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  1. #1
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    Hope Biggest difference between an Epic and a Stumpy?

    I've posted several threads in the past about whether to buy an Epic or SJ. After lots of good advice I'm 90% sold on the SJ Exp.

    I'm still a little curious of what are the biggest differences between the Epic and a SJ both in Expert (Brain). I think the Epic looks awesome, almost like a hard tail but in FSR and the SJ looks rid-able for longer periods of time. Again, I'm not a competitor, I'm a weekend warrior.
    MTBing in Colombia with my 2011 FSR Stumpjumper Elite

  2. #2
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    I missed your discussion on the choice but am wondering why you arent considering a bike more all mountain oriented. The days of paying a penalty in weight and uphill performance for all mountain are behind us. My somewhat limited experience puts the SJ in the AM lite catagory with a dash of trials bike thrown in. Not a bad combo especially if your typical riding area is very technical. The Epic on the other hand is pure XC race bike and best suited for fast open trails and experienced riders.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossup
    I missed your discussion on the choice but am wondering why you arent considering a bike more all mountain oriented. The days of paying a penalty in weight and uphill performance for all mountain are behind us. My somewhat limited experience puts the SJ in the AM lite catagory with a dash of trials bike thrown in. Not a bad combo especially if your typical riding area is very technical. The Epic on the other hand is pure XC race bike and best suited for fast open trails and experienced riders.

    That all applies to me. Although I admit that the Epic seems more oriented for riders in a higher level. I think it looks allot like a hard tail, which I presently ride. So I wondered if going from a HT to a Epic, which has the full suspension and cost the same as a SJ, would be a good idea. At the same time I see how the SJ has a better mix of "real life" components and designs for the weekend, non competitive rider.

    But I have to say the Epic looks awesome.

    I guess the most obvious difference I see is the ridding stands and the 40 mm of extra ride on the front and back suspension on the SJ.
    MTBing in Colombia with my 2011 FSR Stumpjumper Elite

  4. #4
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    I think the Epic is more race oriented and the SJ is more of a trail bike.
    I would go for the SJ if your not racing, not only is it a sweet bike but they ride nice too. The base model SJ just won the MBA trail bike shoot out.

  5. #5
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    If you're not racing, the stumpy is sweet, its got a plush ride that I can be on all day, and I can still hammer it if I want to. I save the racing for my hardtail.

    On a side note, have you looked at the enduro? There are a fair number of times that I wish that I had gotten the enduro just to get a little burlier bike.
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  6. #6
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    If you are a week-end warrior, get the Epic. You can always dial it down if you want a trail bike, but the capability to be an XC race bike is always there. I have raced against a few SJ's, but far more Epics.

  7. #7
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    Epic for racing.....stumpy for comfy trail riding. I owned an epic and there is no"dialing it down"....it's pure race bike...actually kinda harsh

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    Epic for racing.....stumpy for comfy trail riding. I owned an epic and there is no"dialing it down"....it's pure race bike...actually kinda harsh
    Makes sense. SJ is a better ride for me, even though I still think the Epic looks like a shark and the SJ looks more like a dolphin

    You in TX? I'll hopefully be transferring to Dallas, TX in the summer of 2011 so I'll have to study up on trails over there.
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  9. #9
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    I have Epic 07 and I can tell you that it's great uphill bike. I can ride much better with using less energy. However, downhill is little harsher than my old 01 Enduro but still very good. I never tried SJ so I can't really say but I have been hearing great things about SJ.

  10. #10
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    Get an Epic 29er and use it for everything!

  11. #11
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    I don't think it has much to do with rider "level". Just what type of riding you do. They make both bikes to appeal to all levels of riders. If you race fairly often or want something that is going to sacrific a bit of comfort for speed, the Epic is going to appeal to you. If you don't race much and want a bike that is more forgiving, the Stumpy might suit you better. As for the main differences:

    - Geometery on the Epic will make for a quicker handling, racer feeling bike
    - Epic has less travel
    - Epic is typically lighter
    - Epic Brain will be firmer even in the softest settings.

  12. #12
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    I have both a 2010 s-works epic and a SJ.. BTW go-ride has a 09 carbon expert large on CLOSEOUT FOR 3,800 I THINK.. smoken deal if it still there.

    I think anybody who tells you the epic is race only, or the SJ is AM only, is either not being honest with their own ability or they don't get to ride both on a routine basis. The epic is defiantly a bit more snappy, but both bikes can be set up VERY similar to each other and meet in the middle. Set the epic up with plush tires and lower brain settings and the SJ firmer with lighter tires and they cross in the middle with the epic having more range on one side of the scale and the SJ on the other.

    I am lucky enough to have more than a few sets of wheels, ride the epic OR stumpy with light narrow EX tires and the bike behaves one way, put plush grippies on them and they feel like another bike.

    If you love climbing, standing laying down power or long distance riding the Epic can be your AM bike. If you would rather ride around the steeps (if given the option) but live more for the downhill the SJ can be set up more plush. But then you have to ask yourself... hum how about that enduro ;-)
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  13. #13
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    I agree with the above. I wanted an 2010 S-Works SJ but they were not available when I wanted to order it, and the wait could have been many weeks. I figured that I could loosen up the S-works Epic to be very similar, so I ordered it instead and it has been great.

    It climbs like a BEAST. Simply amazing. But I am running it on the soft side of the brain and, considering how rigid it is winding it's way up, it's shockingly plush heading down. I find the range of adjustment broad and I'm still running stock tires. If you felt the bike wasn't soaking enough up, a tire change would make a massive difference.

    You really can't go wrong with either IMO.

  14. #14
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    I'm sorry but anyone that says an epic and sj can be setup the same are reaching'. I know my ability quite well and HAVE ridden them on a regular basis...why own both if they are so similar?
    The epic is not a AM bike nor was it designed to be. Your not going to ride both and say..."wow they almost feel the same" no matter what tires or shock settings you choose. Lowering air pressures in your fork, shock, tires is exactly what you want to do....jeez. The extra 1" of travel can't be made up with plush tires and softer settings....period. The epic's geo and parts spec are pure race bike. They are as close to each other as water is to oil.

    Yes I'm in Texas....Austin has some great trails. Look me up when you get here and we will ride. Buy the SJ even If the color is black....it will grow on you. You can spice it up with anodized colored parts...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    I'm sorry but anyone that says an epic and sj can be setup the same are reaching'. I know my ability quite well and HAVE ridden them on a regular basis...why own both if they are so similar?
    The epic is not a AM bike nor was it designed to be. Your not going to ride both and say..."wow they almost feel the same" no matter what tires or shock settings you choose. Lowering air pressures in your fork, shock, tires is exactly what you want to do....jeez. The extra 1" of travel can't be made up with plush tires and softer settings....period. The epic's geo and parts spec are pure race bike. They are as close to each other as water is to oil.

    Yes I'm in Texas....Austin has some great trails. Look me up when you get here and we will ride. Buy the SJ even If the color is black....it will grow on you. You can spice it up with anodized colored parts...
    I always chuckle when someone claims the Epic is a pure race bike. I had an Epic (04 S-works). I'm not a racer by any means and I rode it all over the place. WA, UT, including Moab, TX (DFW area trails), RI and CO. PURE race? Hardly... anyone can ride and enjoy an Epic. Even a hack like me.

    That said, a couple of years ago, I moved to a SJ FSR because I wanted a bit more plush - age will do that to ya! The Epic is comfortable and a great bike and I could ride it on any terrain for any length of time and have fun.

    I'm on a 29er HT these days and considering going back to an Epic, but the 29er.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    I'm sorry but anyone that says an epic and sj can be setup the same are reaching'. I know my ability quite well and HAVE ridden them on a regular basis...why own both if they are so similar?
    Nah, I think you are reaching.... :-)

    The fact is that there ARE hard differences between the bikes, BUT, the fact is that the bikes have very similar suspension equipment - front brain fork (E140/E100), and rear brain AFR. Spec tell us that the rear Brain settings ARE a little different in how agressively the close-off occurs, but they are fundamentally very similar. Ditto the forks. Wheelbase is 20mm shorter for the EPIC, but seat tube angles are as near as dammit. Headtube is different by 1.5 degrees. As for the equipment, they are the same (as long as you've gone with e 27-speed build).

    Ipso facto, more similar than different. Key difference to my mind is simply suspension travel.

  17. #17
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    Oh sh*t, I'm goin' OTB. This is gonna hurt.

    Although 1.5 degrees difference in HA is small on paper, it's huge on a steep tech descent.

    I agree that the difference in travel is significant.

  18. #18
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    I think some get emotional - and label one bike this and one bike that. My point, owning both bikes, and lucky enough to ride almost day with carbon fiber wheel-sets to stiff aluminum wheel-sets that I can swap around, is that the SJ when set up for somebody who is riding as a XC bike is darn good as an XC bike and the Epic is NOT a race only machine. It is completely capable of ripping up the hill. I think it is obvious that the two bikes are very different when set up in areas that they do best. But when somebody is trying to deiced between the two, they should understand the area of overlap and figure out what what shining points they want to chase. Hopefully the buyer doesn't fall victim to the marketing hype that a epic is only for racers.. or that a SJ can't shred an XC course with a rider with a high VO2 max ;-)

    If you love shredding down the hill but love XC riding too and like to climb, a well equipped SJ is a great choice; If you love hammering on long climbs, love XC and like a some descents move more towards the epic -- In a nut shell, what make the decision hard for some is that both these bikes are extremely capable and FUN bikes.
    Last edited by diver160651; 05-31-2010 at 07:50 AM.
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  19. #19
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    I can ride my huffy in Moab, whistler....etc., doesn't mean it was designed for that. Of course youncan ride any bike you want wherever you want......that was not my point

  20. #20
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    I have an 06 epic marathon. I added some 25mm riser bars to replace the flat carbon bars to relax the front end a bit and it made a huge difference.

    As for being a race bike only I have to disagree. Dial down the rear brain for a softer ride and let a bit of air from the tires and it can have a very plush ride. Uphill she climbs effortlessly but have to agree that downhills can be a bit more scary but pick your line correctly and you'll have no problems. As a rule those with full mountain bikes may go down faster but you will always pass them on the way back up.

    I guess it depends what you want to do with the bike. If your looking at doing big drop offs and jumps then the epic may not be the best, but if you want a good xc bike that can climb well and handle the downs fine, then epic is worth a look. Best bet is to try and ride both and pick the one that feels the most comfortable.

  21. #21
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    I roade a SJ Elite 26er. The Stump head tube angle seemed way too slack to me. Handled like a pig.

    Love my Epic 29er. Just like I loved my 2004 Epic. Rode that one at Fruita and Moab, and I was not even racing.

  22. #22
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    And so your point is what?

    Like it was said.....my huffy can ride in moab, fruita, whistler.....I can also use a crescent wrench to hit a nail into wood....although it's not the best tool for the job

  23. #23
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    I came from an older S-works hardtail and the Epic felt very similar. The stumpy FSR was totally different in terms of ergonomics and steering.

    The Stumpy was much more forgiving and considering I don't race was the right choice for me. I found the Epic a bit twitchy and required more attention than I want to give.

    Both are great bikes however, and the S-works Epic may be the best looking bike I've ever seen!

  24. #24
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    I would think that the SJ's frame would be more robust and less likely to crack than the Epic.
    I have a Stumpjumper and my uncle has an Epic which he doesn't ride nearly enough. The Epic is a nice bike but to me it does feel a bit sketchy/twitchy for general/weekend warrior trail riding. My Stumpy fits me perfectly and has soaked up everything i've thrown at it so far. Climbing steep slippery switchbacks are a piece of cake. Its a good versatile all round bike.

  25. #25
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    I have a 2009 s-works epic and a 2010 stumpjumper FSR expert..

    The epic is like a scalpel and rewards cleaner lines through rough terrain. It is a bit easier to climb steep terrain in the epic because the geometry is geared towards that.

    The stumpjumper is confidence inspiring because if you hit technical terrain you can adjust the TALAS fork to increase the travel which makes soaking up bumps easier.

    Seems easier to maintain balance on the stumpy because the front tire is wider than on the epic.. the brakes are bigger on the stumpy too and it sheds high speed faster than the epic.

    The front shock on the epic can feel pretty plush if you want it to. The rear shock on the epic model I have feels way firmer than the stumpy, no matter how much I tweak it.

    I like both bikes, and they do seem fundamentally similar to me... my suggestion would be to try to ride both and see which you like more.

  26. #26
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    Ecsrun, great comparison of the 2 bikes.

    I have to agree that the epic is more twitchy but that can have it's advantages with switchbacks etc. I find however that i need to use more skill and pick better lines to get the most from the bike.

    I do dream about an all mountain bike sometimes and just plowing over obstacle's and letting the suspension soak it up, but we have lots of hills in my area so i thought the epic was a good choice to make the climbing easier. I'm not interesting in flying down the hills, can't afford to come off with running my own business.

  27. #27
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    As a weekend warrior, go with the stumpy... If you want to race, the engine and handling capability of the rider is more important than the differences between the two, and you get to ride a plusher bike the other 95% of your time.

    I race in a stumpjumper BTW and don't feel it is a liability right now considering how long I've been riding. Now that I'm in good shape physically I haven't had any trouble climbing with it, even while standing (for short periods)

  28. #28
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    I do not get how people can say they are similar bikes. But I guess a circle looks like an oval too?

    The bottom line is you will not see competitive XC racers on a SJ. You might get the weekend warrior racing that is on one, but he is not up in front. Travel, weight and geometry on the two bikes make them unique. As someone pointed out, the head tube angle is not geared towards XC racing on the SJ. If you plan on winning races or finishing podium, don't buy a SJ and expect it to race like an Epic. On the flip side, you can be more lazy on a SJ as it is more forgiving. There is a reason Specialized puts them as "Competitive XC" and "XC Trai".

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebInt
    I do not get how people can say they are similar bikes. But I guess a circle looks like an oval too?

    The bottom line is you will not see competitive XC racers on a SJ. You might get the weekend warrior racing that is on one, but he is not up in front. Travel, weight and geometry on the two bikes make them unique. As someone pointed out, the head tube angle is not geared towards XC racing on the SJ. If you plan on winning races or finishing podium, don't buy a SJ and expect it to race like an Epic. On the flip side, you can be more lazy on a SJ as it is more forgiving. There is a reason Specialized puts them as "Competitive XC" and "XC Trai".
    I don't know how you have managed to equate longer travel to laziness.

    I also guess you haven't seen the sub-21lb S-Works Stumpy build that culturesponge races with.

    The Stumpjumper is the more capable bike, OP. It has longer and plusher travel, it's better balanced (You don't have to fidget around much with your riding position under most conditions), it has angles better suited for more types of riding, and it has a burlier frame that will stand up better to abuse.

    The Epic is designed for a racing and light trail riding. If you decide to start riding more technical trails with steeps, drops, etc you will find the Epic SEVERELY lacking.

    You've made a lot of topics concerning the aesthetics of the bike you're considering. I think you should stop being so hung up on looks and be much more concerned with getting a bike that you'll enjoy riding. Test ride as many bikes as you can before making a decision.

  30. #30
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    Has anyone forgot the travel difference? I mean come 'on.....have some of tou actual ridden both on an actual trail? It's like some people are trying to convince themselves for whatever reason.
    I guess I'm lost here....I have had both at the same time and just don't get some of the comments.

    CasteelG had some good points...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by CasteelG
    I don't know how you have managed to equate longer travel to laziness.

    I also guess you haven't seen the sub-21lb S-Works Stumpy build that culturesponge races with.
    Actually it is common sense if you have ridden longer then a few years and on more then one bike. Larger travel XC/AM bikes allow more room for error. You can be lazier on your lines and route choice.

    About the sub 21 lb Stumpy. Great. Still have not seen one at any of my races. Never seen any pros on one either. Feel free to go back to my point -
    "There is a reason Specialized puts them as "Competitive XC" and "XC Trail"."

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebInt
    Actually it is common sense if you have ridden longer then a few years and on more then one bike. Larger travel XC/AM bikes allow more room for error. You can be lazier on your lines and route choice.

    About the sub 21 lb Stumpy. Great. Still have not seen one at any of my races. Never seen any pros on one either. Feel free to go back to my point -
    "There is a reason Specialized puts them as "Competitive XC" and "XC Trail"."
    You're assuming a lot here. I've been mountain biking for over 10 years and have owned and ridden a lot of different bikes.

    The Stumpjumper, or any bike that isn't designed for just XC, will be the better choice for most people. The reasons are obvious. Having more room for error is a good thing. Longer travel trail bikes don't encourage laziness, in my opinion (and from personal experience) they encourage people to push harder than they would on a pure XC bike.

    And just because you personally haven't seen anyone racing with a Stumpjumper doesn't mean that it can't be made into a great race bike. It is designed to be a do-it-all bike. Judging by the weight (at least of the S-Works) and geometry of the frame one could definitely build it into a decent race steed. However unconventional that might seem to rank and file racers.

    The fact of the matter is people are racing them.

  33. #33
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    I raced against a guy on a 1985 schwinn once....he was skilled, to bad his bike wasn't the best tool for the job

  34. #34
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    See what Mr. Sauser says abaout racing with the Stump:

    http://iamspecialized.com/xc-mtb/rid...ser/560/#/blog

    Sure for 90% of the riders who are racing against the clock and not against other fast competitors, the bike is superb, but for real racing I still prefer the Epic.

    I have an Epic, but will change for a SJ as soon as I can.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galego
    See what Mr. Sauser says abaout racing with the Stump:

    http://iamspecialized.com/xc-mtb/rid...ser/560/#/blog

    Sure for 90% of the riders who are racing against the clock and not against other fast competitors, the bike is superb, but for real racing I still prefer the Epic.

    I have an Epic, but will change for a SJ as soon as I can.
    He makes my point exactly....

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    He makes my point exactly....
    You have to be careful with the atributions from Sauser. He regularly races a Stumpy (29) and did so at the 2010 Sea Otter, and currently in the trans-German.

  37. #37
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    He also states that the stumpy is a "free ride" bike....really sauser, really
    I guess he made my point but at the same time said a ridiculous thing...arrgh

    I give up....who cares anyway

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi
    You have to be careful with the atributions from Sauser. He regularly races a Stumpy (29) and did so at the 2010 Sea Otter, and currently in the trans-German.
    This is the problem with forums. A lot of "wanna be's" that post things they read but know nothing about. Sauser rode a Specialized S-Works Epic last year and a S-Works Epic for the XC race and an S-Works Stumpjumper 29er for the Short Track for 2010. The Stumpjumper 29er was a HARD TAIL! By the way, the Trans Germany was a on S-works Stumpjumper 29er HT too.

    Look, I get it, all you Stumpy FS guys love your bikes. Some of you race them. Congrats. But the bottom line is that is NOT what they were made for. Specialized has an entire line of FS and HT's for racing only. This is the point many are trying to make here.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebInt
    This is the problem with forums. A lot of "wanna be's" that post things they read but know nothing about. Sauser rode a Specialized S-Works Epic last year and a S-Works Epic for the XC race and an S-Works Stumpjumper 29er for the Short Track for 2010. The Stumpjumper 29er was a HARD TAIL! By the way, the Trans Germany was a on S-works Stumpjumper 29er HT too.
    I dunno who you are calling a "wanna be" - but to be strictly accurate in the Sea Otter XC the Sauser Epic came 4th behind 2 Stumpy's (29's). Maybe that's why in the short track race he picked a Stumpy ;-)

    Anyway, you missed my point. My point was, quite simply, you cannot catorgise one way of the other. Yes the Stumpy was a HT. Yes it was a 29". In the conditions, on the course, with the rider, it was faster than the Epic in the XC. Was it beacuse it was a 29", or because it was a HT, or because it was a Stumpy, or because the riders on the day, were better? You don't know, and neither do I.

    I have ridden 3 generations of Epic's and now ride and race an '09. However I have long ago learned that the amount of training, and the size of the ticker is worth any number of "gadgets".

    For instance I also know that on particular tracks, I can still not better times I made 6 years ago on a Scott HT with my current bike that is significantly more technicaly advanced. In one round of last year's regionals, I was beaten by a guy on a Singlespeed. I could (and probably will) be comprehensively beaten by a fitter & stronger rider riding his mother's bike. And I can tell you one thing - if/when that happens, I won't be blaming my equipment.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebInt
    This is the problem with forums. A lot of "wanna be's" that post things they read but know nothing about.
    You should apply these words to YOU! Before answering, please read the article.

    If you see the article, and is able to understand it, you could see this:

    "The Stumjumper was the very best bike for it. I really enjoyed the 14cm of travel."

    "It looked like the S-Works Epic was the most common full suspension bike at the race.
    I have the feeling that most riders are very sceptical about a 140mm travell bike. They
    think this is a „big bike“ and for freeriding only. I am so sure they would have so much
    more fun on it, compare to a Epic, not even talking about the hard tails!
    "

    He was with a SJ FSR S-Works with 140mm travel. THIS IS NOT A HARDTAIL, and what we are saying is that even from a PRO perspective, for 90% of the competitors (not only riders) it is better to use a SJ.
    ----
    Jose Galego
    MTBing In Brazil

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galego
    You should apply these words to YOU! Before answering, please read the article.

    If you see the article, and is able to understand it, you could see this:

    "The Stumjumper was the very best bike for it. I really enjoyed the 14cm of travel."

    "It looked like the S-Works Epic was the most common full suspension bike at the race.
    I have the feeling that most riders are very sceptical about a 140mm travell bike. They
    think this is a „big bike“ and for freeriding only. I am so sure they would have so much
    more fun on it, compare to a Epic, not even talking about the hard tails!
    "

    He was with a SJ FSR S-Works with 140mm travel. THIS IS NOT A HARDTAIL, and what we are saying is that even from a PRO perspective, for 90% of the competitors (not only riders) it is better to use a SJ.



    Sorry man....if you are going to take the words from someone that thinks an SJ is for "free riding" . Pro or not sounds like to me he doesn't really know what bike he was on.

    Some amazing folks here sometimes...never raced a singlle lap in your life yet know without a doubt which bike is the better tool for the job..

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    He also states that the stumpy is a "free ride" bike....really sauser, really
    Actually he means other people think it's freeride bike.

  43. #43
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    LOL that this is still being debated. From the Specialized website....

    Stumpjumper FSR: XC Trail
    Epic: Competition XC

  44. #44
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    It's useless EPICYZ....

    Clok....i stand corrected

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    Sorry man....if you are going to take the words from someone that thinks an SJ is for "free riding" . Pro or not sounds like to me he doesn't really know what bike he was on.

    Some amazing folks here sometimes...never raced a singlle lap in your life yet know without a doubt which bike is the better tool for the job..
    Larlev,

    Don't be unkind, we are just discussing the difference between two excellent bikes.

    I am not trying to say what bike is a better tool.

    I race every month, let's say about 60/70 km ( ~40 mi) here. But, all other trail days I am just in for fitness, health and fun. So I ride at least 400 km in a month, it is 15% race 85% trail rides.

    If I have only one bike, perhaps the SJ FSR would be the correct one. But I have the Epic.

    What I am trying to say is that even from a PRO (Mr. Sauser one) perspective, my race days would be better enjoyed with the SJ FSR. I am one of the guys which is racing against me and my best times, never near the front guys.

    I will buy an SJ FSR (thinking about the Expert with the brain).

    I am a novice here, I don't want to be an "amazing folk".
    ----
    Jose Galego
    MTBing In Brazil

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    Sorry man....if you are going to take the words from someone that thinks an SJ is for "free riding" . Pro or not sounds like to me he doesn't really know what bike he was on.

    Some amazing folks here sometimes...never raced a singlle lap in your life yet know without a doubt which bike is the better tool for the job..
    Yet you're discounting a pro level rider. Do YOU ride pro? Can you compete with Sauser? If not, then you're just one of the wanna be's you're so disdainful about.

    As for the Epic being "only" for racing or the SJ being "only" for XC, hogwash. As noted, many of us have ridden an Epic on tough terrain and found them to be great bikes. And many folks who race are riding SJs happily. A label is just something the marketing folks attach to a bike to get attention. It doesn't mean much in the real world.

    Right tool for the job? If you can pound the nail in better with your wrench, then the wrench is absolutely the right tool for the job!
    Last edited by skiahh; 06-13-2010 at 04:26 PM.

  47. #47
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    Race or not racing, like everyone says it is the right tool for the job and what feels best. If an epic is more comfortable for your xc trails and switchbacks then that is you bike, but if you find the stumpy more comfortable then go that way.

    Both are great bikes. I have the epic marathon and love it. I don't race, I don't do drop offs or downhill, but love how nimble the epic is on the trails i ride and how effortlessly it climbs. The suspension has more than enough travel for me and the brain works flawlessly. I rode road and a hard tail before the epic, have long legs compared to my torso so having handlebars lover that the saddle was not an issue. Yes it can be a bit hairy on steep descents and I'm sure I could go faster on a stumpy with a more relaxed front end and more travel but that's not what I am looking for. My hard tail was more like the stumpy geometry and it felt too "relaxed", but that's just me.

    Before you buy, just try to get your shop to try and organize a ride on both bikes and get which ever one feels best, because as long as you are happy with your purchase you will not be disappointed.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi
    I dunno who you are calling a "wanna be" - but to be strictly accurate in the Sea Otter XC the Sauser Epic came 4th behind 2 Stumpy's (29's). Maybe that's why in the short track race he picked a Stumpy ;-)

    Anyway, you missed my point. My point was, quite simply, you cannot catorgise one way of the other. Yes the Stumpy was a HT. Yes it was a 29". In the conditions, on the course, with the rider, it was faster than the Epic in the XC. Was it beacuse it was a 29", or because it was a HT, or because it was a Stumpy, or because the riders on the day, were better? You don't know, and neither do I.

    I have ridden 3 generations of Epic's and now ride and race an '09. However I have long ago learned that the amount of training, and the size of the ticker is worth any number of "gadgets".

    For instance I also know that on particular tracks, I can still not better times I made 6 years ago on a Scott HT with my current bike that is significantly more technicaly advanced. In one round of last year's regionals, I was beaten by a guy on a Singlespeed. I could (and probably will) be comprehensively beaten by a fitter & stronger rider riding his mother's bike. And I can tell you one thing - if/when that happens, I won't be blaming my equipment.
    Look, you tried to compare a Stumpy to Epic in two races. You thought he road a FS Stumpy. He did not. He road an even more aggressive race bike in the 29er Stumpy HT. That is further from the Stumpy FS then the Epic is! That is my point. The Epic and Stumpy HT are "Completive XC" and the tools of choice for Pros. That is what they were made for.

    People seem to be getting their panties in a bunch about the Stumpy FS not being called a race bike. Well, its not me or others saying this, it is Specialized. Go to their site. Yes, you can ride a road bike in a race. A strong rider might be able to beat for guys on HTs in a race. We all know this. I think what some like me are trying to point out for the hundredth time is when choosing a bike like the OP asked about, he needs to understand the differences and what they were made for. I love riding my longer travel bikes. But in races I am on my Stumpy HT 29er or Epic Marathon 29er. Not my Ellsworth.

    By the way, sorry for the "Wanna be" comment towards you. I had a few too many beers last night and thought you were another user with a VERY similar username. He is who I was directing it at. Ironically enough, he came in and posted after

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galego
    You should apply these words to YOU! Before answering, please read the article.

    If you see the article, and is able to understand it, you could see this:

    "The Stumjumper was the very best bike for it. I really enjoyed the 14cm of travel."

    "It looked like the S-Works Epic was the most common full suspension bike at the race.
    I have the feeling that most riders are very sceptical about a 140mm travell bike. They
    think this is a „big bike“ and for freeriding only. I am so sure they would have so much
    more fun on it, compare to a Epic, not even talking about the hard tails!
    "

    He was with a SJ FSR S-Works with 140mm travel. THIS IS NOT A HARDTAIL, and what we are saying is that even from a PRO perspective, for 90% of the competitors (not only riders) it is better to use a SJ.
    Hey, wonderful, you found an event he was on a FS Stumpy. Did you miss the fact that Sea Otter and the trans-German were on a Stumpy HT? THAT is what the comment was in reference too from me. Hence why I quoted that in my reply, NOT your link. But since you want to discuss your link to his blog:

    "Two weeks ago I was racing a 6 day stage race in South Africa as a two man team"

    - OK, you understand that this race is not classified an XC race? It was a stage race.

    "But for real racing like the Cape-Epic stage race, where I am racing for the win it would be too much of suspension."

    - Still with us?

    "Sure for 90% of the riders who are racing against the clock and not against other fast competitors, the bike is superb, but for real racing I still prefer the Epic. "

    - Did you not read those parts? He basically states if he were racing to win and not for fun or training, he would have not been on that bike. So for the OP that is choosing between the two bikes, he should understand what others have been trying to say. Pick what you plan to focus on and buy the bike suited for that. Who doesn't like Trail XC/AM bikes? If he does not want to get really serous about racing, that is the bike I would choose too.
    Last edited by WebInt; 06-13-2010 at 05:23 PM.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    As for the Epic being "only" for racing or the SJ being "only" for XC, hogwash. As noted, many of us have ridden an Epic on tough terrain and found them to be great bikes. And many folks who race are riding SJs happily. A label is just something the marketing folks attach to a bike to get attention. It doesn't mean much in the real world.
    You obviously do not get. Do you understand anything about angles, travel and weight and how they change things on a bike? Do you not understand why these bikes are different in all three areas? There is no marketing ploy by Specialized to sell more bikes here. You simply try to throw your emotions into this argument instead of being logical. Sure people race Stumpy FS and others do DH on an Epic. Who cares? I saw a guy race a unicycle at one event. Your logic is "that it the best tool for him". And my argument would go to what Sauser points out in his blog. It was the right tool for him for what he wanted to do, but it certainly was not the right tool for that job. He himself would have chosen a different bike had he being racing. And racing is what the Epic line is designed for.


    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    Right tool for the job? If you can pound the nail in better with your wrench, then the wrench is absolutely the right tool for the job!
    If you buy a wrench to pounds nails and *think* it is better then a hammer, you are a fool. If you buy a FS Stumpy and think it is better for pure racing, then you are a fool. But this is what you are basically saying when you try to tell people the difference between the two bikes is nothing but marketing.


    Alright, I am out of this thread. Said my piece and time to move on. See ya' all in some other threads.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebInt
    - Did you not read those parts? He basically states if he were racing to win and not for fun or training, he would have not been on that bike. So for the OP that is choosing between the two bikes, he should understand what others have been trying to say. Pick what you plan to focus on and buy the bike suited for that. Who doesn't like Trail XC/AM bikes? If he does not want to get really serous about racing, that is the bike I would choose too.
    We both agree with this!

    I am getting older, and I am doing more marathon like races than XC races, and perhaps will try an SJ FSR.

    Sorry, I didn't want to be rude!

    I am learning a lot here.
    ----
    Jose Galego
    MTBing In Brazil

  52. #52
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    i've recentlty sent my stumpjumper's suspension off for an S-tune, i'm hoping it will enable my 2010 S-Works stumpjumper FSR frame build to perform more like a longer travel S-Works Epic

    don't have plans to compete this year, or any ambition to emulate Spesh factory riders - i just think it would improve the bike for the type of riding i usually do, and still allow a more plush setting when off local trails & in the ruff

    have in the stables a vintage M5 alloy S-Works Epic from the working prototype onsale years, and firm plans to build a S-Works stumpjumper hardtail with a similar aggresive cockpit to the other 2 S-Works

    seems to me the biggest difference between a 2010 stumpy FSR and an Epic (S-Works) framesets are the trail tune, the amount of travel, carbon used, all carbon rear triangle (Epic) half & half (stumpy) head tube angles & shouty graphics or not!

    both are terrific bikes - your a winner simply just by choosing either one


    ............edit to correct iphone typo.........
    Last edited by culturesponge; 06-13-2010 at 08:00 PM.

  53. #53
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    WebInt said it better than I ever could....
    Like he said, I'm done with this now. I'll take my wrench and go pound nails....jeez

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebInt
    You obviously do not get. Do you understand anything about angles, travel and weight and how they change things on a bike? Do you not understand why these bikes are different in all three areas? There is no marketing ploy by Specialized to sell more bikes here. You simply try to throw your emotions into this argument instead of being logical. Sure people race Stumpy FS and others do DH on an Epic. Who cares? I saw a guy race a unicycle at one event. Your logic is "that it the best tool for him". And my argument would go to what Sauser points out in his blog. It was the right tool for him for what he wanted to do, but it certainly was not the right tool for that job. He himself would have chosen a different bike had he being racing. And racing is what the Epic line is designed for.

    If you buy a wrench to pounds nails and *think* it is better then a hammer, you are a fool. If you buy a FS Stumpy and think it is better for pure racing, then you are a fool. But this is what you are basically saying when you try to tell people the difference between the two bikes is nothing but marketing.

    Alright, I am out of this thread. Said my piece and time to move on. See ya' all in some other threads.
    No, I think it's you who does "not get". Yes, I understand about angles and such. And I know the Epic is a quicker handling bike than the SJ and what that means. Doesn't change the fact that if it works better for a particular rider than the SJ on XC trails, then that's the bike the person should be on. That's not emotional, that's logic.

    I agree that if someone buys a wrench to pound nails and "thinks" it's better than a hammer, they're a fool. But if for some reason, the wrench actually DOES work better than the hammer for that person, then they'd be a fool to buy into the label of a hammer. It's an example, not actuality; hyperoble... stretch your imagination so you can understand.

    If you check my posts, you'll note that I have never said the SJ was a better strict racer. What I did say is that the Epic is not strictly a race bike. I would argue, however, that the SJ can be raced successfully by some riders.

    And if you don't think slapping a "race" label on a bike doesn't generate sales from non-racers, then you are truly clueless. If it was for just racers, no one would be able to afford it since the per unit cost would be astronomical. Think of it like a football jersey. Why does the NFL sell star player jerseys to the public? Or, better yet, why do people buy them? Human nature. Slap a "race bike" label on the Epic and voila... the masses want it, even if they don't race, and Specialized can add another bike to their lineup that will sell.

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