Carbon Epic

The Bike: 2007 Specialized Carbon Marathon Epic
Size: Medium
Miles to Date: approx 600 

The Rider:Bike’n Fool
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 163 

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So I did some research on fast race bikes. The Epics got great reviews. Carbon models even better but wow these things are expensive. Five grand plus! Ug…

I did lots of visits to eBay and Craig’s List. After a couple of months of looking for the right deal, I found a guy selling one for $3800 on Craig’s List. It happened to be reasonably close to home so I contacted the guy. Three day later and $3200 lighter I had an almost brand new bike. I mean this was as close to new as you could get.

Are you loosing weight?

First off, wow this thing is light. Weight is something you really feel. I came off a thirty two pound,  six inch travel bike that weighs in a little over 32lb. This thing is like dating a run way super model.  No arm wrestling here. Easy to get some air and flip between corners. This thing weighs in at just shy of 24lbs! Cool part about this for me is that I have lost almost 20lb in the last six months. So that’s a difference of almost 30lb of weight I do not have to propel! 

Don’t leave me in suspense…

It took me about three rides to get the suspension dialed in. The first ride as brutal. I thought, wow I made a mistake getting this thing. I had it way to harsh. But once I got it dialed in I was in business.

The suspension really is amazing. On my first ride dialed in, I had an epiphany. God knows how much energy I had been bleeding on my other bike. My usual riding spots are mostly single track. No down hill close. So having the pedal power directly hooked up to the ground was awesome! The really cool part is that the suspension just kicks in over the rough stuff and does it’s job. Albeit firm.  The from works work equally as well giving a firm ride over smooth ground but soaking up rough sections like no body’s business.

One thing I will note, the 100mm of travel is a little light for some terrain. At times traveling at really high speeds (13-16 say) over rough terrain, the bike will chatter or skip. I have actually softened up the suspension a little recently to see if I can lessen this.   



Those are the breaks kid…

The bike is equipped with Magura Marta Hydraulic with 180mm disc in the front and 160mm in the back. They work smoothly but do groan a little if they heat up. Sometimes I feel that they may be a little under powered. I also have a Stumpjumper Expert that has Avid Juicy 7, hydraulic disc185mm rotor on the front and 165 on the rear. By comparison, those breaks feel stronger. Not the the Marta’s are bad. Actually I think it may be that I ride faster on the Epic and need more break to slow down?  

Handle this…

The overal handling is great. It is tight percise and generally sure footed. One down side is that it is not too forgiving. You need to be on your game. If you are not you could end up in a tree. getting the tires dialed in right is important. The tires are Specialized Fast Trak Pro 26×2.0″, tubeless, aramid bead, dual compound. This is my first stint with tubeless and I really like them. I tend to run my pressure lower than in tubes tires. Typically I run them at about 20lb but it depends on the trail conditions. I usually am not riding in mud or deep sand but we get a fair amount of rain that can make the trails soft.

Pilot to Co-Pilot

The cockpit is nice and feels comfortable. I run it a little tight. The HANDLEBARS SBC OS XC low rise carbon bar, 640mm wide, 6 degree up, 8 degree backsweep – nice. The seat is a Specialized BG Rival, Titanium rails and is very comfortable.

Let’s shift gears…

I can not say enough about the shifting.

  • FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano M760 XT, 34.9 clamp, bottom swing, dual pull 
  • REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM X.0, 9-speed, long cage 
  • SHIFT LEVERS SRAM X.0, carbon/aluminum trigger 9-speed 
  • CASSETTE / FREEWHEEL Shimano M760 XT, 9-speed, 11/34t

Sweet setup that is crisp and smooth. It never skips and has a quality mechanical feel. 

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