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First Ride: Specialized's New Chisel FS Cross-Country Bike - Aluminum Done Light

Jun 18, 2024
by Mike Kazimer  

An aluminum XC bike that's relatively light and not wildly expensive? That's the brief on the new Chisel FS, the latest addition to Specialized's cross-country lineup. The new carbon Epic was released just a few months ago, and it now has a more affordable sibling that shares many of the same geometry numbers.

The Chisel FS has 110mm of travel that comes courtesy of a flex stay suspension layout, currently the most commonly seen design when it comes to cross-country bikes. Complete builds come with a 120mm fork, but it can be built up with a 130mm fork for riders looking for more of a lightweight downcountry / trail bike.

Specialized Chisel FS Details

• 110mm travel, 120mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• 29" wheels
• 66.5° head angle
• 437mm chainstays
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
• Frame weight (size L): 2920 grams
• Price: $2,600 - $3,400 USD
• Frame & shock: $2,000 USD
specialized.com

There are three complete models in the lineup, with prices starting at $2,600 and going up to $3,400 USD. There's also a frame-only option with a striking pink and yellow paint scheme that's priced at $2,000.

As for the weight, my size large frame with the thru-axle installed weighed in at 2920 grams. Specialized says it's the lightest full suspension aluminum cross-country bike out there, and it very well could be, since options from competitors like Scott and Trek check in at over 3,200 grams. I'm always a little skeptical about 'lightest in the world' claims, since inevitably there's some tiny European company that's managed to make something even lighter. Either way, though, the Chisel's frame is impressively light.


photo

Frame Details

Specialized use a technique they call D'Aluisio Smartweld on the Chisel FS frame. Basically, the head tube, top tube, and down tube are all hydroformed so that the junction fits together as perfectly as possible before welding begins, with no mitering required.

As an additional weight saving measure, the Chisel has a one-piece hydroformed seat tube that integrates the seat tube pivot, main pivot, and bottom bracket shell.

photo
A flip chip at the rear shock mount can be used to change the head angle by .5-degrees.
photo
The bottom bracket, main pivot, and seat tube are all hydrofromed from one tube.

There's no in-frame storage to see here, but there is room to carry two water bottles inside the front triangle. Cable routing is internal, with foam sleeves to keep things quiet. Other details include a little flap at the front of the chainstays to keep the frame from eating rocks, and a molded rubber chainslap protector.


photo

Geometry

Over the last few years we've seen the same longer and slacker trend that swept through the trail and enduro bike categories applied to cross-country bikes, and I'm all for it. Modern XC bikes are fast, efficient, and now they're a lot more fun on more technical terrain. The Chisel is no exception, with a 66.5-degree head angle in the low setting, a 75.5-degree seat angle, and 437mm chainstays. There are five sizes, from XS to XL, and the reach on a size large measures 470mm.

Compared to the Epic 8, the Chisel's head angle is a smidge steeper (a smidge is .6-degrees), and the reach is 5 millimeters shorter. The Chisel also has a longer head tube, which gives it a stack height that's 10mm taller than the Epic 8. It's still possible to have a fairly low front end for riders who prefer the more hunched over, traditional XC position, but the taller stack height also makes it easier to have a more comfortable, neutrally upright position, one that's closer to what you'd expect on a trail bike.


photo

Suspension Design

The Chisel uses a 190 x 40mm shock for its 110mm of travel, and no, you can't run a 190 x 45mm shock to increase the amount of travel – I asked. There's a seatstay bridge that could potentially contact the seat tube if the wrong size shock was used, so it's best to stick with the stock configuration, or go with the Stumpjumper if you think you need more travel.

According to Specialized, the kinematic profile of the Chisel FS sits between that of the outgoing Epic EVO and the new Epic 8. That means there's a little less anti-squat than the Epic, and a slightly higher leverage ratio.



photo
Chisel FS Comp

Models & Pricing

Chisel FS Comp | $3,400 USD: RockShox SID, Rush damper, Deluxe Select+ shock, Shimano M6100 2-piston brakes, Shimano SLX / Deore drivetrain, TranzX dropper post, Specialized Fast Trak / Ground Control tires.

Chisel FS | $2,600 USD: RockShox Recon Silver RL, X-Fusion Pro-02 shock, SRAM Level T 2-piston brakes, SRAM SX / NX drivetrain, TranzX dropper post, Specialized Fast Trak / Ground Control tires

photo
Chisel Base Shimano

Chisel FS Base Shimano | $2,600 USD: RockShox Recon Silver RL, X-Fusion Pro-02 shock, Shimano M4100 2-piston brakes, Deore drivetrain, TranzX dropper post, Specialized Fast Trak / Ground Control tires

Frame & shock only: $2,000 USD


photo
Definitely not a budget build. In this configuration, and without pedals, the Chisel FS weighs in at 26 lb / 11.8 kg.


Ride Impressions

When I saw that the Chisel FS was available as a frame only, and that frame happened to be a bright pink color, I decided to see what I could come up with. The result is a decidedly not-budget-oriented build that weighs in at 26 pounds (those 1190 gram Roval wheels go a long way to help keep that number reasonably low), with parts that suit my preferred style of XC riding, which tends to include trails that are on the more technical side of things.

I don't get along with the hunched over, stretched out positioning that some XC racers still prefer, thanks in part to some permanent titanium hardware in my back, so I went with a 50mm stem, and 760mm wide bars with 35mm of rise. Other parts that don't fit into the typical XC mold include SRAM Code brakes, and a 170mm dropper post. It's been fairly wet lately, so I've been running Maxxis Rekon tires front and rear, but I'll get the extra-speedy rubber on once things dry up a little more.

Out on the trail, the Chisel feels exactly like I'd hoped it would – it has quick and snappy pedaling manners, with just enough travel to take the edge off chunky climbs and rougher descents. It's not the bike I'd grab if I was going to try and tackle the gnarliest descents around, and it's not meant to be. Instead, it's ideal for speedy lunch laps, or long rides where covering ground is the goal rather than racking up all the air miles.

The 110mm of travel is well managed, meaning it doesn't give up those millimeters too easily, and the times I have bottomed out the suspension were all well deserved. The overall feel is more sporty than super supple, but I think that aligns well with the bike's character. The same goes for the Chisel's handling – it's fast without being twitchy, and it's a blast on more rolling terrain, where you can pump through natural rollers to generate more speed.

I'd love to see the introduction of the Chisel FS inspire more companies to introduce lighter weight, aluminum XC bikes. They make a ton of sense for a huge swath of riders, whether that's an aspiring high school racer, someone looking to upgrade from an older, more traditional XC bike without breaking the bank, or for anyone who wants to mix things up and try something lighter and livelier than a heavy enduro sled.




Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,765 articles

235 Comments
  • 363 9
 This is really awesome to see. More well designed aluminum bikes. Not everyone needs a plastic bike.
  • 38 0
 Reminds me of the '90's, when Cannondale was on the forefront of making some lightweight aluminum rigs, for both road and mountain. I'm sure material science / alloys are better now too.
  • 21 0
 Agreed. The price and amount of suspension seem like a good mix for someone that wants a FS but doesn't want to spend a ton or need a lot of travel... so a lot of people.
  • 76 8
 Especially the people on this site who probably have an enduro bike or an enduro + dh bike quiver. If I were going to get into gravel riding, this is the exact type of bike and price range I'd go for. Drop bars are uncomfortable to me and I do not understand the trend of riding rigid gravel bikes on XC trails and pretending that's more fun than with some amount of squish.
  • 8 1
 @succulentsausage: Yup. My brother is a 100+ mile a weekend roadie/triathlete and I sent him this article as another plea to get him to expand his biking experience.
  • 74 0
 @succulentsausage: It's not that the trails are more fun on gravel bike. It's that the 80-mile gravel rides are more fun with the trails.
  • 17 0
 @succulentsausage: a lot of people find drop bars more comfortable, and while some people may prefer riding trails on rigid Dropbar bikes, for most people they are choosing the gravel bike because it’s more fun on the roads and fire roads that make up most of their ride time. All that being said mountain bikes are way more fun.
  • 8 6
 @AppleJack76: that's how they became known as Cracknfail
  • 9 2
 @pmhobson: aye, groadies gotta ride to and from the XC trails. Easier to do longer distances on a drop bar.
  • 14 16
 Glad i'm not the only one calling them plastic because that's what they are.
  • 15 18
 Totally agree, this bike looks fantastic. However, if I am going to be pedantic, most carbon fiber bikes are not "plastic". Guerrilla Gravity was one of the few rare exceptions.
  • 5 34
flag Antoniosini (Jun 18, 2024 at 10:59) (Below Threshold)
 Definitely. Now add 20mm of travel both front and back and it might be a success.
  • 6 0
 @nnowak: agreed theyre 30 percent plastic
  • 6 0
 @Antoniosini: Specialized Status? Smile
  • 3 0
 @Scottycruz: new one is dropping soon.
  • 4 26
flag s100 (Jun 18, 2024 at 17:08) (Below Threshold)
 @pmhobson: I prefer my 80 mile trail rides with gaps and drops and squish. I got 130km in one day on a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 Especially on these simple single pivot designs.. or even many horst link bikes. But I wouldn't want my Megatower in alloy.
  • 1 1
 Also in the late '00s the RZ 120 an 140 got these called "Backbone" forged BB-Steatpost-mainpivot aluminium part. 15 years later it's a Specialized "innovation" Big Grin
And also this was a cat.4 Frame with 2,5kg incl. shock (RZ 140 AL)
  • 5 1
 @nnowak: Pedantic and wrong. All common carbon composites use some kind of epoxy matrix, which is a plastic. What was different about GG's process was they used a thermoplastic epoxy matrix, rather than thermoset. Both words refer to categories of plastics.
  • 138 1
 This deserves a collective "hell yeah"!
  • 26 0
 Hell yeah.
  • 4 2
 This deserves a 180mm fork, which will then be called the Grim Timbit (welcome to Canada. . . )
  • 92 0
 More bikes like this please. If Kona wants a fresh start. Do this with good geo, good parts spec in aluminum or steel.
  • 151 0
 how about a confusing amount of entry level hardtails instead?
  • 17 0
 New Hei Hei.....
  • 10 0
 @dungeonbeast: I would suggest that the 2016 Hei Hei was the trendsetter that led to bikes like this. I still have a 2016 Hei Hei, and it's still awesome.
  • 2 0
 @dungeonbeast: the current hei hei is still one of the hardest hitting bikes in the category. A refresh with a threaded BB, better derailleur cable routing and *maybe a half degree slacker head angle and steep effective seat tube. Honestly, it's so good as it is. Jibby like a process 134, versatile like a honzo, eats chunky backcountry terrain and when you stomp it, IT GOES.
  • 3 0
 Absolutely. For what I ride, a 100-120 front, 100 rear steel frame with modern geo would be a bike I reach for 90% of the time.
  • 3 0
 I bought my wife a 2020 Hei Hei and my only regret is that I didn't get one for myself. I tried a Rocky Mountain Element in 2023, but I had to pay $1000 more to get the same spec and weight ($3700 and under 30 lbs.). Unfortunately, the steep seat angle geometry doesn't really agree with my knees, so I'm back to a traditional geo Trek Procaliber (as much as I despise Trek).

I would recommend this Specialized to any aspiring XC rider for value and utility alone. I still won't buy any Specialized products based on their anti-competitive stance and Mike Sinyard's monopolistic attitude.
  • 4 0
 @XC-Only: I have the latest Cotic Flaremax and love it. It's a bike I could ride the next ten years. I only wish there wasn't such a large price to pay on importing and shipping it where I live. The Kona Hei Hei is an awesome rig. One of the better riders I met swears by his. I've tried to get my wife to lean into more XC/light trail focused bikes instead of the mid-30 lb trail bikes she's mostly ridden so she can clean longer climbs and ride longer to no avail yet. I've pitched this Chisel FS to three friends already to deaf ears as they all want something with more travel despite us living in an XC dominated trail area.
  • 75 0
 NICA riders rejoice - your new whip has arrived.
  • 58 1
 Fo' Chisel!!
  • 43 0
 Well will you look at that!?!? Another pink bike. Conspiracy? Tin foil hats, ENGAGED!!!
  • 43 0
 Aluminium foil please, it's the material of choice.
  • 7 0
 @bigtim: Touche!
  • 44 1
 Specialized just owned the NICA market
  • 8 2
 At least in my area it seems like the fastest choice would still be a hardtail for high school and local xc races. I've only done a couple local xc races myself, but back when I was on my trek hardtail it more than did the job for the terrain. It's probs different in New england or Cali tho (my local xc races were in Wisconsin.) But Spec makes a few good hardtails too I guess lol.
  • 9 0
 @11six: You are correct NICA mandates pretty tame courses so a hardtail is likely the best option. That said most NICA kids like riding more difficult stuff so this might be a great option for them.
  • 4 0
 @Rigidjunkie: Depends where you live. Even our tame trails have a ton of small rock and roots that would make this bike perfect.
  • 2 0
 Even if your race trails are tame, a lot of mine are (to the point of boring), this would allow those kids to ride on more fun trails with one bike and less worry.
  • 3 0
 @Rigidjunkie: Yeah, I didn't think of that.
  • 27 0
 Love this. I am the head coach of a NICA team and anytime a kid asks what bike they should get I'm either going to point at this or the Chisel HT.
  • 5 0
 The Chisel HT has been my go to recommendation for my NICA riders for the past year. This will be my recommended full suspension.
  • 5 0
 @j1sisslow: it was better 2 years ago until they put cheaper parts on it and raised the prices. A square taper bottom bracket is ridiculous.
  • 3 3
 @Frank191: I agree, but the bones are there and its way better than anything other bike shop brands offer for entry level XC racing. I can send a parent to a Specialized shop and they get a very good bike for decent price. A lot of parents do not know anything about MTBs.
  • 7 0
 @j1sisslow: XTC SLR is a pretty similar bike to the Chisel HT and Weighs 26LBS with the stock parts.
  • 1 0
 @Glory831Guy: Thanks for pointing this bike out to me, they are very similar bikes. On paper the Chisel seems to have better geometry, but both are very good options for up and coming young XC riders/racers.
  • 2 0
 I ended up with a blinged out Chisel HT pretty much by accident and have barely used my [also very good] Epic Evo since. The Chisel with Barzo/Mezcal 2.35" is very fast on road getting to trails less close to home and yet still incredible on really brutal trails. I've gotten faster times on the Chisel than on my Evo on challenging trails, where I would have thought FS would be the better choice.
  • 21 0
 Crazy to go with the frame-only option, when another $600 gets you: wheels, brakes, a full Deore drivetrain (cranks, bb, cassette, derailleur, shifter, cables, chain), a dropper, front suspension, and saddle/stem/bars/grips. Shows you Specialized's OEM purchasing power.
  • 17 0
 more like they know they're gonna make a lot more money from dudes who will pay upwards of 2k for the frame and build it up with a bunch of spare parts as a jib mobile
  • 10 1
 Plus, if you already have parts you're happy with (or can gather some second hand or even exchanged OEM parts for cheap) you might still end up with a cheaper bike. Plus the frame-only is probably going to be delivered with a fancier shock than that X-Fusion shock so the comparison wasn't completely fair. Anyway, 600USD buys you a lot if you choose wisely. Funny to see people consider buying a frame only a "crazy" option whereas for me, buying a complete bike seems "crazy" if it isn't your first bike. I bought my first mountainbike as a complete bike and have been replacing parts over the years. Which simply included frame replacements as well.
  • 30 0
 I’m pretty sure frame only are for people like me who bring in a bike one part at a time over a matter of months so that I don’t set any alarms off in my house
  • 2 0
 From my perspective as someone deeply considering frame only of this bike: I already have an epic ht with better components in every spot, I likely wouldn't have to buy anything new except the frame. You could argue that you could make back more than $600 selling all that on the used market, but that would also be annoying. Having an extra set of wheels could be nice though...
  • 1 2
 @nicholkid: If you could make more than 600 dollar (are you people talking USD or CAD now?) then these (along with the higher end shock) are going make it a higher end bike than the base model with the lower end shock. An extra set of wheels will come eventually as you learn to lace your own wheels. Not sure what wheels come with the base model but it probably doesn't take much to build something better. Especially if you can get some used but still good hubs somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I did a quick tally of what the parts would be worth and it's pretty much a wash between getting frame only and getting the base model and selling off the components. Frame only is still quite expensive though at $3k cad after tax (provided you can somehow get it in Canada). Base model is $3.9k fwiw.

Wheels of course I can get anytime but just were the only thing I might keep from the base if I were to go that way.
  • 5 0
 @nicholkid: Isn’t Kaz using a ~$3000 wheelset and a $2000 group set for his build?
  • 2 0
 Frameset is selling for $1825 in Europe. Not a lot of decent framesets around below that price…
  • 1 0
 @jostaudt: £1400 in the UK, which seems like incredible value.
  • 1 0
 @ChiefSilverback: not sure how his build is relevant?
  • 1 0
 @nicholkid: I thought you were suggesting you could build up a 26lbs bike for the price of the base spec model?
  • 1 0
 @ChiefSilverback: I have no such designs, don't care that much about weight. I've just been commenting on the costs of swapping my parts to frame only vs buying the base model and selling off the parts it comes with. Though I think with my parts it would end up lighter than their top spec model, which is nice.
  • 25 1
 I don't want to buy another Specialized but they sure are making it hard
  • 1 0
 My thoughts exactly. This is the bike I need and want,and now I can't complain that nobody makes one.
  • 6 0
 I fought hard for decades... until about 3 years ago when I got a Stumpy Evo. Then got an Epic Evo. Put 12,000 kms on it and loved it and just replaced it with an Epic 8. Converted.
  • 19 0
 They need to come back out with the Camber! It was a great entry level bike with only a $1500 price tag. Seems like entry level bikes are getting more and more expensive. Giant is still one of the only companies still making a decent FS bike for $1500 US.
  • 14 0
 Pitch! That was a great one too. The original FS one, not the hardtail thingy.
  • 5 0
 @carlitouk: One would argue that the Status is the current Pitch equivalent.
  • 19 0
 This at 26 pounds is impressive when you consider most of the World Cup XC bike weights in the previous article were in the 23.5 - 24 pound range.
  • 9 0
 Diminishing returns kick in hard beyond the lower third of the price spectrum.
  • 4 0
 sram transmission
  • 14 0
 @mosierman, yep, going with cable actuated XTR and a different dropper post would easily knock some more weight off this build. Less batteries = less weight.
  • 6 8
 @mikekazimer: But then you have to use an XTR instead of transmission....
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: this might be an old ass callback but don't you mean fewer batteries?
  • 25 10
 Interesting decision to build a flex stay out of aluminum.... they must be confident on the fatigue life
  • 29 2
 Indeed, but kind of easy to assess once you got a good FEA model and good material database.

The Young modulus of aluminum is quite low, so you can get a decent amount of flex without a lot of stress.

The welded connection near the brake must have had quite a lot of R&D to market those aluminum flex stay though!
  • 18 1
 Pretty sure it was run through hundreds of thousands of cycles, on a dyno. Liability lawyers have a say in product releases.
  • 65 1
 Maybe don't sit by the wing on your next flight.....
  • 32 2
 Not this again...

Fatigue life on aluminium frames is aboslutely not a problem. Because of the relatively low Young modulus, you can get quite a bit of deflection out of an aluminium structure without any major impacts on fatigue/longevity. Additionally, these bikes undergo excessive testing, both digitally through FEM and mechanically on a test bench. Most modern bikes are designed to withstand in excess of 200.000 full load cycles. Realistically, you'll never even get anywhere close to riding your bike this much.
  • 5 0
 @Muscovir: thank you for explanation, I was wondering same thing like that guy.
  • 1 0
 Don't recall Cannondale ever had any fatigue issues with their Scalpel (of which the first generations were aluminum as well).
  • 23 2
 The perception of aluminum bikes and parts having a poor fatigue life comes from two things:

1. Extreme prioritization of low weight on early aluminum products

Compared to steel, aluminum facilitates adequately stiff frames and components at a lower weight. Designers frequently exploited this and made light products with poor durability. To be fair to these aluminum products, they lasted longer than a steel product of the same weight would have, but they were less durable than consumers expected from bike products.

2. Poor understanding of fatigue endurance limits

Some materials have a fatigue endurance limit, meaning they can have an infinite fatigue life under specific conditions. Many people misunderstand this and believe materials with such a property are never subject to fatigue failure or will always have a superior fatigue life. Fatigue endurance limits apply to stress levels far below the stresses of bike frames and components, i.e. all materials are far beyond their endurance limits (if present) at stress levels relevant to bike products, meaning all materials can eventually fail in fatigue. The real issues are design an manufacturing: a product made from a superior material may have a shorter life - even at the same weight - as one made from an inferior material if the former has inferior design or manufacturing.

2920 grams is not extraordinarily light and the strain over a long, slender seatstay is modest - perhaps less than in a handlebar. There is nothing alarming about these elements of the design.
  • 5 3
 @Muscovir: 200,000 load cycles, can you expand on that? Is that 200,000 instances of max force anticipated / worst case scenario?
  • 4 3
 @RadBartTaylor: There is a bit more to fatigue than just a number. It depends on whether the stress alternates between tension and compression (or just varies within tension or compression), how large the stress is etc. You can't just slap a single number on it. Fatigue in aluminum is well understood simply most commercial airplanes are made out of the stuff. So manufacturers need to provide guidelines how to inspect and maintain these parts. I'd go as far as to say that even Boeing as people onboard who understand this stuff so for the people at Specialized and Cannondale, this is piece of a cake.
  • 4 0
 @vinay: I understand that - was just asking what he meant when he said "200,000 *full load cycles*".....
  • 4 0
 Lifetime warranty for first owner on frames/stays too
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: I'd be really interested to see a comparison between the strain required to cycle through the travel compared to the strain of lateral flex during a hard corner or a cuttie. Although I guess manufacturers who have gone to the trouble to collect those data would not be keen to share them.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Thanks for sharing all this!
  • 1 1
 @NikBNZ: lifetime means 5-6 years until they stop making those frames and run out of stock
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: So that would be equivalent to 200.000 hucks to flat?
  • 1 0
 @GZMS: I've heard of and seen plenty of people claim a warranty on an old frame and end up with the latest gen frame. Not just Specialized either, Yeti Trek & Scott.
  • 1 0
 @RadBartTaylor: I'm sure it's defined in ISO 4210 test standards (but it's behind a paywall so I'll take a guess). I would assume 'full load cycles" refers to some submaximal load that represents a high but not insane force that you would experience while riding the bike near it's intended limits and at or slightly above it's max weight limit.

They do other testing called 'impact' testing where it would be more like the equivalent of repeated hucks to flat or riding with no air in your shock.

It doesn't show the actual loads but if you google "ISO 4210 Bike frame testing" or "bike frame fatigue tests" you'll get some interesting videos showing the different ways they stress the frames. Here's and example from canyon: www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=4oolXqu_gWE
  • 13 0
 Really good to see "real" coke can bikes making an appearance in 2024. Light, fast, nimble definitely has a place alongside big, heavy, plough. I love both so yeah, good to see ya little specz.
  • 15 1
 Wow. This is the perfect candidate for a single-speed full suspension setup. Put a SID up front, no drivetrain.... Might be able to get it below 25 lbs....
  • 9 0
 Yes (racing on a SS fuse, which honestly is a great bike)
  • 11 0
 No drivetrain at all or just no gearing?
  • 2 1
 @mmiloou: definitely an underrated SS race bike!
  • 2 0
 @Joyvagen: Those Specialized model names confuse me. Fuse used to be their BMX bike. Santa Cruz robs their single-pivot graves to grab the name badges and give them to their assisted bikes. I don't dare to think of what will happen now that Roskopp has moved to Specialized...
  • 3 0
 @vinay: a chainless XC bike? Wow!
  • 3 2
 @JonDud: I put down the question mark first. You suggested an XC bike without a drivetrain in your initial post.
  • 11 0
 Specialized always has such nice frame only colors. Makes me want to buy that frame even though it makes no economic sense hahaha
  • 4 0
 Frame only colors always beat the complete builds on looks.
  • 1 0
 I guess Rob Roskopp brought that color with him when he signed the deal.
  • 1 0
 My brother had a 1994 (96?) Spec Hard Rock in this color.
  • 13 1
 This will be my next bike, thanks Specialized
  • 11 0
 Bis S on the roll post covid, banger after banger in all disciplines on all price levels
  • 12 0
 Huck to flat please.
  • 10 0
 Is that a Mattoc Pro on the front end or an unreleased update to the R7?
  • 6 0
 Well it sure looks like there's a piece of electrical tape over the logo on the lower leg so my bet is R7
  • 3 0
 My bet is on the R7 too. It would make sense with the bike intended use.
  • 3 0
 Could be either, R7 is due for an update but the Rockrider/Ford XC team has been running a shortened Mattoc too...
  • 5 0
 arse heaven
  • 6 0
 I hope so. Mattoc Pro fork is so underrated. Love mine. Haters will hate but it's so good.
  • 9 0
 Pinkbike out here slippin teaser shots of a new Manitou XC fork.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer come on - spill the beans, we can't wait another two weeks for the R7 MRD review Smile
  • 4 0
 My taste for anything carbon has faded and for the past 3 plus years I favour my aluminium rides. I prefer the ride feel and seeing the Big S stepping up to accommodate the riders in todays financial woes is extremely impressive. I see so many 10K bikes with or without assisted devices and wonder about how much each ride costs the customer. I imagine it costs the average weekend warrior a minimum of $100.00 per trail ride plus maintenance including sealant, etc. It is refreshing to see Mike embrace the simple design of this XC ride makes me want to buy one asap.
  • 7 0
 Very cool. Now get to to the new stumpjumper and Enduro please
  • 6 0
 "can't put a 45mm stroke shock incase chainstay bridge hits the seat tube"

Laughs in 42.5mm stroke.
  • 7 1
 This thing is honestly so awesome! Well done, Specialized.
  • 2 0
 Orbea Oiz H10 is another get alloy build for a good price and well specced. $3400 gets you fox performance sc 34, float performance dropper, xt slx drivetrain. Built one for my mom, it was 27lbs. Only carbon it had on it were the handlebars.
  • 2 0
 Funny how a 120mm xc bike at 26ish pounds is getting all this praise cause for many years that was just your standard mountain bike and you either rode that, a downhill bike, a dirt jumper, or some weird frankenbike combination. But that's what 90 percent of weekend warriors ride until Enduro became a thing and now a lightweight aluminum xc bike is hot stuff again
  • 4 1
 In manual there is a mention of Evo with 120/130 travel. I assume it's just changing shock stroke to 45 and putting 130 fork, and we have alloy Epic Evo.
  • 1 0
 My only carbon bike (of a fleet of Cool is my XC bike. If this option were available when I'd bought the XC whip, I'd have bought one.

Aluminum Ripmo is 35 pounds-about right for a biggish bike with beefy tires and inserts. CAAD13 disc road bike is under 18 pounds on race wheels. Both cost quite a bit less than their carbon counterparts.

Hopefully Santa Cruz, Trek, and Cannondale see the light and we see some legit 100-120mm travel options too!!!
  • 4 0
 Reminds me of my old Camber - my first real MTB. I loved that bike. Wish I never got rid of it.
  • 1 0
 Indeed the Camber was fun. I once demoed a top of the range model and it was so good.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer - would you feel at ease on this bike going down a solid black diamond trail?
  • 6 0
 Sure, you just need to pick your lines a little more carefully and not get too wild. That's not going to be its strong suit, but the geometry does allow it to get down some not-so-XC trails without much fuss.
  • 1 0
 size it up with a 130mm fork and thats a modern trail bike, the revel rascal was praised for the geometry you'd end up with. what a bike this is!
  • 1 0
 My Orbea Oiz H10 weighs ~30lbs with an 1850g wheelet, SLX cranks, One Up aluminium pedals and an aluminium SQ Labs handlebar. I could take at least 3lbs off of that with the wheelset Kaz is running, some carbon cranks, and a carbon bar.
  • 1 0
 Rode a Rocky Mountain Element SC back twenty years back, and then a Pivot Mach 5: both aluminum. Carbon since...and I've been looking to build either a Ripley AF or a Specialized Aluminum Stumpy. This bike looks the shit...great work, Specialized!
  • 1 0
 You can currently pick up a Full carbon Intense Sniper XC or Trail with a Solid SLX build and Fox performance suspension that weighs 26lbs for $2800. The Sniper his HARD with all frames the same across all price points. 4.5 lbs for the xc version.
  • 1 1
 I am currently looking for a n+ bike to do a bit of everything (commuting, long weekend rides, some Trail focused bike-packing .... you name it) Owning two Specialized Bikes already, I was looking to try something different from another brand. Not anymore...
  • 3 1
 Hells yes. Finally someone gets it. Light enough, cheap enough, presumably can take a tumble. Never a fan of Specialized but this could change that. This is my next bike.
  • 4 1
 Giant Anthem aluminum 29er FS frames were 2500g, weighed. Had both iterations.
  • 4 1
 This is a lot of hype for a frame which is 100s of grams heavier than my 2010 anthem.
  • 3 0
 Price is pretty decent. This is the same company with a 4k alloy shitbike.
  • 4 2
 When the comp level is on sale for $2999 in a few months then it will be a pretty good deal!
  • 1 0
 Someone tell me this won't compliment my Stumpy Evo perfectly for flatter/tamer rides. Or don't... because I really want one.
  • 4 0
 This will compliment your Stumpy Evo perfectly for flatter/tamer rides. Sorry.
  • 2 0
 I have a Stumpy Evo and an Epic 8.

Put the flip chip in this thing on 'high/steep' with a 120 mm fork and they will compliment each other perfectly.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer what fork are you running?
  • 1 0
 I’ve got a hardtail Chizz and it says “D’alusio Smartweld”. This one says “D’aluisio Smartweld”

Who is this D’alusio/D’aluisio and how is his name spelt?
  • 2 0
 Chris D’Aluisio. An Engineer at Specialized. Smartweld is his invention of how to better align the frame tubes to get better/stronger welds (which as a consequence makes lighter frames.. as you can than opt use less material and still have a strong "enough" frame)
  • 1 0
 @jf45: I wonder why they have misspelled his name on my hardtail Chisel
  • 3 0
 So, it's basically a 2012ish Scott Spark. BFD
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer is that frame weight of 2920 grams with the shock included? Thanks
  • 3 0
 Yes, that weight includes the shock and rear axle.
  • 2 0
 #RideFinMetal is coming back! =)
  • 2 0
 Super cool! Did not expect that at all!
  • 2 1
 In 2028 they will launch another one with 120 mm of travel at the rear, as current technology does not yet allow it.
  • 2 0
 1kg more than the average WC bikes...
  • 2 0
 I was not expecting this. Good job Specialized!!
  • 1 0
 I REALLY like this. Affordable, light, good geo and kinematics. Decent bikes don't have to cost a fortune.
  • 3 3
 This is good. I'll never buy a Spec, and will never buy a plastic frame. If it's popular, it will show other companies there is a viable middle ground here.
  • 1 0
 Is there still gonna be a hard-tail Chisel? When's the new Fuse hard-tail expected to drop?
  • 2 0
 Love this, can't wait to get a frame and build it up!
  • 1 0
 Really good to see another inexpensive trail bike! I know Giant has the Stance 29 but Specialized spec'd this a lot better
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer what size are those Rekons/ what’s the biggest practical tyre clearance at the rear?
  • 1 0
 Ironic that a value frame is called the Chisel. I would think Spesh would reserve that for the rest of their product line.
  • 1 0
 could you *in theory* replace the rear triangle with a carbon one from the Epic?
  • 1 0
 Noting the 170 cranks on the small and only the extra small gets 165 cranks.
  • 1 0
 Where’s the S-works version?
  • 5 3
 make it pinion!
  • 1 0
 Frame and shock for 2k, that's not too bad.
  • 1 0
 These days anyways
  • 2 0
 LONG LIVE ALLOY BIKES
  • 1 0
 So basically my salsa horsethief of 2014 - was a great bike though
  • 1 0
 When do they come out in the UK, take my money!
  • 1 2
 It is still too heavy and costs too much for what it is. $3400 for a 29lb "xc" bike with entry level parts is not a great value.
  • 1 0
 Release an Evo! I can't afford the epic!
  • 1 4
 would love to see alittle more reach in the large, and alot steeper seat tube, from the pics looks like you are pedaling behind the BB, not on top of it.
  • 3 0
 Keep in mind that XC bikes still tend to be ridden downhill in high-post mode occasionally, and that the climbing position is intended to be a lot sportier and more athletic, rather than the upright "winch-and-plummet" position preferred on an enduro bike.
  • 7 1
 This is intended to be an XC bike not en enduro sled. Steep seat-tubes suck for pedalling XC style.
  • 2 3
 @mosierman: idk man, even for my midwest flat terrain I love the steep seattube that my hardtail has.
  • 1 3
 Reargressive like almost everything fs xc. Assume the position
  • 1 3
 *fleet of eight*
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