You all may remember I posted a bunch of reviews of 5Ē travel bikes when I got rid of my Blur Classic. You can find them here:
Reviews and how I (finally) chose an Epi
Now that Iíve had awhile on my new Epiphany, I wanted to update on my riding experiences. After moving the parts from my Blur, Iíve ridden hundreds of miles in Colorado and Utah. Iíve hit epic 30+ mile rides as well as some smokiní downhills. The bike is just under 26.5 pounds. I could drop some weight but I love my barends (I know they look ridiculous with the low risers) and I donít have carbon anything on the bike (except, ironically, the barends).
My Epiphany is slightly different than the one I reviewed. Evidently mine is an í08 as it came with the new í08 Fox RP23 shock. Furthermore, the serial number has 08 on it so I think itís an í08. The í07 demo had ďThose that KnowĒ on the top tube while mine doesnít. Ellsworth says that there are some secret changes for the í08 while I believe that there are no true functional differences between í07 and Ď08.
Build Quality: Excellent. The ďSmokeĒ anodization is absolutely stunning (and doesnít scratch). Weld quality is amazing. The carbon brace/magnesium rocker is unbelievable. I canít say much more.
Climbing: I have to say that the í08 RP23 is VERY different than the í07 I demoíd. The í08 is much smoother and improves the suspension. The new valving is very different from the previous year and itís ďright side upĒ so the ProPedal lever is very easy to reach. I donít use or need the ProPedal mode. On long climbs Iíll occasionally switch it on although it doesnít seem to improve pedaling efficiency. I canít see any pedal bob with the shock totally open. It climbs like a mountain goat and soaks up bumps as I pedal while sitting. My Blur would transmit much more of the bumpy terrain to my butt while climbing. Best climbing bike I have ever ridden.
Descending: I feel like Iím cheating. I just blast through trails that used to be technical. It probably has something to do with the more upright riding position of this rig as well as the >5Ē of travel when compared to my Blur. While cranking downhill I still feel the suspension moving just as well as when Iím not pedaling. This thing is an absolute blast to ride downhill. Very stiff frame. Iíve done some big drops (4-5 feet is a big drop for me) and I canít feel the shock bottom although the o-ring tells me Iím using all the travel. Performs better than the demo bike.
Downsides: I think it looks a little weird with all the exposed seatpost (I had to get a really long Thomson post). I also had to get a special Chris King spacer so the new í08 TALAS knob clears the downtube. Those that say itís an Ellsworth only design flaw are wrong. There are so many bikes that have this problem (Intense) that Chris King makes the spacer available to everyone (Ventana also sells them). Iím also a little reticent to seriously launch this thing for fear of laying it down. It would be like owning a Ferrari Enzo: itís so nice Iíd be scared to really drive it for fear of wrecking. These bikes are also pretty rare so I suspect many people may not have a local dealer.
Finally, this is a really expensive bike. I didnít pay and couldnít afford full price. At least it looks like a really expensive bike. Although I love it, I do not think its performance justifies the price. No bike design available today is worth $2400 for the frame alone. I really canít believe people will pay over $6000 dollars for a Specialized. First, itís a Taiwanese built Specialized and, second, you could buy a freaking car (or a custom built Moots/Titus/Seven/etc Ti bike)! Note that I mention Taiwanese built in reference to how much it costs to build the bike, not in reference to the build quality of the frame.
Best thing about this bike when compared to my Blur: IT DOESNíT CREAK!
Hereís a pic:
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