The big news for the Stumpy Evo range is that Specialized will have an Expert Evo 29 with a carbon front end to mirror the 26in bike.
The current Expert Evo 29 (not available in the UK), with its alloy front-end and decals matching the top-end 26in bike, is like a halfway house between the current 26in Expert and Comp models. 2013 sees that imbalance addressed, and it’s a clear sign of Specialized’s commitment to 29in wheels.
Other than wheel size, the only significant difference in next year’s Stumpy Expert Evos is travel. The 26in bike gets 150mm travel front and rear, while the 29er version has 135mm on the rear and 140mm up front. Both bikes will have Fox 34 forks, and the latest Fox Float CTD dampers with AutoSag.
There’s also some great news for 29er riders, as Specialized introduces a big-wheel version of its excellent Butcher tyre. It will come in a 2.3in Control casing, and fingers crossed it will be available aftermarket here in the UK.
Other upgrades to the SJ Expert Evo for 2013 include a SRAM Type 2 rear mech to reduce chain slap, and SRAM’s new four-piston Trail brake replacing the previous Formulas. In fact, the only feature missing from this truly amazing package is stealth-style routing for the Specialized Blacklite Command post.
Arguably the most important revision for 2013 is that Specialized UK is going to order more Stumpy Evo 26s, so you’ll actually be in with a fighting chance of getting hold of one. Pricing starts at £2,500 for the Comp, and £4,000 for the Expert. However, to get hold of a 29 you’ll look overseas — they’re not planning on bringing any onto these shores…
Photos: Sterling Lorence