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  1. #1
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    Epic Marathon vs Stumpjumper Marathon

    Hi All

    Trying to decide which of the two bikes suit my needs. Please help.

    Background is that I am competing in a 11 day Marathon race this coming May. I did the event last on a 2004 Stumpjumper FSR (100mm) and was in the top 25%. It was the 2nd oldest bike and one of only 2 26 inch bikes in the top 20. It's time for a new bike.

    The route consists of 20% Technical climbs and downhills, 20% tarmac roads, 50% rough fire trials and maybe 10% singletrack. Stages are up to 160Km long with 4000 metres of climbing each day.

    The top guys all rode hardtails. I've never ridden one at all ever before and am concerned about comfort. I guess the bigger wheels will help with this but unsure of how much. I don't as yet race outside of this one event. I will be keeping my old bike for fun in the alps and local trials are probably very similar to the courese mentioned above.

    The Epic will save close on a kg over my old bike but of couse the Hardtail stumpjumper will be maybe 2.5Kgs lighter. Not sure that weight is as important as reliablility.

    On a side note anyone know anything about the Roval Carbon wheels without bead hooks? Will be running std Maxxis Tyres and used to have them fly of the rims with too much pressure (above 30 psi). I ran 20psi on front and 25psi on back on the 26incher. The new wheels need at least 25psi apparently.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'd rock the Epic for a race like that. Personally, my back starts to get sore after 6-7 hours of abuse via a hardtail. The hardtail will be a bit lighter but the Epic seems like the perfect weapon.
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  3. #3
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    that's a pretty massive amount of climbing each day! if you're going for a top finish (and if the "rough" fire road isn't that bad) and your body can handle some extra beating, I'd think the HT would be more competitive, but you'll pay the comfort price. As you said yourself, the top guys all rode hardtails. as for the wheels, I'm curious myself about no bead and whether anyone experiences any problems.

  4. #4
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    Epic, hands down for that sort of race.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  5. #5
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    Still undecided. I'd be more comfortable on the Epic that's for sure. And it;s closer to what I'm used to. Seeing what all the pros ride in these long distance events and most stomach the hardtail. And the hardtail is heaps cheaper and less to go wrong in the future.

  6. #6
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    Epic without a doubt.

  7. #7
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    Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander ride and win on the Epic in the Absa Cape Epic, which sounds a bit like what you're looking at. Sure the hardtail is lighter, but I think the FS would keep you fresher and going better over the long haul like that.
    BMC FS01 29 X0
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  8. #8
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    I just got rid of my stumpy HT for an Epic to do the same style of racing minus the tarmac roads.

    I was not confident on the marathons carbon wheels so I bought the evo r and upgraded the wheels to the SL model carbon wheels and instead of the control carbon wheels because I wanted the bead. With the price I got on the Evo and purchasing the carbon wheels it was less than marathon.
    2014 S-Works Epic WC
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  9. #9
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    Slowly but surely heading towards an Epic.

    Not sure I could handle a single front chain ring. I'm moving from a triple to a double already. Also pricing the Expert (not evo) and just upgrading the wheels would cost more than the Marathon. The wheels are a risk but should be backed by the big S. I will have 5 months on them testing before the big day on the tyres I will run. Supposedly they will work tubeless with any tyres. The expert is also ugly in white with red lettering in my country vs black and silver for the marathon (the same as my 2004 bike). I do quite like the UK Marathon in Back with red as well.

  10. #10
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    So I've been back to the bike store today. Weighed both the Epic Marathon and Stumpjumper Marathon. Less than a kilo in it. I think the Epic is the right bike. I though the wight difference would be a lot more. Just have to work harder on training and shift that extra kilo from me. Now just to order and sit back and wait for it !!!

  11. #11
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    Could you share the weights and details of the bikes? (with/without pedals & tubes, size, etc.)
    BMC FS01 29 X0
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  12. #12
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    Medium Epic Marathon with test pedals, Bottle cage, Bar ends was 11.14kg
    Medium Stumpjumper Marathon with test pedals, 10.10 kg

    Both had tubes.
    Last edited by bobgfish; 11-02-2012 at 07:41 AM. Reason: forgot the tubes

  13. #13
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    tubes suck!

    both are very cool bikes. I haven't been on a hardtail in a while. Wish I could help, but I will say you definitely need to put some time in on the Epic before buying. It's such an amazing machine.

  14. #14
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    Epic Marathon ordered today. Hopefully be here in time for Christmas !!! Now. What tyres is the next question...

  15. #15
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    Nice choice! I recommend Maxxis Ikon tires.

  16. #16
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    I'm a little late to the fray, as you've already decided on the Epic, but for others considering the same decision, here is some insight from a person who has ridden both bikes.

    First, you can't go wrong either way. Both are dedicated race bikes and both are freaking awesome.

    But don't sell short the Stumpjumper HT Marathon carbon 29. The vertical compliance is amazing and, when set up tubeless (which I'll get to in a minute regarding the Roval Carbon 29) actually absorbs a great deal of trail chatter. The bike is lighting fast (again, not that the Epic isn't) and can withstand the race intensity plus everyday trail riding abuse. I ended up purchasing this bike and have been pleasantly surprised - that coming from a person who already had high expectations for the bike. I race XC and have recently gotten into 100-mile races. I rode this bike for the Butte 100 last summer, one of the toughest races in the country with 18,000 feet of elevation gain. The bike was incredible and, even at that distance, very comfortable.

    Contrary to one poster's remarks, the Roval Carbon 29 are very reliable. I have ridden the Roval Carbon SL quite a bit, too, and there really is little negligible difference. The lack of bead hook is nothing to be concerned with. My Specialized Ground Control 2.1 tires set up tubeless very easily and other than the first couple days when the Stan's was doing its thing, they've been remarkable. I check my air pressure before every ride (which is every day) and they rarely lose air.

    Moreover, my Roval Carbon 29 rims came in lighter than listed in the Specialized dealer catalog and online.

    Anyway ... you'll be more than stoked with the Epic Marathon and it will no doubt serve its purpose well. Have fun and good luck!

  17. #17
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    I've had the Epic Marathon for the last 2 months and done around 570kms on it. Awesome bike, I run the FastTrak tyres tubeless that it came with and run them around 28psi rear and 25psi front with no dramas.

  18. #18
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    Epic.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideharder View Post

    Moreover, my Roval Carbon 29 rims came in lighter than listed in the Specialized dealer catalog and online.
    Also went with the HT, and curious what your wheelset weighed in at? I never got around to weighing mine.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd1072 View Post
    Also went with the HT, and curious what your wheelset weighed in at? I never got around to weighing mine.
    Weighed in at 1,520 total. Specialized website and manual say 1,580. Not a huge difference, but less than advertised, which is always good.

  21. #21
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    Any updates on the bike and how it handles? I'm considering the Epic or the Stumpy, too.
    '12 S-Works Stumpjumper carbon HT
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    '94 S-Works M2

  22. #22
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    Well my Stumpy FSR (2004) was 100mm front and back in a medium. It weighs 12 KG with decent rubber on it but was a frame only with mainly raceface parts. The Epic marathon weighs in at 11KG stock in meduim (XT pedals included). What has surpised me most is riding postion is virtually identical. This is something I was quite worried about. On the epic the seat is slightly further forward (my choice as trying to move setup closer to my road bike) and the whole cockpit is approx 20 mm longer. The front is also a fraction higher even with the stem turned down. As a whole much closer to my road bike which is what I was trying to replicate. I could not do this on my old Stumpy. In terms of riding it is lightning fast. On a local hill takes approx 30 mins on my ride bike. 34 mins on the epic and closer to 39 mins on theStumpjumper. My heart rate is also lower in general riding on the epic. It has a lot less bob when climbing and you actually don't notice suspension is even working. It is just generally a lot faster everywhere. (well at least feels it) It's not quite so confident on the downs and I attribute that to the higher front end. It's cold and snow on the ground here but things that I couldn't ride on the Stumpjumper a few days later I could on the Epic. A lot more traction and could just keep riding. The tyres have surprised me as well. Still on the stock tyres and they have bags of traction even in snow and ice. Need to get a few things looked at as rear tyre won't seal and brakes make a hell of noise at first until water/salt is burnt off. Also rear brake doesn't sound healthy. Also I'm running the shocks closer to firm but they still kick in even with very small bumps. Bike has dumped me on the ground at 28.6km/h on a snow covered road but bike undamaged. Impressed so far and been loving riding it. If I was going with my mates to hard core technical trails I would still take my FSR stumpy. Riding on my own I'd take the epic on the same trails but I've brought it for endurance racing and not general riding abuse.

  23. #23
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    I got the Stumpy S-Works HT!I personally think that HT is comfort to do off-road!I do 60 to 70Km. The only problem I got is my butt pain!Saddle becomes uncomforted. That is all

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