noblechairs EPIC Black Edition

The EPIC was probably the chair I *should* have purchased back when I was deliberating on the HERO. Why? It’s considerably smaller and sleeker and a shade cheaper to boot.

At the time- however- there was no “Black Edition” EPIC. The all-black finish of noblechair’s Black Edition HERO really sealed the deal for me when I was picking out a chair, and my screamingly painful back made me fairly price insensitive. The size didn’t bother me, because I wanted the HERO specifically for its understated looks – let’s face it, the EPIC is making a statement that not everyone wants to make – and … I just wasn’t feeling the rounded Icon. In fact I did, and still do, think the Icon looks like a tongue. Uh, sorry noblechairs!

But as much as a statement as the EPIC seemed to make, upon actually seeing it in the flesh… I like the racing seat look more than I’d expected. Though perhaps I’ve taken its looks a little too literally- the EPIC has taken root in my living room as my racing chair, and the resulting setup is glorious.

A quick aside- this isn’t so much a review as, I guess, a case study of how I’m using and customising the EPIC. If you want an honest, fresh out of the box, new to noblechairs opinion of the Black Edition series you should check out my noblechairs HERO Black Edition review.

Let’s be real here- I’m pretty good for chairs. Following my review of the HERO I’d purchased, and the relentless RGB’ing that ensued – noblechairs had offered to send over the EPIC when I had space, and I was really keen to try another chair in the Black Edition range for a number of reasons. The material finish is excellent, and I’m a sucker for something with a minimal visual look… particularly since I’ll stick so much RGB on the damned thing that any colour other than black might explode some eyeballs.

So there was a good reason for the racing-like EPIC to become my racing chair. Our home office build ended with an absurd amount of desk (I bought a total of 6 of the cheapest desks I could muster from Ikea… we’re talking £6 a pop tabletops here) and very little floor space, making three chairs the absolute maximum I could hope to fit in there. The EPIC… was the fourth. I had to do something else with it.

And, of course, the obvious choice for a very racing looking chair was to pair it with my racing rig: a Logitech G series racing wheel bolted onto perhaps the cheapest, nastiest and most broken of metal frames. Wheeled office chairs- however- fall short of being ideal for racing rigs and their users have sought increasing more balmy ways of getting them to stop rolling back when they push the pedals. I’ve seen string and ratchet straps suggested to tie the two together, but since I had a chair to dedicate to the cause I could be a little more.. adventurous? Are bell glides adventurous!?

Replace The Frikkin’ Wheels: The Sequel

And so I decided to replace the wheels with something that doesn’t roll. Funny, since with the HERO I’d replaced the wheels with skate wheels (Find them on Amazon here and gief me your sweet sweet commission!) in an attempt to get it to roll better.

For the opposite problem Twitter was quick to suggest 3D printed chocks for the wheels. That’s actually a pretty good idea if I’d wanted to preserve rollability for normal office use. However in my case I wanted a chair I could move to one side of the living room as a casual – if a little extra – seat and then easily relocate in front of the TV for racing. Chocks were almost guaranteed to get lost (with assistance from the toddler), and if they weren’t lost they would still require a little ritual to set up every time. This is a no-go for me. I barely get any time to game these days and unfolding and setting up the racing wheel is enough hassle without adding more to the setup. I want to be bish-bash-bosh GO!

So I bought the cheapest bell glides/chair feet I could find on Amazon. They came in a pack of 5. These hard, rubber, wheel-height feet are designed to be a swap in replacement for castors and fit right into the standard sockets. The purchase was a bit of a dice roll since I wasn’t totally sure they would be tall enough for the gas lift piston (which protrudes through the bottom of the base) but it appears they’re the same height as a standard castor and worked fine. The glides came with attachable felt pads which I opted to leave in the bag- if anything I wanted them to be more grippy, not less!

Bell glides socketed: great success. Chair is now EPIC Chair Of Rolling -10. What about swivel?

I can live with the swivel

Well it turns out that not only is a swivel lock another job for 3D printing- some kind of clamp arrangement I suppose- but once the chair stops rolling the swivel doesn’t seem to be that big a deal. In fact being able to swivel, sit down easily and rotate back into racing position turned out to be too convenient to prevent. A quick-release swivel lock might be handy – and I can picture the mechanism in my head – but I don’t have the time or inclination to design one.

And I can live without the arms

The arms, however, were destined to get in my way. When cozying up to the racing wheel the EPIC’s arms – despite their ludicrous four dimensions of adjustability – jostled with the shifter and made the whole setup a little awkward. Fortunately each arm is held on with three removable bolts and was easy to remove in a pinch. I could probably have removed just the left one, but for a clean, consistent look I decided to drop both. A shame- the gunmetal finish on the lower part of the arms is one of my favourite features of the chair, but at least that same finish is carried over onto the seat recline.

With the main source of gunmetal finish tucked away in storage, I’m left lamenting the fact that noblechairs chose to make the… seatbelt loops?… out of plastic rather than the same gunmetal. Again I would love to see a premium chair with these and the plastic sides replaced with something a bit more bougie. I’m a sucker for the details.

But I’m going to RGB this sucker!

I’ve yet to produce a full write-up of my RGB lighting setup for the noblechairs HERO and EPIC since I keep finding ways to make things better. Version 1.0 used soldered wires with dupont connectors plugged into each other. It was an ugly, hacky, fragile mess. It also used a Pi Zero W- a pretty power-hungry little computer- and an IMU to make chair tilt/rotation control effects. With the Raspberry Pi Pico available I switched up to a Pico to drive the LEDs and compression fit connectors to fix the strips together. This is kinder to battery life, but I haven’t written any software to bring an IMU online or do anything fancy… yet. That’s where 3.0 comes in, but-

Between lack of funds and lack of part availability I haven’t been able to refine my lighting rig to a 3.0 version. I did grab the 2.0 from my HERO and fit it to the EPIC. If simply looking at the two chairs doesn’t immediately show the different in size, then the big sagging, excess LED strip certainly did. The EPIC needs fewer lights, albeit not by much. Incidentally removing the arms also makes LED strips a little easier to fit since I can get gutter clips in the middle of the sides.

I guess I kinda snuck a review in here, sorta?

The EPIC Black Edition is true to the HERO Black Edition and everything I like and don’t quite so like about the latter is recreated in the former in familiar yet ever so slightly disappointing detail. Don’t get me wrong, the EPIC is a beautiful chair and noblechair’s vinyl/PU (or whatever the heck it is) faux-leather finish is exceptional… but I can’t help but wonder how awesome (and expensive?) this could be if they were just a little more liberal with the gunmetal.

If you’re in the market for a gaming chair, and noblechairs are in your budget, I couldn’t recommend them more. They, by all appearances, appear to be going from strength to strength and are riding the work-from-home wave and resulting exploding demand for chairs about as well as you could expect. They also seem to have hired a bunch of people I know from *gestures vaguely* this ol’ nonsense, I’m confident they’re in relatively safe hands. Above all else, though, I think noblechair’s Black Edition look, feel and finish is- and granted I have only my EPIC CHAIR PISSTAKE TWITTER THREAD as supporting evidence here- among the best in the business.

You can get the noblechair’s range on Overclockers (which is where I bought my HERO) –

* noblechairs EPIC Black Edition
* noblechairs HERO Black Edition
* noblechairs LICKY LICKY TONGUE Black Edition