Review: Specialized’s New Epic 8 - All the Speed You Need

Mar 11, 2024 at 8:59
by Dario DiGiulio  
The Specialized Epic has a long history of being one of the fastest bikes out there, with a specific bent towards racing, long efforts, and efficient travel over terrain. Looking back at that history can be a good education in the progression of bike design as a whole, as things have changed quite a bit since the model was introduced back in 2002.

As the 8th iteration of their ideal XC bike, Specialized has pushed this new Epic far into the future, with geometry, travel numbers, and frame features that feel indicative of the future of the sport. There's a healthy dose of trail bike influence here, but the Epic hasn't strayed too far from its racing roots, keeping things lively, efficient, and most of all: fast.
Epic 8 Details

• 29" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 120mm frame travel, 120mm fork
• 65.9° head angle
• 390-500mm reach
• 435mm chainstays
• 75.5° seat tube angle, size dependent
• 5 sizes available, XL tested
• Weight: 24.1 lb / 10.9 kg (size XL)
• US Price: $5,000-14,500 USD
• S-Works frameset: $6,000 USD
specialized.com





bigquotesIt feels like a highly refined version of itself, with bold geometry that will surely be polarizing amongst traditional cross-country riders, though in my eyes that's part of what separates it from the pack.Dario DiGiulio




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Frame Details

It should be no surprise that the Epic 8 comes exclusively in carbon fiber, but it's not quite as simple as one single frame offering. As per usual, Specialized is releasing the bike in the standard 11m layup as well as the slightly lighter 12m S-Works. Both frames have stiffness profiles tuned to each size's typical rider, meaning an XS will be far more compliant than the XL. This requires some re-engineering with each new layup schedule, and hopefully yields a better ride for each person in the range.

The big news with these new frames is the introduction of SWAT storage to the Epic platform. Where it had been avoided in the past due to weight considerations, the bikes now feature the 4th version of the system. The door is more secure than past versions, the lever is easy to operate, and the door feels very secure and stable, even with a full bottle on top. Apropos of Seb's recent poll, it seems people are split on how passionate they are about the in-frame accessory cubby, but I for one am a fan.

In order to shave some precious grams off the frame (perhaps to make up for whatever gains accompanied the SWAT addition), Specialized co-molded the upper shock mount into the frame, making for an extremely efficient layup. They even went so far as to machine material away from the underside of the toptube at the forward shock mount, removing material and giving better access to shock lockout cables.

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Both frames feature a removable rotation limited on the headset, meant to keep the controls from nailing the toptube in the even of a crash or just a mere bike tipover. If you end up installing a higher rise bar, you can simply remove that limiter and go back to busting out perfect X-ups on your race bike.

The team pulled out all the stops to make the S-Works frame as light as possible, replacing all the suspension hardware with titanium counterparts, forming the shock yoke out of carbon fiber, and of course using that lighter carbon layup. One other detail that's luckily exclusive to the S-Works frame is headset cable routing, though it's not quite as bad as it may sound. Allegedly you'll only have to disconnect the rear brake hose in order to replace the upper headset bearing (a fairly rare job, to be fair), with the rest of the system remaining unaffected. This decision was due in part to the broader choice to give the S-Works frame no internal routing, making it essentially an AXS-only bike. There's provisions for the brake, but the rest is deleted for the sake of grams and simplicity.

Remember, every other bike in the lineup has standard tube-in-tube internal routing for everything, this hyper-efficiency is just reserved for the fanciest frame.

Frame Weights

Claimed weight for SM and MD S-Works frame + shock: 1795g
LG: 1840g, (45g more than medium)
XL: 1905g, (110g more than medium)

The 11m's frame materials, layup, and steel hardware + alloy shock extension put those frames 170g over S-Works 12m frames.

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Geometry & Sizing

There have been some major changes on this front, with an overhauled geometry giving the Epic 8 far more extreme numbers than both the Epic and Epic EVO 7. In broad strokes, here are the key changes from the outgoing EVO to the current Epic: 1.5° steeper seat tube angle - 15mm longer reach - 0.7° slacker head tube angle - 8mm lower bottom bracket.

Those changes add up to something of an outlier in the XC world, with a very slack head tube angle, long reach numbers, and a fairly steep seat tube angle all adding capability and confidence. That head angle sits at 65.9° in the low position, and 66.4° in high, making it the slackest production cross-country race bike to date.

The size range features 5 options, with reach numbers ranging from 390mm on the XS to 500 on the XL. Seat tube angles vary slightly by size, ranging from 76.5° (XS) to 75.5° (XL). BB drop is also size-dependent, ranging from 52-42mm, with the larger frames getting less drop. Stack heights scale well relative to the reach, giving each size an appropriate amount of room to go up or down as your personal fit dictates.

Strangely, the one geometry figure that doesn't change per size is the chainstay length, with a consistent 435mm rear center length across the board. This is likely due to the convenience of keeping a single rear triangle for the whole range, as the kinematics of a flex stay bike would have to be reworked for every increase in that rear end, assuming they didn't just nudge the BB forward, as some brands do. The team at Specialized also emphasized the goal of keeping the rear end shorter to keep the wheelbase from getting out of hand on larger sizes.

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Suspension Design

Bye-bye, Brain. The outgoing Epic featured Specialized's longstanding Brain system, which was an inertia valve meant to distinguish between bump and pedaling forces, all in the name of delivering efficiency and compliance when appropriate. We tested that version of the Epic in our 2021 XC Field Test, and found that the Brain was the only significant con to that bike's performance, particularly on the descents. Those of you keeping up will recall that the outgoing Epic EVO does not have a Brain system, so it's a bit more useful to compare the Epic 8's kinematics to that EVO model.

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Anti-squat.

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Leverage rate.

The deletion of the Brain isn't even the boldest shift with the new Epic's suspension - that accolade falls to the rear wheel travel. Where the Epic 7 had 100mm of travel, and the EVO 110mm, the new Epic 8 sports 120mm of efficient and capable rear wheel travel.

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Bump absorption.
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Pedal bob.

Like the outgoing models, the Epic 8 is a single pivot flex stay with a linkage driving the pint-sized SidLuxe through its stroke. The Open mode on the shock has fairly little damping, allowing the rear wheel to readily get out of the way when need be, while the relatively linear leverage rate means there's still something to push against before you hit the final ramp.

Lock mode is dead simple - fully locked, front and rear. I only use this for road commutes and sprints, as it would be pretty jarring anywhere where bumps are present.

The central mode of the 3P system is what Specialized calls the Magic Middle, as they've tuned the damping to differ from the stock RockShox settings. Basically what you end up with is a firmer nose at the top of travel, making for a more supportive pedaling platform - with breakaway force pushing you into a portion of the travel that feels almost as active as the Open mode.

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Specifications
Release Date 2024
Price $9000
Travel 120mm
Rear Shock RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate, 190x45, 3-position TwistLoc
Fork RockShox SID Ultimate, 120mm, 3-position TwistLoc, 44mm offset
Headset Specialized Integrated
Cassette SRAM X0 AXS Transmission
Crankarms SRAM X0 AXS Transmission
Chainguide N/A
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB
Pedals N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X0 AXS Transmission
Chain SRAM X0 AXS Transmission
Front Derailleur N/A
Shifter Pods SRAM X0 AXS Transmission
Handlebar S-Works Carbon XC Mini-Rise, 6° Upsweep, 8° Backsweep, 10mm Rise, 760mm, 31.8mm
Stem Specialized Pro SL, Alloy, 60mm
Grips SRAM TwistLoc Slip-on
Brakes SRAM Level Silver, 4-piston
Wheelset Roval Control Carbon
Hubs DT Swiss 350, 6-bolt, straight-pull
Spokes DT Swiss Comp Race
Rim Roval Control Carbon, 28h, 29mm internal width
Tires Specialized Fast Trak T7, Specialized Renegade T5, 29x2.35"
Seat Specialized Power Expert
Seatpost BikeYoke Divine SL, 30.9, SM: 100mm, MD-XL: 125mm




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Test Bike Setup

Setting up the Epic was pleasantly easy, thanks both to familiar components and sag gradients. The bike's fit geometry feels quite comfortable relative to some of the more extreme XC setups, but there's certainly room to go that direction if you so please. Other components required very little attention to get up to speed. I switched the AXS shifter to the correct direction, dialed in the brakes, and went out for a rip.

For me, things feel pretty dialed with 90-92psi in the fork, 200psi in the shock, and a slightly higher bar than the stock offering.

For the uninitiated, I'd recommend setting up Specialized's light casing tires with similar pressures to Maxxis' EXO tires. The Fast Trak / Renegade combo works well in most conditions shy of sloppy wet, so play around with pressures to see what suits your terrain. I personally run 22f/23r, occasionally 1-2psi lower if conditions allow.


Dario DiGiulio
Dario DiGiulio
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Height: 6'3" / 191cm
Inseam: 34" / 86cm
Weight: 180 lbs / 81.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @danger_dario


Testing Info

In lieu of a typical ride loop, I'll instead feature some races that come to mind when I think of the new Epic's purview. Seen above is the Downieville XC course, but I'd also cite the Whistler Back Forty and the Durango Derby as equally relevant courses. Obviously this bike is going to feature heavily at all the World Cup events, but it will be just as appropriate at these one-off events that feature technical trail riding interspersed with purer pedal efforts. The traditional XC formats will be well served by the Epic, but the bike's capability will lend a hand towards success at races like these that feature seriously challenging sections of descent, in addition to face-melting climbs.

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Climbing

The Epic 8 has a very composed pedaling characteristic to it, with or without changing the shock's damper settings. For the sake of experimentation, I've done hard efforts in Open mode and Middle to compare, and while the pedal-focused mode clearly has an edge on the climbs, it's not night and day.

Like any good XC bike, the Epic puts you in an aggressive position that encourages hard pedaling and sharp handling, though it's a far cry from the twitchy and fevered feel you can get on more conservative XC geometries. Relative to bikes in that camp, the Epic has a very calm steering feel, encouraging good corner setup and momentum over springing to a corner, pivoting, and springing away. That latter sensation can be fun, and appropriate in certain race settings, but I think Specialized's approach makes more sense for the majority of riding this bike will see. It might not squiggle as well as the tightest wheelbase bikes out there, but it might still beat them up the hill.

Part of that confidence can be chalked up to the compliant pedaling, which opens up nicely in Middle mode whether you're running 3P TwistLoc or Flight Attendant. It's hard to describe, but there's a bump of a certain size that pushes past that support threshold and opens things up, and I've found it to be predictable and consistent. This means you figure out how to work with the support when it's there and grab traction when it opens up, a relationship I've come to enjoy.

I'm on the largest frame size, and haven't found it too long for tight and technical switchbacks, but I'm also used to bikes in that wheelbase realm. If you're coming off a more conservative XC bike, it might take some getting used to, but I think the descending benefits are worth the learning curve.

Power transfer feels very efficient, especially if you're quick on the shift to switch between TwistLoc modes. Specialized is guessing people will spend upwards of 80% of a given ride in the Middle mode, and though I haven't been counting the seconds in each, I'd say about 3/4 of my pedaling time is there. Obviously, on the descents full Open is the way to go, but it's rare that I'm flicking things open except for in the most technical terrain. The same goes with Flight Attendant, it seems to get back to Middle as soon as possible.

The efficiency of the bike almost doesn't warrant a lockout, but having it is just the cherry on top of an already excellent platform.

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Descending
Are XC bikes allowed to be fun? On any given cross-country bike I tend to have a good time hammering up climbs, but the Epic sets a new standard for the joys of descending. That's not terribly surprising given the on-paper geometry, but the fact that it can do both so well is what impresses me. Don't get it twisted, you're still on a XC race bike - the Optic I recently reviewed may only have 5mm more travel, but it's definitely a lot more bike on the descents.

An occasional reminder of the sharpness is good though, as that edge feels like part of the speed equation with a good cross-country race bike. The Epic is happy to go fast and rally technical terrain, but in the end it wants to pedal hard and cut good turns. The short rear end probably contributes to some of that sharpness, as a longer stay would increase stability at some cost to slower speed tight turns. It would have been great to try some size-specific rear end lengths to compare, but perhaps that'll come with the next iteration.

Overall, the geometry does feel quite dialed for the use case. I like a longer reach on a cross-country bike, as the stretched cockpit provides more room for out-of-the-saddle efforts. There is of course the at-speed benefit with the wheelbase as well, but in this case a lot of that difference comes from the slack head angle. Speaking of which, I've found myself pushing the Epic way outside the standard application you'd see in an XC race, riding gnarly trails I know well and finding it fun and capable. It's just a featherweight trail bike, in a way - with pedaling dynamics to separate itself from the rest of that pack.

I'll speak to this in the First Ride, but in my eyes the Epic has hit such a capable mark the EVO starts to pale in comparison. That bike gives up some pedaling prowess, gains some weight, and has somewhat compromised geometry due to the shared frame. That frame feels decidedly focused on the Epic as a platform, though I'm sure plenty of people will spring for the more descent-focused build kits on the EVO. I'm personally even hesitant to bump the fork travel up, as I really like the balance struck with the angles, ride feel, and handling that the stock Epic achieves.



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Specialized Epic
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Rocky Mountain Element

How does it compare?

There are very few cross-country bikes with geometry this progressive on the market, so the comparison options are relatively few. In most ways, the Epic compares to the broader category, but the head angle sets things apart in a way that is hard to ignore.

The closest comparison that comes to mind is the Rocky Mountain Element, with a 65° head angle in the slackest setup position. The Rocky's seat angle is a little steeper in that position, so if you're looking for something closer to trail bike fit, it might be the easier option. The Element also comes stock with a 130mm fork, which pushes even further into that trail category, if one cares to define things.

Having ridden both, I think there's a bit more grip on tap with the Element while descending, likely helped by the fact that they went with a full-fat 4-bar linkage, as opposed to the much lighter flex stay that Specialized used. The latter obviously cuts some grams, but also has an impressively rich suspension feel, so don't look at the comparison as totally black and white.

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Which Model is the Best Value?

With the obscene price of the S-Works bike, the rest can start to seem relatively inexpensive. Really though, the $7,000 Epic Expert is still a very premium bike at a very premium price, and to me it represents the best value in the lineup. You get the fantastic Roval Control wheels, essentially the same suspension as the Pro I've been testing, and a dropper that's actually a bit longer than the one on the Pro. GX Transmission is functionally identical to the X0 stuff, and the only penalty is some weight. This is a build that can be run as comes stock, and upgraded bit by bit as you see fit.

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Technical Report

SRAM Transmission X0 AXS Drivetrain: It may seem odd to see the same drivetrain specced on an XC race bike and enduro bike, but if anything that highlights the diversity of the X0 groupset. Clearly the alloy cranks are heavier than their carbon counterparts, and there's some weight to be shaved with the XXSL derailleur and cassette, but generally I think this drivetrain makes sense here. The overall build weight is far from portly, and the durability of the X0 cranks provides some peace of mind as you're pedaling through rock gardens and taking on burlier sections of trail.

SRAM Level Silver Brakes: I've been quick to bash these brakes when specced on more trail-oriented bikes, but here they feel quite appropriate. I still think you can get away with mounting up stronger stoppers on a featherweight bike like this, but the gains are greatly diminished compared to something more downhill focused. I swapped the organic pads for metallics, bedded in some fresh rotors, and have been more than happy since.

RockShox SID 3P Suspension: As mentioned in the ride notes, the shock tune on this bike is excellently suited to the purpose, and feels superb on the descents in Open mode. I personally don't hate the TwistLoc shifter, but would certainly rather be without it. some sort of blip button, a little lever, just something that allows you to run regular grips. As you'll see up next, something does exist, but it's the fully-automated Flight Attendant system that certainly doesn't come cheap.

RockShox SID Flight Attendant Suspension: The Brain may have been retired, but Flight Attendant is a far smarter spiritual successor. I've written up a separate piece on the FA kit, but in short it's a great addition to an already impressive bike. I don't think its value caters to regular riders, but for pure racing and all-out performance I can see the justification. Personally I think some form of lever-lock Open/Middle shock adjustment is all I need, but it's very cool that this exists.

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Pros

+ Outstanding pedaling performance
+ Composed and fast descender
+ Well thought out frame details


Cons

- Slack head angle might require recalibration
- Size-specific rear center would be nice



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesClearly I've been impressed by the Epic 8. It feels like a highly refined version of itself, with bold geometry that will surely be polarizing amongst traditional cross-country riders, though in my eyes that's part of what separates it from the pack. Add to that the composed and highly efficient pedal feel, the outstanding descending, and the best-in-class frame storage and bottle capacity, and you have a truly well-rounded package. Dario DiGiulio






Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
191 articles

225 Comments
  • 180 7
 No headset cable routing, the rotation limiter is removable, nice geo, excellent weight... Damn I think Specialized ticks all the boxes with this one.
  • 49 8
 And in frame storage with good weight. Guess all the Pinker's in the frame storage article's comments claiming it increased weight by up to a pound were wrong. Whoda thunk having a big open hole would lead to a frame that's just as light lmao.
  • 41 10
 yep. can't believe i'm looking to buy a bike from the evil empire.
  • 191 14
 Unpopular opinion but all their bikes kill it.
  • 9 7
 @succulentsausage: Spec said 200gr, Trek says 100gr on the Domane. The frame bag is listed at 35gr; while a tube strap with a vinyl cover is about 100gr. If you're not competitive and like a clean tube or carry more stuff, the downtube bin is a no brainer. If you are competitive and need to carry a flat kit, the door might still make sense for the aero advantage, which would be 2-5%of the bike drag on a downhill.

One thing to consider - you bolt a bottle cage to the door. The door does wear out and make noises or cracks. The edges may get worn down depending on the design with dirt and grime even if you don't use it. Different type of door/different plastic, but I'm on my 3rd Trek Checkpoint DI2.
  • 55 5
 @wolftwenty1: by all rhe up-votes, not as unpopular as you think. People just love to hate on big companies, but Specialized has it going on.
  • 105 0
 Yea, getting this over the previous epic looks like a....... no brainer.
  • 5 22
flag ShredDoggg FL (Mar 12, 2024 at 9:28) (Below Threshold)
 @chaoscacca: Hahaha. Most people won't pick up on this one.
  • 6 3
 @endoguru: Totally. Its always been a vocal minority...
  • 13 5
 @wolftwenty1: I’ve been a regular customer of the big S for quite some time now. I’m not a fan boy and I love trying other brands to try something new. However every SPZ that I own or owned was a love story. They make awesome bikes. I still have my OG 2011 Stumpjumper Evo hanging on my wall. By far the bike I had the most fun with.
  • 30 5
 @endoguru: I think we hate Specialized mostly because of how they have behaved.
  • 3 2
 @mr-fabio: I'm still on my 2013 SJ Evo 29; still a fantastic bike. I've been looking at replacing it with a Rocky Mountain Element but I've been expecting a 120r/130f bike from specialized for a bit. I'm not a fanboy by any means but after a solid decade on a bike it would be very easy to buy another specialized.
  • 18 5
 People love to dunk on the big S, but honestly they've been killing it lately. The last generation of Stumpjumper is a phenomenal bike, especially if you grabbed one while they were 30% off last year (might still be). I love mine. Ended up with a specialized diverge for my gravel bike... maybe not the coolest thing out there, but it checks A LOT of boxes and its a blast to ride.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio In the announcement webinar someone specifically asked if we could remove the steering limiter and they told us not to?
  • 1 1
 @wolftwenty1: You say that as if Specialized doesn't sell the Rockhopper.
  • 1 0
 @jfranci3: Fair point! New designs on these doors though. Hopefully the new interface will lead to better longevity out of the door.
  • 5 0
 @packfill: Can ways take a look at that beauty made in Merica Allied bc40.. I know that'd be my pick
  • 10 5
 @wolftwenty1: Yeah, I don't think it's a really unpopular opinion. The Stumpjumper Evo is the do-it-all bike that every other company has been trying to copy for years, The Enduro is the best bike park/enduro racer money can buy, and the Epic Evo (maybe now the Epic) is a straight-up amazing bike for going up and down mountains fast. Specialized gets some deserved flak for their years of proprietary nonsense, but today their bikes are uniformly amazing. I didn't even touch their road/gravel/'cross bikes, which are better than all the others too.
  • 4 2
 It looks like they increased dropper post insertion depth too - as well as making the STA steeper and HTA a little slacker.
Yeah, this looks like a great bike. I have a 2020 Epic Evo that I’ve setup with 130mm fork and Cane Creek DB-inline 190x42.5 shock. It’s a wonderful bike, and my only (very minor) complaints are all addressed in this update. Plus there’s storage in the frame with no weight penalty. Smile
  • 6 1
 @endoguru: Specialized has a way of doing business that makes them easy to hate. You aren't wrong but there's a particular distinction fan boys choose to ignore sometimes.
  • 3 3
 @bohns: I was 100% on board with the BC40, then i rode one. I was less than impressed with the suspension performance. the leverage ratio/damping tune on the shock made it pedal really well in the open position. unfortunately, that also made it not very active when pedaling though anything. If I'm carrying around a handlebar lockout, I'd like a fairly active setting for technical climbing, rock gardens, etc. Not to mention, my calves hit the seat stays on occasion and the shifters would hit the top tube with how my controls are set up. In conclusion, steering stop, plus in-frame storage, plus lighter frame, plus slacker headtube, and here I am.
  • 4 34
flag Azrocktester (Mar 12, 2024 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 @skywalkdontrun: nobody has been trying to copy that garbage stumpy evo, Specialized is the second biggest garbage brand behind Trek.
  • 1 0
 Except for the s-works…
But can’t afford that anyway
  • 2 0
 @sethlowe: the diverge is sick man.. I went with the 23 Domane myself as it can fit 40mm treads for gravel days.. People can hate on road/gravel all they want in comments but there's no disputing the fitness gains made to make me a better mtber..
  • 2 1
 @mr-fabio that bike rocks, good on you for keeping it! I had the yellow/black 1st gen Enduro Evo - doesn't hold a candle to today's enduro, but such a fun bike to plow with!
@jfranci3 I've owned several 'Spec with cage, never ever had issues with the door. Only on one of the bikes the metal holding the door hinge would slip a few mm's every month, I just push it back and that's it. IDK why anyone, racing or not, would opt out of a frame door, and honestly I doubt the drag would even be close to 2% more. It's more likely the exact same drag, given what influences a mountain bike and the speeds and winds we ride at.
  • 3 0
 @fred-frod This trope is getting tired but I'll go for it anyway. This is Pinkbike, you must find something to complain about. Stop it with the positivity and "satisfied consumer" nonsense.
  • 2 0
 the weight in the article is for the s-works version with cable tourism. the regular frame weight is rather average. would be a contender if it had proper tire clearance. for the price its just meh compared to other offerings.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: Agreed dude. I have the old Epic Evo and bloody love it.
  • 1 0
 @PaulMurden: I have '22 Stumpy Evo, and my wife has a Epic Evo. I live on the East Coast, and there have been plenty of rides where I wished I had her bike (just a little, but still). The thing rips.
  • 5 0
 @wolftwenty1: I don't think anyone would argue that their bikes haven't been quite good for years. I'd just never buy one because their value and penny pinching is so abysmally atrocious. Was looking at the Diverge recently: SX cassette on a 5k+ bike i think. WTF? And its still a mainstream, volume brand, nothing special. Good, yes, but so are plenty of others.
  • 2 2
 @Ttimer: I'd challenge you to present a better option for the money. I guess if you want to niggle on the cassette that's fine (I think it's an NX cassette btw, on the Expert model, although it's the only NX part, everything else is GX) but again, show me a bike with similar ride characteristics and features that competes pricewise. Hell, if you don't like the Expert build, get the Comp, sure it's a step down for the wheels, but it's full GRX/Ultegra 11spd, and it's on sale right now for $3500.
  • 3 0
 @skywalkdontrun: Prices differ by country, so things might be slightly better in the US. And maybe it was an extreme example, since some other models are not quite as bad. But sneaking in sub-standard parts wherever they think their buyers aren’t looking is just fundamentally dishonest. Btw it was an SX cassette, NX chain and no-name hubs which I specifically looked up because I just couldn’t believe it.
In the end I bought an Open with full Ekar and HED wheels for less money.
  • 1 0
 @sethlowe: They're still 30% off, even with Transmission. Just picked up a Stumpjumper Pro T-type, for $6500US, with full XO, Codes, 34 w/Grip2, and carbon wheels. Damn, that's a near $10k bike from most other companies, at least $9k.

Pretty sure the new Stumpjumper will release pretty soon too. Probably at 140mm from what I hear, since the new Epic Evo is almost encroaching on the current gen Stumpjumper.
  • 1 1
 @Ttimer: the thing is...others are not as good...thats the whole point of this thread.
  • 2 0
 @endoguru:
Yep and even 30 years ago they had great products. Really Spez, Trek, and Giant have done great things for the world of cycling that we have all benefited from.... And I don't own any of them so my opinion is fairly unbiased.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: I'm not sure what model you're referencing, because that doesn't exist in the US market other than on the absolute base model builds, which are in the $1,500-2,500 range depending on whether you want a carbon or aluminum frame.
  • 1 0
 @TucsonDon: My prediction is that we're going to see a reversion to a single Stumpjumper frame with some adjustability in its available travel based on shock length. My guess is that they're going to drop the flex-stay Stumpy since the Epic is going that way, and stick to the more standard Horst layout of the Stumpy EVO. I'd also bet dollars to doughnuts that they'll drop the asymmetric frame bracing as well. That way the EVO models will just be a matter of spec rather than a completely different frameset.
  • 1 0
 Top comment not bitching about price or a trivial detail you dislike... Damn I think you ticked all the boxes with this one.
  • 2 0
 @succulentsausage:

The claimed frame weight is not accurate:
flowmountainbike.com/tests/2024-specialized-epic-8-review-s-works

The S-works med frame was weighed at 2040g with flight attendant, remove 90g for flight attendant is 1950g.
The 2021-2023 Epic evo s-works medium frame is 1750g, that has a different shock with 10mm less rear travel and no frame storage. So maybe the frame storage adds 100g or 1/4 pound?

Now the 2024 Epic 8 Evo Pro frame is listed at 2210g per specialized, big weight increase there, downgrade to 11m carbon and has all the internal routing.
  • 1 0
 @skywalkdontrun: Yes. I hear they're dropping the Stumpy Evo, will just be the Stumpy at 140/150. Didn't think about the horst link aspect, but I could see it sticking with the Horst, there's some benefit to it at that amount of travel. Less benefit for lower travel bikes.
  • 92 1
 The epic I’ve been waiting for. Just forgot to save while waiting..
  • 49 4
 Good news you only need $5000 for the worst/cheapest one! (Mountain biking is affordable and accessible!)
  • 5 0
 That is a funny and real world comment right there.
  • 2 0
 @The-Wheel: @dariodigiulio: But does the $5k version even exist? It's on the comparison in this article, but no where to be seen on the website, except the Epic 8 EVO version (at least not in the US)
  • 1 0
 @canow18: lol that would be even better. I haven't checked the site
  • 67 0
 After years of pretending to be a freerider in flat-ass Ontario I dove into an Epic to see what the XC crowd got excited about in their lycra-clad orgies and it did not disappoint. Blew me away how fast and fun certain trails became and I *sort of* started to understand the allure of a cleaning a climb. I often pondered what the bike would be like if I could just stretch the TT a bit, lower the BB a bit, maybe another inch of fork... and here it is.
  • 73 0
 Once you're in shape enough to make climbing fun, your whole world opens up. Nothing wrong with making your rides even bigger to ride even more terrain in new places.
  • 23 3
 @hi-dr-nick: hmmm getting in shape sounds hard. can't i just buy an ebike instead? these donuts ain't gonna eat themselves.
  • 4 6
 Cause riding bikes is fun in general. Just not in lycra
  • 36 3
 Crazy that Pinkbike not discussing frame weight here as that's the show stopper. From Bike Rumor, frame weight w/shock and hardware is 3.99lbs. Unreal light for a bike that can be ridden as a trail bike and has frame storage. Major outlier in the market right now with that weight.
  • 30 3
 Non-Sworks frame is 3.99lbs with shock and hardware! With frame storage compartment and door. For a frame that is intended to be used up to the category of 'trail bike'.

Some frames for comparison:
Santa Cruz Blur (100/110mm): 4.4lbs
Scott Spark (120mm): 4.1-4.4lbs
Transition Spur (120mm): 5.3lbs
Ibis Ripley V4 (120mm): 5.6lbs
Rocky Mountain Element (120mm): 5.35lbs
Yeti SB100 (100mm): 5.5lbs
Revel Ranger (115mm): 6.1lbs
Trek Fop Fuel (120mm): 5.96lbs*
Evil Following (120mm): 6.9lbs
*Denotes frame has storage compartment
(Both these comments cross-posted with other article since same frame)
  • 11 1
 Sorry, correction, the S-works frame w/non Flight Attendant shock is 3.99lb, the standard Epic frame is still a feathery 4.87lb.
Even the heavier normal frame crushing everyone but the Spark frames.
  • 7 0
 @btjenki: the orbea oiz is 3.9lb inc shock, but I will note that it doesn't have in frame storage, and does include cable tourism, which are some significant drawbacks.
  • 3 3
 @btjenki: Supercal is a better comparison from Trek at 4.3lbs
  • 4 1
 @skrrtskrrtskrrt: Comparable in weight only... Comparable bike? No... Supercal is full-bore XC design with 80mm of rear travel and no frame storage. New Epic is a XC/trail bike with 120mm travel and frame storage. The comparable design to the Supercaliber would be the Epic World Cup (which weighs 3.89lbs).
  • 4 0
 @btjenki: a Last Tarvo got a Frame weight of 4.63lbs(without shock). as an 160mm-180mm Enduro including in tube storage and astm cat 5(downhill) certification . So there is much more potential for an xc bike frame regarding weight
  • 33 0
 No 20k founders edition? I'll have to pass....
  • 15 1
 5dev got u fam
  • 22 1
 Who came wishing to see Double 'D' in spandex?
  • 77 1
 You'll have to subscribe to my premium channel.
  • 2 2
 Came here to see if he will one day tuck the knees in…
  • 10 0
 "Bump absorption." diagram: Such tricks, like not starting the Y-axis scale at zero to make the differences appear more significant, are not necessary for you at Pinkbike. There's no need to adopt every piece of nonsense. I'm more familiar with it being used by conspiracy theorists or climate change deniers.
  • 1 0
 That's a "Bump Absorption" Chart, not a diagram friend. Scaling charts with a Y-axis as such is to make the data more visually appealing. Why would you want to see the 0 to 38 on that y-axis when the relevant data is from 38-48 ?
  • 2 0
 @Statusquo3: The point is that the way they have it makes it look like the improvement is way better than it is. The caption even says "12% more" but if you just looked at the bars it makes it look like it absorbs 75% more. "visually appealing" is just another way to say "visually misleading".
  • 1 0
 @mwglow: Depends on your perspective. The way it looks, there's approximately 45.75 for the Epic and 40.25 for the Epic 8, or 12%.
  • 10 0
 Damn. Super bummed they didn’t go with S sizing and offer a S6 (or XXL on this one. I had been hoping they would. Not sure I could make this fit at 6’6”. Kind of on the edge. Not a lot of XC options for us tall folks!
  • 5 0
 At 6’5”, I’m also disappointed in not seeing a S6 or XXL. I guess Specialized thinks that tall people don’t ride XC.
  • 13 1
 username checks out
  • 4 0
 Agreed. It was the first thing I looked for. I've been eyeing the YT Izzo.
  • 1 0
 @Slyham: I'm 6'5'' with ridiculously long legs and raced xc on the izzo core 4 xxl for a season. Highly recommend, it can switch between a very agressive xc bike and a extrememly capable trail bike with different tires/pedals/components.
  • 1 0
 I'm 6-4 and when I used to race a lot 10+ years ago the XL's had short TT's and I just ran a long stem, 120ish. A fast local ex XC national champion, Ryan Trebon, was 6-6 and he was on a bike that was probably equivalent to a S4/S5 again back when bikes were a lot shorter than they are today.

Not ideal, but if I was buying this I'd probably get a L, 470-480 seems to be my sweet spot on most my bikes and run a bit longer stem to get in a better climbing position....
  • 3 1
 @bogey: Outliers aren't worth the money it cost for development in this sticky time. Go custom.
  • 1 0
 @RadBartTaylor: you forget that those old bikes had ~73 deg seat tube angles so the saddle to bar distance was short but still reasonable. With modern, steeper STA’s, the long reach is needed to give us tall guys enough breathing room.
  • 2 0
 @Henchman21: there are no good custom options for FS bikes that provide the frame stiffness and light weight of a good carbon bike.
  • 2 0
 Every time I see a picture of Reggie Miller on his tiny looking XL Blur...
  • 2 0
 @notenduro: hah I’m always thinking about that!! Can’t believe he makes that work. Poor guy is gonna get back problems.
  • 1 3
 @bogey: it depends on the bike but my point was we made those old bikes work just fine and an XXL from 2012 is roughly the same as a XXL as today.
  • 9 0
 Not a huge S fan but they finally had the brains to get rid of the….. brain
  • 7 0
 Brain failure will always be the legacy of this bike regardless of anything else.
  • 11 3
 Would like to have seen the comparison between this and the Transition Spur….
  • 1 0
 This
  • 4 0
 They’re both great bikes and you’d love either one
  • 7 2
 Looks in garage. Spur is a better bike. Carry on
  • 4 2
 I’m curious as to why they didn’t compare this to the Scott Spark, seeing as that’s also a 120/120 race bike with a single pivot flex stay. Yeah this one is pushing the geo a bit further, but comparing jt to the Rocky which is more of a trail bike imo doesn’t make a ton of sense.
I didn’t really read the into the review that much, but isn’t this bike still being raced by pros?
  • 4 0
 Having owned both, I'd say the Spur is great for a very specific type of trail and maybe handles bumpier terrain a little more confidently. That said, I was never impressed by how the Spur pedaled, and found it a little cumbersome despite its perceived purposes. It's also much heavier than the EVO. The last gen Epic Evo is the best bike I've ever owned. It pedals far better than anything in the down-country or XC-adjacent class, and I felt like it descended every bit as good as the Spur. To each his own, though, and I will echo other comments that both are great bikes.
  • 4 0
 @Artikay13: I believe the last gen Epic Evo was the bike of choice for Specialized Factory in all XC UCI events last year with the new-ish Epic World Cup being used occasionally and more dependent on the track.
  • 2 0
 @bigfittynon-sense: Yeah, precisely.
  • 1 0
 @bigfittynon-sense: phew, now I know with certainty I don't need to upgrade to the latest model.
  • 4 0
 @Artikay13: Agree on not comparing this to the Scott Spark as a huge miss. Maybe it's because if you looked at the numbers this new Epic wouldn't look very innovative. The Spark has a headset you can adjust with one tool in less than five minutes that takes the HT from 67.2 to 66, Reach of 471, BB Height of 330, and Seattube Angle of 76.6, The Epic has a HT of 65.9, Reach of 475, BB Height of 333, and a Seattube Angle of 75.5. And Specialized basically added Twinloc to this bike (two cables included). Not so sure how all of that adds up to Progressive or Innovative compared to a bike that was launched in 2022. And as a Bonus, N1NO develoed the XC version of Fight Attendant.. and I prefer the steeper seattube on the Spark.
  • 1 0
 @ryan-82 agreed. I looked at the geo chart and thought, that's pretty close to a Spur, or a Trek Top Fuel. Both of which have been out a while now.

It's admittedly still surprising though given that the Spur and the Top Fuel are not aimed at spandex clad riders (or at least the Top Fuel isn't anymore), and this Epic is supposedly aimed more directly at customers who might otherwise be buying a Scott Spark RC, Trek Supercaliber, etc etc.
  • 9 2
 For all the homies that work for Big S, sorry about your benefit cuts these past few months. Scott is a POS who doesn’t pay his employees.
  • 5 0
 I kept scrolling to find the part about cable tourism, or more Brain, or old school geo, but this (especially the expert) ticks the boxes.

Does know how I can buy this without my wife finding out?
  • 17 0
 Pay cash and keep it at your girlfriend's house

*taps head*
  • 3 0
 Cycle2work scheme. Comes out before your pay even hits the bank account...
  • 4 0
 Bought an Epic Evo on blowout for 2400 usd, switched my parts over and have a 22.8lbs race bike with less than 5k invested after selling parts. Other than frame storage, which I like but won't use much on an XC race bike, last years evo is very similar to this.
  • 7 0
 Uh oh, the new Epic is more EVO than the Epic EVO!
  • 4 0
 Well, wish I could take this back. Read the EPIC before the new EVO
  • 4 1
 So, Norco - Size specific rear-center for Fluid/Optic/Sight/seemingly whatever else they put out so each size rides as intended. Specialized, nah, each bike rides differently because they're too lazy to do the math. Seems like a shoddy design philosophy overall from such a powerhouse brand.
  • 22 17
 A $6K frame…that should include a slap at the register. No one should support that even if they have the money.
  • 16 2
 Complete carbon bikes starting at 5k$ with decent specs, which is completely fine. Only the S-works is overpriced, which is nothing new.
  • 6 0
 It's not just the frame. It's frame, fork, and seatpost. That does make it still overpriced but only slightly less so. For that price, it should come with flight attendant but it doesn't.
  • 8 0
 Part of the the joy of a S-Works is the obscene price!
  • 2 1
 @jokerusn: Only issue with having the Frame come with the FA suspension is that without the complete FA system the fork/shock isn't super beneficial. It is a full system that needs the drivetrain to operate to it's full potential, you have to look closely to find the justification for the S-Works but it is there. Ti hardware, carbon shock extension, 12m carbon, it all adds up.
  • 2 3
 Calm down, bud. For $6k the frame also comes with a SID ultimate fork. Maybe free dinner mint or toothpick at the register? www.specialized.com/us/en/s-works-epic-8-frameset/p/220876?color=366185-220876
  • 5 0
 "Size-specific rear center would be nice"

Does this mean the handling felt off with certain frame sizes?
  • 4 0
 The S-works frame not having any way to run cables for a mechanical drivetrain seems like a pretty aggressive move. Shimano better get their shit together.
  • 3 0
 Need a reminder of how much bikes have changed in the last 7 years? My 2017 Hightower, billed as Trail/All Mountain, has a 67 degree HTA. 0.6 degree steeper than this bike in the high setting!
  • 1 1
 My 2006 Enduro was 68, currently slacker as it's over forked by ten mm. So I guess it depends what you like! My 2014 Enduro was 66.5. Slack bikes have been around a long time.
  • 3 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: "Slack has been around a long time." Maybe, but your Enduro being an 'allmountain' type and this representing itself as XC; kinda makes your point you wrong.
  • 1 0
 @flaflow: That's a good point. I guess the Hightower wasn't exactly XC at 140mm or so either though.
  • 1 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: I'd LOVE to checkout this evo. Last year I bought a 140mm bike and all year I've been wondering how much I'm overbiked.
  • 15 10
 Ugh hate to say it but these are the best bikes in the category hands down
  • 4 0
 Man, i think they are gonna sell A LOT of these. Just makes a lot of sense.
  • 2 0
 EDIT: I guess that its just because there is size specific BB drop, and the XS is the lowest, but the headtube is as small as it can get already, thus the stack increases. Kinda strange.
  • 1 0
 Good point. What's the justification for lower BB on smaller frames? Only thing I can think of is breakover angle: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakover_angle#:~:text=Breakover%20angle%20or%20rampover%20angle,vehicle%20other%20than%20the%20wheels.

So to maintain the same breakover angle, BB height has to increase as wheelbase grows.
  • 1 0
 @bcmanucd: that makes a lot of sense actually, however most of the stuff I personally smash my pedals on are little snags sitting off to the side of the trail that don’t even come in contact with the tires.
  • 1 0
 @bcmanucd: They can use even smaller cranks on the smallest frames? I didn't look at specs to see if the smaller frames with lower BB come with shorter cranks, but perhaps they maintain the same pedal to ground clearance as the others, but with the benefits of lower center of gravity.
  • 5 4
 According to the figure the new bike has less antisquat at sag than the previous bike, and it’s lower than 100%, where PB has pretty consistently teaching that 100% at sag promotes the feeling of climbing efficiency. And how is standardized frame acceleration calculated? Why are rider forces and train forces different parts of the same axis as if all rider induced forces are smaller than all trail induced forces? Are you somehow obligated to include all this nonsense in he article in order to have early access to the bike?
  • 7 0
 The anti-squat graph's key was mislabeled, see above for the corrected version.
  • 10 1
 @dariodigiulio: by including those bump force and pedal bob figures in the review vs a press release vs a first look (the super dubious hybrid!), it’s implied that you in some way are creator or at least co-signing on those data. PB has said plenty over the years that it doesn’t own test equipment and there isn’t any attempt in the article to explain the data let alone describe how they were gathered, so they’re undigested straight from the media packet from S? There should be a line readers can clearly see between your content and brands’ content, don’t you agree?
  • 5 0
 Epic is a fantastic bike, but $6,000 USD for the frameset is bonkerz.
  • 4 1
 No size specific chain stays if baffling to me, same size from xs to xl. Wouldn't that make a big difference in the way it handles from size to size.
  • 3 0
 It will indeed! The longer bike will have less front wheel traction and become more prone to wheelying on steep climbs.
  • 5 0
 Not so specialized
  • 1 0
 Almost every Enduro in every size is out of stock on the UK Specialized website.
Does this mean they are running stock down ready for the release of the new Enduro?
Has anyone any insider knowledge - your friend that works at Specialized has seen the new secret catalogue or something?
  • 1 0
 No new Enduro in a short time, but not longer than a year. (Insider info but cant tell you more)
  • 1 0
 @tajtigabor: I had a bike stolen last week and need another bike. Perhaps time to buy a decent used one and wait for the new Enduro.
  • 1 0
 @smith888: my used 2021 enduro is by far the best bike I've ever ridden. Realistically the updated one will probably either just be tiny iterative changes, or the wild under carriage link from the Demo, so I personally wouldn't hold out.
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: yes. I had a 2020 which was sick until the headset bearing seat shat itself. I don’t fancy another used one. I hope the new one is sick.
  • 2 1
 Is this the bike the result of a Mike Levy fever dream, caused by too many tim hortons and monsters.... Or has Levy left pinkbike and started designing bikes for Specialized.... Either way this release seems brilliant, now, can someone like merida, ari, or polygon offer a version inspired by this that i could afford..
  • 2 0
 C'mon Dario, embrace your inner climber! Only uphill KOM's are actually KOM's. I mean it's literally a climbing term, that's where it came from, the fastest to the top. Downhill KOM? Sorry, that's not a thing.
  • 1 0
 I got it. XC FA seems to be good. But how does the non FA Epic ride??? Read a lot about the Evo damper tune being relatively harsh in open mode so almost all of the media crowd preferred the more versatile S-Works Epic with FA. But that‘s not a real world bike…
  • 1 0
 I was fortunate enough test the SW Epic8 with Flight Attendant recently. I currently ride a 2022 SW Epic. I switched out the SID Ultimate SL 100 Brain to a SID Ultimate 120 with remote lock out...MUCH better.

As for the new SW Epic 8, it wasn't a huge departure from my current Epic, EXCEPT for the FA. I love the FA. It worked flawlessly on technical steep climbs and handled the rough and bumpy sections very well. It's supposed to learn how you ride and your power output etc and gradually hone in on those numbers and better "adjust" the suspension to your riding style. I'd be very tempted to get the FA on my '22 Epic, but I know it will cost a pretty penny. Only downside I see thus far... 4 frickin batteries!
  • 3 0
 Would love to see a "shootout" between the 2024 Epic, 2024 Orbea Oiz, and Scott Spark RC. All very slack. All with 120 mm travel.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio In the vid you briefly mention sizing being an issue for us taller folks. I'm 6'4 and according to the spesh size chart that's the max height. Can you please elaborate a little more on how you found the XL at your 6'3 height?
  • 9 9
 Great review, but I think the comparison to the prior Epic is a miss. This is the updated Epic Evo and will cater to the same customer base. The lite fast Epic race bike became the Epic WC....you know the one with the partially hidden shock. Down Country is the new XC.
  • 16 1
 The updated Epic EVO is the the updated Epic EVO.....
  • 1 3
 @BrianMageemOt I agree that the bike comparison didn’t provide too much value. I have a stumpy evo and have spent lots of additional time on a friends regular stumpy. I’m looking for something like an epic evo or now maybe this new epic. I’m sure lots of people buy Rocky Mtns but just the amount of people who may already own an older epic and want to upgrade could possibly come close or surpass Element sales. Cater to just me Pinkbike lol. @mm2344 I think this is something of a replacement for the epic evo. Only a few mm’s of travel separate the epic evo from the flex-stay stumpy so cramming an updated evo into the ~125-130mm range wouldn’t really make sense when the stumpy already has 130mm of flex travel. They could shift the stumpy range up in capability to slot in a new evo but then the evo has to get bigger as does the enduro and demo so it gets weird lol

TLBig Grin R Weird bike comparison, this new epic is a more capable and more polished epic evo already
  • 2 2
 Just saw the new epic evo dropped as well lol, what a great day. Glad it’s a spec change and not a whole new frame, makes sense and I like it.
  • 1 0
 @Kiowa008: Isn't it is a whole new frame compared to the previous Epic Evo?
  • 3 1
 @Statusquo3: my comment was a bit confusing. I meant I’m glad both new epics share the same frame. My dumbass was speculating on what the new epic evo might be not realizing that it was a few articles down on the homepage
  • 1 0
 @mm2344: True but the new Epic Evo is also the old Stumpjumper. Everything seems to be pushing up the travel range.
  • 1 0
 @Kiowa008: You're almost certainly right. The slight differences in BB height and HTA look like they correspond to a 10mm bump in fork travel with no other changes. This is going to simplify things for Specialized, for dealers, and for the consumer, as they're essentially selling different builds of the same bike now.

And in contrast to previous bikes where the "trail" version is essentially just a 100mm bike with a 120mm fork on it, this looks like they thought about the geometry for both versions, and it can still be set in a "high" mode if you want to make it a little XC-racier.
  • 1 0
 @Kiowa008: I wouldn't be surprised if the new Stumpy is not far away as the Levo SL has the new symetrical frame design which I think the next gen Stumpy will share.
  • 2 0
 @Stredda: you might be on it. Seems like they’re done with the stumpy front triangle brace so that makes sense
  • 1 0
 Ok maybe this is a stupid question, but im wondering about the upper shock mount being co-molded with the frame. Isnt that always the case on a carbon frame? What would the alternative be? Thanks in advance
  • 2 0
 Molded separately and bonded on after. Most rear triangles are like 4 pieces for example, then they glue them together.
  • 1 0
 It's a pretty nice looking bike, until you notice the rats nest of cabling up front.. you won't unsee it.. It'd be nice if they still offered a brain setup @ 120 for those who like automation (and clunks D).
  • 1 0
 At 5'5'' and right on the border of S and M... The Medium's 450mm reach and a 605mm top tube seems like it would be too long. The ETT is longer than my medium ripmo, which even with a 35mm stem always felt a tad long...
  • 1 0
 Dario- first time i saw you on cam on YouTube. Delightful and fun.
Did the yolk whack the seat tube at the end of the vid? Was that just soft new paint and something attached to the bike?
  • 2 0
 WOW Specialized made their own version of NS Bikes Synonim after few years. That's such an innovation! Well done Specialized.
  • 3 0
 Just make rear brake full external, describe it as customer demand, and call it a day, for god's sake.
  • 6 3
 This one checks all the boxes.
  • 1 0
 This is why I've held off on a XC bike lately, just waiting to see how slack the head tube angles get. 65.9 is getting there for sure.
  • 2 0
 @dariodigiulio What pedals are those? I need more purple anodized goodness in my life.
  • 3 0
 Crank Bros Mallet Trail
  • 3 2
 Dario, you were underselling this bike when you were telling me about it. It's not shut up and take my money status, but I gotta get on one of these ASAP
  • 1 2
 "the $7,000 Epic Expert is still a very premium bike at a very premium price, and to me it represents the best value in the lineup."
The color of the Pro is worth at least 1/2 of the price difference between it and the Expert, to me. The Expert's red looks pretty good too, but the Pro color is the best of the bunch and looks amazing in real-world photos.
  • 2 0
 Why does it keep asking my location every time I log in to this site now? Wtf does it matter where I am?
  • 1 0
 damn I want one, but too poor. $6500 cad sheesh

everything about this bike is exactly what I want

The Comp version in blue looks great!
  • 3 1
 The great thing about specialized being such a huge brand in so many bike shops, is that in 3 months you’ll be able to pick up a used one that’s barely been touched by some rich guy in Orange County for half price.
  • 1 1
 Too bad the bike you're riding in the video doesn't exist, the "Pro" trim should've had flight attendant like the one you're riding but i supposed they wanted to reserve that to the s-works to drive sales of a $14.5k bike.
  • 2 0
 I like the Pro build sans-FA, just because cost would climb even more if it were present. That said, I'll be testing the robot suspension on this bike for a while yet, so we'll see if it's worth the aftermarket cost.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Will be interesting to see long term FA performance. Specialized will likely come up with a flight attendant Pro bike later on as other brands (Allied, Evil) are in the $12k range with the flight attendant. A Pro+FA should be in the $11-12k range
  • 4 2
 BB is way too low. A climbing bike without pedal clearance for tech climbs? What's it for?
  • 5 0
 racing
  • 1 1
 By racers for racers.
  • 3 2
 This huge head and down tube together with the skinny rear triangle makes for a very unbalanced appearance. I don‘t like the outlook at all.
  • 2 0
 my boyfriend says he reads these articles to see if there are any more pictures of the moldy alley
  • 1 0
 he'll have to come see it for himself
  • 2 0
 @dariodigiulio Did you find the control casing tires to work alright even on the descents? If so, that’s impressive!
  • 3 0
 You have to ride them like an XC tire, but even still I found them sturdier than some of the other paper-thin options out there.
  • 2 0
 Can’t fault the Specialized lineup, the corporate practices toward the local shops however puts a bad taste in your mouth.
  • 1 0
 "mid 17th century: from French à propos ‘(with regard) to (this) purpose"
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio I see a little testing on Ditch Pig, could this be the bike to crush it on the Haulback?
  • 1 0
 Probably what I'd choose, Ditch Pig to Roadside were fun on the little bike.
  • 1 0
 The absolute state of that white wall in the background.

Did you take the photos in an abandoned mill?
  • 3 0
 abandoned armory, but close
  • 3 4
 I was quite sure I would update my XC bike this year with a pivot mach4SL, but this new epic is ticking a lot of boxes. Surely i'm not missing much going flex-stay over DW for this application, right?
  • 2 1
 I think you can get FA on the Mach4 now, so might be worth looking into. The DW link is still a magnificent suspension, and the geo of the Mach4 ain’t too trail.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike going full princess Kate with photoshopping out the stick in the cover photo haha. Bike looks sweet though.
  • 2 0
 Just when I thought I didn't need another bike.....Thanks, Obama.
  • 2 4
 Aside from the review of the bike, Dario - this seems like a significantly better and more relaxed video presentation.
You're definitely feeling more at ease now. Less monotone, less looking at the floor. More voice pitch change and volume, more mannerisms and gesturing, better presentation posture. Great.

I hope you don't take this as overly harsh Smile
  • 1 0
 Wow never thought I see the day when a xc bike has a 65.9 deg head angle, truly these are great days
  • 2 0
 Holding out for mullet version
  • 1 0
 I would have loved to see a review on the budget comp the bike most riders can afford.
  • 1 0
 Geometry compliments of someone that has never ridden a bike on a trail east of the Mississippi.
  • 1 0
 They finally built a bike with Trek Top Fuel dimensions but with an old suspension design with less stiffness in the frame.
  • 1 0
 > the slackest production cross-country race bike to date.

Does the Element not count as an XC race bike?
  • 2 1
 is an aluminum bike in the works?
  • 2 0
 S(teel)-works?
  • 1 2
 It’s not a good idea to have flexing aluminium seat stays.
  • 1 0
 @FuzzyL: If I am not mistaken, Merida somehow figured out how to make flexing aluminium steatstays work (their one-forty /one-sixty frame)
  • 1 0
 @Beskyd: So has Kona - Hei Hei (under my fat @rse), Satori (which I would love to get ma hands on, bike form the future perhaps?). I'm sure other brands too
  • 4 3
 shut up and take my money
  • 2 0
 New SJ next?
  • 1 0
 guess I was onto something when I built a 25lb Ripley V4, 4 years ago
  • 1 0
 90s kids will remember the Speed Kills marketing campaigns.
  • 1 0
 Picked up mine today. Traded in an Element toward an expert.
  • 3 5
 I have always been anti corporate bike co. The more I look into specialized the more and more impressed I am. I have heard customer service and dealer support is very good.
  • 1 0
 Sign me up!
  • 1 0
 gib nu enduro!
  • 1 1
 So expensive bike and stem from 500 usd bike, ha ha
  • 1 2
 An epic without a brain isnt an epic. its very possible they dropped the ball here.
  • 1 2
 Dario did a great job with these writeups though I'd also love to see Levy's take on these bikes.
  • 6 6
 OMG I want!
  • 3 3
 4 downvotes why?
  • 7 8
 Specialized makes the best mountain bicycles, dont @ me
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