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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm leaning towards an epic. my dealer has a great deal on a 2003 s-works disc with the 04 brain and the new, full XTR groupo.

I took it out the other day, and it felt good although it's tough to say how the rear suspension will handle on the trails. One thing we noticed is that after I came back from the test ride (going off some curbs) the o-ring on the brain was close to the max travel point. so it was suggested that the air was too low. i didn't have time to go out again with new air levels, but assume the rear sus will be stiffer still with more air. (will this make it less responsive?)

i guess my qustion is this: i'm used to a hardtail, but want the extra cush of a full suspension. i know the epic will not be as plush as say a blur, but with the right amount of air set, is the epic unforgiving in the back? does it handle differently on the trail from what I feel on the street (i did ride over some light gravel/roots as well)

i only ride XC, no big drop offs, and also like longer 'epic' rides that i would like to finish in comfort. i'm also considering a blur, but the frame doesn't fit me too well.

any insights would be great.

thanks!
 

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rufas said:
I took it out the other day, and it felt good although it's tough to say how the rear suspension will handle on the trails. One thing we noticed is that after I came back from the test ride (going off some curbs) the o-ring on the brain was close to the max travel point. so it was suggested that the air was too low. i didn't have time to go out again with new air levels, but assume the rear sus will be stiffer still with more air. (will this make it less responsive?)

i guess my qustion is this: i'm used to a hardtail, but want the extra cush of a full suspension. i know the epic will not be as plush as say a blur, but with the right amount of air set, is the epic unforgiving in the back? does it handle differently on the trail from what I feel on the street (i did ride over some light gravel/roots as well)

i only ride XC, no big drop offs, and also like longer 'epic' rides that i would like to finish in comfort. i'm also considering a blur, but the frame doesn't fit me too well.
It'll be fine. The suspension normally bottoms out a few times per ride - but I never notice while riding other than the o-ring is pushed all the way up. The thing with the Brain Shock is that it takes a little tuning to get right, but once its in, its in. I pretty much glide over the terrain you're describing even with high tire pressures, and I can ride this thing all day.

Myself and other Epic owners here have noted that if you gain or lose 10-20 pounds, you need to add or remove 5-10psi...its just that sensitive. Not difficult, just takes a few minutes :) The majority of people who say its too harsh were riding their buddy's out in the woods - i.e., it wasn't set up for them.

Have your LBS dial in the rear shock for your weight according to the 2004 weight chart, then go test ride one more time. Its reduced slightly from the 2003 chart to remove the "kick" people were complaining about.

http://www.foxracingshox.com/websit...Files\OwnersManual\04 Forx Manual English.pdf
 

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From your brief description of your riding style I would be thinking a Stumpjumper over an Epic. If you are a hardcore racer then the Epic would be the one but I still think the SJ is a nice compromise for those who likes doing long trail rides also.

If you really want a S-Works frame then there is the 05 S-Works Stumpjumper.

Wayne
 

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The Epic would be an excellent choice!

Since you're coming off a hardtail and don't do any huge drops the Epic should be a great choice. It's impossible to make the suspension bob and with the '04 adjustable Brain shock it is very plush. I've owned both the adjustable and non-adjustable Brains and believe me the adjustable feature is a huge improvement. Make sure you get this on your purchase.

I also owned a '04 Stumpjumper FSR Expert. It was a ok/good bike but I found I was always flipping the shock lever to get the perfect setting between ProPedal and fully open. It wasn't much more plush than my Epic and a bit more sluggish feeling. I also banged the pedals quite a bit on minor rocks and roots, something I've never experienced on the 4-5 full-suspension bikes I've owned.

Go wit the Epic, you won't go wrong even for a trailriding bike.

Lance
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
one more question. with the 2004 epic M4 frames 220g ligher than the 2003 models, does this mean the 2004 epic pro frame is basically the same as the 2003 M5 s-works? in just the frame, is it worth holding out for a 04? (the model i'm looking at is a 03 s-works with the 04 brain...)

thanks for all the insight...it's a great help.

Michael
 

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Your best bet is to try both the SJ and the Epic. If you're looking for that plush feel for the long rides, the SJ might be a better choice. For racing, the Epic is the best in the world, but the ride is harsh compared to the other SPV shock based bikes, which doesn't make it a very comfy XC'er. There is a definite difference in feel between the two bikes, but you should really go experience it for yourself.

As far as Lance's comments are concerned, flipping between f/o, and locked is pointless. Stick it in propedal and leave it. It's perfect, no pedal bob, but you do get the nice plush feel when it feels right. "Epic" and "Plush" are mutually exclusive. But again, go check it out for yourself. The '05 S-works SJ has 7 shock settings between plush and firm (the Fox Septune.)
 

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I think TXNavy's comments are right on. I have the '03 S-Works with the '03 non-adjustable brain, and was coming from the Stumpy Pro. It is a much smoother ride than a hardtail, but definitely isn't "plush" like a blur or a fuel, or most FS bikes. I found the O-ring bottomed out after almost every ride (maybe b/c I'm 200 lbs), but like the other rider mentioned, I don't notice it on the ride itself. I wouldn't worry about the travel, just give it a half dozen rides and you should have it dialed in perfectly for your weight/style/local trails.

Compared to a hardtail, I found I can ride much more technical lines, and not be as picky about which lines I choose in general - this really helps in races. Also find that the rear wheel sticks to the ground much better on both climbs and descents without getting "launched" by that random root or babyhead. The only "harsh" spots I notice is when there is a single big bump in a trail (e.g. that lone root) and I forget to either preload the rear shock or get my tailbone off the seat prior to the first impact...

Good luck with your choice.
 

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I think most people who say an epic isn't cush enough for all day rides haven't ridden them on all day rides. I own 2, an 04 sworks and 03 pro with an 04 brain and they're great all day bikes. The suspension is there when you need it and not there when you don't. Having ridden both for hours on end, the epic is a much better all-round bike than the sj. Also, the epic will be harsh at first until the shock gets broken in, so what you felt on the street is likely going to be 'rougher' than how it'll feel after you put about 10 hours on it. It's a great bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so do you think an 03 sworks with an 04 brain is comparable with an 04 sworks?
that's my decision at this point...either getting the older frame or holding out for an 04...

thanks for the help!
 

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A little different

The '03 Disk with an '04 brain will ride like an '04 S-works in terms of suspension action. The differences beyond that are related to weight and frame strength. The '04 S-works is lighter and stronger due to the M5 material and the carbon fiber link. The '04 M4 bikes are 220 grams lighter then the '03 M4 bikes due to the elimination of unneeded frame material. The '04 S-works had the same amount of wieght reduction, but is even lighter due to M5 material and carbon link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
great. thanks for the info...yeah, the deal on the 03 frame / 04 brain with full xtr disc is pretty nice. $1500 less than an 04 disc retail...doesn't have the terralogic, though. comes with a fox float 100...

think i'll get the epic, even though i don't like the black anno that much...(this will still be cheaper than an 05 marathon, i think...)

happy riding...
 
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