This year was going to be "new bike year". I've been riding my specialized epic hardtail for 10 years now. During these year i updated the bike. Since i will ride more marathons in the future, i needed something more comfortable. This is were the Epic Evo came in. it was going to be a custom build. I spend several days to figure out which components i wanted to use to build my dreambike. When everything arrived, it was time to start building. But first I took some pictures of every component. You can see and read this below. Enjoy!
This is the Specialized S-Works Epic Evo Frame Model year 2022. It's a size medium and comes in at a weight of 1780 gr. It is a brilliant piece of engineering. The color of this 2022 frame is called "SATIN BRUSHED BLACK LIQUID METAL / CHROME FOIL LOGOS". The brushed touch is gorgeous but that's highly subjective.
With their FAct 12m carbon, specialized has pushed the boundaries. They managed to get the weight of the frame down while keeping it stiff yet forgiving.
The front triangle of the Epic Evo frame is the same as the regular epic with brain. Only the rear triangle is redesigned so it has now 110mm of travel in the rear. With the s-works model, you get a carbon fiber link to the rear shock.
In the linkage to the rear shock, you can find the flip chip. The flip chip makes it possible to change the geometry of the frame slightly. In the low setting, the frame had a head tube angle of 66,5°. When you change the flip chip to the high setting, the head tube angle changes to 67° and the bottom bracket gets raised by 5mm.
From 2022 the frame is fitted again with a fox rear shock. This is the fox float dps factory. It allows for a travel of 110mm. The shock had three settings: firm, trail and open. you can change this setting on the fly with the blue switch.
Since 2020 the Epic frames are fitted with a threaded bottom bracket again. This is a more firm way to fit your bearings.
For the wheels I went for the New Roval Control SL wheelset. They have been redesigned for 2022. The rim is asymmetric. This means it is going to be stronger, laterally stiffer and more durable.For the hubs, roval and DT-Swiss are the perfect mix. They fitted DT swiss`s latest and greatest 180 hubs with EXP mechanism. The wheelset comes at a weight of 1290 grams including rim tape and valves. Staggering numbers!
An epic evo gets more travel in the rear. So it also screams for more travel in the front. This is where the new Fox 34 Step Cast Factory with 120mm travel comes in. Fox has done a great job with the overhaul for the 34 line up. They managed to get the weight down significantly but due to the 34mm stanchions, the fork remains rocksolid. The fork has 3 modes: open, medium and closed. you have a ton of customizability so each rider can get the most of it. Oh yes, the color: I think it pairs great with the rather sober setup of the rest of the bike.
Since 10 years i have been riding with shimano XTr components. For the new bike my choice was easy. I went for the new 12 speeds xtr m9100 groupset.
The new crankset look stunning! from now on, the chainrings are direct mounted. for The derailer, i went for the short cage one since I do not need a 50 tooth cassette in the back. The new derailleur had 12 tooth jockey wheels for smoother action. It is still equipped With the known clutch system for better chain tension when the trails get rough.
Like i said, i went for the short cage one, thus I went with the 10-45 cassette in the back. The shifts are done with the new shifter. Shimano makes it possible to shift multiple gears up and down at once which i really like. The shifter is direct mounted to the brakelever for a cleaner cockpit. I like it light, so for the brakes i went with the 2 piston brakes. since the brakes have 2 contact point to the handlebar they have a much nicer feel to it.
For the other component i tried to find a good balance between cost, weight and durability.
For the saddle I ended up with the tune speedneedle Alcantara. This saddle can't be beaten considering price and weight. It comes in at a staggering 87 grams. and, in my opinion it look amazing!
For the handlebar and seatpost I wanted a lightweight option. Darimo is a brand that has gained popularity in the past years. They make stunning components at a very low weight. Why not give it a try?!
Since several years i am riding with an oval chainring. when climbing, its easier to maintain your cadence. I have chosen the absolute black oval chainring with 34 teeth. The new shimano crankset offers a direct mount for the chainring. Absolute black has a wide product offering so you should find a chainring for every crankset out there.
for the bottombracket i have chosen a belgian company, C-bear. they offer great ceramic bearings used by the a lot of professional racing teams. they have a good seal so you don't have to be afraid of some water or mud.
The Complete Bike
It was quite a struggle to get every component i wanted. these are times with huge delays and almost no stock. So when all the components were in, I was stoked to build the complete bike! I think no word are needed, so enjoy the pictures below.