Scored a free MTB: 2014 S-Works Epic World Cup. What to update?

This is the bike (exact color scheme too): https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Bikes,3/Specialized/S-Works-Epic-World-Cup,13434

For context, I’ve primarily been riding road and doing triathlon. I own a Trek Madone and Trek Speed Concept. Both have power meters (Garmin Vector on Madone and Quarq on Speed Concept) so I really want one on the MTB for training, pacing, kJs, etc.

Recently, I’ve tried MTB and really like it. I was looking at buying a XC bike but a friend of mine gave me a bike he hasn’t been using. I haven’t ridden it because it’s not fully put together. He said he thinks the fork works but he’s not 100% sure. Since the bike was free, I was thinking of using some of the money (~$2.5k) to update / upgrade / fix the bike he gave me.

What would you upgrade / update / make sure is working?

edit: also gave me a pair of SRAM Rise 60 wheels: https://cdn.sram.com/sites/default/files/sram_rise_pr-111006.pdf

Not sure if the bike currently runs tubes or tubeless, but tubeless is a game changer for mtb. Running super low pressures without fear of pinch flat is awesome for grip. Pretty much any wheels can be converted to tubeless with some gorilla tape, some valves, and some sealant.
I’d definitely make sure the suspension was in good shape, but I’d likely just overhaul it instead of replacing anything.
Is there a seat post dropper? That would be an excellent addition if not.
Drivetrain, brakes, and bb might need maintenance but I don’t think I’d upgrade anything.
Basically just a seat post dropper, convert to tubeless, overhaul the suspension, and buy a pm.

You’ve got a good friend to hook you up like that!

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Dropper post

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Tubeless, dropper and get the suspension serviced. You’ll be set!

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already runs tubeless but doesn’t have a dropper so getting one. Thanks for the tips!

just a dropper post. rebuild the fork and shock and brain bits, bleed the brakes, new pads, new rotors. ride and see what else you need.

check the chain, and drivetrain for wear.

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I just went through a similar(ish) process with my similar era Scalpel.

If I were you I’d put a dropper on. Next step would be to upgrade to 12sp, or keep the 11sp and upgrade the fork, something like a Fox 34 SC or a new Sid would transform the bike.

Nice score. I loved my old 26" Epic. Probably the best bike I’ve ever had. Rose tinted glasses and all that :slight_smile:

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Thanks! Any dropper works or are there specific brands / models to look out for?

The Fox 34 SC and SID forks look great.

One thing to consider (others can chime in if they think it’s a good worthwhile idea) is if you are considering a new form, upgrade to a 120mm (SID or 34) as that’ll also modernise your HTA by a degree.

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In all honesty that bike is a pretty sweet deal and I wouldn’t rush to spend too much money on it. I would say it would be better to upgrade parts as and when they wear out.
It would be worth while keeping some money aside to service / fix the shock as they’re not very reliable on the Epic.

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Dropper post, new tires, go tubeless if you can, and service suspension. Then other safety/rideability stuff like new rotors and pads if worn out, drivetrain wear, etc. I wouldn’t put too much money into it. You will most likely not get the best bang for your buck by totally rebuilding the bike. Maybe save the money for a better, more modern MTB in the future if you find that you enjoy it.

Don’t jump head first into the deep end before you really know if you are going to enjoy it and stick with it enough to warrant the expense.

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OneUp for the dropper is probably a good place to start, I think? Cheap and reliable. I bought a Wolf Tooth lever for the dropper I have, much nicer/easier to actuate than the stock dropper lever.

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OneUp V2 as others have said. I prefer BikeYoke. You probably can’t get too much of a drop, so it’s best to measure how much seat post you have showing and the check the stack heights. OneUp V2 has one of the lower stacks, as does BikeYoke.

They are good. But you have a SID World Cup, albeit old. I don’t think they are going to be radically better. Incremental (lots of hype on the inter webs, and people waxing poetic). I would just rebuild, as it’s cheap to get some seals and new fluid and wipers in there.

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Bit of a random related question, do Specialized/Rockshox sell brained SID’s on their own (to update to the modern spec)?

Sweet! That’s a great bike. The geometry might be old school but I am sure it is more than capable offroad.

Here are some things I’d check or have checked:

  • You should check whether the shocks and the fork need servicing. Usually the rubber seals and the lubricants dry out.

  • Another thing is tires, check if they are new and need replacing. In case you need new ones, go tubeless.

  • Check the drive train. This is a high-spec bike, and in my experience that often means it has either been ridden a lot or very little. If it has seen a lot of use, you might need to replace some drive train components (inner and perhaps outer cables, etc.).

  • Check whether the brakes need to be bled and whether you need new brake pads. Feel the discs for a lip. If you have calipers check whether you are still within spec in terms of minimum thickness.

  • Check your BB: is it still running smoothly?

  • Check the pivots of the suspension. Grease them if necessary and then torque them to spec.

  • Check your headset bearing.

In case you don’t feel up for this, don’t worry, take the bike to a bike shop you trust and ask them to overhaul it. Maybe they will do things you deem not strictly necessary, but IMHO it’ll be worth it. Mountain bikes take much more of a beating than road bikes, and if you invest a little now could give you a bike that is still good for several years.

Now for upgrades: I’m assuming that all other components are in working order, and you just upgrade them because you want to. Clearly, if your drivetrain is worn out, you need a new one.

  • A dropper post. This is probably the biggest upgrade you can make.

  • Go for a 12-speed drivetrain. That’s probably pretty obvious. Probably you could get a 12-speed Eagle GX drive train and new front chain ring, and use it with your existing cranks. Alternatively, go for a 28-tooth chain ring in the front if you need lower gearing — 28:10 is still plenty fast offroad and 28:42 gives you roughly the same gearing as 32:50.

  • In case fork and damper need servicing, you might think of replacing those. Keep in mind that this is a high-end bike, so please don’t anger the Gods of cycling by slapping on cheap components.

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good point on the HTA!

Awesome post, thanks! I’m going to tinker with the bike a bit on my own first. I want to get a rough idea but I will be taking it to my trusted shop for an overhaul.

Will do some research on OneUp and Bike Yoke droppers. Thanks!

That’s what I’d do, too. Was the bike ridden a lot? That’s not always a bad thing in my experience, people who ride a lot tend to take better care of their gear.

One other thing: you should inspect the frame for damage. If you can, ask the previous owner if they had any (serious) crashes with the bike.

Out of curiosity: how did you get such a cracking bike and carbon rims for free? Tell me, what am I doing wrong? :smiley:

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Knowing my friend, it likely was. Going to the shop today to see what I’m dealing with. No serious crashes and the frame doesn’t have any cracks so that’s a win.

My friend has been MTBing for 10+ years, has done well financially, and just buys a new bike when he needs one for the soul. He’s also pretty busy so doesn’t want to deal with the selling etc and just asked if I would take it since I was in the market anyway.

In short, rub elbows with people in their 40s that have done well financially!

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