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Specialized launch all-new Stumpjumper

   Words by David Hicks

   on 17/04/2018 16:46:32

New Specialized Stumpjumper Hero

Stumpjumper. You’ll be familiar with the name – it’s nigh on iconic in mountain biking. Back in 1981 it became Specialized’s first venture in the mountain bike market and the first mass-produced mountain bike available, with an early carbon fibre prototype Stumpjumper claiming the inaugural Mountain Bike World Championships in 1990 between the legs of Ned Overend. While things have evolved considerably in the world of mountain bike design since that first rigid-framed Stumpy over 30 years ago, one thing has remained the same: that Specialized have always aimed to make the Stumpjumper the ultimate trail bike.

This year, the Stumpjumper gets a dramatic overhaul in pursuit of that claim. Specialized have made sweeping changes to the Stumpjumper both externally, with the new sidearm frame structure, and internally with a smart new carbon layup and overhauled suspension design to improve the connection between the rider, and the bike, and the trails tearing up beneath them. Check out our exclusive video from Specialized HQ to find out more about the new platform...

All-new frame design

Central to the new frame design on the Stumpjumper was creating a balanced connection between the rider and the bike, and ensuring that trail input feels the same at two key contact points, the bars and the pedals. Specialized wanted to push this bike harder than it ever had been before, and so developed their own mountain-specific stiffness test to really focus in on that link between the hands and feet of the rider. This is where the sidearm frame design – without doubt the most striking aspect of the new bike – comes into play. By implementing this design, Specialized have been able to increase stiffness and reduce weight, depending on the frame size. On Small and Medium frames, where stiffness was already within Specialized’s targets, the new design has allowed a 150g weight saving over the previous model. On the larger sizes, the effects of that new design are even more pronounced, with a 250g weight saving paired with 20% increase in stiffness. As part of the new frame development, and much like the Rider-First Engineered process which has now become standard on their road models, Specialized employed CT scanning to investigate the composite layup of each frame size and optimise weight savings by removing any unnecessary material, while at the same time matching or improving stiffness. On the carbon models, both the front and rear end are crafted from composite, and the same grade of FACT 11m carbon fibre is used across the range – so the Comp Carbon model uses the same carbon fibre as the S-Works model, which in turn has made that particular bike a huge 550g lighter than the previous model.

New Specialized Stumpjumper 1

Beyond the intricacies of carbon layup, the new frame has got a number of other features worth digging in to. For starters, on the driveside of the bike you’ll find a rather unique ridged chain stay protector. This Wave Chainstay Protector does all the usual work, protecting your fancy frame from chain slap, but the bumpy surface cuts noise almost completely by cutting down the travel of the chain. Silence, they say, is golden. Specialized have also bumped up the size of the in-frame SWAT storage by 20% so you’ve got even more space for your trailside knick-knacks and internal cable routing is now improved for better usability, with an in-frame nylon sleeve to guide cables and a sleek port to guide the cables straight through to the rear end for a tidy and clean look.

New Specialized Stumpjumper 2
New Specialized Stumpjumper 3
New Specialized Stumpjumper 4

All-new suspension design

Alongside the all-new frame, the Stumpjumper also gets an updated rear suspension with considerable changes to Specialized’s FSR design. Most of these changes have been made at around 30% of travel to provide better mid-stroke support and a more progressive leverage ratio than the previous model, creating a bike which is more capable on rougher trails yet still with plenty of ramp up at the end of the travel. Alongside this, the new shock loses the Autosag feature of previous FSR suspension platforms which has been rendered redundant by the dramatic changes to the frame and shock. The new shock also moves to metric sizing to allow easier rider adjustability with a more standard eye-to-eye-stay used to make any potential aftermarket shock upgrades easier. The return to a threaded bottom bracket should also be music to the ears of at-home bike fettlers, opening up a whole range of crank and BB options. All models in the Stumpy range get shocks with the RX Trail Tune (or, Rider Experience) treatment, with Specialized custom tuning forks to match the different models and wheel sizes. Here, both the frame and the shock are designed to work in perfect harmony meaning that the bike does the work out on the trails, and handling is less reliant on the shock.

New Specialized Stumpjumper 5
New Specialized Stumpjumper 6
New Specialized Stumpjumper 7

With the new Stumpjumper, Specialized have baked in out-of-the-box adjustability via a flip chip on the lower shock mount in place of the shock block technology of previous iterations. Instead, this new system uses a traditional eyelet with an offset hole for the mounting bolt – flip this around and you can alter your new Stumpy’s geometry to suit you, or your riding, better by adjusting the bottom bracket height by 6mm, the reach by 5mm, and the head angle by 0.5 degrees. This is alongside an increased reach across all models, a lower standover and a new 160mm dropper seatpost, compared to the previous model.

The ultimate trail bike. For everyone.

Specialized have gone all in on the updated Stumpjumper range, with a whole raft of options to suit pretty much any rider. At the top level the range is broken down into three platforms, the Stumpjumper, Stumpjumper Short Travel, and Stumpjumper Evo. The Stumpjumper and Short Travel platforms share a chassis but differ in terms of shocks and linkages to create that different riding experience, while the Evo gets a completely different chassis with a slacker geometry and longer reach with a reduced rear travel to create a lower centre of gravity. The range comprises carbon and alloy models with the sidearm design carried across both materials, and 27.5" and 29" wheel options. When it comes to finishing kit, Specialized's own Gripton-equipped tyres are specced across the range with their lower rolling resistance and lighter casings.

With all the work that has been driven into the optimization of the new frame, there is no specific women’s chassis for the Stumpjumper with male and female rider’s sharing the same platform. Women do instead get different bars and saddles to better match rider build, along with different tuning on the rear shock to match the typically lighter weight rider when compared to the male models.

New Specialized Stumpjumper 8

Stumpjumper Short Travel (ST)

  • Snappy & nimble
  • 27.5" - 130mm front; 130mm rear
  • 29" - 130mm front; 120mm rear


  • Fast & planted
  • 27.5" - 150mm front; 150mm rear
  • 29" - 150mm front; 140mm rear

Stumpjumper EVO

  • Fast & planted
  • 27.5" - 150mm front; 150mm rear
  • 29" - 150mm front; 140mm rear

Stumpjumper Comp 12 Speed

  • Fast & planted
  • 27.5" - 150mm front; 150mm rear
  • 29" - 150mm front; 140mm rear
See the full Stumpjumper range >>>

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