So, I was at Sea Otter last weekend. Simply too much temptation around there for bike addicts I also did my first real race there. I have been thinking about building up an XC race bike...and walking by the Ventana booth didn't help to resist the temptation. I haven't bought anything yet, but I have a real bad itch that is dying to be scratched.
I loved the concept of the ElChivo. Sherwod let me sit on it. I think at the time, it was still so new that they haven't weighed it yet, but as built...to me it felt like it was in the 22 lb range. He said he still hadn't had the chance to ride it to confirm the geometry/feel of the bike and decide on production.
With my experience on my Redline Moncog 29er...I love how I can just let the bike roll over the rough stuff. However, I haven't been too big of a fan of the weight penalty of the increase rotating moment of inertia when it comes time to go up hill. Which got me thinking that maybe a HT 69er with a light build would be a good compromise for an XC race bike.
For the race, I rode my 2001 Giant NRS with a pushed F100x, Cane Creek Cloud 9 in back, retrofitted bushing pivots to bearings, x9 drive train, J7's, ZTR 355s on CK hubs...weighing in at 26.5 lbs if I remember correctly. I had fun, but think that I'd really enjoy racing more on a lighter, more efficient HT.
Like I said, I liked the ElChivo concept. Since I have an X-5 that I absolutely LOVE and ride 90% of the time, I feel real compelled to get another Ventana. I could also consider building an ElChiquillo. However, it looks like most folks build those up at 25 lbs? I used the competitive cyclist bike build calculator and figured that I could get it to 22lbs or so, but that is about it. I would want to go with a 100mm fork though (I know, would need the head tube gusset).
Non-Ventana options I'm considering are going the cheaper route. I have an old C'dale F700 that becasue of the headshock would make a great candidate to convert to a 69er with a 29er fork and the headset adapter without really changing the geometry of the bike. I don't know the weight of the frame as I'm too lazy to tear it down to weigh unless I'm going to build it back up with a more modern drive train and disc brakes.
I also, by chance looked at the bikesdirect.com website because I also have a hankering for Ti. Looks like they have a Ti frame that is dirt cheap and has decent reviews. And, they are coming out with a Ti 29er HT, but it wouldn't be until after the next race I want to do (probably 24HOA at Laguna Seca).
So, any suggestions on the possibilities?
1. ElChiquillo, built up light. (probably my most spendy option).
2. Wait or beg and plead with Sherwood to get an ElChivo (just as spendy as #1)...I like the concept of a light 69er hardtail for racing, but haven't ridden one to know if I'm better off on a full 29er or full 26er for racing.
3. Go cheap and build up my C'dale F700 as a 69er.
4. Not as cheap as #4, but try to get on of the Ti HTs from bikes direct.
And, yes, I posted a similar thread in the bike/frame forum. Just looking to get some input.
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Thread: Too much temptation...