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  1. #1
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    '14 Epic World Cup vs. Normal Epic for endurance race bike?

    I have a question comparing the S-Works Epic WC vs the Normal 2014 SW Epic. I race/train year round and ride 6 days a week. That riding is split between my current í12 Epic, í12 SWorks HT, and a í13 Tarmac road bike. I race XC races for fun and training but my real racing is endurance racing 12-24 hour solo races, so itís not usual to ride 5-6 hours training on my Epic. Itís time to replace my Epic in the next few months and Iíve pretty much decided on a 1x11 drivetrain this next time. Mainly because in an endurance race, I donít stop and as a result my front derailleur usually stops working reliably after about 6 hours. In my last few long races including a 24 solo, I used a 2x10 set up with 36/22 front ring and never needed the little ring for climbing. Probably would have used it after 14 hours but it wouldnít shift so I gutted it out. Even though I switch bikes for an hour every 4-5 hours to let my pit helpers clean the chain, you canít keep it clean for very long after 6 hours.

    I had planned to build an S-Works Epic WC frameset with an XO1 groupset and use my Enve wheels off my current Epic for the build. However, the í14 framesets donít include the WC version. I havenít checked with my dealer yet to see if I can get a SW WC framesetÖit would probably take a special/lucky deal to get one. So I can build up a regular Epic í14 frameset or just buy a WC version expert or Sworks. In the later part of this year, I raced my HT more because I started to get faster on it, but it takes more energy for me to ride it fast for a long time compared to my Epic. My HT (20 pounds) is also 4 pounds lighter than my Epic (24 pounds) and that feels like a lot when riding it. Less than 6 hours, no questionÖHT is faster unless Iím riding a very rough trail. So this has me thinking the WC Epic may be a nice fit even for a 24 Hour solo.

    For anyone that has ridden both or races long races on a WC version, what are your thoughts. Get a WC version or build a regular Epic with 1X11? Keeping in mind, I consider long races to be more than 6 hours. Some research seems to show an Expert WC Epic is lighter than a SW Epic non WC. If that is the case, I wonít spend SW works money on a complete bike. Cost wise, I can get an Expert WC complete bike for only about $300 less than I can build an SW frameset with XO1 and use my current Enve wheels. Iím not a big weight wennie and like certain components that run good over the long haul, like XO grip shift and XTR brakes. I donít know yet how much these bikes would weigh but if I can get an Epic in the 22 pound range, I think I would really like that. I have not had good luck with XX shifters and derailleurs holding up over the long haul like XO does. However, XX rings and cassette seem to hold up better than XO, so expect to use this combo in a build.

    I have the option to demo both bikes for an hour each...but an hour with the bike will not tell me what I want to know.

  2. #2
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    Expert WC is over 24lbs stock. People have swapped out parts and seem to have gotten it down to the 22.5lb range. My guess is that the best way to do that is to buy just the frame, and then build it light. Can't comment on anything else, as I don't think I've ever ridden more than 4 hours unless I was doing two rides in a day down in Moab.
    2014 S-Works Epic WC
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  3. #3
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    Hi Crimecrusher
    When I read your post I thought you were talking about me.I too was running a '13 s works ht,s works epic and Tarmac .Racing everything from xco lap racing to 7 day stage races .I have sold both bikes and am running a WC epic with xx1 for everything now.I believe with the new WC geometry a ht is obsolete.I don't for a moment think I have made a mistake.My epic comes in at 9.85 kg with heavy control tires,bar ends,garmin + mount,+ multitool in frame ,bottle cage and pedals all included.Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    In the USA, Specialized is selling the Epic S-works as a frame set, just like the regular Epic.

    As of yesterday, they even had 3 Larges (in the black/red/white color way) in stock. Well, just two now as I ordered one

    That said, the Expert WC is a great deal. But, to get it down in the mid 22# range, you'll have to swap a bunch of parts (bar, stem, seat post, saddle, rotors). So it might not be worth it in the end. I went through the same issues and just ended up getting an S-works Frameset. But, I've got some parts already to use on that build.

  5. #5
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    Info added

    Buy the Epic Expert WC. It is worth to just swap out those parts. Like you said, after 6 hrs of racing, .5lbs of mud won't matter anyways. Especially if you have wheels and other parts lying around. No brainer. Also, the last time I looked they DO offer a '14 SW Epic WC frameset in 3 colorways. I live in the USA so I'm not sure if that is the same for your location.
    Last edited by erichwic; 12-19-2013 at 08:59 AM. Reason: additional info
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  6. #6
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    If you get the expert, you will likely change out the bars, stem, seat post, saddle, and probably brakes.

    After all that you will still have a bike that weighs more than the S-works, doesn't have as nice a fork or from Brain damper, and will end up costing you very close to the same as buying a frame set and building it up. (it's actually cheeper to buy an S-works frame set and built it up exactly like the complete bike... even at full retail. Go figure!)

    You already have a nice set of carbon wheels (arguably nicer than any of the Roval wheels Specialized sells) that you can use. So that's going to save you a huge chunk of change. You can get an X01 group for a good deal from various sources. The specialize S-works crankset is affordable and much lighter than the Sram crank on the expert as well.

    Just something to think about.

  7. #7
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    '14 Epic World Cup vs. Normal Epic for endurance race bike?

    The standard 2014 Epic has a different front derailleur mounting to the previous version. It's higher up, less exposed to dirt from the rear wheel and may not clog as badly with mud as the older direct mount front derailleurs, keeping the front shifting functional for longer.

    The two things that I'd consider between the Epic WC and standard Epic are that the Epic WC is supposed to have a firmer brain tune, and therefore a slightly harder ride, along with less suspension travel. If you've been riding for 24 hours, you're tired, not thinking straight and just pointing the bike in the general direction that you want to travel the standard Epic is probably going to be more forgiving at that point.

    Whichever bike you get I'd be inclined to change the 27.2mm stock seatpost for a damping one to increase comfort. You could fit a Cannondale SAVE post or a Ritchey Flexlogic post. I've got a Ritchey Flexlogic post on my 2012 Epic currently and have been quite pleased with it so far. Put together with carbon assembly paste it hasn't slipped and does seem to help take the edge off the small bumps and vibration that the Epic's brain suspension doesn't deal well with by itself.

    http://ritcheylogic.com/mountain/sea...-seatpost.html

    .

  8. #8
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    I only race endurance events. I went with the standard Epic S-works frameset. Building it XX1. My build sheet has it 22.9 with swat and pedals. I will gladly take the .5 hit for a plusher ride. I'm not a podium guy, just a upper mid-pack.
    2014 S-Works Epic WC
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    2014 Surly Pugsley

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chillie View Post
    Hi Crimecrusher
    When I read your post I thought you were talking about me.I too was running a '13 s works ht,s works epic and Tarmac .Racing everything from xco lap racing to 7 day stage races .I have sold both bikes and am running a WC epic with xx1 for everything now.I believe with the new WC geometry a ht is obsolete.I don't for a moment think I have made a mistake.My epic comes in at 9.85 kg with heavy control tires,bar ends,garmin + mount,+ multitool in frame ,bottle cage and pedals all included.Hope this helps.
    does the WC epic climb as good as the stumpy ht?
    I am really undecided on whether to go sj ht or the WC epic for next season.
    The geometry seems to be so close between the two. I currently race a sj ht.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    I only race endurance events. I went with the standard Epic S-works frameset. Building it XX1. My build sheet has it 22.9 with swat and pedals. I will gladly take the .5 hit for a plusher ride. I'm not a podium guy, just a upper mid-pack.
    So the expert is comparable in weight. My expert is 22.5 with xo1.
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  11. #11
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    Some nice comments and advice. What every I do, either the expert or SW Frameset, the build or swapping out parts will include a carbon post, an enve or SW bar, selle italia gel flow seat, XTR brakes. I also really excited about the 2 cages on this new frame. This build has me just under 25 pounds with a clean bike on my 2012.

    I'm in the US and Specialized website isn't showing the SW WC frameset only, just the regular epic SW.

    WR304, I was also wondering about the forgiveness of the regular epic vs the WC. I don't ride my HT between hours 12-20 for this reason. That is a dark time, and not just because it's not light outside. My epic does allow me to point and shoot while day dreaming or not being focused. That's about the time, I start talking to myself out loud to stay focused and pay attention.

  12. #12
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    I've just moved from an 2009 Epic s works to the WC s works and the new bike is nowhere near as harsh as my old one ..I haven't tried the standard S works but I can't see any issue comfort wise for long hours in the saddle for me as it is so much plusher than what I've come from. Hands down the best bike I have ridden, nimble, quick and comfy. Mine is stock and much heavier than what everyone is quoting here which is a bit disappointing but I'm not a hardcore gram counter and I'm just so pleased with the bike!

  13. #13
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    My lbs lent me a expert WC frame set while I was waiting for my s works to come.I built it up with my groupset and it was sub 22lb.The difference between my expert build and s works build is 200g.Most of that is from the difference in the two forks( one carbon and other ally steerer).Just a note on the supposedly firmer tune.It doesn't feel that way to me.It feels exactly the same as 2013 and perhaps even a bit softer.there is supposed to be more small bump compliance so it might be that but definitely not a hard ride as some are suggesting.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimecrusher View Post
    .....
    I'm in the US and Specialized website isn't showing the SW WC frameset only, just the regular epic SW.
    .....
    The Canadian site shows the SW WC frameset in white only, but no regular SW frameset.



    Quote Originally Posted by chillie View Post
    My lbs lent me a expert WC frame set while I was waiting for my s works to come.......
    Say what? Didn't know you could get an Expert WC frame set. Thought only the SW was available as a frameset.
    14 SW Epic WC - 21.8 lb
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  15. #15
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    You can't get a expert wc frame set.My lbs ordered one in to use as a demo model and then stripped the bike so I could use the frame and fork till my s works got here.What can I say,it pays to be loyal and I must admit I have probably bought over 20 specialized bikes from them over the last few years.

  16. #16
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    '14 Epic World Cup vs. Normal Epic for endurance race bike?

    You'd probably need to ride the two different bikes back to back to make a firm decision about brain tunes, which is difficult to do when they're quite rare bikes to begin with.

    HOW: "Epic models are built around a double chainring chassis and 100mm travel. Epic Expert models and above come equipped with SWAT kits and feature an XC race tune rear shock. For riders looking for the most competition- focused XC race bike, WC models are built with a dedicated single-ring chassis featuring short 439mm chainstays, aggressive geometry, and 95mm of travel. WC models are SWAT ready and feature a WC race tune rear shock." Specialized

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...wc#tech-design

    If it was going to be my bike I think I'd choose the standard Epic instead of the Epic WC, regardless of any brain tune differences. The added suspension travel, longer wheelbase and slacker head angle being the deciding factors. It's the safer choice.

    As it is my 2012 Epic is still young in bike years (counted the same as dog years ) and I've had to replace my broken powermeter so a new bike isn't looking that likely in the near future.

  17. #17
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    The World Cup version is optimized for shorter, max-intensity xc racing.

    The standard version is optimized for endurance racing.

    IMO, it's really that simple.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    The World Cup version is optimized for shorter, max-intensity xc racing.

    The standard version is optimized for endurance racing.

    IMO, it's really that simple.
    I have been looking around trying to find a similar long run endurance bike but I wanted the xx1 cause I am tired of chains falling off.

    The two bikes I am looking at are the scalpel team and the epic marathon of s-works.

    I hear awesome reviews about a scalpel and endurance but with its head angle it's twitchy on the descend vs others.

    Then I look at the epic WC. It has a more relaxed angle than the scalpel and longer wheelbase in the same size. I would assume the WC epic geometry would be just fine for long term riding but have to pay more attention on the descends.

    The larger difference to me would be the loss of 5mm and slightly harder rates.

    Now take one thing into consideration. The 2014 shock already is more plush than a 2013 and returns to Lock mode slower. I put two s-works side by side tonight and pumped the shocks up with appropriate sag. The new 2014 clearly was more forgiving on the WC version than a 2013.

    So I think the conversation needs to change away from endurance for either of these version bikes as both will do it and shift it to whether you wanted to lose 5mm travel for the terrain you ride, be forced to XX1 and lose a little downhill feel to gain a little more agile tucked in bike.

    Where I am from xx1 is fine, 5mm isn't much considering it's only a 5% change and the hills going down here are no where near the volume of switchbacks I would encounter.

    I think I just talked myself into a WC for endurance.

    If I lived in a MTN area maybe the 5mm and head angle would be better. And on top of that I would want more gears.

    So I say WC is for XC style racing and traditional epic is for more rough and mountain style terrain, Regardless of endurance.

    Just my thoughts.

  19. #19
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    I too talked myself into a Sworks WC for endurance racing.
    2014 S-Works Epic WC
    2014 S-Works Crux Disc
    2014 Surly Pugsley

  20. #20
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    I plan to use my WC for both short course and endurance this year. I don't think shock tune makes a difference. Head angle might as it will be quicker steering and therefore a bit less forgiving. I think the real question for dedicated endurance racers is if they can get by with a dedicated 1 ring frame.
    2014 S-Works Epic World Cup
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