1990 Specialized Stumpjumper Epic #9X032
Top of the line offering, disguised as an entry level Stumpy.
My first 'real' mountain bike in the late spring of 1991 was a base model Specialized Stumpjumper. Black with red script. I rode and raced the bike for a decade. Naturally I had the catalogs from those early 90s years and would pine over the top shelf offerings. Comp with XT. Pro with XC Pro. And then at the top of course, the Stumpjumper Epic and Epic Ultimate. Over the years since I've started collecting, I've owned and sold a half dozen Epics. I'm just such a sucker for them. I've done the Ned Overend replica. Owned an Epic Ultimate. But this 1990 Epic was my favorite kind of find. Kudos to Specialized for taking a top of the line offering and making it absolutely unassuming, giving it the same markings as their entry level Stumpjumper.
This particular Epic was being sold by the son of a man in his 90s (which means he was old when he bought this bike). It was in full 'bike path' build and covered in years of dust and neglect. Which...in a weird way, protected the bike. It made for an absolute slam dunk rebuild. Stripped down to the frame and every part cleaned, greased, or polished. After correcting a few parts, the result was an stunning showroom floor spec with just a couple tasteful upgrades. Nothing like throwing a leg over the best bike from the catalog.
Frame: Specialized Stumpjumper Epic
Fork: Specialized Direct Drive
Hubs: Shimano M730/M732 XT
Quick Release: Ringle
Tires: Specialized Ground Control Extreme
Pedals: Shimano M737 XT
Crank: Shimano M730 XT
Rear Cogs: Shimano HG70
Bottom Shimano M730 XT
Front Derailleur: Shimano M732 XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Shifters: Shimano M732 XT
Brake set: Shimano M732 XT
Brake levers: Shimano M733 XT
Saddle: Selle Italia Turbo
Seat Post: Shimano M732 XT
Paint: Black/Natural Carbon
Serial #: 9X032
Place of Origin: Morgan Hill, CA
Other: 25.3 lbs.
Interestingly enough, of all the Stumpjumper Epics I've owned, this one did not ride as well as others I've have. The only difference I can tell are different chain stays. Maybe after so much time on various Epics, the novelty wore off. While they're overall a pretty neutral bike and do everything ok...the more time on them, the more the 'dead' feeling of the carbon comes forward. Love the way they look. Subtle, classy. In the end, for me, they just don't have the same input that I get from other bike of the era. I'll probably own another at some point, but likely won't keep it.