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  1. My Specialized MTB shoes are a few years old and need some new inner soles. Specialized sell these for R650 (should have expected this). Anyway. Anyone repaced theirs with these or is there a well suited alternative?
  2. this is a 2016 rocky mountain was recently in for a shock serves and got a new rear tire.
  3. On 1 February 2021 Specialized Paarl opened its doors to the public in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. View full article
  4. Earlier this year Cycles Direct, also known as Specialized West Coast re-opened their doors and welcomed customers into their new retail space in Sandown Retail Crossing. View full article
  5. The store has a long history with the Specialized brand stretching back well before the current subsidiary was formed in 2012. Owner, Gina Wills spent 21 years in the motor industry, ultimately running Audi and BMW dealerships, until her passion for cycling and vision of owning and running a premium cycling concept store saw her buy Cycles Direct in 2016 and build on the existing partnership with Specialized. The move to a new retail space was driven by the need to expand the space and elevate customer experience. Sandown Retail Crossing is ideally positioned to serve a growing cycling community in the rapidly expanding residential suburbs around Parklands and Tableview. With quick and easy access from West Coast Road, an artery connecting the suburbs to the CBD, and plenty of secure parking it is easier than ever for city-bound commuters to drop off and collect bicycles, or just stop in to browse. The store is uniquely positioned to serve a variety of riders. A Velosolutions pump track at the Generations school just one kilometre away attracts youngsters looking to play and hone their skills, while the Tygerberg MTB Club trail network, one of the largest and most successful mountain bike trail networks in the country, is just a ten-minute drive away. Finally, the cycle lane between Blouberg and Cape Town CBD is an iconic route for roadies headed towards Atlantic seaboard climbs or just spinning their legs and taking in the view. The new store is more than just a bike shop: it serves as a one-stop shop for active people, with a physio, bio kineticist, and dietician all practicing in-store. Pilates classes are also hosted twice a week. The Seattle coffee bar at the entrance of the store sees to all customers caffeine requirements, while providing a comfortable space to relax and chat or catch up on emails. The most notable feature of the new store is the airy and welcoming space, with easy access to the workshop for anyone seeking advice from the technicians or a quick fifteen-minute fix. The experienced and friendly sales team are always on hand and ready to point you in the right direction whether you need specific technical guidance or are just browsing. The Retül Fit room is equipped with a state-of-the art Retül Vantage 3D motion capture fit system, to make sure you are perfectly set up on your bike: comfortable and able to eke out every last watt when you need it. If you are passing through the area pop in for a coffee and a chat with Gina and the friendly and experienced team. The store is open from 09:00 to 18:00 during the week and from 09:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays. Specialized West Coast Shop 10 Sandown Retail Crossing Sandown Road Table View Telephone: +27 21 036 2800 Instagram: @cyclesdirect Email: sales@cyclesdirect.co.za Website: http://cyclesdirect.co.za/
  6. Can't believe this thread hasn't appeared yet.. Here is 2014 Epic Elite : Specs at: http://www.specialized.com/es/en/bikes/mountain/epic/14epicepicfsrelitecarbon
  7. Set in a converted wine cellar on a working wine and fruit farm the Specialized Paarl store nestles beneath the magnificent backdrop of Paarl mountain. The name Paarl comes from the Dutch, “Parel” for Pearl from the granite outcrop that crests the mountain overlooking the town. Huge glass windows offer panoramic views of the Paarl valley and the Du Toitskloof mountains in the distance, reminding customers of the endless potential for adventure that lies in wait. The store is the brainchild of Paul Neethling and Darren Herbst, who share a vision of a community hub for the town where cyclists and their families feel welcome and are able to relax and spend time together in a comfortable environment. This ethos is the common thread that winds its way through every aspect of the store from the friendly and welcoming staff, to the light, airy retail floor and world-class workshop to the homely feel of Knus Karoo Kitchen next door. Their goal is to offer cyclists a holistic, one-stop experience- from purchase to bike-fit, trail permits, events and a place where the whole family feels welcome. Parents are able to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine at Knus Karoo Kitchen, while the kids enjoy the pump track. Walking into the store, you’ll be welcomed by the experienced and friendly sales team, who are ready to point you in the right direction whether you need specific technical guidance or are just browsing. The spacious workshop and stellar team of mechanics are near at hand, ready to give your bicycle the care it deserves. The Retül Fit room is equipped with a state-of-the art Retül Vantage 3D motion capture fit system, to make sure you are perfectly set up on your bike: comfortable and able to eke out every last watt when you need it. The farm forms part of the Paarl Adventure Trails network and there are over 400km of trails running from the doorstep. The maintenance and development of these trails remains a focus for Darren, and acts as a drawcard for new and existing customers looking for a convenient and safe starting point for their rides. The Hero Legacy project also offers foundation classes every Wednesday to introduce 3 – 12-year old’s to the joy of cycling free of charge on the pump track at the front of the store. These classes serve to bring the local community together and expose youngsters from a range of backgrounds to the basics of bike-riding. The trail network plays host to range of mountain bike and trail running events which draw riders to the area, most notably the recent Paarl MTB Challenge served as SA Marathon Champs, bringing elite athletes from around the country to dice it out for the national jersey. With ample secure parking and easy access from the N1 Highway, Specialized Paarl is perfectly positioned to assist both locals and visiting riders, whether racing or just enjoying the spectacular scenery. If you are passing through the Paarl pop in for a coffee and a chat with Darren and the friendly team. The store is open from 08:00 to 17:30 during the week and from 07:30 to 14:00 on Saturdays and Public Holidays. Specialized Paarl Physical address: Pieter Hugo, Paarl, 7646 (Google map) Telephone: +27 21 036 2800 Instagram: @specializedpaarl Email: info@specializedpaarl.com
  8. ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL A new bike is a critical investment for families. Especially now, when parents are looking for safe, fun ways for their kids to get out and get active. At Specialized, we know that greater comfort opens the door for more riding. With kids’ bikes, comfort comes from a bike that fits well, and a design that’s kid-focused. Because of their growth spurts and growth patterns, the perfect fitting kids’ bike is a short-lived “just right”. Not only do kids deserve class-leading bikes, but they also deserve a bike that fits better, for longer. “A better fit means more comfort, leading to more rides, kick-starting a lifetime of riding. We’re here to inspire that.” NEVER FEAR THE GROWTH SPURTS We asked, and parents told us they want a bike that fits their kids for about 30 months or three summers. Our teams did their research and found that kids ages 5-12 grow in their arms and legs faster than their torso. So, we needed to make a bike that was proportional and adjustable for quickly growing arms and legs to achieve the perfect fit multiple times in the bike’s lifetime. TEST WITH THE BEST Consulting the cycling industry’s best bike fitters, we developed the Jett using the same study tactics that we use with world-class athletes. During “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” at our Boulder, CO office, we gathered data from our own kids. The team put kids on bikes and observed the mechanics of how they were riding. Were their knees aligned in their pedal stroke? Are their shoulders stacked properly? Which kids could reach the handlebars most easily? Are the components compatible for their size? The data collected was optimized in the design process to increase comfort, eliminate common pain points, prevent future injuries, and improve the rider’s potential to perform on the bike. START THE KIDS OFF RIGHT We poured everything we’ve learned into the Jett. First, we looked at how to make the bike proportional. Components may seem like minor details, but the kids’ study proved that they make a world of difference for our riders. A kids-specific saddle and narrow q-factor crank create hip-knee-ankle alignment. This helps to avoid knee pain and improve pedaling power—so riders can pedal further, faster. Narrower grips and short-reach brake levers allow for better control and maneuverability, inspiring more confidence in riders. These components were developed so kids can ride in capable comfort. DESIGNED FOR GROWTH Second, we took the average growth curve of kids, and built 30 months of growth into the adjustability of the Jett. Delivering more riding and more fun. Adjustability comes in the form of 2-hole positions for cranks, a long seatpost, and adjustable handlebars for extended reach. And what’s more, the Jett is a quality ride that weighs in at just 9.39kg/20.5 lbs (24”), enabling riders to keep up with the grown-ups or lead the pack. We’ve built the Jett to adjust to any level of capability, riding style, and growth pattern to help access kids’ full riding potential. By looking at the highest growth potential for girls and boys ages 7-12, we were able to identify how much adjustability was needed to create a bike that would last for three seasons. This curve represents the maximum annual growth rate for a child, which occurs when children move from a low-height percentile to a high-height percentile. Now we have a much better understanding of how long the Jett will fit a rider. “The adjustability unlocks a whole new level of comfort and confidence, in both riding and buying.” - Specialized Development Team A LIFETIME OF RIDING The Jett is the vehicle for riders to learn, grow, and eventually graduate to the next steps in their riding journey. It starts with that first push on two wheels and quickly evolves into skid stops and dive-bombing trails. Kids are always going and always growing, so they deserve a ride that fits—a bike that will inspire a lifetime of riding. To us, that’s a goal well worth the effort. BUILT FOR THE ROAD AHEAD Our kids’ bikes are built based on a unifying belief—empowering little riders with the best first bikes will inspire a lifetime of riding. We created our four-step system to develop products in tandem with a rider’s growth path. RECOMMENDED SIZING Because we are focused on fit and skill level, we invite parents to select bikes based on the height and skill level of their rider. The Jett models are recommended for the following heights: Jett 16” SS: 95cm - 121cm Jett 20” SS or Jett 20” MS: 102cm - 132cm Jett 24” MS: 109cm - 147cm The age range that typically correlates with these heights is 5-12 years old.
  9. Making kids’ bikes is about supporting and nurturing the spirit of riding from the first moment a kid’s feet hit the pedals. Kick-starting their passion for riding by delivering a great first ride means kids are more likely to keep riding for years to come. View full article
  10. Intuitively delivering up to 240 watts of power and 35 Nm of torque, our Turbo Super Light system puts an emphatic “E” in our award-winning Enduro, delivering more of what you want from your trail ride. More power to climb. More pop when you need it. More capability everywhere. More laps. More jumps. More drops. More stoke. And it does this with less. Weighing in at just four kilos more than the Enduro and around five and a half kilos less than the Full Power Kenevo, the Kenevo Super Light is a featherweight e-MTB that redefines big mountain performance. Be One With Your Bike The Kenevo SL sets this new bar for trail performance through an integrated development approach. Our development team lives, eats, sleeps, and dreams singletrack. They created every part of the bike—chassis, geometry, suspension, motor, battery, controller—to work flawlessly with every other part, and with you to deliver a ride beyond belief. Frame of Reference The full monocoque FACT 11m carbon fiber frame is the backbone of the Kenevo Super Light and is a marvel of composite construction, fully optimized for handling and weight savings. The Turbo Super Light motor and 320Wh battery are integrated and centralized in the chassis to improve handling responsiveness by decreasing the moment of inertia while powering up to 4.5 hours of ride support. (Want to go bigger? No prob, plug in the 160Wh Range Extender battery and you’re set for up to almost 7 hours total supported ride time.) Chassis stiffness is tuned to eliminate unwanted flex, ensuring that front and rear wheels track with precision for predictable control. Geometry Of Control The Kenevo Super Light sets the benchmark for all-mountain e-MTB handling, adding six-way adjustability to the acclaimed geometry of our Enduro. The generous cockpit gives you room to move on the bike, optimizing traction and corner control. The steep seat tube centers you in that cockpit so you’re free to move back for steep descents or forward to keep your weight over the front when climbing. The slack headtube angle and reduced fork offset keep things stable and calm no matter how fast you charge a boulder field or root-infested line. 29” wheels and a progressive wheelbase strike the perfect balance between providing stability at high speeds while keeping things responsive and fun. Adjustable Geometry Regardless of where—or how—you ride, the Kenevo Super Light can be tuned to deliver exactly the ride you want thanks to its adjustable geometry. Six distinct settings allow you to hone handling characteristics to suit your style and terrain. Head angle can be set at 62.5, 63.5, or 64.5-degrees. Bottom bracket height can be fine-tuned up or down by 6mm. Ride Dynamics With 170mm of plush, responsive, super-capable travel, the Kenevo Super Light eats up whatever you throw in front of it, from tree roots and trail chunder to massive G-outs and relentless hucks to flat. Suspension that works this flawlessly is realized when every component of the whole is developed together in an integrated approach. Total suspension performance involves chassis stiffness, kinematics, leverage rates, spring curves, damping performance, and tunability, all designed and working together to achieve a singular, elevated ride quality on the trail. We refer to this integrated approach to suspension development as Ride Dynamics, and we have a one-of-a-kind team of trail-riding engineers, technicians, and fabricators working together out in the dirt and in our state-of-the-art innovation center to ensure that every component is optimized and functioning in harmony with every other. Six Bars, Six Pivots, One Goal The Six Bar linkage of the Kenevo SL was pioneered on our DH World Championship-winning Demo and later adapted to the Enduro. It represents the ultimate big-trail suspension linkage, delivering an unmatched combination of control, big-hit bump force management, pedaling performance, and durability. At its heart, the Six Bar is an FSR design, primarily using a four- bar linkage with a “Horst Link” forward of the dropouts. These four bars with the Horst Link enable our engineers to optimize the axle path for bump force management and to tune anti-rise and anti- squat for pedaling performance. It also decouples braking forces, so the control delivered by active suspension is there for you even when you’re grabbing a handful. The additional “tension links” that drive shock compression give us the engineering freedom to separately and independently control leverage rate and axle path, broadly enhancing suspension capability. Compressing the shock from these tension links also eliminates side-loading of the shock. Side-loading can cause binding and shock failure, and removing that from a suspension improves performance (reduced stiction means smoother and more responsive suspension) and durability. Finally, the Six Bar design improves handling by lowering and centralizing mass (linkage and shock), reducing the center of gravity and moment of inertia. This, in turn, translates to more stable yet responsive handling and a livelier feel on the trail. Axle path / Kinematics The Kenevo SL’s axle path is tailored for getting after it. The axle moves rearward in the first third of travel, and then vertically in the mid-travel before arcing to a forward trajectory toward bottom out. To break this down, the rearward path in the first portion of travel allows the wheel to “swing” back with the bump force, decreasing hangup and thereby helping to carry speed. As the bike moves deeper into its travel, where pedaling isn’t typical, the forward axle path disconnects chain forces from pedaling forces, allowing the suspension to independently compress in response to input from the trail. Leverage Rate Tearing a page from our Enduro’s acclaimed suspension performance handbook, the new Kenevo SL’s leverage rate delivers small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support, and compliant but controlled full travel when stomping the big hits. The leverage rate is matched by our Rx tuned shock tailored specifically for the Kenevo SL, allowing the suspension to do what it needs to do so you can do what you want to do: shred. RxTUNE In order to work in harmony with the extra power available, account for the higher speeds possible, and capitalize fully on the potential of the six-bar kinematics, our engineers burned the midnight oil developing custom valving and spring curves specific to the Kenevo SL. Turbo Super Light System The Turbo Super Light System motor/controller at the core of the Kenevo SL delivers seamless usable power, up to 2x You rider amplification. Sophisticated algorithms and rider-developed software within the integrated controller respond instantaneously to your pedal inputs, boosting efforts with an incredibly natural, intuitive delivery of up to 240 watts of power and 35 Nm of torque. It’s you pedaling, but it’s a way stronger version of you—delivering power and torque so smoothly that you find traction in loose, steep terrain where other bikes spin out. You can sit and spin a cadence of 75 RPM or more for optimal power and efficiency where other, less refined bikes demand you stand and mash the pedals (and your knees). The ability to smoothly and seamlessly control the power delivery is a cornerstone of what makes this bike so great. Matermind Turbo Control Unit The MasterMind Turbo Control Unit (TCU) is the “brain” of the Kenevo Super Light. This is the hardware and software that controls how the motor, battery, bike, and you interact. It allows real-time support tuning while riding, and it displays all relevant data about your bike and ride. The MasterMind TCU also enables over-the-air updates so that as new features and functionality come online, your bike will get even better over time. Finally, MasterMind seamlessly integrates with the Mission Control app for advanced tuning, on- trail diagnostics, and more. The following is a rundown of the out-of-the-box functionality: Over-the-air updates ensure Kenevo Super Light gets better over time MasterMind TCU displays remaining charge as an easy-to-read percentage MicroTune feature allows on-the-fly adjustment of peak power and support levels in 10% increments Personalization of display arrangement (4 choices) and 30 possible data values Clock “Live Consumption” teaches you how to pedal efficiently by displaying real-time miles (or kilometers) per watt-hour Rider Power Value display allows you to see the power you’re putting into the bike Heart rate pairing capability to take your training to the next level Precision elevation tracking S-Sizing S-Sizing is based on what matters; rider size and style, not inseam. Six sizes, all with similar headtube lengths and standover, allow you to choose the size that best suits your individual style. Smaller S-Size numbers are going to be nimble, thanks to their shorter reach and front-center measurement, while bigger S-Sizes deliver more stability and a roomier ride. Find Your S-Sizing Determining your S-Size is easy. If you rode a Medium before, then S-3 will be your equivalent size. But... if you want a more flickable ride, you’d drop down to an S2. Want a bike that’s more stable at speed? Bump up to an S4. Following are examples of three riders, all 5’8” (1.73m), who chose three different sizes.
  11. Press Release Power up to trail riding’s next level with the Kenevo Super Light and rip the biggest trails like never before. Created by trail riders for trail riders, Kenevo SL is an e-MTB in a class by itself—a previously unattainable combination of light weight, responsiveness, and capability. Ultra-responsive handling and big mountain capability merge with the benefits of our Turbo Super Light system, enabling you to overcome the trail monsters that have been your nemeses until now. Flow up, over, and through the biggest trails in ways that were previously impossible. View full article
  12. Press Release A forty-year obsession with creating the best riding mountain bikes possible takes a bionic leap forward with the new Levo. It sets the standard for full power ride quality with stable, natural trail manners born from an integrated full carbon chassis development approach; fusing together 150mm of rear suspension, progressive geometry, sophisticated motor assist and the advanced MasterMind Turbo Control Unit to bring you a ride like no other. Harness this technology and amplify your experience. More speed. More distance. More freedom. More trails ridden, more pure stoke generated, more unforgettable experiences... experienced. This is where the impossible becomes possible and you are riding better, stronger, farther, and faster than ever before. The new Levo; merging unprecedented power and range with natural, confident handling for an unbelievable ride. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most. The ride. Your ride. Believe it. Ride Quality: Stable & Natural Ride A Ride Beyond Belief The new Levo is the distillation, application and amplification of everything we know about mountain biking; a potent blend of chassis, suspension, geometry and motor assist that adds up to an incredible trail riding experience. It is the liveliest, most nimble, full-power eMTB ever. Mixed Wheels, Nimble Ride We opted for a dedicated “Mullet” design with 27.5” wheel in the back and 29” up front. It’s a challenge to design a full-power electric assist mountain bike with lively handling because the motor takes valuable real estate that usually necessitates longer chainstays. The Levo’s smaller rear wheel allows for short chainstays; delivering a much more playful and nimble ride that carves circles around other full-power eMTBs. The Geometry Of Control Levo’s geometry is totally revamped, with an emphasis on control and capability. The seat tube got steeper, which is great for climbing. The front end got longer, which centers you on the bike, optimizing traction and corner control. The headtube angle is more relaxed, and the fork offset is reduced to keep things stable in the rough and at speed. Additionally, the geometry is adjustable, so it can be tuned to match your style and the terrain you’re riding. Personalized Handling Levo has six geometry settings allowing easy adjustment to match your style and hone performance in any terrain, from mellow fire roads to technical single-track. Choose between three headtube angles from 63 to 65.5-degrees. Bottom bracket height can fine tuned up or down by 7mm, thanks to the flip-chip located on the Horst pivot. Check out the geo finder tool for more details. Bottom bracket height adjustment Head angle adjustment Suspension Levo’s 150mm rear travel/160mm (150 on S1 Size) front travel is dialed for anything; it’s supple on small bumps and devours square- edged hits without a twitch. It eats massive G-outs for breakfast, yet still offers amazing pedal response and delivers your power to the ground with total efficiency. RxTune Our trail obsessed team of engineers stay awake at night thinking of how to make suspension work better. For the Levo they developed specific suspension valving in consideration of the added power and speed that can be generated. They tailored every aspect of the suspension - kinematics, leverage curves, damping and spring rates - to work together in harmony, delivering a highly controlled, responsive and precise ride that handles bump forces like a bike with much more travel. Leverage Rate Levo’s full-analog sibling, the Stumpjumper EVO, won multiple Trail Bike Of The Year awards. We borrowed the Stumpy EVO’s progressive leverage rate, but tailored it to 2.9 Levo travel, torque and power. The result is a suspension package that delivers small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support and compliant but controlled full travel when stomping the big hits. The tuned leverage rate is matched by our proprietary Rx Tune shock valving, allowing the suspension to do what it needs to do so you can do what you want to do: shred. Leverage rate. Axle path. Axle Path Levo’s axle path moves rearward in the first third of travel, and then vertically in the mid-travel before arcing to a forward trajectory toward bottom out. To break this down, the rearward path in the first portion of travel allows the 110 wheel to “swing” back with the bump force, decreasing hangup and thereby helping to carry speed. As the bike moves deeper into its travel, where pedaling isn’t typical, the forward axle path disconnects chain forces from pedaling forces, yielding stellar big hit performance. Power: 4X You Power The Power To Bend Space And Time Levo empowers you to choose where to ride, and when you want to do it. Only got an hour? No problem, you can still bust out your favourite long loop and get back with time to spare. Want to find out what’s beyond that ridge on the horizon of your biggest ride? Go for it. Levo fuels your newfound superpower. The integrated controller responds to your pedal inputs resulting in intuitive amplification of your efforts - as much as quadrupling the power you put into the pedals - with an incredibly natural feel. It’s our most powerful system, capable of supplying up to 565 Watts power and 90Nm torque. You control the power, feeding in as much or as little as you need to flatten the steepest climbs and cover previously inconceivable distances. Specialized Turbo Levo SWORKS Carbon Specialized Turbo Levo Pro Carbon The Power Of Trust Levo’s Turbo Full Power motor delivers extremely quiet and reliable power. This is Full Power that can be trusted to take you deep into the wild and back, ride after ride. Custom tuned motor for optimal power and torque Updated belt ensures long-term reliable power delivery MasterMind firmware smoothly delivers power and reduces drivetrain wear Triple seals at the plug and new hatch boosts weather resistance Range: Go Big 5-Hour Range Ride Anywhere Range Levo shatters limitations when it comes to range, supporting you for up to five hours of trail time. Now you can ride farther and explore more than ever before. Smart Control ensures that you won’t run out of juice; it enables you to input the duration or distance of your ride and then manages support level to complete it with available battery charge. Range like this is only possible by fully integrating our highest capacity Turbo Technology battery (700 Wh) with our Mastermind Turbo Control Unit to ensure maximum efficiency. MasterMind TCU MasterMind Turbo Control Unit (TCU) is essentially Levo’s “brain”. It is the hardware and software that controls how the motor, battery, bike and you interact. It allows real-time support tuning while riding and displays all relevant data about your bike and ride. MasterMind TCU also enables over-the-air updates so that your bike gets better over time. Finally, MasterMind seamlessly integrates with the Mission Control app for advanced tuning, on-trail diagnostics and more. The following is a rundown of the out-of- the-box functionality: Over-the-air updates ensure Levo gets better over time MasterMind TCU displays remaining charge as an easy to read percentage MicroTune feature allows on-the-fly adjustment of peak power and support levels in 10% increments, enabling easy equalization of effort to riding partners, increasing range by using only the power needed, conserving battery life and stretching out available ride time Personalization of display arrangement (4 choices) and 30 possible data values Clock “Live Consumption” teaches you how to pedal efficiently by displaying real time miles (or kilometers) per watt-hour Rider Power Value display allows you to see the power you’re putting into the bike Heart rate pairing capability to take your training to the next level Precision elevation tracking The Dynamic Of Fit: S-Sizing S-Sizing is based on what matters; rider size and style, not inseam. Six sizes, all with similar headtube lengths and standover, allow you to choose the size that best suits your individual style. Smaller S-Size numbers are going to be nimble, thanks to their shorter reach and front-centre measurement, while bigger S-Sizes deliver more stability and a roomier ride. Find Your S-Size Determining your S-Size is easy. If you rode a Medium before, then S-3 will be your equivalent size. But... if you want a more flickable ride, you’d drop down to an S2. Want a bike that’s more stable at speed? Bump up to an S4. Following are examples of three riders, all 5’8” (1.73m), who chose three different sizes. Questions and Answers CAN YOU CHANGE THE REAR WHEEL TO 29”? No, the Levo is designed around the 27.5” rear wheel. That’s a good thing, because the smaller wheel is key in shortening Levo’s chainstays, which in turn delivers a much more nimble ride.HOW MUCH SUSPENSION TRAVEL DOES LEVO HAVE? Levo has 150mm of rear suspension travel and 160mm of front travel (150mm up front on the smallest, S1 size); just right for a wide range of off road conditions. HOW MUCH POWER DOES LEVO HAVE? Levo’s new Turbo Full Power motor delivers up to 565 watts of power and 90 Nm of peak torque. These are impressive power and torque values, but what’s really important is the way that all this power and torque is delivered. The integrated functionality of Levo’s Turbo Full Power Motor and the software that controls it results in an extremely smooth and natural quadrupling of your power. The ride experience feels like a natural extension of your own power, only that you are much, much stronger, and fully in control. WHAT ARE THE UPDATES TO THE MOTOR USED IN THE NEW LEVO? The Levo Turbo Full Power System 2.2 motor has a more robust belt for long-term reliable power delivery, revised firmware that eliminates power “spikes” to decrease drivetrain wear. This 2.2 motor is being used on all new Levos. WHAT MAKES THE ELECTRONICS OF THE MOTOR WATER RESISTANT? A new door or “hatch” hatch boosts weather resistance. In addition, the plug on the Range Extender batter has double seals at the to keep moisture out for added reliability in wet conditions. WHAT IS THE WATT HOUR (WH) CAPACITY OF LEVO’S BATTERY? All carbon Levo models have the category leading Turbo 700 Wh capacity battery for all day riding. HOW DOES MASTERMIND MEASURE ELEVATION? Altitude and elevation gain is measured through a built-in pressure sensor; air pressure changes require calibration before riding via remote/display for accurate data. DO YOU HAVE AN APP I CAN USE TO GET MORE OUT OF THE LEVO? Yes, all Specialized Turbo e-bikes connect to your phone via our Mission Control App. Using Mission Control empowers you to get the most out of your bike. Mission Control gives you the ability to customize motor characteristics, control range, tune modes, monitor your heart rate, run system diagnosis, assist with on-trail rider care support, record rides and see real-time ride data, and more. Pretty mind blowing right? WHAT IS THE RANGE OF LEVO? There are many factors that affect how far, how long, and how much climbing a full charge will take you: terrain, rider weight, power assist level, even pedaling cadence all impact range. The following table states the most common range spectrums for elevation gain (M), distance (KM) and ride time (H) for each default mode. MY BATTERY IS DEAD! HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO CHARGE? You can fully charge the 700Wh battery in 5 hours and 15 minutes, and the 500Wh battery in 3 hours and 50 minutes. WHAT IS THE WARRANTY AND LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A TURBO E-BIKE? If looked after correctly and regularly serviced, you and your bike will enjoy a very long and happy relationship, and will no doubt be the talk of the town. Specialized frames come with a lifetime warranty. All MY22 Levo Turbo e-Bike batteries and motors come with a 2yr/15,000km warranty, and an assisted purchasing program post-warranty period. Faults due to manufacture and material defects are covered during this period and handled by your local Specialized Retailer. HOW MANY TIMES CAN I CHARGE MY LEVO’S BATTERY? The lithium ion batteries used on the Levo can be charged more than 1,000 times with little to no degradation. CAN YOU GIVE ME AN OVERVIEW OF COMPONENT COMPATIBILITY AND STANDARD DIMENSIONS FOR MY LEVO?
  13. Specialized have released the latest iteration of their do-it-all electric mountain bike, the Levo. The new Levo brings updated (and adjustable) frame geometry along with a new wheel size configuration of 29" up front and 27.5" in the rear - generally known as a "mullet bike". A new control unit to improve the ride experience with a raft software improvements, a new digital display, over-the-air updates and more. These, along with all-round improvements are said to make for a more natural ride feel, better range and control, and improved reliability in any conditions. More details in the press release from Specialized below. Click here to view the article
  14. The Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie pushes the evolution a step further by introducing the plus sized wheel and tyre format to this iconic model. Our long term test bike is the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie. The build Looking at the Stumpjumper FSR range as a whole it fits firmly in the trail bike category, offering 135 to 150 millimeters of rear travel depending on the wheel size. It is available in standard 650b, 29 inch and 650b+ or “6Fattie” versions, with the standard 650b the only of the three sporting the 150 millimetres of travel in the rear.The Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie features a carbon front triangle with an alloy rear end. As you move further up the price tiers that M5 alloy rear is swapped out for carbon. The carbon chassis includes the Specialized SWAT door for ultra-convenient storage of your spare tube and a few tools within the down tube. It’s an ingenious use of space to free up pockets, backpacks or rid your bike of that awkward saddle bag. The Expert Carbon 6Fattie has a rock solid component lineup, arguably heroed by the RockShox Pike RC 29/27.5+ providing 150 millimeters of dependable travel up front. At the rear, a RockShox Monarch RT3 sporting AUTOSAG supplies 135 millimeters of travel. The wheels comprise of Roval Traverse 650 alloy rims laced to Roval hubs front and rear, in Boost 110 millimeter and Boost 148 millimeter sizing respectively. The rims are wrapped in the voluminous Specialized Purgatory GRID 3.0 tyres.A mash-up of SRAM GX shifters, a SRAM X1 rear derailleur, and RaceFace Aeffect crankset provide a dependable no-nonsense drivetrain that won’t require a re-mortgage to replace. No doubt many will be asking “but what about Eagle?”. For 2018, the Expert Stumpjumper is equipped with SRAM Eagle GX while the Comp model still sports eleven-speed GX. SRAM Guide R brake levers paired with Guide S4 4-piston calipers provide ample stopping power. Rounding out the build, the cockpit and contact points are all catered for in-house. A Specialized Trail alloy bar and stem combo make for a suitably wide and short cockpit with 750 millimeter bars bolted to a 60mm stem. The Specialized Command Post dropper and Specialized Henge Comp 143mm saddle creates a comfortable perch with a 12-position adjustment through 125mm of dropper post travel.It’s worth noting that the 29 inch and 6Fattie variants are identical in their geometry. Swop out the 650b+ wheels for a set of boost 29” hoops and we’re rolling on a Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 29. Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie specifications FrameFull Carbon Front Triangle, Full CaFACT 9m, carbon front chassis, M5 alloy rear end, Trail Geometry, SWAT Door integration, PF30 BB, fully enclosed internal cable routing, ManFu link, 12x148mm dropouts, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, replaceable derailleur hanger, 135mm of travelForkRockShox Pike RC 29/27.5+, Solo Air, compression and rebound adjust, tapered steerer, 15x110mm Maxle Stealth thru-axle, 51mm offset, 150mm travelRear ShockRockShox Monarch RT3, Rx Trail Tune, AUTOSAG, rebound and 3-position compression adjust, 197x48mmCranksetRaceFace Aeffect, 6000-series alloy, 24mm spindle, 52mm chainline, 28TBottom BracketShimano BB-MT800 PressfitFront DerailleurN/ARear DerailleurSRAM X1 Type 2.1, 11-speedShifterSRAM GX, 11-speed, triggerFront BrakeSRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, organic pads, Guide S4 4-piston caliper, 200/180mm rotorRear BrakeSRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, organic pads, Guide S4 4-piston caliper, 180/160mm rotorCassetteSRAM XG-1150, 11-speed, 10-42tChainSRAM PC-1110, 11-speed w/PowerLinkPedalsN/ARimsRoval Traverse 650, hookless alloy, 29mm inner width, 24/28h, tubeless readySpokesDT Swiss RevolutionFront HubRoval Traverse, sealed cartridge bearings, 15mm thru-axle, 110mm spacing, 24hRear HubRoval Traverse, DT Swiss internals, sealed cartridge bearings, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28hTiresPurgatory, GRID casing, 650bx3.0", 60TPI, Aramid folding bead, 2Bliss ReadyHandlebarsSpecialized Trail, 7050 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 25mm rise, 750mm width, 31.8mmGripsSpecialized Sip Grip, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thicknessStemSpecialized Trail, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree riseSeatpostCommand Post IRcc, 12 position micro-height adjustable, alien head design, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL lever, 30.9mm, S: 100mm, M/L/XL: 125mm travelSaddleBody Geometry Henge Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm On the trail There are a certain set of expectations created when you mention anything plus or quasi-fat in mountain bike terms. Bigger tyres usually mean stability, better traction and improved capability, but often at the expense of weight, precision and feel. While Plus size in general is intended to hit the sweet spot between fat and standard, delivering the best of both, we were curious to see how the 6Fattie would fare. On its very first outing at my trusty local Tokai trails, the Stumpjumper 6Fattie delivered smiles in spades and shattered some of my early expectations. As a trail bike, it naturally excelled on the twisty technical stuff and, if Strava PRs were a measure of a bike’s worth, the fistful of new PRs served as an early indicator that this is a goodie. I quickly found a new excitement for trails and I was instantly able to shave seconds off and comfortably sail through technical switchbacks that I’d usually awkwardly fumble. What makes a Plus bike? While there’s no firmly agreed standard on what defines a Plus bike, the prevailing wisdom is that it’s a tyre of between 2.8 and 3.25 inches, typically paired with a rim in the 30 to 50mm internal width range. Beyond that and you’d risk being called fat. Any smaller and you’re just, well, standard. I had anticipated lumbering climbs up thanks to the “bigger boned” construction and trail geometry. At 13.85 kilograms sans pedals this particular 6Fattie is not all too heavy as far as trail bikes go, especially considering the mid-range build and alloy rear end, not to mention the plus tyres. The distinctly upright and comfortable riding position along with generous gearing make for easy climbing. You do feel the bulkier tyres on the ups and flats, but the added stability and traction over uneven terrain largely offsets any losses from rolling resistance and mass. At slower speeds through flat, obstacle-laden singletrack the broader tyres provide a very forgiving ride. You’re able to roll over roots or rocks with greater ease and the tyres hang onto every bit of grip they can find. The added stability also helps in slow speed, technical turns and switchbacks. I did struggle with frequent pedal strikes initially due to the relatively low bottom bracket, but after a few rides I gained a better sense of the limits. As the trails point down you immediately feel that the bike wants to go. The rolling mass of the tyres create a sensation of speed and although not the quickest to accelerate, once going the bike carries momentum well. It stops promptly too thanks to the larger contact patch and 4-piston calipers. At higher speeds, the tyre pressure does become critical to the performance and needs to be carefully matched to the terrain and rider. Set the tyre pressure too hard and the bike behaves more like a pinball through rock gardens, but too soft on hard packed flowy surfaces and you’ll note a definite wafty squish through berms. There’s a bit of a goldilocks approach to getting this just right and after some trial and error at both extremes, I soon found the sweet spot for my weight and riding conditions. It will vary based on your weight and trail conditions, but at 75kg I found a range of 16 to 18psi to work well, with the front on the lower end and rear higher end of that range. One of the biggest pluses for me was the boost to my confidence on the trail. I don’t proclaim to be a hardened trail shredder, but the 6Fattie had me biting at features I’d usually chicken run and pointing down lines I wouldn’t typically dare. As I grew more comfortable with the bike’s capabilities I pushed it (and myself) that bit further. The only downside was that this new found faux confidence was carried over to other less forgiving bikes at the expense of some skin and dignity. While it’s by no means a replacement for skills, the 6Fattie does add a layer of confidence thanks to its impressive stability. Towards the latter part of the testing, I had the opportunity to try the Stumpjumper 6Fattie out in 29er mode. With some loaner cSixx Carbon hoops the Stumpy shed some rubber and weight. With some “normal” tyres there was a definite improvement in the responsiveness thanks to the lighter wheels and tyres. Additionally, the tyre pressure sensitivity I’d experienced with the 6Fattie tyres was now a non-issue. Overall it felt good, but after a couple of rides, I was somehow left underwhelmed. At the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t love about the 29ers, but in reviewing what I enjoyed about the plus format it was obvious. Reverting back to skinnier tyres took the security and dependability I’d come to expect away, and with it, my new found confidence fizzled. Suddenly I was jittery, unsure and uneasy. There is a tradeoff in ride feel with the fatter tires which can be a bit vague and the more technically adept may prefer the distinct feedback from slimmer tyres. For me it was that “throw me at anything” factor of the 6Fattie which produced the smiles. Conclusion All considered the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie is an incredibly fun and rewarding bike to ride. For a newbie to mid-level rider seeking a playful and confidence giving trail bike the 6Fattie is well worth a test ride. More experienced riders may favour more precision and steer away from the 6Fattie option in favour of the 29” or 650b. ProsLarge volume tyre creates stability and inspires confidence Excellent grip and braking performance SWAT storage neatly stashes your spares Versatility of 650b+ or 29” wheel options ConsSome added weight of the bigger tyres and alu rear end Tyre pressure setup leaves little room for error Low bottom bracket does mean more pedal strikes Find out more: To learn more about the Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie and other Specialized bikes, visit the Specialized website here.You can also follow the latest news from Specialized on the following channels: Facebook - Specialized Bicycles South Africa Twitter - @SpecializedZA Instagram - @SpecializedZA
  15. Seeing as there are no Maxxis DHR II or Agressor tyres in 29er 2.3" in the country I'm looking for feedback on the following two tyres as a rear tyre on an enduro/trail bike! I'm also open to other recommendations! Most of my riding is done on dry hard pack, rock gardens, loose rocks and roots. Predominantly in Tokai as well as Hoogekraal, Contermanskloof, Jonkershoek etc. Grip is important but I still want the tyre to roll fast! I'm currently running a DHF upfront! I was looking at the Specialized Eliminator 29x2.3" with a grid trail casing and T7 rubber compound as well as the Schwalbe Hanz Dampf 29x2.35" in a super trail/super gravity casing and the addix soft rubber compound! Would love to hear your experiences and feedback with these tyres?
  16. Hi all, I have come across an urgent advert on Facebook where a person is trying to sell a Specialized Epic (Black and red) Please follow the link below to see the advert, especially if your bike was recently stolen. The bike is currently located in Rustenburg, North West. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/864935731019097/
  17. Jordan Sarrou is the 2020 UCI MTB World Champion and joins Specialized on a multi-year partnership. The 28-year-old Frenchman has enjoyed riding Specialized bikes from a young age and expressed great excitement in joining the factory team - “It’s a big motivation for me and I’m very excited to ride for Specialized; they are the best brand for mountain biking and cycling, so it’s a huge excitement for me to join the family now.” Winning the world title in 2020 was a dream for Jordan. In 2021 he has even bigger dreams of competing in the Olympic games and defending his world title - “Firstly, my goal is to be at the start at the Tokyo Olympic Games, then to defend my world title and be on top for the World Cup races.” Brian Gordon, MTB product manager in Morgan Hill, California is excited to work with the new team of riders. “Specialized Factory Racing is and has always been an integral part of product development at Specialized. There is no doubt that the energy and excitement around the 2021 team roster will motivate and inspire us to push the limits of product innovation in every aspect.” The close tie between the race team and product team at Specialized has been paramount in building the legacy of Specialized Factory Racing and the Epic platform. The 2021 program will only see this tie grow stronger, pushing product design further into the future. Alongside Sarrou, Specialized have signed former Italian National Champion, Gerhard Kerschbaumer. ‘Geri’ as his team mates call him has set his sights on the 2021 World Title which will be contested in his home country, Val Di Sole, Italy. Apart from chasing the rainbow stripes, Kerschbaumer will focus on the World Cup series and an Olympic medal – “I have enjoyed my short time with the team. We are set up here at our first team camp and things are going very well. I come from a very small setup and having all of this support is very exciting for me. I never had a soigneur or a personal mechanic before and I need to get used to having access to all of this new information and product. I can learn a lot from Jordan who is the world champion and I look forward to 2021 with the team.” Benno Willeit who has been with the global race team for more than 10 years makes a return to the Specialized Factory racing team as program manager. Willeit has spent the last few years pioneering the E-bike racing category for Specialized and his wealth of knowledge and experience on the world cup circuit will be invaluable to the team’s future success – “I spent the last few years with the E-bike and Enduro teams. It is great to be back with the XCO team, it is where I started my career and super happy to be here in Stellenbosch with our team. We have 3 riders who are new to the brand and it has been very educational for everyone to get a Retül fit and learn more about the equipment that they will be using for 2021 and beyond. The goal of this team camp is to get to know everyone intimately, but also generate content for our sponsors and riders. So far we are having a great time together and I am excited for the years ahead.” Sina Frei has an impressive résumé which includes U/23 World Champion, U/23 European Champion, Swiss Champion and at 23, she is undoubtedly one of the women to look out for in the Elite category. Frei joins Specialized on a multi-year partnership and is excited to get back to racing - “It is really exciting to join Specialized. I am already enjoying the team environment and it is such a great group of people to be a part of, everything is very professional”. Joining her teammates on the S-Works Epic for the first time, Sina has been impressed with the setup of her new bike and the Retül fit process – “From the first time I was on the bike, it has been super comfortable. Riding here in Stellenbosch, the bike is smooth and very precise in handling. I also had a Retül fit for the first time ever and the data is really interesting. I enjoy seeing the numbers and already, we have made a few tweaks which have improved my position on the bike.” Another talented rider who has been supported by Specialized, but now makes the step up to the factory racing team is Austrian, Laura Stigger. While she could still race in the U/23 Category, the 20 year old Stigger made the decision to race in the Elite women’s category and has already made huge impressions on the mountain biking community. “I am very comfortable in this group. It is nice to get to know everyone better and I am excited to spend the next few years with this group of people. It is my first time in Stellenbosch and it is a big change from the Cross Country skiing that I have been doing back home in Austria. The riding, the food, the people are all awesome and I am very happy to be here.” Laura has big goals for the 2021 season including a World Championship medal and podiums at the XCO World Cups. The Specialized Factory Racing Team will focus on the UCI MTB XCO World Cup season including the Olympic games, Sea Otter Classic, Specialized market activations and National Championships. The team is proud to be supported by SRAM, Rockshox, Wahoo, Cliff, HT Components, Retül, Roval, Motrex and Supacaz.
  18. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman The Turbo Levo Family Before we dive into the Turbo Levo SL, it is worth pointing that the new Levo SL is not a replacement for the more powerful Turbo Levo and Kenevo e-bikes. The slimmer Turbo SL is positioned as another offering in the Turbo range, giving riders a broader choice to suit their riding style. There is no doubt that the powerful Levo and Kenevo models will continue to appeal to many e-bike riders. Check out the cheatsheet below for a quick comparison of the three Turbo Levo ranges. As you can see, the Turbo Levo SL will not suit every e-biker. It lacks the power to fully support the rider the way the Levo and Kenevo can. The Levo SL will likely appeal to a fitter, more active rider that is looking for an experience closer to a conventional bike. Smaller riders that are intimidated by the weight of the Levo will also find the Levo SL much friendlier to handle on and off the bike. The SL Motor Specialized’s aim with the Levo SL is an electric-assisted bike that rides more like a regular bike than any other electric mountain bike they (and anyone else) have built before. This is largely achieved through a smaller, lighter motor and internal battery system. While the Specialized 2.1 motor found in the Levo and Kenevo was built to deliver maximum power, the SL 1.1 motor was designed to be light and efficient. To achieve their goals and desired performance, Specialized developed the SL 1.1 from scratch in-house. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman The SL 1.1 motor weighs 1.95 kilograms making it 1.1 kilograms lighter than the Levo and Kenevo motor. The lighter motor is housed in a new magnesium motor casing along with a new internal design of the motor and gears. The SL motor also uses a 48-volt system which allows it to use smaller plugs and hardware compared to the 36-volt system used for the Levo and Kenevo. The result is a motor that produces up to 240 watts and with 35 Nm maximum torque. As a comparison, the Levo motor can output 565 watts and 90 Nm torque. The motor in the Levo SL is the same motor used in the Turbo Creo SL road and gravel bike launched last year. The Levo SL includes some mountain bike specific tuning and the walk assist function. The Levo SL motor. The Specialized 2.1 motor. The power outputs of a motor are easily comparable but it's in the delivery of that power where the best e-bike motors stand out. Specialized put a lot of effort into the riding experience to develop the most natural and smooth e-bike motors. On-bike testing of Levo SL covered over 100 000 kilometres, this excludes the test rig testing time. A big win for the SL motor is that it can completely disengage using a decoupling mechanism when not active. This allows a seamless transition between pedalling and freewheeling. Also when approaching the speed limit (which is 32 km/h in South Africa) the bike does not require the rider to power through any drag. The Specialized engineers say that when disengaged, the SL motor creates drag similar to a conventional bottom bracket. Specialized also looked at how mountain bikers pedal their bikes and have tuned the motor to provide stable support through a broad cadence range (namely 60 to 120). While most riders can’t sustain a 120 cadence for too long, Specialized measured burst quarter and half strokes out on the trails that match (and exceed) these pedal speeds and made sure that the SL motor could react to them naturally. Speed sensors are also used to match the motor support to the rider's needs. Specialized collected data from existing Levo riders in creating the Levo SL. They found that there were riders who never used the full power, or rarely reached the maximum range. Some riders also mentioned that the Levo can be heavy to load or move around off the bike. The main aim of the Levo SL is to create a lighter handling trail bike but in the process of losing weight, they were able to address several other consumer needs. Battery and Range Maintaining an acceptable range was always at the forefront of the Specialized engineers' minds when developing the Levo SL with a smaller battery. While a reduction in weight and maximum power outputs would help conserve battery, there was also a focus on making the SL motor as efficient as possible.All Levo SL models feature a 320Wh internal lithium-ion battery. Of course, there are many factors that determine your range such as how much support the motor provides, rider weight, fitness, tyre choice and pressures, elevation, trail conditions, and even the weather. Taking this into account, Specialized claims that you should manage 3 hours of riding in ECO mode from a single charge of the internal battery. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman Specialized stressed that an important part of the range equation is the efficiency of the motor. You can not simply look at an e-bikes battery capacity as an indication of its range. Let’s use a car comparison. A modern efficient hatchback can get a similar range as a heavier, more powerful bakkie but with a smaller petrol tank. It is the same with e-bikes. The Levo SL is a much more efficient e-bike than the Levo or Kenevo. If you want to go further than the internal battery allows, the Levo SL is designed to fit an external range extender battery. The range extender supplies a further 2 hours of riding and boosts the overall range to five hours (matching the Levo and Kenevo). It packs 160Wh, an additional 50% to the internal battery, and weighs one kilogram. The range extender is stowed in the bottle cage with a cable connecting it to the electrical system. The unit should fit into a normal water bottle cage but Specialized do recommend their Zee Cage as it has undergone thorough testing for this purpose. The range extender can be plugged in at any time and a number of range extenders can be used in a single ride. By default, the bike will drain the most charged battery until they are matched for capacity and then continue using them equally until empty. You can also set the bike to use up the range extender first, which is useful should you have a stash of extenders in your backpack or hidden in the mountains. The Levo SL includes a charger cable that will charge the internal battery and range extender. The Levo SL’s internal battery charges to full in approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes while a range extender will do the same in 3 hours and 20 minutes. The Founder’s Edition and S-Works models ship with a split cable that can charge both the internal battery and a range extender at the same time in around 3 hours and 20 minutes. The internal battery is removable which means that you can take the Levo SL on an aeroplane. You can pack a range extender in your carry-on luggage which will allow you to ride the bike but you’ll have to find an internal battery at your destination for the full range. The motor does not need to be completely removed to access the battery as it can swing out of the way after releasing a few bolts. A Range Extender placed in the bottle cage. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman Bike Weights The Levo SL in its lightest form (the S-Works models) weighs around 17.3 kilograms. I weighed a large S-Works bike (with tyre sealant) at 17.28 kilograms so Specialized are not fibbing these numbers. In comparison, the bigger S-Works Levo weighs around 21.3 kilograms. Four kilograms heavier than the Levo SL. I also weighed an Expert Carbon model with a medium frame and it tipped the scales at 17.8 kg while a large frame was 18 kg. Mission Control App The TCU is the on/off button, displays battery life for the internal and range extender batteries, and switches between the three tune modes. It can be used to control the bike without pairing a device or remote. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman For riders looking to customise the Levo SL experience, the Mission Control phone app opens up endless tuning possibilities.Of course, if this sounds like too much hassle, the preset ECO, TRAIL, and TURBO modes are ideally set so you can simply go out and ride without any devices. A rider can switch between the modes by either using the Turbo Control Unit (TCU) button on the top tube or via the remote. The TCU also reports battery capacity with a simple LED scale. Out of the box, ECO mode matches your effort up to 30% of the motor’s power, TRAIL mode matches your effort up to 60% of the motor’s power, and TURBO mode matches your effort to 100% of the motor’s power (240 watts). If you want to jump into the custom tuning, there are two settings that you can adjust: Peak power. This is the maximum support that the motor will output. For example, in TRAIL mode no matter how hard you pedal you will not get more than 60% of the possible support from the motor. Reducing peak power is an effective way of saving battery power. Assistance. This is a measure of how much power the rider must input to get the maximum power out of the motor. Think of it as how quickly you can gain assistance. Setting the assistance to 100 will give the rider the quickest access the motor's maximum support. Reducing the assistance will require the rider to work harder to reach peak power. The Mission Control app offers more than just tuning. You can record your ride with data from the bike and your phone and have it uploaded directly to Strava (as an e-bike activity). Riders can also set the time or distance of a ride so that the bike limits the motor output and battery usage to see them through the entire journey without the worry that the battery might run dry. This feature has been updated to also consider elevation. You can also ask the bike to help you maintain a set heart rate. Handy should you wish to train at a specific intensity for a ride. Obviously, the ability of the bike to assist you is limited to the maximum power of the motor. As a result, the Levo and Kenevo will provide you with more support should you push through your desired heart rate limit than the Levo SL can. The App can also be used for diagnostics such as error messages should something go awry with the Levo. The Frame The Turbo Levo SL frame is similar to the Turbo Levo and Stumpjumper frames. The geometry matches the Turbo Levo but with the placement of the smaller motor, Specialized can shorten the chainstay length more in line with the Stumpjumper. Further improving the Levo SL’s agility on the trail. There are some minor adjustments to the suspension kinematics but it largely mimics the Turbo Levo. Photo credit: Etienne SchoemanThe chassis is based on the Stumpjumper but without the SWAT box storage. The Levo SL downtube is a single piece with the battery stored on the inside. Like the Stumpjumper, the frame side arm improves stiffness to control the compression of the frame into the suspension system. There are some minor adjustments to the suspension kinematics but it largely mimics the Turbo Levo. The Turbo SL also has a flip-chip to allow for two geometry settings. Turbo Levo SL Geometry Available Models There are five models in the Turbo Levo SL range. The Founder’s Edition S-Works Levo SL, S-Works Levo SL, Levo SL Expert Carbon, Levo SL Comp Carbon, and Levo SL Comp. The bikes are available in sizes small, medium, large, and extra-large. The aluminium Levo SL Comp has an additional size, an extra small frame for small adults and even children. S-Works Levo SL Founder's Edition FrameFACT 11m full carbon, 29 Trail Geometry, Integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, Command Post routing, 148mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings, 150mm of travelRear ShockFOX FLOAT DPS Factory, Kashima coating, 3-position adjustment, 52.5x210mm, Rx Trail TuneForkFOX Factory 34 FLOAT 29, Kashima Coating, FIT4 damper, 51mm offset, 3-position adjustment, 15x110mm, tapered alloy steerer, 150mm of travelStemSyntace MegaForce 2, 6-degree, 31.8mm clampHandlebarsSpecialized Trail, FACT Carbon, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm, 31.8mmGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM G2 ULTIMATE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm, rainbowRear BrakeSRAM G2 ULTIMATE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 180mm, rainbowRear DerailleurSRAM XX1 Eagle AXSShift LeversSRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM XG-1299 Eagle, 10-50t, rainbowChainSRAM XX1 Eagle, rainbowCranksetPraxis, carbon M30, custom offsetChainringsSRAM X-Sync Eagle, 94 BCD, 30TRimsRoval Traverse SL 29, hookless carbon, 30mm inner width, 2Bliss Ready, hand-built, 28hFront HubRoval Traverse SL, sealed cartridge bearings, 15mm thru-axle, 110mm spacingRear HubRoval Traverse SL, DT Swiss Star Ratchet, 54t engagement, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacingSpokesDT Competition RaceFront TyreButcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29x2.3"Rear TyreEliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddlePower, Hollow Ti-Rail, Carbon Base, 155/143mmSeatpostRockShox Reverb AXS, 30.9mm, S: 125, M:150, L/XL: 170mmMotorSpecialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motorUI/REMOTESpecialized Handlebar Trail Remote w/walk-assistBatterySpecialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh; also included a Specialized SL1-160, external battery w/Cable, 160WhChargerCustom charger, 48V System w/ SL system charger plugWiring HarnessCustom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeportSWATSpecialized Z-Cage, Swat CC Multitool in steerer tube w/ Chaintool S-Works Levo SL FrameFACT 11m full carbon, 29 Trail Geometry, Integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, Command Post routing, 148mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings, 150mm of travelRear ShockFOX FLOAT DPS Factory, Kashima coating, 3-position adjustment, 52.5x210mm, Rx Trail TuneForkFOX Factory 34 FLOAT 29, Kashima Coating, FIT4 damper, 51mm offset, 3-position adjustment, 15x110mm, tapered alloy steerer, 150mm of travelStemSyntace MegaForce 2, 6-degree, 31.8mm clampHandlebarsSpecialized Trail, FACT Carbon, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm, 31.8mmGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM G2 ULTIMATE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mmRear BrakeSRAM G2 ULTIMATE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 180mmRear DerailleurSRAM XX1 Eagle,12-speedShift LeversSRAM XX1 Eagle, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM XG-1299 Eagle, 10-50tChainSRAM XX1 Eagle, 12-speedCranksetPraxis, carbon M30, custom offsetChainringsSRAM X-Sync Eagle, 94 BCD, 30TRimsRoval Traverse SL 29, hookless carbon, 30mm inner width, 2Bliss Ready, hand-built, 28hFront HubRoval Traverse SL, sealed cartridge bearings, 15mm thru-axle, 110mm spacing, 28hRear HubRoval Traverse SL, DT Swiss Star Ratchet, 54t engagement, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28hSpokesDT Competition RaceFront TyreButcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29x2.3"Rear TyreEliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SeatpostRockShox Reverb AXS, 30.9mm, S: 125, M:150, L/XL: 170mmMotorSpecialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motorUI/REMOTESpecialized TCU, 10-LED State of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode display, ANT+/Bluetooth®BatterySpecialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320WhChargerCustom charger, 48V System w/ SL system charger plugWiring HarnessCustom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeportSWATSpecialized Z-Cage, Swat CC Multitool in steerer tube w/ Chaintool The Founder's Edition is limited to 250 bikes and sports top of the range components. The standout feature on the Founder's Edition is the paint scheme. It is a rich purple with a light shading of blue and gold leaf decals that pop in the sun. If you want to stand out in a crowd, the Founders Edition is your bike. It is a similar specification choice as the S-Works model but with the pricier wireless SRAM Eagle XX1 AXS drivetrain. The Founder's Edition includes two range extender battery packs. The S-Works Levo SL boasts the Fox Factory 34 fork and Float DPS shock, SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, SRAM G2 Ultimate brakes, Roval Traverse SL wheels, and a RockShox Reverb AXS dropper seatpost. The S-Works Levo SL includes one range extender battery pack. Levo SL Expert Carbon FrameFACT 11m full carbon, 29 Trail Geometry, Integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, Command Post routing, 148mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings, 150mm of travelRear ShockFOX FLOAT DPS Performance, 3-position adjustment, 52.5x210mm, Rx Trail TuneForkFOX Performance Elite 34 FLOAT 29, FIT4 damper, 51mm offset, 3-position adjustment, 15x110mm, tapered alloy steerer, 150mm of travelStemSpecialized Trail, forged alloy, 4-bolt, 5mm rise, 40mmHandlebarsSpecialized Trail, 7050 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm, 31.8mm clampGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM G2 RSC, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mmRear BrakeSRAM G2 RSC, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 180mmRear DerailleurSRAM GX Eagle,12-speedShift LeversSRAM GX Eagle, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed, 10-50tChainSRAM GX Eagle, 12-speedCranksetPraxis, forged M30, custom offsetChainringsSRAM X-Sync Eagle, 94 BCD, 30TRimsRoval Traverse Carbon 29, hookless carbon, 30mm inner width, hand-built, 2Bliss ReadyRear HubDT Swiss 370, 3-Pawl System, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28hSpokesDT Swiss IndustryFront TyreButcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29x2.3"Rear TyreEliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddleBridge Comp, Hollow Cr-mo rails, 155/143mmSeatpostX-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, two-bolt head, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL LE lever, 34.9mm, S: 125mm, M/L: 150mm, XL: 170mmMotorSpecialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motorUI/REMOTESpecialized TCU, 10-LED State of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode display, ANT+/Bluetooth®BatterySpecialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320WhChargerCustom charger, 48V System w/ SL system charger plugWiring HarnessCustom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeportSWATSpecialized Z-Cage, Swat CC Multitool in steerer tube without Chaintool Levo SL Comp Carbon FrameFACT 11m full carbon, 29 Trail Geometry, Integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, Command Post routing, 148mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings, 150mm of travelRear ShockFOX FLOAT DPS Performance, 3-position adjustment, 52.5x210mm, Rx Trail TuneForkFOX RHYTHM 34 FLOAT 29, GRIP damper, 51mm offset, 2-position sweep adjust, 15x110mm, tapered alloy steerer, 150mm of travelStemSpecialized Trail, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree riseHandlebarsSpecialized Trail, 6061 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm, 31.8mm clampGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, 200mmRear BrakeSRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, 180mmRear DerailleurSRAM NX Eagle,12-speedShift LeversSRAM NX Eagle, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed, 11-50tChainSRAM NX Eagle, 12-speedCranksetPraxis, forged M30, custom offsetChainringsSRAM X-Sync Eagle, 94 BCD, 30TRimsRoval Traverse 29, hookless alloy, 30mm inner width, tubeless readyFront HubSpecialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm spacing, 28hRear HubSpecialized Turbo, sealed cartridge bearings, 12x148mm thru-axle, 28hSpokesDT Swiss IndustryFront TyreButcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON compound, 29x2.3"Rear TyreEliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON compound, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddleBridge Comp, Hollow Cr-mo rails, 155/143mmSeatpostX-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, two-bolt head, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL LE lever, 34.9mm, S: 125mm, M/L: 150mm, XL: 170mmMotorSpecialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motorUI/REMOTESpecialized TCU, 10-LED State of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode display, ANT+/BluetoothBatterySpecialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320WhChargerCustom charger, 48V System w/ SL system charger plugWiring HarnessCustom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeportSWATSpecialized Z-Cage, Swat CC Multitool in steerer tube without Chaintool Levo SL Comp FrameSpecialized M5 Premium Aluminum, 29 Trail Geometry, integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, Command Post routing, 148mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings, 150mm of travelRear ShockFOX FLOAT DPS Performance, 3-position adjustment, 52.5x210mm, Rx Trail TuneForkFOX RHYTHM 34 FLOAT 29, GRIP damper, 51mm offset, 2-position sweep adjust, 15x110mm, tapered alloy steerer, 150mm of travelStemSpecialized Trail, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree riseHandlebarsSpecialized Trail, 6061 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm, 31.8mm clampGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, 200mmRear BrakeSRAM Guide R, hydraulic disc, 180mmRear DerailleurSRAM NX Eagle,12-speedShift LeversSRAM NX Eagle, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed, 11-50tChainSRAM NX Eagle, 12-speedCranksetPraxis, forged M30, custom offsetChainringsSRAM X-Sync Eagle, 94 BCD, 30TRimsRoval Traverse 29, hookless alloy, 30mm inner width, tubeless readyFront HubSpecialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm spacing, 28hRear HubSpecialized Turbo, sealed cartridge bearings, 12x148mm thru-axle, 28hSpokesDT Swiss IndustryFront TyreButcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29x2.3"Rear TyreEliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON® compound, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddleBridge Comp, Hollow Cr-mo rails, 155/143mmSeatpostX-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, two-bolt head, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL LE lever, 34.9mm, XS:100 mm, S: 125mm, M/L: 150mm, XL:170mm of travelMotorSpecialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motorUI/REMOTESpecialized TCU, 10-LED State of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode display, ANT+/Bluetooth®BatterySpecialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320WhChargerCustom charger, 48V System w/ SL system charger plugWiring HarnessCustom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeportSWATSpecialized Z-Cage, Swat CC Multitool in steerer tube without Chaintool The Levo SL Expert is equipped with a Fox 34 Performance Elite fork and Float DPS shock, SRAM G2 RSC brakes, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Roval Traverse carbon wheels, and an X-Fusion Manic dropper seat post. The Levo SL Comp Carbon features a Fox Rhythm 34 fork and Float DPS Performance shock, SRAM NX Eagle gears, SRAM Guide R brakes, Roval Traverse alloy wheels, and an X-Fusion Manic dropper seat post. This is the model we tested at the launch event. The aluminium frame Levo SL Comp matches the specification of the Comp Carbon model. This alloy frame is also available in an extra small size where the carbon models are not. Riding the Turbo Levo SL Specialized invited Bike Hub to the global press launch for the Turbo Levo SL. It was hosted in Stellenbosch, the town that I live in. While it was a missed opportunity to explore some trails in a foreign country, there is no better place to test a new bike than on the trails I ride daily. Plus, it is always rewarding watching others experience the trails for the first time. For those that know the area, most of the riding took place in Jonkershoek with some riding at GSpot, Eden, Mont Marie, and Coetzenberg. We tested a Levo SL Comp Carbon, the same as the bike above, except ours was an extra large frame and painted black. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman After jumping on the Levo SL for the first time the clutter of technical details surrounding the Levo SL immediately becomes clear. The bike is instantly more recognisable as a trail bike than it is an e-bike. For starters, you can pick it up without damaging your back. The real magic begins once you turn the motor on. The smooth, controlled delivery of power is unlike any e-bike I've ridden before. Climbing Photo credit: Gary PerkinI'll start with climbing because that is how rides in Stellenbosch usually begin. The power delivery of the assistance on the climbs is unbelievably intuitive and naturally smooth. There is no lurking as you stab at a pedal around corners, the bike seemingly senses your intentions and delivers precisely on your inputs. It is a remarkable technological achievement. Even with an extra 240 watts, the climb to the viewpoint atop Saaltjie is no easy task. Photo credit: Gary Perkin It’s worth remembering that the SL motor only produces 240 watts, and it only does so in TURBO mode (if you haven’t tuned custom settings). This means that the rider still has to contribute significantly on the climbs even in TURBO mode. The Levo SL does not give you a free ride. For what it is worth, let's dig into my power numbers to see how much effort is required climbing the Levo SL. In TURBO mode, with the most assistance, climbing to the top of Saaltjie (to the viewpoint deck) in Jonkershoek took 38 minutes. I (me the rider) averaged 264 watts with a maximum of 740 watts. While I didn’t bend myself into a pretzel with the effort, I certainly reached the higher end of my heart rate and puffed heavily. When switching to modes with less motor assistance, the motor expects even more of me and my power numbers climbed, averaging in the 300-watt range. On the steepest sections of the mountain, the motor feels almost helpless in propelling you up the hill as you fully embrace the 50 tooth on the 12-speed cassette. Like on regular bikes, the fit soon moved to the front of the group and waited at the tops. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman While you still shed buckets of sweat with the effort of climbing, the speed at which you ascend is significantly faster. Specialized’s slogan “It’s you, only faster” is incredibly cheesy but it is honestly the best way to describe riding a Levo, especially the Levo SL. You have the sensation of working almost as hard as you do on a normal bike but it helps you go so much faster. The added speed also makes climbing fun (yes, fun) as the trail features require a wholly different approach than you’d take on a regular bike. Descending Photo credit: Gary PerkinClimbing can be enjoyable with the views and endorphins but the real reason you push a 150mm trail bike out the door is for the downhills. While the whole idea of an e-bike is to assist you in getting to the trailhead faster, the motor and battery do have an impact on descending agility. This is where the Levo SL is different. Photo credit: Gary Perkin Photo credit: Justin Sullivan The Levo SL is the most lively e-bike that I've ridden down a trail. The reduction in weight makes a significant difference. There is far more resemblance in handling to a regular trail bike than the Levo SL’s heavier e-bike brethren. The most obvious departure is the ability to throw the bike around, both into the air and around corners. The rear end does not have the same affinity to sticking to the ground as heavier e-bikes do. For example, bunny hopping is typically a feat of strength on an e-bike but with the SL it is an achievable manoeuvre with the bike urging you to boost of even the smallest bump in the trail. There are some signs that the Levo SL is still an e-bike though. There is still a slight hint of muted feedback in the rear end due to the weight while stepping off and pushing the bike is much improved using the walk assist mode. Photo credit: Gary Perkin For those that know the Jonkershoek trails, the Levo SL was leaps and bounds ahead of bigger e-bikes on the smoother, flowing trails like Fire Hut and Armageddon. In both fun and speed. Pointing it down a steeper, tighter trail like Status Quo did not expose any faults in the Levo SL either. It maintained controlled on the slippery rocky shoots and soaked up the bigger drops with ease. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman The Comp Carbon Build Kit I am impressed by the Comp Carbon build kit. I know some riders will turn their noses up at the Rhythm fork, NX drivetrain, and Guide R brakes at this price point but with the battery and motor you need to adjust your expectations. On the trails the Comp Carbon was up to the task. And yes, the 34mm forks on the Levo SL range are suitably stiff for the bike. Only the brakes showed some fatigue during the long, hot Jonkershoek descents. I saw no immediate need to upgrade any part on the Comp Carbon. Instead, I'd spend any spare upgrade cash on purchasing a range extender. So what’s the catch? After riding the Levo SL, I'm convinced that lightweight e-bikes are the future of trail riding but there is one thing holding them back from mainstream adoption. The price.Turbo Levo SL Comp Alloy - ZAR 105,000 Turbo Levo SL Comp Carbon - ZAR 125,000 Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon - ZAR 155,000 Turbo Levo SL S-Works Carbon - ZAR 200,000 Turbo Levo SL S-Works Founder's Edition (limited to 250 bikes) - ZAR 250,000 Electric bikes, in general, are pricier than regular bikes but Specialized's e-bikes do carry a premium price tag. Specialized spend huge amounts of time and money developing in-house motors and batteries, and this reach for perfection does come at a price. If you can afford it, it is the best e-bike there is. That said if you can cope with not keeping up the MTB Jones’s, the Comp Carbon model we tested is a well-balanced bike with no obvious weakness. You will not miss out on the full Levo SL experience owning this more affordable model. In the end Turbo Levo SL will have you climbing much faster but not necessarily any easier. Turn it down a mountain and it shows the agility of a regular trail bike. In short, the Levo SL is the ideal trail e-bike. Scratch that, it is the ideal trail bike full stop.
  19. Electric-assisted mountain bikes are hugely fun bikes to ride but the one unavoidable consequence of a motor and battery is the added weight and the impact that has on the ride feel versus a regular bike. The Specialized Turbo Levo SL is a bold attempt to redefine e-MTBs with a lightweight bike that has the agility of a regular trail bike while packing a functional range. Click here to view the article
  20. Hey guys, Random problem, my Specialized shoes and XTR pedals creates an awful lot of squeaking, to the point where I'm considering chopping the shoe sides away to minimize contact with the pedals. The sound it seems are all from where the rubber on the sides of the cleats touches the pedal surfaces next to the clips. Anyone else have this problem or a good solution for it - before I take my dremel to my shoes? My Shimano SPD shoes did not do this - so I'm used to a pretty quiet ride, and especially at 4:30am when it's just me on a climb, the sound just seem amplified.
  21. Hi Guys Trust youre all well. Ive been on a spez Romin 143mm for longer than 3 years now on both my road and 29er. For the past 2 weeks my sit bones have been going numb/eina/dead within 20mins of my ride. Had a saddle sore on each cheek last week but thats all cleared up now but it feel like the bone itself is sore. I was told/advised that it could be time for a different saddle, maybe something with more cushion? I ride with craft/rapid sport/ciovita/assos bibs and I get the same feeling with either of the bibs? Did the Baviaans/DC/Stellies tour last year with no issues what so ever Currently averaging about 10-13hours per week All advice welcome
  22. The Ride Of Your Life There are riders out there that yearn for more than racing, that see the experiences of the open road as an equivalent to toeing a start line. The demands of this sophisticated rider equal that of any racer, for where racers want for speed, these riders demand a package that accounts for everything else, too. Sprightly climbs towards the clouds, wicked descents on the other side—they demand superior handling and an unrivaled ride from a bike that’s the epitome of quality, performance, and style. Break The Rules While this endeavour would allow us to apply everything that we’ve learned about making bikes over the last half-century, the goal was not to adhere to any of our preconceived notions around building them. But where would this take us? We’re as well-versed in the norms of cycling culture as we are in the rules of the UCI, after all, yet neither of these confines would have any bearing on our process. That’s because we see creating this instrument of transcendent bike experiences as being far more important. It was hard for many people here to wrap their heads around a high-performance road bike that wasn’t focused on racing. We were afraid that the project would meet resistance and get cancelled, so our team worked in relative secrecy for over a year. No one knew about the project until the design was finalized, and we were making our first frames. ROAD + GRAVEL CATEGORY LEADER - Stewart Thompson Billions Of Calculations In Pursuit Of One Thing – The Perfect Ride Flipping The Script On How We Build BikesWe know that shape contributes to the vast majority of a bike’s performance, and that’s why Aethos was born from a “Eureka” moment in the test lab. Our engineers studied the flexing and breathing of carbon frames in the pedaling test rig, and they realized the industry’s understanding of how forces flow through a frame was incomplete and ripe for massive improvements. We used staggeringly large supercomputer simulations—more than any humans can do in a lifetime—to subtly alter round tube shapes. This made their shapes more conical in key areas to deliver huge gains in stiffness and balance with the minimum amount of material. There’s nothing extra here except more stability and integrity. Just so we’re clear, this is a shape story of how and why the shapes work within this bike. The outcome of Aethos represents an entirely new way of designing bikes. Why’s this really cool? Because it will shape how we build all of our bikes moving forward. No Lazy Fibers Now, if the vast majority of the frame’s performance is dictated by shape, then the remainder plays itself out in the actual materials used and the manner in which they are connected—the frame’s layup. Continuing to study how these frames move under load helped determine that there were too many “stiffness layers” (or extra plies) added in the creation of traditional frames. So, with these new tube shapes, we needed an entirely new way to lay-up frames. Thankfully, it’s one which resulted in reducing the number of needed plies by 11% compared to the S-Works SL6 (which was known for being pretty damn great already). By utilizing larger, longer, and more continuous, unbroken plies, we were able to achieve more consistent positioning than on any frame we’ve made before. The interesting thing to note is that the wall thicknesses of the tubes, themselves, are substantial throughout the frame, but because of the smaller number of the stiffness layers, the overall weight went down significantly. The only thing along for the ride should be you. The first frame was 545 grams. We put it on the test machine and the frame behaved so beautifully—it was so stable. We only had to add 10 grams, and we could test-ride the frame. That was the moment we knew we had discovered something big. AETHOS ENGINEERING LEAD Peter Denk Stiffness To Weight Number Defines Efficiency Accidentally Illegal We chased ride quality with Aethos, not a number. That said, we know a light, stiff, and balanced bike is magic at the pedals. The result, however, is the lightest disc road frame ever produced, with no gimmick builds and a weight as light as 5.9kg. Aethos is very illegal in some racing circles, yet it’s still rated for a 275-pound rider and possesses all the telepathic handling, response, and stiffness targets that you’ve come to expect from every bike we make. (Psst – don’t tell the UCI). The New Modern Road Bike Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts To say that “everything has been considered with this bike” would be an understatement. We spent weeks upon weeks iterating, designing, and obsessing over every piece of the puzzle. But with the rider at the centre of the conversation, our goal was to make a bike that would fit your riding lifestyle— not the other way around. Threaded Bottom Bracket 32mm Tire Clearance 27.2mm Seatpost Perfection Is In The Details From dropouts to derailleur hangers, no gram was overlooked. The same can be said about the approach of our partners at Roval Components. They’ve been working towards the same North Star of ride quality, and the 1284-gram Alpinist wheels and new Alpinist bar/stem combo were tailor-made for Aethos and the ride of your life. Alpinist CLX Redesigned Thru Axle Alpinist Seatpost Founder’s Edition We celebrate every new platform we introduce with a Founder’s Edition. Limited to 300 bikes globally, this is the lightest build on offer, and it features an exclusive, stunning paint scheme with colour-matching finishes on some of the more unique parts. This S-Works Aethos includes the lightest Shimano Di2 componentry, the Roval Alpinist bar/stem combo cockpit (the first production bike to feature these), and upgraded CeramicSpeed bottom bracket and pulley wheels. South African Availability and Pricing The Aethos S-Works frame will be available at R80,000 and the Aethos S-Works Di2 complete bike for R200,000.More details available on Specialized.com. AETHOS FAQ Is the new Aethos Rider-First Engineered™?Yes. Every frame size has the same legendary climbing responsiveness and descending prowess you'd expect from any of our Performance road bikes. How much does the Aethos weigh? The S-Works Aethos uses our most premium FACT 12r material and layup to achieve a painted frame weight of 585g in the lightest colorways. The complete out-of-the-box weight of the S-Works Di2 model is 6kg in the Carbon/Chameleon Red Gold colorway. What about the different colourways? The lightest frame colorway is the Satin Carbon/Jetfuel that weighs 585g. Other colorways will add roughly 25g (like Satin Carbon/Chameleon Red Gold or Satin Carbon/Gloss Black Chrome) to 45g (like Gloss Clay/Flake Silver or Satin Flake Silver/Chameleon Red Gold) more. As a lightweight frame, is it still reliable? Aethos represents a new way of thinking about how to engineer a bicycle frame–like all Specialized production frames, it must undergo stringent testing to ensure it meets all quality and safety standards. In fact, due to the optimization of the tube shapes and layup, the Aethos frame is exceptionally durable, even as a lightweight bicycle. What is the geometry of the Aethos? The Aethos features identical fit and handling geometry as the Tarmac SL7. Detailed measurements can be found in the geometry chart. How is stack and reach measured on the Aethos? Stack and reach are measured to the center of the top of the headtube, as is customary. Although these numbers are different than the Tarmac SL7, the fit geometry is identical between the two framesets. What offset will the Roval Alpinist seatpost come in? The Roval Alpinist seatpost is available in a 12mm offset and in 300mm and 360mm lengths. All complete bikes and framesets will be spec’d with this Roval Alpinist post. What build configurations is the Aethos compatible with? The Aethos is only compatible with hydraulic disc brakes. All models can be built with electronic drivetrains, but only the 10r framesets can be built with mechanical drivetrains. Roval Alpinist Cockpit: Is it compatible? The Roval Alpinist Cockpit is compatible with all Aethos models and framesets. It was designed as a bar/stem combo to reduce weight, while giving riders the fit and performance they expect. It will be available in 10 different sizes (as combinations of stem length and bar widths) by early 2021. Alpinist Cockpit: Is there an integrated computer mount? The new Alpinist Cockpit offers an integrated computer mount with compatible mounts for the following brands: Wahoo, Garmin, Polar, Cateye, and Bryton. Additionally, there is a mount designed around GoPro devices, Specialized Flux Lights, and a new mount designed for Specialized Stix lights. What’s the largest tire size you can install on the Aethos? Every Aethos comes spec’d with 700x26mm tires, however, the frame was designed with much larger clearance in mind. You can fit tires up to 32c on 21mm rims with 4mm of clearance all around. Of course, this is all still dependent on the exact tire and rim combination as there is quite a bit of variation among tires especially. We suggest that you check fitment of the tire before you take it out for a ride Can I remove the Front Derailleur Hanger? Yes! The Aethos has a removeable FD Hanger, which gives you the cleanest set-up when running a 1x drivetrain. If the FD Hanger is removed, a cover for the routing hole and two bolt holes is included with your Aethos. The hanger’s construction is different between the 12r and 10r frames, so please refer to the User Manual for proper installation. Front brake caliper adaptor: Why is there a proprietary part? All Aethos frames were engineered to maximize the performance potential in the pursuit of the perfect ride–this includes optimizing the front disc brake caliper mount for 160mm rotors only. In doing so, the engineering team designed a new adaptor plate designed to work with any flat mount caliper to reduce the weight of the fork, without sacrificing any stopping power or reliability. Where is the Shimano Di2 A-Junction Box? The Shimano A-Junction will be installed in the handlebar. What are the other tech specs of the Aethos? All Aethos models have a 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket. The Aethos has 142x12 and 100x12 thru axles and follows the Shimano flat mount disc brake standard. Will Specialized sponsored race teams use Aethos? No. The Tarmac SL7 can be built and raced at the 6.8kg UCI weight limit and represents a significant aero advantage over Aethos. Why is Aethos UCI approved? Although the Aethos can be built and ridden well below the UCI weight limit, UCI frame approval is still very important. This approval allows riders to utilize the Aethos as they wish, as many amateur events across the world require participants to use a bike that is UCI approved. UCI rules also dictate that these bikes each have a label in a conspicuous location permanently adhered to the frame.
  23. Press release The creation of our Aethos road bike started with a question: “What if?” Download attachment: Aethos_Experience_California_8.jpg What if we built a bike focused around the purest imaginable road riding experience? What if we built a bike to maximize the timeless moments where everything disappears and human and machine become one. We all know these moments, the ones where we lose ourselves in the reverence of dancing up a climb or telepathically carving through a turn, where we feel liberated from the constraints that surround everyday life and the miles just melt into hours. Click here to view the article
  24. Updated Geometry The greatest impact on how the new Epic rides can be attributed to the shape of the frame.Using an alloy test mule frame, Specialized’s engineers tested a variety of different angles and heights when developing the new Epic. They went pretty extreme in some cases, like trying out the bike with a 65 degree head angle. Ultimately they settled on 67.5 degrees for the Epic which is full 2 degrees less than the previous Epic. The slacker head angle should help the bike better roll over obstacles and give the rider more confidence without the fear of pivoting over the handlebars. The chainstay length has been shortened by 5mm which should help with rear end manoeuvrability. The seat tube angle is steeper at 75.5 degrees on a medium frame while the bottom bracket is lower by 8mm to improve handling and offers better control on steep climbs. While the seat tube and bottom bracket heights work to place the rider more inside the frame, the reach on a medium frame is 12mm longer at 445 mm to add a bit more room. The XL frame gets 20mm more reach while the extra small 5mm. Take a look at the full geometry chart below. The new Epic's geometry number alongside a comparison of the new Epic frame versus the previous Epic frame. Improved Construction and Weight The new S-Works FACT 12m carbon chassis is around 100 grams lighter than the previous model. Specialized used a new layup while adding carbon in some places they could also reduce the amount in others. The carbon suspension link weighs a mere 24 grams. Feedback from team riders indicated a hint of softness in the rear. They looked at the suspension but this wasn’t moving much so they targeted the frame’s rear end stiffness. This resulted in a 15% improvement in stiffness for the back of the frame. The new FACT 11m frames used through the rest of the model range have seen improvements too. They now match the stiffness and weight of the previous S-Works frame.The FACT 12m frames weigh 1869 grams while the FACT 11m frames weigh 1947 grams. These measurements include frame, shock, hanger, axle, and bolts. The engineers at Specialized were pretty excited about getting this carbon link down to 24 grams. Optimized Sizing A consideration for short and tall riders. Specialized go to great lengths to make sure the experience across the size curve is uniform. They optimise the carbon layup and stress test each frame size to ensure that they each perform the same. It may or may not be attributable to this attention to detail but as a rider who fits an extra-large frame, the Specialized XL always feels just right. It is noticeable when a bike company has simply sized up their test size without much thought. From a distance the paint work looks like a solid colour but up close you can see the brush stroke-like details. Maintenance and Frame Protection With electronic shifting, our S-Works test arrived with an internal routing cable port for only the rear brake. This can be increased three or four ports to accommodate further shifter and dropper post cables. There is a hole for a rear shock lockout but with the Brain suspension, that’s intended more for the EVO model. The bottom bracket is BSA 73mm, so it’s threaded for easier maintenance. The chainstay protector features the raised sections first seen on the Stumpjumper and they work exceptionally well to rid the bike of any chain slapping sound. A SWAT box can be fitted to the Epic for additional storage capacity. Hydration and Storage Of serious importance to marathon racers is hydration and storage for spares. The Epic frame accommodates two full-size bottles across the size curve, except for the extra small frame which can accommodate one bottle on the downtube. The Specialized bottle cage allows for a multitool to be fitted or you can go the full hog and fit the SWAT box which will carry a tube, CO2 canister and adaptor, as well as a tyre lever. Neatly stowed in the headset cap is a chain link and chain breaker tool for repairing a broken chain. The Brain When you think Specialized Epic you think Brain suspension. While the new EVO has shed its Brain, the racing Epic is still firmly designed around the system. Part of the Brain system is now housed within the non-drive side chainstay. A quick explainer for those unfamiliar with the Brain suspension. The Brain system uses an inertia valve to differentiate between pedalling and trail forces through the rear wheel. This allows it to maintain a firm suspension when on smooth surfaces and automatically switch to open suspension when the trail gets rougher. It’s a simplified lockout that frees up the rider to concentrate on other aspects of racing and never get caught in the wrong setting. Chatting to the Specialized engineers on a video call, they are conscious of the disadvantages of being locked into proprietary suspension and acknowledge that there were some issues with the last iteration of the Brain. The first improvement has to do with the frame rather than the Brain directly. They reduced the side load on the shock by 30% with the new frame design. This improves the performance by reducing stiction but it also prevents air from leaking into the system. They also made a change to the shock with a strong shaft and double barrel bushing on the front and rear to further secure the air sleeve. While the frame has been improved to reduce lateral forces on the shock, the shock has also been beefed up for better performance and reliability. Going deeper into the technical changes, Specialized has dropped the air bladder and returned to the internal floating piston (IFP). The air bladder allows for a wider suspension range than the IFP does but now with the Epic EVO using a unique suspension design, the Epic is focussed purely on racing so the IFP is back in favour. To make sure this new system is more reliable, Specialized has put in 1850 hours of real-world testing. That’s the equivalent of 72 Cape Epics at the winner’s pace. Increased service intervals and Service Package With these improvements to the Brain system, Specialized has significantly extended the service intervals. The air sleeve service window has been boosted from 50-hour to 125-hour intervals and the damper service is now 50 hours later at 250-hour intervals. They have also included a two-year suspension service package for all new Epic buyers. RockShox SID Ultimate SL with Position-Sensitive Brain Damper The all-new RockShox SID Ultimate SL on the S-Works Epic features a Brain Damper. Like the rear Brain system, an inertia valve works to open the fork damper when triggered by trail input while remaining high in the travel under rider loads. The Position-Sensitive Brain damper allows the fork 15mm of free travel for grip and comfort on smaller bumps. This can be tuned between 0 and 30mm into the travel. The Components Our test bike is the top-tier S-Works model so it boasts the latest and greatest parts available and they all function superbly. That said, there is one standout component on the new S-Works Epic.Control SL Wheels Specialized recently announced their latest version of the Control SL wheelset. These wheels are fitted to the S-Works model but as one of the highlights on the bike, well worth a mention. The claimed weight challenges even the best road wheels at 1,240 grams. That’s with an internal rim width of 29 millimetres. The hookless rim wall has been thickened to 4 millimetres and shaped to increase strength but also to reduce the chance of pinch flats by 22%. The hubs are DT Swiss internals with sealed ceramic bearings. Drivetrain: SRAM Eagle AXS groupset including a Quarq XX1 Dub power meter as a standard component. Brakes: The brakes are SRAM’s Level Ultimates with CLX rotors (180mm front and 160mm rear). Cockpit: The cockpit is full S-Works with a carbon handlebar and seat post. The bike now comes with an S-Works Power saddle instead of the Phenom of the previous bike. Tyres: The tyres are Specialized’s own FastTrak with the Control casing at 2.3” wide. FrameS-Works FACT 12m Carbon, Modern XC Race Geometry, Rider-First EngineeredTM, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 100mm of travelSwatSWAT EMT Cage-Mount ToolRear ShockRockShox-Specialized BRAIN, Rx XC Tune, 5 Position Platform Adjust, Rebound Adjust, Integraded Extension, 265x52.5mmForkRockShox SID SL ULTIMATE BRAIN, Top-Adjust Brain damper, Debon Air, 15x110mm, 44mm offset, 100mm TravelStemS-Works SL, alloy, titanium bolts, 6-degree riseHandlebarsS-Works Carbon XC Mini Rise, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 10mm rise, 760mm, 31.8mmGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM Level Ultimate, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear BrakeSRAM Level Ultimate, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear DerailleurSRAMXX1EagleAXSShift LeversSRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM XG-1299 Eagle, 10-50tChainSRAM XX1 EagleCranksetQUARQ XX1 Eagle Power Meter, BoostTM 148, DUB, 170/175mm, 32tChainringsSRAM Eagle 32T alloy, 104 BCDBottom BracketSRAMDUB,BSA73mm,ThreadedRimsRoval Control SL, Carbon offset design, 29mm internal width, 4mm hook width, Tubeless ready, 24hFront HubRoval Control SL, DT Swiss Internals, Ceramic Bearings, 6-bolt, 15mm thru-axle, 110mm spacing, Torque caps, 24h straight pull t-headRear HubRoval Control SL, DT Swiss 180 Internals, DT Swiss Ratchet EXP, Ceramic bearings, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 24hSpokesDT Swiss Aerolite T-headFront TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"Rear TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddleBody Geometry S-Works Power, carbon fiber rails, carbon fiber base, 143mmSeat PostS-Works FACT carbon, 10mm setback, 30.9mmPriceR190,000.00Weight (XL frame with sealant and SWAT Tools in Headset)10.2 kg The Epic Range Epic Pro FrameFACT 11m Full Carbon, Modern XC Race Geometry, Rider-First EngineeredTM, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 100mm of travelSwatSWAT EMT Cage-Mount ToolRear ShockRockShox-Specialized BRAIN, Rx XC Tune, 5 Position Platform Adjust, Rebound Adjust, Integraded Extension, 265x52.5mmForkRockShox SID SL BRAIN, Top-Adjust Brain damper, Debon Air, 15x110mm, 44mm offset, 100mm TravelStemSpecialized XC, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree riseHandlebarsS-Works Carbon XC Mini Rise, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 10mm rise, 760mm, 31.8mmGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM Level TLM, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear BrakeSRAM Level TLM, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discDerailleurSRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speedShift LeversSRAM AXS EAGLE ControllerShift LeversSRAM XG-1295 Eagle, 12-speed, 10-50tCassetteSRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speedChainSRAM X1 carbon Eagle, BoostTM 148, DUB, 32t, SM: 170mm, M-XL 175mmCranksetSRAM Eagle Alloy, 32T, Direct mountChainringsSRAM DUB,BSA73mm,ThreadedBottom BracketRoval Control Carbon, 25mm internal width, Zero bead hook, Tubeless ready, 28hRimsDT Swiss 350, 15x110mm spacing, 6-bolt, 28hFront HubDT Swiss 350, Star Ratchet, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28hRear HubDT Swiss Competition RaceSpokesFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"Front TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"Rear TyreBody Geometry Power ExpertSaddleS-Works FACT carbon, 10mm setback, 30.9mmSeat PostR140,000.00 Epic Expert FrameFACT 11m Full Carbon, Modern XC Race Geometry, Rider-First EngineeredTM, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 100mm of travelSwatSWAT EMT Cage-Mount ToolRear ShockRockShox-Specialized BRAIN, Rx XC Tune, 5 Position Platform Adjust, Rebound Adjust, Integraded Extension, 265x52.5mmForkRockShox SID SL BRAIN, Bottom-Adjust Brain damper, Debon Air, 15x110mm, 44mm offset, 100mm TravelStemSpecialized XC, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree riseHandlebarsSpecialized Alloy Minirise, 10mm rise, 750mm, 31.8mm clampGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeSRAM Level TL, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear BrakeSRAM Level TL, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear DerailleurSRAM X01 Eagle,12-speedShift LeversSRAM X01 Eagle, trigger, 12-speedCassetteSRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 12-speed, 10-50tChainSRAM GX Eagle, 12-speedCranksetSRAM X1 Eagle, DUB, 32t, XS: 165mm, SM: 170mm, M-XL: 175mmChainringsSRAM Eagle Alloy 32T Direct mountBottom BracketSRAM DUB,BSA73mm,ThreadedRimsRoval Control Carbon, 25mm internal width, Zero bead hook, Tubeless ready, 28hFront HubDT Swiss 350, 15x110mm spacing, Torque caps, 6-bolt, 28hRear HubDT Swiss 350, Star Ratchet, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28hSpokesDT Swiss Competition RaceFront TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"Rear TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddleBody Geometry Power Sport, hollow Cr-Mo railsSeat PostSpecialized Alloy, Single Bolt, 30.9mmPriceR110,000.00 Epic Comp FrameFACT 11m Full Carbon, Modern XC Race Geometry, Rider-First EngineeredTM, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 100mm of travelSwatSWAT EMT Cage-Mount ToolRear ShockRockShox-Specialized BRAIN, Rx XC Tune, 5 Position Platform Adjust, Rebound Adjust, Integraded Extension, 265x52.5mmForkRockShox Reba RL, Motion Control damper, Solo Air, 42mm offset, 15x110mm thru-axle, 100mm of travelStemSpecialized XC, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree riseHandlebarsSpecialized Alloy Minirise, 10mm rise, 750mm, 31.8mm clampGripsSpecialized Trail GripsFront BrakeShimano SLX M7100, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear BrakeShimano SLX M7100, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic discRear DerailleurShimano SLX M7100, SGS,12-speedShift LeversShimano SLX M7100, 12spdCassetteShimano SLX CS-M7100, 12-speed, 10-51tChainShimano SLX M7100, 12-speedCranksetShimano SLX 7100, Hollowtech 2, 32t Chainring, XS: 165mm, SM: 170mm, M-XL: 175mmChainrings32TBottom BracketShimano,BB52,ThreadedRimsSpecialized Alloy, Tubeless Ready, 25mm internal width, 28hFront HubShimano MT400-B, Centerlock 28h, 15x110 BoostRear HubShimano MT510-B, Centerlock 28h, 12x148 Boost, MicrosplineSpokesDT Swiss IndustryFront TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"Rear TyreFast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"SaddleBody Geometry Power Sport, hollow Cr-Mo railsSeat PostSpecialized Alloy, Single Bolt, 30.9mmPriceR78,000.00 Riding the S-Works Epic The new Epic no longer has the AutoSag system for the shock set up. But don’t worry, it’s still fairly easy. Set the Brain fade to soft and measure 13mm sag, that’s roughly 27% wheel travel. I didn’t find that I needed to adjust the shock after the initial setup. The power meter paired with my Garmin computer on the first attempt. The shock took a bit longer but I finally settled going a good few PSI below the recommended pressure. The Quarq power meter seamless becomes a part of your riding. Technical trails are where the new Epic shines above the previous model. The new geometry angles feel perfect for the demands of modern cross-country mountain bikers. The bike rolls over rocks and bumps without fear of getting hung up or pitching over, even at the slowest speeds. With the lower bottom bracket and slacker head angle, you are positioned in the bike with a stable centre of gravity, allowing you to better put weight through the front wheel in the turns. It’s a stark contrast to the previous bike where I tiptoed my way through rock gardens always wary of making a mistake. The bike feels more like a trail bike bashing through and out the other side. Even with the rigid seat post, which I usually struggle with, the bike is manoeuvrable. But when you do put a dropper post on it becomes next level capable and playful. I say do it! The Brain comes into its own on trails and Specialized acknowledge this themselves in saying that it is really for the XCO type rider where the Brain pays off the most. I only really jump on an Epic when a new bike launch comes around, so the Brain isn’t my regular riding experience. But when I do, I’m always surprised at how much thought goes into considering locking out. Every incline I’m usually trying to calculate whether I should smash through unlocked or firm it up a bit. While on trails where it’s usually full open to the bottom, now suddenly I have full support high up in the travel to shoot out of a corner hard on the pedals or to sprint through a short up section on an undulating trail. Playing with a fiddly lockout in some of these situations is just not possible. It is a liberating experience and allows you to get just on with the job of attacking the trail. That said, the bike still reacts like a lightweight cross-country bike. The steering is super precise. You can place the front wheel exactly where you want it and turning is sharp without being twitchy. It’s a stable jumper with a light front end that is easily manhandled to correct your trajectory. While the Epic does pop off the ground well, it doesn’t have the same preload push that the Epic EVO does. The sub-1300 gram Roval Control SL wheel also had their part to play in the feel of the new Epic. The lightweight and fast engagement accelerate you out of corners better than any other mountain bike wheel that I’ve ridden. The wider internal diameter adds volume and support to the FastTrak tyres giving you far more control in rough parts of the trail. Of course, with the ridiculous weight, they power up climbs like a dream too. The new Epic climbs as an Epic should. The bike is super stiff with a responsiveness that urges you to push even harder. Even with progressive trail bike inspired geometry, the Epic handles like a dream on the climbs. Thanks (in part) to the lower bottom bracket height, the Epic turns even the steepest corners without any suggestion of the front wheel lifting. It handles loose and wet surfaces well, keeping the rear wheel traction in check without the fear that your groin might inexplicably hurtle towards the headset cap. The Brain is integral to this climbing experience. The wow moment for me is when moving from seated to standing to mash the pedals. Where many bikes start to waiver, there is no suggestion from the rear end that anything has changed. The bike actually feels even stiffer as your weight transfers forward. Although it does feel it, the rear end is not completely rigid. It is designed to have a few millimetres of give in the shock to absorb small bumps and provide some comfort when off-road. And I’ll gladly take it, the largest contrast between the Epic and Epic EVO is the smoothness and comfort. The Epic is a bit jittery in that department. The Brain does still make its characteristic knock. It is ever so slightly muted on the new bike but it does still feel like the axle might be working itself loose (don’t worry, it isn’t). I found it easy enough to get comfortable with and took it as a sign that the system was working in my favour. It is most notable when on blunt edge collisions with rocks or rooted sections going up climbs. On smoother terrain the Brain is far less likely to become active. Once at the top and bombing down, I could barely notice the Brain as it activates much faster at higher speeds. Overall, I appreciated the bike set to the firmest Brain fade. I found the middle setting to be too forgiving while knowing that the bike can be stiffer. The middle setting is far more comfortable and significantly reduces the feel of the Brain opening but still provides an adequate platform for efficient pedalling. A good setting for longer days/ stage races or when you’re just having fun on the trails. Conclusion The Epic has always been a rewarding bike to climb, so there is no surprise that it continues to excel up the hills. What is surprising is that it does this while completely transforming the way the bike handles on technical terrain. The new geometry gives the rider complete confidence and control on technical trails. I’ve gone from tiptoeing on the old bike to throwing the front wheel into the rough stuff without hesitation.The new Epic is blistering fast be it going up or down the mountain. Yes, we tested the glamorous S-Works model but the new frame geometry and improved Brain are the critical improvements which run through the range no matter the specification level.
  25. It has been just three years since the launch of the previous Epic but Specialized's engineers have not been idle. The all-new 2021 Epic boasts a complete rethink on the bike's geometry as well as changes to the Brain system to improve reliability and extend service intervals. Click here to view the article
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