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The new 2021 Specialized Chisel rolls-out with faster geometry

Shaped by everything Specialized have learned from 40 years of XC racing, the all-new 2021 Chisel is a purebred XC race machine that crushes climbs, rockets out of corners, and rips through rock gardens with the speed and efficiency of the highest- performing, most-capable aluminum XC bike available. Turns out carbon isn’t the only way to the top of the podium, after all.


It’s no secret that XC races are won and lost on the climbs, and a lighter bike simply climbs faster. That’s why Specialized put the Chisel on a serious diet to deliver one of the lightest alloy hardtail frames out there as light as 1400 grams—yes, we’re talking carbon light. Cutting-edge D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology (DSW) and space-age M5 aluminum allow them to use the lightest possible tubing and to create an ultralight frame without compromising strength or stiffness.


Forget the harsh ride characteristics that plagued aluminum in the past. DSW, and hydroformed tube shaping, allows our engineers to radically shape tubes and employ a butted tube design for the tuning of specific areas of the frame to create a perfectly balanced ride. Smaller diameter, ovalized seatstays are laterally stiff, so you can drop the hammer for instant power transfer and acceleration, rail through corners with absolute precision, and hold your line when things get rowdy. That said, they’re also vertically compliant, so you can carry more speed through the rough stuff with less fatigue from trail chatter.

XC racecourses get more technical every season, which is why Specialized took the progressive, trail-taming geometry they pioneered with the Epic Hardtail and applied it to the Chisel, making it hands-down the most capable alloy hardtail out there. Starting with a slacker, 68-degree head tube angle, then lower bottom bracket height, increased reach, shortened chainstays, and finally reduced its fork offset. The result is a confident, yet nimble, ride with incredible downhill stability  at speed and no sacrifice to climbing or steering performance.

Dropper Post Compatible

Taking full advantage of DSW, Specialized were able to give the Chisel a 30.9mm seatpost without adding additional weight.

Internal Cable Routing

Full internal cable routing keeps all of your brake lines and cables, including the dropper post, out of the way, while protecting them from unnecessary wear.

12 x 148 mm rear-axle

No flimsy quick-releases here. A 12x148mm rear thru-axle greatly improves strength and stability for a significantly stiffer rear-end.

D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology

Traditionally, aluminum tubes are cut and welded together at the joints using methods that rely heavily on the skill of the welder. D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology takes those joints and hands them back to the engineers. The head tube, top tube, and down tube are hydroformed with a curved, dome-like edge that, when butted together, creates a seamless valley that’s filled with weld material. This creates a connection point that’s significantly stiffer, more durable, and more consistent than can be achieved with a traditional weld.

Because the connection points have been moved away from the area of greatest stress, tube shapes and makeups can now be radically changed. The welds are so strong that less material is needed in other areas allowing for levels of compliance to be engineered into the frame that have never been possible with aluminum. Thinner tube walls at key locations allow aluminum to react in a way it hasn’t before, providing a ride quality that has never been achieved—until now.

Aluminum can be drool worthy too 😉

What happens when you take the most capable and efficient aluminum hardtail frame out there and trick it out with the best components available? Well, Specialized decided to find out. Don’t worry, it’s OK to drool…

Source: Specialized Bicycles

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Bike guide

Built for: Dual Suspension Trail
Year launched: 2022