I often tell customers that if I had to pick a single bike from the sales floor to do a long-distance backcountry ride one day, followed by laps at the bike park the next, I would choose a Specialized Stumpjumper Evo. It’s the dream of every cyclist to have a bike that climbs efficiently and descends effortlessly. While modern trail bikes have begun to close the gap between these two characteristics, there are few that have done so to the same success as the highly adjustable Stumpjumper Evo. Featuring two flip-chip positions, three headset positions, and the option to run a mixed wheel set-up with Specialized's MulletLink, the Stumpjumper Evo provides a platform that can be adjusted to accommodate a wide variety of riding styles and preferences.
To an untrained eye, our operations manager Joey and receiving agent Galen have almost identical bikes. Both have centered their builds around the Satin Aluminum/Gunmetal Stumpjumper Evo Alloy. Upon closer inspection, the similarities end at their frames (with the exception of a few select components). Having a background in XC, Joey designed his build in pursuit of the perfect balance between efficient climbing characteristics and apt descending capabilities. Galen’s build is far more gravity-focused, less concerned with counting grams in favor of uncompromising performance when pointed downhill. Their distinctly different riding styles have created a first-hand representation of the wide range of adjustability the Stumpjumper Evo offers.
Frame: Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy
Shock: Fox Float X Performance
Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate
Wheels: Hope Pro 4, Raceface ARC 30 front, ARC 30 Heavy-Duty rear
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity front, Schwalbe Big Betty Super Gravity rear
Drivetrain: GX derailleur, GX cassette, GX cranks, XX1 chain
Pedals: OneUp Aluminum
Brakes: Code RSC, 200mm rotors
Cockpit: OneUp Carbon 35mm/800mm bar, Chromag HiFi 35/35mm stem, Deity Knuckleduster grips
Dropper: PNW Loam Dropper 200mm
Saddle: Specialized Phenom Comp 155
Frame: Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy
Shock: Push Industries ElevenSix
Fork: 160mm RockShox Pike Ultimate
Wheels: Hope Pro 4 Hubs, Revel RW30 Rims
Tires: Specialized Butcher Trail T9
Drivetrain: Sram XX1 AXS derailleur, XO1 cassette, Cane Creek eeWings cranks
Pedals: Shimano XT
Brakes: Code RSC 200mm front, 180mm rear
Cockpit: OneUp 20mm/770mm bar, Tenet Nora V2.5 37mm, Deity SlimFit grips
Dropper: OneUp 180mm
Saddle: Specialized Power Arc Expert 143
Based on Specialized’s S-Sizing chart, both Joey at 5’10”, and Galen at 6’1” could ride either an S4 or S5. Joey felt right at home with an S4, while Galen spent more time deliberating between sizes. Galen eventually found the sweet spot to be an S5 with a 35mm Chromag HiFi stem. Taking advantage of the adjustable platform the Stumpjumper Evo offers, Joey’s bike is in the “high” flip-chip setting with the “steep” headset position. These settings make for a bike with a more conservative 65.5-degree headtube angle that matches that of the 130mm travel Stumpjumper when in its high setting. Meanwhile, Galen runs his bike in the “high” position while using the neutral, 64.5-degree headset position. Galen has found this neutral headset setting paired with the Zeb to be the ideal position for longer pedals but plans to experiment with a slacker configuration at the bike park this summer.
The wide range of adjustments is what makes the Stumpjumper Evo stand out from other bikes in its category. With a little effort, the Evo can be set up to one of its six possible configurations. In its steepest configuration, the headtube angle is at 65.5-degree with options for every half-degree increment down to its slackest 63-degree positioning. In other manufacturer lineups, this range of geometry is typically seen represented across several models of bike. Impressively, Specialized has been able to offer the same range with just a single frame.
Both riders have detoured from the Fox 36 that Specialized specs on its complete builds. A silver 160mm RockShox Pike Ultimate sits at the front of Joey’s build, clearly stating his intentions of turning the Stumpjumper Evo alloy into a dangerously well-rounded build, with an emphasis on climbing capabilities. On the contrary, Galen has opted for a 160mm Rockshox Zeb Ultimate, the stiffest single crown fork available in Rockshox’s lineup, something usually seen on enduro race machines.
After initially getting familiarized with the bike using a Fox Float X, Joey decided to further customize his build with a Push Industries ElevenSix. Designed, engineered, and manufactured out of their headquarters in Colorado, Push has been synonymous with high-end Fanatik custom builds. While the ElevenSix will outweigh his previous Float X, Joey believes the ride quality it will offer is worth every gram. Along with its Dual Overhead Compression Valves, Joey has the option to independently tune two separate compression circuits. He is currently using the factory Plush DH mode and Firm Climb mode with a 500lb spring.
Joey has chosen Revel’s lightweight Fusion Fiber rims laced up to a set of Hope Pro 4 hubs, paired with Specialized’s Butcher T9 rubber front and rear. The tires are one of the weight penalties on Joey’s build. He could certainly cut some grams running a faster-rolling setup but opts for outright traction instead.
Unconcerned with saving weight and in keeping with the alloy theme, Galen’s build rolls on Raceface Arc 30 rims paired to the same Hope Pro 4 hubs. A combination of Schwalbe’s Magic Mary and Big Betty with Super Gravity casing supply ample traction. Further cementing his intentions of a hard-hitting trail bike, Galen runs a CushCore insert in the rear tire to mitigate any harsh rim strikes or flats.
Looking at the builds side-by-side it's apparent that Galen took a more budget-minded approach, outfitting his bike primarily with the Sram GX drivetrain components (with the exception of the black XX1 chain). Sram’s GX level of components has established itself as the workhorse of the Sram lineup, providing no-nonsense performance and reliability at a cost-effective price point. Flexing his managerial muscle, Joey’s build displays a mix of Sram AXS XX1 shifter and derailleur, a gold KMC chain, and Cane Creek’s eeWing titanium cranks. Sram’s AXS technology eliminates the need for a shift cable, simultaneously cutting weight and tidying up the cockpit area. Cane Creek’s eeWings are desired by many for their strength and lightweight construction; it also just so happens that they perfectly complement the Satin Aluminum/Gunmetal alloy frame.
Contact Points: Fulfilling typical mountain biking stereotypes, Joey runs Shimano XT SPD pedals in his pursuit for XC glory while Galen uses OneUp’s aluminum flat pedal on his more gravity-focused machine. Both riders have chosen Deity grips, albeit different models. Joey runs Deity’s newest model, the low profile Slimgrip while Galen has opted for the beloved Deity Knuckleduster. Specialized handles the saddles for both builds with Joey opting for a Power Arc Expert 143 while Galen is most comfortable with a Phenom Comp 155.
Similarities: When a component is highly regarded and versatile enough that it is shared between two builds of differing intentions it’s worth taking note of. Both bikes are equipped with Hope Pro 4 hubs and OneUp Component’s carbon handlebars. Hope’s Pro 4 hub is a shop favorite here at Fanatik, achieving a competitive price-to-performance ratio. On top of their affordable performance, the Pro 4 offers necessary long-term reliability in Bellingham’s relentless rainy season. When an odd bit of maintenance is needed these hubs are simple and straightforward to service.
The One Up Components carbon bar is one of the most frequently sold handlebars at Fanatik, so it’s not surprising that it was what both riders opted for. Joey went with the 20mm rise option, helping to weigh the front of his bike when climbing. He runs his bars cut to his preferred 770mm width.
Galen described himself as feeling “cramped laterally” on the S4 but felt that an S5 with a 35mm rise bar put him into a comfortable position on steeper descents. For the time being, Galen is running his bars at 800mm wide with the potential to trim them down in the future.
Both riders rely on Sram Code RSC brakes to slow them down on Bellingham’s steeps. A long-time staple in the realm of dual-piston brakes, the Code RSCs provide a lever feel with fantastic modulation while avoiding the abrupt on/off feeling of other options on the market. While not as “trail-oriented” as some other component selections Joey made, the extra stopping power is non-negotiable for the type of terrain he often rides. Being a lighter rider, Joey runs a 180mm rotor in the rear paired with his 200mm front, while Galen runs 200mm front and rear.
Riding these two bikes back-to-back would create an intriguing experiment. Even though they share the same frame, their suspension, geometry, and sizing would make for vastly differing feelings on trial. In its stock configuration, the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo is a capable all-mountain bike that will attract many riders with its competency climbing and descending. With its wide range of geometry adjustments, the capacity to personalize and tune the bike for your desired ride qualities is almost limitless. It’s not often that a frame is versatile enough to run either a Pike at a 65.5-degree headtube angle or a Zeb with a 63-degree headtube angle. Joey and Galen have inadvertently showcased the boundless room for personalization of the Stumpjumper Evo Alloy.
While the term “do it all bike” is overused in the cycling industry, the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo may be one of the most worthy bikes of that title. Capable of easily amassing single track miles while still being confidence-inspiring on rough descents, the Stumpjumper Evo is a true quiver killer. While aluminum is the material of choice for Joey and Galen, a carbon version is available for those looking to create the lightest build possible. Using our Custom Bike Builder, a 32lb Lyrik adorned carbon bike is well within reason. On the flip side, a mix-wheeled setup featuring a 63-degree headtube angle and a Fox 38 is equally doable. Put simply, as long as its tires are on dirt, the Stumpjumper Evo is happy to appease any setup philosophy and riding style.
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