First Ride: Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Pro Carbon - Pinkbike
The Pro Carbon EVO model is the first complete model to emerge, with a price tag of $6,600 USD, and a parts kit that's well matched to the bike's intentions, including SRAM Code RSC brakes, Roval Traverse carbon wheels shod with 2.6” Specialized Butcher tires, and a GX Eagle12-speed drivetrain. Fox takes care of the Stumpjumper EVO's suspension – a 150mm GRIP2 damper-equipped Fox 36 Performance Elite fork is paired with the coil-sprung DHX2 shock. There's also a less-expensive Comp Carbon model on the way, which will have the same parts kit as the alloy version. In addition, a frame-only option for both the alloy and carbon models will be available in the near future. The one thing missing from the Stumpjumper EVO lineup are frame sizes for taller and shorter riders – there are still only two options, S2 and S3. That's likely to change, although there's no set timeline. “We are looking at ways to bring this style of geometry to a broader range of riders. How and when? We are still working on that, but it is something we are all very excited about doing,” says Saletnik.
I reviewed the alloy Stumpjumper EVO a few months ago, and the vast majority of my thoughts about that model also apply to the new carbon version. It hasn't lost any of its descending capabilities, and the 1.5-pound weight difference between the Carbon Pro and the alloy model certainly doesn't hurt on the climbs.Out on the trail, the carbon frame feels more responsive, with a level of peppiness that the aluminum model didn't have. That's with a coil shock, too; an air shock would likely make it feel even livelier, although the ground-hugging traction of the DHX2 has been nice to have for the muddy and slippery conditions I've been riding in lately. I did end up switching to a 600 lb/in spring (the S3 is spec'd with a 550 lb/in spring) in order to get a little more support and avoid bottoming out too often.
It may be lighter than the aluminum version, but at the end of the day Stumpjumper Evo Carbon is still a bike that's best suited for steep, technical trails. Sure, you can ride it on mellow, flowy singletrack all you want, but that's like giving a competitive eater a single stalk of celery – it just doesn't compare to rocketing down a rugged downhill run, or polishing off 125 cupcakes in under 10 minutes.The amount of travel is the only factor that slightly limits the Stumpjumper EVO's abilities in really rough terrain, but even then, there's not much this stealthy sled can't handle. That fact does make me wonder about the next generation of the Enduro, the Stumpjumper’s longer travel sibling - I wouldn't be surprised to find out that another revision of that bike is in the works.