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  1. #1
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    2011 epic comp 29er good and bad

    wasn't really looking for a bike but my shop is trying to goat me into a 2011 epic comp. i was curious what are some of the difference between the 2011, 2012, and 2013. good and bad don't be shy i am trying to figure out if it is worth trying to save some money on getting a deal or on a very left over bike or just get a new one. any and all info is appreciated. the specialized site wasn't very usefull and seems that there isn't much of a difference between the years besides wheels and a 2x10 drivetrain

    thanks,
    adam

  2. #2
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    Rode the '11 epic comp 29 from August '10 to June-ish of '12. Liked it OK.

    Good (in no particular order):
    Paint
    Headset
    Brakes (one good bleed and they were fine, despite all the noise about Avid...)
    Saddle
    BB
    Seatpost (this bike never fit me right without setback)
    Pivots, linkages, etc.
    Fork (droputs aside, see below) (despite being brainless, the '11 Reba dual air was pretty good, for what it was)
    Cabling
    Front wheel
    Thru-bolts front and rear
    Shifters (w/ the exception of the left being 3x instead of 2x -- X7 is still going strong, good group)
    Performance and durability of shock and brain


    Bad (in no particular order):
    Non-shop-serviceable shock
    Rear hub (search "142+ HiLo hub" on mtbr and read the many many posts)
    Stem (way too long)
    Tires (too narrow, too slick)
    Bar (too narrow)
    Grips
    9QR fork dropouts -- I don't care about OS28, testing vs. 15QR, blah blah blah. Give me 20 thru on any mountain bike, period. It's a 29er for goodness' sake!
    Crankset (not that it didn't work--I still use it on another bike as a 1x--but a heavy aluminum triple doesn't fit with the rest of the bike's spec).
    Derailers (normally I would say X7 front and X9 rear are perfect, but the front is a triple and the rear (accordingly) is a long cage, neither of which will be great when you move to a 1x or 2x setup)

    I think that's all the parts on the '11. You wil probably have done some research on the newer models. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    The relevant differences are the wheels and brakes. snfoil hat's preferences for stems and bars and tires are irrelevant to your choice, as are grips [seem to still be the same less said the better 'sip grips'] and 9QR dropouts.

    The rear hub is easily lubed with chainsaw bar oil via the end cap - see the 12x142+ thread - and otherwise seems pretty durable. Mine works just fine. The new hubs should be better but.....

    The 9QR axle is still there so tinfoils rant is irrelevant to your choice. People smile and win races on it every day, regardless.

    The Magura brakes are a welcome change because of all the whine about noisy Avids. Or you could buy the '11 cheap and put on Shimano SLX or better and get away from DOTx brake fluid entirely. If the Avids are set up properly to start with - a huge if - they can be just fine; mine are. If not, you may have to start over with new pads and rotors and maybe some CRC brake quiet goo and learn all about brakes. I've got Avids dialed now, but there's always some maintenance required on any brake. And there's no guarantee that a shop will install the Maguras straight and even either; brand choice does not guarantee that. And Avid bits are everywhere.

    I personally prefer the 3X crank as it gives me a 22 and a 33 which I would rather have on a 2X anyway; if I want to get rid of the 44 it's pretty easy and I'd live with 33X11 instead of 36X11. The industry has decided everybody should 'upgrade' to fewer cog options and a big jump or less range. I've used both and can't say that either made or spoiled my day. And you could leave the long cage derailleur on there even if you went to a 2X crank unless you're worried about 50 grams or whatever, and just wait until you bust it off to go medium.

    I'd buy the '11 and use the money saved to upgrade whatever you like and dial in the fit, tires, brakes etc to whatever You want. Always fun to buy new bits for your bike on 'saved' money.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the reposnses. bulerias i believe it is more than just wheels and brakes. just by looking at pictures you can tell obvious things that are different. i am looking at someone who maybe ridden both or maybe found some more usefull information then just reading specialized spec sheet. i have done that and read the features for each year but it just doesn't say much at all.

    once difference i can see from pics is that the newer frames must be a bit lighter. if you look at the seat tube and the triangle just infront of it the 2011 has that area filled in with material while the 2012 models and up have it hollowed out which has gotta be good for some savings.

    i also did a litte more research and heard a little bit about chain suck problems on the 2011 did they make any changes to fix this. any changes to the rear triangle at all?

    i definately agree that tires, stem, bars and such aren't very important as they can be changed for very cheap and are totally dependant on preference. in my case i have had great luck with avids and think they work really well and there bleeding system is one of the best.

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't count on the frame being any lighter because of the change in the top tube; The '11 is hydroformed out and the '12 is not, but a gusset piece is added which is probably stronger. It also serves to differentiate the carbon and aluminum versions which looked almost identical in '11. Other than serving as a convenient handle there isn't anything to get excited about; neither seems to break there.

    I think the rear travel went up a bit after 2010 and nothing happened after that other than the drive side dropout went from a replaceable insert to a plain thread. There's a curious aspect to the seat stays in that it appears as though the front where the shock mounts is too narrow to pass the seat tube; they must have been spreading the thing by bending the brace in order to assemble them. The new triad type shock avoids this at the expense of another proprietary piece.

    I've had no chainsuck problems at all; in fact the front shifting has been flawless. Better than some 2X10s I've used with a huge jump to lift the chain over. They'll all do bad things when they're worn enough and people race the $#I& out of these bikes.

    You'll also hear some gripes about the wheels being 'soft' or flexy. They went from 15ga to 14ga on the new wheels - 1.8 to 2.0mm spokes in metric. Given that there are 32 of them, the 15 ga should be adequate but you will find they need to be retightened once. I was thinking of relacing mine over the winter with some butted 14-15 but I think I'll wait until there's actual trouble. There is a springier feel to 15 ga spokes and I was always a 14ga guy but I'm kinda liking this feel more the more I ride them. A 1.8 spoke for a 160 lb guy [me] is about the same as a 2.0 for a 200 lb guy. There's a whole world of wheels to squander your money on and obsess about these days. And they all have spokes to deal with, no matter how much you paid.

    The stock '11 tires are minimal in the back. Renegades work way better than they look or you'd think, but you might negotiate something beefier if you need it. It will depend totally upon your personal needs but if the tires are unused you can often swap them for something else when you buy. I'd negotiate for some Ground Controls - general purpose light trail tire; seem to suit the bike - but it's all about where you ride and how.

    I found that the recommended shock and fork pressures are about 15 psi low for me; nice ride but too low for the riding around here [BC] . Turn the Brain off and get the air and rebound settings right first; then dial in the amount of hard tail nostalgia you like afterwards.

    I don't think that riding them would show up any differences other than tires and wheels. The Avids stop fine and modulate well and the suspension is identical, although the rear Brain valving might be a hair different [softer?] . Not much to get fussed about that I can see. I'm not at all disappointed that I got an '11 instead of newer - and saved a major amount of money.

  6. #6
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    I have an '11 epic comp 29er. I got it for $600 less than msrp because the 2012 models were in. I agree with bulerias's comments.
    I replaced the rear Renegade with a 2.1 ground control and it made a huge difference for me.
    The brakes have been fine - no noise.
    I replaced the big ring with a bash guard. The stock gearing works well enough for a 2x10. The Epics have low bottom brackets and you will be smashing the big ring and your pedals alot.
    The stock wheels are terrible. I'm 165 lbs and I had to true the wheels every 50 miles. They are flexy and rear wheel bearings were nearly frozen after 500 miles. The freehub bearings are rough but spin OK. I started popping nipples in the rear wheel and gave up on them. I just replaced the wheels.
    The remainder of the components have been fine.

    I really like the bike. The Epic geometry and suspension work great for me. Figure on buying new wheels if you get the 11.

  7. #7
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    Maybe you could make a deal with the shop to include a 'warranty' swap on the hub with a relace with 14 ga spokes on the new four bearing hub. The DT 450 rim seems okay; it's the spokes holding it that are marginal at spreading the load. Dealers aren't wanting '11s hanging around over the winter when the cash could be used to stock '13s so his motivation could be enough to cover a preemptive warranty job or future upgrade help as part of the deal. November is great month for bike buying; May for skis.

    Figure out what his wholesale cost on a new one is - there isn't as big a mark up on bikes as other stuff - and go from there. But usually if you're a serious buyer he'll make you a serious offer which I'd respect and keep his good will. You help him keep his stock fresh and he'll be on your side. Can't put a price on that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulerias View Post
    Figure out what his wholesale cost on a new one is - there isn't as big a mark up on bikes as other stuff - and go from there. But usually if you're a serious buyer he'll make you a serious offer which I'd respect and keep his good will. You help him keep his stock fresh and he'll be on your side. Can't put a price on that.
    how do i find out what wholesale cost is? i am a pretty regular customer to this shop. i have bought four bikes in the past three years and a bunch of little stuff here and there as well as some bigger ticket items.

  9. #9
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    Wholesale cost is a tough one to figure; if you've been in the business you get a sense of it. I'd estimate about 75% but sales volume may affect the discount rate. If he offers 20% off there's not a lot of point in going for more. I guess what you need to realize is that the margins on small stuff and clothes and so on are far greater percentages than on new bikes.

    I was never in bike retail but worked in motorcycles and it's kinda similar. You could just ask him how much he needs to get for it to make him happy. You might be surprised. And having the cash to order a '13 would make him happy. And if that's not enough discount for you then order a new one in red. Red is good. Unless you're trying to avoid helicopters.

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