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  1. #1
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    My Epic S-works build

    This is the first MTB forum I have joined. I have been riding for a few years and have had several bikes. It took a while to build this bike and now that I am almost done, I figured I would share. I would love opinions as to anything anyone would recomend I do with the bike. I like in N. Florida but I have started travel between FL and NC for riding.Thanks everyone and I look forward to getting know some of you better.

    As for the bike, it is dressed in
    2013 Full XTR
    XT Pedal
    Ritchey Carbon Bar
    Ritchey Carbon Stem
    Industry 9 with I9 Hubs
    Magura brakes
    And as soon as I get the correct seat post clamps, the S works matching carbon seat.

    Last time I weight it she was a little past 24 lbs. Not to bad for an XL.




    My Epic S-works build-img_0069.jpg
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    My Epic S-works build-img_1008.jpg  

    My Epic S-works build-img_1005.jpg  

    My Epic S-works build-photo.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Sorry for the crappy photos. Every time I go riding I ended up having to much fun to stop and take some great stills lol.

  3. #3
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    Nice bike. What made you change the Roval SL's out?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi View Post
    Nice bike. What made you change the Roval SL's out?
    I never had the "stock" wheels. I actually only purchased the Frame set, and then built it up the way I wanted. After buying several MTB and Road bikes for myself and my wife, I wont buy complete bikes anymore....unless they are exactly what I want. I would rather build it the way I want it.

  5. #5
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    Great looking bike. Still the best colour out there.
    Makes my 12 and 13 S Works Epic bikes look very boring.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete N View Post
    Great looking bike. Still the best colour out there.
    Makes my 12 and 13 S Works Epic bikes look very boring.
    That is of coarse until you ride them Im sure.

  7. #7
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    My Epic S-works build

    I do like that flo yellow colour scheme on the S-Works Epic.

    Is that your final setup in those pictures? Looking at the cable layout you've got both front and rear derailleur cables running on the same side of the head tube, with the front derailleur cable looking rather short and the rear derailleur cable resting on the fork crown. Left like that you're going to be getting some cable rub on the carbon fibre.

    Ideally you'd have nice loops of brake hose and gear cable, so that the bars turn smoothly without interference, the front and rear derailleur cables running each side of the head tube and the front brake hose on the inside of the fork leg to avoid being snagged. The loop of cables underneath the bottom bracket needs to be long enough that they don't touch the bottom bracket when the suspension is fully compressed, as that can cause wear on the frame and also shifting issues. (check by letting all the air out of the rear shock, full open brain dial and push the rear suspension down to full travel with your hand.)

    Post #128
    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread

    For setting the brake and gear lever position having the brake levers angled down a little is usually the most natural position, so that you aren't having to stretch or bend your wrist to reach the brakes. What I do is grip the bars as though I'm riding normally, close my eyes, and then with my eyes closed reach out my fingers as though I'm about to brake. Where my fingers end up is where I position the brake levers, so that they're right where I expect them to be.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I do like that flo yellow colour scheme on the S-Works Epic.

    Is that your final setup in those pictures? Looking at the cable layout you've got both front and rear derailleur cables running on the same side of the head tube, with the front derailleur cable looking rather short and the rear derailleur cable resting on the fork crown. Left like that you're going to be getting some cable rub on the carbon fibre.

    Ideally you'd have nice loops of brake hose and gear cable, so that the bars turn smoothly without interference, the front and rear derailleur cables running each side of the head tube and the front brake hose on the inside of the fork leg to avoid being snagged. The loop of cables underneath the bottom bracket needs to be long enough that they don't touch the bottom bracket when the suspension is fully compressed, as that can cause wear on the frame and also shifting issues. (check by letting all the air out of the rear shock, full open brain dial and push the rear suspension down to full travel with your hand.)

    Post #128
    2012 Epic 29er Picture Thread

    For setting the brake and gear lever position having the brake levers angled down a little is usually the most natural position, so that you aren't having to stretch or bend your wrist to reach the brakes. What I do is grip the bars as though I'm riding normally, close my eyes, and then with my eyes closed reach out my fingers as though I'm about to brake. Where my fingers end up is where I position the brake levers, so that they're right where I expect them to be.
    Thanks you so much for the reply!

    I am not done setting the bike up. I was testing different bars and stems so I opted to leave the cables the length that they are until I decided which set up I want. The set-up in the pick is what I have chosen, I just have not had time to cut the cables.

    The brakes and lever position is something that many people have pointed out to me. Here is the issue. I ride in a very aggressive position. I also ride with my levers positioned closer to the center of the bar, versus right over my grips. I have long figures lol. As for the bar, I decided on a 580mm bar( narrow I know, but the handling is worth it considering how I ride.. I ride FL and NC and I preferred the narrow straight bar hands down). The issue is if I angle the levers any further down, I run the risk of taking the paint of off the frame if the bar was to come around. I had this happen on a different 2012 Epic. So the only way I can lower the var would be to get longer bars and push the position out more over the grips.

    Thank you again for the response. I truly appreciate it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyg80 View Post
    I wont buy complete bikes anymore....unless they are exactly what I want. I would rather build it the way I want it.
    Just curious what stock specs on a S Works epic did you feel were lacking?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Just curious what stock specs on a S Works epic did you feel were lacking?
    I dont feel there were/are any "lacking" specs on an S-works Epic. I just prefer to build it the way I want. For example, I new I wanted a different bar/stem combo. Different saddle, and different wheels. There is nothing wrong with how they come, its just not want I wanted. Also, it is important for me to know my machines in and out. Basically, I dont want a shop to build them, I want to do it. In the case of this bike, the shop let me build there though. Awesome guys!

    I have 5 bikes. 3 of the 5 were bought new as they came. The 3 bikes that were bought as they came all have one thing in common.....they have had some part, or something upgraded. I could of built them the way I wanted and saved myself time and money.... Now some will argue that it is cheaper to buy it the way you want...to each his own.

    However, though I am not a pro or well versed bike mechanic, I have several years of experience and I have a better understanding than some people.....so building it makes sense for a person like myself that understand bars, stems, points of adjustment on suspension, etc.

    I hope I sufficiently answered your question.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyg80 View Post
    I dont feel there were/are any "lacking" specs on an S-works Epic. I just prefer to build it the way I want.
    I went through the build it from scratch "boutique bike" phase years ago also but when you looking at $8K, $9K and $10K+ for a bike it's gonna be tough to beat what the product manager is gonna spec on a bike that cost that kinda dough. When you go to buy a S Works level bike stock exactly what are you gonna upgrade to?


    Quote Originally Posted by tommyg80 View Post
    I have several years of experience and I have a better understanding than some people.....so building it makes sense for a person like myself that understand bars, stems, points of adjustment on suspension, etc.
    I suggest you go back and look at the rats nest of cables that are either too short (front brake) or too long (rear brake and shifters) along with the horizontal to the ground brake and shifter set up and the nose of the saddle pointing south before you try to lecture anyone about bike set up and contact points.

    Welcome to the forum just don't get your panties all in a wad when folks point out the obvious.

  12. #12
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    My Epic S-works build

    There are a few ways to approach the problem of top tube / shifter clearance.

    You can double or triple wrap the top tube with clear protective film at the point that the shifter body touches, as seen here on Jathanas' 2013 S-Works Epic. That will prevent the frame being scratched in a crash.

    Post #148
    Epic S-Works 2013

    From the side on picture you still have some room to play with lowering them down whilst clearing the frame. The shifters only have to clear the frame by the smallest amount to be safe so you could rotate the bars 90 degrees, loosen the clamps and get them as close as possible before re-tightening the clamps again.

    When trimming the gear cables you can cut them short, so that the gear cables pull tight on the frame before the bars rotate around enough to hit the top tube. If you do that you'll need clear protective film on the headtube to protect the paint from cable rub.

    Gripshift shifters would give more clearance than trigger shifters do.

    Some frames have hard stops built into the frame, such as this Canyon, to prevent the bars spinning fully. (Scroll down the page and there's a close up picture, just behind the headset). It's not something you can retrofit though.

    https://www.canyon.com/_en/mountainb...on-cf-slx.html

    .

  13. #13
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    My Epic S-works build

    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    I went through the build it from scratch "boutique bike" phase years ago also but when you looking at $8K, $9K and $10K+ for a bike it's gonna be tough to beat what the product manager is gonna spec on a bike that cost that kinda dough. When you go to buy a S Works level bike stock exactly what are you gonna upgrade to?
    One of the reasons my last bike wasn't an S-Works Epic was because I realised that I would end up having to replace nearly everything on the bike to get it how I wanted.

    Even though an S-Works Epic is expensive there are quite a few areas where there are niggles which aren't ideal for everyone. If you take a current S-Works Epic SRAM for example it comes with SRAM (Avid) XX brakes, steel bottom bracket bearings, heavy Specialized seatpost, waffle grips, titanium railed saddle (rather than a carbon rail saddle), quick release drop out Rock Shox Sid fork lowers (rather than 15mm thru axle lowers) and the worst aheadset top cap ever.

    For me specifically I'd also have needed to replace from new the S-Works carbon chainset, front shifter and front derailleur (I prefer a triple and need a custom crank), the handlebars, probably the stem (as I have a 100mm stem and the stock on a size Large is a 110mm) and the rear wheel (for my Powertap hub).

    Because you couldn't get individual frames in the UK at the time I wound up buying a complete 2012 Epic Expert, stripping it down and putting my own parts on. All that's original on my bike now is the fork crown.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    There are a few ways to approach the problem of top tube / shifter clearance.

    You can double or triple wrap the top tube with clear protective film at the point that the shifter body touches, as seen here on Jathanas' 2013 S-Works Epic. That will prevent the frame being scratched in a crash.

    Post #148
    Epic S-Works 2013

    From the side on picture you still have some room to play with lowering them down whilst clearing the frame. The shifters only have to clear the frame by the smallest amount to be safe so you could rotate the bars 90 degrees, loosen the clamps and get them as close as possible before re-tightening the clamps again.

    When trimming the gear cables you can cut them short, so that the gear cables pull tight on the frame before the bars rotate around enough to hit the top tube. If you do that you'll need clear protective film on the headtube to protect the paint from cable rub.

    Gripshift shifters would give more clearance than trigger shifters do.

    Some frames have hard stops built into the frame, such as this Canyon, to prevent the bars spinning fully. (Scroll down the page and there's a close up picture, just behind the headset). It's not something you can retrofit though.

    https://www.canyon.com/_en/mountainb...on-cf-slx.html

    .

    Very helpful info. Thanks so much!

  15. #15
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    Hey tommy, great build on your bike and I'm just like you. I enjoyed seeing how you built yours up. I ride a 2012 epic S works large and had to replace a few parts as well, though not as many parts as you did.
    I need a straight up seatpost and eventually went to a dropper seatpost as well, the KS lev, since we have such rugged terrain here.
    The phenom stock saddle did not fit me well and I eventually replaced that with a carbon rail Romin. Needed bigger, more aggressive nobby's and had to change out stock tires for nobby nics front and back 2.35.
    Couldn't resist the XX1 drive chain and am running it with a 28 chainring. I have always favored grip shift and got that type of shifter. I absolutely love this drive chain.
    Bike weighs just over 23 pounds and I run it tubeless. Personally, I have never enjoyed a mountain bike as much as I love this one. It has turned out to be my dream bike except for the fact that I may replace the fork with a 120 mm fox float someday. I don't race anymore since I am older and we do mostly trail riding as we have no smooth trails and this fork is much more suitable for our terrain.
    I was curious as your tires seem to have aggressive knobs. What size and what brand are you running?
    Thanks for your post. I enjoyed it.
    Jeff

  16. #16
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    My Epic S-works build

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdev1 View Post
    I was curious as your tires seem to have aggressive knobs. What size and what brand are you running?
    Those are Specialized The Captain tyres front and rear in 29x2.0 size:

    http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/ftb...sw-the-captain

    .

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Those are Specialized The Captain tyres front and rear in 29x2.0 size:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    .
    Those are the Captains!

    I run S-works tire on my Carve 29-er.

    If I was to rate the 2 different sets, the S-works are lighter, but the Captains have meatier Knobs and handle a bit better in wetter situations.

    Both tires have performed well, but If I was to replace a set, at this moment I would stick with the Captains simply because it rains a lot here in Florida and I feel more planted to the ground with the Captains. I have experienced more slipping with the S-works tire. I still prefer the lightness of that tire though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdev1 View Post
    Hey tommy, great build on your bike and I'm just like you. I enjoyed seeing how you built yours up. I ride a 2012 epic S works large and had to replace a few parts as well, though not as many parts as you did.
    I need a straight up seatpost and eventually went to a dropper seatpost as well, the KS lev, since we have such rugged terrain here.
    The phenom stock saddle did not fit me well and I eventually replaced that with a carbon rail Romin. Needed bigger, more aggressive nobby's and had to change out stock tires for nobby nics front and back 2.35.
    Couldn't resist the XX1 drive chain and am running it with a 28 chainring. I have always favored grip shift and got that type of shifter. I absolutely love this drive chain.
    Bike weighs just over 23 pounds and I run it tubeless. Personally, I have never enjoyed a mountain bike as much as I love this one. It has turned out to be my dream bike except for the fact that I may replace the fork with a 120 mm fox float someday. I don't race anymore since I am older and we do mostly trail riding as we have no smooth trails and this fork is much more suitable for our terrain.
    I was curious as your tires seem to have aggressive knobs. What size and what brand are you running?
    Thanks for your post. I enjoyed it.
    Jeff

    I also would like more travel in the front, but I really enjoy the "Brain" in the front. So much so I also put the Brain on my Carve. Once I got used to it, I fell in love with how it feels.

    Also, I love the grip shifters. They are amazing....I should of went that way but I got such a great deal on the full XTR that I couldnt pass it up. Maybe I will convert my Carve to grip shift.

    As for your bike, I am glad you enjoy it. I totally understand what you mean when you say "it turned out to be your dream bike." I know how that feels now!!!!

  19. #19
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    I must say that I do miss the lightness and responsiveness of those S works tires. I even changed out the stock tires for S works captains. Unfortunately without sidewall protection in the tires, our lava rocks shred the sidewalls repeatedly and sometimes after one ride. Once I was just cresting a short steep up and barely moving at all at the top. I gently rolled over a baby head lava rock buried in the tall grass and as I did it rolled up sideways against the side of my tire gently. I wondered if I probably punctured, but didn't see anything until 2000 meters later. You could barely see a scratch in the sidewall yet it was leaking and would not seal with Stan's. That was my fifth sidewall leak with S works tires, None of which would seal with Stan's. I bought tires with sidewall protection and I've never had a sidewall rip. They weigh 770 g but I don't give a hoot since they just flat out work. i can't tell you how often we have to stop and use an empty gel wrapper for a sidewall boot after a visitor with a rental bike punctures.
    Our terrain is so technical steep and rugged that I can't even use the brain setting on my fork. We need instant responsiveness. Our conditions are somewhat akin to the North Shore of BC. Visitors from that region who ride with us are right at home.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdev1 View Post
    I must say that I do miss the lightness and responsiveness of those S works tires. I even changed out the stock tires for S works captains. Unfortunately without sidewall protection in the tires, our lava rocks shred the sidewalls repeatedly and sometimes after one ride. Once I was just cresting a short steep up and barely moving at all at the top. I gently rolled over a baby head lava rock buried in the tall grass and as I did it rolled up sideways against the side of my tire gently. I wondered if I probably punctured, but didn't see anything until 2000 meters later. You could barely see a scratch in the sidewall yet it was leaking and would not seal with Stan's. That was my fifth sidewall leak with S works tires, None of which would seal with Stan's. I bought tires with sidewall protection and I've never had a sidewall rip. They weigh 770 g but I don't give a hoot since they just flat out work. i can't tell you how often we have to stop and use an empty gel wrapper for a sidewall boot after a visitor with a rental bike punctures.
    Our terrain is so technical steep and rugged that I can't even use the brain setting on my fork. We need instant responsiveness. Our conditions are somewhat akin to the North Shore of BC. Visitors from that region who ride with us are right at home.
    Lately I have wondered how the Brain would do with technical steep conditions. I ride downhill when I go to North Carolina and it has been great so far, but still with not much travel I wonder.

    I tested the brain on some stairs. The front brain has 32 points of adjustment. I had to set it at about 5 clicks from "fastest" to not bottom out by the time I reached the bottom. The problem was how hard it was after the stairs. Meaning, if I didnt stop to change the adjustment, it rode a little harder than I liked. I have been cautious when getting to much air, or dropping to far to be honest.

  21. #21
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    My Epic S-works build

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyg80 View Post
    Those are the Captains!

    I run S-works tire on my Carve 29-er.

    If I was to rate the 2 different sets, the S-works are lighter, but the Captains have meatier Knobs and handle a bit better in wetter situations.
    Which tyres are fitted on your Carve? The Fast Trak?

    http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/ftb...s/sw-fast-trak

    For Specialized tyres S-Works, Control, Sport and Armadillo refers to the different casings. The tread pattern itself stays the same between versions.

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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Which tyres are fitted on your Carve? The Fast Trak?

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    For Specialized tyres S-Works, Control, Sport and Armadillo refers to the different casings. The tread pattern itself stays the same between versions.
    I have the Fast Track on my Carve. I'm not sure what you mean are referring to as far as thread pattern

  23. #23
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    My Epic S-works build

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyg80 View Post
    I have the Fast Track on my Carve. I'm not sure what you mean are referring to as far as thread pattern
    I just wanted to check what tyres you were using on the Carve as you only said S-Works without adding the tyre name alongside.

    Tread pattern is the type of tyre (Fast Trak, Ground Control, Captain etc) whilst S-Works, Control, Sport etc is the casing. You need both to know what the tyre is. Eg: Specialized S-works Fast Trak tyre 29x2.0".

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I just wanted to check what tyres you were using on the Carve as you only said S-Works without adding the tyre name alongside.

    Tread pattern is the type of tyre (Fast Trak, Ground Control, Captain etc) whilst S-Works, Control, Sport etc is the casing. You need both to know what the tyre is. Eg: Specialized S-works Fast Trak tyre 29x2.0".
    Yea, my fault...I should of been more descriptive.

    Which tire do you prefer?

  25. #25
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    My Epic S-works build

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyg80 View Post
    Yea, my fault...I should of been more descriptive.

    Which tire do you prefer?
    I quite like the Specialized Ground Control tyres. They have good grip levels whilst still rolling well at the same time.

    Post #155
    Epic S-Works 2013

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