The Specialized mountain bike is a frequent and welcome sight in mountain bike races. Over the years, it has built its reputation for being a superior brand that champions use to win world cup competitions. Now, Specialized has released a new product line—the Epic—and we're excited to explore these bikes' characteristics and what makes them the thoroughbreds built for the highest podiums of mountain bike racing events.
The Specialized Epic mountain bike models are some of the best mountain bikesyou'll ever ride in your life. The Epic is a full suspension analog product line that’s built to race in world cup events. While there are also Specialized Full Suspension Electric mountain bike models competing for eMTB categories, analog bikes are the ones that appeal to mainstream MTB race fans.
All bikes under the Epic product line have a lot in common in terms of technology and specifications. Here are some of the similarities and differences you can find when you compare all the Epic MTB (mountain bike) variations.
- Functional Advanced Composite Technology (FACT) full carbon frame. That comes in an 11m and a 12m variation that has a 15% increase in stiffness on the chainstay triangle.
- BRAIN Suspension Platform that's ultra-sensitive to the rider and environmental inputs to optimize momentum and speed.
- A slacker 2-degree angle on the headtube from 69.5 to 67.5 degrees.
The Specialized Full-Suspension Mountain Bike is meant for the cross-country (XC) discipline. The type that lasts for days before you determine who the winner is. The Epic considers the increasingly demanding XC races and tweaks everything with one central purpose in mind— maximum speed without breaks in momentum. Here are some of the Epic models you can choose to take for a spin.
The Epic Comp model is designed to be a hardtail bike for cross country (XC) racing. The Epic Comp is a hardtail bike meant to be optimized for speed in the XC competition. The frame is built on FACT 11m carbon frame, and the front suspension is a Reba RL made by RockShox that has a motion control damper as a feature. The Epic Comp is a great starter bike for those looking to tackle singletrack thrills. This hardtail bike brings lightness, speed, and comfort.
The Expert Men's Mountain Bike performs just as well as the Epic Pro. The only difference is some of the parts are Specialized standard issues. For example, the parts of the Expert's cockpit, such as the handlebar and seat post, are made of Specialized alloy, unlike Epic Pro's S-works part modifications. This is what makes this bike cheaper than the Pro, but if we're talking about part similarities, the same BRAIN tech on the suspension, as well as the FACT 11m full carbon frame, graces this beast.
The Epic Pro is a full-suspension cross country (XC) mountain bike that touts itself as the lower-priced version of the top-of-the-line S-works. That's because the Epic Pro MTB inherited the previous S-work's technology and put it to work. The Epic Pro combines the efficiency of a hardtail mountain bike with the potential of a full suspension to ensure it delivers all the speed and handling capabilities of a winning XC bike. Top it up with the FACT 11m frame and a BRAIN suspension tech, and you get one killer racing machine.
The S-Works is the ultimate Specialized Epic Bike that's also built for XC. Specialized developed the latest version with an utmost obsession with making it lighter, faster, and more intelligent when racing. The frame is made of FACT 12m carbon, and the suspension is equipped with specialized BRAIN tech and a carbon fiber shock link. After rigorous testing and adjustments, the S-Works was able to drop 100 grams off its weight. It's lighter and more stable than the previous model.
Epic Evo Series
The Epic Evo models are designed to accommodate two MTB disciplines—XC and trail. The Epic Evo series raises the bar higher with some superior features such as the Flip Chip Adjustment feature and some RockShox 120mm front fork suspension. Ironically, despite the bar being raised higher, the bike is made more relaxed to accommodate a more adventurous trail appetite. But if you're riding on smoother roads, all it takes is a flip adjustment, and you'll be back to the good XC ride style. This is how Epic evolves; this is why it's worthy of its name.
Balance is the prominent characteristic of the Evo Comp. Its lightweight yet sturdy kinematic configuration is designed to mesh well with some of the tech features placed on the bike. Take, for example, the RockShox XC tune-up on the Evo Comp's full suspension: the bike's frame geometry squeezes as much potential from the custom setting of the suspension as it enables you to keep your footing and gets you to pedal efficiently.
The Evo Expert is a step higher from the Evo Comp in terms of components. The stem is upgraded from a stock alloy to a Specialized XC, 3D-forged alloy with a 6-degree rise; tougher and more efficient. The seat post is also made of tougher and lighter Chromoly rails. The rims come from the reputable Roval—a world-class brand capable of world cup performance. What you're paying for with the Evo Expert, apart from a few upgraded parts, is expert-level performance on the singletrack and trails.
The Evo Pro is Epic Pro with more buff. It's a contender in the same weight division that spends more time sparring in the ring than its counterpart, which makes all the difference. Geometry-wise, the frame is optimized with a shorter 60mm stem, and the stack is increased to 6mm, while reach is decreased to around 11mm (depending on size). Fox Float and Fit4 Damper supply the suspension. This shows that Evo Pro can yield as much performance not just for XC but also for the trails.
The Evo S-Works is as jacked up as it could get. This epic mountain bike has the FACT 12m full carbon, Fox Float full suspension, SRAM drivetrain, and hydraulic brake set, and is akin to the Epic S-Works. But there are several component changes on the cockpit from reputable suppliers such as Race Face, Body Geometry, and RockShox that make this bike a marvelous speed freak. This bike has the most efficient capability-to-weight ratio, and riding it will make you feel like the bike has chosen you to wield its intimidating yet infectious power. The takeaway? Evo S-works combines the unbreakable momentum, weight reduction, and speed optimization of the Epic S-Works. It fits with an adjustable flip-chip that makes it capable of ace performance for both XC and trail courses.
Greatness in Epic Proportions
The Specialized Epic and Epic Pro series has the makings of a bike worthy of a championship title. Features such as the BRAIN suspension, the FACT full carbon frame, and the flip-chip technology significantly contribute to these bikes’ abilities to reach the fastest speed while adapting to different challenges on the racecourse. So if you're seeking greatness and have a dream of standing tall on the championship podium, there's no doubt that a Specialized bike is what you must have.
We hope you enjoyed exploring the greatness of Specialized bikes just as much as we did. If it left you drooling for more exciting bikes, you can check out our mountain bike buying guide for some extremely epic bikes to dream about.