BIKE TEST / SPECIALIZED EPIC EXPERT
The Epic was introduced by Specialized in 2003 with what seemed to be a very novel concept—let’s put a brain on this bike. It sounded crazy, but the idea was actually quite simple. Specialized
wanted to build a bike that would have a lockout that worked without needing a remote or lever to actuate it. The suspension would be
“smart,” knowing the difference between pedaling input and trail obstacles, and be able to activate the suspension without robbing the rider of
power. Well, this is the latest version of that “smart bike,” and it comes
with a brain that Specialized claims has a higher IQ than any Epic that
has come before it.
There are few bikes with as prestigious a history as the Epic. Over the
years this cross-country race machine has racked up many World Cup
wins and even Olympic podiums, with Jaroslav Kulhavy winning the gold
medal in London in 2012. We got our hands on the new Epic to see how
it compared to the previous generations.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Epic is designed for cross-country trail riding and racing with
aggressive geometry and 100 millimeters of travel. This design is best
suited to dedicated XC riders and those looking for the most efficient
machine they can find. While not its first job, this bike can do the work
of a quick and nimble trailbike; however, don’t think of this full-suspension design as forgiving. This is first and foremost an XC race bike.
The bike with a mind of its own