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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Epic or Stumpjumper FSR?

    Wish I could afford an S-Works Carbon but can't...

    I currently have a 2008 Stumpjumper FSR Comp ( for last 2 years) and am happy with it for now. I came from a HT Rockhopper and was amazed at the difference in the Stumpy FSR. I'm riding much faster and able to do things on this bike I didn't think I could do before. As long as I keep my center of gravity balanced, the bike will do some amazing things in keeping me out of trouble. It climbs well and seems to meet my needs as I know them. However, I'm curious if I can improve my riding or racing speed some more with an upgrade.

    I ride technical single-track with a few drops of around 2 feet but no more. Lots of rocks, roots, gravel, tight switchbacks, and rolling Texas hills. My rides are in the 2-4 hour ranges of cross country type and about 4 endurance races a year in the 8-24 hour types. I'm 42 years old and don't sprint like I used to, but recover faster and can maintain my endurance better than when I was younger.

    I finally feel like my current bike is set up well and leave my rear shock open. I found that pro-pedal is too stiff and not as comfortable in rough terrain. It makes me feel faster because I'm more comfortable and the bike absorbs all the small stuff without me feeling it. Sometimes my bike feels heavy and I might like a lighter bike set up. As I'm starting to ride faster and harder, I'm noticing that I'm finally starting to use all of my it time to look at a more travel suspension?

    For my needs am I better off keeping what I have, or going with a new bike? Epic or Stumpjumper? I could throw up to $4k at a new bike but will it make any difference in my riding from what I have? Below are some bikes I'm considering if I get a new bike in the spring. ...or am I just looking for a way to burn money that I don't need to?

    Stumpjumper FSR elite $3000
    Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon $3300
    Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon $4400
    Epic elite $3300
    Epic expert EVO $3900

    Specialized has been good to me, so I don't plan to move to another brand. Had bad experiences with other brands compared to Specialized.

  2. #2
    Reputation: CasteelG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Epic 29er. I came from a '09 Stumpjumper Pro that I built up myself and couldn't be happier.

  3. #3
    PVR is offline
    Crash Test Dummy
    Reputation: PVR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    If you really want to buy a new bike, go ahead. It's always nice to have something new and the new bikes have a few more bells and whistles as well as longer travel.

    Will a new bike make you a better rider? Maybe but it's not going to be as much of a change than going from HT to FS as you did 2 years ago.

    Riding is still 90 (or 95) percent rider, 10 (or 5) percent bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I've had the SJ and now the Epic. I think riding that hard is gonna beat the Epic to death eventually. It sounds like SJ territory to me.

    Also, the Epic had a steeper head angle which makes a bit more squirrely in the tight, technical stuff.

    Stay with your current SJ. I've got a buddy who has an '08 SJ, it's awesome. A new SJ isn't gonna be much better, if any...

    Save your money on a new bike and spend a little on your current SJ, trick it out with some higher end components!

  5. #5
    Trail Rider
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Some improvements w/ the new models

    I would go with either of these two:

    140mm of travel compared to 120mm of your '08 FSR.

    10 speed with double crank setup.

    New Fox Brain (I have the '10 SJ Expert and love the brain).

    That Expert carbon is frickin' sweet man

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I'm in the same boat -- having a hard time deciding between the Epic and SJ FSR.

    One on your list is the Epic Expert EVO. It's a more trail-oriented Epic with more fork travel, bigger tires, wider bars, more relaxed geometry, and the command post. It's kind of between the Epic and SJ FSR, so that might be a good choice for you. I would choose it, except I think I want 29" wheels, so I'm leaning toward the SJ FSR Expert 29er.

    The Epic should be about 3 lbs lighter than the SJ, and it will feel smaller and quicker. It will also be more efficient pedaling and probably faster overall. The SJ FSR will have a plusher ride, smoothing out the roots and rocks better, and will descend better. So it really comes down to preference. Do you want greater efficiency or more plush? Do you think 100mm travel is enough for you, or do you want/need more?

    For your races, I'd choose the Epic. Maybe you could keep your old SJ and set it up for more hardcore trail riding. And as I said, the Epic Expert EVO would probably work well for racing as well as trail riding.

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