RR: Specialized Epic Comp test ride

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Gman, Jun 11, 2003.

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  1. Gman

    Gman Guest

    I took the Speciailzed Epic Comp out for a run around the local trails yesterday. Some steep smooth
    climbing, some steep technical climbing and some quality bombing down a little of everything.

    THE SKINNY: Works as advertised nearly all of the time.

    CLIMBING: Climbs like a typical hard tail. A mountain goat on the smooth trail but at somewhat of a
    disadvantage in the steep technical stuff if you are used to an active FS bike. I am realizing that
    it takes more skill to climb a HT thru the tech stuff than the right FS.

    My K2 EVO (say what you will about it) allows me to keep a more even pedal cadence thru the ugly
    sections due to the subtle action of the suspension keeping the rear wheel on the ground. I am
    convinced it is more efficient in rutted, rocky, steep climbing.

    DOWNHILL: If properly inflated, the Fox fork and shock were reasonably plush, although nothing like
    the Enduro, but this IS a race-type bike and not a downhiller.

    True to this purpose the geometry is aggressive. Be on your toes, the bike handles very quick and
    snappy. Definitely a Porche and not a Cadillac.

    The bike is most comfortable at speed downhill (because the forces are significant and keep the
    shock active). If you slow down to negotiate a technical section, the shock action becomes a little
    more non-deterministic. That bothered me a bit, and IMO the shock definitely needs the threshold
    adjustment, and perhaps even a switch for "always on".

    CONCLUSIONS: No threshold adjustment, non-proven long-term reliability for the brain shock, and not
    as efficient in the tech up sections* probably make it a no-go for me.

    I'm starting to think I either want a steel hard tail with half the expense, half the maintenance,
    and a completely predictable feel at any speed, or a well-designed XC FS.

    Gman

    * Obviously the fact that I didn't like the hard-tail feel in the uphill technical sections is no
    fault of the bike, it's operating exactly as designed. It just made me realize that I have some
    reliance on the rear suspension in certain climbing scenarios.
     
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  2. Wanguard

    Wanguard Guest

    As I see Epic can be easily called hybrid bike. It simply can't be compared with either hardtail or
    full. It's a race type of bike with suspension on demand. I like it, and can confirm your
    description of it. As for the switch to always ON, what's the point of it? If I had it, on my Epic I
    will not use it.

    In the end it is matter of rider preference. My friend has a Enduro S-Works, and guess, it's the end
    of the world for him. And bike is great, but not to my taste.

    D'amir
     
  3. Gman

    Gman Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 10:10:48 +0200, wanguard <[email protected]> wrote:

    > As for the switch to always ON, what's the point of it? If I had it, on my Epic I will not use it.

    True, this switch would seem to defeat the purpose of the bike. I would likely use it on certain
    downhills where I would potentially be in that speed zone that the activity of the brain is
    undefined. An adjustable threshold, or even more time on the bike might solve this problem for me.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the bike quite a bit, maybe the best I've ridden, but not convinced
    enough to drop 2+ Gs on it right now.

    G
     
  4. Mattb

    Mattb Guest

    "Gman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 10:10:48 +0200, wanguard <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > As for the switch to always ON, what's the point of it? If I had it, on
    my
    > > Epic I will not use it.
    >
    > True, this switch would seem to defeat the purpose of the bike. I would likely use it on certain
    > downhills where I would potentially be in that speed zone that the activity of the brain is
    > undefined. An adjustable threshold, or even more time on the bike might solve this problem for me.
    >
    > Don't get me wrong, I like the bike quite a bit, maybe the best I've ridden, but not convinced
    > enough to drop 2+ Gs on it right now.
    >
    > G

    I thought it seemed a little awkward at first too. Riding it more has made me feel really
    comfortable on it. I can now accurately anticipate how it will respond on upcoming terrain (without
    thinking about it). It's definitely not for everyone, and you're right in saying it's a hybrid. If I
    was paying full retail, I may not have gotten this bike either. I happened across a one-time deal
    and couldn't pass it up. Thanks for the review!

    Matt
     
  5. Jd

    Jd Guest

  6. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    "Gman" <[email protected]> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 10:10:48 +0200, wanguard <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > True, this switch would seem to defeat the purpose of the bike. I would likely use it on certain
    > downhills where I would potentially be in that speed zone that the activity of the brain is
    > undefined. An adjustable threshold, or even more time on the bike might solve this problem for me.
    >
    > Don't get me wrong, I like the bike quite a bit, maybe the best I've ridden, but not convinced
    > enough to drop 2+ Gs on it right now.
    >

    I was also impressed, but not convinced. My wife rode it and told me that she expected "wow", but
    did not get it. Your impressions were similar to mine, but I also found the rear end twitchy in high
    speed shallow right turns; like a fire road that goes downhill and to the right.

    If you liked the geometry, you might want to take a look at the Bergwerks Faunus LSD. It uses a
    similar rear triangle design (BW was there first) to the epic, but uses a conventional shock design.
    It was a bit pricey for me though.

    -Dave
     
  7. Wanguard

    Wanguard Guest

    > > As for the switch to always ON, what's the point of it? If I had it, on
    my
    > > Epic I will not use it.
    >
    > True, this switch would seem to defeat the purpose of the bike. I would likely use it on certain
    > downhills where I would potentially be in that speed zone that the activity of the brain is
    > undefined. An adjustable threshold, or even more time on the bike might solve this problem for me.

    That adjustibility can be something to go for it. Different rider weight and riding area could
    benefit, to do some fine tuning.

    >
    > Don't get me wrong, I like the bike quite a bit, maybe the best I've ridden, but not convinced
    > enough to drop 2+ Gs on it right now.
    >
    > G

    No way to get you wrong, you describe it to the point. I buy it without even tried it, believe me I
    was scared what is coming my way. I got only bunch of reviews and web site. And somehow damn thing
    sounded just right. I got pretty good price for a base model, take almost everything off upgrade it
    to full 03 XTR with disks, flat handlebar, Shimano 575 wheels, Manitou Elite Fork and few other
    things to make it nicer. It took me a few rides to adopt to it fully, now I can say only MAGIC. A
    real Porsche of MTB. First few rides I was scared that it's to fast, but with time you learn to have
    it under control, and you realize that it's make to perform like that and will not let you down.

    One thing I would like to try with Epic is, Fox F80X. Would that be just the brain you need or
    one too much?

    Expensive, surely it is, but it's worth every cent. Just guessing, but most probably next generation
    of Brain will be tunable.

    D'
     
  8. Bill Wheeler

    Bill Wheeler Guest

    On 12 Jun 2003 03:33:04 GMT, Gman <[email protected]> wrote:

    >THE SKINNY: Works as advertised nearly all of the time.

    You mean the marketers were almost not lying?

    >
    >CLIMBING: I am realizing that it takes more skill to climb a HT thru the tech stuff than the
    >right FS.

    Yes indeed.

    >I'm starting to think I either want a steel hard tail with half the expense, half the maintenance,
    >and a completely predictable feel at any speed, or a well-designed XC FS.

    Thought you were an SS man? ;-)

    >
    >Gman

    Peace, Bill

    The mind serves properly as a window glass rather than as a reflector, that is, the mind should give
    an immediate view instead of an interpretation of the world.
    :-]
     
  9. Gman

    Gman Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 22:14:23 -0400, Bill Wheeler <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Thought you were an SS man? ;-)
    >

    I am bro, and I thought about a new SS, but ya know, the Specialized conversion feels so good, I
    don't even wanna mess with it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    My FS is getting pretty beat up, and in need of some cash infusion, so I thought I'd look at
    replacing that instead of putting a bunch of money into it. Thought I'd be knocked off my feet by
    the new bikes out there and chomping at the bit to buy one, but ya know, not the case so far.
    Haven't found anything worth 2 grand yet.

    Gman
     
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