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

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený
courtesy Specialized, photos by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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!

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal Červený

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.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal ČervenýA classic name decal on the toptube reminds that this bike belongs to Courtney, but will need to get updated now with some rainbow stripes.

Specialized Women's S-Works Epic for new Elite Women's 2018 World Champion Kate Courtney, photo by Michal ČervenýTubeless tires on those Control SL wheels are 29×2.1″ versions of the Sepcialized Fast Trak.

Specialized.com


Check out Elite Men’s World Champ Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark RC here

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m on the 2018 Epic Pro, easily the best bike I’ve ever ridden! The rear brain is lights out, 5 settings with some air pressure tweaking = infinite setup. Been on the bike for almost a year now ,it’s absolutely flawless. So efficient I’m going to set it up to ride gravel and maybe even do a couple cross races with it! It destroys rocky technical riding, I ride and train in the Frederick Watershed here in Maryland, the same place Chris Eatough, Jeff Shalk and many other endurance mountain bike athletes train! The Watershed is straight gnar!

  2. There’s another story on BR today about anti-squat.

    I don’t care how the bikes rides when I actually ride it in reality. I WANT TO KNOW ITS ANTI-SQUAT VALUE, BECAUSE THAT SAYS EVERYTHING!

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