Specialized Epic Evo Review
After deciding to enter the 2021 Whaka 100 Miler my next focus became what bike to use? After mechanical issues in the 2020 Whaka, resulting from borrowing a bike the night before the race, I decided that this time I'd need my own. After mulling over my options, I settled on the Specialized Epic Evo. I felt this bike would give me with both a competitive XC platform and be a daily trail bike.
After over 6 months of waiting and countless delays, it turned up just before Christmas. With all this waiting time, I had worked out exactly how and what I needed to do to set this bike up exactly how I wanted it.
Now, after almost two months of use and nearly 1000km, from 100km training rides in Rotorua and Wellington to Mt Vic laps after work, I can safely say my Epic Evo is exactly what I wanted it to be. I am yet to find a trail I can't ride it down or a climb it won't go up. It eats metres vert like no other bike I've ever owned, whilst keeping the downs equally exciting and amazing me with just how far 110mm travel can go.
The components on it have been equally incredible. My favourite by far is the remote lock out, which makes the bike feel like a hardtail when engaged and a trail bike when released. The XT 4-pot brakes are equally good and when combined with the aggressive geo and Fox 34 on the front, the bike is ready for anything.
With the Whaka being cancelled, I have yet to get this bike on a race track however, I did get the chance to put the bikes through its paces with the inaugural Welly Whaka. Riding just about everywhere you can in Wellington, all in one day gave me the chance to see not only how the bike handled different trails and terrain, but also how fatiguing it was to ride all day.
Riding for almost 10 hours, over 160km and almost 4000m vert, I can safely say I know this bike well. Throughout the ride I never felt the bike holding me back or causing me to waste energy. It obviously excels on the climbs and flow trails, where it maintains its speed incredibly well, but even trails like 491 and Deliverance where fun to ride.
This winter I'm keen to switch out the XC tyres for some more trail orientated ones and see just how far I can push the bike, so stay tuned.
- Joe Houghton