Bike for XCM racing

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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devinci
Posts: 3039
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:43 pm
Location: Canada

by devinci

First off, its my first year racing MTB. I race XCO and XCM events. Here in Eastern Canada, the trails are quite bumpy, technical with roots and rocks. It rarely flows smoothly without obstacle.

For XCO, I use my rocky mountain vertex 26in, its light and I love it. It climbs like a rocket and the descending in XCO races is manageable on a hardtail IMO, even if I go a bit slow on descents (need more experience!)

For XCM, I use the same bike, and I think its an issue. Last week-end, I did a 80km XCM race which involved a bit of single tracks, double tracks and not much smooth gravel road. It was super bumpy and I got beaten up BIG TIME by my bike. I was so pissed to watch people riding their 29er FS or 26 FS over roots and keeping pedaling while I had to clear the rough stuff and start pedaling after having cleared it. I even saw a girl passing me on a descent on her 29 FS, like she was floating over the rocks!!! (DISCLAIMER: im not the best/fastest descender but im not bad either)

The day after the race, I was toasted, every part of my body was sore. I somehow came to the conclusion a 26in hardtail isnt made for XCM racing. Since then, im thinking about building a 26in FS bike, on which I could use my existing sets of 26in wheels.

What do you guys think?
-should I MTFU and keep racing the XCM events on my Vertex? (0)
-should I build a 26in FS? ($$$)
-should I build a 29er hardtail? ($$)
-should I build a 29er FS? ($$$$)

andrewryangibson
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:41 am

by andrewryangibson

Bite the bullet and build up a fs 29er. I have really liked my Tallboy, and am now building up a long travel Tallboy. I won sea otter cat 2 on the Tallboy against a lot of hardtail riders....was able to pedal over stuff they couldn't.

by Weenie


Asymptotic
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:06 am
Location: North Adelaide, South Australia

by Asymptotic

Firstly, could I ascertain if you have any room to move on the equipment front, i.e. going to 2.35-2.5 tyres as well as lowering pressure has big effects on comfort.

Secondly, 4 + hour marathons are hard on your shoulders whatever bike you ride, period. :)

Getting a FS 26er frame would obviously be convenient, but not necessarily the best XCM option.

I ride a HT 29er so I'm clearly biast, but I think bikes like the Scott Spark and Cannondale Scalpel are the ultimate XCM weapons given their comfort and ability to get to insane weights. Downside to 29er FS is that they are really expensive.
Norwood & Adelaide Uni CC

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devinci
Posts: 3039
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:43 pm
Location: Canada

by devinci

thanks for replying

I ride some maxxis Ikon 2.2 tubeless.

I found a Kona hei hei scandium frame. But im really not sure what option to go between everything I listed. Or even simply getting a comfy saddle and keep my 26in HT...

xc71
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:36 am

by xc71

Seeing as you have the 26" wheels, I would build a Scott Spark RC 26". Mine with a wide handlebar & 2 x 9 gearing weighs 18.45 LBS.

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devinci
Posts: 3039
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:43 pm
Location: Canada

by devinci

its not really a matter of weight concern. More a matter of making the right choice between the listed options. I am leaning toward a 26 FS but would it make a noticeable difference?

by Weenie


02GF74
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:04 pm
Location: Sunny UK

by 02GF74

devinci wrote:I am leaning toward a 26 FS but would it make a noticeable difference?


FS definitely makes difference - on a hardtail you would, well, this is how I ride, stand off the saddle so that your legs, which incidentaly are very good shock absorbers, absorb the bumps - down side is it that is uses energy. An FS will allow you to sit in the saddle over the bumps or at the very least reduce the aount of stnainding you do thus saving energy for pedalling.

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