Epic vs. Tallboy
Give me your opinion; I'm 6'2', 220lbs, average skilled rider that rides mostly in the Midwest over singletrack trails through the woods.
I've had my sights set on the Epic Comp Al for 6 months now but have recently been strongly considering the Santa Cruz Tallboy Al.
My current ride is a 1998 hardtail Stumpy, so either bike will feel like a rocket, I'm just trying to maximize my money for another 15 years. The Tallboy is ~500-800$ cheaper, but in the grand scheme of things, might not be worth it.
If you want a bike that's going to last 15 years then I'd be inclined to say get another hardtail, or maybe the Santa Cruz Tall Boy. If you only planned to keep the Specialized Epic for a few years before replacing it that would be fine. As a long term investment it isn't really a great option however.
The 2013 Specialized Epic has a proprietary Fox mini brain rear shock. It needs special parts to be serviced, which are unlikely to be available in 15 years time. This is a problem for owners of the 2003 and 2004 Specialized Epic already as Fox no longer make the spare parts available. Planned obsolescence.
2003 Epic rear shock replacement
You can't easily get parts like swing arms for older Specialized bikes either. The other Specialized bikes (Stumpjumper FSR, Camber etc) are even worse as they use a proprietary mount for the rear shock, making it hard to switch to a different rear shock.
It looks like Santa Cruz will still have spares available for older bikes so that might be ok.
Anyone still running older ('99-ish) Hecklers ok ?
If you want to keep a fully for that long...I would be buying replacement parts with in the first couple of years to have them in your own stock and buy enough of them to last those 15 years.
Now, back to the OP's initial question on bike recommendations?.....
Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....
Epic vs. Tallboy
If you're considering keeping a bike for 15 years future spares availability and warranty is an important consideration and very relevant. A hardtail is more likely to stand the test of time than a full suspension bike.
For a Specialized mountain bike that should last 15 years I'd look at the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo 29 hardtail $2,400 USD. It has an M5 alloy frame (lifetime warranty for first owner, make sure you keep your receipt in a safe place) and a Fox Float CTD 100mm travel fork, which is a very standard fork and in widespread use, so spares should still be around for a long time to come. The basics are sorted.
The other components are ok-ish. The weaker areas (wheels, shifters, brakes) can always be upgraded when they wear out or break.
Here you go. MY other / current bike is also a Stumpy Pro HT. Your thinking that either will feel like a rocket in comparison is incorrect IMO. More like the other way around.
My review -
TBc vs. some of the competition
Santa Cruz TBc
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