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  1. #1
    MountainGoat aka OldGoat
    Reputation: pachaven's Avatar
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    New question here. How do they compare?

    I have been on the ML since July 06 and the Epiphany since 12/22/06. I feel that I have now dialed the Epi in to my liking and style. As you can see both bikes are set up similarly.
    !Disclaimer!
    What I am about to write is my opinion and observations ONLY. It is not from a scientific back ground or from an industry inside point of view. I am an old (43) mountain biker who has owned MANY high end bikes over the last fifteen years of eating dirt. Iím 5 foot 7 inches w/30 inch inseam and 152 pounds ready to ride. So, no flaming or name calling or being mean. Iím sensitive!!!
    Here we go:
    I think both bikes are top of the heap as far a quality, detail and panache goes. Both bikes get looked at when I roll up to the trail head and I donít think twice about ďif I have the correct bike for this rideĒ. When I get invited on a new ride or with a new group, I know Iíve got the tools. (Maybe not the legs or lungs)

    The ML is SOLID! I donít feel the 27 plus pounds in this bike. I run 197 pounds in the rear and have the PP set at 2. I ride it in the PP most of the time and only use the full open on the very steep stuff going down with lost of rocks and jumps. I must say that the ML just bombs the down hills. Going up needs the PP. I donít know if itís the short stroke RP23 but I feel the rear sits to low and I canít get full leg extension without the PP on. Itís not bad; itís just what I need to do. The ML does not stay in the air as long as the Epi. I donít look for drops but if the trail gives me one I will try to launch it to the best of my ability. I like this bike so much, that some time mid to late 07 I am going to try to get a custom with the 2 inch stroke rear shock. The only negative on the ML is the paint chips off way too easy. Oh well. Itís a mountain bike!

    The Epiphany is LIGHT!!!! The 26.3 feels much less on the bike. I could load up on some beefier parts and I know the bike would still feel feathery. This is the bike to take for the climbs. PP or no PP this bike doesnít care going up hill. In fact you probably donít need the RP23 (I like having it) Iím sure the Float R would be just fine. Oh yeah, did I say FEATHERY. This bike can fly!!! When this bike gets air it stays in the air. That is how I know that the ML is a little more grounded. I am glad I waited for the smoke color. This color along with the parts hanging on it makes this bike stand out. The only thing that I would like to change on the bike is the large beams that connect the seat stays to the seat tube and shock. I am not a big guy but I can easily touch the beam with my calves. And they make it hard to sneak a peek at the gears. I never knew that I did that until I got the Epi because now I canít. Bummer!

    Value Ė The ML gets the nod at $1,000 less.
    Looks Ė The Epiphany all the way baby.
    Fun _ The ML cuz going down is the reward for going up.

    I know you guys are all asking the same question. Which bike would I grab first? Well since I spent about a grand more on the Epi and it is newer and it has those cool wheels, I would take it first. But if I could only have one bike it would likely be the next one I buy since I don't have to choose one. Howís that for a cop out! Ask any questions you feel I left out. Remember, be nice. See ya on the trail!
    2006 MotoLite small blue
    RP23
    07 Talas RLC
    XO Triggers
    XO rear D. Med cage
    XTR front D.
    XTR cables
    XTR Cranks 170mm
    XTR Chain
    Sram 990 11-34
    Juicy Carbons 160/160
    King Headset w/spacers
    Mavic CrossMax SL
    Nevgal 2.1 w/Stans F/R
    Thomson Elite 410mm
    Ritchey Pro 100x6 stem
    RF Next SL LR bar Carbon
    Lizard Skin grips
    Shimano 959
    CatEye Enduro 8
    Specialized BG saddle
    27.1 pounds
    Frame/Shock and fork from BikerBob and the rest came off my BLT

    2006 Epiphany medium smoke
    RP23
    07 Talas RLC
    XO Triggers
    XO rear D. Med cage
    XTR front D.
    XTR cables
    XTR Cranks 170mm
    XTR Chain
    XTR cassette 11-34
    Juicy Ultimate 160/160
    King Headset w/spacers
    Mavic CrossMax SL-R
    Nevgal 2.1r-2.35f Stans in both
    Thomson Elite 330mm
    Thomson Elite 90x5
    Syntace Vector LR Carbon bar
    ODI lock on grips
    Shimano 959
    CatEye Enduro 8
    Specialized BG saddle
    26.3 pounds
    Complete bike from Chad@RedBarn
    Vote with your feet.
    No bike is perfect!

  2. #2
    Ti is addictive
    Reputation: TiEndo's Avatar
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    Pach......I'm 5'8 and 29.5 inch inseam and riding a small motolite......does the epiphany in medium fit ya well as compared to the motolite?
    "Can I put a Totem on a FTM?".....Originally Posted by All Mountain

  3. #3
    Time is not a road.
    Reputation: chad1433's Avatar
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    Nice review...I think it's true to Ellsworth's nature of bike building that the emphasis on the Epiphany is climbing ability. When comparing their other bikes to their counterparts, it's always noted that the Ellsworths are more "XC".

    I think you also notice the difference in pivot placement as the FSR design is traditionally more "active" and benefits from some compression damping where ICT tends to ride better without compression damping to allow it to be the most active it can be.

    The fit issue is an interesting question. I tend to feel that Ellsworths are long in the TT. I came from a medium Isis and went with a small Moment. How would you compare the two bikes in terms of fit? I'm exactly your size and I demoed a med. Epiphany in the summer. It was a bit more stretched out than I'm used to. I think I might have chosen a small Epi frame.
    Last edited by chad1433; 01-05-2007 at 09:02 AM.

  4. #4
    MountainGoat aka OldGoat
    Reputation: pachaven's Avatar
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    Ti,
    Check the stand over on the med Epi. I have a 30 inch and it was a close call, but within my acceptable range
    Chad,
    I did what you asked and found some interesting numbers. I came off a sm. NRS Air with a 22.5 TT that felt good. I then went to a BLT with a TT of 21.5 I put a set back seat post and a 110mm stem and the fit was good but the bike was not for me. Then came the ML with a 22.75 TT and I loved the fit, the bike just felt right. I rode it for six months and was happy. Now I have the Epi. with a 23.5 TT and you would think that it would be too long. But no, I think I have come to value the slightly longer TT on these longer travel bikes. As I look at the bikes and my progression, I am going to ride my friends med ML and see if the stand over works for me. If so I will get one for me and sell the small ML. But back to your question, I will put a tape on the two bikes and see what they say after all of my adjustments and post back for you.
    Vote with your feet.
    No bike is perfect!

  5. #5
    aje
    aje is offline
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    Wow...I have a 28.3" inseam and my balls are smacking the TT on my Small Epi when my Talas RLC 07 is at 140mm travel. I am about the same height as you (5' 7) and you've chosen the medium frame with no problems ? Interesting.

    I'm running the following set up at 27.5lbs weighed (theoretically calculated at 25lbs but that's without the weight of the cables, the casing etc etc etc).

    Frame: Ellsworth Epiphany 2007 (S Size)
    Front Shock: Fox Talas RLC 2007
    Rear Shock: Fox RP23
    Headset: Chris King
    Stem/Seat Post: Thomson
    Seat: Fizik Gobi
    Handlebar: Easton CNT Monkey Lite
    Grips: Yeti
    Stoppage: Shimano XT Hydraulics with STI Dual Levers
    Groupset: XT
    Pedals: Shimano DX Cage Clipless
    Wheelset: Mavic Crossmax SL
    Tyres: Kenda Nevagal 2.1 UST Tubeless with Stan's white bits

    Perhaps if I ditch the DX Caged Pedals, and use Stan's conversion on a non UST tire, I'd be able to get it lower. Unfortunately a friend of mine has discovered that Stan's conversion doesn't hold air as well with the CrossMax SL's and I love the cage for high speed cornerings and getting back on on a steep uphill section (my balance is crap).

    Well, I'm waiting for the STI XTR's to come in to my LBS before moving over to the XTR Groupset. Will be interesting to see what that does for it all.

    A

  6. #6
    MountainGoat aka OldGoat
    Reputation: pachaven's Avatar
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    Nice build aje. I did the Nevgals UST on my SL's and found them to be overkill. I now use the tubed version but put stans in them and they work great. I believe that by going with that set up I saved about 1/4 pound plus. I run F/R at 30 pounds and when I start to roll over on the side wall of the tire I check the pressure and it will be as low as 22. I think 28 lbs. is my best set up but I am too lazy to check the tire pressure very often.
    Vote with your feet.
    No bike is perfect!

  7. #7
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    moto grounded

    I have a Motolite and completely agree with your comparison.
    I can not compare the Epi since I have never ridden one, but I regards to the Moto being grounded, it works both ways. Going up or down the hills, that back tire just sticks to the ground. If you have good balance on the bike, you can go up almost anything.
    You can definitely fell the weight of the ML, but it makes me fell like I'm riding a 29 lb hardtail on a pristine trail, while I'm actually going over some really crappy stuff. Works the same going back down.

    In regards to the Epi, I'm willing to bet that it reacts the way it does because it is a lot more flickable??? Having a flickable bike makes it feel much lighter.

    While staying grounded on the ML makes you fell like it has it's own insurance policy, I think it brings down the fun factor. But then again, having a responsive well tracking bike is fun.

  8. #8
    aje
    aje is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by pachaven
    Nice build aje. I did the Nevgals UST on my SL's and found them to be overkill. I now use the tubed version but put stans in them and they work great. I believe that by going with that set up I saved about 1/4 pound plus. I run F/R at 30 pounds and when I start to roll over on the side wall of the tire I check the pressure and it will be as low as 22. I think 28 lbs. is my best set up but I am too lazy to check the tire pressure very often.
    I might try that next. Where we ride the trails are muddy so I need all the grip I can get...

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