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  1. I'm not normally compelled to write a blog or contribute to a forum, but I thought that I should share my experience of this year's Epic on the Banting or LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diet. I was repeatedly told before the event that it is not recommended to ride this gruelling event without carbs, that I would surely run out of energy and suffer. Even the race nutritionist from Woolies echoed these sentiments. I have been eating no sugar or carbs for the past 18 months and have done some events like the Sani2C and other marathon races throughout last year and the beginning of this year without any energy issues... but almost 7 ultras in a row? That was the question and it seriously stressed me out before this year's Epic. I searched all over the internet to get answers and advice, but not much there and a lot of contradicting information. Yes, no, maybe. Make up your minds, would you? I decided to stick to my nutrition and persevered. My teammate (a carb-muncher) and I trained together and were basically riding at the same level and had similar fitness going into this race, so it would be a good comparison. I'm also no racing snake, so was not aiming for a podium or top 100 finish. I was aiming to finish before the cut-off times each day... full stop. We trained to ride at 75% to 85% of max HR. So this is how it went... We finished in 299th GC (just in the top half out of 621 teams) and 89th in the Masters - we're both in our mid forties. I was amazed at how strong I felt throughout the race (all 8 days). Especially strong at the finishing stages of each day, where many teams were backing off and struggling to finish. I ended up always driving my teammate to the finish as he was finding it harder to fuel himself towards the end of each stage, especially during the latter stages of the event. I also did some pushing up-hills and creating a draft/slipstream during the windy stages. Also, it looked like my recovery was faster as I started pretty fresh each next day, unlike my partner. The water points did not cater for low carb at all, so I carried my own nutrition throughout the race: 1. Almonds and dry berry mix 2. Cabanossi (nice and fatty) 3. Home made fat-bomb gels in a squeezee bottle (macadamia nut butter, coconut oil, cocoa, and a dash of honey)... YUM! 4. Low-carb rehydration (electrolyte) mix - I used a combination of USN Zero Carb Rehydrator and Drip-Drop (medical grade rehydration supplement powder I recently discovered) I also found that I did not eat any more than I would have during my normal daily routine, with moderate training. My typical evening meals were steak, lamb or pork and veggies. Fatty bacon and eggs for breakfast (of course) So, it worked for me. In fact, I have never felt stronger during previous long races / rides and still have no idea why I felt so good during this Epic. I can't attribute my strength to the diet alone as we did put in a lot of training, but I have been riding for in excess of 20 years and have never felt this level of sustained energy and endurance for such a long time. So, the long and short of it is that it is VERY POSSIBLE to do a great Epic on the Banting diet. As long as you have some body fat... you have fuel.
  2. Can't believe this thread hasn't appeared yet.. Here is 2014 Epic Elite : Specs at: http://www.specialized.com/es/en/bikes/mountain/epic/14epicepicfsrelitecarbon
  3. Hi Guys Before posting a for sale ad, keen on some technical info - if there is indeed ANY market for a nice set of Shimano XT STI Dual Control combo - (brake and gear lever combo), off of an older SPEZ S-Works Epic? they would work with cantilever brakes, and both my Spez frames have got the brazed on 'BOSS' for cantilever brakes, but I am now running hydraulic disks set up.... Anyone advise me? Are there guys who rebuild/restore period-correct, pre-Disk MTB's? Cheers Chris
  4. Hi all, I have come across an urgent advert on Facebook where a person is trying to sell a Specialized Epic (Black and red) Please follow the link below to see the advert, especially if your bike was recently stolen. The bike is currently located in Rustenburg, North West. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/864935731019097/
  5. Might as well get the show on the road... 1) Any Saffers registered and signed up for Swiss Epic 2020? 2) Will the event go ahead? So far I have been told it will... If you have done it previously, what advice(s) do you have? Do we book an extra days accommodation prior to the race, massage, service, places to stay, transport and transfers, etc...? ????
  6. Hi Guys, It's time to upgrade my MTB. Looking at getting a Full Sus 29'er and have a budget of around 30k. I mostly do XC and Marathon style riding. Hoping to do some stage races like Wines2Whales and Sani. Was keen on the Specialized Epic Comp (Aluminium Frame) which was on special for R30k but unfortunately they all sold out before I could get my hands on one... So need some advice relating to other brands and options. What advice do you guys have in terms of 1. Going second hand? Heard some scary stories about expensive repairs to the shocks... 2. Specialized. Would love to get an Epic. But not sure about the Brain and the 150hr services I'll need to send it away for. Any experience with this? ....Kinda wanna just get one anyway 3. Momsen? I've seen some pretty good deals on their bikes. But their frame guarantee is only for 3 years? Anyone have any experience with their VIPA RACE ONE? Seriously considering getting this one since I'm not so sure an Epic at around 30k is realistic. Thanks in advance guys. Will appreciate any insight or experience!
  7. Hi guys, If anybody needs a last minute rider please let me know. I’m available. Completed the 2019 Cape Epic. Send me DM for full rider profile/info. Regards Johan Cape Town
  8. Looking for a rider to complete a team due to recently injured partner. Intermediate level rider from Spain, with good MTB experience and completed stage races. This opportunity includes caravan sleeping package
  9. Dear Valued Hubbers, We are honoured to be competing at the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike race, in support of CANSA. (www.cansa.org.za) Our goal is to help raise awareness and funds for CANSA in support of their fight against cancer. We are very grateful to be offered this opportunity to help those who are affected by this disease, and we wish to contribute to this cause. We can do so with your support - together we can make a difference! We therefore kindly ask that you please support our cause and the fight against cancer, by making a donation, no matter how small - every cent helps, to CANSA at the following link: https://www.givengain.com/ap/cansaheroes/# (all proceeds will go directly into CANSA's bank account). We are also selling advertising space on our racing kit to companies who wish to donate to this cause. All proceeds will go directly to CANSA, who will in return issue tax certificates to donating companies. Please share with all your family and friends. Also follow us for upcoming fundraiser events! Many thanks for your kind support! Riaan van Wyk & Jacques Lotriet
  10. How well would a 120mm travel fork work on a 2015 model Specialized Epic? Anyone who's tried this, or has seen it done? Bought the bike 2nd hand last year after a few years on my trusty Scott hardtail and have been enjoying how nicely the Epic balances comfort of full suspension vs keeping a "racy feel". I'm by no means a racing snake or trail machine, but I enjoy mixing up Jonkershoek/OakValley/Welvanpas in-between longer "dirty roady" type routes. I find though that the 100mm travel upfront is a little lacking on some trails and reckon 120mm would make a big difference. Buying a Spez Camber (or similar alternative brand model) not an option - because let's face it, bikes have become silly expensive, and I really like the Epic as a general purpose type bike. How would going from 100 to 120mm affect the Epic? The obvious points would be slightly slacker headtube angle, and slight increase in bike front height requiring saddle & stem adjustments. Any risks or potential issues I might be missing?
  11. All of the top 5 stories are admirable in their own right! What sets us apart or why vote for us..... We cycled the farthest distance. We endured for the longest period of time with no sponsors or on the ground support. We encountered countless set backs (physically, mentally and mechanically) however we chose to leave that out of our story as there are many people out there suffering or dealing with more than us. It is the sheer magnitude of our adventure that we CONQUERED AS ONE, through a love of cycling and making a difference. We are strong and healthy cyclists. We hope to use our entry, should we win it, to raise funds once again for our charity, HOKISA. Please vote here for my brother Cecil Bosman .... http://www.bicycling.co.za/sponsored/vote-favourite-absa-conquerasone-finalist/
  12. Last time I got in a lot of trouble for saying obvious things like : "This tread is for people preparing for the Epic only" I'm not gonna do that this time.... Please share your info and knowledge on gear, training, nutrition ect ect! Also, don't forget your sense of humor Good luck with everyone's preparation!!
  13. This year the Absa Cape Epic finishes for the first time at Val de Vie and its renowned polo fields – the fourth host for the Grand Finale in the race’s 14 editions. After leaving Oak Valley the finish is just 85km away and the riders have the least climbing to do on any day of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. They will, however, be well advised to keep some energy in spare for the climb up the Franschhoek Pass after about 40km. That seven kilometre haul rises nearly 400m, marking the last major climb of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. Click here to view the article
  14. There’s always a fun day at the Absa Cape Epic, and barring bad weather this should be it. First there are a few climbs to negotiate, including a particularly nasty one that has concrete strips for traction and then the legendary Nuweberg from the east side. Click here to view the article
  15. On each day of the Absa Cape Epic, the team of skilled photographers create spectacular images for us to enjoy. Bike Hub will be holding a competition to recognise their hard work and give you the chance to win a signed copy of your favourite photograph. Take a look at the selection of photographs from the Absa Cape Epic Stage 2 and vote for your favourite to go into the finals. Click here to view the article
  16. On each day of the Absa Cape Epic, the team of skilled photographers create spectacular images for us to enjoy. Bike Hub will be holding a competition to recognise their hard work and give you the chance to win a signed copy of your favourite photograph. Take a look at the selection of photographs from the Absa Cape Epic Stage 1 and vote for your favourite to go into the finals. Click here to view the article
  17. On each day of the Absa Cape Epic, the team of skilled photographers create spectacular images for us to enjoy. Bike Hub will be holding a competition to recognise their hard work and give you the chance to win a signed copy of your favourite photograph. Take a look at the selection of photographs from the Absa Cape Epic Prologue and vote for your favourite to go into the finals. Click here to view the article
  18. After two rugged days riders will get to enjoy a shorter stage and the mountain biking delights of Greyton. Click here to view the article
  19. I have an open question to all the Hubbers out there: Do you think there is room for bamboo bikes on the SA cycling stage? There are some very good arguments for bamboo bikes, but yet we don't see them around our races, on training rides or in the streets parked outside nice coffee bars. How do you think this observation is to be explained? Looking forward to your words of wisdom and insight. CB
  20. “We did what we had to do,” was Robyn de Groot’s understated description of Team Ascendis Health’s victory in the opening stage of the Absa Cape Epic on Sunday. Click here to view the article
  21. The 2017 Absa Cape Epic started exactly as they 2016 edition ended, with Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factor Racing XC) powering onto the Meerendal Wine Estate fields to take the win. Click here to view the article
  22. We are launching an Epic special on selected Merida Ninety Six models at Bike Addict. Make sure you have the right ultra stage race machine! Follow the link bellow. While stocks last! https://bike-addict.co.za/collections/current-promotion/products/merida-ninety-six-team-2017-open-for-pre-orders https://bike-addict.co.za/collections/current-promotion/products/merida-ninety-six-7000-2017
  23. I've recently moved from a 2016 Specialized Camber Comp Carbon to an 2016 Epic Elite Carbon World Cup. I ride mainly spruit, northern farms, trail stuff. I definitely wasn't using the Camber to it's full potential, but did enjoy the comfortable ride. I immediately enjoyed the ease with which you can climb on the Epic. Bike does indeed feel much lighter and more effortless going uphill. A rougher ride no doubt. I was concerned the more aggressive position on the bike would be uncomfortable but other than a little chafe from a different seat (didn't get that with my camber) i've found it surprisingly comfortable. First ride on the spruit it definitely felt a little 'twitchy' and I lacked some confidence I had with the camber. I changed the front tyre to a 2.2 ground control for a bit more grip. I see online they also say the stem is far too long (Specialized Stout XC 100 mm) and advised going for a shorter (70mm) stem. Would this help me with handling? If so what stem would you advise and what would they go for? Cheers, Matt
  24. Hello ! In August I cycled the World's hardest climb and I've just finished editing a trailer video. Mauna Kea is the most difficult road bike cycling climb of the World based on the data of salite.ch and climbbybike.com, the two most serious cycling climbs's collections. It's an epic climb, a monster ! Mauna Kea has 2 ascents: the Hilo side is harder than the Kona side ! Both starts by the Pacific Ocean (Big island, Hawaii) and ends just at the top of the 4205 m high peak. The 1st 50 km long section is not too hard: the average steepness is below 5% (for more than 2000 m heightdifference), but the last 20 kms has 2000 m heightdifference that means 10% steepness; the maximum grade is 17-20%. Other difficulty is the thin air above ca. 3300-3500 m (at the top there is 40% less oxygen than by the ocean) and a 7 km long gravel-sandy section above 2800 m. At last there is another thing to made it tough: there is only one place to get water, buy some snack, drink: the Visitor Center after ca. 55 kms at the height of 2800 m. That's why that when I left the ocean, at sunrise I carried ca. 5 liters of water. In the last hour of the daylight several cars go up to the summit to enjoy the sunset. Because I cycled all of the paved climbs finishing above 2000m in the Alps, Pyrenées and Canary islands and cycled up to Pico Veleta, I had to say that it is really the toughest cycling climb of the Earth; it was harder than any other climbs that I cycled before, much harder than Monte Zoncolan, Grosser Oscheniksee, Speikkogel, Angliru, etc. Have pleasure with it ! ( facebook.com/cycling.high ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOIHwZ_6bx4
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