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  1. #1
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    Epiphany owners feedback Please

    Sup Epiphany owners... I totally love my Epiphany... however, I have one question about it and I would like to know if others have experienced the same issue.

    I basically use the shocks in two different configurations only.
    1. Climbing or going in the flats too and/or from the trailhead (sometimes on asphalt). In which case I shorten the TALUS travel all the way and stiffen up the rear RP-23 RLC,

    2. Going downhill or cross country with little ups and downs, in this case, I extend the TALUS travel all the way to 140 mm and open up the RP-23 so it is much more plush for the 'fun stuff'.

    My question is... for me, it literally seems like the pedals are harder to pedal when I am in configuration 1. I can almost feel my legs working harder when I swap between the two and that is on flat ground and not while climbing. Do you guys think this is just that my geometry is changing and I am more leaned down with the shorter TALUS up front and somehow it is just harder for my particular legs to pedal with my body in this position.

    Has anyone else noticed this??
    feedback would be fantastic please.
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  2. #2
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    okay, first a small correction...its TALAS, not TALUS.

    second. maybe its 'cause you are just warming up on the way to the trail that your legs seem to be working a bit harder. i know when i start out my legs are always a bit slow to get going and when i climb...well hell, it is always going to be a bit harder to climb than descend. i have never noticed what you are describing and have been on the epi for 2 years and ride regularly.

    third, check your brakes to make sure you don't have issues with pads and rotors rubbing, etc. maybe check your hubs...if its been awhile since you serviced your wheels, repacking them might give you a better ride.

    finally, if the 2nd scenario you describe is a better ride then don't "lock out" the shock and don't adjust your fork travel. i really don't think its an issue with the epi.

  3. #3
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    I'm set up the same. 07 epi RP23 and 08 Talas. The bike rides best without being locked out. I do lock it out on the pavement and it does pedal more firm (difficult I think). Weighting the front end more would increase resistance (the dropped fork). Try leaving the front end up and the back locked and see if there is a difference??

    I drop the fork on steep climbs and lock it with an unlocked rear and it's amazing. The more I keep the rear active, the more I realize it's what the bike is designed for. I read a lot before I purchased the epi and ignored the advice that the RP23 wasn't necessary. Now I know what everyone was saying. You really don't need rear lockout. IMO

  4. #4
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    I've mucked around with shock lengths and settings on a RockShox Revelation over a couple of years. For general trail riding and racing I leave it around 125 mm and never use the lock out anymore. On the rear suspension I played with pressures, rebound and pro-pedal on a RP3. I stopped mucking around with it and rode it on middle for awhile. Then I recently used propedal again and it made a big difference in time savings in a 6 hour race. Then I switch to a Rockshox and it's super firm and fast making the bike more responsive to bursts of power.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdj
    okay, first a small correction...its TALAS, not TALUS.

    second. maybe its 'cause you are just warming up on the way to the trail that your legs seem to be working a bit harder. i know when i start out my legs are always a bit slow to get going and when i climb...well hell, it is always going to be a bit harder to climb than descend. i have never noticed what you are describing and have been on the epi for 2 years and ride regularly.

    third, check your brakes to make sure you don't have issues with pads and rotors rubbing, etc. maybe check your hubs...if its been awhile since you serviced your wheels, repacking them might give you a better ride.

    finally, if the 2nd scenario you describe is a better ride then don't "lock out" the shock and don't adjust your fork travel. i really don't think its an issue with the epi.
    Thanks for the feedback. no it is not a warm up thing... I notice it in the morning and I notice it after an 8 hour endurance race... it is absolutely not that. Like I said, I notice it if I go back and forth on the flats (didnt say it very clearly though... sorry)... so it is not a climbing only thing. It is not the brakes rubbing... I keep em running like a fine tuned machine and refuse to ride a bike with rubbing brakes... same with wheels...service them like a preacher goes to church.

    I am not acutally locking out the rear shock... just stiffening it up a bit. I would just leave it alone, however, having the shock at 140 mm up front...it really is harder to climb up fairly steep technical stuff. For that I wanna shorten it. As well as in the wind or during a race or a training ride... sometimes I wanna get low and tuck and put the bike more in a cross country traditional stance.

    yea, I am not convinced it is an issue with the Epi... I plan to go to the shop I got it from and ride another and see if it just may be my and my stance and my set up.
    thanks much for your feedback.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by road dirt
    I'm set up the same. 07 epi RP23 and 08 Talas. The bike rides best without being locked out. I do lock it out on the pavement and it does pedal more firm (difficult I think). Weighting the front end more would increase resistance (the dropped fork). Try leaving the front end up and the back locked and see if there is a difference??

    I drop the fork on steep climbs and lock it with an unlocked rear and it's amazing. The more I keep the rear active, the more I realize it's what the bike is designed for. I read a lot before I purchased the epi and ignored the advice that the RP23 wasn't necessary. Now I know what everyone was saying. You really don't need rear lockout. IMO
    hum, very interesting. thanks for your input. didnt think of the increased resistance point when dropping the front, but it does make sense. I will totally try what you said.


    good point on the rear suspension. I too am learning that you want to keep the rear active when you can.

    but what about long gradual non technical climbs... that is when my head is telling me to try to turn the epi into a hardtail. Perhaps this is wrong thinking. For example the climb at the end of the old sea otter cross country course, 'the grind'. Flat, smooth, 3 miles or so, and a gradual forgiving slope. Keeping the rear active seems like I waste energy compared to doing that climb with a hardtail. I suppose I should try what you suggest.
    thanks much
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  7. #7
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    Put the rear into ProPedal when you can on the non-tech climbs. Also if you tend to get out of the saddle at all. When you get up on that bike it moves a lot. Makes it super plush and nice when seated but sloppy when standing I found. The only thing I felt with the Talas changes is that the bike was to "stilty" in the tight stuff on 140 for sure. I never ran 140 unless there was a good bunch of high speed downhill coming with drops, etc.

  8. #8
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    Well, if you think that's bad then try it on a bike with a marzocchi 66 ETA, where you can go from about 7" of travel and then lock it down to about 3" or less of exposed stanchion. The effect your describing is real and a function of your riding position and the slope, and if you're riding on a flat surface or at least one that's not steep, it's like your trying to pedal INTO the ground the entire time, and the rolling resistance on your front tire goes up many times.

    The key is to only use that furthest lock-down function or travel adjustment only when needed on a super steep slope that would otherwise be impossible because you would not be able to keep the front end on the ground. If you don't foresee this problem (keeping the front end on the ground) then don't use the travel adjust. These travel adjusts are a godsend to longer-travel bikes so that they can climb up the steepest hills, but they don't really help a lot of you're on a relatively flat surface. This was one of my main problems with the bionicon bike, the lowest climbing setting was IMO useless for anything but the steepest climbs, and the intermediary settings were wierd because you never really knew where you stood travel wise, I always found myself using a mid-travel setting on all the climbs, and I didn't feel like the entire bike offerend anything that was more usefull than my current fork with the ETA adjust for climbing.

    The way I climb is to only use the lower ETA (lock down) setting when I am going to climb something extremely steep, otherwise I will engage it and sometimes let it go "on it's own" and compress due to the bumps it encounters, which usually takes it down a max of 2-3" or so, which lowers it enough for most climbing without giving that "molasses" feeling.
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  9. #9
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    Dude... thanks for that. Although others comments were appreciated and useful, this is the first description of what seems to be going on that is totally making sense with what I am experiencing. Humm, so you are basically saying with the geometry of the epiphany that a 100 or even perhaps 120 mm fork is too short and causes the rolling resistance up front to go up beyond what we should have to push. That it should naturally be more like 140 or 130 ish... that sure jives with what I have noticed as well. And indeed, sometimes on somewhat steep climbs I have forgotten to shorten the travel and it does not make it impossible to climb with the fork at 140. Indeed, super super steep stuff may be hard to climb at 140, but that stuff is rare. For gradual, forgiving, long climbs I believe you are right... i.e. dont shorten the front fork. I am gonna ride tomorrow and do some tests.

    I understand your point about 'traveling into the ground and the rolling resistance' but at first thougth, I would assume this value would be very hard to notice, but boy am I wrong. I TOTALLY notice it. I am a bit surprised I did not have 10 people tell me they had experienced the same thing now that I understand more what is going on. I am a bit surprised others have not noticed this more.

    thanks again for your input.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ventana1
    hum, very interesting. thanks for your input. didnt think of the increased resistance point when dropping the front, but it does make sense. I will totally try what you said.


    good point on the rear suspension. I too am learning that you want to keep the rear active when you can.

    but what about long gradual non technical climbs... that is when my head is telling me to try to turn the epi into a hardtail. Perhaps this is wrong thinking. For example the climb at the end of the old sea otter cross country course, 'the grind'. Flat, smooth, 3 miles or so, and a gradual forgiving slope. Keeping the rear active seems like I waste energy compared to doing that climb with a hardtail. I suppose I should try what you suggest.
    thanks much
    Jayhem's post is spot on.

    I've ridden 'the grind' both locked out and open. I like the way the bike rides both ways but found it faster locked on that climb but, not by much. I've heard and read here the sweet spot on the epi is 120 up front. It's true. IMO. The bike is best there unlocked front and rear... set it and forget it..

    Don't underestimate front end rolling resistance. What tires are you on?

    Hey, for that matter what size are you on? Stem length? Height, weight and all that??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ventana1
    Humm, so you are basically saying with the geometry of the epiphany that a 100 or even perhaps 120 mm fork is too short and causes the rolling resistance up front to go up beyond what we should have to push. That it should naturally be more like 140 or 130 ish... that sure jives with what I have noticed as well.

    .......

    I understand your point about 'traveling into the ground and the rolling resistance' but at first thougth, I would assume this value would be very hard to notice, but boy am I wrong. I TOTALLY notice it. I am a bit surprised I did not have 10 people tell me they had experienced the same thing now that I understand more what is going on. I am a bit surprised others have not noticed this more.
    That makes absolutely no sense at all. Have you ever ridden an XC bike or even better a road bike? The head angle is even steeper than on your Epiphany with the fork lowered to 120 or 100. Do you think that "you are riding those bikes into the ground"? I don't know about yours, but my pedals have bearings in them so I am always pedaling parallel to the ground.

    Maybe you should add a bit of core training to your routine so you can use your abs to hold yourself up and not just lean on to those handlebars ... it'll make you nimbler and faster!

  12. #12
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    same here when I lower my moment's front from 160mm to 130mm

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971
    That makes absolutely no sense at all. Have you ever ridden an XC bike or even better a road bike? The head angle is even steeper than on your Epiphany with the fork lowered to 120 or 100. Do you think that "you are riding those bikes into the ground"? I don't know about yours, but my pedals have bearings in them so I am always pedaling parallel to the ground.

    Maybe you should add a bit of core training to your routine so you can use your abs to hold yourself up and not just lean on to those handlebars ... it'll make you nimbler and faster!
    Ok, check that Mr. Lance. I will change out my welded pedals for ones with bearings. Good point. I will add more core training... like cram in another day at the gym or a fourth surf session for the week in between all my free time from riding 150 miles a week both on road and off road. Oh, yea, and I will take off my 2.5 knobbies from my road bike and put on slicks so I am not riding into the ground. hahaahha.

    I really appreciate everyones input, but if it is filled with piles and heaps of arrogrance and attitude I would just the same not hear from you... but thanks anyway.
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  14. #14
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    Ventana I just cracked up....nybike has forgotten about weight transfer. It's not always about geometry, but how you're balanced between the two wheels.

    Off to work my core......

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by road dirt
    Ventana I just cracked up....nybike has forgotten about weight transfer. It's not always about geometry, but how you're balanced between the two wheels.

    Off to work my core......
    LOL .. working your core is always a good thing!

    But can you elaborate on what you mean with your point? What weight are you transferring when riding the flats as the OP originally mentioned in the first post?

    To the OP: I apologize for the tone of my previous post, it came out more sarcastic than I meant it to be.

  16. #16
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    Jayem might be sorta right with the front wheel resistance going up, but only if you have less air in the front than in the rear and rolling resistance being nonlinear with contact area. The total contact area of a bike is the same whether you have your weight on the front or on the rear and probably doesn't affect rolling resistance all the much to change the balance if the pressure is similar. If your front tire is really low on air, you could be deforming it more and if the rolling resistance is non-linear with tire pressure, this could indeed cause the effect.

    But as far as I know, contact area is the biggest factor in rolling resistance. So I don't buy into the theory.

    What I think is really happening is your body position is clearly different and you are using your muscles in a slightly different way which aren't optimized for that position in your normal rides so it feels more difficult.

    If you work out with weights in a gym, a common workout technique is to change your motion or position just slightly to work out a muscle slightly differently. it's amazing how muscles optimize themselves in such a narrow range. That is also why cross training is a good thing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971
    LOL .. working your core is always a good thing!

    But can you elaborate on what you mean with your point? What weight are you transferring when riding the flats as the OP originally mentioned in the first post?

    To the OP: I apologize for the tone of my previous post, it came out more sarcastic than I meant it to be.

    OK, I'll try to explain this without sounding like the uneducated moron I can be...

    I own a Seven road bike.. Full custom steel.. Smooth as all hell. Incredible piece of work. The thing that I notice with a true custom build is how well balanced the bike is. That is to say how 'in between' the wheels I feel I am when I ride. Solid. It descends, climbs, corners and rides like nothing I have ever owned before.. Perfect. My weight is neither fore nor aft. It's balanced based on my height, weight, length, etc.

    As for my Epi. It's obviously a very different animal. Weighted more toward the rear by design when you drop that front end (fork travel adj.) you shift your weight forward. Yeah maybe slightly, but enough to notice, and hence the increased rolling resistance. I'm under the impression that the front wheel is responsible for more than half of a bikes two wheeled rolling resistance. I maybe wrong here. A big tire in front handles the descents well but, we pay for it everywhere else.

    On the core note. I've been working it for the past few months and am amazed at the riding results I am seeing. I'm turning the pedals over with more power for sure. I was joking earlier but the Swiss and Bosu ball are paying off big. I don't know if it keeps my weight off the bars though... I'll have to pay attention to that.

    Hope this helps... again it's all my own theory..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    Jayem might be sorta right with the front wheel resistance going up, but only if you have less air in the front than in the rear and rolling resistance being nonlinear with contact area. The total contact area of a bike is the same whether you have your weight on the front or on the rear and probably doesn't affect rolling resistance all the much to change the balance if the pressure is similar. If your front tire is really low on air, you could be deforming it more and if the rolling resistance is non-linear with tire pressure, this could indeed cause the effect.

    But as far as I know, contact area is the biggest factor in rolling resistance. So I don't buy into the theory.

    What I think is really happening is your body position is clearly different and you are using your muscles in a slightly different way which aren't optimized for that position in your normal rides so it feels more difficult.

    If you work out with weights in a gym, a common workout technique is to change your motion or position just slightly to work out a muscle slightly differently. it's amazing how muscles optimize themselves in such a narrow range. That is also why cross training is a good thing.
    Doesn't the drive wheel face less resistance because of the power being applied to it? It rolls 'higher' = less surface area = less resistance??

  19. #19
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    Coming from a different angle here. I keep my fork all the way out at 130mm and switch my ProPedal on and off depending on surface. I ride steep descents with technical stuff plus race cross country. Also a closet roadie.

    I came from a singlespeed with LOTS of weight shifting up and out of the saddle. When I ride my Epi I don't need to stand as much on the same climbs. In fact, the weight distribution when you sit makes the bike perform much better. The bike is so incredibly balanced that the torque from pedaling when sitting is more efficient than standing. I can get over zealous on some tight technical sections and stand, thinking that be better. However I notice the bike gets tippy and a tad sloppy. So I immediately sit down and I have immediate control.

    I have (forever) been a big fan of knobbies. The bigger the better. However, I recently went to Crossmarks. The bike literally took off underneath me. It was like a rocket. I run the 60 tpi with tubes. I have heard that the 120 tpi tubeless are a bit wormy and soft, but fast nonetheless.

    Seriously though, the bike is so centered and balanced, I think you might try sitting down on some of your climbs. Your head will tell you to come out of the saddle but resist the urge. You can sit on the nose with it crammed into your crotch, but don't stand. Coming from a singlespeed it took EVERYTHING to make myself sit. With of course the exception of straight up ledges, you will have to rise out of the saddle a bit.

    The bike climbs like a goat. I swear it has a motor sometimes. The steering through technical sections is much better when you sit. Try it.

  20. #20
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    Hum, very interesting discussion. I do know for awhile I have WTB epi tires of the same width and pressure front and rear and there is no question in my mind that I felt the difference when shortening the front fork. I gotta think about this some more and internalize everyones comments. Today, I did notice that the bike does seem to be easier to climb with the front at 130 or even 140 than at 120, except the really really steep stuff... in which case the bike really needs the front at 120 at least.. I also comment that when I was set up at the bike shop on this bike when it was new... they placed me about an inch more forward and about an inch higher on the saddle post. I have since moved it down and back. I think they were probably right when they set me up as these guys measured everything and do this ALL the time... but it just was not what I was used to with my Ti hardtail. I felt too high and forward where they put me for anything downhill-ish. They said to stick it out and I would get used to it... well I did not and perhaps I should have. Perhaps I will try to move the saddle up and forward like they had me originally and see if I still notice this as much as I do now. I think everyone has very valid comments and the truth is somewhere in the middle and I really appreciate everyones feedback very much... you guys rock!!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by road dirt
    Doesn't the drive wheel face less resistance because of the power being applied to it? It rolls 'higher' = less surface area = less resistance??
    Not unless the power is making you rise vertically--maybe in an alternate reality. Some sort of elevation machine perhaps?

    If anything, just like a drag racer, acceleration causes more force in the rear due to inertia (why the front wants to lift) and thus a larger instantaneous patch in the rear if you lay on the cranks hard.

    Braking (deceleration), causes the weight to shift forward and a larger force on the front of the bike, thus, why front brakes have more effect in bikes, cars, motorcycles.

  22. #22
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    Here is another thought, did you level your saddle with the fork set at 140mm? If that's the case, when the fork is down to 100mm the saddle will probably feel a little funny pointing down on the flats and maybe forcing you to shift more of your weight up front than you would if you set up the bike to ride with 100mm travel. On steep climbs the whole bike is pointing up and in fact the slight down tilted saddle makes your seated position more comfortable and efficient.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman

    What I think is really happening is your body position is clearly different and you are using your muscles in a slightly different way which aren't optimized for that position in your normal rides so it feels more difficult.
    No, I believe this as well, although traditionally I do run less air pressure in my front tire than rear (because it doesn't see as much force and it has less weight on it usually, therefore it needs less psi to increase the contact area back up to "equal" more with the rear or at least keep it from wasjing out). I totally believe in the "different muscles" thing, but I hesitated to put it in the original post. It's difficult to describe.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    Not unless the power is making you rise vertically--maybe in an alternate reality. Some sort of elevation machine perhaps?

    If anything, just like a drag racer, acceleration causes more force in the rear due to inertia (why the front wants to lift) and thus a larger instantaneous patch in the rear if you lay on the cranks hard.

    Braking (deceleration), causes the weight to shift forward and a larger force on the front of the bike, thus, why front brakes have more effect in bikes, cars, motorcycles.
    Yeah, I've been known to live in the 'opposite world' every now an then....

    Thanks for the clarfication..

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