I'm considering a new bike and have been fascinated by specialized epics for the past couple years. I have a chance to pick up an 08 Epic Expert for a pretty good deal. My only hesitation, besides justifying/explaining the purchase to my wife, is hearing that this bike is built more for shorter races and beats a person up on long rides (6 hours+) due to the fact that it rides more like a hardtail. The bike I have now isn't great but has treated me well. My fuel ex is few years old, heavy (almost 30 lbs), and getting to the point where I'm wearing out parts or breaking them faster then I can replace them. I'm an average sized guy looking to do some endurance races this year along with a few regular/short races. I have demoed this bike (and other epics) around the parking lot and like it, but its hard to tell if I'd like it after I'm 9 hours into a long ride. If anyone has experience with the Epics and long rides/races would you please share your opinion?