I was very happy to find this Ellsworth manufacturer forum on Mtbr, what a service!
I just recently bought an Epiphany and......
in short i Loooveeee it!
Now for the long:
I am in my early 30's and have been MTBing and road riding for the last 18 years. Only current racing is the occasional 24 hr team event.
5ft 9", 150 lbs. I ride hard, but i am not hard on my equipment
My current 2 rides were a steel hardtail (KHS) and a 2002 Kona Stinky (5 inch travel, Vanilla R shock). Both bikes have a lockout on the fork and i use it all the time when i ride my hardtail. Both bikes are also outfitted with XT thumbshifters circa the late 80's (hence the handle). its funny, a lot of the younger riders will notice the shifters and think that they are the latest new cool thing.
95% of my riding takes place at 3 locations near my home, the first is about a 10 minute ride from my doorstep and it is all smooth flowy rolling singletrack...total hardtail zone. The second place i ride is flatter, and SUPER rocky, and fun fun fun. This is Stinky land.
Third place is moderately bumpy but super twisty techy with tons of steep ups and downs.
Until now, i always had trouble deciding which bike to take here the super-efficient beat the crap out of me hardtail or the energy robbing, heavy (36+lbs) but fun to ride, and climbing traction galore (i thought) Stinky.
You can see were this is going...and how my new Epi fits the bill perfectly.
I was pretty sure i wanted a Horst link type of bike, I wanted an efficent design however being sort of a retro-grouch, all of these new linkage and VPP bikes scare me off.
Anyway, i dont have very deep pockets so the build kit is not breath-taking, but i think i have a sensible parts pick that offers decent level of performance and reliability without costing too much of the $$$. Hopefully i put the money in the important places.
I will touch on some of the high points here but this is already getting pretty long:
Medium frame, blue marble.
RS MC3.3 shock: no lockout was not an option (personal feeling). I actually love this shock. its my first air shock, and though it may look clunky, i think it offers a far better package than the Float R, RP3 or RP23. It has full open position (Float R), adjustable platform setting (with a sensible adjuster knob which actually makes a difference), and fully closed position which locks the shock out for those road sections that i invariablyhave in my rides). It also fits on the EPI in the 'upright position', with the air can on top, so the main lever is just under the top-tube...easily reachable. Not too many of these out there so reliability may be an issue but look at all of the problems with the RP3...Kudos to Ellsworth for making this an option.
Also of note is that i run my shock at about 80 psi (roughly half of my weight) which is a heckuv a lot lower than you folks are running your RP3s. Lower pressure=less leaks....maybe
Fork is currently an 02 Vanilla RL. This is the fork of my hardtail and i am still on the fence about getting a new Vanilla or a Float. I like the reliability of the good ole coil spring, but the Floats get a pretty good rap. I see adjustable spring rate with the Float as the biggest selling factor, over the lighter weight.
The rest of the bike decent, is run of the mill, reliable, low bling stuff.
3 more points:
- i too have noticed a lot of brake-hose slap on the underside of the top tube. I wraped mine in a band-aid and then some duct tape, problem solved but none too pretty.
- As well, i have run my rear der cable in the left-most cable bosses under the tt, and then crossing over behind the seat tube to the right seat stay. A zip-tie at the top of the seat-stay, keeps the housing from hitting the tire. And i have no problems shifting...but hey: thumbies!
- No pitting yet on those Mg rockers, but since i ride year round in the Canadian winters, where they'd rather salt than plow; i will be keeping a sharp eye out
Sorry this is so long, I've been kinda keeping it pent-up and i just wanted to lay it all on the line. You seem like a pretty helpful crew and i am very happy to have come across this message board,
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