World Cup Bike Check: Chris Blevin’s World Champion S-Works Epic mud machine

Racing a World Cup in the USA brings out the animal in Chris Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing). Last year the short track World champion rocketed to a beyond-convincing win in the Men’s Elite Olympic Cross County.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check start line

The race and key moves

Blevins was similarly calm but aggressive for the short track at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Snowshoe. The World Champ played it cool and stayed with the lead group most of the race, avoiding a crash by current XCO World Champion Nino Schurter.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check course

In the final lap, Belvins tactically moved from the fourth wheel to the third and used a heavy muddy sector of the trail to attack the group and move to the second wheel.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check shock

Cool, collected, and explosive, Blevins popped out from the draft of Vlad Dascalu and secured the second win for the USA of the short track weekend. The crowd erupted similarly to his win last year, but this time Blevins was adorned with the unmistakable rainbow stripes of the World Champion.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check

An Epic ride and Epic conditions

The course was muddy but tacking up by the time men toed the start line. Blevins opted for the S-Works Epic he claimed victory on last season but with some slight changes in tires and saddle.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check seat

We saw some Specilided riders on course riding prototype Specialized Storm tires that look like a wider version of the Dugast Ernest but with broader side coverage.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check Protoype tires Storm hot patch

The 29 x 2.1 tire looked a good option for the women’s race but slightly overkill for the men’s conditions.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check brain

Belvins opted for the newer, more aggressive version of the Specialized Fast Track 2.3. The tires looked to have cleared mud and had enough bite to keep him slip-free on the attack through the heavier mud sectors.

His Specialized S-Works Epic is pretty much stock — we watched the mechanics build it for the race. The only difference is a custom-tuned Rock Shox Brain cartridge that the team gets with a slightly firmer lockout.

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check drive train

The tires, seat, and wheels (bearings included) are all stock you can purchase, with nothing super-secret behind-the-scenes tuning. Though, the custom World Champion “Champ” paint scheme might add a few hundred watts…

Blevins S-Work Epic Bike World Cup Win Bike Check bike rear

Tech Specs: Chris Blevins World Champion S-Work Epic:

  • Frame: Specialized S-Works Epic FACT 12m Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox SID SL Ultimate Brain (Custom Tune)
  • Shock: RockShox-Specialized Brain
  • Handlebar: S-Works Carbon XC
  • Stem: S-Works SL
  • Grips: Specialized Trail Grips
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, CeramicSpeed Pulley Wheels
  • Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
  • Pedals: HT
  • Post: Specialized Carbon
  • Wheels: Roval Control SL,
  • Tires: Specialized Fast Track Control

Stay tuned for more UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Bike Checks and behind-the-scenes content.

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Jason D West
Jason D West
12 days ago

Its interesting that so many of the men still don’t use droppers. I know, they’re the pros and im weekend warrior Joe Hack. I think 100% of the women use them

12 days ago
Reply to  Jason D West

XCO races are run on short closed course and if the course has some really long technical descents it really not worth running a dropper. As for men running vs women running droppers, I think because the men are a little taller they are able to get their center of gravity further back and their is less risk of going over the handle bars. For example Mathew Vander Pol is 6ft tall so in most instance he able to get his Center of Gravity far enough back not to go over.

10 days ago
Reply to  alloycowboy

This is his short track setup. Blevins had a dropper for the XCO event. Essentially everyone did. While generally not necessary for comparatively less technical short track racing, wold cup XCO races are way harder now and the vast majority of riders run a dropper post these days.