The Comp is the cheaper of two Stumpjumper Evo models, but still retains most of the key features that made the (considerably) more expensive carbon version our test winner back in April. It’s also the only bike on test with a chain device and dropper post fitted as standard.
Specialized’s latest M5 Stumpjumper Evo frame gains 5mm of travel, bringing the total to 150mm on the rear. Internal dropper post remote routing has also been added, but the most noticeable change is an all-new 142x12mm bolt-through rear end, which adds torsional stiffness.
An oversized PressFit 30 BB also helps with solidity, but raised some durability and bearing issues last year on the equivalent machine. Happily, we had no bottom bracket problems whatsoever this time out.
It’s a breeze to set up the suspension with Specialized’s Autosag feature: you simply over inflate the shock, sit on the bike in your normal riding kit then deflate to the correct sag setting with the special, secondary valve on the air can — that’s it.
The Fox RP2 itself runs on fully sealed bearings (thanks to the Y-shaped extended eyelet bridge) helping it feel very supple in action. And if you want more suspension support for climbing or flowing smooth sections of trail, there’s a two-position ProPedal lever that offers just the right amount of additional damping when engaged.
RockShox’s Revelation fork gets a 1.5in tapered steerer and ultra-solid 20mm Maxle dropouts for precise steering and extra straight-line confidence. The fixed travel 150mm Dual Air model is well matched to the rear suspension of the Evo.
Grippy dual-compound Specialized Butcher and Purgatory tyres make for sorted rubber straight from the shop floor, and 28mm wide, lightweight Roval Traverse rims suit them perfectly.
A bashguard protects the 36/24 front rings while the lower chain device ensures the Specialized is alone in not dropping its chain on every rocky descent.
Rounding out the package is the excellent three-position Command Post BlackLite dropper post, where the remote lever is neatly integrated into the clamp of the comfy lock-on grips.
For a 150mm bike with DH potential, it’s surprising just how well the Stumpjumper Evo deals with the climbs. Pedal input is very neutral in the bigger chainring (which we used 95 per cent of the time) and the bike feels nimble and positive — accelerating well and dispatching both steep and gradual ascents as proficiently as most lightweight 140mm trail bikes. It’s equally suited to a trail centre red route or a massive all-dayer.
Rider position is near-perfect, once you get the stem low enough (either by flipping the stock stem or, as we did, by fitting a zero rise model) and the stiff 20mm axle Revelation fork makes for precise steering in twisty singletrack. At high speeds on rough terrain there’s no sign of the Stumpy twisting or flinching over rock or root, but the frame is also not so rigid that off-camber grip is compromised.
The low BB height keeps rider position grounded, which makes leaning hard in the corners feel great.
All of which means the Specialized is a very versatile machine: with the RP2 ProPedal engaged it’s perfect for most armoured surfaces and flowing terrain, but open it up and you’ll get a stack of super supple, grippy DH capability few 150mm bikes can match.
The latest generation of the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo is the best yet. All the little glitches of the previous model have been ironed out, and despite its pure descending capability the Stumpy never feels like too much bike on swoopy, smooth terrain.
This Comp Evo model offers class-leading grip and suspension muscle, it rides light, is incredibly fun to chuck about and is the best-dressed bike for the money. If your budget stretches to one do-it-all bike, with all the add-on extras you’d want already taken care of, the Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo is definitely the bike to buy.
MBR rating: 10