Home > Bike Types > Mountain Bike

Spotted: A New XC Race Bike from Specialized… 2023 Epic?

haley batten 2023 specialized epic prototype shimano supercup banyoles
14 Comments
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Haley Batten of the Specialized Factory Race Team rode to victory at the Shimano Supercup Massi Banyoles last weekend on what looks to be a new Specialized XC Race Bike. Bikerumor reader, Joe Curran, sent us a video of Haley motoring past on Lap 2, when Haley had already established a lead. Despite the muddy conditions, the video does reveal a frame sock hiding what is likely to be a rear shock that is, given the tight spacing, likely to be somewhat integrated into the top tube.

Is this the 2023 Specialized Epic XC Bike?

Specialized’s top tube sleeve reminds us very much of that time we spotted Jolanda Neff aboard a prototype Trek at the 2019 the Nové Město World Cup. It’s undeniable, there are stark similarities. Of course, any shock-frame integration implemented by Specialized will likely be quite different to Trek’s Iso Strut if only to ensure no patent infringement occurs. Without a glimpse underneath the cover, we are banished to the world of wild hypotheses.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check full bike
Christopher Blevins’s World Championship winning Specialized Epic – Bike Check Here

Specialized’s current XC Race Bike is the Epic, a 100mm travel carbon frame benefiting from flexible seat stays; it was last updated in 2021. Our in-house XC expert, Jordan Villella, has spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time aboard the aforementioned, so his guesses are as good as anyone’s. Over to him!

The Specialized Epic has been my go-to race bike for many years, so I was excited to see what the newest model would give us. The updated Epic design we see in race shots from the Shimano Supercup Massi Banyoles looks jam-packed with new offerings from Specialized. The frame looks to be a shock, similar to the Trek SuperCaliber, so we’re guessing this bike could have anywhere from 65-80mm of rear travel.

Where’s the Brain? We’re thinking that the Specialized signature race feature could be hidden underneath the cover, and if so, it’s a much more compact design than in the past.

Why less travel than the current offering? The Epic EVO will still be in the Specialized lineup as an endurance or marathon bike. Christopher Blevins just posted an Instagram photo dropping off a gnarly rock on the Epic Evo with a Rock Shox SID remote fork and rear lockout…

If you look closely, you’ll notice some cool new Roval one-piece carbon bars. If you add in a super light mountain MTB-specific carbon seat post, that will round out Roval’s MTB offerings. If you look closer at the photo above, you’ll notice no brake hose lines are going into the frame externally. They look to track along or inside the new Roval one-piece bar and through the headtube. Will brake manufacturers have brakes designed specifically to route internally with one-piece bar/stem combos, as we saw on Lars Foresters World Cup race bike at Snow Shoe? Only time will tell, but we’re more excited than ever to see what’s coming from Specialized.

A look at Haley Batten’s Instagram shows us that the frame isn’t the only newness she was riding last weekend. Given the extra machining we can see on the RockShox SID fork crown, we’re willing to bet that’s a new, lighter model. Also, it’s pretty clear from our reader’s video that Haley’s bike is also benefiting from what looks to be that SRAM Eagle Direct Mount derailleur we uncovered details on last September.

specialized.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
fitness
fitness
11 months ago

Nice Trek Supercaliber

jim
jim
11 months ago
Reply to  fitness

The supercaliber is significantly heavier than even the epic evo (3/4 of a lb) I imagine this model will be a pound lighter than the supercaliber and not use proprietary shock tech.

Andrew
Andrew
11 months ago

I’ve got another shot I can send you if you tell me who to send it to!

jim
jim
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Media sees the bike way before you get spyshots – they have to write articles in this manner to respect embargo rules

Andrew
Andrew
11 months ago
Reply to  jim

You’re right – but I find it odd that you’d point this out in an article based purely on…. A spy shot.
My guess is that this new bike hasn’t yet reached a ‘marketing picture’ stage yet, so pics like the one in the article (or the clearer shot that I have) are fair game.

D1D2D89E-4887-47E2-AA86-C0E1F7F5A6AE.jpeg
Bobinas
Bobinas
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yea Jim, odd article to post that comment on haha. And no, media often does not see the bike before spy shots.

Antoine
Antoine
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

So it’s specialized way of hiding the shock. Nothing like a supercaliber. It would have been dumb to make a pseudo supercaliber bike because this design does not make much mecanical/ performance sense.

Dano
Dano
11 months ago

That’s all great. But how about some new S-Works MTB shoes that we’ve been waiting on for years? Looks to be a new model on Haley and Christopher’s feet. C’mon, Specialized….let’s get these things launched already!

Jordan Villella
Editor
11 months ago
Reply to  Dano

Those look very nice too — We’re gonna keep an eye out!

Andrew
Andrew
11 months ago
Reply to  Dano

Agreed!!

Jason DW
Jason DW
11 months ago

On the green site you can find full pictures of the bike. And yeah, it looks 90% like a Supercaliber.

Rydermann
Rydermann
11 months ago
Reply to  Jason DW

What’s the “green site”?

Jason DW
Jason DW
11 months ago
Reply to  Rydermann

Vital. I was going to link the page but the pix were removed

Jamie Levett
11 months ago

Interesting when the racers didn’t want to race the standard Epic and preferred the Evo… Hopefully they got that feedback before they opened a mold for this bike with a 67+ degree HA.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.