Essentially unchanged from 2012, the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo is the cheaper of two Evo models, and gets an M5 aluminium, rather than FACT carbon frame. For both frame materials, a DT Swiss 142x12mm bolt-through rear axle and oversized press-fit BB30 are used to boost stiffness. To ensure the suspension runs freely and can react to even the smallest bumps, Specialized uses a horseshoe-shaped bridge to drive the rear shock so that the whole four-bar suspension can run on sealed cartridge bearings. Frame construction, paint and bearing quality are top notch and proved hard wearing.
Specialized’s Autosag feature makes shock set-up a breeze, and the addition of a third compression setting on the Fox CTD shock means the rear suspension is even more tuneable than with the old twin-position RP2. In common with most tests we’ve performed this season, the RockShox fork stole the show. The 150mm Revelation RC3 with its beefy 20mm Maxle is stiff and sturdy, and packs damping that keeps you steady whatever the trail throws at you. Set-up, however, is pressure sensitive, so take your time to adjust the Solo air spring to get the optimum balance of support and plushness.
Wide Specialized Roval rims provided a sturdy platform for our Onza control tyres, laying down more rubber for braking traction and improved cornering stability. As it happens, the stock Specialized tyres are spot on for the job in hand anyway — super grippy and not too sluggish. The wheels are also lightweight, so have no trouble accelerating and stopping (even if they aren’t quite as fast-rolling as the Mavics on the Canyon Nerve AL+ 9.0).
Now that the teething issues of press-fit BB30 are sorted, the solid SRAM chainset with double and bash set-up has proven massively resilient. One major chink in the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo’s armour is the lower spec SRAM X5 shifters — if the gear cables get contaminated with grit and mud, the shifters soon get really hard to push.
The three-position Specialized Blacklite dropper proved 100 per cent reliable with minimal TLC, and Specialized has introduced a new super-stiff, forged 60mm stem that is far superior to last season’s model. It’s strange, though, that after so many years it still can’t nail the perfect bar shape — we swapped out the 720mm handlebar for a Spank.
The Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo is simply a joy to ride. It pedals well and dances around the trail with real poise for the more aggressive rider, but also feels really assured and neutral for anyone getting into mountain biking or making the switch to full-sus. The front and rear suspension are better balanced than any other bike in this test, and offer incredible grip in steep, technical terrain while never feeling too soft or underdamped when you pop off a jump or bounce across a rocky section of trail in the Lakes. Because of this, and the relatively lightweight build, the Stumpy Evo can handle anything from a trail centre blast to a full-on downhill run.
There are a couple of compromises in the spec, like the Elixir 5 brakes and cheaper SRAM shifters that offer lesser performance and need looking after, but balanced against that is the fact that the Evo is easily the most fun and versatile 150mm bike we’ve tested.
As bike testers, friends and other riders ask us almost daily — what bike should I buy? If you were considering a 26in bike for this kind of money and travel, without hesitation we’d recommend the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo. It’s as simple as that.
It works as a complete package straight out of the box — it’s solid and well designed, with sorted geometry and suspension that is perfectly balanced and tuned. The bike also has the uncanny ability to flatter new riders and pros alike, and one year on, it’s still the best 150mm bike we’ve tested.
MBR rating: 10
Frame M5 hydroformed alloy
Suspension Fox Float CTD with Autosag, RockShox Revelation RC3 20mm Maxle Lite
Wheels Specialized HiLo hubs, Roval rims, Specialized Butcher and Purgatory Control 2.3in tyres
Drivetrain SRAM S-1250 2×10 speed chainset, SRAM X7 shifters and front mech, X9 Type 2 rear mech
Brakes Elixir 5 SL, 180/160mm rotors
Components Specialized Command Post Blacklite dropper post
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Weight 12.9kg (28.4lb)
Size tested M
Head angle 67.4°
Seat angle 69.1°
BB height 340mm
Front centre 720mm
Down tube 665mm