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Thread: Epic a Noodle?

  1. #1
    FPC
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    Epic a Noodle?

    Essentially I'm considering going to an 05 SWorks XL size from 04 SWorks large because the O4 feels so noodly on descents and am trying to get feedback as to whether that's what to expect generally from the epic - very quick handling and not laterally stiff versus the reason is that I'm 6'3" 175 and have the post (EC70 carbon) near it's limit of extension and nearly 2" of spacers on the steerer to get the large to fit so an XL will feel laterally stiffer. I like the epic a lot otherwise which is why considring sticking with the format in larger size.

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    In a word...

    absolutely.

    I have an '05 S-Works Epic and it's the most noodly bike I've ever ridden.

    I don't think you're going to gain anything by getting an 05 vs an 04. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have purchased this frame.
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  3. #3
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    Probably not the right thread to share this in, but what the hell... (you all know I'm a big dw-link zealot, right?). Here's an interesting (and unexpected) Azure v. Epic comparison that popped up yesterday from the most disrespectable rag in the industry: Did Hell freeze? MBA gives props to IH!

    In summary, they wrote:

    "Who would have guessed that Iron Horse would have pulled out all of the stops and elevated itself to a pro-level performance peddler? We rode the cross-country racing Azure and must report that it can run with the Specialized Epic in the pedaling platform department—and it out handles all but, well—let’s just say that it will save you a few grand and deliver profesional results on the track. Wow!"

    And Dave Weagle, the "brain" behind the dw-link, responded:

    Quote Originally Posted by _dw
    RC and I went on a long ride that Monday, it was a lot of fun. We did an XC look out to Lake Mead, then we pedaled all the way to the top of the mountian (you can see where we got to in the very top right corner of the picture Luc posted). Then we bombed down the hill. I rode a MKiii team, bone stock with flat pedals and RC rode an Azure built up with Shimano parts. I had a great time talking and riding with Richard. He really was a nice guy and I am looking forward to doing it again. The dude can climb like a goat too. He was unstoppable on that Azure.
    I post this as an alternative only because I haven't been that thrilled with the Epic, but the much anticipated Azure seems to be delivering and has that special missing ingredient: lovely small bump sensitivity.
    speedub.nate
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FPC
    Essentially I'm considering going to an 05 SWorks XL size from 04 SWorks large because the O4 feels so noodly on descents and am trying to get feedback as to whether that's what to expect generally from the epic - very quick handling and not laterally stiff versus the reason is that I'm 6'3" 175 and have the post (EC70 carbon) near it's limit of extension and nearly 2" of spacers on the steerer to get the large to fit so an XL will feel laterally stiffer. I like the epic a lot otherwise which is why considring sticking with the format in larger size.
    Ya know, I somehow think that you are too oversized for your current bike. Come on, 2" of spacers on the steerer? Carbon seatpost extended to the max? Of course that's going to feel noodly. I have a medium frame, 5'7" and 145lb, and it is perfect for me. Rides like it is on rails.

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    I'm 6', ~220 right now and ride a L S-works and it's rock solid.

    Maybe an obvious question, but have you checked all your pivot points to make sure they're tight? And, of course, the air pressure in the shock needs to be right.

    Not sure what else... maybe just all the work arounds you have in there to make it the right size makes if feel noodly?
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  6. #6
    FPC
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    Hi - appreciate all the feedback thus far - yes - me too big or bike too flexy? other posts have some folks my height happy on larges - like I said I otherwise really like the epic - a lot - it's a rocket climbing and I think the quality/seamlessness of the suspension is generally under appreciated - it's only descending at speeds of around 20mph and up and especially when doing so on less than buffed terrain and/or when I'm not going dead straight where I really feel the flexiness and it takes some real work and/or braking to keep it straight - I knew I was pushing it on sizing when I got the frame but the bike feels like it fits me fine + I'm 175lbs not 225 - and the flexiness - I would think - should primarily be as a result of rider weight not height - so I'm guessing the flex is being generated from either the headtube or where the pivots are connected to seat tube - I will check the pivots immediately - good idea there (air pressure has been checked) but haven't ever noticed any play/looseness before - but the seat post isn't possibly the main problem because I'm out of the saddle descending when I'm having this issue - no noticeable problem when riding seated - if the flex is generated from head tube then maybe an XL with 150mm head tube vs 120mm for L would make the difference (plus longer wheel base may help?) but I'd still have 20mm of spacers vs 50mm now and I wonder whether 30mm of head tube would make that big a difference (btw - I think I've seen numerous bikes raced with comparable spacer height to my current set up) - so - as I ride I really have been trying to identify where the flex is coming from but it basically feels like the whole bike gets wagging when descending at speed and trying to steer - a couple things of note - one is that front end setup is F100X fork, Syntace F-99 105mm stem and EC90 SL Monkeylite bar and that this issue was less noticeable when I ran a flat bar EC70 with bar ends - hands closer together = less torque on front end? or, descending more aggro with wider hands = more torque? bar stem combo is generating the flex?...I don't know and also this isn't a humongous problem - given I am getting fairly used to how the bike handles at speed and ride accordingly - but it just obviously is not right and I'd like to figure it out - thanks again for the thoughts on this

  7. #7
    Guinness is GOOD for you
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    im pretty fat...

    and i dont think my epic is noodley. im 245#s, i ride a large and i think its pretty solid. i dont have much to compare it to though.
    "Please leave the room if this will offend you"--Budd Dwyer

  8. #8
    mechmann_mtb
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    uhhhh.. you buy a light, FS, XC racing frame and then say it is noodly? no way man, that thing is rock solid... LOL

    you have to weigh you purchase decisions against what the bike was inteded for. that is like me coming on here and saying that i am pissed off because my 6" travel Enduro weighed over 32lbs when i got it.

    the SJ120 isn't noodly. it is a more heavy trail oriented bike. i personally don't feel that it would sit well under me, but that is why i bought my Enduro and the SJ120 for the wifey.

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    i had same.....

    i had the same thoughts on my bike,04's-works epic disc, i'm 5'4 175lbs and run a race face 120mm stem on my size medium frame,with a cut down specialized carbon bar, i had a wobbily feeling at times,had shop check headset freeplay,(which was fine) pivots were tight,we traced the flex to the carbon bar,which is quite noticeable when you investigate it. anyone else had a flexy carbon bar? or should i get rid of it before it fails?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicmadness
    i had the same thoughts on my bike,04's-works epic disc, i'm 5'4 175lbs and run a race face 120mm stem on my size medium frame,with a cut down specialized carbon bar, i had a wobbily feeling at times,had shop check headset freeplay,(which was fine) pivots were tight,we traced the flex to the carbon bar,which is quite noticeable when you investigate it. anyone else had a flexy carbon bar? or should i get rid of it before it fails?
    Carbon is flexy. I have talked to a hardcore roadie guy at work, and he owns an 8grand Carbon road bike, and an aluminum bike. He says that carbon is flexy, but is easier on the body, but at the same time, robs you of energy. (little bit) Aluminum is stiff, but it is harsher on you, but it is more efficient than carbon, but is lighter than aluminum, so you fatigue less.

    That makes me skeptical about the S-Works Carbon Epic that is coming out. I can't believe if they claim that the bike frame is stiffer than the M5 S-Works it replaces.

    After riding the Epic every single weekend, (except business trip weekends) I find that Epic is awesome on relatively smooth singletrack with tight fast turns. No competition.

    Last weekend, I saw a guy on a 05? SJ Comp and he was chugging uphill trying to get away from me. His rear shock was bobbing like crazy, and I caught up to him, and I was waiting for him to let me pass. But he didn't and kept going. The section is now flat, and he increases speed, and I stick to him with energy to spare, and when it comes to turns, I catch up to him. Epic corners so much better than most bikes on smooth sections.

    But, on fast tracks with lots of roots and suspension trenches, Epic seems a bit wobbly, but hey, that's not really what the bike was designed to shine on. But I can still ride it and go fast. If you don't like how it handles on ultra rough stuff, get the Stumpjumper. So in my opinion, I think there is really no "awesome at everything" bike.
    Last edited by Daffunda; 10-10-2005 at 07:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    I would check the pivots.

    Mine had a little play when you lifted up the bike. I cleaned and regreased all 8 bearings and the shock eyelet bearings and there is no play. For a light Horst-design FS bike, i think it's plenty stiff. Of course, I'm 6' and 155 lbs.

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    Guys, it's not a light frame. My 05 S-Works Epic size Large weighs 6.2 pounds with the shock and seat collar. That's a pretty hefty "race" bike. The fact is that it has a lot of front end flex and it's sketchy in fast corners especially when it's loose or rough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    Guys, it's not a light frame. My 05 S-Works Epic size Large weighs 6.2 pounds with the shock and seat collar. That's a pretty hefty "race" bike. The fact is that it has a lot of front end flex and it's sketchy in fast corners especially when it's loose or rough.
    Have you checked the spoke tention? Thighten up the spokes and see if the ride changes

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiHoEskimo
    Have you checked the spoke tention? Thighten up the spokes and see if the ride changes
    Thanks for the tip, but my spoke tension is fine. Each of my spokes is tensioned to 130kg +- 5kg. I'm using a steel QR, cranked down amazingly tight, on an 05 TALAS RLC and my cones are also adjusted perfectly...as is my headset.

    It's just not a very torsionally rigid front end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    Thanks for the tip, but my spoke tension is fine. Each of my spokes is tensioned to 130kg +- 5kg. I'm using a steel QR, cranked down amazingly tight, on an 05 TALAS RLC and my cones are also adjusted perfectly...as is my headset.

    It's just not a very torsionally rigid front end.

    Hmmm, you didn't put in a pot of boilling water did you?

  16. #16
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    Counterfit frame???

    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    Guys, it's not a light frame. My 05 S-Works Epic size Large weighs 6.2 pounds with the shock and seat collar. That's a pretty hefty "race" bike. The fact is that it has a lot of front end flex and it's sketchy in fast corners especially when it's loose or rough.
    If your frame weighs 6.2 pounds I would have it verified legit by a spec. dealer. It is about a half pound heavier (I think) than the worst case for an epic frame (L) (painted with canti mounts inc. seat-post collar and shock)
    This also makes some sense the Epic is decidedly not flexy (I owned a shop for 10 years and have ridden literally thousands of frames) Quite to the contrary (rigidity wise) would put it in the top 20% of frames in it's class

    (I just checked weight weenies and indeed my memory servers me correctly, your epic is off the scale weight wise, something is very amiss here, particularly since the odd characteristic your frame has (whippy in front) that no other epic (I have ever ridden) has.)

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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy
    If your frame weighs 6.2 pounds I would have it verified legit by a spec. dealer. It is about a half pound heavier (I think) than the worst case for an epic frame (L) (painted with canti mounts inc. seat-post collar and shock)
    This also makes some sense the Epic is decidedly not flexy (I owned a shop for 10 years and have ridden literally thousands of frames) Quite to the contrary (rigidity wise) would put it in the top 20% of frames in it's class

    (I just checked weight weenies and indeed my memory servers me correctly, your epic is off the scale weight wise, something is very amiss here, particularly since the odd characteristic your frame has (whippy in front) that no other epic (I have ever ridden) has.)
    My complete bike weighs 25 pounds exactly with heavy (750 grams) tires. I bought it as a frame only and weighed it before I built it up. It weighed 5.7 pounds, size large. The shock alone is 500 grams. My bike is rock solid.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy
    If your frame weighs 6.2 pounds I would have it verified legit by a spec. dealer. It is about a half pound heavier (I think) than the worst case for an epic frame (L) (painted with canti mounts inc. seat-post collar and shock)
    This also makes some sense the Epic is decidedly not flexy (I owned a shop for 10 years and have ridden literally thousands of frames) Quite to the contrary (rigidity wise) would put it in the top 20% of frames in it's class

    (I just checked weight weenies and indeed my memory servers me correctly, your epic is off the scale weight wise, something is very amiss here, particularly since the odd characteristic your frame has (whippy in front) that no other epic (I have ever ridden) has.)

    I'm quite sure that it's legit for the following reasons:

    Before moving out to Oregon (in June) I was an employee for one of the largest Specialized dealers in the lace w:st="on">USlace> and purchased my frame through the EP program at Specialized. So I received the frame directly from Specialized and it was distributed from a warehouse just a few miles from my old neighborhood.

    Just for a little backup information...until recently, I had been employed in the industry since approximately 1994 in various capacities. I've gone from lowly builder to head wrench to store manager and buyer. I have a tremendous amount of experience with various bikes over the full spectrum from road to observed trials (as a former expert level competitor) and strongly feel that I am competent when it comes to the mechanics and theories behind bikes.

    I weighed the frame, shock and collar on a verified scale. Its exact weight is 2830g.

    As you may expect, I was quite surprised by the weight of the frame and very disappointed that a frame intended for racing would be so heavy. More so because of it's squirrelly handling characteristics at speed. Since the initial build of the bike, I've switched out various wheels and have gone so far as to temporarily install a Fox 36 from my Enduro.

    I have a flexy frame. The best I can hope for at this point is to wait until it fails and hope the Specialized continues to provide good CS. If that ever happens, I'll either look into getting a different Spec frame through warrantee, or I'll sell the replacement frame and just stick to riding my Enduro, which is 6 pounds heavier, but far more predictable.

  19. #19
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    There is just no way that that weight is within production variances, if you weighed it on a calibrated scale, it almost assuredly is a fake (counterfeit) frame (actual weighed (L) frames on weight weenies are showing within 20g of 1600g)

    I would defiantly report this to Specialized

  20. #20
    Meh.
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    I work for a Specialized Dealer as well. Specialized makes great frames, but Horst Link frame designs do tend to be flexier than other designs. And I think that in order to save weight, they removed too much material in key areas of the frame. It pedals well though, so no complaints.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy
    There is just no way that that weight is within production variances, if you weighed it on a calibrated scale, it almost assuredly is a fake (counterfeit) frame (actual weighed (L) frames on weight weenies are showing within 20g of 1600g)

    I would defiantly report this to Specialized
    Did you read my post? This was an EP.

    So you're suggesting that Specialized themselves sent me a counterfeit frame? Since they're the ones who sold it to me, wouldn't it automatically be a legit frame? I'm 100% certain that it's a legit frame, but for the sake of clarification, I'll call them to verify the SN...and I'll do so defiantly.


    Edit: I called Specialized with my SN...they verified it and said that there can be up to a 20% weight variance.
    Last edited by smudge; 10-14-2005 at 02:17 PM.

  22. #22
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    A few things

    The carbon Epic IS much more stiffer. Some think carbon is not as stiff because it does a much better job reducing vibrations. There will be a weight limit for the carbon Epics. I think like 250 lbs.

    If the bike feels flexy, check the wheels (spokes too) and pivots. You might want to put a 100mm fork if you are using an 80mm now. This will slow the handling down some but might do the trick for you.

    At the end of the day, the Epic is a light weight race bike. Don't expect the stiffness of at dedicated trail bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    Did you read my post? This was an EP.

    So you're suggesting that Specialized themselves sent me a counterfeit frame? Since they're the ones who sold it to me, wouldn't it automatically be a legit frame? I'm 100% certain that it's a legit frame, but for the sake of clarification, I'll call them to verify the SN...and I'll do so defiantly.


    Edit: I called Specialized with my SN...they verified it and said that there can be up to a 20% weight variance.

    I read you post, did you read mine, a half pound (+-) variance in frames just can not be. Who at specialized told you that?
    Last edited by Grumpy; 10-14-2005 at 05:40 PM. Reason: typo

  24. #24
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    One more thing....

    The Epic is much more rigid then the Stumpjumer FSR that it replaced as the XC race platform. The old FSR would "wag" the rear end. The Epic is much better. Again, try to remember what the Epic was intended for XC racing.

  25. #25
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    Ah, the endless comparison to noodles.

    I love the definitive study of flex undertaken by people who use the word noodle in their findings. Everywhere you look someone is saying "my such and such bike is flexing like a noodle", or "my such and such bike is heaps stiffer than...". How are they making these comparisions? Is it frame flex? or could it be any of the following: wheel flex, seat pole flex, bar/stem flex, crank flex, pedal flex, fork flex, saddle flex, shoe flex, the list goes on.

    I am sure there is some 4'0", 75lb stick insect with no muscle tone out there who would arge all day that their 55lb downhill bike with bolted, 20mm everything was a noodle, but that doesn't mean that it is, and does that make it a bad bike even if it was true? Stiffness is generally considered a good thing, but I feel that subjective comparisons of bikes based on "feel" are a bit dubious.

    If you think that your epic, or any other bike for that matter, feels or actually is flexy, get something different. Didn't you think about how it would feel before you forked out your hard earned cash? Does it even matter if it feels or is flexy, are we talking fractions of a second in the world cup final, or are we taking a mind-numbing, soul-destroying, sloth-paced ride down a local trail which is so manicured that it may as well be tarmac?

    For the record, I do ride an epic, and yes, if I power it hard out of the saddle it flexes for sure. I don't care - it's not like it's going to make a difference to my riding anyway. I've ridden stiffer bikes for sure, and I've also ridden flexier ones, but I look at the whole package, and I like what I see.

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