The new Epic HT is Specialized's answer to the progressively more technical XC courses. The range gets all-new geometry inspired by the brand's trail bikes, better tyre clearance and a fine-tuned composite layup to offer compliance to offer what's claimed is the worlds lightest production frame.
The new Epic comes with a complete redesign focusing on the geometry and carbon layup. Specialized have slackened the head angle to 68.5 degrees, boosted tyre clearance to fit a 2.4" tyre, they've lengthened the reach to 430mm on the medium frame and have kitted the bike with a reduced offset fork. There's also a shorter (60-75mm, depending on frame size) stem to keep the handling nice and sharp. The Epic retains a short wheelbase for snappy handling but it keeps the rider nice and central for maximum control.
The brand has revised the Epic's composite layup to achieve what they claim is the world's lightest production frame. To do this they have eliminated any unnecessary overlap in the carbon and have ditched the aluminium rear dropouts. It's claimed that a medium frame comes in at just 790 grams.
It's not just weight that Specialized has focussed on. Both the seat tube and seat stays have seen a redesign, all on the name of comfort. Both the smaller diameter seat stays and a seat tube redesign are said to more give.
Speaking of seat tubes, the one found on the new Epic is now large enough to accommodate a dropper post. They've managed to do this while retaining the same amount of flex as featured on the old bike thanks to the new arced seat tube.
`There aren't any proprietary parts found on the new bike and it comes with a threaded bottom bracket all for ease of service.
Available now the Epic HT comes in seven 29er specific, models. It comes in four sizes, small up to extra large and in three model-specific colours, metallic crimson/rocket red for the Expert model, dove grey-blue/pro blue for the Comp and satin black/white for the base model. The S Works comes in its own dove grey-blue/rocket red/crimson colourway.
Prices start at £2,250 for the carbon 29er up to £8,000 for the S Works model kitted with Sram AXS.
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