Ooooooh, what have Specialized cooked up this time? The new Stumpjumper is here attracting strange stares with its funky asymmetrical frame. There's a lot to talk about with the new bike including a new short travel option and updated geometry. We've been riding it, here are our thoughts so far.
The not-so-minor details
Small improvements to an already brilliant bike.
Charges even harder.
Lighter, stiffer, longer, hotter.
No more proprietary parts.
None at this stage.
From the company that brought us the first mass-produced mountain bike in the early 80s with the same name, Specialized announce the newest generation of the iconic Stumpjumper.
Three Stumpjumpers, no more Camber.
There will be three versions of the Stumpjumper available; a new Stumpjumper Short Travel, regular Stumpjumper and the return of the Stumpjumper EVO – aluminium frame only at this stage – with longer travel and burlier spec – All of them are available in both 29” and 2.75” versions, with a women’s short travel and regular too.
The lady-spec is available on the 27.5” and 29” short travel (ST) Stumpjumpers. These have 130mm travel front and rear on the smaller wheels, and 130mm front and 120mm rear with 29” wheels. These models replace the Camber (or going back a couple more years, the women’s Rumor). The 27.5” long travel (150mm front and rear) Stumpjumper is available with a women’s spec, but the 29” long travel Stumpjumper (150mm front, 140mm rear) is only available with a unisex build.
In Australia, we’ll see the 27.5” ST Comp model available in alloy only (AUD $2,700 and $4,000), the 29” ST up to the Carbon Comp model, and the 27.5” Comp (alloy, long travel, $4,000). If you want to ride a higher spec or different frame colour, you’ll need to look at the unisex range and custom it up.
Alright, so what is new?
Most unmistakably the frame is asymmetrical, while Specialized informed us that this new asymmetrical design was essential to increasing of the frame’s stiffness in combination to a loss of weight, we don’t bother, it looks modern and sets it apart from the rest.
The rear shock sits off to the side about 1cm, you can run a coil shock if you wish and the gear cable and rear brake line pass through the new ‘Side Arm’ which in turn frees up space in the SWAT storage space, for a 20% larger burrito to be carried on rides.
Other notable new bits include a new chainstay protector to cut down on chain slap noise, the bottom bracket is threaded, and geometry is adjustable by flipping a chip in the lower shock mount.
Seeya, proprietary bits.
In bigger news however in an interesting move, surely driven by consumers and dealers, the new rear shock on the Stumpjumpers are 100% standard and metric sizes, no more Specialized-only specifications and their Shock Block lower mounts. The handy suspension setup system Auto Sag has also gone in favour of creating more space for negative air volume inside the shock.
It has to be longer, lower, slacker, right?
Not entirely. Regarding geometry compared to the outgoing Stumpjumper, the new frame is very similar, looking at the two geometry charts we see that the new one is a touch longer in the reach and half a degree slacker in the head angle.
To give you an indication, the medium-sized 29er we have on test is 20mm longer overall, but the chainstay measurement of 437mm remains the same as the previous model across all frame sizes.
Standover height is lower thanks to the ‘Side Arm’, and the new models come with shorter stems.
Anyhow all the details and numbers are all over the net, check it out here if you want it all.
How does it ride?
Well, it’s not like we had any major complaints with the outgoing Stumpjumper, that’s for sure. On the trail, the bike is very easy to get along with; it strikes a delicate balance between its ability to ride like a maniac or ride conservatively, comfortably and efficiently.
Last year this model came with 2.3” tyres, now we have 2.6” of proper rubber, and on the trail we really let it hang out. A 2.6″ Butcher tyre on the front is a sure way to improve your cornering speeds! The longer reach puts more bike in front of you, too, giving you greater stability downhill.
Forgive us if we sound like a broken record, but what else is there to say? The Stumpjumper is hard to pass up as an ideal all-rounder. And in classic Specialized style, there is no stone unturned in the quest to deliver the latest and greatest; it’s totally dialled.
This is a great bike, though it might not be exceedingly different than the outgoing version, it has a few notable improvements that will keep it at the front of the game, and the type of mountain bike worth considering if you’re after a brilliant all-rounder trail bike.