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  1. #1
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    Cove Hustler vs Ellsworth Epiphany

    Ok everyone.

    1. I have a 06 Blur XC. Love the bike. I just wish it was ok to put on a 5" fork. Santa Cruz says 4" is max. I weigh 187lbs naked (then there is 70 to 100oz of water for my xc races in Northern CA plus a bottle of Hammer and sometimes odds and ends and clothes of course) I have the Large frame. I am 6' 3". I had PUSH do the suspension. I had PUSH redo the Fox RP3 in rear to really increase the compression so at + setting the shock only moves up and down when pedalling about 1/16", unless I hit something. The rear is perfect now. No pedal slamming. The front was redone with PUSH. NIce but just begging for more travel in some situations. I have a 5" Vanilla RLC that PUSH did for me for my 2000 Bullit. I really want to put this shock on. However the torque the fork puts on the Head Tube may be too much. So maybe time for something else to add to my bike collection (running xtr and Crossmax SLR's with small blocks 2.0)

    2. I have a 2000 Bullit that everyone loves but me. It weights in at 28.7 lbs. I run the Crossmas SL's and Karmas 2.0 and XTR. The bike is set XC. It works good, but I don't like the sitting postion. I am running a long neck on it too. The Blur XC is perfect in sitting position.

    3. I read the article in MBR magazine on 5" travel bikes. All setup the same (Feb 07) issue. Cove Hustler, Ellsworth Epiphany, Turner 5 spot and Orange 5. All bikes were basically built the same. Both the Cove and Orange got 10's. The 5 spot and Epiphany got 8's with the Epiphany edging out the 5 Spot. I went to Another Bike Shop in Santa Cruz and tried the 5 spot and Flux. I liked the Flux. The 5 spot felt like a nice beach cruiser. I only rode them for a few miniutes over curbs and things. I was going to demo for the day but wanted to know the riding position. I can always tweak a bike to perfection.

    Now I am about to buy the Cove Hustler. Love the writeup and looks. Love the guys at Cove. Heard some bad reviews on a guy named Gabe for service. However a local bike store (Sharp in Lafayette, CA) has the Ellsworth Epiphany. I thought I would see about the riding position on it. I did some searches on the Epiphany and heard nothing but good stuff. Sounds like the Blur XC but with the longer travel (in fork too where I need it). The positioning sounds like the Blur XC too. I have tried the LT and Nomad. They are like my Bullit and the Spot. I just want to be spread out a bit with great handling (sorta fast, not twitchy)

    I want this bike for Downieville Classic Cross Country Race, riding Downieville area, Riding behind UCSC, and general rocky trails. I may race it on other races like the April 28th Lemurian at Whiskytown. The Blur XC did great on this race. Some pedal slamming though. Howwever with the fix on the rear shock this is solved and the bike climbs even faster. The Blur XC was also great on the Sea Otter last year.

    My strengths are climbing. I do this great on the Blur XC. However downhill can be tough for me when it gets tricky or scary. I use to not be so timmid. (48 years old). The Cove sounds like it will inspire confidence. Sounds like I could race the bike at Downieville and do well. Sounds like it will be heavy but handle and climb real well plus little frame flex. The Epiphany sounds like a good XC racer with 5". Sounds like a bike between the Cove and the Blur XC with a cockpit like the Blur XC. The Cove on specs looks like the Cockpit will be simular also the the Blur XC, but with a bit of Bullit positioning thrown in.

    The magazine said the Cove Performance was "The chassis is solid, the geometry is spot-on and the suspension is effective. It is easily one of the best all-around bikes we've had the pleasure of testing". Rating 10

    The magazine said the Epiphany was "If you are a weight weenie the Epiphany should be at the top of your list of possible trail bikes. But if you want to save weight on your bike because your're carrying a few extr pounds yourself we recommend looking elsewhere: the Epiphany just isn't stiff enough for big-boned riders. That said, if you are of slight build or are a particulary smooth rider then the Epiphany is a great bike that can be ridden harder than its weight or geometry suggests". Also the magazine said the Epiphany squats when climbing. The Cove does not (I hated this on the Blur XC for climbs so I fixed the shock and solved this terrible problem. This is a biggy with me). Rating 8

    So I have written a very long post. I would like the votes on Cove Hustler (sounds and looks great!) and the Ellsworth Epiphany (great posts and reviews on this site and sounds like it can be raced and go downhill with confidence (not as much confidence as the Hustler though and squats when climbing (solved the Blur XC problem on this))

    Thanks,

    Doug

  2. #2
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    i've only ridden my hustler 2-3 times so far, and most it being on fireroads, but i love it. it's a great xc bike, and i can climb wayy better then my handjob - probably due to the suspension, and the seat tube angle. i feel in total control on steep climbs. the slacker than normal head angle and steep seat angle are what makes this bike great i think. and, my 210 pounds isn't flexing it either.

    the customer service i had with them was great; i dealt with Gabe over email and phone. Out of all the bike stores/manufacturers i've ever emailed, Cove and Turner were prompt and helpful - I can't even remember if others bothered to reply.

  3. #3
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    Gabe =

    Cove Hustler =

  4. #4
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    This is getting tough. I test rode a Epiphany in Santa Cruz on dirt roads, easy single track, technical single track and some Free Ride stuff.

    I also used my Edge 305 to compare avg speed and top speed on a small course of single track and another on pavement. I ran the same rims and tires on both bikes (Blur XC and Epiphany). The Epiphany was 0.7mph faster on average on single track against the Blur with a avg heart beat of 149 for Blur and 144 for Epiphany. (easy course to favor the Blur). The Epiphany was 1.2 mph faster on average on pavement only with simular heart beats (meaning less energy on Epiphanhy with faster average speeds.

    I ripped down all the techy single track. I carried it over a few big logs and jumps. The rear is a bit scetchy on bumpy downhills in the tight stuff and I could use a thru bolt fork instead. But I like to race XC and the clamp method is better for this (lighter and easier to change flats, but not a stiff). You can feel the fork flex. However all in all the bike blew my Bullit and Blur XC away on these trails that I have ridden many times. I was able to take on new challenges.

    I know the Hustler would out do the Epiphany down the hills. A little more rear travel, stiffer frame, more slack fork angle and bred by some great downhillers and free riders. I just don't know if it can kick my Blur XC's ass on XC. I know the Epiphany can with lesser components than my XTR Blur with PUSH Fork and Shock. The Epiphany I used came with a Trail Tune Float (TerreLogic) 130mm. Works good. Needs a little extra something but generally good. I have a 140mm Vanilla PUSH did recently for my Bullit. I may run that instead. I don't think I need a Talas. Climbs fine.

    I ran the Fox R for the rear shock tuned for Ellsworth. Man it really uses about 3/4 of travel on the shock riding up hill. Bugged me. However if I stiffened it up I lost my cool ride. And with the great time improvement over the Blur I will not opt for a RP23. Leave it alone.

    I am 6'3", 186lbs (naked). The large works great. Really takes the tight twisty stuff well (rips the corners). I ended up running the air pressure at 80lbs for Fork (normally it should be around 100lbs) and 180lbs for shock. I might go to 190lbs to stiffen a wee bit. Sag at these settings were around 3/4 inches (aprox by sight only).

    I think I will go with the bike. I might just wait a month or so and get the G spot. Give me a bit more. I am getting hooked on the speed going down techy stuff. My gut tells me the Hustler will out do the Epiphany on the downhill and tech stuff. But for racing I think the Epiphany will win.

    doug

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTortoise
    I think I will go with the bike. I might just wait a month or so and get the G spot. Give me a bit more. I am getting hooked on the speed going down techy stuff. My gut tells me the Hustler will out do the Epiphany on the downhill and tech stuff. But for racing I think the Epiphany will win.
    As a Cove owner, but not having rode a hustler and only parking lot tested an epiphany, I think your synposis is correct. Fortunately for me, I'm 210 right now which means no epiphany due to weight. If I were 185 and liked to race I'd be looking hard (ogling, leering, your choice) at the epiphany. Or 575.

    Sounds like you know the answer (and that once again, one bike isn't the best at everything). Good luck.

  6. #6
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    I did a no no. I posted this Cove vs Epiphany twice. Once in Canadian (needed answers) and under What bike to buy.

    My test ride and thoughts in more detail are under What Bikes To Buy.

    doug

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTortoise
    I did a no no. I posted this Cove vs Epiphany twice. Once in Canadian (needed answers) and under What bike to buy.

    My test ride and thoughts in more detail are under What Bikes To Buy.

    doug
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  8. #8
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    Hay dude Ive read that write up 2 very interesting!

    Out of the too options Cove or Epipi I'd go Cove for me its about my ride styel and the Cove would suit my aggressive style better than the Epiphany and Ive always liked Cove and there culture thats important too.

    Ive owned an ID, and Moment and Ive ridden the Epiphany with a simlilar build to my 06 5 Spot out of all these bikes the Spot kills it for me its stiffer than the Epiphany by a long way and vey similar to the Moment in handling but slightly lighter yet rides every bit as stable its so verstatile that I have 2 wheel sets I can swap for endurance or XC races put my triple ring back on and go have fun or if I was to do Donneville for example something I'd love I'd go with my DT 5.1s and Dual ring setup and go have some downhill fun.

    Even though that test was using nearly identical kit, other forms of kit can drastically change a bikes handling and charateristics something to understand when buying a frame/shock, I beleive many under estimate this process, its about knowing yourself ,ride style and needs. if I ever changed the Spot the Cove would be high on the list it may not have the finish of a Turner or Epiphany but theres some hidden gems in that frame I like the geometry and with my PIKE 454 Uturn I have a similar geom on my Spot the Zerks bushing system has me and I would find that hard to walk away from, saying that Ive not entirely been a fan of the 07 changes for Turner they may be right for the majority of the Turner market but for me one of the selling points for me was the more trail Am FR nature of Turner frames, but in saying that you know with a Turner the CS is second to none and the frames still take a beating and are forgiving to the rider, I was not a fan of the XC direction Ellsworth has gone or is, it just dosen't suit my ride style and this took me awhile to understand, its an ongoing learning process just like life really, good luck, hard to go wrong.
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  9. #9
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    Hustle with Flow


  10. #10
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    go cove

    It sounds like you don't need confidence going uphill as this area of your riding is already a strength. If you are timid going downhill the geometry and stiffness of the Cove will give you confidence in this area and make you evolve into a more complete rider.

  11. #11
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    I have had a Hustler for a few months now, and built it up with Pike airs, and big brakes, Atlas finishing kit. It is perfect for me and my kind of riding, which is basically being able to ride up the hill in order to storm down over a few drop-offs and serious gnarl. It climbs surprisingly well with the RP23 shock and the fork wound down, but I don't think it would be my choice for XC racing. An epiphany would probably be a better bet. Horses for courses...

  12. #12
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    having owned 7 bikes in the last 7 years and still have 4 and riding the shore on a regular basis. can say my hustler is the bike i ride the most, because it is good for 85 % of the time. it climbs good and decends better. it is solid and i dont ever feel it will let me down, i am of the belief that simpler is better. that my 2 cents. ps i have been to multiple us riding areas and i dont think that the us brands are designed for the conditions in canada

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