I want to be cool, but I’m not. To compensate, I cultivate interest in things that also aren’t cool, such as wearing road kits on mountain rides, enjoying professional bike racing, and blasting Katy Perry tunes on the trail.
You see, for the profoundly uncool, it is a badge of honor to enjoy weird things. Which is why I was so proud to ride a couple of very cool-but-sort-of-not-mainstream fat bikes (the Surly Ice Cream Truck and the Borealis Echo ). They were freakin’ awesome. And freakin’ fun.
But my longing to be different is also why I am so torn about how much I loved the Stumpjumper FSR Carbon Evo 650B. Dang, it was fast. Even I, the slowest MTB writer on planet earth, was fast on it. For a brief few moments on the Outdoor Demo test course, I was the wind.
Torn Like an Old Sweater
You’re probably thinking “Oh, really, Jim? You like a Specialized bike? Gosh, where are you even gonna find one of those?” I know, I know. It’s not cool for an uncool person to like something as popular or as ubiquitous as this Stumpy. Full disclosure, though, it gets even worse. My personal bike is a Stumpy 29. The horror!
But how can you not like it? It’s got those 27.5″ wheels that all the kids are crazy about. It’s got a Rockshox Pike fork up front, winner of Interbike’s Mountain Product Innovation of the Year 2014 award, which probably should have gone to the Bluto, but whatever. In the rear it’s got a Fox Float CTD with the super fancy autosag. It’s got a sweet 1×11 SRAM X01 drivetrain for going and Shimano XT oil-infused plate squeezers for stopping. (I’m trying out some new MTB slang.)
The list goes on and on. In fact the list quite literally goes on and on at this link to Specialized’s site.
Of course, all those features and a cornea-rupturing paint job don’t come cheap. The Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon Evo 650B will scrape $6,500 out of your wallet as fast as a platform pedal scrapes flesh off a shin. But then again, life is short. Each of us only has so many pedal strokes in us. Might as well make the most of them.
Check out this rear oil-infused plate squeezer setup:
If a bike feels good, it feels good. Just like Katy Perry’s music. Sure, she’s popular, but her music is also amazing. Undeniable even. Which is why I like it even though it hurts my anti-society credibility.
I feel the same way about this penultimate Stumpjumper, where the ultimate would presumably be the S-Works version thereof. It’s undeniable.
Look, you’re probably lots cooler than me, which means you have no conundrum whatsoever about liking this bike. Get thee to a demo day or dealer and show this bike some leg. Should be easy enough to find a Specialized dealer, after all.
Greg just so happened to review the 29″ version of this bike at Outdoor Demo as well. And no, we didn’t plan this. Spoiler alert: he loved it too.