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  1. #1
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    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread

    //Updated Weights//


    23lbs even is not bad for a pretty reliable build. And note that this includes the SWAT tool, chain tool, 2 bottle cages, pedals, and Garmin with inertial speed sensor.

    S-Works Epic WC Build

    As noted in an earlier thread, I recently purchased a 2015 S-Works Epic WC frameset (size medium). I just got around to building it up last weekend and have 2 rides on it so farÖ First Iíll go over the build, then the ride impressions.

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-build3.jpg

    Part Spec & Weight

    // I'll paste the excel table with parts listing into the next post. //

    Actual weight of the bike:

    21lbs 14oz - Without Pedals, Without Garmin, Without Bottle Cages, Without Top Cap Chain Tool

    22lbs 11oz - With Pedals, With Garmin, Without bottle cages, Without Top Cap Chain Tool

    23lbs 0oz - Complete as specíd below

    I just purchased the bottle cages and top cap chain tool. Iíll update the weight with these items installed. Iím also planning to switch to Continental X-King 2.2 Tires. Weight should not change much.

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-scale.jpg

    Ordering

    As noted in the previous thread, all colors were in stock in size medium. Delivery took 1 day on the east coast. Specialized also had the 2014 model in Silver still in stock and at a discount.

    Build Notes

    Bottom Bracket Ė I used Permatex High Performance as recommended in some other threads on mtbr. I let it sit for 3 days after pressing the bottom bracket in. This was easy and no issues yet (only 2 rides).

    Crankset Ė my knees need the narrow Q-Factor SRAM crankset. Although Specialized says it wonít fit, another user posted last year that he was able to install without issues. I purchased a new SRAM XX1 BB30 crankset with the 156mm Q factor and it installed with no special spacers. The non-drive side crank arm is pretty close to the frame, but still enough clearance. I donít have any issues with my heels hitting, and if there is enough flex to contact the frame, then there are other issues!

    Cables Ė internal routing was pretty easy. No major issues. I used a new rear brake hose, so I needed to re-bleed anyway.

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-drive-crank.jpg2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-nondrive-crank.jpg

    Pictures and Ride Impressions to follow.
    Last edited by mvp119; 10-31-2014 at 08:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    Part Spec & Weight

    Bolded weights were measured. The rest are manufacturer estimates.

    Frame 2015 S-Works Epic WC 2200
    Rear Axle Specialized 39.7
    Frame Protection Helicopter Tape 3
    Cable Guides Specialized 16
    Headset Specialized / FSA 94
    Headset Spacer 2 - 5mm carbon 3.5
    Top Cap Specialized SWAT Chain Tool Carbon 28
    Seat Collar Specialized w Titanium Bolt 18.4
    Fork 2015 SID World Cup Brain (w maxle) 1564
    Handlebar Easton EC90 SL Riser (cut to 710) 155
    Stem Easton EA90 110mm 10d (with titanium bolts) 132
    Grips ESI Chunky (with plugs) 61
    Computer Garmin Edge 510 84
    Speed Sensor Garmin 15.6
    Shifters SRAM X01 (with inner wire) 137
    Cables Shimano 4m Der Housing 20
    Brakes Front XTR M987 196
    Brakes Rear XTR M987 206
    Front Brake Adapter Shimano M90 32.6
    Front Brake Rotor RT86 Icetech 180mm 147
    Rear Brake Rotor RT86 Icetech 160mm 127
    Seatpost 2015 S-Works with Carbon Rail Head 205
    Pedals Speedplay Frogs 250
    Cassette SRAM X01 275
    Crankset SRAM XX1 BB30 156Q w/32t 552
    Bottom Bracket Chris King PF30 Ceramic 101
    Crank Bumpers Race Face 15.6
    Rear Derailuer SRAM X01 249
    Front Derailuer 0
    Seat Bontrager Evoke RXL 150
    Chain SRAM XX1 (sized to Epic WC) 244
    Front Wheel Easton EC90 XC 645
    Rear Wheel Easton EC90 XC 775
    Valve Stems Mavic UST 11
    Front Tire Racing Ralph SS TL 2.35 705
    Rear Tire Racing Ralph SS TL 2.25 605
    Front Tube Revo Sealant 80
    Rear Tube Revo Sealant 80
    Bottle Cage Zee Cage II Carbon x2 56
    SWAT Tool Specialized 61

    Total: 10,340 grams
    22.8 Pounds
    Last edited by mvp119; 11-05-2014 at 09:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    More Pictures

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-dsc_1426.jpg

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-dsc_1440.jpg

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-dsc_1442.jpg

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-dsc_1449.jpg

  4. #4
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    Thx for taking the time to document the build and post the build list with weights.

    I've struggled to find a good substitute for chainstay protection (default plastic cover is ~ 30-50g based on model & year). I've found that some tape just won't hold. How has the helicopter tape been, and what is your source for it?

    Also, you've edited/censored the first pic in the post above mine. Conspiracy? I demand information!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Thx for taking the time to document the build and post the build list with weights.

    I've struggled to find a good substitute for chainstay protection (default plastic cover is ~ 30-50g based on model & year). I've found that some tape just won't hold. How has the helicopter tape been, and what is your source for it?

    Also, you've edited/censored the first pic in the post above mine. Conspiracy? I demand information!
    I'm still using the stock chainstay protector, but used helicopter tape around the inside of the chainstays and back of the seat tube. I purchased a roll on Amazon a few years ago for my last bike. On the last bike I used thick rubber electrical tape as a chainstay protector. I bought the roll at lowes for a few dollars. It has worked well and is just starting to tear in places after 2 years of use. Not sure how much weight would be saved going this route.

    I had to edit the last picture to remove my Trek Bikes sign! Don't want hq to find out I'm riding a Specialized! J/k!

  6. #6
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    Very, Very Nice. Really like the color. My Marathon is Carbon and white too, and it looks amazing. Congrats on the slick ride!

  7. #7
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    Nice build but tires are definitely too heavy. My Rocket Rons came in at 520g in 2.25. Moreover you are using quite a lot of sealant. 80 g should be sufficient.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkinho View Post
    Nice build but tires are definitely too heavy. My Rocket Rons came in at 520g in 2.25. Moreover you are using quite a lot of sealant. 80 g should be sufficient.
    Thanks, the 130g of sealant was just an estimate, I never actually measured it. I just mounted a new pair of Continental X-King 2.2 Protection tires and measured a 60g difference in total wheel weight before/after adding sealant. I may need to add a bit more depending on how well they hold air, but 130 was definitely an over estimate.

    As to tire weight, I realize these are not the lightest tires; the conti's measured 658g and 653g. But, after 2 years of using these on my last bike they have proven to give good grip, roll reasonably fast, and be pretty indestructible. I have never gotten a flat tire with them and they last a long time. For next race season, I may consider something a bit lighter. I have not done much experimentation yet. The Racing Ralph's were not bad, just a little less grip in the corners, and would save 100g if I used 2.25's front and back, even in Snakeskin, which should be plenty durable for racing. For some of the less technical courses I could go with something even lighter, but I don't like to spend too much time changing tires.

  9. #9
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    Initial Ride Impressions

    Initial Ride Impressions

    After 3 rides, here are my initial thoughts...

    For comparison I must point out a few important things:

    1. This is my first 29er
    2. This is my first Epic (brain suspension)
    3. This is my first time on a 1x drivetrain


    My last bike which I have been racing for 2 years is a 26in wheel 2011 Felt Edict LTD built up with SRAM XX, the same Easton EC90 XC carbon wheels, Easton Carbon cockpit, and a a SID XX World Cup fork adjusted to 110mm of travel (105mm actual travel after dual-air setup steals 5mm). Ready to ride this bike weights almost a pound (15oz) less than the new Epic. A lot of the weight difference is in the smaller wheels.

    Pedaling Efficiency
    The increased stiffness and pedaling efficiency is immediately noticeable. I think the Brain suspension takes almost full credit for this. The Felt Edict is a pretty stiff and efficient XC race bike, but it cannot compare to the zero bob direct power transfer of the Epic. This is especially noticeable when climbing or pushing hard on smoother terrain. Itís like pedaling a hardtail or fully rigid bike. I also need to keep reminding myself that I can stand up and hammer whenever needed. I have been riding full suspension bikes for 10 years and have become accustomed to sitting and spinning to avoid suspension bob. With the Epic I can stand and hammer over anything and get full power pushing me forward.

    Speed/Momentum
    The next big change is in the ability to carry speed. Iíll chalk this one up to 29in wheels, and a little bit to the Brain suspension. I am definitely carrying more speed over all types of terrain. As many of you already know, the bigger wheels just roll over small rocks and roots so much better without sacrificing forward momentum. My times on familiar trails have improved accordingly. For racing, there is just no way 26in wheels could keep up.

    Drivetrain
    1x SRAM X01 has worked flawlessly as expected. I am running a 32t front ring, and I can tell I'm missing the easiest gear when on supper steep and slow grinding climbs. Otherwise the gear range is sufficient and having only 1 shifter is nice. I like the cleaner look of the bike. My last bike had 2 more cables coming off the bars. One for the front derailleur and one for the Fork lockout.

    Handling
    While the big wheels certainly carry more momentum, there is a price to pay. And that is felt when you need to change direction fast. For long sweeping turns, the bigger wheels may get more traction due to the larger contact patch, but the bike does not transition from side to side like a 26in wheeled bike. I have become very good at cornering through tight singletrack on my Felt Edict. Iím sure the Epic will improve as my body adjusts to the new bike, but I canít imagine it will ever be as good as the smaller wheel bike. You can really feel the big wheels desire to keep going straight, and the increased axle height giving the wheels a higher tipping point??? For skiers, the feeling is similar to the difference trying to make slalom turns on a ski with a 70mm waist vs a 90mm waist. Ultimate grip may not be much different, but it takes a lot more effort to transition from side to side.

    Despite the bigger wheels, I don't have any issue bunny hopping or picking the front wheel up over obstacles. I think the short chainstays of the World Cup model help in this regard. Getting over large logs is easier than on my 26er.

    When going downhill at high speed, the bigger wheels certainly help with rolling over big rocks and obstacles. But when going through large rocks at speed, itís harder to follow your desired line. When the larger 29in wheels get bounced up in the air or to the side, you can feel the extra momentum and it is harder to place the front wheel back where you want it. Some of this effect may be minimized as I dial in the suspension a bit more, which I discuss in the last section. I was always a very good downhill/technical rider. During races I usually create a gap on the downhill sections and my Strava times reflect that. Hopefully as I adjust to the new bike I won't give up much here. And besides the faster/slower aspect, the bigger wheels don't feel as playful or fun in the technical sections. Hopefully I will overcome this. This has been discussed at length by others in the past.

    Suspension
    With only 3 rides, this is definitely an initial impression. I need to do some more work to get the bike dialed-in how I like it. Iím running both front and rear Brains 2-clicks from firm.

    So far, as stated, the brain suspension is super-efficient. But that efficiency so far has resulted in a lack of small bump compliance and a feeling that Iím being thrown around by the terrain. Iím having a hard time holding my line through rocks and the wheels seem to deflect off of obstacles more than Iím used to.

    Rear Suspension:
    I used auto-sag to adjust the rear suspension. I did knock the rubber band off of the stanchion once, but most times it ends up on the words ďKashima CoatĒ which is 45mm down the stanchion. Anyone know where full travel is? At full compression how much of the stanchion tube should be left? What is the compression ratio of the rear suspension? Iím guessing I have a bit too much air. Iíll play around with this on the next few rides. There is no sag gradient on the Fox shock so I donít know where 15 or 20% sag is.

    Front Suspension:
    Iím ~162lbs without gear. I have 110psi in the fork right now which is just a bit more than recommended. Like the rear shock, I have used the full travel, pushing the rubber band up to the crown, but most times it is left 5mm or so short of the crown. I initially had a bit less air, but added more due to the harsh bottoming of the fork. On my last fork, 2012 SID XX WC Dual Air, you never felt the fork bottom out. With this fork, there is a loud clunk when it bottoms. I noticed this on the bike I test rode as well, so I donít think itís an issue with this particular fork. Have others experienced this?

    Over baby head type rocks the fork feels harsh and Iím being bounced around too much. This makes me think I need less air in the fork, however on big hits, or when I pick up the front wheel and slam it back down, I bottom the fork with a loud thunk. Bottoming my old fork was much more difficult. So Iím not sure which way to go here. I may end up adding a bit of oil to the air spring to make it more progressive and/or extend the travel to 100 or 105mm to see if that makes a difference. Maybe I just need to get used to the thunk soundÖ

  10. #10
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    I took a short ride today to try and fine tune the ride a bit. I lowered tire pressure from 22/24 front/back to 20/22 which helped little.

    I took the fork from 110psi to 90. The sag moved from 8.5mm to 9.7mm. The only time it bottomed was when hitting a curb at high speed. I may be able to go a little bit lower. I also ordered a few Rockshox Bottomless Tokens to try out. They reduce the air volume which may allow me to run lower pressure but reduce bottoming by ramping up the spring at the end of the stroke.

    I reduced the rear shock from ~158psi (where auto-set put it) to 147psi. I got pretty close to full travel. Not sure I can go much lower. Sag was at 15.7mm which is over 20%. I think the shock has a 50mm stroke.

  11. #11
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    If anyone is concerned about sizing, I went back and forth for a long time on what size to order. I'm 5'10" and could not decide between M and L. It didn't help that the stock stem on the medium (90mm) made it seem way too small for me. But, after demoing with a longer stem, I am glad I chose the medium. Setup as I have it, 110mm stem with 10d rise and 20mm riser bar, it is within a few mm of my last bike (also a medium) and handles perfectly. I definitely would not have liked the longer wheelbase of the Large. The thing that worried me most about the medium was being too far over the front wheel with the long stem, but that is not an issue, especially with the big 29" wheels.

  12. #12
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    Shock stroke is 46mm. The shock bottoms at the black dot by the words "Kashima Coat." If you release all positive air (black valve) and then negative air (red Autosag valve) you can manually bottom the shock and measure the stroke.

    FYI, I weigh 147# and run 155psi in the shock for 23% sag and 90psi in the fork for 20%. The shock ramps up a lot in the last bit of travel. I frequently use all but 3-4mm of travel, but I have to hit something pretty hard to use it all.
    TOM
    USA Cycling Certified Coach

    www.tomsbicycleblog.blogspot.com

    2014 SW Epic WC
    2012 SW Epic
    2014 SW Tarmac SL4

  13. #13
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    I added 1 Rockshox Bottomless Token to the fork and it did make it a little bit more progressive and harder to bottom out while still giving good small bump sensitivity. The change was noticeable, but small. I may go ahead and add another one, but I need to test ride in some rockier terrain first. Based off tonight's ride, I'm pretty happy with the way the fork performed, but I still think it dives through its travel a little too quick.

    I'm currently running ~87psi, 4 clicks of rebound, and brain at firmest or 1 click from firm. Small bump sensitivity is good and the brain also feels more seamless than when I was running at higher pressures.

    SRAM documentation states that a 100mm fork should have a minimum of 2 tokens and a 90mm fork should have a minimum of 3. Max is 4. So at 95mm, technically we should have 2.5 minimum, but they don't come in halves... The token's were about $20 for a pack of 5, which is more than you need. The SID can only hold 4 and comes with 2 already installed. The install was very simple with a 24mm socket. It took me less than 2 minutes, which makes it easy to experiment.

    ----

    One other item of note, I switched to ESI chunky grips to save weight and based on a lot of good reviews, but after a few rides I'm definitely not happy with them. I don't feel like I have a good grip on the bar. I'll probably go back to ODI Yeti lock-on which I've been running for at least the last 15 years. I'm not crazy about the extra weight but this is not an area to skimp.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp119 View Post
    One other item of note, I switched to ESI chunky grips to save weight and based on a lot of good reviews, but after a few rides I'm definitely not happy with them. I don't feel like I have a good grip on the bar. I'll probably go back to ODI Yeti lock-on which I've been running for at least the last 15 years. I'm not crazy about the extra weight but this is not an area to skimp.
    I have smallish hands and didnt really like the ESI chunky grips b/c it felt like it was too much padding and like you stated didnt feel like I had a good grip on the bar. I switched to the ESI "racers edge" grips and they felt a ton better as they are a little thinner. As an added bonus, a little lighter too.

  15. #15
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    Hereīs my latest Specialized

    Frame : Specialized S-Works Epic 29 World Cup 2015, size M
    Crankset : S-Works FACT carbon, XX1 chainring 34T
    Shift lever: SRAM XX1
    Rear derailleur : SRAM XX1
    Brakes: Magura MT8
    Brake rotors (front / rear) : Ashima ARO-09 160 mm rotor + NoTubes Titanium rotor bolts
    Wheelset: Specialized Roval Control SL
    Tyres: Specialized S-Works Fast Trak LK 2.0
    Handlebars: Specialized S-Works 700 mm (31.8 mm)
    Stem : Syntace F109, 100mm
    Grips : ESI Grips Ė Racers Edge
    Pedals : Shimano XTR 9000
    Seat post: AX-Lightness, Europa 350 mm
    Saddle: Specialized S-Works Phenom 143 mm
    Seatclamp : Carbon-Ti, X-Clamp 3
    Quick Releases : Tune DC 15 (front) / Tune DC 12 (rear)
    +some Ti-bolts

    Total Weight: 9.82 kg, including Shimano XTR 9000 pedals, Specialized inner tubes, SWAT tool & 2 bottle cages
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-img_1243.jpg  

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-ohjaamo.jpg  

    2015 S-Works Epic WC Frameset - Build Thread-img_1263.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images      

  16. #16
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    I used to have the same Tune DC 12 X-12 rear axle. It took me some time to figure out where the creaking came from, especially under power uphill. Apparently, the rear axle was the cause : the clamping force is just too low. Replaced it with a Specialized branded DT-Swiss X-12, creaking is gone.
    Up front I have had no problem with the Tune axle so far.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by madskatingcow View Post
    I used to have the same Tune DC 12 X-12 rear axle. It took me some time to figure out where the creaking came from, especially under power uphill. Apparently, the rear axle was the cause : the clamping force is just too low. Replaced it with a Specialized branded DT-Swiss X-12, creaking is gone.
    Up front I have had no problem with the Tune axle so far.
    I suppose we're hijacking the OP's thread, but I've used the Tune DC12 and it was OK for me. It probably can offer enough clamping force, but you really have to push hard on that tiny lever. It hurts.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanuV View Post
    Total Weight: 9.82 kg, including Shimano XTR 9000 pedals, Specialized inner tubes, SWAT tool & 2 bottle cages
    That is a pretty light Epic! Nice job on the build.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamplayr View Post
    I have smallish hands and didnt really like the ESI chunky grips b/c it felt like it was too much padding and like you stated didnt feel like I had a good grip on the bar. I switched to the ESI "racers edge" grips and they felt a ton better as they are a little thinner. As an added bonus, a little lighter too.
    Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking of trying the Racers Edge as well. For now I put my ODI's back on. But, but I'm taking the opportunity to try out other grips on friends bikes or in stores to see if there is something I like better.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp119 View Post
    I added 1 Rockshox Bottomless Token to the fork and it did make it a little bit more progressive and harder to bottom out while still giving good small bump sensitivity. The change was noticeable, but small. I may go ahead and add another one, but I need to test ride in some rockier terrain first. Based off tonight's ride, I'm pretty happy with the way the fork performed, but I still think it dives through its travel a little too quick.

    I'm currently running ~87psi, 4 clicks of rebound, and brain at firmest or 1 click from firm. Small bump sensitivity is good and the brain also feels more seamless than when I was running at higher pressures.

    SRAM documentation states that a 100mm fork should have a minimum of 2 tokens and a 90mm fork should have a minimum of 3. Max is 4. So at 95mm, technically we should have 2.5 minimum, but they don't come in halves... The token's were about $20 for a pack of 5, which is more than you need. The SID can only hold 4 and comes with 2 already installed. The install was very simple with a 24mm socket. It took me less than 2 minutes, which makes it easy to experiment.
    So I had the opportunity to ride some of my favorite very rocky singletrack last weekend. Its a bit of a hike from home, so I only ride there a couple times of year. Last time was right at the end of race season so I was in pretty good shape. This weekend on the new Epic, I dd the 14 mile loop to see how the new bike handles the rocks.

    By the time I finished the loop I was a bit frustrated with the fork. My hands and wrists were sore and I felt like I was getting thrown all over the place. I thought for sure I was slower than last time, but according to Strava I set a new PR/KOM. A closer look shows that I gained all of the extra time on the climbs, in some cases this was a very significant gain. I had no doubt the Epic was a rocket up hill. I can't imagine a faster bike for technical climbs!

    But, the fork... I determined that small bump sensitivity is not the issue. I was fine climbing and over small bumps, roots, small rocks, etc, but on larger hits the fork feels overdamped or oversprung and could not compress fast enough to absorb the bump. Instead I was bouncing off of rocks, which makes it hard to hold a line though rock gardens, especially when the trail is tight and twisty. I used full travel multiple times on the ride, but never felt any harsh bottoming.

    I'm guessing that the damping is really where my issue is. On my old SID WC, I put a lighter weight oil in the damper to get the feel I wanted. Since I cannot change the damping on the Brain fork I decided to do some experimentation with air pressure. I had to go all the way down to 65psi to get the fork to perform how I wanted and keep the wheel on the ground through the rock gardens. However, this did lead to frequent bottoming. So I added the 4th Bottomless Token which helped the fork resist bottoming some more by stiffening up at the bottom of the stroke.

    All the way down at 65psi, the sag is almost to 20%, which is actually not that bad. And with the Brain set 1 click from firm, bob is not an issue when standing and pedaling. I think the terrain I am riding is probably pushing the limits of the 95mm fork though. So I went ahead and ordered some longer air shafts to increase the travel. I'm going to experiment at 100 and 110mm to see how it feels. I figure if I run the fork with 15 to 20mm sag, it won't be running any taller than most people are riding at 95mm. And I ran my previous fork around 105mm with less sag and had no issue with handling. I'm hoping with the Brain I'll be able to run trail bike smooth for swallowing up big rocks, but still resist pedal induced bob when out of the saddle. My only concern with the longer travel is how the bike will handle. Stay tuned...

  21. #21
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    At first I also had the impression the fork and rear were quite harsh and was running lower pressures to increase the sensitivity. After a while (about 250 miles) the suspension is broken in and I had to increase the pressure. The SID Brain is the best fork I have ever ridden, what is really great is that it returns quickly to it's normal position after every hit. That way, the fork always stays high in it 's travel.

  22. #22
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    Maybe I have missed something in the longer posts in this thread, but have you considered that you might be exceeding the bike's capabilities? You should not be frequently bottoming out the shock and/or fork. For a 160# rider, 65psi doesn't make sense, but 110psi might be in line if you are riding very hard in rough terrain. At 147#, I normally use 90psi in the fork and 155psi in the shock. I might go to 95psi in the fork for a little "insurance" if know I am going to be riding hard in rougher than normal terrain. I get superb performance from the bike at these settings.

    Making modifications to what has to be one of the best XC race suspension setups available doesn't make sense to me. Specialized can do a custom Brain tune" for you and firm up both the fork and shock, but if you are frequently bottoming out, perhaps a longer travel Camber of even a Stumpjumper FSR would suit your riding style better?

    PS I tried Autosag when I first got my WC, and I wasn't able to generate any kind of consistent pressure setting/sag. As always, I just experimented a bit until I had my ideal settings.
    TOM
    USA Cycling Certified Coach

    www.tomsbicycleblog.blogspot.com

    2014 SW Epic WC
    2012 SW Epic
    2014 SW Tarmac SL4

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanuV View Post
    Hereīs my latest Specialized

    Frame : Specialized S-Works Epic 29 World Cup 2015, size M
    Crankset : S-Works FACT carbon, XX1 chainring 34T
    Shift lever: SRAM XX1
    Rear derailleur : SRAM XX1
    Brakes: Magura MT8
    Brake rotors (front / rear) : Ashima ARO-09 160 mm rotor + NoTubes Titanium rotor bolts
    Wheelset: Specialized Roval Control SL
    Tyres: Specialized S-Works Fast Trak LK 2.0
    Handlebars: Specialized S-Works 700 mm (31.8 mm)
    Stem : Syntace F109, 100mm
    Grips : ESI Grips Ė Racers Edge
    Pedals : Shimano XTR 9000
    Seat post: AX-Lightness, Europa 350 mm
    Saddle: Specialized S-Works Phenom 143 mm
    Seatclamp : Carbon-Ti, X-Clamp 3
    Quick Releases : Tune DC 15 (front) / Tune DC 12 (rear)
    +some Ti-bolts

    Total Weight: 9.82 kg, including Shimano XTR 9000 pedals, Specialized inner tubes, SWAT tool & 2 bottle cages

    Nice Bike, GrŁŖe an Bernd ;-)

    Best Bikeshop ever ;-)

  24. #24
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    SID WC Brain Fork with 110mm of Travel

    Last week I ordered the 110mm air shaft for the SID WC... after ordering I had second thoughts about going to 110mm so I also ordered the 100mm. After a few more unsatisfactory rocky rides on the 95mm stock air shaft, I decided to just go to 110mm and see how it feels. I'm happy to report that it rides pretty great so far!

    Installing a longer travel air shaft

    The 2015 (not sure about other years) SID's use replacement air shafts to change the travel. The older Dual Air SID's used spacers. SRAM sells the air shafts in 80, 95, 100, 110, and 120mm. They cost about $26 each. The install was pretty easy if you know how to do basic maintenance on the SID. SRAM posts pretty detailed instructions on their website that are easy to follow. I have lots of experience working on older SIDs and Reba forks so the process went pretty smoothly. You remove the lowers by taking off the bolts at the bottom of the legs. Then remove the old air shaft using snap ring pliers. Replace with the new one being careful to install the spacers and washers in the correct order and put it back together. It is interesting to note that there was no bath oil in the lower half of the BRAIN side of the fork. The brain itself is sealed, but I think the oil bath is meant to keep the bushings and seals lubricated. I added 5ml of 15 weight when I re-assembled as per SRAM's instructions. I can't imagine it would hurt anything and should extend the life of the bushings.

    There is one extra step for the Brain equipped forks. After you re-assemble, you need to re-align the Brain adjuster knob. When you tighten the bolt on the bottom of the Brain side, the brain rotates inside the fork causing the knob to not line up with full firm and soft anymore. This is easy to do. I found instructions here: SID fork travel spacers, 2012 29ers

    Ride Impressions
    First the negative. I expected the increased fork length (axle to crown) to make the bike's handling more sluggish. So far that has not been the case. I still need to ride some twistier trails to confirm, but I don't think it will be too much of an issue. I ran a 110mm fork on my last 2 XC oriented bikes, both of which were designed for a 100mm fork. So maybe I'm used to it...

    The one thing the longer length did effect, which I did not think of ahead of time, is steep climbs. The higher front end is less planted giving the front wheel more tendency to lift when climbing steep hills. I think I will adjust after a ride or two, if not I can lower the stem a bit to compensate.

    Now onto the good part... The longer travel made a huge difference in handling large rocks and fast descents. I think the shorter travel of the stock fork is what was causing me issues. This makes sense since my last two bikes had 110mm. Everyone says the bigger 29" wheels make the bike feel like it has more travel, but that is not my experience when it comes to bigger bumps. For small stuff, the big wheels do have better roll-over ability, but there is no replacement for displacement when the trail gets rough!

    Setup like this, the bike can now handle everything my old bike could and is leaps and bounds ahead of the stock setup for really rough stuff. And because of the Brain, gives up very little in terms of performance for smoother trails or when climbing. The Brain still works just as good and maintains a solid platform when pedaling or hammering out of the saddle. I think this is a near perfect setup for me, someone who likes to race and ride fast in rocky terrain. While I like rocky terrain, nothing I'm riding would be out of place on a east coast XC course. Anyone who raced Nationals at Bear Creek the last two years knows the type of terrain I like. I still get all of the benefit of the Epic WC, short wheelbase, short chainstays, stiff chainstays for efficient power transfer, brain suspension, light weight, just now with more bump eating capability!

    My current setup is:
    SID Brain Fork: 110mm travel, 4 Rockshox Bottomless tokens, 65psi (I don't think you can compare pressure to the stock fork with less travel and 2 bottomless tokens), 1 click from firm on the Brain, and 0 rebound damping. I may need to increase rebound 1 or 2 clicks, but I generally prefer a fast springy feel.

    Rear Brain Shock: 147psi, 4 clicks rebound (again, I may add 1 click more), 2 clicks from firm on the brain. I use full travel only on the biggest of hits. The rear stays firm and absorbs just enough to let me roll over the bumps and keep on pedaling.

  25. #25
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    2 other things to note from my most recent ride.

    The rear thru-axle came loose while I was riding. I felt the back wheel start shaking in an odd way and stopped to check. Just a reminder to check this every now and then...

    Second, this is the first time I rode with 2 water bottles. I use a full-size camelback podium bottle on the downtube and a smaller one on the seattube. A large bottle will fit on the seattube, but it is difficult to get in and out when riding. The smaller bottle fits my needs. I rode for 3.5hrs today and had just enough water/energy drink with both bottles. Also, if you are not using the SWAT box, you can mount the lower bottle cage on the bottom two bolts which keeps the weight lower and makes it easier to get the bottle in and out.

    I'm pretty impressed with the SWAT capabilities. Having two bottles onboard is definitely a benefit and having the SWAT tool and chaintool/spare link always mounted securely onboard is nice. I opted for a backcountry research race strap to mount the tube and CO2 under the seat because I don't like the look of the plastic box.

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