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So I have pretty much decided (sold the wife on it). I'm getting a new FS ride. My question is on ride differences between the 2010 Stumpjumper Expert and the 2010 Epic Expert. Components are similar except for the 140mm shock on the SJ and the 100mm shock on the Epic.

I mainly ride XC trails.

All I hear about the SJ is it's versatility. Once one comes in I know I'll only get the standard parking lot ride so I'm looking for opinions of those who have ridden both on the trails.
 

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There are quite a few reviews out there...I'd say go to a spec dealer and ask to ride their test bikes though so you feel the difference for yourself. It might cost $ but they should put it towards your purchase price.

I ride a 2010 Epic 29er but I'm sure there are definitely times a SJ would be plush.

I know the Spec dealer in Tulsa has both an Epic and SJ...
 

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cougarbait
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I am pretty sure the stumpy would be better for you. The Epic is meant for XC racing, and XC racing only. Aggressive geometry and fit, low-travel, perhaps almost 'fragile' relative to the stumpy.
 

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Lambdamaster said:
I am pretty sure the stumpy would be better for you. The Epic is meant for XC racing, and XC racing only. Aggressive geometry and fit, low-travel, perhaps almost 'fragile' relative to the stumpy.
The epic is for XC racing only is kind of a ridicouls statement. Its for anybody who rides primarily XC trails "alot of climbing and no massive jumps or dropoffs on the down hill" and does not want to carry the extra wieght of the SJ. Just enough suspension on the rear to take the shock load off your back. I've been riding an 2000 S-works fsr with 80mm in the rear over the nastist rocky terrian for 10 years and never once thought I needed more rear suspension. However if your going to ride man modified trails, jumps, drops, gaps etc you may need more.
 

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Just Wanna Ride!
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The SJ is a great all-rounder, but the newer epic can be a great trail bike for the right rider. I've owned several SJs in the past and am now riding an Epic 29er. It's a versatile bike - especially with the adjustability of the new brain. Suspension can be set up to be more open/active or more firm.

Plenty of folks out there killing it on hardtails so you may be able to ride less suspension. For XC trails I think you should be riding the shortest travel you can ride comfortably.

Only you can decide the bike that best suites your needs so start with some test rides on trails - find a shop that is a demo center and take the bikes on trails you know well. Be sure to take some time to get the bikes set up properly - don't want poor setup to cloud your impressions on your demo rides.
 

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I'm a XC rider. I went from a '04 anniversary FSR 100mm travel to a '09 Epic Marathon. I love the Epic. It gives you HT stability when it's needed and FS compliance when you need that. I also had the chance to decide between the new FSR and the Epic and went with the Epic because the 140mm travel was more FS than was needed for my riding style. If your riding includes lots of climbing and you don't do drops and downhill type stuff, I'd go Epic.
 

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cougarbait
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JimmyLeggs said:
The epic is for XC racing only is kind of a ridicouls statement. Its for anybody who rides primarily XC trails "alot of climbing and no massive jumps or dropoffs on the down hill" and does not want to carry the extra wieght of the SJ. Just enough suspension on the rear to take the shock load off your back. I've been riding an 2000 S-works fsr with 80mm in the rear over the nastist rocky terrian for 10 years and never once thought I needed more rear suspension. However if your going to ride man modified trails, jumps, drops, gaps etc you may need more.
it's not about travel
there are people doing 10ft drops with hardtails

in addition, spec categorizes the epic in "competitive XC" and the stumpy in "xc trail"
 

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You can see my 2010 Epic here: http://web.me.com/vance.mcmurry/Site/Photos.html

We have been together since October. Every ride has been an enlightening. Even when I wrecked going down a 10 foot drop and broke off ($300) one of those pretty SRAM XX brake levers. The frame can take anything that you can dish at it. If you have the cash for the Epic, buy it. Your wife will be jealous. Everything on this bike is expensive too. Chains, cassettes, chain rings. I can't wait to drop $500 to replace those. :)

The only draw back is the gearing. This is the real differentiator between the SJ and the Epic. With only 39 / 26 chain rings, folks with a 42 up front will lose you on long flats. A 26 may not be small enough for some big mts. With her, you will climb faster and take turns faster and harder than anyone else.

Man I love this bike!
 
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