As one of the most successful full suspension race bikes in the world, the coveted Epic is Specialized’s flagship cross-country race bike. For 2018, the Epic range will be available in both hardtail and full suspension versions. The Epic is the full suspension model, with 100mm of rear wheel travel that’s controlled by Specialized’s own Brain damper. This clever rear shock keeps the suspension locked out until you encounter bumps on the trail, so you can enjoy the efficiency of a hardtail on smoother sections, and the comfort of a full suspension bike when the going gets rough. This unique technology separates the Epic from its competitors, and is a big reason why XC racers love the Epic so much. It also makes the Epic a more suitable choice if your riding is a little too rough for a hardtail, but you still love the lightweight and efficiency of a finely tuned race machine. Looking for a more relaxed ride quality for all-day trail riding with a bit of racing on the side? Then the Specialized Camber may be more your style.
Compared to previous versions of the Epic, the latest frame is solely built around 29” wheels for the ultimate in rollover efficiency and stability at speed. Geometry has been refined to ensure the Epic steers around tight corners with speed, with a shorter chainstay length and lower BB height helping you to duck and weave your way around the racecourse. Specialized have also adopted the 42mm fork offset that quickens up steering response, while allowing the use of a slacker head tube angle to make the bike more stable on the steeper descents. Combined with the OSBB bottom bracket, beefy head tube and thru-axle wheelset, the Epic delivers intuitive handling for those who appreciate F1-like handling.
You can get both alloy and carbon versions of the Specialized Epic, though all models feature the same FSR suspension design, the efficient Brain rear shock, and fast-rolling Specialized tubeless tyres. The S-Works Epic is the lightest of the bunch, with a FACT 12m carbon frame and a 1x specific design that allows for shorter and stiffer chainstays for those riders wanting the ultimate race bike.