With many BC marathon xc races now offering Enduro stages within the event, or Enduro's with time bonuses for making technical hill climbs, and with the necessity to go to a larger wheel size if I want a new high end bike, I'm wondering 650B or 29er for the races I like?
I am a low power but high finesse type racer on a 140 mm/120 mm Element MSL 26er. I suck on paved/gravel climbs and excell on techy low speed climbs (I start the Nimby switchbacks back about 150th and pass other racers one by one as they spin out on roots or make other small mistakes and I top out in the top 50 overall). I do find that at the end of long races the 29ers roll away from me on fast bumpy sections but never out climb me on technical climbs. I suppose a 150mm 650Ber like the Altitude would also enable me to roll faster over bumps when I am fatigued. I like the low BB relative to axel height cornering effect of the 29ers (and modified my old Element in 2004 with a custom shock mount - early primitive version of Ride 9 System - to lower my BB) so it looks like the Altitude doesn't have enough BB drop even in most relaxed position. I don't like how I don't have enough power in my legs to traction control (traction nanny) the extra weight of the 29er wheels on slippery tech climbs, but I suppose I could build a 120mm/95mm Element 999 RSL lighter than an Altitude, but would I be giving up too much travel? The Instinct, even in medium, looks gigantic to me and would still be heavier with equal type wheels and tires than the Altitude or Element.
If it wasn't for the high BB of the Altitude, that would be my choice. Might a carbon 140mm/120mm Thunderbolt with low BB be available late 2014?
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