Marketing spray: Ellsworth says the Epiphany is “the industry benchmark for fully active long travel trail bikes.”
Swami’s fact check: The truth of that statement is in the details. If you’ve never ridden a four-bar linkage suspension before, the first thing you’ll learn when you do is that bike companies lie about how much travel you get. That’s not the case with the Epiphany. Even this carbon version built for racing gives you all of the 5.5 inches of float. (The wheel path is far more linear than most suspension designs.) So yes, it is indeed a fully active suspension, but is it an XC race bike? Not really, unless you’re talking BC Bike Race or Cape Epic conditions and duration. It’s plenty efficient for seated peddling, but you can’t stand up and sprint on four-bar linkage bikes. Some notes: Instead of the narrow bars and tight cockpit, we’d have preferred it built up with wider bars and a dropper post to highlight its downhill chops. It would still be plenty light for all day climbing and more than robust for 5,000 vertical foot backcountry descents.
Best usage: Fast trail riding.
Tester ravings: “Deep travel for a lightweight.” From $3,095; ellsworthbikes.com