I’ve been riding the 2012 Specialized Epic and have been setting PRs on both climbs and descents. Here is a bike that bridges the two needs of climbing fast and descending with confidence. The 2013 Epics are improved once again so we are excited to try them. Highlights are:
1. Epics are 29er only
2. The Epic keeps the mini-Brain but it now has AUTOSAG, very cool! Not only does that make the suspension setup faster, easier, and correct for those that are unfamiliar with the process but the shock also smoothed out even more in terms of feel. This is interesting to Mtbr since the Epic rear shock is not the easiest to set up. There’s two chambers and playing/experimenting with the adjuster knob requires one to get off the bike. Also, there is a ‘knock’ sensation on earlier Brain models so anything to smooth out this action will be a welcome improvement.
3. Marathon platform here! One of their top sellers the last couple of years has been the Expert carbon. People wanted something a better but the jump to S-Works was too much more some. So the Marathon Carbon was reborn and has a new carbon seatstay (drops 200g), the Brain fork with the adjuster on top (Ned’s personal ask and only available on S-Works last year), and the new Roval Control Carbon 29 wheels. Buck and the wheel team worked super hard on this wheelset to bring a high-performance carbon wheel to more people. The rim is a whole new design with no bead hook… turns out that the bead hook is not needed to hold the MTB tire on. So the rim doesn’t have to be machined like before, removing a very hands-on, labor-intensive step.
Photos and Details: