Specialized Epic 8

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
22.58, 26.72, 28.88 lb
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Specialized Epic 8. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

17 reasons to buy

  • There are seven Epic 8 builds. The three lowest tiers are available as more trail-focused EVO builds with 130mm forks.
  • Reviewers relish the Epic 8’s acceleration up climbs, agility on tight trails, composure in the rough, and ability to descend like a bike with more suspension travel.
  • A tester applauds the “kick-ass pedaling kinematics” and “excellent” wheels, tires, and finishing kit of the S-Works.
  • Experts agree the S-Works build is ready to win XC races out of the box.
  • The S-Works FACT 12m carbon frame weighs just 3.96lb with the shock.
  • The volume and functionality of the SWAT 4.0 internal storage outclasses the competition, say testers.
  • A steering lock and a replaceable chainstay and belly guard boost frame durability.
  • All five frame sizes have room for two water bottles.
  • Testers say the Epic 8 S-Works is “exceptional” at going fast on a wide range of XC terrain.
  • Reviewers praise the Epic 8’s comfort on long rides.
  • Experts highlight the S-Works’ “truly Epic” marathon race and backcountry ride potential.
  • Citing the “great” geometry” and advanced suspension’s “instant control,” an expert calls the S-Works a “stunning race weapon” and the “easiest” bike they’ve ever ridden.
  • A reviewer says the EVO Pro build’s light frame and “punchy” pedaling blows competitors away.
  • Testers agree Flight Attendant (S-Works) provides “a clear advantage” compared to lockouts, savoring how the automatic suspension lets them focus on riding.
  • The EVO builds combine outstanding downhill performance and climbing ability with the potential to run marathons, says a tester.
  • A reviewer finds the Epic 8 Comp “a pretty impressive proposition” compared to similarly priced alternatives.
  • The S-Works’ SRAM Level Ultimate 4-piston brakes are both light and “powerful.”

5 reasons not to buy

  • A reviewer finds the 160mm rear rotor (non-EVO builds) overheats on long, steep descents.
  • The Epic 8 S-Works’ integrated cockpit limits rider fit and its internally routed rear brake hose complicates headset servicing.
  • Experts find the EVO Pro’s FOX shock can feel “too firm” at times.
  • A tester has problems with the EVO Pro’s FOX shock and Transfer dropper. Both are addressed under warranty.
  • Testers say the EVO Pro’s tendency to lift the front wheel hinders climbing. One notes that a lower, narrower handlebar might fix this.

Bottom line

Specialized’s Epic 8, the newest iteration of its legendary XC bikes, boasts the latest race geometry, top-notch components, and a choice of XC racing or trail-optimized builds. In all areas of cross-country performance, the S-Works leaves experts highly impressed, despite some niggles with Flight Attendant and a rear rotor that can overheat. The more trail-focused EVO’s gravity flair proves a hit, though some harbor reservations about its suspension that sometimes lacks suppleness. The Epic 8 is probably the fastest, most-competent XC bike available. As pricey as the builds are, experts still reckon they’re great value.

Expert Reviews

93/100 based on 3 rated expert reviews
Bike Perfect

Specialized S-Works Epic 8 Review – Is This Ultra High-Tech, Superlight but Trail-Tough XC Race Superbike the New Olympic Champion in Waiting?

If you can afford the S-Works Epic 8, it really is a next-level technology and velocity benchmark that makes maximum speed easier than ever. Whichever spec of Epic 8 you get, the frame, geometry, and suspension… make it an exceptional XC race/superfast trail bike…

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Specialized S-Works Epic 8 Review

… the Epic 8 is hugely versatile – from full-gas race efforts to smashing fun laps around your local trail centre. The Epic World Cup is a highly focused race bike that’s best suited to punchy and yet technically mellow courses.

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Bike Perfect

I Tested the New Specialized Epic 8 EVO Pro – Its Mixture of Lightweight Speed and Middleweight Control Blew Me Away

… the new Epic Evo is perfect for the increasing category of riders who want full trail attack capability, but with the agility, punch, and efficiency that gives the kind of climbing and acceleration gains you’d otherwise have to get an e-bike to unleash.

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Flow Mountain Bike

All-New Specialized Epic vs. Epic EVO Review | Brainless, But All the Better for It!

For those who are less concerned by remote lockouts and place a greater emphasis on having fun on the trail, the Epic EVO is a seriously fast and capable XC bike.

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Review: Specialized’s New Epic 8 – All the Speed You Need

Add to that the composed and highly efficient pedal feel, the outstanding descending, and the best-in-class frame storage and bottle capacity, and you have a truly well-rounded package.

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Bike Perfect

Specialized Epic 8 vs Epic 8 EVO – Two Brilliant New Bikes, but Which Short-Travel Ripper Is the Right One for You?

… unless weight is an actual obsession rather than something you think about objectively, the more efficient pedaling and far better speed sustain of the new Epic 8… make that our go-to speed choice for anything between gravel and gravity days.

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[Review] Specialized Epic 8 EVO

… I think the typical buyer will be the mountain biker who enjoys long rides, possibly with lots of meters of elevation gain, peppered with technical descents without KOM anxiety.

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Specialized’s New Epic EVO 8 Is the Raddest XC MTB I’ve Ever Tested

What Specialized have done with this frame and this spec is seriously impressive.

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Bike Network

Specialized Epic Review | Epic vs. Epic EVO – Head-To-Head Comparison Against the Clock

It’s the bike for riders obsessed with racing and for racers who are obsessed with winning. Don’t let all of Specialized’s marketing mumbo jumbo put you off. This bike is insanely fast.

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Heather Munive

The All-New Specialized Epic 8

I think it is perfect for trails like these. It was good on the drops, great on the jumps, and climbed really well. I felt faster on this bike as well.

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All New Specialized Epic 8 EVO Pro | No Longer a Down Country Bike! | Test Ride and Review

How do I compare this to the other short-travel bikes I’ve ridden? It blows them out of the water.

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First Ride: 2024 Specialized Epic 8 EVO

The EVO will still appeal to a lot of people, but don’t underestimate the capability of the XC spec – it might be all the bike you need.

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ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

On Test: 2024 Specialized Epic 8 EVO – The Fun Brother?

We thought the 2024 Specialized Epic 8 EVO would be our favourite, but if we had a choice, we’d take the Epic 8 S-Works!

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ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

Test Debut of the 2024 Specialized Epic 8 – An XC Race Bike With Flight Attendant Suspension

No matter what kind of speed you love, the new Specialized Epic S-Works delivers – on the race track, in pursuit of the fastest time, or simply in pursuit of a good time!

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2024 Specialized Epic Comp First Ride Review

It really is a superb bike – it rides better than its predecessor and will bring newfound confidence and descending speed to the trails.

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BIKE Magazine

Tested: Specialized Epic 8 EVO Pro

The Epic 8 EVO is a race bike disguised as a do-(almost)-everything trail bike… I can happily say that my decades-old love affair with the Epic continues, and the thoroughly modern EVO is a promising continuation of the bike’s legacy.

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Review: Specialized Epic 8 S-Works & EVO XC Bikes

If you’re a racer, or a trail rider that likes to go fast and get rowdy, the new Epic 8 is absolutely worth a look.

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Singletrack World

First Rides on New Specialized Epic and Epic EVO

… you’d expect the two bikes to ride very similarly, but build kit is key. The Epic EVO rides like a fast, light and rather capable trail bike where the Epic is very XC.

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2024 Specialized Epic EVO 8 Pro Bike

The Epic 8 is a bike that makes you want to ride more. It climbs with the urgency you’d expect from a World Cup XC race bike but rips descents with the pose and control of a bike with more travel.

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User Ratings

100/100 based on 1 ratings
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