Specialized's Stumpjumper FSR is a mainstay in the company's lineup, a bike that's designed to bridge the gap between an XC bike and a full-blown enduro race machine. Last season saw the introduction of the Stumpjumper 650b, signalling the official end of Specialized's reluctance to enter the mid-sized wheel market. For 2016 any hint of that hesitation is gone, and there are new versions of the 650b and 29” models, a tool storage solution that's unlike anything currently on the market, and even a 27.5+ option that's sure to raise some eyebrows. As the action packed week of Crankworx came to a close in Rotorua, New Zealand, we headed to the outskirts of town for a few days to get a closer look at the updated bikes, as well as spend some time on the trails with the athletes and employees who were instrumental in the design process.
No More EVO
In years past there had been two different versions of the Stumpjumper FSR: the standard configuration, and the EVO, which had slightly more travel and slacker geometry to suit the needs of aggressive riders. The EVO designation is gone for 2016, but the longer travel and relaxed geometry remain - both the 650b and 29” options have slacker head angles than ever before. Dropper posts are also standard equipment on every single version, all the way down to the base model aluminum Stumpjumper FSR Comp. The same goes for wide rims, with every model getting either alloy rims with a 29mm internal width, or carbon rims with a 30mm internal width. There are a total of five bikes for each wheel size, three with carbon front triangles, and two with full alloy frames. Prices
for the alloy version start at $2900, and carbon begins at $4300 USD.
With the exception of the Comp model, all of the Stumpjumpers come equipped with SRAM 1x11 drivetrains, and a RockShox Pike fork, either the RCT3 or the RC. Stopping duties are handled by Shimano's proven hydraulic brakes, and Specialized takes care of the tires with a Butcher up front and a Purgatory in the rear. Frame Details
The Stumpjumper's carbon front triangle maintains a similar aesthetic to the previous model, but now has internal cable routing via channels molded into the frame, and a more svelte look around the junction of the seat and top tube. When last year's Stumpjumper 650b came out it wasn't exactly a new bike - it was the front triangle of the existing 29er joined to a new rear end, with a spacer under the head tube to correct the geometry. That's no longer the case, and there's now a dedicated frame for each wheel size. The bridge that used to be between the seat stays has been removed, and the rear end stiffness now comes from the beefed up linkage instead.
Removing the seatstay bridge also helped create the tire clearance that was needed to go along with the shortened chainstays. Many of the Stumpjumper models are spec'd with 1x11 drivetrains, but for those that aren't, the removable 'Taco Blade' mount that first made an appearance on the Enduro 29 is included, which allows for big wheels and short chainstays to coexist with a front derailleur by way of a chainstay mounted plate.
The last few seasons have seen Specialized release a number of solutions designed to make it easier to ditch the hydration pack, such as bib shorts with extra pockets, a multi-tool that mounts to a water bottle cage, and even a chain tool that's stored in the headset topcap. On the carbon framed Stumpjumper's Specialized takes their SWAT (Storage, Water, Air, Tools) technology to the next level with the inclusion of a secret compartment built into the down tube, an ingenious way of creating additional storage for a spare tube, a pump, and maybe a few snacks (or to fill with rocks to prank an unsuspecting riding buddy).
Underneath the water bottle mount located on the down tube is a panel that can easily be removed by flipping a latch, granting access to the inside of the down tube. To keep items from rattling around against the frame, Specialized has developed a cloth wrap
that's specifically designed to hold a tube, and another one for a pump, and there's also a plastic plug in place a few inches down from the lower portion of the SWAT door opening that prevent items from dropping out of reach towards the bottom bracket shell.
The addition of this compartment does come with a 200 gram weight penalty, but Specialized's reasoning is that the less hassle it is to get out for a ride, the better, so why not have a bike that's ready to be ridden at a moment's notice? There's no need to scramble around gathering up a pack and tools when everything is already on the bike – just fill up a water bottle and head for the trails. Stumpjumper 650b
The Stumpjumper 650b now sits comfortably in the all-mountain category, with 150mm of travel front and rear and a relatively slack 67° head angle. Specialized has managed to shorten the Stumpjumper's chainstays even further, all the way to 420mm. There will also be a women's version of the Stumpjumper 650b called the Rhyme, which keeps the same frame geometry, but is spec'd with a shock that's been custom tuned for lighter riders, as well as a women's specific saddle and narrower bars. Ride Impressions:
It'd be fair to say this is the most capable Stumpjumper yet, a do-it-all bike that you wouldn't regret taking on a long XC ride, but one that could also be called into action for adventures on more technical trails. I've always found the Stumpjumper FSR to be an easy bike to get accustomed to, and that feeling remains with the latest version. If anything, it's more calm and collected in rough terrain than before, without a hint of twitchiness. I did end up needing to add a bit of air over what the rear shock's AutoSag feature had come up with in order to avoid finding the bottom of the travel on harsh compressions, but it was smooth sailing after that adjustment.
Compared to the longer travel Enduro 650b
that's currently on the market, the Stumpjumper 650b is quicker to accelerate when hammering on the pedals, and the handling feels a touch more precise when rapid direction changes are called for. Taking flight aboard the bike wasn't any trouble, and whether it was hitting up the man-made tabletops at the bottom of one of our test loops, or popping over the countless roots that stretched across the trails, the bike had a very neutral feel that made it easy to feel comfortable launching into the unknown. Stumpjumper 29
Like its smaller wheeled counterpart, the Stumpjumper 29 received the slacker head angle / shorter chainstay treatment, and now checks in with a 67.5° head angle and 435mm chainstays (the previous version measured in at 455mm). Travel remains the same as before, with 135mm in the rear and 140mm in the front. For the taller riders out there, Specialized will be offering an XXL version with a reach of 477mm. Ride Impressions:
The ride I took the Stumpjumper 29er on was a long out and back, with a good-sized climb and descent in each direction, and a refreshingly cool lake to jump in halfway through. After being on the carbon 650b Stumpjumper the previous day, switching to the bigger wheeled alloy version quickly brought to light the pluses and minuses of the wheel size and frame material. The ride of the aluminum tubing felt harsher than on the carbon frame, with more feedback being transmitted into my hands on rough, rocky sections of trail. At the same time, the bigger wheels saved me more than once, spanning the distance between two rocks rather than getting sucked in. Riders whose local trails are tighter and more technical will likely gravitate towards the 650b version, while those who live in locales where wide open, higher speed tracks are the norm will appreciate the stability of the bigger wheels at speed.
Stumpjumper 650b Geometry Pinkbike's Take:
There's a third addition to the Stumpjumper FSR family called the 6Fattie, the first full suspension 27.5+ bike from a major manufacturer. For those that aren't familiar with the concept, 27.5+ involves taking tires that measure 2.8" wide or greater, and mounting them on a wide rim. The result is wheels that have nearly the same height as a 29er, but with a greater contact patch. It certainly catches the eye, especially when the concept is brought to a full suspension bike like the Stumpjumper - the combination of 3.0” wide tires and a Boost 110 fork make it look almost cartoonish, a child's drawing of a mountain bike come to life.
The 6Fattie joins the line of 27.5+ hardtails that Specialized introduced at Sea Otter, and has 135mm of rear travel paired with a 150mm fork up front. While the Stumpjumper 650b and 29 both use Specialized's 142+ rear spacing (12 x 142 wheels fit without any issues), in order to achieve the clearance necessary for the wider tires Specialized chose to go with the emerging Boost standard for the 6Fattie, giving it a 12 x 148mm rear end. Rather than compromise the geometry in order to fit a front derailleur, the 6Fattie is designed to be run solely with a 1x drivetrain. The spec sheet currently has all of the 6Fattie bikes coming with either a 29 or 30mm inner width, but Specialized had a carbon rim with a 38mm internal width on display at Sea Otter, so it wouldn't be surprising to see that offered as an option in the future.
Who is the 6Fattie for? There's really no clear answer at this point, and every company seems to have a slightly different spin on what the purpose of a 27.5+ bike is. Some manufactures are positioning them as being best suited for bikepacking or adventure riding, while others are presenting them as simply another option in the ever-expanding realm of mountain bike possibilities. Specialized seems to be taking the latter approach - with 650b and 29" versions available as well, think of 27.5+ as another flavor to choose from when shopping for a new bike.
|On one of our test rides the skies decided to open up, dousing everyone with a warm summer's rain, and coating the trails with a thin layer of slippery, greasy mud. Trying to chase down Mitch Ropelato and Curtis Keene (the key word is trying) on those unfamiliar trails was when it all clicked - I wasn't really thinking about the bike, I was focusing on riding and seeking out lines that would deliver the maximum amount of enjoyment. A bike that doesn't require constant attention is the ultimate goal, and it seems that Specialized has done that with the Stumpjumper. It's well mannered, predictable, and best of all, there's room for a giant bag of Skittles in the down tube for those really epic adventures. - Mike Kazimer|