First look at the 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper

The EVO model has green highlights, the S-Works model has red.

By Shannon Mominee

The Specialized Stumpjumper is probably one of the most recognizable names in mountain bike world. With a 30-year history and a bike that has seen many makeovers, the 2012 line continues the tradition. The carbon S-Works 26” and 29” wheeled bikes have a full carbon rear triangle. An M5 aluminum frame also makes a debut with a 90mm travel fork, PF30 bottom bracket, tapered head tube, and 2×10 drivetrain for about two grand.

The Stumpjumper FSR models will be available with 26” and 29” wheels, 142mm rear spacing and Command Post dropper seatpost with internal cable routing. Another new bit is the Dangler chain tensioner. It’s made from molded plastic, weighs 30g and connects to the FSR chainstay protector.

Fox Kashima coated front and rear shocks, new trail tuned Brain technology and Rock Shox SID Brain forks will appear across the board. Stumpy will be offered in standard geometry and with EVO geometry. The difference between the two is EVO has a lower bottom bracket, slacker head tube, and comes stock with a shorter stem. EVO will be available as a carbon frame with Expert and Comp builds.

Most impressive, yet so simple, is the addition of Autosag built into the rear Fox shock exclusively for Specialized, pictured above. Autosag automatically sets the proper sag and air pressure in the shock, which can then be tweaked if desired. Basically you pump 50psi over your body weight into the shock. Get on the bike wearing all your riding gear. Reach down, push the extra Schrader valve that’s on the shock and wait until air stops escaping. Bounce up and down to cycle the shock and press the valve again to emit a little more air, slide the O-ring against the barrel and get off the bike. And incredibly, the perfect sag has been set.

Autosag will be on all Stumjumpers and looked like the next best thing to bottled beer, but I need to try it for myself. At the demo, there really no surprise. It worked and I’ll have to say I was pleased with the resulting air pressure during the two hours I spent pedaling the 29” FSR EVO Expert Carbon. Likewise when I threw a leg over the 29” FSR S-Works with a Brain.

Both of these bikes handled incredibly well, climbed like goats and made me feel really confident on exposed, sketchy downhills, even as I grew tired and my skills began to diminish. I rode the EVO first and thought it was the best bike at the demo, until I pedaled the S-Works with standard FSR geometry and a longer stem. I felt more at home on the S-Works with the steeper head tube and longer stem. But I loved the way both bikes devoured stutter-type bumps in the trail, absorbed drops, and maintained traction climbing and descending. Carved through corners, to me, felt better aboard the S-Works. Given the cash, the Stumpjumper FSR is bike that I’d actually purchase.