Update: The original publication of this post identified Sina Frei’s bike as the Epic, when it is in fact the Epic EVO.
While Christopher Blevins has whipped out the Epic World Cup for the occasional Short Track race, his Specialized Factory Racing team mate, Sina Frei, seems to prefer the longer-travel Specialized Epic EVO for all of her XC racing endeavors. This weekend, she will make her assault on the 2023 UCI XCO World Championships aboard the Epic EVO, with new RockShox Flight Attendant SID and SIDLuxe Shock.
Pro Bike Check: Sina Frei’s Specialized Epic EVO Race Bike
- Rider: Sina Frei
- Nationality: Swiss
- Age: 26
- Height: 151 cm
- 2023 Season Best Result: 6th at UCI World Cup, Leogang
At 151cm tall (just shy of 5 feet), Sina Frei is riding the Specialized Epic in a size small, with a 406mm reach, a 438mm chainstay length and a 100mm travel RockShox Reverb AXS dropper. The frame’s flex pivot-utilizing linkage delivers 110mm of rear wheel travel, damped by what we can presume to be a prototype RockShox SIDLuxe Flight Attendant Shock. It is paired with a 120mm travel RockShox SID Flight Attendant fork.
Flight Attendant is RockShox’s offering of electronically-controlled automatic suspension, that is able to switch the damping between Open, Pedal and Lock positions in response to changing trail conditions. However, it is not yet available for the brand’s shorter-travel suspension components that are aimed at XC.
That said, it is not the first time we’ve seen Flight Attendant in use on a World Cup XCO course; indeed, Nino Schurter took his 35th World Cup win this season aboard a Flight Attendant-equipped Scott Spark. Of course, with the shock discreetly tucked away inside the frame, we didn’t get a look at the SIDLuxe Flight Attendant Shock. On Sina Frei’s Specialized Epic EVO, it is in plain view.
For today’s practice session, Sina’s bike was wired up with a data acquisition system of Specialized’s own design. Mechanic, Jerome Alix, says they are able to measure everything needed; compression and rebound events, and their speed, as well as the vibrations coming up through the frame. This evening, the team’s engineer will review the data and make adjustments to the suspension damping, if necessary.
In the cockpit, Sina runs an S-Works Carbon Mini Rise Bar cut to 680mm but, as you can see, it’s upside down. This lowers the ride height to deliver a more aggressive seated pedalling position that can really help riders to keep the lightweight front end of the bike from lifting when they are laying down the power on steep, technical climbs. To the same end, Sina is running a 77mm reach stem from Syntace with a significant negative offset, to the tune of around 30mm.
Sina’s bike rolls on Roval Control SL wheels with 30mm internal width carbon rims. The team are still testing to find out what’s best for the slick, root-riddled terrain, but in today’s practice, Sina was running a 29″ x 2.35″ Specialized Renegade Control tire in the rear with the T7 compound. Up front, she has the Specialized Fast Track Control tire, also in a 2.35″ width. No tire inserts here.
Translating Sina’s efforts to the trail is of course the SRAM XX SL Eagle AXS Transmission drivetrain, with the power meter crankset. Crank arms are 165mm. For speed management, she relies upon SRAM Level Ultimate Stealth brakes with the 4-piston caliper and 160mm rotors.
Aside from the RockShox Flight Attendant suspension, the oil slick-finished HT Leopard pedals and Specialized Power Pro Mirror 3D-printed saddle, and the Syntace stem, Sina’s Specialized Epic EVO XC bike for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Champs is of stock configuration.
Good luck to Sina and the rest of the Specialized Factory Racing team this weekend!