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  1. #1
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    Evolve vs. Epiphany

    Kind of boils down to 29er v. 26er, but good question anyway. I've got a nice '09 Epiphany, size small, which I ride all the time. I like it so much that -after seeing a few rainforest green Evolves on mtbr -the wheels start churnin' in my head. Any reason to have an Evolve over an Epiphany or in addition to one??
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

  2. #2
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    This is a good question... I too have a 2009 Epiphany and just ordered my wife a 2011 Evolve. It took everything I had to order it in purple as she wanted, instead of the black so I could ride it too without looking too weird. However, in the end she got the purple.

    It should be here in a couple of weeks so I will be able to give you a first hand comparison between the two.

    My brother in law just built an Evolve and between him and my wife with the SST frames, I was feeling a little envious but honestly that all went away as soon as I rode again. Not to take anything away from my brother in laws awesome ride but when we rode for the first time after building his bike, most of my attention was on my bike. I literally get a smile on my face every time I throw a leg over my Epiphany. To me its the perfect bike.

    Now if my wife's Evolve turns out to be a must have, I will probably build one next winter but I highly doubt I will get rid of my Epiphany in trade.

    Everything I've read though is that once you ride a 29er, you never look back.
    2009 Black Ellsworth Epiphany built to my spec's...

  3. #3
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    Well, my wife's Evolve SST.2 just arrived yesterday and we got 6" of snow as well...

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate enough so we can ride it this weekend. I'll report back with my differences between the two.
    Last edited by Hammy713; 05-01-2011 at 09:08 PM.
    2009 Black Ellsworth Epiphany built to my spec's...

  4. #4
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    I was able to take the SST.2 Evolve out for a quick ride today. Now keep in mind this is the first 29er I've ridden...

    I thought the Evolve was a very plush ride. The bike did everything I asked of it. It climbed excellent and felt great on the single track as well. It may have been more forgiving over the rocks, ruts, and roots then my Epiphany. However, I can't tell if its mostly due to the suspension set up or the larger wheels but nothing seemed as harsh hitting.

    Now all this being said, I won't be trading in my Epiphany anytime soon to purchase one for myself. Not that its not excellent, I just don't see that much of a difference yet. I'm sure I need to do a side by side comparison to be more exact but my first impression isn't the "I must sell my 26" Epiphany for a 29er". I do think its the way to go for my wife who is a beginner rider because the bike did feel more forgiving overall.

    If I were to pick one today as my one and only, I would be riding an Epiphany. However, more info to come in the future as I get more saddle time on the Evolve. This is in no way bashing the Evolve just my thoughts on the two bikes, both are top notch in my book.

    One thing I did notice for sure, which has nothing to do with the bike itself, but I sure do love my XO Gripshift. She has XT trigger shifter's on the Evolve, which shifted great but boy my grips sure did feel cramped (just a side note).
    2009 Black Ellsworth Epiphany built to my spec's...

  5. #5
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    Thanks Hammy713 for sharing your impressions! I was just out earlier today on my Epiphany, riding a course with a buddy who may race the same trail next week. The 29er topic came up again, as there seem to be a fair number of riders racing them in XC. That said, the 29ers we do see tend to be almost all hardtails.

    Interesting was that I also saw a few Epiphanys out there. Just goes to show how versatile it is - light enough for non-professional racing and strong enough to ride on all day.

    Will be interesting to see what you think of the Evolve vs. Epiphany after a few months. A larger wheel will invariably weight more than a smaller wheel (given identical materials), so even if the 29er is smoother/more forgiving, there is a small trade-off.
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I'll let you know. As of now though, I'll keep my Epiphany. I still thinks its the best ride out there.

    Craig
    2009 Black Ellsworth Epiphany built to my spec's...

  7. #7
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    I've had both. Had an Epi first, and just loved it. Phenominal bike, no doubt about it. None of my riding buddies had jumped on the 29'er wagon, and last summer on the ride home from NC we stopped at a LBS we like in Blue Ridge, GA that had an Evolve. Rode it around a bit in the parking lot, came away impressed. A few weeks later I said what the heck, ordered and built an Evolve, thinking it would be my "sometimes" bike. A few months later I had not gone back to my Epi. You may not think you are going faster, but most of the time you are.
    AKA: Slowfatguy

  8. #8
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    Jay04cobra, thanks for your imput. What kind of trails do you ride? To no doubt, the 29er seems to be working for people in the XC realm. Just wondering how well it applies to trail.
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

  9. #9
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    I ride tech trails mostly. I had my doubts at first, I took both bikes on a trip up to NC with the intent of riding the Epi most of the time. One of the guys on the trip found some stress cracks on his C-dale, so I let him ride my Epi while I rode the Evolve. After hitting several trails with multiple 2.5-3ft drops I quit worrying about it. I'm a heavy guy, 5'11" and 220lbs and I built my wheels accordingly. My Evolve pedals a little more firmly and is all around more firm than the Epi, but not incredibly so. There is also the Evolution to look at.
    AKA: Slowfatguy

  10. #10
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    Cool. The Evolution sounds like a good idea, though my intent for a would-be 29er is to run XC/trail with it. The Evolve seems more than capable for that task. My Epiphany is built pretty light, which makes it a contender for XC and yet stout enough to be comfortable on technical trails. For even rougher stuff, I've got a 6" travel bike with a Fox 36; unfortunately, it isn't seeing as much use as my Epiphany lately.
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

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