User Tools

Site Tools


Specialized Overview

Mike Sinyard started Specialized Bicycle Components in 1974 in Campbell, CA, first importing Cinelli parts and later re-branding Japanese road tires. Complete road bicycles started in 1981. Specialized in 1982 was ground zero for the modern bicycle revolution, when sales exploded by an order of magnitude each year for another 4 years. 1) 2) 3)

Specialized started to produce the Stumpjumper in 1981, making it the first mass-production mountain bike. The first Stumpjumper was produced in Japan and was based on a design for a custom-made bike originally marketed by Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher and Charles Kelly. … The first Stumpjumpers had welded steel frames because the lugged and brazed frames that designer Tim Neenan wanted to use were not available at the time. The original bike had a modified BMX stem and handlebars based on Magura motorcycle handlebars. The bike was equipped with 15-speed Suntour ARX GT gears, originally designed for use on road bikes, and the Stumpjumper also featured Mafac cantilever brakes and a TA Cyclotourist chainset, both designed for touring bikes. … The bike weighed just under 30 pounds.

Today, Specialized is a $685M company with 1,200 employees whose bicycles are mainly manufactured in Taiwan 4).

Mike Sinyard
Mike Sinyard, 1976

1981 Stumpjumper

In November 1981, a batch of 250 Stumpjumpers frames arrived from 3 Rensho 5), Japan and sold as a complete bike for $750. 6) 7)

1981 Stumpjumper
1981 Stumpjumper, #75 oldschoolracing

1982 Stumpjumper

Now with a bi-plane fork and an updated Japanese calligraphy inspired (lightning) logo 8).

1982 Stumpjumper
1982 Stumpjumper mombat

1984 Stumpjumper Sport

In 1983 Specialized offered a slightly higher component choice in the Sport model. Specs: mombat

1984 Stumpjumper Sport
1984 Stumpjumper Sport, 17“ frame w/24” wheels bikerecyclery

1985 Team Stumpjumper

Higher component group and nice extra touches on the frame.

1985 Team Stumpjumper
1985 Team Stumpjumper

1986 Rockhopper

The Rockhopper was usually a step down and a pound heavier than the Stumpjumper. Full XT components in 1986 show Specialized's commitment to making the best throughout their product line. Shimano Deerhead XT (M700v2 - 1985-86).

1986 Rockhopper
1986 Rockhopper boltsbike

1987 Hardrock

The Hardrock was usually a step down and a pound heavier than the Rockhopper. Suntour XC Sport (1987-88).

1987 Hardrock
1987 Hardrock ajhmall

1988 Stumpjumper Epic

The first production carbon mountain bike ever made. Shimano XT (M730) derailleurs and crankset, chainstay brakes. See a full Bicycling mag test review from 1988: bikeforums. $2400, 400 made - and very rare. And photos are similarly rare.

1988 Stumpjumper Epic
1988 Stumpjumper Epic. Pic from an unknown magazine review. retrobike

1989 RockCombo

Another early attempt to introduce gravel bikes to the masses. It didn't sell and became another “evolutionary dead end.”9) SunTour XCD-6000 (1988-89.)

Specialized had the right idea, but nobody wanted the combo. Yet. classiccycleus

1989 RockCombo
1989 RockCombo classiccycleus

1990 Stumpjumper Epic

M-732 (1989 only - but the 1989 Epic has chainstay brakes.) Specialized claims that their titanium Epic debuted in 1990, but reviews from late 1990 suggest that titanium came out in 1991.

1990 Stumpjumper Epic
1990 Stumpjumper Epic ajhmall

Stumpjumper Identification Guide

Early Stumpjumpers are quite rare and many shops and even museums show off 1982 Stumpjumpers as being from 1981. Some examples: mbaction,, and many eBay listings. 10) 11) 12)

When Frame/Fork Components Notes
1981 TIG welded light blue frame, socket fork SunTour AR, TA crank, Avocet saddle '5' shaped 'S' logo
1982, Mar→Jun bi-plane fork, blue & silver SunTour ARX, Specialized saddle lightning 'S' decals
1982, Jun→Nov lugged frame SunTour ARX/Mountech
1983 doubled frame bosses, light & dark blue, charcoal, silver SunTour Mountech, Sugino AT crank bullmoose bars
1984 black, blue, grey, silver Shimano brakes, Sugino TAT crank, riser bars
1985 unicrown fork, black, blues, pink, red Shimano XT or Suntour XC, Specialized crank

original logo
original logo, 1981

biplane forks
biplane forks, 1982 → 1984

single bosses and lugs
single bosses and lugs, June → Nov. 1982

double bosses and unicrown fork
double bosses and unicrown fork, 1985

Production Notes

[1]. The Birth of Dirt by Frank J. Berto, pages 74 & 89 for 1981 → 1983. Serial numbers suggest 200 sold instead of 100 in 1981. 1984 and 1985 numbers projected from Specialized $18M revenue by at least 1985. See: It states $18M by 4th year? Not possible, as 1976 revenue totalled $200k, see: vehiclesf, Stumpjumper Book, page 17.

The Birth of Dirt by Frank J. Berto, Berto states that mt. bike sales grew five years in a row by an order of magnitude, starting in 1981. Specialized didn't do that well, but they are a $685M sized company as of 2019 trivelo
Specialized used 3Rensho to build its Allez
It's likely that only 200 Stumjumpers were made in 1981, as no serial numbers > 198 have been recorded. mombat
youtube, Ask a Founder: A Talk with Mike Sinyard
special/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/08 11:52 by mtbtimeline