Video by Rupert Walker
Photos by Anthony Smith
Words by Brice Minnigh
Specialized Bicycles introduced its much-anticipated new Stumpjumper 650b model and spring apparel line this weekend, and we used it as an excuse to shred some of Santa Cruz’s prime loam. We have photos of the new bike and apparel below, but first check out this revealing video:
The new Stumpjumper 27.5 will replace the time-honored 26-inch-wheeled version of the Stumpy—one of the most important mountain bikes of all time. Though Specialized has in the past been very outspoken in its view that 650b is not the wheel-size panacea that the bike industry has made it out to be, the company has conceded to the commercial reality that 27.5-inch wheels are in heavy demand and debuted the ‘tweener’ size with its Stumpjumper model.
The company is sticking by its position that the 29-inch-wheeled Stumpjumper is the ultimate trail bike, but members of Specialized’s development team believe the 650b Stumpy is also an incredibly fun bike.
We rode in Specialized’s new apparel, and found the shorts, jerseys, gloves and socks to have an extremely comfortable fit and feel. But the item that stood out the most for me and Anthony was the new Atlas Pro bib short, which features deep, expansive pockets at the waist, providing ample room for items like tubes, tools, food and a water bottle.
This minimalist approach epitomizes Specialized’s new ‘SWAT’ (Storage, Water, Air, Tools) concept for apparel and bike details, incorporating items such as a miniature multi-tool attached to the base of a water-bottle cage and a chain breaker that threads into the steerer tube underneath the topcap. All of these innovations were fueled by Specialized employees who were looking for ways to eliminate the need for a backpack.
For guys like me and Anthony, who are always trying to avoid wearing a backpack on rides, these bib shorts are a real godsend, freeing us from the fetters of a cumbersome pack while allowing us to take everything one needs on most rides. We’ll write more about the apparel and its development in a future post, but for now, suffice it to say we’re stoked to see these new bib shorts.