Specialized surprised everyone with just how extreme the numbers were on its latest Stumpjumper EVO when it announced it back in 2018 – it’s both lower and slacker than its enduro bike.
At that point, the EVO was only available in aluminium. Following on from its success, the American brand has decided to commit it to carbon fibre and offer the flashier, and pricier, EVO Pro you see here.
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro 27.5 frame
Just like the alloy version, the Stumpy EVO Pro is available with 650b or 29in wheels and in two sizes (S2 or S3). I opted for the smaller-wheeled bike in the S2 size. This offers a generous reach of 465mm yet, thanks to the short 400mm seat tube, plenty of standover height – perfect for shorter riders looking for a lengthier bike.
The head angle is seriously slack at a smidge under 63 degrees and the wheelbase long at 1,230mm (in the low setting). A 76-degree seat angle helps make pedalling as efficient as possible, while the 440mm chainstays keep your ride position well-centred between the wheels without losing too much in terms of playfulness.
A chip at the base of the shock allows you to switch between high and low geometry settings, altering the head and seat angle by 0.5 degrees and the bottom bracket height by 6mm. In the low setting, the bottom bracket is a potentially pedal-clanging 324mm off the ground.
Unlike the aluminium EVO, this top-spec carbon model comes with a coil shock as standard, so be prepared for a little extra messing about when setting things up.
I appreciated the inclusion of SRAM’s excellent, powerful four-pot Code RSC brakes. Russell Burton
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro 27.5 kit
While the kit bolted to the EVO Pro is good, it’s not quite the drool-worthy spec I’d expect for close to £7,000 / $7,000.
Although the SRAM GX Eagle transmission and Fox 36 Performance Elite GRIP2 fork work well, I expected to see its pricier counterparts for this kind of cash.
SRAM’s powerful Code RSC brakes are a highlight though, and I liked the responsive feel from the carbon-rimmed Roval wheelset.
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro 27.5 first ride impressions
As with any long and slack bike of this nature, suspension balance front-to-rear is key when setting it up.
While the 500lb spring on the DHX2 rear shock provided the right amount of sag (30 percent) for me, at 68kg, I needed to add quite a bit of low-speed compression damping to keep the EVO propped up through high-load turns.
Once I managed to find the balance sweet-spot though, the Stumpy EVO felt natural and easy to ride at speed.
A coil shock is fitted as stock, which adds set-up hassle if you need a different weight spring. Russell Burton
Considering its dimensions, the responsive pop that this stealth carbon bomber gives is impressive. While the supple back-end tracks the terrain smoothly, there’s no lethargy or lag when you want to launch skyward or skip from line to line, making flatter trails surprisingly fun.
It climbs well enough too, but you’ll want to lock the shock out to stop the back end bobbing.
The low-slung bottom bracket boosts confidence and fluidity when slinging the bike from corner to corner, but you need to time your pedalling to perfection with your feet so close to the ground (or stick it in the higher setting).
Push too hard in a turn and you’ll quickly find the limits of the Specialized Butcher tyres though. While they work well enough in soft mud, they lack cornering confidence on hardpack trails when you start trucking on.
The supple back-end tracks the terrain smoothly making flatter trails surprisingly fun. Russell Burton
As you’d expect, it’s on steeper trails that the Stumpy EVO comes into its own.
Here, its long proportions help to bolster confidence when the going gets really rowdy, and both the front and rear ends feel composed and controlled when you most need them to.
You might want to switch the tyres for some that are a little tackier though, to make the most of its exuberant nature.
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro 27.5 early verdict
The new carbon Stumpjumper EVO exudes confidence, especially when things get steep, but the tyres struggle when pushed hard.
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro 27.5 geometry (S2)
Seat angle: 76 degrees
Head angle: 63.5 degrees
Chainstay: 17.32in / 44cm
Seat tube: 15.75in / 40cm
Top tube: 24.21in / 61.5cm
Head tube: 4.33in / 11cm
Fork offset: 1.46in / 3.7cm
Trail: 5.39in / 13.7cm
Bottom bracket drop: 1.3in / 3.3cm
Bottom bracket height: 12.76in / 32.4cm
Wheelbase: 48.35in / 1,228mm
Stack: 23.66in / 60.1cm
Reach: 18.31in / 46.5cm