My bike for Strathpuffer , any advice ?

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  • My bike for Strathpuffer , any advice ?
  • thewombles

    Hi, im speccing a bike for Strathpuffer and came up with the following based on what I normally ride. I normally ride XC endurance events and would appreciate any good thoughts on the following

    On one (geared) inbred frame
    Magura Odur fork (because its v brake compatible see below)
    XT chainset
    Shimano XT V brakes (although Im starting to consider disc's!)

    Has anyone run V brakes in Strathpuffer and how did they find it? I usually run V's and am wondering if they are up to the job for 24hrs in the mud lol so would appreciate any thoughts from anyones experience.
    The Odur forks look attractive because they seem to fit the bill, granted they are not race forks but can be switched between V's and discs.
    If I did use discs what XC discs you recommend , I looked at Magura louise and Avid Juicy Ultimates but am pretty much in the dark having been stubborn and ridden V's for my entire riding life !

    many thanks


    team or solo

    loose the V brakes straight away.

    Im toying with no gears – less to go wrong in that grinding paste / Freezing slurry into the cables

    on a bad year people go through pads each lap ….. when ever ive done it ive only done it as a team of 4 so higher pace less dragging of brakes and go through a set every 3 laps.

    Im setting up for solo this year and have been sponging information from all sources – i reccomend you read shaggys blog – Daze of tundra – he has a good repo on it , like wise twinklydaves (google twinkly dave) , Rich siepp had a good piece but unsure if he has carried it onto his qwertyphoto website.


    I rode with V's until earlier this year when I put a an Avid BB7 on the front. It's made a big difference not only to braking in the wet but also improves mud clearance. I'm still running a V at the back because my frame has no disk mounts so I'm constantly reminded just how much better the disks are. The BB7's are pretty easy to fit and maintain and you won't have to buy new levers. I've also got the Odurs and while they are heavy they seem to be very reliable.


    Hi, thanks for the info, although Im still tempted to go with V brakes I realise that discs are the way to go Ive got about £200 to spend on the discs any suggestions for lightweight XC discs? Ive been reading a lot of reviews this afternoon (when I should have been working : ) ) but am none the wiser having used V's so much. Obviously reliability and probably weight is key (not being the biggest rider in the world !)
    Im doing to event solo trail_rat, and dave I think Im going with the Odurs mainly for reliability and the price : )


    Premier Icon swavis

    Hi, try these from Merlin.
    I've bought two sets and both been brilliant.

    Premier Icon bedmaker

    Take spare rims if you stick with the V's 😀

    If you get discs, take spare pads which you've bedded in. If it i very grindy, a bedded set should still do 3 – 4 laps. A brand new set will disappear in less than one lap(from experience)

    Of course, it might be icy again, in which case you can forget about brakes and panic about gettig a set of studded tyres instead.


    Go discs. I was in a 4 last year and swapped pads.

    Also, I'd use gears. i do love singlespeeding but for me gears are the way to go for Endurance- not all of us are Shaggy, and having a granny ring on some of the rocky bits when you're knackered and the ground's covered in filth and snow is a god send.

    As for forks, I'd go for something lighter than the Odurs. Like these-

    Remote lockouts always nice but the fact that these are lighter and easier to service afterwards (just in case! Strathpuffer does haul a huge amount of shit into hidden bits of your bike). Extra weight on your bike (unless it's for pretty much crucial stuff like discs) is not a good idea, and Rebas are more than reliable enough while recent Magura experiences haven't been good for a lot of people- I certainly wouldn't want to race a 24 solo on them, and yes, I have owned a set.

    Discs- around £200 you could get a full set of XTRs from Merlin for £230 which will be light and super reliable (and easy to find pads for. I find pads last ages in my XTs), or XTs at £200 and SLX at £170. Personally I couldn't justify more than SLX but XTRs are the lightest. I run them because they're faultlessly reliable- I don't think I've ever bled the brakes on my race bike and they're 3 years old.

    This is what I used at the puffer and it was lovely.


    for the puffer, you should be using discs, for any conditions except frozen. as for reliable brakes, go for shimano over hayes any day…


    I used V-brakes 3 years ago and they were fine. But that was because it was all I had. Disks are they way forward there now though.

    Speccing a bike for a race is a bit much though.

    Premier Icon shaggy

    Like everyone else has said the biggest issue you will is the brakes. V brakes will drive you mad! Last year James Leavesley had to have his pads changed on Avid disks every lap. The pads in Shimano brakes seem to last better (I think they retract further) but I wouldnt count on the pads lasting more than 3 or 4 laps. I suspect if it's muddy v-brake pads won't last a lap!

    Studded tyres were a great help last year but havn't really been necessary any other year.


    Shimano brakes as they are easy to change pads in the dark than Avids which are a pain in the arse even on a warm summer afternoon in brilliant sunshine! I used 2 bikes doing it solo – Cove Handjob steel hardtail for the start and then onto a Hustler later on. Actually didnt have any braking problems at all and didnt change pads in 2008 but 2007 was worse on brakes. I only did 11 laps though.

    Best modification i made is to ditch any of these stupidly wide DH bars for something a sensible width – like the width of your shoulders. It really helps comfort on long rides – ive not gone back to anything wider than Easton EA50s even though before i rode wide Race Face bars.

    b r

    use sintered pads

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    I've done every 'Puffer as a solo and I use drum brakes now 🙂

    The 'Puffer chews up bikes, it's like a whole SXC race series in one hit with no time for maintenance between events and often in foul conditions.

    V-brakes – 1st 'Puffer – nearly wore through a new set of rims. Too much cowardly braking maybe.
    Disk – 2nd 'Puffer – ran out of pads in the small hours, end of race for me. Marta SLs. Wet race.
    Disk – 3rd 'Puffer – no problem, 1 set pads almost worn out, but ok – Avid Juicy Ultimates. This was the icy 'Puffer – relatively dry.
    Drum – 4th 'Puffer – no problem, no discernable wear. Some would say no discernable braking, but they are not that bad, and I don't go at Shaggy's pace. From the bike wrecking point of view it was an easy 'Puffer.

    I wouldn't use v-brakes again in the 'Puffer simply because it can cost you a set of rims if the weather gets nasty, never mind the pad wear.

    DIsks are the way to go, but pick something with easily accessible pads (eg XT which do not require removal of the caliper)

    You do not want to be fumbling around getting hypothermic removing pads in sub-zero temperatures with numb hands in the dark and pissing rain. It takes valuable time – ok if you are in a team, but if you are a soloist you can't afford to lose time in camp. Which is why I use drum brakes – they may be "slower" but if I don't have to change my pads a few times, then they are quicker.

    Consider single speed, even if it's only to save you the cost of wrecking an expensive drivetrain.

    If everyone brings studded tyres then we won't get ice 🙂


    I have studded tires but they dont fit my SS – nor will they fit either of the rohloffs i may be borrowing …..

    They fit my geared light bike 🙁

    Course not mud tire friendly now either – i remember the year of the field – spikes were the way forward.

    the first year it was done was a mud tire year

    Might pick up some descent 29er tires – course felt good on 32:18 at weekend.

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