Like many, I have always found a concerning amount of peace in going as fast or as high as I can on two wheels. I started with BMX, then fell in love with dirt jumping and downhill mountain biking. To be honest, I would be lying if I said I wouldn't love a mountain bike that would give me the best attributes from both worlds.
Recently I proposed the question 'If I could only choose one bike what would it be?'
We all dream of a bike that seems to be simultaneously good at everything but the reality is, there's always a give and take. To get the plush monster truck feeling of a full Downhill bike rig you sacrifice the flow and agility you'd get from a dirt jumper. If you want the agile more poppy feeling you'd get from a dirt jumper you sacrifice steadiness at high speeds on rough terrain.
For anyone, the ideal bike is play-full enough to mess around on some jumps but also steady enough for when you want to get serious and bomb some double-black tech. Throughout most of 2021, I experienced the ever-surprising abilities of the Stump Jumper Evo, easily the most fun bike I have ever had. From sessioning jumps with friends, to riding my local trails, racing DH, and just ripping around my town from time to time. The Stump Jumper Evo is easily the most well-rounded bike I've ever had.Over view
I’ve been riding my stumpy for 2 years now and I've had the opportunity to take it all over Washington and Vancouver. From bike parks like Whistler to local trails, the stump jumper has never disappointed. It’s shown to be more than capable of a fun time at the bike park but also well-rounded enough to take for a 10-20 mile pedal.TECH abilities
My Stump Jumper was a full 29er with 160 mill travel front and back, we could agree that much travel makes for a decently capable enduro-rated bike, but having 29-inch wheels front and back was the deal breaker. I found the bike suffering when it came to super rough areas with potholes and drops with bad landings but in areas that were a bit smoother, it accelerated. I found myself hopping in and out of lines with ease and in areas where sprinting was necessary it was much more efficient. FLOW abilities
Typically we associate full 29ers as being sluggish and unagile but after my first ride on the Stump Jumper Evo, my perspective completely changed. Im around 175 centimeters tall and own a large/S4 with a wheelbase of 1245mm. With this wheelbase, the bike feels extremely steady at high speeds but having full carbon-fiber wheels and frame makes it also extremely agile and fllicky in tight switchbacks and corners for example.
For the NW Cup finals, I had the goal of moving up from Category 2 to Category 1/junior expert. From July to September I profusely rode 4-2 days a week at Stevens Pass Bike Park and gained over 200 laps on double black tech lines 'Wookie' and 'Berzurker' During this time I not only gained a profound understanding of the bike's abilities but also the bike's extreme reliability. Throughout those rough 3 months, I never had a single mildly significant mechanical issue other than occasional flat tires. It was thanks to the bike's reliability and ability that I was able to win the race by 3 seconds and accomplish my goal.
Overall though, I could confidently say the specialized stump jumper is the most fun bike I've owned.
At the end of the day isn't that what it's all about anyway, having as much fun as you possibly can on two wheels?