Alloy never seems to go out of style at Specialized, and neither does a well-spec’d bike at a reasonable price. That’s what is behind the new all-new Specialized Chisel – race-ready under $2K.

Lighter Frame and Updated Geometry

Specialized 2021 Chisel full

Specialized New Chisel Comp in Gloss Red

As cross country racing gets more technical, manufacturers updated their bike geometry to excel in such conditions. Models that saw the most updates have been hardtail race bikes. That’s definitely true at Specialized as well, with the launch of its slacker, uber light Epic HT. The new Chisel takes all its cues from the Epic HT in the geometry department.

Specialized Chisel Riding

The geometry is standard for a modern cross country hardtail – a slacker, 68-degree head tube angle, lower bottom bracket height, increased the reach, shortened the chainstays, and reduced fork offset. The updated geometry delivers a nimble ride in the Epic HT with incredible downhill stability at speed; we’re guessing the Chisel will follow in the same vein.

What’s so smart about Smartwelds?

Specialized claims the new Chisel frames come in at, or under 1400g (including the thru-axle) and is stiffer than its predecessor. The welds are D’Aluisio Smartweld – similar to those on its popular Allez road frameset. Crafted from the same M5 aluminum of the Allez, the Chisel is the Specialized first mountain bike to use D’Aluisio Smartweld.

Specialized Chisel Weld comparison

Traditionally, aluminum tubes are cut and welded together at the joints using methods that rely heavily on the welder’s skill. D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology takes those joints and hands them back to the engineers. The head tube, top tube, and down tube are hydroformed with a curved, dome-like edge that, when butted together, creates a seamless valley that’s filled with weld material.

Nice welds on the Chisel

The Smartweld process results in smooth welds and a clean look overall.

This creates a connection point that Specialized engineers believe is significantly stiffer, more durable, and more consistent than can be achieved with a traditional weld. Because the connection points have been moved away from the area of greatest stress, tube shapes and makeups can now be radically changed. The welds are strong enough that less material is needed in other regions, allowing for compliance levels to be engineered into the frame that has never been possible with aluminum.

Specialized Chisel dream build

The Chisel Dream Build – full Shimano XTR, Roval Control SL wheels, and all the carbon goodies

Specialized Chisel Models and Sizing

The new Chisel is available in two models, Base and Comp. Both models come with a RockShox Judy 110mm fork (Gold for Comp, Silver for base), 12-speed shifting (Deore or SLX), and Shimano Deore brakes. The wheels are Specialized Stout tubeless-ready, paired with Specialized tubeless Ground Control 29 x 2.3 tires for fast riding.

Specialized Chisel rear stays

No flimsy quick-releases here. A 12x148mm rear thru-axles dramatically improves strength and stability for a significantly stiffer rear-end

Taking full advantage of DSW, Specialized can give the Chisel a 30.9mm seatpost without adding additional weight. This means you can run longer-travel dropper posts for even more capability and confidence in technical terrain. Full internal cable routing keeps brake lines and cables, including the dropper post, out of the way, while protecting them from unnecessary wear – clinching a clean pro look. As for sizing, the Chisel comes in XS-XL with two water bottle mounts on each.

Specialized Chisel though the fields

The all-new Specialized Chisel in action

Price and Availability

  • Specialized Chisel Base $1,500
  • Specialized Chisel Comp $1,700
  • Frameset option $900

We’re thinking there may be some limited edition frames in the works if the Chisel follows in the Allez footsteps – but we’ll have to wait and see. The new Specialized Chisel is available now at your local dealer or online.

7 comments

  1. wheeler on

    Looks impressive! SBC, bring back an alloy Epic or Evo full-suspension option, please!

    Love carbon, but alloy still makes sense for a lot of riders out there.

    Reply
  2. Albert on

    I’ve got a 2018 Chisel and I love it. The updated geometry and 30.9mm seatpost are welcome improvements to an already awesome frame.

    Reply

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