2013 Specialized Mountain Bike Range Overview

Can 2013 be viewed as the year where manufacturers decided the the argument 26" vs. 29" was best answered by taking the option away?

US headquartered Specialized have rationalised their 2013 line up so that it's focused on 29" wheeled bikes, however there are some exceptions in across their range.

There's no sign of 650B in Specialized models as there is in their rivals Scott however.

Demo 8 - Downhill
Specialized offer their Demo 8 frame in two forms, a carbon fibre model and a M5 alloy model. It's hard to spot the difference at a distance unless you can pick them up. The carbon model is almost frighteningly light, oh and of course it's equally frighteningly expensive.

There is also the option to acquire a Demo 8 frame only in both forms.

Status - Freeride / Downhill
If the Demo 8 appears as too much of a precision downhill tool, then Specialized have the Status as an option. It's a long travel bike with 200mm travel, and suited to downhill runs and hitting a free ride park.

The Status however will not be your choice if you want to do any climbing, it's really suited to gravity assisted riding.

Enduro - All Mountain
When you want to climb and then descend with some aggression this is where you'll need to start paying some attention, as Specialized make it complicated. You can choose to have your frame in M5 alloy or carbon, in 29" or 26" wheels.

The 29ers come with front forks limited to 155mm travel and the 26ers with 160mm. Across the range specs include dropper posts and more aggressive components.

The Enduro is the all mountain bike range from Specialized, however the focus is toward competitive riders on the higher priced models.

Camber - Trail
Dedicated to the 29" wheel is the Camber. It's also dedicated to the trails and available in carbon and alloy frames.

Stumpjumper FSR- Trail / All Mountain / XC
Riding the trails has always been where you'll find a Stumpjumper, one of the oldest model ranges in mountain biking. That's not to say that these are an old design or old bikes, the 2013 Stumpjumper FSR range is very comprehensive and not only includes carbon and alloy options, you can find the very well specced EVO models in both 29" and 26" wheels.

The Stumpjumper is your all-purpose 5" travel trail bike, it'll go pretty much anywhere and even be a suitable race bike option.

Epic - XC
However if you are a racer and looking at a full suspension bike then the Epic range is your best bet, for 2013 they are lighter than ever. There is only one model with an alloy option and you can purchase the carbon frame only.

Safire - Trail / All Mountain Women's Specifc
The women's specific full-suspension trail bike range is unusual in that Specialized competitors are now moving to offer 29" wheels only. The Safire is available in M5 alloy only, which does seem to be a missed opportunity though.

Fate - XC Women's Specific
The carbon framed Fate is a hard-tail XC bike Specialized have designed specifically for women and it's really aimed directly at the racing market. It's light, very well specced and priced as you'd expect.

Stumpjumper - XC
Dedicated to racing for those dedicated to hard-tails. The Stumpjumer is now 29" only across the range and offered in carbon and alloy.

In summary Specialized have made a reasonably a wide offering to the market and some interesting bikes. As always their bikes are well presented and you'll be riding something unique and suited to ride pretty much most places. They deserve kudos for continuing to make several 26" wheeled options available, however I have noticed a distinct focus in-store though of focusing on hard-tails and 29" wheeled XC focused bikes.

Images: Specialized

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