Bike Magic

Now Reading:

Specialized Epic Comp Carbon 29 - first look

Specialized Epic Comp Carbon 29 - first look

One of the new breed of 29er mountain bikes we’ve been most keen to ride this year is the Specialized Epic, the US company’s flagship race bike which has been winning the biggest races since it was first introduced in 2003.

In the intervening nine years, the Epic has been fettled and tweaked beyond recognition, but the unique chainstay mounted ‘Brain’ still features on the 2012 bike. It’s a joint project between Specialized and Fox Racing and is in simple terms an automatic lockout for the rear shock.

An inertia valve inside the small unit is placed as close to the rear axle as possible so it can sense vertical wheel movement. In theory it keeps the shock firm or locked out only until the rear wheel encounters a bump at which point the FSR suspension does its job of soaking it up.

Early editions weren’t met with the highest of praise; the transition between open and locked was too sharp and felt notchy. This is something Specialized and Fox worked heavily on, and several bikes later the system works really well and has been proving itself in world cups recently.

Initial impressions reveal the bike is very fast. And it should be, it’s the choice of the incredibly fast Jaroslav Kulhavy, who chooses the Epic over the hardtail offering in Specialized’s stable. So we’ve got no excuses then.

We’re testing the third tier Comp bike, which at £3,200 is the cheapest carbon Epic on offer. It gets a FACT IS 9m carbon frame with an M5 aluminium rear triangle, 142mm rear dropouts and a RockShox Reba RL 29 fork.

Bolted onto the frame is a SRAM X9/X7 drivetrain and a SRAM S-1250 chainset, rolling on Press-Fit 30 bottom bracket bearings, providing a 2×10 spread of gears. Finishing the bike is a pair of Roval 29 32-hole wheels with S-Works Fast Trak and Renegade Control tyres. Avid Avid Elixir 7 SL brakes bring the Epic to a stop and Specialized branded bars, stem post and saddle complete the package.

More details at

Full review soon…

  1. Ian Daniel

    Got a 2011 Epic comp carbon. What an awesome machine. I used to race downhill in UK, so love the descents. Fitted a rockshox Reverb seat post and reckon this is a great allround bike. Carbon Frames have come a long way in terms of compliance over bumps, rocks and roots. Dont be put off by early carbon attempts as I nearly was. I love this bike and it looks better in real life than it does in pics. Enjoyu

  2. chrissy boy

    Great looking machine, firmly on my wish list ! What does she weigh and how does it match up to the Anthem ?

  3. David Arthur

    Will be getting it on the scales soon, but reckon it’s a pound lihgter chrissy boy. First impressions are that it impresses more than the Anthem did, but I need to ride it some more first

    1. chrissy boy

      Thanks David
      Looking forward to full review . I have ridden the Anthem and like but need to know if the Epic will have the edge.

  4. genisson santos

    show linda sonho de consumo.

  5. genisson+santos

    muito linda show sonho de consumo


Next up in MTB

Orange Five Pro – first look