Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Impressions of the 2009 Specialized S-Works Epic

I've had a few rides on the new bike so I figured I'd post my initial thoughts thus far. I have yet to take it on a ride where I could really let 'er rip in the singletrack, as both of my rides on it have been in muddy, soupy, slop - but here's what I DO know.

Weight - Somewhere in the 22 lb range. It is as light as my Scott Scale 15 Carbon HARDTAIL if that tells you something. (which by the way, is going up for sale so I can buy another custom singlespeed...more later once I get the pics uploaded!)

The "Brain" - This is a very cool feature, assuming it keeps working like it should. No more flipping lockout switches to stiffen up the front and rear, as the "brain" takes care of this for you. Its basically rigid until you hit bumpy terrain. When the suspension does engage, it is smooth and quick so that the bike is ready for the next hit. Currently, I have the bike set up so that is nearly all controlled by the "brain". You can go the opposite way, and leave front and rear completely open all the time, but I don't see why you'd want to.

On Climbing - I am amazed at how well it works, but on pavement and gravel road climbs, the front and rear remain locked out for the most part and there is no bob. I can climb standing up and it's as if I'm on a road bike. Feels just as efficient as my singlespeed.

On Descents - A confident desceneder, it eats up the bumps quickly and smoothly. No longer is the flesh ripped from my arms on stutterbump fireroad descents. Coming down a very wet Bear Creek trail, the suspension ate up the rocks and seemed to just glide over the tops of them. Had I put on my Specialized 1.7 Mud Tires, we could have really rocked and rolled.

Appearance - Black and Red...Looks smokin' fast on the start line and matches my car and kayak (of utmost importance). Looks cooler than my husband's bike (of even more importance). Even the cranks are carbon fiber. Sweeetttt...

Price Tag - Apparently all that carbon fiber and schnazzy technology isn't cheap, so the price tag only allows those that are sponsored or brimming with disposable income to own one of these babies. Thank goodness for the fine folks at OutSpokin' Bikes for making it happen! The price is a major downside, as it really limits the market, but then again, all bikes seemed to have gone up in price this year...A similarly equipped Scott Spark is now over 10K!!

Overall - Seems to be the perfect blend of cush and efficiency. I rode the bike on some flat to rolling pavement, and with my Maxxis CrossMark tires, it seemed very efficient, and not the little piggy that my last bike was. If you are looking for a smooth and very efficient race bike, I think this is it.


Carey said...

Mine arrived yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa said...

Wahooo!!! Let's Ride!

I'm looking at hitting Ellijay/Bull Mtn area in the rain on Saturday. (Yippie - don't know what I'd do with my spare time if I didn't have to wash my bike after every ride...)

Raccoon Sunday if it doesn't rain a bunch.