Specialized has rolled out their 2011 mountain bike range, and it’s full of 29ers and lighter weight bikes. For shorter riders, Specialized will now offer Small sizing in all of its 29ers, both hardtails and full suspensions.

Shown above, the all-new Epic FSR 29er weighs in at a mere 21.27lbs (9.66kg) in S-Works trim and claims to be the lightest full-suspension 29er mountain bike ever. The 2011 Epic FSR S-Works 26″ model is their lightest, stiffest version yet, and the all-new Specialized Camber trail bike is available in both 26″ and 29er versions with 100mm to 120mm of travel. Their hardtail range is all available in 29er, including the Rockhopper, Hardrock and Stumpjumpers, and the entire range gets fresh graphics and svelte frame shaping. Oh, and they’ve introduced tricked out Evo models for most platforms.

Starting at the top, the new Epic S-Works 29er uses Specialized’s FSR suspension design with remote Mini Brain shock and competition-oriented XC geometry to mimic the racy feel of its 26″ forebear. For 2011, the Epic models get a new rear end with X12 142+ axles to stiffen things up.

Full line and photos after the break…

2011 Specialized Epic S-Works

The little (+) on the end of the X12 142+ axle moniker is Specialized’s way of saying there’s more to it than just a wider, fatter axle. You’ll notice on many of these photos that their house-brand Roval wheels are spec’d frequently, and on the Epic bikes, they’re modified to take full advantage of the additional space available.  The cassette body has been moved outward by 2mm, allowing for a wider spoke bed (better triangulation) which equals a stiffer wheel. These special Roval wheels are spec’d on the S-Works 26″ and S-Works and Expert level 29er models.

Besides weight savings and stiffness, the other advantage of the 142+ axle system is quicker wheel changes. Because you just slide the wheel into the frame’s slots then insert the axle, there’s no fussing around with holding the wheel tight in the dropouts to ensure alignment…much the same way thru-axles on modern forks work.

Speaking of wheels, the S-Works 29er achieves its amazingly low weight in part due to a 1,400g Roval Control SL wheelset with carbon rims. The 26″ version’s wheels weigh in at a scant 1,200g, but thanks to their wider flange spacing and taller end caps, they claim to be at least 20% stiffer than their previous top-of-the-line Roval wheels.

2011 Specialized Epic Comp Carbon 29er

The carbon fiber Epic models all get entirely new front triangles for 2011, too. Gone is the open strut between the bent top tube and seat tube in favor of a flared top tube. Specialized says this is easier to produce and lighter.

The Epics also move to a PressFit 30 bottom bracket on all models to improve compatibility with modern cranksets, including standard bottom brackets via adapters. All Epics except the lowest end Epic Comp gets new double (2×10) cranksets, as is the trend these days.

The rear end gets slight revisions to reduce squat, which should allow you to run less Brain inertia

While the collaboration with Fox continues with the rear Brain shock, the front end on the 29ers and non-S-Works 26″ models get custom built Rockshox Reba forks with Brain valving built in. The S-Works 26″ model continues to use Specialized’s E100 fork.

The last bit of news on the Epics, which carries over to other models as well, is the introduction of an Evo variation, which will essentially be modded versions of the bikes to be more focused than their *ahem* all-purpose counterparts. For example, with the Epic line, the Evo models will have more race oriented 1×10 drivetrains with chainguides. The Epic Evo R gets the 1×10 with chainkeeper, faster rolling tires and few lighter weight parts.

There’s also an Epic Evo Trail built on an Expert level frame with a longer, 120mm fork, 100mm drop post and wider bars and tires.


Since the Stumpjumper FSR bumped from 120mm to 140mm of travel for 2010, Specialized had a gap in their lineup…but no more. Introducing the Camber, a 120mm (100mm for 29er versions) trail bike aimed at mountain bikers that just like to, uh, mountain bike.

2011 Specialized Camber 29er
2011 Specialized Camber 29er

Shown above is the 29er Camber, and below is the 26″ version. The Pro models get a custom SRAM carbon 2×10 crankset with Shimano XTR 10-speed derailleur. The lower models get triples.

2011 Specialized Camber Elite
2011 Specialized Camber Elite

Pricing will generally place the Camber below the Stumpjumper line, and it’s intended to be a basic, mid-travel mountain bike with few frills. There’s no Brain shock incorporated into the design, geometry is similar to the Stumpy with a slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles than the Epic. The frames are hydroformed M4 alloy with integrated headset and pivot locations (they’re hydroformed in, not welded on afterward!). Models will vary from double to triple cranksets depending on spec level, but all will have 10-speed cassettes.

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er Expert

The Stumpjumper FSR models see few changes save for a retuned S140 fork (26″) with no Brain inertia valve. The Fox shock also loses the Pro Pedal settings in favor of a shock that’s designed around pedaling when on and offers three compression damping settings when turned off, allowing you to tune the characteristics for descending more than climbing or hammering. Rear travel is 130mm. (Update: per the comments below, this is an M5 alloy frame, not carbon as originally typed. Sorry, but it still rides like a champ!)

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR S-Works

The Stumpjumper FSR Evo (not shown) gets the most changes of any Evo model. An altered aluminum frame gets 146mm travel out of the rear (versus standard 140mm), a scarecrow shock (as in no Brain) and geometry set up to handle a 150mm Fox Float fork. The frame also has slacker geometry and component spec is more aggressive with a wider bar, beefier wheels and tires, a 125mm Command Post seatpost and a Gamut shift guide.

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works 29er Carbon

The Stumpjumper hardtails don’t see too many changes other than spec updates. The S-Works models get the carbon-rimmed Roval Control SL wheels just like the Epics, and modern 2×10 drivetrains to be sure. The mid- and high-end models get Specialized’s updated 90mm travel Future Shock with dropouts compatible with their new OS28 end caps, which is what makes their new wheels stiffer. These wheels are compatible with Specialized and Rockshox forks, and they have a OS24 caps to work with Fox forks. (They’ll also offer 15QR caps for the front, and rear wheels will have standard 135mm spacing options available, too)

The S-Works carbon frames weigh in at 1,055g for the 29er (about 100g less than the 2010 model) and 920g for the 26″ model. Both sizes use shaped seatstays combined with a slim 27.2mm seatpost to provide vertical compliance. They have Pressfit 30 BB’s and hollow dropouts.

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er Expert Carbon

The Stumpjumper hardtails are available in both carbon and alloy models, including a singlespeed (below) and framesets. The Stumpjumper Evo Trail 29er (not shown) gets a longer travel, 100mm fork, beefier wheels nad tires and a 1×10 drivetrain with chainkeeper.

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er Singlespeed Hardtail


2011 Specialized Enduro Carbon S-Works
2011 Specialized Enduro Carbon S-Works

Perhaps the only two places Specialized hasn’t introduced 29er wheels is on their longer travel Enduro and Demo models.

For 2011, the Enduro doesn’t see much change either. The E160 fork gets reworked internals and the Fox RP23 shock has new tuning.


What is new for the Enduro is the Evo model, which comes with a Specialized Command Post hydraulic drop seatpost, 750mm wide handlebars, a 170mm Fox 36 Van fork and Fox DHX RC2 coil-sprung rear end, making it just about capable of full-on downhill racing. (Actually, the drop post comes on other Enduro models, too)



Supposing you want to go all in on a downhill machine, you may want to opt for the 2011 Specialized Demo, the bike ridden to World Cup wins by Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough.

For 2011, the Demo gets a lower slung rear end and front triangle, shorter headtube and lower center of gravity. Specialized says it has the shortest chainstays of any downhill bike, giving it quick acceleration under power. The revised, more compact rear end pushes a new 3″ stroke shock (longer than previous model), which gives it a lower leverage ratio.

The all-new M5 alloy frame keeps the wide 12×150 rear axle, but it’s narrowed the seat- and chainstays for better heel clearance. Hill and Fairclough’s input said some of the harsh edges and shaping on the previous model tended to collect mud and trail debris, so Specialized smoothed over some of the edges on the previous frame and removed narrow spaces that got clogged up easily.

If you’re wondering, the dual “seatstay” design is used to give the rear shock a lower mounting point, which lowers the center of gravity since its essentially driven by the chainstays rather than the seatstays. The other news on the Demo line is that there will be no Demo 7 model for 2011. Instead, there will be a new 180mm (7.1″) travel SX Trail bike.


2011 Specialized Rockhopper 29er Expert

Not a ton new from Specialized on these models, but fun to look at none the less.

2011 Specialized Hardrock 29er Disc
2011 Specialized Hardrock 29er Disc

Click any image to enlarge.  We’re headed out to Specialized’s dealer event on July 12-15 and will have plenty of closeup, detail photos, real world weights and ride reports shortly thereafter.


  1. Specialized has been busy! I like the wider spoke bed on the Roval wheels a lot. After reading Jobst Brant’s definitive guide to wheels, and watching the progression of ever more gears, I think a better trade-off could be had by tossing the small, loose cassette gears and just running the spidered gears +1 or 2, and building a dishless wheel.

    To that end I wrote Chris King suggesting this approach with his single-speed hubs, but got no reply. Those wheels have a freehub body that is about half the usual width, so the idea strongly suggested itself. With a triple up front, I believe this would provide adequate gearing for all-mountain work, and make for much, much stronger wheels. Wherever the sweetspot is between more gearing and durability, I think we are well past optimal on the gears end of the spectrum at this point. Thus the single-speed attraction.

    Btw, to my point about the new road Shimano DuraAce wheels not being much to Whoot about last week, I noticed that the Roval 29’r carbon wheels weigh less than the DuraAce roadie wheels. So much for Shimano ‘engineering’. (it is my personal opinion that the great engineers that built the Shimano powerhouse have long since retired, and the sad crew that remains are the bitches of bean counters and marketing types who follow SRAM and Campy mindlessly, and use colors, graphics and pricing to move product)

    I’m not sure how many mtb riders are going to be riding hard-packed fire roads or humus-blanketed forest surfaces, but for trails around Sacramento, the industry’s current offerings seem a little long on flash and short on durability. I can see taking one of these XC wonders on the Salmon Falls trail and coming home with a thousand dollar repair bill. I’m sure many riders in California, Colorado, Arizona and NM would agree. I think the key here is going to be an inexpensive warranty, or damage insurance, for the major bike parts.

  2. Unfortunately, all I have to work with at the moment are the “stock” photos that Specialized sent since I was at Scott Week rather than Specialized’s press camp. I’ll be out there for the dealer one next week, though, and will have more thorough coverage and weigh each and every bike I can get my hands on! Cheers ’til then.

  3. Daniel, Cam, TVM.
    My take is that some ideas, like a compromise between 30 gears, and one, strongly suggest themselves.

  4. I am from Australia and in the states ride now test riding some of the bikes for Total Rush, a specialized bike concept store in Melbourne (www.totalrush.com.au). I am suitably impressed with the 2011 Specialized Enduro Carbon S-Works, probably the best MTB I’ve ridden to date. If you are in Australia Total Rush is going to be part of the Specialized demo tour and will have most of the new MTB’s to test in early November.

    • Actually, we just went to the Specialized dealer week. Before that we were at press events for Cannondale, Scott and others, so we’re reporting on that. We have plenty more to post from all of them and rather than dump everything about all of their bikes and gear into one heavily summarized article like most websites and mags, we like to separate things out to provide better coverage for those that are interested in a particular bike, part or technology.

  5. Is it correct that Specialized are releasing a 2011 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er Expert with carbon frame. I spoke to a distributer and they said the Stump FSR “29er” will only have a M5 aluminium frame.

  6. Tyler,
    I think you’d better double check your notes. I don’t believe there is a Stumpjumper FSR 29er with a carbon frame. The Expert has an aluminum frame from all accounts I can find.


  7. Glen, Ian, I stand corrected…as is usually the result of me relying on memory too far after the fact. Indeed, the Expert level is as high as the 29er Stumpjumper FSR goes for 2011, and it’s an M5 alloy. Post is being updated to reflect this, thanks for keeping us real.

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