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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a decision to make.

2 good local shops,

1 has an '04 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp

The other an Epic (No comp, just the plain Epic)

Price is about the same, $1250 for the FSR, $1300 for the Epic.

Similar components, wheels. I'm fine with V brakes, by the way.

Epic has Brain, FSR has Fox front fork, vs. Manitou for Epic. FSR has 20mm more travel F/R.

Not sure about long term durability of the Brain and concerned as to single manufacturer.

Both bikes feel the same and fit fine. The test ride on the Epic - I had to glance down to ascertain of the R shock was doing anything. It was, just didn't seem as active as the FSR Fox. Note that neither shock was properly adjusted for my weight.

It seems the Epic is a better deal, just a slightly older design and technology.

P.S. I've read the reviews on both bikes, which essentially tells me that folks who bought either bike liked them, though there seemed to be more negatives with the Epic and that was the '04 model.

Any thoughts ?.

SB
 

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Get Down Do you
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I think it really comes down to your personal riding style. I have a 05 120 fsr expert and I have ridden a couple epics and they couldn't be more different. The Epic rides like a hardtail and climbs like a goat out of the saddle. It really is a climbers/singletrack rig with a little downhill. The epic really handles like a hardtail and is definitely not as plush ride as the FSR.


The FSR climbs well but you must sit in the saddle and is much more slack in the head so it will waggle a little more than the epic dropping the Talas Fork down on mine helps a lot of long climbs. But technical downhills is where the FSR shines it really likes to be ridden fast downhill and mostly anywhere. It handles 1-3 footers with ease but is not a heavy dh rig. ( I have hit 5+ft drops but the bike is really not designed for it) I personally love the Stumpy FSR but that is why I bought one.

You really need to ask yourself what type of bike you want and how you want to ride. They are both great bikes but it really comes down to how you want to ride that will determine which bike you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You really need to ask yourself what type of bike you want and how you want to ride. They are both great bikes but it really comes down to how you want to ride that will
determine which bike you choose.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Muggsly

I've been riding a 10 yr. old ProFlex, finally need to bite the bullet and replace.

The riding is 90% Long Island mostly fast ST, no rocks or long DH, lots of twisty, roots, sandy UH. After 19 yrs. on a FS, my butt won't take a hart tail.

From what you describe, the Epic might be a choice. Only issues I have are:

- It's an '03, thus some of the parts - Manitou Fork, Fox Brain are older and I assume the '03Brain is not as good as the newer versions. Travel's not as great - 80mm F&R on the Epic va. 100mm on the FSR, which might matter for a heavy rider (me), or not given where I do most of my riding

- The Fox Brain is propriatary. Am I in for long term replacement issues. This assumes the Fox Float R shock on the FSR is easier to replace with "something else" should the need arise.

- Some of the reviews I've read note some teething issues with the Brain, and I'm leaning towards ease of maintanence and reliabity, which is why I stayed with the Proflex as long as I did.

- The Epic lists around $1900. The FSR at $1500. Big difference given the essentially identical parts/groups (excepting the fork/R shock). Is the price difference all in the Brain ?. Is the Epic a steal at this price ?.

- Is there a weight difference ?. Does it matter ? (as long as the Epic is not over 29 lbs. - I didn't get to weigh it. The FSR is at 28.3 lbs.)

Pondering ......

SB
 

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I have ridden both of the bikes (all be it in different model years) that you speak of. I decided to go with the epic because of the super efficience, even though the trails that I ride are very rocky and technical with a lot of technical downhill. Although the Stumpy is perfectly suited for the terrain, the Epic gives me just enough cushin so I can fly downhill just a little bit slower than I can on a Stumpy. If you want advice, I would take the Epic, not that there is anything wrong with the Stumpjumper.

If you are looking for a better parts package, you might be able to find some leftover 04's for you to look at that should be pretty cheap now. And as far as Brain shock durability issues, you should not have a problem. All it is is a stock Fox Float R with the Brain controling the oil flow. The Float R is the same shock that's on the stumpjumper.
 

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Get Down Do you
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For the year Stumpy and Epic that you are talking about and the way you say you ride I think the epic would be the best choice for you. Later stumpy's have 120mm rear and near that in the front(or more in my case). The 04 has 100mm f/r and the epic 90/100 and with no propedal on the 04 stumpy I can only imagine that it will have alot of bob while the epic will not.

Also I would really try and get the price down on the Epic too. The bike has been sitting in the guys shop for 2yrs so I am sure he would be happy to deal.


Good luck and tell us how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Muggsly said:
For the year Stumpy and Epic that you are talking about and the way you say you ride I think the epic would be the best choice for you. Later stumpy's have 120mm rear and near that in the front(or more in my case). The 04 has 100mm f/r and the epic 90/100 and with no propedal on the 04 stumpy I can only imagine that it will have alot of bob while the epic will not.

Also I would really try and get the price down on the Epic too. The bike has been sitting in the guys shop for 2yrs so I am sure he would be happy to deal.

Good luck and tell us how it goes.
Thanks to all for the advice. I can say that it was all very helpful and timely

My wife gave the OK today, so I went for the Stumpjumper

Reasons: The shop and I've had an ongoing friendship, with one of the sales folk giving me terrific advice, including a feeling I'd be happier with the Stumpy based on 10 years of riding a Proflex. His comment that the Epic is sorta' of "Hardtail with a semi-active rear shock, great for racing" echoed what I've read here and in the reviews. This is the 3rd bike I've purchased from this shop over the years and I felt I was getting much better advice and service then the guy down the road - whose price for the '03 Epic was non-negotiable and $100 more then an '04 Epic at the shop where I got the Stumpy.

The repair dept. had already prep'd the bike, one of the guys came out and thoroughly explained the set up of the shocks, as well as throwing in a free shock pump. The fact that they have a first rate service dept. as well as the advice, service and attention is what sold the product.

I get it home, adjust pedal tension, put on my favorite tires (Panaracer Dirt/Smoke that I stocked up on years ago, they work great for local conditions), saddle ( Brooks B17 - yes that's a real leather, heavy, comfortable saddle), and screw on the shock pump to check pre-load and Pizzzzzz goes the air in the front shock. I suspect bad pump, take the bike back after dinner, they fix fork, replace pump...

First ride on it tomorrow AM, also taking my 17 yr. old nephew out for his first official mt. bike ride (on the Proflex). He did a whole bunch of road rides with me this past summer and fall, is a natural bike rider and is going to LOVE mt. biking !.

My only regret ?. That I could not purchase from another local shop, whose owners are terrific people and who've sold bikes to all my friends. They just didn't have what I was looking for at this point in their inventory. Too bad, but I'll find a way to make it up to them.

SB
Again, thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
3 rides later:

Went out hard today for an hr.. Some impressions, which I'll also send over to the review area.

- Light front end, compared to the Proflex with the Girvin fork. I swapped the stem around to lower the h-bar, so as to eliminate the F wheel lifting on steep climbs. Better balanced now.

- Fast handling bike. Turns faster then my P-Flex, probably as I'm better balanced. It's generally a better fit, about 20mm shorter in the reach.

- Feels like I'm behind the pedals more, getting more power. I'm a spinner on the mt. bike at any rate, while a masher on the road bike.

- Very plush suspension. I currently have it set for more sag then recommended, I'm not about to bottom out the suspension on LI. I'm riding thru stuff with no rebound like I used to get with the elastomers on the P-Flex, where I got bounced around a bit.

- B-Brackets a bit low, about a 1/2 in. lower then the P-Flex and I've hit the pedals on 2 occasions. Got to be aware of that.

- Glad I went with V brakes as it's really all the stopping power I need in these conditions.

- I don't notice the add'l weight, even though it came in at 28.4 at the LBS scale (without tool/parts saddle bag, pump, Brooks saddle). The P-Flex was around 26.

- Glad I went FS after considering a HT.

- As usual, everything works well - shifting, brakes, suspension. It really is amazing. I'm aware that it's usual for someone writing a review to always give a good review of a new bike that they just plunked down a bunch of cash for, but in this case, the difference between a 10 year old, 2nd generation FS and a new FS is remarkable.

Going out again tomorrow AM.

SB
 

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Get Down Do you
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Glad to hear it. The FSR is a great bike and I hope it lasts you as long as your pro-flex. You will have to head over to the specialized forum and post a pic of your new rig.
 
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