Last year I purchased a 2013 S-Works Epic and since getting the Epic I’ve raced it throughout the 2013 Illinois Cross Country Series, ridden it in Crestted Butte CO, and ridden it for countless rides of enjoyment. My initial impressions after getting the bike were all positive, I remember thinking on an early ride that this was how mountain biking should feel. For the vast majority of the trails I ride, I don’t think an Epic can be beat. The bike is versatility enough via the adjustable brain suspension to be a rocket ship on race day and with the few turns of the brains, provide a comfortable platform to descend down a mountain.
Since purchasing, I have made a couple of changes to further align the bike with what I want. The current total weight as pictured is down a touch from stock weighing in at 23.02 lbs. I swapped the tires for 29 X 1.95″ Specialized Renegades, a 75mm Syntace stem to better fit my reach, a Specialized Phenom Pro saddle with carbon rails, and converted it to tubeless using Stans stems because tubeless makes everything better.
The full Shimano XTR group leaves nothing to be desired. Everything from the precision modulation of the brakes to the fast reliable shifting of the derailleurs, the group just works perfectly, and more importantly, it works exactly as amazing today as it did a year ago when it was new.
The suspension technology is what sells me on the Epic as a platform. The brain suspension effectively makes the bike as rigid as desirable while pedaling to optimize rider effort until a bump arises from the ground that triggers valving to make the bikes suspension become active and compliant. I always race and typically ride with both the front suspension brain and the rear suspension brain in full firm, making the bike pedal and climb like a hard tail.
The bike’s wheels are the stock Specialized Roval Control SL’s. They are carbon, tubeless, and use DT Swiss’s 240 internals, making them awesome on all counts. The brake rotors are Shimano units as well, and while I won’t get too scientific about cooling versus other rotors, I will say that they stay true far better than any other rotors I’ve ever ridden, so much so that I raced for the entire 2013 season without making a rotor true adjustment.
So by this point I sound like a broken record, the bike is amazing. I love it. All bikes expensive and affordable eventually need maintenance to stay in great shape and luckily the fine folks at Bloomington Cycle & Fitness keep this rig in top shape for me.