Specialized Chisel Hardtail Mountain Bike Review


If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into XC racing, do it with the Specialized Chisel. It embodies all of the qualities you’d expect from an XC race bike, like light overall weight, incredible stiffness, and a race-oriented geometry—all with one-by gearing, too. Consider it the vessel that’s bringing performance to the masses. 

With a whole load of features from the top end Specailzed mountain bike range, it’s great to see specialised stretching the budget as far as it will go. Carefully designed and engineered to give you more bang for your buck, this really is a great mountain bike companion for any situation. 


The Features:

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.

Rocks and bumps are soaked up via the RockShox Judy Gold fork with 90/100 millimeters of travel (size-specific). It features proprietary technology from RockShox, like its Solo Air™ spring, that maintains an ideal equilibrium, as well as being one of the lightest air springs on the market.

The Shimano Deore SLX rear derailleur is durable, precise, and will keep you shifting crisply for miles to come. Despite a minimal frame don’t let the aesthetics of this bike fool you. The round down-tube fits straight into the threaded bottom bracket. The chain stays are unbraced and curve from the base of the seat tube before joining the boost dropouts.  


The Ride:

On paper the Specailzed Chisel Comp doesn’t quite hold up to it’s price matched competitors. But what the Chisel Comp doesn’t have in spec, it makes up for with a high quality ride and old school handling for those wanting to get out and go fast. The acceleration of the Specialized Chisel will leave you wanted more and more.

The Chisel is no slacked out trail bike. It’s a cross-country weapon with sharp handling angles and flat out intentions. Get yourself and your heart racing out on the trails. The slim seat stays offer good mud clearance. The bike feels stiff through the corners with out having an uncomfortable kick when you’re sat on the chair. It doesn’t go flat when you ramp the power up or bend when you’re throwing your weight around. 


Fast tyres and rims get you going right from the second you hit the pedals and you’ll be surprised at the agility of the bike. The 100mm bounce at the front is well controlled and offers the bike great handling when mixed with the wide flat bars. Right through the corners you’re less likely to overlap the tyres. You can start the next corner on flat out fast single track before you’re finished the last one.

The Specialized Chisel s comfortable even though it comes with a standard Specialized saddle. The bike certainly won’t hold you back when you go at it with your friends. It’s sharp and responsive at a moments notice.  


Great value, well engineered and surprisingly nimble. The Specialized Chisel exceeded our original expectations and offered a very high quality ride. Not at the cheapest end of the market though you’ll thank yourself for the investment when you’re next out to play.

  • 92%
    Aesthetic - 92%
  • 85%
    Performance - 85%
  • 86%
    Value - 86%
  • 86%
    Durability - 86%