So I decided to retire the ol' Stump Pro and get a Epic Carbon Evo R. I had a really hard time deciding between the Epic, Camber and Stumpjumper. When I bought my Stump back in 2001, they didn't have either the Camber or Epic lines. And what's with this 29" tire thing. The whole Specialized line is infiltrated with them.
So I started doing the standard online research and things got more confusing. I always liked the Stumpjumper name and the target segment but couldn't figure out why I would need 5 1/2" of travel. My current 80mm front and 90mm rear seemed to work fine most of the time.
To end the mass confusion, I did the wallet dangerous thing of going to the LBS. I test rode the SJ 26" comp, Epic Evo R 26" and Evo R 29". My short parking lot analysis; the SJ seemed like a great AM tool but I didn't plan on hucking off huge ledges or point it over cliffs. I tried the Epic Evo R 26" and it felt most like my current bike but with significantly more stiffness and quickness. The Epic Evo R 29" right off the bat you notice the larger tires and the higher effort to get things rolling. Once rolling though, you could tell the thing would eat trail like no tomorrow.
Long story long, I chose the Epic 26". It gave me a smile when I rode it. Call it old school but I just liked the feel better over the equivalent 29". I have no doubt the 29" would be faster and lines wouldn't be as critical but the smile just wasn't as apparent. I can't wait to hit the trail head but unfortunately won't be able to lay tracks for a week. Happy riding!
Also, I weighed both Epic Carbon Evo's in the store. The Epic 26" was 23.8lbs with cheap setup pedals and the 29" was 25.5lbs with el cheapo pedals.
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