Best bike for Trans Provence 2013?

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  • Best bike for Trans Provence 2013?
  • generallevi
    Member

    Me and the missus have been successful in our applications for the 2013 Trans Provence!

    7 days of riding with over 6000 ft of climbing a day followed by some awesome timed flats and descents. So the question is: What do you reckon would be the best bike to try and be competitive?

    I currently ride an Alpine 160, CCDB, XTR 1 x 10, Marzocchi 55 rc3 ti, Reverb, Crossmax Sx wheels. 32.5lbs.

    I reckon this could be a mint option if only it climbed a little better and managed to get down to around 28lbs. However it might be a real drag after day 5,6 etc…..

    What do you guys reckon and what would you use?

    All the very best,

    Lee.

    Premier Icon boltonjon
    Subscriber

    I failed by a few minutes – gutted – but intended on using this


    Bike.monument by boltonjon, on Flickr

    Gary_C
    Member

    2013 Entry list.

    A few ‘names’ entered in this I see: Steve Peat, Tracey Moseley, Guy Martin, to name but three.

    mafiafish
    Member

    6000ft a day sounds pretty brutal on an Alpine 160. You’d probably be alright if it’s mainly fire road though, much better to be riding a bike you’re used to when pushing hard on the descents. Still, you’d have a lot more energy for the flats/ uphill bits on something lighter. No point being knackered for the bit you’re going top be timed on!

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    generallevi – Member

    What do you reckon would be the best bike to try and be competitive?

    One of the ones with a former world champion on I reckon.

    Decided not to try and enter as tbh I’m not even certain I could complete it never mind really race it… But I’d just have used my Hemlock. 31lbs, sensible tyres, 2 chainrings, a dropper post, tough enough to not act up through the week, and handling to save my arris while riding blind on amazing looking trails.

    And I really mean it about the 2 chainrings.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’m guessing at least drop the 1×10 πŸ™‚
    Unless you plan to buy a new bike then stick with it maybe drop back to the RP23 no issues with mine for the mega week.
    Perhaps a Fox 36 would drop a bit more from the front.
    Dropping that weight would allow for a beefing up on the tyres perhaps.

    zerocool
    Member

    Aren’t most of the big boys riding 160 bikes. I believe one of the top 3 from last year ran a 180 Lyrik. Alpine should be fine. I think all the Orange boys use them. Depending on your fitness a granny ring might help but it seems that 1×10 is pretty popular for reliability

    Mbnut
    Member

    I would say you have the perfect bike… are you really looking to compete?

    If you are worried about the climbing then go 36 floats and RP23, if you wanna enjoy the downs then stick with what you have and focus on enjoying.

    Whatever happens you will need a double and good tyres…. and train hard then taper properly, during the actual event personnal management and nutrition will have more bearing than a couple of pounds of bike weight.

    Top respect for entering by the way… I am going to have a go at getting on a similar event but am bloody nervous about coming up short.

    stevede
    Member

    A carbon enduro 1×11 or 2x9or10 would probably be my perfect bike, 36 floats up front, crossmax sx wheelset tubeless, reverb etc.

    nasher
    Member

    the climbs are as brutal as the descents….with manycarry a bike bits so here you may want substitute your coil set up fir air to save a couple of pounds. maybe use a 32/33 tooth up front and a tubeless set up. i live and ride in the area and swear by dual pleak imoy maxxis tubelessed up to mavic sx. i sometimes use the crossmark up back for better rolling resistance. oh and enjoy the event…

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    Fair play for getting an entry. Be great just to ride it and I’m wistfully looking at the guided trips…still spaces for next year, hmmm πŸ˜•

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    nuke – Member
    Fair play for getting an entry. Be great just to ride it and I’m wistfully looking at the guided trips…still spaces for next year, hmmm

    My neighbour is doing the guided trip… he’s very much looking forward to it.

    uselesshippy
    Member

    Boltonjon, a few minutes? The entire entry went in 1 second. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Shandy
    Subscriber

    Your bike sounds very nice, losing 4lbs off it might give you more hassle than its worth unless your tyres weigh a ton.

    You will probably get more out of working on your fitness and doing some big days in the hills where you concentrate on speed over the ground, kit and nutrition. At the end of the day you are trying to make yourself faster, that means trying what work for other people and seeing what works for you.

    Premier Icon Schweiz
    Subscriber

    Keep whatever bike you already have and get fit. The biggest advantage you can possibly have is arriving at the top of the special stages fresh enough to do yourself justice on the downs. +/- 40mm suspension won’t make the slightest difference unless you are competing in the top 10.

    generallevi
    Member

    Thanks for all the messages so far! Really varied responses with so many different ways forward. I’ll start by looking at some of the points brought up.

    A couple of people have commented on the competitive side of things and the way I look at it is like this: There is a high possibility that we will never get another chance to compete in this race again in our lifetime. If you look through the start list almost all of the racers are different from last year with the exeption of a few pros. Taking that into account I see no reason why we shouldn’t do everything we can to smash the phys and get the perfect bike set up to allow us the best possible chance of doing well.

    Now, we do not have illusions of grandeur here, definitely not! We know that the top boys are still going to be at the top but there seems to be a gap from around 7th to 18th that ends up seeing quite a few amateurs thanking those final standings. I see no reason why we can’t fight for those spots, however that becomes hard if the bike you are sporting weighs 5-6 lbs more than another equally fit guy or girl with a similar skillset. This is what I really want to avoid.

    I raced this year at Mountain Mayhem and lap for lap managed to take a fair bit of time out of Guy Martin who in my opinion is a great rider, so that sort of thing encourages me to try and be competitive in this one also, or surely I should have just booked the Holiday varient of this race?

    My missus races Elite level XC and is pretty handy in the Alpine Enviroment also so I know she will want to do as well as possible. I saw how frustrated she used to get coming up through the ranks when she started out on a battered old Giant Anthem and was fighting it out with girls on 19 lbs super bikes. This time however we both have a chance to create a level playing field.

    To the guy who mentioned the other Orange boys will be on their Alpines, that has not been the case in recent years. Joe and Hannah Barnes and even Rowan Sorrell have chosen to go with their Fives for this race over other bikes. Unfortunately I don’t have this option at present but if it makes for a better climber then it’s one that could be explored.

    The guys who seem to be making life easier for themselves are sporting Carbon 150/160mm bikes, not too slack 67 degrees, built up at around 27-28lbs and 2 x 10 to get that granny ring to stop the legs from burning on the silly steep stuff. I would be happy to go down this route but cannot justify two rigs of such similar set up and cost! If I consider this then the Alpine may have to go, regardless of how good it is in most situations.

    Bolton Jon, Really sorry you did not get in mate. It must have been mental at 1200 hrs with all those fastest mouse fingers. We literally had the form gone as the clock hit 12 and we got an email saying that it had sold out before it got 1200.01 secs! Hopefully mate you will be all over it next year and that Liteville will be ripping up the trails,

    All the best,
    Lee.

    Premier Icon boltonjon
    Subscriber

    uselesshippy – i’m 24th on the reserve list – so i was about the 80th person to submit my entry

    Here’s hoping to lots of drop outs

    I’m very tempted to do the guided event

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Hope you’re going to *blog* this thread… i hate blogs.. but i rekon i could happily read a thread about how the build goes and then how you do with it,.

    generallevi
    Member

    Wouldn’t know where to start with a blog mate! How hard can it be though? I’ll defo look into it if you think people may be interested. Like a journey from bare frame in a garage to last place on day 7….. πŸ™‚

    toons
    Member

    I’d look at a light 140mm bike with a 150/160 fox 34.

    Have you read the stw article and watched the video’s?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    well mostly in here we like MTBs…. we like mountains…. and we like pushing our limits…. you’re obviously above my personal limits so would be cool to read more.

    I just like looking at pictures of bikes. πŸ™‚

    generallevi
    Member

    Weeksy I think you have gotten me a touch mixed up mate. I am just a guy with a decent level of fitness and 15 years of riding experience who has decided to enter an event that is slightly out of the ‘normal’.

    That does not mean I’m any better or worse than anyone else…. Just have a missus who can be very persuasive when it comes to our racing calendar! πŸ™‚ If she didn’t push me you would find me smashing run after run in Morzine or Champery this summer, not walking for hours with my bike on my back…..

    I wish I was a good enough rider to do this (and enjoy it!) I’d be looking at something like a Specialized Enduro or Ibis Mojo HD (with a headset angle reducer), air shock, big but fast tubeless tyres (Rubber Queen 2.2 BC UST), and two chainrings (even though I’d run 1×10 in more normal situations). However, with an air shock with decent low speed compression damping (pro-pedal) can you get the Alpine to climb decently? Otherwise it’s an awful lot of money to spend on a bike that isn’t any better than the Orange on most of the timed stages!

    generallevi
    Member

    Chief Groove,

    We have been on the Alpines for 2 years now and I think we have got them to a point where they at the best they can be based on weight/performance balance. We bought them as ex hire bikes after a season in Morzine and they were in the lightweight air guise at that time. I remember when we first got them back and thinking this does not climb as good as my old five by a long-shot. I can’t put my finger on it but something was astray. Maybe the slack head angle or the raised pivot point but things had become a slog.

    Since changing most of the parts out they are now better climbers and more importantly are fast in places that they used to slow up, like undulating terrain, e.g Laggan Black. They seem even better with the CCDB on there for climbing also. They still seem to need a lot of pedalling to get them up the hills though where my mates Mojo HD just transfers your power really well.

    You make a good point about buying something that has little if no advantage on the way down. I would go as far as saying that if a Heli dropped you off at the stage start point then I am convinced that you would have the best 160mm bike on the planet for the Trans Provence, but how much will you have to pay in the legs and lungs to get it to the start of each stage?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    For me i’d think of it differently…

    What are your strengths ? play to your strengths and choose the bike that suits your strengths, or even eliminates your weaknesses. If you climb like a mountain goat, can you go slightly more DH on the bike as you’ll have an advantage… etc etc.

    gibbonarms
    Member

    Congrats on your entry, I applied, straight away and didn’t even get a look in, not sure if i’m annoyed or relived right now!

    Bike wise you can get Carbon S-works enduro’s for about Β£2K secondhand now, or a remedy 9.8 for around Β£1.5K both on the 27/28lb mark with droppers and 2×10 gearing.

    Fitness wise, no matter how fit you are, speak to PRO RIDE GUIDES – Joe Rafferty was the 3rd fastest amateur this year and by doing a prolonged FOF course with him will pay you back.

    And one more thing – Good Luck you Lucky Bugger! πŸ˜€

    generallevi
    Member

    Cheers gibbon! I think a lot of it may have come down to the quality of the write up as well as speed of application. We did sit down and spent ages getting our paragraphs right in the way that they wanted it ‘a description of your riding of big mountain adventures’

    In the last few years we have ridden crazy natural lines above Lake Garda and Mt Baldo with descents of up to 4-6 hrs, proper back country AM in Canada literally hours from anywhere and epics in NZ. I think they seemed to like what we had been upto and it must have read a lot different to the usual ’10 days in Verbier’ which is what my riding may have only consisted of 7-8 yrs ago.

    Joe is a friend of ours from the RAF so I will be tapping him up in the new year for a plan to get stuck into. It is his fault that I ended up applying for this event as he sold it to me while we were away on an expedition last year in Germany. A week climbing in the mountains provided a lot of time for bike talk….. πŸ˜‰

    Cheers for the bike info also, if I remember rightly Steve Jones from Dirt used an S Works last year and did really well on it, 9th place I think!

    Mbnut
    Member

    It sounds like you are well placed to be ‘competative’ so maybe a change of bike is in order.

    Being active in the secondhand frame/parts market means you could probably sell what you have and build something ‘racey’ for the event then go back the other way afterwards… all for very little loss.

    It would be good to hear what you decide and how you are training.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    i did it in 2011. My bike wasnt suitable and a little undergunned. But I still had a fab week, hard but great fun, bar the broken ribs. ;o)

    If I did it again I’d be looking for something with a minumum 120mm travel front and back and a fairly slack head angle but nice light XC weight. Make sure it can take chunky tyres and fit dual ply versions. Theres a lot of talk about 29 versus 26 but in my head its horses for courses, there are times a 29 would be nice but some of the descents are well techie and a smaller 26 would work.

    It is a hard event, there is lots of climbing… no sorry there is LOTS of climbing and you will be spending some of the day walking up, not riding up. There is probably a few times you’ll walk down as well.

    Enjoy.

    juan
    Member

    Tubes bring lots lots of tubes.
    Oh and the best bike is a commencemal meta AM.

    Interesting that Nadine is doing it. She has the advantage of being local, but not sure she’s up to anka’s or tracey’s standard.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I want to do it just to spend the day riding with Guy Martin then chatting to him about racing in the evenings.

    generallevi
    Member

    Mb Nut, Lots of good info there about making a change. You may be right and I think it could be done for very little money changing hands either way. My eye has been taken by the Β£799 frame price of the Titus El Guapo with CCDB air! I cannot believe that they can get this bike out the door for that price, I really can’t, even with On Ones buying power. I reckon this would build up about 28 lbs with my parts and with the borrowed Specialized 4 bar set up may be a demon at climbing. It’s got to be worth my consideration at that price….

    Ti Pin, I really admire your honesty! If you don’t mind me asking what bike were your riding?

    All the best,

    Lee.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    generallevi – I’m old school and the bike is very rare and not something you can buy anymore. ;o) I still have it, ride it and love it, but TP needed way more bike than I was packing! Plus its pilot (AKA me) needed a few more skills and expertise going downwards! I left them at home.

    generallevi
    Member

    How Old School? πŸ˜‰ are we talking Raleigh Activator II or Pro Flex Beast or a bit more modern like a Marin b17? πŸ˜‰

    generallevi
    Member

    Andy,
    I take this as a deliberate highjack attempt and one that could potentially see me parting with a lot of hard earned…..

    However, it is a lovely bike you have there mate and one that I struggled to keep up with at Inners! Not sure how much of that was down to its jockey though πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon Potdog
    Subscriber

    One of our guides here is 19th on the reserve list and really cheesed not to have got in. Still she’s got the Cape Epic to look forward to in March, so can’t complain too much!

    I’ve just got more thrashing around Tenerife to look forward to πŸ˜•

    Good luck and enjoy it, what ever the outcome its a weeks worth of great riding in great company I reckon.

    creaser
    Member

    Congratulations on getting an entry, lighten the alpine up or get a five with 150/60 up front,1×10 with a 32 should be ok, less chance of dropping the chain,good tyres aswell it’s very rocky in that area so puncture risk is high
    As for riding with Guy,I’ve been out riding with him a few times sound bloke mad as a hatter and fit but he ain’t no downhiller I wouldn’t have thought he’ll be challenging the top positions

    juan
    Member

    My missus races Elite level XC and is pretty handy in the Alpine Enviroment also so I know she will want to do as well as possible

    WEll call me whatever name you want but this race isn’t your typical alpine for brits environnement. Trails are raw, hard, exposed. Nowhere like the trails you gets in resorts. I am just saying that so you know what you are going to get. The 06 is usually more than what most people bargain for.

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