2021 specialized s-works epic evo
24 Jun 2020

Specialized has jumped all-in with the 2nd generation Epic EVO, which ditches the Brain and brings radical geometry to the world of XC

The not-so-minor details

Product

2021 Specialized S-Works Epic EVO

Contact

Specialized

https://www.specialized.com/

Price

$19,000 AUD

Weight

9.95kg

Positives

- Superbly balanced suspension performance
- Totally up-for-it geometry
- Comfortable all-day riding position
- Stupendously light Roval Control SL wheels
- Dual bottle friendly
- The well-engineered but practical frameset

Negatives

- The mind-boggling price
- Burlier rubber, particularly on the rear, wouldn't go amiss

Wil Reviews The 2021 Specialized Epic EVO

Cast your mind back to 2018. It was the year that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Idris Elba was named People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’, Kanye West visited the White House, and Queer Eye returned to TV. Of course 2018 was also the year when Specialized released the very first Epic EVO. That bike basically took the existing Epic, and pumped it up with a 120mm fork, a dropper post, wider bars and a toothier front tyre. It was a simple but interesting concept, and over the last two years it’s become a popular bike for those riders who wanted an XC bike but weren’t so hellbent on racing.

While there was a lot to like about it, in our experience the original Epic EVO always felt unbalanced. When we reviewed the Epic EVO, we were genuinely surprised with the technical abilities of the bike, but found the Brain shock would always remind you that you were still on a race bike. Sure, you could dial the Brain all the way off, but then what’s the point of having it in the first place?

While there was a lot to like about it, in our experience the original Epic EVO always felt unbalanced.

It would seem that Specialized was listening, because for 2021 there’s an all-new Epic EVO, and this second generation platform shows a much stronger commitment to the concept. For the past month, we’ve been testing both the new Epic and Epic EVO to see what’s changed over their predecessors, how they perform on the trail, and how they compare directly to each other. For a closer look at the Epic race bike, check out our review here. Right now though, we’ll be diving head-first into the EVO – a stupendously fun, fast and agile XC ripper.


Watch our video review of the new 2021 Specialized Epic & Epic EVO here!

  • 0:18 – Intro
  • 1:11 – The 2021 Specialized Epic
  • 1:26 – Frame Construction and Stiffness Improvements
  • 1:52 – New RockShox Rear Shock and Brain
  • 2:10 – New RockShox SID
  • 2:24 – Brain Fade Adjustability
  • 2:42 – Epic Frame Geometry
  • 3:43 – 2021 S-Works Spec Overview
  • 4:48 – The 2021 Specialized Epic EVO
  • 5:24 – Epic EVO Frame & Differences to Regular Epic
  • 6:04 – Epic EVO Frame Geometry
  • 6:41 – Mick Ross and Wil Barrett Discuss the New Epic and Epic EVO
  • 6:53 – The Brain, What is an Inertia Valve, and How Does it Work?
  • 9:05 – Using the Brain Fade and its Five Settings
  • 10:24 – Why is the Brain So Divisive?
  • 12:30 – Wil’s Epic Highlights
  • 17:12 – Wil’s Epic Lowlights
  • 19:21 – Wil’s Epic EVO Highlights
  • 24:05 – Wil’s Epic EVO Lowlights
  • 26:19 – Mick and Wil’s Picks
  • 28:03 – Flow’s Verdict
2021 specialized s-works epic evo
The Epic EVO gets a whole new purpose and personality for 2021.
2021 specialized epic evo s-works mick canberra
We’ve been testing both the Epic and Epic EVO for the past month, Mick took to the EVO like a duck to water!

Adios El Braino!

That’s right folks, the big news with the new Epic EVO is that it has ditched the Brain altogether, helping to further distinguish it from its race-focused sibling. The chassis is very similar, and indeed the mainframe is identical between the two bikes. However, the EVO gets its own unique back end that is free of any Brain-related paraphernalia. We’re told the swingarm is a little stiffer and offers a touch more tyre clearance too.

Like the original Epic EVO, the new model has a 120mm fork plugged in up front. It has been lifted at the back slightly though, with 110mm of rear wheel travel courtesy of a standard metric-sized RockShox SIDLuxe shock. The shock still mounts underneath the top tube, but here it’s driven by a composite yoke and alloy rocker link in a configuration that’s been inspired by the longer travel Stumpjumper. As for kinematics, Specialized has given the EVO a higher leverage ratio with a more progressive spring curve. Along with the bigger bottom-out bumper in the SIDLuxe shock, the EVO is designed to offer a more supple feel to the suspension with better support on the bigger, harder hits.

Like the original Epic EVO, the new model has a 120mm fork plugged in up front. It has been lifted at the back slightly though, with 110mm of rear wheel travel courtesy of a standard metric-sized RockShox SIDLuxe shock.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works
The EVO uses a one-piece carbon swingarm like the standard Epic, but it skips the Brain shock and inertia valve.

XC Unleashed

Geometry is fairly similar between the two bikes, though the longer fork does lift the BB and kick the angles back a bit. That means the EVO has a seriously slack 66.5° head angle, which is aggro trail-bike territory for a lot of brands. Compare that to the head angle on the Trek Top Fuel (68°) and the Norco Revolver 120 (67.4°) – two XC bikes with similar travel and intentions.

Of course the seat tube angle also slackens by a degree too. But whereas the Epic comes with a 10mm offset rigid seatpost, the EVO gets a 0mm offset dropper post, so the effective seat angle isn’t hugely different.

You can always tweak the geometry using a flip chip in the lower shock mount though. The EVO comes set in the Low position, but flipping it into the High position will lift the BB by 6mm and steepen the angles by half a degree.

Every EVO model and size is built around a 60mm stem, which is to keep the steering consistent regardless of rider height. As with the regular Epic, each EVO comes with 750-760mm wide bars.

2021 specialized epic evo geometry
2021 Specialized Epic EVO frame geometry.
2021 specialized epic evo s-works
Specialized has equipped the EVO with a 120mm RockShox SID fork, 760mm wide bars and a stubbier 60mm stem.

The Lightest Frame On The Market?

Because the EVO no longer uses the Brain shock and damper, it is now actually lighter than the regular Epic by around 200g. Claimed weight for the S-Works Epic EVO frame is a frankly staggering 1,659g – that’s with the rear shock, thru-axle, hanger and hardware. Dang! As far as we can tell, that makes this the lightest full suspension frame currently on the market.

Claimed weight for the S-Works Epic EVO frame is a frankly staggering 1,659g – that’s with the rear shock, thru-axle, hanger and hardware. Dang!

The Epic EVO will only be made in carbon to begin with, and there will be two different levels available. the S-Works frame is built from premium FACT 12m carbon fibre, while all other models use FACT 11m carbon. The frame shape, tube profiles, geometry, and suspension design are identical between the two, the cheaper FACT 11m frame is just a wee bit heavier – 1,757g according to Specialized. If that claimed weight figure is accurate, that means it’s still lighter than the Scott Spark RC.

Specialized hasn’t forgone all practicalities on the EVO frame though. You’ll find a good ol’ fashioned threaded BB shell, sealed pivot bearings, a ribbed chainstay protector, and there’s room for two bottles inside the mainframe. Like the Epic, the EVO also gets the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH), which we’ve seen adopted by the likes of Trek and Santa Cruz. Less derailleur hangers in the world can only be a good thing.

Like the Epic, the EVO also gets the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH), which we’ve seen adopted by the likes of Trek and Santa Cruz. Less derailleur hangers in the world can only be a good thing.

The 2021 Specialized Epic EVO Lineup

There are four Epic EVO models coming to Australia this year, with prices kicking off at $6,700 AUD for the Epic EVO Comp. Regardless of price, all models are equipped with a 120mm travel reduced-offset fork, a dropper post, four-piston disc brakes, and 2.3in tyres.
New for 2021 is the addition of an Extra Small frame size. However, only the Epic EVO Expert will be available in Australia in the XS size. Otherwise it’s Small through to X-Large for everything else.

2021 specialized epic evo sworks
The flagship S-Works model, which weighs in at less than 10kg. Yikes!

2021 Specialized Epic EVO S-Works

  • Frame | FACT 12m Carbon Fibre, Single Pivot Suspension Design, 110mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox SID Ultimate, Brain Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox SID Luxe, 190x40mm
  • Wheels | Roval Control SL, DT Swiss 180 Hub Internals, 29mm Inner Rim Width
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Fast Trak 2.3in Rear, Control Casing
  • Drivetrain | SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 1×12 w/XX1 32T Carbon Crankset & XG1299 10-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM G2 Ultimate
  • Bar | S-Works Carbon XC Mini-Rise, 10mm Rise, 760mm Width
  • Stem | S-Works SL, Alloy, Titanium Bolts, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, 60mm Length
  • Seatpost | RockShox Reverb AXS, 30.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L/XL)
  • Available Sizes | Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
  • RRP | $19,000 AUD
2021 specialized epic evo pro
If you don’t mind cables, the Epic EVO Pro lobs off over $5K off the price tag but still comes with Fox Factory suspension and XTR. What a looker!

2021 Specialized Epic EVO Pro

  • Frame | FACT 11m Carbon Fibre, Single Pivot Suspension Design, 110mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Step-Cast, Factory Series, FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DPS, Factory Series, 190x40mm
  • Wheels | Roval Control Carbon, DT Swiss 350 Hub Internals, 25mm Inner Rim Width
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Fast Trak 2.3in Rear, Control Casing
  • Drivetrain | Shimano XTR 1×12 w/XTR 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR 4-Piston
  • Bar | S-Works Carbon XC Mini-Rise, 10mm Rise, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Specialized XC, 3D-Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, 60mm Length
  • Seatpost | Fox Transfer, 30.9mm Diameter, Travel: 125-150mm
  • Available Sizes | Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
  • RRP | $13,500 AUD
2021 specialized epic evo expert
The Epic EVO Expert gets the new RockShox SID fork and SIDLuxe shock, along with SRAM X01 shifting and carbon Roval wheels.

2021 Specialized Epic EVO Expert

  • Frame | FACT 11m Carbon Fibre, Single Pivot Suspension Design, 110mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox SID Select+, Charger 2 RL Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox SID Luxe Select+, 190x40mm
  • Wheels | Roval Control Carbon, DT Swiss 350 Hub Internals, 25mm Inner Rim Width
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Fast Trak 2.3in Rear, Control Casing
  • Drivetrain | SRAM X01 1×12 w/X1 32T Crankset & 10-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | SRAM G2 RS 4-Piston
  • Bar | Specialized Alloy Mini-Rise, 10mm Rise, 750mm Width
  • Stem | Specialized XC, 3D-Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, 60mm Length
  • Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic, 30.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (XS/S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L/XL)
  • Available Sizes | X-Small, Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
  • RRP | $9,500 AUD
2021 specialized epic evo comp
Utilising the same FACT 11m carbon frame as the Epic EVO Pro, the Comp is the entry-point into the Epic EVO world.

2021 Specialized Epic EVO Comp

  • Frame | FACT 11m Carbon Fibre, Single Pivot Suspension Design, 110mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox SID Select+, Charger 2 RL Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Deluxe Select+, 190x40mm
  • Wheels | Shimano MT400/510 Hubs & Specialized Alloy Rims, 25mm Inner Rim Width
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Fast Trak 2.3in Rear, Control Casing
  • Drivetrain | Shimano SLX 1×12 w/SLX 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano SLX 4-Piston
  • Bar | Specialized Alloy Mini-Rise, 10mm Rise, 750mm Width
  • Stem | Specialized XC, 3D-Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, 60mm Length
  • Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic, 30.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (XS/S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L/XL)
  • Available Sizes | Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
  • RRP | $6,700 AUD
2021 specialized epic evo s-works mick canberra
Just like Mick, the Epic EVO has a fun-loving attitude, far away from the serious vibe of a strict XC race bike.

Testing The Epic EVO

Without a Brain to worry about, setting up the Epic EVO is made a few steps easier – particularly with the anodised sag gradients on the fork and shock. It was even easier for me, as I’ve already spent a load of time on the new RockShox SID – a bloody marvellous fork. I’ve found the recommend pressures on the setup guide to be spot-on, and I have the rebound set just one click faster than halfway (11/20 clicks).

2021 specialized epic evo s-works rockshox sid ultimate
The new SID fork offers much smoother performance and it’s a lot more progressive too.

As for the shock, Specialized recommends running 27% sag. To support my 68kg riding weight, I settled on 185psi inside the SIDLuxe shock. There’s a single volume spacer inside the shock, and you have the option to remove it for a more linear feel, or you can add a second spacer to increase progression.

In the spirit of weight savings, RockShox built the SIDLuxe without an external rebound dial – you’ll need to use a 2.5mm hex key to adjust the rebound speed. Very cleverly though, the fork’s rebound adjuster is essentially a 2.5mm L-handle hex key, so you can just tug that out to adjust the shock. On the EVO, I set rebound damping halfway (5/10 clicks).

Very cleverly though, the fork’s rebound adjuster is essentially a 2.5mm L-handle hex key, so you can just tug that out to adjust the shock.

Wicked Welterweight

With our test bike being the all-singing and all-dancing S-Works model, it’s about as trick as you can possibly get. Since nearly everything is made from carbon fibre, it is of course exceedingly light – 9.95kg on our scales with the tyres setup tubeless. That’s barely half a kilo more than the S-Works Epic, but on this bike you’re getting a 120mm fork and a dropper post.

Helping on the gram front, the S-Works Epic EVO gets the new Roval Control SL wheels. These feature DT Swiss 180 hub internals, 24 spokes front and rear, along with a new carbon fibre rim profile that measures 29mm wide internally. You’ll spot an external ridge that runs around the rim circumference, which is due to the 4mm hookless beads – a technique Roval has employed to boost impact strength and reduce the chance of pinch-flatting. Even with those big rims, the Control SL wheelset is head-scratchingly light – 1,278g on our scales (without valves but with tape). That’s lighter than most road wheels!

roval control sl 2021 specialized epic evo s-works
Roval’s new Control SL wheels feature DT Swiss 180 hub internals, with SINC ceramic cartridge bearings and a 54T Ratchet EXP freehub mechanism.
roval control sl carbon wheels 2021 specialized epic evo s-works sidluxe shock
The new rims get 4mm wide ‘FlatTop’ beads, which you can see via a ridge that runs around the outside of the rim.

The gumwall tyres on the EVO are meant to have the same reinforced casing as the tyres on the standard Epic, but they feel flimsier in the hand. I weighed the Ground Control at 783g, and the Fast Trak at 673g, the latter of which is nearly 100g lighter than the Fast Traks that come on the Epic. Odd.

I did manage to put a few nicks into the sidewall of the rear tyre, one of which has been repaired with a Dynaplug. If this were my bike, I’d definitely look at more robust rubber, particularly given how fast and hard this bike is capable of being ridden. The stock tyres are very speedy though. Worth noting is that there’s decent mud clearance in the back – Specialized doesn’t recommend going any wider than 2.3in, but I suspect that’s being conservative.

I did manage to put a few nicks into the sidewall of the rear tyre, one of which has been repaired with a Dynaplug. If this were my bike, I’d definitely look at more robust rubber, particularly given how fast and hard this bike is capable of being ridden.

Pop, Rock ‘n’ Roll

Straight-up, this bike is just a total barrel of laughs to ride. I’ve honestly never ridden anything that packs this kind of geometry into such a light, tight and short-travel package, and the result is 100% full-gas fun. It’s still an XC bike for sure, but the slackened front end and active suspension gives it a whole lot of attitude.
Both the fork and shock offer a vastly smoother feel compared to the regular Epic, and unlike the old EVO, the suspension is beautifully balanced front and rear.

There’s useful progression too, even with that tiny SIDLuxe shock, which means the EVO has a real poppy vibe about it. If you’re a fan of manuals, boosting imaginary lips and sending the rear wheel out sideways at every conceivable opportunity, consider the EVO the naughty devil on your shoulder.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works mick canberra
If you enjoy getting your wheels off the ground, the Epic EVO will be more than happy to go with you.
2021 specialized epic evo s-works mick canberra
The supple suspension and well-balanced geometry keeps the EVO seeking out traction through the turns.

When dancing through technical cross-country singletrack, the EVO is an incredibly easy bike to place. It’s light and whippy, and that makes it plenty willing to change direction. While it may have a longer wheelbase compared to the regular Epic, the shorter stem and dropper post makes it more intuitive to throw about through the turns. Along with the well-damped wheels and sensitive suspension, it offers excellent traction.

The front end feels solid too. The 35mm SID chassis inspires loads of confidence, encouraging you to enter rock gardens with more speed, and for the most part the rear will follow. Ultimately you’ve only got 110mm of travel out back though, and fast, repeat hits will reveal the associated limitations there.

It may be within 10mm of travel of the Stumpjumper ST, but it doesn’t feel as stout as its bigger brother, particularly on bigger impacts. In general, the Epic EVO prefers to skip and glance its way over the chunder rather than ploughing right through it. Approach it as more of a precision instrument rather than a blunt tool though, and you’ll be able to maximise the EVO’s speed and momentum on a wide range of trail types.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works mick canberra
Being so light and whippy, the EVO changes direction willingly.

Racing Comfort

Compared to the Epic, the EVO brings a slightly more upright trail-riding position to the party. The effective reach is a little shorter, and the stack is also a touch higher due to the longer fork. We’ve been riding a medium in both bikes, and that’s suited both Mick (178cm) and myself (175cm) well. There are certainly no complaints from our end on frame sizing.

For longer rides, the EVO’s more relaxed riding position and supple suspension makes it a thoroughly comfortable bike to ride. It may not have the stompable efficiency of the Brain-equipped Epic, but it’s actually the bike we would choose to race a 100km marathon or multi-day stage race like the Port to Port. When fatigue starts to kick in on those longer rides or races, it’s an easier bike to ride, particularly when things get technical.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works canberra mick
It doesn’t have the same powerful sprinting platform that the Brain-equipped Epic has, but it’s still an efficient pedalling bike.
2021 specialized epic evo s-works canberra kangaroo mick
The EVO is more about stopping and saying hello to the ‘roos.

The EVO still pedals very well though, even without the Brain. It has slightly more anti-squat than the regular Epic, and providing you stay seated, there isn’t a whole lot of shock movement. As for on-the-fly adjustability, the fork and shock only have two positions – open or locked. The lockout is pretty darn firm, and with both locked out, it’s actually more rigid than the regular Epic.

Worth noting is that the EVO frame is also remote compatible. So if you did find yourself signing up to a few more events on the calendar than you first anticipated, you could always look at adding a remote lockout for the fork and shock. It does feel a bit weird recommending such a thing for a bike with Epic in its name, but it would surely boost this bike’s racing credentials. Add in the adjustable geometry and dual bottle capability, and the EVO presents itself as a compellingly versatile option for the vast majority of XC riders out there.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works
You can fit two bottles inside the EVO’s mainframe, and it’s also remote lockout compatible.

Component Highs & Lows

Specialized has done a stellar job spec’ing out this bike with a well-rounded package that strikes a magic balance between svelte and sendy. In particular, the RockShox suspension is absolutely superb, and is a big step-up over the brand’s previous XC offerings.

The SRAM G2 brakes have also been top-notch, with noticeably more power than the two-piston Level brakes on the Epic. The bite point is nice and solid, and it’s possible to set them up with a shorter lever throw thanks to the adjustable pad contact dial. Given the sort of trouble that you can easily find yourself in aboard the EVO, the added grunt from the G2 brakes is very much welcome.

Given the sort of trouble that you can easily find yourself in aboard the EVO, the added grunt from the G2 brakes is very much welcome.

Like many others, I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the Reverb AXS dropper post. The action is light and responsive, and I love how little thumb force is required to activate the controller, especially compared to the heavy lever throw on the standard Reverb’s hydraulic 1X lever. The post on our test bike did develop a few millimetres of squish towards the end of the test, but that’s now easy to rectify with the Vent Valve tool. It is on the plump side for a dropper – including the remote you’re looking at 672g worth of uppy-downy seatpost.

The finishing kit on the S-Works EVO is otherwise all top quality stuff, including the Power saddle which is super-light (159g) and mighty comfy. I also really like the SWAT Conceal Carry tool that’s stowed inside the fork’s steerer tube, which gives you quick access to a compact multi-tool when you need it.

The finishing kit on the S-Works EVO is otherwise all top quality stuff, including the Power saddle which is super-light (159g) and mighty comfy.

That’s Some Serious Coin! Is It Worth It?

This is a question we’ve been pondering on the S-Works Epic and the S-Works Epic EVO, both of which come with a headline-busting sticker price of $19,000 AUD. That’s an incredible number any which way you look at it, especially when we’re not talking about e-MTBs here. And it’s worth pointing out that for the Epic EVO specifically, it also represents a-not-insignificant $5,000 jump over the outgoing model. Ooph!

Ultimately we’re not here to determine a bike’s overall worth – that’s for you, and you only to decide. What we can say though, is that Specialized has certainly made the prices of the cheaper Epic EVO models look a whole lot more appealing. Even the Pro, with its XTR groupset and Fox Factory suspension, looks like comparatively good value at $13,500 AUD. And of course you can still slide your way into EVO-land with the $6,700 Epic EVO Comp.

While we’re on the topic though, we would love to see an alloy model added to the line to help lower the point of entry further. Given that Specialized has had the alloy Epic EVO Comp in its lineup for the past two years, I suspect it won’t be long before we see a metal version of the new EVO.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works
While they both have ‘Epic’ in their names, the ride is very different between the two.

Epic EVO vs Epic

The other question some riders will be asking themselves is whether they should go for the Epic or the Epic EVO. That’s a discussion we’ve gone into some detail in the video review, so be sure to check that out here.

In summary though, it really comes down to how seriously you want to take your racing, and what kind of racing you’re doing. For short-track XCO events, there really is nothing quite like the Epic. With 100mm of travel and its automated lockout system, it’s the purists’ race bike. There’s something thoroughly addictive about the Brain’s strong pedalling platform, and it really does encourage you to attack the trail. That does make it a pretty exhausting bike to ride though, especially if you’re off your game. It’s not as comfortable, and if you’re not riding it with sufficient aggression, you’ll encounter a bumpier and less forgiving ride.

For those of us who don’t wake up with yoga and a cup of celery juice every morning, the EVO is without doubt the more comfortable and more practical option of the two. It may not have the same sprinting-platform that the regular Epic has, but the added comfort comes into its own the longer the ride or event. Add in its superb handling and technical proficiency, and I’d say most riders would make up more time on the descents and technical sections, compared to anything they’d lose on the climbs over the regular Epic.

2021 specialized epic evo s-works
With its more conventional suspension design, the Epic EVO is more versatile than the regular Epic.

Flow’s Verdict

By ditching the Brain and pushing the needle on its geometry, Specialized has finally unlocked the potential that was always lurking within the Epic EVO. The suspension is now properly balanced front and rear, offering more comfort, more traction and greater control on technical singletrack.

What’s most impressive about the new Epic EVO is how effectively it blurs the boundaries between XC and trail. It has great high-speed geometry, but it’s still agile, poppy and efficient. It’s very much a speedy XC bike at heart, but one that’s been freed from the shackles of twitchy handling and unforgiving suspension. Not only does that make it a unique proposition amongst all the other XC and marathon race bikes out there, it also makes it a whole load more fun.

To see what things are like on the sharper end of the stick, check out our detailed review of the new race-focussed Epic here. And as always, be sure tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

2021 specialized epic evo s-works mick canberra
The Epic EVO stands as one of the most fun XC bikes we’ve ever tested. This thing is an absolute hoot!

Mo’ Flow Please!

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