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  1. #1
    Telecommunication Tweek's Avatar
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    Talk to me about the Specialized Epic line.

    There is very little I actually know about this line of bike from Specialized, but It has me interested in it for some reason. Although I'm very much in love with the new '08 SJ FSR lineup, the Epic just has something about it that says research me. I can't really find a whole lot comparing the two. Other than the fact of a few people saying it's a pure XC bike for race... Now I myself am not into the whole huge jumps kind of thing.. But does that mean the Epic is purely for smooth single track? Can it handle the occasional small drop or large bump? I like doing XC stuff and get a little rough once in a while, but I just don't see how 20mm more travel on the SJ makes all that much difference, coming from a hard tail and never riding a very good full suspension on the trail, what I can expect from the Stumpjumper that the Epic can't do? Weight wise how do they compare? I wanna sit here and say I think the Epic would be lighter but again I don't know.

    What I want in a bike... Something decently light and able to power up hills, something that if I had to be able to power through rough stuff.

  2. #2
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    I've been riding an 06 Epic comp for about two years now. It's definatly a different full suspension platform. Hardtail efficient on out of the saddle attacks, yet once in the rough stuff, it's plenty capable.
    I sometimes back off the brain and use the bike fully active if I want a plusher ride. Mine weighs 27, not light by todays standard but light enough for what I do. If you never race, or don't mind giving a little on efficiency, go with the Stumpy. It's in all honesty a better all around trail bike. But if you are very concerned with speed and efficiency, take a look at the Epic.

  3. #3
    masher SeqTarRou's Avatar
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    The Stumpy is a better all around bike. Very versatile and well balanced, you really can't go wrong with it. It is also pretty forgiving.

    The Epic is built for speed and it does it well. It isn't nearly as versatile as the Stumpy nor is it forgiving at all. It will throw you off without a thought and considering the speed you may be doing on it, it can be a rough fall. Yes, you can do some decent drops from it but most people riding the Epic for its strengths will have the suspension a little stiff than one might normally have for jumps and drops. Most recreational riders will be happier with a Stumpjumper and its all around versatility and balance.
    1986 KHS Montana (M1 Abrams Tank)
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  4. #4
    Telecommunication Tweek's Avatar
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    But the Epic could be used for recreation right? I'm not going to bother test riding anything till next year but I'm just trying to rule out the ones I shouldn't even bother testing. I keep looking around at all the bikes available from different brands in the price range I don't wanna go over. Which is a pretty big budget of around $5500 max. Other than my worry about running into something that I might wish I had 140mm of suspension travel the Epic seems like a winner. Light, fast and efficient, exactly what I want in a new ride. There of course bikes I just wont consider like the Enduro SL because it's just too much suspension. I'm sure it would be a fun bike, but for most of my flat and uphill riding it would be tiring.

  5. #5
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    Consider the Stumper 29er FSR. Bigger wheels mean less rolling resistance. If you want higher end components than that, the frame is $2000 and you can have your LBS do the build. In that case, consider the White Brothers Magic 29 rather than the Reba shock.

  6. #6
    Sucks at loife DickyJ's Avatar
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    "the Epic seems like a winner. Light, fast and efficient, exactly what I want in a new ride."

    On the higher range frames with the brain shock and light components, the Stumpy FSR fits the bill with more potential fun added I reckon.

    I'm facing a similar decision, and am leaning towards an '08 S-Works FSR frame/fork set over the Epic if finances allow in the next few months.
    '06 Stumpjumper HT

    - Toddorado - "I speculate that, like cats, your other bikes(s) have been out at night having unprotected bike sex"

  7. #7
    masher SeqTarRou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweek View Post
    But the Epic could be used for recreation right?
    Absolutely. It is a very fun bike and sometimes I think the fact it is not as forgiving makes you a better rider. My other bike is a Cannondale Prophet 3 and it is far more versatile than the Epic but is so forgiving it almost seems like cheating; you just go over everything effortlessly. But since I got the Epic, I ride it almost exclusively now. Its a lot of fun.
    1986 KHS Montana (M1 Abrams Tank)
    2004 Specialized Sequoia Comp (retired to rain bike status, then sold)
    2005 Specialized Tarmac Pro (the Z06)
    2005 Specialized Roubaix Pro (the CTS-V) (sold)
    2007 Cannondale Prophet 3 (the Hummer H1)
    2007 Specialized S-Works Epic

    My Motionbased Digest

  8. #8
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    Hi Tweek,

    You're story sounds very similar to my own.

    I've been riding an M2FS hardtail since 1992. I enjoy climbing and putting on many miles, and the M2FS frame was perfect for that. I never really enjoyed any of the extreme riding and crashing, and now that I'm 38, pain hurts more than ever.

    For many years I avoided full-suspension because during climbing they felt as if most of the energy of pushing the pedals went to compressing the rear end. I decided to refresh all my bikes this year, and during my research, came across the brain fade technology. My LBS knew my hardtail history, and recommended transitioning to the Epic. They convinced me that I wouldn't be happy with the extra weight of the FSR for the 20mm of travel that it offered.

    I ended up with a 2007 Marathon Epic for $2800. Specialized has really cut the price on these leftovers. The MSRP for the 2007 was $4300. I'm 6', and weight around 195 lbs. I went with the large frame.


    I also ended up hooking up with a group of guys that do a bit more hardcore riding than I usually do. Up here in MA, there are tons of natural obstacles in the woods (old farm stone walls, massive amounts of ledge courtesy of the glaciers, etc), and these guys find a way to cut trails over most of them. The Epic has performed flawlessly conquering these obstacles.

    The first couple of rides had me wondering if the suspension was working since the brain fade system really does lock it out on the flats. On the third ride, I finally realized that my rear wheel has constant contact with the ground now instead of bouncing around on the hardtail. The funny thing is, the full-suspension not only helps tremendously on the downhills, but since the rear wheel is always in contact, It helps a bunch with climbing.

    I'm sure you'll be happy with either the FSR or Epic. Other bikes I considered were the Ellsworth Epiphany and the Cannondale Rush.

    Good luck in your hunt.
    Justin

    2007 Specialized Epic Marathon
    1992 Specialized M2FS
    2003 Calfee Tetra Pro
    1996 Cannondale R600
    1987 Miyata 600GT

  9. #9
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinm2fs View Post
    Hi Tweek,

    You're story sounds very similar to my own.

    I've been riding an M2FS hardtail since 1992. I enjoy climbing and putting on many miles, and the M2FS frame was perfect for that. I never really enjoyed any of the extreme riding and crashing, and now that I'm 38, pain hurts more than ever.

    For many years I avoided full-suspension because during climbing they felt as if most of the energy of pushing the pedals went to compressing the rear end. I decided to refresh all my bikes this year, and during my research, came across the brain fade technology. My LBS knew my hardtail history, and recommended transitioning to the Epic. They convinced me that I wouldn't be happy with the extra weight of the FSR for the 20mm of travel that it offered.

    I ended up with a 2007 Marathon Epic for $2800. Specialized has really cut the price on these leftovers. The MSRP for the 2007 was $4300. I'm 6', and weight around 195 lbs. I went with the large frame.


    I also ended up hooking up with a group of guys that do a bit more hardcore riding than I usually do. Up here in MA, there are tons of natural obstacles in the woods (old farm stone walls, massive amounts of ledge courtesy of the glaciers, etc), and these guys find a way to cut trails over most of them. The Epic has performed flawlessly conquering these obstacles.

    The first couple of rides had me wondering if the suspension was working since the brain fade system really does lock it out on the flats. On the third ride, I finally realized that my rear wheel has constant contact with the ground now instead of bouncing around on the hardtail. The funny thing is, the full-suspension not only helps tremendously on the downhills, but since the rear wheel is always in contact, It helps a bunch with climbing.

    I'm sure you'll be happy with either the FSR or Epic. Other bikes I considered were the Ellsworth Epiphany and the Cannondale Rush.

    Good luck in your hunt.
    Justin

    2007 Specialized Epic Marathon
    1992 Specialized M2FS
    2003 Calfee Tetra Pro
    1996 Cannondale R600
    1987 Miyata 600GT
    Would this place be either the Vietnam Trails in Holliston or Lynn woods, I'm very familiar with both of those places.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  10. #10
    Telecommunication Tweek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinm2fs View Post
    Hi Tweek,

    You're story sounds very similar to my own.

    I've been riding an M2FS hardtail since 1992. I enjoy climbing and putting on many miles, and the M2FS frame was perfect for that. I never really enjoyed any of the extreme riding and crashing, and now that I'm 38, pain hurts more than ever.

    For many years I avoided full-suspension because during climbing they felt as if most of the energy of pushing the pedals went to compressing the rear end. I decided to refresh all my bikes this year, and during my research, came across the brain fade technology. My LBS knew my hardtail history, and recommended transitioning to the Epic. They convinced me that I wouldn't be happy with the extra weight of the FSR for the 20mm of travel that it offered.

    I ended up with a 2007 Marathon Epic for $2800. Specialized has really cut the price on these leftovers. The MSRP for the 2007 was $4300. I'm 6', and weight around 195 lbs. I went with the large frame.


    I also ended up hooking up with a group of guys that do a bit more hardcore riding than I usually do. Up here in MA, there are tons of natural obstacles in the woods (old farm stone walls, massive amounts of ledge courtesy of the glaciers, etc), and these guys find a way to cut trails over most of them. The Epic has performed flawlessly conquering these obstacles.

    The first couple of rides had me wondering if the suspension was working since the brain fade system really does lock it out on the flats. On the third ride, I finally realized that my rear wheel has constant contact with the ground now instead of bouncing around on the hardtail. The funny thing is, the full-suspension not only helps tremendously on the downhills, but since the rear wheel is always in contact, It helps a bunch with climbing.

    I'm sure you'll be happy with either the FSR or Epic. Other bikes I considered were the Ellsworth Epiphany and the Cannondale Rush.

    Good luck in your hunt.
    Justin

    2007 Specialized Epic Marathon
    1992 Specialized M2FS
    2003 Calfee Tetra Pro
    1996 Cannondale R600
    1987 Miyata 600GT
    You've almost single handedly convinced me that I want an Epic, I'm in exactly the same situation You were in. A part of me thinks that doing the whole big jumps thing would be fun, But I'm just not convinced yet. If I had the money there is no question that I wouldn't go out and buy one Epic and one extreme downhill machine to have the best of both worlds. But I don't do enough or wouldn't do enough of the extreme riding to justify spending money on one, or on a bike more capable of doing it than the Epic. It's actually not even the case of me disliking hardtails, I would buy another one right now. But I feel that going with a hardtail "like" full suspension bike will just make it a little easier on my body and a little more enjoyable. Sure I know for a fact it's not gonna be plush like a 160mm travel bike but where I want a bike to perform that won't.

    To this day I still don't quite understand the whole badging they put on different types of bikes, I mean I can understand the given of a DH and FR bike, obviously those are totally purpose built for their specific application. But why do some people not associate trail bikes with XC bikes? Isn't that what an XC bike is, a trail bike? If I'm wrong please correct me or give me the correct info on what an XC bike is really for.

  11. #11
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    Not Vietnam or Lynn Woods Mr. Smashy, but very similar terrain.
    Gotta love that transitional New England riding. I sometimes wonder why they sell mountain bikes with big front rings here. :-)

    Most of of the guys I've ridden with have replaced them with bashguards for that extra clearance over the ledge.

    So far, these new guys have taken me out to some trails in Millbury and Sutton, MA. My speed has always been the more open stuff around Franklin, MA, so the technical single track at the other places has been really fun.

  12. #12
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    The Epic has been really sweet...the Marathon especially.

    The Marathon includes a lot more carbon (rear shock swing, XO carbon shifters and derailleur, brake levers, and handlebars) than the Expert model to lighten things up a bit...and the Magura brake setup is amazing. Also, the anodized paint seemed a bit more bulletproof than the gloss.

    My one complaint, Specialized produces a locking grip, but uses cheaper non-locking grips on the Marathon!
    They twisted around from day one on the slick surface of the carbon bars. I ended up replacing them with ODI Rogue grips.

    I'll post a picture of my ride.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Forgot to comment on the XC statement you made.

    I've always thought of XC as riding that requires a lot of peddling both up and down hills, almost like road riding in the woods. I've always defined XC riding as one that requires good leg and lung stamina.

    To me, DH riding uses more leg and eye coordination. That being said, I would think a trail bike would be the same as an XC bike.

    My definitions could be way off as well, especially since I always believed I was riding singletrak until I hooked up with the new group of guys. The singletrak I've always ridden on has been slowly getting wider due to sharing the trails with motorbikes. The new trails I've been riding have sections where my bars just fit. It makes things interesting when fatigue sets in.

  14. #14
    \m/ Blade-Runner's Avatar
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    WOW, for $2,800 I might have to get me one.
    Bikes: 13' Venge Pro Force, 13' Crux Elite, 12' Lynskey M290, 12' Co-Motion Speedster Tandem

  15. #15
    Telecommunication Tweek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinm2fs View Post
    The Epic has been really sweet...the Marathon especially.

    The Marathon includes a lot more carbon (rear shock swing, XO carbon shifters and derailleur, brake levers, and handlebars) than the Expert model to lighten things up a bit...and the Magura brake setup is amazing. Also, the anodized paint seemed a bit more bulletproof than the gloss.

    My one complaint, Specialized produces a locking grip, but uses cheaper non-locking grips on the Marathon!
    They twisted around from day one on the slick surface of the carbon bars. I ended up replacing them with ODI Rogue grips.

    I'll post a picture of my ride.
    Every 2008 model seems to come with the Specialized lock-on grips. Including the Marathon carbon and alu.

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