2014 Specialized 650b Stumpjumper Range

As predicted, the middle way is becoming the only way.

It may not seem like it, but only a few of years ago the mountain bike industry was acknowledging there may be two wheel sizes, 26” and 29” and that one was for XC racing/touring/trail-riding and the other for specialist roles, such as downhill and dirt jumping and all was clear and riders and retailers understood… and manufacturers re-engineered entire ranges and the way forward was going to be big wheels.

Except that’s not what has happened, not at all.

Now it appears (without much explanation) that 29” is really not the wheel that everyone has been looking for and that wheel is in fact 27.5” (or as it was formerly known 650b). I’m sure this means that for some they’ll pretend that last couple of years have never happened and we’ll all accept that. Errr right!

Giant was one of the first companies to do this, with their 2014 range focusing on the 27.5” wheels. Many of the bikes including 27.5 in their naming convention and bikes like the Trance SX 27.5 have gone on to earn lots of accolades.

Specialized have just announced some of their 2014 updates, starting with the Stumpjumper line. However they do not have seemed to embraced the new wheel size as openly as others, rather against the grain the have revived the 650B naming convention and thus made it all a bit murky and I think somewhat confusing for riders.

Interesting the tag-line that Specialized have chosen to promote the new range is “Bigger is better. Except when it’s not."

The Specialized Stumpjumper 650b range starts with two models as the first of the new bikes to feature the new wheel size and whilst they are not quite up to current enduro specifications they both have the specification of a quite capable trail bikes, featuring a mixture of SRAM, Rock Shox, Fox Racing Shocks and Specialised branded equipment.

2014 Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon EVO 650b
Features a carbon front triangle matched to an alloy rear.
Fork: Rock Shox Pike 150mm
Rear suspension: Fox Float CTD
Drive train: SRAM XO11
Wheels: Roval 650b
Tyres: Specialized 650b Butcher (front) / Specialized 650b Purgatory (rear)
Seatpost: Specialized Command Post Stealth

2014 Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO 650b
Features an all alloy frame
Fork: Rock Shox Revelation RC3 150mm
Rear suspension: Fox Float CTD Evolution
Drive train: SRAM 2x10 X7/X9
Wheels: Roval 650b
Tyres: Specialized 650b Butcher (front) / Specialized 650b Purgatory (rear)
Seatpost: Specialized Command Post Stealth

Source: Specialized

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