Epic Comp Test Ride

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by ..::Tbf::.., Jun 15, 2003.

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  1. ..::Tbf::..

    ..::Tbf::.. Guest

    http://groups.msn.com/MTBPhotos/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=44

    I read a few of the posts on here in the past week about the new Epic line from Specialized. I had
    seen them up close over the past few months at the bike shows, and even a few guys out on the trails
    with them too.

    Whenever I ask an Epic rider what he/she thinks of the bike, they always come back with some
    bullshit half-ass answer, which I found strange cause' most people will tell you exactly what they
    think of their ride 10 minutes after they hop on it for the first time.

    Mary wasn't feeling too well so we cancelled a long ride out in the country and opted for a local
    trail. I figured we may as well swing by the LBS and grab an Epic for a test ride. My guy in the
    shop was telling me how impressed he was with it, so it seemed like a good day to hop on one.

    They had a few on display but the Epic Comp was the only one he was willing to let me get dirty. It
    was built up fairly standard...LX front mech, XT rear, Mavic rims with a set of Roll X 2.0's. A pair
    of Avid rim brakes was already installed as well. Everything else was standard. Think the sticker
    was set at $3000 CDN.

    Instead of driving to the trailhead we decided to ride over on the bike path. I wanted to see how
    things were on pavement. Not much to tell there as you can imagine. When we got to the parking lot,
    Mary decided she wanted to get a little spin time in on the Epic to get a feel for it before hitting
    the trail. Good thing we did too because I discovered her pedals were in pretty rough shape...she
    neglected to tell me that they were not cleaned or lubed in ages. It was murder clipping in and out
    until I got them properly adjusted. Should have used the shop pedals....

    The bike felt really stiff, especially when you hack away on it sprinting. I didn't feel any flex at
    all, and it turned fairly quickly. I adjusted the tires to about 40 PSI, I figured the trail would
    be somewhere between hardpack and mud because of the rain a few days ago. I would have prefered a
    100MM fork instead of the 80MM Fox that was on it, and really....I can do with a good set of disc
    brakes. once I got the shock pressure and rebound dialed in, I headed unto the trail.

    Like the ads say...it's just like riding a hardtail. The frame was a large, but seemed a little
    smaller than the old FSR, and it was much lighter than I expected it to be too.

    The trail is full of roots, hills, and rolling flats...but mostly it's off-camber so I figured this
    was a good mix of challenges to test on. Yeah the brain worked as stated. Whenever I hit something
    significant it cycled into active mode, but I never quite knew when it was going to behave like a
    four-bar dualie, and when it was gonna stay HT, regardless, it hooked up on everything I threw at
    it. It even felt solid on the one or two airborne stunts I pulled. The fork could have been more
    plush IMO, the thing felt like I hit a wall everytime a root or rock got in the way.

    The rim brakes just don't do it for me....Maybe they weren't adjusted properly but I'm thinking two
    years of hydro discs have spoiled me for modulation and all out stopping power. My Magura's aren't
    the lightest, but they rock!

    I did everything from gouge-outs to steep climbs and shoots, the bike was very good all around, but
    then a Specialized rig is like that anyway. The long fireroad climb was bitchin' ! I remember the
    old HT days on that stretch of gravel, and the Epic was tight and fast.

    Downhilling was a little strange though, I couldn't pick lines that were adventurous because I never
    knew when the brain shock would kick in. Some of the bumps and braking grooves didn't activate the
    shock, and I had to get creative to keep things under control.

    Bottom line, the new Epic is nice, but I'm done with HT's, and if I wanted one, I sure wouldn't pay
    $2500 - $5000 for one to ride my local trails. This bike is a HT most of the time, unless you fool
    with the shock pressure. Furthermore, lighter bikes can be had if racing is your thing. In that
    case i would probably want a Giant NRS Air, it's a HT for all intent and purposes, cost less, and
    is lighter.

    I paid a little over $1600 for my Jamis Dakar Comp and I like it a whole lot better than the Epic.
    It's fast, solid and fully active all the time. Climbing and descending on it is sweet once you get
    the pressure and rebound dialed in. It soaks up everything on the trail and race courses with no
    prob, and leaves me with enough cheddar to blow on beer and gear.
     
    Tags:


  2. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    Good, honest review!

    --
    - Zilla Cary, NC (Remove XSPAM)

    "..::TBF::.." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > http://groups.msn.com/MTBPhotos/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=44
    >
    >
    > I read a few of the posts on here in the past week about the new Epic line from Specialized. I had
    > seen them up close over the past few months at the bike shows, and even a few guys out on the
    > trails with them too.
    >
    > Whenever I ask an Epic rider what he/she thinks of the bike, they always come back with some
    > bullshit half-ass answer, which I found strange cause' most people will tell you exactly what they
    > think of their ride 10 minutes after they hop on it for the first time.
    >
    > Mary wasn't feeling too well so we cancelled a long ride out in the
    country
    > and opted for a local trail. I figured we may as well swing by the LBS and grab an Epic for a test
    > ride. My guy in the shop was telling me how impressed he was with it, so it seemed like a good day
    > to hop on one.
    >
    > They had a few on display but the Epic Comp was the only one he was
    willing
    > to let me get dirty. It was built up fairly standard...LX front mech, XT rear, Mavic rims with a
    > set of Roll X 2.0's. A pair of Avid rim brakes was already installed as well. Everything else was
    > standard. Think the sticker was set at $3000 CDN.
    >
    > Instead of driving to the trailhead we decided to ride over on the bike path. I wanted to see how
    > things were on pavement. Not much to tell there
    as
    > you can imagine. When we got to the parking lot, Mary decided she wanted
    to
    > get a little spin time in on the Epic to get a feel for it before hitting the trail. Good thing we
    > did too because I discovered her pedals were in pretty rough shape...she neglected to tell me that
    > they were not cleaned
    or
    > lubed in ages. It was murder clipping in and out until I got them properly adjusted. Should have
    > used the shop pedals....
    >
    > The bike felt really stiff, especially when you hack away on it sprinting.
    I
    > didn't feel any flex at all, and it turned fairly quickly. I adjusted the tires to about 40 PSI, I
    > figured the trail would be somewhere between hardpack and mud because of the rain a few days ago.
    > I would have prefered
    a
    > 100MM fork instead of the 80MM Fox that was on it, and really....I can do with a good set of disc
    > brakes. once I got the shock pressure and rebound dialed in, I headed unto the trail.
    >
    > Like the ads say...it's just like riding a hardtail. The frame was a
    large,
    > but seemed a little smaller than the old FSR, and it was much lighter than
    I
    > expected it to be too.
    >
    > The trail is full of roots, hills, and rolling flats...but mostly it's off-camber so I figured
    > this was a good mix of challenges to test on. Yeah the brain worked as stated. Whenever I hit
    > something significant it cycled into active mode, but I never quite knew when it was going to
    > behave like
    a
    > four-bar dualie, and when it was gonna stay HT, regardless, it hooked up
    on
    > everything I threw at it. It even felt solid on the one or two airborne stunts I pulled. The fork
    > could have been more plush IMO, the thing felt like I hit a wall everytime a root or rock got in
    > the way.
    >
    > The rim brakes just don't do it for me....Maybe they weren't adjusted properly but I'm thinking
    > two years of hydro discs have spoiled me for modulation and all out stopping power. My Magura's
    > aren't the lightest,
    but
    > they rock!
    >
    > I did everything from gouge-outs to steep climbs and shoots, the bike was very good all around,
    > but then a Specialized rig is like that anyway. The long fireroad climb was bitchin' ! I remember
    > the old HT days on that stretch of gravel, and the Epic was tight and fast.
    >
    > Downhilling was a little strange though, I couldn't pick lines that were adventurous because I
    > never knew when the brain shock would kick in. Some
    of
    > the bumps and braking grooves didn't activate the shock, and I had to get

    > creative to keep things under control.
    >
    > Bottom line, the new Epic is nice, but I'm done with HT's, and if I wanted one, I sure wouldn't
    > pay $2500 - $5000 for one to ride my local trails.
    This
    > bike is a HT most of the time, unless you fool with the shock pressure. Furthermore, lighter bikes
    > can be had if racing is your thing. In that
    case
    > i would probably want a Giant NRS Air, it's a HT for all intent and purposes, cost less, and is
    > lighter.
    >
    > I paid a little over $1600 for my Jamis Dakar Comp and I like it a whole
    lot
    > better than the Epic. It's fast, solid and fully active all the time. Climbing and descending on
    > it is sweet once you get the pressure and
    rebound
    > dialed in. It soaks up everything on the trail and race courses with no prob, and leaves me with
    > enough cheddar to blow on beer and gear.
     
  3. John Harlow

    John Harlow Guest

    > Good, honest review!

    I second that. Nice job.
     
  4. Jan Sacharuk

    Jan Sacharuk Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, ..::TBF::.. wrote:

    > I paid a little over $1600 for my Jamis Dakar Comp and I like it a whole lot better than the Epic.
    > It's fast, solid and fully active all the time. Climbing and descending on it is sweet once you
    > get the pressure and rebound dialed in. It soaks up everything on the trail and race courses with
    > no prob, and leaves me with enough cheddar to blow on beer and gear.

    This is the complaint that I hear about the Epic from the people that I've personally met and talked
    to about it. It functions well, but it's inconsistent. Hard cornering can be dangerous because if
    the suspension suddenly activates, the back end washes out. If you ask me, this is worse than the
    suspension simply being bad at cornering, since you can be prepared for it, and work around it. I
    think the concept of the Epic is sort of okay, but not knowing what's going on would make me crazy.
    I hear the Fox Fork that uses the same technology is somewhat more predictable, but that's from the
    same magazines that think the Epic corners well. :p

    JS

    --
    ========================= [email protected] ========================
    Jan Sacharuk Member in Good Standing of The Discordian Solidarity Turn on viewing of the X-Geek-Code
    header to see my Geek Code
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm so happy, 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head.... -Nirvana
     
  5. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    "Jan Sacharuk" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > This is the complaint that I hear about the Epic from the people that I've personally met and
    > talked to about it. It functions well, but it's inconsistent. Hard cornering can be dangerous
    > because if the suspension suddenly activates, the back end washes out. If you ask me, this is
    > worse than the suspension simply being bad at cornering, since you can be prepared for it, and
    > work around it. I think the concept of the Epic is sort of okay, but not knowing what's going on
    > would make me crazy. I hear the Fox Fork that uses the same technology is somewhat more
    > predictable, but that's from the same magazines that think the Epic corners well. :p
    >

    Back when I had the Epic Comp testbike for the weekend (I think all of the Epics marked "Testbike"
    are Comps), I also found it squirrelly when turning to the right even on pavement. I suspect that
    this has something to do with the shock acting as a load-bearing element when locked out, but it is
    only stiffening the left side.

    I would be curious to ride another LRS bike (one without a lockout) to see if it a general design
    issue or just a LRS+Lockout quirk.

    -Dave
     
  6. Wanguard

    Wanguard Guest

    "Dave Stocker" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Jan Sacharuk" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > This is the complaint that I hear about the Epic from the people that I've personally met and
    > > talked to about it. It functions well, but it's inconsistent. Hard cornering can be dangerous
    > > because if the suspension suddenly activates, the back end washes out. If you ask me, this is
    > > worse than the suspension simply being bad at cornering, since you can be prepared for it, and
    > > work around it. I think the concept of the Epic is sort of okay, but not knowing what's going on
    > > would make me crazy. I hear the Fox Fork that uses the same technology is somewhat more
    > > predictable, but that's from the same magazines that think the Epic corners well. :p
    > >
    >
    > Back when I had the Epic Comp testbike for the weekend (I think all of the Epics marked "Testbike"
    > are Comps), I also found it squirrelly when
    turning
    > to the right even on pavement. I suspect that this has something to do
    with
    > the shock acting as a load-bearing element when locked out, but it is only stiffening the
    > left side.

    ??? I really don't know what you are talking about. It is true that it's different, but I really
    don't see any misbehaving in my rides. One thing to consider, maybe is tire choice with such wild
    beast. My friend got with his S-Works something Specialized Enduro S-work rubber also. That is scary
    to ride. I got myself an entry level Epic, which I upgraded to almost full disc '03 XTR, Shimano 575
    wheelsets, Magnum Elite, narrow flat Easton EC70 handlebar, and my favorite Continental Vertical
    Protection tires, size small and I weight 60 kilos. Bike is glued to the ground as long as there is
    sufficient weight to force it to do so. In high speed cornering suspension is smoothly engaging and
    back wheel dose not slide, as hardtail would. On a technical slower parts, it is fast and precise,
    in handling and in timely suspension wakeup.

    If in any moment bike starts to lose control, it's my fault. Is there a perfect anything in the
    world? No, right?

    Also, any full has his better and worse sides, hardtail likewise and Epic is no exception. How much
    is each imperfect and behaves improper depend on rider preference primarily, that on the success of
    it's design. That would say if you like hardtail, full has to have something you are so fond of,
    vice versa also. Epic is a mix, so one should actually like both to be happy with it.

    Just my humble input.

    D'
     
  7. Bill Wheeler

    Bill Wheeler Guest

  8. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    "wanguard" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:[email protected]...

    > ??? I really don't know what you are talking about. It is true that it's different, but I really
    > don't see any misbehaving in my rides.

    I am 75-80kg depending on the season, this could be a factor. I was 80 when I rode the Epic in
    March. What I saw was this: go fast on pavement or a fireroad. Take a shallow corner; enough to lean
    the bike, but not enough to reach for the brakes. Do the same thing on a left turn and compare. My
    observation was that the rear felt soft and slightly unpredictable on the right turn, but stiff on
    the left turn. Ideally, someone would do this while being followed by a camera to see if it is real,
    or simply percieved. I would be curious to ride a Bergwerk or Meridia to see if they do the same
    thing without the brain.

    >One thing to consider, maybe is tire choice with such wild beast. My friend got with
    his
    > S-Works something Specialized Enduro S-work rubber also.

    ended up buying an 03 FSR Comp. The tires are the same as on the Epic Comp testbike and I do not
    get any misbehaving out of them. I was also the first person to ride that testbike (I had been
    waiting for the testbikes to come
    in), so wear was also not a factor.

    >Bike is glued to the ground as long as there is sufficient weight to force it to do so. In high
    >speed cornering suspension is smoothly engaging and back wheel dose not slide, as hardtail
    >would. On
    a
    > technical slower parts, it is fast and precise, in handling and in timely suspension wakeup.

    I did not say it slid. What I noticed were disconcerting and unpredictable geometry changes.

    You are 20kg less, so YMMV.

    -Dave
     
  9. Wanguard

    Wanguard Guest

    > > ??? I really don't know what you are talking about. It is true that it's different, but I really
    > > don't see any misbehaving in my rides.
    >
    > I am 75-80kg depending on the season, this could be a factor. I was 80
    when
    > I rode the Epic in March. What I saw was this: go fast on pavement or a fireroad. Take a shallow
    > corner; enough to lean the bike, but not enough
    to
    > reach for the brakes. Do the same thing on a left turn and compare. My observation was that the
    > rear felt soft and slightly unpredictable on the right turn, but stiff on the left turn. Ideally,
    > someone would do this while being followed by a camera to see if it is real, or simply
    percieved.
    > I would be curious to ride a Bergwerk or Meridia to see if they do the
    same
    > thing without the brain.
    >
    > >One thing to consider, maybe is tire choice with such wild beast. My friend got with
    > his
    > > S-Works something Specialized Enduro S-work rubber also.
    >
    > ended up buying an 03 FSR Comp. The tires are the same as on the Epic
    Comp
    > testbike and I do not get any misbehaving out of them. I was also the
    first
    > person to ride that testbike (I had been waiting for the testbikes to come
    > in), so wear was also not a factor.
    >
    > >Bike is glued to the ground as long as there is sufficient weight to force it to do so. In high
    > >speed cornering
    suspension
    > > is smoothly engaging and back wheel dose not slide, as hardtail would.
    On
    > a
    > > technical slower parts, it is fast and precise, in handling and in
    timely
    > > suspension wakeup.
    >
    > I did not say it slid. What I noticed were disconcerting and
    unpredictable
    > geometry changes.
    >
    > You are 20kg less, so YMMV.

    How dee,

    What ever I did I just don't feel anything wrong. What size of the bike you where riding? Myn is
    small, maybe a bit stiffer than others, plus I am pretty light...

    Go figure, never the less if I catch something I will remember and get back to you.

    best of all,

    d'
     
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