Specialized Demo Day
This week I was fortunate enough to be a part of Specialized’s 2011 product launch in Keystone, Co. I was able to ride both road and mountain bikes, testing the latest and greatest from the brand. They have a full arsenal of bikes to choose from, so it was hard to pick the ones I wanted to test. We took the mountain bikes out first on Keystone Mountain, and I was able to ride three different mountain bikes.
First, I took out an S Works Epic 26″ Full Suspension bike. For the leg burning, lung searing crowd, this is your bike. It is light, handles amazingly well and feel smooth on many surfaces. The rear Brain shock does all of the thinking for you and provides movement in the bumps, but is solid when climbing. Basically it knows when you need travel and when you don’t. You can adjust the firmness or softness of the Brain by simply twisting the dial. Trust me, this is no gimmick, the Brain really works. SRAM’s new 2×10 drivetrain is also a huge step up. With only two front chain rings, but a large rear cassette, you have all the gears you could need. I never once was wishing for more gears, even on the steeper sections. But back to the bike itself. The handling is nimble, especially with the 26″ wheels. This is great for fast, twisty downhill sections. The slightly aggressive geometry is the perfect balance for this bike. If you race, the Epic is your weapon.
Next I rode a 29″ Full Suspension StumpJumper Comp. This is the do-it-all, have fun bike. There is plenty of travel to go out on the gnarly trails with drops and steeps. Again this bike used the Brain rear shock, so I was set. The fit of this bike is compliant with it’s purpose. It has a bit longer top tube than most and short seat stays. This helps keep the bike stable, but also put the power down. If you like to go downhill fast, but have to climb up on your own to get there, the Stumpy is the choice for you.
Finally I finished the day on the S Works StumpJumper 29″ Carbon HardTail. I’ve never ridden a 29″ H.T., so I was anxious to feel it’s performance on the downhill. The front shock had the Brain technology and provided 90 mm of travel. This bike is silly light and super nimble. Constructed from Specialized’s propietary FACT IS carbon fiber, the weight is super low. The combination of no rear shock bob and 29″ wheels made it feel like it was riding itself up the fire roads. I knew it would perform well there, but it was downhill single track I wondered about. I was surprised to find how well it rolled over rocks and roots. I wasn’t thrown around like I thought I would be and the rear stayed connected to the ground well. If you road primarily fire roads, or smoother trails, or for short track racers, this is the ultimate bike.
These were just three of the many bikes Specialized has. From super dowhnill to entry level, their line is enoromous. Check back for the next installment all about the road.