from Florianopolis - SC - Brazil
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2010
Strengths: The Epic Carbon Frame is superb, clean, beaty, light and very efficient.
The SPZ Fox Brain shox system works very well. It provides instantaneos speed and confort in the time. It absorves all impacts very quickly then turns firm to ride efficiently.
The Kit of components is also great: wheels Roval Control AM, Shimano XT and SRAM XO Carbon. Just perfect !
Weaknesses: Tires Specialized tores in the wall side on rocky sections.
Saddle too thin.
So far so good!
My SPECIALIZED Epic Marathon 2010 with Carbon Frame, M5 rear triangle, Fox Brain Suspension system, Shimano XT / SRAM XO, Avid Elixir CR brakes, Roval wheels and Specialized parts is a dream come true!
The bike rides easy, fast rolling and very confortable. It also looks amazing with the carbon finishing - elegant and PRO.
I rode with her at Cape Epic in march - 8 days with 722km of MTB in South Africa.
Then I've been flying in my favorite trails back home in Brazil.
The bottom line is: I reccomend this bike for whom wants a strong bicycle that rides with lightness, speed, ability and confort. This the best, indicated for serious bike riders.
Similar Products Used: Haro Sonix, Cannondale Scalpel, Merida 96, Scott Spark, Specialized Epic 29er and others (I am test rider for brazilian magazine!)
Bike Setup: Saddle Specialized Toupe Ti BG (Body Geometry)
Tires Maxxis Crossmark UST
a Cross Country Rider
from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2010
Strengths: Position, AFR/Brain, Lightness!!!!
Weaknesses: Even though I love the entire bike. I can't stop thinking about the brain and how good is it. But it is my impression only, no troubles so far.
It is amazing how light this frame is. The brain technology makes it feel like a hardtail until you start hitting things. Then it makes you feel safe in bends and in rough terrain (XC talking, not DH) The position also is superb, I have assembled it myself, using FSA stem and handlebar (a DH one), and I feel like the bike has been made for me. Never got hands or arms tired or itchy.
Similar Products Used: Zenith Druma (argentina's version of Giant ATX 980 with rear spring)
Bike Setup: Mavic Crossride wheels, SRAM X.0, AVID Juicy 5, Truvativ Noir, Fox 32 Talas, FSA Stem 9' and FSA DH handlebar.
a Weekend Warrior
from Montpellier, France
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2010
Strengths: Frame, both suspensions, brakes and wheelset
Weaknesses: Saddle, grips, and front tire.
This is a demo bike I had for 60% of its price at my local distributor (who's a rider and a great friend, so I had an amazing price for the spad, thanks Mike !)
I absolutely love it and for many reasons :
- It climbs everywhere with 2 gears less than usual
- it is super stable and smooth on the rocky single tracks we can find in South of France
- extremely easy to ride and to move on technical sections
- fast in the sticky mud we get for all winter season
- no pumping with front or rear suspensions
Actually it feels like riding a rigid XC (the Titanim with the Ritchey logic fork I had in the late 90's) when you press the pedals, and on a smotth and plush full susser when it becomes technical or goes downhill !!!
It is a very complete bike than will let you go fast but won't need energy all the way long : it does really acocmodates to anyone, from weekend casual rider to top racers
I surprised myself going faster up a 2km technical climb than the guys with shaved legs last sunday in Sussargues, on of the steepest and more rocky hill around (and trust me there's plenty of them !)
I would recomand the bike to anyone who can afford it, sucha shame Brain technology didn't exist when I was a XC racer, 12 years ago : pleasure would have been certain on the Roc d'Azur and the Transvesubienne then !
the only complain could be that there is only 1 place on the frame that holds the oil pipe from the Fox damper to the brain : 2 would have been better for holding it straight. As a matter of fact I added a rilsan so that my carve does not touch it when pedaling on a banking trail. this is a detail, but for this price, they matter !
Sorry for my english and the spelling mistakes, better than words, get on the bike and you'll understand what I mean !
Bike Setup: Stock, except :
- tubeless set with Specialized 2.1 XC tires
- lock on grips (they suck, white is pretty but they get dirty 1 day and last only 2 months), totally uncomfortable
- Flite titanium (2001 with a lot of km)
a Weekend Warrior
from Ride in Angola
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2009
Strengths: I brought this bike to Angola as a new rider and as my skill improves (ex-motocrosser) I have begun to appreciate the bike more and more. The bike is light and responsive and very easy to ride.
Weaknesses: Seat causes pain on long rides (+50km/3hr), would prefer a set-up that allows it to turn sharper at moderate speeds, grips are worn out after 400km.
Great bike, would recommend to anyone who likes riding a bike that has it all.
Favorite Trail: Single track, Tanke Dois, Vitrona loop
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: N/A
Similar Products Used: none
a Cross Country Rider
from Cotati, CA
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2009
Strengths: 2008: Light, fast and responsive. Everything you want from an XC full suspension bike. Excellent component match-up.
Weaknesses: The front end is light (which really isn't a weakness) it took a little getting use to though. Specialized Customer Service, when asked a question about this bike, say's "take it to your local dealer". What kind of BS customer service is that? You dish out dough like this and they don't give you answers? Wow!
The first time I rode this bike was a demo day from Specialized. The next week I bought one. I'm amazed at how fast this bike is. I've been riding since 1989, and have ridden quite a few bikes in that time. This Carbon Marathon is at the top of the list. Specialized put all the right componenets on for 2008. I was a little worried about riding carbon off-road, but the market is trending that way. Specialized has a great crash replacement program (rumor has it).
I ride this bike six times a week and race it as well. Once you get the rear BRAIN shock dailed in (took me 5 rides), you can't beat it. I wouldn't suggest riding it in muddy conditions. But then again, I wouldn't suggest riding any full suspension in the mud, unless you like to overhaul your pivot bearings and seals once a month. To go more in to detail with the Specialized Customer Service claim...I contacted them via the internet. When I had about 400 miles on the bike, I aquired a ticking noise when I pedaled. It was coming from the lower pivot. Instead of offering suggestions like "remove the lower pivot axle and inspect and clean" they said take it to you local Specialized dealer." Santa Cruz has great customer service. They even have great online instructions for rebulding/overhauling your pivots. This is nowhere to be found on Specialized site. As a matter a fact, the user manual mentions contacting your dealer to have they special order parts for you.
I'll stop ranting about this now. The Bikes great!! The company, well let's just say the jury's still out...
If I knew the Blur XC was going Carbon for 2009, I might have held out.
Bike Setup: Everything stock minus the seat which is a WTB Devo.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Jose
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2008
Strengths: 25lbs from the factory, which makes it very tossable
It's a miracle! A FS bike that doesn't waste all of your effort when you stand.
Love all of the machined aluminum. Beautiful.
Weaknesses: I can't believe I just paid almost four grand for a bicycle.
Reddish/brown color gets middling ratings from me.
This is a 2008 model I bought on closeout and got a pretty good deal on. I've been riding my 2004 Enduro XC for several years. This is like the change when I went from my old Mustang to a new Corvette :).
Similar Products Used: 2004 Specialized Enduro Comp
1999 Klein Attitude Comp
Bike Setup: Stock, changed rear wheel to Mavic 823 with King hub.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego, CA USA
Date Reviewed: July 1, 2008
Strengths: It's a hardtail when you need a hardtail and a full suspension rig when you need it.
Weaknesses: 07 Brain rear shock went dead. No worries; fully replaced w/ no questions asked.
If you ride cross country then this bike should be on the top of a very short list. I have ridden all of the best bikes and this one is a true cross country rig. It can be both raced and taken out for the weekend ride and beer. Your choice; either way you win. Ride on, Ride on!
Similar Products Used: 2005 Santa Cruz Blur, 2007 Ellsworth Truth
Bike Setup: I couldn't decide what category to put this bike in: Marathon frame but everything else is the S-works set up. Sram rocks...I am officially converted!
from Standish, Maine
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2008
Strengths: Awsome all around XC bike. I came off of a Gary Fisher Sugar 1 to this bike. I wanted something with a little more travel in the rear for a softer ride, yet something that still was fast, climbed efficently, and had a lifetime frame warrenty. This bike is it! The new rear shock that came out in 07 works flawlessly, I can adjust the brain to be firm when I'm hammering out of the saddle, but the rear will still absorb any hits it gets. Adjust the brain to the softer side, and this bike is super plush and cushy feeling. (firm for racing, soft for trail bike, it's like 2 or 3 bikes in 1) Parts spec is also good.
Weaknesses: The wheels are probably the only thing laking, while they seems to be good and strong, they are on the heavier side of what I'm used to. It's a trade off for what should be a long lasting wheelset. Stock tires aren't good for in NewEngland
Awsome bike, so glad I chose it. I dont think I would have paid full price for it, but I bought it used with only 10 rides on it, so it became a super deal for me. Best and probably last bike I'll own. If you want an all day XC-bike that if you wanted you could race, this is it.
Similar Products Used: none really, went from hardtail, to GF Sugar, to this
Bike Setup: stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Mission Viejo, Ca
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2007
Strengths: Brain Shock! The brain is the real deal! Works as advertised. Magura Marta brakes are very good. Progressive, with a 'motocross' feel to them. Frame has great stiffness without bumps being transmitted to the rider. The F100RLC is plusher than I would have imagined and works in a variety of situations. I have hit 1 to 1 1/2 foot drops (only when I had to) and the fork didn't bottom harshly and remained progressive. Again with the shock...it really is that good. I have it set about 26 clicks up from the 'soft' setting and this works well with about 160 lbs of air. I weigh about 200 lbs and so far, so good. The shock is actually softer feeling than my old Fox RL. I love the fact that the Brain takes over and you never have to reach down to flip something to get that Pro Pedal feeling, but forget to unlock it during an up/down transition etc. Fire and forget is the best way to describe it.
Weaknesses: A few minor issues. The front end deflects off of square-edged bumps at lower speeds, but not much of an issue becasue lines are easy to pick. I put on my own bars and stem because I don't really believe in 'in house' components like bars, stems or seatposts. I will leave it to the companies like Thomson and Easton to work out the cockpit for me. I have an EA90 (105 mm) stem and EA90 Carbon Monkey lite bars with about a 1 1/2 rise. I didn't like the stock tires that the bike came with (Specialized Fast Rollers 2.1). They were fairly fast in rolling single track terrain but are pretty bad just about everywhere else. I have really tried to get the rear tire to work but it just doesn't. They are tubeless, with is nice because of the good rims, but I have already dumnped the front tire for a Kenda Bluegroove and will dump the rear for a Kenda Nevegal.
This bike really has done well so far. I have about 15 rides on it, from the Whiting Ranch area to Peter's Canyon to Old Camp trail (for those familiar with Orange County, CA riding). I am still playing with bike set up now that my sag is set. Add air, take out air, playing with compression v. rebound and all of that. Regardless of all that, this bike climbs so well due to the brain shock. The Epic Marathon Carbon is super efficient, and can handle more situations than I would have thought and simply rips in the single track. I rode it last week (out and back Old Camp then down the Luge) against a 2007 S-Works Enduro (we took turns trading off) and the Epic was able to hang pretty well during the rough stuff. Very happy with the bike and the guys at InCycle are awesome. I got a great price because my riding partners are sister/brother-in-law of the owner, but they still treat you right!
I think this bike would best suit the person who has progressed into the novice racer and above ranks and is willing to spend a more money for better performance. This bike ain't on the cheap, but hey, well all know that you get what you pay for. This is the kind of bike that makes you a better rider than you really are, and I need every advantage I can get!
Ok so I'm selling my 2012 S-Works epic and getting a epic marathon, can't justify spending another 10k when the marathon is basically an S-Works.
The chain stay is alloy and I want to get rid of that ASAP, my question is - will I be bale to bolt on the carbon stay from the 2013 Sworks epic? Any ... Read More »
Just looking to see what the opinions are on this.The difference in price for me is about 400gb pounds.I think I'm right in saying the main differences are e100 fork against a Sid 100 fork,full X0,and Roval EL wheels over AL....I will race this bike and I'm wondering is the marathon worth the extra ... Read More »
This frame was delivered today. In size L it weighs in at 2530 g:
Complete bike will be posted soon as I am still waiting for the front derailleur!Read More »
Now that the 2011 Spec bikes are out - it is noticeable that the 26" range has a large hole in it below the S-Works. There is no 26" Epic with carbon frame, an E100 shock and top-spec 2x10 gear. You can go single-speed w/ carbon frame (carbon Expert Evo R), or the trail-bike tuned carbon Expert EV ... Read More »