Epic HT 2022 vs Epic HT 2018

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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steveadore
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:01 am

by steveadore

I'm looking for comparisons between the 2 models, especially from people who have owned/ridden both.

The latest Epic is a bit lighter, slacker, and longer + it has threaded BSA BB and is 1x only. I was set on buying it and building a lighter hardtail (second bike, not my main bike).

But now I have the opportunity to buy the previous version at a great price, and it is brand new (new old stock 2018), with full warranty, for about 30% less (comparable drivetrain between the two, same Reba RL fork), and I wonder if it's still worth it. I don't particularly like (visually) the downtube bumper and I certainly don't like too much that it's still PF30, not threaded (I would use Shimano cranks on either model, so with the PF30 version I need a decent PF30 to 24mm BB, like the Hope I have on another bike). It is also slightly heavier than the new version, but the difference is not that significant. I don't care about the 1.3 degree steeper headtube angle, and the minimal difference in reach can be easily corrected with a 10mm longer stem (which I'm fine with as well).

What really concerns me, however, is the feel or the two bikes. I've read somewhere that the new (2020-) version is much more compliant for a hardtail, but I wonder if this is just a placebo effect encouraged by the marketing materials?

I'm also wondering about tyre clearance on the old vs. new versions. Can the old version also take 2.3-2.4" XC tyres (say on a 25mm internal rim)? Or is that only possible on the new version, and the old one is limited to 2.2" tyres?

One additional aspect in favor of the old version is that I'm planning to run 2X for a while (might eventually switch to 1X), and it's one of the last "modern" frames that still allow for a front derailleur. I have my reasons for this, though I wouldn't necessarily rule out 1x either, which is why I'm also considering the new version with a 1X SLX drivetrain.


Since I plan on keeping either frame for at least 4-5 years, I want to make an informed decision. I'm leaning towards the old version (2018 MY, factory installed 2X), as the price difference would cover the cost of a decent wheel upgrade too. But if the new model really rides significantly better, I might go for that too.

So I'd be very grateful for any opinions if you have ridden both of these.

req110
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:23 am
Location: Prague, Czechia

by req110

- keeping frame for 4-5 years means that potential uplift on price is neglibable per month
- BSA is plus
- geometry is more potent
- design better imo
- tire clearance is usually growing, but hardtail is optimal for 2.25 anyways
- manufacturers are able to make miracles with carbon, hence some bikes are pretty comfortable as seatstays may be nicely flexy

I would go for 2020-2022 model. But i would also expect that one to be replaced in matter of 1-2 years.
S-Works SL7 Dusty Blue 56cm @ Sram RED AXS Quarq & ZIPP 404 Firecrest (7.2kg)
S-Works Epic 2022 Gloss Fluid L @ Sram XX1 AXS Quarq & Berg Ratheberg & BikeYoke Divine SL (9.9kg)

by Weenie


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stoney
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:26 am

by stoney

The new frame fits a 2.4 tire while the older model will not. Also the headtube angle is slacker on the newer model. I would get the newer model if I were you.

steveadore
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:01 am

by steveadore

Thanks to both of you. My FS bike has a 69 degree HTA (so basically in between the two Epic HT models), while my 10-yr old winter beater 29er HT still has a 71.5 degree HTA. I'm happy riding both bikes, so I don't think the HTA difference between the 2 Epic HT models is so crucial for me.
On the other hand, if the newer version is significantly more compliant/comfier AND the old one does not fit 2.3, or narrower (XC style) 2.4 tyres, that's a more important consideration in my book. BSA is nice too, since I will be running Shimano cranks anyway.

boots2000
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

I am about to build up a 2022 Epic S Works HT- I got it for the same reasons that you mentioned. Plus I wanted to run a 9point8 dropper because it has setback. I could only run something like a KS dropper on the 2018.
My desire is to make a super light bike that is more capable than a gravel bike. I will not even run big tires on it.

All that said, I had a 2018 S Works Epic HT and it was a really good bike. I more or less sold it to fund a new bike, not because I didn't like it. I must have had one of the good ones (Specialized PF30) because I never had issues with the bb. I started with standard SRAM PF30 cups. Ran them foor at least 2 years before I needed new ones. Then replaced with a set of Kogel cups that I already owned. Never a creak or peep from the bb.
Though slighlty steeper, the 2018 also used a 51 rake fork. I felt like the handling was nuetral and predictable.
Lastly, the bumper is an asset. You will never ram your bars or brake levers into your toptube on a get off. This happens with mountain bikes!

I will report back in a couple weeks when I have the 2022 frame built up and riding. Since the 2022 is lighter (and I also have a lighter fork and wheels) I am hoping to get a similar weight but with the dropper post. At lgihtest, my 2018 Epic HT was 18.32 lb/8.314 kg with cages, pedals and computer mount.

steveadore
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:01 am

by steveadore

Thanks, Boots2000! Was the 2018 noticeably harsh (or supple) in terms of ride feel, regardless of tyre pressure> (of course, this latter probably makes more difference than the carbon layup used on the frame in any case)
Could you please explain this? "I wanted to run a 9point8 dropper because it has setback. I could only run something like a KS dropper on the 2018."
On paper, at least, the seat tube angles are identical on these two. Or are you referring to the 27.2mm diameter limitations on the 2018 model?

Btw, I probably wouldn't run a dropper myself on either of these (just use a nice carbon seatpost). Oh, and on the 2018 model I'd probably run my 45mm offset DT Swiss fork, thus increasing the trail to almost match the new model.

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boots2000
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

The 2018 was not harsh. Ride quality was great. Even with smallish tires.

I like a seatpost with setback. I could not find a 27.2 dropper with setback to use on the 2018 frame. I rode with a zero setback KS dropper for a while. But the pedaling position was terrible for me and I would get really uncomfortable after about one hore of pedaling. So I went back to a setback seatpost (rigid).
On the 2022 I will be able to use the 9Point8 post that I mentioned. It has 25mm of saddle setback. 2022 frame is 30.9.

I also know folks who are running a 120mm fork on the 2018 model. They like how the bike andles in that setup.

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