2018 Specialized Epic Expert
Race courses have evolved over the past few years. They're more technical, steeper, and simply more challenging to ride. Specialized looked at the sum of parts that make a bike handle well, like the head angle, reach, stack, chainstay length, fork offset, etc., and reevaluated all of it. Increasing the reach made a bike that was more stable at speed and generally more comfortable to ride. Dropper posts? Yep, those fit, and not just a short-travel XC option, but full-length droppers that fit in the 30.9mm seat tube. Head angle? We slacked that out, but not without evaluating the overall handling package. It now lands on a custom offset, 42mm fork that works with the slacker head angle in order to behave itself in tight corners and through switchbacks.
Next comes the redesigned Brain technology, Brain 2.0. The Brain changed the way the bike world looked at suspension, both its inefficiencies and benefits alike. And oh was it good. It won races and put a flag in the ground for Specialized as a true leader in innovation and suspension development, but they knew that it could be made better. Simple physics showed that, by moving the Brain closer to the rear axle, it would be in the most sensitive spot. And after countless hours with the RockShox team, the new Brain became more than just a slight upgrade. It's totally new. Now, it reacts seamlessly to bump forces, it has much more consistent damping performance, and finally, it integrates the hoses into the suspension links. This, in turn, improves oil paths, and it creates an incredibly sleek package that outperforms anything on the market.
The new Epic also gets a serious upgrade in the stiffness department. The Rider-First Engineered™ tubes place complex carbon pieces in all the right places, which greatly increases stiffness in the front end for a vast improvement in ride quality and control. To go along with this, each frame size has size-specific tubes that result in the stiffest, best riding XC bike we've ever developed—no matter the frame size.
2018 Epic Expert Specs:
- Frame: Specialized FACT 11m, full carbon frame, XC Geometry, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 100mm of travel
- Shifter, Cassette, Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle, trigger, 12-speed
- Chainring: Alloy Eagle 32T
- Crankset: Truvativ Stylo, 6K alloy, Boost™ 148, 24mm spindle
- Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP
- Wheels: Roval Control Carbon, 22mm internal width, tubeless-ready Rims (32h); Hubs - Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings
- Fork: RockShox SID 29 w/ Brain, tapered alloy steerer, bottom-adjust Brain Fade, Solo Air, 110x15mm Maxle® Stealth thru-axle, 100mm of travel, 42mm offset
- Shock: RockShox/Specialized Micro Brain shock w/ Spike Valve, AUTOSAG, 51x257mm
- Seatpost: Specialized, alloy, single bolt, 21mm offset, 30.9mm