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First Look: 2023 Specialized Epic World Cup

Apr 20, 2023
by Henry Quinney  

In recent years, we've seen an existential threat to the bikes right on the fringes - the short travel XC bikes and downhill bikes. As enduro conquered all before it, it left gravity riders wondering whether they would ever really want or need something that's such a specialist. Similarly, many brands found themselves flocking to the new church of short-travel-high-fun - the dangerous idealogy of downcountry.

The move to equip your standard XC race bike with more travel wasn't merely an overindulgence to cater to the needs of riders who wanted to take a more casual approach to cross-country - it was keeping in step with the demands of some World Cup racers. While previously unthinkable, riders were riding on and winning on bikes with as much as 120mm of travel.
Epic World Cup Details
• Proprietary shock with tunable negative air chamber
• 29" wheels
• 110/75 mm travel Front/Rear
• 66.5° head tube angle
• 74.5° seat angle (MD)
• Sizes: XS (frame only), S, M, L, XL
• Reach: 380 - 490 mm
• Chainstay: 430 mm
• Weight: 9.85 kg / 21.7 lb (large S-works actual)
• Complete price: $8,900 - $12,000 USD
• Frame only: $6,500 USD
Specialized.com

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The Epic, which has been a mainstay of Specialized's range for quite some time, even saw a lick of this treatment too, albeit in the Evo package. The 120mm Epic Evo arguably made Specialized one of the first big brands to the downcountry punch. This isn't that Epic Evo, though. In fact, it's not really even a replacement or update on the full suspension Epic, which was updated relatively recently in 2021.

Instead, this new Epic World Cup is far more aligned with replacing the Epic Hardtail from the range, which it will do to an extent, if not entirely sooner or later. According the Specialized the Epic Hardtail isn't going anywhere, and will instead become a more value focussed model for those that want a hardtail for all-out racing.

photo
The frames come with SRAM's new T-Type Transmission, which can run other systems via a UDH.

Frame Features

Before we get into the novel suspension, let's take a rundown of this frame.

Being a thoroughbred XC bike, it's no surprise to say that this bike is built around 29" wheels and is able to fit two full-size water bottles. It uses a 110mm travel fork that's coupled with 75mm of travel at the rear. There will be two builds, the S-Works and the Pro model, as well as a frame-only version. The sizes will run from small to extra-large on full builds, and there will be a run of framesets available in the XS.

Specialized say that this bike builds on the lessons that the brand learned as they pursued their ultra-light road bike, the Aethos. That road frame has a weight of under 600 grams. Specialized also said that their design team and software simulated over 100,000 virtual frame sets. During this process, they were able to virtually test key metrics around stiffness and from this huge amount of testing, albeit virtual, Specialized was able to track correlations and trends.

The bikes come with through-the-headset routing and the S-Works bikes incorporate a Control SL bar, wheels and seatpost in a bid to save weight. These weigh 250 (70mm effective stem and 780mm width), 180, and 1240 grams respectively.

While the new SID WCID shock has forgone the brand's Brain, the fork hasn't and still comes equipped with the system. The Brain is an inertia valve that has been seen on Specialized bikes for coming up to two decades, however, they now seem to settle on its use within the XC category and the days of it appearing on enduro or trail bikes are very much behind us.

What the Brain essentially does is have a sprung element that responds to impacts coming from below the damper. In turn, this action opens up a port and lets the oil flow and the suspension unit cycle. However, from above the axle activating that sprung element to open the valve is less likely, meaning the bike can resist bob from pedalling and body inputs more.
photo

The shock frame weighs 1765 grams. Our full-build S-Works Epic WC in size large weighs 9.85 kg.

photo
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Suspension Design

In some ways the Epic World Cup isn't so much a full-suspension bike with a small dose of rear travel but rather a hardtail that happens to have 75mm of travel. That's not because of the silhouette or the relatively low weight, though; it's because of the way the bike is designed to be used. The suspension system, which features a one-piece rear end that relies on now near commonplace flex stays, isn't meant to be set up with the normal quantities of sag. Oftentimes, even for a short travel XC bike you could run around 20% to 25%. With the new Epic, however, the maximum that Specailized suggests you should run is 10%. This is the full-gulp setting. Maybe Specialized engineers have been enjoying the light beverage refreshments and cabinet of death at their local 7Eleven, I'm not sure, but the name is a little light-hearted and refreshingly self-deprecating for a style of bike that often takes itself very seriously. Maybe too much so.

There are also no-gulp and half-gulp setups that would run the bike at 0 or 5 percent sag respectively. Specialized points out that if you had a 100mm travel bike and ran it at 25% sag then you would effectively have 75mm of travel left to go into. However, although it's a nice thought and effective marketing line, we know that's not really how suspension works. More sag will give a bike that extends and tracks through holes better. Plus, a bike that's happier to go into its stroke and requires less force to break into its travel will let the wheel lift up over roots, rocks or obstacles to greater effect, too.

photo
The shock has two valves to adjust both the negative and positive chambers independently of one another.

Some bikes can get called out for vague similarities to pre-existing models and sometimes it's unfair. In this case, though, it's probably quite appropriate to acknowledge the similarities between this and the 60mm travel Trek Supercaliber. There are other similarities and parallels, too. Firstly, both big North American powerhouses teamed up with other industry leaders to make a proprietary rear shock that sits in line with the top tube.

However, there are differences. While both integrate neatly into the frame, the Trek system incorporates the shock as a structural member, whereas the Epic World Cup uses a more standard pivot and linkage, albeit a very small one. Specialized worked with RockShox to make the Brain WKD that you'll find on this bike, and Trek worked with Fox to make their IsoStrut. Both brands also have been trying to make their road bikes as comfortable as possible, even going as far as to include strut systems or dampers. Both bikes are also very short travel and both are there to run alongside and not replace their true full-suspension XC bike.

There are some key differences, though. The IsoStrut Trek system uses one air valve and an equalising port, which is then complemented by a remote lockout, while the Specialized system uses two valves to fine-tune the relationship between the negative and positive air chambers.

What this sets out to achieve on the Epic is the ability to tune the threshold level to push the bike into its stroke. If an air shock was only to have a positive air chamber, it would suffer from the huge amount of preload associated with that. In an air-sprung shock the positive air chamber is trying to extend the shock and resist the forces compressing the bike and forcing it into its cycle; the negative air chamber is actually working to suck the shock down and bring the bike into its stroke.

Oftentimes, these two systems are set at the same similar pressures, but their chambers are different volumes, with the positive being substantially larger. This is why a bike will keep the rider's weight suspended. In the architecture of the shock, you will find a small port to let the large positive air chamber fill the smaller negative chamber. This point is oftentimes around sag. If you wanted to make the bike break into its travel with less force you could increase the volume and or the pressure of the negative chamber. If you wanted it to require more force to begin the cycle you could do the inverse. This is what Specialized is playing with on the Epic World Cup, and it's one way that they're able to run it at almost 0% sag and still get full travel. They're not changing the spring rate for the full stroke, but rather changing the required threshold to begin the cycle.

Geometry

The Epic World Cup has relatively progressive geometry in some places. For instance, 66.5 degrees is relatively slack for an XC bike of this ilk. The reaches are modest by some standards, but are probably as long as you would want when coupled to the 74.5 degree seat tube. Any longer, and it would increase the already comparatively long effective top tube length beyond "stretched out race position" to potentially too aggressive for your non-competition riders, should for whatever reason they buy this bike.
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Builds

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S-Works Epic World Cup

Fork: RockShox SIDLuxe Ulitmate fork with Brain Valve
Shock: Rockshox SID WCID Deluxe
Drivetrain: SRAM T-Type XXSL w/ Quarq power meter
Finishing Kit: Control SL bars, wheels and seatpost
Brakes: Level Ultimate brakes with 160 mm rotors
Price: $12,000 USD

photo

Epic World Pro

Fork: RockShox SIDLuxe Ulitmate fork with Brain Valve
Shock: Rockshox SID WCID Deluxe
Drivetrain: SRAM T-Type XO w/ Quarq power meter
Finishing Kit: Carbon XC bars, Control wheels with DT 350 hubs and Control SL seatpost
Brakes: Level Silver brakes with 160 mm rotors
Price: $8,900 USD



Stay tuned for an upcoming long term review. For more information please visit specialized.com

Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
347 articles

275 Comments
  • 283 9
 $6500 for a f*cking frame.
  • 124 2
 Spesh went to hard for 4/20
  • 58 9
 they can shove their expensive bikes up their... Ridiculous
  • 7 23
flag rmbarrows (Apr 20, 2023 at 9:37) (Below Threshold)
 "The frames come with SRAM's new T-Type Transmission, which can run other systems via a UDH"

So is it 6500 for a frame+ drivetrain? Or just the frame?

Is it even compatable with a mechanical derailleur?
  • 11 2
 @rmbarrows: "Framesets" are frame (hardware/shock) + Fork. No drivetrain. Can run Transmission or regular AXS or mechanical w/ UDH.
  • 5 0
 @rmbarrows: Frame only, it just has a UDH.

Cubes current XC bikes also have a UDH and are equipped with normal Shimano and Sram derailleurs.
  • 15 2
 @rmbarrows: frame + fork, no drivetrain included.

plus f* headset routing… priceless!!
  • 5 0
 @bashhard: saddle hole?
  • 12 1
 @krka73: yeah, I know what a frameset means. But I read the caption, and thought that the drivetrain included might explain the 2 thousand extra dollars in price.

Turns out that it's just a fork.
  • 3 0
 And just think how much it'd cost if it had cables NOT run through the headset!
  • 15 0
 What’s interesting is that it costs 8900 for the cheapest build. If the frame is 6500 you get all of the components for 2400 that seems strange because some of the components aren’t cheap, like the wheels, drivetrain, and fork. Still a crazy expensive frame though
  • 1 2
 @VtVolk: seat tube.
  • 5 1
 Per Specialized site. s-works Frame and Fork is $6000
  • 6 0
 @bashhard: It's kinda of funny because Spesh is simultaneously one of the best and worst value brands out there. Their recent complete bike deals were excellent, and they had blowouts on tires (I got T9 Butchers for $35 shipped each during Black Friday, and Purgatory T7's for $25 each last month) and other components. It's just their higher end stuff that has increasingly diminishing returns (Like all premium bikes).
  • 20 1
 I’ve got plenty of money for my hobbies, and I race XC, but $6500 for a frame is just stupid.
  • 18 2
 @isaacisaac: bike companies do not like to sell frames only, selling bikes is an opportunity for a company to sell components, which they get at a scream of a deal when they buy bulk. So every "frame only" sold is a lost opportunity to sell a package of components, which is where their margins are. Most bike companies dont manufacture their own frames, they "design" a frame, have it built, but bulk parts at a heavy discount, hang them on the purchased frame, and sell them to us as a complete bike.

Trying to value the frame based on complete bike prices, and frame only prices is a fools errand, as very few of us know the actual costs of either the frame or components
  • 10 2
 @onawalk: All your points are 100% accurate. That said, Specialized can get bent on that much for an Asian made frame. Yes, I am sure it is top quality and top of it's class. But compare that to something such as an Unno or Atherton frame made in Western countries, at a much smaller volume, still considered 'high end', for less..... and the Epic's price point is laughable
  • 5 4
 @bman33: Of note, I believe its a frame and fork, so take that into consideration, also likely a fork that wont otherwise be available, so add that cost. So put a number of $1199 USD on the fork?

I'll be honest if I was Spesh, Id charge that kind of money for my frame only option as well. its one less bike that I get to sell, so less money to be made, so I'd want to try and make up those lost margins
Its a small run, high end, low production frame, with likely high R&D costs.

Luckily theres other options for those that dont want to buy this. Or buy a complete bike, and try and flog the parts on the used market
  • 4 0
 To smash into rocks
  • 5 5
 @bman33:
Frame AND fork.
That's like a $1200 fork. So doesn't sound so bad.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: yes I know I was just pointing out how cheap the full build is compared to the frame only (I’m not saying $8000 is cheap). It seems like most companies would sell a bike with that spec for around $6000-$7000 with the frames being $3000-$3500.
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: Relief channel?
  • 9 0
 @notthatfast:

A $5300 frame still sounds bad
  • 2 0
 Makes the Pro model for only $8900 look like a steal!
  • 6 0
 This is probably the main reason the old hardtail wasn't cutting it anymore. Not enough margin.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Didn't catch the fork included, reduces the sting a bit..............little bit.
  • 3 0
 Specialized has yeti-aspirations
  • 20 2
 @hllclmbr:
That's only $1000 more than a Transition Spur but it's an extremely high end low volume race bike and as such had a ton more R&D go into it.

PLUS here's the really cool thing about expensive bikes. You don't have to buy it. Crazy to imagine right, but hear me out - you could just buy something cheaper. Or just not buy anything at all. Wild.
  • 1 0
 @isaacisaac: yeah i guess they just dont want you to buy the frame
  • 1 0
 Now the new TR Smuggler's price tag seems pretty reasonable, right?
  • 3 1
 @notthatfast: Well, Transition is another brand that has recently gone cuckoo...not only with prices.
  • 3 0
 @onawalk: Still, I can never see the point of getting a complete bike. If I need a new frame, I buy a new frame and maybe some other parts if the parts I have don't fit. But unless you really like those other bundled parts better than what you have and/or expect that someone else will still want to ride what you're replacing, it is cheaper to only buy what you really need and transfer what you have to assemble the new bike.
  • 1 1
 @isaacisaac: as a note, frame and fork, not just frame, and proprietary shock, so lots going on there that isnt run of the mill stuff.
But you get it
  • 1 2
 @vinay: Youve lost me bro
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: Yeah sorry, I lose myself too at times so I understand what you're going through. My point is, it cheaper to buy less than to buy more. If you already have a bike, chances are fair you're happy enough with most of the stuff bolted to it. If you like this new frameset, buy that and assemble it with the parts you already own. There haven't been many new standards released recently and I trust Specialized isn't going so cheap that they don't even supply the frameset without a mech hanger. So yeah, it shouldn't be too hard for most to swap their five year old stuff onto their new frame.

I bought my current frame in 2018 which was replacing a frame I bought in 2008. At the time I needed a new rear wheel (because of axle standards), seatpostclamp, seatpost, headset etc. But I think in the past few years axle standards and seatpost diameters haven't changed much so unless one is replacing a fairly old frame one should be able to transfer the parts onto the new one.
  • 2 0
 @isaacisaac: I don't think Specialized likes to sell frames at all--the pricing certainly discourages it.
  • 2 3
 @onawalk: this is completely inaccurate. The margins on frames are WAY higher than complete bikes. I used to work at one of these companies and saw the costing myself. 45% margin bikes could have 60%+ margin frames. The reason they sell more completes is because that is what most consumers WANT.
  • 2 1
 @camelvendor: Its both. A 60% margin on a $6,500 frame and a 45% margin on a $8,900 complete bike is roughly the same: $4,000. From Specialized's perspective, it makes sense to have a minimum return per unit in order to recoup the costs of developing the platform. In addition, a good portion of frame sales likely cannibalize a complete bike sale costing Specialized the lost revenue from the sale of the parts kit.
  • 4 1
 I don't get the gnashing of teeth over the MSRPs at the top of the market. It is simply a number Specialized is floating to the market to see if folks will pay. The real price of the bike is what any one consumer will pay for it.

What we've seen from the brands that are moving towards mixed channel sales (buy online, in-store pick up) is high up-front MSRPs with much more affordable sale prices later in the product cycle. Specialized is leading the way on this. MSRP on an S Works Stumpjumper Evo was a "can we convince people its as good as a Yeti" $11,500. Right now, the price is a "its marginally better than a Giant" $8,800.
  • 1 0
 @camelvendor: Yes, the margins are higher are frame only because it means they cant make the additionla money on selling the parts (that they get cheap)
Maybe I miscommunicated, but the idea is the frame only cost is comparatively higher when looking at a complete bike, cause they are trying to re-coup lost revenue.
Im not sure if I stated something different than that.

Obviously they sell complete bikes, as that is what most want, I dont think that was the initial comment or concern.
I was making comment on the costs of frame only, and why they look high compared to complete bikes. Most seem to look at retail pricing (frames, wheels, brakes components, etc) and are astonished by the comparatively high cost of a frame only, vs. a complete bike.
Lets be honest most consumers have no idea what they want, just what they've been told to want....
  • 1 1
 @hllclmbr: def need a douche rover too
  • 1 0
 @user178323: "too" high
  • 5 5
 I love this thread, typical PB, as you can see most people bitching about price did no research... they just scream that Spesh is bad
  • 1 1
 @valrock:
The more neg props you get the more on the money you are.
  • 1 0
 Lol..looks like weve got a range rover owner lurking.
  • 130 7
 PEE PEE POO POO
  • 16 3
 ONGA BONGA
  • 13 0
 @bicyclepubes is that you???
  • 6 0
 This man gets it.
  • 3 2
 Someone at HQ had too much beerweed. when setting that frame price
  • 18 2
 All poopoo times are peepee times, but not all peepee times are poopoo times
  • 1 0
 Dick pound sez make it a quarter pounder
  • 1 1
 @Jz12b: ok boomer
  • 121 0
 Cable Tourism on display.
  • 35 0
 I refuse to call it anything else now.
  • 8 0
 Trademark it now
  • 3 0
 Nice reference ....
  • 4 0
 @big-red: Why do people call it cable tourism?
  • 11 0
 @Quantzer: See the Propain Tyee article comment section. Autocorrect came up with a new nickname.
  • 13 0
 @Quantzer: a beautiful autocorrect mistake as it fits so well: The "tourist route" is a term used to describe an inefficient but pretty way to get to a destination.
  • 4 1
 This is the best thing to happen at pinkbike in weeks.
  • 2 0
 Without a dropper cable, can it even be called "Cable Tourism?" It's really just a half...or maybe one-third...hearted attempt!
  • 67 1
 Old Spesh: Would sue anyone with an unlicensed Horst-link
Spesh now: Ctrl+C
  • 65 2
 Imitate or Die.
  • 62 1
 For 12k ya don't get a dropper, what a steal.
  • 30 3
 it weighs too much.
  • 6 0
 no but less is more you see, less weight in your wallet = fasterer on the trail
  • 1 1
 It's nice you don't have to remove the dropper. Almost worth the MSRP of the bike.
  • 3 0
 The no dropper on an XC race bike is absurd. No one is losing an XC race because they have a tiny weight penalty of a dropper but you can definitely win a race with the added control and speed you get with a dropper.
  • 58 2
 First to the SpecialCaliber
  • 26 1
 EpiCaliber.
  • 11 1
 i thought it looked like a session
  • 6 0
 SuperCaliFragileEpicEnvyIsAllYou'llNotice
  • 1 0
 S-Uper Caliber
  • 49 2
 Sixty five hundred f*cking dollars (USD) for a frameset. What an absolute laugh.
  • 1 0
 And fork although it would be more worth it to get the lower build because it's only 2400 more
  • 9 0
 The Trek Supercaliber frameset is $4,220.

Interestingly, the Supercaliber 9.6 complete bike is $3,800.
  • 4 0
 @wburnes: The difference there is the frameset comes with a Kashima shock and the 9.6 does not. Whether or not that makes a difference is up to you lol.
  • 31 1
 I know there isn't much weight to shave off these things but its only 104g lighter than a normal epic. Ignore doing a poo before a ride, I can save that much weight with a good piss
  • 17 0
 Yea, there's something really goofy about the weight on this article. The Epic EVO (with heavy AXS dropper) is apparently only 0.1lbs / 70 grams heavier than this? Despite the dropper alone being at least 500g heavier than the rigid and the frame/shock being another 300g heavier?? www.pinkbike.com/news/specialized-epic-evo-review-s-works-2020.html
  • 3 0
 Yeah, seems odd. My Sniper is I think a pound more ready to race (pedals, Garmin, etc).
  • 24 1
 @ShreddinThePig: and heavier than the 2021 epic reviewed here, apparently:
www.pinkbike.com/news/field-test-2021-specialized-epic-the-lightest-and-slackest.html

I don't get it... why not just add an extra 20psi to your regular Epic to get it feeling nice and harsh??
  • 4 1
 I am wondering how the pedaling efficiency is though. I can see this (if you can stomach the price) being a pretty good bike for long distance and marathon events. Reducing the punishment on the body but being hardtail efficient when pedaling.
  • 1 1
 @ShreddinThePig: That Epic Evo has marginally lighter tires and wheels. Note the 'as tested' in the weight column.
  • 1 0
 Quarc weight?
  • 2 0
 @corposello: Not sure what you're looking at but I think you've got it backwards. Both bikes (as tested) have the identical Control SL wheels and this Epic "World Cup" has lighter tires too (595g Fast Trak VS 625g Racing Ray). Additionally, the EVO has the heavier 35mm stanchion SID whereas the "World Cup" has the 32mm SID SL (Technically this SID isn't an SL, it's the yet to be released SIDluxe, but it appears to be the skinier one), that's another ~200g difference. Someone did point out the quarq power meter would add some weight back, but the math still aint mathing.
  • 1 0
 @ShreddinThePig: Also the brain damper is heavier than the raceday damper in the SID Ult
  • 2 2
 @ShreddinThePig: Transmission adds 250g or so.
  • 2 1
 This guy shows the weights for the accessories. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKHmkB8UP4I

Rear der: 471
Cassette: 380
Crankset: 681
Saddle: 227

Compare with something from a few years ago.

XTR der: 260g
Cassette: 265g
Next SL Crankset: 440g
Saddle: 150g isn't hard to reach.
  • 32 2
 shall I say Trecialized epicaliber
  • 27 2
 "Specialized also said that their design team and software simulated over 100,000 virtual frame sets."

And they still ended up with a Supercaliber? I bet the Trek engineers are having quite a laugh right now...
  • 10 0
 Go have a look at Trek's social media accounts. They are poking fun lol
  • 3 0
 @deli-hustler: even the Spz team 'principal' was there ranting about 'see you at WC' like Spz has at the podiums for some years haha
  • 29 3
 I smell a lawsuit coming...
  • 25 0
 Looks like a session…errr, supercaliber.
  • 5 0
 lol you can't sue on shape. What does Trek have a patent on here?
  • 10 0
 @milesofkyle: Let me introduce you to something called "Design patent", so yeah, you can absolutely sue on shape, did Trek get a design patent though? (i don't know)
  • 22 2
 Hey Trek, can I copy your homework?
  • 17 0
 SRAM - Leaks new Specialized Epic in Transmission promos Specialized - Leaks new SIDLuxe fork in Specialized Epic promos
  • 5 0
 underrated comment
  • 13 0
 A quick comment about the reach values being "conservative". If one considers that the rear suspension is being run at 0 sag, then the bike effectively sags like an hard tail, meaning that the reach grows with the rider on. For a typical 110mm fork sag, we are talking about roughly 10mm of reach increase under sag. So that's a dynamic sag of 475mm for a large, well within the norm
  • 14 0
 It looks like the $6500 "frameset" includes the frame, fork - new SID Ultimate Brain fork and Control SL seatpost

www.specialized.com/us/en/s-works-epic-world-cup-frameset/p/206074?color=336718-206074
  • 11 1
 "If you wanted to make the bike break into its travel with less force you could increase the volume and or the pressure of the negative chamber."

Increasing the volume alone would not decrease breakaway force. Yes, with a self-equalizing spring, a larger volume neg would allow more pressure transfer which would reduce the positive pressure at top-out, but that's actually the resultant pressure change altering the break-away force. With a two-valve, non-equalizing setup, a larger negative (with the same pressure) alone won't change breakaway force, because breakaway force is the net of spring forces from the positive and negative, and those forces are derived from pressure alone (at a fixed point like top-out).
  • 3 1
 How did this get a down vote?
  • 7 3
 @cookiemonster615: because "PB comments". Correctness doesn't matter. Explanations don't matter. People use downvotes to say "I disagree" or "You're wrong" (since I guess explaining the alleged wrongness is too much work), as well as "I dislike this".
  • 3 2
 @justinfoil: sorry. I forgot people were lazy fvcks
  • 3 10
flag hellanorcal (Apr 20, 2023 at 14:37) (Below Threshold)
 @justinfoil: I downvoted to prove you right.
  • 13 0
 12K, no dropper? Looks like this bike is fun at parties.
  • 8 0
 You mistakenly refer to the Supercaliber as the procaliber in the article. That is a lot of clams for a frame. Guess I better keep working hard on my dental degree. But with these prices I might need a side gig to even afford it as a dentist.
  • 11 3
 I think this is badass! For anyone complaining about price, this is literally something marketed for endurance XC racers or world cup (think race car). Its not intended for your local flow trail (though I'm sure you'll see some out there). And no, droppers aren't needed. I would say more than half of the riders in the Cape Epic run rigid posts.
  • 4 1
 Yeah racers that get them for free because they ride for specialized.
  • 4 1
 @ElliottIB: Didn't Specialized just fire all of them?!

To fund the eleventy-billion frame designs they claim to have gone through before throwing in the towel and saying "eff it, let's go Super-super Caliber.
  • 8 1
 Trek tried this first and ran into the same problem: It's not a hard-tail killer if it's 2 lbs heavier than a hardtail.

This frame is only 105 g lighter than a 120 mm travel Spark RC. This bike has no purpose if it's full-suspension weight with way less capability.
  • 11 0
 Is this coil compatible?
  • 2 0
 The cane creek DB IL coils just got a lot slimmer. Give it a go!
  • 5 0
 I hate the lettering for "Epic". Why would they do away with their stylized model lettering to something so plain and boring? It looks like they forgot to add it in the paint booth and bought the letters at their local hardware store from the decal bin.
  • 7 0
 Agreed, it looks particularly bad next to the very oblique Specialized logo. But maybe I’m biased cause I made the last epic logo
  • 1 0
 @ProBikeDesign: the block lettering is ok as it matches the lettering on the tires (which I like). But it's weird that it doesn't match the Specialized lettering
  • 2 0
 @ProBikeDesign: well they probably scrapped your work after you got fired.
  • 1 0
 @Fwinston: Classic and classy.
  • 1 0
 I bet they wish they could scrap the current Specialized logo and make it block letters too. Its the latest fashionista trend. That and SPCLZD.
  • 6 0
 Now we have the EpiC HT with 100mm in front. The FS with 100mm at the front and 100mm at the back. And this one with 110mm at the front and only 75mm at the back. At least strange.
  • 2 0
 That is what I'm wondering... With this in the mix, who is the standard epic FS for? I guess people who still want to race an FS but are too broke to afford this?
  • 9 0
 The epic Evo frame is lighter and cheaper
  • 1 1
 Quarc adds weight.
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: the power meter company? thats completely unrelated
  • 8 0
 It's too cheap for my taste
  • 4 0
 Scott is the only way
  • 5 1
 "This point is oftentimes around sag."

No it isn't. All the example shocks I have (DPX2, Deluxe, Monarch Plus, DB Air IL), the port is right around 15% or less. That definitely not close to either recommended or commonly used sag amounts. And for forks (2020 Float 36, 2019 Pike) it's closer to 5%.
  • 5 0
 The Transmission components are a big incongruity in a bike like this because they add weight for no gain. For most xc racers those two biggest and heaviest sprockets are also vestigial.
  • 7 0
 MTB prices are absolutely obnoxious. There is no justification for $6500 frames and $12k bikes. Sickening really.
  • 3 0
 Except that people buy them. Think about the most obnoxious rich dude you know, and how he uses the price of the things he buys as a bragging point.
  • 5 1
 "a Control SL bar, wheels and seatpost in a bid to save weight. These weigh 250 (70mm effective stem and 780mm width), 180, and 1240 grams respectively"

Wild that the wheels are only 180 g while the seatpost must be thick walled steel at 1240!
  • 4 0
 "The IsoStrut Trek system uses one air valve and an equalising port, which is then complemented by a remote lockout, while the Specialized system uses two valves to fine-tune the relationship between the negative and positive air chambers."

Also, the downmarket (?!) Supercalibers come without lockout, and a 3-position climb switch. Killer setup for XCM. Most pure xc guys I know remove the SC's rear remote, as it doesn't need a lockout unless you're throwing down for a road race.
  • 14 7
 It looks like a supercaliber but faster
  • 12 0
 faster to drain your bank account
  • 3 1
 @hardtailpunter: faster to brain your bank account
  • 2 0
 And without a PF BB.
  • 7 1
 That looks SUPER, definitely the CALIBER of XC race bike we’ve come to expect from Tre………….. sorry, Specialized.
  • 3 0
 Enjoyed the explanation of the rear shock and no-sag setup. I absolutely hated sag when moving HT->FS many winters ago, and still don't like how things pedal when running lots of sag (on my XC/DC bike that is). This is somewhat similar to race car no-droop suspension which is intended for smoother running tracks and where you sometimes want the wheel to lift when other corners are squatting. Wonder how it runs & pedals in chatter. I was pretty impressed when the last edition of SID came out and how it ran through stuff in a way I previously only felt on an overforked bike.

Would love to try one, but I still think my '21 Epic Evo is a hottie/keeper.
  • 7 1
 Thought it might be a cool bike...then I saw the headset routing.
  • 6 0
 Even dentists are going to be struggling with the man maths on this
  • 6 1
 "A hardtail that just happens to have 75mm of travel in the rear."

I think Henry is the one who's lost the plot here.
  • 2 0
 Supercaliber and price aside, anyone curious about how the little to no sag suspension works out? I'm reminded of the Bright Racing Shocks debacle, with Seb not liking how that sag-less design runs, the the brand owner/supporters insisting that Seb doesnt get it. Seems like this is a very racing oriented type of design, I wonder if we'll see this idea develop in more suspension designs, or turn out to be another dub.
  • 3 0
 I feel like it'll be much more accepted in this use case. Anyone buying this bike is expecting it to just take the edge off bumps/landings and not really track the ground super well, extend into holes, etc. Whereas the Bright fork was supposedly for enduro lol.
  • 7 1
 Get a dropper!...and get the hell off my lawn!
  • 3 0
 The bike is specifically designed for WC Level racing, and with how prices on bikes tend to have been it's on par. Fresh release probably means that they have cheaper models coming eventually.
  • 3 0
 This is an xc race bike, obviously not being marketed to the Average Joe/Jane. Price hate all you want but 90% of the mtbers out there will have no interest in this bike regardless of the price.
  • 5 0
 very shocked its not past $15k
  • 10 0
 But it's only a little shocked.
  • 2 0
 Synchros SL wheels and you are there.
  • 5 0
 Absolutely flipping lovely
  • 2 0
 Crap, thought I was gonna be original and the first person with a “Looks like a {insert bike model name that has 2 wheels and a chain}” post.

It does have Evil Offering vibes, though.
  • 5 0
 Thats a new sid. Lowers look the same but the crown is different
  • 1 0
 it might be the brain version, but yeah it looks different
  • 1 0
 maybe with reasonable bushing overlap?

finally?
  • 3 0
 It's almost as if the product and finance teams at Specialized don't even pay much attention to complaints in the PB comments section. SAD.
  • 4 0
 No first ride impressions? was everyone "Meh- me rather not..." What happened to Sarah Moore- she has an XC background?
  • 5 0
 Hey, look, they reinvented a Giant NRS. With much less travel.
  • 1 0
 It was quite well liked too as I remember, although I never tried one. I love riding a hardtail, so maybe I'd like this too.
  • 1 0
 Control SL bar, wheels and seatpost in a bid to save weight. These weigh 250 (70mm effective stem and 780mm width), 180, and 1240 grams respectively.


Believe you mixed up the order of the weights, or is there a new 180g wheelset???
  • 5 1
 They forgot to call it the Specialized epicaliber
  • 2 0
 " 75/110 mm travel Front/Rear "
and why the video it's on this format and it's always on autoplay every time you open the post... !?
  • 2 0
 My bad. Thanks for the heads up!
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney:
Nothing at all, have a good one !
  • 6 2
 Am I behind on the times or is that drivetrain look stupidly weird
  • 4 0
 It's not you, it hit every branch falling out of the ugly tree, then climbed up for a second drop.
  • 4 0
 No "casual" user should even consider buying this...
  • 3 0
 You'll be surprised how many "dirt roadies" will buy these to ride basically gravel and not much more.
  • 3 3
 Everyone talking about weight in the comments, I know that they say that it has to do with the weight of the frame for the design, I don’t really agree with that. I rode a Supercaliber for a year and just moved onto a Pivot Mach 4sl. The supercaliber was heavier than my Pivot but the ride quality was much better for races. There is no pedal bob what so ever, literally none. On a smooth road climb my sag didn’t change. The only thing holding the Supercaliber back is the older geo, I think the new supercaliber is going to be very impressive. If the Supercaliber could be a better “all rounder” I would have kept it but it was falling behind local Enduro bike KOM’s on decents. The Pivot is much faster on the down but XC races are won on the climbs.
  • 1 1
 In short,you bought the wrong bike.
  • 2 0
 @nozes: not necessarily. I racing it for xc and it performed beutifully. Competing for KOMs not so much. I bought the right bike, I just liked it more than my trail bike so it had the crap beat out of it. I guess my point wasn’t that clear, sorry about that. The design is wonderful. For a racer it is perfect. It’s fast as hell, I just don’t agree with the weight “problems”. It is the same weight as any other xc bike, the suspension just works better. The “isostrut and whatever specialized calls this isn’t saving weight, its just making it ride faster than other bike.
  • 1 0
 what are the rumors on when an updated one is coming? I've been super interested in the Supercaliber for racing and now this Epic as it would also be a blast on our flowy/sandy Central Oregon trails
  • 3 0
 @briceps: I don't know when it comes out, or what it is, but Trek's training camp video the bike was blurred. I'm thinking a bit more travel front and rear, updated geo, etc.
  • 4 0
 Looks like a supercaliber.
  • 4 0
 Is that the new EpicSuperWorldCaliber2Girls1Cup !!???
  • 4 1
 looks like a... supercaliber???
  • 4 1
 I wonder who was asking for this type of bike?
  • 24 0
 Elite racers or anyone on an XC track that isn't very technical, which outside of WC is most of them... $100 bucks says I see this bike at a NICA race before the end of the spring season. Lotta folks have a lotta cash.
  • 7 0
 yup this is going to sell insanely well, i raced cape epic last month, i'd say more than 50% were epics or treks in amateurs. 120mm travel is complete overkill for racing and riding in my area.
  • 4 0
 IMO I could see it be popular in long distance races if it is a very efficient pedaler then takes the edge off of bumps and such. Also rougher bikepacking races due to the full suspension and decent room for a frame bag.
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: But this will be raced at the World Cups and presumably successfully...
  • 1 0
 @KingPooPing: Right, it will be raced by elite riders on technical WC tracks. I wager elite riders are far more skilled than you and I and don't mind technical descents with high seat posts. This bike isn't for me or the races I do, but then again if I wanted to race something like Leadville and I could have my "weapon of choice," this would be high on the list. I'm sure you'll be seeing it with a wireless dropper on some tracks.
  • 1 0
 @cookiemonster615: winners get them for free
  • 1 0
 @xrob: loads of respect, what a race. What percentage of dropper posts did you see aprox?
  • 1 0
 @ElliottIB: factual. Domestic winners is what I'm referring to specifically
  • 2 1
 Does that version of the SID shock dump all of its air can fluid in ~10 hours like the SIDLuxe? Rockshox now calls that 'normal' after all...
  • 2 0
 Since you want internal routing, why not use the front brake hose running through the head tube like rotor freestyle bikes?
  • 4 1
 $6500 for a frame???
Specialized ain't taking my money >Frown
  • 3 2
 Don't worry, it's only $6,000 USD on the website. Classic Pinkbike L
  • 4 0
 looks like a trek
  • 5 2
 Why not just ride a hardtail?
  • 1 0
 Gravel bike FTW
  • 1 0
 Please allow me to introduce to the Jones.
  • 1 0
 Fyi... it's crazy easy to get a dirt cheap Specialized Epic. Just make sure it's one of the old ass Epic road bikes. Still got mine.
  • 1 0
 pretty brave to walk that far away from a $6500 framed bike.... i was waiting for someone to snatch it as the camera panned away from the bike Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Expensive, a hassle to work on (headset cable routing-UGH) and expensive. Yeti shmeti, this is the dentist's weapon of choice!!!
  • 1 0
 This is gonna be a new ‘looks like a session’ situation with this bike and the supercalibre. Does the custom shock thing have an impact on servicing and all that??
  • 1 0
 This bike and the supercalibre are gonna start the ‘looks like a session 2.0.’ Do all these custom shocks going around make a problem for servicing and all that?
  • 1 0
 Epic trolling by Trek on their IG. With a photo of the latest Supercaliber, They said "What's the saying?. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?" lol
  • 2 0
 so, it is lighter than a Supercaliber, but equal to an Oiz OMX? and more or less the same as an EPIC EVO? I'm lost
  • 2 0
 Good thing this post came out on 4/20. If you’re going to spend $6500 on a frame you gotta be pretty damn high.
  • 1 0
 Probably it's World Bike Release Week... !?
I'm waiting the next ones... Have A Good One... !
  • 1 0
 And we reached the 12k mark also on the Epic line, leaving the 9k/10k MX behind.
  • 3 1
 Epic price specialized lol $6500 for frame only is silly
  • 1 0
 My "racing" road bike circa 1999 weighed 21 pounds. Crazy mtn bikes can be built that light with suspension!
  • 1 0
 That gulp thing reinds me when Specialized tried to popularize the "wu" for the auto saddle tilt in their droppers.
  • 2 0
 No rear lockout / brain on Specialized's raciest MTB. Interesting.
  • 3 1
 Incredible engineering spent to avoid copying trek Ohh wait... bad job.
  • 2 1
 Wow. It's hideous. I wish they kept the shock condom on for the released version
  • 3 0
 big gulps huh?
  • 1 0
 Well, see ya later! Thank you for this lol.
  • 3 1
 Inflation is terrible. Let’s make a $6500 frame!!
  • 3 1
 Nothing says over 50’s target audience quite like 6500 frame only
  • 5 1
 Newsflash: Being over 50 does not equal independently wealthy.
  • 1 0
 @Dopepedaler: Maybe in Britland it does. Idk.
  • 1 0
 How can we give this video a "like" and "subscribe" its not embedded youtube anymore
  • 2 0
 So glad it has headtube cable routing, looks more like a proper road bike.
  • 1 0
 6500 for a fkin frame, yeah don't like the way the bike industry is going at all
  • 1 0
 Hahaha the frameset costs only AU$400 less than a fully built Supercaliber.
  • 3 1
 For $$$$$ A Frame!?
  • 3 1
 The PB is wrong. I checked the Specilized sight. $6000 for frame and fork
  • 2 0
 @Ck7lOi: Well, thats much better Lol.. it's crazy expensive obviously, but you get a frame and a fork and these days frames are nearly 5 grand... So its not that crazy..
  • 1 0
 No headset cable routing... mmm
  • 1 0
 the rear brake is routed through the headset
  • 1 0
 Great job explaining this thing Henry!
  • 1 0
 I dont see a top tube length?
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for this to go on sale!
  • 1 0
 Hmmm...what can I complain about with this bike?
  • 4 1
 Headset cable routing, Brain fork with no rear lockout, super unoriginal, says S-works or Specialized on the side, it's lack of raw sex appeal, and the graphics
  • 2 0
 $5K frameset GTFO
  • 2 0
 ummmmm.....$6000 sir. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I really like it but man its expensive
  • 1 0
 It's a QUARQ power meter, not a QUARG. LOL!
  • 2 0
 Actually laughed-out-loud. Amended. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Session, um a I mean a Supercaliber. LoL
  • 1 0
 Looks a Trek? Which looks like a 90s Yeti…
  • 1 0
 can't wait to put an o-chain on her and have a rip...
  • 2 1
 The writing in this article is awful.
  • 1 0
 Epic World Pro priced quite reasonable, considering components
  • 3 1
 Shove it Specialized.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Supercaliber.
  • 1 0
 Rather see what Turner has! Dt!!!!
  • 1 0
 “Cabinet of death” is vocabulary gold.
  • 1 0
 With a max chain ring size at 36t this is no hardtail-killer.
  • 1 0
 12k, and still needs a 1k dropper after the fact. oof.
  • 1 0
 How do you 'like and subscribe' to the auto-play Pinkbike embed?
  • 1 0
 New Trek Supercaliber will drop in the next couple of days
  • 1 0
 Looks like a [bike from the same company that makes the] Session
  • 1 0
 Looks like a supercaliber
  • 1 0
 Hopefully this comes with a bottle of lube too....
  • 1 1
 Id rather have a hardtail than "flex-stays". ramps up the spring rate on all designs. trash design
  • 1 0
 People: e-bikes are too expensive
Specialized: hold my beer.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a Trek?
  • 1 0
 I thought Covid was over!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a hardtail.
  • 2 1
 Nice Speciatrek
  • 1 0
 Looks like a trek
  • 1 0
 Well it looks lovely
  • 2 2
 Epiccaliber
  • 1 1
 go specialized!!!!
  • 8 10
 Yes! Another win for headset cable routing
  • 3 0
 Except they only put half the cables in the headset. Looks pretty half ass with that front brake line sticking out.
  • 1 0
 It looks like it might be routed just to the side of the headset which looks like a good option to me.
  • 2 1
 Coming from the plus tire guy...
  • 4 0
 @Whataboutism: Honestly all this bike needs is clearance for 4.0 tires and it could win a world cup downhill race.
  • 3 0
 Whataboutism using whataboutism about a guy who likes plus tires...
  • 1 0
 @plustiresaintdead: I want to see it. But only if you keep the seat post extended.
  • 2 0
 Now I think this text thread is the same guy talking to himself on 2 different profiles
  • 1 2
 Epicaliberrrrrrr
  • 3 5
 Why are all the photos private? I want to favorite them.







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