New Specialized Epic 2024 leaked in a SRAM video
Just a few weeks ago we saw for the first time in competition what looked like a development version of the upcoming Specialized Epic 2024. But now, for the first time, we've been able to see it in full in a video from SRAM. It seems no coincidence that it was spotted in a video like this one, and could indicate that its unveiling is imminent.
Leaked full image of the new Specialized Epic 2024
In this video, SRAM presents its new Eagle Transmission and surprisingly, towards the end of the video, it shows it mounted on a Specialized Epic 2024 of which no image had been seen yet.
After these images there is no doubt that this is the final version of the Specialized Epic 2024.
What new features are expected in the Specialized Epic 2024?
This is the reference full suspension mountain bike in Specialized's XC catalog and although there is little information at the moment, from the images we can draw conclusions about what this new model will bring.
In 2021 the current Epic full suspension model was presented with an updated geometry, lower weight and a new BRAIN intelligent suspension system. These innovations have allowed it to continue to be a reference bike in XC, but today there is still room for improvement with the new standards of the modality.
Considering the general trends of the new XC, there are two that stand out above the rest: more travel (120mm at the rear) and integration. The first arose with a clear aesthetic objective and has given us some not inconsiderable benefits, such as greater stiffness or lower weight, and the second has emerged naturally with the new, increasingly technical and downhill circuits of the World Cup. And from what we've seen, both trends could fit together as the two great new features of the Specialized Epic 2024. A model that has decided to reinvent itself for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.
Regarding integration, there is no doubt that this prototype has a new internal cable routing that leaves the front of the bike cleaner than ever by having the cable entry through the head tube itself. But there's more.
We could say that currently, the SCOTT Spark is the reference model in terms of integration, thanks to its rear shock "hidden" in the down tube. And some of this could be seen on the new Specialized Epic.
In the recent leaked image, an integrated or semi-integrated rear shock can be seen in the frame itself, in the style of the current Isotrust system of the Trek Supercaliber. In addition, it is also confirmed that it will keep the monopivot rear suspension system.
And this brings us to another great novelty that we could see in all the models of the new Epic: 120mm rear travel. The SCOTT Spark or the new Orbea Oiz, two of its main competitors, already come with 120mm rear travel as the only option, and it looks like it will be the general trend in the coming years. So this could be a logical step for the new Epic if we understand that today's Cross Country is looking for faster downhill and uphill bikes, which is achieved with small sacrifices in weight and reactivity but allows for greater safety and traction.
With or without BRAIN?
So it seems that greater integration and rear travel could be the calling card of the new Epic 2024, but in view of its profiles we could also be looking at a lighter bike with new geometry. Although the big question about this new model is what will happen with the BRAIN system?
Specialized's proprietary BRAIN suspension system is a hallmark of the brand. It was one of the first intelligent suspension systems, and while it remains unique, its popularity with enthusiasts is not always positive.
In any case, it is surprising that in the first images there is no trace of the BRAIN system or any of its current sensors, so we could say that in one way or another it will be a novelty in the Epic 2024.
If Specialized finally decides to dispense with the BRAIN, it will be a major strategic shift for the brand since it first introduced this system in 2002. But we could also see a much more advanced evolution of the BRAIN and who knows if electronics in the style of what RockShox presented with its Flight Attendant.
We will have to wait a few weeks or months to complete all this information about the new Specialized Epic 2024, but this could be the final version of the model and may be the one with which Martin Vidaurre will debut in the Elite World Cup next May 12th in Nove Mesto.