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  1. #1
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    What makes the Epic so "fast"?

    I'm reading all over the web about the Epic being a super fast XC bike. What makes this thing so fast compared to the Stumpjumper that only has 20mm more travel in the suspension? Is it the way that the rear suspension is designed? Maybe its a lot lighter?

    I'm on a mission to finding the proper platform for my next bike and specs wise I'm bouncing back and forth between the SJ and the Epic line with no indication of what's better. I'm sure there have been a lot of people asking this before but I just can't get straight answers, all I get is people saying the XC is a race bike, don't buy it... That helps me zero.

    In a bike I'm looking for something functional yet performance oriented. Light but durable.. I am mostly in to fast single track, but there is no telling if I'm ever going to run into some rough stuff that I'd need 8 inches of suspension travel for. I am coming from a fully rigid and hard tail platform which I can blast up hills and easily manage down hill the rough stuff through my legs, but I just want to go the extra bit further with the advantages of full suspension.

    What bike out of those two am I selling myself? What kind of people buy the Epic and what kind of people buy the SJ? Why do people say the Epic can't go down hill? This statement doesn't make sense to me, my rigid and hard tails can go downhill as fast and as stable as I want it to. I'm not talking about the downhill type of stuff that requires a 9 inch travel Demo, but the stuff you run in to on a typical nice trail.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTTR
    ...Why do people say the Epic can't go down hill? This statement doesn't make sense to me, my rigid and hard tails can go downhill as fast and as stable as I want it to. I'm not talking about the downhill type of stuff that requires a 9 inch travel Demo, but the stuff you run in to on a typical nice trail.
    They probably just mean the Epic can't bomb down hill as fast as something with more travel and different geometry and different shocks. I'm sure you can go down almost any hill with any bike, some much slower than others.

  3. #3
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    Personally I would go with the SJ

    Its designed for people like you that want a bike for all around use. Its not that an epic would be a bad choice, it capable of going up and down, its just optimized for racing. My advice would be to ride both and pic the one you like more. Don't let the XC race tag talk you out of it if it the bike that you like.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTTR
    I am coming from a fully rigid and hard tail platform which I can blast up hills and easily manage down hill the rough stuff through my legs, but I just want to go the extra bit further with the advantages of full suspension.
    That was the same position I found myself in. Having always either had a full rigid or hardtail I want a bike that mimics that ride. I considered the Stumpjumper but in the end I went the Epic (waiting on it to arrive). The more I read about the Epic's and listened to other riders comments on them it became more apparent that it was as close to a hardtail that a dual suspension bike could be.

    Either bike would have been good, but the Epic will suit my riding better.

  5. #5
    I CAN ALWAYS GO BIGGER
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    Get a Stumpjumper because it is lighter than last years Epic and descends much better.

  6. #6
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    Is the 08 Epic unchanged form 07?

  7. #7
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    '08 bikes are pretty much the same as the'07 except that all '08 Epics come with the Sepcialized AFR Shock (only the Marathon, Marathon Carboan and S-Works did in '07)

  8. #8
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    I still think the Epic will be better for me. I could really care less if the SJ can go downhill a little better. It's the other stuff I care about, the speed and agileness. Around here there is one person with a full suspension bike a Cannondale, the rest have 80-100mm hardtails. I want a full suspension bike for my next one just for a little more comfort.

  9. #9
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    The only thing that has my mind in the blender right now is the Future Shock Brain fork on the SJ FSR Pro Carbon and higher, that none of the Epic's have, wouldn't that in turn make the SJ an all around much better bike?

  10. #10
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    I just bought my first epic (08 expert) coming from a hard tail. I'm racing for my first ever time this year and I wanted a fast xc race bike with the benefit of full suspension. I looked at a few models but after riding the epic my mind was made up. It climbs like a hardtail and the rear suspension is plenty for what I'll throw at it. It handles like a dream through tight single track, its just unbelievably responsive. The more I ride it the more I like it!

  11. #11
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    The way a bike beahves on the trail has to do with many more things than just the amount of suspension travel. The single biggest factor in regards to downhill "bombability" is geometry - not travel. If not, there would not be such a thing as a hardtail freeride bike.

    The epic is a race bike because its geometry is set up to optimize pedalling efficiency and generate maximum speed while on the flat or climbing. It has a very steep headtube angle (makes it very twitchy in the rough stuff - little high-speed stability), it has a very forward riding position, which does not help you on the downhill parts AT ALL, and it has a very firm suspension (You may end up feeling only slightly more comfortable compared to your current hardtail). Like a previous poster said, its not about whether or not you can make it down the hill (Newton will see to that eventually), its about where your preference lies. The Stumpy is a different concept - more travel, more relaxed geometry, leaves you sitting up a bit more and ready to tackle the downhill/techy stuff. But make no mistake about it, the Stumpy still pedals very well.

    You said you want some of the advantages of your hardtail, but with the added comfort of suspension. Based on that sentence, I think you might end up disappointed with the Epic.

    What you need to do is take a look at the geometry of your current bike, and figure out what it is closer to - Epic or SJ. You can decide on how much suspension travel you will need after that, and then choose a bike. BTW, if you go with a Talas on the SJ (which means you would need to buy an '07 I think), you can get the both of 2 worlds - drop the fork to 100mm for XC and climbing, then up to 140mm for the techincal parts. A thought...

  12. #12
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    Very good post Iceman. Gave me some proper insights on the Epic and what it really is.

  13. #13
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    first of all the new 08 stumpjumper is not lighter or as light as the 08 epic, there was an 08 SJ comp in the bike shop yesterday and it was noticably heavier than my stock 08 epic comp, there was also an 08 epic marathon there and i doubt even an s works SJ would be as light as that thing, it was almost as light as a road bike,

    i was in the same predicament as yourself, SJ or epic, which one, i do all kinds of riding, trail,asphalt but all of it involves a lot of up and downhill, after trying the epic i just went for it, it fit like a glove, its not as racy as people say, the 08s headtube is slightly longer than the 07, i think its really comfortable and efficant, im less stretched out on it than i was on my XC, it feels light on asphalt, my XC felt like a tank, contrary to what people say, for me it goes down better than the XC, i dont have to have the seat way over the bars to be comfortable which was necessary on the XC thus makes it more comfortable going down, because its lighter and nimbler you can also pick your line better, i was never into plowing over stuff, it does excel at climbing, it digs in and goes forward and i dont feel exhausted at the top like i did on the XC,

    the brain is great, i have it set to almost fully open and thats it, it just works when it has to, i dont feel it open or close, theres no delay in mine its like a hardtail on the asphalt and as soon as you hit the dirt it kicks in, no fooling with anything its brilliant ,all this on a stock epic comp 08, i understand that the SJ is a better bike than the XC and they have made the 08 SJ even more versitile but i dont regret buying the epic, as it is its in every way better than my previous ride but im going to indulge in some upgrades to bring it under 26 pounds

  14. #14
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    I'm in the market to buy a "buy it once" kind of bike, I'm either going to get the '08 Epic Marathon Carbon or SJ FSR Pro Carbon. Both are spec'd almost identical it's just a matter of what is best for my needs.

  15. #15
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    at the end of the day you couldnt go far wrong with either one, both are very cool, i havent tried the brain on the stumpy but ive read many times that its tuned so its never fully locked out, theres always a little bit of play in the rear, i have to do a lot of miles on uphill asphalt roads to get to the trails so the play in the rear of the brain on the SJ could get bothersome, still thats only in theory, it could be fine in practice

  16. #16
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    I've been through the same questions myself between the SJ and Epic a few times. Keep in mind that in a recent interview Ned Overend (XC racing legend) said that the new SJ design is more efficient than the previous models and that he would choose the SJ over the Epic on really rough race courses. All that really means is that the SJ suspension can be set up pretty efficiently and the more relaxed geometry handles fast sections more easily.

    Think of the suspension like this. If all suspension ranges from 1-10 (with 1 being nearly hardtail like and 10 being open and active) the Epic has a suspension adjustment range of like 1-6 and the SJ has an adjustment range of like 3-9. When firmed up the Epic has a firmer pedaling platform than the SJ, but on the opposite end the SJ range is more active for rough terrain. There is some overlap in the suspension range between the 2 bikes in the middle somewhere, but then there's the 100 vs 120mm travel and the geometry (see IceMan's description of the geometry differences above).

    You really can't go wrong with either bike. The Epic is more of a race bike that would make a decent trail bike and the SJ is more of an allround trail bike that could make a decent race bike. Once you pick one and get used to the geometry, then you'll be able to rail in all conditions.

    You should try to find a shop that has demo bikes. I have spent some time on each bike in back to back tests and could really feel the differences, but once you ride either bike for a while and get used to it they both feel right! The Epic is a more efficient climber - especially on really hard efforts out of the saddle, and the SJ is more stable at faster speeds - like it's on rails.

    I've had 2 SJs in the past and just picked up my 3rd SJ - a 29er. Even though I'm partial to the SJ, the Epic is a blast to ride - climbs like a hardtail and can still be set up pretty active. Both bikes are rockets in the right environment.

  17. #17
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    i also went for the epic because im 5 foot 8 and at 130 pounds very light so i dont need a whole lotta suspension, i also dont have much in the way of raw brute strength so i benefit from the efficency of the epic, if i were a large heavy guy i may have been swayed more by the SJ

  18. #18
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    I think because of this years stumpjumper revamp you'd be better of buying SJ pro carbon, The seat tube angle is steeper (than 07 models) which allows for a more climb friendly position but at the same time you have the comfort of the 120mm travel front and back. "Buy it once" kind of a bike sits more in the remit of the stumpy than the epic IMO. Also due to the fact that you'll get the brain on the front you'll have a bike which climbs fantastically but offers stability at speed.

    If i had the choice to buy two bikes i'd have an epic for long haul and an enduro for the rough stuff but a one bike garage shouts out for the stump jumper

    Hope that helps

  19. #19
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    I think one of the big deciding factors also has to be the type of trails you are riding. I mean around here you can do a 3 hour ride do only 8 miles and have the snot totally kicked out of you. Other places you can fly. I have a Buddy who moved to Michigan when he showed up for a group ride with his 5/5 they were like who is the guy with the free ride bike, and to Us in the North east , that is an XC bike. I had to make the same decision earlier this year when My FSR XC frame cracked and Specialized offered me either an Stumpy or an Epic as a warranty replacement, after much thinking I choose the Stumpjumper because I tend to ride very rocky technical trails and wanted some "forgivness"
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  20. #20
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    Ride Them.

    Make sure you ride them both.

    Notice that it's mostly in the angles (Head tube and seat tube) and the top tube length.

    You will feel the diffrence, the Epic is quick and twitcy, just right for going uphill fast picking your way around rocks or tight switchbacks and such where the races are one or lost. You will also feel more streched out over the front wheel. It keeps the weight over the front wheel so you don't wheellie over on steep uphills and opens up the chest for better breathing. (you can put more spacers under the stem to raise the h-bars but you still have a longer top tube) However I have no problem ridding it downhill at high rates of speed. It is a great Super D bike.

    The SJ will feel a bit more relaxed, better for going down, more of an all around bike. Higher handle bars, and a shorter top tube. If you do get the talas one, which is last years, as you lower the fork you become prone to hitting rocks with the pedals. I tried that.

    You will get used to what ever bike you choose, and you will be have a blast no matter what, and thats why we ride, right?

    FYI, I race XC, Super D, and 4X. I have owned both.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all this great info on comparing the two. Nice to finally find some people that know what they are talking about.
    Last edited by RTTR; 12-13-2007 at 12:35 PM.

  22. #22
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    The rider, I would think

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    i also went for the epic because im 5 foot 8 and at 130 pounds very light so i dont need a whole lotta suspension, i also dont have much in the way of raw brute strength so i benefit from the efficency of the epic, if i were a large heavy guy i may have been swayed more by the SJ
    I'm 5'9" and currently 155lbs (out of shape) it's a good point you made about size and weight with the Epic.

  24. #24
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    I don't think your weight and height really have anything to do with what kind of bike you should buy unless you're at the extremes.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Industrial
    I don't think your weight and height really have anything to do with what kind of bike you should buy unless you're at the extremes.
    Good point..

    I have one more question for the day, has anyone ridden a SJ with the Future Shock fork? Can I get some opinions on it?

  26. #26
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    Sorry, My bad.

    The top tubes are almost exactly the same, but the chainstay length is longer on the epic but the overall wheelbase is longer on the SJ. WTF!
    My guess is that the ridder on the epic is closer to the front wheel, more stabilitly on the climbs?
    The longer wheelbase should be more stable at speeds?
    Any one else?

  27. #27
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    ahh hell, just buy both of them!!!!

  28. #28
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    then youll be thinking after a while, you know i could do with an enduro ha ha ha

  29. #29
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    I think that buying the Epic is what makes it, "so fast"....


  30. #30
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    Out of saddle pedaling

    One of the deciding factors for me was the ability of the Epic not to get bogged down on out-of-saddle charges. Hard tail riders typically are accustomed to staying out of the saddle through the rough and when pedaling; areas where the Epic excels. With many full suspension bikes, out-of-saddle pedaling causes bobbing or dampens pedaling input; you feel slower and in many cases are actually slower. Out-of-saddle pedaling over whelms the shock platform feature on other bikes, granted the pro-pedal shock technology has reduced the power-sapping effect. The Epic is one of the few bikes I have ridden which works just as well standing or seated. The Brain shock encourages and rewards an out-of-saddle attack which in my opinion makes it so fast.

    Where the Epic excels over other bikes is when you need to accelerate, the Epic offers a snappier feel (this assumes you have dialled in your Brain shock and fork). This is not to say you cannot spin comfortably while seated. Normally I can ride several hours over some rough trails and not be beat up.

    As mentioned, try both, a good dealer will have demos to take out for a weekend spin at your favourite trail.

    Good luck!

  31. #31
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    Are you planning on racing?How serious do you want to be about racing? If racing is what you want to concentrate on, then the Epic. If comfort is more important to you than the SJ. The Epic is not the most forgiving bike in rough parts but if there was any substantial climbing to do in races or in your area, then again the Epic. THe Epic is very aggressive and the SJ, well not quite a couch but on it's way there. I ride an 06 S-works Epic and love every damn minute on that bike. I LOVE climbing and I think at your weight an Epic would be perfect. Just my 2 cents. Ideally, test ride both if possible or search around your area for people with those bikes. Specialized riders are usually more than helpful to others in search of a new ride. Especially like their own.

  32. #32
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    Maluco you made a great point. I wanna point out something I'm not sure I did, but maybe I did on the first page. I'm coming from a hard tail bike. While I do want to venture into the wonderful world of full suspension, I don't want to lose all that great advantage that a hard tail gives. I have ridden some decently good long travel full suspension bikes in my time, while none were over $1000, probably in the $800-1000 range. Yeah and none of them had the brain like on the new SJ but I just found that I lost so much power in the suspension all the time when trying to lay down the power. That something I just don't care for. Now on the other hand, the Epic if it wants to be can be decently plush right? 4 inches of travel front and rear still seems like a good enough amount to keep anyone happy on the trail is it not? I mean the SJ is a little under 3/4 more travel, to me that doesn't seem like much difference to go wow this is a lot better over the bumps, given the SJ can maybe be set up softer to make it feel a lot more plush. Obviously the Epic isn't going to be a rigid feeling bike? I keep telling myself time and time again I want my next bike to be highly efficient, yet decently comfortable when I want it to be, I want it to climb like a beast, power the straights, and also be light. So basically I want the Epic? I can understand Specialized markets the Epic as a competition XC but I don't see why it can't be used as a non competition machine.

    One more thing, I've never ridden a 100mm full suspension bike, hard. Are they prone to bottoming out over ruts and rocks? My previous bikes were a Trek full rigid and a Trek 80mm hardtail. The HD had a horrible fork on it, that when it bottomed it it felt like I was going to die, have they improved on suspension bottoming aggression? Or was that just because my fork wasn't any good to begin with?
    Last edited by RTTR; 12-14-2007 at 01:44 PM.

  33. #33
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    i had an xc before the epic and never came close to bottoming out, maybe because im light but there you go, i can describe the epic as very efficiant off road, it wont eat the bumps like a stumpjumper but it does smooth them out and just wants to keep going forward, ive heard a lot about the epic being racy stretched out not comfortable etc but im finding it very comfortable, also i have the brain almost fully open, when i go from off road back to the asphalt it seemlessly turns back into a hardtail, i cant even notice it working, amazing, think of the epic as like a subaru impreza and an SJ as a jeep wrangler

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    i think of the epic as like a subaru impreza and an SJ as a jeep wrangler
    I love how you said that, it's probably a perfect analogy. Epic is like a rally car, built for speed and manages the bumps, SJ is like a built up offroader, not so much as for speed but for going over a lot harsher stuff.

    Well I pretty much think that the Epic is going to be the one I get. What I've been reading here is enough to sell me probably without even test riding it, but of course I am first. Won't be till early next year some time. But It's gonna be worth the wait.

  35. #35
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    its all theoretical, you dont know for sure until you try them out and whichever one speaks to you more, i was set on a stumpjumper but when i tried the epic, it just felt more me

  36. #36
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    In October 2006 I had a 2007 Stumpjumper FSR Expert on order, I test rode it and spend a ton of time researching, later I ended up not getting it because I moved to Kansas. Instead I put the 3 grand in to photography equipment hopping to become a pro, I had a few offers from various sources but turned them down because it ended up being something I just wanted to do as a hobby on my own time. Now I'm kinda glad I didn't buy the SJ because maybe it might have not been the right bike for me, I had not even looked at or considered the Epic, I knew about it, I've seen them around but just never occurred to me that it might be an awesome machine.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by head4hills
    I just bought my first epic (08 expert) coming from a hard tail. I'm racing for my first ever time this year and I wanted a fast xc race bike with the benefit of full suspension. I looked at a few models but after riding the epic my mind was made up. It climbs like a hardtail and the rear suspension is plenty for what I'll throw at it. It handles like a dream through tight single track, its just unbelievably responsive. The more I ride it the more I like it!
    You hit it right on the head there bro, this was the same situation i found myself in when i decided to get back into biking heavily again. I road hard tails for 6 years and have always felt twitchy on FS bikes, after riding the full Spec line i decided that i still enjoy the feeling of riding up hills with no or close to no pedal bob, i can sacrifice a little down hill speed to feel more agile threw the tight stuff and i just love to go up hills.
    My body has certainly wandered a good deal, but I have an uneasy suspicion that my mind has not wandered enough. -N.C.

  38. #38
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    Does anyone around 5'8 - 5'10 or just anyone in general have a picture of themselves on an Epic? I wanna get an idea of what the lean position is like. I understand that these types of XC bikes aren't as upright as an all mountain/trail bike, is it so extreme that it's like riding a race ready road bike?

  39. #39
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    Even Ned Overend says that he prefers the SJ on some XC races, just depending on the terrain. The SJ would give you more versatility to ride more aggressively in the future if that is what you desire. I don't think you could go wrong with either bike, but I do think you will be more comfortable on long rides on the SJ, and you will definitely have more versatility. If you like to travel and ride new trails (most of which tend to be rough), then you will probably be glad to have a little more bike.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTTR
    Does anyone around 5'8 - 5'10 or just anyone in general have a picture of themselves on an Epic? I wanna get an idea of what the lean position is like. I understand that these types of XC bikes aren't as upright as an all mountain/trail bike, is it so extreme that it's like riding a race ready road bike?
    I'm 5'9 and ride a MED. Got the saddle about level with the handle bars. I do a lot of road riding and wouldn't say the epic is near to this position. I actually ended up sliding the saddle fully back on the rails. Reading one of darkest fugue's post he did the opposite and slid it forward. Sorry but got no photos

  41. #41
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    I think the problem is, I'm just trying to the Epic on myself as being the right bike for me, when I don't think it really is. Like this post, asking peoples opinions on it over and over. I kind of still have a feeling the SJ is the better buy for me, but just something about the Epic that says buy me.

  42. #42
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    Its a lot of cash to spend to get the wrong bike for you. The only real way your going to be sure is a proper test ride on both.

  43. #43
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    Well it's not so much between the Epic and SJ as I keep on watching videos with all mountain bikes like the Santa Cruz Nomad and Enduro SL and keep thinking this is what I really wanna do. I mean all the time since 2003 (except the one year gap of no riding) I've been doing XC on rigid and hardtail. Maybe it's time to try something new? I'm in a new area in the mountains with a ton of opportunity.

  44. #44
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    Like any good bike the fitter person on it

  45. #45
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    Hey man that's what the bike choice really boils down to. What do you really want to do and what do you really enjoy? I personally like bombing downhill and hate going up. That said, I'm not ready to give up completely on XC and go to chairlift country so my next bike will most likely be an Enduro/Nomad/Reign/Yeti 575.

    If you like blasting through singletrack and being the first one up the hill, the epic might be the best bike for you. You just have to figure out what you want to do and what you enjoy most. If you're actually racing competitively that's a different story of course.

  46. #46
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    I was looking at the Nomad, but even with the XTR components it struggles to get below 32lbs (Santa Cruz claimed weight) That's just too much imo, it might not be for that kind of bike but I don't want something that heavy. Had a look into the ibis Mojo crazy light bike but looks more suited for the art show rather than the mountains, I'd cry if I got a scratch on that thing. I'm not really digging the Spec Enduro SL

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    Yeah the Enduro seems to be having some problems. Mostly with the futureshock which is a shame. Hopefully they will have this sorted by the time I'm ready to move on. I agree about the Ibis... The Nomad is just plain beefy.

    I'm really digging the Giant Trance X and Reign X. I've ridden a trance and it was fantastic. I just got a better deal on my Spesh and I didn't think I needed/wanted more travel. You might want to look into those 2 models if you're not dead set on Spesh although, there are alot of people on the Giant side of the house going through the same thing you are... Anthem or Trance or Reign. I guess options are a good thing as long as they don't lead to analysis paralysis.

  48. #48
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    the position on the epic for me is nothing like a race ready road bike, i was a lot more stretched out on the xc because i have very short arms and legs, my ass could never reach the back of the saddle where its supposed to be even with the saddle slid fully forward, not so with the epic im planted just right and actually feeling comfortable for a change, one of the biggest perks for me the xc's saddle was


    at least 3 inches over the grips on my xc, the seat is level with the grips on the epic


    that means no more getting off the bike and moving the seat post up and down on rides, what a pain that is, it also means my epic goes down better than my xc, it shouldnt be so but it is, however with the set back post of the marathon and flat bars its clearly a racier ride and will feel different than my bike, i dont need that set up the bike is perfect for me as it is, also my stock comp is just over 27 pounds and that is with heavy shimano XT clipless pedals, when your riding it does feel lighter than that though especially comparing it to my xc or the stock 07 SJ elite that i tried out, being a greedy capitalist though im going to get 2 pounds off it with some upgrades, i now feel like i have a bike thats deserving of a few improvments

  49. #49
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    I would say that if you are up in the air between the epic, SJ, and some AM rigs, go with the SJ. The stumpy is a lot of bike, and if you start to exceed it's capabilities, then it would be time to go for a beefier AM bike. Until that point, you will just be disappointed with the added weight. All things are compromises. Stumpy sounds right for you.

  50. #50
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    RTTR

    Where do you ride ? and what are teh trails like . I think that is also an important consideration
    I'm Better known as Splat

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circusjunk
    RTTR

    Where do you ride ? and what are teh trails like . I think that is also an important consideration
    I don't know where I ride, I just moved to northern Alabama, touching TN and GA, close drives to probably a lot of good trails. The clubs around here from what I've seen of the pictures (I'm sure I'm not seeing all the clubs) but for the most part people ride hard tails and full suspension bikes probably up to SJ capability. But I really don't wanna be just limited to like say 1 or 2 trails close by. Next year my goal is to really broaden my range of enjoyment and travel to awesome locations.

    The good thing is I don't have to decide what I want in say 1 month, I probably won't get back in to the swing of things till March(ish). I have plenty of time to decide what I want to do with my next bike. But I also want to keep it within close range. There are some bike brands that are just way out of reach of getting, like an ibis dealer isn't anywhere near, but I have things Santa Cruz, Trek, Spec all within 30 minutes. I really would like to see how bad the SC Nomad is in terms of weight, it is heavier than any other bike I've had, even the first bike that got me into mountain biking (truly into it) a cro-moly frame Trek rigid which was 29lbs, And the Nomad is around 31.5lbs with top XTR/X-0 components, from what Santa Cruz claims. That might not be as bad as I'm making it out to be, I don't know.

    The trails I used to ride were in the South West of Tennessee. Fast single track where the Epic would shine. I really enjoyed it and I definitely still would. But the more I think about it, I wanna try something a little different. Different that would require an AM bike. The thing I am understanding is with AM bikes they are like do it all machines right? They can do just about anything but not as good as the bike made specifically for the application? Like It can climb, but not as good as an XC bike.. It can descend but not as good as a FR or DH bike? But it can still do them all decently well? And enjoy it?

    Sorry I'm taking this away from the original topic, but I'd rather not start a new thread now.
    Last edited by RTTR; 12-15-2007 at 02:11 PM.

  52. #52
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    well i took my week old epic to my regular trail today, 30 miles of off road, dry loose gravel some serious rocks and boulder bashing too, overall pretty harsh terrain, i have to ride 10 miles of asphalt to get there but the epic feels light on the road, and even lighter off road, as i found out

    uphills are a breeze now it just digs in and goes forward, the suspension is stiffer than my xc but i was expecting that, it didnt beat me up though in fact it was a little more thrilling combined with the fact that the bike is lighter and more manoverable i found i was picking my lines a lot easier, it handles like a bmx, the fox fork does a great job, took the hits but refused to dive when braking downhill, this plagued the recon on my xc and the fact that the saddle on the xc was up over the bars i felt like i was going to go over everytime i hit this trail, the epic did the downhills better than i thought it would, the only thing i didnt like were the grips, my hands were very sore after the last downhill, im going to have to change them out for something softer with a wider profile

  53. #53
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    You nead a Stumpy

    Sounds like you nead a Stumpy to me, simply becouse you have said that you are going to try new things and traval to awsome trails in the future, so you realy nead a do it all AM bike as you don't know where you'll end up ridding.
    I have a 07 SJ and have had it for a year now and I came from a hard tail. When I first got it I thought it would take some getting used to and thought it would feel a bit soggy but with the propedal or Brain depending on moddel and 28ish lb wieght it felt very fast and light which is great for an AM bike. The reason I chose it over the Epic is the length of time that I spend on the saddle, as I love adventures and finding new places I tend to ride for 9 hours or more and the Epic although a great bike just got uncumfatable after about 4/5 hours.
    Hope that helps.

  54. #54
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    he needs to try both bikes because i think it all comes down to fit, not how much travel you have, my xc is much plusher than the epic but i was never comfortable on it, for what it is at 30 plus pounds stock its a heavy bike and i didnt like going down hills on it due to the saddle position and the fork that liked to dive when i hit the brakes, the epic has no such problems, sure the ride is stiffer but i feel i can go to places i couldnt before, the stiffer ride means its more manuverable, im having fun going downhill now which i use to dread on the xc, and going up, ha eat my dust slow coaches, the epic is a more focused bike and isnt for everyone its definately for me though, it may or may not be for the guy, he must try them both to be sure

  55. #55
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    I swear you just had your FSR setup wrong. There is no way an Epic has more of a slacker angle than an FSR. If anything, they are the same. And what do you expect? You bought a more expensive bike and it works a little better and is a little lighter!

  56. #56
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    what are you going on about slacker angles for, the fact is in order to get to get a comfortable cross country pedal stroke on my xc i had to have the saddle 3 inches above the grips, i achieve the same leg position on the epic with the saddle level with the grips, on the xc i had the saddle moved ALL the way forward and i still couldnt get my ass to the back of it where its supposed to be, im right where i want to be on the epic with the saddle in the middle of the post, how could i have had the bike set up wrong? both bikes are medium, also my stock xc comp weighs over 30 pounds, my stock epic comp weighs 27.5, its not a little lighter, its a lot lighter

  57. #57
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    Right, you had your bike setup wrong. Shorter stem, more sag, maybe a smaller size, w/e. I have none of the problems you mention on my fsr. Sure there is a real weight difference because the epic is a much higher end bike? It's almost twice as much dude.

    I'm not dissing the epic, just the majority of the problems you had with the fsr was in the setup. It's a perfectly fine bike.

    It's not like the fsrxc is a hardcore racing bike where the epic is more of an all around machine? If anything, it's the other way around. Slacker angles helps with balance and control going downhill. That's why I said what I said.

  58. #58
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    i didnt need more sag, if anything i really liked the x fusion contrary to what others think of it, so your saying in order to get my saddle even with the grips i had to let more air out of the shock and have the thing collapsing like a wet noodle when i pedal? what about when i locked the shock out which i did 50% of the time because i do a lot of training on tarmac roads?? i agree with you that a shorter stem may have made me feel less stretched out, i also agree with you that the xc is an all round machine, the epic is a more focused bike thats leaning towards racing, however, i personally prefer the epic for the kind of riding i do, i also prefer it for the way it fits my body, and its a better all round machine for me, i cant speak for others, just me and my experience

  59. #59
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    No problem with that man. The epic is a nice bike. I just think your problems with the fsr was in the setup. Maybe the bike shop cut your steerer tube too much and there was no room to raise the stem even. All I'm saying is, the fsrxc itself is a fine bike, most of your problems sound to me like it was a setup issue.

  60. #60
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    i do think the xc is a good bike for what it is, its a good all rounder for a good price, i just wasnt willing to spend more money getting it to fit me, i learned a lot of things riding the bike but i never felt at one with it, when im out and about with the epic it feels like an extension of me, i always felt like i was fighting with the xc

  61. #61
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    I have both a sj fsr 07 expert and an 07 epic comp, and i have to say i love the epic... it can do pretty much everything the sj can but you just have to learn how to handle it. WIth the SJ you can go balls to the wall and not really worry about it, with the epic you need actually know what your doing hahaha. I ride my epic more since i ride to work on a city bike trail. The SJ was a gift (i forgot to tell my family i bought a bike and they got me another thinking i didnt have one) so it gets taken out when im going camping or theres a really huge mud pile =). This is my first epic though and i love it.

  62. #62
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    I ride an '04 stumpjumper FSR. THe bike has been slightly tweaked and modded and is down from stock weight of 32lbs to around 27ish. I race in Sport class and love it, but I'm not a devoted racer with a training schedule or diet. I demo'd an Epic last season and I was really impressed with the Brain. It works, the bike is locked out to rider input. Even standing up and hammering didn't bob the shock on my experimental uphill. But turning around and coasting down that same hill while seated put the shock through nearly all of its travel. Very clever technology.

    That being said, I suggest a SJ for you. You already have a hardtail, why enter the FS fray in a bike designed to be so close to hardtail? Don't worry, the SJ won't pedal like a 8" 40-pounder. It has a great pedaling platform and does not weigh much more than an Epic.

    I did one race on the demo Epic and my race time was about 5 minute slower than the year before when I rode the Stumpy. Now there are a bajillion other variables that go into the race time equation, but I just mention this to disprove that the Epic is just plain faster than the Stumpjumper.

  63. #63
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    Well here is the current situation as far as bike decisions go. I had my mind set on going with the 6 inch travel 2008 Trek Remedy 9 "AM" bike but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, is this really want I want to do, push around something so inefficient and heavy. I don't think I do... I'm sure the new Trek is a great bike. But I keep thinking what if I just wanna take the bike out and ride on some pavement, that 6 inches of non lockout suspension is going to royally suck. And the Epic is going to shine.

  64. #64
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    there was an organised group excursion here the other day, i take it on my own but i managed to run into them, 14 riders all on rented cannondale rush bikes, first uphill is a 1 and a half mile climb that twists up the mountain, the last stretch fools everyone because you dont see it until your confronted with it, very steep long and rough, i let all the riders go ahead of me but slowly picked them all off one by one, the strongest ones i caught on the last stretch, i am pretty good on the uphills at this stage but my stock epic comp gives me a definate edge, i cant wait till the first of my upgrades arrives.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTTR
    Well here is the current situation as far as bike decisions go. I had my mind set on going with the 6 inch travel 2008 Trek Remedy 9 "AM" bike but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, is this really want I want to do, push around something so inefficient and heavy. I don't think I do... I'm sure the new Trek is a great bike. But I keep thinking what if I just wanna take the bike out and ride on some pavement, that 6 inches of non lockout suspension is going to royally suck. And the Epic is going to shine.
    But what if you just wanna take the bike out and ride on some rough singletrack, that 6 inches of non lockout suspension is going to royally shine. And the Epic is going to suck.

    Choices, choices.

    You know that little voice in your mind that keeps whispering "Stumpy....Stumpy...Stumpy...", well its been known to be right many times. Of course, we usually end up choosing with our heart instead...and then you end up with a guy who can't decide if its gonna be an Epic or a Trek Remedy. The heart is a funny thing...

  66. #66
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    I went through this agonizing decision a couple of years ago. I went with the epic but still debate my decision.

    Every time I'm wondering if I'll make a technical climb or descent or wondering if I'll have the height to clear a log I wish I had a stumpjumper.

    Every time I'm trying to catch the bike in front of me I'm glad I have the epic.

    No one mtn bike is perfect for everything so just think about which of the two above scenarios is more important to you.

  67. #67
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    I think too many people are giving the Stumpy way too much credit over the Epics ability, I know I'm just talking up in the air but you can't seriously tell me the Stumpjumper is that much more capable with 20mm more travel, and just about the same bottom bracket height as the Epic.

  68. #68
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    RTTR:
    You are being called by your bike, which ever one that ends up being. Research and most importantly test ride the different bikes you are considering. Here in So Cal some of the shops actually let you take a bike out for the day and test ride them. I ended up buying an 07 Epic Expert. I use it for lots of single track riding and also XC racing. I have done 6' drops with downhill landings with no problem. Just have to use your legs to. Climbs like a mountain goat and just as fast. I am in the middle of making it much lighter right now(about 23.5 lbs). Can not afford to go much lighter than that. Hope you make the choice you want and not the ones everyone else tells you to do. Enjoy whichever bike you buy.

  69. #69
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    RTTR, Go with what fits and feels right. I rode the FSR XC, SJ and Epic. In the end I chose the Epic. Not being the tallest person around, the Epic felt better since it had a normal seat tube and I could drop or raise the seat post as needed for efficiency or for technical trails. The small framed FSR XC and SJ (07s), because of their interrupted seat tubes and rear shock placement had 17" seat tube heights which did not allow for much seat post adjustment, versus 15.5 " seat tube on the Epic. As you pointed out I felt somewhat stretched out on the FSR XC and I felt like was on too much bike on the SJ and felt like I was wallowing in it and lacked the manueverability I was used to from my Cannondale hardtail. The Epic felt just right fit wise and ride wise for me. Everyone says the geometry is very steep on an Epic (especially on pre-06 models) but unless you are only used to riding slack geometry long-travel FR/DH bikes, like to jump off houses, or have no finesse in your riding style and bash through everything, it shouldn't be difficult too ride the Epic.

  70. #70
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    you have to remember the models he's going for are the high end carbon versions, both of them will be pretty amazing it'll be just up to him which one grabs him the most

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    you have to remember the models he's going for are the high end carbon versions, both of them will be pretty amazing it'll be just up to him which one grabs him the most
    I have more money than brains and spend it on silly stuff like $5000 bikes

  72. #72
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    Can someone please explain to me the difference between the S-Works carbon Epic frame vs the Marathon Carbon? Just out of curiosity. Is the S-Works complete bike just more money because its full XTR components?

  73. #73
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    as far as i know the only difference between the s works carbon frame and the marathon carbon frame is the s works frame says s works on it, if it were me i would go for the epic marathon aluminium, my epic fell against the corner of a stone pillar last week while i was opening the door to my building, i took a paint chip out of the top tube i felt like crying but if it had of been a carbon frame i couldve put a hole in it and it wouldve been game over right there and then, ive ridden the epic alu marathon, its super light looks great and a lot cheaper than the carbon models, to answer your question i believe the s works is more expensive because of the componants, not the frame

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    as far as i know the only difference between the s works carbon frame and the marathon carbon frame is the s works frame says s works on it, if it were me i would go for the epic marathon aluminium, my epic fell against the corner of a stone pillar last week while i was opening the door to my building, i took a paint chip out of the top tube i felt like crying but if it had of been a carbon frame i couldve put a hole in it and it wouldve been game over right there and then, ive ridden the epic alu marathon, its super light looks great and a lot cheaper than the carbon models, to answer your question i believe the s works is more expensive because of the componants, not the frame
    I've been honestly thinking about going with the Marathon (non carbon) for that aspect, I'm not sure if I'm good enough for carbon. $700 for probably no advantage to me. Especially when that money could be spent elsewhere. It appears the Mara carbon and alu have identical components so that $700 is just for the frame.

  75. #75
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    and a frame thats less than a pound lighter that could be destroyed from a fall from a standing position if it fell into something, the only think id change on the marathon are the flat bars, id switch to low rise because i go down a lot as well as up, weight isnt an issue with the alu version either its absurdly light, try it and see for yourself

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    and a frame thats less than a pound lighter that could be destroyed from a fall from a standing position if it fell into something, the only think id change on the marathon are the flat bars, id switch to low rise because i go down a lot as well as up, weight isnt an issue with the alu version either its absurdly light, try it and see for yourself
    Right now I'm really tempted to make a project out of building my first bike, with the help of others of course, and as you stated, I'd no longer use the carbon frame I'd use the Marathon frame aluminum version. That way I can put on it what I really wanna put. But by all means the complete '08 Marathon Alu is one heck of a kit.

  77. #77
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    i would have bought it myself only it was sold and the comp sitting there had a colour to die for, im upgrading but my first batch of parts have yet to arrive

  78. #78
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    I started with 07 Epic Expert. Had XT parts and SRAM parts stock. I got my bike as a demo from a store. Funny thing is is that it had only been ridden out of the store twice. Not a scratch on it. Saved over $800 dollars. Now that I am racing it I decided to do a complete build, or re-build. Its lots of fun, and if money is not an issue, its a great way to have the bike you truly want. I ended up replacing everything except the deralures. I still came out ahead since I will be installing all of the upgraded parts myself. Pic your frame and then go to town on the parts.

  79. #79
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    So is it true with carbon frames that if you get even the slightest scratch that digs into the carbon, the frame integrality is just about done? If thats true I would assume that if you drop the bike or take a wreck on a trail and it slides against some stones or something it's done for? If so I'm sticking with aluminum.

  80. #80
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    Mountain bike frames are just that...MOUNTAIN bike frames. When they build them they take into consideration of what this bike will be doing. I would not worry about trashing your frame as long as you are not doing intense free-riding. That being said, I still prefer the alloy frames. The weight difference is not justifiable for me compared to the cost. A carbon frame will however be more rigid than an alloy frame if built properly.

  81. #81
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    a carbon frame can be scratched and it will be ok, ive heard stories though of them falling against stone edges, car doors, falling on rocks etc and splintering, ive also heard examples of them surviving bad crashes etc, each to their own, last week i stupidly let my bike slip against the corner of a stone pillar outside my building and i took a chip out of the paintwork, if i had a carbon frame i could have been another negative statistic in how carbon frames can be compromised.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkest_fugue
    a carbon frame can be scratched and it will be ok, ive heard stories though of them falling against stone edges, car doors, falling on rocks etc and splintering, ive also heard examples of them surviving bad crashes etc, each to their own, last week i stupidly let my bike slip against the corner of a stone pillar outside my building and i took a chip out of the paintwork, if i had a carbon frame i could have been another negative statistic in how carbon frames can be compromised.
    It's really a tossup for me right now, I've heard good and bad things about both carbon and aluminum, I read a week or two ago of a guy doing a hugely bad wreck on his carbon Spec Enduro SL, the bike literally fell off a cliff and it was fine, unfortunately he wasn't... I've also heard of carbon frames cracking just as much as I've heard of aluminum frames cracking and snapping, I guess it's really all in the rider I don't really know.

    For me the extra money on a carbon frame really isn't an issue, well yeah it's a lot of extra money but if it results in a slightly better ride and a stiffer frame I'd buy it, If it's gonna snap in half (which I doubt) off a 2 foot drop then it's not worth it. The main thing for me is how nice carbon frames look to me, seamless joints, smooth lines, no welds.. They are beautiful... I don't wanna say it won't happen but I've not been known in the past to wreck on the trail, so I don't really worry about doing a high speed wreck and damaging the frame that way.

    The good thing about it though is Specialized lifetime frame warranty which is very good in the bicycle business. So I guess if I get a carbon frame and it starts to crack under non rider caused conditions they will replace it.

  83. #83
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    its not crashing that bothers me, its the fact that you could destroy the frame from not even riding the bike, there was a case on another forum of a guys bike slipping and hitting the edge of his car door and put a hole in the carbon frame, thats nuts to me, however its up to you and as i said before since your going for a high end model whatever you choose to get is going to be great

  84. #84
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    My experience of bike choice

    Hi, your post raised an interesting question... Difficult for anyone to answer on your behalf. It really is a case of try and borrow a friends or get a test ride (and that's not just a ride around the car park - you have to try these bikes off-road in their natural habitat to get a 'true' feel).

    From a personal perspective, I started riding hardtails in the late '80s and then went on to an early FSR Stumpjumper which I loved. I've ridden all over England with it and Wales (well worth visiting if your from Overseas) and I took it to Colorado and Utah. Great bike which over time slowly got killed from riding. After it's demise I started looking at the Epic - I loved the idea of the fast lockout suspension and didn't follow my own advice... I test rode around London! (Tarmac roads... dull!) and bought one. Within no time I found the ride quality horrible - I missed the 'floating' feel of suspension. In all honesty it felt slower coz it was beating me up off-road. I soon decided what I needed was more suspension and a beefy ride, choosing to build up an 06' Enduro. Now that's a fantastic bike... loving every minute of the huge 6" suspension - It rides fantastically in rocky ol' Wales. I can ride stuff I dreamt of when in Utah (stuff that would've really killed the Stumpy dead)...

    Morale of my story is that you really have to 'learn' what terrain you enjoy riding; try different bikes and styles of riding to really answer the question.

    Hope you find the bike of your dreams and happy trails to you all out there

  85. #85
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    the epic is a stiffer ride theres no doubt about it, its a sports car of bikes, i went on a great ride on monday with experts from denmark, their fitness was amazing, i thought i was good at uphills but thease guys had machine legs that were killing me, one had an s works hardtail which was super light, he had a kilo advantage on my epic comp at least,

    when the downhills came though i was able to keep up with them, i was going quicker than i normally would because better riders always push your limits harder but it was a great feeling, my biggest surprise about the epic is that it just rocks going downhill!!!!

  86. #86
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    what makes the epic so "fast"?......ME!

  87. #87
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    hes right yknow

  88. #88
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    305
    I take my Epic on the Tues & Thurs night group rides through the streets of Houston. I can get it up to 28 mph on the sprints and will leave 20 people behind on their roadbikes. I like my Epic more then my 17 pound Felt Carbon Fiber road bike even on the roads. Its also a great ride on the single track. However, my arms were ready to fall off after 2 runs down Keystone last summer.

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