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  1. #1
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    Northstar XC 2011

    As some of you might remember I raced the Northstar XC series last year on my El Guapo, I finished second overall in the 35-44 Sport class (at 42 yrs old). I missed the first race this year as I was up in Whistler so last night was my first race. I did well on the El Guapo last year because the races usually climb up fireroads and then bomb down the intermediate DH trails at Northstar. This year I noticed that about half the guys were on 6 inch bikes (lots of carbon Nomads & Enduros). I was doing well in the race, I was pacing the guy who won the overall last year on the first climb and was right on him at the beginning of the first DH, then going through a rock garden I tore about a 1/2" slash in my rear tire, I tried to get the sealant to seal it but it was down to about 10 psi by the time it sealed. I only carry about 20 oz of water in a basic camelbak, no tubes or pump with the mindset that if I have to stop to change a flat I'm in last place anyway. These XC races are usually under 10 miles and about 50 minutes long. I also havent had a flat on the El Guapo running Flows with Maxxis Ardents converted tubeless with Cafelatex in the 1.5 years I've been riding it. I recently changed to a single ply DHF 2.35 in the front and a 2.1 Advantage rear to save 1/2 lb over the ardents. So DNF for me, looks like I've got some work cut out for me for the rest of the races.
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  2. #2
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    Wish we had a few races like that around here. Flats suck. With a gap as big as a half inch I'm amazed the sealant did anything.
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  3. #3
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    Yeah, its a fun race series. People say caffe latex doesnt work well, its done good for me, I actually finished the lap with like 10psi them called it quits.

  4. #4
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    Wow, well the wife got a 3/8th hole in a nobby nick sidewall and it went flat as fast as it could with a few ounces of stans in it.

    So do they have alot of drops and things on those courses? Is it what everyone considers a super-D race?
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  5. #5
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    No drops, and its labeled an XC race but they route us down intermediate DH trails with alot of tabletop jumps and a few doubles. This race actually got routed down the "easy" jump line in the dirt jump park. Funny watching the lycra clad, leg shaved boys almost come to a stop when they see a jump. Advantage...El Guapo.

  6. #6
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    Yeah I take alot of crap for riding the way I do at big bear here in WV. I chuck the bike like I'm on a friday night ride with friends and it scares the spandex fellas. Nothing like watching hardtails ride around the fun stuff.
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  7. #7
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    sounds like another interesting race season coming up. Keep us posted

    Seems like there are some universal-xc reactions all over. At least where I've been riding the last 4 days people are really nice, including the lycra cladded. But terrain is nasty and my riding is pretty crap. The EG now needs a fair bit of reworking and replacing parts to put things back in place...

  8. #8
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    Bummer about the flat, Craig. Looks like you'll have a hole to dig out of to get back in the season standings.

    I got a flat that wouldn't seal during the Fears Tears and Beers Enduro this year during a timed section and just rode it out. It's amazing how squirmy a tire can be with 5-10 lbs in it. I finally washed out in one corner burping the rest of the air out. The last 1/3 mile was really sketchy. I kept thinking the tire would come off the rim and throw me over the bars but the bead held. I lost about a minute and a half to the faster finishers on that section which was enough to push me off the podium.

    Oh well, there's always next race, right. Go get 'em.

    How much does the EG weigh now with the smaller tires and your current set-up:?

  9. #9
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    Its sitting right at 31 pounds. I totally notice the smaller tires though, I cant push the front end in the corners at all. Cant imagine how those xc guys turn with those super skinny tires? Thinking about picking up a FS 29er for next year's races. Northstar's team is sponsored by Giant and most of them are racing the Anthem 29er, damn thing looks fast sitting still!

  10. #10
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    Why not a rockstar? They are pretty cheap right now.

    I swapped to some schwable nobby nicks, from my wicked will's (2.25 NN and 2.3 WW) I can really feal the trail now but insted of blasting over it I tend to fall down in it.

    Maybe try a larger front tire and leave the smaller width on the rear?
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  11. #11
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    I just have to get used to the slightly smaller DHF. I'm so used to bashing berms on my Knolly with a 2.6 Ardent on the front, I have to remember to back off a tad on the EG. I have to say I do notice less rolling resistance with the lighter tires. I would consider a Rockstar but the chainstay issue keeps me from taking the plunge.

  12. #12
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    chainstay issue? I'll have to look into that one.

    I have found I have to run a few extra psi over what I ran in my larger width tires too.
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrible View Post
    chainstay issue? I'll have to look into that one.

    I have found I have to run a few extra psi over what I ran in my larger width tires too.
    I think he is talking about the carbon steatsays that keep breaking on the Rockstar and on the X (and FTM for that matter).

  14. #14
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    Oh ok, just trying to stay up on the current info!

    Craig, is there any info on those races online? Dates and what not? I'm always trying to find a place worth taking a bike vacation too and it'd be nice to find a fun race to do during.
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Funny watching the lycra clad, leg shaved boys almost come to a stop when they see a jump. Advantage...El Guapo.
    That would be me and my X Carbon. Heck if they label it as XC but has dropoffs like that it shouldn't be called XC.
    Titux X Carbon 2010 race 9.93kg
    Titux X 2009 "Deore 2012" training 11.55kg

  16. #16
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    Look here

    Quote Originally Posted by terrible View Post
    Oh ok, just trying to stay up on the current info!

    Craig, is there any info on those races online? Dates and what not? I'm always trying to find a place worth taking a bike vacation too and it'd be nice to find a fun race to do during.
    http://www.northstarattahoe.com/info...ace_series.asp

  17. #17
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    My wife and I were in Tahoe the weekend before last after having hiked and camped in Yosemite, but riding wasn't in the cards that time
    I like bikes.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    I think he is talking about the carbon steatsays that keep breaking on the Rockstar and on the X (and FTM for that matter).

    I thought it was only the seatstays on the "light rail" rear ends that were having the issues? Are there lots of reports of seatstays on the full carbon rear ends breaking too?

  19. #19
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    Decent result this week

    Ended up fourth out of nine in 35-44 Sport. This week's race was one long lap for Sport as there was a music festival in the village so we couldnt do our lap through the village. It was 3.5 miles up access roads to about 3/4 up the mountain then bomb back down. Climbing is not the strongest part of my riding so I suffered a bit on the climb but I passed a bunch of people from different classes on the way down. The wife only got one picture of the start, I'm in the middle in grey.
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  20. #20
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    2nd place this week

    I did my Sufferfest intervals on my trainer twice this week and it really helped, I was able to pass several people on the way up and several on the way down. Definitely a step in the right direction. I also did some tire swapping, I got a 2.25 Exo Ardent for the rear which ended up being bigger then the 2.35 DHF so I put the DHF on the rear and the Ardent in front and it was a great combo for the moon dust.

  21. #21
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    Congrats on the good finish!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    I did my Sufferfest intervals on my trainer twice this week and it really helped, I was able to pass several people on the way up and several on the way down. Definitely a step in the right direction. I also did some tire swapping, I got a 2.25 Exo Ardent for the rear which ended up being bigger then the 2.35 DHF so I put the DHF on the rear and the Ardent in front and it was a great combo for the moon dust.
    I went from the 2.35 DHF to the 2.25 Ardent on the rear on my Super D bike and really like it. It's bigger volume as you say (almost rubs the seat stay brace) but faster rolling than the DHF. Hooks up really well, has been really long-wearing, and has held up to some wicked abuse.

    Been running an older version WeirWolf 2.5 race up front but it's shot. How do you like the Ardent as a front tire?
    Last edited by KRob; 08-03-2011 at 03:23 PM.

  22. #22
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    Like it!

    I like the 2.25 ardent as a front tire, its better then the 2.35 DHF, I think it drifts less. I had it set up tubeless on Flow rims, the other night it blew off the rim at about 25 mph in a rock garden, latex everywhere! Luckily I didnt crash and the rim didnt even get scratched because the rim stayed in the tire! So now its mounted with a tube as I dont want that to happen again. Its been the year of the mechanical for me, last year zero flats and only one minor mechanical. This year five flats, a broken derailluer, chain, and five busted spokes on the Delirium at Whistler, then another broken chain at N* last week on the Delirium. The weird thing about the busted chains is both times the powerlink is gone, either it is snapping or coming apart? Weird!
    Last edited by craigstr; 08-03-2011 at 03:34 PM. Reason: typo

  23. #23
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    Third this week

    I beat a couple of guys that have been beating me, did more sufferfest intervals this week which really help. I'm learning to push through the pain. Out of 39 sport riders in all the different age groups, I was the 8th guy to finish. A couple of warm up and race pics, some of you might recognize the guy in the left of the picture, the infamous Dominator 13, he was up vacationing with his family and came out to watch the race. Pics of post race tacos at Mountain Burrito, if you are ever in Truckee, you gotta try this place.
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  24. #24
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    Strong finish this week

    Been training hard and its showing. Second place, 17 seconds behind first in my age division in Sport. If only that female expert hadnt stopped dead in front of me to let me by, I graciously let her pass on the climb because I thought she was lapping me as the experts do three laps and we do two, they start a few minutes in front of us, so I usually expect it on the last lap. I didnt realize it was the same girl that we had passed on the first lap, she actually was mouthy with me about that crash saying that I should learn how to overtake.

  25. #25
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    Finally a win!

    Last night was short track night which I hate but I decided to make the best of it. 40 minutes plus two laps. About a half mile climb up a fire road from the village, into the small line in the jump park, through the jump park and back into the village on some tight single track with little opportunity to pass other then the climb. I started off easy about mid pack and worked my way up to the leader on the third lap and sat right on his tail until lap ten, I tried to pass him on the climb but I couldnt. I tucked right behind him on the singletrack descent and coming into the village we hit some traffic, we ended up sprinting to the finish and I beat him by a bike length, third place was a bike length behind him as well. He has won 5 of the 7 races so far, this is the first time I've beaten him this year and my first win in Sport. One more race to go.

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