BIKE TEST / SPECIALIZED EPIC EXPERT
cable routing for a sleek finish.
Specialized moved to a threaded
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
bottom bracket on the new Epic, keeping
the durability high and maintenance low.
The Epic Expert sits right in the middle of the lineup, with
top-level machines getting the S-Works treatment and lighter
component packages. Our test bike came with a SRAM Eagle
GX drivetrain that delivered consistent shifting during our testing.
The SRAM Level TL brakes gave our test riders plenty of
modulation and control, even on technical bits of trail. The
RockShox SID fork gave us plenty of adjustability and added
to the racy feel of the Epic.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Modern cross-country bikes have become more capable
recently, keeping up with the increasingly technical trails
being thrown at riders and racers. The Epic
has a modern geometry with a relatively
slack 69.5-degree head angle and
a fairly steep seat tube angle.
The front end of the Epic was
lengthened a bit, and the
chainstays were shortened,
with Boost 12x148 rear
spacing for more stability
when descending. The
Epic was one of the first
to make room for two
bottle cages in the main
frame, and Specialized
was able to carry
this over to the new
The heart and soul of
the Epic is cross-country
racing, with the intellect
coming from Specialized’s Brain
suspension system. Specialized
worked with RockShox to develop the
new system, which is slimmer and more
responsive with the Brain being placed right
on the axle. The Brain is an inertia valve that gives riders pedaling
support but opens up and allows the shock to go through its travel
when it encounters a big-enough impact. This proprietary shock
also uses Specialized’s AutoSag technology to make suspension
setup a breeze.
Specialized has been using FSR on its bikes for several years,
but the new Epic got a redesigned single-pivot linkage. Our test
bike has a full FACT 11m carbon fiber frame and uses internal
racers with its
Our test bike
with a 32-tooth
will want to
swap this out
for a 34-tooth
for a little more