Specialized have a magnificent cross-country race bike with the latest version of the Epic. But you can't race every day, and so in a bid to broaden the Epic's appeal, they've now got an Evo version too, with a longer travel fork, dropper post and meatier rubber. But does it successfully bridge the gap between race and play?
The not-so-minor details
Specialized Epic Expert EVO
Magnificent build quality.
Trademark Epic efficiency.
Top marks for overal singletrack handling.
Stiff, precise frame and wheels.
Brain shock not ideal for trail riding in some regards.
Some components are a bit low-end for this price.
The Epic’s reputation for relentless XC performance is legendary. With the Brain shock out back delivering superb pedalling efficiency, it’s real race rocket. But because of this uncompromising suspension arrangement, it’s never been a very friendly bike away from the race track.
Watch our video review below!
With the EVO version, Specialized are hoping to capitalise on the latest Epic’s more relaxed geometry and stiff frame construction, and expand the bike’s appeal a little. Have they succeeded? Yes, and no.
While we were genuinely surprised with the confidence and technical abilities of this bike, the Brain shock is always there reminding you that this is really a race bike at the end of the day. Sure, you can dial the Brain all the way off, but then what’s the point?
As we explain in our video review, the best way we can describe this bike, is as a race bike for when you’re not racing.