All-new Specialized Epic officially breaks cover
Specialized is celebrating two decades of its Epic with a radical new design that was leaked last month. One of the winningest cross-country bikes in history has a proven legacy and hardly needed a redesign but Specialized’s product people are perpetual innovators. And this new Epic World Cup is a significant departure from its predecessors, featuring a lot less frame travel and deleting one of Epic’s signature features.
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In appearance, the new Epic World Cup's ‘hidden’ shock silhouette looks a lot slicker. Seasoned followers of all things Specialized Epic will immediately notice the new shock placement and the absence of that Brain suspension cartridge on the rear triangle. Yes, it has happened: the Specialized Epic has lost its Brain.
Engineers at Specialized decided to trim rear-suspension travel from 100- to 75mm and forego the Brain damper technology. What has taken its place? RockShox’s SID WCID (World Cup Integrated Design) shock is now a stressed member of the Epic World Cup's chassis and offers three compression settings. The shock also features adjustable negative and positive air springs.
In its firmest setting, Specialized advocates that its latest Epic should ride almost indistinguishably from a hardtail. The ‘medium’ setting frees-up 5% of shock sag, with the ‘active’ mode doubling that to 10%, for a more active rear to track with control across textured trails.
Geometry is a bit shorter but slacker
Running the recommended 110mm fork, the new Epic World Cup sits at a 66.5-degree head angle, slack enough for confidence on even the steepest and most technical descents.
A 74.5-degree seat angle supports climbing posture, and if you need a reference number for stability, the size large Epic World Cup stretches out to 465mm of reach. How much has the geometry altered with the new design? Not much. Reach numbers trim by about 5mm across the sizes, but the new Epic is a full degree slacker than before.
That radical rear-suspension configuration helps the new Epic achieve a low mass of only 1765g, with shock and all associated mounting hardware. Specialized is marketing the Epic as an integrated cross-country mountain bike racing system when built with its associated Roval components.
The brand has developed a 780mm wide Roval SL carbon-fibre handlebar, which has a negative rise of 12 degrees, eight degrees of back sweep and weighs only 250g.
Enhancing the Epic’s purity of design is headset cable routing.
For riders with the requisite climbing strength, Specialized new Epic can accommodate a 36t chainring, and if you want all the descending traction, there is room for 2.35in tyres.
The new Epic World Cup is available in three complete build models: Epic World Cup Pro and Expert and S-Works World Cup, and the S-Works is also available as a frameset only.
The premium S-Works Epic World Cup build features a full SRAM AXS XX drivetrain. Brakes are SRAM Level Ultimates, with two-piston callipers actuating a 180mm front rotor and 160mm at the rear.
Rolling the S-Works Epic World Cup along are Roval Control SL wheels. These feature 24 DT Swiss straight-pull Aerolite spokes per wheel and spin hubs featuring the Swiss brand’s 180-series EXP ratchet internals.
Pricing is as follows:
Epic S-Works World Cup £12,000
Epic World Cup Pro - £8,500
Epic World Cup Expert - £6,500
Epic S-Works World Cup frameset only - £5,500.
The bikes are available for purchase now.