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Along with some other Specialized supported riders, James will be riding the S-Works Epic FSR Torch Edition frame at the Rio Olympics. The Torch edition is so named as it changes colour from orange to yellow when the frame materials reach 22 degrees, mimicking a flickering flame during the transition.

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JP has fitted a brand new 2017 RockShox SID World Cup fork with Specialized's Brain technology replacing the new Charger Damper system. The new fork makes use of Torque caps which makes use of a larger contact area where the end caps meet the fork dropouts the bond stronger and the wheel stiffer . The only problem is that these Torque caps are not readily available for non Boost applications. JP wasn't having any of this and went and had the correct sized caps machined so that James's bike could take advantage of this new feature. The shock is Specialized's custom Fox FutureShock paired with a Brain inertia valve placed on the non-driveside chainstay. James prefers the firmer S-Tune on the shock which allows him to run lower pressures.


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Despite SRAM sending James an XX1 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, James has opted to stick with the 11-speed XX1. One reason is that he is familiar with the set up after racing on it all season, the other is that his ROTOR crankset, chainring and power meter are not yet compatible with the 12-speed technology. James is somewhat of a data geek and relies on the information his power meter provides during races.

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In the cockpit the S-Works theme continues, with a S-Work carbon handlebar and seatpost as well as an S-Works Power saddle. James rides his bike slammed with a negative 17 degree 110 mm Specialized stem. The grips are the silicone type made by Supacaz.

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JP is a perfectionist and where he can he will try to eke out every little last ounce of performance. He uses lighter grease on the bearings to improve their performance, especially in the suspension and wheels. He admits that it does not make a good long term solution but he strips the race bikes so regularly that it never becomes a problem. So do not try this at home people. Lighter titanium bolts are used where possible like on the disc rotors and pinch bolts. In other cases, JP drills a hole down the centre of the bolt to reduce weight, he also shaves off any unnecessary length. Things like the headset cap bolt which come on and off the bike regularly are left with more durable materials to avoid breaking and stripping.

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Full specification:

  • FrameS-Works Epic FSR Torch Edition
  • Fork2017 RockShox SID World Cup with Brain
  • ShockFOX/Specialized remote Mini Brain
  • HeadsetFSA
  • CranksetROTOR REX1
  • ChainringROTOR QX1 32T 76BCD
  • Bottom bracketCeramicSpeed
  • Stem S-Works 110 mm, negative 17 degree
  • SeatpostS-Works Carbon
  • HandlebarS-Works Carbon 750 mm
  • Rear derailleurSRAM XX1
  • BrakesSRAM Level Ultimate
  • ShiftersSRAM XX1
  • SaddleS-Works Power Saddle 143 mm
  • RimsRoval Control SL 29
  • HubsRoval with DT Swiss internals
  • CassetteSRAM XX1
  • Front tyreS-Works Fast Trak 29 x 2.2
  • Rear tyreS-Works Renegade 29 x 1.95
  • GripsSupacaz Siliconez SL
  • Bottle cageSpecialized Zee Cage