Yes-- this is following the "we won't sell 29ers" line of thinking to a tee. Looking at the tires they've released, its quite a range of applications.Then again, they did start selling 27.5 tires recently...
Don't forget the Scott Spark 27.5 which is the bike I want...I will probably settle for a Fezzari or Anthem 27.5 though (price).Rumor has it...Stumpjumper FSR 27.5 is on the way. I'd love a an Epic 27.5.... Just not sure they will make it. The only pure XC 27.5 that I've seen is the Giant Anthem.
JCL - I don't think this is true. While 29" may be faster for XC, many XC riders prefer 27.5 ... including the current word champ Nino Schurter who won his 12th World Cup this weekend on a Scott 27.5 race bike.It's an XC race bike. 29" is the correct size.
As others have pointed out, in light of Schurter and Neff winning on 650B, this seems a pretty uninformed statement.It's an XC race bike. 29" is the correct size.
Neff and Schurter are great riders and would still win if they used 29er bikes from Specialized.As others have pointed out, in light of Schurter and Neff winning on 650B, this seems a pretty uninformed statement.
Specialized wants to be the best of the best. They will surely release 27,5" Epics when the 27,5" Epics are better than their competitors' bikes.On Specialized and 650B:
If I recall correctly, Specialized has been a late adopter of 29ers, as well. When they had finally convinced themselves of the benefits (and market potential) and after they dialed the geometry, they went "all in" on 29ers. For some time, they have tried to sell a 29er to every customer, no matter what the person's height and riding style was (except for downhill). I think their strong position in 29ers is one of the reasons why they neglected the 650B trend for so long: With 650B being so close to 26", it offered little benefit for a company trying to sell (mostly) 29ers. As it turned out, marketing was successful in making customers perceive 650B as a middle "tweener" size, a goldilocks choice and a go-to size for those undecided between 26" and 29er.
With that much market share moving to 650B, Specialized was forced to react. For 2015, they are offering 650B in the downhill, enduro / all mountain and trail bike categories. They are also offering a 650B entry level hard tail.
I expect they will be offering 650B in XC soon. They might start with an Era or another women-specific model, but eventually, we might see 650B in mens' XC models, as well.