THE ALL-NEW EPIC AND EPIC EVO
If there’s one thing we know about speed, it’s that you can never get your fill of fast. But that’s not to say we still don’t try.
Case in point, the all-new Epic and Epic EVO, two XC platforms with dedicated suspension designs and geometries singularly focused on seeking out every last bit of speed, be it a holeshot sprint, or rally to the next ridgeline. Whether you’re a rider or racer, there’s an Epic tailor-made to seek all-out speed in any setting.
If there’s one thing we know about speed, it’s that you can never get your fill of fast. But that’s not to say we still don’t try. Case in point, the all-new Epic and Epic EVO, two XC platforms with dedicated suspension designs and geometries singularly focused on seeking out every last bit of speed, be it a holeshot sprint, or rally to the next ridgeline. Whether you’re a rider or racer, there’s an Epic tailor-made to seek all-out speed in any setting. EFFICIENCY. EFFICACY. EPICACY. Epicacy | epikəsē | (noun) The ability to produce the desired or intended result in an especially efficient and monumental manner.
They say good things come to those who wait, but why keep them waiting? Redesigned from the ground up, the latest Epic is hands-down the fastest bike we’ve ever produced. An obsessive approach to every detail has resulted in an all-new Brain system that is more efficient, capable and robust than ever, while the redesigned frame’s improved power transfer is achieved while shedding weight. Revised geometry reflects the ever more-aggressive nature of current World Cup courses and partners with the new Brain suspension to offer increased traction and stability at speed.
A SMARTER BRAIN
The only shock that knows the difference between rider input and trail input, Brain has long set the standard for full-suspension pedaling efficiency. Its Inertia Valve is able to cycle between open and locked out in a fraction of a second, offering a firm pedaling platform when needed, and plush, capable travel when necessary, all without the distraction of a lockout lever. Re-engineered for the new Epic, the new Brain suspension platform resets the expectation for efficiency, ensuring every watt is translated into forward motion, while soaking up momentum-killing chatter and big hits alike, all more smoothly than ever. Centered around a firmer race-tuned pedaling platform, the Brain’s new Rx XC Tune, developed with close input from Specialized Racing athletes, is even more responsive to pedaling input while improved damper adjustability allows racers to meter out travel exactly to their liking with air-spring tunability. Designed hand-in-hand with the Epic’s frame, it’s also the most seamlessly integrated Brain yet. Working together, the relocation of the Brain not only allows for the repositioning of the rear brake caliper to allow for more vertical flex in the chainstay, it also increases the sensitivity of the Brain’s inertia valve due to its location behind the rear axle. In concert with the new layout, revised internals result in less turbulent oil flow for more consistent performance hit after hit, while also increasing durability race after race. We put it through 1,850 FIELD TEST HOURS which is equivalent to racing 72 CAPE EPICS.
MORE POWER, SAME EFFORT
With the most efficient Brain ever making the most of every single pedal stroke, special attention was paid to the Epic’s full FACT 11m carbon frame to ensure optimal power transfer didn’t stop there. The result? A rear triangle that’s 15-percent stiffer over its predecessor. Front-triangle stiffness remains the same in order to provide a balanced ride feel, while a focus on revised tube shapes, redesigned hardware and optimised layup and construction methods allow for significant weight savings. All said, the FACT 11m Epic frame now matches the weight of the previous-generation S-Works while the new S-Works Epic frame, aided by a carbon shock link, FACT 12m carbon and a dedicated layup, shaves a further 100 grams.
While the previous generation Epic brought with it a much more modern geometry inspired by increasingly aggressive World Cup courses, the trend has only continued, with the latest Epic following suit, packing impressive capability in a cross-country race package. Headlined by a 67.5-degree headtube angle, the Epic’s updated geometry also sees bottom bracket height lowered by 9 millimeters while reach is increased to allow for shorter stem lengths.
EPIC EVO. SINGLE-TRACK MIND
For some, the finish line is marked by tape, for others, it’s outlined by the next ridgeline. But regardless of whether success is measured in peaks or podiums, the common denominator is a single-minded obsession with speed. Living up to the family name, the Epic EVO is firmly fixated on fast, but looks to bring the speed to a different venue, focused on aggressive performance that’ll tame backcountry bushwacks in record time. Pairing the Epic’s impressive front-to-rear stiffness with a lower bottom bracket, longer reach, slacker headtube and shorter chainstays improves both rear-wheel traction and high-speed stability. Toss in the 44-millimeter offset and the stiffness improvements of the Position-Sensitive Brain fork’s SID Ultimate chassis and you have the recipe for the nimblest, most sure-footed Epic yet.
BRINGING XC BACK
As the gap between trail and cross country race bikes continues to grow, riders looking to get more capability out of their bikes while still pushing the limits of light weight and efficiency are increasingly coming up short. The Epic EVO erases that void.
MORE EPIC, MORE EVO
The latest twist on the Epic EVO formula, the new Epic EVO design process concentrated on increasing both efficiency and capability to create a bike for those competing against a field of two—themselves and the trail—in search of the outer limits of speed. Reaping the benefits of the Epic’s stiff-yet-light front triangle, the Epic EVO’s dedicated rear triangle increases travel to 110 millimeters. Managed via new suspension kinematics, the increased rear-end travel sees the introduction of additional anti-squat characteristics, ensuring the EVO’s increased capability doesn’t come at the expense of pedaling efficiency. Upfront, 120-millimeters of Rx Tune travel is tweaked to provide active, yet efficient long-haul performance, while increased front tyre clearance keeps traction on-call at all times. The new Epic EVO now allows for flip-chip adjustment of headtube angle and bottom-bracket height. Mating our versatile Progressive XC Geometry with a flip-chip-enabled rear end not only inspires confidence from the first pedal stroke, but also enables riders to dial in the EVO’s ride exactly to their preferences. While the Epic EVO ships in the Low setting, with a 66.5-degree head angle, flipping the chip allows riders to steepen the head angle to 67 degrees, while raising bottom bracket height by 6 millimeters. Careful component specifications across all models thread the needle to find the perfect balance of lightweight performance and reliable capability. Dropper posts are standard across all models, while Roval carbon wheelsets and 4-piston brake calipers make their appearance starting with the Epic EVO Expert.
F A Q
WHAT SETS THE EPIC AND EPIC EVO MODELS APART FROM ONE ANOTHER? While the design process of both Epic and Epic EVO was dominated by an obsession with finding every last bit of speed, the Epic and Epic EVO look for it in different places. Dedicated solely to crossing the finish line first, Epic is the fastest XC race bike Specialized has ever created, thanks in large part to the most efficient BRAIN suspension platform yet. EPIC EVO takes the Epic family’s cherished tradition of finding every bit of fast and injects increased rough-terrain capability, applying the winning combination to backcountry adventures and singletrack sojourns where speed is of the essence. Taking into account these different aims, Epic and Epic EVO each adopt completely dedicated suspension platforms offering different amounts of travel as well as exclusive geometries for each bike in order to maximize speed in each setting.
HOW MUCH SUSPENSION TRAVEL DO THE EPIC AND EPIC EVO HAVE? Epic offers 100 millimeters of travel front and rear, Epic EVO sports 120 millimeters up front and 110 millimeters of rear-end travel.
WHY DOES THE EPIC EVO FOREGO BRAIN SUSPENSION? In a word, specialization. By approaching the respective suspension platforms of both EPIC and Epic EVO separately, we were able to design each solely around their intended application, shutting the door on even the slightest possibility of compromise. This allowed us much more leeway in our quest to squeeze out every ounce of race performance from the BRAIN platform, resulting in game-changing efficiency tailor-made for winning races. To better serve the EPIC EVO’s wider-angle focus on fast, we paired custom Rx Tune suspension components across all sizes/models with bespoke suspension kinematics to achieve the perfect balance of capability and efficiency for riders looking for speed outside the confines of a race course.
HOW MANY MODELS ARE IN THE NEW EPIC LINE? There are four Epic models (Comp, Expert, Pro, S-Works) and five Epic EVO models (Base, Comp, Expert, Pro, S-Works) as well as S-Works frameset options available for both.
WHAT’S THE WEIGHT RANGE WITHIN THE EPIC LINE? With even the Epic EVO Base coming in well under 13.6 kilograms, S-Works Epic models tip the scales as light as 9.3 kilograms (Size L frame, average of all colorways).
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM TYRE SIZE THE EPIC AND EPIC EVO CAN ACCOMMODATE? Epic can accommodate 2.3-inch tyres front and rear, while Epic EVO can accommodate a 2.3-inch rear tyre and 2.4-inch front.
WHAT SIZE TYRES DO THE EPIC AND EPIC EVO COME EQUIPPED WITH? All Epic models come equipped with Fast Trak 29×2.3-inch treads (2Bliss Ready, Control casing, 60TPI, GRIPTON® compound) front and rear, while all Epic EVO models come equipped with 29×2.3 Ground Control (2Bliss Ready, Control casing, 60TPI, GRIPTON® compound) front tyres and 29×2.3 Fast Trak rear tyres (2Bliss Ready, Control casing, 60TPI, GRIPTON® compound).
HOW ABOUT THOSE WATER BOTTLES? Epic and Epic EVO both accommodate two standard water bottles inside the front triangle in all sizes, with the exception of XS frames, which can accommodate one bottle on the downtube.
ROVAL CONTROL SL | THE ULTIMATE XC WHEELSET
A wheelset that matched the potential of the new Epics simply didn’t exist, so we tapped Roval to create one. Enter the new Roval Control SL wheelset. Seemingly intent on destroying every benchmark thrown at it, the Roval Control SL wheelset is wider, lighter, faster, stronger, more compliant and more durable. Built around a completely new rim design, it’s 29-millimeter-wide profile grows by four millimeters, providing a better tire profile for increased traction, while the system weight falls by nearly 90 grams for a featherweight total of just 1240 grams. Debuting an all-new bead-hook design, wider hooks feature a flat profile that not only offers greater impact strength by distributing impact force over a larger area, but also increases the impact force needed to pinch flat by 22 percent. Offset spokes and an asymmetric rim profile paired with two-cross lacing not only provides a better bracing angle for increased lateral stiffness but allows for the use of a single spoke length across the entire wheelset.