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.


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.


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.


Hi Guys.

I’ve been riding and racing Cross Triathlon and hour long MTB races on a hardtail for several years now.
My strength is climbing and flat sections, but I loose so much time on the down hill sections down to lack of confidence/skill.

Is an Epic or Evo full suspension going to make me quicker and if so, I guess the Epic is going to suit me better than the Evo as all of my races are short and sharp and I don’t really do longer slower more technical type riding.

Any thoughts?



I got an 2020 epic evo after coming from 10+ years of hard tail only. Full suspension to me was such an eye opening experience, I can’t believe I didn’t switch sooner. The first day on the bike, I was whooping like a 15 year old again. The whole chassis just stays more planted no matter the trail, which gave me more confidence over all sections. I haven’t used the rear lockout yet on the trail, there just isn’t much suspension bob compared to the old FS setups. I would go ride one just so you can see what a modern FS XC bike feels like. You can tune the rear shock to be super progressive, plush, etc.

Also, I got a base model which weighed a ton compared to a hard tail, but once you upgrade the wheels, cassette and cranks, it’s pretty light.

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I agree with most of what has been said. I am 50 so close to your age and I like the idea of the extra travel, comfort and versatility the Evo brings on longer distance rides with little weight penalty. Don’t forget the Brain adds and extra 200g, so the Evo frame should be lighter although the burlier fork will offset this. Even though I am a capable technical rider it will still be the Evo for me.

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Cheers guys.

Was swinging towards the Evo, but…as it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever be on the bike for more than 2 hours, and when I do ride, it pretty full gas, I think I’m going to go for the brained Epic.

Availability plays a part as well and there’s a normal Epic available now, although it’s the entry level model.

I have a better groupset to fit and a good wheelset so there’s some weight gone already.

It only comes with brained REBA’s, but I have some standard SID Ultimates which are way lighter than the REBA’s, but won’t have the brain in them…is the fork brain worth it or shall I stick with the brain rear shock and my un-brained SID’s ?



Hi - it seems you may be answer a question I have:
I bought an S-works Evo at the end of last year and absolutely loved the bike
Unfortunately it was stolen this past weekend
There are no Large S-works Evo frames available in South Africa currently and I’m told there won’t any for quite a while
My local bike shop has recommended that I buy the 2021 Epic frame (i.e. with the brain) and include the ASX dropper post AND the 120mm (manual) SID fork (both as per my Evo)

So in effect I’d be building a 2021 Evo with a brain on the suspension (100mm as opposed to 110 on my original Evo) and a 120mm front (manual) fork, with a dropper post

Is this a good idea - do you have a 120mm fork on the 2021 Epic?

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