The last week and a half has been wild. I wanted to get a new FS bike to replace my 2003 Stumpjumper hardtail. After lurking around the forums, my shopping experience began.

Went to Bike Barn in Houston with a budget of around 1800. I really wanted a new Stumpjumper Comp, but the price was a little high at the time. I took home a 2008 Epic Rim model. Rode the bike for a few days and really loved the way it handled, but had concerns about the shock reliability and I was pricing disc brakes for my first mod. I decided to suck it up, return the bike and get a Stumpjumper Comp. Took the bike home and rode it for the first day, and really missed the Epic. The Stumpjumper was everything it is supposed to be, but it felt like a Camaro compared to a Corvette as far as pedaling effort and slower steering. It did feel great though over rougher terrain "which it was really tailored for". I thought about upgrading the TRIAD shock over time, but after looking at the way it mounts on the new models, this wasn't going to be an option. Being over bugdet already, I decided to ride it some more, and get used to it, with thoughts of buying a Epic frame and rebuilding next year. I couldn't sleep anymore and made another trip to the bike shop. They had a 2010 Epic with my name on it. I don't know if anyone has returned this many bikes before, but they were really cool about the transactions.

I LOVE the new bike. Haven't had much time to ride it, but the brain feels quite a bit better on the 2010 over the 2008, and finally got the disc brakes that I wanted. I can say that I don't regret the purchase at all, except for being over budget by 750.

Moral of the story... Don't take a 20 month year old shopping with you, so you can actually ride before you buy. Do your research "thanks for many on this forum". Buy what you want the first time, even if your over budget.

Anyway, thanks everyone. This forum has been great.