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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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