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  1. #1
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    Epic 29er compared to my old Stumpy

    So yesterday I took out my new to me 2010 Epic Comp 29 for my first ride. I had been riding a 2005 Stumpy Expert from 2006 when I purchased it to now. My first impression of the Epic 29er was it goes like a freight train; once moving it's a dream. It eats up small bumps like nothing. But.... when the climb comes into the picture, it seem to me it was just not as light and certainly made me gear down to granny gear. Compared to my old Stumpy it seems sluggish on the climbs. Is this what is typical of an aluminum Epic 29er? I guess for me being able to climb well is at the top of my list. Saturday I will ride with others to compare my climbing. Maybe the bike is smoother and I felt like it was going slower on the climbs. My old Stumpy had an inferior suspension compared to the Epic, but nevertheless was very quick and nimble.

    So are 29er's slower on the climb and faster in every other type of riding? BTW I love the brain and the suspension on the Epic. Who knows I may end up selling it and going back to a 26er?

  2. #2
    I Love Lamp
    Reputation: clintrosser's Avatar
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    A 29er will take some getting used to. It has different properties than you have vs. 26. Furthermore, you have switched to a different model bike. It also has a different charachter. You'll just have to spend more time on it.
    Specifically, 29ers are not faster everywhere else besides climbing. I climb better on a 29 than on 26. If you come to a stop on climb, getting rolling again is difficult.
    Everyone is different, but I won't purchase a 26 again. You may want to give it more time before you give up on it. Opinions will vary.
    It's T-Shirt time!

  3. #3
    Trying not to kill myself
    Reputation: gabe23's Avatar
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    I agree 100%. Give it some more time and the bike will probably grow on you. Like Clint, I can climb better on a 29er and I'll never go back to 26. This week I let my buddy ride my HiFi while I rode his Trek Fuel, and I was spinning the rear wheel on a lot of the climbs with fallen leaves. I had to put a lot more concentration into body position on his bike, while on my 29er I'd motor right up the same climbs.

    I think riding with some friends and maybe timing yourself is a good idea. I recently went back to riding my HT exclusively for a few weeks. I felt like I was really hammering the trails and going a lot faster than on my FS bike, especially on climbs and tight sections. But when I compared the data from my GPS watch, I was actually faster on the FS bike, even though it seemed sluggish to me after so much time on the HT. Not an apples to apples comparison to your situation, but I realized how much perception can differ from reality.


    Quote Originally Posted by clintrosser
    A 29er will take some getting used to. It has different properties than you have vs. 26. Furthermore, you have switched to a different model bike. It also has a different charachter. You'll just have to spend more time on it.
    Specifically, 29ers are not faster everywhere else besides climbing. I climb better on a 29 than on 26. If you come to a stop on climb, getting rolling again is difficult.
    Everyone is different, but I won't purchase a 26 again. You may want to give it more time before you give up on it. Opinions will vary.

  4. #4
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    I have the same bike and I have nothing but great things to say about it. I climb far better than I did on my previous bike, although anything that was made in the last few years would have been a big upgrade from my ten year old Fisher Sugar.

    I did get rid of the stock wheels and purchased some of the Roval Control El 29ers on ebay for about half off retail. Those with a tubeless set up resulted in a lighter and more responsive feel. You may want to think about upgrading the wheels if you have the coin as I think that would certainly help with the issue you describe.

  5. #5
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    The bigger wheels make for a taller gear on the same sprockets, so it is only natural you would have to shift into a lower gear to achieve the same pedaling resistance as before.

  6. #6
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    It's just different. I was in the same situation coming from a 04 S-works Epic to a 2010 Epic Comp (with everything moved over that I could) It feels slower but lap times over an 8 mile loop dropped 5 minutes on the first ride. To me, it just wants to go faster all of the time.

    Not to mention that the 2010 doesn't beat the living daylights out of me like the '04 did.

    My 2010 is not stock by any stretch. I bought the frame and fork and built it up. XT/XTR dirvetrain, and X-Max wheels so it comes in exactly 2 lbs heavier than my '04. I'll certainly take that for infinitely more comfort.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses. Yesterday I hit the trails that I am very familiar with and rode with some friends I kicked their butts! So yes I do have to get used to it and I am loving it. The first ride I was alone and it was at least 100 degrees. I think next step will be upgrading wheels and going tubeless. Probably switching cranks to LX or XTR along with front derailer.

    Climbing a local train in Orange County, CA I just hammered over a rocky section that the 26er would normally would bog down on and you'd have to really torque to get through it. The bigger wheels just roll over my easier.

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