Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 66 total)
  • Afan on a hardtail…
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Is this stupid?

    I’m going for a technical training camp – plan is

    a) Day 1 – easy ride / warm up in cwm carn x 2 on the way

    b) Day 2 – ride W2 at race pace aiming for as close to 4h as I can get.

    c) Day 3 – 5 x reps of the Penhydd climb coming down off the fun staff only on the last rep before returning home.

    Now, I was planning to take my Scott Spark, but perhaps I should take my big tyred Clock Work Evo – because its training after all, should I taker the heavier, more difficult to manage, less comfortable Evo?

    There’s also a little bit about me thats nervous of a rock strike on the (Carbon) Spark…

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    What element of it would be stupid, the amount of riding? that’s more than I can do, but you know what you can do.

    The fearsome Afan on a HT or even a Carbon Spark? You’ll be fine mate. The core of the trails dates back to when most people were on rigids, there’s a few bike parky bits, yeah more than a few rocks but you won’t hurt a Carbon bike or die because you’re not packing suspension both ends.

    The Penhydd climb is boring AF and the idea of riding it over and over coming back down it making me yawn already, if you want the climb without the rocky descent, ride Blue Scar a few more times, it has most of the same climb and a very easy (unless you’re pinned) descent, in fact it one of the best descents in Afan, well if you like high speed, smooth and ‘fake’ as you like.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    No the question is, is it mad to do it on a hardtail?

    Its a can of worms – doing it on the race bike is a more realistic scenario and more comfortable, but the HT is LLS yet heaver / demand more skill.

    Doesn’t the Blue Scar climb stop before the Penhydd climb?  I can see the sense in riding Blue Scar x 5 but its the climbing I really need.

    Premier Icon gilesmartin81
    Subscriber

    I rode W2 a few weeks back on my Cotic Solaris and it was fine. I would go as far as to say it was more fun because it was a bit more challenging.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    No the question is, is it mad to do it on a hardtail?

    Certainly not from an ‘underbiked’ point a view. Which is harder/faster FS/HT I’m not sure, had my arse handed to me by a HT rider a few weeks ago on one of the faster (but smoother) bits of Cwmcarn.

    Blue / Penhydd share the same climb for about 2/3rd of it, then Penhydd splits off and there’s some more climbing, but it’s all fire road, better to take the BS descent and climb again. It’s not overly steep, completely non-technical and boring.

    The core of the trails dates back to when most people were on rigids,

    Last time I rode it on a hardtail I hated it. It’s not that it’s big or technical, just that it’s heavily armoured and over time the smaller stuff has got washed off the trails. Completely doable on a hardtail, just tiring even on the flat bits.

    Premier Icon ac282
    Subscriber

    The hardtail will demand more skill at riding a hardtail. The full sus will let you go quicker. It’s not any easier.

    You could strap part of an old tyre to the downtube If you are worried about rock strikes.

    Premier Icon Gunz
    Subscriber

    Can carbon frames be KO’d by a rock strike?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    It’s not any easier.

    I think thats the answer I was looking for.

    You could strap part of an old tyre to the downtube

    Good tip, thanks.

    And I know someone is about to post the Santa Cruz video,  I’ve seen it thanks 😀

    jabbi
    Member

    Was there on this a month or so ago was absolutely fine (well, apart from the weather!)
    https://flic.kr/p/2hLRs3e

    Premier Icon TheGingerOne
    Subscriber

    About 15 years ago when there were only three trails at Afan from memory, I rode all 3 in one day on a fully rigid On One Inbred. Can’t see what the issue is with riding any hardtail there myself

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    You’re training to race the Spark, I presume. Take the Spark.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    No the question is, is it mad to do it on a hardtail?

    You wot? What do you think people used to do back in the day on fully rigid 26ers with 1.9″ tyres? Why would they even make hardtails if you couldn’t ride them at a basic vanilla trail centre?

    If you’d asked if you could do it on a gravel bike I’d still say yes and call you a big jessie 🙂

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Not mad.. but mad when you have an FS yes… It’s so so so much more fun on a FS..

    I don’t really get the HT being more of a challenge and therefore ‘better’

    DrP
    Member

    You’ll be fine! Go enjoy it!

    DrP

    munrobiker
    Member

    You can train on a bike that isn’t your race bike. I’ve done a few training rides on my big 160mm Transition Patrol (in fact, almost any solo ride on it I treat as a training ride). You’ll be able to achieve a similar work out on the climbs and I suspect it’ll be more enjoyable on the descents.

    Cwmcarn is really well suited to a race bike though, it’s good fun.

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    I always do it on a hard tail.
    With small wheels!
    I would do penhydd/blue on the Friday… side winder is a personal fave.👍

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I don’t really get the HT being more of a challenge and therefore ‘better’

    it comes with the “train hard race easy*” thing.  Heavier, tricker to manage bike will enhance my strength & skills more.   Although, using the race bike brings specificity.  Thinking about it this will be January with 3 months to go before my first event, with 3 Gorricks in between to be specific on, so the fun-er Clockwork it is.

    *Although racing is never easy of course.

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    Take two bikes.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    When I started riding MTB in 2012 my first bike was a Kona hardtail with 100mm cheap-as-chips Dart forks (coil not air). I rode that bike around Cwmcarn loads (including the DH track) and a couple times around Afan. To be honest it beat the sh*t out of me and it wasn’t long before I replaced it with a FS. BUT, it was doable and that bike/fork combo was possibly the worst thing to ride there anyway. So anything a bit more modern with nice long plush air forks will be fine. As to the weight issue, train heavy-race light.

    Mbnut
    Member

    For me it doesn’t come down to whether it’s harder or more fun.

    The difference is in the levels and nature of the fatigue.

    I rode W2 at pace on a HT a few years back, it was exhausting, my whole body knew all about it.

    I have ridden it at pace many times on a FS, then it is straight up riding effort not the overall body exhaustion that I got on the HT.

    That was a 26” wheeled Evil Sov with Hammerschmit and 36s mind…. **** love that thing.

    I suspect my Transmitter would be somewhat less knackering.

    Why don’t you just do some back to back W2 laps on both and put the HT v FS debate to bed for good….

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I rode W2 at pace on a HT a few years back, it was exhausting, my whole body knew all about it.

    Well, it’s a workout I want, not an easy ride.   Can’t be arsed taking two bikes.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Heavier, tricker to manage bike will enhance my strength & skills more

    Will it? Or will it just make a great day out a bit crap?

    DT78
    Member

    I was there in June for 3 days on my scale. It’s fine, I’m not anywhere near as fit as I was but plenty of prs up and down, mostly top 5% on segments. Joyrider, one of my favourites looks like I’m 56/8732, on said hardtail.

    My wrists were shot by the final descent on blade, and I was starting to have trouble braking. My forks are in desperate need of a service too so that didn’t help

    Though I now have a new spark, so next time I’ll be taking that because it should be more fun, but probably slower overall

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I get what your saying Weeksy but unfortunately I’m not going there for fun on this occasion.

    I have no knowledge of these trails but from what you write it sounds more of an endurance training camp than a technical training camp .

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    That’s right.  It’s targeting 4h endurance then climbing when fatigued, stressing my VO2max zone and muscular endurance.  And it’s doing it in technical wet and cold conditions because that’s a mental weakness of mine.  A bit of toughen up princess going on…

    Fair enough , hope it pisses down for you . 🙂

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    It’s Wales in January, I’d be fairly confident it’ll be damp.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Do the climb on the HT, and then ride down the fire roads. You’ll be fine.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    If you want to work hard and work on skills, you’d be better doing bpw with me and the lads early Jan

    DT78
    Member

    If your last post is what you want I’d take a road bike….

    belugabob
    Member

    Only ever done it once hardtail – 3 times on my 29er, but lots of times on my 26 inch Singlespeed.

    You’ll be fine

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    It’s Wales in January, I’d be fairly confident it’ll be damp.

    Actually it’s one of the few times you have a decent chance of a dry ride, cold frosty rides are the tits in Afan!

    fibre
    Member

    I’ve done it on my Trek Superfly Carbon a few years ago, we did all the trails over a weekend and it was fine overall. Faster up, but much slower down. The main issue was comfort, specifically seated on the longer sections of rougher surfaces. It’s the bits you just dont notice on a full sus, you just stay seated and cruise through it, whereas I was spending more time out of the saddle. Hill reps wise I would much rather do Whites Level climb if there is a shorter route back down (?), decent amount of effort involved to do it at a good pace and some technical features. It’s tougher and more interesting than the Penhydd climb.

    danjthomas
    Member

    My first trail on my new clockwork evo 29er s was blade at afan a few months ago. Not enough air in forks. To much tyre pressure and it was fine. Used to full suspension too.

    Tye final descent was brutal but it wasn’t much better on my 26 inch stumpjumper fs with pikes.

    It was the ride that made me realise o dont need full suspension.

    There’s quite a bit of mis-remembering on this thread.

    Firstly, AFAIR Penhydd was instituted as a formal trail somewhere around 2002 as the 9feet.com trail, by which time all of us except the special ones were riding hardtails at the very least, and there were plenty of FSs around. There were few rigids on the trails by this time.

    Secondly, anyone remembering what Afan was like in the early noughties is entirely wrong in there assesment of what it’s like to ride now. It’s been re worked and repaired and added to on multiple occasions since then.

    It’s undoubtedly still a trail centre in the truest sense of the word, with plenty of smooth roller coaster sections, but it’s quite a bit rougher in many places than those groomed fresh trails from even 10 years ago. It’s better for it too, much more interesting and rewarding now it’s worn in/eroded.

    I had a hoot the last couple of times I’ve taken the hardtail despite being a bit battered at the end.

    Premier Icon prawny
    Subscriber

    Not read the whole thread yet, but I did Penhydd once on a hard tail and it was more than enough, the thought of doing it 4 more times after? No way.

    I enjoyed Y Wal, but I think penhydd was the least fun morning out on a bike for a good long while.

    Premier Icon prawny
    Subscriber

    Just caught up, if you’re looking to knacker yourself then Penhydd would be grand. It’s a miserable slog for about 65% of the ride.

    rob8624
    Member

    If you are riding W2 at race pace, it will be pretty brutal whatever bike you ride it on, but it won’t take you 4 hours.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 66 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.