Specialized Offers 650B Stumpjumper

The final hold-out among major U.S. brands will make at least two 650B bikes for model year 2015

The FSR Expert Carbon EVO 650B comes with a SRAM X01 drivetrain and a RockShox Pike fork.

The FSR Expert Carbon EVO 650B comes with a SRAM X01 drivetrain and a RockShox Pike fork.

Specialized is offering two models of its venerable Stumpjumper mountain bike in the 650B, or 27.5-inch, wheel size, becoming the final major U.S. brand to market a mountain bike built around the meet-in-the-middle wheels.

The Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO and FSR Expert Carbon EVO are both available in 650B, according to the Specialized website. Three models of the Stumpjumper 26-inch wheels are still listed on the site, alongside the 650B additions.

That wheel size has gained swift and widespread acceptance among mountain-bike manufacturers in the past several years—nearly sending 26-inch-wheeled bikes into obsolescence, especially at the high-end—but Specialized had resisted the shift until now. Instead it has focused on the merits of its larger-wheeled 29er bikes, particularly the long-travel Enduro 29er.

According to its website, the 650B models are purpose-built for aggressive trail riding, and set themselves apart from other Stumpys with a slacker head angle and 150 millimeters of front and rear travel. The geometry is not available for the 650B models, and 26-inch Stumpys are already built around a 150-millimeter suspension platform, so it would appear that the 650B bikes are not gaining additional travel.

The $3,400 FSR Comp Evo 650B model comes in an alloy frame with a SRAM X9 10-speed rear derailleur and X7 front derailleur; Shimano Deore brakes; custom Fox Float CTD rear shock with Autosag; RockShox Revelation RC3 650B front fork; and Specialized-branded tires and cockpit parts, including the Command dropper post.

The $6,500 Expert carbon fiber EVO version also gets you XT brakes and a SRAM X01 1×11 drivetrain and a RockShox Pike fork. For full details, go to www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/stumpjumper-fsr