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Non of that stuff works. Regardless of how reactive it is, it just adds more valving and seals ruining small bump sensitivity in the process. The reason people run FS for XC is (or should be) small bump performance for climbing and cornering traction.

I've spent some time on the Lapierre with the Fox active system. It's garbage. As was the Camber with the Brain.

Bikes are so efficient these days with 1X drive trains and optimized anti-squat that active damping wouldn't be worth it for me even if it did work. I'd swap the extra weight of it for a dropper anytime. Real world advantage with faster descending and lower fatigue. The only reason I see having anything other than simple passive suspension is a remote lock if your races have 1-2km asphalt starts.
It's hard to take you seriously with your statements like "the designers are on crack". Also the brain has worked very well for many years. It might not compare to modern suspension but it has been successful. I'd be curious to try the fox live valve system, but I'd imagine that is what the epic is waiting for.

And the LaPierre Ei system uses Rock Shox, not Fox.
 

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I find it interesting that the originally spec'd 2014 S-Works Epic (FSR) came with a 95mm fork, but they now have the exact same frame with a 100mm fork and 51mm offset. I searched the net and considering so many of us have have been pretty obsessed with this groundbreaking bike, there's been no mention or comment reguarding the change?

I had the 2013 model but went for the 2014 because of the two water bottle cages. As far as I know the Scalpel, Spark, an KTM Scarp are the only other XC FS bikes now with two water bottle cages. But it seems all three of these use a smaller bottle on the seat tube, whereas the Epic (at least my large) can take two full size bottles. In fact I use the extra swat bolt to carry a super long bottle on the down tube.

So yes, it has nimble handling! too nimble. I don't have great skills on technical and DH so this has been the biggest drawback for me. I wonder if the larger offset 100mm fork will make a difference? How about boost?

The other thing is the seat tube. I've been using a dropper over a decade and run a Thomson 27.2 5" dropper now. I'd normally be a medium but I run a large frame because with this dropper fully extended at max height and high saddle it's still not quite high enough for my purposes. Meanwhile descending in a world cup style race i need more than 5"! So ideally I'd like the Epic to get a 30.9 seat tube so I could run 9point8's 200mm 8" dropper. Yes, even then I'm not sure is enough! (I'm being serious).

Maybe with boost in the rear there would be more room? I understood they went with 27.2 originally to make the frame work. Hopefully they can go boost front and rear and give us some more dropper options. Then add a couple more degrees to the fork and we're good.

The Epic has been incredibly versatile and with some simple mods I use it as a road bike, gravel bike and touring bike. It's my only bike and it works incredibly well, without the drawbacks you might expect and a FS MTB. Yeah there's tire drag on the road, but most often my wheelset is actually lighter than my roadie buddies. I put a 38t ring up front and with the 10cog I'm able to cruise happily at 22mph in the peloton. But when the peloton gets going to 26+ mph I start to suffer. Funny though that the hills mean the tire drag and wind penalty are greatly reduced, so I find hilly routes much easier to keep up with the road crews. Pro Tip, run lower pressure than you'd think on the road MTB tires (I run 26-28lb on 2.1" FastTracks, compared to 19-21lb on trail, and much less than the 35 or 45+ people think they should run. The wider the tire the less pressure, on the road or the trail). And in my extensive experience it's a myth that the road prematurely chews up your MTB tread.
 

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I agree, the epic is incredibly versatile. But... there are significant updates that need to be made for it to be able to compete on a world cup XC circuit to the likes of the Spark. If the frame weights posted above are legitimate, 650 grams is A LOT between bikes. Especially when the spark is a lot more capable.
 

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Yeah Tyrich the Spark looks awesome. but keep in mind it's a few years newer so the Epic. Plus at 19.9lb out the box the WC is hardly a tank, and that was before the StepCast. (I'm not sure of the Epic's frame weight). What kills the Spark superlight version for me is the single cage; the WorldCup manages to fti two full size bottles in the frame. I went for the WC as I only needed a 1x, and though I'm a marathon racer I wanted a bike that was nimble in the singletrack, which is where I need it. Alas, it's a bit too nimble....
 

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Oh i know its a fantastic bike... I have one and i've been racing it for the last few years. It just has some revisions that need to be made.
It is a little too nimble, as you said, so they can definitely improve on the handling and stability. I think they can drop some weight as well, especially after seeing what they did with the Epic HT this year.
I think a little more differentiation between the standard epic and the world cup would be a welcome change. (like Scott did with the spark) One that is an all out race machine and the other that is still race worthy but a little more capable of other things too. I think that would be a change that would make the bike cater to more riders.
 

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Tyrich88. This article a few months old but this chaps has done some thinking on the Epic. Specialized Epic 2017 and 2018 ? What can we expect? - WheelSizeAgnostic

Also, I have no idea what they did with the Epic HT! I'll check it out. I've never considered anything but FS because of trying to pedal through rock gardens. Kulhavy is a bigger rider and was the only one on an FS in 2012. Meanwhile an HT made since for smaller riders. However, courses are even more rugged and bikes like the Spark are lighter, therefore making more sense for lighter riders too. Of course they are more forgiving and in many cases, even climbs, they are actually faster as they lose less traction and help the bike conform to the surface smoothing things out for the rider. For me though, I'm hoping for another few kilos of weight loss, so maybe I too could could get away with an HT (at least in my dreams :) )
 

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I have been converted to FS too for the same reasons. I'm 175 lbs, so not a light rider, but i defnitely see the benefit in suspension. I heard the other day that the new epic is supposed to be pretty aggressive (not sure what this sources definition of aggressive is...) and that there are some bare carbon prototypes under some pros and other testers currently. So hopefully spy shots might pop up soon.
 

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I have been converted to FS too for the same reasons. I'm 175 lbs, so not a light rider, but i defnitely see the benefit in suspension. I heard the other day that the new epic is supposed to be pretty aggressive (not sure what this sources definition of aggressive is...) and that there are some bare carbon prototypes under some pros and other testers currently. So hopefully spy shots might pop up soon.
i'm curious to know which "pros" because sauser, kulhavy and grotts are at cape epic on old frames. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say if they are still at prototype stage today theres no way you see it for 2018, if its changing they already know and its probably already on a boat.
 

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I have been converted to FS too for the same reasons. I'm 175 lbs, so not a light rider, but i defnitely see the benefit in suspension. I heard the other day that the new epic is supposed to be pretty aggressive (not sure what this sources definition of aggressive is...) and that there are some bare carbon prototypes under some pros and other testers currently. So hopefully spy shots might pop up soon.
It will be indeed aggressive. Steep HT, nimble handling, short wheelbase, as perfect as XC bike should be! Spark went to far in trail direction with such long wheelbase and slack HT, and that only beacous of Nino Schurter riding style> and they think they will suit everyone.. But the truth is different. If you can't handle existing epic WC with 71 head angle it only indicates that you are a poor rider and don't have enough motoric and technihal skills.. If you go to one extreme with geometry it sacrifices the other, so the art is to find a balance. And that balance is been destroyed by spark geometry already..
 

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It will be indeed aggressive. Steep HT, nimble handling, short wheelbase, as perfect as XC bike should be! Spark went to far in trail direction with such long wheelbase and slack HT, and that only beacous of Nino Schurter riding style> and they think they will suit everyone.. But the truth is different. If you can't handle existing epic WC with 71 head angle it only indicates that you are a poor rider and don't have enough motoric and technihal skills.. If you go to one extreme with geometry it sacrifices the other, so the art is to find a balance. And that balance is been destroyed by spark geometry already..
Your comment is interesting in that most input is on the other side: "the Epic isn't slack enough". Although I'm old school and fine with steep HAs, saying anyone that can't tolerate 71 degrees is a "poor rider" is a bit much.

It's all about tradeoffs, and I suppose you are saying that too.
 

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What a load of garbage. Agressive isn't steep, aggressive is slack as it enables aggressive riding. Steep is dated. Did you see Kulharvy eat **** in the Cape Epic the other day? Oh and those Spark riders can't help but win eh? Neither can Risveds either so you're theory about the Spark geo only suiting Niño is nonsense too.
 

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Nino is probably a bad example for any geo, since I think he could ride a recumbent bike and still win. :)

@JCL - What are you riding currently?
 

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i'm curious to know which "pros" because sauser, kulhavy and grotts are at cape epic on old frames. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say if they are still at prototype stage today theres no way you see it for 2018, if its changing they already know and its probably already on a boat.
They haven't released the bike yet... so obviously the pros wont be riding it in a highly watched race like the Cape Epic.
I think this race would have been great release for it... but i am sure they will wait for the World Cup races to start before they release.

Most of the testing they do with their higher profile riders is as hidden as possible. The majority of their test riders are riding plain black frames (like the venge vias was, prerelease, and the Enduro, stumpjumper and everything else they've redone recently) so the term "prototype" was my bad. They are completed frames, just not ready for release yet. Probably finalizing paint jobs/graphics or something is my guess... or they are in production and being shipped to specialized to get ready for release.
 

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Camber. I'd love to ride a Spark but the shop I ride for isn't a Scott dealer.
Amen to that! The shop I race for isn't scott either, so I'm hoping this new Epic proves to be something that I like. Otherwise I am probably going with a Niner.
 

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Just reading through some that I missed. First and foremost, I had to wait a couple months initially but for 2.5 years I've been using the Thomson 27.2 dropper with 5" of travel. Yes it's external routing but that has never been a problem. And Lev has had a 27.2 4" dropper for at least 5 years. So there are descent if less than perfect dropper options. My only problem on that front is having raced Nino (and literally been lapped) on a WC style course I want 9point8's 200mm dropper! Unfortunately I'll never have his handling skills.
With 1700gram FS frames is tough to take a hit of 700grams for a dropper! But take away my dropper and you take away about 50% of my fun and ability. I'm walking sections in races with a 5" drop. Without the dropper I'd be calling my bike Fido!
Still no comment on Specialized changing the WC fork spec to 100mm from 95mm?
I think one of the reasons why Specialized can get away with a delayed update is because the Epic was years ahead of everyone else. All the bikes you are seeing now are everyone's response to the Epic 2 years later. I still don't see a lighter dual cage FS on the market? And as of now there seems to be only one FS xc race frame that is lighter.
 

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All the bikes you are seeing now are everyone's response to the Epic 2 years later. I still don't see a lighter dual cage FS on the market? And as of now there seems to be only one FS xc race frame that is lighter.
Way ahead? All the bikes are now catching up with BMC's geometry, not Specialized's. BMC was the first company to come up with the 'new' geometry... 5 years ago : long top tube, short stem. Check the TE01 and FS01. Weight wise, the Epic frameset was never a class leader. They are probably delaying their update because Scott's new Spark raised the bar to a level they never imagined was possible. In a time suspension wasn't at today's level, the Brain made sense, now it's less relevant. I don't think they are going to dump the BRAIN, same as Shimano doesn't want to give SRAM credit for their 1x solutions by holding onto their old-fashioned design and 2x philisophy.
 

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Way ahead? All the bikes are now catching up with BMC's geometry, not Specialized's. BMC was the first company to come up with the 'new' geometry... 5 years ago : long top tube, short stem. Check the TE01 and FS01. Weight wise, the Epic frameset was never a class leader. They are probably delaying their update because Scott's new Spark raised the bar to a level they never imagined was possible. In a time suspension wasn't at today's level, the Brain made sense, now it's less relevant. I don't think they are going to dump the BRAIN, same as Shimano doesn't want to give SRAM credit for their 1x solutions by holding onto their old-fashioned design and 2x philisophy.
The quote was " I still don't see a lighter dual cage FS on the market"
That doesn't mean it's a class leader in weight... but how many dual bottle cage full suspension frames are even on the market right now?! Almost none.
The be in the top rankings for frame weight when it was released (2014... not now) AND to have the capacity for two bottle cages, which was previously limited to mostly only hardtails... it was a breakthrough, absolutely.
Granted a lot of people complain about the brain... but the complainers are always the ones you hear the most out of... not the people that enjoy it... they are out riding it and being happy about it.
I do think that in todays market, the brain is holding them back a little more than it should. I think without the brain a lighter frame would be possible and a lighter full build because of the brains they put in the forks.
And, the bike would potentially be even smoother, and according to their Roubaix tagline... "smoother is faster"
 

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Dual cage, yes - you got a point there :thumbsup:
I have owned about 10 Epic's, of whom 8 S-Works. Most recent was the S-Works Epic World Cup 2014, which got a brand new 2016 brain last year.
Switched to a Scott Spark 900 RC Pro end of last year. In my opinion, the Epic rides and feels like a hardtail that takes the rough edges off of big impacts. People lookin for 'comfort' should look elsewhere. This is where the Spark shines, being a lot more forgiving and filtering out the smallest bumps. Hope Specialized can accomplish the same for 2018.
 
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