Unlike the Elite Men’s win in Lenzerheide, the new Elite Women’s World Champ is more of a new face. American Kate Courtney hadn’t stood on a World Cup podium this season, after winning several U23 WCs last year on her S-Works Era. But aboard a new customized Specialized S-Works Epic with her signature #SparkleWatts turned up to #SplatterWatts, she pulled out her biggest XC win when it mattered most.
Specialized Women’s S-Works Epic for Kate Courtney
Kate’s been racing this season on the new 2018 S-Works Epic FSR in a size small – a bike available in both a Women’s version and the standard unisex. Both bikes share the same FACT carbon frame with identical geometry, and Brain 2.0 technology in the 100mm RockShox SID WC fork and inline Micro rear shock delivering 100mm or rear travel with auto sag setup.
The Women’s version gets a lighter fork tune and Women’s Body Geometry saddle, while Kate could customize those anyway. (She apparently runs a stock shock tune, though.) Interestingly the women’s bike is $500 cheaper at $9500, so maybe it’s a better buy for smaller & lighter with an otherwise identical spec.
To celebrate the young American’s first World Championships in the Elite field (she earned a sliver in U23s last year), Specialized had a a custom Epic painted up for Kate Courtney. She’s been talking up the power of riding sparkly bikes & kit for a while (#SparkleWatts), so the shiny cosmos splatter paintjob in red, white, and blue seemed like an appropriate touch for her Worlds attempt bike. And looks like it paid off well, now that Kate will spend a year in rainbow stripes!
Not limited to shiny, colorful paint, her bike gets a few more small personalizing touches from the toptube flag to the USA flag Kate edition Magura MT8 Raceline Carbon brakes to her USA flagged Roval Control SL carbon 29er wheels.
Courtney’s Epic Tech Details
Stock bikes come with a light, rigid carbon post, but instead Courtney races with a Command Post IRcc dropper seatpost to get her weight back & down for the most technical sections of the race course. This dropper is fairly unique in that it is not infinitely adjustable, but rather has 10 micro-adjust stops to move through its travel – with Kate using a 100mm version on her bike.
Inside of her small frame, a right-facing S-Works Carbon Zee Cage II lets Kate slip a full size bottle onto the bike.
Deviating from her otherwise standard SRAM XX1 Eagle Gold drivetrain is a new Rotor 2INPower DM MTB power meter crankset. Besides true dual-leg power measurement, the new modular spiderless version of the cranks bolts up cleanly to an oval 32T Rotor Q-Ring direct mount narrow-wide chainring. A set of Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11 titanium pedals clip Courtney onto the bike, and black rubber bumpers from Rotor keep the alloy cranks from getting bashed on rocks.
One more setup swap on Kate’s Worlds winning bike is the short 60mm Syntace stem, flipped down, and in full #slamthatstem mode sitting right on top of the upper headset bearing without a top cap.
Besides the already custom bike, Kate’s mechanic Brad Copeland bolts up some light carbon, aluminum & titanium goodies to shed a few extra grams. Carbon-Ti provides the headset cap & bolt, seatpost clamp & bolt-on thru-axles, all in matching blue ano.
Kate sits atop the 155mm wide S-Works Power saddle with FACT carbon shell & rails that comes stock on the men’s build, but which Specialized recommends for all riders.
Check out Elite Men’s World Champ Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark RC here.