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  1. #1
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    2014 EPIC WC Reviews

    2014 EPIC WC Reviews-image.jpg
    I just got done with my first,fairly short ride on my WC. I was blown away by how much better it felt compared to my '12 S-Works. I'll do a detailed review after I get more time in the saddle but for now, two things standout in a big way.

    1) The handling is night and day better. Turn-in is crisp and immediate without feeling twitchy and I noticed the turning radius was much tighter. It truly reminded me of how my last 26 inch bike handled.

    2) The suspension is a huge improvement. I have owned every generation Epic since 2003 and this is hands down the best. I had both front and rear turned to 3/4 firm. At that setting the suspension was solid on smooth sections with little to no suspension movement. The big thing was that I felt nothing when the suspension opened up on a bump and the action felt plush and more progressive than my '12.

    I LOVE it!
    Last edited by EPICYZ; 01-17-2014 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Add Pic
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  2. #2
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    Thanks, So looking forward to finishing mine.
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    I agree, last week all I had was a 2013 stumpy carbon eve 26er to compare with and this things is totally the opposite. Climbs until your legs give not your frustrations with fighting suspension, turn like my 26er with a little more effort but nothing unexpected. it rolls up to speed like nothing I have ever ridden. Yes I can't drop my seat and rip a down hill like I can on the stumpy 5in bike but man over all this things is 100% race bike. I get a lot of shit for the price of this bike but man when I can't stop smiling while riding it I am glad I spent every penny that I had.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPICYZ View Post
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    I just got done with my first,fairly short ride on my WC. I was blown away by how much better it felt compared to my '12 S-Works. I'll do a detailed review after I get more time in the saddle but for now, two things standout in a big way.

    1) The handling is night and day better. Turn-in is crisp and immediate without feeling twitchy and I noticed the turning radius was much tighter. It truly reminded me of how my last 26 inch bike handled.

    2) The suspension is a huge improvement. I have owned every generation Epic since 2003 and this is hands down the best. I had both front and rear turned to 3/4 firm. At that setting the suspension was solid on smooth sections with little to no suspension movement. The big thing was that I felt nothing when the suspension opened up on a bump and the action felt plush and more progressive than my '12.

    I LOVE it!
    I just got back from a 30 miler. I can't beleive how good this bike is. I was faster everywhere. The efficiency of the suspension allows you to carry more momentum, particularly on climbs. The tight steering is fun. The bike is flickable. On uphill switchbacks, the bike turns more easially becuase you aren't fighting understeer.

    Ear to ear grin!
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  5. #5
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    Nice!
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  6. #6
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    The rear shock new position really affects in riding, optimises in cornering and handling and looks like the 2014 brain fork is better!! Stumpjumper guy here but I really want an epic someday for long distance rides

  7. #7
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    I have about 150 miles on it since my initial review. I am even more impressed. Handling and suspension tune continue to be the big standouts compared to my '12. I do appreciate the improved stiffness in the frame. One little thing that I love is the bottle cage on the down tube is higher (to make room for the SWAT kit). This position is great as it makes getting water faster and safer in my opinion. I have zero complaints and zero regrets on dropping the coin to buy it!
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  8. #8
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    just read in the German Bike Mag that the WC wins the comparison with 135 points over Cannondale/Cube 130 Points followed by Cube, Trek and BMC.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkinho View Post
    just read in the German Bike Mag that the WC wins the comparison with 135 points over Cannondale/Cube 130 Points followed by Cube, Trek and BMC.
    I am looking forward to reading some similar reviews and shoot-outs in some US publications. Was the bike in the German mag a an Expert WC?
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  10. #10
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    No, the S-Works

  11. #11
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    I just installed the SWAT system in preparation for the first race of the season. Weight is 22.8 lbs. Not bad at all.
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    First race under my belt with it so I thought I'd make a few observations. This was a 50 mile event with some single track but mainly on fire roads.
    - SWAT : Didn't need it but was glad to have it in a convenient place if I did.
    - Suspension: I continue to be impressed by the '14 tune. I switched the Brain to full firm. The suspension was firm but, opened without the old "knock" and was plush when open. I think I'll go back to 3/4 firm for non-race riding.
    - Handling: Some have wondered if the steeper steering and shorter stays would be a problem for long endurance races. It is not. I was pretty spent at the end of the race but the bike never made me make any mistakes. In fact, the opposite was true. On several occasions the precise handling helped me avoid sloppiness from my fellow racers.
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  13. #13
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    Finished my 2014 SW Epic WC medium build last week, did a couple rides and raced last weekend.

    WOW! Ditto everything EPICYZ has said. Suspension feels so much better than my 2011 SW Epic. Better small bump compliant and on rougher descents eats up the terrain more smoothly. Fork is noticeably stiffer under braking and turning. This is taking all parts from 2011 factory built and onto WC frame

    Slathered in 3M clear, this build as shown comes it at 21.8 lbs. A few more weenie parts to come including carbon saddle to bring it down to 21.25.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 EPIC WC Reviews-2014-sw-epic-wc-4.jpg  

    2014 EPIC WC Reviews-2014-sw-epic-wc-1.jpg  

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  14. #14
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    Bumping the thread up would wonder if there are noticeable advantages at WC as apposite to XTR ver and if 2014 (WC or XTR) is really that much better over 2013 XTR?

    Trying to make my choice out of:

    1) 2014 WC
    2) 2014 XTR
    3) 2013 XTR

    1 & 2 are at about the same price and #3 is 20% cheaper.

    Your thoughts about 5-6 hrs ride a day, no real racing
    Last edited by SergeiK; 06-23-2014 at 07:54 AM.

  15. #15
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    Choice 2. I would choose 2 simply for the two water bottles. I haven't really noticed a stiffness diff. between the 15qr and the OS end cap wheels. Not sure that 20% would be enough to sway me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiK View Post
    Bumping the thread up would wonder if there are noticeable advantages at WC as apposite to XTR ver and if 2014 (WC or XTR) is really that much better over 2013 XTR?

    Trying to make my choice out of:

    1) 2014 WC
    2) 2014 XTR
    3) 2013 XTR

    1 & 2 are at about the same price and #3 is 20% cheaper.

    Your thoughts about 5-6 hrs ride a day, no real racing
    I had a 2012 XTR and loved it. The 2013 would be the same and you will love it if that's what you choose.
    I like the '14 WC because the geometry greatly improves handling on the tight single track I ride here in the mid-Atlantic region. I have done countless all day rides with no issues at all. In fact, the improved suspension feels plusher then my '12 XTR. Also, the WC does have two waterbottle mounts.
    If you choose not to get a WC, I'd go with the 2013 XTR and pocket the cash.
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  17. #17
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    14 WC for sure. The suspension is so much better than my 13. With XX1, 2x10 is just added weight and something else to fail.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    14 WC for sure. The suspension is so much better than my 13. With XX1, 2x10 is just added weight and something else to fail.
    I also am sold on 1x11. Would never go back to a 2x.
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  19. #19
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    I would go '14 WC, and if not that, a '13 XTR.

    I have a '13 XTR and demoed a '14 WC. The WC just felt... amazing! The only thing I could see being an issue (for me) was the 1x11 on long, steep sustained climbs, but that'll vary from person to person and how hard of a gear you can push and what your local terrain is like. Overall the bike felt a lot snappier than my '13, and the suspension, which I run on full firm all the time, seemed to respond better to climbing/sprinting out of the saddle than my '13. And heck, the bike was lighter, too! I actually don't like that it fits two bottles, because they have to be smaller bottles. All my bottles are those larger Purist 24oz bottles and it would hit part of the shock trying to jam it in there. Just a weird person al thing!

  20. #20
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    I respectfully disagree. The nice part of the non-wf is you can run it 1X and you can still tune your shock as firm as you want...or not. The WC locks you into 1X and you cannot soften your shock as much you can the Non-WC. More versatile and slightly more forgiving, which sounds about in line with what the op's riding style and needs are.

    The water bottle point regarding the WC: If you are on a WC you probably are getting hand offs as you round the course. That said they are all rad bikes and not a loser in the bunch. Nice problems to have.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I actually don't like that it fits two bottles, because they have to be smaller bottles. All my bottles are those larger Purist 24oz bottles and it would hit part of the shock trying to jam it in there. Just a weird person al thing!

    I can fit 2 24oz bottles in my WC with no issues. The 2 water bottle capacity was a selling point to me.

    As far as the suspension plushness, you not losing much compared to the standard Epic. I found the amount of plushness of the non-WC frustrating. If you need more plushness, backing the brain out front and back makes it super soft.
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  22. #22
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    Well I've finally decided to go for a 14 S Works WC frameset. I've been waiting to see the colours of the 15's and prefer the 14 ones. I've chosen the white as my favourite but to be honest all the 14's look great, although I found them a little too bling at first. I'll also save a bit getting the 14.
    I recently had to sell my SW HT and have missed it. It sounds like I'll be getting an Epic which is a little more HT than before , geometry wise and that snappy acceleration. I have owned many S Works Epics since 2007 and was sceptical about the brain being easily the best tune yet. A brain with a firm platform, better small bump compliance, smaller bump to open it, and progressive travel is what I've been waiting for. The reviews on here and elsewhere seem to suggest that this is the case.
    I'll be swapping everything over from my 13 and should have it by the end of the week.

  23. #23
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    Congrats! You'll love it.
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  24. #24
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    On the plushness topic, I would add that my SW WC feels more plush than my 2012 SW Epic, especially at the firm Brain settings that I use. It's not just that the WC Brain tune is smoother, I also think the black coating (don't know what it is called) on the fork has something to do with it. The WC fork is pretty amazing and has a lot to do with making the WC more comfortable to ride than my 12.
    TOM
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    Lifted from my entry here.

    I'm getting rid of my 2013 XTR S-Works Epic and replacing it with an Expert level World Cup.

    As it is my medium S-Works with a full ENVE/Chris King build weighed 10.96kg or over 24lb.

    I plan to port the XTR brakes, carbon steerer fork, S-Works crank, and S-Works cockpit on the Expert WC. I'll also be running Roval Control SLs as I find that the ENVE XC rims are too narrow.

    I'm betting that my 2015 Expert WC will be no heavier than my current S-Works!

    This of course is not why I'm making the move. My HT is 1 x 11 and after getting used to a single ring upfront, I can tell you that I'll never go back to a front derailleur again (for MTB).

    I love the sharper handling of a HT and I'm hoping that the geometry of the WC will replicate exactly that but with better climbing traction and smoother descending.

    I'll create a thread with pics and weights when I get it all built up.

    Cheers, J

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    "I love the sharper handling of a HT and I'm hoping that the geometry of the WC will replicate exactly that but with better climbing traction and smoother descending."

    You will not be disappointed. The WC is a whole different beast compared to the regular SW Epic.
    TOM
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyturbo View Post
    "I love the sharper handling of a HT and I'm hoping that the geometry of the WC will replicate exactly that but with better climbing traction and smoother descending."

    You will not be disappointed. The WC is a whole different beast compared to the regular SW Epic.
    Thanks mate. getting really excited!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiK View Post
    Bumping the thread up would wonder if there are noticeable advantages at WC as apposite to XTR ver and if 2014 (WC or XTR) is really that much better over 2013 XTR?

    Trying to make my choice out of:

    1) 2014 WC
    2) 2014 XTR
    3) 2013 XTR

    1 & 2 are at about the same price and #3 is 20% cheaper.

    Your thoughts about 5-6 hrs ride a day, no real racing
    Ok, finally I got #2 and after a few rides certain the choice was right for me.

    WC at no doubt should be a better race machine but for "civil" use there is no way it can do the job for a long tangent climbing!
    Last edited by SergeiK; 07-31-2014 at 03:16 PM.

  29. #29
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    Why so few reviews and posts about the WC version - either SW or expert???

    Back in 2011 when the epic was introduced, threads were running wild...could it be the entry price has pasted the comfort zone!?

    Also, the 29er hardtail is the defacto std for XC racing...bigger volume tires and less than 20lbs of weight. Heck, 18lbs and change if you spend so money. The EPIC would be hard pressed to get below 20...right???

    Examples of 20lb epics would be good to see :-)

    Cheers

  30. #30
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    I'm picking up my SW WC tomorrow which is frame and fork only, which I was lucky to get in the UK. Does anybody have a seatpost from one that they didn't use. Mine hasn't shipped with one as it wasn't a stock item in the UK. My bike is white and I would need the 400mm length if somebody wanted to sell it to me.

  31. #31
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    Maybe someone can explain what a long tangent climb is? In any case, my SW WC is a much better climbing bike than my 2012 SW Epic. I would guess it is because of a combo of the shorter (and stiffer) chainstays, and the WC geometry.
    TOM
    USA Cycling Certified Coach

    www.tomsbicycleblog.blogspot.com

    2014 SW Epic WC
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  32. #32
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    I've had two good rides now on my SW WC.
    Others have said it but the geometry makes a big difference compared to my 12 and 13 Epics. It is significantly more agile and tight singletrack is transformed. The rear end of the bike just drops in behind you when you hit a dip or small drop and the travel feels more bottomless which is strange as the travel is much more progressive than before and you don't blow most your travel on a small drop, this is a big improvement.
    In all honesty the bike is better in all departments. It definitely climbs better and descending is also quicker and I like the fact that's it's much easier to lift the front wheel, which was really noticeable at the bottom of a big rolling drop on a trail I ride. As I got to the bottom there was mud and puddles. I just easily lifted the front wheel over it which was a real effort on the 13.
    The brain is also improved. The force required to open the brain is less this year but the platform on full firm is rock solid, very hardtail like. What I really like is that you can open it up 3 clicks and pedalling on the smooth, the shock doesn't bob at all. I liked to run it two from full firm. The shock doesn't bob but it just gives you that bit of free travel
    in the shock as you are effectively moving the brain platform a touch down the travel. The more progressive shock means that you don't suffer with pedal bob like in the 13.
    Make no mistake that the sensation of the brain opening is less harsh than before. You can certainly still notice it at every setting bar fully open, when riding slowly, when at speed you don't notice it all. I have read some reviews that it was completely seamless, it's not, but it definitely the best yet. The brain on this bike does what it's supposed to do. The fork mirrors the new rear settings.
    I'm very impressed and find this easier than my 13 in all departments. A great race machine but also a great fast trail bike. The best Epic yet, without doubt.

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    That's a fantastic write up Pete. Most of the trails that I ride are hilly, tight, and twisty. I can't wait to hit them with the WC!

    Fingers crossed I pick mine up today, with weights and a review to follow.

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    Cheers PeteN a very honest and open review. It helps with some decision making look forward to further updates when you get a chance.

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    2014 EPIC WC Reviews-10559928_824358460916947_2667205130362704503_n.jpg

    That special moment before you take off together for the first time. Review to come.

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