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Just ride
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching for a new rig for the longest time and i've been doing copious amounts of research, but I want others' opinions.

Now, I know posting here i'll get a skewed response, but thats ok. I just want to hear what others have to say.

As for my riding style, i'm a dedicated xc racer. I train during the week, then race during the weekends, but the current ride I have (Cannondale Prophet) just isn't cutting it anymore. So the search continues for an xc race rig.

Up until I stumbled across Ibex I had my eye on Specialized's Epic (comp)

It seems like a great bike, and I really like the suspension technology they have.
Now, I can purchase the Epic from my LBS, get their support, etc. etc. etc.
or, I have the option of waiting for a test bike, or blemish bike to get a decent deal.

or

The Ibex Asta pro.

Almost $1,000 cheaper, yet better components. It seems like they have a similar suspension setup (minus the brain). How is the asta comparable? Suspension design?
Lighter?

Pro's and Con's of both?

any ideas/opinions will be appreciated!
-Skim
 

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Asta all the way

#1 - you get a better spec'd bike right out of the box

#2 - It's $1k cheaper, with the better spec'd parts!

#3 - That $1k can buy you a sweet light weight wheelset and race tires and a few other trick parts!

I came from a very light giant XTC hardtail that I was planning on using for 'racing' because it was so light and I thought I didn't want to lose any pedaling efficiency on climbs. Since the Asta came out of the box last year I rode my HT bike once more and I thought 'what am I crazy this thing feels every bump!" and because of that I actually lose speed. I haven't been back on the HT since and now I am seriously looking to sell it. So to answer your question I think the Asta will fit your needs just fine and work as well as the specialized and all for $1k less.
 

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The Asta is amazing deal

However, the Epic is also a very special bike. The linkages are different between the two suspension designs, but it isn't a huge difference for many people. What will be noticeable is the Brain. There really isn't anything like it. It feels like a hardtail when you put force on the pedals. You can even stand up and mash without bob. But then it transforms when you hit a bump, opens up, and flows over it like a normal shock without any platform. I only got to test ride an Stumpy 29 with a Brain once, but it was a beautiful thing.

Anyway, $1000 is a big difference and the Brain certainly is not necessary to have a great riding full suspension bike. Especially given the great things owners say about their Asta's
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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The Asta is an awesome bike and honestly pedals like a hardtail. The one i had saddle time on had virtually no pedal bob and just climbs and climbs and is hella fast in pedally stuff. Cant go wrong with the Asta if you're looking for an XC race rig. Plus like baraant mentioned, with the extra 1k you save, you could get yourself an I9 wheelset.

IMHO, i think the Brain is just a fancy word for SPV.
 

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mrpercussive said:
The Asta is an awesome bike and honestly pedals like a hardtail. The one i had saddle time on had virtually no pedal bob and just climbs and climbs and is hella fast in pedally stuff. Cant go wrong with the Asta if you're looking for an XC race rig. Plus like baraant mentioned, with the extra 1k you save, you could get yourself an I9 wheelset.

IMHO, i think the Brain is just a fancy word for SPV.
Yeah, I certainly wasn't knocking the Asta. I really wanted one, but decided I prefer hardtails.

The Brain is a bit more than SPV though. The default state for the Epic's suspension was completely locked out, no movement at all, not even sag. Felt exactly like a hardtail. It opened up nicely on the bumps though :D
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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boomn said:
Yeah, I certainly wasn't knocking the Asta. I really wanted one, but decided I prefer hardtails.

The Brain is a bit more than SPV though. The default state for the Epic's suspension was completely locked out, no movement at all, not even sag. Felt exactly like a hardtail. It opened up nicely on the bumps though :D
Hardtails and FS are 2 different animals. I miss how hardtails felt. They made things very fun and interesting on the rough... XD

if it wasnt sagging, then the bike wasnt set up for your weight...
 

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mrpercussive said:
Hardtails and FS are 2 different animals. I miss how hardtails felt. They made things very fun and interesting on the rough... XD

if it wasnt sagging, then the bike wasnt set up for your weight...
No, that really is how their design works. It isn't suspension at all until it receives upwards force. It has a weighted valve that is separate from the shock and only opens in response to upwards inertia.

From a review:
"The Brain is pretty cunning. It's essentially an automatic lockout for the rear shock. Inside the sticky-up canister is a valve, a weighted piston and a spring. The spring holds the valve closed, locking out the rear suspension. But hit something sufficiently hard with the back wheel and the weighted piston accelerates upwards, popping the valve open and allowing the suspension to compress. The valve will stay open until the suspension stops moving at which point it closes and locks out the suspension again. The Brain is right down near the rear axle and angled backwards to line up with the axle path in the first part of the travel. Only a bump hitting the back wheel will trigger it - you can bounce on the seat as much as you like and nothing will happen.
The idea is that the Epic is effectively a hardtail until the ground reaches a certain level of bumpiness at which point it becomes a short travel full suspension bike."

"The first hurdle with the Epic is setting the shock up. Usual techniques don't apply here - you can't set sag because at first there isn't any. It does settle slowly into its travel as you ride, but it's nothing like hopping on to a regular FS and having it immediately sink beneath you. Fortunately Specialized include a rider weight chart with recommended pressures which will be near enough to ideal to get you riding."

If I were a rich man, I would be riding an Epic. I guess its my dream bike
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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dude... epic still gets sag... lols...

btw, what do you think the SPV is??? It's an extra valve with a spring pushing against it holding the orifice closed until it hits a bump big enough for it to open it... lols. Reason why it felt like a HT to you was cause it was not set up for your weight. Meaning it was too stiff...

Plus, i've never been a fan of the Big S...
 

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rkj__ said:
the flying goat is actually right. the epic is designed to have some sag.

http://www.bowcycle.com/bc08/manuals/documents/07_Epic_Manual.pdf

see page 12.
Yeah, it can sag, and it did when I had the brain turned down to feel like a regular FS bike.

Sorry. I wasn't trying to deceptive in how I described it. But I wanted to test what the brain design could offer over a regular fs bike, so I adjusted the brain to the firm setting when I rode it. Under this setting, it really didn't move under any downwards force that I could give and that really impressed me. I'm not a Specialized fan boy. I swear. I just really like that bike since I am a semi-reformed single-speeder :cool:

And I guess I don't know as much about SPV as I thought
 

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Just ride
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now, what about the Giant Anthem, I left it out of my initial post for some reason or another, but that has also been a bike i've been eyeing. The things I like about the Anthem is the "Maestro" suspension, and/or a VPP. Which, I think is better than a brain.

No shops relatively near me deal Giant though
 

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All the lbs's around me carry the giants and I rode one. You'll find the same spec thing as with the specialized for $1k more you will not get the same grade of components as on the Asta. I felt no difference between riding the giant anthem and the asta I now have.
 

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The brain shocks and forks seem to have a lag time before they engage. It is probably a fraction of a second, but is still noticeable when riding. I rode an Epic this past weekend that a co-worker recently bought, it is a great bike, but I don't think it was any better than the Asta I rode a couple of months ago. All I can say is that Fox no longer makes the Float X and Talas X brain forks for a reason. Just my 2 pennies
 

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If I were a rich man or a sponsored athlete i would get the specy or the giant in a heart beat...maybe sponsored athletes do not have the option of chosing their rides but they still get to ride that kind of bikes....anyways, since i am not rich, and i am in love with the sport, and i like the frame design of the ASTA...i stick with the ASTA...she is definitely a winner, gets the job well done, stays ready for next day, and saves me money...heck even if i did a frame build will save me money hahaha...the pro is definitely a good choice for you and withe the extra money you save you can upgrade on other areas per se on a light wheelset, perhaps the drivetrain if you are an avid and dedicated rider and walla you will have a racing machine...i say that both bikes are really good options because they offer quality builds all around, but the savings on the ASTA are much better for me....so its up to you and how deep your pockets are...
 

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Just ride
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OT: one thing that turns me off about the Pro is the color of the frame. Its not bad, but its not super hot either.
What about stripping the paint? anyone done that yet?
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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skim1040 said:
OT: one thing that turns me off about the Pro is the color of the frame. Its not bad, but its not super hot either.
What about stripping the paint? anyone done that yet?
i cant remember who, but i remember someone stripping a used Asta he got and powdercoated it black... as for me, i sanded down my Zone and painted it white...

I have to say though, the Burnt Orange is by far one of the best colours on a bike i've seen yet. But thats on the X9. The sleek green colour on the Pro looks very stealthy and doesnt shout out too much.

Jake's Asta Pro framebuild...


My paintjob...
 

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Just ride
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mmmmm I9 wheels are the sh*t


I'm going to continue on with my research, but I feel a bike purchase coming soon!
Right now i'm thinking it might be a foresty green, and have shimano components...:D wink wink
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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skim1040 said:
Mmmmm I9 wheels are the sh*t

I'm going to continue on with my research, but I feel a bike purchase coming soon!
Right now i'm thinking it might be a foresty green, and have shimano components...:D wink wink
Yea, Roxy has a set and they're insanely light for what the beating they can take... Definitely race wheel worthy...



Shimano, they work awesome. But i'm a new Sram convert XD The Asta is a real winner though. Definitely a race worthy frame...
 
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