A lot of races have been won on a Specialized Epic. Just like the bikes, mountain bike racing continues to evolve with riders going elbow to elbow in short course races, or grinding it out in 12 & 24hr races or epics like the Leadville 100. In 2014, Specialized keeps the winning ways of the Epic, but diversifies the model into two different bikes – the Epic and the Epic World Cup. Epic is a 100mm travel endurance racer’s dream, while the 95mm travel Epic World Cup tightens things up to offer an explosive short course slaying machine.
There’s more to the new Epics after the break.
In continued effort for lighter, stronger, faster, both Epic models see a new S-Works FACT IS 11M carbon frame along with updates to the rest of the line. Updates to the frame include a new concentric pivot shock linkage that improves suspension movement and offers better power transfer as well as internal cable routing, and the SWAT compatibility. Both frames continue the use of tapered head tubes, PF30 BBs, and 142mm rear spacing. The internal cable routing for Epics allows for cabling options for 1,2,3, or 4 cables or hoses depending on the need. Further differences between the two models includes shorter 439mm chainstays for the WC, in addition to a more aggressive WC tuned rear shock, compared to the XC race tune on the Epic.
S-Works models will be equipped with the new S-Works carbon crankset which runs 104 BCD standard chainrings with an integrated carbon spider. The crank is capable of running single or double ring set ups. One big difference between the Epic and the Epic WC other than travel and geometry, is the Epic WC does not have an option for a front derailleur – on the WC 1x drivetrains are your only choice.
The Brain shock has always been a big part of the Epic line, and for 2014 the Brain gets smarter. The Mini Brain offers a new XC tune that is externally adjustable, along with Specialized’ Autosag feature to aid in set up. The new Brain moves to a kevlar hose and a new reservoir for a 25g weight reduction and 5 levels of Brain Fade adjustment.
Built on the new FACT IS 11M full carbon frame, the S-Works Epic 29 includes the full SWAT kit on a 100mm platform for all around riding/endurance racing. Suspension is handled with the Fox/Specialized Mini Brain with Autosag, Kashima Coat, and a lighter tune for better performance from open to close. At the front end a Custom Rock Shox SID World Cup fork includes a Brain Inertial valve, for an extremely light 100mm travel QR15 fork. Spec highlights include a Shimano XTR 10 speed drivetrain with new S-Works PF30 crank set up as 38/24, and XTR hydraulic brakes.
Retail: $10,500 complete, $5,500 frameset.
The S-Works Epic 29 WC features a new FACT IS 11M full carbon frame with a massive chainstay for power transfer, and no front derailleur mount. A large weighs in at 19.9 pounds for a race ready rocket ship right out of the box. The S-Works Epic WC is SWAT compatible, but doesn’t include the SWAT kit, and has a longer top tube, tighter geo, and 5mm less travel than the Epic. The same Mini Brain Kashima coat shock is found, as well as the Custom SID, just at 95mm of travel. To keep weight as low as possible, the WC is equipped with Magura MT8 carbon hydraulic brakes and SRAM’s XX1 drivetrain driven by the S-Works crankset.
Retail: $10,500 complete, $5,500 frameset.
Both the S-Works Epic and Epic WC roll on the new Roval Control SL 29 142+ carbon hookless wheels. Designed with XC racing in mind, the 1370g wheelset is built with tubeless ready carbon rims that use Specialized’ zero bead hook design for improved strength and impact resistance. The wheels roll on DT Swiss manufactured hubs with a 15mm/QR compatible front and 142+ only compatible rear. The rear hub uses DT 240 internals with their ratchet system and is compatible with SRAM’s XD Driver for XX1. Control SL wheels carry a rider weight limit of 240lb (108kg).
Getting away from the S-Works models, the Epic Marathon Carbon 29 has an all new frame as well with the same SWAT kit, sealed cartridge bearings, and 142mm dropouts – only crafted from FACT IS 10M carbon with M5 alloy seat stays. The Mini Brain with Autosag gets the lighter 2014 tune, but forgoes Kashima coat to lower the price. At the front, another custom Rock Shox SID fork with Brain inertia valve provides 100mm of travel. The Epic Marathon rolls on carbon wheels as well, but drops the SL model for the Roval Control Carbon 29 142+ hookless wheelset with DT Swiss internals. A SRAM X0 2×10 drivetrain with S-2200 38/24 carbon crank propels the bike while Magura MT6 brakes slow it down.
Highlights of the Epic Expert Carbon WC include a new FACT IS 10M carbon frame with M5 seat stays, SWAT compatibility, 142mm dropouts, and again no front derailleur and 95mm of travel. Suspension includes the Mini Brain and Brain equipped SID with 95mm travel. Bringing the price of 1×11 drivetrains down, the bike features the new X01 drivetrain with an S-2200 carbon crank. Roval Control Carbon 142+ hookless wheels keep things rolling.
The Epic Expert Carbon 29 rolls with an all new FACT IS 9M carbon frame with M5 chain and seat stays, SWAT kit, 142mm dropouts, and 100mm travel. Again, the squishy bits are the Fox/Specialized Mini Brain remote shock and Brain equipped Rock Shox SID. More carbon wheels here, again with the Roval Control Carbon 142+. The drivetrain is a mix of a SRAM s-2200 carbon 28/24 crank and Shimano XTR Shadow Plus 10 speed derailleurs.
One last carbon bike, the Epic Comp Carbon 29 features a FACT IS 9M carbon main frame with M5 seat and chainstays, with SWAT compatibility, 142mm dropouts, and 100mm travel. The Comp carbon receives the Mini Brain rear shock, but receives a standard Reba RL fork up front. Roval 29 alloy wheels with Specialized hubs provide the rolling, with a Shimano XT Shadow plus drivetrain and SRAM S-1250 double crank. Formula CR1 brakes provide the stopping power.
Finally, the Epic Comp 29 rounds out the line with an all new M5 alloy frame with 142mm dropouts and 100mm travel. The Epic Comp is equipped with the new Mini Brain, but like the model above forgoes the brain equipped fork for a Rock Shox Reba RL. The drivetrain is a 2×10 affair with a mix of SRAM X7, X9 type 2 rear derailluer, and an S-1250 alloy crank. Roval 29 Alloy wheels are slowed with Formula CR1 Brakes.