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  1. #1
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    Sold my S-Works Epic for a Merida Big Nine Team Edition

    After riding Specialized for +10 years, I have finally pulled the trigger : sold my Specialized S-Works Epic 2012 29'er and ordered a Merida Big Nine Team Edition frameset. Should be here end of the week.

    Why? There was a lot of maintenance on the S-Works Epic as there was always something that started creaking : sand between headset lower bearing / framecup or into the bottom bracket bearings, the downtube protection foil always peeling off over time, etc. On a 29'er there is less need for a full suspension anyway.

    The Big Nine is designed for 100mm travel fork, X-12 axle and has some really neat features like the FSA Head Block headset, which prevents damage from the brakes / shifters to the top tube of the frame in event of a crash.

    Specialized carbon frames are made at Merida anyway, so I'm still somehow riding a Specialized

  2. #2
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    Epic maintenance

    Sold my Epics too because of maintenance and break downs. Best riding bike I ever had but me and shop guys just spent too much time together.

    Have two SJ hardtails 1x10 and it seems I never have to shop them.

  3. #3
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    Wow...everyone selling their Epics lately, just sold my 2012 Expert 2 days ago. With the new Stumpjumper FSR 2013 coming in and with a more or less 500 Euro worth of brains and forks overhaul due by spring 2013 I've thought it would have been more wise to cut down to just one 29er and my roadie Roubaix. Also I don't want to spend another winter with 2 mountainbikes as one of the two gets actually never used.

    I have to say with proper basic mainteinance and regular cleaning I've never had a single creak and I will miss SRAM's violent and sharp shifting. Superb bike,I would buy one again in the future. Along with the Tarmac it's truly the quintessential Specialized bike

  4. #4
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    I was gonna say, so you sold your Merida for a Merida.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by madskatingcow View Post
    After riding Specialized for +10 years, I have finally pulled the trigger : sold my Specialized S-Works Epic 2012 29'er and ordered a Merida Big Nine Team Edition frameset. Should be here end of the week.

    Why? There was a lot of maintenance on the S-Works Epic as there was always something that started creaking : sand between headset lower bearing / framecup or into the bottom bracket bearings, the downtube protection foil always peeling off over time, etc. On a 29'er there is less need for a full suspension anyway.
    Don't you mean a Merida Big Ninety-Nine, rather than a Merida Big Nine?

    Full Suspension - 29" XC Race / Marathon - Big Ninety-Nine Pro XO-Edition - Merida Bikes International

    The Merida Big Nine appears to be a hardtail. For reliability and maintenance surely it would be fairer to compare that to one of the Specialized hardtails that you've had previously, rather than a full suspension Epic? Issues like a creaking headset or bottom bracket are just as likely to occur on a hardtail as a full suspension bike.

    Saying that, I can completely understand why you'd want something a bit different after 10 years. My last four bikes in a row have all been Specialized Epics and you do begin to start questioning why you're buying more or less the same thing every few years. The bikes I find interesting are the ones with the electronic rear shocks, such as this one from Haibike or the Lapierre versions. If I was trying to find an Epic alternative that's the sort of thing I'd be looking at.

    Haibike

    .

  6. #6
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    Big Nine is correct : I'm switching back to a hardtail as I'll probably use it more than a full suspension due to the weather conditions over here. Less maintenance (no suspension pivot bearings, easier to clean), and as I said : there is less need for a full suspension in 29" than it used to be in 26".

    I also have a Lynskey M290 (similar to the Ridgeline), which I really love and have been riding at least 3x more than the Epic the past months.

  7. #7
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    Haibike constantly get negative comments due to the suspension design (bobbing or not using the complete travel). I am simply blown away after coming from a 26 Epic to the S-Works 29 now. What a machine!

    And creaking is usually just a question of maintenance and correct torque rather than certain brand. I never had issues with my 2010 Epic.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkinho View Post
    And creaking is usually just a question of maintenance and correct torque rather than certain brand. I never had issues with my 2010 Epic.
    There, you said it - maintenance. The Epic is quite maintenance intensive, unless you live in a dry place I guess.

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    Not at all, Germany ;-)

  10. #10
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    It's the electronic rear shock of the Haibike that I find interesting really. If the electronic rear shock actually does what it's supposed to then the rear suspension wouldn't bob whilst pedalling, even if the suspension design is normally inefficient with a standard rear shock.

    When it comes to maintenance there's no arguing with how much hassle a Specialized Epic can be as an everyday bike. Riding in the UK bearings don't last long here either.

  11. #11
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    Cleaning the bike is the best maintenance...I can't count the customers that bring in bikes that look like they have dipped the entire bike in mud and baked it on for a week. They can't understand why it makes noise or doesn't shift right...It doesn't take much to keep a bike quiet and it cost less money in the long run when kept clean. The more expensive bike, the more maintenance is required...I compare it to running a F1 race car...otherwise buy a hardrock.

  12. #12
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    But if it is inefficient it may not use the whole travel!?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdcmoto View Post
    Cleaning the bike is the best maintenance...I can't count the customers that bring in bikes that look like they have dipped the entire bike in mud and baked it on for a week. They can't understand why it makes noise or doesn't shift right...It doesn't take much to keep a bike quiet and it cost less money in the long run when kept clean. The more expensive bike, the more maintenance is required...I compare it to running a F1 race car...otherwise buy a hardrock.
    +1

    Well said.

    I always clean my bike after a long day on the saddle. Every couple months, an extensive clean where I remove parts and re-grease. My bikes pretty much never need service.

  14. #14
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    100 % , Cleaning is definetely important.

  15. #15
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    My bike is always showroom shine - hard to tell if it's brand new from the shop or not

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkinho View Post
    But if it is inefficient it may not use the whole travel!?
    If the rear suspension isn't using full travel that's down to the rear shock valving and shock pressures used, rather than the rear suspension design.

    This article is about the Rockshox Monarch electronic rear shock.

    Lapierre + RockShox Launch Auto-adjust E.I. Shock Suspension - BikeRadar

    Cleaning my bike post ride can be a real grind. By the time I get home I'm normally stuffed and just want to lie down before riding again the day after. I'll usually clean the drive train, stanchions, brake rotors, lube the chain and leave it at that. A bit of dried mud on the frame doesn't make any difference. Even that level of cleaning takes time:

    1 hour getting ready pre-ride
    3-5 hours riding
    1 hour cleaning the bike post ride

    If you're doing that 6 or 7 days per week the additional bike cleaning time really eats into your recovery time, and also the amount of time available to do other things before going to bed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    If the rear suspension isn't using full travel that's down to the rear shock valving and shock pressures used, rather than the rear suspension design.

    This article is about the Rockshox Monarch electronic rear shock.

    Lapierre + RockShox Launch Auto-adjust E.I. Shock Suspension - BikeRadar

    Cleaning my bike post ride can be a real grind. By the time I get home I'm normally stuffed and just want to lie down before riding again the day after. I'll usually clean the drive train, stanchions, brake rotors, lube the chain and leave it at that. A bit of dried mud on the frame doesn't make any difference. Even that level of cleaning takes time:

    1 hour getting ready pre-ride
    3-5 hours riding
    1 hour cleaning the bike post ride

    If you're doing that 6 or 7 days per week the additional bike cleaning time really eats into your recovery time, and also the amount of time available to do other things before going to bed.
    If it takes you an hour to get ready and an hour to clean the bike, you are doing something wrong...

    Putting on shorts, jersey and helmet takes 3 minutes, put all the stuff you need out the night before so you don't have to do it that morning. Water bottles, GPS, backpack, etc.

    Washing a bike takes maybe 5 minutes, wipe down / drying takes 2 minutes.

    I just cut your day down by 1 hr 30 min. You're welcome

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronpass View Post
    If it takes you an hour to get ready and an hour to clean the bike, you are doing something wrong...

    Putting on shorts, jersey and helmet takes 3 minutes, put all the stuff you need out the night before so you don't have to do it that morning. Water bottles, GPS, backpack, etc.

    Washing a bike takes maybe 5 minutes, wipe down / drying takes 2 minutes.

    I just cut your day down by 1 hr 30 min. You're welcome
    My hour of pre-ride is something that you could skip but I always feel better during the ride if I stick to a fixed routine. Thinking about it most of that time is spent on the toilet. It's difficult to hurry that.

    Wake up
    10-15 min of stretching exercises
    Breakfast - protein shake, carbs
    Mix energy drink, get bike out
    Toilet
    Change into cycling kit, apply embrocation, chamois cream, eat cereal bar
    Toilet
    Glass of water
    Toilet
    Put on helmet, gloves and sunglasses
    Head out the door for ride

    Is that 5 minutes of cleaning jet washing? That increases the chances of trashing the bike's bearings. A bike that's plastered in Cotswold mud is like an archaelogical dig sometimes. If you're not jet washing then it takes longer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronpass View Post
    Washing a bike takes maybe 5 minutes, wipe down / drying takes 2 minutes.

    I just cut your day down by 1 hr 30 min. You're welcome
    While I agree that it only takes 5 minutes to wash down a muddy bike, every time my bike encounters water I lube everything. I usually clean the chain, rd, and fr, then complete lube of the chain.

    If I ride muddy/rainy conditions minimum of 1.5 hrs cleaning and lubing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    While I agree that it only takes 5 minutes to wash down a muddy bike, every time my bike encounters water I lube everything. I usually clean the chain, rd, and fr, then complete lube of the chain.

    If I ride muddy/rainy conditions minimum of 1.5 hrs cleaning and lubing.
    1.5 hrs??? Wow.
    MCH Co-Captain

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by erichwic View Post
    1.5 hrs??? Wow.
    Yea, that's what I am saying. These people are doing something really wrong. I am irrationally anal about keeping my bikes clean and it does not even take me a quarter of the time of that...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronpass View Post
    Yea, that's what I am saying. These people are doing something really wrong. I am irrationally anal about keeping my bikes clean and it does not even take me a quarter of the time of that...
    it very much depends on the conditions o the ride. I ride mostly dry conditions and cleaning involves hosing the bike down at the trailhead, carefully air drying the bike on the roofrack on the way home ;-) then lubing once I get home. Once a month I will give a proper hand wash at home. Chain lube every ride. Wipe the fork and shock surfaces with a rag soaked in sock oil, and that is about it.

    Usually 20 mins, tops....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi View Post
    it very much depends on the conditions o the ride. I ride mostly dry conditions and cleaning involves hosing the bike down at the trailhead, carefully air drying the bike on the roofrack on the way home ;-) then lubing once I get home. Once a month I will give a proper hand wash at home. Chain lube every ride. Wipe the fork and shock surfaces with a rag soaked in sock oil, and that is about it.

    Usually 20 mins, tops....
    This is a picture I took on a ride in late July. Mile after mile of sandy and gritty mud. That puddle was just as deep as it looks too.

    It took quite a bit of time cleaning the bike when I got home afterwards.




  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    This is a picture I took on a ride in late July. Sandy and gritty mud. That puddle was just as deep as it looks too.
    I think you may have mistaken this forum for a Boating Forum...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronpass View Post
    I think you may have mistaken this forum for a Boating Forum...
    That picture is from riding around the Cotswold Water Park. It's made up of old disused quarry pits that have filled with water. The lakes that were created are now used for water sports - sailing, canoeing etc. There are paths around the edges that you're allowed to cycle on. In some of the low lying sections like the one above the paths flood and you're literally riding in the lake.

    What you have to watch out for is when there isn't a firm base under the water. Because it's sandy it can be washed away. I was riding into the puddles just hoping that there weren't any really deep drops. On some of the puddles I'd get part way across and then you get that feeling of your front wheel dropping away and the bike diving straight down to the depths.

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