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  1. #1
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    Leadville 50 bike dilemma

    Need a little advice from anyone who has ridden the Leadville 50 race. This will be my first race, I'm not much of a racer but a buddy of mine asked me to do it with him, and since I just turned 40 last week I feel like I need to prove something to myself and do this race.

    Here's the dilemma, I can't decide on which ride to bring to the race. I have a Salsa El Mariachi 2x9 rigid and a Soma Groove 1x9 with a fox fork 80mm, both steel. The El Maricahi has the Gordo rims with Rampage tires, the thing weighs about 29 lbs. The Soma comes in at 24 lbs. I don't have the cash to upgrade anything because I feel like my head is on the chopping block at work. So I have to bring what I got.

    The 2x9 is really appealing to me because of the elevation I'll be facing, on the other hand the weight of the Groove and front suspension appeals to me too, but I don't know if the 1x9 would be too much for me (being all old and decrepid). On the other hand i don't know what the terrain is like and don't know if the 29 rigid will loosen some teeth on course.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” - John Lennon

  2. #2
    Which way? Uphill.
    Reputation: nepbug's Avatar
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    I would lean towards the 1x9.

    There are two areas where you will wish you had the 2x9. One is still pretty early on in the race and there are lots of people around you and a lot will be walking. That section is rough and goes up pretty good, but mostly rough. The second section is uber-steep and will be shortly after the turn-around. Almost everyone will be walking, because it is steep and there will be considerable downhill traffic at the same time.

    There is a nice fire road with a downhill trend that the 2x9 would be nice for, but you might only gain 2-3 minutes at the absolute max compared to the 1x9 depending on the gearing of each.

    The rigid would be a serious disadvantage when descending section 1 mentioned above, it'll be rough and clear of uphill traffic when you hit it so time to fly!

    Last year I rode it on a hardtail and loved it, though I definitely think a full-suspension is a good way to go for this race.
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  3. #3
    old enough to know better
    Reputation: headhunter's Avatar
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    Great race!

    The Silver Rush is a great race. Very challenging. Nice folks. Good barbeque afterwards.

    Bring your lighter bike with the suspension fork. At the end of the day, you'll feel less beat up. The course is so up and down you're unlikely to miss the 2X9 much as you're almost always climbing or coasting.

    GOOD LUCK!

  4. #4
    Stayin' Puft
    Reputation: canyonrat's Avatar
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    Well...Silver Rush is for starters a climbing race...as much as I love my Gordo's and would normally lean towards the 29er...there is more differentiating your bikes than wheel size.

    After each climb you have to roll back down the hill fast. The descending part is dang bumpy...done it twice on a rigid 29er...it is dang bumpy. Think dry riverbed with just a little water depending on the weather we get. Most people would really want a suspension fork.

    If you like your gearing...what keeps you from moving the front mech between bikes (and maybe the cranks) to make the groove the 2x9? It is also quite a few months until July...maybe some new part options will come in the mix.

  5. #5
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    Looks like I'll be going with the Groove based on ya'lls responces, I was on the fence due to not knowing the terrain. It would appear the rigid 29er would just beat me up too much over 50 miles.

    I never thought about switching out the cranks, that is a good idea. I'll either do that or get a 32t ring (currently 34), which I think I'll be able to handle better over 50 miles.

    Looking forward to this race as you can tell, it's 5 months away and I'm already pumped up. I don't care if I finish last as long as I make the turn in under 4 hours.

    Thanks for the input.
    “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” - John Lennon

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