29 v 26: Let the battle ensue

My friend Jason, Specialized rep to the stars, says I get to test-ride a new carbon Epic 29er.

All I’m saying is:

Epic 29er vs Mighty Stumpjumper FSR. Timed laps. XC trails. Forget those maintain-constant-uphill-power-then-coast-the-downhills 29 v 26 tests. Both bikes will be hammered up and braaaped down.

I have two sets of fresh Eskars.

It’s on.

13 replies
  1. Bas says:

    Looking forward to this one! I’m not at the point where I’m liking 29ers. They don’t rip or braap as hard, but am looking forward to your opinions.

  2. cgerald1 says:

    I too am looking foward to this test. Being a really short guy I just can’t get behing the 29 (the stand over is just too high) but I have a bunch of friends looking at them and we what to see what the advantages and disadvantages are. Have at it!!

  3. WAKi says:

    Would I spoil it if the outcome is highly possible to be: “it depends”?

    I am personaly thinking about converting my CX bike to “half 29er” as my frame clearance doesn’t let me put in anything wider than 1,6″ tyre. And well that would be a build for all day rides on fireroads and easy forest paths to “get back to the roots”, no suspension and endless journeys to the wild. 🙂

    Maybe next year I would build a proper Braaap-niner

  4. ian says:

    Awesome! The two bikes I am considering!! Have you taken possession of the epic yet? When do you think you will have a comparison available? Stoked

  5. electric says:

    I’m with Lopes here – Wagon wheels! I tried one of these things… what a monster truck. I like my “jeep”. 🙂

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    I have some notions about how the bike will ride, but I’m going into this with an open mind. Gonna find my feet, set some edges, rock the pump and see what happens.

    Do 29ers say braaaap with an extra a?

    or braap?

    We shall see!

  7. WAKi says:

    My personal go on this one is:
    Is it better? – it is just relative, depends on the trails you ride it on. Same thing came out of Frishie’s mouth on Champery XC World Cup when he was in the commentators booth with Peaty and Minnaar.

    Is it a hype? – yes. Why? Because “the industry” hit the wall when it comes to innovations on XC-bikes (just as it did with alu DH bikes so we will see more and more carbon soon). They had to come up with something new to find new buyers or to offer somethign new for old ones. I mean that’s how the capitalism rolls. Sad thing is why they don’t innovate bikes to be more “green”, more sustainable, instead of finding new “it depends” standards. In general I believe we are already beyond the bicycle-performance-development-level of what we actualy need, perhaps even what racers need.

    So 29ers are just another product neither better nor worse

  8. leelikesbikes says:


    29ers are another tool. If the bigger wheels favor your riding conditions and style, rock ’em.

    More and more evidence indicates 29ers are faster/easier for XC riding/racing on moderately rough terrain. If your riding style matches that of the testers. Mine does not.

    Here’s an interesting article by Pacocha at Velonews, a super strong road/XC/CX rider:


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