Specialized showed off its latest mountain bikes at Catalina State Park on Saturday during Demo Day. “We want to give everyone a chance to ride the 2012 Specialized Bikes for free, on a trail,” says Specialized manager for the Mountain States, John Searles. “It’s a little bit better than just riding it around parking lot.” He brought a trailer of 2012 bikes for local riders to try.
Oro Valley Bicycles’ staff and and Arizona sales manager, Scott Paulsel were on hand to help Searles. They fitted riders to bikes, from hard-tail trail bikes to all-mountain full suspension bikes. Specialized also had a range of women’s specific bikes including the 29er carbon Fate, used by Leadville champion Rebecca Rusch. In addition, women could test the Jett with 26- or 29-inch wheels.
Riders headed from the parking lot out to the 50-year Trail on the north side of Catalina State Park to put the bikes to the test over sand, up a rocky hill, and along ridge-top single track.
“The 2012 bikes are lighter, a little bit more refined. We were the first company to make mountain bikes for a mass market in 1982, so every year is an evolution for developing more bikes for different styles of riding,” says Paulsel. “There are so many different styles of riding, whether it’s someone just going out and having fun on the trails, or cross country racing, or shuttling in a pick-up truck to the top of a mountain or in a ski lift and bombing down hills.”
The Epic 29er is the bike of choice for racing, explains Paulsel: “It’s the first 29er to win the mountain bike men’s World Cup and win the World Championship in 2011.” The Epic 29er dual suspension bike has a carbon main frame with optional carbon or aluminum rear triangle.
The Specialized carbon frame and rear triangle gives the bike more lateral stiffness, and keeps the wheels more in line. According to Paulsel: “You’ll go faster if you keep your wheels in line. You’ll go where you want to go, rather than where the trail wants to push you.”
Finally, the Epic 29er comes equipped with a “brain” for rear suspension. “This is a Specialized exclusive that we’ve had for nine years. The brain reads the trail and tells the suspension whether it’s on smooth
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