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2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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2021 Stumpjumper EVO Expert (Carbon/Oasis/Black)
2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert
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Need more info? View our Enduro / All-Mountain Mountain Bikes or Trail Mountain Bikes buyer's guides.

EVOLVED: The All-New 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

Further refinement, greater adjustability, and 10mm of additional travel highlight the new Stumpjumper EVO – a bike Specialized is calling 'The Ultimate Trail Bike.' From park laps to big pedal missions, Vital tested it in a wide variety of terrain.

Rating: Vital Review
EVOLVED: The All-New 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

The Stumpjumper EVO truly evolved in 2018, taking the long, low, slack mantra to new extremes for the brand. It was a different beast with a 63.5-degree head angle, super-low standover, lengthy reach, and was clearly made for getting rowdy. Fast forward to today and Specialized is back with a new generation that continues to push their boundaries but is far more accessible to more riders.

Join Vital MTB's Product Editor, Brandon Turman, in the video below for a look at everything that's been updated and his ride impressions, then keep scrolling for more information, pics, specs, and prices.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Improved suspension performance
  • Excellent control in all scenarios
  • Easily adjustable head angle and bottom bracket height
  • More SWAT downtube storage, including room for a new 22-ounce water bladder (go packless!)
  • Surprisingly good climber
  • Very quiet on the trail
  • Room to add or remove shock volume spacers
  • Cleanest, easiest internal cable routing on the market
  • Available in six sizes
  • Dialed details and frame protection
  • Can be set up 27.5 x 29-inch mullet-style
  • Tricky to preload the headset just right
  • Rear tire punctures in rocky terrain
  • SWAT door can be difficult to open and close
  • Requires aftermarket link purchase for mullet configuration

Stumpjumper EVO Highlights

  • 29-inch wheels
  • 150mm (5.9-inches) rear travel // 160mm (6.3-inches) front
  • FACT 11m full carbon frame
  • Asymmetrical design
  • 210x55mm shock
  • Short 44mm offset fork
  • SWAT Door integration with storage pouch, water bladder, bottle cage, and tool
  • Sealed cartridge bearing pivots
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Fully enclosed internal cable routing
  • Boost front and rear axle spacing
  • Replaceable UDH derailleur hanger
  • Frame Weight: 6.1-pounds (2,750g, claimed, Size S4, with shock and hardware)
  • Complete Weight: 30.8-pounds (14.0kg, actual, Size S3, Expert build, no pedals)
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"It’s your seat in the eye of the hurricane. And that’s good, ‘cause when shit starts flying on the trail, you’ll be zen in the middle of the mayhem." - Specialized

Geometry

Previously, the Stumpjumper EVO was offered in just two sizes - designated S2 and S3 - and now it comes in six sizes. That's a bigger size range than any other Specialized mountain bike. With reach values ranging from 408 to 528mm, it'll suit riders from 5' to 6'5" tall.

Thanks to low top tubes and seat tubes, you can choose a size that suits your style. Want to pop around? Opt for something shorter. Want to plow? Go bigger. The S5 and S6 also get an extra 10mm of chainstay length to keep balance in check as the front end grows. In addition to shorter stem and cranks, size S1 uses a shorter 210x50mm shock and gets a bit less travel up front at 150mm. Dropper post travel scales from 100-190mm across the size range.

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Adjustability was another key goal for Specialized. Thanks to a new Horst-link flip-chip with High and Low settings, you can adjust the bottom bracket up and down by 7mm. The lower setting also extends the chainstays 5mm.

Up front, the bike uses eccentric upper headset cups and a spherical lower bearing to give you three head angle positions in 1-degree increments.

"To be 'The Ultimate Trail Bike' means to rule for any rider style in any terrain. That’s a big ask. The way we deliver is through the most adjustable geometry we’ve ever offered on a trail bike."

Combining the two adjustments, you get six distinct geometry settings to suit any terrain. You can go from a slack, low shred sled to an all-day climber with a bottom bracket height from 331 to 343mm and head angle from 63 to 65.5-degrees. Both adjustments are well done and easy to do.

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High / Steep Configuration
Low / Slack Configuration

Suspension Updates

In the suspension department, the big goal was to add more comfort and control by bringing kinematic lessons learned from the Specialized Enduro. It's now more progressive with a more rearward axle path as the main pivot has been moved up a bit.

The new EVO’s leverage rate is derived from the Enduro’s progressive approach.
The axle path moves rearward initially, decreasing slow-speed hangup, then forward to decouple chain forces for big-hit performance.

The Rx shock tune was chosen to give you room to go up or down in volume spacer size and there are size-specific rebound tunes.

There is also a much wider clevis now, meant to put less stress on the shock and improve durability. Combined with the beefier rear triangle, altogether the rear end looks more fitting of a bike with the EVO name.

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There is no longer a 27.5-inch model of the EVO, but a geometry and kinematic-adjusted aftermarket clevis is available for those wanting to go mullet style with a 27.5-inch rear wheel and 29-inch front.

Tuned Stiffness

Stiffness tuning was a large part of the conversation this time around. Specialized worked closely with Loic Bruni in determining stiffness balance front to rear on their bikes to make the frame have enough give that it's comfortable, but not so much that it's something you notice. The sidearm chassis on the front triangle is a big part of this, and the shock is offset to the side just a bit.

Each size has been stiffness tuned, ensuring every rider experiences the same ultimate trail ride characteristics.

SWAT Update

I love that Specialized added 15-20% more storage inside the downtube SWAT compartment, making space for a custom 22-ounce SWAT Bladder that will extend your range. There's also a nice pouch for spares and a tool housed in the bottle cage.

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New Tires

In the spec department, the Butcher GRID Trail front tire has seen a major tweak with the move to a new, softer GRIPTON T9 rubber compound. This greatly improves the damping, making for a smoother ride and adding traction. Out back they've spec'd the faster-rolling Eliminator GRID Trail tire with a more durable T7 compound.

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On The Trail

In a lot of ways, the previous model was a bike whose front end wrote checks the back couldn't cash. The geometry would allow you to push hard, but the rear suspension struggled in rough terrain. I'm happy to report that they've made good on this front, substantially improving the suspension performance.

It now devours square-edges much better without any harsh kicks, is supple on small bumps for plenty of traction, decently supportive in turns and while pumping, and has sufficient bottom-out support for most riders. If you want more, there's room to add a bigger volume spacer. In the stock configuration, it has a predictable feel that pairs well with the FOX 36 fork, and the 10mm of extra travel front and rear makes a noticeable difference. It's not overly playful or overly plowy but strikes a nice balance without any surprises so you can focus on what's ahead.

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On the geometry front, the slack head angle helps slow things down when things are steep and deep, yielding excellent control. Paired with the new tire there is great front end grip and it retains some good cornering manners as well. Just lean it in and go.

I found that the Stumpjumper EVO pedals quite well with a lightweight feel, nice upright seated position, and no need for the shock's climb switch. I appreciated the ability to spin up some heinous high-country climbs with the 30-tooth chainring and new 52-tooth SRAM cassette. The rear end conforms to the terrain well without bobbing and blowing through, keeping good traction and a sense of efficiency that won't leave you gassed.

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If you're in tighter, flatter, rough, and chunky terrain, the high geometry adjustment makes a perceptible difference and can help quicken the steering and pick your pedals up off the ground.

Altogether this is a very comfortable, quiet, reassuring ride that is ready to roll out of the box. The only thing I'd ask for is a bit burlier casing on the rear tire, which is currently loaded up with tire plugs.

I love the convenience of the SWAT system, excellent frame protection in the places that count, fully-guided cable routing that goes in the front and out the back without hassle, and the fact that it's surprisingly good in the weight game.

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Build Kits & Pricing

Complete bikes are available in four standard builds, plus a limited-edition park model kitted out with a mullet setup and burlier fork. The Stumpjumper EVO also comes in a S-Works frameset option for those looking to create a custom rig.

S-Works
Pro
Expert
Comp
  • Stumpjumper EVO Comp - $4,099 USD
  • Stumpjumper EVO Expert - $4,899 (Tested)
  • Stumpjumper EVO Pro - $7,299
  • Stumpjumper EVO LTD - $7,799
  • S-Works Stumpjumper EVO - $9,899
  • S-Works Stumpjumper EVO frameset - $2,999
  • View complete specs and compare bikes in the Vital MTB Product Guide.

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What's The Bottom Line?

Is this "The Ultimate Trail Bike" like Specialized claims? The fact that it is highly adjustable makes it ready for a huge range of rides – whether it's a big backcountry mission, pointing it down some secret steeps, or a day at the bike park. For the descent-loving rider, it's a great pick and right up Vital MTB's alley. Specialized didn't leave anything on the table with this one, delivering the full package with dialed details throughout, great handling, and much-improved suspension performance.

Visit www.specialized.com for more details.

Vital MTB Rating

  • Climbing: 4.5 stars
  • Descending: 5 stars
  • Fun Factor: 5 stars
  • Value: 4 stars
  • Overall Impression: 4.5 stars - Outstanding

About The Reviewer

Brandon Turman - Age: 34 // Years Riding: 19 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 165-pounds (74.8kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a mechanical engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Video by Ben Kraushaar // Photos by Specialized and Harookz

Specifications

Product Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert
Model Year 2021
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6 View Geometry
Size S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
Top Tube Length 538 564 590 623 647 679
Head Tube Angle 64.5° 64.5° 64.5° 64.5° 64.5° 64.5°
Head Tube Length 95 95 105 115 125 135
Seat Tube Angle 78° 77.6° 77.2° 76.9° 77° 77°
Seat Tube Length 385 385 405 425 445 465
Bottom Bracket Height 335 (40 drop) 340 (35 drop) 340 (35 drop) 340 (35 drop) 340 (35 drop) 340 (35 drop)
Chainstay Length 438 438 438 438 448 448
Wheelbase 1167 1191 1216 1247 1285 1319
Standover 733 764 763 762 767 770
Reach 408 428 448 475 498 528
Stack 613 617 626 635 644 654
* Additional Info Measurements are in mm unless otherwise noted
Adjustable geometry with six different settings via chip-adjustable bottom bracket height and headset-cup adjustable head tube angle
Values listed are for geometry in the factory setting (High bottom bracket / Middle headset cup)
See product photos for additional geometry
Wheel Size 29"
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details FACT 11m full carbon with fully enclosed internal cable routing
Rear Travel 150mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPX2 Performance Elite, Rx Trail Tune, EVOL Air sleeve, 3-position adjustment with Open Mode adjustment
Size S1: 210x50mm, sizes S2-S6: 210x55mm
Fork FOX FLOAT 36 Performance Elite, GRIP2 damper, 15x110mm, 44mm offset
Fork Travel Size S1: 150mm
Sizes S2-S6: 160mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset Eccentric upper headset cups and a spherical lower bearing for three head-angle positions: Steep / Middle / Slack
Handlebar Specialized Trail, 7050 alloy, 8° backsweep, 6° upsweep, 35mm diameter, 30mm rise, 800mm width
Stem Alloy Trail, 35mm bar bore
Length on sizes S1-S2: 40mm, sizes S3-S6: 50mm
Grips DEITY Knuckleduster, black
Brakes SRAM Code RS, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm rotors
Brake Levers SRAM Code RS
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 Eagle, trigger, 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle,12-speed
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide Top guide
Cranks SRAM Descendant 7K, DUB
Length on size S1: 165mm, S2-S5: 170mm, S6: 175mm
Chainrings 30 tooth, steel
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB, threaded
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Cassette SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed, 10-52 tooth
Rims Roval Traverse 29 Alloy, 30mm inner width, hand-built, 2Bliss Ready
Hubs Front: Roval, sealed cartridge bearings, Boost spacing, 28 hole
Rear: Roval DT Swiss 360, 3-pawl design, SRAM XD driver body, Boost spacing, 28 hole
Spokes DT Swiss Competition Race
Tires Front: Specialized Butcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON compound, 29"x2.3"
Rear: Specialized Eliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON compound, 29"x2.3"
Saddle Specialized Bridge Comp, hollow Cr-mo rails
Width on sizes S1-S2: 155mm, sizes S3-S6: 143mm width
Seatpost X-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, remote SRL LE lever
Travel on size S1: 100mm, S2: 125mm, S3: 150mm, S4/S5: 170mm, S6: 190mm
Seatpost Diameter 34.9mm
Seatpost Clamp Specialized alloy
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 12mm x 148mm Boost
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes, with SWAT tool
Colors Gloss Carbon / Oasis / Black
Satin Gloss Carbon / Smoke
Warranty Limited lifetime frame and wheels, 2 years Specialized components
Weight 30 lb 13.1 oz (13,980 g)
Miscellaneous
  • S-Sizing is style-specific sizing – choose your frame size to complement your riding style, not your inseam
  • Adjustable geometry with six different settings to match riding style and terrain
  • Horst link chips adjust bottom bracket height and chainstay length
  • Eccentric upper headset cups and a spherical lower bearing to give you three head angle positions
  • Can run mullet-mode, 27.5" rear wheel and 29" front, with aftermarket link
  • Leverage rate derived from the Specialized Enduro’s progressive approach
  • Tailored axle path moves rearward in the first third of travel, vertically in mid-travel, and forward near bottom out
  • Increased SWAT volume and added a hidden 22-oz. SWAT Bladder
  • Sealed cartridge bearing pivots
  • Replaceable derailleur hanger
  • Price $4,900
    More Info

    www.specialized.com

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