Specialized has been playing their cards close, and wrapped not only their prototype downhill bike’s suspension design but also their latest cross-country race bike. The cover has come off on the new Specialized Epic in a recent SRAM product knowledge video
, showing off the sleek rear shock assembly.
From what we can tell on the production frame, denoted by the “EPIC” wordmark on the lower seatstay, does not use any variation on Specialized’s BRAIN system. The air valve does seem to be relocated to allow for the rear shock to nestle into the top tube though. There’s no sign of a remote lockout on this build but we’d wager that this will still be an option, like on the prior generation.
The architecture of the frame continues with flex-stay rear triangle, however, the rocker link has been inverted and mounts to the top tube instead of the seat tube. A main pivot sits in line with the top of the chainring and the seatstay flows into the top tube, hiding a rocker link to drive the shock.
We’ve reached out to Specialized to inquire about when this new XC race bike will be available and will update this space.