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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

Great looking community here! I'm looking forward to being a part of it.

I am right in the middle of getting back into cycling.

To cut to the chase, I will be ordering my first bike tomorrow.

I've narrowed it down to either of the 09' model Specialized stuff listed below.

Stumps FSR Elite Vs. the Epic Comp

Assuming the dollars are the same for both, which is the better value. I'm also looking for something that will just be a great all around FS bike, knowing full and well that I will probably end up with a HT eventually also.

To the novice eyes most of the components seem pretty similar and I'm just torn.

Thanks in advance, and yes I've been doing quite a bit of searching here.

Brandon
 

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I have owned an 09 Epic Comp for about 6 months. Earlier today the Brain shock failed again. This is the third time the shock has failed. I cannot say that I recommend the bike.
 

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If you're not gonna race seriously, the SJ FSR is probably a better pick. But...you didn't mention what kind of terrain and what kind of riding you'll be doing the majority of the time. The SJ FSR Elite has a great fork, and the Triad rear shock isn't bad. When the Triad needs service or right out of the box, you can install an off-the-shelf 7.5 X 2.0 shock on the SJ for an even better ride.
 

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Untchbl said:
To cut to the chase, I will be ordering my first bike tomorrow.

I've narrowed it down to either of the 09' model Specialized stuff listed below.

Stumps FSR Elite Vs. the Epic Comp
Are you able to test ride them before ordering?

You're going to find them completely different bikes to ride with their own characteristics, especially as you're comparing an Epic with the brain rear shock to a Stumpjumper FSR with the Triad rear shock. The differences between the two are something you really need to get a feel for before buying a new bike.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would love to try both, however I'm in a Mt. Bike impaired state. So finding a small/16 epic, or SJ, or anything for that matter has been tough.

I agree, I want to ride some stuff, but it just hasn't been easy.
 

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Well, if you're going to get a HT eventually, get the Stumpy. It's a better all around bike, hands down.

I have both and love the Stumpy. The Epic is a great bike, too, but for overall use, the Stumpy is a better choice. I am planning on selling the Epic and eventually getting a 29er HT (I think).

With all that said, when I had only the Epic, I rode everything with it and had no problems, either, including a trip to Moab. But now having spent a few miles on the SJ, I know I'd have enjoyed Moab even more!

I'd recommend the SJ given what you've said you'll use it for and your plans.
 

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uriel81 said:
don't get the Epic unless you want your wrists fractured.
This is an absurd statement. Not only can you set up an epic to be pretty plush, I and many others race this bike on some pretty firm settings and I would never say this about the bike.
there are other reasons not to like the epic, this however is not one.

uriel81 said:
I guess it's for a very light and superfit rider who wants to race and can tolerate an awful suspension
The bike is designed for XC racing. And then again they reduced the HTA this year and the new rear suspension design can be adjusted substantially. I find the 09 epic more flexible than any other bike they make.
 

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I own a Stumpy FSR, and I had the pleasure of riding an S-Works Epic at a Specialized demo yesterday. I loved the Epic. That bike is an absolute rocketship. I've never ridden a bike that was as responsive as the Epic. I flew through a trail I always ride on my Stumpy a few minutes faster than normal. The only bad side of the bike is it's very touchy. The steering is twitchy compared to the Stumpy, but I was expecting that. I found the suspension to be a bit harsh compared to my Stumpy, and it doesn't descend as well as my Stumpy. My body felt the abuse of the trail after my ride, but I still had a blast on it.

I also rode an S-Works Enduro, Pitch Comp, and a Stumpy 29er. I wasn't a fan of the 29er at all. The Pitch and Enduro would be great on the right trail, but not where I ride. They felt like tanks when I was climbing up some hills.

My point is my Stumpy does everything very well. Those other bikes had big weaknesses that my bike doesn't have. As an all-around do everything trail bike you can not go wrong with the Stumpy.

If I raced I would want an Epic, but I don't so I don't need one.
 

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Untchbl said:
Great Feedback Skiahh.

I'm far from a light rider at this point.
I'm well into Clyde territory myself. At my best, I'm just under.

Fracturing your wrists? Well, since I rode my Epic for 5 seasons before getting the Stumpy, in places like TX (mild), WA, CO, Moab and other parts of UT, Sun Valley, New England (lots of rocks) and didn't so much as tweak my wrists, I'm not sure I can give uriel much credibility.
 

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If your going to get a hardtail too, go for the stumpjumper.

If not, go for the Epic, or 29'er Stumpy. Having a 26 inch bike and a 29er bike almost sucks. Either one or the other.
 

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I have to admit I love my 06 epic marathon. Setting the sag in the suspension to suit my weight was easy with a shock pump and once the rebounds are set you never touch them. The brain lets you dial a firm or plush ride depending on your mood. Couldn't be easier. Once tuned, the ride is great

I went for the epic as in my area we are surrounded by hills(we live on top of a dividing range) and it climbs beautifully (i feel better than the stumpy). It can be a bit twitchy but some slightly wider bars fixed that. She is a fast ride and feels just like a hardtale for the most part till a bump is hit and the rear shock activates but the ride is a lot plusher than my hardtale. I just like the fact I can jump on the pedals and loose no efficiency with pedal bob and don't have to worry about locking out the rear.

To be honest though, I feel you can't go wrong with either ride.
 

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Either are great bikes but which is better for YOUR terrain and riding style?
In the absence of information about what kind of riding the OP will be doing but the "no racing" statement my general thought is to go Stumpy.

In my mind Epic is a race bike and Stumpy is a trail bike - yeah they can both cross either way over what is a blurred line but still that is their underlying design parameter and intent. Epic a little firmer and more responsive and consequently a little rougher and a little faster.

My money bought a Stumpy because I don't race anymore and I'm very happy with it despite taking a little while to get used to different geometry. I can't tell you the Stumpy is no slouch going up hill.

As for fracturing wrists because of an Epic - absolute bull !!!. Pity those of us who started riding on fully rigid bikes - we must have spent years in full body casts!!!
 

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Assuming that you're going to get an HT, you could also consider an Enduro. I've seen them built up as light as 29lbs with standard Spec. fork, etc. The Stumpy is what I picked because of the plush feel. 120mm travel in the rear is used fully on almost every ride. For an upgrade migration (to avoid the lockup "feature" of the Triad) you can outfit it with an RP23 which would make the bike an "Uber-bike"...all around, the Stumpy or a superlight Enduro is the way to go.
 

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I wish Spec made an in between bike like the 04-05 100mm Stumpy FSR's. 70.5* head angle and 100mm travel was perfect. Fast and Plush. The current handles too slow and the Epic is too harsh.
 

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formulaone33 said:
I wish Spec made an in between bike like the 04-05 100mm Stumpy FSR's. 70.5* head angle and 100mm travel was perfect. Fast and Plush. The current handles too slow and the Epic is too harsh.
The current HTA for the epic is 70.5 and this bike is far from harsh. If you want it to ride like the old 4" SJ FSR you can make it ride exactly like it. I had a a SJ FSR Pro. People who say the epic is too harsh have not spent enough time getting the suspension dialed in to their preference.

I don't understand why the average rider needs more than 4" travel, the stumpy is overkill for the average joe rider. That bike is really built to be ridden hard. I doubt that 10% of people who buy that bike can push its limits, including me.
 

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formulaone33 said:
I wish Spec made an in between bike like the 04-05 100mm Stumpy FSR's. 70.5* head angle and 100mm travel was perfect. Fast and Plush. The current handles too slow and the Epic is too harsh.
The rear shock on the 2009 Epic is quite plush if you wind the brain out to a soft setting. The bike is relatively stiff if you set it up with a brain setting somewhere between full firm and 3 clicks from full firm but that's a rider decision. If you want it to be plush and comfortable it can be. It's not going to fracture your wrists anyway (surely having difficulty hanging onto the bars over a bumpy section has more to do with the suspension fork than the rear suspension?.) :)

Compared to the 2008 and older Epics' the 2009 Epic's handling is more relaxed and doesn't have so much of a twitchy "race bike" feel to it. The weight distribution of the 2009 Epic feels better too. I really like my 2009 Epic.:)

That's comparing the 2009 Epic to the older Epic however. The Stumpjumper FSR has more travel and a slacker head angle. The slacker head angle will make the bike's low speed and tight handling less responsive but for just plowing through obstacles it will be easier on the Stumpjumper FSR. I haven't tried the Stumpjumper FSR with Triad shock but I doubt it pedals as well as an Epic. The Stumpjumper FSR with brain shock is ok but that's only on more expensive models.

The size small Stumpjumper FSR (533mm top tube, 75mm stem) reach will be a bit shorter than the size small Epic (548mm top tube, 75mm stem) also. It's not a huge difference but the small Stumpjumper FSR is likely to feel shorter and maybe more cramped.

These are the sort of things you can read about but it's much easier to decide what you prefer from actually riding the bikes.

Bear in mind that both bikes have suspension pivot bearings that don't last that long if you ride in muddy / wet conditions a lot. The Epic brain rear shock has some reliability issues but so does the Triad shock of the Stumpjumper FSR. An aftermarket shock like the Fox RP23 is expensive and will add a lot to the price of the bike if you decide to go that route.

Some Triad shock threads:

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=483886

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=527880

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=279421

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=500765

2009 Epic Reliability/ Warranty/ Servicing Links

http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=5494952&postcount=113
 
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