Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 236 Posts

·
Just Wanna Ride!
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering an Epic 29er and was hoping to get feedback from folks that have had a chance to ride/demo one. Looking for an endurance race bike and the Epic seems to fit the bill on paper. Just want to be sure it delivers on the trail. Currently have a Stumpjumper 29er (hardtail) that I'll keep too.

How is the Epic 29er in terms of stiffness for climbing out of the saddle?

What about high speed handling (twitchy can be a problem when you're fatigued)?

Also - looking for a bike that feels fun and lively - I like to bunny hop logs, roots, rocks, etc when riding. Some FS bikes compress to preload, but don't spring back to allow you to use that momentum to launch the bike. Bike doesn't have to compress - a hardtail works great for this since it doesn't soak up your energy.
 

·
Just Wanna Ride!
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Saw that thread - was hoping that more than just two guys had ridden one and would give feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Thanks for the links.

The first is just Specialized marketing talk.

The second is a nice in depth review that I'd actually found on his blog. I don't recall how I found it but here it is in it's full glory....

http://www.lostmanifesto.com/2010-specialized-epic-29-test-ride

The third link is also a blog post of his but is just the same marketing drivel as the first link.

The fourth link just took me to bicycling's home page.

The last one is a VERY short review by someone that rode the wrong size at Sea Otter.

Just thought I'd summarize for folks.

Cheers!
 

·
gone for a bike ride
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
sorry about all the crummy reviews, i'd just been collecting info over the past months - trying to decide if i can wait another year for a carbon S-Works 29" or be happy with another M5 alloy Epic but in 29" flavour... i'd rather wait!

here's the missing review (for what its worth)

http://bicycling.com
Posts Tagged ‘Specialized Epic 29er’
April 15th, 2009
Specialized Gets Serious About 29ers
By cmattheisBy Michael Frank
Morgan Hill, California

You can say that 29ers have jumped the shark, that the trend is no longer a trend. It’s so mainstream, in fact, that Specialized is going to offer an Epic (as in, seriously fast race bike) 29er in 2010. How serious? Serious as in, it will be spec’d with SRAM’s super Gucci, not even out yet, XX group. This isn’t going to be a bike for noodling around on; Specialized thinks it will be for earnest racers, especially in marathon categories, and they’ve put their best minds on the project, especially when it comes to tuning the bike’s FSR suspension.

We had a brief ride of the Epic 29er today and we’ll salt a few minor ride impressions throughout the following, but know that these are initial musings, not conclusions of hard testing. Also note that we didn’t test bikes with final spec, etc., so the murky waters are even murkier. Here are the details on the Epic 29er; we’ll get to the Stumpjumper S-Works carbon HT after we’ve ridden that as well.
M5 Alloy Chassis: The frame is aluminum, not carbon. Some of the reasoning has to do with where Specialized had to make the 29er Epic strong, and how they went about that process (see below).
Custom Reba Rockshox/Specialized fork: Specialized went to RS because SRAM has the most experience in building 29er forks. Specialized then further tweaked the design of the Reba using the existing 100mm-travel lowers and added its own carbon crown and carbon steerer, and their pre-existing tech for tucking the fork’s lower steerer bearing cup higher into the steerer. This, Specialized says, translates to more force transferred into the downtube, for better durability and stiffness. All of these tweaks result in a fork weighing 100g less than the stock 29er Reba.

RockShox Reba fork lowers and DT Swiss wheels.
Tapered headtube: The 26-inch Epic has a 1 1/8-1.5-inch tapered headtube (to match the fork’s tapered steerer) and the head tube itself is reduced in height, with an integrated, zero stack headset-the goal of the latter tweaks is to reduce the taller height effect of the obviously taller front wheel.
Steeper head angle: The head tube angle of the 29er is 70.5 degrees vs. 69.5 on the 26er Epic. Again, this is to counter a natural effect of a taller wheel, which is slow speed steering/initial turn-in sluggishness.
Feedback on the front-end handling: Yours truly isn’t particularly tall, but a few hours on the bike didn’t give me vertigo or the feeling like I was riding a hog. The nose-end of the bike is well sorted, at least based on a fair mix of high- and low-speed pedaling of some fairly technical singletrack. What we’d like to do more of is ride this bike alongside the 26er Epic, especially on very tight terrain where low-speed balance is at a higher premium.
Custom Seatstays/bent seat tube: A concern of 29ers is that they get lanky because of the bigger wheels. Specialized bent the seat tube of the Epic to wrap it a bit around the rear wheel and made larger diameter seat tubes to increase their stiffness - a longer seat tube, all things being equal, would otherwise also be a flexier one.
90mm Brain Fade FSR Suspension: This is an Epic, which means you get Specialized’s highly evolved Brain shock - but with 90mm, not 100mm of travel. How come? Shorter travel yields a shorter wheelbase, and it’s one “cheat” that’s pretty smart here, because a larger wheel seems to dissipate more force-especially a wheelset like the DT Swiss set we were testing, which is designed to be light and just stiff enough. Even on some pretty rugged descents I didn’t miss the extra 10mm of travel.
The Brain Fade FSR shock is only 90 mm to help keep the wheelbase tighter.
ht: Specialized designed this bike to have minimal weight gain over the 26-inch version. Of course we didn’t bring our scales, but their claim isn’t much more than a pound of additional weight per 26er in the same size range.
Wheelbase: The claimed comparison may be hard to swallow. If they’ve pulled this off it means the Epic 29er has a very tight wheelbase for a big-wheel mountain bike. Have a gander below. We’ll get the tape out ourselves in subsequent testing to confirm. One thing: the bike I tested today did not feel truckish, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if the below chart is at least very close to spot on.
Epic 26 (sizes; wheelbase in mm): Med: 1098; Lg: 1126; XL 1153
Epic 29 (sizes; wheelbase in mm): Med: 1109; Lg 1136; XL 1163
Sizes: For obvious reasons, M, L, XL.
Availability begins this fall; no word yet on price. We should also mention that 29er fans already rolling on their own rigs have a choice of aftermarket goods from Specialized, including excellent tires like the Captain, and the Fast Trak, as well as the Purgatory.

Look for more on the hardtail iteration of the Epic 29er and tons of new gear and race coverage from Sea Otter this weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Thanks culturesponge!

Just checked with my LBS today. Still not in the system as being available. Looks like the end of October at the earliest. Damn. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Let me just say first, I was all set to buy the 2010 Epic 29er. I got to demo one a few weeks ago four about an hour. I wasn't blown away by the bike. The bike feels heavy but once you get going it felt good. This was the first 29er I have ever rode so I don't have anything to compare it to. I don't now if this will make sense to most but, the bike got the job done but it wasn't fun to ride. Give me a 26" Stumpjumper any day. I do think the 29ers are the futher but I think they are going to need another year or so to get it down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
My LBS had a Specialized Epic 29er with the Sram XX group available for demo yesterday. Eventhough it was a parking lot demo....what a sweet ride & very light. The XX group seemed to mimic most of the gear ratios of my X0 group. I'm not giving up my '09 Epic Marathon for awhile but the new 29er with XX is seriously worth a look.
 

·
RIDE TO LIVE
Joined
·
464 Posts
culturesponge said:
Sizes: For obvious reasons, M, L, XL..
Its not obvious to me why they do not include a size small? Care to explain why because I would love to know why they aren't including it in their line up.

Maybe they should consider a 650B in the rear if they can't make the geometry work with a 29er out back. I would love to be the first to own that configuration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
LIV2RYD said:
Its not obvious to me why they do not include a size small? Care to explain why because I would love to know why they aren't including it in their line up.

Maybe they should consider a 650B in the rear if they can't make the geometry work with a 29er out back. I would love to be the first to own that configuration.
Probably the same reason they don't offer the XXL. Most of the people out buying bikes will fit on a M, L or XL. Heard of the bell curve? Same idea. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
mtbne1 said:
My LBS had a Specialized Epic 29er with the Sram XX group available for demo yesterday. Eventhough it was a parking lot demo....what a sweet ride & very light. The XX group seemed to mimic most of the gear ratios of my X0 group. I'm not giving up my '09 Epic Marathon for awhile but the new 29er with XX is seriously worth a look.
Hmmmm, does this mean their starting to trickle into the shops or was this a pre-production tester that got the XX retrofitted?

I was at my LBS yesterday and they mentioned their rep saying they just got a big shipment in that included some of the new SL3 road bikes. Perhaps some of these Epics are in there too! :D ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Nope.

Well, we could speculate and guesstimate until the cows come home but until someone actually weighs a production model we're just guesstimating and speculating. :D ;)

People have ridden the pre-production models but no production versions are available yet.

Just to give you an idea of what I'm hoping for... I'd be ecstatic if my complete XL weighed less than 25 lbs out of the box (no pedals). I still be pretty thrilled if it was under 26 lbs. and I'd be a bit dissapointed but I'd probably get over it once I started riding it if it was over 26 lbs. :lol: ;)

What does that make the frame weigh? Well the XX group should be pretty light (understatement) and the wheels weigh 1750 grams. The tires aren't super light with a captain on the front and they'll have tubes out of the box. The Reba supposedly loses about 100 grams with the custom carbon crown and steerer. The bars and stem look to be pretty top notch as well.

Anyway, I don't feel like doing the math so I'll let you. :thumbsup: ;)

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Gotcha....but based upon some of the weight claims being thrown about, do you think it will be lighter than a Racer X frame (aluminum) with a 2009 Reba Race fork?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Epic 29er Test Ride

I test rode one for about 45 minutes at the Crankworx race in Winter Park. I liked the bike a lot and I thought the frame felt very stiff and efficient both while standing and sprinting and laterally in the corners. It felt very beefy to me. I weigh 150 lbs. The Brain shock was pretty adjustable as well. I did set it to the softest setting and it did open-up the suppleness of the suspension quite a bit.

All that being said, it still felt fairly heavy to me. I did not get to weigh the bike, but my estimate was 26.5 lbs. (large sized frame) with Roval wheels, eggbeater candy pedals, and XX drivetrain and shifters but not XX brakes. By the way, the XX shifters and cranks were excellent. I really liked the bike but it honestly seemed almost half-way between a light-duty all-mountain bike and a true racing bike.

For reference, I ride a 2008 Turner Sultan (Pushed/high volume sleeve-flying couch) for all-mountain which weighs about 27 lbs. For racing next year I just got Funk La Ruta 29er Ti full suspension (3 inch travel pivotless) which weighs just under 23.5 lbs. I have also previously owned a Leviathan, Fisher 292, Niner MCR (raced all last season) and a Salsa Dos Niner so I have a fair amount of time on 29ers over the last 4 years.

I really liked the Epic 29er and hope that the heavy feeling was just me riding after completing a relatively long race and my sense of weight was off. I would still love to see the actual total bike weight and I really would like to see the frame weight itself.

I hope this helps.
 

·
Just Wanna Ride!
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Good feedback. ABRider - Can you compare the lateral stiffness to other bikes you've owned? Stiffer than the 292, similar to the Lev or Sultan or whatever??

Maybe a little extra weight will keep the bike stiff and sturdy for the long haul. I asked a rep about whether he thought the bike would hold up as an everyday xc-ish trail bike and endurance race bike and he said it shouldn't be a problem at all. The difference in weight between the SJ and the Epic isn't that great but the tubing sizes, geometry and the shock tuning are the difference. Apparently there have been S folks testing the Epic 29er as a more of a trail bike. Clearly the SJ makes for a better trail rig, but sounds like the Epic could be stretched into dual duty.

Based on riding the 26" 09 Epic - You could build the bike light and have a world cup quality XC race bike. At the same time I think you could build one with a more trail oriented parts kit and riser bar and it would make a decent xc trail bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Epic Stiffness

Take this with a grain of salt since I didn't ride the Epic for all that long (see above). But to grossly over-generalize, I would say the Epic was laterally stiffer than the Leviathan, the Dos Niner, and the 292. It didn't seem to be quite as laterally stiff as the 2008 Sultan but it was pretty close. Unless they end up making it lighter for the actual production bike I almost think it sits between the worlds of racing and all-mountain. Maybe that is what marathoners seek. I race XC not marathon so I don't know. For me, I think I need lighter for pure racing, which is what they seem to have achieved with the 26" Epics finally. And for all-mountain I would want a little more travel, at least 4 inches. All that being said, I still liked the bike alot. The geometry is great, the suspension works very well (no bob and fairly active), and the frame just feels real solid. I really would like to know what the just the frame and shock weigh.
 
1 - 20 of 236 Posts
Top