FIRST RIDE REPORT
ALL NEW SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER EXPERT
Words by Joe Mackey | Photos by Spencer Rathkamp
The Specialized Stumpjumper is one of the most iconic mountain bikes of all time. The name is loaded with history and over the years, it has been a standard in the mountain bike community. The previous generation rolled out at Sea Otter in 2018 with an all new aesthetic and key technology upgrades like a threaded bottom bracket and updated metric shock sizing. While there was plenty to revel in, the geometry was extremely conservative, and the bike was far from being an efficient climber. Many folks loved the new Specialized Stumpjumper, however many were also less-than-thrilled with its climbing and some other missing pieces. Fast forward to 2020 where the unimaginable can happen and Specialized has released an all new Stumpjumper that is in the process of changing my mind about trail bikes.
Similar to the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, launched just a couple weeks ago, there isn’t a ton from an aesthetic standpoint that has changed with the shorter travel Stumpy, there isn’t that sense of shock and awe. One of the biggest changes being the Missing Link or move from a Horst Link suspension to single-pivot. This shouldn’t come as a massive surprise as Specialized has moved away from FSR in favor of single pivot with their Epic and Epic EVO XC bikes. Single-pivot suspension designs are known for better pedaling efficiency and climbing ability, but historically have had compromises from a kinematic standpoint when descending. Specialized (and a few other brands) have an answer for that compromise: Flexstays.
Flexstays have been around for a long time on everything from aluminum to carbon bikes and there have even been some bikes introduced this year with flex stays such as the Cannondale Scalpel and Scalpel SE. The Stumpjumper uses flexstays in the seatstays (say that five times fast) to improve climbing and pedaling efficiency while being able to keep composure on rowdier descents. There are some weights saving to accompany this design, a whole 55-grams actually, or essentially a healthy-sized apple fritter from your favorite donut shop. With the new suspension design Specialized went with a new RX tune using Fox’s digressive piston with a healthy amount of low-speed compression to help with the pedaling support but also keep the suspension active through the mid-stroke. Essentially, they didn’t want the suspension to pack up at high speeds and remain active when needed most.
The Stumpjumper also got an overhaul on the geometry side of things with Specialized using their “S” sizing system. Each size got a little longer in the reach department and a little slacker. The new Stumpy uses a flip-chip to adjust the geometry that changes the bottom bracket height and reach by about 5-millimeters. Each size has a specific carbon layup and design to accommodate different sizes riders for optimum stiffness and ride performance.
Of course this generation of Stumpjumper has a threaded bottom bracket and uses a SWAT Box that has even more storage than before. The SWAT Box got a complete overhaul that increased storage capacity, increased frame strength and stiffness, but did add 80-grams to the frame weight. Total frame weight with all hardware is coming in at a very lean 2,420 grams for the size S4 (large-ish).
This Stumpjumper will be available in five different builds with one S-Works, three mid-level carbon builds and two aluminum offerings. All of them are equipped with 29-inch wheels but are mullet ready in case you’re feeling trendy or bored.