Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2014 Specialized Epic Gets Tweaks to Boost Performance

2014 Specialized Epic: Fast, Firm, Aggressive 29er Geometry and Exceptional Components

The big change is a frame that's laterally stiffer and about .5 lbs lighter. The new carbon frame has lighter, more optimized materials yet thick chain stays to provide lateral stiffness. The seat post is now 27.2mm in diameter to save weight and make room for the brain shock cable that is fed in between the seat tube and the moving seat stays.

The cable routing is now internal. This is a big diversion for Specialized as they've stayed the course with their neatly organized external cable routing. Their old system tucked the cables under the down tube in a very organized manner and it worked well when set up properly. Specialized has designed a big port hole for the now internally routed cables and seals them off with big caps that guide the cable out of the frame. Inside, they house the cables in a foam 'noodle' material that prevents any kind of rattling noise inside the frame.

The latest Brain Shock still strives to lock out during pedaling and activate during trail bumps, but it is now smoother than ever during this transition.

The Epic World Cup is exclusively available with 1x drivetrains. In the case of the top shelf S-Works version, that means SRAM's XX1 group. The shifts are smooth and crisp, it is practically silent, and the unique 10-42T cassette provides more than enough range for the intended purpose.

Specialized pairs that awesome drivetrain with Magura MT8 hydraulic disc brakes, complete with their trick molded carbon composite brake lever bodies and calipers. The lightweight, 22mm-wide carbon fiber rims are quick to accelerate and reasonably stiff under hard cornering, lending a secure feel even when aggressively attacking smaller berms - helped further by the new 15-mm front thru-axle.

Specialized has used the Epic to roll out its new SWAT line of product, which will have benefits for both mountain and road cyclist. The acronym stands for "Storage, Water, Air, Tools," and refers to several on-bike storage options.

On the carbon frames, there's a sleeve that holds a specially shaped multi tool. On aluminum frames, the tool fits into a holder under the downtube-mounted bottle cage. There's also an 11-speed compatible chain tool, and storage for a spare link, which hides under the headset's pre-load cap.

SWAT also includes a removable flat repair pod that sits below the water bottle on the downtube. The small plastic box has enough room for a spare tube, tire lever, C02 inflator, and a cartridge. The whole thing bolts to a Specialized Zee water bottle cage and is secured by a third riv-nut on the down tube.

All new Epic models are compatible with the SWAT system, but only the highest end bikes come with the kit stock.

For 2014 Specialized has updated the bike's suspension by slightly reducing the leverage ratio, flattening the shock rate a bit, and revising the dampers shim stack. These changes make the locked-to-open transition smoother, the end of a stroke a bit more progressive, and the ride a bit more sensitive when open.

Beyond the suspension tune, Specialized made the shock's reservoir about 25 percent smaller to save weight. They have also revised the hose (it is more durable) and reduced the number of settings in the BRAIN threshold adjuster to five, to make it easier to balance the front to rear feel of the suspension.

There is so much more to be said about the 2014 Specialized Epic, and many more reviews to come. Why don't you come by The Spoke Shop and check out the great Specialized 2014 model year bikes!

The Spoke Shop
1910 Broadwater Ave. Billings, MT

Ben SteinerAbout Me
Favorite local ride? Around the block with my kids. Your first bike? 24" Blue Giant Rincon, The good old days Favorite accomplishment on a bike? Anytime I get to ride my bike.
Add my to your circles.

1 comment:

  1. With the introduction of latest technology to manufacturer cycles the performance has increased up-to a remarkable levels but you must ensure the proper maintenance of cycle to perform better at events.

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