I am very excited to be riding Specialized bikes this year! In the past they have proven to me they have the best products for mountain bike racing, so to have them as support this year is incredible.
I will be racing their Epic World Cup this year, and look forward to having the benefits of full-suspension for the long races.
For tires, I will be running a Fast Trak in the front for a bit of extra grip across any conditions with their very fast Renegade in the rear.
The stock wheels on the Epic are their Roval Control SL's and are simply phenomenal. Extremely stiff AND light, its a setup you can't beat.
The S-Works Prevail helmet is second to none in comfort and adjustability. None of the top helmets made by other companies have fit me quite as well as the Prevail. It's light, well vented, and it covers your head well. Some helmets don't cover your temples or they sit high on your forehead. The Prevail gives me confidence.
Since the beginning of my racing career, Specialized saddles have been my go-to and that will continue. I will exclusively use their Phenom and Romin saddles this year for both on and off-road riding. I will say I like their "Pro" versions with the carbon rails for the extra comfort and weight savings.
During the 2013 season I picked up a pair of their XC Lite gloves as my previous pair of Fox Racing gloves were getting stiff. I was shocked at the difference (and slightly annoyed I had been using such crappy gloves for so long). Breathable, light, and comfortable make racing 100's no problem in these.
And lastly, their shoes. Its tough to beat out the company I was using formerly, Mavic, as they had an incredible product in the Fury. But, I have been supremely impressed at Specialized's determination to offer the full package. Take a look at the pro peloton. There is a reason many guys from other teams choose to ride Specialized shoes. They're just that much better than all the others. Both their S-Works road and MTB shoe line are insanely light, stiff and wear like socks. Supreme comfort!
So for 2014, I really do feel that I will be racing on unrivaled equipment. And that is something to be excited about!