Specialized Epic or EVO

Hi TrainerRoaders,
I’m looking to get into XC MTB and looking at purchasing either the 2021 Speciaziled Epic or Epic EVO, in the Expert level.

I’ll use the bike for our winter months (6mths) here in Adelaide Australia and might end up trying a few races. I do like pushing the limits but I do want to enjoy longer rides, most likely 50km plus rides with the odd 100km thrown in.

I like the idea of the brain, no need for manual adjustments on the fly and efficiently all the way. Then again I like the sound of the extra travel on the EVO for a more comfy ride.

Can anyone tell me how often they flick the lockout lever on the new back suspension on the EVO and can it be flicked on the go, whilst peddling.

I don’t like the idea of having to send the brain to the store for its half yearly service.

Which one should I get?
I noticed Nate bought the new Epic and wants to use it for Cape epic. So it must be ok for long rides right?

But I hear the EVO is better suited for longer rides.
Why didn’t Nate get the EVO? Would have made my decision easier :grinning:.

Thanks in advance
Age 48

I have the 2021 Epic Evo and the 2020 Epic. The 2021 Epic has more slack geometry than the 2020, and I haven’t ridden the 2021 Epic, so keep that in mind.

My 2 cents, and others may disagree, is I would base your decision more on the type of terrain you ride and whether you want a remote lockout in the rear, not necessarily how long you ride.

If the trails you ride are pretty tame, and you are going to be doing some racing, I would go with the Epic. If you are riding terrain that is more technical where you would benefit from having more travel and more slack geometry, then I would get the Epic Evo, or if you are racing in more technical terrain.

I use my Epic for the majority of the rides I do near my house and for the majority of the races I do. I use my Epic Evo when I go ride trails that are much more technical or are flow trails where I benefit from the increased travel.

There is a difference between the rear shock and feel of the Brain and that on the Epic Evo with no lockout. For racing and riding hard on non-technical trails, having the Brain (or a remote lockout) is really nice. It’s not very practical to flip the lockout on and off on the Epic Evo while you are riding. The Epic Evo does have a more upright feel to it than the regular Epic.


I just want the increased efficiency of the brain and 100mm fork is enough for cape epic.

I agree with what’s said above.

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Which model/size EVO do you have, and can you give a weight? I know the s-works is under 22 pounds (holy crap), but I’d love a weight for the lower tiers (I’ll probably get an expert for next season).

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It’s a size Large. I have the SWorks frame, and then have built it from there. It has a Fox Factory SC 34 fork, Roval Control SL Team LTD wheels, Fox Transfer dropper post, Vittoria Mezcal tires, XTR brakes, and SRAM Eagle mechanical drivetrain with a Quarq power meter. It’s 23 lbs 6 oz with pedals, bottle cages, and computer mount.

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Making a similar decision myself (hopefully). Does anyone know the weights of the more reasonably priced models?

The reviews all reference the spec and weights for the top end $11k-$12k builds, but my more modest budget and I will most likely end up on either a Comp or Expert.

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Hey, thanks for the feedback. All I have to do now is workout if my trails are too technical or not. As you can tell I’m really new to MTB, I’m a roadie. I’ll talk to some locals.

I hear you can setup the back suspension remotely on the EVO, I’ll confirm with Specialized. That will make a big difference.

But I think I’m leaning towards the Epic now.

One thing to remember: these are two amazing bikes, and you’re going to be happy either way (especially coming from a road background).

The epic is an insanely capable race bike.

The EVO is an insanely race-able trail bike.

Choose one and never look back.

One other thing. I’ll never again ride an MTB without a dropper. If I were to get the epic over the Evo (definitely possible) I’d add a dropper before I even picked it up from the shop. Just my two cents.


Comments today on PB after the Evo review put the pro around 24lbs and the expert ~25. Easy to reduce weight on the expert by switching to an X01 cassette and a different dropper.