Well, I don't have any other bikes except for a rigid Raleigh Pointe beater commuter and we had our State Games XC race today so I raced it on my XLT. It hung in there pretty well against some freakishly light bikes. They really overdid it when they categorized the groups. I was the only one racing the 30-39 year old Sport category, so obviously I got gold, hehe.
They started all of the expert riders out first together, then sport, then beginners.
Against all of the other sport riders, I only got beat by 3. So...I guess if you take away the age brackets I would have gotten 4th place. I was beat by a skinny 20'something on a Trek 6500 1x9 hardtail, a 45 y.o. on a Trek Fuel, and a 45'ish y.o on a Fisher ExCal. I don't feel too bad about losing to the kid, but the 45 y.o. dudes kinda stung a bit.
It was really my fault...I let two guys pass me by in the beginning b/c I didn't want to come out of the gate too strong. Those same two guys slowed me waaaay down later on the technical descents. I normally do 30-35mph on them and I was forced to go around 10 mph or so. Finally I said "I gotta get around you, man" and they pulled off the singletrack to let me by. Last year I tried to pass on a sketchy section and plowed through somebody, so I wanted to play it safer this year.
Anyway, I probably would have been able to hold off 1 of the 45 y.o dudes if I had taken those downhill sections as fast as I normally do, but oh well. 'Twas still a fun day and nice to do so well on a 32lb all coil XLT against bikes like a 16.5lb Badger SS, Tomac Revolver, Stumpy FSR's, a bunch of other hardtail riders.
If I decide to do many more XC races though...I may have to pony up for a more efficient rig like the Dakar XC, XCR, or maybe a 29'er HT.
Props to the XLT though!
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