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  1. #1
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    epic vs spark rc?

    I've got a road racing background and started mountain biking about a year ago with no intentions of racing, until I tried it. I've got an Intense ACV 27.5+ and it's a great bike for trails and was fine for the races I did (a 60 mile race and a short Cat 3 race).

    I'm planning to do more racing in the fall and into next year and seriously thinking about getting a XC bike. My race ambitions are a couple more Cat 3 races, probably start Cat 2 next season, and definitely some marathon stuff (A few local races and maybe one of the Colorado 100's).

    Definitely want full suspension (I'll be 50 next year) and looking at the Spark RC and new Epic. I will be doing some test rides, but not sure I'll be able to hit any serious trails before making a decision. My main goal with test ride is to get a feel for the "brain" vs. manual lockout. I like the "hands off" concept of the brain and room for 2 bottles on Epic, but I get a decent team discount on the Spark that I would not get with the Epic. Anything else I should be looking at one way or the other with these bikes?

  2. #2
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    Your ACV can be set at 4.5" travel and should be able to take 29er wheels since it's a 27.5+, given that the frame is 5.3lbs or whatever, there's little to be gained with something like an epic or spark, the epic relies on the brain to try and make it pedal better and starts off with a less-efficient design that has to be "boosted" with the brain. The Spark also isn't terribly efficient, but this doesn't matter as much when travel is only 4" and you can rely on lockouts, but not all bikes have to use lockout so much for decent efficiency, like many modern single pivot and "dual link" bikes. There are good single pivots like Treks and others that give you more anti-squat for better pedaling performance, along with ones like the DW link bikes, like pivot, turner, etc. Others like Intense, Sana Cruz and Yeti offer a lot of similar characteristics in terms of pedaling too.

    I race at the high-expert level and for my level and everything below IMO, you are far better off on a better-riding FS bike, rather than something like a Epic. I'm partial to my Pivot 429SL, but there are lots of good ones out there. I'm not sure I'd be looking to get a new bike with the capabilities of your Intense, but on the other hand more XC orientated geometry might make sense, you want a steeper and more responsive rig for XC racing obviously. There was one short-track race this year that I ran my shock on "trail" and for the others, I usually only managed one loop in this setting before falling back to normal "open" mode, where the bike rides better. For the longer races, like 50-100 milers, you want a good riding bike, not a jackhammer.

    In the short term, a good light carbon 29er wheelset like light bicycles or nextie would probably do wonders and I don't think you'd get much benefit from an entire new bike, unless your current bike is built pretty heavy. Then yeah, might be nice to have an XC race bike (which is what I did), but I'd look past those two for sure. They aren't going to make you faster at your level. They wouldn't make ME faster at my level, even if they are a hair lighter than my 429SL.

    I love 27.5 for my AM bike and rocking trails in general, but for XC racing I think 29 offers a lot of advantages, insane traction climbing and great roll-over for choppy rooty sections, allowing you to carry speed, so unless sizing is an issue, for XC racing I'd recommend 29, but again, that's just me.
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  3. #3
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    Though I have no experience with a Spark I did own an Epic carbon Comp evo. From a function standpoint I REALLY liked the brain setup (mine had it in the fork and shock). I never once felt any suspension bob from hard pedaling efforts and it climbed just as good as my old hardtail. From an ownership/maintenance stand point though I am not a fan of Spec and their proprietary products. If you're the type of person that really stays on top of maintenance and reg service intervals owning a Spec can get quite expensive. I have since switched brands because I prefer to work on my own stuff as much as possible and like that I don't have a bunch of proprietary parts on my bike that I can only get or have serviced from one place.

    If you don't see yourself keeping the bike for more than a few seasons and you want a full on race machine I'd still recommend the Spec. If you're looking to own it for the long haul and want to be more cost conscious though you may want to look harder at the Scott.

  4. #4
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    Fox Nude shocks on Scott Sparks are proprietary too, but Brain is extra special in that regard.

    On topic - I'm in the same boat, choosing a new XC bike for next season(s) too. Spark RC-s ja Epics are on the table, as are few others.
    What I don't like about Spark RC that it's head tube angle is way too slack, I'm afraid it's too clumsy on slow technical stuff. Epic has also slacked their HTA a bit, but not as much as Spark RC.
    Currently riding 2013 Epic Comp, occasionally I feel too much pedal bobbing on fast gravel/pavement sections (quite common in XC marathons around here) and when I'm tired, the locked out Brain will start hurting my back. I have a feeling that when I could adjust suspension from handlebars I would do better on both gravel/pavement and on really harsh sections.

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    Interesting Rist. I was unaware of that. Is the Fox Nude shock serviceable by the "home mechanic" still though? What turned me off to Spec was that of course the "brain" shock has the reservoir that prevents you from changing/servicing your own dust seals/fluid/etc.

    The biggest thing that made me sell my Epic was that it was older than 2013 and Spec decided that they were no longer going to offer brain parts for the older models. That was why I mentioned to the OP that if he wished to keep it "long term" he may not want to go the Spec route. If the OP is the type though that routinely swaps out rides every 2-3yrs then I would say its a non-issue.

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    There is just no free lunch (I just invented that saying).

    I had the brains on an Epic, and for short races and training rides, they were good, though the notchiness (or clunking) did bug me. Never quite got over that. For 100 mile races, I despised the harshness of front and rear brains, especially the front. Also, once the rear brain "opened" the sus seemed to blow through all of its travel too easily -- I suspect that's been addressed in the 3 or 4 years since I owned one.

    For lockout bikes, you need to push the lever, deal with more clutter, and syncing F/R lockout cables, but YOU decide when, where and how often you adjust lockout levels.

    By a nose, I'd pick the lockout bike over the brain, and only connect it to the fork.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  7. #7
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    Agreeing with Rist, slacker head angles are not for every taste, but I'm sure we can all get used to the touch of handling (but hey I liked my 71d HT !). Looks like the Spark RC is a good bet for you. No/less proprietary stuff, better price (because of your deal) and great resale value. Demo is the your best bet to be sure of your move. I demoed the Spark, but the Non-RC 120-120 model. Incredible at smoothing out the descents, jumping and trying new lines, but I felt less dynamic on the bike and more "locked in" into my line. Again probably little things I would get a feel for after a few rides.

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    I've a few friends on the new Spark (29" 120mm version) and that's a damn capable bike. Think Moab capable trail bike. I have heard of frame issues on the rc but these are 3rd, 4th or more hand stories... ???? Every time I ride an epic I think it feels fast but end up not liking it - along the lines of "you don't know what's best for me" and perhaps that could be mitigated with more time fudging around with that stuff.

    In full disclosure I occasionally steal my sons 920 and think it's a freaking rocket though I do like/prefer the manual lockout. We both tend to leave it in the middle position with more air pressure on the trail. ymmv

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynbryan19 View Post
    Though I have no experience with a Spark I did own an Epic carbon Comp evo. From a function standpoint I REALLY liked the brain setup (mine had it in the fork and shock). I never once felt any suspension bob from hard pedaling efforts and it climbed just as good as my old hardtail. From an ownership/maintenance stand point though I am not a fan of Spec and their proprietary products. If you're the type of person that really stays on top of maintenance and reg service intervals owning a Spec can get quite expensive. I have since switched brands because I prefer to work on my own stuff as much as possible and like that I don't have a bunch of proprietary parts on my bike that I can only get or have serviced from one place.

    If you don't see yourself keeping the bike for more than a few seasons and you want a full on race machine I'd still recommend the Spec. If you're looking to own it for the long haul and want to be more cost conscious though you may want to look harder at the Scott.
    An FS bike should not climb as good as your hardtail. Why are you lugging around that weight if you are not going to use it to give you more traction? It should climb better in many situations.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    An FS bike should not climb as good as your hardtail. Why are you lugging around that weight if you are not going to use it to give you more traction? It should climb better in many situations.
    Did you have anything you wanted to add to the post or was your purpose to just be a troll....?

  11. #11
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    I'm going to through something else into the mix, because why not...

    The new Giant Anthem 29er. No brain, efficient Maestro suspension, better value for money...

    I also think they nailed the geometry with this one

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynbryan19 View Post
    Did you have anything you wanted to add to the post or was your purpose to just be a troll....?
    Often times, people that are transitioning from a road bike think that the suspension should be rock-hard during climbs, they tend to gravitate to bikes with "lockouts" and similar characteristics.

    I've found that starting with a relatively light bike, that is relatively efficient, means a hell of a lot more than a lockout, up until you get close to being a pro (cat 0 or whatever I guess you call it). To that extent, getting the actual benefit of suspension is important, lots of bikes have been absolute disasters in this regard. The epic makes a compromise here, but earlier ones were absolutely horrible, giant NRS bikes that were designed to be run with zero sag, softtails with no rebound damping, high pivot santa cruz bikes that would stiffen and lose traction when you tried to pedal over rough stuff, and so on. You don't have to, you shouldn't, make compromises like these today, and although most bikes are better, at the 4" travel zone, you should prioritize good riding suspension first, efficiency next, and lockouts last. Any other way and you'll hate the bike the longer you ride it IMO, because 4" isn't enough to see a dramatic effect from a very inefficient design and lockouts aren't going to boost you to the next cat or anything.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I would get neither of those. Of course If I were racing Cat 3 or Cat 2 the intense ACV would do just fine. Now, if you have the money to buy an xc specific bike, I would get a better full suspension design. VPP, DW, Maestro, Trek all substantially better than brain or Scott's design. Apart from being less capable geometrically speaking they are harder to service due to proprietary parts.

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    I have the scott 900. The fox nude rear shock is easy to service, same process as other fox shocks. The Twinloc works great, I use the shifter almost as frequently as my gears in OC riding conditions. The full lockout has zero give and feels like a hardtail rigid, middle lockout is great for minor rocky climbs where you need some give for momentum and the the full unlock works good for a 100mm travel.

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    I also own 900rc & love it ! It's the lightest bike (by 0.4lbs) I own @ 22.6lbs, and it is super capable. It feels a little waifish on the super chunky downhills, but always survives. Great climber. I recommend it ! If I were looking at anything else in that weight range, it would be a Trek fuel / topfuel

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    I decided against an epic due to the required maintenance everyone was telling me about; you have to send it in to Spec for service. I liked the idea of no need for a lockout with the epic, but even better would be having a rear design that climbs well without a lockout. I'm in the minority that I never use fork lockout; my impression is that when climbing so much more of your weight is on the rear that any benefit of a locked out fork is very minimal. I can see using a lockout for a standing sprint start or finish on a hard surface, otherwise I don't mess with the lockout button.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    I would get neither of those. Of course If I were racing Cat 3 or Cat 2 the intense ACV would do just fine. Now, if you have the money to buy an xc specific bike, I would get a better full suspension design. VPP, DW, Maestro, Trek all substantially better than brain or Scott's design. Apart from being less capable geometrically speaking they are harder to service due to proprietary parts.
    The Scott and Trek use the same split pivot suspension.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by blutow View Post
    ... I've got an Intense ACV 27.5+ and it's a great bike for trails and was fine for the races I did (a 60 mile race and a short Cat 3 race).

    I'm planning to do more racing in the fall and into next year and seriously thinking about getting a XC bike. My race ambitions are a couple more Cat 3 races, probably start Cat 2 next season, and definitely some marathon stuff (A few local races and maybe one of the Colorado 100's).
    Ok so.
    If you are racing Cat 3 or Cat 2 I would say that bike is only like 10% of what it takes to do well. Once you get to Cat 1 the differences are small enough that the bike can start impacting race order. I don't know much about the ACV, but looking at numbers the only issue could be the slack HA. 66.25 is pretty slack for XC use and what I have found is slacker bikes tend to be harder to steer and less responsive in the faster turns and change of directions in XC courses. My 69 deg 120mm fork SC Highball turns much more respinsively than my 68 HA 130mm SC 5010.

    Now you can gain something back on responsiveness any weight with a wheel changes. Should be able to fit light 29" wheels and make ACV more snappy. Can't change HA much unless you change out the fork. At that point it is better to get a new bike. For me I am much faster on XC terrain on my 21.5lbs Highball HT compared with my 29lbs SC 5010 and it will impact finish position in Cat 2 for me and I am not a podium guy. It is combination of weight, handling and pedaling efficiency. Even so I prefer to race my Vassago Verhauen Steel Singlespeed in XC sprint races (in SS category) and leave the highball for longer endurance races where I really like the gears.

    So you can upgrade the ACV and gain something. Or you can spend $$$ on a new bike. 29er HT are the fastest bikes right until the terrain start beat you up too much. At that point the and XC geometry 4" FS bike will be very similar in pace. Subtle differences are all that is left to separate them and it probably will have little impact on race finishes.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    I decided against an epic due to the required maintenance everyone was telling me about; you have to send it in to Spec for service. I liked the idea of no need for a lockout with the epic, but even better would be having a rear design that climbs well without a lockout. I'm in the minority that I never use fork lockout; my impression is that when climbing so much more of your weight is on the rear that any benefit of a locked out fork is very minimal. I can see using a lockout for a standing sprint start or finish on a hard surface, otherwise I don't mess with the lockout button.
    The only time I have used the lock out on front of my HT bikes is climbing smooth terrain on a singlespeed. Seating climbing does not move the front suspension much. Standing climbing the front fork does compress, but it mixed bag because it can also cause the front end to bounce around. Seated climbing even smooth dirt roads it nice to leave it open.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HSracer View Post
    I'm going to through something else into the mix, because why not...

    The new Giant Anthem 29er. No brain, efficient Maestro suspension, better value for money...

    I also think they nailed the geometry with this one
    I just got a pro 29 1 a couple of weeks ago and couldn't be happier. Great suspension, and it does have a lockout for both ends, i really have only used it on the road to get to the trail.

  21. #21
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    "If you are racing Cat 3 or Cat 2 I would say that bike is only like 10% of what it takes to do well. Once you get to Cat 1 the differences are small enough that the bike can start impacting race order." Yes, and...
    - Cat 1 masters has a pretty wide variety of bikes, the fastest 35+ guy in my area usually rides a hardtail with a rigid fork, although for the summer 'wed night worlds' on rougher short courses he did swap for a shock up front.

    Unless you have a wrong or bad bike, it's all about fitness and bike handling, especially in cat3 or cat2.
    A hardtail is overall just as fast for racing, but an fs bike will certainly beat you up less, and there's a lot of value there. I transitioned to a 100mm fs bike after my spring series was over, and yes, I feel better afterwards and the next day after racing the fs bike (leg ache is the same). I went with a Bulls based on price/value, there's a lot that people don't like about those, but I'm a happy 50+ cat1, I love the way it climbs and I never touch the lockout. At one of the wed night races, I was chasing down two younger cat1 guys in the twisties, thinking that "they have no hope on their hardtails", - as I got closer I could see that one was on a Scalpel, the other was on a modern carbon fs xc bike too, - it's more you than the bike above a certain point of bike quality.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhayes05 View Post
    I have the scott 900. The fox nude rear shock is easy to service, same process as other fox shocks. The Twinloc works great, I use the shifter almost as frequently as my gears in OC riding conditions. The full lockout has zero give and feels like a hardtail rigid, middle lockout is great for minor rocky climbs where you need some give for momentum and the the full unlock works good for a 100mm travel.
    Really? How did you change the damping fluid in your nude shock?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Ok so.
    If you are racing Cat 3 or Cat 2 I would say that bike is only like 10% of what it takes to do well. Once you get to Cat 1 the differences are small enough that the bike can start impacting race order. I don't know much about the ACV, but looking at numbers the only issue could be the slack HA. 66.25 is pretty slack for XC use and what I have found is slacker bikes tend to be harder to steer and less responsive in the faster turns and change of directions in XC courses. My 69 deg 120mm fork SC Highball turns much more respinsively than my 68 HA 130mm SC 5010.

    Now you can gain something back on responsiveness any weight with a wheel changes. Should be able to fit light 29" wheels and make ACV more snappy. Can't change HA much unless you change out the fork. At that point it is better to get a new bike. For me I am much faster on XC terrain on my 21.5lbs Highball HT compared with my 29lbs SC 5010 and it will impact finish position in Cat 2 for me and I am not a podium guy. It is combination of weight, handling and pedaling efficiency. Even so I prefer to race my Vassago Verhauen Steel Singlespeed in XC sprint races (in SS category) and leave the highball for longer endurance races where I really like the gears.

    So you can upgrade the ACV and gain something. Or you can spend $$$ on a new bike. 29er HT are the fastest bikes right until the terrain start beat you up too much. At that point the and XC geometry 4" FS bike will be very similar in pace. Subtle differences are all that is left to separate them and it probably will have little impact on race finishes.
    Very good points Joe.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    The Scott and Trek use the same split pivot suspension.
    The Scott uses a flex stay single pivot suspension system. Just like the new Epic and Cannondale Scalpel

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    I thought I would love the new Epic. I demoed it on a race course I had raced a few months earlier. I hated it.


    I would look at picking up some carbon 29er LB wheels like Joe recommended. I have a set laced to i9 hubs and they rock.

    I would also recommend trying out some other bikes as well. I think you will like it more based on what you are coming from. Perhaps look at a pivot SL or an anthem x 29er, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HSracer View Post
    The Scott uses a flex stay single pivot suspension system. Just like the new Epic and Cannondale Scalpel
    Not on ours, does not have a flex stay. Has a pivot exactly were the Trek does and was told by Scott it is a split pivot suspension.

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    https://www.redbull.com/us-en/nino-s...scott-spark-rc

    There is a pivot directly behind the chainring.

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    Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark RC 900 - BikeRadar USA

    Here is a pic of the pivot, it has a flex seatstay/rear brake adpater to isolate the braking, does not have to do with the suspension setup.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    Nino Schurter’s Scott Spark RC 900 - BikeRadar USA

    Here is a pic of the pivot, it has a flex seatstay/rear brake adpater to isolate the braking, does not have to do with the suspension setup.
    Exactly, it is a flex stay, single pivot bike. The flex is where the seatstay and chainstay come together. The pivot at the bottom bracket has nothing to do with it. Old Cannondale Scalpels did not have this pivot and were called "zero pivot" bikes.

    Read through the "Suspension Design" section here and I think it will explain it better than I can. Note that this isn't the RC version but they are functionally identical.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    The Scott and Trek use the same split pivot suspension.
    To some extent yes, but not exactly the same. Trek design is under patents and in order to use their identical setup you would need to pay a license fee, that's assuming they are willing to license it. The real reason many manufacturers have adopted the vertical mounted shock with flexstays, including Scott, is because in this way they have avoided a license fee while providing a similar suspension design.


    I have no doubt Scott's bikes are good, but you are paying extra for the brand, even the fame Nino has given it let them increase the price even more. Also having proprietary parts is not ideal not to mention their warranty is somewhat limited when other manufactures are offering lifetime warranty.

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    What about a Cane Creek angle set to 'steepen' the head angle of your current bike?

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    Thanks for all the good feedback. Lots to think about. By the way, I already have some racey 29r wheels that's I've been swapping back and forth on my ACV. Definitely livened it up a bit.

    I test rode the Spark this afternoon. I used my wheels to make sure I'm getting a fair evaluation. I was able to try it out on a pretty chunky trail at speed and it put a big smile on my face. Felt really fast and fun, just a different experience compared to my bike, particularly the way the bike cornered.

    I totally get that the bike isn't a big difference maker (in any category I'd guess), but cycling is my main vice and a new bike doesn't break the bank. As long as a bike is different, has a purpose, and it's fun to ride, I'm pretty sure I'll get my $ out of it.

    I'm going to test ride the Epic tomorrow. I almost want to hate it because I loved the scott and it's a killer deal (over $1k less than the Epic).

    The only negatives I noted on the scott compared to the Epic:
    - only room for one bottle (maybe this shouldn't be a big deal, but I just hate wearing a pack and I live in Texas). This might be my biggest reservation oddly enough
    - I liked the lockout mechnism, but the location is where I'd want a dropper post trigger (if I added one)
    - press fit bottom bracket (specialized has gone back to threaded and that's a good thing to me)
    - the scott has 11sp shimano drivetrain. I prefer SRAM and like the idea of eagle that's on the epic. If I switch to SRAM, no XD driver on the original scott wheels means I don't have a rear backup wheel

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    I just got a 2018 Giant Anthem 29. It's an awesome XC race bike that I only use the lockout on the road and starts.
    Pivot Firebird
    Hightower 29
    Tallboy 3
    Pivot LES SS
    Salsa Beargrease C
    Giant TCX

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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    https://www.redbull.com/us-en/nino-s...scott-spark-rc

    There is a pivot directly behind the chainring.
    And it doesn't have a pivot at the rear axle.

    Thus, not even close to the same thing as the Trek ABP.

    The Scott has a similar configuration to the Yeti ASRc, Cannondale Scalpel, Orbea Occam, Kona Hei Hei Race DL, etc. They have their unique variations on shock position and movement, but they all rely on flexing seatstays with no pivot at/near the axle.
    Death from Below.

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    I rode the epic today and it was fine, but I am going to go with the Scott. Epic felt really good when pedaling hard on smooth stuff, but just didn't seem as smooth and fast on rougher stuff. I'm sure some of that could be improved with some suspension tuning, but the bike just didn't have the same light/throwable feel I got with the RC. I was also talking to the service department about the brain and it's basically $400/yr if you want to service the front and rear brain annually (as recommended). That seems crazy and a pain.

    Talking more with the shop, I'm going to order a 2018 so that I can get a SRAM eagle drivetrain rather than the Shimano on the 2017. Debating between the pro and team model. Both come with eagle, mostly GX. Pro has a carbon crank (which I don't need because I have another crank I'll be using). Pro also has carbon bars and seatpost, "elite" fork, and HMX frame rather than HMF. The pro will cost me $800+ more and I'm not sure it's worth it for the lighter frame, the fork, and a few carbon bits (and I'll be ditching the crank). Any thoughts on whether the HMX frame and Elite fork are worth spending the $'s on?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by blutow View Post
    I rode the epic today and it was fine, but I am going to go with the Scott.
    Which year Epic did you test ride? 2018?
    How was it compared to Spark RC regarding slow technical parts?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rist View Post
    Which year Epic did you test ride? 2018?
    How was it compared to Spark RC regarding slow technical parts?
    The epic was a 2018 expert. I was more confident on the spark, but both of the bikes felt nervous to me when slowly picking through stuff. Keep in mind that my only reference point is my Intense which is super-forgiving. Also, I didn't do anything too technical because I really didn't want to put either of these bikes on the ground. These were not "demo" bikes, so scratches or pedal strike would have been bad.

  38. #38
    Rides all the bikes!
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    Keep the bike you have, race it next season. Then decide what to upgrade to after you have a years experience in racing.

    If I was racing C3 or 2, I would race a trail bike that is fun to ride. My XC HT bike sits in the garage except for on race day. 90% of my MTB riding is now on a 160mm Enduro (was on a 130mm 650b FS bike before that). I plan to race my old 130mm bike for endurance races in the future, and will probably go single speed racing when I go back to Cat 1 (currently having fun getting my ass kicked in Pro).

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by blutow View Post
    I totally get that the bike isn't a big difference maker (in any category I'd guess), but cycling is my main vice and a new bike doesn't break the bank. As long as a bike is different, has a purpose, and it's fun to ride, I'm pretty sure I'll get my $ out of it.
    Well there it is. I had to have just one bike I would pick just one of my 3 Mtn bikes. But I don't need to as for me I got all 3 of my bikes used and have as much in all 3 as one really nice new bike. This summer I did put some $$$ into my carbon HT to reduce weight and "fancy up" some parts. I did it as present to myself so why not. Is the bike faster? Theoretically yes, but Strava times are not able to show any difference. Still it did not hurt me $$ wise so why not?.

    So sounds like you can afford a new bike and if you will enjoy it that is good enough. As for incremental build upgrades... How important is $800 to you? Are you going to constantly thinking "I should have gotten the better parts" for the next few years? The high spec bike is better on paper, but in practice will it show a difference in lap times? Much harder to say.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  40. #40
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    I ended up getting the 2017 Spark RC Pro. I wasn't in a big hurry, but it was going to be March 2018 before I'd see a large 2018 Pro. Crazy lead time unless I wanted an XL (I thought about it, but I really liked the way the large felt). I was willing to wait a couple months, but not till march.

    I debated between 2018 Team version with Eagle GX vs. the 2017 Pro with Shimano XT but the lighter HMX frame. I prefer Sram, but figured the lighter frame for same $ was the right move.

    Anyway, I didn't have a chance to ride it tonight, but hopefully tomorrow. Weighed in at 24.2 lbs before I touched anything (no pedals/cage, stock wheels with tubes). 23.0 lbs with my carbon wheels and 2.35 Ardent Race Exo's front and back. I was hoping it would be under 24 ready to ride and it looks like it should be just under.

  41. #41
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynbryan19 View Post
    Did you have anything you wanted to add to the post or was your purpose to just be a troll....?
    Actually he gives good answers with lots of insight. He was dead right in his post. Traction is faster. Dont be so easily offended.

    Sent from my SM-G360P using Tapatalk
    Ill be out riding, youll still be trolling mtbr. Mtbr, where people who dont ride come to pretend they do.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Actually he gives good answers with lots of insight. He was dead right in his post. Traction is faster. Dont be so easily offended.

    Sent from my SM-G360P using Tapatalk
    Welcome to the party 3 weeks later.

    He gave very solid information after that. He seems to be rather knowledgeable. Hence why I had no further need to interact after that. Thanks for the instruction on how to build character though. I'll work on that.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by blutow View Post
    I ended up getting the 2017 Spark RC Pro. I wasn't in a big hurry, but it was going to be March 2018 before I'd see a large 2018 Pro. Crazy lead time unless I wanted an XL (I thought about it, but I really liked the way the large felt). I was willing to wait a couple months, but not till march.

    I debated between 2018 Team version with Eagle GX vs. the 2017 Pro with Shimano XT but the lighter HMX frame. I prefer Sram, but figured the lighter frame for same $ was the right move.

    Anyway, I didn't have a chance to ride it tonight, but hopefully tomorrow. Weighed in at 24.2 lbs before I touched anything (no pedals/cage, stock wheels with tubes). 23.0 lbs with my carbon wheels and 2.35 Ardent Race Exo's front and back. I was hoping it would be under 24 ready to ride and it looks like it should be just under.
    Now that you've had the bike for a bit do you have any updates? I'm going through the same thought process right now.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndySTi View Post
    Now that you've had the bike for a bit do you have any updates? I'm going through the same thought process right now.
    I was loving it until the week of thankgiving and then had a pretty serious wreck with knee injury, bike was OK . I'm about 9 weeks post surgery, been riding the trainer for about a month now and hoping to make a full recovery. Dr. doesn't want me to ride outside until late April, but I've already cheated with a 30 minute ride in the neighborhood last weekend.

    Outside chance I'll try to race (at a slow pace) Austin Rattler at end of March. One thing I can say for the bike - it's a seriously efficient pedaling platform when locked out. I was mixing in some long 5+ hour road rides on it for training. My last ride before my wreck was 100+ miles averaging a little over 19 mph on dirt tires (half of that ride with a group of roadies, so a little help on the speed). That fitness is long gone...., but hopefully I'll be back strong by the end of the year.

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