The 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Has Landed

Date Oct 6, 2020

Each iteration of the Specialized Stumpjumper is looked upon as a chapter in the progression of MTB design. In normal times, we'd be referring back to notes from a media camp and reflecting on several days of riding, and several hours of product briefings from engineers, product managers, etc...Unfortunately that's not where we're at right now, so instead we've got a whole bunch of info from Specialized about their new Stumpjumper EVO, and will deliver our test impressions once our test bike arrives. So, while we can't comment on how this sucker rides yet, we can share the info we have and say that at the very least, we think it's going to be an improvement on the last gen EVO, which was progressive (perhaps a touch too progressive, at least in terms of BB height on the 27.5" version) and went like stink in the twisty bits.

For now, enjoy what we've got, and we'll bring you a test as soon as we can manage it.

Let's start with the video, because it's rad.

Frankly, it would've been pretty slick to just put that sucker out and then drop the mic, but, details, geo, spec, pricing, colours, we get it. Here's the details from Specialized...

We’re lucky to be riding during the Golden Age of mountain biking. We have access to more trails than ever, built with more diversity than ever, riders are progressing and nailing what was previously impossible, and now the new Stumpjumper EVO has evolved to meet the demands of modern riders. Delivering unprecedented control, capability and adjustability, along with unexpected climb-ability, it tames any terrain from chundery jank to progressive high-speed flow and modern big hits. It’s your seat in the eye of the hurricane. And that’s good, ‘cause when shit starts flying on the trail, you’ll be zen in the middle of the mayhem.


Control and Capability

The EVO brings control and capability to every rider, every style, in every trail scenario. This bike serves up so much control, you can pick lines you never even saw before. And in those inevitable pilot-error situations, the EVO is your auto-correct for blown lines and your insurance policy for misjudged hucks.

Geometry–Capability and Stability

Available in six style-specific sizes, the Stumpjumper EVO sets the benchmark for progressive trail geometry, delivering DH capability never before found in a 150mm bike alongside lively climbing manners. How? The generous cockpit gives you the room you need–centering you on the bike, optimizing traction and corner control. The low bottom bracket, slack headtube angle and reduced fork offset keep things stable in the rough, while giving you the freedom to destroy the turns, float through them, or nail the inside lines. A steeper seat tube optimizes power output and puts your weight over the front while climbing. And short chainstays keep things flickable and nimble.

S-Sizing–Sized for Your Riding Style

S-Sizing is style-specific sizing, meaning that now you can choose your frame size based on something that matters (complementing your riding style) instead of something that doesn’t (your inseam). See, two riders might be the same stature, but have totally different styles. The poppy rider who flicks her bike around the trail will be even poppier on a smaller bike. The rider who plows chunder and smashes rocks at speed will plow and smash with conviction on a longer bike. Determining your size is easy, each of the sizes from S1 to S6 correlates to a previous size. For example, if you rode a Medium before, then S-3 will be your equivalent size. But… if you want a quicker, more nimble ride, you’d drop down to an S2. Want a bike that’s more stable at speed or in the gnar? Bump up to an S4.


Adjustability–Six Geo Settings to Match Style and Terrain

To be The Ultimate Trail Bike means to rule for any rider style in any terrain. That’s a big ask. The way we deliver is through the most adjustable geometry we’ve ever offered on a trail bike.

Head Angle is adjustable between 63 and 65.5 degrees via unique eccentric headset cups with three settings. So, whether you’re riding steep and deep, low-speed technical, or something in between, you can tune your EVO trailside in minutes to match the terrain.

How low can you go? To keep your center of gravity down and thereby keep stability high, the EVO bottom bracket is always low. But now you can fine-tune BB height by 7mm by swapping the Horst link chips.

Mixed wheel adaptable (29/27.5) Mullets are a thing these days. Not the hairstyle, though. Those are best still treated with wary respect and plenty of distance. No, we are talking about a 27.5” rear wheel and a 29” front. The big hoop up front provides traction and stability everywhere, while opting to run a smaller rear wheel can liven up responsiveness and also give more physical riders a skosh more room to get rad without hooking their shorts on the rear wheel. We utilize a different, aftermarket shock link to achieve Mulletdom with the EVO, in order to retain the handling, geometry and suspension characteristics that enable the rest of the package to shred so assertively.



The EVO’s 160mm front travel and 150mm rear feels bottomless on big drops, supple on small bumps, devours square-edged hits, yet still pedals responsively and climbs like a lightweight. The key ingredient here is Rx Tune–your prescription for fast. Riders all, our team of engineers and technicians toiled to develop every aspect of the EVO’s suspension into an optimally performing singularity. Chassis design, telemetry, wheel rates, spring curves, custom shim-stacks, oil viscosity–front and rear suspension obsessed over, prototyped and tuned to deliver optimized and balanced performance, allowing the bike to disappear beneath you, leaving you confidently in control.

Leverage Rate

The new EVO’s leverage rate is derived from the Enduro’s progressive approach. This is key to delivering small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support, and compliant but controlled full travel when really stomping the big hits. The tuned leverage rate also makes it easier to refine the shock to match the kinematics. Bottom line, the suspension does what you need it to, so you can do what you want to do: shred.

Axle Path

Taking a cue from the kinematics of its big brother Enduro, the new EVO’s axle path is tailored for getting after it. The axle moves rearward in the first third of travel, and then vertically in the mid-travel before arcing to a forward trajectory toward bottom out. To break this down, the rearward path in the first portion of travel allows the wheel to “swing” back with the bump force, decreasing hangup and thereby helping to carry speed. As the bike moves deeper into its travel, where pedaling isn’t typical, the forward axle path disconnects chain forces from pedaling forces, allowing the suspension to independently compress in response to input from the trail.


Bottom bracket height is controlled by flipping the Horst Link chip, giving 7 mm of adjustability.

Tuned Stiffness

Send it, Mama Bear. That’s right, not too stiff, not too soft…. this bike slaps! These days we can make a frame as stiff as the day is long, but it turns out that’s not what feels good on the trail. To be one with the bike requires engineered compliance in the frame. We call the EVO frame a “Sidearm” chassis. See that asymmetric strut that flows along the right side of the shock between the top tube and seat tube? That’s the Sidearm and it’s an integral part of the EVO frame, minimizing twist and allowing us to deliver a very specific feel that unifies the frame from front to rear. Sidearm design not only delivers the ride quality you crave, it does it while using the absolute minimum of material, rendering a frame that is strong, lively and exceptionally lightweight.


Our Rider-First Engineered™ process delivers the optimal balance of tuned stiffness, weight and ride quality from all six sizes, ensuring every rider experiences the same ultimate trail ride characteristics. This is achieved through extensive data acquisition of forces through every conceivable part of the frame, in every frame size, and then validated with countless hours of railing, sending, and all-round shredding (that’s the fun part).

SWAT–Ready for Anything

The SWAT door on the Stumpjumper EVO is a masterpiece of carbon fiber construction and spatial optimization. A simple pull and twist of the water bottle cage opens into a cavernous downtube storage compartment. There’s 15% more room than before–enough room to store 22oz of life-giving water in an included, specifically designed bladder. Or some tubes and a rain jacket. Or folded up slices of pizza. Or multiple bananas (careful with that last one). Because we can tailor the layup of our carbon fiber, putting material where it is needed most, we can also design in this easy access storage compartment with zero compromise of chassis strength or stiffness.


Naturally, the SWAT box remains, with 15% more capacity for gummy bears and breakfast burritos.

Tires–Roll Fast, Grip Hard

The Stumpjumper EVO comes shod with a versatile Eliminator/Butcher tire combo. The rear Eliminator features our T7 compound, bringing durability, toughness and precise feel to this already aggressive but fast-rolling tire. Up front, a blocky Butcher in our super-grippy, uniquely crafted T9 compound offers surefooted traction, rebound control and small bump damping. It’s like being Velcroed to the trail.


The Sidearm chassis layout makes it light, while pedal-friendly kinematics and geometry deliver efficiency. Bottom line–earning your turns won’t leave you wasted, so you can shred what you came for.

Light Matter(s)

Let’s just be blunt about this, weight matters. Yes, aggressive tires are going to weigh more, and components you can pummel are going to pack on the grams, but you still gotta get that bike up the hills, and when it comes to climbing, excess mass can feel like it’s dragging you down to the center of the earth. With an S-4 frame weight pared down to 2750 grams*, we cut no corners with the EVO–it’s the lightest frame possible for the performance you need to dominate in the hazardous duty you’ll put it through. We then dressed each model in carefully spec’d componentry that delivers maximum performance with minimal weight. EVO is light enough to get you to the top without being cross-eyed for the downhill, and tough enough to let you get as rowdy as you want on the way down.

* Actual weight of a production painted S4 frame in “ready to build” assembly including shock, all assembly hardware, link, carbon extension, molded downtube and chainstay protectors, axle and seat clamp.


Kinematics and Pedaling Manners

There’s a generous amount of anti-squat early in the EVO’s travel. When it comes to climbing responsiveness and pedaling snap, anti-squat is your friend. It helps you put the power to the ground without unwanted pedal-induced bob, and it transforms wattage into forward and upward momentum. As the suspension moves through its travel, the anti-squat characteristics drop below zero, and the suspension focuses on sucking up everything from chunder to dead sailoring blind hucks-to-flat.

Chassis Stiffness

We tuned the entire chassis–front end, rear end, and the link that unifies them–as a single unit that minimizes lateral deflection under pedaling to get the most of every bit of pedal force.

Down in Front!

The steeper seat tube angle, reduced offset fork, and forward-biased riding position keeps power to the pedals, and keeps the steering quick and nimble while climbing. Instead of a sluggish climbing compromise, the EVO’s pedal-happy geometry makes easy work out of getting to the top, so you’ll be energized and ready to send the descents.

Shred in Silence

You won’t realize how much chain-slap was bumming your ride until it’s gone. Oh, the joy of silence! Our proprietary chainstay protector makes the drivetrain virtually silent by disrupting the sinewave of an unchecked chain clattering away in the rough. The result is the transcendent silence of one hand clapping.



2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Geometry

2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Models & Pricing

2021 S-Works Stumpjumper EVO.jpg

The 2021 S-Works Stumpjumper EVO comes in two colourways and will cost $9,899 US.

2021 Stumpjumper EVO Pro.jpg

The 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro is going to set you back $7,299 US.

2021 Stumpjumper EVO Expert.jpg

2021 Stumpjumper Expert: $4,899 US.

2021 Stumpjumper EVO Comp.jpg

2021 Stumpjumper EVO Comp: $4,099 US.

2021 Stumpjumper EVO Frame Only.jpg

And finally, the 2021 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO will be available as a frame only option, which will come in two colourways and cost $2,999 US.

Stumpjumper EVO Creators

Being tasked with creating the rippingest trail bike we’ve ever made is no small feat. Steve Saletnik, Brian Robinson, Jamie Stafford, Will Chan and Chance Ferro, and more than a dozen others dug into every aspect of handling, stiffness and suspension kinematics to do exactly that.

Brian Robinson - Design Engineering

Jamie Stafford - Industrial Design

Will Chan - Composites Engineering

Chance Ferro - Suspension R&D

Steve Saletnik - Product Manager

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+3 Niels Pete Roggeman cxfahrer
Marc Fenigstein  - Oct. 6, 2020, 9:32 a.m.

Would be great to see a simple list of the incremental changes from the last (thru-2020) SJ EVO. Looks like:

  • Added size range, now Including S1, S4, S5, and S6
  • Reach reduced significantly to line up sizing more closely to rest of line - new S3 now shorter than old S2, new S4 shorter than old S3
  • Steeper SA by about 1.5deg
  • Longer chainstays on the S5 and S6
  • Raised main pivot point (I think) to increase anti-squat and rear axle path
  • Change from tapered dropset to adjustable upper cup for +/- 1 deg adjustable HA
  • Revised link and yoke (maybe?) to use 55mm stroke shock (up from 52.5mm) and get to 150mm travel
  • Looks like a touch less BB drop, maybe related to the longer travel and revised link
  • Others?

Appreciate the creativity put Into the PR copy, but It really obscures the substance In this case.


Marc Fenigstein  - Oct. 6, 2020, 12:43 p.m.

FWIW, this looks like an absolutely stellar bike - checks more of the boxes for a burly trail bike than any other I can think of. I was already considering an older EVO, so now I'm just trying to understand what a '21 S3 has to offer that an old '20 S2 doesn't especially since I liked the aluminum version.


+2 Marc Fenigstein WasatchEnduro
WalrusRider  - Oct. 6, 2020, 12:53 p.m.

The improved kinematics and adjustability of the new bike would be worth it. Then there is the SWAT storage which is amazing. Also, it's way too early to know but the last generation bike has a tendency to destroy shocks due to side loading from the frame flexing. My buddies and I have destroyed 5 shocks in two years between three bikes. Just something to keep in mind.


WasatchEnduro  - Oct. 6, 2020, 3:56 p.m.

Air or coil Walrus?  I had the same concern recently considering an Ohlins coil for my Ripmo AF (driven off a clevis like the stumpy) as Ibis specs the DVO coil which has a 'thicker' stanchion/damper rod (tee hee).  The Ohlins dealer I spoke with said their steel rod, whilst smaller diameter, was strong AF and rarely had issues, even on Specialized bikes.

Anyways, I think the comp model of the new evo is gonna fly off the shelves.  Lotsa value there (usd) for a full carbon slx setup with shocks that are decent enough for most of us.


+1 WasatchEnduro
WalrusRider  - Oct. 6, 2020, 8:35 p.m.

All air shocks. DVO Topaz and Super Deluxe Ultimates blowing due to scoring on the damper shafts.


+1 WasatchEnduro
fartymarty  - Oct. 6, 2020, 10:36 p.m.

I had a similar conversation with TF Tuned (UK suspension tuner) regarding an Ohlins for my Murmur (steel frame with lots of flex).  They said Ohlins were a great strong shock.


+1 Marc Fenigstein
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 6, 2020, 12:47 p.m.

Fair comment. We were given very little heads up and it was a lot to sort through. COVID plus some new personnel means we didn't have the lead time on this that we normally do. But, thanks for the help! I'll give you a buzz before the next launch and see if you can be our Coles Notes amigo ;)


Marc Fenigstein  - Oct. 13, 2020, 9:10 a.m.

Wasn't meant as a critique of NSMB. Love you guys. More the Specialized press release - I. wish they would have let the video be the fun part and given us more substance In their written release.


+1 WasatchEnduro
Cr4w  - Oct. 6, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

While I'm stoked that they're finally here, S6 and adjustable geometry. I wonder if Chris Porter feels vindicated now?


+1 Marc Fenigstein
Cr4w  - Oct. 9, 2020, 1:10 p.m.

Booing me


Lu Kz  - Oct. 6, 2020, 10:57 a.m.

Man, I understood calling them S1, S2, S3 or so when they only did 2-3 sizes..... but now that there's six sizes, isn't the lettering system better? As Marc points out, the old numbers and new numbers don't at all line up. What if they release a demo or something next year with three sizes, s1,2,3 etc. Are they going to line up with this? Logically, they should make them line up. Which might read something like S2, s4, s5 or something. That would be nonsensical. 

I'm looking forward more to seeing the non-evo version of this. When the regular stumpjumper came out before, it was already very.... contemporary for a 2018 (MY 2019 because specialized is often an entire year ahead), and by the time 2019 actual rolled around, it was downright conservative.  

I'm willing to bet its not out at the same time because they already released the 2021 stumpjumper in May or April or whenever they did it this year. Now I bet the non-evo version is ready but they couldn't possibly release a 2022 in 2020.


+1 AJ Barlas Andy Eunson Lu Kz
IslandLife  - Oct. 6, 2020, 3:38 p.m.

To me, numbers make more sense vs Small/Medium/Large... More and more, people are choosing bikes based on the overall geo they like (reach/wheelbase etc).  Rather than continuing to pigeon-hole people into large or medium bike riders... just choose based on preferred geo... more companies need to start doing this.

Number sizes don't need to "line up" or relate to anything else... they're just the numbered geo options available for that bike.  Another bike will have it's own numbered geo options.  Kinda like how one bike model's "Large" usually doesn't have much to do with another model's "Large".  Hopefully it will get more people to stop comparing "sizes" and just figure out the geo they like.

It's especially nice to see more companies offering multiple geo adjust features. Lots of same height riders have different ape-indexes and in-seams, or just prefer different reaches, wheelbases H&SA's.

This is all a good thing.


Lu Kz  - Oct. 7, 2020, 11:17 a.m.

Your first point would make more sense if the seat tube length was smaller between sizes. You can't simply "choose your reach" if the seat tube length is going to be too long for you. 

And sure, the numbers don't need to line up perfectly. My second point is that their numbering system SHOULD stay the same between their lineup though. If you enjoy your medium optic, you'll probably be happy on a medium Sight. Are those bikes identical number wise? No. But being an S5 in one bike and an S2 in another creates needless confusion among the same lineup. To say a "large" usually has nothing to do with another "large" within the same brands lineup is moronic: they're both larges designed by the same company. Sure, you'll have variance from intent, YOY differences when one model is older than another, but it's still a general guide to who this bike is intended for. 

If you could truly just pick your desired geometry, we'd see a lot less variance in seat tube length and stand over heights. It's not bad, they've done a good job keeping it in relative check, but it's not perfect either. 

And sure, it's great for an enthusiast like yourself, but its going to be a mild pain for people selling these. Asking the average Specialized customer (even those who ride a lot, are pretty good riders, and are willing to drop some serious coin on carbon Stumpjumper) to pick their preferred reach isn't going to go well. They aren't going to put the work in. They'll grab the two sizes that the sales person hands to them and pick which feels better. They'll never know the reach number. Telling them they're riding an S3 and an S4 just makes their life a tiny bit harder then having them try an M and an M/L.


+1 Pete Roggeman
WalrusRider  - Oct. 6, 2020, 12:10 p.m.

On paper this new Evo looks sick! They remedied a lot of the issues I have with my last generation Evo. Geometry adjustment options are a welcome addition as well as the larger frame storage and water bladder. Riding without a pack is a very enjoyable experience and with the bladder full I could ride 15+ miles with no pack. I look forward to demoing one to see if it's worth upgrading from my current frame.


Merwinn  - Oct. 6, 2020, 1:57 p.m.

"Shirt on or off?" LOL!


dorkweed  - Oct. 6, 2020, 8:49 p.m.

A small thing, but they don’t seem to have spec’d the cassette on the various models listed. Curious if they went up or down on those since some of the bikes are a mix of GX and X01 or others.


Andy Eunson  - Oct. 7, 2020, 9:35 a.m.

I like a lot of things about this bike. Storage solutions, adjustability most of the geometry but then it’s ruined by a stupid steep seat tube angle.


LAT  - Oct. 11, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

not that i want to be all negative, but...

from looking at the pictures and where the saddles are in relation to the BB, the claimed seat angles are way too steep.


+1 WasatchEnduro
Sean Chee  - Oct. 12, 2020, 5:37 a.m.

Whilst I can't buy a Spec' for ethical reasons, I will happily say that Spec's SWAT is a big tick for me. It is a really impressively engineered system.


WasatchEnduro  - Oct. 13, 2020, 9:02 a.m.

Thank you for signaling how virtuous you are.


Tjaard Breeuwer  - Oct. 14, 2020, 7:41 p.m.

As a tall rider, I have been asking for long chainstays, steep seat angle,long reach and high stack. As a rider with mostly mellow trails, I want something that pedals decently and doesn’t have a super slack head angle.

Not only did they make it, but I can still slacken it way out and have a sled for when you Canadians let us into Whistler again.

And they went to the big seat tubes, great now that seat posts are sticking so far out of the frame.


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