Ricker's '91 Epic Ultimate


Dirt Disciple
While waiting to see if I catch covid from my lovely wife on this nice US holiday weekend, I figure I will post a few of my projects. I have been lurking for quite a while and have collected bicycles from various eras since the early '90's. I just rode them before that;)

Here is a bike that has been on my list since I sold one to a friend while working in a shop back in 1992. When I called Specialized to order it the woman on the line sighed heavily and asked "what's the employees name?" which immediately let me know that they probably hadn't sold many of these at full retail. The Specialized employee purchase program was awesome back then- 50% off of dealer wholesale. This bike was still really expensive at that amazing bargain price.

I am choosing to go silver and black parts (other than a bit of blue to match the decal shadow) and found some grafton pedals that came with some nice cranks. I had a pair of these pedals in this color bitd and always liked them although they were difficult to get into with the cleats. I have the OG cleats and instructions with these (lucky find). I have some more parts to throw at it and will post progress occasionally when I can. I don't have photos of the other parts yet- need to build the wheels still.
Anyway photos:

Epic Ultimate frame.jpg

Epic Ultimate TT_1.jpgEpic Ultimate Merlin dropout_1.jpg
Epic Ultimate Grafton_1.jpg

Frame: 91 Specialized Epic Ultimate 18"

Fork: Specialized (original)

Headset: Suntour WTB grease guard (original)
Stem: Litespeed Ti w/cable guide
Handlebar: Dynamic Design Ti 560mm
Grips: Titec foam
Barends: nope

Brakes: Joe's prototypes - blue
Brake Pads:
Brake Cables:
Cantilever cable hangers:
Brake Levers: Dia-compe SS5

Shifters: Suntour XC pro 7 speed
Front Derailleur: XC pro
Rear Derailleur: XC pro
Derailleur Cables:
Cassette: 12-28 XC pro
Chain: Suntour
Cranks: Grafton Speed Stix ('91)
Crank Bolts:
Chainrings: Shimano 24-36-46
Chainring bolts:
Bottom Bracket: Specialized Ti 73x122
Pedals: Grafton

Hub Skewers: Salsa no logo blue
Rims: Mavic 231 32 hole
Hubs: Suntour XC pro WTB grease guard 32 hole
Nipples: DT
Spokes: Wheelsmith DB-15
Tyres: Specialized Umma Gumma more extreme 2.5 and 1.95 (for now)

Saddle: Flite
Seatpost: Fast Feather 27.2
Seatpost Binder: Control tech


There is some misinformation out there about what is Ti and what is steel on these frames. Everything except for the rear brake bosses and brake boss lugs is Merlin Ti and all the tubes are transparent clear carbon on the '91's. The 92 that my friend had(has?) was painted black over the lugs and transparent red over the carbon tubes (mombat images have this color). As is shown on other nice bikes on this site, the later frames were painted silver at the lugs.

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Dirt Disciple
Bucket list for me too- Finding the nice parts has gotten difficult. It will just take some time. I will probably get it together and then slowly replace the parts I don't think fit or aren't worthy


Senior Retro Guru
This is already amazing.

Look at it!

Black and sleek with shiny, shiny silver.

Can't wait to see the rest come together.

Prodigal Son

Senior Retro Guru
There is a ti/ carbon and a steel/carbon. The ti carbon is a true unicorn though i never read any comment on it´s ride quality. Specialized did it because they could.


Klein Fan
They are called slightly differently though. Epic vs. Epic Ultimate. (And then there is the "bike spyder" rebranded ones...)


Dirt Disciple
Little update for this project. I wanted to get it ridable so I put on some nice brakes that only kind of match. They are blue Joe's prototypes but one of the straddle carriers is turquoise. I am tempted to polish them but I subscribe to the thought that things are only original once and these brakes are in good shape. They were difficult to set up but they are powerful. I also swiped the stem off of another bike so now it has a litespeed stem with cable guide. The wheels are built but I am not sure about the black nipples. I might need to rebuild with silver. Silver just seems to have a little more class for me than the black. Bike weighs 9.4 kg (20.75 lbs.) and rides nice. It weighs the same as my contemporary 29'er mtb but that has 120 mm of travel - a lot has changed....

91 Epic ultimate 01 .JPG91 Epic ultimate 02.JPG91 Epic ultimate 03.JPGEpic ultimate 04.JPG