Cove Hustler vs Ellsworth Epiphany- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cove Hustler vs Ellsworth Epiphany

    Ok everyone.

    1. I have a 06 Blur XC. Love the bike. I just wish it was ok to put on a 5" fork. Santa Cruz says 4" is max. I weigh 187lbs naked (then there is 70 to 100oz of water for my xc races in Northern CA plus a bottle of Hammer and sometimes odds and ends and clothes of course) I have the Large frame. I am 6' 3". I had PUSH do the suspension. I had PUSH redo the Fox RP3 in rear to really increase the compression so at + setting the shock only moves up and down when pedalling about 1/16", unless I hit something. The rear is perfect now. No pedal slamming. The front was redone with PUSH. NIce but just begging for more travel in some situations. I have a 5" Vanilla RLC that PUSH did for me for my 2000 Bullit. I really want to put this shock on. However the torque the fork puts on the Head Tube may be too much. So maybe time for something else to add to my bike collection (running xtr and Crossmax SLR's with small blocks 2.0)

    2. I have a 2000 Bullit that everyone loves but me. It weights in at 28.7 lbs. I run the Crossmas SL's and Karmas 2.0 and XTR. The bike is set XC. It works good, but I don't like the sitting postion. I am running a long neck on it too. The Blur XC is perfect in sitting position.

    3. I read the article in MBR magazine on 5" travel bikes. All setup the same (Feb 07) issue. Cove Hustler, Ellsworth Epiphany, Turner 5 spot and Orange 5. All bikes were basically built the same. Both the Cove and Orange got 10's. The 5 spot and Epiphany got 8's with the Epiphany edging out the 5 Spot. I went to Another Bike Shop in Santa Cruz and tried the 5 spot and Flux. I liked the Flux. The 5 spot felt like a nice beach cruiser. I only rode them for a few miniutes over curbs and things. I was going to demo for the day but wanted to know the riding position. I can always tweak a bike to perfection.

    Now I am about to buy the Cove Hustler. Love the writeup and looks. Love the guys at Cove. Heard some bad reviews on a guy named Gabe for service. However a local bike store (Sharp in Lafayette, CA) has the Ellsworth Epiphany. I thought I would see about the riding position on it. I did some searches on the Epiphany and heard nothing but good stuff. Sounds like the Blur XC but with the longer travel (in fork too where I need it). The positioning sounds like the Blur XC too. I have tried the LT and Nomad. They are like my Bullit and the Spot. I just want to be spread out a bit with great handling (sorta fast, not twitchy)

    I want this bike for Downieville Classic Cross Country Race, riding Downieville area, Riding behind UCSC, and general rocky trails. I may race it on other races like the April 28th Lemurian at Whiskytown. The Blur XC did great on this race. Some pedal slamming though. Howwever with the fix on the rear shock this is solved and the bike climbs even faster. The Blur XC was also great on the Sea Otter last year.

    My strengths are climbing. I do this great on the Blur XC. However downhill can be tough for me when it gets tricky or scary. I use to not be so timmid. (48 years old). The Cove sounds like it will inspire confidence. Sounds like I could race the bike at Downieville and do well. Sounds like it will be heavy but handle and climb real well plus little frame flex. The Epiphany sounds like a good XC racer with 5". Sounds like a bike between the Cove and the Blur XC with a cockpit like the Blur XC. The Cove on specs looks like the Cockpit will be simular also the the Blur XC, but with a bit of Bullit positioning thrown in.

    The magazine said the Cove Performance was "The chassis is solid, the geometry is spot-on and the suspension is effective. It is easily one of the best all-around bikes we've had the pleasure of testing". Rating 10

    The magazine said the Epiphany was "If you are a weight weenie the Epiphany should be at the top of your list of possible trail bikes. But if you want to save weight on your bike because your're carrying a few extr pounds yourself we recommend looking elsewhere: the Epiphany just isn't stiff enough for big-boned riders. That said, if you are of slight build or are a particulary smooth rider then the Epiphany is a great bike that can be ridden harder than its weight or geometry suggests". Also the magazine said the Epiphany squats when climbing. The Cove does not (I hated this on the Blur XC for climbs so I fixed the shock and solved this terrible problem. This is a biggy with me). Rating 8

    So I have written a very long post. I would like the votes on Cove Hustler (sounds and looks great!) and the Ellsworth Epiphany (great posts and reviews on this site and sounds like it can be raced and go downhill with confidence (not as much confidence as the Hustler though and squats when climbing (solved the Blur XC problem on this))

    Thanks,

    Doug

  2. #2
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    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Hopefully the name doesn't reflect your speed at Dville. We should hook up this year & ride, im in Pinole. Anywho the Cove as a company rocks, i have been a fan of theirs for a long time. The G-Spot was on my list till i found Versus in Fremont. Local bro's awesome CS so i bought, have been happy for 3 years with them & on my 2nd generation frame this year. Im not going to say the Cove is not capable & the Blitz whoops it because that depends on the individual riding the bike. I will suggest checking them out, if you are going to the Otter next month they will be there with demo bikes so you can actually test ride it. They built one up to 32.2lbs, mine is 39lbs with more DH in mind but it's my do all bike. Attaching a pic of the 32.2lb bike for you.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Dogonfr.

    Tried the Epiphany. The thing is fast and handles great. I have a techy single track climb that I like to try. The Epiphany blew away my Blur XC. On flats (with Weirwolf tires no less) the Epiphany feels faster than my Blur XC with Kenda Small Block Eights.

    Man am I hooked. The Cove looks great though and got great reviews from MBR. Lots of great reviews on Epiphany.

    doug

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you have Epiphany in the heart!

    Going to Otter
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  5. #5
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    This is getting tough. I test rode a Epiphany in Santa Cruz on dirt roads, easy single track, technical single track and some Free Ride stuff.

    I also used my Edge 305 to compare avg speed and top speed on a small course of single track and another on pavement. I ran the same rims and tires on both bikes (Blur XC and Epiphany). The Epiphany was 0.7mph faster on average on single track against the Blur with a avg heart beat of 149 for Blur and 144 for Epiphany. (easy course to favor the Blur). The Epiphany was 1.2 mph faster on average on pavement only with simular heart beats (meaning less energy on Epiphanhy with faster average speeds.

    I ripped down all the techy single track. I carried it over a few big logs and jumps. The rear is a bit scetchy on bumpy downhills in the tight stuff and I could use a thru bolt fork instead. But I like to race XC and the clamp method is better for this (lighter and easier to change flats, but not a stiff). You can feel the fork flex. However all in all the bike blew my Bullit and Blur XC away on these trails that I have ridden many times. I was able to take on new challenges.

    I know the Hustler would out do the Epiphany down the hills. A little more rear travel, stiffer frame, more slack fork angle and bred by some great downhillers and free riders. I just don't know if it can kick my Blur XC's ass on XC. I know the Epiphany can with lesser components than my XTR Blur with PUSH Fork and Shock. The Epiphany I used came with a Trail Tune Float (TerreLogic) 130mm. Works good. Needs a little extra something but generally good. I have a 140mm Vanilla PUSH did recently for my Bullit. I may run that instead. I don't think I need a Talas. Climbs fine.

    I ran the Fox R for the rear shock tuned for Ellsworth. Man it really uses about 3/4 of travel on the shock riding up hill. Bugged me. However if I stiffened it up I lost my cool ride. And with the great time improvement over the Blur I will not opt for a RP23. Leave it alone.

    I am 6'3", 186lbs (naked). The large works great. Really takes the tight twisty stuff well (rips the corners). I ended up running the air pressure at 80lbs for Fork (normally it should be around 100lbs) and 180lbs for shock. I might go to 190lbs to stiffen a wee bit. Sag at these settings were around 3/4 inches (aprox by sight only).

    I think I will go with the bike. I might just wait a month or so and get the G spot. Give me a bit more. I am getting hooked on the speed going down techy stuff. My gut tells me the Hustler will out do the Epiphany on the downhill and tech stuff. But for racing I think the Epiphany will win.

    doug

  6. #6
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    Got my head spinning but ya you got it right you need 3 bikes.
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  7. #7
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    Oh, I forgot. I will use the Epiphany to replace the Blur XC. Didn't think this could happen. I will also be selling my 2000 Bullit. Both bikes are XTR with Crossmax SL wheels and PUSHED suspension. Before I sell them I will mix some of this with some of that to dial in the Epiphany. I am going to try the Vanilla. However I thing the XTT Float is pretty good.

    Then I will still look at the Hustler as more all mountain (more stable platform, but probably not as fast up hill as the Epiphany but even more fun down. I could be wrong. Maybe the G Spot or something else.

    doug

  8. #8
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    The Epiphany it is! (sometimes you just need to write these things out... ).

    You know, that MBR review only downgraded the Epiphany and 5 Spot because of geometry for their given area. Both of these bikes are born and bred in CA, so if that's where you are, they'll perform well for your terrain. The Cove (and Orange) will accel in terrain that's more up/down - up/down than CA (or CO for that matter, where I am) which seems to be long ups followed by long downs. Now, if you could just get the Cove up w/o having to pedal the beast, it'd be perfect! For racing, I think the Epi is the clear choice.

    You'll find that ICT works better with a shock that's a bit more active. With a lot of compression damping on, I find that I can lose traction on steep climbs with loose terrain. It does improve the ride on flats and is fine in the technical sections, so a shock like the RP23 works great whereby you can turn it on and off at will. Though, on the Epi, you do have to run it upside down, which can make it hard to get to the adjuster. Ideally, an RP2 with ICT tuning would be the best of both worlds, IMO.

    Good luck on your purchase!
    Last edited by chad1433; 03-22-2007 at 02:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Chad.

    I called Fox this morning before buying the bike. The Float R that is tuned for Ellsworth (says on shock and lbs says too) is just a standard Float R set on the softest position of the RP23. So I ordered a RP23 and can have the soft and hard.

    Why hard? Well the bike just climbs great with soft but on some climbs where the single track was worn down into a U shape I was hitting the pedals on the sides during some hard strokes. By installing the RP23 I will have a choice of making the rear less active (I forgot but I think we change the volumn not the compression with switch) and therefore won't hit some obsticals.

    The rear shock does go through the whole 2" of stroke on hard pedaling with the Float R, even on pavement. Bugs me, but the bike is soo... smooth and quick and rolls so well that I say (trying to at least) say so what. I like a hard tail for climbing. Quick. I had PUSH set the rear RP3 to have very little motion on + setting and some on -. The bike rocked. Now I have to say the Epiphany rocks more. My simple test shows.

    Also the Trail Tune Float X that comes with the bike works great and I will not install my 140mm Vanilla. I like the auto lock out. The guy I talked to at Fox also loves it. Pretty smooth on the downhill. If I wanted to be picky I could install a 36mm fork with thru bolt. This would help technical steering and give more control (stiffer). But I want light weight and to use for XC races and some challenging rides.

    I also called Ellsworth. Yesterday they said I was on the border for a L and XL frame and that I should get the XL. Then today after I asked a few more tech questions I told them about my writeup and they said go with the Large. The jumps would be better on a XL for me (shorter neck) but the quick handling of the bike in the tight stuff out weighs this.

    I may look at a Moment. Simular bike according to Ellsworth. The Epiphany favors the All Mountain and XC. The Moment favors the All Mountain and DH. Both bikes climb. The Moment will climb slower but go down with more control and you could do more stunts with it (jumps and such). The Epiphany is more suited to XC and 12 and 24hr races. Both are fun. They said that there was enough of a difference that I would not overlap much if I got a Moment too. So I am thinking. Also the Cove G spot might be nice.

    Right now I enjoy my 07 KTM 300 xcw for enduros and challenging rides. But hauling the bikes to Stonyford, Georgetown, Downieville and others, then comming home and washing the kids and my bikes is getting old. The mtn bikes go on the back of my Scion XB using a Thule rack and hitch. I drive to Santa Cruz and ride and feel great afterward and enjoy the rest of the day at the beach or go to Marin and just cruise on the bike and grap a nice lunch or go to Tahoe and ride the Rim Trail or Downieville. Less gas than hauling a trailer and less work than prepping 3 bikes (Ktm 300, KTm 105 and KTm 85) then cleaning them. However riding with the kids up to Gold Lake from Downieville in the summer is fun.

    I can't see getting a full DH bike either. What! Walk the bike up steep hills to blast them down. Fun at first but it will get boring. How about ski lifts. Well I have skied for years. Use to live in Tahoe. Sking gets old compared to motorcycles. Up the lift and a quick down the hill. On a bike it would be the same thing. I would rather just ride the motorcycle and jam up and down the hill with 12" of suspension all day. However the Moment and G spot could be ridden up hill to get some excercise and blast downhill.

    Finally. I got the bike at Sharp Bike in Lafayette. Dee, one of the salesmen, let me take the bike for the day to Santa Cruz. They all know me and know where I live. It was nice of him to do so. Thanks. I have bought many bikes from them and will do so in the future too.

    Doug

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