Mountain Bike Action Bike Test: Specialized S-Works Epic XC Bike

 

riders to tune their suspension beforehand for smooth or technical racecourses. During our testing, we found ourselves running the system three clicks back from the softest setting.

In addition to the top-of-the-line S-Works Epic (tested here), there is also the Epic Pro ($7925) and the Epic Expert ($5925).

DOWN AND DIRTY

The S-Works Epic is a pure race bike with a ridged carbon seatpost and 100mm of front and rear suspension travel. This bike begs for a rider who wants to lay down big watts in hopes of a podium finish. Riders looking for a more comfortable ride may enjoy the EVO’s increased travel and dropper post.

CLIMBING

The S-Works Epic blurs the line between a full-suspension and hardtail bike, offering the kind of pedaling performance one would expect from a lightweight hardtail while supplying the type of ground-hugging traction only a full-suspension bike can provide. In or out of the saddle, the Epic is a rocket ship, effortlessly propelling riders forward. In fact, a rider may believe he has a small motor hidden in this bike due to the Epic’s exceptional ability to gain speed. The only real downside to the new S-Works Epic is that World Cup legs don’t come with it. After a few heart-pounding laps, your fitness is more likely to disappoint you than the Epic.

Specialized kept the shock slim thanks to an externally mounted Brain on the rear of the bike.

THE FLOW

While the new S-Works Epic’s descending prowess is greatly improved, this race-ready model still requires close attention to the trail. The Epic EVO, however, is likely a different story. During our testing, we found ourselves wanting a slightly lower saddle height to improve our control over the bike. The Epic is designed to…

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