Mountain Bike Action Bike Test: Specialized S-Works Epic XC Bike
The pursuit of speed has been a main goal of the Specialized Epic for two decades. The bike has already earned over 100 World Cup podiums to date. So, how did Specialized manage to improve its race-ready weapon this time? Specialized took a step back, looked at the entire package and gave the all-new Epic a complete redesign, along with an updated Brain shock. Let us dive a bit deeper into the latest speed machine from Specialized’s Morgan Hill-based headquarters.
Specialized simultaneously launched the new Epic and Epic EVO models; however, for this test, we’ll be focusing on the top-of-the-line, S-Works Epic model. The EVO model features increased suspension travel, a dropper post and a larger fork. It lacks a Brain shock, so it has a trail bike suspension feel. Our World Cup-worthy S-Works Epic is claimed to be the lightest full-suspension bike to emerge from the Specialized office.
To better tame demanding racecourses, the new S-Works Epic sports a longer, lower and slacker geometry. The new head-tube angle is now 67.5 degrees, and the bottom bracket sits 9mm lower. Additionally, the reach was increased across frame sizes to allow the use of shorter stem lengths.
The S-Works model has no shortage of top-of-the-line components, from its XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain to its long list of carbon Roval parts. Specialized even leaned on Roval to design a brand-new wheelset to match the Epic’s performance. The new Control SL wheels are 4mm wider and 90 grams lighter. The wider profile provides improved impact strength by distributing the force over a larger area.
Our AXS drivetrain provided smooth and crisp…