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  1. #1
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    Want to race, but my bike is heavy

    I have never raced before, but I recently decided that I want to do some cross-country events. Unfourtnately, my bike is built more like a durable trail bike than a race bike. It weighs about 28.5 lbs. I was hoping for some suggestions about how I could save some weight, hopefully without breaking the bank. The challenge is that the heaviest parts of my bike are the fork and wheels, which aren't cheap to replace. Here's my build, all parts are '03:

    Frame: Santa Cruz Blur
    Wheels: Mavic 317 Disc, XT Disc hubs, double butted spokes (about 2200 grams, I believe)
    Tires: Specialized Roll-X Race with Stan's no-tubes
    Fork: Fox Vanilla 125 (appx. 4.25lbs)
    Drive Terrain: XT
    Brakes: Avid mechanical
    Levers: Avid Speed Dial 7
    Stem: Thompson
    Seatpost: Thompson
    Seat: WTB Laser V Ti
    Bars: Answer Pro Taper (AL)
    Headset: King
    Grips: ODI Ruffian Lock-On's
    Pedals: Time ATAC Alums
    Extra: Hopey Steering Damper

    I was thinking of maybe just buying a set of Stan's new disc wheels, and running Kenda Klimax's on them. It seems like that would save me about three pounds, where it counts most. My bike would then be 25.5 lbs, which isn't extremely light, but seems raceable (?) But what do I know. I've never built a light bike in my life. So I turn to you, the experts, for guidance. Thanks.

    P.S. I really like the bars, seat, and steering damper, and would like to keep them if possible.

  2. #2
    I like Monkeys
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    I know this is against the weight weenies creed but I wouldn't do anything just to race yet. Try racing with what you have and see if you like it. You have a reasonable, durable bike. If you like racing after a few races then spend the bucks. If you must do something now, lighter tubes & tires. Now if your a real weight weenie then all bets are off!
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  3. #3
    XC Geek
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    Don't change a thing, go race and see if you like it. If you haven't raced XC before you're probably not going to contend for a win on your first attempt and the loss of 3 or so pounds isn't going to make the difference, so race it as it is.
    BTW who says your bikes to heavy to race, I saw a guy on a 7 or 8 inch travel bike with a double crown fork racing solo at the 24 hour race in Tucson AZ, SOLO on a 40+ lb bike for 24 hours, 28.5 lbs is very raceable.
    I should be doing something more productive with my time!

  4. #4
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    My Advice

    The first year I raced I raced on a mid level hardtail that weighed OVER 28 lbs and it rode like a tank. You know what? It taught me how to handle a heavy bike on climbs and that I could beat guys on lighter bikes. If you tell yourself it is the bike's fault then it will be. Think about not focusing on obstacles when you ride, same concept. My bike is heavy that is why I lost, good excuse but if you are just starting to race, chances are then it is probably you and not the bike. Not to be blunt, just honest. I don't believe that the weight of my bike held me back that first year, yeah maybe a minute a lap but if you are losing by 10 or 12 min it DOES NOT matter. Now since that time I have graduated to a light weight fs bike that weighs somewhere around 22 lbs. But seriously if I had to race a 28 lb Santa Cruz Blur I'd be happy. Spend all the effort that you will put into shaving grams into getting faster, and I'll bet you lose 6 lbs of body weight, and be a hell of a lot faster. I feel as if I am sounding harsh but I don't mean to come across that way. But seriously the main thing I'd change would be the wheels but maybe not to stans ,as they are pricey. I'd look @ the WTB laserdisc's that come in a bit over 1700 grams. One important part of this equation that I either missed or you didn't say, what do you weigh? If you weigh over 175 I don't think that stan puts his blessing on riding his wheels, and if you do buy them I'd use them race only, as they are crazy light. I think the spec of your bike right now is pretty cool for a trail bike.

  5. #5
    Get your freak on!
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC_Miles
    The first year I raced I raced on a mid level hardtail that weighed OVER 28 lbs and it rode like a tank. You know what? It taught me how to handle a heavy bike on climbs and that I could beat guys on lighter bikes. If you tell yourself it is the bike's fault then it will be. Think about not focusing on obstacles when you ride, same concept. My bike is heavy that is why I lost, good excuse but if you are just starting to race, chances are then it is probably you and not the bike. Not to be blunt, just honest. I don't believe that the weight of my bike held me back that first year, yeah maybe a minute a lap but if you are losing by 10 or 12 min it DOES NOT matter. Now since that time I have graduated to a light weight fs bike that weighs somewhere around 22 lbs. But seriously if I had to race a 28 lb Santa Cruz Blur I'd be happy. Spend all the effort that you will put into shaving grams into getting faster, and I'll bet you lose 6 lbs of body weight, and be a hell of a lot faster. I feel as if I am sounding harsh but I don't mean to come across that way. But seriously the main thing I'd change would be the wheels but maybe not to stans ,as they are pricey. I'd look @ the WTB laserdisc's that come in a bit over 1700 grams. One important part of this equation that I either missed or you didn't say, what do you weigh? If you weigh over 175 I don't think that stan puts his blessing on riding his wheels, and if you do buy them I'd use them race only, as they are crazy light. I think the spec of your bike right now is pretty cool for a trail bike.
    Agreeed, I reccon you shouldn't change anything, I used to race my 29.5lbs hardtail which had v brakes and a judy tt fork. Now I race my 'light' hardtail which is actually like 27lbs. Just think about having fun and don't worry about your bike, chances are if your races are anything like here in Aus you should have a better bike then nearly all the people in the starters level.
    Now if you were serious at racing that is a different story

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies

    What you guys are saying makes a lot of sense. I think I will hold off on upgrading and: 1)see if I like racing, 2) focus my efforts on training. For peoople who like gear (like myself) its sometimes easy to loose sight of the fact that, in biking, the motor is more important than the mount. I've ridden with poor college kids on athletic scholarships and $500 bikes who can smoke me uphill, and out-of-shape pousers on S-Works Epics who can barely make it up moderate climbs. Instead of worrying about my bike (which I do love, btw), I'll just forcus on being in the best shape I can be. Thanks for reminding me of what's important.

    P.S. As for the Stan's wheel querry, I weigh 145, which I think is within his recs.

  7. #7
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    go racing, check it out, and when you see that you are competitive you will be hooked on upgrading your bike anyhow, so no need to rush

    however, upgrades WILL be pricy. personally i think cable-actuated disc brakes are superfluous, i would either go with hydro discs or with v-brakes.
    a wheel modification would bring the most benefit, over a pound savings to your current set (even though the mavic x317 are really light). i also think that instead of the stan's you should go for cheaper rims which can be replaced more easily (e.g. mavic x317,xc717, dt xr4.1d), since wheels can always crash. your xt hubset is pretty heavy.

  8. #8
    Jed Peters
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    Who cares? Go race.

  9. #9
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    Swap out the tires...They roll like they are in sand.

    First get yourself a set of low rolling resistance tires. That will make a big difference.

    Second, ride. Sure you can lose weight but just enjoy the ride for now and see how you do and how you enjoy it.

  10. #10
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    Go-Ride

    Just go race, thats my opinion. I have race numerious races on my trusty Avanti hardtail. It must weigh about 13kg's... Mind you I lighter bike would be great (thats why I am working on it now), especially for all the enduro racing I have been getting into...

    A good setup you have me thinks, most people in Australia would kill to have a blur
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated bullshit.

  11. #11
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    well, i always think of myself as a super strong rider although i do not race. it is not very often that i get passed on the trails i ride, but every so often i have an eye-opening experience! i just did a 2 and 1/2 hour ride with a friend who i thought for sure i would be held up by. he rides a $600 full susp. schwinn, no helmet, no clip ins and i just bonked as i was trying to keep up with him while riding on my tricked out s-works epic . like everybody else says, it is the engine, not the bike. don't get me wrong, i am not a poseur...i used to race (although a long time ago!) road as a junior and was a cat 2 racer sponsered by the raleigh junior development team, but every so often get my ass handed to me by some unsuspecting dude on some p.o.s. bike and tennis shoes on that makes me wonder what the hell i think i am so good for! ;-) anyways, it is good to be put in your place from time to time! you could be that guy that everybody is shocked by! ride your "heavy" bike in your race and show them the time!

  12. #12
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    A lot of good suggestions. However that fork and steering damper are not too race oriented. Probably fun for trail riding but too squishy and heavy for racing. Ditch the steering damper and get a Fox air fork which will save a pound and give you a more racy setup. I have the same wheelset on my 23lb Racer-X and it only weighs 1860 grams, not 2200. However I'm thinkin WTB laserlite/317/DT supercomps for a final weight of 1530 grams. Also your drivetrain sounds a little heavy. When your rear derailluer goes, switch to 8 speed Sram 9.0 shifter/rear derailleur (420 grams) with a PG 850 cassette (235grams). This will save you about 150 grams and cost about $130 bucks. You could lose 50 to 80 grams on a lighter stem, same on the pedals. Pauls brake levers are 120 grams a pair compared to your 180, but I would go Magura Marta hydo first saving you over half a pound. It all reduces weight but gets expensive.

    Most importantly dress light and don't carry too much with you. I never carried tools while racing and a 50 oz camelback is the best for hydration.

    Wayno

  13. #13
    espresso lover
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    Don't forget to think about light tires. Rotating mass is heavy, and a nightmare to accellerate! Try Schwalbe fast fred, kenda Klimax/kozmic lite or Kenda blue groove / schwalbe Racing Ralph

    Good luck in racin!
    No cool signature...

  14. #14
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    Race it , my first race was with a 31lb FSR XC expert I built on a very low budget, amazing thing is I didn't do bad at all , I beat sponsored racers with lighter bikes than mine and I only weigh 150lbs but in good shape I guess you can say but a lighter bike is always better. Remember , racing is not all about a lighter bike or what the lastest trends are, it's more about self confidence, training, strategy, and the will to push yourself as hard as you can. That's what will make the most difference.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Good advice, but it's 8 years late.

    Tim

  16. #16
    Texan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wombat View Post
    Good advice, but it's 8 years late.

    Tim
    It's a long race.

  17. #17
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    HAHA!! I was bored at 1 in the morning thread hopping and posted in the wrong place LOL!!.
    How embarrassing!

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