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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found a leftover (new) 2003 Epic for sale at a LBS. They want $1300 originally $1900. Is this a good deal? I have been looking at the 08' FSRXC($1300). Both bikes don't have disk brakes. Would the Epic be a better bike? I mainly ride single track on a old Cannondale M800 without shocks. Thanks for the advise.
 

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$1300 is a great price. Used ones can go for that much. AFAIK, the Epic has a more stretched, competition geometry. Lack of disk brakes is not a big deal. The frame should have disc mounts. You can get Avid's BB7 from Pricepoint.com for about $120 or so for front and rear, then a set of disk wheels. That'd be the only thing you'd have to do to the bike since it's a new old stock. So a little extra investment you'd have a great XC bike.

One other thing to consider though, you'll have more rear shock options with the FSR-XC than the Epic since the FSR's set up is a bit more conventional. With the Epic, you're stuck with the Brain. Arguably a minor issue since you can just have the Epic's Fox-made Brain shock rebuilt when needed. Shockspital.com does a great job for about $100.
 

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Hey Rabbit, I would stick with the '08 FSRxc. The '03 Epic is the first year of production for the model and there's been much improvement to its design since then. Its geometry is set with an 80mm fork as well, which is now 100mm. The aluminum is the M4 technology, so the same material as the '08 FSRxc, but now is M5.

You may be more comfortable with the newer FSR geometry and the much slacker angles for your singletracks. I've owned an '05 FSRxc, my first mt. bike. I sold it last spring though. Since '07 they've relaxed the angles of the FSRxc a bit more...which I think is great. I don't know what the msrp is for the FSRxc, so not sure if $1300 is a good deal. I also currently own an '07 Epic...awesome machine, btw.

I would completely recommend disc brakes, but if you're on a budget, get the bike first and then you can always upgrade later on. Good luck!
 

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onegymrat said:
The '03 Epic is the first year of production for the model and there's been much improvement to its design since then. Its geometry is set with an 80mm fork as well, which is now 100mm.
FYI, according to many here on mtbr, the early Epics are favored more than latter. Only big improvement that I know of is a slightly different chainstay design to help deal with chain suck which the early ones are prone to... but easily fixed with better chainrings and/or a zip tie trick. Don't really need 100mm of travel for XC, and many are running 100mm forks with no issues. 20mm isn't even 1".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your responses, I am going to try both of them (parking lot) an see what feels better. Unfortunately they are not at the same place so it may be a little difficult to judge. What about the components, have they changed alot in the last 5 years. The Epic has xt/lx stuff the xc is lx. Thanks again I really appreciate your comments.
 

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Rabbit19 said:
Thanks for your responses, I am going to try both of them (parking lot) an see what feels better. Unfortunately they are not at the same place so it may be a little difficult to judge. What about the components, have they changed alot in the last 5 years. The Epic has xt/lx stuff the xc is lx. Thanks again I really appreciate your comments.
As long as the bike hasn't been ridden, it's not going to go bad just sitting in the shop. Go for it if the bike fits and feels good. Parts can be replaced later.
 

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I'm still riding a 2003 S-Works Epic I bought new, because I have yet to find anything better for me.
 

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epic epicure

I bought an '03 Epic brand new and loved it except for the awful chainsuck which was chronic here in the Northeast. It was an 03 Epic Pro non-disc and after two seasons of riding, I knew I had to have 3 things that were missing: disc brakes, Fox fork, and a better drive side chainstay design. I sold my 03 and bought an 05 Epic Comp that addressed all the weaknesses of the 03. One other design flaw on the 03-05 Epic is the rear derailleur hanger mount, it's very flimsy utilizing 2 under-sized mounting screws. Once you catch a branch and snap that hanger as it's designed to do, the dropout is compromised and will eventually fail. Specialized realized this and changed to a much improved design for 06, one that utilizes a much stronger hanger mounting bolt. Specialized sent me a new rear triangle when my old one failed, and the updated design is much beefier. Bottom line in my opinion, get an Epic from the years 06-07, they will have all the design improvements mentioned, a nice Fox fork, and a tuneable rear Fox brain instead of the failure-prone Specialized design that is standard issue on the 08 models. Disc brakes are a must, but if you find a good deal on a non-disc you can save some change and find some good deals online on disc wheels and brakes (I paid $500 for a pair of Crossmax SLR brand new). Good luck on the quest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
fmunk said:
FYI, according to many here on mtbr, the early Epics are favored more than latter. Only big improvement that I know of is a slightly different chainstay design to help deal with chain suck which the early ones are prone to... but easily fixed with better chainrings and/or a zip tie trick. Don't really need 100mm of travel for XC, and many are running 100mm forks with no issues. 20mm isn't even 1".
Can you tell me about the zip tie trick? Experienced chain suck the first day. By the way I'm very pleased with this bike so far. I got to ride alot this week while on vacation.
 

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Search.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=307193&highlight=epic+chain+suck

Keep the chain clean and well lubed. Replace chainrings when they are worn, or... apparently the stock XT chainrings are prone to cause the problem. If that's what you have, you could try replacing that or get a different chain (searched posts, some say SRAM chain helps). Avoid shifting the front while under load is another suggestion I've come across.
 
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