No matter how you look at it, XC racing is hard. The punchy accelerations, rowdy rock gardens, and quad searing ascents aren't for the faint of heart. With this in mind, Specialized designed the new Women's Epic Comp Carbon to make racing a bit more manageable, and to take your results to the next level.
Race courses have evolved over the past few years. They're more technical, steeper, and simply more challenging to ride. Specialized looked at the sum of parts that make a bike handle well, like the head angle, reach, stack, chainstay length, fork offset, etc., and reevaluated all of it. Increasing the reach made a bike that was more stable at speed and generally more comfortable to ride. Dropper posts? Yep, those fit, and not just a short travel XC option, but full-length droppers that fit in the 30.9mm seat tube. The head angle was slackened, but not without evaluating the overall handling package. It now lands on a custom offset, 42mm fork that works with the slacker head angle in order to behave itself in tight corners and through switchbacks.
Next comes the redesigned Brain technology, Brain 2.0. The Brain changed the way the bike world looked at suspension, both its inefficiencies and benefits alike. And oh was it good. It won races and put a flag in the ground for us as a true leader in innovation and suspension development, but Specialized knew that they could make it better. Simple physics told us that, by moving the Brain closer to the rear axle, it would be in the most sensitive spot. And after countless hours with the RockShox team, the new Brain became more than just a slight upgrade. It's totally new. Now, it reacts seamlessly to bump forces, it has much more consistent damping performance, and finally, it integrates the hoses into the suspension links. This, in turn, improves oil paths, and it creates an incredibly sleek package that outperforms anything on the market.
The Women's Epic also gets a serious upgrade in the stiffness department. The Rider-First Engineered™ tubes place complex carbon pieces in all the right places, which greatly increases stiffness in the front end for a vast improvement in ride quality and control. To go along with this, each frame size has size- specific tubes that result in the stiffest, best riding XC bike they've ever developed —no matter the frame size.
With the goal of the new Epic to be the fastest XC mountain bike we've ever made, weight was at the top of the priorities list. Specialized started with an efficient frame layout and tube shapes that feature clean cable routing, integrated channels through the shock extension, straight tubes with less curves, and optimised torsion profiles in every section. And if you're curious, this weight savings is equivalent to shedding a chainstay and shock extension from the previous Epic—nearly 525 grams.
The build of the Women's Epic Comp Carbon is value-packed, featuring an 1x11 SRAM GX groupset, a rear RockShox Brain shock at the rear that's custom-tuned for women, SRAM Level TL brakes, and a Roval Control alloy wheelset. Every touch point has also been hand-selected for female riders, as well, from the Sip Grips, to the bar width and crankarm length, all the way down to the superlative Women's Myth Sport saddle.
Full fact 11m carbon fibre frame combines stiffness, strength, and light overall weight to deliver an off-the-hook race bike. Meanwhile, the new geometry, RockShox Brain shock, and 100mm of travel, make the Epic the best handling, fastest XC rig you've been on.
A RockShox Reba RL fork soaks up the bumps up front, and features both compression and rebound adjustments.
An 11-speed SRAM GX groupset handles shifting duties, bringing the convenience of one-by to your XC rig.
FRAME Specialized FACT 11m, full carbon frame, XC Geometry, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing, 100mm of travel