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  1. #1
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    2011 Epic 29'er component quality v. 2010?

    I have read a number of posts that say the 2010 Epic 29'er components are surprisingly low-end and prone to failure - at least for a bike in that price range. That may be overstating it, but read the reviews a number of people talk about their disappointment with some of the components.

    Regardless of what you think about that statement - does anyone know if the 2011 Epic 29er Comp is significantly better in component and overall integrity than the 2010?

    And a follow-up question: moving from the 2011 Comp to the 2011 Comp Carbon, does that further bump up the ruggedness of the components and bike overall?

    NOTE: as I drafted this post, it seemed to me I should do as much homework as possible before I pose these questions. So... I created a spreadsheet with the specs off the Specialized site for the following bikes:

    • 2010 Epic Comp 29'er
    • 2011 Epic Comp 29'er
    • 2011 Epic Carbon Comp 29'er
    • 2011 Epic Expert Carbon 29'er


    You can download the info here: http://65.18.133.252/Epic29er.pdf

    This helped me pretty quickly identify the differences in setup and components, but I could still use help answering the two questions I listed above.


    A few notes on my spreadsheet:

    The prices for the 2011's are just a guess.

    If anything on the 2010 Epic didn't match the 2011 the 2010 info is in blue/bold/italic

    If anything on the 2011 Carbon Comp was better than the 2011 Comp the Carbon Comp text is in red/bold

    If anything on the 2011 Expert Carbon was better than the Carbon Comp, the Expert Carbon text is also in red/bold.

    Too complicated? Just look it over - the improved items stand out. Maybe I should have just said that.

    Obviously, I am working up to a 29er purchase. I'm not in a hurry, since my 2006 FSR Stumpy works like a champ. I rode a GF Hi-Fi Plus last weekend for two days at Kingdom Trails in Vermont, and that has me hooked on the 29er concept. It's now just a question of which 29er. It sounds like the 2011 Epic 29er climbs as well as the Hi-Fi, as far as eliminating rear suspension bob. Any thoughts on that bike v. the Epic?


  2. #2
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    I've been riding the hell out of my 2011 Epic Comp Carbon 29er and the only issue I've had so far was with the sidewalls on the S-Works tires. I killed both of them in the first week of riding (I'm only 145 with a full Camelback).

    The Comp Carbon is about a pound lighter than the standard Comp and offers a bit of extra vibration damping.

    The 142+ rear hub/axle is stiff and helps the bike track extremely well, and is a definite improvement over the 2010 model.
    Last edited by CasteelG; 10-24-2010 at 10:45 AM.

  3. #3
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    I have a 2010 Epic Comp 29, and have had zero problems with durability of the components even though my typical ride is this:



    Yeah, the crank is kinda low-end, but that's it. Everything else is appropriate-level quality for the price point.

    As for a comparison to the HiFi with respect to climbing ability, there is no comparison. Stand and mash on the pedals while on a hill on both bikes, and the Epic accelerates exactly like a hardtail due to the Brain inertia valve, unlike the Hifi even with ProPedal on. Your conclusion that the Hifi eliminated pedal bob was most likely a function of your climbing technique (seated, smooth pedal stroke), not the perceived efficiency of the suspension.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldozer27
    ...As for a comparison to the HiFi with respect to climbing ability, there is no comparison. Stand and mash on the pedals while on a hill on both bikes, and the Epic accelerates exactly like a hardtail due to the Brain inertia valve, unlike the Hifi even with ProPedal on. Your conclusion that the Hifi eliminated pedal bob was most likely a function of your climbing technique (seated, smooth pedal stroke), not the perceived efficiency of the suspension...
    Good feedback. Yes, I was seated and I guess I do pedal smoothly. That probably comes from riding my FSR Stumpy for so long (no brain shock). If you aren't smooth on a bike like mine, you are practically on a pogo-stick.

    If the Epic goes above and beyond what I felt on the GF Hi-Fi as far as isolating rear suspension bob, that is awesome. i just doubt I am going to get a chance to trail test a 2011 Epic, so I am very eager to hear how it would compare to the GF, since that is my only 29er experience.

    I really did like the way the GF felt on climbs, but now that you mention it, I felt significant bob when I got out of the saddle. I guess it never occurred to me that the Epic wouldn't bob as much when you get out of the saddle!

  5. #5
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    It won't bob nearly as much AND it will be much stiffer in the rear end due to the new 142+ thru axle, wider spoke flange spacing and seat stay bridge that they've added to the 2011 frames.

    Cheers!

  6. #6
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    The Epic climbs like a champ. I have yet to feel a bike that climbs this well.
    2011 S-Works Epic 29er

  7. #7
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    If the prices on the bikes are similar, component quality will be similar

    Especially since you are comparing the same Specialized model from one year to the next. I looked over your spreadsheet and have seen the specifications on the websites. The main 2010 - 2011 difference on the Epic Comp I see is the changes on the front end of the drivetrain going from Shimano to SRAM. Shimano builds a pretty good front end and some think it is better than the SRAM stuff there, that's what the folks at my LBS consistently tell me anyway. In the past, Specialized has gone with SRAM back ends and Shimano front ends on many of their bikes. 2011 they went to full SRAM on the crank and the FD on the Comps.

    Regarding the X7 SRAM components, I have a 2010 Stumpjumper HT 29er and a 2010 Epic 29er both in Comp trim (identical components), and I haven't had any issues. Rode yesterday and the function is still perfect as far I can notice. My experience has been that once you get about mid-line and above in the serious component groups, the groups all function pretty close and have similar durability, the pricier stuff will definitely shave weight though and has nicer finish. At the very top like XTR or XX you are at the point where technology is newly introduced so you get the +/- early adopter factor and some added bling. Some people simply make it a point of not riding anything that isn't top line. For me what's on my bikes hasn't presented any problems or concerns, the Elixer R SL brake levers on my bikes don't have as many easy lever adjustments as the pricier versions, but once you get them set to your taste it's kind of irrelevant anyway. The only other parts I'm ever likely to swap out for upgrade's sake would be the bar, stem, and seatpost to go to carbon and Thomson. Made in U.S.A Thomson stuff rocks and is worth buying just on principal.

    Over time, technology, like 10 speed verses 9, will bleed down, but carbon fiber and titanium cost more than cast aluminum so won't ever trickle down. The bikenomics is such that for manufacturers operating on a similar scale, e.g., Specialized, GF/Trek, Giant, etc., the quality of the components on the bikes at a given price point will have to be similar. In the past, GF and Specialized have kind of staggered their bikes in price and components, which just gives buyers more choices.

    Don't sweat this component thing too much. Frame quality and wheel weight are more important. Upgrading a derailler incrementally never made anyone faster. If you are the kind of person who has to have top line stuff to be emotionally satisfied with your gear and suitably motivated to give your best effort, just spend the money at the beginning and be happy. If you are more function oriented, decide how much you want to spend then forget it and just go ride. Repeat the buying exercise in 3-6 years. It's easy to get caught up considering all the variety of components and upgrades, but riding is way better.

    PS: The Epic climbs just as well as the Stumpy HT for me, which is kind of like a minor miracle of technology, the Epic feels just like the HT. To me they both feel the same under pedals, but the Epic is softer under saddle. I don't even notice the rear suspension working except for the characteristic noise of the brain engaging. The Stumpy feels just a bit lighter to fling around.
    Last edited by TJXC; 10-23-2010 at 11:14 AM.

  8. #8
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    Great feedback guys. Thanks.

    I am getting stoked about the Epic.

    What about stepping up to the carbon frame? Let's put weight and vibration damping off the table. What other benefit(s) would there be?


  9. #9
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    I just bought a 2011 Epic Comp 29er, got home and realized that I really want the Epic Expert 29er for $2,000 more. If you are interested in buying a brand new 2011 Epic Comp, let me know. I have about a mile of riding it up and down my street while fitting it. I haven't ridden it on the dirt just because I know that will cost me on the resale value. If you have any interest, I'm willing to take a $500 loss on my purchase, so I can buy my Expert. I'm going to list it on ebay this week. Tim 714-300-3006.

  10. #10
    Just Wanna Ride!
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    I've got a 10 Epic Comp 29er that I swapped some parts on, but mostly because my other bikes are Shimano and I already had the parts.

    The only part on the 10 Epic Comp that is troubling for me is the rear hub. The hub is a lower end model, but should hold up fine - I just don't like the rubber seal design.

    Can't imagine what parts have been targeted as prone to failure - pretty basic build. Just ride it and replace parts down the road when they wear out. No reason to run out and replace anything.

  11. #11
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    Talk with your dealer. They'll likely swap back to go to the pricier model

    Quote Originally Posted by granget
    I just bought a 2011 Epic Comp 29er, got home and realized that I really want the Epic Expert 29er for $2,000 more. If you are interested in buying a brand new 2011 Epic Comp, let me know. I have about a mile of riding it up and down my street while fitting it. I haven't ridden it on the dirt just because I know that will cost me on the resale value. If you have any interest, I'm willing to take a $500 loss on my purchase, so I can buy my Expert. I'm going to list it on ebay this week. Tim 714-300-3006.
    provided you indeed haven't ridden in the dirt or otherwise dinged it up from new condition. My experience is they'll help you out if you have a decent relationship with the shop.

  12. #12
    jsg
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthrnfat
    Can't imagine what parts have been targeted as prone to failure - pretty basic build. Just ride it and replace parts down the road when they wear out. No reason to run out and replace anything.
    I have the 2010 Epic Comp 29. I agree with the prior posters, most of the components are just fine. Some of the parts are a little heavy but i doubt anything is 'prone to failure'.

    Except perhaps the seatpost QR, of all things. I had noticed my post slipping, and kept tightening down the QR to try to get it to stop. While on a ride in a somewhat remote area I discovered that the aluminum cam was spreading and slipping off the brass bushing. Apparently the material is too soft or poorly engineered or something. The local Spec shop had the exact same QR in their used bin, with the exact same problem making it extremely difficult to tighten down.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsg
    Except perhaps the seatpost QR, of all things. I had noticed my post slipping, and kept tightening down the QR to try to get it to stop. While on a ride in a somewhat remote area I discovered that the aluminum cam was spreading and slipping off the brass bushing. Apparently the material is too soft or poorly engineered or something. The local Spec shop had the exact same QR in their used bin, with the exact same problem making it extremely difficult to tighten down.
    I agree. The quick release post binder is one of the first things that got swapped out on my 2010 Epic.

  14. #14
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    I just took a look at the Epic Comp 29er today, large weighed in at 28.12lbs w/o peddles. I'm interested in the Carbon Model, but I'm not sure 1lb is worth the $1100 difference.

  15. #15
    jsg
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    IndyDave, I did notice one error in your spec comparison. My 2010 Comp29 has the HG61 12-36 cassette.

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