Specialized Chisel Comp
- Price: $2,400
- Frame: Specialized D’Aluisio Smartweld M5 alloy
- Gears: 29×2.35
- Tires: 1×12
What we like about it: Gorgeous limited edition paint wrapped around a resilient alloy frame that will make you elusive on the XC track, at an affordable price that will put a smile on your face.
What we don’t like about it: The lack of dropper design may make some people think the damping won’t be as good.
We were reviewing the Specialized Epic Hardtail when I stumbled across this Specialized Chisel Comp and its stance on the climbs attracted me so much that I could hardly forget it. So I own the Specialized Chisel Comp, and I’m going to do a full review of the Specialized Chisel Comp.
The Specialized Chisel Comp’s tough Specialized D’Aluisio Smartweld M5 alloy frame, responsive RockShox Judy fork, and nimble, clean SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed, made me feel good about the Chisel Come Specialized. The Comp surprised me with its performance on rugged mountain climbs.
In this three-month hands-on review, the bike traveled with me to Vancouver’s Mount Seymour, where the Specialized Chisel Comp challenged the technical climbing roads of mountain biking, accompanying me through lush forest trails. The Chisel Specialized and I had a great time riding the ever-changing trails of Mount Seymour.
Below I break down the Specialized Chisel Comp’s climbing performance, single-track riding, key features, components, and specs as well as other versions.
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Learn more: Specialized Epic Hardtail Bike Review
Although hardtails have an advantage on climbs, I would like to commend the Specialized Chisel Comp for its climbing performance on the Seymour Mountain trail.
Needless to say, Mt. Seymour is a very natural environment. The trail I chose is located in a lush forest, with high humidity and slippery surfaces, and I was concerned about the grip of the Specialized Chisel Comp tires.
However, the actual ride on the Specialized Chisel Comp was amazing. Yes, you probably can’t imagine how comfortable I was climbing on this forest road.
The Specialized Chisel Comp has a lightweight frame, and special T5 composite 29×2.35” Specialized Fast Trak tires. Even on such ground, it kept me steady and moving forward, and the excellent grip and traction of the tires made strange riders cheer for me.
Also the SRAM NX Eagle, with its 1×12 drivetrain, gave me a great boost in the face of such unpredictable forest trails, allowing me to switch to the most climbing-friendly large-geared discs, which kept me happy while climbing.
However, I also noticed that the Specialized Chisel Comp larger Trail (103mm) allows for higher speed stability when climbing, in addition to a tendency to self-correct when steering, which really surprised me.
All in all, the climbs of the Specialized Chisel Comp were more than I expected from it, and it made me experience the charm of forest climbing.
I would call the Specialized Chisel Comp the sea serpent of singletrack trails, and why would I call it that? On this trip to Mt. Seymour, it has a lot of different singletrack trails due to the diversity of the terrain.
I rode through the loose gravel single track of the coastline with the loose pavement that gave me some hindrance at first. But by the time I got familiar with the surface a second time, the Specialized and I were leaving a winding, light rut in the road.
In addition, the trail crosses from a trail built by some hikers near the hotel, which can have some puddles. Even with the hiker-built rocks as a drop-off point, it took some guts for me and my Specialized Chisel Comp to make the jump forward.
You may laugh at me, but I have to say that I did fail twice, but through these two failed jumps, I discovered the sturdy, drop-resistant performance of its frame. Its lightweight body and responsive RockShox Judy fork make a huge difference here.
Many hardtail riders avoid large, rough gravel trails because of the lack of a rear shock configuration, which can cause the rider to feel significant vibration. The Specialized Chisel Comp’s fork absorbs some of that vibration, and its saddle is cushioned and supportive, which made it possible for me to ride without fear of facing such surfaces.
In all honesty, I can’t ride on such ground for too long, after all, the hardtail really doesn’t damp as well as a premium full-suspension bike.
All in all, its single-track advantage of it is undeniable. The bike is fine for long rides on bad trails, but as a rider, I’m a bit overwhelmed.
Specialized Chisel Frame
In fact, carbon frames are so hot and sought after these days that many people talk about them more than anything else when talking about XC. Despite this, Specialized still insists on aluminum frames.
The Specialized Chisel Comp was born in such an environment. Its Specialized D’Aluisio Smartweld M5 alloy frame is not only light enough, but the D’Aluisio Smartweld technology gives the finished frame a more pronounced balance of strength, stiffness, and weight than any alloy frame.
In addition, the Chisel specialized is available in three paint colors for even more options. The clean, crisp internal alignment was also a feature that appealed to me, allowing me to take the Specialized Chisel Comp out on muddy country roads and test it without worrying that it would be difficult to clean.
It has two water bottle mounting holes for both XS and XL sizes, which allowed me to carry enough water to enjoy my Seymour Mountain riding trip to the fullest.
Not only that, the threaded bottom bracket makes it even easier.
I think Specialized engineers have combined the best of hardtail bikes in frame design, so the Specialized Chisel Comp is now one of my favorite XC bikes.
We can find that the Specialized Chisel Comp has inherited almost all the geometric advantages from the Epic HT. First of all, we can see its slacker head tube angle (68°), which allows it to climb effectively at low speeds and maintain some speed stability on descents.
In addition, the steep seat tube angle (74°) allows me to bend my spine when I want to experience the excitement of racing with the wind on a flat surface, in the most appropriate aerodynamic position to reduce drag and continue to accelerate.
Secondly, the Specialized Chisel Comp’s proper BB height (30.9cm) allows you to keep your center of gravity in a proper position, so that you won’t feel hindered by the center of gravity when riding in different road conditions.
Next, you can see the shortened rear fork length (43.2cm) which makes me more agile to handle it. In addition, the reduced trail (10.3mm) improves the ability to keep a straight line through tight corners and is more agile in corner steering.
All in all, the geometry of the Specialized Chisel is an important factor that allows me to ride freely and happily on a track like XC.
Components and Specifications
SRAM NX Eagle, 1×12 speed
At the beginning of the bicycle, there was no concept of gearing as it was just one of the means of transportation. With the development of modern technology, while people are getting more and more mobility tools, cycling is becoming more and more popular, so there is a higher demand for bicycle gearing.
SRAM’s shifting is very common on cross-country mountain bikes.
We can see that it uses the SRAM NX Eagle, which shares the same technology as its more expensive GX and XO1 counterparts. It is constructed with more affordable materials and features SRAM’s signature technology, X-Actuation, and Type-3 roller bearing clutches that work together to provide fast, seamless shifting.
You’ll hear little to no additional noise or worry about chain tangles as you shift. Plus the wide range of 1×12 speeds allows me to adjust the speed that works best for me through the shifting to make my ride easier.
In addition, its dense gear ratio (11-50t) allows you to pedal more efficiently and with less effort.
Not only that, the 1× shifting is more friendly to newbies, it does away with the complicated 2× or 3× shifting, making gear shifting more relaxed and simple.
SRAM Level T Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Anyone who values safety values it, and a good braking system will save you from many dangers. It has SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes.
I can say that at first, I thought this brake was not that advanced, but at this price, it is really affordable, so I was a little hesitant. But during the ride on Mount Seymour, the SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brake made me praise its practicality without hesitation.
As I mentioned earlier, the weather in Mount Seymour is relatively wet. It showed me that its SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes are not weak, and even in these conditions, it was able to brake effectively without making me feel stiff. stiffness.
Even though I’m now being told that its 2-piston calipers may not be enough for braking in rough terrain, I’d say it ranks in my top 5 for the money at this price point.
Specialized Fast Trak Tires
A good tire will make your ride smoother, and the Specialized Chisel Comp tire has been praised by even unfamiliar riders on my rides.
I know the tire to a certain degree, and it has a tread pattern that allows it to handle extremely rough ground conditions. I had a great time on this riding trip in the company of an unfamiliar riding group.
During this time the Specialized Chisel Comp was a consistent tire on rough, loose, and sometimes muddy terrain. Both the traction and its grip were outstanding. In the face of muddy dirt sticking to the tread, the raised soft lugs on the surface can also get rid of them quickly, preventing speed from being sacrificed due to the added weight.
Rider Johnson also asked me questions about the Specialized Chisel Comp’s tire performance, and I could sense his great interest in the Specialized Chisel Comp. Of course, this had a lot to do with the fact that I went out of my way to show him my favorite Specialized Chisel Comp.
RockShox Front Fork
Although hardtail bikes don’t come with a rear shock configuration, we can’t underestimate the role of the fork.
In fact, at first, the Specialized Chisel Comp’s 100mm travel RockShox fork made me think it might be a bit under-damped.
But in my actual riding, it performed well. In the face of bumpy terrain the Solo Air air spring, it fully absorbed the shock with a smoother and more responsive response, allowing me to deliver a comfortable ride even on rough and bumpy terrain.
Previous Versions of the Specialized Chisel Comp
In this ride, I reviewed the Specialized Chisel Comp’s Specialized D’Aluisio Smartweld M5 alloy frame, RockShox Judy fork, SRAM NX Eagle, 1×12 transmission, and other components in detail. To have a clear comparison, I looked up the Specialized Chisel Comp, Specialized Chisel Comp, and 2019 Specialized Women’s Chisel Comp bikes.
These three versions of the bike are priced at $1900, $1620, and $1620 respectively, which is obviously less expensive than the Specialized Chisel Comp. It’s softer, and it’s a 2×10 drivetrain, which gives it more speed options.
Also, in terms of tire size, the Specialized Chisel Comp is 29×2.35″, while the other three are 29×2.3″, which makes it obvious to me that the 29×2.35″ will have more ground contact and more stability when I’m actually riding it.
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What do we like about it?
- Its climbing ability won’t let you down, even on slippery surfaces.
- The internal alignment is designed to give the body an overall clean and tidy look.
- SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes will protect you and will allow you to enjoy freedom even on wet and slippery surfaces.
- The comfortable geometry design brings together the advantages of more off-road bikes.
- The abrasion resistance and traction of the Specialized Fast Trak tires are powerful on any surface.
What we don’t like about it?
- Some people feel that the lack of dropper may not be as effective in absorbing shock when facing bumps.
- Excellent descender, but there is a gap with professional speed bikes.
- What is the fork travel of the Specialized Chisel Comp?
The fork travel of the Specialized Chisel Comp is 100mm.
- What is the maximum tire size of the Specialized Chisel Comp?
The maximum tire size for the Specialized Chisel Comp is 29×2.35.
- What height does the Specialized Chisel Comp fit?
Specialized Chisel Comp sizes.
XS 5’1″ – 5’6″
SM 5’4″ – 5’9″
MD 5’7″ – 6’0″
LG 5’10” – 6’3″
xl 6’0″ – 6’5″
- What are the brakes on the Specialized Chisel Comp?
The brakes on the Specialized Chisel Comp are SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes.
|CUBE ACCESS WS C:62 SL
|Magura MT8 Pro Disc Brakes
|Niner AIR 9 RDO 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE
|SRAM LEVEL Hydraulic Discs
|Framed Flagstaff Carbon Mountain Bike 27.5″
|Avid BB5 Mechanical Disc
|27.5 x 2.2’’
|Trek Top Fuel 7
|Shimano Hydraulic Discs
Specialized Chisel Comp vs CUBE ACCESS WS C:62 SL
The first thing that caught my eye was the paint color of the CUBE ACCESS WS C:62 SL. It only has one paint color (which I personally am not too interested in) to choose from, and I am in a bit of a mood to wish it had more options. In its contrast, I think the Specialized Chisel Comp color is much more striking.
Also, I noticed the Magura MT8 Pro disc brake on the CUBE ACCESS WS C:62 SL, which is a lightweight brake. Although it has a great price/performance ratio, it has a very light composite lever body which makes me a bit uncomfortable.
Comparatively, the SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes on the Specialized Chisel Comp are much more to my liking, and the braking performance on the road is very reliable, with great lever power.
Not to mention, the Specialized Chisel Comp is $354 cheaper than the CUBE ACCESS WS C:62 SL. Yes, I prefer the Specialized Chisel Comp for both price and brakes.
If you want the right bike, I think you can choose the right bike for you based on your riding habits and the road conditions you ride regularly.
Specialized Chisel Comp vs Niner AIR 9 RDO 2-STAR
Value for money is an important factor for me. The Niner AIR 9 RDO 2-STAR costs $2750 and uses a carbon fiber frame, and the Fox Rhythm Float 32 fork is made for off-road and light woodland use. Just from these two points, it is enough to attract me.
But I prefer the SRAM NX Eagle’s gearing to the Specialized Chisel Comp’s, because it won me enough applause on my rides, and its shifting is very easy and smooth. Even though the SRAM SX Eagle was good enough, it still seemed to me to give me some stagnation.
Also, both bikes are consistent in their mph both uphill and down.
So both bikes are good choices, depending on your budget and your preferences. If you want better transmission, my recommendation is the Specialized Chisel Comp.
Specialized Chisel Comp vs Framed Flagstaff Carbon Mountain Bike 27.5″
Needless to say, the $2600 price tag for a carbon hardtail bike is attractive enough, and the Framed Flagstaff Carbon Mountain Bike 27.5″ is one such bike. It’s a 1×11 drivetrain and the brakes are Avid BB5 mechanical discs, which require more leverage in real-world riding.
It gives me less soft control than the hydraulic discs of the Specialized Chisel Comp, so I would prefer to use the hydraulic discs for braking if I exclude the carbon fiber frame. At the same time, the 1×11 transmission is often not enough for me as a volatile rider.
But I have to say that the Framed Flagstaff Carbon Mountain Bike frame shape is outstanding, and with the sloping top tube, it will be easier to get on and off the bike.
The Framed Flagstaff Carbon Mountain Bike 27.5″ is $200 more expensive than the Specialized Chisel Comp, so I would be more willing to pay for the Specialized Chisel Comp.
Specialized Chisel vs Trek Top Fuel 7
Obviously, the Trek Top Fuel 7 is a full-suspension bike, and it will be relatively better in terms of damping. The SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 shifter is the same, which I have a slight complaint about, as the Trek Top Fuel 7 costs nearly $1130 more than the Specialized Chisel Comp, and I wish it had the transmission to match its price.
In terms of braking, both bikes use hydraulic disc brakes, and I didn’t feel a big difference between the two brakes during the actual ride, so both brakes were adequate for me.
In addition, the Trek Top Fuel 7 (26 mph) is a bit higher than the Specialized Chisel Comp (25 mph) in terms of climbing speed under the same conditions. If climbing speed is more important to you, you can choose the Trek Top Fuel 7 depending on your needs.
But if you prefer a lighter model, the hardtail Specialized Chisel Comp is a better choice for you.
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