by Ben Haworth
June 22, 2011
With less than three weeks to go until this year’s Shimano Singletrack Classic Weekender talk is turning to what kit to use for the event. If you’re just coming along to have-a-go and have a laugh then just bring your regular bike and get on with it. If you’re actually bothered about how you perform at the Weekender and have the desire to equip yourself well then have a look at some comments from previous years’ competitors about what worked and what didn’t…
“Last year? Me – 33lb Cotic Hemlock LT with Magura Wotans, but fast-ish tyres (Minnion 2.35″ F, the mighty CrossMark LUST rear). Sam (from Singular Cycles) – sub-20lb? SS Pegasus 29er with dugast mad tub wheels, plus much more fitness than me. Difference on the line after the whole weekend of competition? 24 seconds. Says it all really. Only thing I’d really change for this year is a lighter, shorter fork.” – CY TURNER
“Despite heckles a 29er hardtail singlespeed was not found wanting apart from the ride up from the carpark and the initial sunday climb. It even made it to the top of the grunty trials climb, only not on the run that counted. Tyres: I found crossmark front and Aspen rear (29er, non-ust, tubelessed) were ace on the dh run and did not cause any of my fails on the trials. They did not last a lap on the xc though. Maybe more reserve neccesary on the last drop into the quarry to avoid a double pinch, or slightly chunkier tyres…? Getting more than 1 run on the dh course would help, but if the queues are long then watching other peoples line choices and consequences will pay dividends.” – CHRIS MARQUIS
“45mm Dugasts [tyres] were a bit narrow, this year I’ll be on 47s…. In fact, probably this year I’m going to go properly neo-retro with a pimped out flat bar [Singular] Peregrine.” – SAM ALISON
“A 2×9 29er with fast-rolling tyres is currently my ride choice for this year. Will certainly recce one evening over there soon on that… First year I was on a hardtail 26er, chunkyish tyres (tubed Kenda Nevegals), pumped fairly hard… Second year, short travel FS 26er, same tyres, able to push a little harder into the rougher bits, but the pumped tyres still somewhat skittish in the drier gravel (then it rained, again). Balance innit… A high potential to pinch flat, or some ‘entertainment’ in the gravel… Personally I’ll avoid the pinch flat option. as a convert to tubeless only this year, will be interesting to see what happens.” – CRAIG FORRESTER
“Rode a Gary Fisher Superfly SS with Niner carbon fork with big Bonty FR-3 ft and 29-3 rr. It was good everywhere. Didn’t limit me on the DH, but perhaps my sole last minute practice did. Perhaps some boingy forks would have been good. Dunno. Despite thinking that the S’fly was not lacking, this year I’m bringing a 1×10 Rumblefish with bigger tyres – 29-4 ft and the same FR-3 that was on the front of the Sfly on the rear. Should be fun.” – DAVE ‘CHOP’
“I reckon a 2×9 29er with fast-rolling not-thin sidewalls FTW. Whatever you ride, pack some fast-rolling thick-sidewalled tyres. A single puncture will kill all your efforts.” – BENJI HAWORTH
“I’d have to recommend an Orange five. It has the geometry and handling to tackle the downhill course with confidence yet it can still handle the xc loop without feeling at all overbiked, in Lee Quarry there are always plenty of rocks about to remind you why you do need that rear suspension. Bike set up for me riding in the quarry is pretty simple, I ride the same set-up I use for most of my trail riding, short stem, wide bars, 140mm rear, Fox Float 150mm front. Maxle rear and 15mm QR front to give a stiff handling bike. I run the rear with 40% sag and a shock with a hard compression stack – that way the bike hugs the ground without bottoming harshly. Forks and Back end are pretty balanced, rebound is slightly quicker on the front than the back but both in the controlled region rather than too ‘springy’. Tyres in the quarry; ideally you would run a double ply as it is easy to pick up a flat or tear a tyre but the added weight makes it a slog on the xc. I run a Maxxis Minion on the front and the excellent Crossmark on the rear – single ply and try and go light on the square edge hits, crossmarks are a brilliant tyre on the rear, fast rolling and plenty of grip on the rocks. I would definitely run a dropper post – nowhere is better suited to these posts than Lee Quarry. 1×10 gearing with a 34t chainring as all the climbs are short and sweet (and steep!) and a single ring forces the issue, you just have to get on with it.” – ROWAN SORRELL
What about you? What are you bringing? What do you think we work well at the Weekender? Leave a comment below.
To read more about this year’s Shimano Singletrack Classic Weekender and how to enter go to…
Shimano Singletrack Classic Weekender
Lee Quarry, Lancashire, July 9-10, 2011
3 different races.
The ultimate “all rounder” event.
A weekend of Trials, Downhill and XC racing. One entry fee – all three events.