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  1. #1
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    2018 Oz Trail Off Road - Epic Rides comes east-ish!?!

    https://epicrides.com/events/oz-trai...d/event-guide/

    I've looked at Epic Rides other events before and this is the first one to come kinda east-ish, very tempting. Anybody headed to this one? Looks like a great time, I hear nothing but rave reviews about the trails around Bentonville.

    https://www.trailforks.com/route/oz-...-50-2018-7342/

    Looks like your typical punchy east coast climbs, death by a thousand hills. I know Marathon Nats was in Arkansas this year and there were tons of pinch/slice flats, same kind of rock issues here I wonder?
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  2. #2
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    If you do head out for this, keep in mind that Epic throws a pretty good party so try to plan to hang around for the various bands/activities. This was on my calendar but a few mid-season injuries has me waffling on some of the stuff late season (read that as I've lost a lot of fitness )

    People I know who've ridden these trails really recommend sidewall protection but I'm sure some local will chime in with something better than 3rd hand info.

  3. #3
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    I am not a local but I am in KC, so I make it down to Bentonville fairly often since its only 3 hours away. You definitely want a hardy tire, the trails are basically sharp pea gravel over hard pack. I have taken lighter tires down there in the past and ended up putting a ton of plugs in and even had to tube once or twice to get out of the woods. I've had good luck with EXO tires and the Vittoria TNT has always done really well down there.

  4. #4
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    I did the marathon race there earlier this year which I think had a similar route. We started in bentonville then rode slaughter pen, blowing springs, and the back 40 for a total of around 45 miles. One of the most fun races I've ever done. There's also a huge variety from fast and flowy with big berms to slow, technical, and rocky.

    I also live fairly close to iron mountain where the marathon nats were held. I'd say in general you'd be far more likely to flat on the rocks in the bentonville race.

  5. #5
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    I have never ridden in the area, but I have done Epic rides events before. They hold pretty good events. Go trail markings, good swag thrown out at racer meetings and a good party. Plus nice to see the pros at "Off-Road" series events.

    I don't plan on going since Arkansas is too far from Arizona.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
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    I had wanted/planned to go to this earlier this year but a wedding in TX the following weekend has wiped out the chance this year. Hopefully they have it again next year and I can make it as it is the only Epic Rides within a "reasonable" driving distance.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I'm a local. Sidewall protection is a must have. I've had good luck with Maxxis EXO line. They got me through 5 Arkansas marathons this year.

    Do NOT run Racing Ralphs... they just don't hold up here.

    Yes, lots of punchy climbs and some longer climbs that take several minutes.

    It should be a great time! Hope lots of you can make it out! I'm doing the 50.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoods View Post
    Yeah, I'm a local. Sidewall protection is a must have. I've had good luck with Maxxis EXO line. They got me through 5 Arkansas marathons this year.

    Do NOT run Racing Ralphs... they just don't hold up here.

    Yes, lots of punchy climbs and some longer climbs that take several minutes.

    It should be a great time! Hope lots of you can make it out! I'm doing the 50.
    LOL do Racing Ralphs hold up anywhere?! I'll probably run the reinforced Vittorias, they've done me well the last year and seem to hold up on par with maxxis exo's. That and bring some plugs and CO2's. I've got 28t and 36t ring options for the bike right now, have to see how my legs are feeling to decide which one to run but with no 30+ minute climbs I might be able to get away with the big ring.

    I'll be there for the 50 it's looking like right now, want to try and get into town Friday for the whole experience. Though the 19 hour drive back to south FL after the race will be fun on race legs. Thanks for the local perspective, I'm trying to drag a few FL folks up with me for the week so hope to see ya there!
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  9. #9
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    Excellent! We love having visitors in town to ride our trails! Also the pro race on Sunday has a huge purse. Hopefully a lot of big names will show up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoods View Post
    Excellent! We love having visitors in town to ride our trails! Also the pro race on Sunday has a huge purse. Hopefully a lot of big names will show up.
    I heard Cole Trickle will be there.
    Ill be out riding, youll still be trolling mtbr. Mtbr, where people who dont ride come to pretend they do.

  11. #11
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    Alright, I've signed up for the 50, looking forward to suffering with ya'll in NWA!
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  12. #12
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    How would this race be on a hardtail? I have raced the Whiskey and Carson City on this same hardtail. I tend to be midpack in the 50 miler races. I am debating the hardtail or my 429Trail to just have more fun and not worry as much about hardtail speed. Sounds like as long as you run tough tires you are in pretty good shape.

  13. #13
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    Take this with a grain of salt because I ONLY ride a hardtail...and its a Stache+ at that. I've ridden all the trails in the Back 40 system where most of this race will take place. I didn't find any of it to be a problem of any kind while riding my Stache. Now the Blowing Springs area is a bit more rocky and ledgy, and the Slaughter Pen stuff has some exposed and embedded rocks with the occasional loose-over-hard, but my experience is that the Back 40 single track is the most "smooth" trail that the Bentonville area has to offer.

    Later,
    CJB

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoods View Post
    Yeah, I'm a local. Sidewall protection is a must have. I've had good luck with Maxxis EXO line. They got me through 5 Arkansas marathons this year.

    Do NOT run Racing Ralphs... they just don't hold up here.

    Yes, lots of punchy climbs and some longer climbs that take several minutes.

    It should be a great time! Hope lots of you can make it out! I'm doing the 50.
    I've never been to Arkansas and I am excited about coming to the Oz Trails Offroad! I'm bringing my full-suspension 29 XC bike and could use a specific tire recommendation. I've heard the Ardent or Ardent Race thrown around. Can you comment on these, or have other recommendations?

    We're going to stick around afterward to ride other trails--would you recommend renting a trail bike for maximum fun, or could I get by with a 120/100mm travel bike?

    Thanks from Alaska!

  15. #15
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    Back 40 is way tamer than the descents on the Whiskey. Little sharp rocks abound though, but not the super-chunk like Whiskey.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoHillBri View Post
    How would this race be on a hardtail? I have raced the Whiskey and Carson City on this same hardtail. I tend to be midpack in the 50 miler races. I am debating the hardtail or my 429Trail to just have more fun and not worry as much about hardtail speed. Sounds like as long as you run tough tires you are in pretty good shape.
    I've ridden everything on a rigid 29+. I didn't have any issues. The few areas that have big rocks are low speed, so I never felt the need for fs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen Bee View Post
    I've never been to Arkansas and I am excited about coming to the Oz Trails Offroad! I'm bringing my full-suspension 29 XC bike and could use a specific tire recommendation. I've heard the Ardent or Ardent Race thrown around. Can you comment on these, or have other recommendations?

    We're going to stick around afterward to ride other trails--would you recommend renting a trail bike for maximum fun, or could I get by with a 120/100mm travel bike?

    Thanks from Alaska!
    Hi Queen Bee! So glad you can make it to the Oz Trails Offroad! I am no expert but I am going to run Maxxis Forekaster 2.35 EXO front and Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35 EXO rear for the Offroad. I've had good luck with Maxxis EXO line on these trails.

    I've run the Ardent Race / Ikon combo a lot but now I want to try something with more bite in the loose stuff, hence the Forekaster out front.

    You can definitely get around great with a 120/100mm travel bike. No need to rent anything with more travel.

  18. #18
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    Ok I've decided on Vittoria Barzo TNT G+ Graphene tires for this one, 29x2.35 (which actually measure closer to 2.25 on 23mm rims) and bringing along some plugs for good luck. I've raced that combo the last few months in various conditions and it's good all around, the G+ Graphene reinforcement definitely adds 50-60g per tire but sounds like it's worth it for this one.

    Looks like they'll have Tailwind at the sag stops which is sweet, I was planning on bringing 2 bottles and bags of Infinit Nutrition to refill but I'll probably be ok with Tailwind as long as they're not mixing it super thin (their "serving size" is 100cal).

    With this being the inaugural event it's tough for me to guess what kind of finish times to plan on with a new course, I guess I'll plan on 5-6hrs and be pleasantly surprised if it's quicker. Doesn't look like any long sustained climbs, maybe 20 mins max? I'll go with my little ring, doesn't look like any long flat sections where a 36t would be advantageous.
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

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