Can a racey cross country bike be fun?
After checking my bank and realizing I got 0.4% interest on my savings last year i’ve decided to blow it on a bike. I’ve got a mojoHD with 140/160 travel so that deals with DH, trail centres and enduro but I want a hardtail or very possibly a short travel full sus built light around 120mm for Cannock, Cardinham, all day rides. I don’t race at the minute but next year i’d like to really step up my fitness so a bike that is capable of some less serious XC racing is a must. My initial thought was a soul because I love jumping and technical decents however I think I should be looking more at the Solaris or a niner to make covering miles/racing/hills easier. Question is will those bikes be too ‘racey’ to be fun on decents coming from my Ibis?Posted 4 years ago
Does anyone want to big up their own bike and convince me its the bike for me?cbmotorsportMember
Something with a slacker head angle will be more fun going down obviously, but won’t be the best going uphill. What about something that’ll take a longer fork and give a slack angle, and then a dual position fork so you can run it at 100mm for xc. Weight would be your only penalty.Posted 4 years agoDT78Member
yes they are fun. and not just on the downs, sections that used to be a slow grind uphill you will suddenly find you can motor along and enjoy the swoopyness at speed.
Not really going to be appropriate on full on DH courses but for a trail centre they are a blast.
My anthem with a reverb was perfect for blasting round every where flat out. I’ve now got a scale and it is even faster but a less comfortable place to be after 3 hours….Posted 4 years agodantsw13Member
My view would be the Mojo is the perfect bike for any of the fun stuff, and plenty capable on 95% of the xc stuff too. If you want a race bike for the odd race, get one for that purpose, not to ride the other stuff you already the perfect bike for.
Get a cheap 29er HT from O-One.Posted 4 years agoMarkBrewerMember
I’ve got a 26″ 100mm travel On one scandal which is my do everything bike. Its fairly light at around 22-23 lbs and gets used for anything from usual weekly rides on the Quantocks/Haldon, xc races, Triscombe D/H runs, and I’ve even done an enduro on it.
I think the lack of weight and it being a bit sketchy going down makes it more fun to ride and its really quick on the flats & uphill 8)Posted 4 years agoswanny853Member
Kinesis ff29? I looked at that and a Solaris for ‘just riding about’and racing. Got the Solaris because I liked the looks and favour steel. I was also thinking 12hr+ races. For short course the kinesis is lighter and probably better.
And yes, racey bikes can be fun. I had a hardtail with short rigid forks, step head angle and narrow bars, kept the steering just the right side of lethal. Steered by thought not action and went down narrow singletrack like a rocket. The replacement is ‘better’ but less fun.Posted 4 years agorickonSubscriber
The Ibis Mojo HD isn’t overbiked for anything, if you’ve built it sensible it’ll be great for all day epics. I used to have one and do relatively big days out in the mountains on it.
If you want another bike, go for it, its not going to be any better for the riding you’re stating than the Mojo, just different.
I went through years of having 13 or so bikes at any one time, now down to – road bike and a 5spot. I couldn’t buy another full sus to supplement the 5spot as its not additional benefit, whereas a hardtail or singlespeed would reduce maintenance.
Like I said, if you want a new bike, buy it, don’t try to justify it as the only justification you need is that you want it 🙂Posted 4 years agoScotlandTheScaredSubscriber
I love my niner air9 – long reach plus short stem, and surprisingly chuckable. Descends not too badly cos its long wheelbase means its pretty stable, but its light enough to fling around and remain nimble. Was chasing a mate on an alpine 160 the other night – safe to say I couldnt keep up when it got properly lumpy, but then again, I wasnt that far behind… especially since it was dark and I didnt have a helmet light for the twisty stuff.Posted 4 years agoroverpigSubscriber
I built a Kinesis FF29 to compliment my Five. It does what it says on the tin i.e. it is faster over less technical terrain and is a better option if you want to mix some trails with large amounts of road or fireroad. It does cope with the technical stuff pretty well too, but I wouldn’t call it fun. In fact I find that I almost always prefer to take the Five. A modern trail bike (with modern shocks) gives up surprisingly little on the way up but gives up a lot more grins on the way down in my experience.
I dare say that there are fun XC bikes, even fun HT 29ers and for some people just going fast is fun in itself, but the FF29 is more about speed than fun in my opinion.Posted 4 years agoKryton57Subscriber
I have an Enigma Ego Ti with 100mm 2012 SIDforks, and based on yesterdays “is my Reba too harsh” thread had to think about my answer.
My Enigma seems to be great fun during the summer, as its fast and agile particularly in swoopy forest singletrack. I’ve found the fork to have “stiction” even after 18 months/15 rides use out of the shed/if left for more than 15 mins – which doesn’t occur when riding and to me it never feels “plush” as does the F120 on my FS bike. I’ve had all the travel out of it and played endlessly with pressures and settings. I wonder then if this taints what I’m about to say…
…and that is, during the winter months and through various events I’ve found it too be not fun at all. I’ve found the slow slogging crashing over roots etc uncomfortable and would prefer the FS. I also don’t think the front end “helps” its agility in anyway and this cause it to feel hard work at say, the latest Bonty 24/12.
Now. I’m not sure if the fork, or my personal comfort/MTFU levels have affected my judgement and that I just find hardtails less fun in the winter, but somehow I feel I shouldnt be suffering with the above becuase others dont. However, the SS (Kinesis decade virsa, rigid fork) doesn’t seem to exhibit these issues. Based on this may answer to the OP is “no”.
On the other hand, the ASR5 (120mm) is perfect for trail centres, peaks, forest and so on. I don’t feel the need to go bigger and I love riding it. Based on that, my answer is “yes”.
If any one (sorry for the hijack) has an answer for the above I’d love to hear it….Posted 4 years agoDaveyBoyWonderMember
I have a Curtis S1. Salsa Cromoto forks, singlespeed, lightweight wheelset – I’d say it was ‘racey’. Its a good bike but simply for getting out and about on. I wouldn’t have said it was fun.
Then I shoved a 60mm stem and some 780mm Renthals on it and it transformed it. Still really quick but its amazing what a slightly shorter stem and some stupid bars has done to the ride. Its not just a bike for getting filthy on anymore – its a real good fun alternative to the Five for when you want something a bit different…Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
OK, my El mariachi is SS and steel, therefore not ‘racey’, but is ‘XC’.
It’s a hoot after years on progressively bigger bikes, and 9 times out of 10 it’ll match downhill strava times at trail centers I set on my Pitch, only losing out on rougher stuff like Cavedale in the Peak.
I reckon the marketing has a lot to answer for convinceing bikers that what they ride is somehow not ‘XC’. Convincing slow blokes like me that a heavier less responsive bike that you’ll rarely reach the limits of was what they needed to have more fun.Posted 4 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
Yes. That thing when you attack the pedals and it tears off like a rocket, is fun as hell! I borrowed a Scott Scale carbon 29er for a ride and it was instantly wanting to be in the big ring totally caning it into everything until I exploded with effort. I almost bought one.
That and being able to change direction on a sixpence due to the lack of mass, and the reactivity of the steering compared with the slack beasts that seem more popular these days (me included). Not for the feint hearted though.Posted 4 years agoneninjaMember
Unfashionable wheel size but I have great fun on my Cube Elite Super HPC 26″ hardtail.
Doesn’t feel too steep at the front but it’s quite long and with a low BB so it feels so stable on fast turns but is light enough to change direction quickly (far quicker than I am).
It only weighs around 20lbs so you need to concentrate on rough stuff as it gets pinged around but it’s turn of speed is awesome.Posted 4 years agoesher shoreMember
this is my Stumpy Expert Carbon 29’er which has been given the “Evo” treatment with 100mm forks, big tires, 750mm Easton bars, 70mm Thomson stem and flat pedals
It started life as a “race bike” and frame is only 1.2kg, but with the changes I made its huge fun to blast around on and feels very fast / lively for trail ridingPosted 4 years ago
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