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2012 Editors’ Choice: XC Race 29er

Built to win, these are the fastest full-suspension bikes money can buy. —Bicycling Magazine Test Staff
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Winner: Specialized S-Works Epic 29

The Epic is the only full-suspension 29er bike to win a men’s World Cup race, and after hot laps on Fruita’s Rustler’s Loop, we understood why: It’s jackrabbit quick. Engineers have spent years fine-tuning the Brain suspension, and the inertia-valve shock offers a firm pedaling platform, helping the Epic climb like a hardtail. “It was nimble and ultrastiff,” said one tester. The updated suspension responds seamlessly to bumps, delivering 100mm of rock-taming travel. The Epic’s handling felt lively and deft, but stable at speed. Its only offense may be the five-figure price, but the carbon race wheels are the best of the group—no upgrade necessary.

Price: $10,500
Weight: 22.8 lb. (M)
Info: specialized.com

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This bike is very beautiful. I think my son will really love it when he see. NSW curriculum
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My 2nd mountain bike was a 2003 Epic Sworks. Built it from the frame up. It was awesome. I got into Triathlons and had to sell it. I still to this day regret doing that. After taking a 6 year break from Mountain Biking I came back to the scene and the 29er had evolved. Went back to the brand I knew and was impressed that the S-Works Epic 29er had made its mark in XC racing. It took awhile to save up but I had to get it and now extremely excited that I did after reading Editor's Choice recommendations. Congrats Specialized and thank you Bicycling Magazine for doing the testing. Another satisfied customer!
Back in 2010 I bought the Specialized Stump Jumper, which I think is a great mountain bike, but this new Epic 29-er with the brain must be the ultimate mountain bike on the market. Specialized really outdid themselves with this model, as I checked it out at my local Incyle bike store in Pasadena, CA.