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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm looking for some input. I currently have an old stumpjumper hardtail that I am very capable on. The bike needs some serious upgrades and I am looking into getting a new bike. I tried the Stumpjumper fsr Elite on one of my local trails and found it sluggish and heavy. I had trouble remembering to lockout the rear suspension on climbs and let it loose on the downhill. I had difficulty lifting up the front end to clear obsticals - too heavy or geometry? Maybe I am a weakling...

I am now leaning towards either the Stumpjumper HT 29", Gary Fisher Superfly 29er, or Specialized Epic FSR (it has the brain). I ride in the Boulder/Golden area of Colorado which has some pretty rough terrain. I have been fairly capable on my hardtail but maybe I could be a lot faster. I don't race but like going very fast and not too worried about comfort - I am out of the saddle on the rough stuff anyway. My weakness is climbing which is why I am leaning towards a hardtail or brain to help me with my weakness.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you want to riding sometime too.
 

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Go with the Epic, it climbs like a hardtail and it will allow you to make descents faster and smoother. If I were you I would go with the Epic, great bike for an affordable price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks,

The Epic is $3000 and the Elite is $2000 (model year 08') which is why the decision is so tough. Then I start looking at the 29er hardtails which sound really awesome but not sure how they ride.

Is a FS mostly for comfort? It is extremely difficult to test drive in a parking lot. Also would a 29er be faster than a FS?
 

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I'm torn on this one. I have an Epic, and I have a 29er (full rigid). The 29er is a ton of fun to ride, and due to no suspension, climbs much better than the Epic. I obviously suffer some on the downhills in terms of speed over rough stuff, due to no suspension, but that's a skill thing and I'm getting faster. Besides, I'm usually so far ahead of my friends from crushing them on the climbs, that the descents aren't a concern ;).

I love the Epic too though. It's been a great bike for the past two years and taken me everywhere I've asked it to. It climbs great and descends great. It's fast on the straights too. It's a little hairy in steep stuff but you can lower the seat, get further back, etc, to try and mitigate that. The new Epic frames look really cool too, and everything I've heard about them is great.

If you're going to do an HT, I'd say go with a steel frame over an Aluminum frame. The steel will be a little heavier, but will give you some nice comfort over rough stuff that a super stiff aluminum frame will not. You may also be able to get more for your money by going with a steel frame, and putting together your own bike with parts from your LBS, eBay, friends, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Matt,

Thanks for the input, it is cool that you have both a 29er and Epic. After reading your page it sounds like the 29er is your first choice. I am leaning towards that too - partly to keep the sport fun and challenging - although not SS yet.

How is a 29er for climbing water bars?
Dropping water bars?
Rooty switchback?

If you could only keep one bike for mountain riding which one would it be?
 

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djanis99 said:
Matt,

Thanks for the input, it is cool that you have both a 29er and Epic. After reading your page it sounds like the 29er is your first choice. I am leaning towards that too - partly to keep the sport fun and challenging - although not SS yet.

How is a 29er for climbing water bars?
Dropping water bars?
Rooty switchback?

If you could only keep one bike for mountain riding which one would it be?
I have the same thing going.

I have an Epic Marathon and a Spot SS 29'er frame with the Gates Belt drive system.

Once you get on a 29'er, it kills the 26'er. Owning both kinda' sucks. I use to put many a mile on my Epic, then got a 29er. I think I have ridden the Epic probably three times since owning the other bike. It took alot of the fun out of the ride.

Now saying this, If I could only own one, it would be a 29'er,

The only thing I can say I like more about the 26'er was is really tight switchback climbs and jumping. I feel pretty slow on one now.

I would make you a hell of a deal on an Epic Marathon frame and a pretty new Fox fork :thumbsup:

Maybe a 29'er Epic is in my future, but I want to wait a year or so and let 'em get it all worked out. Niner Jet9 is my next frame.
 

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I thought about this a bit. I think I'd go with the 29er too if I could only have one bike. It wouldn't be the Specialized though, and it probably wouldn't be the Super Fly. I think the Super Fly is an AWESOME bike, but carbon mountain bikes scare me still. I would go with a steel frame for a hard tail. I never realized how much more comfortable a steel frame would be.

Hit up the 29er forum and see all the frames people are running. There's some super nice stuff out there that won't cost you an arm and a leg. If you feel up to it, do your own build. My Vassago was my first build up and it was a lot of fun picking out all the parts, putting it together, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went with Stumpy Marathon 29er - less than 1/2 pound heavier then the Superfly. Hit the trails today and I love it. Nothing beats a crisp light bike - climbs the technical stuff great too.

Thanks everyone for your input
 
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