Specialized Pumps Up The Epic With The New 2019 Epic EVO

by Wil Barrett 0

Specialized overhauled the Epic lineup around this time last year, dropping the horst link FSR pivot and a whole load of weight in the process. A new, refined Brain shock and damper joined the party, as did refreshed geometry and a shorter 44mm fork offset that helped to calm down the Epic’s previously jittery handling. As I found in my review of the 2018 Epic Expert, it’s a totally different beast.

In typical UK bike journo fashion though, I found myself lamenting the lack of a dropper post and aggressive tyres. And given how good the Epic’s handling is, I wondered what it might feel like with a bit more travel up front. It certainly felt ready to go faster.

Looks like Specialized has been listening to similar feedback, because for 2019, it’s releasing a new EVO version of the Epic.

specialized epic evo
XC riders wanna have fun too right?

Specialized’s general idea with an EVO model is to take an existing bike, then pump up the spec in a few key areas to create a more rowdy-ready bike. In the case of the Epic, there are four main points of difference over the regular Epic;

  1. Longer fork: 120mm travel, up from 100mm
  2. Wider bars: 750mm up from 720mm
  3. Dropper posts: 100-125mm travel depending on size
  4. Bigger tyres: 2.3in wide Ground Control & Fast Trak combo

The frame itself is the same, as is the Micro Brain rear shock and 100mm of rear suspension travel. The longer 120mm fork (up from 100mm), kicks the angles back a bit, while bigger 2.3in wide tyres should offer more traction and comfort on chunky trails. Add in a party-post and wider handlebars, and you’ve just ticked off four items from our guide on how to add more confidence to your XC bike.

specialized epic evo
The 2019 Epic EVO comes with a beefier 120mm travel fork bolted to the same lightweight 100mm travel frame.

Given that many riders will make these sorts of changes to their XC bike over time, the fact that the Epic EVO comes with this kind of setup out of the box could make it a whole lot more appealing than the regular model.

There will be two Epic EVO models available in 2019 – the Comp and the Expert. The Expert uses the same FACT 11m carbon fibre frame as the current Epic models, but the Comp gets a brand new M5 alloy frame, making it the only alloy Epic model – EVO or otherwise. Read on for the key features for the new EVO, along with specs and UK pricing.

2019 Specialized Epic EVO Features

  • Carbon fibre & alloy frame options
  • Single pivot suspension design
  • RockShox Micro Brain rear shock with Brain 2.0 damper
  • 100mm rear travel
  • 120mm travel fork w/44mm offset
  • 68.5° head angle
  • 73.8° seat angle
  • 438mm chainstay length
  • English threaded bottom bracket
  • 148x12mm rear axle spacing
speicalized epic evo handlebars
750mm bars for added control.
specialized epic evo fork fox 34
The Expert comes with a Fox 34 Step-Cast fork, which is an ideal choice for this type of aggro XC bike.
roval control carbon
Higher volume tyres for more traction and comfort.
specialized epic comp evo
The Comp is the only alloy Epic for 2019.

2019 Specialized Epic Comp EVO

  • Frame // M5 Alloy, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Reba SL, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Micro Brain
  • Wheels // Roval Control Alloy, 25mm Internal Width
  • Tyres // Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Fast Trak GRID 2.3in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM NX Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes // SRAM Level TL
  • Post // X-Fusion Manic, 30.9mm, 100mm (Small), 125mm (Medium, Large, X-Large)
  • Price // £2,750
specialized epic expert evo
Both the Comp and Expert models come standard with an X-Fusion Manic dropper post.

2019 Specialized Epic Expert EVO

  • Frame // FACT 11m Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox 34 Step-Cast, Performance Series, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Micro Brain
  • Wheels // Roval Control Carbon, 25mm Internal Width
  • Tyres // Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Fast Trak GRID 2.3in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM GX Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes // SRAM Level TL
  • Post // X-Fusion Manic, 30.9mm, 100mm (Small), 125mm (Medium, Large, X-Large)
  • Price // £5,000

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