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  1. #201
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    How are the Arch EX working for you? Are you also running your tires tubeless?

  2. #202
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    Good job! Carbon fiber bars?

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Here are a few pics of my 2012 Specialized Epic Expert 29er.
    Bars are Bontrager Satellite trekking aero bars with Specialized BG contour grips. The saddle is a Specialized Romin expert 143mm with a Thomson Elite seatpost as they're reliable. Pedals are Shimano XTR M985 Trail.
    That bar is really cool looking, do you expect long longevity from it? I heard that carbon fiber products have a limited amount of life.

    Thanks.

  3. #203
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    Dirty Epic

    Here's mine after racing at Sea Otter yesterday:


    The bike was perfect for that course. It certainly was part of why I had my best-ever results at SOC.

  4. #204
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    ^^Nice. I'm going to be in Monterey in a few weeks and look forward to riding the course Any details about it would be much appreciated.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough View Post
    Here's mine after racing at Sea Otter yesterday:


    The bike was perfect for that course. It certainly was part of why I had my best-ever results at SOC.
    Congrats to you !!!

  6. #206
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    I just bought a 2012 Epic Comp Carbon last week and I've put about 50mi on it so far. Just a couple issues that I'm wondering about:

    Is this amount of clearance from the top chainring to the swingarm normal? It looks close as hell and I've never bashed the chainring on anything.


    Is seeping of oil(?) out of the brain normal? Never drips or anything but still.


    Not worth posting pictures of the full bike, it's stock.

  7. #207
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    Not much to say, other than the first half of the course has a lot less climbing than the second half. The trails are in pretty good shape, but after 3 days and a few thousand riders, there are a few sections that are blown out. I really like riding that course. It's nice to get 20 miles in as a point-to-point, rather than the hamster wheel courses.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    My problem is more that the Rock Shox Sid 29 brain fork is noisy in use (the brain rattles all the time), flexy and doesn't track that well. I weigh 149lb approx and still have noticeable issues with it. I can see why a heavier rider would be even more unhappy with this fork.
    Specialized has made new Brain Cartridges, available since end of february - however, they decided no to do a recall or anything. You (yes, the customer) has to talk to the dailer, so he can get a replacement brain from Specialized.

    My friend had his Reba 2011 and SID 2012 cartridge replaced, gone is the noise. And we have checked, I can assure you. Performance seems to be about the same though.

    I have a Fox F29 Terralogic 2012 on my S-Works Epic as I was fed up with the Brain fork cartridge. The Fox pairs very well with the rear Fox shock. Performance is top notch - the fork uses about 92mm of travel on big hits and is noticeably smoother on the small stuff than the Rock Shox brain equiped forks.

  9. #209
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    Here's my brand new Epic Expert, size XL. Swapped to XTR shifters, rear deraillur and brakes. I think a new lighter seat post and tubeless conversion will be my next upgrade. Depending on how I find the Spez saddle I may fit my old Aliante. Only been out for a couples of rides, but whooa what a ride!





    The smart stem shim was a cool and clever thing. I like.


    The stock Formula brake levers didn't fit that good together with the XTR shifters so I decided to also run with XTR brakes.


    I've always liked the Shimano pedals so fitting the XTR pedals was an obvious choice for me.

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesrah View Post
    I just bought a 2012 Epic Comp Carbon last week and I've put about 50mi on it so far. Just a couple issues that I'm wondering about:

    Is this amount of clearance from the top chainring to the swingarm normal? It looks close as hell and I've never bashed the chainring on anything.


    Is seeping of oil(?) out of the brain normal? Never drips or anything but still.


    Not worth posting pictures of the full bike, it's stock.
    That clearance seems ok,are you sure it was not some hard chain slap or something ?That oil leak from the Brain is normal I guess,it happened on both of my Brains and curiously when it stopped on my Stumpy FSR one it started to work properly.
    On my Epic Expert 29 (same year as yours,so same Brain kit) there is a very tiny barely there film of oil leak that gets noticeable mostly when I ride on very dry terrain for at least 3 rides.
    By looking at your bike it's either you ride in a very dry environment( desert ?) or you haven't washed the bike that much between rides..
    Last edited by Devastazione; 04-25-2012 at 05:58 AM.

  11. #211
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    Chainsuck

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abber View Post
    That bar is really cool looking, do you expect long longevity from it? I heard that carbon fiber products have a limited amount of life.

    Thanks.
    Carbon fibre handlebars normally last for quite a long time. Unless you manage to overtighten the stem clamp like I did. User error which killed the bars. The popping and cracking from the carbon fibre bar when it failed was quite impressive.

    I'm using my Ritchey Superlogic 10D carbon flat bars instead now.

    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread


    Quote Originally Posted by Vesrah
    Is seeping of oil(?) out of the brain normal? Never drips or anything but still.
    Oil leaking from the brain isn't normal. It's probably a sign that the brain isn't tightened fully. It needs to be fixed under warranty by Specialized.

    Quote Originally Posted by madskatingcow
    Specialized has made new Brain Cartridges, available since end of february - however, they decided no to do a recall or anything. You (yes, the customer) has to talk to the dailer, so he can get a replacement brain from Specialized.

    My friend had his Reba 2011 and SID 2012 cartridge replaced, gone is the noise. And we have checked, I can assure you. Performance seems to be about the same though.
    Were his brain cartridges replaced for free under warranty?

    Specialized UK are saying that the quieter brain update only comes as part of the £160 S-Tune service and that they won't be offering it as a free fix. PeteN was told that and I was told the same thing too.

    Quote Originally Posted by -freddan-
    I've always liked the Shimano pedals so fitting the XTR pedals was an obvious choice for me.
    The previous Shimano XTR M970 pedals were very good. I've had nothing but trouble with the current model Shimano XTR M980 and M985 pedals though. My third warranty set has just gone wrong as well. On two sets the pedal seals got pulled out of the pedals. On the other set one of the pedals developed lots of play in the bearings.

    Pictured below: The seal on my right hand Shimano XTR M980 pedal has been pulled out from inside the pedal after just a few weeks riding.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-xtr_m980_bearing_seal.jpg  


  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I've had nothing but trouble with the current model Shimano XTR M980 and M985 pedals though. My third warranty set has just gone wrong as well. On two sets the pedal seals got pulled out of the pedals. On the other set one of the pedals developed lots of play in the bearings.

    Pictured below: The seal on my right hand Shimano XTR M980 pedal has been pulled out from inside the pedal after just a few weeks riding.
    +1, went through a few warrantied sets as well, a seal came out of everyone. Now I've got eggbeaters, I like the release over the XTR's. However at times I struggle to clip in which I never did with XTR.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Were his brain cartridges replaced for free under warranty?

    Specialized UK are saying that the quieter brain update only comes as part of the £160 S-Tune service and that they won't be offering it as a free fix. PeteN was told that and I was told the same thing too.
    Yup, two times for free - but you have to ask yourself. Specialized doesn't tell any customers about the update. Who doesn't complain or accepts the rattle, is one less cartridge for them to swap. It's all about $$. It doesn't affect the function of the fork is their philosophy. A bike that costs as much as a small car should get top service. If there is a rattle on the car, it won't affect functionality either, but the same people telling you now it doesn't affect functionality would be the first to have their car fixed.

    My friend had his cartridge swapped by Specialized Europe (Netherlands). Don't let them fool you that you have to pay, you have not. It's a design flaw, period.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The previous Shimano XTR M970 pedals were very good. I've had nothing but trouble with the current model Shimano XTR M980 and M985 pedals though. My third warranty set has just gone wrong as well. On two sets the pedal seals got pulled out of the pedals. On the other set one of the pedals developed lots of play in the bearings.

    Pictured below: The seal on my right hand Shimano XTR M980 pedal has been pulled out from inside the pedal after just a few weeks riding.
    Ouch, I better pay attention to my pedals then. To bad Shimano dont hold up to their previous quality level.
    My 7-year old 959 pedals are still running super smooth and my even older 535 from -99 are still working perfect on my winter bike, though the seals have disappeared since long time ago. But they don't seem to care.

  16. #216
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    Frame up build

    She's heavy but really lovin this bike!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-ho-chi-epic.jpg  


  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The previous Shimano XTR M970 pedals were very good. I've had nothing but trouble with the current model Shimano XTR M980 and M985 pedals though. My third warranty set has just gone wrong as well. On two sets the pedal seals got pulled out of the pedals. On the other set one of the pedals developed lots of play in the bearings.

    Pictured below: The seal on my right hand Shimano XTR M980 pedal has been pulled out from inside the pedal after just a few weeks riding.
    I'm surprised you have had so many issues. I currently have a set of M970s and M980s I've had the seals pop out of both within a few weeks. usually just clean the grease, and push it back in and from that point not much of an issue. I did get some play develop in the M970s and I was going to try to warranty them, but just decided to take them apart, and tighten down the jam nuts just enough to kill the play. Took a few iterations to get it perfect but they are great now. I haven't had really any issues M980s but I usually take both sets apart every 6-12 months and clean out the old grease, fill it with new grease then push the bearings/shaft in. Which shoots grease and the seal out the back, then clean the excess out and push the seal back in and your good to go.
    My biggest complaint on the M970s is the area where the shoe tread hits the pedal. once the paint/anodizing went away my s-works shoes would rub and make a ton of noise.
    S-Works all the bikes!
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  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    She's heavy but really lovin this bike!
    What does it weigh? Changing my HT to an epic and it will be similar to you setup.
    S-Works all the bikes!
    Just another used cat for sale

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS View Post
    What does it weigh? Changing my HT to an epic and it will be similar to you setup.
    About 26.5 when I get the seatpost changed. Not much room to go lower at least for my riding style and weight.

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesrah View Post
    Is this amount of clearance from the top chainring to the swingarm normal? It looks close as hell and I've never bashed the chainring on anything.
    Seems very narrow.. I've got 7-8mm between the chainstay and sprocket.


  21. #221
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    Nice racing 2Turners. How did your time compare to previous efforts? Place is dependant on others, of course. It looks like the course was not a complete mud bath as it has been some years. I've raced Sea Otter a half dozen times but have missed it the last two years. The course is always an "adventure" though the sand bothers the 29er much less. My class 2 50-54 race always bottlenecks in places and one is forced to be patient on tight singletrack adn switchbacks. But the last eight miles or so opens up and you can catch a lot of folks who went out too hard. I can't wait to race it again with my 24 pound XL Epic Expert. Yahoo!
    Tall Mountain Biker
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  22. #222
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    Soon to be trading in my Stumpy(26) for either the Epic Comp 29er or Comp carbon 29er money depending on the the second choice. Need a recommendation from members here on which size to get either M or L. Height 5'11, 32' inseam, M frame on the Stumpy(26) with 760mm bars and 75mm stem. My LBS had a medium Epic Comp 29er demo in store till it was stolen so I'm coming here for advice. Thanks, Hutch.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  23. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallmtnbiker View Post
    Nice racing 2Turners. How did your time compare to previous efforts? Place is dependant on others, of course. It looks like the course was not a complete mud bath as it has been some years. I've raced Sea Otter a half dozen times but have missed it the last two years. The course is always an "adventure" though the sand bothers the 29er much less. My class 2 50-54 race always bottlenecks in places and one is forced to be patient on tight singletrack adn switchbacks. But the last eight miles or so opens up and you can catch a lot of folks who went out too hard. I can't wait to race it again with my 24 pound XL Epic Expert. Yahoo!
    Thanks. My time was waaaay (>15 minutes) better than the last time I raced (2008). Trails were in pretty good shape, with no mud, which helped. Though the thick fog made things interesting. I also think part of the credit goes to the bike. A 23.5 pound bike that pedals well, yet doesn't beat you up in the bumps, helped me have something left in the tank for the climbing at the end. And lastly, making the investment in the new XC bike and signing up for the race in December gave me a lot of motivation to get out there and ride, even when I didn't feel like it.

    As far as the race goes, I raced cat. 2 clydesdale. It made it interesting because you start behind every other men's class. So I spent a fair bit of time trying to get around other riders, rather than being the guy who's just trying to survive the race (for a change). It was the first time in a long time where I had enough extra gas to go off trail to get around people on the singletrack. All-in-all I was very happy with the outcome. Now I hope I can get my legs back to race the Santa Ynez Valley Classic this weekend.

  24. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch3637 View Post
    Soon to be trading in my Stumpy(26) for either the Epic Comp 29er or Comp carbon 29er money depending on the the second choice. Need a recommendation from members here on which size to get either M or L. Height 5'11, 32' inseam, M frame on the Stumpy(26) with 760mm bars and 75mm stem. My LBS had a medium Epic Comp 29er demo in store till it was stolen so I'm coming here for advice. Thanks, Hutch.
    I'm your height and I have a large and it fits me perfectly..
    If you can go for the carbon, do it, you wont regret it...

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

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    ^^^ Thanks for the advice. Just got done reading the 90mm stem thread as well so it was good to see others riding a large at our height.
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  26. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    About 26.5 when I get the seatpost changed. Not much room to go lower at least for my riding style and weight.
    Thanks, From my estimates that is about what I am looking at. I have some room to play with tires, but oh well. The HT I have comes in at ~23, so I am hoping the extra weight won't be too noticeable since it is ridden in the MTN's. But I decided I need to put a few more robust components on the bike.
    What rims are you running?
    S-Works all the bikes!
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  27. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS View Post
    Thanks, From my estimates that is about what I am looking at. I have some room to play with tires, but oh well. The HT I have comes in at ~23, so I am hoping the extra weight won't be too noticeable since it is ridden in the MTN's. But I decided I need to put a few more robust components on the bike.
    What rims are you running?
    Arch rims with I9 xc hubs. I just lost my Rocket Ron so the Ralph will go back on so I can add on another 80 grams.

  28. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Arch rims with I9 xc hubs. I just lost my Rocket Ron so the Ralph will go back on so I can add on another 80 grams.
    Got it, I have crest rims with Rocket Ron/Racing Ralph, but I have a set of Arch EX rims on order and I'm thinking I should go with a little more aggressive tread. Just not too sure how they will perform in deep/loose stuff.
    S-Works all the bikes!
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  29. #229
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    I finally have my Epic Expert. Awesome ride.
    Anyway here is a before and after first ride.
    " width="549">
    " width="549">

  30. #230
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    hutch if money is a bit of an issue, epic comp with lighter wheels and some other lighter parts still comes in cheaper and close to the weight of the carbon version.

  31. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch3637 View Post
    ^^^ Thanks for the advice. Just got done reading the 90mm stem thread as well so it was good to see others riding a large at our height.
    +1 on "north_of_us" in reference to weight issues ... I have a carbon and there is a difference to the ride between the both bikes. The carbon frame is a bit stiffer and has a different feel to the bike, I prefer the feel of the carbon frame .

    If you go with the carbon and don't plan on spending more money in the future for a new set of wheels, then I could see why the Epic Comp makes better sense. If you have an opprtunity to buy the carbon, the next natural step would be a lighter set of wheels. At that point you'll have the best of both worlds. If the carbon issue isn't important or it doesn't make financial sense to you, then for the same price of the carbon bike, as "north_of_us" stated, you can get the Epic Comp with a really good set of wheels and you'll be rockin !!!
    Either way you go, you win

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

  32. #232
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    ^^^ Again thanks for the advice. After looking into this for awhile even before I posted the question I was looking at one other bike which isn't Specialized but my LBS carries them. In the end after talking to the manager and other spots on the forum as well as doing way more reading this past month then I should, I'm going with the other bike. One cause i'm getting the other bike for a great deal with my trade in and the other brand fits me better overall. Thank you for the help though. - Hutch
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  33. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by torque29er View Post
    +1 on "north_of_us" in reference to weight issues ... I have a carbon and there is a difference to the ride between the both bikes. The carbon frame is a bit stiffer and has a different feel to the bike, I prefer the feel of the carbon frame .
    Can you describe this different feeling?

  34. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTR2ebike View Post
    Can you describe this different feeling?
    Best way I can describe the feeling, is the lack of vibrations that I don't feel on my carbon frame that I felt on my aluminum framed bike. Where I really feel the less of the vibrations is on smooth flowing areas and through heavily rooted sections. There is a definite difference in feel which I attribute directly to lack of vibrations vs the vibrations from heavy impacts. On jumps and bigger drops I can't really say I feel a difference other than knowing I'm on a carbon frame. Also, the bike makes a different sound than the aluminum bike, it's less tinny and less audioable.
    I really feel a much greater difference on my road bike, there is a tremendous difference in the lack vibrations not being transmitted through the frame to your arms and butt.

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

  35. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    She's heavy but really lovin this bike!
    That's a good looking bike, I am thinking about picking up the M5 29er frame.

  36. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by torque29er View Post
    Best way I can describe the feeling, is the lack of vibrations that I don't feel on my carbon frame that I felt on my aluminum framed bike. Where I really feel the less of the vibrations is on smooth flowing areas and through heavily rooted sections. There is a definite difference in feel which I attribute directly to lack of vibrations vs the vibrations from heavy impacts. On jumps and bigger drops I can't really say I feel a difference other than knowing I'm on a carbon frame. Also, the bike makes a different sound than the aluminum bike, it's less tinny and less audioable.
    I really feel a much greater difference on my road bike, there is a tremendous difference in the lack vibrations not being transmitted through the frame to your arms and butt.

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!
    You do realize you're riding a full suspension bike right?

  37. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTR2ebike View Post
    You do realize you're riding a full suspension bike right?
    Every time I ride it...

  38. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by torque29er View Post
    Every time I ride it...
    A NOTE FOR THE SKEPTICAL...

    If you think your bike looks good, it does.
    If you like the way your bike rides, it’s an awesome bike.
    You don’t need to spend a million dollars to have a great bike, but if you do spend a million dollars and know what you want you’ll probably also have a great bike.
    Yes, you can tour on your bike – whatever it is.
    Yes, you can race on your bike – whatever it is.
    Yes, you can commute on your bike – whatever it is.
    26” wheels or 29” or 650b or 700c or 24” or 20” or whatever – yes, that wheel size is rad and you’ll probably get where you’re going.
    Disc brakes, cantis, v-brakes, and road calipers all do a great job of stopping a bike when they’re working and adjusted.
    No paint job makes everyone happy.
    Yes, you can put a rack on that. Get some p-clamps if there are no mounts.
    Steel is a great material for making bike frames - so is aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium.
    You can have your saddle at whatever angle makes you happy.
    Your handlebars can be lower than your saddle, even with your saddle, or higher than your saddle. Whichever way you like it is right.
    Being shuttled up a downhill run does not make you a weak person, nor does choosing not to fly off of a 10 foot drop.
    Bike frames made overseas can be super cool. Bike frames made in the USA can be super cool.
    Hey, tattooed and pierced long shorts wearin flat brim hat red bull drinkin white Oakley sportin rad person on your full suspension big hit bike – nice work out there.
    Hey, little round glasses pocket protector collared shirt skid lid rear view mirror sandal wearing schwalbe marathon running pletscher two-leg kickstand tourist – good job.
    Hey, shaved leg skinny as hell super duper tan line hear rate monitor checking power tap train in the basement all winter super loud lycra kit million dollar wheels racer – keep it up.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.
    No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride.
    Sometimes, recumbent bikes are ok.
    Your bikeshop is not trying to screw you. They’re trying to stay open.
    Buying things off of the internet is great, except when it sucks.
    Some people know more about bikes than you do. Other people know less.
    Maybe the person you waved at while you were out riding didn’t see you wave at them.
    It sucks to be harassed by asses in cars while you’re on a bike. It also sucks to drive behind assess on bikes.
    Did you build that yourself? Awesome. Did you buy that? Cool.
    Wheelies are the best trick ever invented. That’s just a fact.
    Which is better, riding long miles, or hanging out under a bridge doing tricks? Yes.
    Yes, you can break your collar bone riding a bike like that.
    Stopping at stop signs is probably a good idea.
    Driving with your bikes on top of your car to get to a dirt trail isn’t ideal, but for most people it’s necessary.
    If your bike has couplers, or if you have a spendy bike case, or if you pay a shop to pack your bike, or if you have a folding bike, shipping a bike is still a pain in the ass for everyone involved.
    That dent in your frame is probably ok, but maybe it’s not. You should get it looked at.
    Touch up paint always looks like sh!t. Often it looks worse than the scratch.
    A pristine bike free of dirt, scratches, and wear marks makes me sort of sad.
    A bike that’s been chained to the same tree for three years caked with rust and missing parts makes me sad too.
    Toe overlap is not the end of the world, unless you crash and die – then it is.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
    Yes, you can buy a bike without riding it first. It would be nice to ride it first, but it’s not a deal breaker not to.
    Ownership of a truing stand does not make a wheel builder.
    32 spokes, 48 spokes, 24 spokes, three spokes? Sure.
    Single speed bikes are rad. Bikes with derailleurs and cassettes are sexy. Belt drive internal gear bikes work great too.
    Columbus, TruTemper, Reynolds, Ishiwata, or no brand? I’d ride it.
    Tubeless tires are pretty cool. So are tubes.
    The moral of RAGBRAI is that families and drunken boobs can have fun on the same route, just maybe at different times of day.
    Riding by yourself kicks ass. You might also try riding with a group.
    Really fast people are frustrating, but they make you faster. When you get faster, you might frustrate someone else.
    Stopping can be as much fun as riding.
    Lots of people worked their asses off to build whatever you’re riding on. You should thank them.
    Surly Bikes

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

  39. #239
    "THE RIDE IS MY CHURCH"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch3637 View Post
    ^^^ Again thanks for the advice. After looking into this for awhile even before I posted the question I was looking at one other bike which isn't Specialized but my LBS carries them. In the end after talking to the manager and other spots on the forum as well as doing way more reading this past month then I should, I'm going with the other bike. One cause i'm getting the other bike for a great deal with my trade in and the other brand fits me better overall. Thank you for the help though. - Hutch
    Finding the right bike is "Numero Uno"...
    Go ride that bike and wear it out!!!...

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

  40. #240
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    To the guys that answered about my clearance issue... thank you, I usually ride with headphones on but I messed with the bike today to listen to it. The BB was making weird noises if I shook the bike side to side while standing on the pedals so I dropped it off at the shop. Asked about it being covered by warranty and they said they'd look at it - the thing better be covered on a two week old bike of this price range.

  41. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesrah View Post
    To the guys that answered about my clearance issue... thank you, I usually ride with headphones on but I messed with the bike today to listen to it. The BB was making weird noises if I shook the bike side to side while standing on the pedals so I dropped it off at the shop. Asked about it being covered by warranty and they said they'd look at it - the thing better be covered on a two week old bike of this price range.
    Any adjustment should be covered .. If they don't... Contact spec directly and they will take care of you...877-808-8154...

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

  42. #242
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    One place my bike will creak at is the shock pivot points. Sounds like a seat or seat post creaking but it is the two shock pivot points. Lube those and the bike is silent. Something that you might consider, creaks can be difficult to pinpoint.

  43. #243
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    Spacers ended up being installed on the wrong side, fixed now. Still not much clearance but the creak is gone.

    Thanks

  44. #244
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    My fork update should be finished by the weekend. The original QR fork lowers and brain damper are being swapped out today.

    The Rock Shox Sid 29 15mm fork lowers don't include a 15mm Maxle Lite thru axle so you have to buy one seperately. The standard Rock Shox 15mm Maxle Lite thru axle is quite expensive and fairly heavy. It has a small set screw under the handle that you undo to rotate the handle, so that the handle lines up neatly with the fork leg when closed. Apparently this set screw for the handle position can potentially work loose.

    I went for a Tune DC15 15mm thru axle instead, ordered from Starbike.de. It appears to be nicely made and is a bit lighter than the Rock Shox version. One thing that I was unclear about with the Tune DC15 thru axle was whether you can adjust the handle position when it is used with a Rock Shox fork. The handle position on the Tune DC15 thru axle can be adjusted by pushing in the spring loaded end of the skewer, allowing it to be turned to the correct position. The only difference between the different versions of Tune DC15 skewer is the length and thread of the thru axle to be compatible with different forks.

    Pictured below: Tune DC15 Rock Shox 15mm thru axle has an adjustable spring loaded handle
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-tune_dc15_rock_shox.jpg  


  45. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    My fork update should be finished by the weekend. The original QR fork lowers and brain damper are being swapped out today.

    The Rock Shox Sid 29 15mm fork lowers don't include a 15mm Maxle Lite thru axle so you have to buy one seperately. The standard Rock Shox 15mm Maxle Lite thru axle is quite expensive and fairly heavy. It has a small set screw under the handle that you undo to rotate the handle, so that the handle lines up neatly with the fork leg when closed. Apparently this set screw for the handle position can potentially work loose.

    I went for a Tune DC15 15mm thru axle instead, ordered from Starbike.de. It appears to be nicely made and is a bit lighter than the Rock Shox version. One thing that I was unclear about with the Tune DC15 thru axle was whether you can adjust the handle position when it is used with a Rock Shox fork. The handle position on the Tune DC15 thru axle can be adjusted by pushing in the spring loaded end of the skewer, allowing it to be turned to the correct position. The only difference between the different versions of Tune DC15 skewer is the length and thread of the thru axle to be compatible with different forks.

    Pictured below: Tune DC15 Rock Shox 15mm thru axle has an adjustable spring loaded handle
    Please pot you findings after your finished... Thinking of doing it to my Epic EVO
    ENJOY THE RIDE!!!

  46. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytourist View Post
    That's a good looking bike, I am thinking about picking up the M5 29er frame.
    Thanks!

  47. #247
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    I've got the new fork lowers and front wheel fitted now. The updated front end consists of:

    Rock Shox Sid 29 15mm thru axle lowers
    Rock Shox RCT3 damper replacing the fork's brain damper
    Tune DC15 thru axle
    Extralite Hyperfront 15mm thru axle hub 28 hole
    DT Swiss Supercomp straight pull spokes
    light-bicycle.com XC carbon clincher rim 3k carbon matte finish

    I also fitted a new stem to replace the 110mm Extralite Ultrastem OC stem that I had on. With the added leverage of wide bars I was making the Extralite stem flex badly when trying hard uphill. The 110mm length was also slightly too long so I've changed it for a 100mm Ritchey WCS C260 carbon matrix - 8 degree stem. The stem is alloy but carbon wrapped with a gloss UD carbon finish. It's slightly heavier than the standard Ritchey C260 stem but is supposed to be stiffer also. The stem's finish looks a lot like the gloss UD carbon finish of the Ritchey Superlogic 10D carbon bars.

    Although the bike is assembled it isn't rideable yet. The Tune DC15 thru axle is too long. The DC15's cam lever is nowhere near the fork leg when the axle is screwed in fully. Of course I discovered this at 5pm on the Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend. I'm going to make a 3mm washer tomorrow to sit between the fork leg and Tune DC15 so that it has something to tighten against. Hopefully that will work. If not, I'm going to have to try and get a Rock Shox Maxle Lite 15mm thru axle from somewhere.

    Pictured below: 2012 Epic Expert 29er with its new updates. Both rims are the light-bicycle.com XC carbon clinchers as I had the Powertap hub built into one also. They're quite understated, unless you look more closely when the 3k carbon weave begins to show. They're stiffer and also a few mm wider than the stock Roval Control 29 alloy rims. The extra width helps to give a better tyre profile for cornering.

    The standard Rock Shox Sid 29 fork decals don't look out of place with the Epic Expert 29er's black and white colour scheme. The Extralite front hub is lightweight but I'm already a bit concerned about how well the hub bearings are sealed. As you can see from the picture there isn't much to the hub, empty space and a few o-ring seals. I went for standard bearings, rather than ceramic bearings. The standard bearings still feel very smooth. Every time I've been out on the bike recently it's been in the middle of a 29er specific rainstorm though. I'm not sure how well they're going to hold up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-2012_epic_thru_axle.jpg  

    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-2012_epic_tune_axle.jpg  

    Last edited by WR304; 05-05-2012 at 02:49 PM.

  48. #248
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    In order to make the Tune DC15 clamp down I added a 15mm id x 22mm od x 3mm width washer onto the axle between the fork leg and lever. The washer stops the axle threading in too far and takes up the empty space, so that the lever cam can be closed properly. With the washer the Tune DC15 clamps down tightly, holding the thru axle firmly in place. I've attached a picture showing the Tune DC15 with the washer installed. It really ought to have worked first time without needing any washers adding though.

    I did two hours on the bike today and it all held together. The handling was much improved from when the fork had QR lowers. You can really feel the difference when you lean the bike over into a corner at speed. With the previous QR fork lowers and alloy Roval Control 29 wheel the front end would begin to protest and start to push wide as the cornering load increased. With the 15mm thru axle lowers and carbon rim it gives a more precise feel on corner entry. Mid corner through to the corner exit the thru axle fork holds its line better with less understeer.

    Changing the fork damper has made the fork quiet by getting rid of the constant brain rattle. You have low speed compression and rebound damping settings available on the Rock Shox RCT3 damper. The low speed compression adds a platform to reduce fork bob and brake dive when riding. The blue lever on top of the right hand fork leg is for controlling the fork platform. It has three positions (full open, platform and full lockout). The silver dial on top of the blue lever allows you to fine tune the amount of low speed compression platform that there is when the blue lever is turned to the middle platform position. The silver dial settings have no effect when the blue lever is set to full open position. With the RCT3 damper's platform enabled the fork has a firm feel. If you're pushing down on the fork it feels quite stiff to compress, a lot like a Specialized brain fork with 3-5 clicks of brain platform applied. There's a noticeable difference in RCT3 damper platform firmness depending upon how many clicks of the silver dial you use.

    My initial impression after one ride is that I don't think the Rock Shox RCT3 damper performs as well as the original Specialized brain damper. There's a big jump in feel between having the RCT3 damper full open and using it with its low speed compression platform enabled. With even the minimum amount of low speed compression enabled the fork felt harsh. I spent most of the ride with the fork in its full open most active setting. With the Specialized brain damper you have a wider range of adjustment to how the fork feels under low speed compression. The rebound damping on the Specialized brain damper seems better too, more controlled. The new damper should loosen up a bit with time, which might improve the feel.

    The Extralite Hyperfront hub just worked. It didn't cause any problems or have any noticeable quirks, although it was a dry day today.

    I've also attached a picture of the Ritchey WCS C260 carbonmatrix stem from the front with the computer bracket removed. The main difference in design is that the stem clamp wraps further around the bars than a standard stem clamp, which is supposed to be both stiffer and also spread the clamping load better. Because of the wrap around clamp you have to slide the stem across from a narrow bar section into place before fixing the stem clamp on. Easy to do on a mountain bike handlebar.

    The Ritchey stem felt stiffer than the Extralite stem. It didn't appear to be flexing as much when climbing. Going to a 10mm shorter stem (after moving the saddle back 5mm at the same time) has changed my riding position slightly. I was still getting some lower back ache on the left hand side when climbing but it was better than before. The most noticeable change from the shorter stem is that it feels like I'm putting a lot more weight on my hands and working my forearms harder, which isn't ideal. The handling is still ok with the shorter stem, a bit more responsive. The front end is a little lighter climbing but not enough to begin lifting or wandering when riding uphill.

    Pictured below: Tune DC15 thru axle with a 3mm aluminium washer added to take up the slack and allow the lever cam to fasten tightly enough to hold the front wheel in place.

    Ritchey WCS C260 carbonmatrix stem front view showing the wrap around stem clamp.
    The gloss UD carbon finish of the 100mm Ritchey WCS C260 carbon matrix stem is a good match for the Ritchey Superlogic 10D carbon bars. I cut 1cm off the fork steerer also, removing the big stack of spacers that had been above the stem. You can also see the RCT3 damper's blue platform lever and low speed compression adjustment dial on the top of the fork leg.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-2012_epic_tune_washer2.jpg  

    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-2012_epic_ritchey_stem2.jpg  

    Last edited by WR304; 05-05-2012 at 03:16 PM.

  49. #249
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    It's been quite wet here for the last few weeks. Almost every ride has been in the rain. Even when it doesn't rain all the gound is waterlogged so everything still gets plastered in mud.

    Something to check is that the water drain hole in your 2012 Epic's bottom bracket shell is open and not obstructed. The drain hole helps to allow the water that builds up within the bottom bracket shell to run out of the frame. If it stays in the frame it corrodes the bottom bracket bearings, reducing their life. When I checked today some mud had blocked up the drain hole. After I dug the mud out plenty of water dripped out of the bottom bracket.

    On my bike the drain hole had to be opened up with a drill from new because it hadn't been fully drilled through at the factory. There wasn't any hole in the protective plastic on the underside of the frame either. Unless you've put a hole through the protective plastic the drain hole won't work and the water inside the bottom bracket won't be able to escape.

    Because the bike is getting soaked every day I've been dropping some chain lube into all the rear suspension pivot bearings after each ride. Based on my previous Specialized Epics' the pivot bearings don't last that long if you use the bike much in bad weather. Hopefully regularly dropping oil in will extend the bearing life a bit more without needing to dismantle the bike all the time. The main pivot bearings are quite exposed to water but also hard to get at to re-grease without taking off the cranks and front derailleur.

    My Specialized Romin Expert saddle body snapped today. I was riding up a hill when there was a loud cracking noise from the saddle. The saddle body had snapped but was held together enough by the saddle covering to ride home on. I find that Specialized saddles with a central cut out don't last that long anyway before they begin to sag excessively or break but this is the shortest one yet. My previous two Specialized Romin saddles lasted around 550 hours riding each before needing replacing. This one was three months old and had only done 193 hours before it broke.

    Pictured below: Specialized Romin Expert saddle saddle body has snapped on one side.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread-specialized_romin_expert_failure_10-05-2012.jpg  


  50. #250
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    One of these is starting to look appealing to me.

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