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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been studying both. One has a brain, the other doesn't. I listened to both retail stores and now I am totally confused which to lean towards. Anyone have ridden either? or Both? Would appreciate your comments.
 

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meiwah98 said:
Been studying both. One has a brain, the other doesn't. I listened to both retail stores and now I am totally confused which to lean towards. Anyone have ridden either? or Both? Would appreciate your comments.
For strong racer types the Fox Brain shock is excellent on smooth terrain at eliminating mushy pedaling response that FSR's have without the auto-lockout platform inertia valve in the shock. The newest version of the Brain can be adjusted in lock-out blow-off threshold to soften the response for less intense, more endurance oriented riding where comfort and smoother response saves the knees and rider energy over a longer distance. When the brain lock-out opens up it is very bump compliant and smooth pedaling through the rough.

The Racer-X has suspension geometry that is a noticeable level more pedal acceleration efficient than FSR when not locked-out by platform valving. They come with Fox RP3 shocks having a slightly less effective total lock-out platform valve compared to the Fox Brain on the Epic. Hard pedaling racer types used to hardtails complain of the small amount of Racer-X bob on smooth terrain. The Racer-X suspension when not firmly platform shocked and locked out requires a standing cadence that matches the suspension bob rhythm for best performance, rather than pounding the pedals at any rate that a solid lock-out such as the Brain (or hard tail) allows. The RacerX is not overly twitchy handling as some more steep and twitchy handling road geometry oriented short travel race designs. Steep head angles and quick and twitchy handling gives a false sense of riding faster than you really could confidently ride with more forgiving, faster speed oriented steering geometry. I'm not sure how the Epic compares in handling, probably not much different. I haven't ridden one since the first edition in '02(?), which felt like a semi-harsh quick turning hardtail with a seatpost shock, and they've improved since then with an improved Brain and a little longer travel.

The Racer-X is more endurance race and all day mountain climbing trail riding oriented. For Norba type sprint racing the Epic is more competitive and can be adjust to be more endurance all day climbing trail riding. I imagine the carbon Epic is lighter. The Racer-X isn't really very light framed, barely under 6 pounds with shock, unless using the semi-carbon-fiber Exo-Grid version.

The Carbon Epic may be the current ultimate XC race bike combining lightest weight with a stiff carbon-fiber frame, and adjustable and very pro-level racer efficient pedaling, dependant on the Brain shock.

There are other more race efficient pedaling options to compare at about the same weight with the Racer-X, such as the Intense Spider VPP, and Iron Horse Azure DW-Link, both with better standing pedaling efficiency than any Horst Link or FSR or monopivot. Another lighter weight option on par if not better than the Racer-X standing racer pedaling is the Yeti AS-R. And the Trek Fuel is a slightly more efficient (low standing bob) race pedaler than the Racer-X at about the same weight. But the Racer-X is a beautifully finished bike and has a very pleasing understated bling! factor.

:thumbsup:

- ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the evaluation Ray. Seems like both bikes have pluses and minuses..... Of course when you talk to a Specialized dealer, they are not crazy about VPP, when you talk to a Titus dealer they are not totally convinced about the Brain Shock.

Short test rides are fine, but on city streets its really hard to get a good feel for both bikes. The scary part is when spending $4K-$6K you don't want to make a "bad" choice.

Edward;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, I forgot to mention: If you could buy either bike for the same price, would the S-works Epic (or Stumpjumper for that matter) Carbon bike be noticeably "better"? The S-works carbon bike definitely have a higher "wow" factor in looks, but wondering if the performance is there. Would a Carbon S-works Stumpjumper (2006 25th anniversary model) hold its "value" over time? Or will it still be an old carbon bike after a couple of years?

I noticed talking to some Titus owners that they would stick with Titus RacerX for the ride over a Carbon Specialized bike. I find that pretty amazing given the price difference of almost $2K plus.

Thx.
 

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I've had two Epics, a 2005 comp and a 2006 comp with brade fade. I was not impressed with either of them. But, I am not a racer. I found the brain to be harsh and doesn't make a good trail bike. I knew this going in but I wanted to see for myself. The adjustable brain fade didn't make as much difference as I was hoping. If you race the Epic is great, if not the Racer X is better hands down as a trail bike. It's probably just as good as the Epic for a race bike. I was set to order a Racer X but the 29er bug got me and I went with a Fisher 293 FS 29er. I am in the process of selling the frame and buying a Racer X 29er frame. I think I may have found MY holy grail :thumbsup:

Just my $0.02!
 

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I would go with a Specialized Carbon Epic, I work at a bike shop, so I got to test ride my manager's Specialized Carbon Epic. Its the best full suspension xc bike I have ever ridden. If you have enough money and bought the right components, you could get this bike down to around 19 lbs. It's a very nice bike and is certainly worth the dough.
 

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My pick would be the Racer-X, but I'm kinda bias towards Titus bikes.:thumbsup:

If you're saying pricing would be close are you talking about full retail? Cause the Specialized bikes you're talking about are both over 6K easily.;)

If ones talking about that kinda money then you could look into custom Ti or Exogrid from Titus. The other thing is I prefer to pick and choose my own parts versus any OEM build specs as the specialized would be.

Next concern I have is that with the Racer-X, I know I could probably change to a differnet shock in a year or 2 from Fox or whoever, kinda concerned on one-off proprietary shocks like the epic's.

On the Titus board, seen a few Racer-X's built to 23-24lbs without going stupid light on the build specs, Mines sitting 24.9and could go easily lighter with a change in rubber and a couple of other component changes(stem/handlebar/seat)

Anyways, 2 great bikes, best way is to test ride both and pick your own favorite/:thumbsup:
 

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Hey bglimpse, I thought you had a Eleven HT on order????
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found a "nearly new" Carbon Epic S-Works 2006 frame only for about $2800.00. I can build it up anyway I like. Now, a RacerX is $1800 frame only (standard retail).

The price for the carbon Epic is a great deal; its $1000 off msrp, and you can assume its nearly brand new, no defects.

Given the great price on a Carbon Epic frame, does the RacerX still outperform? I test road an Epic Marathon and a Stump FSR Pro yesterday (no carbons to test), and I was not overly wowed, albeit nice bikes. I am wondering if the great price on the carbon frame should sway me to buy Specialized vs. a nicely built up Racer X.

The Specialized sales person said that riding Carbon S-Works vs. one model lower is not too noticeable; he could tell because he rides everyday (and of course sells both levels everyday). He did say the Carbon bikes absolutely have a HUGE bling factor though..... I have to agree, but I don't want to spend extra dollars "just for" bling.

Thanks for the comment about 29'ers, I have just read lots of articles on this size and its ANOTHER thing to add to the pot.......... I think I'll test ride a RacerX and a Titus 29r and let you know what I think.
 

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TiEndo said:
Hey bglimpse, I thought you had a Eleven HT on order????
I did but I changed my mind at the last minute. I was swayed to try a 29er and I am glad I did.
 

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meiwah98 said:
Thanks for the evaluation Ray. Seems like both bikes have pluses and minuses..... Of course when you talk to a Specialized dealer, they are not crazy about VPP, when you talk to a Titus dealer they are not totally convinced about the Brain Shock.

Short test rides are fine, but on city streets its really hard to get a good feel for both bikes. The scary part is when spending $4K-$6K you don't want to make a "bad" choice.

Edward;)
If you are racing to win in Pro/Elite class then the Epic carbon. If not, then the RacerX is a much more comfortable trail ride and can win in Sport Class, but not in Pro not even if lightened with Exo-Grid.

Others in this thread now have ridden the newer adjustable Brain-Fade shock, and sounds like its not mush less harsh feeling than the original Brain I test rode, but it does allow you to stand and mash at any cadence with all your power used to move the bike forward, while the Horst link does bob a little when seated and moderately more when standing and pedaling hard so some of your power is used to heat the shock and your cadence must adapt to the bounce rate of the bob which varies from gear to gear and takes some time to learn.

The DW-Link does the best job of bobless hard pedaling and seamless pedal action in bumps. But the Iron Horse Azure is a bit heavy for Pro-level XC competition. The Scalpel, Turner Nitrous, and a high end Fuel, or NRS, and Yeti AS-R are better alternatives for very light, very low bob and more smooth trail riding than the Epic and could compete to win at the Pro level, but the Epic is more full race efficient although at a cost of comfort and some bump compliance. The RacerX bob's too much for winning pro use. And the Intense Spider VPP may be too heavy in comparison with the Epic carbon but would blow away the RacerX in a race and is a pretty good trail rider too.

It may be worth $2K more for that edge to win a pro race for some racers. But you probably would want a different bike for non-race use, even something heavier for training. Using the lighter Epic only for race day.

- ray
 

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BG

How do you like Gunnar produxts?, thinkin of buildin one up for my wife and maybe a 29' for myself?
 

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With regards to the Specialized, $2800 puts you awefully close to Exogrid territory from Titus. Lifetime warranty,possible custom options, non-proprietary shock and if you want bling, goto the Titus forum and look at "Whafes" exogrid motolite and see what gives you more "wood", that frame or a Carbon frame.

Cheers
 

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I've had a custom Ti Titus Racer-x and I have both a S-works Epic and a Carbon S-works hardtail. First the FS. I like the S-works Epic with brain over the Ti Racer-x. The latter had a bit of a bob when climbing out of the saddle. I had the stock shock and was tempeted to get it PUSHed as I've had other Fox shocks PUSHed with great success. But that bike was stolen before I could upgrade the shock so I got a S-works Epic w/ brain and I couldn't be happier. The S-works doesn't bob and it feels great on the downhill. Now as far as carbon or exogrid. If you're leaning towards Titus, I wouldn't go the exogrid route unless you want pure bling factor. When I went to titus to get measured for the Racer-X I talked with Chris C (founder) about it and there didn't really seem to be much of a benefit for endurance racing. When comparing a FS carbon S-sworks epic to a non-carbon FS S-works I'd go with the non-carbon as I don't know if you'd gain much bang for your buck with carbon. I have to be more careful with the carbon bike than with non-carbon and it can get to be a pain in the arse sometimes.
 
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