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  1. #1
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    Epiphany or 5 spot?

    I've narrowed the field down to two 5 inch travel bikes, the 5 spot and Epiphany. The geometry of the Epiphany seems perfectly suited for my build at 5'10", 165# with a 32inch inseam and longer torso. The meduim Epiphany frame has more than 2 inches of additional standover height (28.8 inches) compared to the medium 5 spot at 31 inches. The Epiphany also has another .5 inches of top tube length over the similar sized 5 spot.
    I've riden both bikes but only had an opportunity to ride the 5 spot in a parking lot which isn't saying much. The medium 5 spot frame seems a little small for me overall and Turner admits I'm right on the edge of getting into a large frame but standover becomes an issue for me. It may be more of a pschological thing regarding standover height but the Epiphany just feels more comfortable.
    So hear come the questions. The Epiphany feels great on the trail but so many people swear by the 5 spot performance and it being best in its class. Before dropping big coin on either bike and as comfortable as my test trail ride was on the Epiphany, I want to make sure I'm not going to be missing out on some of the 5 spot performance. The geometry of the Epiphany does seem well suited for my build but the 5 spot seems to be the 5inch travel bike all others are compared to. Turner support is said to be second to none and I know I don't have to baby the bike.
    For those of you fortunate enough to have owned or tortured both bikes on Southern California turf, your opinions would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure I'd be happy with either bike but 4 -5K is a lot of dough and I'd like to live with the rig for awhile.
    Which frame has less off seat peddle bob? I tend to do almost all climbs in the middle chainring which does require some off seat peddling.
    Peddle efficiency?
    Handling?
    Stiff rear triangle?
    Accerelation?
    Climbing?
    For 2007 Turner has adjusted geometry to account for 140mm travel forks, Ellsworth has not.
    Bottom line, what does one frame have over the other in terms of performance in Southern Cal terrain?
    Should I prioritize my decision based more upon my build and bike geometry or bike performance?
    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  2. #2
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    *awaits flaming posts from Turner riders and Blackfly*

  3. #3
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    D n D,

    I was recently in the same quandary as you.....trying to decide upon the Spot, the Epiphany and also the Intense 5.5. I'm not a hucker or big drop type of rider so I felt 5-5.5 inches of travel was all I needed.

    I was coming off a Hammerhead 100X and wanted something a little less racy, with more plushness and all mountain type capability. However, I didn't want to jeopardize much in the way of weight or the precise handling of the HH. After mulling over geometry charts and suspension designs for weeks and doing test rides on the trail's here in the Central Texas Hill Country, I chose the Epi.

    Ironically, of the three bikes, I spent the least amount of time test riding the Epi. On paper, the bike was the best fit and also offered exactly what I was looking for in a do it all type bike.....steeper H/A, lighter weight, plusher rear suspension design, etc... After seeing and test riding the Epi, I knew straight away, it was the bike I wanted. Not that the Spot and the 5.5 didn't impress me, they just offered less of what I was looking for.

    The Spot didn't climb the technical, rocky stuff nearly as well as the Epi and required a more deliberate input when turning in the tighter twisties and up-hill switch backs. The Epi and the 5.5 seemed to be a little more intuitive when the trails were tighter. Which for where I ride is a definite plus. I don't do too many fast long downhill’s, so the slacker H/A of the Spot is more of a hindrance.

    The 5.5 handled and climbed almost as well as the Epi, but the pedal kickback while climbing in the little ring was an annoyance. Also, attaining the proper set-up on the rear suspension can be finicky, which can make or break the ride quality. I had to play with it quite a bit to obtain the correct setting. The ride was definitely not as plush as the Spot or the Epi. If anything, it was a little too harsh for what I was looking for.

    As for the Epi, it just met my requirements the best of the three. Not only did it fit me the best, I was more capable on it. There were certain sections of trial that I couldn't clear on the Spot or 5.5, but was able to make on the Epi. It's amazing what I was able to clear on it . While it's certainly not as fast as my HH in the twisty single track, it more than makes up for it in all other aspects. The geometry and the suspension seem to work really well together. Also, you wouldn't believe it by comparing builds and frame weights, but imo the Epi is every bit as stiff as the Spot and the 5.5. I noticed a little flex in all three, but none more so than the other. All three also look to be very comparable in quality.

    Don't fret over the customer service issue too much. My experiences thus far have been nothing but positive. I was initially very skeptical, as most are, because of their reputation for bad customer service and frame integrity issues. I did quite a bit of research on this and came to the conclusion that most of their cs and frame issues have been addressed. Seems most of the feedback I've read in the last several months has been fairly positive, besides the guy in the UK with the cracked ID frame. I'm curious to find out what is really going on with that though. Seems the distributor is more the prob than Ells is.

    I think both bikes are superior. Firstly, like tscheezy said, I would lean towards what fits you best geometry wise and secondly what suits your riding requirements the best. Nothing worse than dropping a few grand on a frame only to find later it doesn't fit!

    One more thing. If you go with the Epi, I would consider the new 2007 140 TALAS. It has the same AC height as the old 130 TALAS, but with 10mm more travel. From what Tom at Ells told me, the bike was designed around the same AC height of the 130 TALAS.
    I have the 140 TALAS on my bike. The adjustability is awesome. 140 for the steep downs, 120 for tight twisties and 100 for the really steep ups.

    Good luck in your decision and let me know if you have any questions.

    RX

  4. #4
    Rolling
    Reputation: lidarman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RACERX70
    D n D,


    I think both bikes are superior. Firstly, like tscheezy said, I would lean towards what fits you best geometry wise and secondly what suits your riding requirements the best. Nothing worse than dropping a few grand on a frame only to find later it doesn't fit!



    RX
    Exactly. Both bikes have wheels and parts to make them move forward. You are fretting over the 1% stuff. If it's dead even there, then price becomes a factor...

  5. #5
    Time is not a road.
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    Personally, I think the Epiphany is an untapped bike. It hasn't been around long enough for its full potential to be realized or its limits to be found.

    I've ridden one and found it to be very nimble, light and stiff. I'd say the bike is "raceable" moreso than the 5 Spot, but I'm sure the 5 Spot could be weight-weenied into race shape.

    One thing I might mention is the availability of upgrades on the 5 Spot not available to the Epiphany in the form of Push rockers, which increases its travel a bit and, I believe, raises the bottom bracket, too making it more or less a dedicated "trail" bike.

    I think it comes down to how you ride. I would build one (Epiphany) with durable parts and a tad longer travel up front, maybe even a thru axle, but ultimately, I think the Moment makes a better platform for this type of bike. If I were to race occasionally or favored uphills more often or even less technical, yet tight singletrack, I'd prefer the Epi for it's agility.

    When I look at the two brands, Ellsworth and Turner, I kind of think they have such an overlap that it's hard to determine which is best. It will also depend on how you build them. In my mind, this is how I rate them, from XC to FR:

    Flux/Truth/Epiphany/5 Spot/Moment/RFX/Rogue/Highline...

    An alternative now to the 5 Spot/Epiphany dilemma might be the Sultan/Evolve 29" 4" travel bikes. They may relate to the existing 5" travel bikes quite closely.
    Last edited by chad1433; 10-16-2006 at 10:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    Hi there,
    I dont know the 5-spot at all 'cept for a few reviews i have read.
    -Sounds like its a bit heavier than the Epi
    -1 degree slacker HA (i was worried that the 70 degree HA on the Epi might be too steep, i dont do a lot of long gnarly downhills but i do do a lot of super techy, ultra rocky riding and the Epi feels at home here)
    - i may stand corrected but hasnt Turner moved the rear pivot to the seatstays making the bike a faux-bar instead of a horst-linked 4-bar?)
    - my forte is steep technical climbing, stuff that most of the locals just ride down and would never have considered actually trying to ride up. These sections i find difficult on my hardtail and i often have to resort to hopping, trials-like on some sections. When i compare this to my 5" Stinky, i found i could climb things even easier (mostly due to increased traction and wider tires) despite the 8 lb weight penalty, high and slack front end, and bobby rear end. Now on the Epiphany, i am shocking myself at how easy it is to climb the techy bits. There are several sections that my riding buds hardly ever make up, and now i have started looking for more challenging lines cause the regualr lines are simply easy, When it comes to standing climbing power transfer-wise it feels waay closer to the snappy feeling of my hardtail than the bogged down, boingy boingy boingy of Stinky but it still dishes out traction in gobs.....Unbelievable!

    When it came to buying a new bike, i really fell like my bike picked me (long story) and i am sooooo glad it did.

    my 2 cents,
    thumbies

  7. #7
    over 50 years of cycling
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    Good answers up above.
    But c'mon now....asking this question on a Ellsworth forum? :-)

    You will obviously get 2 types of answers.....
    Glowing references for the Ellsworth.
    Or professional flamers that have nothing better to do, and happen to own a Turner.
    :-)

    Read the reviews carefully in light of YOUR riding style.

    I have an Ellsworth Epi on order that I am eagerly waiting for at this moment, as my vote.

    I just plain fell in love with the Epi on a short test ride. It brought the fun back to mtn biking for me. (I have a DOG of a Specialized Epic Pro I am moving up from)
    Tight and technical is my riding style.

  8. #8
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    if you're looking at the new '07 Spot with the revised geometry and rocker arm/rear triangle, then you've got an interesting choice on your hands. As for the Epi/'06 Spot comparison, I wanted to like the Spot, but the Epi BLEW me away. you'll have more friends on this board for sure if you go for the Spot, but you should really take the time to ride both and see which one rides better on your terrain. If i had to do it over again, I would be looking at:

    -EPI (I really like this bike, and would not trade it for any other 5 incher...but I'm so tempted to go 6+ for my next ride)

    -Moment
    -6.6
    -El Guapo

    or

    -Evolve (29er)
    Hydrate or Die Trying

  9. #9
    Time is not a road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAINpusher
    (I really like this bike, and would not trade it for any other 5 incher...but I'm so tempted to go 6+ for my next ride)

    -Moment
    -6.6
    -El Guapo

    or

    -Evolve (29er)
    Go Big or Go Home, eh Pain?

    Really, today's 6" bikes ride so well that the 5" trail bike is almost obsolete. The only real advantage they have is lower weight. The bigger bikes can support a wider host of shocks, forks and wheels/tires. Even though my bike (Moment for those that don't know) is overkill for trails that I'm familiar with in Michigan, my native Land, when I went home I didn't find it to be a hinderance. A few suspension tweaks and I was off and running. In CO, a 6" bike just allows a broader range of riding.

  10. #10
    Time is not a road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail
    Good answers up above.
    But c'mon now....asking this question on a Ellsworth forum? :-)

    You will obviously get 2 types of answers.....
    Glowing references for the Ellsworth.
    Or professional flamers that have nothing better to do, and happen to own a Turner.
    :-)
    Don't worry, this is posted on the Turner board, too. As expected, he got the typical, TE is a (insert your adjective here) and so on.

  11. #11
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    Its a great problem to have..............

    How can you go wrong? Here's a little from my experience.

    It's all about riding, so you need to ride both for a weekend ( maybe at the same time?). Sounds like you have a E dealer close and I suggest you get a Spot sent from from Competitive Cyclist on there try-out deal. It'll only cost you $100 max and your peace of mind is complete!

    Most differences of the frames have been aired here so I don't have much to add. I think I would mention the great tuneablity of the Spot. At this level most riders have the ablity to notice very small levels of change in the frame geo. All the Turner parts for Spot, 6Pack and RFX are interchangeable, plus you have Push making after market rockers too. So head angles, BB height, and travel all can be adjusted to tune it to your perfect ride.

    Example: On my XL Spot I have used a 7 7/8 x 2 rear shock(stock is 7.5x2)from time to time. I makes the geo and ride spot on (pun intended) to the Epiy.

  12. #12
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    Hi

    From memory I was in a similar cunadrum when looking at getting a 5 inch trail ready do it all machine. I researched extensively as I could because this was around the time the Id was being replaced with the Epiphany so I had plenty of time to consider the options from the what I thought to be big names- Ellsworth, Turner and Ventana.

    The reality is that being an Aussie that I would proberly have to take a gamble anyhow because you can't walk into a bike shop and grab an Ellsworth or a Turner off the Shelf. I don't believe everything I read but I did visit dreambike.com and someone there with a big attitude wrote " five spot is sluggish and made redundant by better options available". I think this guy favours Ventana, he sounds like someone whos been around awhile. I myself cannot comment on the 5 spot as the design has changed again since these comments were made.

    Anyway, I rode, trained and raced an Ellsworth Epiphany this year and got good results. To be honest, I really don't think it matters the bike you ride. I like having a Ellsworth because there aren't too many around here so I feel more individual rather than a number. Plenty of faster units on **** heap Giants and Cannondales(my pet hate) bolted past me in Endurance races over the year. My Epi climbs well, I got second in a local King of Mountain 10 stage race. Despite some better riders racing I was more consistent on the points climbs. My Epiphany excels over various terrians and in distance events. Over 110km you get a lot thrown at you- sweet single track, rock gardens, lung busting climbs, hell decents, fire trails, roads and just about everything else. At the end, you pity the poor sods on hard tails when your standing at the bar downing a largey.

    I bloody love my bike. It's kick arse, and still makes me push my abilities to the next level. Be a hero, ride and smile. Oh and get an Ellsworth, they are just bloody brilliant bit of gear.

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