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The Epiphany Alloy 27.5+ SLX 2x Complete Mountain Bike is similar to the other Epiphany models in name only. With a slacker head tube and plus-sized tire clearance, the 27.5+ Epiphany is able to run a lower amount of travel while still handling the same terrain. The result is an aggressive trail bike that doesn't turn into a squishy marshmallow on rocky climbs.
The 27.5+ model's head tube is a whole degree slacker than the standard 27.5, and the added stability is the ideal complement for the plushness of Maxxis' 3in Chronicle tires. The chainstays are a little longer than the non-plus model, which makes sense considering that Ellsworth had to provide additional tire clearance without sacrificing the frame's ability to accommodate a double drivetrain.
Despite those changes, the 27.5+ Epiphany's heart is still its Instant Center Tracking (ICT) suspension, which Ellsworth touts as the most advanced suspension platform in the world. As it moves through travel, ICT keeps the instant center (or virtual pivot created by ICT's four bar suspension) as close to the chain force line as possible. In on-trail terms, this equates to a steady pedaling platform so your power is always transferring into forward motion.
Furthermore, ICT doesn't require a lock-out, so you can always keep the Fox DPS rear shock's travel fully active, even while climbing. The addition of chain torque doesn't constrain the system's travel, the Achilles heel of so many otherwise efficient suspension designs, so pedaling and bump compliance aren't working against each other. The end result of ICT is a plush, less-fatiguing ride with greater control and responsiveness over all terrain.
Though its drivetrain — predominantly Shimano SLX — isn't exactly blowing up podiums around the world, the build kit does have a few notable highlights where it really matters. This build includes the same fork, shock, and wheels as the premium, top-end builds. The inclusion of Stan's NoTubes Flow wheels is especially noteworthy since wheels are typically the first thing we look to update on so-called entry-level build kits, but Ellsworth's meticulous spec means this this bike is race-ready where it matters most.
- Item #ELS000M