Specialized has released their new Specialized Chisel model of xc aluminum hardtails. With a lower starting cost that the Epic hardtails and a racier geometry and build than the Rockhopper, the Chisel is positioned to be the first XC race bike purchase for many budding racers. The bike is available in two builds and men’s and women’s versions along with a frameset only option. The lower end build features Shimano Deore 2×10 drivetrain, Shimano MT500 Deore Brakes and RockShox Judy fork. The “Expert” build upgrades the bike to a SRAM GX/NX 1×11 drivetrain, SRAM Level TL brakes and a RockShox Reba RL fork.
As far as the frameset goes, you get a D’Aluisio Smartweld frame which Specialized claims, “allows us to move the joint away from the area of the highest stress, making for a lighter frameset that’s stiff, compliant, and incredibly strong—the optimal characteristics of a hardtail XC rig.” The geometry includes a 430mm chainstay length and 69.8° head tube angle. The headtube angle is slightly slacker than the Epic’s 71° head tube angle which should make the bike a bit more manageable for beginners and more competent as a trail biek when not racing.
Even with that slacker head tube angle don’t expect too much from this bike. The 27.2mm seatpost pretty much eliminates the possibility of a dropper post. And the forks will only come with a 100mm of travel.
The Comp version of the Chisel is $1500 and the Expert model is $1850 making both bikes a value purchase for weekend warriors. The frameset meanwhile rings in at $750. You can find out more on Specialized’s site