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  1. #1
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    Trail use on the Epic

    I was a specialized dealer yesterday looking at a stumpjumper comp FSR 29 and an Epic comp. This is the first time I have seen an epic in person. They had a 2012 in black and a few 2013's in. BTW the green and black 2013 is great looking. I have ridden the 2013 Stumpjumper on the trails a few miles and liked it but it is kind of alot of bike for alot of the riding I do. The epic caught my eye though. In the past I did a trail demo of a Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite and found it to be pretty good. How does the Epic compare? Is the Epic good for a light trail use / shreading tight rooted singletrack? Please expain the brain to me. I dont do much for drops. I cant recall doing anything over 2.5' for sure. How does the Epic decend? I liked how the Epic seems so compact, just like my Fuel EX8. From what I see on the 2013 I would change the Tires to something alittle wider and run them tubeless, Put a riser (10-15mm) bar. Probably wheels such as a roval or crest after a couple months of riding. I really like the stand over on the Epic and Stumpy as I am 5'10 with about a 30 inseam. I weigh about 170 with gear.
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  2. #2
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    Epic trails

    Epics are the happiest on a steady diet of tight rooted single track. Its the same old advice that you hear all the time but test ride the various models on trails and pick the one you like the best. Consider the Camber. It already has the more relaxed fit and bigger tires you are wanting to swap to an epic. An epic is easily capable of some light trail use. If you like the more aggressive xc race geometry and handling its a good fit.
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  3. #3
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    I did not care much for the Camber. After looking it over I thought the Stumpy was a better buy. I dont like how the camber jumps to carbon along with a huge price jump.
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  4. #4
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    The Camber rides REALLY nice though. It's a great short travel, all day riding kind of bike that descends better than the Epic.
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  5. #5
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    when did 120mm become short travel?? damn... that means my 150mm enduro is medium travel.... guess it's time to go for the demo 9!

  6. #6
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    I rode my '09 Epic on the same stuff I rode my '04 SJ FSR on. It's a fine trail bike but it's not gonna live long if you are doing regular drops along your trails. A 2.5' drop is too much for it, IMO. Get the SJ FSR, it will handle anything you can throw at it with ease. It'll be much more plush, too.

  7. #7
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    I like the concept of the Camber but the model line up kind of leaves more to be desired. They need the Camber Expert carbon specs offered in Aluminum frame at a price about $3800. They can skip the dropper post if necesary to do so. I guess my major hang up with the camber is no Fox suspension and no 15qr on the front.

    I have ridden the SJ FSR 29 comp some.....how does the camber differ? I did a small parking lot ride of the camber and it did feel pretty good.
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  8. #8
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    The epic can handle more then some people give it credit for. I've taken mine off 3ft jumps and regularly do 2ft log drops on it. I find it handles big hits good but it is a little more harsh for smaller bumps. To me if you want a bike that goes up hill great and downhill good go epic. Want something that's more of a compromise in all directions go camber. Want to go fast downhill and looking for drops and jumps go SJ.

  9. #9
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    Can the Epic handle some trail stuff ? Of course,and you may enjoy the bike bouncing back at you a bit when things get rougher ( I used to). Is it more fun than the Stumpy fsr ? It may be for some and it's true that the Stumpy makes things a bit too easy and safe,take it from a guy that gets chickened out quite easily and feels like it's cheating when riding the Stumpy . Easier,safer and sleepy but in the long run it's the bike for me. Glued to the ground,unstoppable uphill,stupidly slow but you can't ask this bike speed.
    Camber it's an interesting concept,too bad they are not fitting it with a Brain( are you listening Specialized ?? ) otherwise it would probably be a great bike to have. Currently I would get the Epic anyday over the Camber. Take the Epic,place a shorter stem,beefier tires and you'll have the best of both worlds.

    Ps : two days ago I've had a bad crash with my F29,landed on my face. Stitches and black eye,I'm in such a pain right now,not a single scratch in on that ***** bike. Selling my F29,happy to have my easier and safer fsr29. Still missing my Epic 29 A LOT !!! But I have the road bike for fast rides
    Last edited by Devastazione; 03-23-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devastazione View Post
    Ps : two days ago I've had a bad crash with my F29,landed on my face. Stitches and black eye,I'm in such a pain right now,not a single scratch in on that ***** bike. Selling my F29,happy to have my easier and safer fsr29. Still missing my Epic 29 A LOT !!! But I have the road bike for fast rides
    What happened? Would you have been able to avoid that crash if you were riding a full suspension bike?

    I think the Specialized Epic is a capable bike that works well for general riding. Changing from the stock Specialized Fast Trak tyres to a tyre that's suited to your riding terrain makes a big difference to how well it performs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    What happened? Would you have been able to avoid that crash if you were riding a full suspension bike?
    Probably it would have been 10 times less as hard. This ***** F29 is all about speed. My bad anyway,I was not on a trail,it was a marina pier an I was keeping an eye on a 5 years old kid with it's bike.Did not see the obstacle coming,I was at speed as usual...
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  12. #12
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    Back in 2009 I managed to fall off my 2009 Specialized Epic riding on the local cycle track, smashing my helmet to pieces in the process.

    My New S-work Epic impressions

    It was almost as lame as falling off my 2012 Specialized Epic 29er at a roundabout and breaking my leg last August.

    PowerTap Disc

    I don't blame the bike for either of those incidents.

    Now the crash where I span my 2008 Specialized Epic turning off the road into the driveway and somehow ended up crashing into the neighbour's wall. That one I blame the bike for.

  13. #13
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    Maybe the SJ would be better for me. I suppose with a set of wheels the SJ would lighten and liven up. Heck I had the bike shop weigh a completely stock SJ FSR Comp 29(med) with the plastic test pedals and it was just a hair over 30lbs. My 2011 Trek Fuel EX8 set up tubeless, slant 6 2.1 tires, Crank Bros candy pedals, SLX brakes came in only .5 lbs less. And a 2012 Epic Comp (left over) in med came in at just over 27lbs all using the same scale. I would think the SJ with a lighter tire, tubeless, and Roval control trail or stans would loose a solid pound or so.
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  14. #14
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    No experience on the Epic, but I have tested last year's top-end carbon Camber on familiar trails and I loved it. It was also my first 29er experience and I expected to hate the big wheels (I'm 5'5") but the bike felt so familiar from the first ride. I particularly loved the way the suspension felt. Taking the edge off but not disconnecting me from the trail. Dialed cockpit, esp. the 72cm flat bar. I also never thought for one second what wheelsize I'm riding. In fact, I never had to think about the bike, I just enjoyed the riding.

    The Camber was great, and I'd easily buy it for my everyday trail fix to allday epics and even the occasional race. If you feel over biked on the Stumpy, the logical step is the Camber after all.

  15. #15
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    That was the thing when I was at a demo event. They offer the top line Camber to demo. Of course a $8k bike is going to feel great. It has my wishlist and then some but it is BIG money. I really dont care to ride something way out of my budget.

    I was suspect of the rear shock on the camber comp. I read some reviews that comfirmed it. Somewhere on this site it was said "there is fox and then everything else". I dont mind the Reba fork but dont trust the monarch shocks. I would have to spend about $5500 to get a Camber speced well. If they only offered that model in Aluminum and a few less bling items to get the rice down it would be great.

    With all that being said I still am drawn to the Epic for is compact feel and look. I have seen a few people riding them in my area....actually just as much as a stumpy. I have yet to see a camber on hy trails. My jumps and drops are few and far between.
    Last edited by stygz1; 03-24-2013 at 06:31 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    That was the thing when I was at a demo event. They offer the top line Camber to demo. Of course a $8k bike is going to feel great. It has my wishlist and then some but it is BIG money. I really dont care to ride something way out of my budget.

    I was suspect of the rear shock on the camber comp. I read some reviews that comfirmed it. Somewhere on this site it was said "there is fox and then everything else". I dont mind the Reba fork but dont trust the monarch shocks. I would have to spend about $5500 to get a Camber speced well. If they only offered that model in Aluminum and a few less bling items to get the rice down it would be great.

    With all that being said I still am drawn to the Epic for is compact feel and look. I have seen a few people riding them in my area....actually just as much as a stumpy. I have yet to see a camber on hy trails. My jumps and drops are few and far between.
    I'm on my third season with my Epic and our trails are definitely on the more technical side. I think the Epic is an amazingly flexible (not to be mistaken with flexy...) bike. If you look at the geometry it is definitely more relaxed than a race bike, but the brain shock gives it a much more efficient ride. I paired my Epic frame with a Lefty fork and it is a great combination. I generally run a 2.3-2.4 from tire and then a rear tire that is appropriate to the ride I'm doing and it's good to go. Are there better bikes for any given situation? Probably. But as a single quiver bike for any riding from racing through aggressive XC I'm not sure it can be beat. For the records though, I wouldn't mind a Stumpy FSR (with a Brain) for a second FS bike

  17. #17
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    Trail use on the Epic

    I have an Epic Comp, I ride it everywhere, especially over the technical rooty stuff, it eats it right up. Also, with the 29" wheels you probably won't need a riser bar
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  18. #18
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    When I say riser I am only talking 15mm or so. Good to hear general trail use on the epic. However I have ridden the Trek Superfly 100. Can anyone comment on that in comparison to the epic? Unfortunatly I will most likely be stuck with a parking lot demo ride of an Epic. I may have to check more dealers in the ATL area.
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  19. #19
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    Maybe I'm the only one, but I bought a brand new 2011 Camber Pro 29er and hated that bike, I just never felt right on it. The rear Triad II shock was horrible. It blew several times and I was just about the get an rp23 from push but was offered good money for it and it was gone. Have since had a Stumpy EVO HT, and my current two rides my 11 Stumpy FSR 29 and my 12 Epic Carbon Expert. The Epic is an absolute blast def. harsher than the Stumpy but it more than makes up for it in speed and weight...

    Trail use on the Epic-img_1781.jpg
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  20. #20
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    Is it just me or does the stumpy feel like a really big bike? I have also rode a rumblefish and it was about the same feeling as the stumpy. The Superfly and stache didnt feel near as big. Maybe thats what keeps my attention with the Epic. It feels compact like my Fuel.
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  21. #21
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    I haven't owned either an Epic or a Camber. I did test both for a week and decided to buy a Camber. Both are capable bikes IMO. The Epic will handle quite a bit of stuff and is a fast bike. The Camber will handle a little more but isn't quite as fast. With 110 mm of travel and no brain and a slightly slacker head angle, it seems a little more plush and it feels more comfortable on the rough and steeps. For me the Camber is the perfect compromise between keeping up with the group and fun in the tech stuff. The most popular bike in the group is the Epic, but I steer for the rougher sections of the trail...

  22. #22
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    I was looking around over the winter, considered the Epic Comp, Camber Comp, and the SJ FSR Comp 29.

    I wanted to get the perfect all-arounder for the wide variety of trails around here. My main concern with the Stumpy was that it would be far too upright and bulky on the days where I am running more XC oriented stuff. My main concern with the Epic were that it wouldn't be "enough" bike on the really rough stuff. My trouble with the Camber was that it was the price as compared to the Stumpjumper, conversely I thought the Epic was a bit over priced. To me, the Stumpjumper was the best buy.

    The Camber Comp seemed like the perfect happy medium, so I was set on that until I tested out a SJ FSR 29er. I was sold immediately, it felt much more nimble than I anticipated. The geometry was not near as upright as I thought it would be. It's fast and light enough for me.

    Is the SJ a "big" bike? Hell yes.

    Is the SJ heavy? I guess it is relative but I say no. I have a 2013 SJ FSR Comp 29er, size large. I set up tubeless and added XT trail style pedals right out of the gate. Weighs 29LBS.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEALAH View Post
    I was looking around over the winter, considered the Epic Comp, Camber Comp, and the SJ FSR Comp 29.

    I wanted to get the perfect all-arounder for the wide variety of trails around here. My main concern with the Stumpy was that it would be far too upright and bulky on the days where I am running more XC oriented stuff. My main concern with the Epic were that it wouldn't be "enough" bike on the really rough stuff. My trouble with the Camber was that it was the price as compared to the Stumpjumper, conversely I thought the Epic was a bit over priced. To me, the Stumpjumper was the best buy.

    The Camber Comp seemed like the perfect happy medium, so I was set on that until I tested out a SJ FSR 29er. I was sold immediately, it felt much more nimble than I anticipated. The geometry was not near as upright as I thought it would be. It's fast and light enough for me.

    Is the SJ a "big" bike? Hell yes.

    Is the SJ heavy? I guess it is relative but I say no. I have a 2013 SJ FSR Comp 29er, size large. I set up tubeless and added XT trail style pedals right out of the gate. Weighs 29LBS.
    You discribed me and my thoughts to a T. I come to the same thinking on the camber's value to the SJ. I also like the Epic but it is pricy compared to say the giant anthem and Superfly 100 AL Elite.

    Actually the SJ FSR comp 29 only weighs just over .5lbs more than my 11' Fuel EX8 using the same scale. The SJ was stock off the sales floor with plastic pedals. My Fuel was tubeless with crank bros candy pedals. Do you think the SJ would be a faster climber than my Fuel? How are the wheels on the SJ comp 29? Are the Roval control wheel ($700 ones) any better? I notice a difference in hub internals or would a set of Stans arch ($600) be better?
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  24. #24
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    My SJ climbs well, but I'm not familiar with the Fuel. My wheels seem fine but some say the rear is heavy. This is my first new bike in 20 years so I will have to defer to the experts here for more specifics on the wheel set.

    I drove myself crazy all comparing specs, searching for pics. I wanted to make the right buy but in hindsight, I think any of these three bikes would have been excellent. Happy with my SJ so far. Good luck with your purchase!

  25. #25
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    As for wheels I was thinking I may get some credit for the stockers towards a better set. People say wheels are a huge upgrade.

    Awhile back I was on a demo of a rumblefish pro and a Superfly 100 AL Elite. While just pedaling along on a flat trail I could notice the Rumblefish moved along easier than the Superfly. It seems the superfly should have rolled better with a far less aggressive / lighter tire along with the effiency of the XC bike vs trail. The Rumblefish had better stock wheels and hubs
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  26. #26
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    I think the trails/terrain you ride makes the biggest difference in your bike selection.

    When i moved to northern Alabama 5 years ago, i had an S-Works HT. i loved the bike, but not here. Sold it, then got a 2008 Epic Marathon (26" wheels). It was so much better on the rocks and roots here. I did back to back time comparisons between the two and was quite a bit quicker on the Epic. Last year I started demoing several 29er, to include the Camber 29. It was ok, but not much different/better than my Epic. It wasn't the redesigned 2013 Camber. Then I tried the SJ FSR (29); for a little more $ it was a lot better value than the Camber. It really surprised me and I loved how it road. I originally thought i wanted an aggressive handling bike like i've always had but I ended up getting a 2013 SJ FSR 29 Elite. The Elite has been the best of both worlds for me. Awsome bike that is extremely versatile. The harder I push it, the better it performs. My times are so much quicker than on my Epic.

    I usually let my son ride my SJ and I'll ride my Epic when he rides with me and I can hardly keep up. He seems like he is just cruising and I'm working my butt off.

    Bottom line, there are a lot of great bikes out there(Spec, Santa Cruz, Niner, etc). Demo as many as you can and be open. Good luck!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    Is it just me or does the stumpy feel like a really big bike? I have also rode a rumblefish and it was about the same feeling as the stumpy. The Superfly and stache didnt feel near as big. Maybe thats what keeps my attention with the Epic. It feels compact like my Fuel.
    I think it will be interesting to see what changes are made with the 2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. If you look at the design used on the Specialized Enduro 29 it's based around a new proprietary front derailleur design from SRAM, in order to have shorter chainstays. If they've gone to all that trouble it seems reasonable to assume that new front derailleur is going to be used for the rest of the Specialized FSR range too:

    "Creating a 29er worthy of the Enduro name took a great deal of engineering. The first obstacle to designing a 29er with short chain stays is the placement of the front derailleur; the tire and front derailleur want to occupy the same space. Traditional high-, low- and direct-mount front derailleurs can contact the tire if the rear end is too short. Specialized worked with SRAM to develop a new front derailleur, dubbed ‘mid-mount’, as well as a special mounting plate, called the ‘Taco Blade.’ Mounting the front derailleur to this plate, rather than to the seat tube, gave engineers the freedom to position the seat tube so that the rear tire would not contact it under full compression. The Enduro 29’s seat tube curves forward to provide swingarm clearance, but that on its own wasn’t enough; the seat stay brace is U-shapped to eek out every last millimeter of travel from the rear end.

    This project was a learning experience for Specialized, one that may trickle down to the rest of the company’s big-wheel line. “We learned some key lessons that will influence future design. If we can make things shorter, tighter, stiffer and better we’ll do it,” Benedict said."
    Bikeradar.com

    Specialized Enduro 29 Launched - BikeRadar

    If the same changes are made to the 2014 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR it could be worth waiting for.

  28. #28
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    well i did a parking lot test of a stumpy today. It felt better than my buddies that I rode. Probably because the bars, seat and suspension were not tweeked to his liking. I also ran into a guy at the trail head that had an epic and an older 26er stumpy. He was a very well informed and seasoned rider. He said the stumpy will suit better. He pretty much had an S works epic, he liked it but said if your not racing get the stumpy. Anyway the I talked loosly to the dealer about trading the stock wheels in for possisbly the new roval carbons. They would work with me on that. I was thinking of working up a $4k budget for either a Comp 29 with roval carbon wheels, Upgrade brakes to not sure yet, X9 F derailer and shifters. Or get a Comp carbon with most no upgrades. They offered me a very good trade on my fuel too.

    Now to let those thoughts simmer for awhile....
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  29. #29
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    Trail use on the Epic

    I had a Stumpy FSR for a while and it felt bigger than my Epic does now.
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