Specialized S-Works Epic 29er 29er Full Suspension

DESCRIPTION

At under 22 pounds (10 Kg) this is the lightest full suspension 29er in the world. No-holds-barred design, engineering, materials, construction, and specifications combine to make the Epic the only dual-suspension bike to win the World Championships.

  • FACT IS 11m 29er frame with oversized BB, tapered head tube, and sealed cartridge bearing pivots is incredibly light and stiff, with 100mm of travel - a true race-worthy, full-suspension 29er
  • 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
  • Custom Specialized/RockShox Reba S29 Brain fork features a carbon tapered steerer/crown with rebound and Brain Fade adjustments to dial in the perfect platform for competitive XC bliss
  • New Roval Control SL 29 XC wheelset with carbon rims, OS28 end caps, 142+ spacing, Ti QR, and DT Swiss spokes and internals is insanely stiff, light and durable for greater control and quickness
  • Specialized FACT OSBB carbon crankset with ceramic bearings is paired with a SRAM XX spider and 38/24t 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

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 21  
[Jul 31, 2019]
cjbanks


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Bought to do the Cape Epic in 2015. Has chewed up the miles since. Had a problem with the Brain and forks in first year. Both sorted under warranty without any problems. Since then, no problems other than normal wear and tear. Incredibly rugged and capable bike. Fast on forest trails but equally can soak up boulders and rough terrain. Just finished Appenninica MTB on it. Love the storage. Latest models even lighter

Weakness:

XTR brake lever broke and had to replace with SLX

Price Paid:
£5000
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2014
[Oct 08, 2013]
barry1me

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Fast, Efficient, and Fun....what more can you say. This bike rocks, a lightweight rocket

Weakness:

I wish it was half the cost

no complaints here, everything about this bike is top notch. Very fast, accelerates incredibly

[Aug 18, 2013]
Rich Lee

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light, Fast and predictable. Feels like it is wired directly to your synapses. 1x11 drivetrain is THE ticket for racing, no dropped chains, no missed shifts, no need to decide which chainring to use.

Weakness:

Lower gears may be missed on long steep climbs at high altitudes. Large frame may be too small if you have long legs. Very expensive (Fortunately, the company/team I race for bought mine)

At 57, I am an "old dog", having ridden mountain bikes since my first Ritchey in 1982. I finally started racing last summer on borrowed S-Works 29er's, both HT and Epic. Unless you are racing short-track, gravel roads or races under 1hr, the Epic is 1st choice. The price you pay in weight and (in theory) flexibility is small compared to the benefits of better traction and less fatigue of the Epic. I won my 2nd race last year on a 2012 XTR epic (by over 11min) and was immediately upgraded from Cat-3 to Cat-1. After getting my own 2013 1x11 model this year, it has helped me win 2/4 Cat-1 races, the exceptions were Sea Otter Classic and National Marathon Championships. I don't have much time to train, 5-8hrs a week and this bike makes every second count. It felt no slower than the S-Works HT I raced this year on easy hardpack and climbed better on bumpy ascents. Descents are obviously faster and fatigue was a lot less over 2 hrs of racing.

The 1x11 drivetrain is superb. Having been stuck behind riders who "Schlecked" their chains and/or dropping them on climbs, the benefits are obvious. The lack of super low gears may be missed, and cost me time at Sun Valley Marathon Nationals. However, had I chosen the (supplied) 32t chainring, I might have made the podium. As it was, nearly everyone was walking their bike up the steepest section on the last lap.

I am 5'10" tall with long legs and was surprised to find that I only had 1.5 cm to spare before topping out on the seatpost. With a short back, the XL frame would have been too long. As is, I had to swap the 109mm stem for a 90cm version. For most riding & racing, I run narrower 620 bars (vs the supplied 680's). The Magura MT8 brakes are super light, but require more effort than the new XTR's. The bike comes with 2.0 (520gm) S-Works Fast Track tires, which are excellent all-round. For hard-pack courses, I run with either 1.95 Renegades (470gm) or scary-light & fast Schwalbe Furious Freds (360gm). For steep, technical & rough rides, I run the S-Works Ground Control 2.3s (650gm) and swap over to the 32t ring and wider OEM bar. All my tires are running tubeless with Stans sealant. After my last race, I pulled a dozen thorns out of each tire with no loss of pressure. One advantage of a FS race bike is that you can run lighter tires with less fear of flats. The bike has been flawless with no quirks, annoyances or mechanical issues.

The only problem is since I got the bike, my (tall & leggy) wife has ridden it and insists on riding it any time we are out together on the local trails of the Santa Cruz Mts. in northern CA, which leaves me riding one of our 26er's or a cross bike. She also raced it last week and and wants to continue to do so. She won her first race (Cat-3 45+ women) by almost 6 min and was 2nd overall to a 21 y-o. She plans to race again, which is OK for now since my start is after her class finishes. However, she will likely be moved up to Cat-2, at which point we will need another Epic. The new 2014 World Cup is the obvious choice, if only I could afford it.

Bottom line, If you want just one bike for everything for fast recreational riding, racing at any level (with a good chance it will take you to the next level), marathons or even "Epic" rides like "The Whole Enchilada" in Moab (with 2.3 tires and a higher/wider bar/stem combo), you can't do better than the S-Works Epic 29er.....if you can afford it.

[Jun 24, 2013]
Randy_MtnBykr
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

THE BRAIN!!! I have owned many of the best bikes made. All have some sort of gimmick to minimize pedal bob, For me, the VPP bikes have a spongy feel while cranking. The rocker link bikes are heavy and they have pedal bob. The EPIC is rock solid. The Brain eliminates pedal bob. Each pedal stroke feels solid.

Weakness:

You must spend a couple hours dialing in the Brain. It is not hard, but you will need to dial it in to your weight and riding style. For me, this took about 3 hours. If you do not spend time to dial in the brain, the shock can feel clunky.

I ordered my bike as a frame only - 2013 with a sid brain shock. I built it will full XTR and Industry Nine Wheels. This is the fastest and best bike I have ever owned. I am shaving major time off of every Strava segment that I ride. This is a truly amazing machine. I know it cost a lot of money, but I think it is worth it. I can now hammer fire roads like I am on a rigid bike. I can carve the technical single track at faster speeds. The maneuverability is phenomenal!!!! Purchase this bike if you want to go faster....

Similar Products Used:

I have owned many of the Trek Fuel Products, Ellsworth Evolve & Truth, Intense Tracer & Spider, and a Stumpy Evo R.

[Jan 27, 2013]
Bruce

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I bought my S-Works Epic from a local racer and loved it from the first pedal crank. It brings a whole new world of riding and challenges as you will be riding faster than you are used to and you'll have to learn new skills to handle the speed and stability. I've dropped minutes off of my regular sections and have entered local XC races as well as cyclocross races and moved up in both catetories. Plan on extra time when you ride as you'll be out doing longer rides.....you don't get as tired or fatiged and the miles just keeping stacking up. Since it has everything, no need to add anything....all the components work perfectly and perform exactly as they should (I have the SRAM XX group). Very durable finish on paint and wheels....this is now my all around bike and it handles everything Western Colorado can throw at it. I don't want to have to buy a new bike every two years and by dropping some big coin for the best, I'm good for a long time. The bike is addictive!!

Weakness:

No weaknesses to speak off......you will spend a little more time keeping it clean as something this nice deserves to be detailed and spec'd out after each ride. Might spend more time talking about this bike to other riders as it does attract attention.......as it should. Also, some of your slower riding buddies will be even further behind, as it sets the bar very high.

Overall a super bike. I read about this model in a bike mag, but never dreamed I would have this ride. Sometimes things have a way of working out, and although it is very expensive, it is well worth the extra funding to have the perfect bike.

[Nov 04, 2012]
Mike Scott

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I have had my S-Works Epic 29er for a year. Absolute great ride and the geometry for cross country riding and single track really works for me.

Weakness:

Sram World Cup parts need to be replaced, but done without any problems.

Best that money can buy!! "Be happy"

[Aug 15, 2012]
The Spokes Beast
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I bought the frame on release and loaded it with the new Shimano XTR and Easton Haven Carbon wheels. This bike screams-the harder I push it, the more it want to work for me. As 6'3" tall and 260 pounds, it takes all the power I put into it with the right amount of stiffness and transmission to the drive train. Even at my height with a big frame, I feel stable and confident over a variety of terrains and speeds. On rougher, uneven surfaces (including on a diagonal across the trail), I can sometimes let the bike "find" its own way across while maintaining speed because to the larger wheels and stability. The brain works great, even at my weight.

Weakness:

Occaisonal squeaking at the rear pivot point-usually with sudden increases in power and uneven surfaces. I think it just my weight applied torque.

Unlike a moped-this bike is fun to ride and am happy to have my friends see me too! It works as billed even though my build is different than what originally offered.

[Jun 18, 2012]
Jvanlog

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Low weight, solid geometry, XTR brakes are incredible, BRAIN works

Weakness:

Stock seatpost and saddle a bit heavy for a bike otherwise superlight

I have built up a few bikes, and the the last being an S-Works Stumpjumper HT, and I have always felt that there were things that have not worked well together, but this Epic 29er is incredible. You get the feeling that everything just falls into place and works together in awesome harmony.
The geometry of the bike is perfectly balanced, and even though it is very light, you never get the front wheel lifting during steep climbs, and the rear wheel just stays put on fast descents under braking. The back wheel almost never skids, just perfect control. Even with the big wheels, the bike is very flickable, and you can have a lot of fun on it. The wheels are a major plus. i rode ZTR race before, but these Roval's just keep spinning, keeping speed all the way. The standard tyre options look a bit racy, but I have been very pleasantly suprised at the amount of control they offer, while rolling super fast.
If you only want one bike that you can do everything with, you can't go wrong with the Epic

[May 22, 2012]
chad geisler
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

First thing -- I've never written a review about anything in my life, and I'll be 44 this year. I come from a triathlon background, having competed for years in road tris (ironman, etc) and then morphed to xterra offroad triathlon -- have qualified and competed at highest level (world championships in Maui, regional qualifiers in TX, etc.). I've raced a Turner Nitrous 26, then a Moots YBB 29r, then a Pivot 429. Then, I bit the bullet and bought to SWorks Epic 29r (Roval carbon wheels, full Sram XX). While the rear brain clunks a bit and the BB doesn't have the clearance of my Pivot 429, this rig is unbelievable. It accelerates like a road bike up the trail. I live in Austin Tx and our local trails are super rocky, Tx hill country. The SWorks eats it up on the climbs and accelerates in the descents without losing control in a way that I never felt on the Pivot (a great bike in its own right). Braking on hairy descents is much better than the Pivot, I suppose bc the bike weighs less (22 lbs v. 27 lbs); or maybe it's the geometry -- I really don't care, but it's indescribable. Cornering on tight switchbacks is better, power transfer to the rear end is amazing. I train with a bunch of cat 1-2 knuckleheads and generally bring up the rear on long training days, especially when hammering, This bike has made me faster. No doubt. Much faster. And I've never had a passion for riding created in the way this bike does it for me. Go get one (yes, it's stupid expensive -- I sold 2 road bikes to pull it off and bought gently used).

Weakness:

low BB clearance, clunky rear brain sound, silly price

This is by far the best XC 29er I've ever ridden. Fast, fast, fast. Accelerates both up and down the trail perfectly. Amazing control and handling.

Similar Products Used:

Pivot Mach 429 with full XTR and stans rims/CK hubs

[Apr 17, 2012]
cyclingmagnet

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

A XC specific rig that is designed for speed. When the brain is dialed and you're throwing down, it gives you a rigid platform for standing up on those punchy climbs. The new front fork now gives you the ability to open up the brain manually for longer descents. Fully plush along with the benefits of the 29er wheels.

Weakness:

I think a 15 m front through axle would have been nice and little lighter seat post (nit picking)

I've been an Epic 26 fan for a few years. Now the 29er version gives an added benefit of the big wheels. It's a rigid platform that really shows it's colors when you're riding it hard. Some comments I've heard about the brain that they'd rather have the ability to turn on the suspension for the descents or lock it out for long climbs have been addressed with the new fork. This is a bad ass rig that you get what you pay for.

MTBR Newsletter

Get the latest mountain bike reviews, news, race results, and much more by signing up for the MTBR Newsletter

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.