For 2014 Specialized updates the Camber 29er and there’s two Evo versions, the Epic splits into two focused models and the Stumpjumper and Enduro bikes continue unchanged.
And there’s not one 650B bike in the range. Specialized is vehemently sticking to 26 and 29in wheels across the range, for now at least. With 650B gaining a lot of traction (no pun intended), it will be interesting to see which move the company makes in 2015.
Epic gets redesigned
We’ll start with the redesigned Epic. This bikes has been in the range for over a decade now, and constantly fettled with in that time, it’s changed a lot over the years. When we tested it last year we found it a fast race weapon and super-capable trail bike (read the review here). For 2014 Specialized will offer the Epic in race-ready 95mm or a marathon-friendly 100mm trim. Unfortunately only the latter model is coming to the UK, with a range of four bikes, including a fully pimped S-Works bike.
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The Epic we’re getting in the UK has 100m travel and is aimed at endurance and marathon riders, essentially the same as the previous bike (The new Epic World Cup is much more race-focused with a stiffer shock tune). Both share the same frame though, an updated Fact carbon chassis with a new concentric shock linkage to improve suspension performance.
A noticeable change is the top shock mount has moved up into the top tube, which allows a second water bottle to be mounted to the seat tube. Neat internal cable routing with full length outers keeps the lines clean and away from the mud and grit. A PressFit 30 bottom brackets ensures maximum frame stiffness. The chainstays are a touch narrower in diameter to increase heel clearance.
The changes to the frame bring about a decrease in weight, about 50g. They claim the frame is stiffer as well. Geometry remains the same as the previous bike, with a 70.5 degree head angle and 448mm chainstays.
Camber Evo now available
The Camber has been one of Specialized’s more successful models since it was first introduced in 2010, and then soon became a 29er-only platform. We really liked it when we reviewed it earlier this year (read our review here).
The bike goes mostly unchanged for 2014, with the same tried-and-tested FSR suspension platform giving 110mm of rear wheel travel with a travel matched fork.
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The carbon models have an updated frame, with new internal cable routing and revised top tube and top shock mount. The headset and bottom bracket bearings now drop into carbon bearing seats. The rocker linkage is a new compact design similar to the one already used on the Stumpjumper. All cables are routed internally, which will satisfy everyone who moaned about the cables mounted to the underside of the downtube (although they never proved to be a problem in real-world riding in our experience). The geometry, which we found spot on, hasn’t changed.
There’s now an S-Works version, the moniker reserved for the no-holds-barred top-end version, and it’s dripping in the latest SRAM XX1 groupset, carbon Specialized cranks, a Fox Float 29 fork with Kashima coating and Roval Control Trail SL carbon wheels.
Also fresh is an all-new Evo version, which extends the suspension travel out to 120mm front and rear, combined with slacker geometry and a lower bottom bracket. There’ll be a carbon and aluminium frame version to suit different budgets. The carbon version gets a RockShox Pike fork, SRAM XX1 groupset and a cockpit consisting of a wider bar, shorter stem and dropper post. All good stuff on paper.
No changes to the Enduro and Stumpjumper
There are a few changes to the Enduro and Stumpjumper, both of which have undergone redesigns in recent years. Both still stick with 26 and 29in wheels: there’s no sign of Specialized offering 650B versions of either models, at least not in the 2014 model year. Maybe in 2015?
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The Enduro and Stumpjumper will be available with the new RockShox Pike, a fork we’re seeing a lot of on 2014 bikes. There is, thankfully, a fair smattering of the superb SRAM XX1 on the top-end S-Works models.
Full details of bike specification and prices soon.