Among the many new bikes that Specialized launched back in August were the particularly interesting EVO models. These are tweaked and tuned versions of existing Specialized bikes, which have been beefed up to boost their abilities. It’s exactly the kind of thing that people do with their own bikes, only Specialized can change frames as well as parts.
Since the 140mm-travel (5.5in) Stumpjumper FSR came along, people have been wanting a model with slacker angles and bigger tyres. If you’re one of them, wait no more…
Ride & handling: Pumped-up Stumpjumper FSR really delivers on the trail
The Stumpjumper EVO is a real trail tamer. The revised geometry gives it a mini-downhill-bike feel, but with a steep seat angle, adjustable seatpost, twin-ring transmission setup and reasonable weight, it’s ready to ride all day.
While regular Stumpys are fitted with Specialized’s inertia-valve BRAIN shock, the EVO gets a custom Fox RP23 instead. While the BRAIN is a pretty clever bit of kit, it’s never found favour with riders who like to work the trails – and the bike – to get the most out of them, so doing without it should be a popular move.
The custom Fox shock features a kind of reversed ProPedal lever. Instead of the three-position dial controlling the amount of platform damping when the lever’s on, here the dial controls what happens when it’s off. Effectively you have a ﬁxed compression setting for climbing, and three low-speed compression settings for descending.
If you want to point and shoot, leaving it fully open will deliver maximum plushness. But if you like to work the trail, launching off roots and lips, a ﬁrmer setting will give the bike a little bit of ‘pop’ to help things along.
Frame & equipment: More travel with custom tuned shock, plus big tyres and adjustable seatpost
The EVO has a little more travel than the regular Stumpjumper FSR – up 5mm to 145mm (5.7in) at the back, up 10mm to 150mm (5.9in) at the front thanks to a Fox F150RL QR15 fork – but that’s not what makes such a difference to the bike’s capability.
While it may closely resemble the standard Stumpy, the EVO’s M5 aluminium frame is unique to it, with revised geometry and some extra features. The key change is that the head angle has been knocked back to 67 degrees. It also has a slightly lower bottom bracket, and ISCG mounts that aren’t found on the regular bike.
Choose the Stumpy EVO as your weapon and you’ll get a bunch of good stuff, such as the custom SRAM carbon cranks with 24/36t chainrings and a bashguard. You also get Roval Traverse wheels with 26mm wide rims.
Specialized’s Command Post is a remote adjustable seatpost with three positions – right up, slightly down and way down. The release lever is integrated into the inboard locking collar on one of the grips (you can run it either side).