Dream Builds

Jon Staples' EXT Equipped Specialized Stumpy Evo

Photos A.J. Barlas
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Our goal with the Dream Build series is to present the interesting and possibly whacky builds of regular riders. But we're occasionally going to stray from that, and this is one of those times. Jon Staples' new Specialized Stumpjumper Evo perfectly fits the title of Dream Build, but he is far from your regular Joe. Jon is the engineer and co-founder of OneUp Components in Squamish, so expect to see plenty of OneUp bling throughout the build. But Jon also seems to get at least one new bike every year and each is more beautiful than the last.

As one of the engineers at OneUp, Jon's always tinkering. Often special prototype parts can be found bolted to his bikes but there's no sign of them here. He's also incredibly hard on his equipment making him the perfect test subject. In addition to riding his bikes hard, they're regularly the dirtiest I come across at OneUp HQ. Rather than clean it up for the shoot, we opted to leave it as it would normally be found, and this isn't that bad (it is nearly brand new).

Jon's bikes are regularly built up with a mix of Shimano and OneUp components. But this time he's moved away from Fox suspension in favour of checking out the EXT dampers. It sounds like he's impressed.


Jon Staples' custom built Specialized Stumpjumper Evo is one classy looking weapon.

AJ: What drew you to the latest Specialized Stumpy Evo?

Jon Staples: Clean lines and great Geo. Also, I've never ridden a Specialized before.

What was your decision process choosing the S4 over the S5?

I've never loved super long reach. 475mm is great for me. I'm currently on a 35mm stem.

What were you riding before this bike and why did you change?

Rocky Slayer 29… Looking for something a little shorter in travel.


The standout feature of Jon's Stumpy for most will be the EXT suspension. Rear travel is controlled by the Storia V3 Lok damper.


The Storia is equipped with externally adjustable high and low speed compression and a single rebound damping circuit.


The adjustments are functional at each end of the dial and the shock is tuned to a specific bike's suspension design.


The gloss, raw carbon and the ti-styled colour of the rear shock look sharp together.


Jon is running a 575lb spring with one turn – 1mm – of preload.


The recent release of the EXT Era fork has taken mountain bike geeks by storm, despite the hefty price.


Jon was curious whether the claims of quality about the air spring were true. He says they are.


The air spring is comprised of a high pressure 'ramp' chamber, a lower, more regular positive chamber and a high volume negative air spring. There's also an integrated coil spring that works to give the fork a smooth break-away, similar to a coil sprung fork. Both the ramp and positive chambers are filled from the top of the fork. As with the rear shock, the fork includes externally adjustable high and low-speed compression, plus one rebound adjuster.

Why the Gucci EXT suspension? What are you finding with it?

I really wanted to see if the 'plush as a coil' claims were true about the fork – they are. The combo of shock and fork is really balanced and planted.

The Stumpy Evo has quite a bit of adjustability built-in. Have you played around with this much/do you plan to play around with it more?

I haven't played around much but will do. Currently slack at the headset and high (still quite low) at the rear axle.

Tell us about your tire choice. (Is that an EXO—not EXO+—front?)

I would have run EXO+ on the front (stock issues). Ideally, the setup would be a DD rear, EXO+ front, both MaxxGrip. Availability issues meant I had to settle on a MaxxTerra front for now.

Have you found a good use for the downtube SWAT area yet? Any plans for something special in there?

Not yet.


The 2021 Stumpjumper Evo features adjustable geometry, which is done via a type of offset plate in the headtube and a flip-chip at the rear of the chainstay.


Jon's Stumpy Evo is currently setup with the headtube set to the slack position…


...and the BB height is set to high, via the chainstay flip-chip. Jon says it's still quite low on the trail. It can be configured to run a mix-wheel as well but he hasn't gone down that path.


Maxxis tires take care of grip. His rear tire choice is the DHR II.

I may run Flat Tire Defender or Huck Norris but full-on inserts make adding a tube almost impossible in the field (and you have to carry a wet insert out). – Jon Staples

Jon runs the DoubleDown carcass in the rear, with the MaxxGrip compound. He may run a lighter-duty insert in the summer but doesn't like having to deal with 'full-on' inserts trailside when things go wrong.


An Assegai EXO with the MaxxTerra compound sits wrapped around his front hoop. Jon would prefer to run MaxxGrip front and rear, and an EXO+ front, but supply issues have seen him have to compromise.


Even with the DoubleDown rear tire and 28psi, Jon's been flexing those sidewalls.


Jon runs a set of Nobl TR37 carbon rims on DT Swiss 350 hubs for his wheels. He's a big fan of carbon wheels "because they stay true, almost maintenance-free."


The DT 350 hubs have been a solid, dependable setup for Jon.


He's opted to run these and not the 240 series hubs, front and rear.


From Noble: "The TR37's sine wave shape embedded into the molds, aids side stiffness." The rims feature a front and rear specific construction with a thicker bead lip and heavier rim in the rear. Internal widths vary – 31mm front and 30mm rear – with the same exterior width and profile height (20.5mm).

Oval vs round chainring. You have both available at OneUp but personally opt for the oval. What benefits draw you to that setup?

For mountain biking, the real benefit is increased climbing traction. To paint a picture of the usage, most mountain bikes don't have a low enough gear to be able to ‘spin’ up steep, loose grades. The pedalling motion, therefore, becomes very biased to powerful sometimes out-of-saddle, downward thrusts. A portion of the momentum is used to help carry the pedals over TDC and the cycle starts again. The oval ring, therefore ‘smooths’ the torque delivered to the ground and allows the rider to maintain traction. Increased traction means less wasted energy used to throw rocks at your riding buddies.


Being the co-founder of OneUp Components, you would expect nothing less than a smattering of their components to complete the build. Jon runs the 35mm rise OneUp Handlebar.


Initially, Jon had a 50mm OneUp Stem but has moved to the shorter, 35mm option.


Obviously, there's an EDC tool sitting in the steerer of Jon's bike.


Bar roll is set to 'neutral.'


And his brake levers are angled to a more traditional setting.


Jon has run Shimano brakes and drivetrains on his builds for years. The Stumpy Evo is no different but he does have a mix of XT and XTR. XT brakes take care of stopping duties.


203mm Shimano Ice Tech rotors front…


And rear.


A OneUp Axle-R holds the rear wheel firmly in place. The front axle is the stock one found in the EXT Era fork, at least for now.


The drivetrain is a mix of Shimano 's HG12 XT and XTR.


An XT rear derailleur takes care of shifts through the 10–51 tooth cassette.


And an XT shifter takes care of shifting.


The rear cassette is also an XT model.


But out front, Jon has opted for the Shimano XTR cranks.


The XTR cranks don't use the pinch-bolt system seen on most of the Shimano MTB range. Specialized has also been steadily moving back to threaded bottom brackets on their bikes – at least the longer travel options, including the Stumpy Evo.


The OneUp Oval Switch Ring takes care of the transmission. Jon uses a 32-tooth ring and finds the traction provided from an oval ring advantageous.


A OneUp Bash Guide takes care of chain management…


And protects the chain and ring from the many obstacles found on Jon's favourite trails in Squamish.


Jon chooses to use Shimano XTR pedals when clipped in, completing the 1-horsepower transmission.

What do you enjoy most about the bike so far?

That it doesn't have a battery.

Worst thing about the bike?

That it doesn't have a battery.

What plans (if any) are there for it in the future?

Thinking about trying the Cascade Components link to increase the amount of progression.

Is this your only bike?

No. I also have a Norco Optic built light.


OneUp's grip. Black to suit the rest of the build.


Mated to the Shimano XT brakes with a OneUp matchmaker is the OneUp dropper lever.


A 180mm OneUp Dropper provides enough clearance for Jon's needs.


SQLabs 611 seat in a 14cm width.


Jon runs his seat quite forward on its rails, despite the claimed 77.1-degree seat tube angle with his current settings.

I have and will wrap every new bike. It easily pays for itself upon resale. – Jon Staples when asked about his Ride Wrap.

RideWrapped to keep the frame in good shape, improving resale value.


Sadly, there's nothing currently inside Jon's downtube. I'm sure he'll come up with something soon but maybe readers can give him some ideas in the comments?


It looks like they've mellowed the bumps in the chainstay protector for 2021.


But there's still heaps of coverage, both on the chainstay and the seat stay.


Specialized bikes are finished to a high level and their attention to detail is excellent. This rear flap keeping debris out from between the swingarm and front triangle is a great example.


The single-sided shock mount and support makes for an interesting view when in the pain cave.


Didn't Specialized used to include a stash for a small multi-tool between the shock eyelet and the frame? It's not there now.


The stock rear shock 'link' currently holds the suspension together but Jon is considering the Cascade Components link as a future change.


That S-Works bling, nicely protected from harm behind the RideWrap.


Understated but fully loaded.

Jon's Specialized Stumpy Evo Specs

Frame: 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper Evo (S-Works Frame) Size S4. 150mm rear wheel travel. S-Works Layup. Full Ride Wrap (tailored)
Shock: EXT Storia V3 Lok 575 spring, one turn (1mm) of preload. LSC: 11, HSC: 13, R: 2 (all from closed). Custom tune by Alba Distribution for the 2021 Stumpjumper Evo.
Fork: EXT Era (160mm) Main air chamber: 75PSI Second air chamber: 115PSI / LSC: 7, HSC: 7, R: 11
Brakes: Shimano XT (four-piston) 203mm rotors front and rear (Shimano IceTech)
Wheels: Nobl TR37 on DT Swiss 350 hubs "The NOBL's have been awesome and the DT350 is a solid dependable setup."
Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29 x 2.5 EXO front / DHR II 29 x 2.4 DD rear Currently MaxxTerra front EXO (not his preferred EXO+) because of supply issues. Front: 26psi. Rear: 28psi
Drivetrain: Shimano XT HG12 32t OneUp Switch oval chainring
Cranks: Shimano XTR 170mm length
Chainguide: OneUp V2 Bash Guide Black
Bar & Stem: OneUp Carbon Handlebar w/ OneUp Stem 35mm stem length and 35mm rise bar
Grips: OneUp Grip Black
Pedals: OneUp Alloy flat pedals and XTR clips Mostly clipped in but depending on the day, it alternates between these
Seatpost: Oneup Components V2 Dropper 180mm drop length
Saddle: SQ Lab 611 Size 14cm
Extras: EDC tool in headtube. OneUp Axle R in the rear wheel Jon says he'll Ride Wrap all of his bikes because it protects the frame for resale.
Weight: 32.8lbs (14.9kg)

Jon Staples

Jon Staples

Height: 6’0"

Weight: 195lbs

Inseam: 34”

Occupation: OneUp Engineer & Co-Founder

Riding Style: Average for Squamish (it’s hard to be average in Squamish)

Bar roll: Neutral

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Trending on NSMB


+16 Zero-cool FlipSide 4Runner1 Simon Apostol Pete Roggeman Matt L. roil Albert Steward Mammal Reed Holden Znarf Carmel Absolut-M Tim Coleman rolly Jonthehuman

He could put his wallet in the swat box, cuz it’s fat.


+1 ollyh

Haha. Maybe it’s skinny now?


+6 Beau Miller Angu58 Zero-cool Pete Roggeman solar_evolution rolly

Wow... just wow


+5 oneupcomponents Pete Roggeman solar_evolution Tjaard Breeuwer ollyh

A ton of companies say "we ride" but with OneUp it is crystal clear it is the truth.  Everything I have bought from them installed easy and worked great.  This bike is sick, I don't usually like a blacked out bike, but the frame complexity makes up for the lack of color.


+3 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman Cam McRae

{embedded drool emoji}


+2 goose8 DadStillRides

I guess he is not using the 18 POE star-ratchet on a build like that. Is he using a 36 or 54 POE?


+2 FlipSide goose8

It for sure felt better than the 18 but I’ll confirm what.


+9 AJ Barlas FlipSide Pete Roggeman Ryan Walters Suns_PSD goose8 DadStillRides Jerry Willows ollyh

I run a 36T ratchet.  I haven't have great long term luck with a few high POE systems for durability. As well, some suspension designs seem less 'free' once you get to the 90T+ range.


+2 Pete Roggeman cornedbeef

FYI the link provided to send content just goes back to the main page.  Might want to share an actual email.  Killer build BTW.



Thanks for the heads up, Salespunk. It's been updated to the correct format now. Looking forward to seeing what you're sending. :)


+3 AJ Barlas Suns_PSD cornedbeef

Salespunk goes through a lot of bikes


+1 Pete Roggeman

Well done and great pics.  I understand why Jon would trade out bikes frequently, but it’s kinda sad to me that as a whole we’ve gotten to a place where Gucci, dream builds don’t even include consideration of the headset and BB.  Not at all a criticism of this piece or site.  Just remember when people got excited about those components.


+2 DancingWithMyself 4Runner1

Noted. We'll keep an eye out for such components/detail!


+3 Tim Coleman AJ Barlas DancingWithMyself

Agree. The new frame designs and decent quality cheap headsets have made a CK headset a thing of the past. Hubs, rims and suspension seem to be where its at these days. Given the choice, I'd rather have better hubs/rims/suspension than headset/BB too.


+3 AJ Barlas DancingWithMyself DadStillRides

To that point I've had issues with CK headset's lack of a tapered lock ring, both with creaking and with them eating into the fork steerer. While boring I've had far better luck with Cane Creek headsets over the years.



Agreed.  That headset lock ring is why I stopped running King headsets.


+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

I agree on what’s most important to an extent, and I’m not going to evangelize about King (none on my bikes for at least a few years). Currently, running Wheels Mfg BB’s and Cane Creek 70 headsets (I know you candrop the bearings into a 40, but I do thing the 70 has better sealing) and feeling good about the price/quality combo. Curious about what others are doing on custom builds. 

My bet is that AJ is not going to have a lot to report on these components. All the various standards, coupled with changing wheel sizes and geo that have made a lot of people view bikes as 1-2 yr investments, have seemed to snuff out a lot of the enthusiasm for quality BB’s and headsets.


+1 AJ Barlas

Rad bike and nice write up!

I'm wondering about this:  "Even with the DoubleDown rear tire and 28psi, Jon's been flexing those sidewalls."

Is that a reference to the crisscross pattern visible on the sidewall, or just an observation from the rider?


+1 AJ Barlas

Sidewall wear, yes.


+1 Ryan Walters

I hope NSMB can get an ERA to fully vet out and review.  The mystique of this fork is second to none, and I want to see how it really stacks up against the Mezzer, 38s, etc.  I have a Mezzer and Storia V3 on my setup right now, and it's fairly amazing.  I think that my HSC is a bit too much on the Storia, and I plan on getting that tuned my next service, but it's still unflabbable.


+1 Sanesh Iyer

I have one. My plan was to do a teardown some time ago but COVID and my own illness are holding that back a bit. It will still happen but when it's safe for me to do so.


+1 AJ Barlas

Rad rig and not too different than mine. Unfortunately mine isn't a tax write-off!

Now I need to check out that saddle.

PS. The bike works a lot better on the Cascade ime.


+1 AJ Barlas

Just here to say:

1. very cool bike 😎

2. OneUp - I love your products and your support is great! Thanks!



Holy smokes, that's a nice bike Jon. Almost has me second guessing my Enduro. Almost.


+1 Ryan Walters

I had the Al EVO with an EXT rear....  Enduro is a way better for the chunk.


+2 AJ Barlas Jerry Willows

I said almost Jerry!


+1 Ryan Walters

no substitute for moar travel


+1 Suns_PSD

I've never ridden the Enduro but I had the last gen Evo and now I'm on the 2021 Evo. The newest version rides remarkable better than the last generation. I think there is something to the more rearward axle path and longer chainstays of the 2021.



Most people don't have a low enough gear to spin up loose technical sections? Most people I see are on 30 or 32x51- how much lower would we need to go? Or did I misread this comment?

Great build!



It's hard to spin a 30x51 up some steep pitches. I can see the use for a 28 in some areas.



28, ha - i use a 26 and i ain't spinnin'!


+1 Morgan Heater

I’ll just leave this here :)



Oh geez, that's incredible! We need to get that in this series, though I assume it won't be on many riders' Dream Build lists


+1 AJ Barlas

Remember when we used to say that short chainstays help with climbing? Why on Earth did we ever believe that?


+1 AJ Barlas

because bike companies....  remember when Giant said that 275 was the best wheel size (they had graphs!)



Nerdy question from a Storia owner:

What is the tune code for your Storia? Did it differ from the recommendations? Out of the box I'm running my storia with the rebound fully open, so I'm surprised to see you so close to fully closed.



I felt the same based on pushing on the saddle, however after riding I slowed it down more. It seems to me that it looks slower pushing on the saddle than it feels on the trail. If that makes any sense?!

Amazing shock though, better than any other I`ve ridden



Carpark 'testing' the EXT suspension I've also found it to feel slow but on the trail, it works phenomenally well. That's not to say Sanesh won't benefit from an adjustment to his shock's tune, but to agree with you, Jesper. :)



I agree. Mine feels slowish in the parking lot but on trail it's great. I would like to have a useable range (at the next service for sure). I'd be curious what one or two clicks more open from my fully open setting feels like... But I think I'd land back in the same place. 

I tried setting my 38 to match the rebound speed of my shock and it felt like absolute garbage, so I went back to my normal intuition and feel on the fork. The shock compression tunes are bang on as well. 

I think it has to do with the hydraulic bottom out bumper, it feels controlled and never feels packed up even deep in the stroke. I wish I had bought an Arma, not a Storia, to tune play with HBC. I rarely use the climb switch and wouldn't miss it if I didn't have it. That's bike and rider specific but... Yeah. I think Arma + 38 w/ smashpot would be a whole other tuning paradigm thanks to the HBC tunability.



Totally! Having that bit more to work with on the open end wouldn't be bad for you to at least try.

I'm with you on the Arma. I too am quite curious about HBC tunability and never use the Lok. But the Storia on the G1 has additional bits that I don't know about having added to the Arma. Maybe one day they'll have something specific for it too?



Damn Jon that bike is a beauty!



Was the seat post sticking out 6 inches above the frame a choice or was there no more room for inserting the post any further and running a 210 dropper?  I hate having the seat that high up but other friends like to push and brace against the seat in corners to know and feel the bike lean.  Whats the scoop?


-6 Ryan Walters JVP Matt L. 4Runner1 Nologo cornedbeef

This bike deserves some proper hubs. Nothing against DT, but come on... 350 is a budget hub. 
Onyx with their silence would be a good match for that stealthy looking bike.


+10 Ryan Walters AJ Barlas Chris Pete Roggeman Matt L. 4Runner1 mrbrett Nologo Heinous cornedbeef

350 is the same at 240 just marginally heavier.  See my comment on POE above, though honestly I've never ridden an Onyx.

Jon @ OneUp


-1 Nologo

Fair enough, POE is totally a matter of personal preference, but you already have a superb suspension and even it will benefit greatly from a lower unsprung weight.


+1 Nologo Ryan Walters Zayphod

I've seen more broken Onyx hubs than DT350. The bearings also last longer and the POE isn't strangling suspension action through chain growth.



What tends to break in Onyx hubs?  Have you seen problems with the vesper, classic or both?



Onyx sprag clutch hubs are basically the heaviest hubs you can buy - nearly twice as heavy as a 350.


+3 Chris 4Runner1 Nologo goose8 Zayphod

DT 350s are proper hubs. I'd go with DT any day of the week over anything else. And I've been through a lot of hubs.....



If only their bearings were a little easier to exchange in the rear driveside (where they usually fail first in my experience).


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