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  1. #1
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    2011 epic 29er vs. stumpjumper 2rer???

    I need some opinions, I'm trying to decide b/w the 2011 epic 29er and stumpy 29er.

    I'm on an older 26" stumpjumper FSR w/ 100mm travel, same travel as the 2011 Epic. I road bike a lot, used to race MTB's, got the stumpy, LOVE full suspension (I'm 40), I noticed the position was different from my old hardtail race bikes but I didn't care much, I wasn't racing it. Now I'm getting back into MTB's, I'm 6'4" and think a 29er will rock, but I'm having a really hard time deciding which model is right for me. I'll probably race occasionally. I usually MTB alone and do hard/fast rides on tight, rocky/rooty singletrack in central NC- up and down but not long climbs. Rides >2 hours will be unusual. I'll take it to the NC mountains occasionally.

    OK, that's a lot of info. Any opinions??? I'm sticking to specialized to simplify the choice and b/c of the local shop.

  2. #2
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    Having had both 26" epics and SJs,

    I find that my preference is far and away for the SJ eventhough i am more of a XC rider. I ride a lot of climbs and more moderate terrain (even here in Colorado) that would, on paper, steer me more towards the Epic. However, I like the more upright SJ geometry and the feeling that the bike can always take more than I am willing to dish out. I felt like I was always pushing my Epic to the brink of its intended abilities.

    FWIW: I was looking at the 2011 SJ FSR 29er but ended up with a RIP 9 for two reasons: (1) there was no definite availability date for the SJ, and (2) the RIP 9 rode like my 2008 SJ FSR.

  3. #3
    I don't huck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickd
    I need some opinions, I'm trying to decide b/w the 2011 epic 29er and stumpy 29er.

    I'm on an older 26" stumpjumper FSR w/ 100mm travel, same travel as the 2011 Epic. I road bike a lot, used to race MTB's, got the stumpy, LOVE full suspension (I'm 40), I noticed the position was different from my old hardtail race bikes but I didn't care much, I wasn't racing it. Now I'm getting back into MTB's, I'm 6'4" and think a 29er will rock, but I'm having a really hard time deciding which model is right for me. I'll probably race occasionally. I usually MTB alone and do hard/fast rides on tight, rocky/rooty singletrack in central NC- up and down but not long climbs. Rides >2 hours will be unusual. I'll take it to the NC mountains occasionally.

    OK, that's a lot of info. Any opinions??? I'm sticking to specialized to simplify the choice and b/c of the local shop.
    Hmmm...well, I agree with the first response you got here. The FSR Stumpy is a VERY fun bike to ride. The Epic is more purposeful and I bet it will handle the trails just fine and will be a bit edgier, but the FSR with the Brain and the Command Post is just a hoot to ride in rooty, rocky stuff.
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  4. #4
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    Weights

    Good topic, I am in the same boat. I bought a 2010 Epic 29er comp in the spring, used it for 6 XC races so far here in Colorado. Coming from a '01 Cannondale hardtail it has made my times much faster however the weight is killing me. I will probably be getting a '11 and have the same question.

    Anyone know the weights between the two bike, same trim level, say the expert?

  5. #5
    I don't huck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbcalla
    Good topic, I am in the same boat. I bought a 2010 Epic 29er comp in the spring, used it for 6 XC races so far here in Colorado. Coming from a '01 Cannondale hardtail it has made my times much faster however the weight is killing me. I will probably be getting a '11 and have the same question.

    Anyone know the weights between the two bike, same trim level, say the expert?

    I don't, but I would say that you would need to pop for the Expert carbon Epic 29er at least to get a big difference there.

    If the weight of the Epic Comp is bugging ya, then you would not like the FSR for that same reason.
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  6. #6
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    Bikerumor.com has weights they grabbed at the Specialized show...

    http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/07/15/...ctual-weights/

    Looks like the expert versions of both are 29 lbs. 3 oz. for the FSR and 26 lbs. 3 oz. for the Epic.

    I'm on an Epic Marathon 29er now too and have really been enjoying the ride. I'm a little afraid to ride an FSR because I'm sure it will find a way into the garage!

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    Personally I'd lean towards the lighter weight and racier feel of the Epic...but I haven't ridden either on the trail. The specs on these bikes have come along way in the past couple years.
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    head tube angles...

    i geeked and checked the head tube angles of the 2011 epic and SJ. turns out the 2011 epic 29er's 70.5 degree angle is exactly the same as the 2004 26" SJ I'm riding now, and i like the way it handles.

    so i'm trying to figure out if that means the '11 epic will have similar handling to the '04 SJ or if the same angle will feel different b/c it's a 29er. i understand that the 70.5 may be considered "aggressive" compared to the slacker 69.5 on the 2011 SJ, but I keep thinking "I'm used to 70.5 and I like it." what i don't know is what difference the wheel size makes in the comparison. any geeks want to weigh in on that??

    thanks to everybody who's replied to this thread so far.

  9. #9
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    I can't tell you how it will handle differently, only that it will. The bigger wheels make a difference there for sure.

  10. #10
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    I rode both bikes, '10 models, and liked the SJ better. It was a little heavier but not a lot, I didn't weigh either but I would say the 3# listed above is really close.

    The Epic felt 'racy', very quick to do anything you want, almost twitchy like you would expect from a race bike. It felt like the faster you went the better it was going to get, very cool bike. Downsides to me are long rides, I like to ride 3-4 hours when I get the chance and I already had an edgy race bike (26") that gets irritating in the technical stuff when I get tired and sloppy. Low, REALLY low, speed stability was something I felt was a bit lacking. The other downside, if you can call it that, was the Brain valving was pretty firm. It would all but lock out completely set full firm and didn't go full cush when open all the way.

    The Stumpjumper was all that I was hoping for. Extremely stable at super low speeds and easy to handle. A bit more upright riding position, bars level with the seat opposed to bars an inch or two under the seat on the Epic, is super comfortable on LONG rides. Very stable at high speeds and crazy stable blasting through the roots and rock gardens. It turns well at any speed, and climbs like a goat though I think the Epic would be a little better climber. I bought the Stumpjumper FSR 29 Expert and I am thoroughly in love, it is a BEAST through the really rough stuff, fast as hell on the fast stuff and generally just a great ride.

    The Brain shock on both is required IMO, it makes the bike pedal so much more efficiently it isn't funny, and both still have an active suspension. Way better than any other platform setup I have ridden. These bikes do technical climbs crazy well.

    The 29" wheels are awesome, they roll over stuff that used to scare me on a 26" wheel like it is nothing. Point it and shoot through rock gardens pedaling and grabbing gears if you want, it's just silly! I haven't done it but my best guess is that just going up to 29" wheels with the same head angle and other geometry will make the bike feel quite a bit more stable at all speeds and I know it will roll the chunk better than you will believe until you ride it.

  11. #11
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    I really need to stop reading SJ FSR 29er ride reports! I want one!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    I really need to stop reading SJ FSR 29er ride reports! I want one!
    Seriously I was looking at the 2011 Giants, but man looking at some of those pics and reading ride reports....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogz
    Personally I'd lean towards the lighter weight and racier feel of the Epic...but I haven't ridden either on the trail. The specs on these bikes have come along way in the past couple years.
    Having previously had an Epic (and loved it), I thought the same thing. I was wrong... While I appreciated the incredible capability of the Epic, when I got back to the demo tent, I was underwhelmed and didn't really feel like it suited me.

    When I got on the SJ, however, I had a blast!! I came back with a big grin on my face and ready to get one!

    I was pretty surprised, but in the end, they're both great bikes... just get the one that suits you the best.
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  14. #14
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    I was in the same position you were about six months ago. At 6'2'' 180 lbs sometimes roadie, mostly off road, been on 29er's for five years now, I decided on the SJR expert.
    I really wanted the Epic at first but couldn't justify the price. Now, I couldn't be happier. Seriously, unless you race exclusively, what difference does an extra pound or two make? Aim this thing downhill and you won't stop smiling. As far as climbing goes, man up, stay seated, no problem. No regrets.

  15. #15
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    I rode the 2011 Epic Carbon 29 yesterday at Specialized's demo in North East Ohio. The single track was dry sandy/soil; pine needle shoulders; some roots; mild to not rideable climbs with everything inbetween; fast weaving downhill slalom through trees; hard dips and sharp rolling dropoffs; and a patch of loose gravel. No pavement, 68-degrees, sunny blue sky and slight breeze.

    One word description: amazing

    The loose gravel was interesting as my momentum carried me through it with expectations being met with predictabile handling; the roots and bumps were clean while riding in and out of the saddle, with a little rear wheel hop during high speed braking into corners after leaving the bumps and leaning into a shard decellerated but high-speed turn; the full suspension sucked up most of the 4-mile demo ride's bumps; when I sprinted to max speed, after several minutes I peddled from the saddle but quickly accelarated with the feeling of a lightweight bike that wanted to go faster beneath me! There were some hard dips and logs that were greeted well enough to know that the suspension had enough travel to carry speed over the obstacle; one hill required dismounting and over the shoulder climbing, the bike was so light that I sprinted up the hill with ease.

    In the end, my current HIFI deluxe with upgrades was ridden before I tested the Epic Carbon 29, which I love dearly, and gladly benched as the Specialized out-performed it before I was half way through the demo course!

    Fast...Agile...Accelerates fast...takes the bumps and the hard dips...climbs and descends well...light for carrying up the long and steep or non-rideable hills...the XX-group-set worked great too having SRAM's X9 groupset to compare!

    I'll have one for the 2011 race season with plenty of cabin feaver!

  16. #16
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Did I miss it?

    Has the Camber 29er been mentioned in this thread? Isn't the Camber the offspring of the two? Isn't the Camber the result of an Epic & SJ gettin' jiggy wit it? Na na na na na naa...
    The Pro weight is listed at 28#6oz...Problem solved. You're welcome!

  17. #17
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    I've got a '10 Epic Comp 29er which I have been very happy with. I'm 6'4" and 223lb. The bike is very responsive, handles great (I don't find it twitchy at all, on the contrary, very stable). I was actually having my dealer check on an '11 Expert Carbon but I broke the rear shock eye two weeks ago. It looked like it had been rubbing and finally wore thin enough to crack. I do hit 1-3 foot jumps on a weekly basis. Nothing crazy, sloping landings, no slamming it. I talked to the Spec rep and he said the intended use of the bike was XC/racing and, while they know that the wheels will leave the ground, it is meant for riders who try to keep their wheels on the trail. My dealer (who has also been a bike mechanic for close to 40 years) said it was likely to happen again. So, it depends on your riding. I know your terrain as I am from Asheboro, NC and helped build hiking trails in Uwharrie in the 70's. If you like to hit jumps, get the Stumpy. If you like speed and keeping your wheels on the ground, get the Epic. My dealer recently started carrying Ellsworth, and he offered me a generous trade on the Epic for an Evolve. I do think Spec makes great bikes. I'm waiting on a warranty shock now for my Epic, but I'm going with the Evolve as I want a 4" travel bike that I can do everything I want with. I talked with Donald from Ells and he said he has been riding the crap out of an Evolve all over Arizona, Utah and SoCal for the last 3 years with no probs. It ships tomorrow.

  18. #18
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    Too bad the Camber is brainless. No pun intended!

    Thanks for the review Sparty! I know Duece and I are both looking forward to our Epic's!

    I'm gettin' my stoke on right now as I watch my recording of the World Champs on CBUT while it's pouring down rain.

    Cheers!

  19. #19
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    I'm 5'9", 190 pounds....left the ground a little under speed so the landing was equal on the demo's wheels. Full carbon is not all-mountain friendly in time....that's what their Stumpy is built for....breaking a $9,400 bike would not be funny.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    I really need to stop reading SJ FSR 29er ride reports! I want one!
    No doubt. I saw a the black/silver expert at my LBS yesterday and now I am in a mad frenzy to sell off all kinds of bikes and random bits to get my hands on one.

    I would just go to the shop and drop the cash but my lady would strangle me. I have six as it is...

    Me want

    ....must have....

  21. #21
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    Spec replaced my Epic shock in one week. Great customer service.

  22. #22
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    At least we are all in the same boat. I am still running my sub 25 pounder 02 S-Works FSR, 90mm front and rear travel, first year back on the race scene after an 8 year absence, and in the market for a new Specialized. 29er Epic or 29er HT? Carbon or aluminum?

    I narrowed down to the 29er from research and riding with a few associates seeing how their bikes handled. While they complained about a lack of sprint feeling, at 6í6, I think I can power those 29erís to sprint.

    Riding this past weekend I felt like I was sinking and dragging a log, which has prompted my mind to think about returning to a hardtail. But, I love the bat out of hell descending and the lack of impact my lower back feels on my FSR. If I can keep the weight of the bike reasonable, I will still favor the Epic. My biggest concern is weight as I recently heard 27 lbs for the $4100 29er Carbon Epic (silver/black) and second question is if a carbon frame can handle the abuse since I usually just point, pedal and shoot. The only option for an aluminum Epic 29er is the 28 lbs tank Comp.

    I suggest getting a demo ride with both on the hardest trail you know. Thatís my route.

  23. #23
    Sup
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    I just got my fox talas 29er fork 4 my alloy 2011 epic frame I have on order
    if you work the numbers out it should give me the same geo as the stumpjumper in the 120 position
    I weigh 150 geared up and am not worried about the added stress to the head tube
    I am not buying the bike for the warranty so you can keep all those comments to yourself also.....
    just building the bike I want
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