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Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp Review

A heavy-hitting longer travel trail bike with an innovative, highly adjustable geometry
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp
Photo: Laura Casner
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $4,300 List
Pros:  Highly adjustable geometry, adaptable for terrain or riding style, SWAT storage, plush suspension, very stable and confident descender
Cons:  Overkill for tame trails, Fox 36 Rhythm fork, moderate weight
Manufacturer:   Specialized
By Jeremy Benson, Joshua Hutchens  ⋅  May 4, 2021
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88
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 21
  • Fun Factor - 25% 9.3
  • Downhill Performance - 35% 9.4
  • Climbing Performance - 35% 8
  • Ease of Maintenance - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Stumpjumper EVO got a complete overhaul for 2021, taking it from a dedicated long and slack brawler to a genre-bending chameleon of a bike. 150mm of FSR suspension is paired with a 160mm fork and a frame with unprecedented geometry adjustments. The head angle can be adjusted in 1-degree increments from 63.5 to 65.5-degrees, and flip-chips in the chainstay pivots raise or lower the bottom bracket by 7mm, allowing the rider to choose the geometry that best suits their riding style and terrain, and easily switching back and forth. This burly bike is a super confident descender, a surprisingly good climber, and Specialized thoughtfully spec'd the Comp build we tested with shred-ready parts for a reasonable price.

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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $4,300 List$5,899 List$3,999 List$3,199 List$2,999 List
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Pros Highly adjustable geometry, adaptable for terrain or riding style, SWAT storage, plush suspension, very stable and confident descenderOutstanding all around performance, more capable on the descents than its predecessor, great climber, excellent buildConfident descender, stable at speed, reasonable price, efficient climber for how well it descendsAffordable, versatile, good build for the price, lively and playful, DW-Link suspensionAffordable, quality suspension, excellent tires, solid all-around performance
Cons Overkill for tame trails, Fox 36 Rhythm fork, moderate weightExpensive, still not a full-on enduro bike, a touch on the heavy sideTall seat tube limits dropper length, a lot of bike for mellow terrain, underpowered brakesHeavier weight, shorter travel-requires skilled rider in super aggressive terrainHeavy, may be overkill for some riders and locations
Bottom Line A heavy-hitting longer travel trail bike with an innovative, highly adjustable geometryThe new and improved Ripmo V2 is the best all-around trail bike we've ever testedA longer travel trail bike with respectable climbing abilities that excels at higher speeds and in aggressive terrainJust as versatile, fun, and playful as the carbon version in a more affordable but slightly heavier aluminum-framed packageThe aluminum framed Ibis Ripmo AF is an aggressive trail bike with a reasonable price tag
Rating Categories Stumpjumper EVO Comp Ibis Ripmo V2 XT Canyon Spectral 29... Ibis Ripley AF Deore Ibis Ripmo AF NX Eagle
Fun Factor (25%)
9.3
9.3
8.6
8.2
8.0
Downhill Performance (35%)
9.4
9.5
9.2
8.0
9.0
Climbing Performance (35%)
8.0
9.0
7.6
7.9
6.8
Ease Of Maintenance (5%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Stumpjumper EVO Comp Ibis Ripmo V2 XT Canyon Spectral 29... Ibis Ripley AF Deore Ibis Ripmo AF NX Eagle
Wheel size 29" 29" 29" 29" 29"
Suspension & Travel FSR - 150mm DW-Link - 147mm Triple Phase Suspension - 150mm DW-Link - 120mm DW-Link - 147mm
Measured Weight (w/o pedals) 31 lbs 14 oz (Large) 31 lbs (Large) 32 lbs 5 oz (Large) 33 lbs 3 oz (Large) 34 lbs (Large)
Fork Fox 36 Rhythm - 160mm Fox Float 36 Grip 2 Factory 160mm RockShox Lyrik Select RC 160mm Fox 34 Performance - 130mm DVO Diamond D1 160mm
Shock Fox Float DPX2 Performance Fox Float X2 RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ Fox Float DPS Performane EVOL DVO Topaz T3 Air
Frame Material FACT 11m Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber Aluminum Aluminum
Frame Size S4 (Large equivalent) Large Large Large Large
Frame Settings Flip Chip and Headtube angle N/A Flip Chip N/A N/A
Available Sizes S1-S6 S-XL S-XL S-XL S-XL
Wheelset Roval 29 alloy rims with Shimano Centerlock hubs, 30mm id Ibis S35 Aluminum rims with Ibis hubs, 35mm ID Race Face AR30 rims with Shimano MT400 hubs Ibis S35 Aluminum rims with Ibis hubs, 35mm ID Ibis S35 Aluminum rims with Ibis hubs, 35mm ID
Front Tire Specialized Butcher GRID TRAIL T9, 2.6" Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 2.5" Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.6" Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5"
Rear Tire Specialized Eliminator GRID TRAIL T7, 2.3" Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5" Maxxis Dissector 2.4" Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.6" Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5"
Shifters Shimano SLX 12-speed Shimano XT M8100 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle Shimano Deore 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX 12-speed Shimano XT M8100 Shadow Plus 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle Shimano Deore 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle
Crankset Shimano SLX 170mm Shimano XT M8100 32T Descendant 6K DUB 170mm, 32T Shimano Deore M6100 30T SRAM NX Eagle DUB 32T
Saddle Specialized Bridge Comp WTB Silverado Pro 142mm Ergon SM 10 Enduro Comp WTB Silverado 142mm WTB Silverado Pro
Seatpost X-Fusion Manic 170mm (S4/S5), 34.9 diameter Bike Yoke Revive (185mm size large) Iridium Dropper KS Rage-i 150mm(Large) KS Rage-i 150mm(Large)
Handlebar Specialized 6061 alloy, 30mm rise, 800mm width Ibis Adjustable Carbon 800mm (30mm rise) Canyon G5 Riser, 780mm Ibis 780mm Alloy Ibis 780mm Alloy
Stem Specialized Alloy Trail stem, 35mm bore Thomson Elite X4 Canyon G5, 40mm Ibis 31.8mm, 50mm Ibis 31.8mm 50mm
Brakes Shimano SLX 4-piston Shimano XT M8120 4-piston SRAM G2 R Shimano Deore M6120 4-piston SRAM Guide T 4 piston
Measured Effective Top Tube (mm) 625 632 636 630 631
Measured Reach (mm) 475 475 485 475 473
Measured Head Tube Angle 63-65.5 (adjustable) 64.9-degrees 65-degrees H/64.5-degrees L 65.5-degrees 64.9-degrees
Measured Seat Tube Angle 76.9-degrees 76-degrees 77-degrees H76.5-degrees L 76-desgrees 76-degrees
Measured Bottom Bracket Height (mm) 340 (adjustable with flip chips) 341 344 H/336 L 335 340
Measured Wheelbase (mm) 1247 1238 1251 1217 1239
Measured Chain Stay Length (mm) 438 (S1-S4) 435 437 432 435
Warranty Lifetime Seven Years Six years Seven Years Seven Years

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Stumpjumper EVO is a uniquely adjustable bike that allows the...
The Stumpjumper EVO is a uniquely adjustable bike that allows the rider to transform its character from an aggressive trail bike to a super slack and low downhill shredder and everything in between.
Photo: Laura Casner

Should I Buy This Bike?


Specialized consistently makes bikes that are easy to love, and the new Stumpjumper EVO is yet another fine example of that. While the previous version was a dedicated long, low, slack shred machine, the new model gives the rider a lot more options. This 150mm travel carbon-framed 29er is seriously ready for anything with a highly adjustable geometry, giving the rider the ability to dramatically alter the bike's character for different styles of riding or terrain. The head tube angle is easily adjusted a full 2-degrees in 1-degree increments from 63.5 to 65.5-degrees, and flip-chips in the chainstay pivots adjust the bottom bracket height by 7mm. This gives the rider 6 different setups to choose from so you can go set it up high and steep for trail riding one day, then switch it to low and slack for riding chairlifts at the bike park. The EVO is truly a shape-shifter that can be everything from a versatile long-legged trail bike to a completely downhill-oriented plow machine. This is an incredible amount of versatility for a single bike, and one of the most appealing aspects of its design. Not to mention the fact that this bike rips. It charges downhill with authority and the FSR suspension design smoothes anything in its path. It climbs quite well too for a 150mm travel bike, with a relatively stable and efficient pedaling platform.

Adjustability aside, the bike itself is a thing of beauty. Specialized has made a sleek-looking carbon frame with even more SWAT integration than before. In addition to the zippered tool sleeve, they also include a nifty 20 oz water bladder that fits into the frame in the curve at the bottom of the downtube, so now you can go on even longer rides without carrying anything on your back. The details are all very well sorted, and this bike is nearly silent on the trail no matter how rough it gets. The Comp build we tested hits a very competitive price point and comes ready to shred as hard as this bike was intended.

Specialized really crushes it from an integration and details...
Specialized really crushes it from an integration and details standpoint. You can now carry extra water inside the frame.
Photo: Laura Casner

The Ibis Ripmo V2 is a very similar bike in terms of suspension travel and geometry (with the EVO in is high and steep setting). Without the huge adjustability of the EVO, the Ripmo is more of a dedicated long-legged trail bike, though it's still plenty capable of dominating some enduro races. While it may not be quite as versatile as the EVO from an adjustment standpoint, we question how many riders will actually take advantage of that feature or need that range of adjustability. Both bikes are confident and composed on descents, though we feel the Ripmo is a touch more agile and responsive in tighter terrain and even mellower trails, while the EVO feels a little more eager to attack the fall line, especially when you slacken the head angle. Both bikes climb efficiently, although the Ripmo feels lighter and a little easier to handle, while the EVO has a slightly bigger and burlier feel. We think that most aggressive trail riders would be very happy with either bike, but those seeking incredible versatility through adjustable geometry should try and get their hands on the EVO. Riders after a longer travel trail bike that charges hard, climbs super well, and is still fun on less aggressive terrain should check out the Ripmo.

SWAT integration has been around for a few years now, but...
SWAT integration has been around for a few years now, but Specialized continues to refine and improve it.
Photo: Laura Casner

Frame Design


When Specialized updated the Stumpjumper models for the 2021 model year they didn't hold back. They created two completely redesigned models in the Stumpjumper and Stumpjumper EVO. They may have the same silhouette as the previous versions, but they are totally new and different. The EVO has a full Fact 11m carbon frame and features 150mm of FSR (Future Shock Rear) suspension. This design is a four-bar or Horst-Link system with the main pivot just above the bottom bracket, pivots on the chainstays forward of the rear axle, and a rocker link midway up the seat tube that compresses the shock that is attached to the top tube. The asymmetrical frame has a sidearm strut between the top tube and seat tube for extra torsional stiffness. It features SWAT storage in the downtube and comes with a zippered tool sleeve and a 20oz water bladder that fit neatly inside the frame. The bike also comes with a bottle cage attached to the SWAT door and a SWAT multi-tool. Full sleeve internal cable routing and molded chainstay and downtube protection round out the features of the frame. The frame is compatible with coil shocks, and Specialized offers a mullet-link for those who want to run a smaller back wheel without changing the bike's geometry.

The upper headset cup is easily adjusted to change the head angle in...
The upper headset cup is easily adjusted to change the head angle in 1-degree increments from 63.5 to 656.5-degrees.
Photo: Laura Casner

The EVO's geometry is one of its most interesting features. Specialized did an amazing job making this one of the most adjustable bikes on the market, and easily adjustable to boot. The head tube angle can be adjusted into three different positions one degree at a time from 63.5 to 65.5-degrees. This is done by switching the position of the eccentric upper headset cup and is relatively quick and easy. Additionally, a set of flip chips in the chainstay pivots can be switched between high and low settings to adjust the bottom bracket height by 7mm. These geometry adjustments essentially give you 6 distinct setup options.

Flip chips on the chainstay pivots raise or lower the bottom bracket...
Flip chips on the chainstay pivots raise or lower the bottom bracket height by 7mm.
Photo: Laura Casner

Specialized also revised their sizing, now called S-sizing, in an effort to have riders buy bikes based on desired handling characteristics. They come in six sizes, S1-S6, and are roughly equivalent to XS-XXL. All sizes have low standover heights, and the idea is that a rider could size up or down to match the reach and wheelbase with their riding style or terrain. We tested an S4 which has a 475mm reach and 1,247mm wheelbase. It has a 77-degree seat tube angle along with a 340mm bottom bracket height and 438mm chainstay/rear center length. Our test bike weighed in at 31 lbs 14 oz set up tubeless without pedals.

Design Highlights

  • Carbon frame only
  • 29-inch wheels
  • 150mm of FSR travel
  • Designed around a 160mm reduced offset fork
  • Highly adjustable geometry
  • SWAT integration
  • Internal cable routing
  • Molded chainstay and downtube protection
  • Complete builds ranging in price from $4,300 (test) to $10,000

The Stumpjumper EVO is a very confident descender, even in its...
The Stumpjumper EVO is a very confident descender, even in its steepest geometry setting.
Photo: Laura Casner

Downhill Performance


Sure, this bike is pretty well-rounded, but the Stumpjumper EVO is truly a standout on the descents. Its 150mm of rear-wheel travel and dialed FSR suspension design eats up chop, chunder, and drops, and it has a burly and aggressive feel that definitely borders on enduro. It thrives at speed and inspires confidence in steep and rough terrain. The adjustable geometry is an obvious highlight, giving the rider the option to set it up for anything from everyday trail riding, steeps, or days riding lifts at the bike park.


Specialized really didn't pull any punches when they redesigned the Stumpjumper EVO. They set out to make a bike for aggressive trail, all-mountain, and enduro riders, and we feel they really hit the nail on the head. Yeah, it's probably too much bike for many riders and locations, but they make the lighter, zippier 130mm Stumpjumper (non-EVO) for that market. Rather than pigeon-holing the new EVO as just a super aggressive downhill shredder like the previous version, the huge range of geometry adjustability lets the rider choose how they want this bike based on their preferences, expanding its appeal to a much larger group of riders. We've already mentioned the adjustments above, and it is actually quite remarkable how dramatically you can change the EVO's character for different riding styles and terrain.

The EVO had us seeking out the fall line and attacking descents with...
The EVO had us seeking out the fall line and attacking descents with confidence.
Photo: Laura Casner

In the high/steep setting, it's a versatile longer travel trail slayer that you can ride just about anywhere. Slacken the head angle by a degree or two, and you've got yourself an enduro or downhill plow machine. We tested it primarily in high/steep and were really impressed by its versatility and ability to charge hard. We also adjusted the head angle to the "neutral", 64.5-degree, setting for some steeps and skidders when we wanted to be a little more behind the front wheel. No matter the geometry setting, we found it to be incredibly stable at speed with a damp, ground-hugging feel. It also responds well to rider input, although its handling gets notably less responsive the slacker the head angle gets. We also didn't find it to be the most playful, but it certainly wasn't opposed to slapping corners or popping side hits when we weren't too busy feeling superhuman just charging down the fall line.

The Stumpy EVO is a pretty big bike. It can feel like a bit of a...
The Stumpy EVO is a pretty big bike. It can feel like a bit of a handful on tame trails or at lower speeds, but it really comes alive and thrives with a head of steam.
Photo: Laura Casner

With a 150mm of rear-wheel travel and a 160mm fork, the EVO is on the longer end of the travel spectrum for a trail bike and it definitely has an enduro bike feel. Its got enough travel to tackle gnarly terrain, drops, and bail you out of some questionable line choices, and the revised FSR suspension design feels totally dialed. Without going into mind-numbing detail, Specialized improved the kinematics (progressive leverage ratio and high anti-squat) to make the EVO feel incredibly supple off the top, smooth and calm over high-frequency chop and chunk, and forgiving on big hits with enough progression to recover well and prevent harsh bottom outs. It inspired the confidence to punch it straight through rock gardens and take it long off rock drops without ever feeling like it was getting bucked off line, wallowing, or hanging up. Perhaps just as impressive was how quiet it was in the rough stuff. The molded chainstay protection and full sleeve internal cable routing muted any bike noise other than the click of the freehub and the tires on the trail surface.

Specialized really nailed the details on the EVO. On-bike storage...
Specialized really nailed the details on the EVO. On-bike storage means you can keep weight off your back, and it is virtually silent on the trail.
Photo: Laura Casner

Despite being the least expensive option, the Comp build we tested is trail-ready and can totally back up this bike's aggressive trail slaying intentions. The least impressive aspect of the build has to be the Fox 36 Rhythm fork with the GRIP damper. Still, this fork is relatively supple with a sturdy chassis, but the GRIP damper leaves a bit to be desired and tuneability is somewhat limited. The Fox DPX2 Performance shock works just fine. The Shimano SLX 4-piston brakes are impressive and the 200mm front rotor helps boost the stopping power. The cockpit consists of Specialized branded bits, but it all comes together for a comfortable and responsive front end with plenty of steering leverage. The Specialized alloy wheels have a comfortable, damp ride quality and a 30mm inner rim width to work well with modern tire dimensions. The Specialized Butcher/Eliminator tire combo feels a little bit draggy, but they are a nicely matched pair that provides loads of cornering and braking traction. The GRID Trail casing feels relatively supportive and durable, and the new T9 and T7 rubber compounds seem like an improvement over previous models.

The Stumpjumper EVO climbs great for a bike that shreds downhill as...
The Stumpjumper EVO climbs great for a bike that shreds downhill as hard as it does. The steep/high geometry is best on the climbs, with dramatic changes to its handling in the slacker/lower settings.
Photo: Laura Casner

Climbing Performance


Considering how hard the Stumpjumper EVO charges the descents, it's a pretty darn good climber. Sure, there are similar bikes that climb slightly better, but it certainly exceeded our expectations. The FSR suspension design is relatively supportive and efficient, and this bike goes uphill better than any aggressive 150mm trail bike probably should. Of course, its length comes into play in tighter spaces and handling changes dramatically in the slacker and lower geometry settings.


On the climbs, one thing that really stood out was how calm the FSR suspension design was under pedaling forces while seated. From the saddle, it really seemed to isolate the pedaling forces well for a virtually bob-free experience over smooth terrain, and it opens up nicely over rough patches. Like previous versions of the Stumpjumper (and most bikes, honestly), out of the saddle efforts resulted in more noticeable pedal-bob. We climbed mostly with the shock in the open position on singletrack, which helped to keep the rear wheel glued to the ground. If we knew we'd be encountering any super rough sections or out of the saddle punches, the trail setting provided a bit more support, and firm was reserved for paved or fire road climbs.

The steep effective seat tube angle makes for great power transfer...
The steep effective seat tube angle makes for great power transfer and helps when tackling steep or technical climbs.
Photo: Laura Casner

The Stumpjumper EVO has a nice steep seat tube angle that props the rider up directly above the cranks for efficient power transfer and an up-top climbing position. Our S4 had a nice roomy cockpit and the seated pedaling position was comfortable and not too stretched out. We found the high/steep setting to be the best for climbing on trail as it provided the most responsive handling and pedal clearance. Even then it can feel like a bit of a handful in super tight terrain due to its length, and switchbacks and technical puzzles could be a bit of a challenge. When you slack out the head angle or lower the bottom bracket, the pedals feel dangerously close to the ground and its handling gets noticeably more sluggish, as is to be expected. Lower/slacker settings were fine on road climbs but felt a bit awkward on singletrack.

Seated or out of the saddle, the FSR platform feels supportive and...
Seated or out of the saddle, the FSR platform feels supportive and efficient.
Photo: Laura Casner

The components on the Comp build we tested gave us little if anything to complain about. The SLX 12-speed drivetrain works very well with crisp shifting and plenty of range for the steepest of climbs. The Specialized Bridge Comp saddle proved to be quite comfortable, as most Specialized saddles are, and was a pleasant platform to sit and spin away the miles. The Butcher and Eliminator tires didn't feel like the fastest rolling combo, but the Eliminator provides plenty of climbing traction and hooks up well on most surfaces.

Photo Tour


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Value


In the current market, we think the Stumpjumper EVO Comp is a solid value. This quality bike comes with excellent integration and features, and its super adjustable geometry essentially makes it three bikes in one. The build is pretty well sorted, and nothing needs to be upgraded to get out and shred the way this bike was intended to. It's more bike than a lot of riders need, but super aggressive trail riders and enduro racers will find a lot of value here.

Conclusion


If you're an aggressive rider who seeks one bike that can do it all, the Stumpjumper EVO is worth a good long look. This 150mm 29er's highly adjustable geometry basically makes it multiple bikes in one. You can set it up to be a versatile, long-legged trail bike, or slack it out to be a thoroughbred enduro race machine. With so much adjustability, you can really dial in the geometry to suit your riding style and terrain. This bike charges hard, climbs pretty darn well, and Specialized's attention to detail and SWAT integration help to set it apart from the rest of the field.

The Stumpjumper EVO is a very unique bike. It's a versatile...
The Stumpjumper EVO is a very unique bike. It's a versatile, hard-charging, aggressive trail bike with so much adjustability.
Photo: Laura Casner

Other Versions


Specialized makes the Stumpjumper EVO in four complete builds with the Comp build we tested as the least expensive, entry-level model. The three additional models range in component spec and price up to $10,000 for the top-of-the-line S-Works build.

Specialized also makes the Stumpjumper without the EVO treatment. This is less aggressive 130mm travel trail bike with a 140mm fork. It isn't nearly as adjustable as the EVO, but it is much lighter weight. The Stumpjumper comes in carbon and aluminum frames with complete builds ranging in price from $2,400 to $9,800.

Jeremy Benson, Joshua Hutchens