The Specialized Epic is a staple in the mountain biking world, winning hearts and podiums for many years. Perhaps lesser known is their EVO spec, which adds longer travel, wider bars, and a nod towards the recently termed ‘downcountry’ trail versatility. For 2019, Specialized added a new premium-spec S-Works option to the Epic EVO, with 12-speed Shimano XTR, and upgrades all-around to wheels, suspension, and more.


Specialized S-Works Epic EVO mountain bike

Specialized launched the new Epic EVO platform last year, as a slightly more trail-ish version of their full suspension XC race bike. Key updates include slightly longer front suspension travel, wider tires, wider bars, and even a dropper seat post. Both carbon and alloy frame options are unchanged from the standard XC bike, and it generally looks and feels a lot like the 29″-wheeled beast you know and love.

While the Comp EVO and Expert EVO builds work well, it’s par for the course for Specialized to offer a premium build S-Works halo model for their most popular bikes.


The biggest news for the S-Works Epic EVO is the Shimano XTR M9100 1×12 drivetrain with 10-51 cassette and KMC Ti chain. There is also a front suspension upgrade to FOX Factory Step-Cast 34 with Fit4 damper and 120mm of travel, though the rear shock remains a custom RockShox Micro Brain shock w/ Spike Valve. The seatpost upgrades from an X-Fusion manic to the FOX Factory Transfer with Shimano Ispec-EV lever. Wheels upgrade to the SL version of the Roval Control carbon, in 29″ diameter with Boost spacing.

The complete bike has one color choice (Satin Carbon/Holographic Chrome), and will run you $10,400. If you prefer your own spec or more color options, a frameset can be had for $3,750. For more information and detailed build specs, check out the S-Works Epic EVO at the link below.


  1. “Specialized introduced the EVO concept last year” seems to ignore the fact that my 2013 Expert EVO Stumpjumper remains one of the most versatile and excellent rides for the technical terrain of the Grand Valley whether it is in geared, or like now singlespeed, mode. Specialized brought back the EVO idea and applied it to their Epic platform last year, partly because of the success it breathed back into the Stumpy lineup. Maybe Greg should consider an EVO version of his research. A little longer travel up front might produce a smoother ride.

    • Good catch. He was trying to state that Specialized introduced the current Epic Evo generation last year, and this is an extension of the line. Fixed.

    • Maybe they changed it, but it clearly says “…launched the Epic EVO platform last year…” which is factually true.

  2. So Pinkbik3 has officially coined a new category of bike, downcountry? I’m all for fun and aggressive cross country bikes, but please don’t invent or more precisely promote another sub category of bike.

    • Because if people wise up and realize that material things are not what makes them happy the world economy collapses. That said, I fully condone a minimalist/non consumerism lifestyle…………….but still have really nice bikes. 🙂

  3. Meh. They should’ve just kept the Camber line but nah, couldn’t do that. Guess it’s all just SJ’s (130mm+ travel only) and Epics (100mm rear travel at most) for now. Both still more expensive than the Camber line-up ever was (gotta love all that proprietary tech!).

    Guess I’ll just get a Scott Spark instead since a Camber can’t be had any more.

      • Im not talking Walmart bikes. Top end bikes from smaller scale producers such as Pivot, Ibis, Transition, Santa Cruz, Turner, Guerrilla Gravity, Evil, Canyon…the list goes on, cost thousands less…and are better bikes

        • Not sure if subjective commentary works really well. As someone below said very well, you do you, I’ll do me, but don’t speak objectively about inherently subjective items. Then again I suppose the number of WC trophies amassed by Epic riders doesn’t mean anything, right?

          • I suppose it means that the Big S is well big. They can afford to buy some of the best talent in the world. At the top end of bikes they all preform very well. Some perform better for certain people, but any decent rider will adapt to the slight differences between different brands in the same category. It’s always been the motor not the bike.

    • Marx’s fundamental error was believing the value of a good is determined by the value of labor used to make the good. Look into the theories of consumer value assumption, conspicuous consumption, subjective value, and brand image, and you’ll see why the flagship bike has to be highly priced irrespective of how successful it is at moving at that price.

  4. In case anyone cares how their $10+ k is spent… KMC chain + M9100 cassette = no hyperglide plus. So one of the biggest features of new XTR is disabled. Sweet.

    And you can’t run the M9100 chain on that ring. Unless you use a KMC quick link, again disabling the HG+

    So yeah.

    • My understanding is that the XTR crankset production has suffered length delays and it’s not only Specialized that had to find alternatives to get 9100 components on their bikes into the market. Santa Cruz had spec’d the proper Shimano cranks on their M9100 bikes, but had to go with e-thirteen cranks in the meantime.

      My opinion is Shimano needs to hold off on product releases if their availability won’t be until the following calender year.

    • ” And you can’t run the M9100 chain on that ring. Unless you use a KMC quick link, again disabling the HG+”
      Nonsense. One link in over isn’t going to magically disable anything. Source : logic (and 4mo on m9100)

      • Except that the secret sauce is the extended inner plates of the chain. The issue is the extra long plates on the quick link from Shimano get hung up on that ring. The KMC quick link “works” and won’t get hung up, but also doesn’t mesh with the HG+ profile on the cassette, so when the quick link is called upon to shift down the cassette, it doesn’t perform the way HG+ does, ie it is a bit crunchy and clunky. The M9100 cassette and chain together are quite amazing in downshifts, the way no Shimano has shifted before.

        Trust me, speaking from 1st hand experience.

        Or don’t. You can always do you, and I’ll do me.

        • OK, you are correct: with an M9100 chain and KMC or Eagle quick link, 0.8% of the time (1/126) the substituted quick link will prevent upshifts from happening as intended. 99.2% of the time, it’ll work just like Shimano planned.

          Also speaking from 1st hand experience, having been on the group since November.

  5. My two cents (as an owner of a 2011 Epic Evo) is that they should replace the 24 spoke front and 28 spoke rear wheels with 32 spokes at both ends. The extra wheel stiffness is worth the marginal weight gain.

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