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  1. #1
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    HELP....epic...stumpjumper.....can't decide

    I've always been a hard tail rider, but I decided to purchase a new, full-suspension bike a few months ago and have been agonizing over which bike to buy ever since. I'd really like to buy something this weekend. My choices are narrowed down to a 2006 Epic Rim (would upgrade to BB-7 or Juicy 7) or a 2007 SJ FSR Comp. I think my riding style would make either an appropriate choice (mid-west XC trail riding, technical singletrack, sporadic chairlift use and an occasional fun race). The prices are within a few hundred dollars of each other, so that's a non-issue. Components are pretty similar. I'm more interested in finding the right bike for me. Main differences between the bikes are rear suspension style, F&R travel and riding position.

    I've ridden both in LBS parking lots and liked the riding position and smoother feel of the SJ better than the longer, stretched position of the Epic. Comfort is more important to me than speed (I've got a XC hard tail with a punishing riding position if I want to beat myself up).

    I'm now considering demoing both bikes this weekend for a trail ride. The problem is that the SJ test bike is the expert model with the Fox brain and I'm not sure this will give me the comparison that I'm looking for (Epic w/ Fox Brain vs. SJ with Triad). To further complicate matters, I don't think I could do any trail riding anyway due to wet, muddy conditions. Gotta keep those trails in good shape!

    Sorry for the long post. Here's my question: Would it be helpful to demo the bikes for an early season road/light duty ride or would I just be better off sticking to my parking lot impressions and purchase the SJ? Any suggestions? Am I missing any important considerations? I have checked out the numerous other Epic vs. SJ threads...

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    sonoranbiker
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    Get the Stumpy. Unless you're racing alot, it's a perfect all-around bike. I just got the Comp, and I LOVE it. I've done everything from 24 hr racing to technical rock gardens on it. It's a great bike. The extra travel is nice for when things get hairy.

    Plus, I don't really trust the brain.

  3. #3
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    I had similar concerns and needs, I went with an Elite Stumpy and I couldn't be happier as it does exactly what I expected it to. I thought it might feel sluggish by comparison to the Epic because it has a lot more travel, but when dialed in for my weight and riding style it felt great and the 100-120-140mm Talas in the front along with altering the air pressure (in the front and back) I have a super adjustable bike for anything from occasional racing, to general trail use to light free-ridish duties. The Epic couldn't offer me all that although it is a better bike for racing for me it lost out to the Stumpy on all other fronts.

  4. #4
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    Anytime you can get ride time on a bike before you buy it, DO IT! This will let you know even more. I would suggest test riding the Stumpy comp before you buy it. Having the brain on the Stumpy expert will give it a feel somewhat similar to the Epic because of the brain shock. Because you liked the feel of the Stumpy with the brain you might want to really consider the epic? Like sonoranbiker said, the extra travel is nice. Remember though, just because you don't race doesn't mean the bike won't be a good fit! I found the Stumpy Comp to have a soggy ride. Test them both and then decide. I would try to get at least an hour (non stop) ride time on each bike to truly get the feel of each bike. I am a 235 pound guy and the Brain on the Epic hasn't given me any trouble. Personally I am a huge fan of the Epic

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the help. The stumpy parking lot ride was on a Comp with the Triad, not the expert. Also been drooling over the Elite. Love the upgrades over the Comp, but the extra 600 bones is too much for me. We've got a baby on the way and I'm trying to keep around the $2k price point for that reason.

  6. #6
    Lusus Naturae
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    Stumpjumper Comp is what I got. I cant say much about the EPIC since, well, I honestly have not tried it but it sounds like your kind of riding would benefit from the 120mm FSR.

    Anyway, if you need to "harden" the bike a bit for uphill, road or XC, just use Propedal and lockout the front. Normally I use Propedal and keep the front open for uphills, then just open up the rear when the downhill comes.

    Never really need to totally lock out the rear so far, and if you forget to change it from Propedal to open before going downhill, not a big deal since Propedal does a good job either way.

    Army green, all the way! (though I aint crazy about no Army)

  7. #7
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    I went through the same dilemma last year at this time. I chose the Epic Rim over the SJ, partly due to a price break on a leftover 2005 model, but also due to the more aggressive, cross-country oriented setup of the Epic. I live in the Denver area and ride all the Front-Range trails which involve a lot of long, steady climbing. I've always been fast going down and didn't think I needed the more all mountain oriented SJ.

    I love my Epic and it delivers as promised on cross country oriented trails. It climbs better than my hardtail ever did, and you can stand up and hammer when needed. However, the Epic also feels more like a hardtail descending. You don't feel the rear suspension much, even though it's working. It's just not going to be as "plush" as the SJ.

    Also, the Epic's steeper geometry and lower bottom bracket height takes more effort and attention going down, especially through more technical sections and drops. You don't just point this bike down and hold on like you might on the SJ.

    Since you live in the Midwest and describe that you're looking for a more comfortable riding position, along with some downhilling; I think the SJ would be the clear choice. I have to think the SJ has a higher fun factor because of the more upright riding position; longer and more active travel; slacker angles, and higher bottom bracket.

    Test the SJ in whatever conditions are possible and buy it. You won't be sorry.

  8. #8
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    You cannot go wrong picking either.

    My suggestion is to pick one with a brain. If your price point cannot reach the stumpjumper expert, then pick the epic. There is only 8/10 of an inch difference. I pick the epic because I did not want a adjustable travel fork. I was choosing between the epic marathon and the sj pro (same price, AFR brain, marta brakes. and tubeless).

  9. #9
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    Bottom line...go with whatever your head, gut, and body tell you is best. Both bikes are great

  10. #10
    Mud Boy
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    Beware the Triad

    these boards are full of Triad hate mail. It's a truely polarizing shock, love it or hate it. The performance seems to vary greatly not only between different model years, but within the same model year. The Triad on my 06 FSR sucked since new. At the end of last season I got an RP23 for it. The 23 transformed the chassis.

    A true pro pedal range, with no "bob", much better performance all around. While some folks are leary of the Brain, I'd think twice before I would reccomend a Triad eqpt Stumpy to anyone.

    Just my $.02

  11. #11
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    i just bought a brand new 2006 epic rim (blue) from wheelworks in Boston. They have several different sizes $1599. And since it was a closeout, they'll ship. I get mine Monday. Look it up at http://wheelworks.com/spec.htm

  12. #12
    Calm Like a Bomb
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    i love my 07 comp....no problems with the triad either

  13. #13
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    i should be getting my 07 comp early on next week. The bike shop i purchased it from didnt have the color i wanted... which would be Army Green!! im sooo excited!!

  14. #14
    ejh
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    I was in the same boat a couple weeks ago. I test road both, I liked the way the
    epic climbed, but being much better at climbing then decender, I found that the Stumpy climbed almost as good, for my riding style, and decended much better I bought a Stumpy. You will enjoy which bike you get.

  15. #15
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    Decided on the Stumpjumper.

    I had a line on a 2006 Epic Rim for $1499, but ended up getting an '07 Stumpy FSR Comp for $1900 a few weeks ago. I think I made the right choice for me. Love the bike.

    Now, if I could just do something about the numb hands...

  16. #16
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    Nicely done, although the when I got my Stumpy the numbness went away immediately and I haven't had it since riding that bike (still get a bit of it with the commuter though). Are you sure the bike fits you OK? I rode mediums in the past, but the large actually fits me great. In fact, all the parts of the bike that usually get changed for fitment worked out great. I am only 1/4" from bottoming out the seatpost (that's getting cut down tomorrow porbably).

  17. #17
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    It must be a fit issue of some kind. I've never had hand numbness problems on previous bikes. My last bike was a 16.5" hartail with a long and low position. I never thought numbness would be an issue on the Stumpy because of the more upright riding position (less weight on the hands). I bought the Medium frame and am 5' 9.5". The large seemed way too big, so I didn't seriously consider it.

    I will get it back to the LBS to see what they can come up with for a fix. My current thought is it might have something to do with the upsweep and backsweep of the riser bar. I had always ridden flat bars in the past. It's a pretty subtle change, but I think the riser might be putting more pressure on the lower outside portion of my palm (ulnar nerve area). Does that make sense? Has anyone else had this issue?

    It's frustrating because the bike, overall, is a hundred times more comfortable than any other bike I've ever ridden. My hands are the only complaint.

  18. #18
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    5' 9.5" eh? That's pretty specific...

    I am 6' 1" with a 31" inseam and got the large because I wanted a lot more room along the top tube dimension, as well as making sure it had a healthy head tube height to keep me upright. I haven't ever had an issue like this by going to a riser bar, but usually it's the reason I chose a riser in the first place. Maybe the grips, or the way you are gripping the bar now?

  19. #19
    J\V
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    Epic Rim/Disc

    Quote Originally Posted by dewbage
    i just bought a brand new 2006 epic rim (blue) from wheelworks in Boston. They have several different sizes $1599. And since it was a closeout, they'll ship. I get mine Monday. Look it up at http://wheelworks.com/spec.htm
    I recently got my wife an '06 Epic Rim which was actually converted to the 'Disc' model (by Specialized, for some reason), and it was only $1450. Wheat Ridge must have really wanted to dump it at the $1600 sale price, so it was a no-brainer after they agreed to drop it $150... It's the 'Dream' color, a sort of dark chrome color... Needless to say, she's happy.
    Last edited by J\V; 05-23-2007 at 09:27 PM.
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  20. #20
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    It would be a perfect design when Stumpjumper uses a uninterupted seattube and with brain. The perfect trailbike. Anyone got any idea how the brain performs with drops?

  21. #21
    J\V
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelhot
    It would be a perfect design when Stumpjumper uses a uninterupted seattube and with brain. The perfect trailbike. Anyone got any idea how the brain performs with drops?
    You mean like the Epic?
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  22. #22
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    well you could say so

  23. #23
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    Wheatridge deal

    J/V - that's a great deal. I'm looking for a bike for my wife too. Do you by chance see if Wheatridge Cyclery had any other Epics at that price, either Women's med or Mens Sm? That is a really good deal - especially with the disc brake upgrade. I hope your wife loves the Epic as much as I do.

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=ReXTless]I think I made the right choice for me. Love the bike.
    QUOTE]

    You did make the right choice! I have custom build 07 Stumpy Pro, and I'm actually faster on it than the Epic. And it's more comfortable and more versatile.

  25. #25
    J\V
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulldagoalie
    J/V - that's a great deal. I'm looking for a bike for my wife too. Do you by chance see if Wheatridge Cyclery had any other Epics at that price, either Women's med or Mens Sm? That is a really good deal - especially with the disc brake upgrade. I hope your wife loves the Epic as much as I do.
    Last time I was in there I think they had a Mens Small 2006 Epic Disc or Comp (can't recall, it was white). I wanna say it was listed at $1699, if I recall correctly. They didn't have any more 'rim conversions' on the floor, but it doesn't mean they don't have one in back somewhere...
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  26. #26
    Lusus Naturae
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    Hand numbness? I think you're suffering from too much DOWNHILL riding?? Shuttle-itis??? Try some climbing perhaps? Heh just kidding.

    My problem is the ass pain. Started riding again about 5 months ago but I'm still hurting like hell. Whats a guy to do? Got boxer-briefs with pads, Fox shorts with padding. Am I going to have to get a different seat (I originally thought the Comp seat was pretty nice) or just lose a couple pounds???

  27. #27
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    It's strange that you are still hurting after 5 months. You have either gotten used to it, or have lost enough weight to make it more tolerable. Have you fiddled with the alignment at all? I don't think the stock Rival seat is that great, but it isn't that bad either.

  28. #28
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    here's a good deal, check if it's still available-

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/334308616.html

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless
    It must be a fit issue of some kind. I've never had hand numbness problems on previous bikes. My last bike was a 16.5" hartail with a long and low position. I never thought numbness would be an issue on the Stumpy because of the more upright riding position (less weight on the hands). I bought the Medium frame and am 5' 9.5". The large seemed way too big, so I didn't seriously consider it.

    I will get it back to the LBS to see what they can come up with for a fix. My current thought is it might have something to do with the upsweep and backsweep of the riser bar. I had always ridden flat bars in the past. It's a pretty subtle change, but I think the riser might be putting more pressure on the lower outside portion of my palm (ulnar nerve area). Does that make sense? Has anyone else had this issue?

    It's frustrating because the bike, overall, is a hundred times more comfortable than any other bike I've ever ridden. My hands are the only complaint.
    Curious, did you ever try anything to resolve the hand issue yet?

  30. #30
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    I recently bought an 07 epic expert. was 2080.00. upgraded a few things for a couple hundred more.

    I rode the stumpy's but being a hardtail convert i was put off by the softness of the stumpy. this is not to say it was inefficient or a bad ride, it just felt too soft and i didnt care for the geometry as much. The one thing I can say for it is that the extra BB clearance is nice. Why they insist on using riser bars on these new bikes I dont know. They all make my hands/wrists ache when compared to a straight bar so i'll be swapping that out shortly. Otherwise I'm very pleased with the epic.

  31. #31
    J\V
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    Exactly the problem I had with my Epic, it was very uncomfortable on the wrists, bad angle, too wide. Swapped it for the 600mm flat XC bar, and all is now good in the world. The Specialized bar ends are pretty nice for out-of-saddle climbing, too.
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  32. #32
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    Road an Epic for years and loved it. Finally wanted a little more suspension and versatillity so got S-Works Stumpy.It doesnt climb as well, but still very quick and much more balanced/nimble.

    You want speed/climbing-Epic. Awesome overall-Stumpy

  33. #33
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    Brought it back to the shop to see if anyone there could see any obvious fit problems with me on the bike. One person suggested tilting the bar forward a bit. That was a few weeks ago and it seems to have helped, but it hasn't totally cleared up the numbness problem. I might swap to the flat XC bar to see if that might do the trick.

  34. #34
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    The problem is physics. Your hands arent meant to be with your knucles facing forward. Your supposed to have yoyur thumbs facing forward like on a road bike when your hands are on levers. I had same problem. Switch to some good bar ends or try the Ergon grips. I added those a while ago and recently added them again with the bar ends attached and ALL the elbow/joint pain/numbness is gone. Go to ebay there like 35 or I have an old pair Ill sell you cheaper.

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