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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please provide some reviews of the 2009 Epics. I can't seem to find any.
Does it climb like they say it does? How does the Brain handle pedal bob? How are the S-cranks? Has anyone cracked the frame? Let's see the details! Thanks!
 

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Epic S-Works review

Mcmurv,
You question brought me out of hibernation. I've never posted here just been a casual observer. That being said, The S-work Epic is actually better than advertised. Keep in mind my point of reference is a 2008 yeti ASR with full ultra light setup weight about 24.
The difference is broader than day vs. night. To climb on this thing is to be inside the body of a better stronger climber, its almost as though you are outside yourself and can't believe the amount of enegy going to the climb. NO WASTED ENERGY. I have mine set firm/firm all the way front and rear. It is a little harsh on the downs but I'll get used to it for the climbing. You can throw it into corners on tight twisty stuff like a full rigid bike. The only downside I can honestly say is it is very noise machine. The valving in both ends is noisy opening and shutting all the time, the shop says we can tune it out but what the heck, why? The front brake makes a strange noise when turning in the tight, the wheel must be flexing getting the disc into the caliber. We changed the 7" to a 6" and it got better but its still there. But I don't really believe it is rubbing when not pushing a turn while fork is working. The bike is truly amazing and will have to make the entire indusrty better or things will be bleak for the rest. Quite pricy but what the heck is that perfect day on perfect singletrack every time out worth?
Cheers,
Chipolopolo
 

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Att: Richy

How much does the marathon carbon weigh? I'm waiting to order until I know what the marathon carbon, marathon alum. and the elite carbon weigh.
 

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Epic S-works

The full monty, 2009 Epic S-works, couple questions you had I did not cover, it weights 22 even. Without tubes with stans, 4 ti egg beaters, xo. can drop another .5 # with a little effort (large). NO pedal bob at all, Zero. Cranks extremely stiff. Like i said, mid pack to podium or even a move up in class. It is really that big a difference. The light nature and manners inspires confidence, but on long fast cobble descents hops around a little due to weight.

GET ONE AND RIDE

Chipolopolo
 

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So I have just built up my S-Works Epic (LG) carbon w/ full XTR dual control - 160mm frnt rotor & 140mm rear, Crossmax SLRs, nice light Spesh seatpost, and a very bad a$$ looking brain white fork (got the glossy red/nude frameset). This bike looks so sweet that I have to pry myself away from the garage as I love to look at it. At first, the brain technology has got me wondering if I made the right choice to stray away from my Trek Top Fuel. Jumping around on the bike in my own "p-lot test rides", I instantly notice the rear shock "chatter" when it compresses. At first I thought, oh $hit, I got a broken rear shock! I spoke with a LBS that is a BIG Spesh dealer and a very sharp mechanic there tells me that they all do it and Spesh claims this is normal. Supposedly the bike feels odd and a bit different in p-lot test rides. Also, to note, the whistling of the rear shock is normal as well.

So I go out the other day to do my first trail ride, as technical as anything here in Colorado on the front range, Matthews Winters, and it definitely feels better riding on a real rocky trail vs tarmac. However, I feel as though I have to dial the rear shock all the way out to where the "brain" is least active in order for this bike to feel like a plush xc race ready full sus. I experimented with dialing in more "brain" and I don't like the feel...it doesn't feel right to constantly feel a shock break free of the lock-out w/ every bump. Is this how the Spesh brain technology is supposed to feel? I'm not sure as I have little "brain" experience and only know full sus bikes like the Fuel where the shox are 100% active all of the time. So then my observations on the Spesh brain fork. I mess around with it and I feel the same, sort of disappointing feeling, if I have it set to be using any brain, it feels very weird to me as I can constantly feel it "break through" the lock and into a smooth compression/depression for a short bit until it lox again. If I dial out the brain setting (only one or two clicks), it feels like a normal fork but then I don't have the front lockout which I use and desire most on my xc rides/races. As CHIPOLOPOLO stated, this bike is f'n UNBELIEVABLE when you stand up and hammer up a climb...that to me was the most amazing feel and difference I felt on my first "real trail ride" with this bike. So, does anyone else have this kind of feedback on this bike? I am very happy with it and I keep thinking, worst case, I will ride/race this bike w/ the brain setting turned almost completely off in the rear, then I'll run the front about the same, still have to experiment w/ them both w/ more rides to come hopefully sooner than later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Duner3, thanks for the great review! I have been stopping folks on the trails around Austin, TX (where I live) to see how they like the Brain tech. A few people have said the same thing as you. A couple I have run into after our initial discussions and they have all said that they have gotten use to the Brain. The thing I thought was most interesting, is that they all said once you stop thinking about the Brain, it really is sweet! This is what allows you to just focus on the trail and not the bike. Would you mind posting some pics of your bike. It really sounds beautiful!
 

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Thanks mcmurv, I think I do need to spend more time on the bike to get a feel for what all it has to offer. I can't imagine that a co. as big as Spesh, a rider as big as Sauser, a market as big as all of us would let some technically advanced bike like this come to us w/out it really being the "real deal" and full of advantages. I run Crank Bros 4-Ti pedals, King Ti cage, SLR Kit Carbon saddle and C. Sauser 2Bliss tires. I wanted to get a weight today as I rec'd my Ultimate Alpine dig scale but it is reading too high - the Epic is coming up as 29lbs w/out the front the disc brake - yeah right!!! Just another item I need to get fixed/replaced under warranty...
 

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Duner,
Same Same. Absolutely everything is amazing but the dang noise of the valving whew!! I hammered alone today for about 4 hours and just tuned it out, I'm running full firm both ends and while it feels really harsh the suspension works "EPICALLY". I realize thats a oxymoron but the bike itselfs is a conundrum of wierdness that works. I run those X max slr's on my yeti asr-sl they were a bit heavier than the rovals. Does your front brake make a noise sometimes that sounds like a sonar ping?
 

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Yes, I decided on the frameset and had plans to move all of my parts from my Top Fuel over to this rig. After I realized that I have an extra wheelset, stem and the ability to get an unbeatable deal on the rest of the XTR groupo, I decided to do that since the frame already comes w/ the fork, seatpost, front derlr...only had to buy the comps, saddle, bars, tires and grips and now I can sell the Fuel as a complete bike. As for that Spesh crankset, I have made it a rule of mine to ONLY use Shimano drivetrains (and now complete groupos) on my road and mtbs after having a lot of experience w/ "the others" over the past 14 years of serious cycling. I say that excluding Campy as I've never liked Campy and don't ever consider it. I've worked in shops where we've made it a rule to not put on 3rd party chainrings on bikes we serviced, however, that was years ago and I know that many companies are now putting out very good shifting cranks/rings. I do have to say that the Spesh crankset is very nice looking and probably works fine. After what I have seen & read, it looks like I only added about 23 grams with the XTR/BB-91 combo vs. the Spesh crank/BB. Also, NO SRAM for me, I've been a complete XTR dual control dork ever since that stuff came out - to me it's a bit similar to road STI shifters vs. downtube shifters.

I DO love those Xmax SLRs but I also hear the ping'n in the front every once in a while. It's dirt and/or dust getting in between the spokes where they cross and/or in the connection to the hub (more likely).

Once I get my Ultimate Alpine Scale fixed or replaced, I'll post a "real world" weight...shouldn't be more than 23 #s :)
 

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i demoed the 09 s works,large few weeks ago.aprox 1hr at santos,fl.
i ride an 03 s works w/an 04 rearshock...80mm
i definatley enjoyed the 09.
100mm rear is noticable,rear shock /carbon rub noise ,but didnt bother me.the suspension rear at firstwas set soft...like my 04 stumpy on propeddle.i set it at stiff and it felt like my epic.nice adjustability .
large i read here is 22.5 w/ tubed tires and no peddles. i believe the med. is 21.6 w/ no peddles and ith tubes.
marathon...ad aprox. .5 because rear triangle is not carbon and difference in components.
s works and marathon have same fork.
that sworks takes less energy to climb ..no dought.
the suspension balance was great!
lol.having that carbon frame made me laugh.i mentioned to the rep how great it feels when my knees rub the top tube.lol
i didnt realize the new xtr shifters were on it until i finished the demo ride.theyfelt like xo's.
other than it not shifting into largest rear ring...maybe demo mech. didnt tune it?
the dry carbon noise in the back...maybe needed some tlc from demo rides?
and...the uncertain issue that i never got a straight response when asked is,when i started the ride the front fork was rock solid(locked out..normal) but when i returned,it moved thru its travel.

o,ya..those swork cranks are kick ass!
and b.b. height is still great on this epic....one major advantage owning a brain rear end.
i found out that the base 09 epic designed from complete bike weighs 27.5:eekster:
 

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In comparison to the 2008 Epic, I would describe the new Epic as "faster", stiffer, and better handling. And it is much lighter!

By faster I mean that the harder you stomp on the pedals, the better it feels. This is definately a bike that likes to go hard! I run the rear brain full "hard" (or 1-2 clicks out depending on terrain) and the fork 3 clicks out from full brain. It takes a little while to dial in the air pressures. I think I am around 60 psi front, 160 rear and I weigh 155 lbs.

You do hear some "clacking" from the rear brain, especially on high speed washboard type bumps, but you don't feel anything. I hardly notice the sound anymore. And this bike is a beast going up the hills, smooth or rough.

In regards to the guy from CO who came from Trek or Giant, I would say run it w/ more brain. You will get used to it and learn to love it. You have to ride the bike a little differently than you would a "brain-less" bike such as Giant Anthem or Trek Fuel. But once you get used to it you will be amazed at how fast it is. Weight transitions from front to rear will be a little different and not what you are used to. Ride it like a hardtail, just don't slow down for the rough stuff.

I am told the frame geometry is the same as the previous Epic, but I swear this thing handles better. I used to be skitish and cringe on my old Epic when hitting a local trail that is steep and rocky w/ multiple little drops. I always felt on the edge of control. The first time down it on this bike and I was laughing to myself. It felt more like a 6" travel trail bike!

The only concern I had was HT length. If you are a racer and want the bars low, you may want to test ride the next size down. The front end is a bit high by XC race standards (at least for the smaller guys). I had to run a flat bar and -12 degree stem on my medium to get the bars where I wanted them. A small w/ a longer stem may have fit better.

Overall, the bike rocks!
 

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chipolopolo said:
Like i said, mid pack to podium or even a move up in class. It is really that big a difference.
Chipolopolo
You are so full of sh*t I don't even know where to start. With modern bikes of equal weight the bikes make less than a 1% difference. Tire choice is more crucial than the type of bike you are riding.
 

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Rivet said:
You are so full of sh*t I don't even know where to start. With modern bikes of equal weight the bikes make less than a 1% difference. Tire choice is more crucial than the type of bike you are riding.
You think it makes a 1% difference? If it does that is huge, it means 1 minute and 15 seconds in a two hour race.
 
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