2020 Specialized Epic An Insanely Light (7.8kg) XC Racer

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[VidSitePro id=84 ]besh lized have got a new epic hotel for 2020 and i’ve had a go at riding it out in california when it comes to cross-country racing there’s one key sort of aspect of a bike and that’s how heavy it is because effectively the light of the bike the faster it goes uphill and we all know that races are won on the climbs and lost on the descents however weight isn’t everything and specialized have worked on the geometry of the bike in order to make it a little bit more radical for those increasingly technical cross-country courses [Music] we’ll start though with the wait because the new epic has to be one of the lightest XE bikes around they’re claiming just over seven kilos for a full s-works build and that partly is thanks to the seven hundred and ninety gram frame this makes it pretty much the lightest out there as far as I can tell now the seven hundred and ninety gram is for a medium frame fully painted with the hardware bits and pieces because of manufacturing tolerances specialized say that the frames actually come between 760 and 790 grams now because it goes sort of within this little window they’re actually given the claimed weight as that higher weight so if you do buy a frame and then you weigh it you’re not going to be too disappointed if you get a 760 gram frame you’re pretty lucky because that is super lightweight now this obviously is the s-works version of the frame however they are doing an 11 m fact carbon one so slightly low grade carbon frame as well and that also comes in under a kilo for the whole frame if you follow cross-country racing you’ll know that the courses are getting more and more technical and as I already said races might be one on the climbs but they are lost on the descents so if you want to be successful and not lose a race it’s got to be a bike that’s got to be good when things get technical so as we’ve seen in trail bikes bikes are getting longer and slacker and this is the same with the new epic as well reaches have increased the head angle is slacken to sixty eight point five which might seem quite steep but is actually relatively slack before a XC bike and also the fork offset has got shorter too to give it a slightly karma feel on technical terrain we’re also seeing a slightly short of stem sixty five to seventy five mil to keep handling nice and snappy alongside the more aggressive geometry specialize have also worked on the comfort and compliance of the frame because a comfortable frame that’s a little bit smoother and less jarring to ride is faster while maintaining stiffness specialized to reduce the diameter of the seat stays which gives more compliance at the back they’ve also worked on the tire volume rim so you can fit slightly wider tires to give again more compliance and more grip when things get loose the other change is with the seat post previously it was a 27-point – now it’s a 30.9 there is a bit of a kink in the seat tube and especially I said that this contributes towards the compliance of the bike it also means you can fit a dropper should you wish specialized will be offering the epic in four different models and as a frame set only the range starts with the epic hard tailed carbon and that comes in at two thousand one hundred and ten dollars or two thousand two hundred and fifty pounds you still get a carbon frame but obviously the bike comes in a fair chunk more weight than the s-works version now this comes in at nine thousand one hundred dollars or eight thousand pounds if you weren’t the s-works frame that’s two thousand dollars however at the moment I don’t have the UK pricing for that so the top hem bike is obviously the s-works frame and it comes with this Ram access 12 speed wireless drivetrain it also comes with RockShox is Sid Fork however as you might have known from previous epochs gone by specialized have the system called the brain this is a platform within the damper that kind of automatically turns on and off thanks to a little brass weight that’s sprung and opens and closes the damping ports in the fork it reacts to the bumps so in effect if you’re on smooth terrain whether that’s a tarmac or fire road climb or you know particularly smooth bit of single track the fork is effectively locked out and then as soon as like a sudden impact comes the brass weight moves out the way the ports are fully opened and the fork acts as normal with the brain you can adjust a preload on this little weight so you can change the force at which this little brass weight moves out the way of the port thus changing the characteristic of the fork and how sort of bigger impacts it needs to actuate the fork previous versions might have been quite harsh all the time however specialized have allowed the fork to sort of sit at its SAG point and have a little bit of movement in there so it’s not a harsh lockout when it is locked this means that traction isn’t too much compromised neither is comfort on real fine stuff but the fork does open up on those bigger hits alongside the CID with the brain and the Strand access drivetrain the s-works version of the bike comes with rovol carbon wheels which are nice and light their new fast track tires with a control casing on there again fairly light fast rolling and a full gamut of specialised branded carbon componentry handlebar seat post all that jazz all combined this s-works bike comes in an acclaimed seven-point eight kilos free size medium fully painted fully kitted out and if that’s accurate and I’ve got no real reason to suspect it isn’t particularly inaccurate that’s a very very light cross-country race bike so how does it ride and obviously that is one of the most important things I took the bike out for a day-long ride in California which was very pleasant we did a fair bit of sort of gravel grinding some long fire road drugs and some quite fast fire road ascents and then we hit some single track which is good because I was kind of looking forward to that [Music] seven point eight kilos isn’t very much and with a fast rolling tire it is fair to say that the s-works epoch did climb very very well especially on those fire roads put the power down and it just sort of accelerates it doesn’t feel soft it doesn’t feel spongy it’s very accurate very fast the brain on the fork again does work very well there is that little bit of give so when you sort of honking out the bars there is a little bit of squidge in there but I don’t think it’s to the detriment of the ride quality all the climbing capabilities of the bike where I rode the bike was very dry and very dusty if you’ve got a lot of power going through your legs and you’re riding in loose terrain you might find that the fast track tires do give out a little bit of grip on more technical loose terrain especially on a climb however if you’ve got enough money to spend eight or nine grand on a bike you should have enough money to have a few sets of tires to match the conditions in which you ride in riding a brand-new bike on trails you’ve never seen before isn’t the best way to test a bike so I can’t give a definitive answer as to how good the epic is however from my brief day-long ride on it I did come away pretty impressed on a single track on rolling stuff and on more technical terrain – the tires fitted with two point three inch wide and the carbon rims are fitted – aren’t particularly harsh they’re not too soft on the sea but they’re not too stiff either so comfort wise again along with the design of the frame it never felt – roughly you know sometimes you get a teeth jarring experience on a on a real rigid Hotel didn’t get any of that with the epic which I was pretty impressed with the fork at the front again I mean rock shots can make a real good fork and with the brain fully open it’s basically a really nicely damped really lightweight XC fork geometry wise it’s obviously not some super stretch out sled of a trail bike it is still a tight cross-country race bike so take it down something real steep it’s gonna feel a little bit nervous however given that it is an XC race bike for the top echelon of cross country racing it did feel pretty calm pretty composed and fairly confident too I certainly felt quite happy letting off the brakes hitting corners hit and rock little sections and little jumps too so I think they’ve probably done a good job obviously I would like to get the bike back here in the UK for a full test or even give it to Joe knowledge our cross-country superstar in the bike rider office however first impressions do count and I think specialized have done a pretty good job so there’s the s-works access eagle top-end bike I’m particularly interested though in the just over two grand version of the epic which don’t forget still gets a sub kilo carbon frame I think that’s pretty cool I don’t have the spec lists here so I don’t know exactly what the mic comes with it isn’t gonna be super spangly stuff but as a way to get into racing with a really on point lightweight frame I reckon that could be just a ticket let me know what you think in the comments .

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