At what price point does a bike go from dentist to Jeff Bezos level? Specialized might have the answer with their Stumpjumper EVO S-Works, which enters our 2022 trail bike group test with a sleek, clean look and some very cool frame details. But how does it fare on the trail and how does it compare to its cheaper aluminium counterpart?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review
At € 13,200, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works is by far the most expensive bike in the entire test field. At first glance, it’s wonderfully understated and even the black-on-gray S-Works lettering only becomes visible upon closer inspection. The Stumpjumper was the first mountain bike in Specialized’s portfolio, but a lot has happened since 1981. The current Stumpjumper generation combines 160 mm travel at the front and 150 mm at the rear and tilts the scales at 13.8 kg – which still doesn’t make it the lightest bike in this test. But can it live up to its price on the trail?
The spec of the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works
The carbon frame of the Stumpjumper EVO S-Works features Specialized’s proprietary SWAT box storage compartment in the down tube, which comes standard with a pouch for all your trail essentials. However, this is made of thin plastic, causing metallic objects like a minitool or CO2 cartridge to rattle against the expensive carbon frame. For the record, this didn’t happen with the alloy version of the Stumpy, which features the same identical pouch. We attribute this to the fact that the carbon frame acts as a resonance body, thus significantly amplifying the noise. However, the storage compartment also takes Specialized’s special hydration bladder, which is as quiet as a mouse. The SWAT door is easy to operate and stays securely in place when closed. Together with the ingenious SWAT tool in the steerer tube, the SWAT box allows you to leave your backpack and hip pack at home.
The SWAT box in the down tube is spacious and easy to access, but metallic objects make a very annoying rattling noise.
Protective frame tape and a small TPU protector shield the frame from stray rocks and flying debris while an extensive seat and chainstay protector prevents chain slap and paint chips. A small mud guard above the main pivot protects the rear end from muck and water, which is exclusive to the carbon models.
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X Factory 150 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 170 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 1x12
Stem DEITY Copperhead 35 50 mm
Handlebar Roval Traverse SL Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset Roval Traverese SL Carbon 29"
Tires Specialized Butcher GRID Trail T9/Specialized Eliminator GRID Trail T7 2.3/2.3
Size S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
Weight 13.8 kg
Tuning Tip: push the saddle all the way forward for a more centered climbing position | wrap metal objects in soft material before putting them into the SWAT box
As you’d expect from a 13-grand bike, the Stumpjumper EVO S-Works only has the finest, top-end components. The FOX 36 Factory fork employs the superior GRIP2 damper, allowing you to fine-tune the fork to your needs and riding style. The FOX FLOAT X Factory shock controls 150 mm travel at the rear and features external compression and rebound adjustments as well as a climb switch. The cockpit consists of 800 mm Roval Traverse SL carbon handlebars and a DEITY Copperhead 35 stem. Shifting is taken care of by a wireless SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain, which is a rare sight on trails bikes as it was developed specifically for XC bikes and is only slightly lighter than its X01 counterpart.
Specialized also rely on electronics for the wireless 170 mm RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post, which is the most travel you’ll get with the AXS dropper lineup but still is on the short side for trail bike in size L. The electronic components and Matchmaker clamps ensure a tidy cockpit. SRAM CODE RSC brakes do stopping duties. The top-end RSC version offers tool-free reach and bite point adjustments, and features SRAM’s SwingLink lever, which was designed to minimise deadband while improving control. A bash guard with chain guide protects the chainring and prevents the chain from falling off. For the wheels, Specialized rely on their own components, combining a Roval Traverse SL carbon wheelset and Specialized tires, with 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 – finally a combination that does justice to the bike’s character and intended use!
The geometry of the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works is available in 6 sizes, S1 to S6. Specialized combine a short 425 mm seat tube and 475 mm reach, ensuring plenty of room for movement and free choice of sizes. A flip chip in the chainstays lets you change the bottom bracket height and chainstay length while different headset cups let you slacken the 64.5° head angle by 1°. We rode the Stumpjumper EVO S-Works almost exclusively in the high setting with the slack head 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 Height||335 mm||340 mm||340 mm||340 mm||340 mm||340 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 S-Works on the trail
On level ground, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works puts you in a comfortable and upright pedalling position, albeit with a slight pressure on your hands, which doesn’t make it the most comfortable option for long tours. Uphill, you sit far back over the rear wheel, causing the rear suspension to sink deep into its travel when pedalling. Unfortunately, the wallowing intensifies on steeper climbing sections or when riding with the dropper post fully extended. We recommend pushing the saddle all the way forward and reaching for the climb switch on long climbs. However, the carbon Stumpy EVO is far nimbler than its alloy counterpart, mainly because its 1.7 kg lighter.
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works is precise and direct yet intuitive to ride.
When you drop into the valley, the S-Works is intuitive and easy to ride from the get-go. As a rider, you’re nicely integrated with the bike while the suspension provides generous amounts of travel. As a result, the Stumpjumper inspires huge amounts of confidence, allowing you to rip down the mountain as if sitting on a sofa. At the same time, it offers enough reserves for big hits and huck-to-flats. Compared with its alloy sibling, the carbon Stumpjumper is nimbler, more agile and easier to pop into the air, proving the better option for riders who like to play with the trail and pop off ledges. Thanks to the carbon components, it’s also more direct, implementing direction changes more willingly but still requires a fair amount of physical effort. All in all, the Stumpjumper EVO S-Works is sufficiently precise without being as demanding as other bikes, like the Mondraker Raze RR SL.
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works convinces with a discreet and clean look and high-quality finish. However, the eye-watering price makes it more of a luxury item than a humble trail bike. That being said, we still love the excellent all-round qualities and ingenious SWAT box. Despite the low system weight, the S-Works isn’t the best climber in this test. However, it’s very easy to ride and conveys huge amounts of confidence on the trail and is more agile and direct than its aluminium counterpart.
- intuitive handling
- clean, understated look
- sophisticated tool and storage integration
- not a great climber
- metal objects rattle in the SWAT box
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↩
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger