Bike Check: Sam Gaze's World Cup winning Specialized S-Works Epic

The titanic battle between former under 23 world champion, Sam Gaze and Nino Schurter at Coetzenburg Stadium on Saturday had us enthralled. Nino is the reigning world champion, and remained nearly unchallenged in 2017, so to see a close and ferociously fought battle unfolding was an unexpected surprise.

 

Here we take a look at the Specialized S-Works Epic Gaze rode to victory.

MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-96.jpg


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The Specialized team appear to favour the dual suspension S-Works Epic over the hardtail Epic and Sam Gaze is no exception. His Epic is tricked out with all the top of the range goodies from the S-Works stable, right down to the carbon bottle cage.

 

MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-71.jpg

 

The ROTOR 2INpower crankset measure power readings from each crankarm independently giving the rider an accurate reading from every down stroke. Sam paired the crankset with a ROTOR oval Q-Ring sized at 36 teeth.

 


MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-82.jpg

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The suspension features Specialized's Brain technology in a custom adapted RockShox shock and SID fork.

 

MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-80.jpg

 

The fastest number on the day. Despite starting a few rows back, Sam managed to get himself to the front of the race right from the get-go.

 


MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-76.jpg

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The team uses Specialized's in-house Roval brand for wheels. In this case, the Control SL wheelset with carbon rims, DT Swiss spokes, and Roval hubs featuring DT Swiss engagement internals on the back hub. Sam races on Specialized's fast rolling Renegade tyres.

 

MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-67.jpg

 

Sam appears to like his bike slammed with no spacers in sight. The 130 mm long Specialized stem with a negative 24-degree angle to the S-Works carbon 720 mm handlebars.

 


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The Specialized team are riding Magura brakes this year. The brand's MT8 Raceline with carbon lever and yellow calipers shine brightly on Sam's bike.

 

MTB World Cup Stellenbosch-101.jpg

 

By popular demand, the weight. While holding a scale in a field is probably not the most accurate means of weighing the bike, we have few alternatives when under pressure to get a bike back to the mechanics but in Sam's case the scale read around the 10.4 kilogram mark.

 

Full specifications:


  • FrameSpecialized S-Works Epic
  • ForkRockShox SID Brain
  • ShockRockShox/Specialized Brain
  • RimsRoval Control SL
  • HubsRoval Control SL, rear with DT Swiss Star Ratchet
  • SpokesDT Swiss
  • TyresSpecialized Renegade 2.1
  • HandlebarS-Works carbon 720mm
  • GripsSpecialized XC Race
  • StemS-Works 130mm, -24 degree
  • HeadsetFSA
  • SeatpostS-Works carbon
  • SaddleS-Works Phenom
  • BrakesMagura MT8 Raceline
  • Brake RotorsMagura 160mm
  • ShiftersSRAM XX1 Eagle
  • Rear DerailleurSRAM XX1 Eagle
  • CassetteSRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50t
  • CranksRotor 2INpower
  • ChainringRotor Q-Ring 36 tooth
  • ChainSRAM XX1 Eagle
  • Bottom BracketRotor
  • PedalsLook X Track Race Carbon
  • Bottle CagesSpecialized carbon
  • Weight10.4 kg






13 Comments

RiverInTheRoad, Mar 13 2018 06:11

What size is the bike

BaGearA, Mar 13 2018 06:47

dayum that's a long stem 

andrew5336, Mar 13 2018 07:28

Gaze is a big kid so I think XL?

Refreshing to see a bike over 10 kg - all the MAMILS spending R 10’s of thousands on super light parts to get to 9kg would be better off training harder and working on their skills...who knew haha

Traveler, Mar 13 2018 07:50

"The Specialized team are riding Magura brakes this year." Did they not also use Magura MT8 last year on some of their team bikes? https://www.bikehub....-epic-fsr-r6389

https://fullsus.co.z...der-the-hammer/

Those Fluo Yellow Calipers are nearly impossible to miss.

 

Spez has been fitting Magura standard on some of their production bikes for more a while, that is why there was the Magura MTS and more recently the MTS NEXT. Of course they do not spec MTS on their S-Works, there you can expect something a bit more special.

 

I know, I am nit-picking.

Baracuda, Mar 13 2018 09:01

Looks about as comfortable as riding a dog kennel.

That drop must put heaps of pressure on the hands and nads.

Doesn't matter on short races.

Amazing bike skills to get that over pick-up sticks etc.

Headshot, Mar 13 2018 10:27

That things only 800g more than my road bike....

Watching Gaze on the bike it looked a tad small for him. No doubt he knows what works though.

The Magura deal extends to their DH team too which is a first I think.

MphatiPyga, Mar 13 2018 11:39

Be interesting to compare his Epic setup compared to this short course setup

herrowpreeze, Mar 13 2018 04:18

"The Specialized team are riding Magura brakes this year." Did they not also use Magura MT8 last year on some of their team bikes? https://www.bikehub....-epic-fsr-r6389

https://fullsus.co.z...der-the-hammer/

Those Fluo Yellow Calipers are nearly impossible to miss.

 

Spez has been fitting Magura standard on some of their production bikes for more a while, that is why there was the Magura MTS and more recently the MTS NEXT. Of course they do not spec MTS on their S-Works, there you can expect something a bit more special.

 

I know, I am nit-picking.

As far as i know only the downhill team used them

wisecrack, Mar 13 2018 05:25

That drop is nothing compared to the likes of Kulhavi he looked quite comfortable throughout the race except maybe for the last two laps.

Would think that the article could state the size of the frame.

Admin, Mar 14 2018 08:54

That drop is nothing compared to the likes of Kulhavi he looked quite comfortable throughout the race except maybe for the last two laps.

Would think that the article could state the size of the frame.

We make a big effort to get all specs, size included, but unfortunately often pressed for time with athletes / mechanics rightfully needing their bikes back something is missed. Usually frame size is an easy one we'll pick up from the photos... in this case the custom painted frame obscures the size. We'll keep an eye out for this in future.

From the photos compared to others online this looks like a large frame.

Admin, Mar 14 2018 09:00

Be interesting to compare his Epic setup compared to this short course setup

Gaze isn't riding Epic. Perhaps you're thinking of Howard Grotts who's riding with Jaro?

Either way we'll chat to the team there to get a sense of what they change on the setup for Epic vs. World cup. 

fusion01, Mar 15 2018 09:38

That drop is nothing compared to the likes of Kulhavi he looked quite comfortable throughout the race except maybe for the last two laps.

Would think that the article could state the size of the frame.

 

My drop is bigger than yours... :)

avalanx, Mar 19 2018 10:34

Although his height would be in the XL range he actually opts for a Large instead. Keeps the bike nimble and low according to him.

 

Source: GMBN Tech.

 

Gaze is a big kid so I think XL?

Refreshing to see a bike over 10 kg - all the MAMILS spending R 10’s of thousands on super light parts to get to 9kg would be better off training harder and working on their skills...who knew haha