Some bikes hit all the check marks, and the Specialized Men’s Chisel Comp is one of those bikes. This bike delivers exceptional value with little compromise.
Reviews about the Specialized Men’s Chisel Comp on the Internet helped me decide it would be a great cross-country bike to have. I was right; the bike was perfect right out of the box, more or less. The bike in the pictures doesn’t have much stock componentry left, but not because of failure. I change every bike I get for a better fit and performance.
Chisel is a worthy steed with a budget minded group set. Components are a mixed bag, with name brands and the line from Specialized. An XT rear derailleur is the highlight of the components, and the seat is pretty amazing after you get used to it.
A Chisel frame is exceptional with a smooth, steel compliance to its ride, making it a unique aluminum creation. All angles come together on this bike, and like its namesake Chisel, it carves with a hammered stroke on the trail. Its nimble, yet surefooted stance inspires confidence. I am a real Batman
This Cockpit is great, with OEM type shifter brake combos from Shimano controlling the 2 X 10 drive system, mounted on a 720mm flat aluminum handlebar. Add the Judy Gold Fork, Specialized Fast Trak Tires, and this bike is ready to devour trails of all types. Specialized Men’s Chisel climbs like a Jaguar and descends like a Falcon.
Now for the Mods!
I changed out the Judy Gold Fork for a Niner Carbon Fork. The Judy works great, but I didn’t want another thing to take care of. The Niner is suspension specific to match the crown height of the original fork. I rarely regret it except for when the trail gets really rocky or has lots of ruts.
Next to go were the tires. Fast Trak tires are amazing, but don’t handle loose material well. 2.6” Specialized Butcher tires are what I used front and back. Running pressures on the low side allow the rigid setup to shine with a little cushion. Butcher tires are tough, pliable, tubeless, all around tires in my book. I added 4 ounces of Orange Seal to each tire to make most rides flat worry free.
The Stout Wheelset seemed narrow for the 2.6” tires. I put a set of Specialized Sawtooth Tire Black 700 x 42on the original Stout Wheelset for gravel and the road, then purchased a Race Face Aeffect-R 29in Boost Wheelset for the Butchers.
All modern bikes are heavily reliant on wide range cross gearing to achieve the 1 X, and 2 X drives that have taken over the market. I still like straight chain lines for efficiency and mechanical correctness. 3 X 10 seemed like the best bet, and the 2 X stock shifter works with 3 X. I added an XT Front Derailleur, and an XT crank set to finish the 3 X set up. Better chain lines, and more gearing possibilities.
After multiple handlebar changes, I decided on a 12mm rise Brand X Carbon Bar 800mm and cut it to 760mm. I like really fast steering so a 50mm Answer Stem ties the magic all together.
A well-placed Batman sticker, and this bike is my favorite of all time.