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  1. #1
    mtb remember
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    Specialized (regular) Epic + Fox F80 = 650b??

    I recently acquired a NOS 2005 Epic and already being a 29er convert (and fan of bigger wheels) I'm considering a 650b conversion for it. I've read through the 650b conversion posts and it looks like Fox forks across the board and Specialized Epic CARBONs are both proven candidates.

    So I'm wondering....

    1) If anyone has tried a regular Epic (non-carbon) w/ a 650b rear wheel. I've measured it, and there's a hair over 14" of clearance, so I'm thinking it should have enough clearance for at least the Quasi-Moto.

    2) If the F80 RL has the same clearance as the 100. The lowers are the same, so it should have arch clearance, but I'm not sure about potential frame contact. The Epic has a nice bent downtube (a la Niner), which should increase the clearance here. I don't even know if this a concern, frankly.

    I would appreciate hearing from anyone with direct experience with either of these setups.

    Thanks!
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Two guys at our shop are using the Epic with front/rear 650B, and they love them. They've been running them for about 8-9 months now with no issues. One is a carbon Epic, and the other is aluminum. The carbon Epic has a shaved Neo for the rear, but the aluminum model is using a full Neo. Neither of these guys would continue to run them just for the sake of uniqueness. If it didn't yield performance for them, they would have already ditched them. These two guys are not kids and can pretty much afford what they want. Both of them are very riders too.

    The Epic isn't my style of bike, but these guys wouldn't use them if they didn't work with 650B. They are both running Fox 120mm forks, and they both race XC events. They said they didn't like the shorter forks...80 & 100...on this bike. The Epic still has sharp handling traits and is also a better all-arounder. The guy with the aluminum Epic takes his bike out to our gnarliest riding spot and is very happy with how the bike performs. I wouldn't ride less than a trail Nomad at this place, but he does very well on his Epic. The guy with the aluminum model even sold his Heckler. They both say the 650Bs transformed the Epic. I have pics of the carbon model but not the aluminum model.

  3. #3
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    Great info - thanks. I would agree about the handling being borderline twitchy, so I may swap out the F80 for a 100....or simply convert it. I wanted to hear that 650b does work on this bike before having a wheelset built. Thanks again for the confirmation!
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  4. #4
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    My Epic LT

    Here is my Epic TNC talks about. I have a TALAS 120 up front to play with to work other geometry for different courses. I call it the LT because of the 120 fork up front. I rarely change it lower than the 120 setting though. I have ridden and race it for about 10 months now to include Nationals at Mt Snow where I finished 5th in the old slow guys class. I love the bike. It takes a older design race bike and makes it very stable and ridable platform. It turns very well. Climbing is where it really kicks the snot out of the 26'rs. When they spin on the steeps the 650 just hooks up.

    I take a 26" rear wheel for the rear if there is going to be mud for racing. The rear wheel is very close on the seat stat and sometimes rubs on the the suspension link when bottomed out hard.

    I have a set of Stans wheels and they have been great. I just keep an eye on the tension but there have been no real issues at all.

    Like TNC said, I had a Heckler and sold it because I just never rode it after I created this bike. I think this is a great platform to play with. If you have an older Epic it will make a new bike for you.
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  5. #5
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    Is that a Neomoto in back and in front on the Epic LT?

  6. #6
    Harshing my mellow, man..
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    that's one sweet looking bike.

  7. #7
    TNC
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Is that a Neomoto in back and in front on the Epic LT?
    Yes. The other guy with the carbon Epic has the shaved Neo. We've been trying to get the new Quasi's for awhile now, but our suppliers still haven't had them stocked. We usually use QBP, and they have them in their order data but haven't been able to get them. It's been slow.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by locobaylor
    that's one sweet looking bike.
    looks even better in person.
    2010 SC Blur XCc

  9. #9
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    great

    Quote Originally Posted by texheckler
    Here is my Epic TNC talks about. I have a TALAS 120 up front to play with to work other geometry for different courses. I call it the LT because of the 120 fork up front. I rarely change it lower than the 120 setting though. I have ridden and race it for about 10 months now to include Nationals at Mt Snow where I finished 5th in the old slow guys class. I love the bike. It takes a older design race bike and makes it very stable and ridable platform. It turns very well. Climbing is where it really kicks the snot out of the 26'rs. When they spin on the steeps the 650 just hooks up.

    I take a 26" rear wheel for the rear if there is going to be mud for racing. The rear wheel is very close on the seat stat and sometimes rubs on the the suspension link when bottomed out hard.

    I have a set of Stans wheels and they have been great. I just keep an eye on the tension but there have been no real issues at all.

    Like TNC said, I had a Heckler and sold it because I just never rode it after I created this bike. I think this is a great platform to play with. If you have an older Epic it will make a new bike for you.


    Very useful and intriguing post for me. I have an 06 Epic Marathon that while a 'quick' bike, has never handled/cornered like I want it to. I don't know if that is the wheel size, fork flex, or bad design. It seems to go where I don't want it to at times. I don't really have the scratch for a new ride so this thread may be very useful. It is interesting that you prefer a 120 fork b/c my bike has a stock 100 but I tend to run it high in the travel (minimal sag) after trial and error.

    couple ?'s

    How was the 650b with stock fork (100/80)?

    Is that a XL, and how tall are you?

    How does the 650b/26 combo ride?

    Did you find similar probs with the Epic as me before this conversion?


    Thx!

  10. #10
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    Yes...XL

    Yes it is an XL. I am 6'3" and have 36" inseam pants. Long in the legs...

    I didn't enjoy the Epic before I converted it to the 650B with the TALAS. It was harsh and not much fun to ride. The fork was not enough cush for my old bones and I was never happy with it. Remember I came off of a Heckler with a 6" fork on the front. I went to racing and the Epic was a good choice. I like the op[tions to play with the rear set up and the TALAS just added to the fun.

    I do not feel any flex in the fork and enjoy the bike. Go for it. You won't be sorry. It will transform the bike...

  11. #11
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    OK....I took the plunge. I just ordered a pair of Stan's rims for the Epic. I just need to sacrifice my wife's 26" wheelset for the experiment (I'll be accepting the Husband-of-the-Year award later this week). I'm sure she'll be just as happy with the stock Epic wheelset....

    I'm going to leave the fork at 80mm for now, since I've been riding it that way so far. I want to take out the spacer and run it at 100, but I'm curious (initially) about a direct comparison from 26" > 27.5". I'm sure after a few rides I'll want to let it out to 100mm....the current setup with an 80mm fork and 26" wheels is QUICK.

    Does anyone have experience with different back tires? I'll definitely run a Neomoto up front, but I'm thinking about a Quasi in the back. I ride in Southern PA, Delaware and Maryland - dry, fast, groomed, trails. I run Kenda Karma 1.9's and Racing Ralphs for rear tires on my 29er and appreciate the quicker acceleration of those lighter tires. If the 650b Schwalbe tires are available, I might even try one of those since I'm a fan of the 29er tire. I'd appreciate anyone's feedback on their rear tire choices.

    Thanks
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  12. #12
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    Wink

    Hi all,

    I have the same epic as on pictures above and I am really thrilled by the idea of 650b. But I am a bit worried that even a little mud can cause a problem, in that case its not worth it for me.

    texheckler: Can I ask you to post even more detailed photos of the rear wheel (clearance)?

    In case I decide to try it, I will definitely order RRalphs and let you now

  13. #13
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    I was initially concerned about mud clearance, too....but 99% of the time I ride packed (groomed) trails. I've resigned myself to the fact that I may just run a 26" rear wheel with a big mud tire for soupy conditions and run the 650b rear the rest of the time. With that in mind, I'm now down to choosing between the Quasimoto and the Ralph. I'm sure I'll end up with both eventually, but wanted to hear feedback from anyone who's tried either or both.
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  14. #14
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Another Specy...

    A good friend, former Specialized Rep and now bike shop owner is running his Stump Jumper FSR Elite like so...

    He says the pea-gravel pings the brace on occasion, but otherwise he's had no mud clogging problems with the full Neo-Moto.
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  15. #15
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    That is one cool looking bike! That seatstay brace fit looks awfully tight, though.

    I'm hoping there's a bit more clearance on the Epic....
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  16. #16
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    I am very intrigued by this thread and others dealing with modifying the Epic. I have an '07 Aluminum Marathon with a Fox RLC 100 out front. My main problem has always been trying to avoid going over the handlebars. I am 6' 1.5" with nearly a 36" inseam, so I went with the Large, which served me well until I had the good fortune to ride my friend's Superfly and realize how much faster I can go in the technical stuff (my weakness) with bigger wheels. Seems like a better solution might be an XL frame with 650b's on the front or both front and rear, but I'm trying to just work with what I have right now.

    I am also curious about how a 650B/26er combo would ride. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by HatTrick; 01-14-2009 at 05:12 PM.

  17. #17
    TNC
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatTrick
    I am very intrigued by this thread and others dealing with modifying the Epic. I have an '07 Aluminum Marathon with a Fox RLC 100 out front. My main problem has always been trying to avoid going over the handlebars. I am 6' 1.5" with nearly a 36" inseam, so I went with the Large, which served me well until I had the good fortune to ride my friend's Superfly and realize how much faster I can go in the technical stuff (my weakness) with bigger wheels. Seems like a better solution might be an XL frame with 650b's on the front or both front and rear, but I'm trying to just work with what I have right now.

    I am also curious about how a 650B/26er combo would ride. Any thoughts?
    I bumped up that 650B 29'er/650B thread. We also run 650B front/rear on a couple of Epics and just experiment with all sorts of combos. They've all worked.

  18. #18
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    I tried a 96 (69?) setup initially on my S-Works Epic, with a 80mm Reba. It handled OK, but just didn't seem right compared to my dual 29ers. I think the difference in wheelsize slackened the headtube too much for my taste, but that could have been the fork. Maybe a G2 Fox would have felt better. In fairness, I like more of a XC race feel and have never been a fan of slack angles and long travel forks.

    I'm in the process right now of having a new wheelset built so I can try the bike out with a dual 650b setup. I should have it ready to go in about a week, at which point I'll post pics and a ride report. Incidentally, I'm about your size and decided to go with a XL frame as well.....
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  19. #19
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    budget

    Not to beat to death the wheel combo too much but I know some folks above said they preferred a 120 mm fork on the epic, not having 700.00 bucks kicking around I wonder about a 650b front wheel only with the 100mm f100 rlt stock fork......

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by southy
    I tried a 96 (69?) setup initially on my S-Works Epic, with a 80mm Reba. It handled OK, but just didn't seem right compared to my dual 29ers. I think the difference in wheelsize slackened the headtube too much for my taste, but that could have been the fork. Maybe a G2 Fox would have felt better. In fairness, I like more of a XC race feel and have never been a fan of slack angles and long travel forks.

    I'm in the process right now of having a new wheelset built so I can try the bike out with a dual 650b setup. I should have it ready to go in about a week, at which point I'll post pics and a ride report. Incidentally, I'm about your size and decided to go with a XL frame as well.....
    Precisely my sentiments. I am looking forward to hearing out it turns out!

  21. #21
    TNC
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    Perfectly logical

    Quote Originally Posted by beastwood9
    Not to beat to death the wheel combo too much but I know some folks above said they preferred a 120 mm fork on the epic, not having 700.00 bucks kicking around I wonder about a 650b front wheel only with the 100mm f100 rlt stock fork......
    If you maintain the recommended 100mm fork, the 650B will only slightly raise the head angle. This might be all some people want.

    A 69'er or 29/650B Epic can take many forms. Our DUC32 is set at 120mm, but you can get an 80mm or 100mm fork and match it to a 26 or 650B rear. The beauty of the DUC is its low axle-to-crown for its travel.

  22. #22
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    My wheelset is on the way and Quasi's are back in stock. I should have been ready for pics and a ride report any day...but.......

    I found out my F80 is not convertible to 100mm (boo), so in a rare moment of decisiveness I sold that fork to fund a Talas (searching for one now). I figured since I may be playing with rear wheel sizes, it would also be good to mess with the front end (who ever heard of a control group?).

    Can't wait to get this thing together for a ride. I have big expectations for the larger wheel size and increased travel. Also have all fingers and toes crossed for enough clearance in the back.....
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  23. #23
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    As I sit around waiting for my wheelset to arrive, I measured the rear end to check the clearance again on my Epic. Uh oh - looks like there's only 13.75" of room back there (dropout to the seatstay arch). If the radius of a NeoMoto is 351 (13.82") how in the world is it going to fit? I measured the existing 26" wheel clearance (2.1 tire) and there is just 3/4" room to the arch. Is the difference in radius really 3/4", or is it actually closer to 1/2"?

    Tex Heckler and TNC have posted pictures of Epics wearing NeoMotos, so it looks like I'm missing something. Does the size of the tire shrink when mounted on a rim? Am I supposed to take the ERD of the rim (584) and then add 2 inches top and bottom for the tire? That would actually be 27 inches, not 27.5. Forgive my ignorance, but what am I missing here?

    I guess the last thought is that there could be differences between Epic rear ends. For reference, mine's a 2005 M5 S-Works. Maybe other years and models have more room....but I thought the rear end on all Epics was the same (except for the link).

    I would GREATLY appreciate any input (with measurements) from other Epic owners, especially those who have posted success.

    Also, if anyone has a 650b tire mounted on a Stans rim - I'd love to know the actual height / diameter of the mounted wheel.
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

  24. #24
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    The 650b is 1/2 larger measured radially not 3/4's. My Stans ZTR run Ghetto Tubeless (a little worn) measures 691mm or 27 &2/8's all the way across. or 13.625 " or 346mm in radius. (I hope I did my math right). Gotta go ride.

  25. #25
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    That's exactly what I was thinking (hoping)....that the mounted dimension would be less than the stated 702-704mm diameter of the tire itself. A difference of 10mm diameter / 5mm radius is huge (never thought I'd say that).

    Thanks!
    ~ May The Schwartz Be With You ~

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