Specialized Epic – 3 weeks in review

As you might know from previous posts I bought a Specialized Epic on ebay just before Christmas and promised a more thorough review after a few rides. Well, I’ve had it out about 5 or 6 times now in the cold and wet scottish winter and all I can say is, it’s awesome.

My old bike (a specialized Rockhopper Disc) was lagging badly but I hadn’t realised how much until I got on the new Epic. An example is the brakes. I had a pair of Hayes hydraulic discs on my old bike which weren’t top of the range by any means, but moving up to the Hope Minis on the Epic is as much of a jump as that from V Brakes to my old Hayes discs. I’m stopping dead with 1 finger no problem and the things just feel as responsive as hell. Some of you might say, well, that’s the way it should always be, even with lower end brakes, but I find that lack of funds and lack of time leads to neglected kit which gradually wears out. And you only realise how much it has worn out when you upgrade or get a proper service.

Anyway, apart from the little bits, the frame just feels so nice to climb on. It’s lighter than my previous bike even though it was a hardtail, and it feels nice and stiff despite the rear suspension, mainly due to the Brain system. Downhill it feels even nicer, with the roots and braking bumps of Glentress smoothed right out to nothing.

The only problem I have with it is the riser is too low and the stem too long. I feel way to stretched out and end each ride with aching triceps! I’ve got an order in for a 90mm Titec stem with a 10 degree rise and a 2inch rise Titec bar. Hopefully that’ll sort it out and I can enjoy the new steed to the full! I’ll let you know how the new kit performs when it’s fully installed.


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

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