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  1. #1
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    Stumpy FSR Elite VS FSR Comp Carbon

    I'd like to get some opinions on what you would spend your hard earned $4100 on if you had it narrowed down to these two bikes? I've never owned a Carbon bike, the added stiffness and dampening is intriguing to me, but would I enjoy the brain on the Elite enough to make up for the lack of it on the Carbon? I've read good things about the CTD set-up (when it has not failed), so is the brain really a needed upgrade? Between the two builds, it looks like the biggest difference is brain vs CTD and the added dropper post on the Elite. Anything else jump out at anyone? For reference, I'm 6'2", weigh about 210 without my bike pack and love to climb! I descend somewhat aggressively, but only small drops usually. I ride everything you can find in WA, OR, ID and MT. For those of you in the Missoula area, Sheep Mountain is a good example of what I love to ride, for those in the Seattle area, I really enjoy Tiger Mountain. Thanks in advance for the input.

  2. #2
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    I was going to buy the Comp Carbon, but they happened to be out of stock and I ended up getting the Comp alloy, but with the dropper post thrown in for free. I have never ridden a brain shock, but I'm very happy with the non-brain performance, and for my (general trail) riding it is absolutely perfect. You do have the CTD settings should you want to firm things up at the rear.

  3. #3
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    I've always owned Stumpy FSR's in M5 aluminum and never looked back. About the Brain you need to test one out. I don't see myself in the future riding a non equipped Brain bike,that device is way too practical,I love it. And it just get better year after year,I really wonder what they'll come up with in 2014 as 2013 ones are the best Brains I've ever used. Ditto on the CTD system,my fork has just failed.
    The dropper post is the very first one I use on a bike. Honestly for my type of riding ( xc-trail/moderate trail) I've never felt the need to use it much. Even for the occasional nasty rocky downhill the big wheels take care of a lot of stuff.

  4. #4
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    I'm just curious- if you love to climb and are not a really aggressive descender, why have you narrowed it down to two Stumpjumpers and are you considering the 26" or the 29" versions? The reason I'm asking is although I love Stumpy's and have personally owned one, it doesn't seem to suit your riding style as much as an Epic would.

    For $4400, you could buy the Epic Comp Carbon 29 (forgive me if you're considering only 26" wheels as you didn't specify in the OP) and get both the carbon frame and the Brain. I can tell you from personal experience having owned both bikes that there is a big difference in how much more efficient the Epic climbs but there's very little trade-off on the descents. It's extremely capable going down and the very first day I rode the Epic up one of the most difficult and steepest sections of trail that took me over just under 12 minutes on the Stumpy, I did it in just a hair over 10 minutes.

    Specialized dealers typically have demo. bikes that you can take out on your local trails. They may not have the exact model of Stumpy or Epic that you're considering but I encourage you to check the Epic out before you make a final decision.

    Now, to finally answer your original question- I would personally go with the Elite all day long and twice on Sunday. You get the Talas fork, the Brain rear, a carbon crankset with carbon guard, carbon chainring guard and the command post.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancingoutlaw View Post
    I'm just curious- if you love to climb and are not a really aggressive descender, why have you narrowed it down to two Stumpjumpers and are you considering the 26" or the 29" versions? The reason I'm asking is although I love Stumpy's and have personally owned one, it doesn't seem to suit your riding style as much as an Epic would.

    For $4400, you could buy the Epic Comp Carbon 29 (forgive me if you're considering only 26" wheels as you didn't specify in the OP) and get both the carbon frame and the Brain. I can tell you from personal experience having owned both bikes that there is a big difference in how much more efficient the Epic climbs but there's very little trade-off on the descents. It's extremely capable going down and the very first day I rode the Epic up one of the most difficult and steepest sections of trail that took me over just under 12 minutes on the Stumpy, I did it in just a hair over 10 minutes.

    Specialized dealers typically have demo. bikes that you can take out on your local trails. They may not have the exact model of Stumpy or Epic that you're considering but I encourage you to check the Epic out before you make a final decision.

    Now, to finally answer your original question- I would personally go with the Elite all day long and twice on Sunday. You get the Talas fork, the Brain rear, a carbon crankset with carbon guard, carbon chainring guard and the command post.
    I guess I should have added, I am specifically looking at Specialized as I have a hefty credit at a Specialized dealer, and have always been very pleased with my Specialized bikes in the past. Good question on the Epic, and now that you mention it, I should really demo one. I guess I had initially passed on the Epic based on the 09' I demo'd when I bought my current Stumpy FSR Comp back in 09'. I also rented a Giant Anthem 29'r last year to ride Monarch Crest in CO if you are familiar. While I enjoyed the climbing ability, I felt confident on the descents, but felt like I pushing the limits of it .... so my figuring was that I'm a little more aggressive then just pure XC and that the Anthem and Epic would be more or less the same. Maybe a poor assumption, and I am sure the 13' Epic is worlds different then the 09' I rode back then.

    I have not settled on a wheel size for sure, I currently ride a 26'r and really enjoy it. The times I have ridden 29'rs, I have been able to recognize some of the advantages, but honestly wasn't completely blown away, and they have felt a bit slow in the handling dept. So I've been thinking 26, but considering 29 as well ........ I also have this nagging feeling that as soon as I drop a bunch of coin on either, Specialized is going to introduce a 650b Stumpy in 14'

    I greatly appreciate your input and will definitely make sure I try out an Epic to compare! So your feeling is to go spec over material eh?

    Cheers - Nate

  6. #6
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    A demo. ride on the Epic certainly wouldn't hurt but unlike the SJ's, all Epic's are now 29ers so you have no 26 option. I just sold a '11 Stumpy FSR Comp 26 and purchased a '12 Epic Comp 29. It is anything but slow handling. It is lightning quick, maybe even feels a little quicker steering than my SJ did but where I lost a little bit of actual suspension travel (140mm to 100), I gained a bit of cushion back with the bigger wheels/tires. Not a net zero difference in feel but I have just as much fun going down.

    I think Specialized is pretty committed to the 29 wheels now. All Epics and Cambers are 29 and I wouldn't be surprised if they do the same with the SJ next year. They may very well offer the 650b's but even if they did introduce them next year, I would be reluctant to purchase it as a first year model. Typically I like to wait a couple of years to let all the bugs get worked out.

    I've never actually ridden a carbon frame mountain bike, so I can't actually say my answer comes from experience. It's just that the components and parts I listed that you get with the Elite would be awfully hard to pass up at the same price point. Elite wins for me but I could understand someone saying the Comp Carbon frame is your foundation and then you could replace components as they wear out. I would probably never keep the bike that long.
    Last edited by dancingoutlaw; 02-20-2013 at 11:04 PM.

  7. #7
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    I got my SJ FSR 29 Elite back in November and couldn't be happier. The brain shock is awsome and so is the Talas fork. I love the versatility of the fork and run it in the reduced travel mode 95% of the time. The Avis brakes sucked. I replaced them with Shimano XTs; great stopping power and modulation. I'm also running tubeless. This bike is super versatile. I also have a 26" Epic Marathon that is my backup/loaner bike. I have always had cross country race bikes (I started mountain biking in 1986 in northern California) and will never go back. Take advantage of demoing if possible and be open minded. What you think you want and want may not be the same. I didn't like to wide 720mm handlebars at first, but now love them, just one example. Good luck in your decision.

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