So, this is a bit of a preview…Specialized has the bike up for sale, however the first tech presentations aren’t happening until Sea Otter later this month. But, we finagled a few advance details about the all-new S-Works Epic Hardtail and it’s impressive.
Last summer, they introduced the new Epic Pro, which came in with a very respectable 900g frame that went to Boost spacing. Now, the new S-Works model takes it even further to become the lightest frame they make. Yes, that means lighter than a Crux carbon cyclocross bike and lighter than their top-level Tarmac road racing frame!
Specialized’s rep told us the 2017 Epic Pro was reworked using their “Rider Engineered” philosophy borrowed from the road bikes, which essentially means size specific tube shapes, sizes and layups to ensure every gram is saved and the ride quality is the same from the smallest to the largest riders. That carries over to the new S-Works, too, but the carbon fiber is upgraded to FACT 12M from the Pro’s 10M, bringing the weight down from about 900g to a very, very light 800g…or less, depending on frame size.
They say that means the SRAM Eagle-equipped World Cup model (shown above in blue, below in black) comes in at just 18 pounds (8.16kg).
Weight savings dictate straighter tubes, which in this case means a fork bumper on the downtube. Other than that, exterior bits are minimized by using all internal routing. Note the three bottle cage bolts, allowing use of a standard cage in multiple locations, or any of Specialized’s SWAT accessory and tool options.
Two S-Works models are offered. The S-Works Epic Di2 shown at top for $9,500 with full Shimano 2×11 XTR Di2 on Race Face Next SL cranks, and the lighter $8,000 S-Works Epic World Cup with SRAM XX1 Eagle. Both use a custom Rockshox SID with BRAIN damping cartridge.