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  1. #1
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    2012 Carve Pro vs SJ Comp 29

    I am ready to purchase a new bike and find myself jumping up in levels everytime I do more research. At first I was set on getting the Carve Comp, then research has worked me all the way up to the Pro.

    Now the Carve Pro has an MSRP of 2000 so that leads me to wonder if I should spend the extra 200 and get the SJ Comp 29. The SJ all together is much lighter and from what I can see also has better components.

    I know some people are gonna say 'Get which ever one that feels the best'. But I am out of town at work and can't ride either until I go home in a few weeks.

    So based on your guys' personal experiences with each, and with the components on each, I would like your personal opinions to help steer me in the right direction.

    And just so you know, I am kinda new to riding I guess you could say. I've ridden a MTN bike most of my life but never anything serious. But I am wanting to get more serious and want a bike that will hold up and I won't want/need to upgrade major components anytime soon. I also am 6' and 260 lbs. so I need a bike that will hold up to my weight.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I just talked to a guy at my LBS and he likes both bikes and feels that the two feel very similar when ridden in comparison to the geometry. Now for just 200 more I feel the SJ is the better deal, but I still wanna ride both first to make sure I make the right decision.

    Here's a link to the comparison between the two:
    Specialized Bicycle Components

  3. #3
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    I'd go with the SJ.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuPrBuGmAn View Post
    I'd go with the SJ.
    But why though? What are your experiences with the two? Or even just one.

  5. #5
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    Well, based on the specs, the SJ is better spec-ed than the Carve in almost every aspect (depends how you feel about Avid brakes).

    If the difference is $200 and you can make the jump, then the SJ is a no-brainer, IMO.

  6. #6
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    I'd also go for the StumpJumper. The difference in the forks alone is probably worth the price difference. The Reba RL is going to have a much better motion control damper as compared to the turnkey damper in the Recon TK. You're also going to get dual air with the Reba as opposed to just solo air with the Recon. I also like that the SJ is 2x10 out of the box. Finally I prefer SRAM and Avid over Shimano for drivetrain and brakes.

  7. #7
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    Definitely the SJ

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips. I know that my LBS has some Carve Pro's coming in that I can ride and should be similar to the SJ. But they don't have any SJ's just coming in, so I'm gonna have to tell them to get on the ball. The weather is still up and down where I live but I'd like to have it soon for the nicer days.

  9. #9
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    I have never ridden a Carve but they do look interesting. However, for just $200 more logic points the SJ with it's lighter frame, lighter/higher end components, and modern drivetrain.

    I own an SJ HT 29er and t's a great bike.

    Let us know how it goes for you and make sure to post pics!

  10. #10
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    Stumpjumper. For reasons you've already mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott300RUM View Post
    The SJ all together is much lighter and from what I can see also has better components.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    I have never ridden a Carve but they do look interesting. However, for just $200 more logic points the SJ with it's lighter frame, lighter/higher end components, and modern drivetrain.

    I own an SJ HT 29er and t's a great bike.

    Let us know how it goes for you and make sure to post pics!
    It's nice to hear from someone who has actual experice on the SJ. I'd love to hear from someone who has experience on both but the Carve is still pretty new yet so maybe not that people have tried one. I will definitely post pics when I get it and thanks for the help.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott300RUM View Post
    It's nice to hear from someone who has actual experice on the SJ. I'd love to hear from someone who has experience on both but the Carve is still pretty new yet so maybe not that people have tried one. I will definitely post pics when I get it and thanks for the help.
    I've test ridden the 2010 SJ Comp 29er. The bike is a rocket ship! Haven't ridden a Carve, but the Stumpy felt amazing. It is very quick off the line and is amazing for fast flowy singletrack.

    I also forgot to mention that the SJ is going to have an M5 frame while the Carve uses M4. The SJ frame will weigh less than the Carve frame. So even if you built the Carve frame up to match the SJ, the SJ will still weight less, not to mention it will cost a lot more than $200 for that build. Honestly for a Reba RL, and M5 frame, X7/X9 2x10 drivetrain, PF30 bottom bracket, I think the extra $200 is worth it.

    It'd be interesting to see what the difference in weight is between the Carve Pro and the StumpJumper Comp 29er. I'd guess it would be noticeable.

  13. #13
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    I've been riding my 2010 stumpjumper comp 29er for 2 years and over 2000 miles. The bike is light, fast and rails the corners, I will definately keep this bike forever. The only parts I replaced over the years are tires, brake pads and grips. I'ts almost time to replace my drivetrain and wheels and I can't wait to upgrade them to make the bike even lighter and more fun to ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbatenga View Post
    I've been riding my 2010 stumpjumper comp 29er for 2 years and over 2000 miles. The bike is light, fast and rails the corners, I will definately keep this bike forever. The only parts I replaced over the years are tires, brake pads and grips. I'ts almost time to replace my drivetrain and wheels and I can't wait to upgrade them to make the bike even lighter and more fun to ride.
    The more I hear from you guys and the more I read about this bike the more excited I get!! I can't wait to go pick this thing up. Now to just get the 2200 doll hairs. I just hope that it's not too much bike for me and that I can utilize what this bike is meant for and become a better and more skilled rider. I probably need to find some guys to ride with and I can learn from them, but at the same time I don't want to be a burden to anyone and/or slow them down. I guess we'll just see how it goes, and I'll give it hell.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott300RUM View Post
    The more I hear from you guys and the more I read about this bike the more excited I get!! I can't wait to go pick this thing up. Now to just get the 2200 doll hairs. I just hope that it's not too much bike for me and that I can utilize what this bike is meant for and become a better and more skilled rider. I probably need to find some guys to ride with and I can learn from them, but at the same time I don't want to be a burden to anyone and/or slow them down. I guess we'll just see how it goes, and I'll give it hell.
    Always good to see a new rider stoked on mountain biking! I started seriously riding 2 years ago. From my experience, mountain bikers are very welcoming to other riders, so I'm sure you'll find someone to ride with. I like a good mix of solo and group riding. On one hand riding solo is good because you if you want to practice a tough section of single track you can easily hit it a few times until you figure out the best line to take. But riding with people that are better than you is great too because you push yourself to keep up to their level of riding and they can watch you and give you pointers. Both will make you a better rider.

    The Stumpy Comp 29er definitely won't be too much bike for you. You'll appreciate the lighter weight on longer rides and climbs. The Reba RL fork will give you a plusher, more tuneable ride. The higher spec'd and more modern (2x10 PF30) drivetrain will improve its performance and longevity.

  16. #16
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    Go with the Stumpy,for $200 more you are getting all this over the Carve.
    M5 vs M4 frame
    Reba over Recon
    2x10 vs 3x10
    PF30 Bottom Bracket
    Better Wheels.
    A faster and lighter bike.

    I have the 2012 Stumpy Evo HT and I love this bike. My 4th MTB and so far the best one.

  17. #17
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    Well I made the obvious decision and went and ordered the Stumpy on friday. I'm back out of town at work and won't be home for a few more weeks but I'm pretty damn excited to get that thing. Now to just learn how to 'actually' ride and tap into the potential of that bad boy! Thanks again for all your help guys.

    Oh and I ordered the red/black one in 19", just to let ya know.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott300RUM View Post
    Well I made the obvious decision and went and ordered the Stumpy on friday. I'm back out of town at work and won't be home for a few more weeks but I'm pretty damn excited to get that thing. Now to just learn how to 'actually' ride and tap into the potential of that bad boy! Thanks again for all your help guys.

    Oh and I ordered the red/black one in 19", just to let ya know.
    Nice, welcome to the club! Make sure you take some pics and post them up when you get it in!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott300RUM View Post
    Well I made the obvious decision and went and ordered the Stumpy on friday. I'm back out of town at work and won't be home for a few more weeks but I'm pretty damn excited to get that thing. Now to just learn how to 'actually' ride and tap into the potential of that bad boy! Thanks again for all your help guys.

    Oh and I ordered the red/black one in 19", just to let ya know.
    Pics are mandatory

  20. #20
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    I order the 17.5 last Friday from my LBS. Same wh/rd/bk. It should be in in the next couple of days. I was also looking at the Carve Pro but in addition to all that has been mentioned the geometry is a bit more relaxed on the SJ which will be better for me.

  21. #21
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    Good choice rod, you'll have to let me know what you think about it when you get it. And R+P+K and mmckechnie I will post pics for sure.

  22. #22
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    If it makes you feel better, I took a friend to our LBS yester day to test ride both these bikes. He went with the SJ. He said if pedaled better and felt much faster and more responsize than the carve.

  23. #23
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    Well I picked up the SJ a few says ago and finally got to ride it about 5 miles today on some rocky and rough rig roads by where I'm working. Now this bike is being compared to a 9 year old $400 Diamondback 26" so maybe it isn't fair, but this SJ is amazing in every way so far. From the geometry to the lightness to the overall feel.

    I'm going to try and ride it farther tomorrow. It's just tough cause there's so much truck traffic on these narrow roads so it can be a little hairy at times. Oh and I will post pics tomorrow. Hope you guys won't mind it'll be a little dirty haha.

  24. #24
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    Nice, $200 price difference is a steal for what more you get out of the SJ.

    The Carve is a trail bike that can be raced but the SJ hardtail is a race bike that can be trail ridden.
    The stumpy is just faster.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  25. #25
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    SJ. The components are better, the bike is much lighter, and upgrades to the SJ will go farther than they would in a Carve.

    One thing I learned from this, golf, and archery is that you buy the best equipment you can afford, don't get beginner equipment for the sake of getting beginner equipment. Ultimately, you're going to want the better equipment shortly thereafter and now you've bought two bikes......at least that's what I did.

    I went from Hardrock to Rockhopper to Stumpjumper. All in less than a year. When I could have just gotten the Stumpjumper because I could have afforded it but convinced myself it was too much bike for me and that I needed a 'beginner' bike.

    P.S. - considering you already made your choice when I made this post, let me say it was a damn fine choice. Enjoy!
    Last edited by VanillaEps; 04-18-2012 at 06:57 AM.

  26. #26
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    Hey guys, I really feel like an idiot but I don't know how to post pictures. It doesn't give me an option to just select a photo but says I need to specify a link. So what exactly do I have to do to get this done. Thanks.

  27. #27
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    I don't know how to post pictures
    If you go below in the Additional Options section when you're posting, it gives you the option to upload images. Haven't used it yet but I assume that would work.

    QUICK follow-on question bc I'm dealing with the exact same issue of SJ 29er vs Carve Pro EXCEPT for that the price difference is $400 instead of $200... I'd appreciate any thoughts/advice on whether you guys think that might make getting the Pro worthwhile, then upgrading to Reba shocks and/or something else.

    Thanks!

  28. #28
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    I know it's not exactly the answer of either/or, but I looked at a Carve Pro, and liked it alright, but I also rode a Trek Gary Fisher Superfly Al, the same day, which was a little more than the Carve, about $1750, and I liked it a lot more. Better components and fork than the Carve, and an option you might want to look into.

    I ended up buying a Camber 29, and not going HT at all in the end.

  29. #29
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    edog23,

    I'd highly recommend the SJ. I absolutely love mine. It is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. All I wanna do is ride it, lol. It's also super light with the m5 frame vs. the m4 frame with the carve. And thanks for letting me know how to post pics. Here's a few pics of my dusty new bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Carve Pro vs SJ Comp 29-photo-1.jpg  

    2012 Carve Pro vs SJ Comp 29-photo-2.jpg  


  30. #30
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    Thanks for the advice

    I'm going to jump into this conversation late, just to say thanks for the help guys. I am a convert to Specialized mountain bikes. I test rode Trek, Orbea, Cannondale, and was not impressed with the geometry of the small frames. I test rode both Carve and Stumpy and looked at all these forums like 10 times before I made my decision to go with the 2012 Stumpjumper Comp 29 HT.

    The guy at one shop was trying to sell me the carve pro based on the fox fork alone. It weighed 26.5 lbs. He would not budge on the $1900 price because "they're hard to get." I bought the stumpjumper comp at another shop, because I was able to bargain them down from $2200 to $1700. Plus, It weighed 24.5 lbs before the tubeless conversion for a 15.5" frame. The components were better and i liked the race geometry more. I'm fine with the Reba fork, and i'll probably upgrade to XT brakes once the Avids start to scream. I also considered the 1x10 Stumpy Evo, but a three month wait was not worth it, especially when I was unsure of my fitness level for all day rides on that setup. I'll post pics of my new purchase soon, in another thread. I'm all smiles right now.

  31. #31
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    The 2013 Carves vs the Stumpjumper Comps is actually an entirely different discussion, honestly.

    In 2013, Specialized upped the specs on the Carves considerably(Recon Gold on the 2012 Pro models now come on the entry level 2013 Comps for example) and substantially cut the weight on the bikes.

    My medium 2013 Carve Expert weighed in at 25.7 lbs w/tubes vs 25 lbs flat w/tubes of medium 2012 Stumpjumper Comp. I'm not sure how the 2012 vs 2013 SJ weights differ. There's a weight difference, but its minimal as far as I can tell considering the price. I immediately put some tubeless Flow EXs on my carve and it dropped the weight to 24.25 lbs.

    Also the part specs are far closer to even between the 2013 Carves and '13 SJ Comps:
    Reba(Expert) or Fox(Pro) vs the Reba(Comp SJ)
    XT or XT+ vs the X9 RDs
    X7 FDs vs X7 FDs
    Deore or SLX vs X7 shifters
    2x10 vs 2x10

    The biggest part spec differences come from brakes and wheels IMO:
    Carve Stout wheels vs Roval wheels
    Avid Elixer 3s or Elixer 5s vs Magura MTSs


    So considering the new 2013 line models that are now selling, I think the biggest question is what do you want to do with the bike? The Carve is a more comfortable trail bike. The Stumpjumper is a racebike. Both are very fine bikes, certainly. With the part spec being so close, you can have a damn good HT trail bike or a race ready bike out of the box.

    The answer isn't nearly as clear anymore but thats a good thing!

  32. #32
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    I am very close to getting a new bike and am looking at the Carve Pro (with Fox forks), SJ Evo, SJ Comp, and Scott Scale 950 (Fox forks). All are 2013 bikes and they are all pretty close in price with the Scott listing for about $1800. I just cant seem to make up my mind...I'm mostly a trail rider but planning to start racing. I currently ride a Scott Aspect 29.

  33. #33
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    Geometrys different between the Carve, Stumpys, and the Carves... all of them can be raced, but the Carve and SJ Evo will be the better trail bikes while being race capable(but maybe not the ideal race geo's).

  34. #34
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    I was able to get the 2012 Carve Expert for $1320 not the $1650 msrp. I am sure you could have dropped the price of the Comp a bit as well. SJ'er are as stated "a race bike you can trail ride". I aggree with that. With the money I saved I upgraded my shifters to XT and got some XT trail brakes (finned) with Ice tech rotors. I now have a high grade Carve Expert that weighs 33.7 lbs, but it fast and nimble. I am old school and need the 3X10 because I ride to work on the street and hit the trails on my days off. I can not afford a road bike and a Mtn bike so 3X10 it was, if I needed a Mtn only bike I would have got the SJ.

    BTW how much difference is there between the M5 and M4 frame's.

    Mark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Carve Pro vs SJ Comp 29-bike2.jpg  

    2012 Carve Pro vs SJ Comp 29-bike3.jpg  

    2012 Carve Pro vs SJ Comp 29-bike4.jpg  

    2012 XXL Carve Expert

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