using 140-millimeter forks. It is worth noting that the EPO is only
available in medium and large sizes. For $1500 riders can get a
full-carbon frame directly from Canfield Brothers.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
We spent quite a bit of time dialing in the EPO build, and there
were a few components that stood out once we started putting the
pieces together. The Hope cranks with the spider-less retainer ring
stood out for their incredible quality and polished black finish.
Atomik carbon provided the Mod-Hook trail wheels laced up
on Profile Racing Elite hubs, which were a major standout. Profile
hubs have a very unique sound and almost instant engagement
that greatly added to the performance of the bike.
The WTB tires gave us all the traction we wanted and, thanks
to the thicker sidewalls, kept us confident that we wouldn’t cut our
rubbers through rocky sections. We were able to get some time
in on the new PadLok grips as well and liked the new texture and
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Canfield provided the MRP Stage fork with the frame to help
get our build started. MRP built plenty of adjustments into the
fork, including the ability to adjust the ramp control on the travel.
After playing with some of the adjustments and setting the sag,
we headed out to our local trails to see just what the EPO could
We built the EPO with a full Gamut cockpit using 760-millime-
ter-wide bars and a 60-millimeter stem. Given the long geometry,
we might have opted for a slightly shorter stem to bring the bars in
slightly closer, but overall we were happy with the fit.
Descending: If there is one place the EPO wants to be, it’s
pointed down the trail. The burly 2. 3 WTB Breakout front tire
combined with the plush feel of the MRP Stage gave us plenty of
confidence at high speeds and on steep sections of trail. The EPO
didn’t feel quite as stable at slow, technical speeds, but felt more
stable the faster we went.
The EPO has very stout frame tubes that make the bike look
sturdy. We were curious about just how much vertical compliance
we would get out of the design. We ran a slightly wider 2. 4 WTB
Trail Boss rear tire for a little more cushion.
The frame itself provided a surprisingly smooth ride, especially
over rockier sections of trail. Canfield built the carbon frame with
sweeping lines to handle rough terrain and to ensure that riders
would be as comfortable as possible. The geometry was fun and
A little bit of everything: At the end of the day the EPO is still
a hardtail and has some limitations. It will tackle a little bit of
everything with confidence, but still requires a skilled pilot for the
gnarliest of terrain.