Often times, carbon gets all of the attention, but with its D'Aluisio Smartweld aluminum frame, the Specialized Chisel Expert is a hidden gem. Traditional welding methods create frame joints by connecting tubes to cylinders, leaving the performance and security of the connection up to the skill of the welder. D'Aluisio (DSW), however, allows Specialized 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. So what does this mean for you? You'll be powering up climbs, shredding singletrack, and everything in between on a bike that has you questioning why alloy as gotten such a bad rap. And to further improve this feel, the Chisel also features Specialized's XC 29 geometry which took their previous XC race geo and added some trail DNA to the mix. This equates to a longer top tube, a shortened head tube, and a slacked out front end, the result of which is a tremendous increase in downhill stability, plus a wider range of fit. And just as importantly, this doesn't require any sacrifice of climbing proficiency. The build on this Chisel features a mix of SRAM GX and NX one-by components for efficient shifts and added protection against dropping the chain. You'll also find powerful SRAM Level TL hydraulic disc brakes, a dependable RockShox Reba RL fork with up to 100mm of travel, and 25-millimeter-wide alloy wheels that are optimized for weight and traction.
- Given its lightweight and ultra-stiff characteristics, M5 aluminum was the natural choice for the frame's construction. And when complemented with Specialized's speed-focused XC 29 Geometry, D'Aluisio Smartweld technology, and internal cable routing, you get a bike that compromises nothing in delivering explosive speed, confident handling, and hassle-free maintenance.
- A custom RockShox Reba RL 29 fork offers up 90/100mm of smooth travel (size-specific), while an easily accessible compression and rebound adjusts permit you to customize the feel according to the terrain at hand.
- SRAM GX handles one-by shifting duties, practically eliminating dropped chains and reducing overall bike weight.
|Frame||Specialized D'Aluisio Smartweld M5 Alloy, XC Geometry, internal cable routing, BSA BB, triangulated post-mount 160mm brake|
|Fork||RockShox Reba RL 29, Solo Air, 51mm offset, (S: 90mm, M-XL: 100mm of travel)|
Front: 15x110mm thru-axle
|Rims/Wheels||Specialized Alloy 29, 25mm internal width|
Front: Fast Trak, GRIPTON compound, 29x2.3", 60 TPI, Aramid folding bead, 2Bliss Ready
Fast Trak, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.3"
|Crankset||Race Face Aeffect|
|Bottom Bracket||Race Face Threaded BSA|
|Chain||KMC X11, 11-speed w/ Missing Link|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM GX, long cage, 11-speed|
|Cassette/Rear Cogs||SRAM NX, 11-speed, 10-42t|
|Shifters||SRAM GX, trigger, 11-speed|
|Handlebars||Specialized Mini-rise, 6000 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 10mm rise, 720mm width, 31.8mm clamp|
|Tape/Grips||Specialized Sip Grip, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thickness|
|Stem||Specialized XC, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise|
|Brakes||SRAM Level TL, hydraulic disc, organic pads, 160/180mm rotor|
|Saddle||Body Geometry Phenom Comp, Adaptive Edge design, Hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm|
|Seat Post||Specialized, alloy, single bolt, 27.2mm|
|Gloss Rocket Red/Black / Large||888818340590||91718-3204|
|Satin Gloss Black/Hyper Green / Large||888818341160||91718-3104|
|Gloss Rocket Red/Black / Medium||888818340965||91718-3203|
|Satin Gloss Black/Hyper Green / Medium||888818340811||91718-3103|
|Gloss Rocket Red/Black / Small||888818341085||91718-3202|
|Satin Gloss Black/Hyper Green / Small||888818340583||91718-3102|
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I upgraded to the Chisel from a decade-old Trek mountain bike, so it is far superior to what I was used to. The simplicity of just a rear shifter is great, especially for uphills (I have only risen on medium difficulty hills, so far, but works great). It's touted downhill stability is real, too; I've been able to confidently tackle more challenging downhills with it. It's overall strength is simplicity and stability; this is a great bike for riding rugged tails with and a joy to ride, overall.