Last time I check in with the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp Alloy, the rear wheel had decided to not spin very freely despite my best efforts and the original spec rubber was holding back the bike’s desire to fling itself down anything and everything I could point it at.
Thankfully, both issues were easily solved in one hit as I’d need to put fresh tyres on the new wheels anyway. Out went the original alloy wheels and in came the Roval Carbon 6Bs. A serious upgrade indeed. While they might not be designed for the riding the Stumpy EVO is designed for, they’ve performed well while dropping a shed load of rotating weight.
In the rubber department, I originally swapped the Butchers out for their Gravity cased brethren. The additional support offered by the beefier casing definitely helped both in reducing the quantity of punctures that the Eliminator seemed so keen on, whilst also providing a fair bit more traction too.
With the advent of the newly-released Continental gravity range, the downhill casing Argotal tyres seemed to be a solid pick for the very much descent-happy Stumpy EVO. They even managed to come in lighter than the Butchers so were very much a welcome addition.
With the Stumpy EVO in the stand getting some fresh hoops, I took the opportunity to drop in the -1 degree headset cup and with the flip chip having been in the ‘Low’ position from the off. This swings the Stumpy EVO into the downhill realm in terms of head angle, with it now sporting a 63 degree head angle.
It then seemed that with all the excitement that the SRAM Code Rs needed some love as they, quite unusually for a Code brake in my experience, starting feeling very vague, with the bite point coming very late in the lever stroke. Up until now, the Codes had been the brake to beat, but the ones fitted on the Stumpy EVO now seem to be the only thing not singing.
Even with the lighter rubber and the suspension firmed up, the Stumpy EVO Comp Alloy is definitely not a featherweight, needing more power to go the same distance than most bikes I have had on test of late. At fifty quid less than three and a half grand though, it’s not all that likely that many gravity-friendly machines are going to come in much lighter without compromising its ability to get to the bottom of the hill quite as quickly.
Once you’d winched yourself to the top though, the Stumpy EVO goes about its business while patiently waiting for the ground to turn to a point where you’re looking straight down at the fireroad some 400 feet below you. It’s here where the Stumpy EVO sings the song of its people. With the slightly porky build seeming somewhat irrelevant at this point, the Stumpy EVO’s geometry and active suspension makes once terrifyingly steep trails a delight and will have you going after more.
Downhill speed only seems to be reigned in by the vague-feeling brakes and the dampers lacking the ability to fine tune the high and low speed circuits to one’s preferences. With brakes working at 100% though and riding to the tune of the suspension, you really can push this bike hard and it will get you down the hill with a serious grin on your face.
The rest of the components performed admirably though. The NX/GX Eagle mix was solid throughout. The grips I mentioned in the first look are a delight for small hands too.
If it was my money, I think I’d opt to wait a touch longer and go for the Stumpy EVO Elite Alloy which gives you the full Factory Fox suspension, full GX Eagle drive and a DT Swiss rear hub along with some other nice upgrades. While we don’t all have an extra £1,300 lying around, I’d imagine it would save you the upgrades the Comp Alloy needs to really shine.
I would also love to see 200mm rotors front and rear on a bike like this, it really does make a difference. I’m not entirely sure why this bike, like the Kenevo SL, comes with Trail casing Butchers either. Both are screaming for more supportive rubber, the Gravity casing Butchers being proof of this.
What do we think?
The Stumpy EVO Comp Alloy gets the benefits of trickle-down geometry from its posh brethren that makes it an absolute riot to send down the steepest of trails. If you’ve got the legs then its slightly higher weight won’t bother you any.
It’s a shame the brakes and the back wheel didn’t want to play ball, if they had, then this bike would have been a bike that far out-rides anything the ‘on paper’ numbers would suggest. Bigger rotors and heftier tyres are needed at this spec level though.
The combination of the above two
Could do better:
Not a light bicycle
Rough rear wheel
You can check out the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp Alloy on Specialized’s website here.