Canadian Cyclist Cervelo S2 24-7 1 - March 29
   Follow us on Twitter
 
Find us on Facebook
 
Wheels of Bloor - March 7
 
ACS Apollo Bikes - November 19
 
Williams Cycling March 28
 
IMBA Canada - Dec 14
 
Share the Road - Dec 14
 


 

 

 
OGC Camelback CC2 - April 7
 

Daily News


 

July 21/12 7:20 am - 2013 Specialized Product Launch - Mountain Bike


Posted by Editor on 07/21/12
 

As always, Specialized has a huge number of updates every year, so we have broken it into categories:  Road, Mountain, Women, Cyclo-cross and Body Geometry.  This is the review of the 2013 Specialized Mountain Bike product line (Road has already been reported, in our Reviews section).

We are now into the time of year for the bike companies to start introducing to the press the latest and (hopefully) greatest new stuff they have for the cycling enthusiast.  Some of this stuff has already been discussed online, based on sightings from the pro's bikes through the earlier part of the season.  There has been much speculation, but now we get the official word and all those details that previously weren't up for discussion.

Specialized is one of the biggest innovators in the market - one of their slogans is actually 'Innovate or Die'.  Usually, the S team brings together journalists from all over the world to some interesting location and sends us back to school for three days.  However, it is a school any rider would enjoy.

 

photo

View from my hotel window

 

This year, we were at Snowbird, a ski resort outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.  While the 8000+ feet (2400+ metres) left us a little short of breath, the trails and roads were everything that could be desired for riding.  We started each day with the school part - seminars with the product designers covering new products and updates from the previous year, while the afternoon was open to riding either road or mountain; plus, for this year, cyclo-cross.

The mountain bike category has experienced significant growth recently in two areas - 29er (29-inch wheel) and enduro bikes.  The 29er trend is one that Specialized embraced early, and they now have more 29er models than traditional 26" ones.

The 29er models have all received upgrades, as you would expect, with weights continuing to drop.  The Camber series of full suspension bikes has received the biggest rework, with a new suspension linkage system and lower standover heights - pretty much the same as the 26" bikes.  The Camber models now go down as low as 25.8 pounds in weight, again similar to last year's 26" models.

The Carve hardtail 29ers were also upgraded considerably.  We reviewed the Expert model this year, and our only real complaint was the weight.  They have addressed that, with the bike dropping an astounding 3.5 pounds.

 

photo

The new Enduro

 

While the 29ers have received upgrades, the biggest announcement was the completely revised Enduro.  Enduro-type racing and riding is growing rapidly in the U.S.  This all day type riding is an outgrowth of the All Mountain bikes, but this time done properly.  All Mountain were bikes that you could struggle up a hill with, but were really more for downhill riding.  The Enduro really is more of an all around bike that is light enough for extended climbing, but can still handle the bigger hits of a downhill run.

 

photo

The 2013 Enduro has a new pivot point design

 

The new IS-X frame design on the Enduro has a low bottom bracket and slack head angle for both climbing and descending.  The Enduro has incorporated a shockbloc suspension like the Stumpjumper, with a custom Cane Creek rear air shock on the top S-Works carbon model.  Specialized has also incorporated their Autosag easy-adjust suspension system for pretty much all of the full suspension models in their line.  The weight savings are impressive, with the S-Works coming in at 25.9 pounds, and even the aluminum model sub-30 pounds.

 

photo

The Enduro Expert weighs in at 27.5 lbs & and the S-Works at 25.9 lbs

photo

 

Other mountain bike changes for 2013 include the Demo downhill bike.  There is now an S-Works carbon model, a team replica of the bike multiple times world champion Sam Hill rides.  This extremely trick bike comes with many special features, including a middle seat stay (which Specialized calls a sub-stay), so that the shock system can be tuned separately for the wheel travel and for the braking system.

It runs a 9/32 7 speed cogset instead of a standard 11/36, so a smaller chainring can be used (less chances of bashing a ring), and the extremely rare pro Rock Shox Black Gold fork.  Only 200 of these team replicas are to be made, at an estimated cost somewhere between $9000 and $10,000.  A more 'affordable' Demo 8 Carbon model with the same geometry will retail for $6000.

The XC racing full suspension Epic line adds a marathon model, and all models get the Autosag system for suspension tuning.  The Stumpjumper hardtail series also receives a marathon edition, plus a very sweet sub-20 version - the Expert EvoR.

 

photo

The Tactic offers more protection at the back of the head

 

In the non-bike mountain bike categories, Specialized has introduced an easier to adjust strap system, and a new all mountain style helmet, the Tactic.  The Tactic comes with a visor and extended rear head coverage.

 

photo

New carbon MTB wheels for the Roval line

 

photoThe mountain version of the Roval wheels have also received considerable changes.  The Control SL and SL29  models are all carbon race wheels, but the more interesting models are the ones below - the Control Carbon 29.  This is a $1200 carbon wheelset that weighs an impressive 1580 grams.  One of the ways weight was saved is that it does not have a hook on the inside for the bead - the tire engineers told the wheel engineers it wasn't needed and, according to their extensive testing, this turned out to be true.

There are other wheels models as well - not as light but very robust - the XC Trail and Traverse.  The Traverse come in carbon and aluminum versions and are designed for Enduro racing.

right: The new Control Carbon 29 is a $1200 wheelset that saves weight by dispensing with a bead hook

 

Photo gallery

 


Return to Canadian Cyclist homepage | Back to Top
D'Ornellas (+6469) - Sept 20
 
ARG button Sept 17.14
 

 
Bikesports - August 12
 

 


 
Dundas Speed Shop - Jan 11 (+524)
 
  


 
 © Copyright 1998-2014 Canadian Cyclist. All rights reserved.  Privacy Policy | Contact | Subscribe to RSS Feed  | Login