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  1. #1
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    Opinions on 2011 Epic Expert EVO?

    My brother (who owns a bike shop and rides quite a bit) had me pretty much sold on 29" wheels, and I had decided to get a SJ FSR Expert 29er. I was just told today that Specialized is saying it won't be available until early November. Another bike I really like the looks of is the Epic Expert EVO, which is a more trail-oriented Epic with 120mm fork travel, bigger tires, wider bars, command post, and more relaxed geometry, but it has 26" wheels. I think I can get one in a week or so. Does anyone here have any opinions on this bike as a trail bike for terrain with quite a few roots & rocks, short but steep climbs and descents, and fast twisty singletrack? Most of my rides are only 1 to 2 hours long, but I may do some longer rides in the future. I may also do some local XC racing or Xterra events.

    Compared to the SJ FSR 29er, it should be lighter with its 26" Roval wheelset (also has slightly narrower rims and fewer spokes), and the front fork weighs 3/4 lb. less too. I don't do big drops or jumps, so I think the 120mm front/100mm rear travel would be enough.

    I've been riding a hardtail with an old RockShox Mag21 fork since 1994, so I'm sure that any of these bikes would be a big step up. The SJ FSR would probably be more plush, but the Epic Expert EVO might be faster and more efficient and more responsive on fast singletrack.

    Not to further confuse things, but another option might be the Epic Comp 29er. It doesn't have as good a component spec as the Expert level bikes, but it would save me some money, and a 100mm travel 29er FS bike might work well for me too.

  2. #2
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    It's always hard to wait. It will be worth it though.

    Do they have a demo bike you can borrow for a couple rides to make the wait a bit easier?

  3. #3
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    Does that mean that you think the SJ FSR 29er would be a better bike for the riding I do? I was actually waffling between it and the Epic Expert EVO before deciding on the SJ. The Epic EVO is lighter, has that sweet Roval AL wheelset, and its SID fork is a step up from the SJ's Reba. For fast singletrack I'm thinking the 26ers would be quicker handling, but the 29ers would roll over the roots and rocks better.

  4. #4
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    Get a 29er. It's a no brainer. As long as you can push the 1x10 you'll be fine. If you've been riding a HT for that long an Epic will be more than enough.

  5. #5
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    Well, the Epic 29er that I would consider is the Comp, which has a 3x10 drivetrain. The Comp Carbon 29er is probably not worth the price premium to me, and the others are out of my price range.

  6. #6
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    I thought you were considering the Carbon Evo 29er. Dope ride.

  7. #7
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    No, I'm talking about this one since it is more trail-oriented than the other Epics.
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  8. #8
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    BTW - Medium weighs 26.50 without pedals.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedster
    BTW - Medium weighs 26.50 without pedals.
    About 3 lbs lighter than the Stumpy FSR Expert 29er.

  10. #10
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    Mine weighed..........

    27.0 pounds stock; did some modifications with CB Candy 3's; changed out the seat to a Henge Expert, removed the Command Post/replaced with Thomson Elite seatpost, added Captain Grid UST 2.2's and still weighs 27.0 pounds in size medium. Carbon bars are coming next; matchmakers for the shifter/brake set; my goal is to drop another pound off the bike.
    The reason dogs have so many friends is that they wag their tail instead of their tongues.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve47co1
    27.0 pounds stock; did some modifications with CB Candy 3's; changed out the seat to a Henge Expert, removed the Command Post/replaced with Thomson Elite seatpost, added Captain Grid UST 2.2's and still weighs 27.0 pounds in size medium. Carbon bars are coming next; matchmakers for the shifter/brake set; my goal is to drop another pound off the bike.
    How much did the Command post weigh? I'm keeping mine on though I'll be looking for some weight reduction too. Which bars you going with?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by erichwic
    Get a 29er. It's a no brainer. As long as you can push the 1x10 you'll be fine. If you've been riding a HT for that long an Epic will be more than enough.
    Why is a 29er a no brainer?

  13. #13
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    So, for those of you who own one, how about some opinions/reviews of it?

  14. #14
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    Here you go!

    Check out my mini-review of first ride today - http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fort-Collins-CO/Peloton-Cycles-Fort-Collins/112691868759556

    I am putting on the RF Gold Atlas Member bars this week. I do not know how much the Command Post weighs - I will put it on the digital lie detector tomorrow when I get to the shop.
    The reason dogs have so many friends is that they wag their tail instead of their tongues.

  15. #15
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    Thx for the write up. Bad timing from dislocated shoulder needing surgery so bike will be unridden for several months ;(

  16. #16
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    Can someone check the 100mm Command post for movement? I can move the saddle side to side while an older version on my Enduro is solid. I dont belive this is normal.

  17. #17
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    Speedster & Steve,
    I'm curious, why did you choose this bike over a 29er?

  18. #18
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    no real answer

    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu
    Speedster & Steve,
    I'm curious, why did you choose this bike over a 29er?
    No real quantative answer. I've thought about it but only rationale is the 29r is not as nimble with technical tight switchbacks. Also, I'd need to test it in all terraine before making the switch but only a few local riders own one.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the response. I'm still trying to decide among the Epic Expert EVO, the Epic Comp 29er, and the SJ FSR Expert 29er. I had pretty much decided on the SJ FSR 29er, but was told it would be early November before I could get one, so I now have more time to agonize over the decision.

  20. #20
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    Good job! Ditto to Speedster

    I feel much the same as Speedster - I wanted something more nimble and able to negotiate tighter turns than a 29'er. As a Specialized dealer, I can ride anything I want and do ride 29'er test bikes from time to time to keep it fresh in my head, but they are so ponderous compared to a 26'er for technical mtb and getting air. Personal preference, really.
    The reason dogs have so many friends is that they wag their tail instead of their tongues.

  21. #21
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    That's interesting. My brother is also a Specialized dealer (but he lives half way across the country from me). He is pretty much sold on 29ers, but he lives in a plains state. (FWIW, his current favorite ride is a Santa Cruz Tallboy.)

    I don't get much air, but I do like fast twisty singletrack. I think the 26er might work better for the fast twisty bits, but the 29er would work better over the roots and rocks and stream crossings. For technical climbs, I'm not sure -- the 26's would accelerate easier and be lighter, but the 29's might roll over the roots and maintain momentum better.

    It's probably just personal preference -- quick and responsive and lively vs. plush and forgiving. I'm sure the SJ FSR 29er would go downhill better, but for everything else it's a toss up.

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