SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER EVO ALLOY REVIEW

ELITE LEVEL ALUMINUM

Review by Drew Rohde
Photos by Max Rhuelen & Dusten Ryen

Who’s a Specialized Stumpjumper Evo kind of rider? Well, if your idea of a trail ride is what other riders gear up with burly knee pads and a full-face helmet for, you’re probably a Stumpy Evo kinda rider. Not quite Enduro, but no denying that you like to punish the earth and the bike beneath you as you charge hard, send deep and shralp where the shralping is good. Up until now the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo carbon line has been a bit of an investment that some shred-bros just weren’t comfortable justifying. Acknowledging this, Specialized produced the Stumpy Evo Alloy. It answers the call for aggressive trail riders who want the piece of mind of running an aluminum frame, and can rest their minds knowing their life savings aren’t as low as Doge Coin’s value after an Elon Musk tweet.

QUICK HITS

• 150mm Rear travel
• HTA 64.5°
• STA 77.2°
• REACH 475 (S4)
• Frame Only Option

Price: $1,900 – $5,600
Website: Specialized.com

THE LAB
Built using Specialized Bicycle’s tried and true M5 Alloy, the Stumpjumper Evo Alloy can be run in full 29er configuration or easily converted to a Mullet (27.5”) for those who so desire. Creature comforts transfer over to the new alloy frame so riders don’t have to drop a ton of cash to get a SWAT Door in the downtube, adjustable head tube angle and adjustable Horst link chips to tune bottom bracket height by 7mm. Eccentric head tube cups take the bike from 63 to 65.5 degrees and mean riders all over the world will have a geometry that best suits their terrain and preference.

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy Profile Shot

Bumped up compared to regular Stumpys, the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy packs 160mm of fork travel with 150mm of rear travel that has been given the Rx Tune treatment by Specialized technicians and their suspension partners. Horst link bikes, like all other platforms, have their strengths and weaknesses. The tuning done on the Stumpjumper Evo is impressive and while it may not pedal quite as well as a typical VPP or DW-Link bike, it certainly does a good job of transferring rider energy into forward momentum. We think the bike excels on absorption, playfulness and other areas, which makes sense for an aggressive sled like the Evo.

To learn more about Specialized’s suspension tuning theory, check this video.

Sizing is an area worth briefly discussing on the Stumpjumper Evo Alloy. Like the Stumpy Evo carbon, Specialized Bicycles have transitioned to using their “S-” sizing structure, which is essentially, reach- or style-based sizing. For example, at 5’11 I could have chosen to ride an S3, S4 or S5. If I were a BMXer who wanted to jib and play, the S3 would be my go-to. If I lived in Colorado or Squamish and rode high-speed steep trails and wanted length and stability, S5 could be an option. However, since my ideal reach numbers are 475-480mm, I chose the S4 to blend comfort and stability at speed while being able to maintain some nimbleness for rugged mountain bike trails that aren’t built with a steam roller.

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy

Specialized offer the Stumpjumper Evo Alloy in two complete models, starting at $3,800 for the Evo Comp and stepping up to $5,600 for the Evo Elite on test here. There is also a frame only option for $1,900. We think the Evo Comp is a solid starting point for a lot of riders who want to get into the game without spending close to $6,000. We’d likely go this route and upgrade shock and fork…if we could find one! If you’re confident you’ll be upgrading the bike quickly however, pricing out a fork and shock, then trying to find anything in stock, could quickly make up the price difference and you’d still be looking at brakes, wheels and drivetrain gaps as well. We’d love to see the Evo Elite priced closer to $5,000, or possibly a middle-ground model in the $4,800 range with some slightly better components, but that could quickly spin into a much longer conversation.

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy Action

THE DIRT
It’s hard not to be influenced by how a bike looks when it comes to your perception of what it does on the trail, especially when it looks this good. The fit and finish are impressive, and we love the look of aluminum when treated properly. We opted to run the bike with the headset cup in the middle position and the bottom bracket in the high position for most of our testing, which still gives some relatively low and slack numbers. We also kept the 29-inch wheels on-board for our high desert riding as the speed and roll-over are much appreciated.

Climbing the Stumpjumper Evo Elite Alloy surprised most of our crew. It’s a bit heavier than some of the carbon offerings in the category but is plenty capable of propelling you up the steepest of grades. Sure, if you live for out-of-saddle accelerations and snappy pedals, the little extra weight could be noted, but that extra weight is also felt with all that cash left in your wallet, which we’re never mad about.

The anti-squat tune feels totally respectable for an aggressive 150mm bike, and while we did opt to reach for that climb switch on logging roads or smoother climbs, the traction and pedaling platform are plenty supportive. We also felt quite comfortable thanks to the suppleness and geometry. The seat tube angle had us upright and feeling powerful. Tackling technical features or tight switchbacks is far easier aboard the S4 Stumpy Evo than other mega-machines that leave the front end wandering and hovering over the trail.

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy

When it comes time to drop the post and shred, the Stumpjumper Evo Alloy gets a smile as big as the rider perched above. There’s no denying this bike favors speed and having gravity on it’s side. During our test period we rode everything from steep, loose and chunky rock trails to swoopy flow trails in the woods. It impressed our test riders in all conditions and never failed to bring the fun.

On the descents, the little bit of heft we may have noticed on the climb became a distant memory once we got the rear shock tuned in. The bike pops nicely and transitions quickly from corner to corner. If you are an active rider who likes to bounce around, slap the back end from side to side and give ‘er a good yank to test your wrists and ankles out, the Stumpjumper Evo Alloy will oblige.

Speaking of wrist and ankle comfort, the alloy frame helps smooth out the ride compared to many carbon bikes we’ve been testing recently. The stiffness is there when you need it, however the vibration damping, absorption and compliance are certainly appreciated and have us excited to ride some more awesome alloy bikes.

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Alloy Action

The Wolf’s Last Word

While it isn’t exactly a stellar “value” for those looking at direct-to-consumer brands offering carbon bikes for a similar price, the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Elite Alloy is certainly one of the best riding mountain bikes we’ve ridden in the last couple of years. As we regularly say, we’d rather have a bike that rides well than one that is made from carbon fiber, and the Stumpy Evo Alloy rides damn well.

This bike is intended to fill the void between the more all-around, trail capable Stumpjumper and the longer travel Specialized Enduro, and it does just that. If you have the mindset of an Enduro rider but don’t necessarily have the terrain that warrants so much travel, the Evo Alloy is a solid option. The adjustable geometry is awesome to have, we enjoy the suspension platform on a variety of trails and the comfort all around is worth recommending. We like riding this bike a lot. And if we weren’t riding it’s battery powered brother, the Turbo Levo so much, we’d probably ride it even more.

Price: $5,600
Weight: 34.3lbs (S4)
Website: Specialized.com

VISIT SPECIALIZED TO GET YOURS!

SPECIFICATIONS

CHASSIS
Frame: M5 Alloy chassis and rear-end, asymmetrical design | 150mm
Fork: FOX FLOAT 36 Factory, GRIP2 | 160mm
Shock: FOX FLOAT X Factory, Rx Trail Tune

COCKPIT
Brakes: SRAM Code RS | 200/200mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle
Handlebar: Specialized, 6061 alloy | 800mm | 30mm rise
Stem: Deity | 35mm
Saddle: Specialized Bridge Comp
Seatpost: OneUp Dropper Post-V2 | S1:120mm, S2/S3:150mm, S4: 180mm, S5/S6: 210mm

WHEELS
Wheels: Roval Traverse 29 Alloy
Front Tire: Specialized Butcher, GRID TRAIL, GRIPTON T9 compound, 29×2.3″
Rear Tire: Specialized Eliminator, GRID TRAIL, GRIPTON T7 compound, 29×2.3″

DRIVETRAIN
Bottom Bracket: SRAM DUB
Cassette: SRAM XG-1275, 12-speed, 10-52t
Cranks: SRAM GX Eagle DUB | S1:165mm, S2-S5: 170mm, S6: 175mm
Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle

Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Alloy Rear Three Quarter View

We Dig

Aluminum
SWAT Door
Comfortable and confident
Playful and fun to ride
Fast
Big geo adjustments

We Don’t

Value is debatable

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