Hi everyone,

I've recently been considering getting back into mountain biking after switching to road riding back in 2001. I rode mountainbikes before that, but my last MTB was a hardtail 1996 bike. I was looking at Turners and have asked some questions in the Turner forum, but am now thinking that for the money I might be better off with a Specialized.

I went to the local shop at the weekend where I looked at both the Stumpjumper FSR and the Epic. I was able to ride the demo Epic they had in the car park, which was and '04/'05 model. The shop owner said they were getting their '06 models in the next couple of weeks for demo purposes and I was welcome to try both the Stumpjumper FSR and the Epic on extended offroad rides to make a good comparison. Does anyone have any views on this, considering I am used to riding a hardtail, and will primarily be wanting it for XC? By the way, I am just under 6'3", 170lbs. The Epic I tried was a Large, but the guy suggested I might want to try both L and XL when they're available. Again, any views on this?

Finally, I would probably be going for the Stumpjumper FSR Pro as opposed to the Expert. The equivalent Epic model appears to be the Epic Marathon (similar components etc). However, the only Epic models available in the UK are the Epic carbon frame and the Epic Comp. Is this just missing from the Specialized website, or is this the case in the UK? It seems strange, as the Stumpjumper HT and the Enduro all have this equivalent model. The Epic Comp would be equivalent to the Stumpjumper FSR Expert.