Easing the transition: Enduro to Epic

Our friend Rhys in Queensland switched from a medium Enduro to a large Epic. He’s loving the climbs but fearing the descents.


Big fan of your webpage and book — my partner has just got into riding mtb (she is on a Myka at the moment) and is reading your book.

I really need your advise — I bought myself a nice new 2009 Epic so I can do some 8/12 hour races this year and also a marathon (100kms) or two.

I seem to be having some problems going from my 2005 Enduro (Medium) to the 2009 Epic (Large). Obviously the Enduro is a much longer travel bike and I love ripping it down the trails – except that I really struggle to get back up the hills (lack of fitness and rear bob) The Epic in large is perfect for those long fire road rides and for going uphill – especially uphill compared to my old Enduro. The big problem is when things turn downwards — so far I have been over the bars twice (no damage to me so far) and I am finding that I simply can’t get back over the rear wheel properly. I guess that I am now gun shy but this thing is seriously dangerous heading downhill. I am also having issues getting over the front wheel when cornering – so I managed to wash the front wheel out in a race last weekend. A nice bruise on my thigh where it met with a rock is still there…

To sort this out I am looking to whack on an adjustable seat post (CB – Joplin) so I can get back easier when going downhill. Separately I am also keen to reduce the stem. The current one is 100mm and I am looking at a 80mm stem but I wonder if I should go even shorter.

Thoughts? Would going to a flatter bar also assist?

Thanks heaps

Rhys W.
Cairns QLD

Hey Ryhs,

First of all

No matter how your bike is set up, going over the bars is a technique failure. Grab your partner’s copy of MMBSii. Check out the section on riding position and especially driving your weight through your feet. Study the braking chapter while you’re at it.

The longer your cockpit, the lower you have to get — and the more committed you have to be. BMXing a stock Stumpjumper 29er hardtail.

OK, now for bike setup

Let’s assume your medium Enduro fit you perfectly, and you want to re-create that position.

Your large Epic is about an inch longer in the top tub, plus the stem is probably at least an inch longer.

That adds about two inches to the length of your cockpit. That’s enough to notice.

Step 1:

Change your stem to make the Epic’s cockpit the same length and height as your Enduro’s. You measured your Enduro, right?

I’m guessing a 50mm stem would make your Epic feel Enduro-esque. A 70mm stem would give a slightly more traditional XC position.

Step 2:

Learn to ride that bike! You can learn to rip it in stock form, but it’ll be easier with your Enduro setup.

An adjustable seatpost won’t hurt.


— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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