2023 · SpecializedEpic Hardtail Expert

2023 Specialized Epic Hardtail Expert

A 29″ carbon frame hardtail crosscountry bike with ultra high-end components. Compare the full range

SuspensionHardtail, 100mm
ForkRockShox SID
Wheels29″ Carbon
Drivetrain1 × 12
GroupsetX01 Eagle, X1
BrakesHydraulic Disc
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Ride Feel

Based on frame geometry and build specs.

Epic Hardtail Expert
Other Crosscountry bikes

A bike with lower gearing will be easier to ride up steep hills, while a higher top end means it will pedal faster down hills.

Lowest gear


28 mph

Epic Hardtail Expert

27 mph

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Highest gear


Spec Level

Based on build material and quality level of the frame, fork, wheelset, groupset, suspension system, and more.

Compare the full Epic model range

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5'1" – 5'6"


5'4" – 5'9"


5'7" – 6'0"


5'10" – 6'3"


6'0" – 6'5"

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Escape Collective
Specialized Epic World Cup review: the carving knife of XC   - Escape Collective

Oct 2023 · Dave Rome

In believing that full suspension is always the faster choice in mountain biking, the Epic WC is Specialized’s replacement for its top-tier cross-country race hardtails.

  • Can be set to pedal like a hardtail

  • Is incredibly efficient on smooth surfaces

  • Dialled geometry

  • Lovely frame build quality

  • Good frame rigidity with no creaks or groans

  • No fiddly remote lockouts means an ultra-clean cockpit

  • Solid component spec choices with nice wheels and a powermeter.

  • Suspension can either feel choppy or have you wishing for a lockout

  • Poor headset sealing

  • Minimal weight advantage over a longer-travel full suspension

  • Brain-equipped fork still has a thunk

  • No dropper provided

  • SRAM Level brake lever feel and power.

Read Review

Specialized Epic Hardtail Comp review - MBR

Sep 2023 · Alan Muldoon

Who is the Epic hardtail for? That’s the question I posed to the product manager responsible for Specialized’s XC race bikes. His response was both honest and telling. “It’s for anyone that wants an XC bike, but can’t stretch their budget to get a full suspension bike.” Best cross country mountain bikes: reviewed and rated by experts And it makes perfect sense. At 10.68kg without pedals, the Epic Hardtail Comp is a really light 29er for the money. To get even close to that target weight with a full suspension bike you’d easily be looking at double that, which instantly rules out those bikes for a lot of riders. Need to know Lightweight 29er XC race hardtail designed of speed Fact 11m carbon frame with threaded BB and 148m dropout spacing RockShox Reba RL fork delivers 100mm travel SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with full range 10-52t cassette The cockpit has a 60mm stem and 750mm bar to enhance control Four frame sizes: S – XL  with entry-level bike for £3,300 And it makes perfect sense. At 10.68kg without pedals, the Epic Hardtail Comp is a really light 29er for the money. To get even close to that target weight with a full suspension bike you’d easily be looking at double that, which instantly rules out those bikes for a lot of riders. And weight is very important. XC racers are obsessed with it; their own, and that of the bike.  And for good reason. Because for a given power output, lighter is always going to be faster when going uphill. In fact, that’s where I really noticed the benefits of the Epic HT over much heavier trail forced hardtails. The combination of the faster rolling tyres and reduced weight instantly lure you into a false sense of fitness, and before you know it you have your sights set on distant riders that you know you can easily pick off. Specialized S-Works Epic World Cup: first ride review That’s not to say the Epic HT is amazing on the climbs. Fast, yes, but you do need to stay focused, pick good lines and wrestle the front end quite a bit. And that’s primarily because the Epic HT has a short 425mm chainstay length and relatively slack 74.2º seat tube angle. Taken together, these dimensions give the bike a more rearward weight bias, which makes the front end on the Epic is pretty flighty when seated climbing, at least on steeper gradients. And if the climb is chunky, then the relatively skinny 2.35in Specialized Fast Trak/Renegade tyre combo means you need to be on your A game not to lose traction or get knocked off line. Power delivery is direct and purposeful though, and the 100mm travel RockShox Reba fork really limits how much of your energy gets lost in compressing the suspension with every downstroke of the pedals. Approach the top of the cassette and SRAM’s cable operated Eagle transmission has less even jumps than Shimano’s 12-speed cassettes, but shifting is …Continue reading »

  • Light, reactive ride. Nice damped feel to the carbon frame. SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain offers impressive performance

  • Shifter hits top tube. Cables rattle in frame. No dropper post. Geometry is dated

Read Review

The Gear Loop
Specialized launches Epic World Cup XC bike: claims it is the fastest XC racer in the world

Apr 2023

An Epic blend of hardtail handling with control and capability of a full-suspension bike

Read Review

Specialized Epic World Cup Makes a Triumphant Return and Ditches Brain Shock

Apr 2023

It has been sensationalized, hidden under wraps (mostly), and it's finally available — Introducing the All New Specialized Epic World Cup

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First Look: 2023 Specialized Epic World Cup

Apr 2023 · Henry Quinney

In some ways the Epic World Cup isn't so much a full-suspension bike with a small dose of rear travel but rather a hardtail that happens to have 75mm of travel.

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Flow Mountain Bike
2023 Specialized Epic World Cup Review | A super-light XC bike with character-bending tuneability

Apr 2023

An all-new model for 2023, the Specialized Epic World Cup is designed to straddle the gap between a hardtail and a full suspension bike.

  • Beautifully sleek & lightweight frame

  • Clever shock offers character-bending tuneability

  • Wicked automated pedal efficiency

  • Unflappable high-speed handling

  • Clutter-free cockpit

  • Top-notch build kit

  • Entry price is very high

  • Proprietary shock is yet to be proven in the mass-market

  • You'll have to BYO dropper post

Read Review

Specialized Epic Hardtail Comp review

Dec 2022 · Sarah Bedford

Refined Specialized aesthetics are paired with a firm ride that converts leg power efficiently into speed

  • Lightweight build with a quality finish

  • Snappy acceleration

  • Fast-rolling tyres

  • Basic fork damper

  • Brakes can lack bite and power during urgent braking

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Enduro Mountainbike Magazine
Specialized Epic EVO Expert – In our 2022 downcountry group test

Mar 2022 · Peter Walker

In our 2022 downcountry group test, we pitted the Specialized Epic EVO Expert against 5 of the hottest bikes of the season. Read the full review to find out what Specialized’s carbon rocket is capable of and where it stacks up against the competition. Hit the link for the full review and a list with all other bikes.

  • Super agile and playful downhill

  • Very composed

  • Intuitive handling

  • Rear suspension bobs in open mode and cannot be locked from the handlebars

  • Dropper remote requires strong fingers

Read Review

99 Spokes on YouTube99 Spokes on YouTube

Specialized FACT 11m, XC Geometry, Rider-First Engineered™, threaded BB, 12x148mm rear spacing, internal cable routing

BB StandardBSA, 73mm, Threaded

Hanger StandardUDH

ColorSatin Carbon / Spectraflair


RockShox SID SL BRAIN, Bottom-Adjust Brain damper, Debon Air, 15x110mm, 44mm offset, 100mm Travel (XS-80mm Travel)


Spring TypeAir

Bottom Bracket

SRAM DUB, BSA 73mm, threaded


Specialized XC, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise


Specialized Alloy Minirise, 10mm rise, 750mm, 31.8mm clamp


Body Geometry Power Sport, steel rails


Specialized Alloy, Single Bolt, 30.9mm


Rear Derailleur

SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speed


SRAM X1 Eagle, DUB, 32T, XS: 165mm, SM: 170mm, M-XL: 175mm


SRAM X01, trigger, 12-speed


SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 12-speed, 10-50t


SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed


Front: SRAM Level TL, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, Rear: SRAM Level TL, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic disc

TypeHydraulic Disc


Roval Control Carbon, 25mm internal width, Zero bead hook, Tubeless ready, 28h


DT Swiss Competition Race

Front Hub

DT Swiss 350, 15x110mm spacing, Torque caps, 6-bolt, 28h

Rear Hub

DT Swiss 350, Star Ratchet, SRAM XD driver body, 12mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28h


Front: Fast Trak, Control Casing, 29x2.3, Rear: Fast Trak, Control casing, GRIPTON® compound, 60 TPI, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"

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