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  1. #1
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    2011 sworks epic 26 or epic carbon 29er?

    Help me choose between a new sworks epic 26 or a epic cabon 29er. I currently ride a 2007 sworks stumpjumper FS, but ready to purchase a new bike but not sure what bike is best for me. Most people around here (St. Louis) tell me 29er is the way to go, but what do you all think? I am used to the bike I have so I am scarred to go with a 29er. Also my 26 is a medium, would I go with the same size for the 29er? Thanks for the help in advance.

  2. #2
    PVR
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    If you are going to purchase a high end bike, I strongly suggest that you at least ride a 29er before deciding. All the internet advice in the world is no substitute for personal experience if you've never ridden one.

    The best comparison would be to ride a trail that you are familiar with. If your LBS can't help you set up a test ride find one that can.

  3. #3
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    29er. Hands down. 26" is old technology.

  4. #4
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    I currently own 3 high end 26" bikes 2 hardtail steel and 1 Titus Racer X Carbon FS. I've been demoing a mid priced Specialized 29er hardtail back to back over the same trails. I bring both bikes with me and ride a 1hour loop with one then jump on the other so I get a fresh recollection of how each bike feels. If your goal is to go fast with moderate comfort go with the 29er. While it doesn't duplicate the cush of a FS bike it's reasonably comfortable and holds momentum very well. My Titus sold for 3 times the price of the 29er hardtail I'm testing and if I put my clone on the 29er I'm afraid he'd kick my ass.

  5. #5
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    I've been on a 2011 Epic Expert Carbon 29er for about a week and I have zero regrets. The bike flies! The only things I have changed is to swap the saddle for a WTB and have the bars cut down by an inch on each side. I'm curious, why the S-Works Epic in 26 vs. the Carbon 29er as opposed to the S-Works Epic vs the S-Works Epic 29er? Eliminate the component variances as much as possible and decide on wheel size.
    AG

    When in doubt, lean more. 95% of the time it will solve the problem; the other 5% of the time it'll end the suspense.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVR
    If you are going to purchase a high end bike, I strongly suggest that you at least ride a 29er before deciding. All the internet advice in the world is no substitute for personal experience if you've never ridden one.

    The best comparison would be to ride a trail that you are familiar with. If your LBS can't help you set up a test ride find one that can.
    For me, that's a no brainer... 29er all the way.

    But what PVR said is the best advice you'll get... you may as well stop reading!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotherguy
    I've been on a 2011 Epic Expert Carbon 29er for about a week and I have zero regrets. The bike flies! The only things I have changed is to swap the saddle for a WTB and have the bars cut down by an inch on each side.
    I've been on mine for a couple of weeks and I agree, 29 all the way. Then again, 29ers are all I've owned for the last 6 years or so. Yep, this bike flies and yep the bars are too wide for me too

  8. #8
    Compelling, and rich.
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    29er.

    It's a much better overall bike, imo.

  9. #9
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    I agree: try to have a testrun on both..
    29ers are, in my opinion, not definitly better than 26ers
    It depends very much on the terrain you ride in and, very important, on what you expect from your rides...

    29: fast, comfy
    26, quick, fun

    I have a Epic Comp 29 and like it very much. But its not a racer.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BertP
    But its not a racer.
    Hmmmm.... I think Todd Wells, Conrad Stoltz and a handful of others would disagree with you on that one.
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    I have owned both a 29er and 26er(Superfly 100 and Anthem advanced sl) at the same time and I felt that I went faster on the 26er in most cases.If the course had flowy single track that you could keep momentum on the 29er was easier to ride but if there was extended climbs or short punchy one's the 26er took less effort to get up them.I agree that BertP,the 29er was fun to ride but it didn't feel or perform like a race bike to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmoto39
    I have owned both a 29er and 26er(Superfly 100 and Anthem advanced sl) at the same time and I felt that I went faster on the 26er in most cases.If the course had flowy single track that you could keep momentum on the 29er was easier to ride but if there was extended climbs or short punchy one's the 26er took less effort to get up them.I agree that BertP,the 29er was fun to ride but it didn't feel or perform like a race bike to me.
    And most world cup level athletes would agree with you.

    It's not going to stop me from racing one though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmoto39
    I have owned both a 29er and 26er(Superfly 100 and Anthem advanced sl) at the same time and I felt that I went faster on the 26er in most cases....the 29er was fun to ride but it didn't feel or perform like a race bike to me.
    I actually had the opposite result. In the past I have raced a 26" Epic, a Turner, a Giant Anthem and a Giant Anthem X. I have test loop that I use to test bikes that takes about 15 minutes. I've been using it for 6 years. So far the fastest bike I've ridden was the Giant Anthem. The Epic 26" was just a couple of seconds off the pace. I am FASTER on my Epic 29er than any of the bikes. FWIW, I have Industry Nine wheels and Maxxis Aspen tires; the bike is 26.2 lbs.

    Plus I feel better at the end of my races b/c I feel like I'm not beat up as much. Our courses are rooty, tight, and have short, steep climbs.

    You cannot go by how a bike feels to determine if it's faster. The clock tells the truth. I.e. when switching from hardtail to FS, I felt faster on hardtails, but my times were always faster on FS. For me, the same is true with 29ers. I feel more agile and quicker on 26ers, but my lap times are faster on 29ers, and I have more fun!

  14. #14
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    Thank you for all the help! LBS is putting a test bike together soon so I can test ride the 29er. I will do a back to back comp on both 26 and 29 and see which one is faster to me, since it will be a race bike.

  15. #15
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    What Specialized shop are you using in STL?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmertan
    I actually had the opposite result. In the past I have raced a 26" Epic, a Turner, a Giant Anthem and a Giant Anthem X. I have test loop that I use to test bikes that takes about 15 minutes. I've been using it for 6 years. So far the fastest bike I've ridden was the Giant Anthem. The Epic 26" was just a couple of seconds off the pace. I am FASTER on my Epic 29er than any of the bikes. FWIW, I have Industry Nine wheels and Maxxis Aspen tires; the bike is 26.2 lbs.

    Plus I feel better at the end of my races b/c I feel like I'm not beat up as much. Our courses are rooty, tight, and have short, steep climbs.

    You cannot go by how a bike feels to determine if it's faster. The clock tells the truth. I.e. when switching from hardtail to FS, I felt faster on hardtails, but my times were always faster on FS. For me, the same is true with 29ers. I feel more agile and quicker on 26ers, but my lap times are faster on 29ers, and I have more fun!

    I actually had the same experience as you. I have a loop that I test on and my new Epic 29er was actually almost 1 minute faster on it than my 26" StumpJumper. One thing that is different on the bike is that my Epic has a brain. I know a lot of people don't like it but this bike flies up hills. I can't believe how well it climbs.
    2011 S-Works Epic 29er

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdrnizd
    One thing that is different on the bike is that my Epic has a brain. I know a lot of people don't like it...
    The brain is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is more firm than any shock out there and then it becomes plusher than any shock out there because it fully releases when it hits a bump. The course that I pre rode today in florida is definitely going to be great for full suspension. Tons of really big roots and drops. Should be a fun race tomorrow!

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