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Cross country courses are nothing like they used to be. Today’s tracks have more in common with trail riding than the pancake flat NORBA courses of yesteryear. For this reason, Specialized threw away the hardtail rulebook and drafted their own chapter to create the Epic Hardtail Comp. Specialized took a revolutionary new frame design and spec’d it specifically for the rigors of racing contemporary XC courses. It’s one of the lightest frames we’ve ever made, tipping the scales around 1175g. And to make it this light, Specialized built the entire frame from their superlative FACT 11m carbon fiber, and then Specialized took some cues from their road bikes. Specialized borrowed the Rider-First Engineered™ concept that originated with the Tarmac. Now, the frame design applies specificity to every tube size and carbon layup for every frame size. This creates the optimal balance of rigidity, weight, and responsiveness, so every frame, regardless of size, performs just as Specialized intended. We’ve also tweaked the geometry for more speed and stability by slacking-out the head tube angle, lengthening the top tube, and correcting the seat tube angle. This way, it feels more planted then ever, and frankly, it’s stupid fast. Specialized also widened the rear spacing to 12x148mm and included internal split-housing cable routing. For the build, this Epic takes value to new heights with a custom-tuned RockShox Reba RL fork, 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle shifting, and fast rolling Roval Control Alloy wheels.