No-holds-barred design, engineering, materials, construction, and specifications combine to make the Epic the only dual-suspension bike to win the World Championships.
Specialized and Fox blend their brains to develop the FlowControl Mini Brain shock with Brain Fade inertia valve, air spring, and adjustable rebound for World Cup - and local trail - domination
Specialized E100 Future Shock fork with 100mm of Brain-regulated travel and rebound adjust is supported by a stiff carbon 1-1/8 to 1.5" crown/steerer assembly for greater steering precision
Newly revamped Roval Control SL alloy XC wheelset with OS28 end caps, 142+ spacing, Ti QR, and DT Swiss spokes and internals is insanely stiff, light and durable for greater control and quickness
These two world-class and featherlight 2Bliss Ready XC tires work together for maximum speed and control in hardpack or intermediate conditions: S-Works Fast Trak LK 2.0" front, S-Works Renegade 1.9" rear
Specialized FACT OSBB carbon crankset with ceramic bearings is paired with a SRAM XX spider and 39/26t rings to create market-leading stiffness-to-weight for the ultimate power transfer
Custom Avid XX World Cup R magnesium body brakes feature tool-less reach adjust, alloy-backed pads, and carbon levers with titanium hardware for ultra light and modulated braking power
Got a 2009 frame and added a Crest 27.5 front wheel and a 120 mm SID fork.
Wow! What a difference! The efficiency of XC, lightweight climbing and sprint, and all mountain
descent. I also have the standard 2009 configured EPIC for comparison, and the hybrid
wheel size makes it a really fun, fast trail bike, but the standard 26 inch version is faster
in pure XC terrain!
Similar Products Used: S-Works EPIC 26, Scott Spark Pro 29 RC, Intense Carbine 27.5
Bike Setup: Large EPIC frame with 26 Roval rear, Stan's Crest 27.5 front, Rock Shox SID 27.5 fork,
Magura Marta Mag brakes, XO shifters/derailleurs, Flat Scott Pilot Bar, SRAM XO crank,
XTR pedals, Gravity Dropper seat post.
a Cross Country Rider
from Miami, florida
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2010
Strengths: Light weight, stiffness, good descender
Weaknesses: Brain, Brain, Brain!
Brain only good in smooth terrain, totally ineficient suspension on technical terrain! Definetly not a great bike for $8000.
Similar Products Used: Giant anthem, SC Blur XC, Gt Marathon Team, Trek Top Fuel, Stumpjumper.
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2010
Strengths: Great bike when it works and isn't cracked.
Weaknesses: Brain and frame reliability and Specialize's Customer Service/Warranty. Between my 2009 and 2007 Epic S-Works, I have had 7 replacement Brains. My 2009 only had 500 miles and I was on my third Brain when my frame cracked. My frame cracked in two spots (down tube and seat tube) and being the frame is strictly used for XC riding and I'm only 160lb., I found this odd. The down tube could have been caused by a rock flying up, but the seat tube crack was simply a failure in the carbon weave. In the end, after 4 months and little help from the dealer I purchased the bike, Specialized is willing to sell me a crash replacement frame for a bargain price of $2200. I now will have a $10K+ slighly used 2010 S-Works Epic that I cannot wait to sell. I'm actually sad, since I have been a huge fan of Specialized for the past 4 years, but this experience has left a very sour taste in my mouth. In the past 4 months I have sold my 2007 Epic Sworks, 2008 Stumpjumper HT, 2010 Epic 29 Marathon and will be selling my 2009/2010 once I get the frame back from Specialized. I would only recommend this bike if you have lots of money and enjoy dealing with the IRS...I mean Specialized.
a Cross Country Rider
from North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2009
Strengths: Amazing XC race bike.
Weaknesses: Major rear shock reliability problem
Brain-shock have been replaced 3 times.
Warranty is quick, but definitely a serious
Not a product for single bike owners.
When working it's an amazing race bike for
acceleration, light weight, front and rear stiffness,
and active suspension when needed.
The happiness it brings, is well worth the high price!
Similar Products Used: S-Works EPIC 2008, 2005, and S-Works Stumpjumper
Bike Setup: 2009 EPIC with stock parts except switched
to Specialized Captain tires and added Rase seat post.
from Evans Ga
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2009
Strengths: Nice and light ! Easy to ride . Minimal Exersion Total ! M.E.T.! Fun to ride ! Bike will not beat you to death . Handles like a Mercedes !
Weaknesses: Max rotor size on rear 160mm
This is an expensive bike but worth every red cent ! These bikes have been used by professional racers for years . But if you got the dough this would burn up the trails and leave your buddies behind ! Up grade this from an already super fast stock and you got a scary scary scary fast lighting fast light as a feather bike ! I like this bike better than any bike I have ridden !
Similar Products Used: Iron Horse Sunday , Stumpy Expert , Scott , Giant XTC II , Rush , Trance , Bullit and Gary Fisher
Bike Setup: S-Works carbon , Thomson , Big Earl , Formula ORO , XTR , XTR , XTR , XTR
a Weekend Warrior
from Flora, MS, USA
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2009
Strengths: Works as advertised, when it is working.
Weaknesses: Although I have only had this bike for six months and it has less than 500 miles on it, I have had three brain shocks fail on me. These shocks have all failed at the point where the hose for the inertia valve meets with the main shock body. I was previously a huge fan of Specialized and have almost exclusively ridden their brand of bike since 1991. The new Epic has been a surprising disapointment to me. I would not recommend this product to anyone until Specialized gets the kinks worked out of its newly redesigned brain shock.
Weaknesses: squeeling from avid juicy ultimate disc brakes, but thats all at moment
The difference in performance from my older Klein set up is simply phenonemal. The tightness of the bike and the workings of the brain shock system, which although I was a little skeptical, I am now in awe of. No requirement to lockout, no need to think of the shock system, 100% transfer of energy into propulsion, it simply works as is intended. Looking forward to seeing if the system has a decent life to it, however all appears robust (and I am no lightweight at 110kgs). Difficult to put a value on a $7000 bike, other than the level of new technology in the S-works supports the cost, IF you can/wish to afford it. Faultless apart from the squeeling brakes.
a Cross Country Rider
from hendersonville, nc
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2007
Strengths: this is the fastest bike i have ever rode. y0u become one with it. just enough suspension to go very very fast. climbing is incredible especially in rocks due to added traction.
Weaknesses: too many moving parts but this is my first fully. i havent had the first problem with this bike. there is no weakness to this machine
this is the ultimate riding machine-- bar none. the brain works and you dont even realize it. you just go fast as you want. it climbs great and desends equally well. the bike feels like its on rails and tracks like nothing else. the carbon crown of the fork is a great addition since its stiffer than your average noodly sid fork. when i saw this bike i knew i had to have it no matter what the bidding went up to. you can even check it out at photo bucket dot com user bikingbachelor. you cant go wrong with this bike
Bike Setup: all new xtr + disks, mavic crossmax, bontranger carbon bar and stem combo, thompson setback setpost, selle italia saddle, fast track 26x2.0 tubeless tires, rock shox sid world cup fork. believe it or not, 24lbs.
a Cross Country Rider
from Athens, Attica, Greece
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2006
Strengths: Amazing dowhill handling, rides like a good Full Suspension, forgives mistakes to begginers. Great in uphill with perfect raction like Hard Tail. The brain back sock works AMAZINGLY good and after you experiment with the setting of both suspensions there is no way not to adjust it exaclty as you like it or you like to ride !!!
Weaknesses: a little more heavy than a hardtail but it is more than that it also a Full Suspension
This bike is a perfect all around bike (also for serious XC riders. I enjoy it also in trails since the handling is great. If you can allocate the money is a must buy !
I have been racing for three years. At the begining of the last race season I purchased the S-Works at Higher Ground on Saturday, the day before my race. Had maybe a half hour on the bike before my race. Then placed third in my class where last year I placed eighth. The only thing I changed was the bike and my training remained the same. Excellent race bike.
from Cibao Valley, DOMINCAN REP
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2005
Strengths: It is everything they say it is in the magazines... Nothing like, at least what I have ridden....
Weaknesses: None... Still looking,...
The the ride is insane... the more you push the dam thing, the it wants... It keeps going... Not beat up after rides, as when I used my trusty ZASKAR. Its bomb proof, and love it... worth EVERY PENNY... When properly set.. it is just simply put... a great ride... My friends in town all agree, it was the best disicion we made to get one. The 2006 are coming, more expensive with more carbon. My is 25.57... Wieght is good... Tires, tubeless that is are heavy... mine a 750 gmrs, plus another 100 something for tire sealeant... I plan to find a way to drop at leat half a pount to get a flat 25, that is my goal. But that half a pound it going to be VERY EXPENSIVE, so it has to be thought out carefully...
Marzocchi Marathon Sl 1743 grams Thompson 130mm 25.4 211 grams Chris King 1 1/8 Threadless 125 grams Carbon Spacers 40 grams Easton Ec70 Aluminum Handlebar 146 grams Odi Rogue Lock On Grip 132 grams Thompson Setback 30.9x367 Seatpost 248 grams Selle Italia Flite 289 grams Seatpost Clamp Salsa Flip Lock 31.8 42 grams Avid Juicy 7 869 grams Sram XO Shifters 198 grams XTR Front Derraileur Bottom Pull 34.9 130 grams Sram XO Front Derrailleur 211 grams Crank Brothers Egg Beaters Ti 240 grams Sram PC-99 Hollowpin Chain 285 grams Sram 11-34 9 Speed Cassette 295 grams Salsa Quick Release Squewers Steel 104 grams Chris King Disc/Mavic717/Dt Spokes/Alu 1680 grams Kenda Kharisma Tubeless 1422 grams Stans No Tubes+Strip 200 grams Grease 40 grams Shimano XTR Hollowteck II M960 796 grams
TOTAL 26.711 LIBRAS
a Cross Country Rider
from Menlo Park, CA
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2005
Strengths: Light Weight -- mine was 24.5 lbs. (Medium) off the showroom floor -- I don't know why the reviewer below is quoting 26+. Ride quality and feel. This is very subjective, I know. The Brain works!
Weaknesses: XTR V-Brakes Suck!!! A little sketchy due to steep head angle.
I just finished my second Xterra with this bike and I love it. Yes, this bike rides like a hardtail and is NOT as plush as other full suspension bikes, but that's EXACTLY why I like it. I feel more connected to the bike and the trail with my Epic and this increases my confidence and enjoyment. It climbs better then any other bike I've ridden. Pick a line and it hammers the down hills too. Whether it's a 5 miler or a 25 miler, I don't feel beat up on the trail or at the end of the ride like I did on a hard tail. I haven't had any mechanicals (knock on wood), so I can't comment on the Brain, shock, etc. It you're more than just the casual weekend rider, I think you should buy this bike and leave the 5" travel bikes to freeriders and downhillers.
Similar Products Used: Canondale Prophet, Specialized FSR, Rocky Mtn (didn't like Active Suspension feel)
Bike Setup: Stock with bar ends. First time I haven't spent hundreds of $$ on upgrades. Maybe lighter wheels and disk brakes for next season.
a Cross Country Rider
from solana beach
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2005
Strengths: works as advertised. stable, smooth and fun to ride.
Weaknesses: not sure yet
Coming from over 20 years of hardtail riding(sworks HT, merlin, klein), i have to admit I was reluctant to give up bike response, weight and climbing. after a few rides on the epic, i am very stoked with the purchase. the bike, although a bit heavy is fun to ride. others on this site say that it does not compensate for little bumps. i say it DOES. coming off of a HT, this bike smooths everything out. Also, I am not sure if I am riding my normal route faster as I am losing some control on tighter single track turns. i attribute it to either, faster riding on this bike or, as the bike absorbs some energy with a plusher frnt shock (previously I had a sid) the response is slower and I am not used to it yet. I am stil not used to the feel and the control of the full suspension. the bike is indeed heavier. mine comes in around 26.5 lbs. i am not sure how to drop additional weight? any suggestions? I figure if I keep riding the weight will not matter is it is easier for me to lose 5 lbs than 1 lb on the bike. I would recommned this bike to any old-schooler coming from a HT. The entire ride is more quiet, not as much ratteling, jolting etc... therefore I think the result is increased speed. the climbing? well I have never been a fast hill climber, unless the climb is very technical. So, the jury is sill out on the long fire-road climbs?
Similar Products Used: none, this is my first full suspension
Bike Setup: xtr, thompson sp/ fsa stem, mavic 717, manitor skareb super, monkey lite bars, flight saddle, wtb velociraptor tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Milford PA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2005
Strengths: The Brain Does Work!
Weaknesses: Not as Light as It should be
Good: Climbing & Fast Fire Roads. Bad: Tight Single track, I seem to always be scetched out. Good: Fits like a Glove. Bad: The Paint is Chipping off. Good: The Brain Locks out like it Should. Bad: Not an Active feel at all. No Small Bumb performance.
I have about 10 hours of riding on this bike and I can say I miss my FSR. I miss the soft small bump performance. I think I will Ride it for another month or so and buy something with 120mm of travel that I can Just lock out.
I may look into purchaing a new threshhold adjustable brain shock (500+ Bucks!!!!!!!!).
Don't purchase this bike if your a Full suspension Lover. This is A HARDTAIL!!
Purchased At: Action Outfitters, The Best shop in the poconos
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Super-v 98-00, Cannondale Jekyll 00-02, Trek Fuel 02-04, Specialized FSR PRO 04-05.
Bike Setup: Sram XO Rear der & Shifters, Hays mag plus Hydro Discs, Chrisking Headset, Chrisking Hubs on mavic 717 disc rims, FOX Talas Fork 04, XT Crank,BB, & front der. Thompson Post, Atac carbon pedals, Hutchitson python lites & Stans Tubless kit, Thompson Stem, Easton Monkey lite bar.