The newest generation of Specialized Epic has one job – to go fast! And, it does! Whether you’re hitting the XC course looking for podiums on the new Epic Full Suspension or you’re hitting the trail on the Epic EVO, these bikes are designed to go fast!
Epic has long been the benchmark when it comes to Cross Country race performance. With it’s Brain Suspension, enough travel to keep you in control but not so much that it holds you back, and the geometry that lets you scream up the hills and rip down the other side, Epic gives you the best all-around package for XC performance!
The pinnacle of XC Suspension is the BRAIN Shock. BRAIN is the only shock that knows the difference between trail input and rider input, using no levers, lockout mechanisms, no cables, no thought. All you have to do is get on and ride and BRAIN will take care of the thinking.
How? The suspension engineers at Specialized have placed the BRAIN right where the bike first feels the trail input, right behind the rear axle. This allows the BRAIN to immediately feel what the bike is rolling through, with no delay. Inside the BRAIN is an inertia valve assembly consisting of a brass mass and oil ports. When the system is at rest and not being impacted by upward trail input, the brass mass is covering the oil port. This blocks the oil from freely moving, keeping the suspension rigid. This gives you a firm pedaling platform to really drive into without losing any efficiency to the suspension. Think “lockout” without having to do anything.
Then, when the BRAIN senses upward input from the trail, the brass mass moves out of the way of the oil ports and the oil is able to flow freely. This opens up the suspension system and it works normally, allowing those 100mm of travel to soak up the bumps and impacts from the trail.
Once the trail event is over, a super light spring allows the brass mass to reposition itself over the oil ports, stiffening up the suspension once again, back into pedaling mode. This is all done automatically and instantaneously, with no thought from the rider.
The newest BRAIN has been updated to offer you a firmer race-tune platform that will feel even more solid while you are pedaling. The transitions from on/off will feel even smoother than before and you will be able to better tune the air-spring in the shock to dial the suspension perfectly to suit you. The fully redesigned internals of the BRAIN system provides less turbulence in the oil flow that will result in more consistent performance during your rides and increased durability race after race.
Don’t think that this technology is designed on a computer and pushed out into stores either! This system was designed, built, ridden, thrown away, and then started over, and over, and over. This thing endured 1,850 hours of field testing (once it got out of the lab). That’s the equivalent of 72 Cape Epic races!
You can’t be fast if your frame isn’t stiff. And this puppy is stiff! The new Epic is has 15% stiffer rear triangle than the previous generation. This means the even more of your pedaling power will be transferred to the bike and not lost to the frame flexing. The front triangle has also been redesigned with new tube shaping, layup, and hardware. In the end, the front triangle is just as stiff as the previous generation of Epic but substantially lighter! The 11m frame is just as light as the previous S-Works frame and the S-Works frame, with it’s carbon shock link, is 100 grams lighter than the previous S-Works frame!
The last version of the Epic saw a radical rethinking of XC geometry to keep in line with the evolution of XC racecourses. This newest Epic version carries on that trend! A 67.5° headtube angle and a 9mm lower bottom bracket keep this thing low and mean! The reach was also lengthened to allow for shorter stems and the chainstays were shortened, keeping the Epic quick into, through, and out of the corners!
Taking the guts of the XC machine that is the Specialized Epic and stretching it out for the trail, the Epic Evo blurs that line between Cross Country and Trail, all while staying true to the one word that describes the Epic – FAST!
Epic Evo shares the same lightweight and stiff front triangle of the Epic but a dedicated rear triangle bumps the travel up to 110mm. The engineers at Specialized didn’t just add some length to things to make a longer shock fit, though. All of the kinematics were tweaked to not only increase travel but also introduce new anti-squat characteristics to keep the pedaling platform nice and crisp! Up front, a 120mm fork soaks up those bigger bumps and drops and keeps that front wheel stuck to the trail when traction is needed!
Common on many trail bikes, the redesigned Epic Evo features a rear suspension flip-chip that allows you to set this thing up for exactly how you want to ride! In the low setting, Epic Evo sits on a 66.5° head angle. Flip it to the high setting and your head angle is 67° and your bottom bracket is raised 6mm!