'03 Epic vs '04 FSR XC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    '03 Epic vs '04 FSR XC

    Hi guys. I'm bike shopping with me wife. Yesterday, she rode a brand new FSR XC with front and rear lockouts. It was a women's medium. She really liked it. She thought it rode nice, but really liked being able to lock out the suspension for the road- she said she felt like it made a big difference with efficiency (I dont' think she has the smoothest pedal stroke).

    On the other hand, I just found a good deal on a used '03 Epic (unisex size small) for just marginally more...pretty much the same price after sales tax. It has slightly nicer drivetrain parts, but a significantly nicer fork- A Fox Float 80 vs a Manitou Axel. Of course, I'd modify the float for 100 mm of travel. I think it might weigh just a bit less, too.

    However, my main concern is how well the Epic will ride. My wife liked the manual lockouts for road riding, but I just think that hitting that first bump like a hardtail will really sap her confidence and comfort level. Having the suspension set with no sag limits plushness, too. So...does anybody have any experience on these two bikes to compare how different the ride really is?

    Oh yeah...she really like the women's bike fit. That is another concern if we got the Epic route.

    Comments, thoughts, or opinions?

    Thanks guys
    -Adam

  2. #2
    Just passing through....
    Reputation: DaFireMedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    Hi guys. I'm bike shopping with me wife. Yesterday, she rode a brand new FSR XC with front and rear lockouts. It was a women's medium. She really liked it. She thought it rode nice, but really liked being able to lock out the suspension for the road- she said she felt like it made a big difference with efficiency (I dont' think she has the smoothest pedal stroke).

    On the other hand, I just found a good deal on a used '03 Epic (unisex size small) for just marginally more...pretty much the same price after sales tax. It has slightly nicer drivetrain parts, but a significantly nicer fork- A Fox Float 80 vs a Manitou Axel. Of course, I'd modify the float for 100 mm of travel. I think it might weigh just a bit less, too.

    However, my main concern is how well the Epic will ride. My wife liked the manual lockouts for road riding, but I just think that hitting that first bump like a hardtail will really sap her confidence and comfort level. Having the suspension set with no sag limits plushness, too. So...does anybody have any experience on these two bikes to compare how different the ride really is?

    Oh yeah...she really like the women's bike fit. That is another concern if we got the Epic route.

    Comments, thoughts, or opinions?

    Thanks guys
    -Adam
    I have many hours/miles on the 03 Epic, and limited time on the FSR, but for what its worth: You need to put her on the Epic and let her ride it. If that is not possible, get the FSR. Why? Because you already know she likes the FSR and that it fits her well, whereas you are kinda "hoping" that the Epic will fit her as well, and that she will appreciate the brain shock. I personally love my Epic, but it does ride a tad harsher than the FSR, and if she is newer to riding, the FSR will probably suit her better.

  3. #3
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    Well, I was mostly looking at the nicer parts spec for the same money- especially the fork. It is a lot more bike for the same money. Top tube lengths are only 4mm different. I'm thinking it'll be a bit too "racy" for her though.

  4. #4
    bang
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    all of Specialized FS bikes are set up with sag (about 10mm is recommended for the epic as a starting point).

    i agree with fire; let her try the epic (maybe the lbs has one in stock?) and see what she thinks.

  5. #5

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    I am not sure that a travel change will work.

    The 03 F80RL is not travel adjustable, if I remember right. Correct me if I am wrong.

  6. #6
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    No- not on the fly. But I heard the Float 80 and Float 100 share all the same pieces. You just have to flip some bushings over and you can switch between 80 and 100 mm.

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