Field Test: 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper - The Do It All 'Er

Dec 1, 2020
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Specialized Stumpjumper



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards


While forty years separate the very first Stumpjumper and the fancy new one you're looking at here, its all-around intentions remain the same. What has changed is the recipe, however, with this Stumpy being a 130mm-travel 29er (with a 140mm fork) based on an all-new frame employing a completely different suspension layout. That's right, Horst has been replaced and it means big changes on the trail.

Specialized has slimmed the Stumpjumper range down to only six bikes and a frameset, all of which are designed around 29" wheels. The least expensive is the $2,199 Stumpjumper Alloy, along with the $3,199 Stumpjumper Comp Alloy; both aluminum frames get the same geo as the carbon bikes but similar Horst Link rear-suspension to the previous Stumpjumper that makes it a bit confusing. We'll review one of those soon, too.

Stumpjumper Details

• Travel: 130mm rear / 140mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 65-degrees
• Seat tube angle: 76-degrees
• Reach: 475mm (S4)
• Chainstay length: 432mm (S4)
• Sizes: S1, S2, S3, S4 (tested), S5, S6
• Weight: 27.3 lb / 12.3 kg (as pictured)
• Price: $9,499 USD
www.specialized.com
Carbon fiber models start at $3,999 USD for the Comp, but it's the top of the range, $9,499 USD S-Works version that's reviewed here.

What do you get for that money? Even more carbon in the form of Roval's (Specialized's house brand) carbon wheels, factory-level suspension from Fox (including a 34 with the GRIP2 damper), as well as a wireless AXS drivetrain and dropper post. All that added up to 27.3 lb on my scale, including the Maxxis Minion DHF and Dissector EXO+ control tires that were installed without inserts. Want to build your own dream Stumpy? The frame/shock combo will cost you $2,799 USD.

The side-arm frame design is back and it may look similar, but every tube is new and Specialized say they spent a ton of time making this the lightest version yet. The claimed frame weight is 2,240-grams with the shock and all the small bits, making it 100-grams lighter than its predecessor and 510-grams less than the also-new Stumpy EVO frame. The press material says that much of the savings came from taking out the "lazy carbon,'' which is the stuff that was just adding grams without adding strength, but don't forget that ditching the sealed bearings and hardware down at the axle pivot also helped.

Onto some of the details. Things on my trail bike must-have list include ISCG tabs, a threaded bottom bracket, room for the biggest of big bottles inside the front triangle, and loads of effective frame protection. I'd absolutely insist that the only way internal cable routing is acceptable is if it's pass-through, which it is on the Stumpy. Actually, the previous Stumpy had some of the best cable routing I've seen, and that's been carried over on this version. SWAT is back, of course, and this version is said to be the lightest yet, with an internal carbon 'skeleton' of sorts that helps retain tube rigidity.

We should probably talk about the suspension now. Specialized has used a Horst Link layout since forever, including every full-suspension Stumpjumper model... Until now. Look at the back of the new Stumpy and, well, there isn't even a pivot at the axle! Or is there? Much like the new Epic, there’s still a “pivot” there, only it’s up on the seatstays and it's a flex zone rather than a couple sealed bearings and a bunch of hardware. Specialized says this saves 55-grams, and I bet it helps side-to-side rigidity to boot.

The new Stumpy uses Specialized's 'S-sizing' where all the frames get a ton of standover clearance that's combined with long-stroke dropper posts. The idea is that you can choose a reach and wheelbase that work for you instead of saying, "The medium's seat tube is too short, so I have to go to the large." Sizing runs from S1 with a 410mm reach to S6 and its 530mm reach (my S4 is 475mm), and Specialized says that if you were on a medium previously, you might like the Stumpy in S3. But you don't have to - you could go to the shorter S2 if you want a bike that's easier to toss around, or up to S4 if your trails call for a bit more stability. In the low setting, you get a 65-degree head angle and 76-degree seat angle, as well as 42mm of bottom bracket drop that puts it at 333mm high. If you want the bike a bit higher and quicker steering, the flip-chip at the clevis shock mount can be used to add half a degree to the head angle and 7mm of bottom bracket height.




Field Test photo Tom Richards
Field Test photo Tom Richards

Climbing

Every trail bike on the market will get you to the top of the mountain in some fashion or other, but so will a 35lb enduro bike sitting on coils and 1,400-gram tires. There's more to it than just getting to the top,, and I'd argue that a 130mm-travel 29er meant to be pedaled anywhere and everywhere surely has to be a bit more special than that. I want my carbon fiber trail bike to feel like it's helping me up the mountain, especially when it costs this much and I'm in a hurry, which is precisely what the latest Stumpy does.

I'm not sure how much of it is the new suspension layout and how much is the digressive piston hidden inside the Fox shock, but the red and black Stumpjumper is an entirely new animal compared to its predecessor. There's much more life and energy to it that makes those smooth, long climbs seem a bit shorter, and how the bike responded to my uneven stabs at the pedals meant that I never once felt like I'd be quicker with the pedal-assist switch activated. Its three different assist settings seem near-useless to me, and I mean that as a compliment.

It's all praise on the efficiency front, but this isn't a sporty race bike that rolls fast but offers less traction than your old dirt jumper with Hookworms inflated to 60 psi. Instead, you can stay seated and ride the bike into off-angle roots and ledges that might see you using some extra body English if you were aboard a less-forgiving package. That'll help your cause when you get off the boring gravel roads and into the fun technical uphills, of course, with the Stumpy being a better dance partner than the softer Blackthorn or P-Train "trail bikes" in those moments.

If you opened up my mud-speckled post-ride notepad, you'd find phrases like, ''Sporty but not race-y,'' ''Loads of grip,'' and ''This was my 93rd time up this climb this week,'' all of which nicely sums up the latest Stumpy.


Field Test photo Tom Richards

Field Test photo Tom Richards
Field Test photo Tom Richards


Descending

If you read the comments under the Stumpy's debut video, you might be under the impression that the new single-pivot layout is inferior to the previous version’s Horst Link suspension, with some citing Horst's better performance under braking and the fact that Specialized just needed something different, even if it’s worse. Wait, worse?

Sure, certain suspension layouts have inherent traits to them, but it’s crazy what a few millimeter difference here or there in pivot location can make, let alone way more than that. Not to mention different shock tunes... And is your shock setup even in the right ballpark? I hope so. Point being, the change in layout doesn’t have to mean a step backward in performance, especially if that’s subjective. Keep in mind, this is a 130mm-travel trail rig meant to be many riders’ do-all-the-things kinda bike, not something with more travel and a more defined purpose like an enduro machine that's supposed to level all the bumps.

After countless back-to-back laps on the Stumpy and the other four contenders, it's clear how well-rounded they've managed to make its 130mm of travel. No, it isn't near-coil-slippery like the Blackthorn, but it does manage to deal with all the little stuff quite well, and without feeling too active and gooshy in a way that might steal some of the bike's all-important zest.
Timed Testing

The trail bikes faced timed descent and climb sections on different trails, with the latter being a mix of smooth singletrack switchbacks leading into rooty and rocky steeper sections to evaluate low-speed handling. The timed downhill has everything a trail bike should face and maybe a bit more, most of it covered in roots and rocks.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Mike Levy: "The Stumpy proved to be an impressive all-rounder, setting an 11:58 up the climb that was 8-seconds behind the Mojo and 19 behind the Live Valve-equipped Trance X. When it was time to come back down, the Stumpy was in 2nd place, 11-seconds back from the P-train in 1st, 1-seconds up on the Blackthorn in 3rd, and 31-seconds up on the Trance X in last place."

In other words, the support is there as well, as it should be with 130mm of travel. The Fox shock's air spring comes in the middle of the volume range, too, giving riders plenty of room if they're looking for more progression, not that I ever needed it. I'm eating more donuts and promise to bulk up for the next Field Test.

In case you can't tell, I'm impressed with the back of the Stumpjumper, missing Horst Link be dammed. bUt iTs SinGle PiVot, LeVy! Yeah, I don't doubt that this Stumpy is a nip less active than the Horst Link version when you're pulling levers to the handlebar and praying, but it didn't feel that way when I pointed it down all the wet, steep stuff. Traction was great, and I didn’t sense the back-end was sliding around any more than usual. Maybe those Horst Link devotees just need to get comfy skidding more? Only joking...


Tom Richards photo


The Stumpy is a bit 'small' next to some of these so-called trail bikes that have 160mm-travel forks, but that never stopped me from feeling just as comfortable on it as I did on the softer machines. In fact, I had my second-quickest descent time on it, beating the Salsa by a single second and coming 11-seconds behind the enduro bike in disguise that is the P-Train. It's fair to say that the Stumpjumper suits my riding style more than the bigger, slacker bikes - it lets you do more with the trail, at least how I approach it. There also wasn't anything I didn't ride on the Specialized that I did do on the other bikes, but there were plenty of big rides where I'd much rather be on the lighter, sportier, more well-rounded Stumpy.

I think we’re seeing those bigger trail bikes these days because everyone wants theirs to be the most capable. Hard to argue that, right? Well, if it was only about being the most capable on the descents, we’d all be on 200mm-travel ''trail bikes.''

Of course, the danger of not specializing is not being the best at anything, and so many of us want the best descending “trail bike.” I think it’s easy to lose the plot chasing that goal, though. The fact that Specialized also offer the Stumpjumper EVO, an entirely different frame made for more aggressive riding, lets them keep this Stumpy as a true trail bike. I had a blast on tame, flowing terrain while aboard the Stumpy, more so than the others, but it’s as capable as most of us will ever need.

Pros

+ Impossibly well-rounded. Want to cover all the miles? Sure. Want to ride stupid stuff? Be smart and sure.
+ Riders who recognize and appreciate a fast, energetic-feeling bike are going to love the new Stumpy.

Cons

- When push comes to shove on hectic trails, the Stumpy isn’t as much of a bike as the Salsa, P-Train, etc. It’s not meant to be, though




The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel & protection, Sierra Nevada refreshments, and Smith eyewear and helmets. Thanks also to Maxxis, Garmin, and Freelap.





298 Comments

  • 207 0
 Me, opening up laptop- "Alright, time to get some work done"
Pinkbike, two massive reviews in a span of 30 minutes- "Bro, who are you kidding?"
  • 22 14
 Can you run this bike with a mullet setup?
  • 16 0
 And.... I'm late for work.... again. Thanks PB Frown
  • 12 4
 @endurocat: i hope someone can answer your question properly.

I dont see any problem with putting smaller wheel in back instead of bigger one. Of course it change the geo (in negative way spec will say im sure) . But i dont think there is any real reason you will not be able to. Will it be better? Probably not, is it possible? Probably yes.
  • 9 1
 @endurocat: not sure why this is downvoted. Maybe specialized will sell an aftermarket link? They have the stumpy LTD that is mullet from the factory...
  • 49 0
 @endurocat: Yup, you can have any haircut you want.
  • 5 1
 @endurocat: They are selling a mullet link for the EVO, not sure if it fits this one too.
  • 4 4
 @endurocat: "Can you run this bike with a mullet setup?"
If you want to long-shock & mullet, just about any bike is capable of it. It's just which combinations work well.
  • 4 12
flag Ebab (Dec 1, 2020 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 @endurocat: I was reading somewhere that last years model in 27.5 had clearance for a 29x2.6, if that’s true then I would think you can run the party in the back for the new model. Give her a steeper head angle too probably.
  • 12 0
 @endurocat: I am not even mad, I am impressed at the manner in which you hijacked this thing.
  • 16 0
 I spent two days riding the Expert build Stumpy and Stumpy EVO around proper Oregon trails, and all I can say is the flexstays are life. They hold (and deliver) so much damn energy it's insane. The Evo certainly has its place, especially if "go over, not around" on steep terrain is your style. But for a trail bike that can dip a toe into "light enduro" category, the standard stumpy is impossible to dislike.
  • 11 1
 @peterman1234:

Thanks for the quick review. Am I the only one that sees a piggyback rear shock and 150 fork up front as the ideal setup?

I think the stumpys are finally near the top of this category in design and performance, which they haven't been in a very long time in my opinion. The value is looking better with this release too.
  • 1 0
 @endurocat: I think you'd end up with a BB way too low for anything but smooth flow trails...
  • 4 0
 @endurocat: You can go to Hoboken and get one too. And you'll have a mullet like I do.
  • 3 3
 @endurocat:
Biggest factor in mulletconversion is you gotta start with a 29” bike to have stack height in right range, too big of height increase putting 29” fork on 27” frame. Second big factor is you need to have a high enough bb to have it drop like 15mm. Personally i like a bb betweeen 330 and 345mm on an enduro or dh bike so if the frame is at least 345mm to start it will be high enough with mullet. 3rd nice aspect is a frame that can raise the bb with shock mount, bushings, longer fork, longer shock or height adjust dropouts.
  • 3 0
 @iamamodel: Well played, mate. Oi to the punks down under.
  • 2 0
 @Spiral23: It has the flip chip to help out a little with this. I run the mullet on the Levo S-Works which has the same geo and flipped the chip and it's awesome. Joe Dirt style in reverse!
  • 196 6
 Why does Spesh have to make bikes that are so good? It makes it hard to dislike them.
  • 12 16
flag Spiral23 (Dec 1, 2020 at 7:33) (Below Threshold)
 Agree! Very good bikes indeed. Rode them for 7 years in fact (3 different Stumpjumper’s,... all alu) then went fancy with Carbon Enduro, cracking the frame and here was my reason to dislike them!
  • 44 49
flag danielstutt (Dec 1, 2020 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 I agree but oofff $10k... I will probably get negged for this and perhaps many dont agree but I personally think if you are spending that level of money you really have to be riding professionally to make it worth the money. Obviously there are cheaper options in the range of course which is cool!
  • 45 1
 @Spiral23: you know they have a lifetime warranty on cracked frames right? another pro...
  • 16 13
 @Johnboy1984: You know that policy is until some extent right? Long story short I cracked my SJ link and they didn't warranty it saying it was misuse. (I landed sideways and kaput) I don't know what they consider misuse, but at least a crash replacement was in order. No bueno.
Several other factors came at play and I'm not buying Specialized anymore anytime soon (never perhaps).
On top of that, their stuff is way overpriced. With that being said, these are good bikes, if you wanna buy it definitely go for it.
(edit) PS: I still own the SJ and love it.
  • 20 4
 @danielstutt: or you just have to be making loads of money, there’s no reason to own a Ferrari yet plenty people do and plenty more daydream constantly about being able to
  • 6 9
 @Johnboy1984: well, it was my fault. Laid down my bike the wrong way. Was offered $2grand crash replacement.
Not really what I want to deal with, I wanna ride without fear that every crash cost me $2000.

To be fair, it was the older 9M carbon,... seems like since they move to 11M carbon only. Maybe its stronger. But not worth my dollar.
  • 33 6
 @mr-fabio: haha for me biggest factor for not buying Spec anymore is lack of 27,5” wheels.
  • 7 4
 @Spiral23: Carbon cracks, just like aluminum(or steel). I've cracked any frame I've owned(carbon, alu, steel) except titanium. But I do agree on no 27.5 bikes anymore
  • 4 4
 Yeah, haters wanna hate.
  • 5 3
 @GlassGuy: totally understand. But unfortunately no words from anyone else will replace my experience of beating on alu frame for years (and learning how to bike so falling often) and then cracking carbon within few months without really crashing it, just a wrong slip....

If I go carbon again, I’ll just have to try different brand to go back to it
  • 12 0
 @danielstutt: Like Ferris Bueller said, "if you have the means, it is so choice." I'm all a fan of running whatchu brung... but boy it is nice to have a super nice bike.
  • 11 6
 Maybe a better question: Why do you feel that you must dislike Spesh?
  • 3 1
 @TheR: paranoia
  • 17 0
 @danielstutt: If you're riding professionally and paying for your bikes you're doing something very very very wrong.
  • 1 0
 true, i hate that
  • 2 0
 @lefthandohvhater: true dat. I guess what @toad321 said and @gregorhayes said is the clear answer. If you can easily fit it in your means then that's great for that person. If it's a stretch to get it I don't see the value, rather spend $3-4k and the balance on a 2 week biking holiday somewhere.
  • 4 0
 @Spiral23: My experiences with carbon frames match yours.
  • 7 1
 @danielstutt: Yea 10K S-Works model is insane. That being said the Stuntjumper Expert at $4.7k is very reasonably priced with still high-end suspension. I don't need the wireless dropper and derailer.
  • 21 0
 @mr-fabio: You must have caught Spesh on a bad day, I work in a shop selling speech and a chap snapped a link on a over 10 year old 26" camber that they don't make anymore so they gave him a new 29er frame, 29er forks and 29er rims so he could swap all the other bits over!!!!
its the best company I know for dealing with warranty after working with bikes since '95
  • 3 4
 @savloyalc: Yeah, I had my ups and downs with spesh. I think I owned about 6 or 7 SPZ bikes and the only issue I had was with the SJ. It was very poorly handled and I after everything I felt that even tho I already had several bikes of them and was a loyal customer they just treated me like shit. I felt that they think I’m that dog that receives the slapping and come back waving his tail. I was even called names and threatened by the representative at the time (he later got fired due to an unrelated event). But it all came down to SPZ being completely passive about the whole thing and saying “yeah, sorry bud, nothing we can do about it, here is our 2013 catalog if you are interested in a new bike. We can offer a 10% discount”. I felt offended and I don’t trust the brand anymore. They lost a loyal customer.
  • 111 0
 @danielstutt: I know I'll get lots of hate for this one but it's such a common comment I can't help myself.
A person will spend 50k on a boat they use 4 times a year, or 100k on a 4x4 loaded pickup and never take it off road.
Mountain bikers seem to for the most part, actually use our bikes.
Like a lot.
If a person has the means and wants a cutting edge bike with the latest shit and it makes them happy, I just think that's awesome. I probably have 8k into my bike.
I'm not a pro and I have a friend I ride with that is. He could ride a old hardtail and still be faster than me most days. Weirdly enough, my expensive bike still makes me really happy and I ride it every single chance I can. It's an investment in myself and my health.
Isn't that the point ?
  • 12 1
 @Bailey100: amen to that.

FYI the Expert build is probably one of the best values available right now. For $4700 you get XO1 shifter/RD, factory level dampers in both ends, one of the best droppers on the market at any price point and solid wheels that will keep you going for years. Not much to complain about there.
  • 34 28
 I would never spend $10k on a bicycle; that's a kid's toy. People who spend that much are bonkers. I have only spent around $6k for each of my six bicycles. Very reasonable. Anyone who spends less is obviously poor.
  • 4 0
 @Spiral23:

I will say this, the hardest rider I know rides a carbon Enduro that's probably 6 years old, and it's held up well. He has done double digit drops to transition on it.

I know it's all anecdotal, plus skill and luck, but the way he's abused that bike, and the way it's held up speaks volumes to me.
  • 3 1
 @JohanG: if we have spent $10K each on six bicycles is that OK?
  • 2 0
 @Spiral23: I wish they would put the same tech into 27.5 too but specialized probably knows more about which size better than me lmao
  • 10 1
 @danielstutt: Spend 10k and ride 1000 hours.... $10 an hour is not a bad deal. Plus, the fact that Specialized offers a premium, high-end bike should bother literally no one.
  • 3 0
 @Bailey100: yeh it's a totally fair point. I guess if it brings you joy and you can afford it then 100% the cost is worth it I can see that. Maybe I applied to narrow an outlook to it. I get joy out of my $3500 and I'm just fine with that, I would definitely say I'd be in the expensive boat/truck category if I had a $10k bike as I only get out once a week or so at the moment unfortunately.
  • 7 2
 @JohanG: I love that those that down-voted don't see the sarcasm.
  • 13 0
 @shredjekyll: if I could get back all of the money I’ve spent on bikes on my life, I’d spend it on bikes again. No regrats, not even a single letter.
  • 2 0
 @MonsterTruck: This! I've certainly made better and worse bike purchases, but in the grand scheme it is nearly always money well spent.
  • 1 0
 @Spiral23: Agree! Bragging rights on frame weight means minimal allowance for real-world loading. "taking out the lazy carbon" reminds me of alum frames just before cf really took off- thinned the seat stays on the SJ's so much they would dent just looking at them wrong.
  • 1 0
 @Spiral23: both divinci and forbidden have been solid on warranty for me. Divinci took a while, and gave me a somewhat reasonable crash replacent on one of my two cracks, forbidden had a new frame in the mail day after I found a crack.
  • 2 1
 @savloyalc: I cracked an old steel allez and they wouldn't even do crash replacement.snapped it mid stay at the cross brace weld pedalling away from a stop light. They're dead to me.
  • 1 0
 @mgrantorser: with the Covid craziness I just got local build steel hardtail for now, till everything calms down, just don’t want to end up with broken frame right now, no bikes out there, replacement will probably take ages.

500km on hardtail so far and no single squick, weird noice or service needed. (The brand new Enduro had to be serviced 3 times in first 500kms , riding same trails) I think I made good choice for Covid times.
  • 1 0
 @GlassGuy: your post made me realize the only frames I haven't broken were actually carbon. I've got some steel and aluminum skeletons in my closet, but no carbon. Despite that, my last trail bike was steel and it's replacement is aluminum, because no wanted to avoid carbon....

I haven't owned a Ti frame, so I haven't broken one of those either.
  • 1 0
 @IamZOSO: Apparently I am Shiri's Scissor.
  • 3 1
 @MonsterTruck: I spent all my money on bikes, booze and women. The rest I wasted.
  • 1 2
 @heckler999: all these new spesh frames look REALLY flexy (aethos, epic, SJ, etc.). you gotta wonder...
  • 1 0
 @savloyalc: yes, my 11 Sworks Enduro frame cracked after 2 years of hard riding and I got a whole new aluminium version for the cost price of the components. That said some of those lower end components were shite which does lead to extra costs down the line...
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: what else matters?!?!
  • 2 2
 @danielstutt: sorry about your financial situation bro
  • 1 0
 @Spiral23: I'm building 2 hardtails at the moment. Nothing to think about - got a fork up front, end of story. Clean lines, it gets the looks from the chicks.
  • 2 0
 @smgishot13: Quite alright mate, I could buy a few stumpys tbf but i want my own home more, my cheaper bike is just fine.
  • 2 0
 @Bailey100: I guess two things can happen at the same time. You could ride your bike a lot, and enjoy the investment, and perhaps get a better bang for your buck as well. Your analysis on boats 4X4's etc is also correct. I'm not sure the margins in bike industry, to be honest. But, if Vitus and others can grind out some fox factory and a carbon frame for $4000 (or more) cheaper than some 'boutique' brands, then there's plenty of room. Some big brands have pro riders to pay for, travel, trucks and so on...but I guess they're printing money anyways (in good times). In the end, it's the free market, and I honor that most. If Vitus, Commencal, YT etc can grab enough market share it may force 'boutique' brands (what does that mean anymore, in a ubiquitous world?) then it may change pricing schedules. I do find it annoying if a bike seems overpriced. But, free market. (The annoying part is that it has taken awhile for brands to show up with some wicked branding, frames and components to compete). They are here now though, and going to improve. YT's bikes look like top of the line boutique. Vitus latest model looks boutique as well. This is going to shake (shape) the industry - I think.
  • 2 0
 @danielstutt: Two thoughts...
1. Spesh complete builds are a rip off. Buy the frame only (comparable to all other frame prices), and buy these same components for closer to $7k.

2. The only reason to think of it as a $5k, $7k, or $10k bike is if you keep for 10 years. Sell your bike and get a new one every 1-2 years, and it only costs you $1000. Kinda like a lease, you'll always have the latest and greatest bike for $1000 per year ($80 per month). When you're on your last bike... keep the proceeds from the final bike sale.
  • 1 0
 @Bailey100: most days? ????
  • 2 0
 I personally have abused my carbon stumpjumper and it has been amazing strong, I crash a lot and one time sent it spinning into my friends bike where the toptube hit his alloy flats going at maybe 20 (fast straight). I can’t believe it’s still intact after all it’s been through.
  • 63 1
 It's fun to make fun of Specialized. It's even more fun to ride their bikes.
  • 10 0
 Best bike I have ever owned is a specialized Enduro. Was what my insurance forced me to buy after a robbery. It used to both me that I got stuck with an evil company's bike. That feeling didn't last very long.
  • 63 7
 I never thought I'd have a garage full of specialized bikes, but my epic evo is awesome, the Enduro is a top candidate for big bike replacement, and the wife is thinking about a new do-it-all machine and nothing else looks this good. Oh God.
  • 46 2
 Can I have your job?
  • 19 4
 it seems as if you have a lot of riding time and a lot of riding money. I have neither.
  • 88 5
 @aug7hallak: Make choices that enable the desired lifestyle. For me that's no kids, trails 1 km from my door, and a flexible work schedule (but w/long hours).

Don't spend money/time on shit you don't actually want to, so that you can spend it on the important shit (like more riding time and more Specializeds, apparently).
  • 50 0
 @sspiff: getting a place that's two minutes pedal from a trailhead was one of the best lifestyle decisions I ever made.
  • 11 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Agreed, I moved to a place at the base of a network of trails. It's amazing how much more I ride.
  • 13 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: The problem is that houses in a place with the holy trinity (Good jobs, good riding, proximity to trails) are often crazy expensive. Most people can't afford 650k-850k houses.
  • 9 0
 @fullendurbro: Yeah, it's all relative. I don't live next to big mountain, destination stuff. But I can pedal out of my door and have access to 25 miles of single-track and can knock out over 1,200-1,300 feet elevation in a typical 10 mile pedal, with enough features and tech to keep things interesting. And I live in one of the few East Coast cities that are not crazy expensive. Feels like I found my own little cheat code.

Doesn't stop me from dreaming of moving to Vermont or BC or whatever....
  • 5 3
 After racing with a Scott Spark for two years I decided to change it for an S Works Epic. That was back in 2013 and the frame was good indeed (light, good geo...). The Brain system in the other hand is still the protagonist of my nightmares. What a disaster
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I took a look at your profile and it says you live in Philly. I went to Penn. Good four years!
  • 4 0
 @fullendurbro: ha, my wife is a Penn grad and works there now. Philly is never gonna be a MTB destination, but we have great trails right in the city, two legit bike parks within a 2 hour drive (Mountain Creek and Blue Mountain), Mt Penn, Jim Thorpe and a few other worthy day trip destinations. It's not the Front Range, but we manage Smile
  • 4 0
 @fullendurbro: From Jan 2020:

"That’s according to the latest housing price survey from real estate firm Royal LePage, which found aggregate home prices across the region [Greater Vancouver] dropped by 4.8 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2019, to $1,107,719.

I was able to buy a house in 2002, but it's crazy expensive in this area. But we have access to an excellent cache of trails.
  • 3 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: mmmhmmm! good ol' Wissahickon
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: that's pretty much any resource industry job in bc.
  • 1 0
 @birddog69: New Zealand actually Razz
  • 1 1
 @fullendurbro: Bentonville is paying people to move there!
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: and often full of crazy people Smile
  • 2 0
 i am very curious about deciding on an epic evo vs the stumpjumper. Are you comfortable on the epic with small jumps and drops? Do you ever get air on it?
  • 2 0
 @scoot-ak: Used to race xc and still like the occasional long fast ride on a sporty feeling bike. Plus I saw too much overlap with my other bike (slackened ripmo). Epic wouldn't be an ideal "1 bike" for me but it's enough to make we want something a little bigger than the ripmo now.

I've dropped about 4' on the epic and taken the medium lines at the jump park. Recovering from a torn labrum so the limiting factor probably isn't the bike rn. It's plenty fast too... doing ~50/10,000 or better on most of the local flowy strava descent segments that I regularly ride (front range). Not so fast on chunky trail, obviously.
  • 73 30
 It may be good, but its surely not 9500$-good.

This format needs a price cap, because this is getting ridiculous. Value usually starts deteriorating around 3500$ and plummits off a cliff once you reach 4500 - 5000 $. Thus I'm proposing a solid hardcap of 5000$ for the field test.
  • 12 0
 Nomen est omen? Wink
  • 20 1
 Brian Park mentioned this in a recent podcast. They'll give a target $ or at least a cap (around $5-6k as I recall) in future field tests.
  • 22 3
 Damn right. Maybe it would force the some brands to make sure their bikes get in under the 5k mark instead of pricing it at $5400 because they can.

No need to test SRAM NX bikes, but there's also no need to test carbon wheels and XTR each time.
  • 13 0
 I think they might have also mentioned on the podcast that due to bike shortages they were not able to choose the model they wanted. I'm guessing the top of the line bikes were all available. If you are forced to use a couple of the top spec bikes then you have to make all the bikes top spec to make it a fair review.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree. Those wheels would have made a huge difference to how the bike felt.
  • 9 10
 No need for price caps. Let the market decide the value of products. Value for the individual is subjective.
  • 24 0
 Yep, future field tests will have some sort of price cap. This year it just wasn't feasible with so few bikes being available. That said, Levy mentions this in the round table video dropping soon. Yes it's the crazy fancy version of the Stumpjumper here, but nothing about his opinion would have changed if it were build with an SLX drivetrain and aluminum wheels.
  • 20 2
 @Adamrideshisbike: "...instead of pricing it at $5400 because they can."

What is this, We Are the World? These are private companies that are primarily trying to make money. If their bikes don't sell, they rethink their pricing strategy. If their bikes are selling, stop complaining that they're too expensive, and support a lower-priced bike company or start up your own.

There's no conspiracy here, it's just people shopping (on cheap credit).
  • 3 0
 @Ttimer: As in because I'm swabian and therefor must be a penny pincher? Sure Wink
  • 3 2
 Yes I agree that 10k bikes are a bit silly. Still I don't think that the axs drivetrain is going to dramatically affect the geometry, suspension design, and capability.
  • 5 5
 @bishopsmike: No you're right. I was just dreaming of a price cap that would be so influential that companies would fight to get below it. I hate everyone complaining about bikes being too expensive as well. $3000 have never been better.
  • 2 0
 @sbrdude1: Why not? Surely if they reviewed the base models it would be safe to assume for potential buyers that the higher spec models would be lighter/faster?
  • 1 0
 My guess would be that a big part of it is most companies probably want their top of the line bike reviewed over the budget option. What negatives on a 10,000$ bike are going to stand out other than price? If the base models are being reviewed, there’s going to be a lot more discussion on pros and cons, especially on component spec. Bike companies can avoid this by just having too of the line everything reviewed.
  • 7 2
 Not many people want a review of a Toyota Corolla.

These are the bikes that people aspire to own and dream about. Everyone knows you can go buy an SJ Expert for $4700 and get 98% of the performance of the SWorks. Some portion of the readers here don't want to see anything reviewed above $3K, but most of us do like reading about dream bikes.

I do agree that for the field tests it makes more sense to put a price cap or review all bikes that are Equipped with GX/SLX so the comparison is not influenced by something like carbon wheels on one, but not another.
  • 3 2
 The third tear stumpy is listed at 4K, and the parts look really good to me. Upper (but not top) Fox, Eagle X01 all around, and importantly, no AXS.
  • 2 0
 @sspiff: Yep, but in Covid times, they took what they could get.
  • 1 1
 Didn't we just learn with the Giant that when you have an inferior component that the entire review ends up being about how that component held the bike back?

Having AXS and carbon wheels isn't going to make any significant difference to the overall performance of the bike. I couldn't care less if these are present but reviewing anything that doesn't have high end suspension and brakes on it would just be a waste of time
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: Well I'm not sure the Corolla analogy works. You probably meant Toyota. In this example it's like reviewing the Corolla ZR when I'm suggesting they review the GX.

Where would Specialized be on the car spectrum?
I've mentioned it before here, but Specialized bikes in the past seven years have gone up in price by almost 100%, vs 30% in the US. So maybe they've moved into Mercedes territory!
  • 3 0
 They should do dual model tests, top tier & entry level gives a wider grasp on performance for buyers and how bling parts change the ride
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: that may be the case on this stumpy, but on the Giant Levy spent most of the time talking about the fancy suspension (for better and worse). I think it was the right thing to do in that case, if it had such a fundamental impact on the bike, but it does mean potential buyers of the lower models don't get a useful review.
  • 1 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: This is exactly what I hope would happen. Maybe the manufacturers/brands would come to their senses.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: That's great to hear Brian! I suppose Pinkbike at this point has a sizeable audience, and thus quite a bit of influence on riders opinions about a product. So maybe this will be an insentive for some manufacturers to make smart, consumer oriented decisions regarding pricing.

By the way, I think it's great that you guys did a Field Test at all this year. I bet it was an organizational nightmare and you should be commended for doing it anyways.
  • 1 0
 @lefthandohvhater: Come now. A carbon frame, high-end suspension, a high-end drivetrain and carbon wheels will definitley make a difference. There is no way the 3.000$ Stumpy is going to perform anywhere near as good as the 10.000$ Stumpy.
  • 1 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: Review what is available. They did that. Geometry and suspension kinematics should be close enough to get an idea as to how other level spec bikes will perform.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Yes! Pinkbike has massive influence on product managers, and a price cap will put more pressure on performance for dollar for the mid-range bikes.

Love to see more pressure on smart builds like better cassettes/chains vs derailleurs, wheels, and forks.
  • 36 0
 When a bike is expensive because of carbon wheels and wireless drivetrain, the review will still translate well to lower end models. The problem is when a bike is expensive because of something like Live Valve which can totally change the characteristics of the bike and then the review doesn't translate to the lower end models. I have no problem seeing the former if that's what's available to test in a comparison.
  • 2 0
 Had a similar thought. I may never buy a bike with live valve, but I would like to see it compared and know if maybe someday I should change my mind. I wouldn't want a price cap to mean that I could not read about it. However, maybe on a comparison test, the bikes should be more comparable. For a regular review I want to hear about what the best of the best can do so I can decide if it's worth it.
  • 29 0
 Another "quiver killer" to add to the fleet..
  • 4 3
 Adding it to a fleet is the opposite of a quiver killer lol. But yes N+1. I currently only have an enduro bike and need at least 3 more bikes....and then maybe one more.
  • 7 0
 @friendlyfoe: I think that's his joke. Wink
  • 23 1
 This thing looks great , specialized is trying to convert the haters with stupid gimmicks like “nice bikes” .

Corporate swine!
  • 14 1
 Jeez I wish they made that hard downtube line a fade LIKE IT IS ON THE SEAT TUBE though.
  • 1 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: I didnt notice until you pointed it out. Bike is now ruined for me.
  • 19 2
 spectral 29, this could have been you, but you went enduro Frown
  • 25 12
 the bike I'd recommend to all my friends and never actually buy myself...
(it's just a bit boring)
  • 19 10
 The prices/spec on some of these field test bikes (trance and this thing) are a bit silly to the level that the review loses some its value. It’s like when hyundai sends a car to review that is spec’d to porsche prices. Are they scared their product actually sucks and they rely on the spec? At least ibis had the balls to send an SLX spec.
  • 14 7
 I agree. I think pinkbike should ask for frame only and then spec each test bike with the same gear to level the field.
  • 3 0
 I couldn’t agree more
  • 6 0
 I mean don’t you think the lower spec bike would still ride at least very similar? You can take a bike with bad geo, and bad kinematics, and put really nice parts on it and I bet it would still get a bad review here on PB.
  • 4 0
 @bombdabass: and a shock, because those are (or should be) tuned for kinematics.
  • 1 0
 @bombdabass: underrated comment
  • 3 0
 @bombdabass: Sounds cool, but not really practical. Also, very few people build their own bikes so the spec choice is pretty important to the buying decision.
  • 9 0
 @mikelevy as a long time Stumpy rider, I fell out of love with my 2019 because it felt sluggish and not that much more capable on my local trails compared to my shabby '16 "winter Stumpy". Everything other than downwards was a bit heavy and boring. So I sold the '19, and got an Epic Evo which I absolutely love, and find extremely capable even if it is a bit more sketchy and hard on the limbs on the downs.
Can you offer an opinion on how big the actual gap between these bikes is? I am drooling over the new Stumpy, seems they addressed the things I didn't like about the last gen and added a few more treats as well, but are the Epic Evo and Stumpy too close to own both?
  • 2 0
 i would love to hear this discussion as well
  • 10 1
 That's a Goldilocks bike for me. Too many trail bikes trying too hard to be enduro bikes. I can definitely appreciate the effort Specialized made to keep the bike reasonably light with both the frame and 34mm fork spec.
  • 14 4
 Would love to see this up against the IZZO.
  • 6 0
 I guess the Stump is far more capable on the descents
  • 3 0
 Owning the Izzo Race I would agree this would be a good comparison. Would like to see the $3k izzo compared to $3k stumpy. Ouch...
  • 11 1
 @mikelevy what is your opinion on the new Stumpy vs Norco Optic?
  • 4 0
 I absolutely love mine, but an obvious con with the stock 9k plus build could be the Guide 2 brakes. They suck. Put codes on it spesh! Pro, if you can throw money at it you can get a 27.5 lb bike with a 36 up front and dh brakesSmile
  • 6 0
 The only thing I'd like to see is the aluminum review since it's using a different linkage compared to the carbon #budgetbike
  • 2 4
 I think it's the same as the last generation of stumpy, so I wouldn't expect it to be meaningfully different.
  • 1 0
 @Noah353: ohhh kk tnx
  • 3 0
 Yes. Someone needs to do an alloy vs carbon Stumpjumper shootout. The comp versions have the same suspension but different drivetrains. I don't find the horst link on my GT "gooey", it feels pretty firm so maybe this years alloy version has a bit more pep.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer and @mikelevy - How does this compare to the Tallboy4 that you both liked so much? Realizing that it has 10mm less travel, but similar weight and intentions, I would think.

Cheers and keep up the great work!
  • 6 0
 I have an S4 S-works custom build and Levy hit the nail on the head on this review. Super snappy, playful bike.
  • 6 0
 Man, Specialized is firing on all cylinders right now. This bike looks really fun.
  • 5 2
 @mikelevy I have both the new Enduro and Spur, but the new Stumpy has really had me thinking about possibly swapping my Spur parts over to a Stumpy frame. I'm sure the Stumpy is the better descender, but how about climbing? I think frame vs frame, the Stumpy is lighter than the Spur, and if pedaling efficiency is on par or even better, the Stumpy is just better overall. Since you've had some good time on both, what do you think, also taking into account that I also have the Enduro? Cheers!
  • 7 0
 Why did the Spur lust wear off so quickly?
  • 2 0
 Can one even buy a frame right now??
  • 4 1
 @bikewriter: Don't get me wrong - I do love my Spur and have a huge smile on my face every time I ride it. However, there are just a handful of trails around here where I find the Spur quite limiting compared to my Enduro (obviously so). If the Stumpy climbs just as well but is more manageable on those steeper, rough, chunky trails, it seems like it'd be a win-win.
  • 2 0
 @Tinshield: There are some shops around the Bay Area that have frames in stock.
  • 8 0
 @MegaMatt5000: The Spur is a 120mm 22-24# bike. It's just in a different category to the new Stumpy. I've predicted that a lot of people would come to find this out in the near future.

I know I'll get roasted for this and I'm certain people do it all the time, but I think if you jump, hammer steeps, and do a few drops even pretty small ones, you are likely reaching the limit of what the Spur was ever intended for.

The Spur speced correctly is a bike that my kid could be competitive at a NICA race against full race XC bikes whereas the SJ was 29 seconds behind the class leader of this particular shootout on a 12 minute climb. Meaning the SJ would get clobbered.
  • 1 0
 @SunsPSD: Interesting take. Would you go so far as to say marketing, slick videos, glowing youtub reviews, and a bike shortage all added up to create a Spur frenzy?
  • 4 0
 I keep thinking Transition will release a new Smuggler that's a similar design to the Spur with a little more travel and be a lot like this new Stumpy.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: Counterpoint. Marco Osborne won the Ashland Enduro on a Spur with a 34. I rode the race and although not particularly technical, you certainly would not want an XC bike on it.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-sf: It's not that I disagree that the Spur can do amazing things under the right conditions with the right rider onboard.
Yet, professional Enduro riders don't choose 120mm travel bikes to win Enduro races on for a reason.
So we shouldn't conflate Marco's talent and conditions at that particular event to mean that 'bikes larger than a Spur are not better suited for Enduro like terrain'.
The Spur is rad, and I'll own one some day, as my light duty trail bike.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: Remember when Nate Hill used the SB100 to win an enduro. Think he put a 130 fork on, though. Right tool for the right job, and sometimes the horse suits the course. Or however my grandpa's cliches go.
  • 3 0
 I love the comment Mike makes about some people thinking a bike without a Horst Link can’t descend. Those people don’t remember URT bikes. I am pretty sure the Klein Mantra proportionately injured more riders than highwheelers.


www.pinkbike.com/news/the-short-turbulent-life-of-urt-suspension-mtb-history.html
  • 3 0
 i dunno, these reviews need to be more techincal, otherwise, you're just giving Spesh a free pass. you namedrop the Digressive piston, but don't really talk about how the damping actually feels. do they tune it like a Trek, where there's less antisquat but tons of LSC platform? did the shock tend to blow through the damping more than it should?

these stub reviews need more detail man. i'm not getting a picture of what the bike's character actually is other than what the specs show (130/140 bike pretty good all around, very light, good bike) OKAY COOL.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy a big contrast with your review of the 2019 SJ - kind of meh. I've never really loved the way that horst link bikes climbed (had both stumpjumper and the former enduro at one point) but that Swat box!

Noticed you had the e-thirteen Helix on the P-train - still holding up? do you prefer that over the SRAM 11-52 with the big jump to the bail out gear?
  • 3 0
 Go back and watch/read the salsa review if you want to know Mike's thoughts on the new Sram Eagle Cassette, he states he doesn't like the 42 to 52 jump on the SRAM cassette. He's doing a long term review on the Helix, so expect that to come later.
  • 4 0
 @tgent: +1 for the long term review on the Helix
  • 1 0
 @bikingduker: Can we get a +1 to Helix 12 speed stock yet? I've been trying for the last month and no luck.
  • 6 1
 @mikelevy need a Mike vs Mike 2021 update with the new Stumpy and Stumpy Evo
  • 4 0
 Unsure about the Fox 34. I haven't ridden one and I'm not sure how they will handle a 210lb rider on relatively rough gnarly terrain.
  • 9 0
 Not well. You are too large for a 34 fork imo if ridden semi-aggessively.
  • 3 0
 I have a new 34 with grip 2 and it seems fine to me. I'm 215 dry weight, I run below recommended pressure. There's some flex as I can hear the brake rotor jingle when I lean but it's minimal and I don't think it impacts the performance for general trail riding. I ride pretty hard/fast for my size.
  • 1 0
 I had a 34 in my 29er with 140mm of travel and i chose to use the one up axle to make the fork feel more precise. That did the trick. But also I'm only 170lb...
  • 2 0
 @XIVXV: I wonder how that compares with a Kabolt.
  • 2 0
 the ~2000g frame weight (sans shock) is a damn impressive bit of engineering. half the weight of the actofive / over 4 lbs lighter! though i'd still rather own that german slice of metallurgical artistry, it's pretty wild. assuming it proves to be robust, of course.
  • 1 0
 lol its funny though because the SPecialized is also designed in germany
  • 3 1
 @housem8d: Where are Specialized Bikes Made? The Specialized bike brand is based in Morgan Hill, California. They do all the research and design, prototyping, and product development at the headquarters.

USA...
  • 1 0
 @monkeybizz: pretty sure they hire some other engineers...but as long as the bike rides well Smile )
  • 1 0
 @monkeybizz: except for the ebikes. They’re engineered in Switzerland.
  • 2 0
 Even though its no bike for me, thats the ultimate trailbike. all the others are too much or not enough. I like the way they put preference in the con. if your the guy for this bike, perfect, if not, theres plenty to choose from
  • 3 0
 This thing seems super low!
I have been on a process 134 for the past year which felt low at the time but this bike is about a cm lower. @mikelevy any trouble with pedal strikes?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy I REALLY want to know.... this bike has similar travel numbers and frame weight to the Trance X. One has a 34 and one has a 36 on the front, although a little different travel. Any observations between the two in this application? Is the 36 better enough to justify the weight? Is there any hidden upside to the 34 that's not obvious?
Thanks!
  • 2 0
 I can’t believe the reviews aren’t mentioning the fact that it only has 2 iscg tabs so it will not accommodate a bash guard. Good luck if you live anywhere with chunky terrain and that low of a bb. I will be comparing this with a new Evil if they have something to offer in the next couple of weeks.
  • 1 0
 A lower right and upper* I haven’t seen any bash guard that would work without two lower tabs
  • 1 0
 @ShredKC: Wolf Tooth makes one that works with no tabs at all.
  • 3 1
 Fell absolutely in love with the 2020 Stumpi testbike from the local shop when I first rode it, never regret buying it since then but a very underrated bike in my opinion. Not as much seen as other pricier bikes....
  • 4 0
 For those looking for something to not like, how about complaining about availability? Everything everywhere is 0 stock
  • 4 0
 Mojo vs. Stumpy? Hard choice? Notice how the review avoid drawing a straight comparison?
  • 9 4
 The answer is Ripley.
  • 1 1
 I think these bikes are quite different, you have to chose what you want, and ideally try them to decide. But ill say big difference is wheel size. Ibis will be much more rewarding on tech bits, and climbs. Stumpy will take over when its get faster. I think Mike mention that few times, if you like to pick your line, and play with the bike,.. Ibis should be your choice. Everyone else just but Stupmy.
  • 1 0
 With more and more bikes these days with an impressive pedalling performance, why suspension brands don´t have inline shock with a 4-way adjust insted of just a 2/3 way switch and rebound dial? Something like a CaneCreek InLine for example.
  • 4 0
 Yo PB, this is high quality stuff. Thanks for the awesome content. Can always depend on you guys for my daily fix.
  • 2 1
 Seems like a nice bike. My wife was looking to replace her 2018 Stumpjumper ST with this bike based on the hope that it felt a little better climbing and perhaps a little more capable on descents with 10mm more travel front and rear. However, after a day of test riding the 2021 Stumpjumper, she decided that any improvement did not justify the price and she was just as happy riding the 2018 ST (though she does always lock out the shock on smooth climbs, which perhaps would be less needed on the newer model).
  • 1 0
 "and loads of effective frame protection."

It's actually not that great on the downtube. Those wide oval tubes stick out a good bit past that rubber chunk, and the rubber is very thin at the edges. Those combined with my mad shredding on the stock Butcher Grid 2.6 tires to kick up a rock and leave a nice little divot in the downtube. Not the only rock, BTW, just the only one that left a noticeable mark. Doesn't seem to have effected anything structurally, but it sure doesn't look friendly. Not sure if that's the kind of thing that could be warrantied, or if I'll have to with "crash replacement" if my frame ever starts unraveling, and haven't had a chance to get to my local Spesh shop for a check up, yet. So something to keep in mind if you're riding a Stumpy in an place with many loose rocks, maybe beef up that downtube pad.
  • 1 0
 "When push comes to shove on hectic trails, the Stumpy isn’t as much of a bike as the Salsa, P-Train, etc. It’s not meant to be, though"

How can that be a con?

"My Corolla sucks because it isn't a Corvette." Well, yeah, it's not meant to be.
  • 2 0
 When will Pinkbike make an article about Specialized not feeding bikes to the smaller shops, but only to the bigger ones (at least here in CO) to help them stay afloat with this bike shortage.
  • 4 0
 I just got my new Stumpjumper the other week and I’m lovin’ it..!!
  • 4 3
 This bike checks a lot of boxes but no 27.5 is a no go for me. Wish S1-S4 came in 27.5 options with a hair more travel. I like too that they didn’t go crazy long on the chain stays.
  • 2 1
 Look at the Transition Scout
  • 4 0
 It'll be interesting to see Yeti SB130 vs new Stumpy.
  • 1 1
 This Stumpy has to compare so very closely to the Fuel EX. Without the ridiculous 2.6 tires on the Fuel EX they are probably close in weight. Both have storage.. Exact same travel... Both are giving a nod to pedaling efficiency. Hmmmm.
  • 1 0
 If only trek could get the Fuel EX rid off the knock block and stupid press fit BB.
  • 2 0
 140/130 vs 120/110 it’s odd situation spesh has created, stumpy vs epic evo ? Or maybe merge the bikes into a epic ultimate? 140/120 and ohlins both ends
  • 1 0
 I'm currently in the 20q9 SJ. Not the greatest climber, but the 150/140 travel seemed to be perfect for my riding style. How much LESS capable is this bike vs the old SJ, considering it lost 10mm of travel front and back?
  • 2 0
 Here's to hoping they'll compare AL vs CF model to find out what that flexy thingy really does.
  • 6 3
 Uh-oh, Specialized haters... Mike seemed like he REALLY liked this one...
  • 1 2
 "all the frames get a ton of standover clearance that's combined with long-stroke dropper posts. The idea is that you can choose a reach and wheelbase that work for you instead of saying, "The medium's seat tube is too short, so I have to go to the large.""

Oh look, a copy & paste from the other Stumpy review.

And it still makes no sense. The seat tubes are shorter than ever, so how would that help fix a situation where someone had to size up to get a longer seat tube?
  • 4 1
 Short seat tubes allow for longer dropper posts. since with too long of a seat tube there's only so much drop you can have before the fully extended position is too high, even with the post slammed all the way to the collar. I'd say this scenario is much more common than one where someone would be sizing up to get a longer seat tube.
  • 1 1
 Think of a “long” seat tube going up in direction not down. A taller “up” seat tube would be longer and give worse stand over.
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: yeah, I get how seat post height works. I've cut seat tubes to get that last 5mm need to be able to jam a long dropper into an older frame and be comfortable at full mast. I don't disagree that needing a shorter seat tube (or further insertion depth) is the more common scenario. But the quote isn't talking about too long of tubes, it's mentions a seat tube being too short so someone needs to size up, and S sizing and shorter seat tubes somehow helping that, which it wouldn't.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I'm finding that even with a short seat tube, that doesn't necessarily mean you can fit a long dropper - it depends on the frame design. Since the Stumpjumper has a kink in the seat tube, that limits how much seat post can be inserted into the seat tube. Couple that with Specialized making the seat tubes shorter anyway as part of the S-sizing, and it's tough to get more than 180mm of drop.

I know you commented about the 170mm Reverb on the Stumpjumper EVO you reviewed, and how you would have liked to have a longer drop, but 170 is the longest AXS Reverb you can get right now. But I don't think you could get much more drop than that anyway. I just got an S4 EVO, and the max seat tube insertion (because of the kink) is 260mm. The OneUp 210 dropper insert length is 297mm, so you would have almost 40mm of post sticking out of the seat tube when it is bottomed out. At that point, even if the post was shimmed down to 190 it might still be too tall for most riders on an S4.

I'm 6' with 32" inseam and the longest dropper I've found to work with the Stumpjumper S4 is the OneUp 180. It's insert length is 267mm, so you couldn't quite bottom it out either, but for me it will probably be sticking out 20-30mm above the seat tube so it's not a problem. But if you're talking about bikes with straight seat tubes, then it's a different story. I had a Ripmo 2 and I probably could have put a 210 dropper on that. Even if the post had to be slammed, the straight seat tube would have accepted the full 297mm insert length.
  • 3 0
 @just6979: actually it explains thanks to short seat tubes you can run longer droppers. Thanks to longer droppers and lower stand over heights you don’t have to be on a small size bike (as if not touching your toes on the ground) is the way to size a bike. It’s definitely marketing jargon, but it’s also kind of accurate.
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: As I said, I understand how seat tubes work. I'm not saying that short seat tubes are bad. I picked my Stumpy based mostly on reach but seat tube length (and max insertion) was also a factor. I run a 170mm PNW about 10mm sticking out of a 2019 Stumpy 27.5 Large, and I can sit at full drop with my feet flat.

That's not my issue. It's that weird quote that was copied from the previous PB Stumpy review, about the seat tube on a medium being _too short_ and a rider needing to size up. That's the opposite of what everyone has been saying and makes no sense in the context of talking about shorter seat tubes.
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: I agree with just6979. It's not only the seat tube that's shorter, it's also the top tube that is longer. If you are tall and you prefer a shorter reach you are stuck getting a bigger bike like he said. You can run a lot of post, sure, but is that really a good idea? I mean a lot of post. Like there is going to be a lot of lower post showing with a 210.
  • 1 2
 "Point being, the change in layout doesn’t have to mean a step backward in performance,"

True, but there are also certain kinematics that are impossible in certain layouts. A single-pivot can never have the same chainless feel that is possible with a horst-link. Neither of those can replicate exactly the same kind of acceleration-driven anti-squat that a short-link can be set up to provide. And of course, non of the above can recreate the axle path of a high-pivot.

So yes, a new layout doesn't mean bad, but it does mean that certain desirable attributes of the previous may be impossible to replicate.
  • 1 0
 Our dollar is so devalued Frown and on top of that Specialized is charging an extra $1000 in Canada. The $4700 Expert model is priced at CAD $7000 :'(
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy How does this stumpjumper pedals and handles compared to a 120mm trail bike like the ibis ripley or pivot trail 429??
  • 3 1
 Con: You may have convinced me to buy a Specialized.
  • 1 1
 Interesting that other reviews have mentioned that there is quite a lot of pedal bob in open mode, which is quite different than this review
  • 2 1
 So basically you either want the Stumpy or the Giant, without the electronic suspension.
  • 3 2
 Makes a mockery of the other bikes. Although I would never buy one due to the sub optimal moto brake routing.
  • 1 0
 Yes this really bothers me as well. Yet I ordered an Evo frame.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: The Evo is incomparable IMO. The adjustments, swat, weight etc. I’m an anal SOB though so no sale for me. I’d have probably bought an SJ or Evo if they had open routing.
  • 1 0
 "I never dabbed......ok I dabbed a few times.......ok I dabbed just as much on the other bikes."
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy double comma at "just getting to the top,,"
  • 2 1
 "the digressive piston hidden inside the Fox shock"

First time I've heard this mentioned. Where is this info coming from?
  • 1 0
 Please make a video about flip-chips. Are they really useful, and do real people really use the high setting?
  • 2 0
 I use the high setting so at least one person.
  • 2 0
 Izzo or Stumpy...? Aaggghhh head exploding
  • 1 2
 I've always liked specialized bikes. The company is a completely different story. Lucky there are plenty of other options and I don't have to give money to such an evil corporation.
  • 1 0
 FYI DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT Google what the Urban Dictionary meaning of Nimb is. Frown
  • 1 1
 hey mike levy we rocking the same shoes love my rally had to dremel some rubber out to fit my pedals
  • 4 3
 where are the comparisons to the Transition Spur?
  • 4 1
 Spur goes against the Epic Evo...and that was all covered in their recent multi bike shootout.
  • 3 0
 adding to earlier comment: I think the Rascal would be a better comparo.
  • 2 1
 Hey Levy they printed the price wrong in the article. It says $9500.
  • 2 0
 Trail bike
  • 1 0
 scrolls down to see price...keeps scrolling....
  • 1 1
 Maybe the field tests should start including bikes we can buy now. Last I checked this was sold out too. lol
  • 1 0
 Biggest con and problem for this bike is...the Stumpy EVO!
  • 1 0
 I wonder what the effective weight range is for the carbon stays?
  • 1 0
 The bike I probably should buy, but never would.
  • 1 0
 Does it fit a coil shock?
  • 1 0
 I keep seeing "price cap" and thinking "piece of crap"
  • 1 1
 Ahhhh yes, I'm glad the hole in the downtube is now lighter than before....
  • 1 0
 Six more months of CERB. Sigh.
  • 1 0
 Do the new fox forks still have creaky CSUs?
  • 1 0
 So pre-2020 Stumpjumpers: you paid 9K$ to get some lazy carbon in there.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy How are you liking those Bontrager Rally shoes?
  • 7 6
 $9500...
  • 3 0
 Specialized SWorks have always caught my eye. I like what Specialized have done with the new Stumpy including it's lightweight, as many other bikes just keep getting heavier and heavier (at least 30-35lbs). Some of us want a do-it-all (flickable & light) trail bike, and not some big enduro sled to plow through everything. This bikes fits that perfectly and it looks like so much fun to ride...except the price $14,000 CAD. Seriously???
  • 1 0
 the drive trains pretty
  • 1 1
 Mike, you forgot :
Cons : "Did you see how much it cost ?"
  • 8 11
 "cycling needs to be more inclusive to other genders, races, and creeds!" - Cycling industry

also cycling industry "hey check out our line up of bikes that starts at $3000! get yours soon, peasants"
  • 7 4
 Anybody can buy a bicycle and ride it. What is this nonsense about not being inclusive?
  • 1 2
 There are more affordable bikes than these here, just look at last years affordable trail bike field test (or buy used).
  • 9 3
 @JohanG: your average full suspension bike ranges between $1.5-2k, not including taxes and shipping charges/build fees. Unless you are pulling in over 2k a month, then that purchase can be pretty painful as a start up cost for a new sport (comparing to other sports like surfing and snowboarding where the price for a new board is around $400-800).
and sure you can buy a used bike, but you forgo any warranties guaranteed by the manufacturer and you also incur the risk of inheriting any structural/mechanical issues with the bike.

All that being said, my only point is that the cycling industry is constantly pushing for more inclusivity, without acknowledging that most riders, especially riders with full suspension bikes with newer tech, are in the mid to upper economic brackets. They don't want to acknowledge the financial exclusivity of the sport because that wouldn't help their marketing strategy or image, since they want to be "for everyone". Instead they push the topic as a social issue, rather than an economic one. But at least in my experience, as a rider and cycling industry insider, nobody has every said to me "I would get into cycling but there isn't enough [insert demographic] riders, so I don't feel welcome". 99.99% of people tell me the reason they don't get into mountain biking is the cost of entry.
  • 6 2
 @XIVXV: Sure, if you are willing to compromise on features, brand recognition/accessibility, and overall bike condition. The affordable bike field test only had 3 bikes under $2k, one of them being a hard tail. Granted there are some great bikes for cheap, Marin is leading the charge in affordable full suspension bikes from my experience, but that doesn't change the fact that getting started in a sport for $1.5k is still a big nut for lots of people to cover. And the industry acting like other social factors have a greater impact is just sort of dishonest in my opinion.
  • 4 3
 @TotalAmateur: So the snowboard analogy- what a joke- how much do lift tickets cost now a days?

Yea I never mountain biked before buying my first FS. Sorry but your post is a load of crap.

There was a guy trying to create a riding destination on his land in VT back in the 90's. Camping, food, beer etc.. Made all kinds of cools trails with neat features. Anyway, the point is he could outride any of us that showed up with nice high $ equipment on his extremely old crap that many people would have laughed at.

High end bikes are nice and I love mine, but not needed to enjoy the sport. I'd argue many of us have gotten to the point of chasing gear that we aren't enjoying as much as the person still riding his 90's mountain bike oblivious to all the new shit.
  • 3 2
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: that's a fair point about snowboarding, but in my defense a lift ticket last year to the local mountain was only 250 for the year. so, still cheaper. And that still doesn't negate the argument about surfing.

And ya most people don't go right for the full sus bike you're right, most people borrow a friends or ride some loaner until they're able to spring for the nicer ride. But nonetheless, most people aren't going to go right for the fully rigid steel frame 26 inch bike, despite the fact that some dude in Vermont can crush other Yeti riders on his.

And my point isn't that high end bikes are the only option, but rather that if someone goes to look at a bike that they'd need to do all the cool shit they've seen on redbull and pinkbike, they're not going to go buy a Trek Wahoo. You might be right that ignorance is bliss, that still doesn't change the fact that most people that dont get into cycling don't do it because of the cost to start, not because of social or demographic related issues.


Sorry, but your response was crap. You didn't seem to really understand my point so I hope you do now xox
  • 1 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: I get it nobody wants to admit that they're part of an elite sports group that excludes those with less financial flex. But hypothetically, what do you think would make a greater impact on the number of total cyclists: more riders of that identify as minorities, or lower price points to get started?

Be honest.
  • 1 1
 @TotalAmateur: You're argument is still crap. Want to know how I got back in? 2 for $300 special at performance bikes- remember them.
Got one for me and one for my wife. As we progressed we slowly bought up to the next level bike.

Cost isn't keeping someone from mountain biking that wants to.
  • 1 1
 @TotalAmateur: "And my point isn't that high end bikes are the only option, but rather that if someone goes to look at a bike that they'd need to do all the cool shit they've seen on redbull and pinkbike, they're not going to go buy a Trek Wahoo."
The beginners who go in looking for a bike they'd "need to do all the cool shit they've seen on redbull and pinkbike" are probably not mountain biking's long term growth market.

I didn't get into mountain biking until later in life than I wish I did, partially because bikes were more expensive than I thought was reasonable for me at the time. So that supports your point. On the other hand, I have multiple friends who were poorer than me growing up and were out shredding.

And some of the best riders I know grew up riding BMX, which is much cheaper for entry, then getting mountain bikes later.

But really what you're pointing to is a problem without a solution if we keep your conditions. You're just not going to ever have a "cheap" bike that's Redbull ready. Getting prices for good full suspension bikes down to $400-$800 just isn't really feasible. I do think that there is room for for a goodish, modern geo, cheap, mass produced hardtail in this market.
  • 2 1
 @TotalAmateur: Also add: I think often times the price to buy in is less prohibitive than the price to try it out. If you don't have anyone to borrow a bike from, you are putting down a lot of money for gear for a sport you don't yet know you love. I think a hardtail with a one year buyback/trade in guarantee for some portion of the purchase price could be really useful in recruiting new riders.
  • 2 0
 @XIVXV: even those affordable bike ranges can be expanded across many brands. How hard is it to spec tapered head tubes and boost/axle spacing vs not. Building a value bike that can be upgraded with better spec is not improbable. The low-end crap sold is half the cost or less than the acceptable entry level standards from many respectable manufacturers.

Most beginners don’t care about weight or spec when most buy their first bike but if they stick with it they realize they have to ditch that first bike vs upgrading a few things to match their growing skill set without going into debt or saving every nickel. Margins rules and bike mfg don’t want to hand the upgrade $$ to other parts manufacturers.

Why can I get a tasty Veggie burger in my neighborhood for basically the same price as sodium loaded crap from fast food restaurants? It is because the dumbed down quality can be pushed by the industry and the clientele don’t demand it. Can you say “socio-economic gaps?”
  • 1 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: you still had to upgrade which is my whole f*cking point!! You didn't stay on the $150 bike did you?? Your subjective experience doesn't change the fact that getting a decent full suspension bike is expensive af, and most people can't afford it. I'm happy for you and your wife you guys should go celebrate, but it doesn't change my point that the industry would get WAY more new riders if they just had lower price point bikes. Seriously how are you arguing with me that lower priced bikes would mean more riders? Are you that ignorant you just want to argue with anything??
  • 1 1
 @MarcusBrody: except we are because certain brands keep putting out high quality low cost full sus bikes, like Marin for one. None of what you said negates my point that cheaper bikes would bring more riders into the sport than any demographic changes.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: Ya some program like that would help, my point is that the industry is focused on "how do we get more of X demographic in the sport" when they are ignoring the fact that cheaper bikes would get people from EVERY demographic riding. it's not rocket science idk how you guys are having such a hard time with this concept.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: "The beginners who go in looking for a bike they'd "need to do all the cool shit they've seen on redbull and pinkbike" are probably not mountain biking's long term growth market."
I can tell you from experience that the rising popularity of free riding and downhill media directly impacted bike purchases, and most people are smart enough to know that buying a $200 bike from walmart isn't going to cut it.
  • 1 1
 @TotalAmateur: Ah, I see. Thanks for explaining that to me. Your argument is even more moronic than I could have imagined.
  • 2 0
 @TotalAmateur: " except we are because certain brands keep putting out high quality low cost full sus bikes, like Marin for one. None of what you said negates my point that cheaper bikes would bring more riders into the sport than any demographic changes."

I agree that Marin's base model Rift Zones are great value for a very decent full suspension bike, but they're still 2x-4x the price range you tossed out.

Again, I don't think anyone necessarily disagrees that there would be more people trying mountain biking if high end mountain bikes cost $400. It's just not feasible. It's like saying that there'd be more people into sports car racing if race cars cost $2000. It's true, but there are just constraints that will prevent it from happening that go way beyond corporate greed.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: sick comeback bro. really proved your point.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: I agree it might not seem feasible, but I think bike companies are like any other in that they put a premium on profits and margin gains on each sale/model. So these companies trying to figure out how to reach more new riders and get more market share, are going to spend more on marketing (albeit a lesser cost than dropping price on bikes) to get more riders as opposed to seeing what the bare minimum for production cost and subsequent turnover is. I've worked in the industry most of my adult life, and my insider discounts would be between 40-50% of bike MSRP, sometimes 30% off cost depending on the brand. Most brands have a cost of between 50-65% of their MSRP, so if they make a bike that sells for $5k, we would buy them for around 2.5-3k, which means their COG for producing the bikes should be somewhere south of $2k, maybe even lower.
My point is, if you want higher sales volumes, you need to either somehow increase your market share via marketing efforts or lower your price point to capitalize on more sales. Both are essentially a financial loss, but one of them (in my opinion) seems WAY more effective in driving sales. Even from an independent bike shops perspective, what would drive more people into the store; a sale or an article on female/minority riders. My money is on the former.
  • 1 1
 @MarcusBrody: bottom line I don't think their marketing efforts are effective long term because desire doesn't negate fiscal barriers.
  • 3 3
 Single pivot hahahhahahha
  • 1 0
 Cons: No valve caps.
  • 1 1
 Man those rear triangle top tubes look weedy....
  • 4 5
 Just get an Orbea Occam for half the money.
  • 2 4
 Hey how about reviewing a Comp model for a change instead of the over-priced dentiSt-Works model?
  • 3 6
 put 27.5 wheel on back of 2018 pivot switchblade. rides amazingly
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