2019 Specialized Stumpjumper launched

Standard travel, short travel, and EVO versions in alloy and carbon

27.5 29er All Mountain Trail
2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

The 2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29.

The year marks the redesign of the Specialized Stumpjumper, a bike that has been on the trails since 1981. Specialized checks off every single box with this bike, underlines a few, and adds some of their own. Three build levels are available, and 27.5 and 29 wheel sizes are offered for all variants. In the lead-up to this launch, Specialized provided Mtbr an all-access pass to their engineers so we could dive deep and geek out about the what’s and why’s of the redesigned Stumpjumper.

Before delving into specifics, a general model overview is needed. As mentioned, three versions are available: standard travel, short travel (replacing the Camber), and EVO. Specialized uses the phrases: fast and planted, snappy and nimble, and gravity-focused to describe each of these versions. Both wheel sizes are available for all models, there are carbon and alloy frames, and various component options, too. The standard and short travel versions are available at local dealers now. Pricing info is below.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper USA Pricing
  • S-Works: $9500
  • S-Works frame-only: $3200
  • Expert: $5500
  • Comp Carbon: $4200 (Also available in Women’s 27.5 Regular Travel and Women’s 29 ST)
  • Comp EVO: $3600
  • Comp Alloy: $3,000 (Also available in Women’s 27.5 Regular Travel and Women’s 29 ST model)
  • ST base: $1850 (base only available in ST, alloy, both Men’s and Women’s 29 and 27.5)
2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Matt Hunter dropping in on the new Stumpy. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

Standard Travel vs. Short Travel

How do they differ? It’s actually simple. Short travel models have the same frame as standard travel, but a different shock, shock extension, and fork. They also come equipped with 2.3 tires instead of the 2.6s on all the others. Key standard travel measures are: 29er 150mm/140mm front and rear travel; 27.5 150mm/150mm f/r. Short travel comes in at 130mm/120mm f/r for 29er, and 130mm/130mm f/r for 27.5. And yes, Specialized has finally adopted the 27.5 nomenclature. No more 650b.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper Sort Travel S-Works. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

What’s Exciting?

The list is long. Gone are symmetry and flex, arriving is the sidearm and threaded bottom bracket. Returning is a chainstay bridge and remaining is SWAT. The list continues with a new dropper post, reengineered chainstay protector and improved cable routing.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Even the marketing guy likes to party. “Product testing,” looks legit. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

During development, significant time was spent equating and optimizing the feel of rider contact points using both computer simulations and saddle time. Mountain specific stiffness metrics were developed, rather than simply reusing optimal from road. The Stumpjumper’s geometry has also been revised, relaxing certain angles, steepening others, and stretching things out.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Test mule, overwrapped frame, custom linkage. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

The Specialized engineers started from the simulation-based stiffness numbers, tested them on the trail, then overwrapped the frames with additional material and sent their riders back out. This was repeated to see what the additional material actually felt like while riding. Some numbers might change by tiny percentages in the lab, but equate to a large difference in feel. One notable area where they wanted to improve was tracking through chattery corners.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Specialized engineers putting their product to work in the field with Ned Overend in hot pursuit. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

After extensive testing they arrived at a balance point, where additional material did not improve stiffness, preventing unnecessary additional weight. The end result, comparing medium 2017 Comp Carbon frame vs. 2018 Comp Carbon: 2018 is 550g lighter. The newer Comp frame now includes a carbon rear triangle, so an apples-to-apples comparison would be S-Works all carbon, which resulted in a weight reduction of about 250g versus the 2017 model.

The rear end of the new frame is 8% stiffer than the previous generation, claims Specialized. And the new frame itself is 20% more efficient, without accounting for optimizations in layup and construction. These efforts have an additional perk – SWAT storage is now 20% larger.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Down tube cross-section comparison of 2017 vs. 2018 Stumpjumper Carbon frames.

A contributing factor to increased lateral stiffness is the sidearm. This appears to add a common practice from roll cage design: triangulation, which significantly increases package stiffness. Adding the sidearm ties the three mounting points together: shock to frame, linkage to shock extension, and linkage to frame.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Sidearm frame design. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

The shock is mounted off-center to the non-drive side, using an offset extension to attach to the seat stays. During the design process, forces acting upon every single bearing were analyzed and parts specified appropriately, resulting a significantly larger, stronger, and more durable main bearing pivot bearing, said Specialized.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Shock extension development. Photo courtesy Specialized

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Rejoice – a threaded bottom bracket can be found on the 2018 Stumpjumper.

Geometry

Both Standard and Short Travel Stumpjumpers share the same frame, yet geo numbers are slightly different due to the bike’s static position. Notable items for 29er are 66.5-degree head tube angle, 437mm chainstays, moderate reach at 445mm (Large), 641mm of stack (Large), 74.1-degree seat tube angle, and 342mm BB height. The 27.5 version is slightly slacker with a 65.5-degree head angle, 432mm chainstays, 455mm reach (Large), 623mm stack (Large), 74.6 degree seat tube angle and ground-scraping 336mm BB height. The ST versions of each bike have BB heights of 333mm and 325mm, respectively, though the ST measurements are both using 27.5″x2.6″ tires.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

The 2018 Specialized Stumpjumper on display at a press launch in Spain.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper Standard Men's Geo Chart

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper 29 and 27.5 Men’s standard travel.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29.

The 29er version of this frame remains compatible with 27.5+ tires, and both frames are claimed to accommodate up to a 3.0 tire in the back, while maximum width up front is determined by the fork. All frames have boost hub spacing.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Rear tire clearance with a 29×2.6 Purgatory. Seems like 3.0 would be mighty tight.

Specialized incorporated geometry adjustment into the shock eyelet’s flip chip (a standard eyelet metric shock is now used), which lets the rider change the headtube angle by 0.5 degrees and BB height by 6mm.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Adjustable geometry via shock eyelet flipchip. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

EVO

The EVO build is available in alloy, two wheel sizes, and two frame sizes for each, S2 and S3. Basically, just choose your reach. Seat tubes are incredibly short, so rider height should not impact it. These bikes will be available around June. We’ll have more info closer to that time. Travel is identical to the standard travel bike, just using different geometry.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Geo Chart

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO 29 and 27.5. Photo courtesy of Specialized

Suspension

Specialized spent significant time working with both Fox and RockShox during the Stumpjumper’s development, merging frame kinematics with spring curve to optimize the wheel forces. The end result is a fairly linear force progression through the travel. The 2018 frame’s leverage ratio goes from ~3.0 to ~2.6 as it progresses through its travel.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

2019 Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works. Photo courtesy Harookz/Specialized

Some bike models have a women’s specific version, which also include a Women’s Trail RX Tune that’s optimized for lighter riders. If a rider wants the frame-only version (not women’s specific bike), the shock can be tuned to the Women’s RX specifications, which mostly involves a less progressive air spring, a user or shop serviceable item. Gone are Ohlins suspension and auto-sag functionality.

The EVO has a similar damper and damper tune to the other bike models, but the air spring has been modified. Goals for EVO are excellent small bump performance and descending capability while maintaining big hit performance. So it has a more powerful negative air spring (for small bumps) with more progressive positive spring (for full travel support).

After an exhaustive optimization process, Specialized wanted to ensure customers can still make the bike match personal preferences and riding style demands. As such, the stock air springs target the midpoint of adjustment. If you want more ramp-up, add spacers, if you want less, remove some. If you want to run a coil, the frame works well with that, too. Does it void the warranty? Nope. But the user is expected to ensure clearances and match OE specified eye-to-eye and stroke. The point is, Specialized attempted to maximize user customization.

Weights

During our brief test period Mtbr had the opportunity to compare weights on a few models. These numbers are less about absolutes and more about relative comparison. All bikes were setup tubeless (no idea about sealant quantity in each), without pedals, with empty SWAT pockets:

  • S-Works ST 29 M: 27.1lbs, L: 27.9lbs
  • S-Works 29 M: 27.7lbs, L: 28.4lbs
  • Expert 29 M: 28.8lbs, L: 29.3lbs
  • Comp Alloy 29 L: 31.9lbs
Dropper Post

The Command Post has finally been updated and now has 160mm of drop, 16 positions, reduced top-out force, and increased stiffness with a 34.9mm seat tube.

2019 Specialized Command Post dropper actuation.

Chain Reactions

Two improvements have been made around the chain. The chainstay protector has been rethought and retitled. It’s now called the Chain Silencer. Instead of padding for a great big slap, Specialized added some filtering to soften the motion prior to stopping it, resulting in a very quiet ride and improved frame protection.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

The new Chain Silencer means slap-free protection. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

The upper chain guide has also been redesigned, adding strength and retention capability plus the convenience of tool-free chain removal.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

The new upper chain guide allows for tool-free chain removal. Photo courtesy Harookz / Specialized

Cable Routing

Most modern frames have internal cabling. Some are easier to route than others. I’ve not seen any that are as easy as what this Stumpjumper has. From entry to exit, the routes are fully enclosed, even transitioning between the frame and the chainstays. It’s a total enclosure on both the carbon and alloy frames. Yes, you’ll need to open your brake line when installing new brakes, but properly installing them means cutting the line to length anyway.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

Cables are fully enclosed from down tube to chain stays.

SWAT

Through redesigning the frame, stiffness increased, but the frame walls actually moved outward and became thinner so additional volume is available for the SWAT pocket. Specialized also removed the bezel that used to protrude. The door now attaches directly to the frame, and a full size water bottle still fits.

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper

The 2019 Stumpjumper SWAT door now attaches directly to frame and has 20% larger capacity.

Bottom line, in Mtbr’s opinion the 2019 Stumpjumper addresses all rider requests we’ve heard, pushing beyond those minimums to create the bike both Specialized’s riders and designers want. It appears to be a daily do-it-all bike with few limitations, making rides easier and more enjoyable. After learning all of the information provided above, we had three days to ride the trails around Ainsa, Spain, to see for ourselves how it rode.

To learn more check out our First Ride Impressions here and head over to www.specialized.com.


About the author: John Bennett

With 210 lbs of solid, descending mass, John is a good litmus test of what bikes and components will survive out there in the real world. And with a good engineering mind, John is able to make sense of it all as well. Or at least come up with fancy terms to impress the group.


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  • dickachu says:

    Orbea rallon us market version with hole in down tube.

    • Cole Trickle says:

      Ok, we’re going there…can’t you say that the Rallon copied this design from the Demo, which was released a few years ago?

      • dickachu says:

        So you confirming that the specialized copied this design from Gian Giacomo Caprotti, from 1534 sketch ?

        • Will Urich says:

          I enjoyed going to the wikipedia about the history of the bicycle and learning a tiny bit just now about Gian Giacomo Caprotti, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about Specialized copying a 400 year old design? Or are you commenting that Specialized didn’t innovate enough on their own? Aren’t we all climbing up the backs and over the heads of giants of the past? Isn’t that what human innovation is? Nobody is inventing the wheel over again.

  • benito says:

    “reduced top out force” on the Command Post – thank God

  • M. says:

    Still milking that 20 year old suspension design, eh Specialized?

  • Z says:

    Bravo Specialized for finally getting rid of the proprietary BS! I’m looking forward to ridding this bike! Looks bad ass. However, two notes.

    1. Your price point range sucks. You need something between $5500 & $9500. Say a proper Sram X01 build, with a non-carbon rim set? I can only assume that the wheel set on the Expert is carbon as it’s not listed in your specs. Look at the Santa Cruz Bronson, probably your main competitor.

    2. I rode the Butcher tires for a few years. Loved’m. A proper trail bike need better rear braking traction than the purg can produce. At least put a Butcher on the back. This combo rocks.

    2a. However, the Maxxis Minion is a superior tire. Period. End of story. You’ve come this far, just do it.

  • jason says:

    Specialized crushes it again. Whether you love them or hate them, they set the bar higher than the rest. Is it still cool to hate Specialized?

  • Will Urich says:

    Shout out to ma boi Tyler Wagnor at Specialized for working on the dope team that made this bike a reality. Love you man and can’t wait to shred!

  • BC Shelby says:

    …crikey. quite the change from the 36 year old beast of the same name I still ride. Not sure I like the single small front chain ring as I use mine for commuting on Portland’s oft “trail quality” streets that would beat most standard commuter bikes (and their riders) into submission.

    • Will Urich says:

      Could you explain a bit differently what you mean about Portland’s streets being trail quality and how they’re difficult to bike on/along? Is it because they’re really steep or something?

  • Steven W. says:

    A rather ugly frame design if you ask me, imo, I preferred there 2015 models over these new ones, they looked awesome and were function, was great, so why constantly change it so drastically ? An then to make it ugly to boot :O.

  • Mark J says:

    Where is the $3000 price point bike for the ST version? For women, they have an alloy version about $3000. For men, the jump is from $1850 to $4200. It seems to me that the volume seller would be the $3000 alloy version, makes no sense at all.

    • Dobo says:

      Not sure where Mark J got his information, but there are Men’s Comp Alloy versions at same $3000 price point. That said, there are some problems with the filters on the Specialized website and some of the Alloy versions don’t show up if you filter by “Stumpjumper”.

  • Tyler says:

    What does it weigh?

  • Holmstrom says:

    I am confused by the paragraph quoted. Is this comparison from 2017 to 2018 or to 2019? Please update the article for those of us who a seriously considering this bike. “After extensive testing they arrived at a balance point, where additional material did not improve stiffness, preventing unnecessary additional weight. The end result, comparing medium 2017 Comp Carbon frame vs. 2018 Comp Carbon: 2018 is 550g lighter. The newer Comp frame now includes a carbon rear triangle, so an apples-to-apples comparison would be S-Works all carbon, which resulted in a weight reduction of about 250g versus the 2017 model.”

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