, respectively. However, at 15.5 kg, it’s only average in terms of weight and at € 6,300, the cheapest bike in the entire test field alongside the Canyon Strive at €6,300 – which is quite rare for a Specialized!
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy 2022 in detail
The alloy frame of the Stumpy EVO features Specialized’s proprietary SWAT box storage compartment in the downtube, which might be nothing new in this test field, but still a rare feature amongst alloy bikes. The storage compartment comes standard with a plastic pouch that can be used to organise trail essentials such as tools, spares and snacks, preventing them from rattling or falling into the depths of the frame. Specialized also developed a special hydration bladder that fits perfectly in the opening. The flip-off SWAT door is easy to operate and stays securely in place while riding. Moreover, it doubles as the mounting plate for the bottle cage with integrated SWAT mini tool, which includes everything you need for basic trailside repairs. This prevents you from having to stuff everything in your short pockets. A ribbed seat stay and chainstay protector ensures a quiet ride.
Not only is the Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy a top-spec alloy bike, but also features a storage compartment in the downtube.
The spec of the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy 2022
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy features FOX Factory suspension consisting of a 36 GRIP2 fork and FLOAT X shock. The superior GRIP2 damper of the fork offers countless adjustment options and delivers a tremendous performance on the trail. The 180 mm OneUp Dropper Post V2 convinces with excellent remote ergonomics but offers less travel than most droppers in this test, restricting freedom of movement on the trail. SRAM CODE RS brakes with 200 mm rotors front and rear do stopping duties. The mid-range RS lever features tool-free reach adjustment and SRAM’s SwingLink technology but doesn’t have a bite point adjustment as its high-end RSC counterpart. Shifting is taken care of by a cable-operated, 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain. Specialized also rely on several in-house components, including the 800 mm alloy handlebars, Roval Traverse alloy wheelset and Specialized tires, combining a Butcher with soft T9 rubber compound at the front and Eliminator with harder T7 rubber compound at the rear, both in the GRID Trail casing. While the combination of rubber compounds is excellent, ensuring good traction at the front and a longer service life at the rear, we would recommend upgrading to the more robust GRID Gravity casing for rowdy enduro riding.
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
The geometry of the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy 2022
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy is available in 6 sizes, S1 to S6. Our S4 test bike combines 475 mm reach and a short 425 mm seat tube, which should ensure excellent freedom of movement – at least in theory. In practice however, the saddle keeps ending up between your legs, because the dropper post is too short and can’t be fully inserted into the frame. A flip chip in the shock mount allows you to change chainstay length and bottom bracket height. Furthermore, you can slacken the 64.5° head tube angle by 1° just by turning the headset cup. We rode the Stumpy mainly in the high setting with a slack head angle and would recommend you do the same.
|Seat tube||385 mm||385 mm||405 mm||425 mm||445 mm||465 mm|
|Top Tube||541 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|
|Chainstay||441 mm||441 mm||441 mm||441mm||451 mm||451 mm|
|BB Drop||40 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,172 mm||1,195 mm||1,219 mm||1,249 mm||1,288 mm||1,322 mm|
|Reach||410 mm||428 mm||448 mm||475 mm||498 mm||528 mm|
|Stack||614 mm||617 mm||626 mm||635 mm||644 mm||654 mm|
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy 2022 on the trail
The pedalling position is very comfortable but puts a slight pressure on your hands when riding on level ground. Going uphill, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy positions you far back above the rear wheel, which results in a rather stretched climbing position. The steeper the climb and the further you extend the dropper post, the sportier this position is, so we recommend pushing the saddle all the way forward. The suspension is rather firm but tends to bob slightly, making the Stumpjumper more of a leisurely climber than a KOM hunter. That being said, the Specialized is still among the better climbers in this test, delivering a similar performance to the Yeti SB160 uphill.
The Specialized is easy and intuitive to ride but at the same time precise and agile.
When you point its nose downhill, the Specialized is easy and intuitive to ride, making you feel at ease from the get-go. The direct handling implements steering input willingly but still forgives the odd riding mistake. The weight is evenly distributed between the front and rear, preventing you from having to shift your weight around the bike. Overall the Stumpjumper is very agile – the firm suspension makes it easy to generate speed by pumping through rollers and berms, while at the same time providing enough feedback from the ground. However, the rear suspension lacks traction when braking on rough terrain, but this could be improved by simply running a more robust tire casing at the rear, which allows you to run lower air pressures for more grip. While on paper the Stumpjumper and Mondraker share the same travel, the Specialized seems to have more reserves, feeling more composed and requiring a less vigilant riding style. This is partly due to the many alloy components of the Stumpy, which ensure added compliance. Overall, the Specialized provides a balanced riding experience and only tends to get nervous on fast tech.
Tuning tips: Push the saddle all the way forward | More robust tire casing at the rear to improve braking traction
As the cheapest bike in this test and also the one with the least travel, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy is the underdog in our 2023 enduro group test. Nevertheless, Specialized’s trail bike doesn’t like to be pigeonholed, delivering an impressive performance with its solid spec, composed character and agile yet predictable and intuitive handling. The stiff suspension provides tons of feedback from the ground and the Stumpy only tends to feel nervous in fast, rough trail sections.
- Clever frame details
- Solid spec
- Allrounder from home trails to enduro
- Sub-par braking traction
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 of 2023 – 14 models in review
All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR 8 (Click for review) | Deviate Claymore (Click for review) | Hope HB916 (Click for review) | Intense Tracer 279 S (Click for review) | MERIDA ONE-SIXTY 8000 (Click for review) | Mondraker Carbon Foxy RR (Click for review) | Norco Range C1 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Megatower X01 AXS RSV (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Nomad X01 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax TQ 170/165 (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review) | Yeti SB160 T3 (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