By James Huang
The revised linkage arrangement provides improvements in standover clearance, seatpost adjustability and shock bushing wear as on the new SX. Travel on the four-bar rear end has been brought down a bit from 208mm (8.2”) to 191mm (7.5”) but the front end beefs up with a tapered-and-oversized head tube to accommodate the new crop of burly single-crown forks. As on the SX, the BigHit will also include DMD and ICSG mounts as well as fixed geometry.
The new SX receives a tapered-and-oversized 1 1/8”-to-1 1/2” front end and a clever shock mounting arrangement that eliminates wear at the rearmost DU shock bushing. Specialized fits the bottom bracket area with both a DMD front derailleur mount [mounts directly to the swingarm] and standard ISCG tabs to accommodate a wide variety of setups and, as usual, tosses in a healthy dose of cold forgings throughout for durability.
The all new M4 alloy frame and rear wheel travel to 120mm moving it more into the trail bike category than last year’s 100mm-travel model. The rocker link-style arrangement bears strong resemblance to the premium Stumpjumper frame and provides the same benefits: more standover clearance, greatly increased seatpost height adjustment range and a lower centre of gravity for better handling. Riders living in muddier climes should also note that the rear shock is now shielded from debris kicked off of the rear wheel by a double-bent full-length seat tube.
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