The brand we love to hate…
Well, I do anyway.
I know what you’re going to say to this. You’re going to say; “Come on 80, you know everything! How could you not know this??”
Turns out I don’t know everything. And one of the things I don’t know is that Specialized released a Stumpjumper Classic in 2007.
Clearly, I do know this now, but when I wrote this, I didn’t. Well, I mean that when I found out that I didn’t know, that’s when I kne- let’s just get to the bike;
To commemorate the 25th year of the Stumpjumper, Specialized released this reproduction of the 1981 model. Which I suppose is cool. I don’t like Specialized much at all, so part of me is pleasantly surprised that they did this at all. I’m sure that getting one of their production lines re-tuned to put together a steel bike must have been a pain in the ass for them, so I like that they did that. Not to mention the bull moose handlebar and threaded headset.
By the way, getting me to buy into a conspiracy theory that bike companies could switch back to making steel bikes with threaded headsets and cantilever bikes at the drop of a hat, would be really easy.
Back to the bike. It’s modelled after the ’81 Stumpy, so we’ve got some very slack angles, and long chainstays. My tastes for vintage rides don’t go back that far, so this doesn’t really interest me (not like a replica ’91 Stumpy would anyway.) but lots of vintage guys do like the older style. However, it’s the drivetrain that really fails here – XT cranks with SRAM derailleurs and shifters.
These stick out like a sore thumb here. The brakes at least look ok – they’re current (for ’07) cyclocross issue cantis – because, you know, they’re cantilevers and they haven’t changed much in forever. But the cranks and rear derailleur really look out of place.
Also, notice that they cranked out a fresh run of skinwall Ground Control tires. This is a tire that vintage guys are desperate for. Clearly Specialized still has the molds somewhere, just gathering dust, and clearly, they don’t have any interest in making them for retail.
When you consider the tires, and the generally half-assed effort put into this special edition bike, you have to wonder at their motives. Honestly, sometimes I feel like Specialized doesn’t even like the cycling community.
To be more accurate, they don’t like the part of the cycling community that isn’t buying their latest Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR Evo Carbon Enduro 29, or whatever they’re called. But then the part of the cycling community that isn’t buying their latest stupidly named carbon wonderbike probably doesn’t like them either, so it all works out in the end.