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  1. #1
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    Epic comp or Stumpy 29er...? Help...

    Ok guys, Im new to this forum and I would just like a little advice from you all.. A little history on me. I raced mountain and road as a cat 1 junior many years ago, as Im 33 yoa now. So it was about 16 years ago. Im now getting back into riding again as I miss it, and want to get a mountain bike first.. As a junior I had a semi sponsor from Specialized and rode a epic pro road back in the day.. For a mountain bike I rode a rockhopper which I actually placed third at norba nats on it.. yeah a rockhopper, we were poor and it was free...lol.. Here is my dilema.. Back in the day I couldnt stand full suspension bikes.. There was no power to the rear wheel at all, and they felt like a sponge. I actually won one when I won states, and sold it for 400 bucks because I couldnt stand it.. Now I hear they are totally different, that this brain thing Specialized has is like a hard tail etc.. I am going to go all out train for this year and race again next year, but Im not sure what bike to get.. Finacially wise I will get the M5, since I cant afford carbon yet, and plus I will be crashing my tail off since it has been awhile, and will upgrade in 2 years or so... Now If you race and can understand where Im coming from.. Do I stick with hard tail, or has the epic come such a far way that it is a hard tail climbing and sprinting, yet absorbs the hard bumps that a hard tail will break your tail bone on?...lol.. Can you guys please help me choose... I bought a gary fisher about 3 months ago.. hard tail, and I cant stand it. I have no idea why I bought that darn bike, knowing I will only ride specialized.. Im going to go 29er on either bike I go with, seeing that to me the concept seems to make total sense to me...

  2. #2
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    You'll get a million different opinions on this. I am a devoted Specialized guy, but rode a GF Rig for a while and loved it. Before that, I rode a 2009 Spec SJ 29er and hated it- worst experience on a bike I'd ever had. I think it took Spec a couple of years to figure out the 29er thing. I currently ride a 29er SS (vassago) and a 26er Epic Comp, but I'm making the move to an Epic 29er within the month.

    FS bike have come a LOOONG way since you won one years ago. On top of that, the Epic has come a LOOONG way in the 7-8 years it's been around. My epic is a 2008 and it's amazing. There's a lot to learn about dialing it in if you're really looking for that "climb like a hardtail" feel, but it does work. AND you can open it up and it will ride like a more plush bike (though you won't want that for racing). The newer Epics are even better, and the 29er makes the bike that much more sweet. I was a HT Stumpy only guy until I got the Epic in 2009 and it is definitely the bike for me.

  3. #3
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    So you can have it set for a hardtail feel, but when you hit a stern bump.. rocks etc, it will give, then lock back out pretty much?

  4. #4
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    Not just "pretty much"- I think it used to be "mostly" and then they improved it and it became "pretty much" and then they improved it again (current model) and it became "period."

    At least on my 2008, it definitely took some research to get it to not just feel "mostly" good, but "perfect." There's a guy in the forums somewhere- I think his name is Speshy Suspension Tech or something like that- he's amazing. He recommended some settings for me that completely worked and were a little counter-intuitive (for someone with only rudimentary understanding of how it works). After that, I could stand on climbs and hammer and it wouldn't bob, or I could sit and spin and it was ONLY active over bumps and had great compliance on both small, fast hits and big ones. After that, I became a devoted believer in the brain.

  5. #5
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    Does your specialized dealer have Demo bikes available for you to try? That would be the best bet, but if not and knowing you didn't feel comfortable on the hardtail, you might as well go for the Epic. Seems like you get the best of the hardtail and the FS in the one bike, granted they`re a little heavier.

  6. #6
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    Oh, I love the hardtail, but when youre in the saddle on singletrack on a hardtail and those little bumps through burms, straights etc... When you hit them it throws the rear end around a bit, thats why I was asking about the Epic. I need to have the hardtail feel climbing singletrack, burms etc... but need the rear to absorb the bumps like palmetto roots and tree roots etc on singletrack.. If im not making sense, its still early in the morning here...lol.. The problem with my dealer here is we are about 2 hours from any trails.. I have rode the epic on the road, but only so uch you can feel you know...

  7. #7
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    I would evaluate how and what you want the bike to do for you, obviously you will test ride a few first but from what I know about the epic line ( I own a 2003 epic 26") they are fast and climb like a mountain goat. I love that bike and will not get rid of it. I love the M-series Alu frames, I would replace it my current frame if I had any issues, with a new 26" stumpy FS or another Epic FS 26" which ever I get a better deal on. But for a 29er...If you are looking for an all day bike, I like HT, I am in the market of buying one and have been saving for a Vassago Jabberwocky. But now I might have to save a little more with the new news of restructuring. Besides that if I had to pick specialized, I would try the Epic FS and the HT Stumpy. Find a dealer that will let you demo one with a CC and get out try it out on some local stuff. If you want to look for something comparable in price, look at the FS Niner line...RIP or JET. There are dealers out there with demo bikes. Good Luck...

  8. #8
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    epic comp or try to find marathon HT. The M5 frame rides really well. The epic rides terrific and climbs like at HT. The marathon HT is stiff and climbs well and is surprisingly compliant for a HT but has a stiff BB. Can`t go wrong with either of these.

  9. #9
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    I would take the advice of mrbeisen. Demo a HT stumpy and Epic FS on some your favorite trails that come close the the trails you will be racing. The Epic FS is the bike I see used in most of bike legs of the Xterra races. These courses may be different than what you will race. Conrad Stoltz set a long standing course record and beat Ned's record time at the Xterra worlds on an Epic FS.
    I ride an Epic FS.
    Have a great a season balancing the the family, training and racing.(work just gets in the way)

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