The Specialized Chisel was introduced in 2018 and for 2021 there are a couple of geometry changes plus something called D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology...

The Specialized Chisel was introduced in 2018 and for 2021 there are a couple of geometry changes plus something called D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology…

Read more: Best XC race bikes – hardtail and full suspension

The new Chisel is a purpose built XC mountain bike. Specialized are hopeing to prove that carbon isn’t the only way to the top of a podium.

Specialized: “Whether it’s a rider’s first mountain bike, a young racers new whip, or just someone looking for speed that’s easy on the wallet, the new Chisel isn’t just the future of XC racing, it’s the future of alloy. Using our D’Aluisio Smartweld (DSW) technology and premium M5 alloy, we’ve reached carbon level light weight in a package ready to drop the hammer for instant power transfer, rail through corners with absolute precision, hold your line when things get rowdy, and compliance to carry more speed with less fatigue.

“We’ve also graced this gorgeous race machine with premium, modern features like full internal cable routing for a clean look and extra protection. Thanks to DSW Chisel is super light and dropper post compatible, while 12x148mm rear through-axle provides strength, stability, and a stiffer rear-end.”



Specialized Chisel Press Release:


Taking full advantage of DSW, we were able to give the Chisel a 30.9mm seatpost without adding additional weight. This means you can run longer-travel dropper posts for even more capability and confidence in technical terrain.


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. And hey, you get a pretty clean “pro” look.


No flimsy quick-releases here. A 12x148mm rear thru-axle greatly improves strength and stability for a significantly stiffer rear-end that you’ll feel when you’re laying down the power and bombing down descents.


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.


It’s no secret that XC races are won and lost on the climbs, and a lighter bike simply climbs faster. That’s why we 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 us to use the lightest possible tubing and to create an ultralight frame without compromising strength or stiffness. Now, this Chisel climbs and accelerates so fast and efficiently that you’ll swear there’s a motor hidden in there somewhere.

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. Now, you can go harder for longer.

XC racecourses get more technical every season, which is why we took the progressive, trail-taming geometry we pioneered with the Epic Hardtail and applied it to the Chisel, making it hands-down the most capable alloy hardtail out there. We started with a slacker, 68-degree head tube angle, then lowered the bottom bracket height, increased the reach, shortened the 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. It’s a winning combination you won’t find in any other aluminum XC hardtail.