Product Review | Specialized Epic Evo
This is THE best mountain bike I’ve ever owned for my style of riding. Yup, I said that. After many friends got their hands on the latest Epic Evo and were saying the same thing, I knew I had to give it a go. E-N-T-E-R the great bike shortage of 2021-22. After months (6!) of waiting. I decided I had to go outside local channels searching high and low for this ride. Being without a MTB for that long is not good for my state of mind. I finally landed one! This bike has re-energized my love for mountain biking. WARNING – you might not ride your other bikes for months! After dialing in the suspension and knocking off the rust of not having a MTB for 6 months, I was finally ready to hit the fall riding season full of confidence and excited to elevate my technical skills. Read on! – Product Review | Specialized Epic Evo –
KEY THINGS THAT STANDOUT
It’s really a combination of several things that makes this such a rad balanced XC/Trail bike. For starters the rear shock moves from 100mm to 110mm of travel and moves away from the Brain shock. The move to 110 doesn’t sound like much but I can assure you it will handle the vast majority of the Oz Trails system. Our local trails have become increasingly more technical (overnight!) and the lines are blurred on every ride, the 110mm is a welcomed change. The front end has 120mm of travel which is plenty for my style of riding. The combo of geometry and suspension makes this bike incredibly balanced and efficient. Climbing is a dream and the plushness (based on how it’s tuned) instills confidence and excitement on the downs. If you are looking for a bike to master the OZ Trails this is it.
So well balanced from head to toe. The trail smart suspension has lifted my MTB game. While cross country is my preferred “style” of riding I’m now jumping more and eager to tackle more technical stuff. I’m becoming a more well rounded rider.
Roval wheels are the main reason I purchased the Expert level. They are light and spin up quick. They come tubeless ready! Teamed up with Specialized Ground Control tire up front and Fast Trak on the rear it would be hard pressed to find a better wheelset/tire combo for the price. Oh, they also come with a lifetime warranty (for original owner). BOOM!!!
Specialized tire game is strong. And the Ground Control (left) is a great all around choice. Normally I would throw a Ground Control on the rear as well but decided to leave the Fast Trak (right) on. I like the way the Fast Trak spins up compared to the Ground Control. I think the only hang up is it wears a little quicker and would need to be replaced more often to maximize traction. If you are riding the trails up in Bella Vista a ton I’d recommend a Ground Control for the rear. A little beefier tire to prevent flats.
While I do not like the added weight droppers bring, Oz Trails have increasingly become more technical in a variety of ways. Droppers are really nice to have these days. Another feature that brings balance to this bike.
The drivetrain has handled everything I could throw at it the last 6 months. No complaints here. Also love the internal cable routing.
I was told this Epic Evo was not SWAT Box compatible but was able to get one on. The SWAT Box is great! No saddle bag needed. No tube/air/multi-tool filling up your pockets. Also I like getting the weight of these items closer to the bottom bracket. Note the multi-tool tucked away underneath the seat tube bottle cage. Brilliant!
HOW IT RIDES
Never thought I could be this inspired by a new bike. It has opened the door to a new level of riding for me. I find myself excited to take my skillset beyond where I’ve been. It is so fun to ride and engages the trail like no other bike I have ridden. I did spend about two weeks riding around with a shock pump in my pocket experimenting with the suspension. Run after run at Gregory Park helped me figure out what pressure and rebound was optimal for me. This bike soaks up the trail! I would highly recommend experimenting with the suspension set up. Make sure you are getting the most out of your travel. Long story short I can confirm what everyone else is saying. Best MTB I’ve ever owned!
BOTTOM BRACKET- SRAM DUB, BSA 73mm, threaded
CHAIN – SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 12-speed, 10-50t
CRANKSET – SRAM X1 Eagle, DUB, 32T, M-XL: 175mm
SHIFT LEVERS – SRAM X01 Eagle, trigger, 12-speed
FRONT DERAILLEUR – N/A
CASSETTE – SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed, 10-50t
CHAINRINGS – SRAM Eagle, 32T
REAR DERAILLEUR – SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
FORK – Rockshox SID Select+, Charger 2 RL Damper, Debon Air, 15x110mm, 44mm offset, 120mm Travel
REAR SHOCK – RockShox SID LUXE Select+, Rx XC Tune, Two Position, Rebound Adjust, 190x40mm
FRONT HUB – DT Swiss 350, 15x110mm spacing, Torque caps, 6-bolt, 28h
REAR HUB – DT Swiss 350, Star Ratchet, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28h
INNER TUBES – Presta, 60mm valve
SPOKES – DT Swiss Competition Race
RIMS – Roval Control Carbon, 25mm internal width, Zero bead hook, Tubeless ready, 28h
FRONT TIRE – Ground Control, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29×2.3″
REAR TIRE – Fast Trak, GRID casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29×2.3″
SADDLE – Body Geometry Power Comp, Cromoly rails
SEATPOST – X-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, two-bolt head, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL LE lever, M: 125mm travel
HANDLEBARS – Specialized Alloy Minirise, 6.5mm rise, 750mm, 31.8mm clamp
STEM – Specialized XC, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise
GRIPS – Specialized Trail Grips
FRAME – FACT 11m Full Carbon, Progressive XC Geometry, Rider-First Engineered™, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 110mm of travel
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Just picked up my 2023 EVO Expert, cannot wait to get it out on the trail. I need to buy a swat box. I’ll see you on the trails!