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Specialized Chisel FS: Not An Entry-Level Full Suspension Alloy Mountain Bike

Specialized Chisel Comp FS full bike
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Specialized is coming in hot with another premium alloy bike, the new Chisel FS, which takes the Chisel into the full suspension dimension. Specialized claims it’s the “lightest full suspension alloy mountain bike in the world.”

Specialized Chisel Comp FS brake lever
(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Hefty claims aside, the Specialized Chisel FS line is bringing the performance aluminum full suspension back. The line doesn’t dumb down the geometry and leans into its World Cup-winning sibling, the Epic 8. It uses the same D’Aluisio Smartweld technology of the Chisel hardtail and the new Crux DSW, shedding some weight and gaining style.

Specialized Chisel Comp FS logo

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Specialized Chisel FS – What is it? 

The Specialized Chisel FS takes notes from the newly released Epic 8: advanced suspension kinematics, Specialized Ride Dynamics tuned suspension, and progressive geometry honed. The result is a noble riding machine that can slice and dice trails with the carbon crew.  

Specialized Chisel Comp FS shock rear

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Specialized engineered a flex stay rear end for added suspension performance while eliminating the extra weight and maintenance associated with pivots required in a traditional design. Compounding that with the D’Aluisio Smartweld frame construction gives you a light frame with less pressure on your wallet. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS non drive

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Frame Construction – Specialized Chisel FS

The new Chisel FS employs D’Aluisio Smartweld technology. For those unfamiliar with the construction of the traditional alloy frame, it joins tubes with welds at the highest stress point. D’Aluisio Smartweld delivers the highest strength at the lowest weight using hydroformed tube junctions. This construction allows Specialized to move the weld away from the area of the highest stress and create a “valley” for the weld bead to lay in.

One-Piece Seat Tube/Bottom Bracket:

The first of its kind, Chisel shaves extra material and weight with a one-piece hydroformed seat tube. The design resembles the Crux, Allez, and other DSW road frames. The unique build layup integrates the seat tube pivot, central pivot, and BB shell. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS headtube front

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Notable Specs

  • Cockpit: 29mm rise bars
  • Fork: 120mm travel RockShox fork
  • Shock: 110mm of rear wheel travel (metric 190×40)
  • Dropper: Dropper posts on all models
  • Brakes: SRAM Level T Brakes
  • Front Tire: Ground Control 2.35
  • Rear Tire: Fast Trak 2.35

Specialized Chisel FS Geometry: Modern XC and Downcountry

Specialized Chisel FS Geo
Image: Specialized

Specialized Chisel FS Models

Specialized Chisel FS Shimano
Image: Specialized

Chisel Shimano:

Notable spec: The Specialized Chisel FS Shimano has a Shimano Deore, M6100 12-speed groupset. The suspension is a RockShox’s Recon 120mm fork featuring their Motion Control Damper. The rear shock is Ride Dynamics Tuned X-Fusion. The dropper is by TranzX, with a remote lever for hassle-free operation. 

Specialized Chisel FS sram
Image: Specialized

Specialized Chisel:

Notable specs: SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. The suspension is RockShox’s Recon 120mm fork, featuring their Motion Control Damper. Ride Dynamics Tuned X-Fusion rear shock. TranzX dropper post 

Specialized Chisel FS Comp
Image: Specialized

Specialized Chisel Comp:

Notable spec: RockShox’s SID 120mm fork, featuring their Rush Damper, provides suspension. Ride Dynamics Tuned RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock—TranzX dropper post Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain.

Specialized Chisel FS Pricing and Availability

  • Specialized Chisel Shimano Comp: $3,400, £2,700, £2,700
  • Specialized Chisel Shimano: $2,600, £2,000, €2,600
  • Specialized Chisel: $2,600, £2,000,  €2,600
  • Chisle FS Frameset:$2,000, £1,400, €1,700
Specialized Chisel Comp FS tires

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

First Impressions Specialized Chisel Shimano Comp 

I’ve been a fan of the newest Specialized Chisel since it came out. I like having an aluminum frame with race geometry and an affordable build. This alloy race formula is working for Specialized. So far, they’ve taken a bike from every category and introduced an alloy alternative with nearly the same geo as the top offering. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS shock

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

The Chisel FS borrows a lot from the newest Epic. Its geometry is aggressive but playful, the suspension is modern 120mm, and it’s light for an alloy full-suspension bike. Little bits make the bike stand out, like cable routing, the little cover at the bottom bracket to keep out crud, and the beefy tubes. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS bunper

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Ride Impressions

My rides on the Chisel FS have been mainly on rolling PA single track with roots, rock, and punchy climbs. The frame is notably stiff, and the suspension is smooth over the bumps and rocks. The pedaling efficiency is excellent over long rolling sections of less technical terrain. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS front tire

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

The bike would be much lighter with a better fork and wheels. That’s why there is a frame-only option. That said, our review ride weighs 28 lbs on the dot in a size medium – not bad for aluminum.

As for all-day riding and various types of trails, the Chisel does the job well. I want a remote lockout option or a hole in the frame to accommodate one, but that may not be the crowd for this bike. 

The flip-switch lockout isn’t challenging, but it takes some getting used to if you’re an XC geek like myself. The 120mm of travel is nicely expressed with the Chisel frame’s setup, and you forget you’re on an alloy bike reasonably quickly into the ride. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS rider view

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

Components

The component setup is spot on, IMO. The Shimano SLX groupset combines solid shifting with a slight weight reduction. The brakes are the same Shimano model I use on my hardtail Chisel and perform great. 

Specialized Chisel Comp FS rear brake

(Photo: Jordan Villella/Bikerumor.com)

If I were looking to shed weight quickly (and not break the bank) on the Chisel FS, I would opt for lighter wheels (like the Hunt Race alloy) and a carbon bar. I plan to see how much weight we can take off and the best bang for the buck. 

Don’t get me wrong, though. The Chisel FS Shimano Comp build is right in the sweet spot of being raceable and sendable—where many riders will find a perfect fit. 

My time on the Chisel FS has been minimal, but I have big plans, so stay tuned for a few cool projects with this unique frame. 

www.specialized.com

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Peter Pedal
Peter Pedal
25 days ago

Seems like a nice bike. I don’t understand how it’s “not an entry-level full suspension alloy mountain bike” though. That’s exactly what it is.

Chrispy1974
Chrispy1974
24 days ago
Reply to  Peter Pedal

I think the sentiment is more ‘not JUST an entry level…’

Tom
Tom
24 days ago

Well done SBC! I have the last iteration of the alloy Epic full suspension but was priced out of that platform with the latest carbon only models. I love my old Epic but would happily move to this for more modern geometry and to get rid of the Brain suspension.

JNH
JNH
24 days ago

This reminds me of when Spesh released the original Pitch in 2008/9, a really good bike at a hugely competitive price (assuming it’s as good as it looks). I expect to start seeing a lot of these on the trails.

Sam
Sam
24 days ago

boy Specialized is claiming everything they build is the lightest in the world .. My #1 brand never to buy..

Tom
Tom
24 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Bye

Thesteve4761
Thesteve4761
16 days ago

“Noble riding”

Please.

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