The big push in the industry is Enduro right now. Which means 140-170mm travel bikes with dropper posts that can handle terrain that downhill bikes 10 years ago would struggle on.
If you want to do XC racing you can still buy/build a sub 20lb hardtail pretty cheaply.
Hell you can buy a 20lb FS bike from most of the main manf if you have the cash to do it.
Crazy thing now is DH bikes are getting lighter. The new boxxer fork came in at 5.7 lbs and that is with 200mm of travel and 35mm stanchions!
My FS 29" weighs 23 lbs and is durable for the 200lb hack on top of it.
20lb FS XC bike will cost you $8,000 =/
The Specialized 2014 S-Works Epic ships at 21.5lbs I believe - retail $10k. That is so sick! Especially cause it looks so beefy
If was going to go the way of weight weenie for XC I'd go hard tail
What happened to "light"?
For me it's a matter of fun. I can way more fun on my Santa Cruz nomad than I can on my Ti hard tail for my riding style.
I think 7" is exaggeration. People have some travel on their bikes and accept the weight penalty, because it makes riding easier. It's a trade-off. Sure, you can ride a fully rigid bike (I do) and you don't need any suspension, but if the trails are any rough, a bike with suspension - even if it's a bit heavier - will be faster.
Originally Posted by KevinGT
Same thing with gears: you can ride a singlespeed (I do) and you don't need gears, but they are worth their weight on the bike to racers.
If weight is all you care about, you can build a fully rigid carbon 26" SS bike with cantilever brakes and make it light, but you'll be slower on that thing compared to something with a bit more features (and weight).
Yeah, it does look bad when you read the figures on the scale. But the 29er-jockeys are the ones who win races, so what can you do?
Originally Posted by KevinGT
IMO the OPs comments are way off the mark. I have been riding MTBs since the mid 80's and frame and component technology has improved dramatically. If you really want to do a fair comparison you need to focus only on XC hard tails. Including Enduro, DH and All Mountain rigs is not valid given they are specific to riding disciplines that did not exist in the 80's. I would also argue that XC full squish rigs should be excluded from the comparison given they are ideally suited for rooty / rocky XC courses / trails and although slightly heavier they can be faster for this specific application. My personal experience is as follows:
- 1st MTB mid 80's vintage - rigid Bridgestone MB 2 straight gauge CrMo frame - don't have the exact weight but definitely over 30lbs . Shimano componentry, cantilever brakes and although the componentry was good for the day it is absolutely terrible by current standards.
- 2nd MTB 94 ish vintage - Fat Chance quad butted CrMo Yo Eddy with Rock Shox Mag 21 fork, all other componentry Shimano XT (rapid fire shifters, V brakes, hubs, crankset etc.). Bike was close to state of the art for it's time. Again I don't have the exact weight but was in the 25 lbs. neighborhood .
- 3rd and 4th MTBs were Merlin 26er Ti frames with either Shimano XT or XTR componentry, Shimano Rock Shox SID forks and disc brakes. Weight was similar to the Yo Eddy.
- Current Ti hardtail 29er. Sram XX1 drivetrain, Shimano XTR brakes, Rock Shox Sid XX fork. 22lbs . Hands down the fastest hardtail I have ever owned.
One final point. A decent 29er wheelset is lighter than the high end rim brake wheelsets from the late 80s (rotational weight has gone down). Rim, spoke, hub and tire technology have vastly improved over the past 25 years. In addition, other rotational weight in cranksets and drivetrains have dropped significantly. Move into CF frames and wheelsets and things get even lighter.
I agree with this last post. I had a 92 carbon fiber Miyata Elevation 10,000 with a rigid steel fork and Simano DX gruppo and the bike weighed 30 lbs. I can recall quite a few XC hard tails of friends in the mid 90's that were 24ish for quite a lot of money. No one was riding around on 20 lb hard tails.
There is a dude on this board with a 13 lb rigid SS that he hucks stuff on...
All that has happened is new styles of riding have developed out of the ability to have a large amount of suspension travel at a semi reasonable weight that you can actually pedal up a hill. That didn't exist before the tech was there to support it. The XC, light bike, go fast uphill crowd is all still here. Drop by any XC race and you will see some bikes that make your 25 lb hardtail from days of old look down right obese.
"...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
I think things are getting lighter. I had a custom chromoly hard tail that was built in 1997 with v brakes, xt/xtr and light for the day wheel set came in right at 24 pounds. My 29er full squish with xt and fox suspension weighs in at 24 pounds.
Rough un-scientific numbers:
Top of the line Stumpjumper ridged 1989: $950 otd (25lbs)
Top of the line Stumpjumper HT 2014: $8400 otd (16lbs ridged)
Increase in price: 888% over 24 years (37% increase/year)
Decrease in weight: 36% over 24 years (1.5% reduction/year)
1 way to say it is simply we grew up and realized that weight wasn't the only thing that mattered, and that the 30-35# bikes of today are faster than the 25# full rigid bikes of yesteryear.
Another way is that back in 1990 in the days of full rigid steel bikes, weight was the only difference between one bike and the next. I know that weight was the main argument against suspension, clipless pedals, wider tires... etc, and you know in every single case the "weight" argument lost - people adopted the new tech that was heavier. Doesn't that tell you something?
So our wallets are getting lighter faster than our bikes are!
It's a balance between capability, intended purpose and cost. I think you buck up for the most bike you can afford that covers off most of what you want to do. No point in buying a Whistler bike if you only go there once a year. As a rule Young guys rides heavier bikes and they huck much larger stuff than Old guys do. Even if they wanted light bikes for the most part young guys can't afford them.
I ride a Remedy 9 and my buddy has a Pivot 5.7. He is much faster going up hill and I don't care. I like the Remedy going down hill
My 1989 Stumpjumper Team was 28 lbs. Full XT, fully ridged with 2.1 tires. A great bike in it's day. My 2011 Turner 5 Spot with a Float 36, XT discs, Stans Flow EX rims and 800 gram 2.4 tires is 30 lbs. I could easily get it down to 28 lbs with a new fork and a few parts. It is 10 X more capable than the old stumpy. If I was into XC racing I would have a much lighter bike for the same $$ but nowadays I climb to descend. I climb for fitness and descend for joy.
I got some bad ideas in my head.
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