Cascade Components Announces 2021 Stumpjumper EVO & Evil Insurgent Links

Mar 18, 2021
by Cascade Components  
Stumpjumper and Insurgent links

Press Release: Cascade Components

Here we are again with two new links. One for something new and one for something that has been around for a bit. Both of which build off a link we already have in our lineup.

2021 Stumpjumper EVO Link

For the newest rendition of the EVO, Specialized pushed the kinematics from the previous iteration. Some of you might wonder ‘if the new EVO has surprising similar kinematics in terms of progression and travel compared to your link for the previous Stumpjumper so why do a link for this one?’ The answer is that we are always going to be pushing the envelope whenever we think it’s possible to create a benefit for riders who are asking a lot of their frame. Our link for the new Stumpjumper EVO increases the progression to 26% from 19% with the stock link and increases travel to 158 mm.

Orange 2021 Stumpjumper EVO link

What does this extra progression and travel mean in terms of ride? The answer is the usual. Bottom out resistance is increased, which will help those who are pinning it and going big. Mid-stroke support is also increased, which can help with composure in corners, g-outs, and poppier lips. We have found this makes it easier to attain a suspension set up that doesn’t blow through its travel while also having excellent small bump sensitivity. No over-springing or excessive damping necessary.

Black link
Silver link
Orange link

Specs and Details:


• 158 mm of travel
• Progression increased to 26% compared to 19% with stock link
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• CNC’d from 6061-T6 in the USA
• Colors: Black, silver, orange
• Cost: $235 USD.
2021 Stumpjumper EVO leverage curve comparison

Evil Insurgent Link

As with the Stumpy EVO link, our link for the Insurgent and Insurgent LB increases the amount of progression as well as travel. The progression goes up to 33% from 21% and the travel goes to 155 mm. This nets you the same bottom out resistance, small bump, and mid-stroke support changes that our Offering link provides. Notably, the link also makes the suspension progressive over the entirety of its travel, as it no longer has the flat portion of the leverage curve that spans the last half of travel with the stock link.

Black Insurgent link

Black link
Silver link
Orange link

Specs and Details:


• 155 mm of travel
• Progression increased to 33% compared to 21% with stock link
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• CNC’d from 6061-T6 in the USA
• Colors: Black, silver, orange
• Cost: $249 USD.
Insurgent leverage curve comparison

Stumpjumper link part way through machining
2021 Stumpjumper link part way through machining for those of you that like looking at shiny metal things



139 Comments

  • 26 3
 So how many of these void warranties? I know Transition is Uber cool about it, but I’m betting specialized and Santa Cruz are less than happy about it. (Yes, yes, I know the “if you break something just swap it off” trick)
  • 23 0
 All of them, surely @dreamlink87? The brands all adhere to their own testing parameters, which gives them the legal framework for a warranty and a guarantee, after all, they're testing their frames around the parts they supply with their products and the forces they generate and transfer within the kinematics they have chosen. These aftermarket links upset those kinematics, more so than others and as cool as these links are, they will surely upset the testing parameters designed and backed by the brands, who have much to lose if things go south as a result.
  • 7 4
 @ollyforster: officially, from transition, as long as you don't also change the shock length, not of these links good transition warranty.
  • 2 0
 @ollyforster: that’s what I figure. The transition folks explicitly said they were cool with it, and happy that people experiment with their bikes when the v1 sentinel link came out, but I haven’t heard anything about other companies.
  • 33 0
 Wow, that was terrible spelling (I'm at the end of a 12 hour night shift).

These links do NOT void transition warranties if you keep the stock shock length.
  • 3 1
 These links drive demand for the bikes they are made for as it makes them more customizable. Which is a good thing for sales and might be a reason that Transition allows it - if not only because of the geographic location and most likely staff overlap between the companies.
  • 27 3
 If you break your frame just toss the stock link back on before you bring it into the shop. EZPZ
  • 33 2
 Evils warranty doesn’t amount to anything anyway
  • 1 0
 @ollyforster: couldn't have said it better!
  • 1 0
 @Conanangus: daaaaaaaaaaang
  • 4 2
 @Conanangus: is that due to Dave Weigel's ego? he's never wrong you are just using it wrong.
  • 4 1
 The increased bottom out resistance probably means fewer people will break frames. The companies should be stoked
  • 1 4
 You can bet your ass that every modification like this on any bike from any manufacturer ever voids your warranty.
  • 3 2
 Don't tell them you have one.... lol
  • 7 2
 Better question...why would you send your frame in for warranty with a removable piece in the picture? You just put the stock one back on and voila it didn't void the warranty.
  • 1 0
 @rip8569: exactly
  • 2 0
 @Conanangus: last year i got brand new front triangle for my 2017 insurgent due to cracked link mounts no problem!!
  • 1 0
 @waxed: I cracked my rear triangle last spring took them three months and they decided it wasn’t covered under warranty. I know of at least 2 similar occurrences
  • 1 0
 @Conanangus: guess i was lucky?!
  • 20 0
 Think I’ll buy the link and just pretend I found a 2021 Stumpy EVO.
  • 1 3
 Ill sell you. Too short the S3 for 5.8,way too short. I was an idiot to not get an S4
  • 2 1
 @barbarosza: lolol so what do you think someone who is 6'4" going to ride? an S12?? marketing really has you people f*cked up
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: no kidding? I wasn’t sure if I’d be an S3 or S4. I’m the same height and currently ride a really long bike. The wheelbase is a bit too much at 1303 but I quite like the reach at 480. S4 then? What did you ride prior?
  • 1 0
 @ipreferdirt: I just buy the biggest size, it's pretty easy for me.
  • 13 0
 I wish they also released links that allowed to mullet some of these bikes.
  • 3 0
 They have a Hightower mullet link.
  • 4 0
 Check out Williams Racing Products too. Just picked up their mullet link for my 2020 Enduro
  • 8 1
 I like that @CascadeComponents comes on here and answers readers questions and is honest about things. I have link for my Sentinel and have not yet put it on, but it will go on before @Angelfire bike park opens up. Corporate feedback is what alot of people want. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 Why are you being so mean to yourself??? Or are your local trails covered in snow/mud?
  • 6 0
 I really like the Cascade Link on my bike. Before, was running an air shock with the largest volume spacer, but the mid and end stroke felt pretty harsh. I slapped the link on and now I'm running a smaller volume spacer for more small bump sensitivity and a much less harsh mid and end stroke that only a mechanical progressiveness that a link can offer. All with the same bottom out resistance Air spring curve progression and mechanical link progression feel quite different. Linearity with the shock and progressive with the link is the golden combination, IMO.
  • 5 0
 Do these links also effect frame angles, or are they literally just moving the shock pivot point to change travel and leverage, leaving the downtube pivot and chainstay pivot in place? - a guy looking over his computer at a cnc mill thinking about his slightly outdated but otherwise acceptable bike at home
  • 3 2
 Yes they do change the geo. For example the sb150 gets about a half degree slacker and a few mm lower.
  • 19 0
 The Yeti links do. These two in particular do not. We always mention geo changes when they happen.
  • 5 0
 @CascadeComponents: thanks for the reply, you know a company cares when they bother joining the comment section!

As an aside, I get why making links for the newest and sexiest bikes is appealing, but have you looked into making links for slightly older bikes to bring them in line with more modern geometry? I reckon there's a fair few people that would pay a fair bit to modernise their bikes, and get a few more years of use out of them. Thinking in particular bikes that you can't fit an angleset to (integrated headset). Good for the current market, as well as the planet!
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents: so for Evo, static ride height stays the same as stock but the bottom out is 8mm deeper?
Nice thing about that Evo is it is so adjustable, that you can add the ~8mm back in, slack the head angle to correct and maintain bottom out clearance if that’s what you want.
  • 1 0
 @ohio: I just installed a new link on my Levo. The Cascade link add ~7mm of travel, and is just a touch longer (maybe 3 or 4mm). At full compression the angle (and clearance) of the link is identical to stock, but the arc length the seat stay pivot travels through is just a hair longer.

While technically this extra length does change the angle between the seat stay and chain stay, I imagine Cascade is safe in saying there is no geometry change because that change in angle works out to sub half mm changes in the axle location.
  • 1 0
 The link changed my 2019 Nomad geo to 1/2 - 1 degree steeper even with upping fork travel 10mm. Nomad has a flip chip. I went from 64.5 to 65.5. Measurements were on my phone pre & post link change. I wasn't happy about it at first and figured I'd only keep the link on for a month of playing and testing. I think I'm on the 6th month now and haven't changed back. The higher BB was so welcomed with fewer pedal strikes. I do plan to get offset bushings though to slacken the HTA back. Unfortunately though this will lower the BB, again.
  • 6 1
 Trying to think how you could do something to add a little bit more bottom out resistance and little more travel to my ripmo? No engineer and not sure if its even possible but worth an ask ????
  • 3 0
 I also have this question about my Ripmo V2
  • 17 0
 Because of the layout Ibis uses, to do it right you'd have to make all three links. It's doable, but would be expensive as a result.
  • 2 1
 Longer stroke shock with more tokens, or maybe get in contact with Cascade a see if they're willing to make you different linkage.
  • 1 0
 @c-radicallis: 55mm stroke is the longest they make for the 210 eye to eye.
I asked them last summer if they would make one for the V2 and they said they had no plans of doing one. I was hoping for a little more progression but no dice.
  • 2 26
flag CircusMaximus (Mar 18, 2021 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 @CascadeComponents: as opposed to your other links that aren’t expensive?
  • 23 1
 @CircusMaximus: it costs money to make things in Washington. We aren't going to outsource manufacturing overseas so it is what it is. Ibis links would likely be around $500 USD, which is past the point of being reasonable even for a niche product.
  • 4 47
flag CircusMaximus (Mar 18, 2021 at 9:34) (Below Threshold)
 @CascadeComponents: my point is that even your other links are past the point of what’s reasonable for a niche product.
  • 28 0
 @CircusMaximus: That's in the eye of the beholder. They cost less than a shock and address a lot of the things people keep trying to address with shocks.
  • 1 40
flag CircusMaximus (Mar 18, 2021 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 @CascadeComponents: yep and I’m the beholder. Welcome to PB.
  • 6 0
 @CircusMaximus: eh, cheaper than a good shock. Better than a new shock, CNC tooling is expensive for small batches, small company, etc. etc.
  • 3 22
flag CircusMaximus (Mar 18, 2021 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 @dreamlink87: or buy the right bike from the get-go.
  • 10 1
 @CircusMaximus: Oh hey, welcome to 2020/2021, where good bikes are in stock everywhere. Look, it’s a niche product. It’s something a cool group of tinkers works on cuz they like their bikes but want something better. Sounds like you don’t like it and won’t buy it. That’s fine. If it’s something you want, then DIY! Compete! Force the price down with something else. But complaining about the price of something fairly specialized doesn’t help anything and won’t shame cascade into lowering their prices.
  • 3 31
flag CircusMaximus (Mar 18, 2021 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 @dreamlink87: dude this is a place where people express their OPINIONS. If you don’t agree with mine that’s ok. I’m not trying to force them to lower their prices. Just stating my OPINION. Got it?
  • 5 2
 @CircusMaximus: I bet you feel real big and proud for standing up to those evil bike companies for stealing your money!
For real though theyre a rider owned brand making products in the US. Direct your ire elsewhere
  • 2 27
flag CircusMaximus (Mar 18, 2021 at 10:01) (Below Threshold)
 @lefthandohvhater: hahaha give me a break. Did I hurt your feelings? Lol
  • 3 0
 @CircusMaximus: totally dude! Express away! That’s the magic of the Internet forums. My opinion is that I’m glad folks are out there trying new things, and trying to make some money on them, cuz they make bikes better in the long run, a lot like how independent frame builders have forced new bike geometry to the mainstream!
  • 5 1
 @dreamlink87: I respect that!
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: but we have ibis frames - we are all dentists? Pretty please
  • 3 0
 @toop182: If you promise you're a dentist and get enough like minded dentists to sign a letter of intent, then yes
  • 1 0
 @zarban: 216x63 with an offset bushing(s) to keep eye to eye at 210? Or wait would that be more like extending the eye to eye? Just thinking & writing o
  • 1 0
 @MattyBoyR6: I wouldn't think that would work, mostly because of how much longer that is in total and frame clearance but honestly I don't know. Does sound promising though, I'd be really interested to see if that did work.
  • 6 0
 Does your insurgent link stop the back end from sounding like a couple of 2x4's smacking together? If so, I'm interested.
  • 5 0
 Waiting patiently for a Smuggler link......... pretty please?
  • 2 0
 YES!
  • 4 0
 I have the evo link on my bike already. Another plus is it raised BB height 1/4”
  • 3 4
 Do you notice a quarter-inch difference? impressive.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: I noticed the raised BB on my Nomad when I had fewer pedal strikes.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents with regards to the evil link:
why does more progression require a stiffer spring? I recently switched to a coil on the stock linkage, 450lb was recommended to me by evil and I found it too harsh (I'm 160lb), so I went down to 400 and it is a bit better. But your site recommendation for my weight is a 525, which strikes me as a bit heavy?
  • 2 0
 The initial leverage ratio is a little higher so the spring rate required to get the proper amount of sag is a little higher too. That said, they are just recommended starting points. If Evil's recommendation is too high for you then you'd want to go down a similar amount from our recommended rate.
  • 1 0
 Running the cascade link on my OG 2020 Stumpy Evo, ya know, the longer, lower and slacker one. Changed the bike for the better thats for sure. It's poppy AF and the bike resists bottoming out like a champ. I used to bottom out the damn bike doing bunny hops in the street. Now I do bunny hops and it feels like I'm springing upward like I'm on a trampoline.
  • 3 0
 Genuinely interested in the insurgent link, but from my reading will it not make it pedal worse?
  • 7 0
 Pedaling isn't negatively affected.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: ok, am I correct I thinking if that’s the case I should run less sag if using it?
  • 4 1
 @Conanangus: 27% sag is what we recommend. Because the link is more progressive, there is more sag at the wheel for a given sag at the shock. As a result, we recommend slightly less sag at the shock to keep sag at the wheel the same.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: this, exactly this
  • 1 0
 ahh yeah now I see.. we need to try and keep geo the same maybe
  • 3 0
 wonder if they are doing a regular 2021 stumpjumper link? would be cool if that seat tube could become steeper.
  • 1 0
 It’s 78 degrees already, how much more do you want?
  • 1 0
 Plus none of their links are made to steepen seat tube angles. Sometimes they do the opposite by a fraction of a degree
  • 1 0
 Theoretically the link should work for the Alloy Stumpjumper, because it uses the same link as the current EVO.
  • 4 0
 @CascadeComponents - How are things coming along on that Druid link?
  • 4 0
 There will be details soonish. Within a couple of months.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents any issues with heavier riders using this link on the new SJ evo? Have heard the FSR yoke puts a ton of sideloading on the shock....would more progressivity exacerbate the issue?
  • 6 0
 The link doesn't make the side loading issue worse, but there isn't anything they can do to make it better either. The main thing for heavier riders is making sure there's enough additional shock pressure available. If you're within 25 psi of max pressure and at 30% sag already then chances are you'd end up over with the link.
  • 1 0
 Interesting call releasing an Insurgent link considering it seems to be neglected step-child in Evil's lineup and (hopefully) will be getting updated soon.

Actually makes sense for owners starving for an update I suppose.
  • 1 0
 I think we just had an article on pink bike that linear can be faster. Not sure if I believe the hype.... it would be awesome if shops had test versions for people to try before they buy
  • 1 0
 Linear damping yes. At least around the PNW progressive leverage curves are definitely faster though. Much easier to keep it together through the rough stuff. Hopefully we can get some form of local demos up and running eventually. Out of state not really sure though.
  • 4 1
 I would love to see this mounted on a bike!! Just to see how it looks..
  • 2 0
 If one of these isn't made for my frame, does it mean my frame is already dialed?? Can't decide if good or bad...
  • 2 0
 Helps some looking run coil on a very linear suspension
  • 1 1
 Cascade makes links by demand. Get you and enough of your buddies to email him about making a link for a specific bike and you'll eventually get one.
  • 1 2
 Seems like Giants are pretty dialled. Considering the volumes sold and market presence I wonder why they don't make them for Giants. Certainly much bigger brand than Transition or Evil...
  • 8 0
 @msusic: giants market share in the high end space is much lower than you would think
  • 1 0
 @zachcalton: You'd need both links for a Giant, which would be pretty pricey
  • 2 0
 @timbud: Or a rocker link and a small shock extender Wink
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: well I guess that would work too Razz
  • 2 0
 So an Evil Wreckonig 2021 can go up to 170-175ish mm with a Cascade link? Smile
  • 1 0
 Oh man, Cascade is quick to release these things. How long until a there's a press release for a bike that hasn't been launched, yet?
  • 3 4
 Some of these linkages are seriously screwed. 19 and 21% of progression on enduro bikes is a joke.
You would think that manufacturers that sell their frames for thousands of dollars could figure suspension kinematics out, yet here we are in 2021, where some enduro bike frames that are regarded very high end still cant natively run coil shocks with good performance.

As if dropping 3000-4000$ on a frame and shock hadnt reached high enough stupid expensive levels yet, youre looking at another ~300$ for an aftermarkt link and 100-150$ for a progressive spring.

This isnt the end of the story though. Cascade did the best thing they could, but even they are bound to the laws of physics.
You cant generate progression out of thin air, so the result is a very high leverare ratio. Thats not a problem for light riders, but heavy and fast riders that prefer stiffer susupension will quickly run into the limits of spring rates and shock pressures.

Conclusion: Cascade does a great job at fixing shitty linkages, but you cant fix everything.
  • 1 0
 You know, I‘m faster and more controlled with less progression. Preferences, riding style make a difference. Rather linear makes shock tuning easier...
  • 1 1
 Its pretty tough for even the biggest companies to out engineer Yeti, Specialized, etc.
  • 1 0
 @jgainey: that's why it's about the people you've got and not the size of the company
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents Does your link change the anti-squat at all on the EVO? I already have the new link but am curious if AS is changed at all. Thanks.
  • 3 0
 Yes and no. The change is definitely not noticeable, but technically anti-squat is increased by a hair. It's ever so slightly higher at the top of travel and then converges to be the same deeper in travel.
  • 2 0
 Just looking at that evil link will void your warranty. Not that you ever had any in the first place. Dogs
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents Do you plan to include the current Alloy Stumpjumper for compatibility with this link? It shares the same link with the Current EVO model.
  • 2 0
 Once we get a chance to test fit it. It should fit, but just don't know for sure.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents these new batches of links are gorgeous. Any plans on updating the lines on the V1 Sentinel link to look as slick as the new links you're putting out?
  • 4 6
 So the 2021 SJ Evo with cascade link is only 7.0% improvement in progression over OE? Not exactly the 70.0% (SEVENTY PERCENT) increase in progression I saw on my 2020 SJ Evo.

What does this tell us?

...Specialized realized their oversight in the 2018-2020 SJ Evo's rear triangle and fixed it promptly with the new 2021 re design. And I'm wondering if all the reviews that i've seen of the new 2021 EVO being compared to the previous gen 2018-2020 EVO were feeling that improvement in bottom out resistance and traction from a more progressive rear triangle...something to chew on.
  • 7 0
 You’re looking at it incorrectly and comparing the absolute change in progressivity to a percent increase in progressivity. The link for the old SJ increased progressivity from ~11% to ~19%. Math to get that 70% progressivity increase being (19-11)/11.

Your point is still valid though, many manufacturers are increasing progressivity of their bikes and I have been questioning when enough is enough. The travel increase can be a nice benefit though.
  • 3 0
 @Murphius: With coils and large-volume air cans (mimicking a coil) becoming more common on trail bikes, it makes sense to increase progression to the point where they work for most use cases with a coil or linear air shock. After this things will likely even out. If the user needs more progression, they can switch to air and add volume tokens or use a progressive coil. In the past I found that for most trail bikes the coil was not an option. I guess in this sense suspension progressiveness is moving towards downhill bikes which are typically designed to allow the user to use either coil or air. Not a bad thing!
  • 1 0
 You're doing the math wrong. 19% percent to 26% is a 37% increase in progression. (26%-19%)/19%=0.37
  • 2 0
 So who is a link right for and who is it not right for?
  • 1 0
 @bigmike9699: it's right for someone who wants more progression in their rear suspension lol
  • 1 0
 Light weight riders, those who want more small bump compliance, or people wanting to run coils. Being a light weight rider I'm stuck putting a ton of air in my shock for support, resulting in harsh initial stroke, or running too little air for compliance which causes bottom out on *bigger* features. There's a fine line between liking how a bike rides 80% of the time but changing small things to make it perfect OR just being on the wrong bike.
  • 1 0
 @Rokcore: Gotcha, thanks
  • 1 0
 @shift9ears: I should also add people who want more bottom out support in there as well. Someone running high pressures for large jump lines but still bottoming out would benefit from these links.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents - any work on Pivots? T429, Switchblade, Firebird...curious.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents any chance an evil following mb/v3 link is in your future?
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents what're the odds y'all do a link for a 2020 Cannondale habit
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents do you have any plans to make a link for the new Status?
  • 1 0
 @bigmike9699: the status is a myth in the United States. Like Big Foot or the McRib
  • 1 0
 Pic of one on my Evo here if you are wondering. And yes, its pretty sick.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/20271021
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents Any idea when you'll be rolling out a link for the Pivot Firebird 29????
  • 1 0
 But why? Or am I missing a joke here
  • 1 0
 please do a firebird link Smile
  • 1 0
 A Process 134 would be sweet!!
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents - Is a 2021 Devinci Troy link a possibility?
  • 1 0
 Any plans to offer something for a Rocky Mountain Instinct BC?
  • 1 0
 Make a Ziggy link. Might actually be available. Smile
  • 1 0
 I have on on my Tallboy v4
  • 1 0
 How do you like it?
  • 1 0
 Haven’t really had a proper ride on it yet . Hard to tell . @stormracing:
  • 1 0
 Really really want these guys to do a Ripmo mullet link! Who’s with me.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents have you got anything to mullet a Jeffsy 27? ????
  • 1 0
 Nomad 5?
  • 1 0
 Commencal!

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