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Thread: Epic or SJ?

  1. #1
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    Epic or SJ?

    I've mostly been a road rider for the past 10 years. But I've just moved back to Colorado and am looking at mt bikes. I've still narrowing down my list, but the Epic Comp and the SJ Comp are near the top.

    Coming from a road bike, I like the idea of the the Epic as a stiffer, better pedaling and better climbing bike. But it's hard to tell a big difference between them from 5 minutes around the parking lot. I rented a SJ last summer for a long weekend and had a lot of fun with it. I'll mostly use the bike for all around trail riding - no big drop offs or anything too intense.

    I guess my question is, does the Brain shock on the Epic really work and are there downsides? Should I be worried about a propietary shock?

    I'm also curious about the Triad shock on the SJ. I just read the thread about swapping the Triad for an RP23, and it seemed like a bunch of people are unhappy with the Triad?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    Had both

    Quote Originally Posted by bkrider
    ... does the Brain shock on the Epic really work...
    I've had an Epic with brain, SJ without brain and now SJ with brain. I much prefer the SJ with brain. The brain has been on thousands of bikes for four years now. And people are still asking if it works

  3. #3
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    I own both a 07 SJ comp and an 07 Epic Expert, and they are really two different animals on the trail. Honestly, I prefer the geometry and feel of the SJ. I just feel like I can be more aggressive on it. That being said, the Epic is still one hell of a ride, it is for sure a faster bike. I think the brain does a very good job, very efficient. Maybe a little too efficient for my style.

    As far as the triad is concerned, I am not too sure what the big deal is. I've ridden it almost every day for a few months, and I think it is fine. Lets put it this way, unless there was a major malfunction and a warranty issue, there is absolutley no way I would upgrade to a rp23. I think it is just a waste of money. I run the thing on pro pedal mode if the trail is clean, open if its rocky or downhill, and lock it out if the climb is to hairy. It's just not that big of a deal. I think the front fork is a better place for an upgrade.

    I think it boils down to what you want to ride. If you think there is going to be room for some jumps and more all-mountain features, get the stumpy. If just burning up the trails is more your speed, the epic will please.

    Two different bikes-Two great results

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    I was recntly debating the same thing. I ended up snagging an Epic comp for a great deal and couldn't be happier. (unless the weather would improve a little bit around here, so I could ride the darn thing a bit more!) I really wanted the Brain over the Triad, but didn't want to plunk down the cash for a SJ Expert. So, I got the Epic and decided if it was really a problem down the road, I could always put a longer travel for on it to slacken out the HT angle a bit.

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    This question has been asked several times. You can do a search on these forums to find lots of opinions.

    I owned an Epic and now have a SJ with brain. My final word is this: if you race often, get the Epic. If you only race from time to time or do not race at all, get the SJ. Epic is faster, SJ is more fun.
    "I will not relent"

  6. #6
    Mtc
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    If you climb aggresively get the Epic. That 15 seconds you gain on the decent will be gobbled up by the Epic on the climb.

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    Both great bikes. I picked up an 06 SJ Pro (w/ brain) and thought I would still use my hardtail. Fat chance, it sat all year.

    I can't say anything about the Epic, but the SJ just works well. Great all around bike.

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    Thanks for all the feedback!

    The geometry differences between the Epic and the SJ were pretty obvious from a 5 minute test ride at the shop. But I'm not exactly sure how the differences will translate to the trail. SJ will be more laid back and stable for descents, while the Epic will be faster handling and a little more twitchy? Is that right? I'd love to get the SJ with Brain. But that's stretching my budget. Thanks for the help.

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    I can relate to the budget part. When I was looking, I could not fathom paying over 3K for a mtn bike. But looking at the equipment and features, I figured it was going to be in my stable a long, long time, so I bit.

    After a season on it, not one regret. Heck, besides putting my hardtail to rest, I only road the my roadie a couple times.

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    I am not sure the epic climbs better than the stumpy. At least, not for the suspension design. Maybe for the geometry (lower bar, steeper angles).Maybe for the weight (but most of the Epics come down to 24 lbs, and light stumpies are 25-26). Anyway, with my 2006 triad in the propedal mode I can't feel (or see) any bob. In fact I often "mitigate" the platform running the lever in the no man's land between propedal and open.I never use the lockout, even on pavement.
    In my opinion the Brain is a suspension engineering nonsense (especially if it's adjustable, and especially if it's on a stumpjumper) but that's only a personal opinion. And when the big S will develop a 4'', 22 lbs "race edition" Stumpjumper, the epics will be dead.

  11. #11
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    The Sj with the Triad did climb tons better than the brain equiped SJ. My problem with the brain equipped SJ was once the brain was open, I could never get the shock tuned. I bought a SJ Pro last year based on my test rides on a SJ Comp(triad). I hated the Pro's lack of climbing prowless, I had to completely change my climbing style to that of a 6" travel bike.
    The Epic is just a bike you ride. You put down the hammer and it does its thing. Climb=mash away, Desend, I'm not getting dropped by my SJ buddies.
    The SJ is a great bike I just figured with the Roadie back ground he'd appreciate the Epics less suspensiony feel(is that a word). I just turned my SJ Pro and bought an M5 Marathon and I'm so happy to be back on the Epic.
    You win the race on the climbs not on the decents... even if the race is just with your buddies, and who do you want to beat worse than your buds!

  12. #12
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    other posts

    There are 5 or more other posts on this same topic. SJ or Epic

    Depends on what you do. Lots of climbing = Epic is the choice. Not so and more plush desires = SJ. I've tried propedal and brain SJ. Just doesn't have the climbing ability of an Epic on full lockout.

    Also depends on your skill level. There are people out there that can keep up with a 6" travel rider going downhill on their hardtails. Everyone's different.

    Don't worry about the shock - they have been around for a while. If it fails, they will warranty it for you.

    Rent both if you can, then decide.
    "Nothing is free."

    Ibis Mojo / Parlee Z5 / Colnago Master Zabel / Cannondale Tandem / Civia Loring w/bamboo fenders

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