Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Specialized Epic S-Works Review: The Smart One | 2020 Field Test XC/DC

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- It's been rocketing, rocketing.

It's been rocketing.

Oh, maybe I can't say that word.

(upbeat music)

(man screaming)

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Hey everyone, my name is Sarah Moore

and we're here in Squamish, BC.

Back in March, the International Olympic Committee announced

that the Olympics were gonna to be postponed

for a whole year.

That meant that brands like Specialized

were gonna have to wait another year to put bikes

like this New Epic to the ultimate test.

That is, until we decided to do the Pinkbike XC field test.

Specialized claims that that size medium 12 M frame

now weighs as little as 1,869 grams.

Our size medium test bike is the lightest one

that we have here at 21.2 pounds,

that set up with control tires, no pedals,

but that does include the integrated power meter

as well as the SWAT tool that is in the steerer tube.

There's also space for two water bottles

on all sizes of frame, except for the extra small.

Now let's talk about geometry,

'cause that's obviously the big story with this New Epic.

It has a 67 1/2 degree head tube angle

and a 75 1/2 degree effective seat tube angle,

which makes it ready to tackle some challenging terrain.

The Epic now has 433 millimeter chainstays across all sizes.

I'm 5'7, I'm riding a size medium,

that now has a 445 millimeter reach,

which is 12 millimeters longer than the previous generation.

The bottom bracket has also something

that Specialized has revised,

they've dropped by nine millimeters.

And the wheelbase is now 1,148 millimeters long.

Now let's talk about suspension.

The Epic uses Specialized Brain Technology

and a single-pivot design.

The brain on the Epic fork and shock

has a sprung brass inertia valve,

which is designed to deliver a firm peddling platform

until it encounters a bump, in which case it will open up

the shock to allow it to absorb that bump.

Theoretically, it can tell

whether an input comes from the rider

or whether it comes from the train.

The location of the brain is still at the rear axle,

but the tune has been changed, so it's now designed

to have a firmer peddling platform

and to give a more natural, smoother feeling.

There's no need for a bar mounted lockout with that brain,

and so the handlebar is about as clean as you can get

with just one access shifter on it.

Our test bike

came with 100 millimeter rockshox sid fork,

which is equipped with Specialized brain internals

and a Sid Luxe rear shock.

There are no aluminum models of this race bike,

and it starts at $5,925 and goes all the way up to $11,525.

If you buy the S-Works frame,

that comes with the brain shock and fork,

and that retails for $5,025.

For this test, we've got the S-Works Epic,

which is the no-expenses-spared version of the bike.

And for that you'll get strands access drivetrain,

a cork power meter, row Val's, 1200 gram wheels

and level ultimate brakes.

So that's enough about the details.

What you really wanna know is how it rides

out on the trails.

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- All right, tell me how you set up

this racey red Epic of yours.

- I use the recommended settings from the manufacturer

and we put on our control tires-

- Of course - Like we did on all

the bikes, (indistinct). - Same pressures?

- Same pressures across the board to eliminate that factor.

And then there's brain on this bike.

So I tried all the different settings on it,

from the firmness and the most open.

And I settled on the closer side to open,

so that number two is setting.

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It feels like you're in a really efficient position.

That being said,

it does have a little bit of a slacker head tube angle,

which you really notice on those slow-speed handling,

and that's Trek supercaliber.

There was that corner that I could get every single time.

Specialized Epic, not every single time.

You definitely had to go a little bit wider

and then cut in, and I did get used to it

and I was able to do it,

but you did have to just anticipate it a little bit more.

So if you were at a race and your mass start,

you're trying to cut those inside lines,

might be a little bit more difficult

on a bike like this. - Right.

Now I wanted to ask you about another section on the trail,

You're very familiar with this section.

There was a part, a big hole and faced with a big wall,

it was super wet and then these roots played across it

that you hit going

not fast enough, yeah. - Not fast enough.

- To carry speed off it.

And it's a section that really tests the bike traction.

What were your results there?

- Yeah, so we went back to back with a couple other bikes

and I was getting pretty frustrated on the Kenyon locks.

And so I was like, you know what,

I know I can do this climb.

Maybe it's just the bike.

I got on the Specialized Epic and first try, no problem.

- Not just first try though. - Just climbed up there.

- I mean, you did it again and again and again

and again on this bike.

- If you compare it to something

like the Cannondale Scalpel,

it feels more efficient when you're riding,

it feels kind of like you're more poppy, more sporty.

It's like, got more go to it.

But if you compare it to something like the Kenyon Luxe,

when you go into like a gravel road climb,

that Kenyon Luxe just feels like you can just,

it doesn't feel like it has suspension,

whereas the Specialized hits that middle ground

where it feels really efficient and it has good traction.

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- So I have the Epic Evo with the standard Sid Luxe shock.

Obviously it's brainless.

There's no brain on there

and it's very good over the small bumps, very compliant.

What's the deal with the brain suspension?

Does that take away some compliance

or does it feel good over the small stuff?

- It feels great over the smallest stuff.

I almost, like when I was going back to back

with the Trek supercaliber,

which only has six millimeters of travel

or with the Kenyon Luxe, which I said,

it's not doing a lot with its 100 millimeters of travel,

it was almost a relief to get on this bike

because your hands just don't get as tired

'cause you're going over these small bumps

and It does absorb them and it feels really good.

- So you're coming down a Rudy section of trail.

You come over that on the Cannondale, you get off,

you go back up and you ride back down

on the Specialized with the brain in the middle setting.

Does that suspension work?

Is it opening, and does it absorb those bumps

and let the rear end track the ground?

- Mm-hmm, yeah, it does take a bit of getting used to,

like I said, but at the same time it definitely engages

and it has good traction on the downhills.

This doesn't feel like it's engaging at the last moment

or after you've gone-

- Yeah, when it's too late. - across the bump.

Somehow it does engage before you would feel it.

- You mentioned a couple of times

that it did feel a little strange

compared to a more traditional suspension system

that doesn't have that inertia valve in there.

What do you think you were feeling?

What was going on? - It was a bit difficult

going back and forth between,

three other bikes and the Specialized with the brain.

If you had been riding the brain for a long time,

obviously you would get used to it,

but when you're going back and forth,

you definitely feel that little engagement and-

- Am gonna stop you there.

What is that feel though?

What are you feeling through your feet?

- I don't wanna use the word clunk

'cause it's more delicate than a clunk,

but it's like a movement in your fork.

At first I thought, something was loose.

- The brain and the fork

and the brain in the shock. - Yeah, and the brain

and the shock.

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- This bike had the fastest descending time.

- No dropper posts. - No dropper post.

It was just really confidence inspiring on the downhills

and on the overall time lap, it tied for second place,

though tied with the Trek supercaliber.

- Okay.

- We had the brain in one of the more open settings

for this, try to keep things consistent.

We didn't use lockout on any of the other bikes

so that didn't put the brain

in full from setting here, either.

- And then for the efficiency test, it was second place

and that was with the brain in the middle setting as well.

I think it was four seconds behind the Kenyon,

but still very quick.

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All right, onto components next,

and this being the S-Works bike,

there's a lot of really fancy stuff to talk about,

including a power meter crank set.

- Yeah, the bike comes out of the box

with a fork power meaner crank set,

- Talk about being race-ready.

- Yeah, most racers are going to be training

with power if you're at all serious.

And so why not have it out of the box?

And then yeah, the access drive train was great.

Shifting was flawless and-

- You push a button and it happens.

- Yeah, its awesome. - It's done.

- Yeah, it's like you don't wanna think

and- - Zero thinking.

- If you wanna switch the way that it shifts,

you can do that in the up-two.

Or if you want it to shift two or three,

like yeah, it's awesome. - Yup.

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All right, on to pros and cons as usual,

tell me what you like.

- That modern geometry makes the descent a lot more fun,

a lot more forgiving.

And then it has the brain, which is awesome,

if you don't wanna have to worry

about locking out your bike.

When you're not yet breathing really hard,

you don't wanna have to worry about locking

or unlocking your suspension.

Like how many times did you-

- You just never have to think about it,

do you? - How many times you dropped

into a descent and being like,

oh, now it's too late, I can't unlock it.

- Almost never because- - I gotta keep my hands

on the(indistinct). - I refused

to use locker rivets,

but see that happen all the time right there.

People drop in, especially during racing,

you drop in, you forget your bike is locked out and

yeah, it's never great. - Yeah, so that's definitely

a great thing that the brain

is your brain when you're tired.

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- Let's talk about cons and let's continue on

with that brain suspension.

- Yeah, so I wish it didn't make any noise

or you didn't feel it.

It definitely feels that you engage it.

Maybe brain 6.0 or something

or not have that feeling anymore.

And the firmer the setting you go, the more you feel it.

- Exactly.

- Yeah, the more efficient your bike is,

the more you feel it, so it's that trade off.

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- Who is this fancy red bike for?

And I bet I know the answer.

- It's gonna be for a racer,

for a technical cross country course,

where you need to be able to anticipate

the downhills and you don't wanna to be terrified

of every downhill that you come into.

This is a great bike.

- It seems to me that the Kenyon and the track,

they're better suited to less forgiving courses.

Where the Cannondale seems a little more forgiving

on the suspension front, so it takes less out of you.

Where does this sit relative to those bikes?

- Yeah, so any cross country race that you are gonna do,

whether it's on smoother train,

or it's on more technical terrain,

I think it's quite a versatile cross country bike

and that 100 millimeters can either be as firm

or as active as you want it to be.

So yeah, I think it's a great option

for anybody who is serious about cross country racing.

- Alright, there you go.

There is specialized all new Epic race bike.

Speaking of that, I think we should probably go

do an epic ride

on our two Epics. - definitely gonna be

wearing spandex for this one.

- 100%.

Stay tuned for more video reviews

and round table discussions

from the cross country field tests.

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The Description of Specialized Epic S-Works Review: The Smart One | 2020 Field Test XC/DC