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Ric’s new bike

| Blog, Mountain Biking Uk | 02/05/2012 11:58am

After a few delays, our hairy Ulsterman’s new long-term bike has finally landed.

 I don’t know what it is with my longers, there’s something about my hirsute coupon which just seems to scream ‘keep him waiting, keep him waiting’. Finally though, the wait is over. Sort of.

My new Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo has arrived. Again, sort of…

Now, normally a week after receiving a new bike, it’s finally beginning to feel ‘there’. I’ve found my base settings, got the right windage in the tyres and (normally) fitted some new bars. Sadly though, this hasn’t been the case with my new Stumpy.

You see, Guy Kesteven has been on the phone, or rather, the email. The Evo is needed up north for a bike test and will then be returned to me. This has me worried. I’ve frequently ‘unpacked’ bikes which Guy has finished with in the past and it usually involves tipping the various brutalised remains out on to the workshop floor and then piecing them together like something out of Silent Witness…

Anyway, best not to dwell…

So why the Stumpy? Well, as much as I loved my Whyte 19 Trail Steel last year, I just couldn’t look past the glorious Pivot Mach 5.7 nestling beside it. The combination of light weight, slack angles and superb handling just sold me even more on the virtues of the modern full-sus trail bike. The fact that it was tough enough to race the Mega on was the icing on the cake. My next bike would have a lot to live up to…

And so with Captain Weaver’s words of keeping costs down ringing in my ears, I headed on to that most tempting of sweet-shops – the internet.

If I’m honest though, I already had an idea as to what I was after. I rode the first incarnation of the Specialized Stumpy Evo back in the dust and heat cauldron of Bootleg Canyon two years ago and instantly got on with it. We get to ride a lot of bikes here at MBUK and objectivity is paramount to work out what’s working and who it’ll work for. When you then throw a leg over something that suits you personally, it’s a great feeling.

I liked the idea behind Specialized’s Evo series – more travel, slacker angles, agro spec. Go fast, have fun. Simple.

More-over, I’ve always liked Specialized themselves too. There is an element which will always give them grief for the shiny corporate image but the fact is that they’ve done a lot for mountain biking. Indeed, the Stumpjumper was the first massed-produced mountain bike, the Horst-link FSR suspension design did for full-sus what the Audi Quattro did for rallying and racing has always been an important part of what the big red ‘S’ is all about.

Anyway… I digress. When it all boils down to a perfectly clear chicken consomme of facts, the Evo offers 150mm (6in) of travel, aggressive angles, the new Specialized Command Post and some tough Roval wheels. There’s also a 2×10 complete with guide and guard drivetrain and a Fox RP23 rear shock featuring their new Auto-Sag. Add all this together and stick a chunky set of DH tyres and you won’t go much quicker for £2500.

Will it be as good as it sounds?! Will Guy send it back as a tubeset?! Stay tuned to this blog and MBUK to find out soon…

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