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  1. #1
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    2003 vs. 2008 Epic

    Looking to upgrade my 03 Epic frame to the 08 or 07 if I can find one. My two questions have to do with bottom bracket height and frame weight. I looked on the site and the bottom bracket height has been increased fromn 318 to 331. Is that significant in height and is that mostly due to the increase in suspension or is that simple frame re-design. I feel the 03 is a little low for me. Then again my other bike is an 07 stump fsr with the talas.

    Second one is weight, does anyone know the diff between say a the 03 base frame the 07-08 marathon?

  2. #2
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    The '03 epic frame was slightly overbuilt because it was the first year that specialized built the frame and they didn't want to risk any of them breaking. I've heard that the 03 frame is almost a pound heavier than the later frames, but I couldn't give you exact weights. What's the reason for the upgrade? I have an 03 Epic (almost nothing is stock on it anymore) and I don't plan on ever selling it.

    "My scraper bike go hard, I don't need no car."

  3. #3
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    Man, I went from an 03 Epic to a new Marathon, and the Brainfade is much much nicer. I like the newer ones much more. Plus, you can properly run a 100mm fork, so thats much better. My Marathon frame was a little over a pound lighter. The BB is slightly higher as well, as you stated.
    Livin' the dream.

  4. #4
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    Your epic looks great! Upgrading reasons would be 1. shock 2. weight 3. bottom bracket height. The Epic that I have is an excellent bike, that said the ride is harsher then the newer epics and it does have less travel.

  5. #5
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    Pictures?

  6. #6
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    I dont have any recent pics of mine, but I will snap some tomorrow, I finished the brake setup last week and haven't snapped any of it fully built up. Its a pretty nice build, I built the bike I dreamed about, haha. I'll make a thread for it when I post 'em.
    Livin' the dream.

  7. #7
    CDB
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    I have an 03 S-Works Epic as well as an 07 Marathon Epic. I'm a Semi-Pro XC racer w/ 15years of racing under my belt.

    I personally had the 2003 S-Works frame built up w/ a 2004 Carbon SID and the new Brain from that 2004 year as well. They had improved the design to allow for better adjustability of the bump threshold. The seat angle is more relaxed than the new one, and therefore I use a straight Thompson post. I really like the Fox rear shock on this bike, mainly because it is more seemingly rigid when the brain is not activated. If feels firm. The way it is tuned for me, in the middle setting, is that when I sit on the bike, it gradually settles down into the travel to my set sag point (via air pressure) over about 8 seconds. When I am down to that point, it remains firm while riding until a bump opens the shock. As the shock returns to the sag point, it is firm, or if it releases further, the bike will still feel firm as it settles back to the sag point. This bike is setup w/ 80mm rear travel and my SID up front only offers about 73mm on a good day. I really like the bike, and it has remained solid in all the pivots and bushings during the 04/05/06 seasons I raced it. I would still use it if I had to, and have kept it as a backup, though am planning to sell it now.

    I bought a new Epic Marathon last season. It is an XT/SramXO/Fox equipped marathon. The reason for the purchase was not because my old Epic had a problem, it was because I wanted to convert to disc brakes, get a longer travel fork, and change over to full tubeless. For this reason, it was more economical to just buy a new Epic rather than upgrade my old one.

    I noticed several minor differences that took me a while to adapt to with the new bike. It didn't take long though. Firstly, the seat angle is steeper (I assume to accomodate more rear travel) and thus I needed to put a layback Thompson seatpost on it. Secondly, the feel of the rear shock took some getting used to. I kept thinking that it was not riding as firm in lockout "hardtail" mode, and I still feel a little this way. It is much more active. Meaning, you set up the shock to have a certain amount of air pressure, so that your static body weight settles into the travel to the "sag" point like normal. When you sit on the bike, the speed that you settle into that firm sag point is almost instantaneous. If you put your foot down and unweight the saddle, the shock instantly extends to full top position. In other words, the feel is much more like a pogo stick in between the sag point and full extension. But once you settle to that firm point, which for me is about 10-12mm of shock stroke, it rides as designed like a hardtail, until a bump tells the Brain to open up the shock valve.

    I set up both bikes the same, meaning saddle height/setback over the BB is identical, as is reach/drop to bars. Because of the longer travel fork, I eventually set my handlebar height on the new bike slightly higher so that I wasn't so forward on steep descents when I drop into the full travel of my 100mm Fox Fork.

    When I first got the new bike, it was much heavier than my old one, until I added a NoTubes wheelset. I chalked up part of that to using disc brakes (Magura Marta SL) and the heavier Fox Fork. Both of those heavier upgrades added to the perfomance of the bike in rough technical conditions enough to make up for the weight increase. The amount of travel front/rear at 100 (on the new one) is sometimes a bit excessive I have found, for XC racing, and sometimes I wished for my old Epic, or a hardtail. For some race courses, I felt that I wasn't able to make use of the suspension enough (weight penalty) to gain an advantage over racing w/ a hardtail. But for general riding, I would say either bike is just fine.

    I have just acquired my new Stumpjumper 29er, and am in the process of swapping out some parts and getting it dialed into my position so that I can do some further testing comparisons. My desire is to determine whether that bike might be a good race worthy alternative in certain conditions. If not, I'll just convert it to a singlespeed fun bike, put a rigid carbon fork on, and have at it.

  8. #8
    CDB
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHSAD
    Looking to upgrade my 03 Epic frame to the 08 or 07 if I can find one. My two questions have to do with bottom bracket height and frame weight. I looked on the site and the bottom bracket height has been increased fromn 318 to 331. Is that significant in height and is that mostly due to the increase in suspension or is that simple frame re-design. I feel the 03 is a little low for me. Then again my other bike is an 07 stump fsr with the talas.

    Second one is weight, does anyone know the diff between say a the 03 base frame the 07-08 marathon?
    RE: your question about BB height, I still hit my feet on obstacles like for example, a 6" diameter round timber waterbar while seated and climbing and pedaling through it. I have adapted to timing my pedal stroke, or just pedaling through it, even though I occasionallly make contact w/ low objects. If it's a gnarly rock, I'll be more careful. FYI, I have bent a couple Ti Crankbrothers pedal spindles this way.

    I think the new design is just meant to accomodate the extra travel.

  9. #9
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    Getting used to the epic, though I have tweaked the rear hanger for the second time. Rode my stump 120 the other day and it felt like a 6 inch trail bike since I have been on the Epic so much. Still thinking fork upgrade, not sure to what or whether to stick with the factory spec. of 80mm or to jump up to 100mm.

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