Most downhill orientated xc race machine

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  • Most downhill orientated xc race machine
  • mrmo
    Member

    gone from an alu Trek Top Fuel to a carbon Trek Superfly and i am faster up and down hill, the bike just feels more stable.

    hughjayteens
    Member

    Enduro MTB mag have a test of some XC bikes in a recent issue and a couple of those were quite DH orientated. The Giant Anthem SX and Pivot Mach 4 get the most stars for their descending ability.

    b r
    Member

    Get a 29er that will run 120mm of travel, and put a Pike on 🙂

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Giant Anthem SX and Pivot Mach 4 get the most stars for their descending ability

    Both FS though.

    Personally I’d say for £2500 wanting a 22lb bike that’ll descend well is unlikely. To get to that weight you’re going to be fitting lightweight skinny bits. I’d choose – go for a 22lb bike, get some Crest wheels, 1×11 group, SIDs and a load of Mt zoom and KCNC finishing kit to keep weight down. Or go for a Reverb, some 120mm forks, some fatter tyres, stiffer wheels, bigger brakes etc, which will help you more on the way down.

    as for frame… I love my Superfly, but good luck getting one to 22lbs for £2500 I’d say. Chinese frame is probably your best hope. Or something from Paul’s on clear out.

    Just enjoying having a daydream about this. Might venture back into the world of xc next year.

    If I was buying a new, proper xc race bike but for sensible money, say £2500 tops, which model would look after me most on the decents?

    I’ve come to realise that whilst I can climb well, my descending is only ok and if I could shave 10-20 seconds a lap on the descents then I’d be sitting pretty!

    Good news is I’m fine on a hard tail, so that kind of budget would get me something light enough to be competitive. I regard 22lbs built up be the limit on weight.

    Cheers njee. My lbs are Trek dealers and I like the guys there so would love to buy from them. the Superfly is current top of my list, and for £2200 you can get one with xt, Sid fork and bonty wheels. l think it is 23 lbs which is ok.
    I tried the Procaliber but found the bouncy seatpost completely distracting.

    ferrals
    Member

    Superfly with a lightweight (ks lev?) dropper then.

    Lots of people in the Nationals this year running droppers (in the Saturday races at least)

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Or look at a Top Fuel. If I was buying now that’s what I’d get. Heavier, but will descend better.

    FWIW, my Superfly started as the £2500 XT equipped model and I think it was more like 25lbs.

    richinbish
    Member

    I’ve a cube reaction GTC SLT ( 2015 ) retail £2399 but you can probably get 10% off , it felt so right the first time I sat on it , it weighs in at 10.5 kg ( 23lbs ish ) but it feels light as a feather . I do a lot of cross country exploring and it’s a piece of cake to lift over styles and locked gates .

    cheers_drive
    Member

    Can I be the first to say spending the money on a skills course to help you descending will likely gain you more that a slightly more DH orientated XC bike.

    Rorschach
    Member

    Yeti ARC with 120mm forks.Or an FSi

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Can I be the first to say spending the money on a skills

    +1
    Best use of the cash
    20s a lap is a big ask on the decent

    buckster
    Member

    ^wot they said plus dedicated personal training, fitness and skills will likely get you round faster than a new bike. Its more fun buying a new bike and believing though!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Surely that depends if the only bike the OP owns is a V10…?!

    I agree on coaching, but to race XC you do kinda need an XC bike!

    ferrals
    Member

    20s a lap is a big ask on a descent

    Dunno, I’ve had two people now (one an elite level racer that posts on here occasionally) say that a dropper saves approx a minute a lap, esp. on technical courses like newnham. I’m not sure it would for me as my saddle is only 3-4cm higher than my bars in pedalling position anyway but it did make me think.

    fifeandy
    Member

    The only way a dropper would save as much as a minute would be if it gave the confidence to ride A lines where you’d be taking B lines otherwise. Even then a minute sounds somewhat far fetched.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    Pivot Les?

    Rorschach
    Member

    Saves a minute? Maybe if you’re really poor at descending (with a saddle up your jacksie).Does that include the time lost on the up hills from it being 300g heavier?

    DanW
    Member

    The only way a dropper would save as much as a minute would be if it gave the confidence to ride A lines where you’d be taking B lines otherwise. Even then a minute sounds somewhat far fetched.

    This matches my experience. On an XC geo frame you won’t be saving time with a dropper as such but it does give you an extra margin for error for a last minute save in those “oh sh1t” moments. Added ability to ride a line you might not otherwise take is also plausible but if you can ride the line anyway then there isn’t any time saved IME. The only other time saver is not crashing on a tricky section with a dropper (see above re no time saved if you can ride it anyway) which could be worth a minute 😉 🙂 If you did go for a dropper then the first 10-20mm gives you the required saddle clearance and anything after that makes the bike feel very ungainly. I don’t think this is just my opinion as Absalon gaffa taped his stanchion to limit travel of even a Lev Ci 🙂

    Pivot Les, Scott Scale, BH ULtimate, Cannondale F-Si, Chinese 256-sl are regarded as more “new school” XC geo frames.

    I have a rolling chassis sitting around doing nothing if anyone is interested: Large 256-sl (1kg, Scott Scale geo, internal routing, BSA BB, 142 rear) frame, SIDs with custom Shift Up damper, Lev Ci and Tune Princess/ Kong wheels. 19.14 lbs ready to ride with XX1, pedals, cages, dropper, etc or 18.44 lbs with a carbon post 😀

    maxtorque
    Member

    for XC, where the trails are “relatively” mellow (ie, not 100 yard long rock gardens with 4 foot drops between rocks the size of a small car , a-la DH WC) descent speed will come from 2 places:

    1) tyre grip – limited by your tyre choice, ie fast rolling vs grippy

    and

    2) Frame Geo – ie, low BB, slack head angle, low TT – limited by what you can pedal efficiently

    In all cases, as the average speed of the climbs is lower than the descents, more “time” is available on those climbs.

    for example, take a 1min climb and 30sec descent. Go say 5% faster, and on the climb you save 3sec, vs just 1.5sec on the descent.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    When not learn to decend better? It’s cheaper than a new bike…

    I don’t think it’s particularly lack of skill, I’m fairly good as I do a lot of racing on cross bikes (top 10 in the regionals, podiumed 3 times in the London league, 3rd cat road and won a couple of Gorricks a couple of years ago before my singlespeed 26″ mtb died of old age), and I am reasonably proficient on my blue pig mtb too (always have the saddle right the way down on that one). I lose time on the descents to the best guys mainly due to weighing up the possibility of time losses from losing control causing me to hold back just a little.
    As we all know some bikes inspire more confidence than others, indeed The Pig is a fantastic bike to ride, pity it weighs 30lbs.
    I’d take tuition if I found someone who specialised in xc/cross race descending (making good decisions when under extreme physical distress is very different to normal riding). I think I’d find a generic skills course frustrating.

    I did test ride a pivot les last year on Pitch hill. It was awesome, thanks for reminding me.

    Premier Icon twonks
    Subscriber

    From the above alone I’d suggest that it’s probably you not the bike.

    You clearly have the fitness to place where you do – can there really be that much difference in a bike at this sort of level that will allow you to make up time downhill without losing somewhere else?

    Sounds more like it is you holding back going down, so maybe a bike that ‘can’ descend quicker will only succeed in a crash as your head isn’t with it.

    Can you see what bikes the top guys ride and their setup compared to yours. Might be something simple like fork rake or head angle etc.

    If you can get a demo ride of one and ride it back to back with yours down a typical XC run it will prove if it’s you or the bike.

    All good advice. I’ve not got an xc bike at the moment but all the talk of national courses getting more hardcore has whetted my appetite for next season and naturally if I’m going to buy a new bike I want it to be a nice one which descends as well as it climbs. I’m used to taking steep head angled, rigid bikes down crazy routes and love the excitement of that but it’d be nice to take some smooth along with the rough.
    I think I may take my Pig to the next Southern xc just for the hell of it, it’ll be nice to be able to relax a bit on the fun bits rather than clinging on whilst my eyes get rattled out of their sockets.

    It’d be good to have a go on a current xc bike. When I last raced a couple of years ago it was on a SS Scott scale with rigid forks and 26″ wheels – not the best on the way down.

    thomthumb
    Member

    some XC bikes are getting (relitavely) longer, lower, slacker. (longer ETT by 20mm is typical).

    BH ultimate 29 is one of these, and looks nice. I’d like a spin

    One issue (imo) is as the bikes get a bit longer there are fewer options to get the bars lower (less stem length= less drop), although ‘drop’ stems from syntace/ FSA look decent.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    OP – I get what you mean about skills courses being DH orientated. However I’m no where near as fit as you, but having been on a skills course I was way quicker on XC type undulating segments on Strava.

    For the sake of £40-£80 I’d say it’s worth it?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’d take tuition if I found someone who specialised in xc/cross race descending (making good decisions when under extreme physical distress is very different to normal riding). I think I’d find a generic skills course frustrating.

    Good coaches are good coaches 🙂
    JUlian Absalon has apparently been working with his brother Remi the Eundro rider a lot in the off season to improve his skills. The skill set your talking exactly is the same as any DH or Enduro racer, it’s that sort of skill set that really helps me when I’m knackered either plotting an energy efficient risk advers line or to know what I can do. Perhaps a dropper is an option too, get you more able to ride normally when you really need it. Smaller weight penalty.

    ferrals
    Member

    Sounds like a confidence thing, I’m very much the same. Not sure a new bike will fix that, although I’d actually wondered about going and hiring a FS enduro type bike for a day to get used to descending faster and hitting things with super grippy tyres to see if i could translate that to the xc bike.

    Another option might be a line of coke beforehand? 😆 perhaps hookers cheering from the sidelines?

    I also agree with you about skill courses, I’d happily do one if they were xc focused, but they all seem advertised as being bike-parky.

    chum3
    Member

    Whyte 29C is pretty competent downhill…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I also agree with you about skill courses, I’d happily do one if they were xc focused, but they all seem advertised as being bike-parky.

    Find someone who you can talk to, tell then what your after and most good coaches will do a 1 on 1 working on what you need and want.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Maybe one of these with some Lightbicycle carbon wheels and a carbon bar & seatpost to drop it down to 22lbs?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/vitus-bikes-rapide-29-hardtail-bike-2016/rp-prod135379

    I don’t think you’d want to go much slacker for XC racing.

    You’d probably have a bit of change from £2,500 for that skills course as well.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Oh no, I was hanging out for an end of season F-SI but that Vitus looks a complete bargain as a pure out and out race bike – swapping wheels, bars & post from my Anthem would male it about 22lbs.

    I’m assuming its and easy swap to an oval chainring up front?

    I really may just buy that now!

    ferrals
    Member

    Turbine chainset is wider Q-factor than standard, abotu 5mm eiter side I think. I have one and don’t really notice it until I’ve been riding cx bike for a bit and switching back but worth pointing out

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    What does that mean in real life? For me I’d want to stick and Abs Black oval on it would it interfere with doing that?

    ferrals
    Member

    no idea, all i know is the first 10 minutes of a ride i feel like my feet are really far apart and then I stop noticing. I occaisionally worry its less efficient but doubt it really makes much differnece

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I occaisionally worry

    Just think what that would do for me… 😀

    I am seriously tempted…

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    If they were a few CM longer in the front centre (so I could use a shorter stem), I think I’d have caved in and got one by now.

    £1,350-ish with BC discount. Hi-mod carbon. X1 groupset.

    Maybe I could just get used to a longer stem again.

    b r
    Member

    It’d be good to have a go on a current xc bike. When I last raced a couple of years ago it was on a SS Scott scale with rigid forks and 26″ wheels – not the best on the way down.

    I’m guessing also bars 600mm wide? 😉

    I’d hire/demo something like a newer decent Scale, this?

    http://www.tweekscycles.com/Product.do?method=view&n=3282&g=935528&p=936798&d=124&c=4&l=2&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Base&utm_campaign=Hardtail%20Mountain%20Bikes&gclid=CKyszcWkts0CFRATGwodu2MCDA

    Or whatever your LBS sell. Get the right size and then take some training.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    £1376.99 to be precise, its in my CRC basket, wibble… *finger hovers, considers wife reaction*

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