Specialized has beefed up the cross-country offering with the S-Works EXOS EVO shoe, and the brand has built upon existing casing and rubber technologies to upgrade the Renegade, Fast Track and Ground Control tyres.
Starting off with the S-Works EXOS EVO shoe. It's claimed to be Specialized's lightest off-road shoe yet boasting an impressive 231g. This weight has been achieved thanks to a new Dyneema layup that sheds weight from the upper of the shoe while maximising strength and pliancy.
It's also said to be resistant to stretch and wear, hopefully resulting in a durable shoe.
It may be tough to miss but the EXO EVO shoe uses the very new Boa Li2 dial which features an increased level of micro-adjustment, a lower profile and a more ergonomic design.
This has been paired with a freshly designed toe-box. The new toe-box uses a sleeve that stretches over the top of the toes and forefoot while maintaining room for movement and flexion.
That's not all, the heel pocket has seen a reimagined design and using the fancy Dyneema Cubi Tech, the brand has done away with a lot of the bulk you'll normally find around this area. The heel pocket is designed to simulate vertical rigidity that's essential here but it also allows the shoe to mould to the shape of the foot for a better fit.
The S-Works EXO EVO uses Specialized's XC FACT carbon sole which has a stiffness index of 13.0 which means that all of your power should go straight to the pedal.
Onto the tyres, Specialized has updated the Renegade, Fast Track and Ground Control tyres with the aim of making them grippier, and more reliable with new treads.
Inspired by tyres used in motocross, the brand has designed these new tyres with what Specialized has dubbed the 'block-in-block' design. The new tread pattern sees in raised knobs supported by outer knobs which is where the motocross inspiration is found. Those outer blocks support the raised inners which are claimed to result in a more planted ride feel and stable handling.
Along with the new tread patterns, there are three new casings. Firstly, there's the S-Works casing which is the lightest available, sacrificing puncture protection for a light weight. Then there's the Control casing, which introduces some puncture protection while balancing weight. Finally, there's the Grid casing and that one comes with the most puncture protection for rugged terrain.
Then, there are three rubber compounds to pick from, T5, T5/T7 and T7 with T5 being the fastest rolling and most resistant to wear and T7 being the opposite with a softer compound offering more grip.
You may have guessed already but T5/T7 is a mix of the two, using the more durable, faster rubber for the centre tread while the shoulder knobs get T7 for extra grip.
All tyres are available in 29x2.2" and 29x2.35 sizes while the Ground Control gets a 650bx2.35 choice. The Renegade only comes in 29x2.2".
Prices for the tyres start at £40 and go up to £45 then the S-Works EXOS EVO shoe will set you back £400.
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